Debates - Thursday, 10th March, 2016

Printer Friendly and PDF

Thursday, 10th March, 2016

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Mwila): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to issue a statement in response to two points of order raised in this august House on 4th March, 2016. The first point of order was raised by Hon. Jack Mwiimbu, Member of Parliament for Monze Central, on the alleged brutalisation of a citizen by the police at Woodlands Police Station while the second was raised by Hon. Gary Nkombo, Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central, on the issue of police officers who were deployed to Mr Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba’s residence. Allow me to start with the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central’s point of order.

Mr Speaker, the Zambia Police Force is a professional law enforcement agency whose daily duties include the maintenance of law and order, and is guided by the Laws of Zambia. As part of its mandate to maintain law and order, the police summoned Mr Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba for an interview at Woodlands Police Station on 2nd March, 2016, following the arrest of twenty-one United Party for National Development (UPND) youths on 27th February, 2016. The youths had been found training in military tactics at Mr Mwamba’s gymnasium situated on Luanshya Road in Lusaka. Mr Mwamba appeared at Woodlands Police Station in person in the company of his lawyers, his party President and a multitude of UPND cadres. Seeing the situation, the police mobilised additional officers to reinforce those who were at Woodlands Police Station in order to ensure that peace and order prevailed during the interview. Unfortunately, as the interview was going onin one of the offices at the station, the cadres became unruly and attempted to disrupt it. So, the police officers were left with no option, but to disperse the cadres by discharging teargas. It was during the course of those events that it is alleged that the police brutalised a citizen. The Police Command has since taken the proactive step of initiating investigations into the allegation. The action to be taken in response to the allegation will depend on the outcome of the inquiry and the provisions of the law.

Mr Speaker, as regards the alleged sending of police officers to Mr Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba’s residence, I wish to report that the police has a Constitutional mandate to maintain law and order, and comprises trained officers who know their responsibilities in the execution of their daily duties. So, the police officers who went to Mr Mwamba’s residence were not sent by the Government. The truth of the matter is that, on 3rd March, 2016, the police received a complaint from some members of the public to the effect that Mr Mwamba had threatened to physically harm the Republican President, His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu. Based on the evidence presented, a docket was opened and a police call-out issued through his lawyers for him to report for an interview at Lusaka Central Police. Unfortunately, Mr Mwamba did not comply with the call-out and that caused the police officers to follow him to his residence at 0900 hours on 4th March, 2016, apprehend him and take him to Lusaka Central Police Station for questioning. After a long interview, he was charged with the offence of inciting violence, contrary to Section 91 of the Penal Code, Chapter 107 of the Laws of Zambia. Mr Mwamba has since appeared in court.

Mr Speaker, prior to the incident at Woodlands Police Station, the Zambia Police Force had issued a warning to members of the public and UPND members, in particular, to observe law and order during the interview of Mr Mwamba at the police station. However, some UPND members chose to ignore the warning and became violent, which necessitated police action. In this regard, I appeal to all members of the public to respect the law of the land.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

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

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, do the Laws of Zambia, today, allow the police to physically beat or brutalise someone who is found on the wrong side of the law?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I have informed this House that an inquiry has been instituted to ascertain whether the alleged brutalisation actually took place. After the conclusion of the investigations, the nation will be informed of the outcome. I, however, want to inform this House that we have substantive laws, such as the Zambia Police Act, in the Constitution of this country. So, the police operate under the Zambia Police Act, Chapter 107 of the Laws of Zambia.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, I appreciate that you have outlined how the police operate, but the question from the hon. Member of Parliament for Namwala is on whether the law allows the police to use brutal force on people who break the law.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, the law does not allow the police to use brutal force on citizens.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, for the record, Mr Geoffrey Mwamba was not picked up from his house by the police. I was with him in the same car going to Lusaka Central Police …

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Senanga. 

Unfortunately, this is not the platform to make those clarifications. The opportunity I have given you is to seek clarification from the hon. Minister on the statement he has issued. That is all.

Mr Mufalali: Thank you, Mr Speaker, for your guidance. I will ask a direct question.

Sir, why does the hon. Minister of Home Affairs want to take us back to the One-party System in which we used to see C-5 police officers driving in vehicles with drawn guns showing through windows when going to arrest a gentleman who had not even refused to report to the police station? Mr Mwamba was merely waiting for his lawyers to arrive. They are creating the impression that we are in the brutal One-party System. Why did they have to do that?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Senanga must understand that a call out was issued, but Mr Mwamba did not comply with it. So, the police had no choice, but to follow him to his house. That is how he was arrested.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Bishop Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha (Keembe): Mr Speaker, when I watched on social media the video clip of a young man on the ground being brutalised by three or four police officers, being kicked in the face with boots and struck with knobkerries, it reminded me of the time I was brutalised by the Colonial Police and lost my teeth.

Mr Chisopa laughed.

Bishop Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: I would not want to witness such a situation again in this country.

Mr Mufalali: Hear, hear!

Bishop Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Has the hon. Minister suspended the police officers, who are clearly visible in the video clip as they brutalised the young man, in order for the investigation to be conducted correctly? If we do not take care of this situation, we will drive this country into anarchy.

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I have already said that investigations have been instituted to establish whether the young man was, indeed, beaten by the police.

Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!

Mr Mwila: I have watched the video clip circulating on social media, but I could not determine whether it was captured in Zambia or elsewhere.

Mr Ndalamei: Look at you.

Mr Mwila: That is the more reason we have to investigate the matter and report the findings to this House.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, it is good that the hon. Minister has pointed out two very important points. That is, that he has watched the video clip on social media and that the law in our country does not permit any police officer to exert brutal force on a citizen. That video shows the international community a very bad picture of Zambia, and the peace and tranquillity that we have enjoyed in this country. It is synonymous with the Apartheid Regime, which was the highest form of dictatorship the world has ever seen. If the hon. Minister’s heart and soul have been touched by that video, can he, in the interest of the peace and tranquillity of this country, inform the House what measures he has taken to ensure that the investigation into the matter, which he has called “alleged brutality,” is concluded in the shortest possible time?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I want to say two things. Firstly, President Edgar Lungu is a democratic leader.

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: He is not …


Mr Mwila: … a dictator. I want to clear the air. Secondly, Prof. Lungwangwa, Hon. Member of Parliament for Mwandi, I have said …

Mr Muntanga: Mwandi?

Mr Speaker: Not Mwandi. It is Nalikwanda.

Mr Mwila: Sorry, Mr Speaker. I meant Nalikwanda.

Mr Speaker, I have said that we have instituted investigations. Once the investigations have been completed, the nation will be informed of the outcome. I have also said that if any police officer is found to have violated any laws, then, that officer will be dealt with accordingly.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Lufuma’s microphone did not come on.

Mr Speaker: Is there any microphone that is on?

Mr Sing’ombe: It is deliberate.

Mr Mooya: Come and use mine.

Mr Mufalali: No, it is not allowed. Why should he use another microphone?


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): (Using Hon. Mooya’s microphone) Hallo, hallo!


Mr Kambwili: Ah! Ninshi ifyo?


Mr Lufuma: What is your problem?

Mr Speaker: Order!

Continue, hon. Member for Kabompo West.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, … 

Mr Antonio: Yes!

Mr Lufuma: … this issue is very serious and borders on the security of this nation, but we are playing around with words. When I saw that video clip, I wondered whether it had been captured in Zambia. I could not believe that such a thing could happen in Zambia. Unfortunately, I could read “ZP” (Zambia Police) written somewhere. The police station was also clearly visible in the video clip and the police officers involved are known. It is clear that the incident happened in Zambia. So, when will the hon. Minister suspend them so that the investigations he has talked about can be conducted without hindrance?

Mr Mufalali: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, how can I suspend someone before the investigations have been concluded?

Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!

Mr Mwila: I have informed this House that we have instituted investigations.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Let me provide some guidance. 

Hon. Members, you are obviously free to ask the hon. Minister questions of clarifications. There is no doubt about that. He has made a statement that has clarified the issue. So far, as I see it, most of the questions are centring on the action to be taken. In this regard, the hon. Minister has indicated that investigations have been launched and that if there will be any police officer found wanting, appropriate action will be taken including, as I understood him, prosecution. I am saying this to simply avoid repetition.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the police call-out to Mr Mwamba was issued on 3rd March, 2016. Did the call-out specify the time? I ask this because I was present when he volunteered to be taken to the police station.

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

This is not time to testify, but to ask questions. So, ask your question.

Mr Mutelo: Sir, my question is: What time was specified on the call-out for Mr Mwamba to present himself to the police station?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, as I indicated, the call-out was issued at 0900 hours on 3rd March, 2016. Unfortunately, Mr Mwamba did not comply.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister described our police force as professional. However, in the same breath, he said that he was shocked or touched when he saw the video clip of the incidence at Woodlands Police Station. Does that not indicate that, perhaps, it is high time we retrained police officers or reviewed the curriculum followed at Lilayi Police Training College so that the men and women who graduate from there can be professional to the extent expected even by an ordinary citizen?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I said that our police officers are professional …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwila: ... in the performance of their duties …

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mwila: … and ended at saying that I watched the clip. I did not say what the hon. Member for Mumbwa attributed to me. The reason we have instituted investigations is to establish the truth. 

Mr Speaker, let me take this opportunity to say that, lately, our colleagues from the United Party for National Development (UPND) have been violent. In fact, as far as the ministry is concerned, the UPND is the most violent party in this country.


Mr Mwila: It has to clear its name on this issue.

Mr Mufalali: No! 

On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister! 

The question asked by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mumbwa was on whether there is any consideration being given to a reorientation of the training of police officers, especially at Lilayi Police College, to avoid what is at issue.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, the training of police officers is a continuous process in which the police command has continued to train our officers so that they are professional in the performance of their duties. We will have general elections in the country this year, and our officers have been trained.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister admit that he saw the clip in question and could not believe that such a thing could happen in Zambia.

Mr Mwila: No, I did not say that.

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!

You will have an opportunity to answer the question. You do not have to clarify while seated. Wait for the hon. Member to complete his question.

Hon. Member for Kalomo Central, you may continue.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, the verbatim record is available to prove that the hon. Minister said what he is now denying having said. 

Sir, my point is that whenever the Patriotic Front (PF) is involved in an act of lawlessness, we are told that investigations will be carried out but, in most cases, nothing happens. There are so many cases that end up in assurances of investigations, but nothing concrete comes out of the promises. The hon. Minister saw the clip and there is no way he could have failed to recognise Woodlands Police Station and the Zambia Police uniform of the officers who were brutalising the two young men. One cannot ask the sex of a dog while looking at it. The issue is certain. So, how can the hon. Minister assure us that action will be taken, this time around, when he has failed to even suspend the officers involved?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, once the investigations have been completed, disciplinary action will be taken against officers who will be found wanting.

Sir, on the issue of whether the police is biased against the UPND and favours the PF, I have given two examples on the Floor of this House before. The first one is that, last month, the police arrested alleged PF cadres, who were found with pangas, and the matter is in court. The second is the arrest of those who attacked reporters at Breeze FM Radio Station in Chipata. They, too, are appearing in court. So, what else does Hon. Muntanga want me to say?

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kazabu (Nkana): Mr Speaker, it is refreshing to learn from the hon. Minister of Home Affairs that the incident at Woodlands Police Station is under investigation. The incidents of police brutality included the spraying of citizens with teargas in Lundazi and, recently, in Lusaka in the same fiasco we are talking about, in which a police officer was seen spraying teargas straight in the face of a citizen. Will the current investigations be broadened to include the incident in Lundazi, where people who were meeting in a room were teargassed?

Mr Speaker: Order! 

The problem I have with this question is a procedural one. We need to confine ourselves to the subject at hand, in all fairness.

Mr Katambo (Masaiti): Mr Speaker, the mandate of the police is to maintain law and order in the nation. Some sectors of our society have said that our dear President, Mr Edgar Lungu, gave instructions for the arrest of Mr GBM (Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba), but our stance in the Patriotic Front (PF) is to preach peace, unity and love. 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Katambo: What is the hon. Minister’s comment on the allegation that our dear President instructed the police to arrest Mr GBM?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Hon. Government Member:Ema questions aya!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, no instructions were issued by His Excellency the President.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mwila: “Question!”, “Question!” inshi? 


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!


Mr Speaker: Just respond. Do not be distracted. 

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, no instruction was issued by the President. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo): Mr Speaker, what time frame has the hon. Minister set for the conclusion of investigations into this matter so that the four criminals who were wearing police uniforms can be brought to book? 

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I cannot state the time frame in that I am not part of the investigating team. Once the people conducting the investigation complete the exercise, I will update the nation. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, the clip the hon. Minister saw is the one that I also saw. During his last ministerial statement, the hon. Minister ...


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Miyanda: ... indicated to the House and the nation at large that, in future, anyone who would dare the police would be met with maximum force. Does he not think that the police officers who brutalised those young men actually acted on his pronouncement made on the Floor of this House? 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I cannot conclude whether that the police officers used maximum or minimum force because that is what the investigations are meant to establish.  

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!

The latter part of the question was on whether that incident could have been a response to your statement.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, no, it was not. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Antonio (Kaoma Central): Mr Speaker, is the young man who was brutally beaten dead or alive? 

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, currently, all we have is a complaint from some people about that incident and we have instituted investigations to establish whether it was true or not. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, of course, we will go further and establish whether the person in the clip was injured or is dead. When we get the information, we will inform the nation.

I thank you, Sir. 


The Minister of Works and Supply(Mr Mukanga): Mr Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for granting me this opportunity to make a statement on road development programmes in Zambia. 

Sir, the Government has recognised that road infrastructure development is key to national development, as it facilitates growth in productive sectors, such as agriculture, mining, manufacturing and tourism. Accordingly, the Government is strategically investing in the construction, upgrading, rehabilitation and maintenance of road infrastructure. This commitment is demonstrated through the implementation of various road infrastructure development programmes and projects, such as the Link Zambia 8,000 Kilometres, Lusaka 400 Kilometres (L400), Pave Zambia 2,000 Kilometres, National Road Tolling and other major rehabilitation and maintenance projects. Let me discuss some of them.

Link Zambia 8,000 KilometresRoad Project

Sir, as you may be aware, the Government launched the Link Zambia 8,000 Kilometre Road Project on 20th September, 2012, to accelerate road construction activities aimed at transforming Zambia from being a landlocked country to a land-linked one in Southern Africa. The benefits accruing from the project include job creation, reduced road user costs and transit times, and creation of economic growth poles and wealth in outlying areas of our country, Zambia. 

Mr Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House that, currently, approximately 2,700 km of roads under Phase I of the Link Zambia 8,000 Kilometre Road Project, which is under implementation, are under construction or rehabilitation, of which approximately 678 km have been surfaced and are open to traffic. Overall physical progress, which is the aggregated progress on surfacing, layer works and drainage for the entire programme is about 30 per cent. The project has, since its inception, created over 20,000 job opportunities in the road construction industry, 90 per cent of which are for men and 10 per cent for women. Further, the Government has commenced the procurement of thirty-one projects under Phase II of the project, which involves the upgrading of approximately 2,500 km of roads to bituminous standard. Construction commenced in the fourth quarter of 2015. I further wish to inform the hon. Members that among the thirty-one projects earmarked for implementation under Phase II, twelve projects totalling 840 km will be implemented ...


Mr Speaker: Order, on the left and right!

Mr Mukanga: ... through the Contractor Financing Development (CFD) model. Under this model, contractors will source their own resources and construct the road infrastructure and be paid by the Government after completion of the projects under agreed repayment terms. 

Mr Speaker, in an effort to increase the capacity of our local contractors, the Government has deliberately reserved five major road projects with an approximate length of 380 km for Zambian citizen-owned companies with, at least, 50.1 per cent Zambian shareholding. 

Pave Zambia 2,000 Project

Sir, the ministry, through the Road Development Agency (RDA), is also implementing the Pave Zambia 2,000 Kilometre Road Project, which is aimed at providing improved access to various social amenities in urban areas using the interlocking paving brick and cobblestone technology. This project is also aimed at creating employment opportunities for the majority of Zambians. So far, the installation of paving block equipment in all the ten provinces, and the mobilisation of plants and equipment to support the project have been completed. About 128 units of equipment have already been distributed to all the provinces. 

Mr Speaker, I am pleased to inform you that women’s groups have been formed in Lusaka’s Chazanga, Kalingalinga and Zingalume compounds for training in cobblestone chiselling at the National Council for Construction (NCC). So far, one group comprising forty-five participants has been trained in cobblestone production and laying. Further, eight contracts for laying paving blocks were signed with local contractors under the Pave Zambia 2,000 Kilometre Road Project in the Eastern and Lusaka provinces, from the last quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015. Two of the contracts have since been completed. Additionally, three contracts for detailed designs and tender document preparation by consultants were signed in May, 2015, and are currently ongoing. The contracts cover six provinces, namely Lusaka, the Eastern, Central, Muchinga, the Northern and Luapula provinces, and were scheduled to run for six months. Two design contracts covering the remainder of the provinces are still under procurement and are scheduled to be signed during the second quarter of 2016.

Mr Speaker, in order to preserve investment in road infrastructure, the Government, through the RDA, has developed a Road Maintenance Strategy (RMS) for the period between 2015 and 2024. The strategy aims at creating a clear pathway for the implementation of maintenance activities on the road network by making maintenance the first priority. As one of the immediate measures to actualise the strategy, the Zambia National Service (ZNS) has been appointed a local road authority to rehabilitate and maintain approximately 10,000 km of primary feeder roads across the country. This exercise is expected to cost an estimated US$920 million over a period four years. Works under this project commenced in the fourth quarter of 2015, but the major works will be undertaken after the 2015/2016 Rainy Season. 
Mr Speaker, in addition to appointing the ZNS a local road authority for primary feeder roads, the RDA, with funding from the World Bank, intends to rehabilitate and maintain approximately 400 km of primary feeder roads in the Eastern Province using the Output and Performance-Based Road Contracts (OPRC) System. The project will be implemented under the Eastern Region Inclusive Growth Project. 

Sir, as at 21st September, 2015, K980 million had been paid to local contractors on various on-going road projects. That cleared all outstanding payments to local contractors. Further, US$45 million and K100 million was paid out to foreign contractors during the same period for certified works. The outstanding amount is US$90 million. 

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I re-affirm our Government’s commitment to creating a world-class road network in Zambia that will support socio-economic growth and make Zambia a better country. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement issued by the hon. Minister of Works and Supply. 

Mrs Mphande (Mkushi North): Mr Speaker, when will works on the Munda Wanga/Msofu Road under the Link Zambia 8,000 Kilometre Road Project commence? 

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, it is a pity that I am being asked about a specific road because I do not have information specific to that road. However, all the road works in Phase II will commence as planned. We are not changing the plans because we have already revised the programme. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister say that contractors will have to source their own funds and, after the works, claim their payments from the Government. However, his ministry is on record saying that the Mpongwe/Machiya Road works will commence in the first quarter of 2016. Already, we are in March, 2016, and there is no sign of the promised contractor moving on site. Will the people of Mpongwe, which produces a lot of wheat, soya beans and maize, wait for a contractor who can mobilise own resources to be found before the works on that road commence? The allocation to the project in the 2016 Budget is only K8 million.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I stated that only twelve of the thirty-one projects, totalling 840 km, will be implemented through a CFD model, not all the projects. For economically viable roads, we will use the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Model. We have planned for all the roads, including those in Mpongwe, to be worked on. However, if works on the road are scheduled for the third quarter of 2016, I do not expect the contractor to mobilise now because it would be a waste of time. 

Mr W. Banda: When?

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member! 

You do not shout whilst seated. 

Continue, hon. Minister. 

Mr Mukanga: I am sure, however, that the Mpongwe/Machiya Road Project is supposed to be implemented in the second, not third, quarter of 2016, and will be implemented accordingly.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that only 678 km of roads out of the 8,000 km planned for under the Link Zambia 8,000 Kilometres Road Project have been built and are now usable. What has led to this poor performance of the project?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, we have had a few challenges, but I will not say we have performed poorly because we have done what we could. We have also already procured contracts for 2,500 km of road network. What I meant in reference to the 678 km is the black top that lay people are able to see. However, various roads are at different stages of construction. 

Sir, some of the challenges we have had are the depreciation of the kwacha, delayed payments to contractors, scarcity of construction materials, and a lack of capacity in some local and foreign contractors. That notwithstanding, we have done what we were supposed to do.  

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Konga (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his comprehensive statement. That said, there was a contractor who was paving a section of the Independence Avenue between the Freedom Statue and the traffic lights near the Seventh Day Adventist Church under the Pave Zambia 2,000 Kilometres Road Project. In October, last year, however, the job was abandoned. Can the hon. Minister explain why. 

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, the Pave Zambia 2,000 Kilometres Road Project was planned to run from 2015 to 2019. In terms of its implementation, we had to purchase 128 units of equipment and distribute them to various provincial headquarters, and the responsibility to run them was given to the local authorities. However, the local authorities have had a few challenges in procuring paving blocks. All I can say, for now, is that we will follow up on the project and ensure that we correct the situation. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma:Sir, in cost terms, what is the difference between a normal contract, in which the client sources money and pays for the service, and the Contractor Financing Development (CFD) model that is being proposed for some of these roads? 

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, there are more than two models that are used for road works. Apart from the two that the hon. Member has explained, there is the public-private partnership (PPP) model, in which the State or a public authority partners with the contractor. In all the models of executing works, we structure the agreements to ensure that whatever we do is favourable to the people of Zambia. The PPP and CFD models allow us to use other peoples’ money and pay it back later.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, the Zambia National Service (ZNS) will become a local road authority, bringing the total number of road authorities to about three or four. Why are we increasing the number of road authorities instead of making the ZNS work under one of the established authorities? I ask this because what has been proposed might call for a revision of the Road Act of 2002.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, we have just delegated authority to the ZNS to execute the road works cheaply. We have had disciplinary challenges from the employees that contractors engage to work on roads. That problem does not exist in the Defence Forces. So, it is easier for them to execute works due to their culture of discipline.

Sir, the Road Act will be presented to the House for amendment so that the ZNS will no longer be an agent, but an authority.

I thank you, Sir. 

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, when the Link Zambia 8,000 Kilometre Road Project was introduced, Hon. Pande pointed out that Phase I was mostly in Luapula, the Northern and Muchinga Provinces while Phases II and III were to be in the rest of the provinces of Zambia. He also expressed the fear that financing for Phases II and III would be uncertain because the phases were too far off in the future and, therefore, the provinces in Phase II and III risked losing out. Can the hon. Minister tell us the distribution of the roads with the black top,as he has described them, in terms of kilometres by province so that we see the distribution across the country.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, since the hon. Member is asking for details, I will bring the document and lay it on the Table some other time.

I thank you, Sir.

Bishop Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, about four years ago, a contract was signed for a stretch of 55 km from Landless Corner to Mumbwa Road to be worked on, but only 24 km have been tarred.When will the rest of the 31 km of that stretch, which is just on the outskirts of Lusaka, be worked on?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I think that the hon. Member realises that we have had many challenges with the contractor working on that road and had even cancelled the contract, but we are currently reviewing it to see what we can do to promptly execute the works.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that there are some contractors who finance projects and that the contracts are designed in a manner that is favourable to the people of Zambia. He has also said that I should be very happy because the works on the Mwinilunga/Jimbe Road had been launched. Indeed, those works have been longstanding, and I am sure that the hon. Minister heard my question to Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning on how much the contract cost for that 105 km stretch is. Further, how sure is he that the finances to complete the road are available? In other words, how many kilometres, out of the 105 km, will be worked on this year?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, the contractor will commence works immediately after the rainy season. I think he will not complete the 105 km this year, but only about 20 per cent of the works. We will continue to monitor the project to ensure that the works are executed according to the contract terms.

I thank you, Sir. 

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, I am asking on behalf of the people of Itezhi-tezhi and Namwala, who use the Monze/Niko Road, which the Government has failed to complete. We will complete it when we take over power in September, 2016.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, using their terminologies, ...

Mr Muchima: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister in order to avoid a very straightforward question? I asked how much was put aside for the Mwinilunga/Jimbe Road and how sure he is that the finances are available. Is he in order to skirt around my question?

I seek your serious ruling, Sir.

Mr Speaker: I tend to discourage these kinds of points of order. That is why I have always encouraged you to work as a team. If you have used your chance to ask a question, ask for assistance from your colleagues. Nonetheless, I will allow the hon. Minister to put this matter to rest.I thought he had answered the question. Maybe, I did not follow him closely, but what I heard him say is that about 20 per cent of the work would be done this year. That was the response to the question. So, I am not too sure whether this is a new question. Anyway, the hon. Minister will clarify as he responds to the hon. Member for Namwala’s question.

Hon. Member for Namwala, you may continue. 

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, in what phase is the Monze/Niko Road, which this Government has failed to complete? We need to know where to start from when we take over power.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that very good question.

Mr Livune: That is right!


Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, if the hon. Member’s party is planning to take over power, that is a pipe dream because this working Government has been very committed to doing things in accordance with its plans. At the beginning of 2011, these people used to tell us that we had no plans. Despite seeing what we have done, they still think that we will fail, but we will not. 

Sir, the construction of the Monze/Niko Road is an on-going project in which much progress has been made. The previous governments failed to work on the road, but the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has done it in three to four years. However, …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mukanga: … instead of appreciating what this Government is doing, the hon. Member is just thinking of taking over power. Unfortunately for her, they will not manage to do so. In fact, the hon. Member should just join us on this side if she wants to be in power. 

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker:Hon. Minister, please, clarifyon the hon. Member for Ikeleng’i’s point of order.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I will bring that information to the hon. Member tomorrow.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, the issue of roads is very important in this country. In Chadiza, the works that had started on the Chadiza/Chipata, Chadiza/Katete, Chadiza/Vubwi and Chadiza/Chanida Border roads and works have stalled. What assurance is the hon. Minister giving the people of Chadiza concerning those roads of which the people are in desperately need?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the question asked by the hon. Member of Parliament for Chadiza because the hon. Member always gives credit to the Government where it is due. 

Sir, the Government has paid most of the contractors for the projects in question, and most of the works that had stalled will commence and be completed after the rainy season. So, I urge the people of Chadiza to be patient because they will see a lot of progress and their lives will change because the PF Government is all about changing people’s lives.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: I have also permitted the hon. Minister of Defence to issue a statement.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Minister of Defence (Mr Siamunene): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this chance to give a ministerial statement on the recruitment in the Zambia Defence Forces. 

Mr Speaker, in accordance with my statement issued on 2nd December, 2015, the Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force (ZAF) and Zambia National Service (ZNS), advertised for recruitment of the military personnel, including professionals in different disciplines, in August, 2015. Following the advertisement, 168,119 applications were received. As a result of the huge response, the three institutions required more time to analyse the applications in order to select the best qualified and most suitable applicants.  I am glad to inform the House that the services have concluded the shortlisting process and the shortlisted names will be publicised in the daily papers at an appropriate time. Subsequently, the candidates will be invited for aptitude tests and medical examinations. 

Mr Speaker, through this august House, I hereby inform the public that there is no secret recruitment and training taking place in any of the services, except for the routine internal orientation of staff. The public should, therefore, ignore any information contrary to what I have said in this statement and that not issued by the Ministry of Defence. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on point of clarification on the statement issued by the hon. Minister of Defence.

Bishop Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister tell this House how many of those applications being considered or accepted are from Chibombo District?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, if you have that information, please, supply it. 

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, I am sure that the hon. Member knows, by virtue of his military background, that this is a national exercise and that, therefore, applications from all areas across the country have been considered. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!

Having considered all the areas, do you have information on applicants from Keembe or Chibombo District?


Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, when the list is out, the hon. Member will be allowed to check whether there will be applicants from Keembe or Chibombo on it.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!

Do you have that information now?

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, I do not have that information now because the list has not yet been published. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: Very well!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the hon. Member would get the information after the list has been released. However, my assumption is that the published list will only contain the names of successful candidates. Seeing as there are no jobs in this country, is it possible for the hon. Minister to furnish the hon. Member for Keembe with the list of all applicants, not only the successful ones, for him to be satisfied and for the insinuations that there is a secret recruitment exercise to be discounted? 

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, currently, I am not able to give any details besides what I have already stated.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Siamunene: Yes. The hon. Member who asked that question knows very well that is part of the strength of our Defence Forces. So, I cannot give more details on that.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!

My understanding of the question asked by the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central is that he sought to find out whether the ministry will be able to publish a list of successful as well as unsuccessful applicants when the recruitment exercise is completed and, thereafter, avail that information to the hon. Member for Keembe, presumably, amongst others.

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, we will only be able to publish the names of the successful applicants. So, if the hon. Member is interested in knowing the names of the successful applicants, he will have to check on the list. If he will still require more information thereafter, he will be at liberty to visit our offices.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Kabompo West, please, ask your question.

Hon. UPND Members: He has migrated.

Mr Speaker: Yes, he has to migrate.


Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I am a nomad. 

Sir, during the good old days, under the leadership of the former President, Dr Kenneth David Kaunda, each time there were recruitments in the armed forces, there were quotas allocated to each province so that all the regions of the country were represented to avoid coups d’état.


Mr Lufuma: Yes! It is wrong to just choose from one area.

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

Do not engage your colleagues. Just ask your question.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, were quotas allocated to the provinces in this recruitment? If they were, what were the quotas allocated by province?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, that is a very important question.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Siamunene: Sir, as he has suggested, we will take the quotas down to the district level during the general recruitment so that the recruits will represent the whole country. The current recruitment, on the other hand, is special because we are looking for special qualifications in different fields that are needed in the Defence Forces. So, we will only recruit from those areas where people with the qualifications for which we are looking can be found.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.    

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, there is speculation that many of the successful applicants are either relatives of the officers in high offices of the Defence Forces or our hon. Colleagues on your right. When the list is published, will the hon. Minister give hon. Members the opportunity to ask more questions on the names of successful applicants, where they come from and to whom they are related?

Hon. UPND Members: One Zambia, one side.


Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member should know that only Zambians will have the opportunity to be recruited and be part of the Defence Forces. He should ignore any speculation from whichever source. As long as someone is Zambian and meets the required qualifications, he or she will be recruited. We will not recruit any foreigners or unqualified people because we do not want to put the security of this country at risk. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!

The hon. Member for Gwembe wants to know whether there will be an opportunity for him to interrogate you on the list based on the criteria he has indicated.

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member who has asked the question is Zambian. So, he is free to come to my office and interrogate me on whatever information he will want after the exercise has been completed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Very well.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that the hon. Member for Keembe can check the list of successful candidates to know whether there will be any from Keembe and Chibombo District on it. Supposing we check and discover that all the people from our areas have been left out, would the hon. Minister be able to accommodate our people who would have been left out then? Suppose no one is picked from Keembe and Kazungula, will it not be too late for anything to be done about it? 

Mr Speaker: Order!

Let me provide some guidance so that we move smoothly. 

The hon. Minister has indicated that there is a general recruitment and a special recruitment. He has also stated that in a special recruitment, only specialists are recruited and it does not matter where they are recruited from. Let us bear that in mind as we progress. 

Hon. Minister, you may respond.   

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, this is a straightforward matter. I have stated that those who have special qualifications that the ministry is looking for will be recruited. I cannot, therefore, state the number of people who will be recruited from Keembe or Kazungula constituencies. The people of Keembe or Kazungula may not have the skills for which the forces are looking.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, a while ago, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs was at pains trying to defend the unprofessional officers in his ministry. What is the hon. Minister doing during the current recruitment exercise to avoid recruiting people who will not uphold professionalism in his ministry due to the manner of their recruitment?

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, I have already stated that the applicants will be considered on merit. The hon. Member is aware that our Defence Forces are disciplined and have exhibited that discipline exceptionally well on the international stage. We are, therefore, committed to recruiting only those who will meet the calibre needed in the Defence Forces.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just indicated that his ministry is scrutinising the qualifications of those who have applied to join the military. Just like it is for those aspiring to be elected to the National Assembly, those who wish to join the military should possess Grade 12 certificates. In the mid-1980s, one of the requirements for recruitment was a certain minimum height. Is the ministry considering recruiting people with the real physical stature of soldiers or military men and women? Will you ensure that even the faces of the people recruited befit their work?


Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, there are factors that we consider when recruiting personnel in the Defence Forces. If height is one of them, then, it will be considered because we adhere to set standards in our recruitments. We will ensure that the set standards are adhered to in the assessment of all the applications.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, of the overall number of applicants, how many were shortlisted? Further, what is the targeted number of recruits?

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, I am currently unable to give the number of those who have been shortlisted. However, we have already shortlisted. So, the list will soon be released and, when that happens, the hon. Member will know the number.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, when will the general recruitment be done?

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, the nation will be informed.

Hon. UPND Members: Aah!

Hon. Government Members: Yes!


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Siamunene: You should listen.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, at the right time, the nation will be informed when the general recruitment will be done. There are some things that we still have to put in place before we do that.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order!


The Minister of Agriculture (Mr Lubinda): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to update the House on the food security situation in Zambia. 

Sir, we experienced relatively poor rainfall in some parts of the country, especially at the start of the 2015/2016 Rainy Season, which led to a relatively poor crop performance, especially in the southern half of the country. The current indications are that maize production for the 2015/2016 Season might be lower than the previous season’s 2,618,221 metric tonnes. This year’s crop forecast survey is under way and the results are expected to be announced earlier than has been done in previous years. I plan to announce the results …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the left!

Mr Lubinda: … and the national food balance sheet by the first week of May, 2016. Nonetheless, the interim simulation models currently being run by my ministry based on the poor rainfall up to January, 2016, indicate that the country is likely to produce between 1.6 million and 2 million metric tonnes of maize. The private sector has also done simulations that put expected production at a higher figure of 2.4 million metric tonnes.

Mr Speaker, despite the low maize yield forecast of 1.6 million metric tonnes, the country will still have sufficient stocks of maize for human consumption. Any shortfalls, though very unlikely, will only affect industrial requirements, such as for breweries and stock feed production. Those shortfalls, if there will be any, will only occur in 2017. This worst case scenario is based on the poor rainfall experienced between December and January, 2016. By the grace of God, the rainfall has improved as the season has progressed. However, the improved rainfall has not been factored in the analysis to which I have just referred.

Sir, as at 3rd March, 2016, the country had 869,323 metric tonnes of maize. That maize is held by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), Grain Traders Association of Zambia (GTAZ), Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) and Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) as follows:

Total Maize Stocks     Metric Tonnes

ZNFU    46,050

GTAZ    227,245

MAZ    29,420

FRA    309,163 (Committed stock)

FRA    209,618 (Uncommitted stock)

Sir, the FRA, alone, had 518,781 metric tonnes of committed and uncommitted stocks of maize. The committed stocks are with respect to the contracts signed with millers for stocks that have not yet been paid for. The GTAZ, on the other hand, has 227,245 metric tonnes of stocks committed for export while the ZNFU has 46,050 metric tonnes of uncommitted maize.

Mr Speaker, the available stocks minus the quantity committed for export by the GTAZ give us a balance of 594,251 metric tonnes available for domestic consumption. That quantity is sufficient to last six months, that is, until August, 2016. Following the calls for us to cancel the GTAZ contracts for export, consideration has been given to buying off the association’s quantities. To that end, we have had consultations with the Attorney-General’s Office, which advised that the cancellation of the contracts between the GTAZ and our neighbouring countries would require the Ministry of Agriculture to issue a statutory instrument (SI). The ministry has also had consultations with the Ministry of Finance on the resources required to buy off the maize stocks and has been informed that more than US$70 million would be required to pay for the 227,000 metric tonnes of maize.

Mr Speaker, following an outcry from the general public that the price of mealie meal in most parts of the country had escalated, the FRA was instructed by the Cabinet to sell 930,000 metric tonnes of maize to millers and communities at K85 for a 50kg bag or K1,700 per tonne in order to stabilise the price. This was done in accordance with the Food Reserve Act (2015) of the Laws of Zambia. The agreement between the Government and the millers was that the wholesale price of a 25kg of breakfast meal would be K70 while that of a 25kg bag of roller meal would be K50. That agreement is legally binding and all the willing millers have signed up to the programme. One of the conditions of the agreement is the prohibition of the export of maize bought from the FRA at subsidised prices and mealie meal processed from the subsidised maize because the subsidy is meant to benefit only domestic consumers.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, to date, the FRA has allocated 750,368 metric tonnes to 101 millers across the country. With the commencement of the FRA maize sales programme, an Ad Hoc Price Monitoring Committee was set up in the ministry to monitor the sale of maize and mealie meal by the participating millers. Unfortunately, it has sadly been observed that some millers have breached ...


Mr Speaker: Order!

You may continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Lubinda: ... the terms of their contracts by either selling mealie meal at prices higher than K70 and K50 for breakfast meal and roller meal, respectively, or smuggling the commodity out through our border towns. In that regard, I have to sadly announce that the FRA, today, terminated its contracts with four millers, that is, one in Lusaka, two in Central Province and one in the Northern Province. The errant millers, as stipulated in the agreements they signed with the FRA, have been blacklisted from procuring any commodity from the agency for the next two marketing seasons.

Mr Mwamba: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: The FRA will publish a list of all the millers who are still able to buy its subsidised maize. In this regard, I appeal to members of the public to study the list when it is published and help in ensuring that the prices of the mealie meal brands of millers on the list are not higher than the recommended ones. The Government is not prescribing prices, but merely ensuring that the millers who buy maize that has been subsidised by tax payers do not sell it at exorbitant prices. It is, therefore, incumbent upon the Government to ensure that the subsidy benefits the consumer, not the miller.

Mr Speaker, in the 2015/2016 Marketing Season, the Government allowed the export of maize by the private sector in order to allow the latter to fully participate in maize marketing and enhance private sector investment in the agriculture sector. The move also acted as an incentive to farmers, especially emergent and large-scale ones, to expand the hectarage under maize cultivation and saved the Government the cost it would have incurred had it chosen to store the excess maize in the country. If exports had not been allowed, there would have been a heavy burden on the Government to buy all the excess maize on the market when the FRA only has 860,000 metric tonnes of secure storage and storing a significant quantity of maize above this capacity would have resulted in a possible increase of grain wastage. The hon. Members of this House will recall that the FRA used to record losses of up to 20 per cent of its purchased grain. This year, the loss, which has resulted from shrinkage, not poor management or storage, has been less than 1 per cent, and I commend the agency for minimising wastage. I am sure that this House, at an opportune time, will also commend the FRA for that achievement.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, according to the Central Statistical Office (CSO) and the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) trade statistics, between 1st May, 2015, which is the start of the marketing season, and 30th December, 2015, Zambia formally exported 662,640 metric tonnes of maize and maize products, mostly to Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa, Namibia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique. The exports earned the country a huge income of US$200 million.

Sir, my ministry is committed to making Zambia the bread basket of the region and will, therefore, continue supporting trade with other countries in the region and beyond. However, like I have said before, the trade, in this case, the export and import of agricultural commodities, will have to be undertaken within the provisions of the law, particularly the Control of Goods Act, Cap 421 of the Laws of Zambia, which requires that those intending to export agricultural commodities from Zambia obtain an export permit. Last weekend, I had the misfortune of seeing twenty-eight 30 tonne trucks laden with Zambian maize meant to be exported without permits, and I have to announce on behalf of the Government that, unfortunately for the people who wanted to smuggle the maize out, the trucks, which had been marooned at Mwami Border, have been seized by the State.

Mr Mwamba: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: The seizure is not because Zambia is not allowing maize exports, but because we have to maintain our integrity as a country that observes international trade agreements and practices. We have to protect ourselves from becoming a country of smugglers. So, since no export permit was issued for the maize, it has to be forfeited to the State. 

Sir, let me take advantage of the Floor that you have given me to caution all millers and traders that the Government is watching the market closely. The contracts of all those who breach the provisions of the law or agreements entered into between them and the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) will also be terminated and the traders will risk being blacklisted for two years. Additionally, following a Cabinet decision during a meeting held on 7th March, 2016, a technical committee was instituted at the Permanent Secretary (PS) level, which is chaired by the Secretary to the Cabinet.Thecommittee is mandated to put in place appropriate short-term measures to ensure that the general citizenry countrywide have access to mealie meal at prices agreed upon between the Government and millers. The committee will also, in the course of this season, design medium to long-term measures to ensure availability of low-priced mealie meal in the country and increased maize production for export.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I buy my mealie meal from shops around Kabwata Market and I have just noticed that the price of breakfast meal in that area is around K100 per 25 kg bag. What measures is the hon. Minister putting in place to reduce the price of mealie meal, which is escalating?

Mr Lubinda: Sir, I forgive Hon. Mwiimbu for asking that question because he apparently stepped outside when I was making my statement and may have missed what I said. 

Sir, I indicated that all the millers who are accessing FRA maize are obliged to sell mealie meal at wholesale prices not exceeding K70 for a 25 kg bag of breakfast meal and not exceeding K50 for roller meal of the same quantity. I also gave a friendly warning to all the millers that the Government is closely watching them and that the selling of any brand at a higher price than the one stipulated in the agreement between the miller and the Government will result in the miller’s contract being terminated. So, it is really up to the millers. I met with them today and gave them this message that I am reiterating on the Floor of this House. On the other hand, Hon. Jack Mwiimbu and I also have the responsibility to report all the people we find selling mealie meal at more than K75 for breakfast meal and more than K55 for roller meal so that they may be punished.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, I always follow the statements issued by the hon. Minister of Agriculture keenly, and I enjoy them. 

Sir, the hon. Minister has said that the contracts of some millers in Lusaka, Central and the Northern provinces have been terminated and the millers blacklisted from procuring maize from the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) for two seasons. With the current shortage of mealie meal on the market, which is sometimes caused by black market trading, will the termination of those contracts not affect the supply of mealie meal, thereby causing further shortages? Further, what mitigatory measures have been put in place to prevent a disruption in the supply of mealie meal?

The Deputy Chairperson: The hon. Member has asked two questions, but the hon. Minster is at liberty to answer one.

Mr Lubinda: Sir, I appreciate the question asked by Hon. Gabriel Namulambe because it raises pertinent issues. 

Sir, let me inform Hon. Namulambe, the House and the nation that we had to make a difficult choice between two evils, one of which was to allow unscrupulous millers to take advantage of the FRA maize and facilitate the export of the mealie meal they produced instead of supplying the Zambian market. The second option, which we chose because, for us, it was a lesser evil, was to starve the market. Additionally, let me assure the hon. Member that there is sufficient milling capacity in Zambia even with the exclusion of some of the millers. As I have stated before, Zambia’s milling capacity is much higher than the country’s consumption, albeit concentrated along the line of rail. In this regard, it is prudent for the Government to also consider subsidising the transportation of mealie meal from the areas where the country’s milling capacity is concentrated to the rural areas, provided the millers are willing to participate honestly in the programme. So, I want to assure Hon. Gabriel Namulambe that we will not run the risk of any shortages as a result of blacklisting those millers. 

Sir, let me also clarify that we have not blacklisted the millers from milling. They are at liberty to continue producing mealie meal. The only thing we have banned them from doing is buying subsidised maize from the FRA. So, they can still buy maize elsewhere and continue with their businesses.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Musonda (Kapiri Mposhi): Mr Speaker, seeing as some millers are not willing to co-operate with the Government in the pricing of mealie meal, does the Government have any intentions of nationalising the milling industry in the future?

Mr Lubinda: Sir, we run a liberalised market. However, the Government is responsible for the welfare of Zambians. We started this programme in good faith because we did not want the millers to stop milling because of a lack of access to maize. So, we availed them the FRA maize so that they can assist us feed Zambians. Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous millers who have been daring the Government. The people have been complaining about the prices of mealie meal, which have been escalating despite the price of maize remaining constant since November, 2015. So, the price increases have not been due to the cost of maize. In this regard, I urge the mealie meal traders and millers not to dare the Government. It is not the Government’s intention to nationalise any sector of the economy but, if the millers want to take advantage of our liberalised economy to hold citizens at ransom, I am afraid that some people will start thinking about nationalising the milling industry. However, I assure my brother that there has not been any discussion to that effect by this Government, and I am very hopeful that the millers who have been participating honestly on this programme will continue to do so, so that we do not have to think about nationalising the industry.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has informed this House that he will announce the results of the Crop Focus Survey for this season in the first week of May, 2016. However, he has also given us three maize yield figures based on simulations that have been done, the lowest of which is 1.6 million metric tonnes, which he said would still be sufficient for domestic consumption requirements, but not for industrial requirements. My question to the hon. Minister is: Should we be so unfortunate as to have a yield falling in the lowest estimate, what strategies has he put in place to source maize for industrial consumption so that our industries do not suffer?

Mr Lubinda: Sir, I indicated that in the worst case scenario in which we produce 1.6 million metric tonnes, the shortfall, if any, will be in 2017, not 2016, and that will only happen if the 2016/2017 harvest will be bad. Otherwise, we will be cushioned by the harvest of that season. So, there is no cause for any fear or alarm. Our food security is guaranteed until the end of 2016. I also hope that my dear colleague will encourage the farmers in the Southern Province to diversify the activities beyond maize production so that we grow more alternative food crops in light of the impact of climate change.

I thank you, Sir.

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister spoke passionately about the price-controlled mealie meal, which ought to be sold at K50 and K70 per 25kg of roller meal and breakfast meal, respectively. What is the national coverage of that mealie meal? I want to know whether it covers the entire country, especially the poor rural communities.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for his question and concern for the vulnerable people. However, his concern for the vulnerable people cannot exceed this Government’s, and that is the reason we run three different programmes, the first being the provision of maize to millers, who mill it and sell mealie meal at the prices he mentioned. The second programme is that of community sales in areas devoid of milling plants. As at 3rd March, 2016, more than 4,000 tonnes had been offloaded through community sales to vulnerable people. For those who could not afford to buy the maize, Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning has been very active in releasing the maize through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), which is under her office, and that programme will continue. So, the coverage is national. There is no part of the country that has been left out in this programme. Let me reiterate that hon. Members of Parliament have a role to play in the programme. So, if there are areas in Nalikwanda Constituency where people have no access to the relief food provided by the DMMU, what is required is for the hon. Member of Parliament to talk to bring that matter to the attention of the Government through the District Commissioner (DC) and we shall quickly move in and provide the relief maize.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, following the ZRA’s termination of its contracts with the millers the hon. Minister has named, how safe are the jobs of our people who work for those companies?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, yes, it is important for us to safeguard our people’s jobs. However, it is even more important for us to safeguard consumers and ensure that our national food security is not compromised. The fact is that the blacklisted millers were not willing to operate honestly and all we have done is invoke the provisions of the agreement, which they voluntarily signed. So, while I feel for the workers whose jobs may be risked by this decision, the Government has the duty to ensure that people do not enrich themselves by smuggling a commodity that is meant to safeguard the food security of the majority of our citizens.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Agriculture says that Zambia can be a bread basket for the region and that the milling companies have larger milling capacity than internal consumption requirements. As he is aware, the shelf life of mealie meal is not that long. Has he put in place some measures to facilitate the proper exportation of mealie meal so that the excess milling capacity relative to internal demand does not result in millers losing out?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, this year, we have seen an unprecedented emergence of milling companies in Zambia. At the start of the programme, there were hardly 150 milling plants. However, over the short period, we have seen more than twenty new milling plants emerge. Unfortunately, all the milling capacity is concentrated along the line of rail. So, going forward, Hon. Muntanga, I will come to Parliament at the start of the harvest season to request that we encourage our traders to add value to our maize locally so that we export mealie meal rather than maize. For now, the amount of maize we are releasing to the market is only enough for local consumption, not export. The millers with whom we have contracts are not being given enough maize to operate at 100 per cent of their capacity. Most of them are operating at 60 per cent of their capacity. We sell the maize in such a manner as to spread it widely. So, there is no risk of millers producing more mealie meal than they can sell or mealie meal going to waste because of insufficient demand. Additionally, no miller is given maize to last more than a month because we are worried that doing so might encourage hoarding, which we do not want to do. So, Hon. Muntanga’s fear is unfounded. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Agriculture encourages exports at one point and discourages them at another. Despite the current shortage of foreign exchange, he has banned millers who have been exporting maize received from the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). Could all these things not be solved by his putting in place measures to enable the country to produce more maize, whose market in the region is very high? Why has he issued a blanket condemnation of mono-cropping, particularly that of maize?

Mr Lubinda: Sir, in my statement, I have emphasised that the seizure of the trucks loaded with maize meant to be smuggled to our neighbouring countries was not because Zambia does not allow maize exports, but because there were irregularities in that particular potential transaction. I also emphasised that we shall continue to allow the export of the maize held by the private sector, but not the FRA maize or mealie meal produced from it because that maize was paid for by tax payers and must be used to feed them. In fact, I also said that we have exported 662,000 metric tonnes, earning this country US$200 million.

Mr Speaker, very soon, the Government will announce the measures it is putting in place to promote the exploitation of the country’s opportunities for trade. For example, we are very blessed because the whole sub-region is drought-stricken yet, by the grace of God, we are receiving more rainfall than any other country in the sub-region. It will be folly for us not to take advantage of that. This is an opportunity for all of us in Zambia who have savings in our bank accounts to earn much more interest from it by investing it in agriculture.I also hope that Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo will be among those who will take advantage of this situation to expand the hectarage that he cultivates. I know that he grows maize and wish him to know that the market is even bigger and the price higher than ever before. The maize that the FRA sells at less than US$170 a metric tonne fetches as much as US$320 per metric tonne on the regional market. So, again, I beseech all Zambians to take advantage of the high demand and produce more maize. President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and his Cabinet will not interfere with the market. Instead, we will encourage people to grow much more maize, knowing that they can export it anywhere in the world as long as the money they earn comes back to our country. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, this is not the first time that the hon. Minister of Agriculture has stood on the Floor of this House to assure us and the country at large that he is putting in place measures to stabilise the price of mealie meal. I think that he did the same last time. Alas! The price of mealie meal has continued to escalate. So, can he explain to us the strength of his conviction that, this time, the measures he has instituted will bring down the price of mealie meal because my feeling is that, after his very eloquent statement, the price of mealie meal will still continue to be as high as it is today. 

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I thought that the difference between the statement I made earlier and the one I have just made was very clear for everyone to notice, but I suppose I was wrong. So, let me clarify. The first statement I made was on the framework under which we would release maize to the millers. In today’s statement, on the other hand, I was merely reporting to the people of Zambia, through Parliament, that there are some millers who have not adhered to the conditions of our agreement with them and that we have decided to terminate their contracts and blacklist them from buying maize from the FRA, and to use this as a statement to others who have the tendency of escalating prices above those agreed to with the Government that they risk being met with similar sanctions. I did not come here today to tell the House of any new measures. So, I apologise for not making the distinction clear enough for Hon. Dr Musokotwane. I hope that I have now distinguished the two statements. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that we exported about 660,000 metric tonnes of maize, earning the country over US$200 million. He has also just qualified that any farmer is allowed to export maize as long as the money is retained in the country. Given our liberal financial environment, how certain is he that the US$200 million earned from the export of the maize has been remitted to this country? 

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I am sure that the hon. Member knows that the revenues from not only theagricultural sector, but also the sale of all other goodsand services have been debated many times and that there is no way I can ascertain that the US$200 million was remitted to Zambia. That is the nature of our economy. I am also sure that he is aware that those who bought the maize had to pay the farmers and the farmers had to pay their workers and buy inputs locally. So, if some of the money went out of the economy, I am certain that part of it remained in the economy. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister say that twenty-eight trucks loaded with maize for export were forfeited to the State. Is the hon. Minister in a position to tell the House who wanted to export the maize? 

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I deliberately omitted the names because it is not the intention of the Government to embarrass anyone. However, since I have been asked, I will happily state that the would-be smuggler of that 840 metric tonnes of maize is not Zambian, but a foreign company that bought the maize from a Zambian trader hoping it would be allowed to export the maize without a permit. I must state that we reluctantly made the decision to seize the twenty-eight trucks of maize because when we discovered it at the border, we encouraged the would-be exporter to apply for an export permit. Unfortunately, the other party did not make any attempt to comply with our advice. 

Sir, I thank the GTAZ because none of its members was involved in the intended smuggling of the maize that was forfeited to the State. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mwamba (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, having listened to the statement issued this afternoon on the Floor of this House, I am left with no choice, ...


Mr Mwamba: ... but to praise the hon. Minister and the Government of Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: ... for protecting the poor. That said, in light of the preliminary crop forecast, is the hon. Minister confident that we shall be food secure? If he is, for how many months or days?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I thank my hon. Brother and Colleague. 

Mr Livune laughed. 


Mr Lubinda: Sir, the stocks …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, hon. Member!

That laughter is contagious. 

Continue, hon. Minister.


Mr Lubinda: … carried over from the 2015 harvest will last until August, 2016.  

Mr Speaker, I indicated that due to the poor rainfall that we received from 15th December, 2015, to the end of January, 2016, the private sector projects a2.4 million metric tonneharvest of maize in April or May, 2017. That, added to the 600,000 metric tonnes carry-over stocks brings the total to 3 million metric tonnes, yet Zambia’s consumption is 100,000 metric tonnes per month. So, if we do not export, we will have sufficient maize to last us thirty months. Therefore, we are food secure and I am very confident of that. I know that some people prayed really hard on radio and in the newspapers for drought and starvation to hit Zambia.

Mr Ng’onga:Owe!


Ms Lubezhi: Question!

Mr Lubinda: Some of them even suggested to me that I resign, ... 


Mr Lubinda: … but I told them that the God that we pray to …

Mr Livune: Hmm!

Mr Lubinda: … gives rain to both the sinners and the faithful. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: He gave rain to all of us. With the improved rainfall, I would not be surprised if I came back to give a crop forecast of more than 2.4 million metric tonnes for 2016. So, I would like tell the sceptics that I will not resign because there will be no starvation. Further, I advise them to own up to their part of the bargain and declare themselves totally irrelevant to the governance of Zambia for being alarmists. 

I thank you, Sir.  

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milambo (Mwembeshi): Mr Speaker, just to clear the record, can the hon. Minister clarify whether the Government seized both the trucks and the maize or just the maize.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Agriculture is the maize only. The other things fall under the jurisdiction of the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA). However, I must confess to my colleague that his question never actually occurred to me. Otherwise, I would have requested the ZRA to tell me the actual position. As far as I am concerned, I have directed the seizure of the maize. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




364. Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West) asked the Minister of Works and Supply: 

(a)    when the construction of houses for civil servants in Mitete District would be completed;

(b)    what the name of the contractor for the project was; and 

(c)    what the time frame for the completion of the project was. 

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Dr Mwali): Mr Speaker, the Government is constructing forty-two houses and other buildings in Mitete District. The categories of the housing units are broken down as follows:

High-cost    Medium-cost    Low-cost

2    12    28

Sir, the construction of twenty low-cost houses will be completed by the end of October, 2016, while the construction of ten medium-cost houses will be completed by the end of May, 2016, and theconstruction of two high-cost houses was supposed to have been completed by the end of February, 2016, but is likely to be delayed due to non-performance by the contractor. The contract for the construction of a police station and ten houses for police officers, comprising two medium-cost and eight low-cost houses, has just been awarded and construction, which will commence as soon as possible, will be completed by the end of 2016. 

Mr Speaker, the contractor for the construction of the twenty low-cost houses is KAPS Hardware Limited while the one for the ten medium-cost houses is Muco Trading Limited. The two high-cost houses are being constructed by Kampe Contractors Limited. 

Sir, the time frame for the construction of the twenty low-cost houses and associated works is twenty months, starting from February, 2015, and ending in October, 2016, while that for the construction of ten medium-cost houses and associated external works is twelve months, starting from April, 2015, to May, 2016. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, the contract for the construction of the police station and ten staff houses has just been awarded. Who is the contractor for these works? Further, when will the works commence? 

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, at the time of coming to give this response, the ministry is awaiting feedback from the Ministry of Justice, which is likely to be received by next week. 

I thank you, Sir. 


366. Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe) asked the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning whether the Government had any plans to relocate the Lukanga North Resettlement Scheme, which was located within the Mpongwe Farms Limited land in Mpongwe District.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Sichalwe): Mr Speaker, on 6th September, 1989, a special meeting of the then Ndola Rural District Committee selected an areafor resettling displaced people, namely the 22,700 ha Lukanga North Resettlement Area within Farm 4809. The 66,102 ha farm then belonged to the Government, but was later transferred to Mpongwe Farms Limited. However, the settlers petitioned the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection on the transfer of the entire farm when 22,700 ha had been reserved for the Lukanga North Resettlement Area. Following that petition, there have been continued consultations among the relevant Government institutions and stakeholders on the option of excluding the 22,700 ha reserved for the settlers from the transfer. Those negotiations are still ongoing.

Sir, I assure the House that the Government does not plan to displace the people of Lukanga North Resettlement Area and that the matter will be resolved amicably.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, the owners of the farm have commenced legal proceedings to evict the people living ...

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, there is a lot of speculation on issues in the country that need to be cleared, and hon. Ministers have done well recently in clarifying a number of such issues through ministerial statements. One issue on which there is a lot of speculation is the Constitutional requirement for people who wish to contest elections to be holders of Grade 12 Certificates. It has been speculated that due to the pressure for people to obtain Grade 12 Certificates for purposes of contesting elections, the Examination Council of Zambia (ECZ) has started quietly instructing some institutions to allow some people to be examined and release their results before May, 2016.

Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of General Education in order to keep quiet and not inform the public of this matter? There must not be secret arrangements in this matter. Is he in order not to tell all those who wish to obtain the certificates whether the process is open?

The Deputy Chairperson: Please, file in a question of an urgent nature. It can be processed and responded to tomorrow.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to ask this question. Unfortunately, my elder brother did not apologise for interrupting me.

Sir, the owners of Mpongwe Farms Limited have initiated court action to remove the people they perceive as squatters, including those who are in the resettlement scheme. Some of the settlers have title deeds that were mapped on an aerial photograph, but there are no beacons on the ground. So, why should the Government continue negotiating with the owners of the farm, who get loans using that title, but invest the money elsewhere, instead of re-entering and repossessing the farm?

Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, as the issue is in court, there is very little we can do until it is disposed of. However, our colleagues in the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection are on the ground trying to engage the various stakeholders. Additionally, the records at the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection indicate that there is a caveat that was entered claiming an interest on behalf of His Excellency the President and established under Gazette Notice No. 526 of 2006, which seeks to compulsorily acquire the said property. That is why we are engaging the various stakeholders to see how best we can resolve the matter.

I thank you, Sir. 


367.    Mr Mbewe (Chadiza)asked the Minister of General Education how much money was disbursed to primary schools in the following Districts from January to August, 2015:

(a)    Chadiza;

(b)    Vubwi;

(c)    Lusaka; and

(d)    Chipata.

The Deputy Minister of General Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, the resource allocation formula for grants to districts and schools is based on the following factors:

(a)    foundation amount;

(b)    enrolment

(c)    number of schools 

(d)    distance to provincial or district headquarters 

(e)    gender; and

(f)    state of infrastructure.

Sir, the following were the amounts of money disbursed as grants to primary schools in the mentioned districts from January to August, 2015:

District    Amount (K)

Chadiza    633,386.00

Vubwi    395,991.47

Lusaka    1,319,429.24

Chipata    2,554,354.25    

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, when was the last disbursement to the mentioned districts?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the last disbursement was this year. The schools were given grants for the first two months of this year.

I thank you, Sir.


368.    Mr Mutelo asked Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning:

(a)    why pension benefits of retired High Court Judges were higher than those of retired constitutional office holders who served at the same level as Judges;

(b)    whether the situation at (a) above was an anomaly;

(c)    if so, when the anomaly would be rectified; and 

(d)    if there were no plans to rectify the anomaly, why.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Bwalya): Mr Speaker, the judges’ benefits are stipulated in the Judges’ Conditions of Service Act, Cap 22 of 1996, as amended in 1998 and 2006.

Mr Speaker, further to that, the pension benefits of retired High Court Judges are higher than those of other retired Constitutional Office holders of equivalent rank because it was noticed that the conditions of Judges in Zambia fell below the internationally recommended standards and best practices prior to their revision. Additionally, unlike other Constitutional Office holders, who are permitted to work in other offices or pursue other endeavours after retirement, similar opportunities are generally not available to retired Judges.

Mr Speaker, the situation concerning the remuneration of Judges is not an anomaly, but is based on the existing policy and legal framework. It is worth noting, however, that the Government has been taking measures to reform and harmonise remunerations among all the three organs of the State. Other matters concerning remuneration will be dealt with by the Emoluments Commission established under Article 232 of the Constitution of Zambia.

Sir, the remuneration of all State functionaries is being addressed and continues to be addressed by the Government through various interventions, such as the Harmonised Pay Policy, the Salaries Review Commission and the Emoluments Commission, as provided for in the amended Constitution. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has stated that the Government has been undertaking reforms aimed at harmonising remunerations among all the three organs of the State. How soon will that reform process be completed so that harmony is attained? 

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, the process of harmonisation is in motion as we speak and, as soon as the exercise has been completed, I am pretty sure that the nation will be informed. Everything being equal, the efforts being made will result in harmonised salary scales.

I thank you, Sir.




Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee Appointed to Scrutinise the Presidential Appointment of Mrs Yuyo Emma Nachali-Kambikambi to Serve as a Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission for the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 7th March, 2016.

The Deputy Chairperson: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Yes, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, the appointment of Mrs Yuyo Emma Nachali-Kambikambi to serve as a Commissioner of the Human Right Commission (HRC) is made pursuant to Section 5 of the Human Rights Commission Act, No. 39 of 1996 of the Laws of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, in scrutinising the appointment, your Committee took cognisance of the fact that the HRC is an integral part of Zambia’s democratic dispensation whose mandate is to protect and promote human rights in Zambia, in line with the Constitution of the country, the Human Rights Commission Act, and regional and international human rights conventions and protocols that Zambia has acceded to. In view of this, your Committee resolved that the persons appointed Commissioners of the HRC should possess good knowledge of and experience in human rights so as to add value to the operations of the commission in its promotion and protection of human rights.

Sir, your Committee carefully selected the witnesses to assist it in scrutinising the suitability of the nominee and requested memoranda from relevant State security agencies, stakeholder institutions and the appointing authority. Witnesses also appeared before your Committee to make oral submissions. Further, your Committee interviewed the nominee and carefully scrutinised her curriculum vitae (CV).

Mr Speaker, your Committee learnt that the nominee was born on 16th March, 1971, and holds a Diploma in Journalism, an Advanced Diploma in Public Relations and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations. She is an experienced public relations professional with over nineteen years’ experience in the public and private sectors, and civil society.

Sir, with the nominee joined the Times of Zambia in 1992 and rose to the position of Deputy Sports Editor. From 1999 to 2001, she was head of the Zambia Union of Journalists (ZUJ), Southern Zone. She later joined the Inter-African Network for Human Rights and Development (AFRONET), where she worked from 2001 to 2003 as Information Consultant. Her work at AFRONET included compilation and verification of monthly human rights violations and abuses, production of the quarterly Southern African Human Rights Review and Human Rights Observer, and co-ordination of the publication of the yearly Zambia Human Rights Report. From November, 2003, to date, the nominee has served in various positions, including that of Media Consultant for the Zambia Integrated Health Programme (ZIHP); Consultant, Image Building and Media, for the Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF); Information and Communications Officer for Care International, Zambia; Promotions and Publicity Manager for Total Zambia; and Corporate Affairs Manager for National Breweries Plc.

Mr Speaker, your Committee observed that the nominee’s experience in public relations and human rights advocacy would be of immense value to the HRC.

Sir, allow me to highlight an important observation made by your Committee, which is that the Human Rights Commission Act provides for a maximum of seven commissioners but, so far, only six have been appointed. It is also important to note that the HRC has had no commissioners for a long time. So, there is a need for a full team of commissioners to be appointed. In this regard, your Committee urges the Executive to expedite the appointment of the seventh commissioner.

Mr Speaker, after a due and thorough evaluation of the written and oral evidence presented to it by the witnesses, and the interview with the nominee, your Committee is of the view that the nominee is qualified and suitable to be appointed as Commissioner of the HRC. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that this House do ratify the Presidential appointment of Mrs Yuyo Emma Nachali-Kambikambias Commissioner of the HRC.

In conclusion, Sir, the members of your Committee wish to place on record their gratitude to you for appointing them to serve on the Select Committee. Your Committee also thanks the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the services and advice rendered to it during its deliberations. The Committee further thanks the State security and investigative agencies, professional bodies and other stakeholder institutions that made the oral and written submissions that assisted it in making an informed recommendation to the House.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?

Mr Simfukwe: Now, Sir.

Mr Speaker, let me begin by thanking you for affording me the opportunity to second this Motion. I also thank the mover for the able manner in which he has moved the Motion. 

Sir, the mover has adequately covered all the salient points upon which your Committee supports the ratification of the nominee to serve as Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission (HRC). In this regard, my debatewill be very brief.

Sir, in seconding the Motion, I wish to indicate that although the nominee has worked in organisations that dealt with human rights issues, she has mostly worked in the corporate world and has a strong passion for corporate social responsibility. This aspect is very significant because, internationally, national human rights institutions have shifted from only focusing on human rights violations or abuses by states or public office bearers to including human rights abuses by businesses. Thus, the experience possessed by the nominee will richly benefit the HRC in addressing the conflict between business and human rights in the face of a preponderance of reports of human rights abuses by corporate bodies, especially those in extractive industries which, among other things, emit harmful substances into the environment, thereby endangering human life. Additionally, the nominee’s background in mass communication and public relations will assist the Commission to sensitise the public on its existence and mandate, thereby enhancing its ability to detect and address human rights abuses.The appointment of the nominee is also a step towards achieving gender balance at the HRC, as there were concerns raised on this issue when the other Commissioners were appointed. This is commendable.

Sir, I promised to be very brief and I am committed to keeping my word. So, allow me to conclude by thanking the Chairperson of your Committee for the proficient, objective and fair manner in which he presided over the meetings and deliberations of your Committee. May I also extend my sincere gratitude to all the members of your Committee for the professionalism and unity they exhibited during your Committee’s deliberations.

Sir, with those very few remarks, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me the opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the Motionon the Floor of the House.

Sir, from the outset, I must put it on record that this nomination,like it can be seen from the report of your Committee, is non-controversial. No wonder, it is not attracting much debate. However, I am compelled to take advantage of this platform to echo the importance of human rights in this country.

Mr Speaker, the issue of human rights in this country has come under severe scrutiny since our colleagues in the Patriotic Front (PF) took over the leadership of this country.

Sir, in supporting this Motion, I note that the nominee is a nomineeof the President. However, for me, the changes that we are trying to make should go beyond concerns over who nominates to issues ofhow to make the operations of the Human Rights Commission (HRC) effective. Currently, those appointed by the President and are, therefore, supposed to be the eyes of the State or the citizens, as it were, in monitoring human rights violations, cannot go beyond making recommendations to the Head of State. This is ironical because, presently, the perpetrator of the grossest violation of human rights is the Government. One would, therefore, reiterate a proposal that the HRC be given teeth to prosecute cases of human rights violations the same way the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) was mandated to prosecute cases of corruption despite the existence of the police and other security agencies. Yes, Article 28 of the Constitution gives a person whose rights are about to be violated or have been violated the right to seek recourse at the instance of the High Court. However, when you look at the many citizens of this countrywhose rights have been violated, how many of them can afford to commence proceedings in the High Court?Weknow that going to the High Court, in many cases, requires legal representation, which comes at a high cost, yet many of our citizens are poor. This fact makes the Constitution provision that allows citizens to litigate acts of human rights abuses or violations redundant for most of our citizens.

Sir, if the Government is serious about recognising, respecting, promoting and upholding human rights in this country, it is high time it gave the HRC the mandate to prosecute human rights violations on behalf of the victims before the courts of law.

Mr Speaker, under the leadership of the PF, this country has seen unprecedented levels of human rights violations.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa: Currently in circulation is a video clip of the gruesome and brutal assault of a United Party for National Development (UPND) supporter by the State police at Woodlands Police Station only a few days ago. We used to only see such scenes on television and hear about their occurrence in some foreign countries. Apparently, under the PF Administration, those things have been imported into this country. In terms of acts of hostility towards UPND supporters, the police has overtaken PF supporters. That is why there is a suggestion that a number of police officers are PF cadres. Now, when the State police is the one spearheading the brutal assault on human rights, where will the citizens run to? The victim in the clip I referred to, which I watched yesterday, explained that when he went to Woodlands Police Station to get a police report so that he could seek medical attention, the police refused to attend to him. Such are the kind of issues that only an empowered HRC can address by quickly moving in to assist the victims.

Sir, there is another example of human rights violation under the PF leadership. Just a few days ago, under instructions of the police, a group of UPND supporters in Choma conveyed a suspect to the police. However, upon realising that the suspect was a PF cadre, the District Commissioner (DC), within an hour, went to the police station and instructed the officers to immediately release him despite there having been enough evidence of his intentions to commit a crime. Later, the police officers were directed to round up and arrest all the UPND cadres who had conveyed the suspect to the police. So, the UPND cadres, who had been called to the police station to make further statements on the suspect they had conveyed, ended up becoming the suspects. They were locked up in the cells and denied police bond for more than ten days. That is what is happening under the leadership of the PF Government. 

Mr Muchima: Is it true?

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, that was a gross violation of human rights. The worst part of it is that even people within the precincts of the police station who did not participate in conveying the suspect to the police station were detained in remand upon being identified as UPND cadres although they explained that they had merely escorted their friends who had gone to give statements to the police as complainants.

Sir, the need to empower the HRC is becoming increasingly obvious, given the ruthless leadership we have, which has no heart for the people or respect for human rights. Our leaders pretend to be concerned about the rights of their people, yet they are in the forefront of allowing the State machinery to unleash brutal force on its citizens.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, the citizens of this country have been subjected to grave injustice and police brutality at the behest, and with the support, of the PF Government.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa: Therefore, it has become necessary to give the HRC teeth because, as things stand, the citizens have nowhere to run. The police officers, who are supposed to be referees in enforcing law and order, are instead brutalising people.

Hon. UPND Members: Shame!

Mr Mweetwa: Sir, my other concern is that the HRC only has a presence in a few selected areas of this country whereas there are rampant human rights violations in every province and district. The enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms is closely linked to the effective functioning of a democratic system. So, I cannot foresee how our democracy can thrive and our people fully enjoy its fruits if the violation of human rights is not addressed.

Mr Speaker, as if the examples I have given were not enough, there is another example of the State police being in the forefront of violating human rights. Not too long ago, on the Copperbelt, particularly in Mpongwe, the UPND, in furtherance of its enjoyment of its rights of assembly, association and expression under Articles 20 and 21, was denied an opportunity to interact with the citizens to share with them what it intends to do when it forms Government after the 11th August, 2016, General Elections.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa: That was just one of the many instances in which the UPND and, I think, other political parties have been denied their right of assembly and association. We have also seen the brutal assault on a journalist by PF cadres. It was reported in the media how PF cadres in the Eastern Province maimed a journalist working for The Post newspaper and some UPND cadres, and urinated in their mouths.

Hon. UPND Members: Shame!

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, it is extremely shameful and unacceptable to have a group of …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, hon. Member!

I thought there was a ministerial statement in which the hon. Minister of Home Affairs told the House that the culprit in that incident was appearing before the courts. If that is the case, I ask you to veer off that issue to other points.

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, I appreciate your guidance, especially that I am also, ...

Mr Sichone: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member of Parliament who is debating in order to continue insinuating that the police is siding with the Ruling Party when police officers are professionals?We had an incident in Mulobezi Parliamentary Constituencyin which twelve youths from the Patriotic Front (PF) locked up the District Education Board Secretary’s (DEBS’s) Office and allegedly insulted the area hon. Member of Parliament. Those youths were arrested and detained by the police. Is that not professional and neutral conduct on the part of the police? Is he also in order to insinuate that police officers only abrogate human rights when dealing with members of the United Party for National Development (UPND) when the law is applied fairly?

I need your serious ruling, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: The serious ruling is that the hon. Member debating should be as factual as he possibly can because the point of order shows clearly that violations appear to be common in both political parties mentioned. So, as he debates, he should take into account the fact that violence is common in the two parties.

You may continue, hon. Member.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Long live Chair.

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your guidance and apportioning blame to the UPND, which is innocent.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, my argument is that the police has taken action, but only to the extent of enforcing the criminal justice part of the equation. The civil part of it, which would require compensation for violation of rights, has not been addressed because the victims are usually incapable of accessing legal services.

Sir, it was not my intention to debate longer than is necessary. So, I will stop here.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion. 

Sir, it is provided for that the Human Rights Commission (HRC) shall have offices in all the provinces and districts of this country. So, as we are ratifying this appointment, we would like to see HRC offices in all districts, including Mitete.

Sir,the HRC has a mandate to investigate and report violations of human rights and freedoms. So, if the people appointed to the HRC will fail to carry out this mandate, then, the commission should not be there in the first place. The commissioners should take appropriate action whenever rights and freedoms are violated, and I do not want to belabour that point because the previous speaker has already debated it adequately. 

Mr Speaker, this is the second time we are ratifying people commissioners of the HRC. The first time, we ratified only male nominees and the issue of the commission not being gender-balanced was brought up. Today, we are ratifying one female appointee. Hopefully, we will ratify another female nominee soon. From this, it is clear that the commissioners are being appointed piecemeal. However, it would have been better if the appointments were ratified at once. The appointing authority has shelved the appointment of one more woman. I do not know whether we have a shortage of capable women in this country. I was actually hoping that we would ratify two appointments today. Ratifyingthese nominees at once would have saved us a lot of time and enabled the HRC to be fully functional. When its composition is complete, the commission will be able to carry out its mandate effectively.

Mr Speaker, when we debated the ratification of the other nominees, I talked about a Grade 7 pupil who had been remanded in custody. I am happy to inform you that the boy has been released from detention. If it was the HRCthat secured his release, I am grateful to it. 

Sir, the incident to which Hon. Sichone referred in his point of order is just one of the many. Those of you who have seen the footage referred to will agree that there were two people whose rights were abused. One of them is in red while the other is in blue. The one in blue had his leg broken by people who are expected to be professionals, all in the name of preserving law and order. That is a human being whose rights were violated. The other victim had the courage to report the matter to the relevant authorities, but I do not know what has happened to the one whose leg was broken. Maybe, he is yet to report the matter to the police or he is so poor that he does not have the means to get to the police station to file a complaint. So, when the HRC sees such things, it is supposed to investigate, ... 

Mr Namulambe: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me the chance to raise this very serious point of order. 

Sir, I am getting confused by the way the hon. Member debating is pronouncing words. Instead of ‘with’ he says ‘wis’ and ‘sings’ instead of ‘things’. Is he in order not to learn how to pronounce words properly so as not to mislead a person like me, who is from Ndola rural? 

I need your serious ruling, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

The serious ruling is that the hon. Member is debating in the Queen’s language, which is English, but I have noted that there is mother tongue interference. Nonetheless, he should continue. 


Mr Mutelo: Sir, the problem is, of course, that the hon. Member is from Ndola rural. How I wish he was from Ndola urban.


Mr Mutelo: That is the problem when you have children from ladies other than the lady of the house. 

Sir, the incident to which Hon. Sichone referred is not the only one in which it was said that the perpetrators of human rights abuse would be suspended after investigations if necessary, and the investigations do not seem to yield anything because there is interference from some people. I, however, do not want to go that way …

The Deputy Chairperson: That is the right course. Veer off that path.

Mr Mutelo: Sir, thank you very much for your guidance. 

Mr Speaker, all I am saying is that I am in agreement with the report of your Committee. I also agree with Transparency International Zambia’s (TIZ) submission that we should not have taken a piecemeal approach to nominating the HRC commissioners. Why invite so many witnesses and stakeholders to appear before the Committee just for one person? 

Sir, allow me to end by saying that I support the ratification of a female nominee for this commission. How I wish there were more women.

Mr Speaker, thank you very much.

The Minister of Justice (Dr Simbyakula, SC): Mr Speaker, I will not waste much of the House’s time. I just want to clear up the impression created by the hon. Member for Choma Central. In fact, in as far as the status of human rights in Zambia is concerned, there are no sacred cows. Anyone who transgresses the law is amenable to the law, and this has been demonstrated time and again. 

Mr Speaker, I thank the House for unanimously supporting the appointment of the nominee.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, I sincerely thank all the hon. Members of this great House for ratifying the appointment of Mrs Kambikambi.  

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.


The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning (Mrs Wina): Sir, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1809 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 11th March, 2016.