Debates - Wednesday, 2nd March, 2016

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Wednesday, 2nd March, 2016

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, you will recall that on Friday, 4th December, 2015, when the House was considering Question for Oral Answer No. 214 and the hon. Member of Parliament for Kasempa Constituency, Mr K. J. Pande, was asking a follow-up question, Mr J. J. Mwiimbu, the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central, raised a point of order. In his point of order, he enquired whether the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Mr C. Kambwili, MP, was in order to make a statement that cast aspersions on the character of the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central Constituency, Mr G. G. Nkombo, MP, and abuse the latter’s immunities and privileges while debating the budget for the Southern Province on the Floor of the House. Hon. Mwiimbu alleged that Hon. Kambwili stated that Hon. Nkombo had made serious tribal remarks on the Floor of the House for which the latter had been condemned. Hon. Mwiimbu’s point of order extended to three members of the Patriotic Front (PF), namely, Mr Frank Bwalya, Mr Brian Hapunda and Mr Kennedy Kamba, whom he alleged had made similar comments that were aired by Radio Phoenix. In my immediate response, I reserved my ruling to a later date to enable me to, as usual, study the point of order. I have since studied the point of order and, now, I render the ruling. 

Hon. Members, the point of order raises the issue of breach of privileges of the Assembly and, in particular, the breach of a Member’s freedom of speech and debate in the Assembly. In that regard, before I address the specific questions raised by Hon. Mwiimbu in the point of order, I wish to remind the House on the position of the law regarding the freedom of speech and debate in the Assembly. 

Hon. Members, the freedom of speech and debate is protected by the Constitution of Zambia, Chapter 1 of the Laws of Zambia, and the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act, Chapter 12 of the Laws of Zambia.  Article 76 of the new Constitution provides as follows:

“76. (1) A Member of Parliament has freedom of speech and debate in the National Assembly and that freedom shall not be ousted or questioned in a court or tribunal. 

“(2) A Member of Parliament shall have the powers, privileges and immunities, as prescribed.”

Further, Section 3 of the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act provides:

“3. There shall be freedom of speech and debate in the Assembly. Such freedom of speech and debate shall not be liable to be questioned in any court or place outside the Assembly.”

Hon. Members, it is clear from the legal provisions to which I have referred that hon. Members enjoy the privilege of freedom of speech and debate in the Assembly. That freedom, subject only to the rules of the House, allows hon. Members in the House to speak without inhibition, to refer to any matter or express any opinion as they see fit, and to say what they feel needs to be said in furtherance of the national interest and the aspirations of their constituents. The freedom is, therefore, without doubt, one of the most fundamental parliamentary privileges because without it, it would be almost impossible for the House to perform its due functions effectively and efficiently. The breach of that freedom occurs when any person casts aspersions or reflects on the conduct or character of an hon. Member based on his or her debate in the House. Let me, at this juncture, address the specific questions raised by Hon. Mwiimbu’s point of order, beginning with that relating to the Hon. Kambwili. 

Hon. Members, I perused Hon. Nkombo’s debate on Tuesday, 1st December, 2015, which is the genesis of the matter at hand.  In his debate, Hon. Nkombo, in supporting the Vote for the Southern Province, where his constituency is situated, raised a lot of issues, which included criticism of the PF and the policies of its Government.  Hon. Nkombo specifically stated that the people of the Southern Province were waiting to usher in a new Government that would deal with the problem of feeder roads in the province.  

Hon. Members, in his point of order, Hon. Mwiimbu alleged that Hon. Kambwili, through an address to the nation on the evening of Thursday, 3rd December, 2015, had stated that Hon. Nkombo had made tribal remarks while debating the Vote for Southern Province and that the hon. Minister had consequently condemned Hon. Nkombo for what he had said on the Floor of the House. 

Hon. Members, it is public knowledge that the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting addressed the nation as alleged, as the address was even published verbatim on page 14 of the Zambia Daily Mail on Saturday, 5th December, 2015, under the heading: 

“Statement by Honourable Chishimba Kambwili on Recent Remarks by UPND Leader Hakainde Hichilema.”

The relevant portions of the address are as follows:

“Government also condemns in the strongest terms sentiments by Mazabuka Central Member of Parliament Gary Nkombo that the people of Southern Province are resolved to changing Government in next year’s general elections.”

“Yet again, the UPND are showing their true colours that they are a tribal party and for them Zambia begins and ends in Southern Province.” 

“Like the Republican Constitution says Zambia shall remain a unitary State and no one single region is more important than the other and no one single region can change Government.”

“Mr Nkombo, as a Member of Parliament, should be at the forefront encouraging unity in the country and not at the behest of sowing seeds of division.”

“Government, therefore, calls upon all Zambians to reject and condemn regionalism as practiced by the UPND.”

Hon. Chishimba Kambwili

Hon. Members, the hon. Minister’s address made reference to Hon. G. G. Nkombo’s debate in the House on Tuesday, 1st December, 2015.  The hon. Minister also labelled Hon. Nkombo a tribalist for stating that the people of the Southern Province would not vote for the PF in 2016 because it had not delivered development to the province. The hon. Minister condemned Hon. Nkombo for debating in that manner.  To this extent, I find that the Hon. Minister, by calling the hon. Member tribal when he was merely exercising his right to debate freely in the House, to have cast aspersions on his character and accordingly out of order. The hon. Minister, as a Member of this House, had the opportunity to raise any issues he had on Hon. Nkombo’s debate in the House by way of other avenues available to hon. Members under the rules of the House, for instance, rising on a point of order, instead of reacting to the hon. Member’s debate outside the House. 

Hon. Members, with regard to the alleged statements by PF members, Hon. J. J. Mwiimbu alleged that they were aired by Radio Phoenix.  In view of this, the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly wrote to Radio Phoenix requesting confirmation of the statements’ having been made and that they were correctly attributed to the PF members.  Radio Phoenix was also requested to avail the Clerk of the National Assembly’s Office an audio recording of the programme during which the statements were allegedly made.  In response, however, Radio Phoenix submitted that it has not aired a programme featuring the accused PF members during which the alleged statements were made. 

Hon. Members, in addressing the second limb of the point of order, I wish to remind you that members of the public will always have the right to comment on the deliberations, statements and decisions of the House. That right is now specifically guaranteed under Article 88(2) of the Constitution, which provides that: 

“A citizen may comment on a deliberation, statement or decision of the National Assembly.”  

It is noteworthy, however, that this right is not absolute, as the public should not comment in a manner that is considered contemptuous or infringing on the right of hon. Members to debate without inhibition. In view of this, and due to a lack of evidence of the alleged statements, I am unable to take a position on whether the alleged comments of the PF members did, in fact, cast aspersions on Hon. Nkombo, which would bring them in breach of the freedom of speech and debate enjoyed by him, as a Member of this House.

In conclusion, I would like to caution all hon. Members and the general public at large that while they have the right to comment on the proceedings of the House, that should not be done in a manner that derogates or denigrates the House and its hon. Members. So, I urge hon. Members and the public in general to exercise utmost circumspection before commenting on the proceedings of House in order to avoid making statements that may infringe upon the freedom of speech and debate enjoyed by the House and its hon. Members. 

Thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Mwila): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me yet another opportunity to issue a ministerial statement, which is in response to the points of order raised by Hon. Conellius Mweetwa, the Member of Parliament for Choma Central Constituency, on the alleged curfew imposed on Choma by the police, and Hon. Musonda, the Member of Parliament for Kapiri Mposhi Constituency, on the training of a militia in Lusaka.

Sir, let me deal with the issues one at a time.

Alleged Curfew in Choma

Mr Speaker, from the outset, let me state that there is no curfew in Choma or anywhere else in the Republic of Zambia. I have in the recent past issued ministerial statements on the deployment of police officers to some parts of our country. However, contrary to the views of the hon. Member of Parliament for Choma Central Constituency, the deployments of police officers to Choma and other parts of the country are normal. Eighty-five police officers were deployed to Choma as part of the continued efforts of the police to maintain peace in Zambia, as a whole. The deployment of officers to areas where they are needed to prevent breaches of peace and good order is an internationally recognised practice.

Sir, to sum up, the deployment of additional police officers to Choma has been misunderstood and politicised by some sections of the Zambian society because of the recent political violence that occurred in Bweengwa and Choma. The truth is that the police is mandated by law to prevent crime wherever it occurs. Again, there is no curfew in Choma or anywhere else in Zambia.

Training of a Militia in Lusaka

Sir, on Saturday, 27th February, 2016, the police conducted …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwila: … a search at a building situated along Luanshya Road in Lusaka, which belongs to Mr Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, the United Party for National Development (UPND) Vice-President for Administration. It should be noted that the search was conducted after a warrant was obtained from a magistrate court and was necessitated by some intelligence information the police had to the effect that some suspected UPND cadres were undergoing military training at the premises with a view to using the skills to be learnt in disrupting the general elections scheduled for 11th August, 2016. The purpose of the search, therefore, was to look for the weapons and other military materials used during the suspected military training. During the search, our officers found the following offensive items on the premises:

(a)    seven machetes;

(b)    one 9 mm pistol;

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila:

(c)    one golf stick;


Mr Mwila:

(d)    a number of catapults; and

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila:

(e)    a pair of boxing gloves.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, the police also found three motor vehicles at the premises, which had cannabis, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Aah!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwila: … suspected steroids, eight rounds of ammunition, ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: ... UPND branded caps and t-shits, training equipment and weights ... 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwila: ... and a training register with names of people who had participated in the training exercise code-named ‘50 Per Cent Plus One’.

Mr Masumba: Sure!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, twenty-one people were arrested on the premises and charged with the offence of unlawful drilling. They have since appeared in court. I also want to inform this House and the nation that the police has arrested Mr Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: ... who is currently in custody and will appear in court soon. 

Sir, may take this opportunity to urge all political players in our country to conduct themselves in a peaceful and civil manner. They should avoid actions that may unsettle the peace for which our country is well known. 

Mr Speaker, the Zambia Police (ZP) Force is mandated, by law, to maintain law and order throughout the country. It will not, therefore, allow anarchy from any political party or disorder to take root in our country.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Masumba: Mwabombeni.

Mr Speaker: Order!

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

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Sir, in my point of order, I mentioned that the police had arbitrarily apprehended and detained citizens in the night, and asked them to pay admission of guilt fees the following morning, including asking them to pay in kind by doing some form of community service. The hon. Minister has not addressed that part of the point of order. Also, in view of his answer that there is no curfew in Choma, why are the police officers detaining citizens and going to the extent of extortion and demanding for sex from women …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Mweetwa: … and girls who they meet in the night? This is a very serious issue.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Allow the hon. Minister to respond to those two aspects.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Choma Central is just politicking.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwila: There is no substance in whatever he is saying. The people of Choma are not being harassed by the police. As I speak, there is peace in Choma.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Masumba: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that good statement. However, I understand that the twenty-one people who were picked up by the police are scheduled to appear in court. Is he in order to issue a statement on an issue that is currently before the courts of law?

Mr Speaker: Order!

Maybe, I should give some guidance since I authorised the hon. Minister to issue this statement. 

Hon. Members, matters can only be sub judice when discussed after proceedings have commenced. A point of order was raised. So, I directed him to respond to it according to the extent of what had been published in the media and he has not gone beyond stating that an arrest has been made, naming the person arrested and telling us that the arrested individual is in custody, waiting to appear in court. As the National Assembly of Zambia, that is where we end. We cannot debate the issue beyond that point or we would be out of bounds. For instance, we cannot ask whether there is cogent evidence or whether the accused will be found guilty. Those are the areas into which we cannot go. So, I do not think that the hon. Minister needs to respond to this question.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just told us that Mr Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, popularly known as GBM, has been arrested. What offence has he been charged with? Further, why is it that when somebody falls out of favour with the Ruling Party, they get arrested? Why was he not arrested before he left the Patriotic Front (PF)? The same thing happened to Hon. Masebo. Why is it happening now?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I have only been informed that the Vice-President of the UPND has been charged and that he will appear in court soon. I have not been informed of the charge that has been slapped on him. 

Sir, with regard to the other arrests, we have been impartial and arrested people regardless of which party they belong to, including members of the Patriotic Front (PF). So, that allegation is not true. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, a Mr Moonga was shot dead in Nakatala. In Nkandanzovu, another man was shot dead. There were other shootings in Kalemu and Hampondo just last week while a headman in Chilwi was killed two weeks ago. In Mikata two police officers and two other citizens were also killed. It seems that the police force now has enough manpower. So, when will the Government send police officers to Dundumwezi Parliamentary Constituency to protect the lives of the people there?

Mr Speaker: Order!

Let me make an appeal to the hon. Member for Dundumwezi Parliamentary Constituency and all the other hon. Members. These are points of clarification on the statement that the hon. Minister of Home Affairs has issued. Let us not raise fresh topics. If you want to raise those fresh subjects, there are avenues to be used. This moment is strictly for clarifications on the statement issued.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that statement. 

Sir, the hon. Minister said that the police discovered offensive weapons on the premises situated along Luanshya Road where the suspects were arrested. The weapons included machetes, a golf club and catapults. However, machetes, which we commonly refer to as pangas, are openly sold on the streets. That being the case, do we need permits to buy them? For example, when going to my constituency, I need an axe and a machete because, sometimes, we come across trees that fall across the roads and we have to cut them into pieces that we can lift off the road for us to get to where we are going. Could the hon. Minister clarify whether his classification of machetes as offensive weapons means that I need a permit to buy them.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, currently, one does not need a permit to buy a machete. However, the Government intends to issue a statutory instrument (SI) that will restrict the sale of machetes.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, when coming from or going to Mapatizya, I go through Choma, and I agree that there is a heavy presence of police. However, from last week to date, the town has been very peaceful. Why, then, is the hon. Minister still keeping that battalion of police officers there?

Mr Kambwili: Do you know the meaning of ‘battalion’?

Mr Speaker: Order!

Let there be no running commentaries.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, we will decide, through the Police Command, when to recall the police officers deployed to Choma.

I thank you, Sir.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, one of the major killers of citizens in our country is inactiveness or a lack of exercise. However, there are many fitness gymnasiums in Lusaka. Could the hon. Minister clarify what he means by ‘drilling’. Clearly, every exercise entails repetition of certain aspects of physical activity. Will the Government raid all the gymnasiums, ...


Mr Speaker: Order!

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: ... in Lusaka because there are drilling individuals in them? 

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, ba Doctor should know that we are talking about training people. That is why the police found pangas and machetes when they conducted a search.

Mr Kalaba: Cannabis.

Mr Mwila: Yes, they also found cannabis. There are many gymnasiums in this city. One can join me at the gymnasium at Arcades Shopping Mall so that we train together, and I assure you that you will not find pangas there. So, why were pangas and machetes found at the gymnasium in question?

Mr Chilangwa (Kawambwa): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister of Home Affairs for the well-presented statement.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chilangwa: Mr Speaker, those who do not learn from history and what happens elsewhere will be doomed. What message has the hon. Minister got for the Zambian people …

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

I am anxious to know where you are going with your preamble. I have stressed that this time is for seeking clarification.

Mr Chilangwa: Mr Speaker, arising from his statement, what can the hon. Minister tell the Zambian people to expect from people whose intentions, as we have been told, are to cause chaos after wining and dining with foreigners? That is what happened in Libya …

Ms Imenda: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: There will be no points of order during this segment.

Mr Chilangwa: Sir, the same thing happened in Egypt and Iraq. Some people wined and dined with some Westerners …

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kawambwa, just seek clarification.


Mr Chilangwa: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister tell us what would happened if such people were given the reins of power when their intention is to drill people to jump around with cannabis, machetes and pistols.

Mr Speaker: That question has not sought any clarification.


Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Sir, …  


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mutelo: … the hon. Minister said that the search at Mr G. B. Mwamba’s premises led to the discovery of one golf stick, a pair of boxing gloves, catapults and machetes. In the hon. Minister’s understanding, are those …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mutelo: … military weapons? Has he consulted military personnel to confirm that the items found at the former Patriotic Front (PF) Secretariat are military weapons? Moreover, is he sure that it was not the PF which left them there?


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I mentioned that there were seven machetes and one 9 mm pistol. I do not know what that implies to the hon. Member of Parliament for Lukulu West, or is it Mitete. It is for that reason that the police had to arrest the twenty-two people. Those are the weapons that we discovered.

Mr Mutelo: Are they military weapons?

Mr Mwila: Yes. When we talk about a military weapon, what do you think …

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!

Do not respond to people who are not …

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, maybe, he does not understand …

Mr Speaker: No, no, hon. Minister. Do not respond to questions from somebody who is seated. That question is not recognised.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, from the various reports that the hon. Minister of Home Affairs has received, was this an isolated incident or were there many similar activities around the country? Should we be alarmed?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, this was an isolated case.

I thank you, Sir.


The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Ms Siliya): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to update the nation, through this august House, on the rehabilitation of the Kariba Dam.

Mr Speaker, as hon. Members may be aware, Kariba is a hydro electricity generating dam in the Kariba Gorge of the Zambezi River Basin between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Dam, which is a double curvature concrete arch structure, was constructed from 1956 to 1959 and has a centrally located submerged spillway comprising six sluice gates, each of which has a discharge capacity of 1,500 m3 of water per second. 

Sir, the Zambian and Zimbabwean governments have mandated the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA), an institution that is jointly and equally owned by the two countries, with the responsibility of operating and maintaining the Kariba Dam Complex, investigating and developing new dam sites on the shared sector of the Zambezi River, and analysing and disseminating hydrological and environmental data on the Zambezi River and Lake Kariba.

Mr Speaker, the ZRA, through a series of studies, identified some risks to the structural integrity of the Kariba Dam. The risks are mainly with respect to the plunge pool, an 80 m deep hole in the bedrock immediately downstream of the dam foundation. The pool requires reshaping to improve its ability to dissipate the energy of the jets of water from the open floodgates when spilling by enlarging the pool volume, which will limit scouring and erosion during spilling. The reshaping will involve excavation of 300,000 m3 of rock. The second safety concern relates to the spillway features of the dam. The concrete on the upstream spillway has deteriorated and needs to be replaced to prevent potential failure. In this regard, urgent remedial measures are required to secure the long-term safety and reliability of the dam. 

Sir, in order to finance the estimated cost of rehabilitating the dam and implementing other remedial measures, the Zambian and Zimbabwean Governments, through the ZRA’s Council of Ministers, approved the mobilisation of funds at its 28th meeting held in October, 2009. Based on the approval, between 2009 and 2012, the ZRA engaged engineering consultants, Tractebel Engineering of France, to conduct studies aimed at designing solutions to the identified safety concerns. In July, 2012, the consultant submitted the design reports of the remedial measures, which included the prescription …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

 Ms Siliya: … on reshaping the plunge pool and refurbishing the spillway. Further, in November, 2012, a panel of experts engaged by the ZRA to review the design reports of the consultants reaffirmed the overall rehabilitation design and associated cost estimate of US$294.2 million. 

Sir, let me elaborate on the two major components of the Kariba Dam Rehabilitation Project. 

Mr Speaker, the first component of the project is the reshaping of the plunge pool and protection of the fault zone in the plunge pool using reinforced concrete mattresses. The plunge pool was originally intended to be formed by the natural scouring, but it has progressively widened and deepened to create an 80 m deep scour hole in the bedrock immediately downstream of the dam foundation. A hydraulic model was established to assess how the plunge pool scouring progress and excavation works would affect the stress field of the dam foundation. In the absence of measures to prevent the current trend, the scouring would only be controlled if the spillway is operated with no more than three gates open at any given time, which would, then, limit the spillway discharge capacity to 50 per cent, thereby adversely affecting the ability to manage the accumulation of water in the dam during larger floods.

Mr Speaker, the second component of the rehabilitation is the refurbishment of the spillway to improve its operation and reduce the risk of possible failure of the upstream spillway control facility. This will involve the installation of an emergency gate and a new gantry for operation of the emergency gate as well as the rehabilitation of ancillary infrastructure affected by the swelling of concrete, a condition referred to as alkaline aggregate reaction (AAR).

Mr Speaker, following the clear spelling out of the components of the project, on 23rd January, 2013, the ZRA Council of Ministers approved the formation of the Resource Mobilisation Committee (RMC) for the Kariba Dam rehabilitation Project at its 30th meeting, which was chaired by the ministries responsible for finance in the two countries. The committee was mandated to consider all possible sources and modes of financing, and pursue the most economic and quickest mode of project financing, considering the urgent nature of the rehabilitation works. The RMC has since held consultative meetings, some of which included engagement with various institutions that offered to finance the project on commercial terms or through concessionary loans and grants. 

Sir, based on extensive consultative meetings …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Ms Siliya: … with the various possible financiers, the RMC accepted the offers of the following development partners to finance the project on concessionary terms:

(a)     the African Development Bank (AfDB);

(b)    the European Union (EU);

(c)     the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA); and 

(d)    the World Bank (WB). 

Mr Speaker, in engaging the mentioned development partners, the RMC considered the cost of financing against the impact of repayment on electricity tariffs, given the fact that the ZRA’s operations are financed through the sale of water to the electricity utilities for generation of power. To that end, the RMC settled for concessionary financing, which would have favourable repayment terms and the least impact on electricity tariffs. The US$294.2 million cost of rehabilitating the dam will be provided by the co-operating partners as follows:

Source    Amounts ($million)    Institutional Totals
    Loan        Grant            
AfDB    39    36    75

SIDA        25    25

EU    100                100

WB    75    75

ZRA    19.2    19.2

Totals    133.2    161    294.2

Mr Speaker, based on the financial commitments made by our development partners, the ZRA has developed a ten-year programme of works for a clear, predicable and measurable response that takes cognisance of the continued safe operation of the dam and its related infrastructure. 

Mr Speaker, the key milestones reached, so far, in the project are as follows: 

(a)    on 20th February, 2015, there was a signing ceremony for the project financing at which the hon. Ministers responsible for finance in Zambia and Zimbabwe signed on behalf of the contracting States. All the on-lending agreements have been signed between the Government of the Republic of Zambia and the ZRA while conditions precedent to effectiveness of the loan and grant agreements were met on 21st August, 2015;

(b)    an independent panel of experts on dam safety engaged in March, 2015, undertook its first site visit in May, 2015, and its second visit in November, 2015. The panel’s third and fourth site visits are scheduled for May and September, 2016, respectively. During each site visit, the panel carries out independent reviews aimed at ensuring the successful implementation of the project;

(c)    an environmental and social impact assessment study for the project was completed in July, 2015. The study was undertaken with a view to ensuring that the project is implemented in an environmentally sustainable manner; and

(d)    on 16th December, 2015, the contract for the technical services and supervision consultant, who will be responsible for reviewing the technical designs and preparing project tender documents, was signed. The consultant is currently reviewing the designs and will, thereafter, prepare tender documents for the actual works to be undertaken.

Mr Speaker, the Kariba Dam Rehabilitation Project is necessary to avoid a potential emergency situation. Without reshaping the plunge pool and refurbishing the spillway upstream facility, the dam will not operate as intended. The limitation in the operation of the spillway gates and the deepening of the plunge pool has put the dam at risk of the authority being unable to operate all the six gates at once, and that has the potential to hinder the authority from successfully managing floods. In cognisance of that fact, on 4th December, 2015, my ministry convened a meeting with the co-operating partners aimed at exploring ways of expediting the rehabilitation process. In that meeting, the following time frames were agreed upon:

(a)    the contract for the plunge pool reshaping works to be awarded in November, 2016, and completed by December, 2019; and

(b)    the contract for spillway gates refurbishment to be awarded in June, 2017, and completed by December, 2025.

Mr Speaker, in addition to what I have mentioned above, and in order to ensure that the works are completed as scheduled, the following measures have also been put in place:

(a)    a Project Steering Committee (PSC) was set up to oversee the implementation of the project and ensure timely resolution of issues;

(b)    a co-ordination mechanism was agreed upon among the co-operating partners to ensure greater transparency and information sharing in project implementation;

(c)    the co-ordination roles for each co-operating partners were agreed upon as follows:

Institution    Role

WB        Secretariat for all joint missions

ZRA and co-operating partners    Convene bi-weekly meeting

Directors of Energy for the two     Hold bi-annual joint missions contracting States    meetings to brief the 
co-operating partners on the progress of the project.

Mr Speaker, my ministry envisages that the measures listed above will be critical to the successful implementation of this important project. Further, the hon. Members of this House may recall that in an earlier statement I made on the power crisis, I stressed that based on the rainfall forecast for the 2016 Season, which our Meteorological Department had indicated would be normal to below normal, the ZRA had allocated 20 billion m3 of water to be shared equally between the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) limited and the Zimbabwe Power Company for power generation activities at the Kariba Dam. That represented a 50 per cent reduction to the 40 billion m3 allocated to the power utilities in 2015. In this regard, it is important that my ministry continues to spearhead efforts to ensure the sustainable utilisation of the Lake Kariba water resources in the face of the below-average expected rainfall. The hon. Members of this House may also recall that I indicated that it might take up to three years of normal rainfall to fill the Kariba Dam, especially in the wake of the drought we are experiencing. While the low water levels have alarming implications for hydro power generation, they, however, present the authority with an opportunity to expedite the rehabilitation of the dam. This is actually an opportune time at which to undertake the rehabilitation works.

Mr Speaker, to dispel the rumour that the Kariba Dam has developed cracks, let me state that an array of instruments is installed at the dam to monitor movements, stresses, deformations and discharges. Visual surveillance is also conducted at regular intervals to identify symptoms of a developing failure. What people have perceived to be cracks are actually called ‘hairline cracks’ or superficial cracks caused by the expansion and contraction of the concrete. Hon. Members may also wish to note that the Kariba Dam is 24 m thick at its base and 13 m thick at its crest. 

Mr Speaker, the hon. Members of the House will also recall that Zambia experienced an earth tremor on 9th January, 2016. However, the tremor did not cause any structural damage to the Kariba Dam.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mwale: Hear, hear!

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

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister clarify the issue of equality of responsibility and liability for the project. In the past, we have heard stories of Zambia having to cover more than 50 per cent of the security because some countries that are willing to finance the Kariba Dam are not willing to lend to the Zimbabwean Government. Has the liability for the dam been on a fifty-fifty basis like it has been with regard to ownership and rights? I hope she understands the question.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, we already have a precedent on this matter because Lake Kariba is owned by two governments. Initially, there were challenges concerning the construction and payment for the Kariba Dam, but the two countries have now resolved those issues. Therefore, since the dam is owned equally by the two countries, the cost of maintaining and managing it must equally be borne equally. The same principle applies to the hon. Member’s question. We all appreciate that our colleagues may be having challenges with regard to some lending institutions’ willingness to lend directly to them. However, in trying to access the loans, all such issues have been resolved through the two nations’ ministries responsible for finance and the repayment terms agreed upon between Zambia and its co-operating partners, on the one hand, and Zambia and Zimbabwe, on the other hand, just like we did in the past for the construction of the dam. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has reminded us about the three years of normal rainfall required to fill the Kariba Dam and the drought that we are facing. When we add these two factors, we could be talking about many years before the Kariba Dam can be filled, hence the decision to take advantage of the low water levels and undertake the rehabilitation works. 

Mr Speaker, since this dam was built, in 1964 ...

Hon. Opposition Member: 1956.

Mr Simuusa: … or whenever it might have been built, ...


Mr Simuusa: … there have not been any works of this magnitude on the plunge pool and the spillway. So, considering the economic challenges that we are facing, is it not possible to delay the works until the economy improves? The project is a huge commitment by the two countries which, I know, are both facing challenges. As far as priorities go, is it not possible for us to defer the works, considering that all the factors she has cited, including the drought, have not dictated the urgency with which this issue is being handled? The hon. Minister has stated that the dam does not have actual cracks, but hairline ones. 
Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, Hon. Lubinda has reminded me that a stitch in time serves nine.

Sir, the concerns about the Kariba Dam do not relate to cracking, but to the plunge pool and the spillway. Nonetheless, if we do not address the problem now, it will threaten the structural integrity of the dam because it is at the base of the downward stream. The plunge pool is below the floor of the dam and if it keeps eating away at the foundation of the dam because of the scouring power of the spill, the foundation will progressively weaken. So, the problem has to be rectified now. There is no better time, and that is why we are pleased that our co-operating partners have come through for us. We also have to improve the spillway gates, especially for the reason that the hon. Member gave. Not much work has been done on the dam since its construction in the late 1950s, not 1964 as was stated. Obviously, in fifty years, some of the concrete has been eroded by water passing through the spillway gates. So, if we do not allow water to pass through the spillway properly, again, we will risk compromising the flood management system of the dam. The hon. Member must bear in mind the approximately 3 million people who live downstream of the dam. The dam does not only generate power, but also provides water to people both upstream and, especially, downstream of it. Regulating that function is one of the reasons for the existence of the spillway gates.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has told us that the plunge pool is threatened because of the water spilling from the top and, therefore, eating away at the rock at the bottom. How many years of water spilling out of the spillway into the pool can the dam contain without rehabilitation before the wall collapses? 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I may not have the information on how long the dam can hold on without rehabilitation before collapsing. However, we will not wait to find out the answer before addressing the problem. The experts have clearly told us that the 8 m depth of the pool will pose a threat to the integrity of the dam at one point or another. That is why we believe that we have to take advantage of the current low water levels to start addressing the problem now.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, a couple of years ago, we were told that Zambia and Zimbabwe had borrowed some money for works on the Kariba Dam, and that Zambia had borne the brunt of the borrowing to help its sister country. We do not know whether our sister country has now paid back. I am also aware that, currently, Zimbabwe is facing sanctions from some members of the international community. I stand to be corrected on that. Can I be comforted by the hon. Minister that we will not be such a good sister country, this time around, because our people are also suffering. Will the US$294.2 million cost be shared equally or will Zambia guarantee Zimbabwe’s liability, considering that we are also facing economic problems because of some imprudent kindness to some of our neighbours?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I think that was exactly what Hon. Dr Guy Scott asked about earlier, and I think that I answered it adequately. Let me just repeat what I said. 

Sir, when your neighbour’s house is burning, you have to get up and help. That is the principle of human decency. That said, the issues surrounding the construction of the Kariba Dam and who owes money to whom have finally been resolved and what was owed to Zambia has been settled. So, that is all in the past. The facility is owned by the two countries and everybody, including our co-operating partners, understands that the people of Zambia and Zimbabwe need it. So, modalities have been worked out for the money to be borrowed in spite of the challenges our friends may be having. At the same time, on a bilateral level, the hon. Minsters responsible for finance in the two countries have an understanding on how the loans will be repaid. The important issue is that we cannot sit back and refuse to mobilise the resources needed to address this problem because it has to be addressed. That is why the RMC is composed of people from the two countries. We do not doubt the commitment of our colleagues in Zimbabwe at all because they are 50 per cent owners of the dam. So, the answer is that we share both the ownership of the infrastructure and the cost of maintaining it. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Kazabu (Nkana): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has informed the House that the two countries have agreed to share the cost of repairing the Kariba Dam on the basis of shared ownership and shared responsibility.


Mr Speaker: Order, on the left!

Mr Kazabu: What is the cost-sharing ratio? I think that is the question that begs an answer. 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I may not have seen the contracting agreement signed between the two governments on this project. However, I am sure that my colleague, the hon. Minister of Finance, will be happy to provide that information. Suffice it for me to say that the precedent has already been set. The challenges we had on who owed whom and at what point have been resolved. The two countries each own 50 per cent of the project and are each liable for 50 per cent of its cost. That is why it was agreed that whatever monies were owed to Zambia by Zimbabwe be paid back. It is logical to me that if there is any work to be done on this dam, the two countries share the cost equally. If things are done differently from what I have said, I am sure that the hon. Minister of Finance will avail us the information. As far as I am aware, the cost of repairing the dam will be shared equally between by the two countries.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, we must learn a lesson from the drought that we are experiencing. In that regard, is the Government thinking of creating a reservoir upstream of the Kariba Dam for storing water for use when the Kariba Dam dries up to avoid what we are currently going through?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, indeed, we are all learning lessons from this situation. Like I have said before, the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. Twenty years ago, if a dam had been constructed at Batoka, we would not have the same levels of power deficit because the water we currently use only once to generate electricity would be used twice for the same purpose. That is why we have accelerated the procurement of the construction of Batoka Dam upstream of the Kariba Dam. 

I thank you, Sir. 




337. Mr Pande (Kasempa) asked the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning:

(a)    what the breakdown of the K140,610 spent on the activities to commemorate the National Day of Prayer, Fasting and Reconciliation held on 18th October, 2015, was;

(b)    which Budget line was used to meet the expenditure; and 

(c)    how much money had been budgeted for the event in 2016, considering that the activity had been declared an annual event. 

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Bwalya): Mr Speaker, the breakdown of the K140,610 was as follows: 

Activity    Cost (K)

Hire of toilets    22,405.99

Hire of tents    15,080

Décor    33,125

Purchase of mineral water    49,999

Hire of the Agricultural and Commercial Show Society Grounds    20,000

Sir, Programme 3001, Activity 008 ― State Functions, Public Affairs and Summits was the Budget used to meet the expenditure.   

Mr Speaker, there is no specific amount, per se, allocated for the day. However, it is catered for under the Budget line referred to in my answer to part (b) of the question. As hon. Members are aware, the event was held long after the Budget was passed in the House. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, were there people who came from outside Lusaka to attend the event? If there were, who met the cost associated with their participation? 

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, the people who attended did so on a largely voluntary basis. So, those who may have travelled to Lusaka from different parts of the country must have met their own costs. I have specified the activities on which the K140,610 was spent. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, in the face of circumstances like inadequate rainfall and the downward spiral of the economy due to both internal and external interference, which is beyond our control, is it not necessary for us to draw closer to God in prayer, through this event, so that he can look at our country with favour? 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: Ema questions aya!

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, indeed, we need the hand of God in everything that we do. As the hon. Member for Katuba has stated, there are some things that are beyond our control and can only be solved by the Almighty God. So, on that day, we prayed and cried out to Him and He listened to us. As to whether He will answer our prayers in a manner we expect, we cannot tell. We can only leave it to Him. As we know, there are certain things that happen in someone’s life that can be attributed to prayer. 

I thank you, Sir. 


338. Mr Shuma (Malambo) asked the Minister of Works and Supply when the following roads in Malambo Parliamentary Constituency would be rehabilitated:

(a)    Msoro/Pendwe;

(b)    Lusandwa South;

(c)    Msoro/Katete via Mtetezi;

(d)    Msoro/Chipata via Nyakatokoli;

(e)    Airport/Msoro;

(f)    Chambombo; and

(g)    Chigombe/Msoro.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Dr Mwali): Mr Speaker, the Msoro/Pendwe and Airport/Msoro roads are earmarked for rehabilitation this year under the Zambia National Service (ZNS) Road Maintenance Plan (RMP). Works will start once funding has been made available. 

Mr Speaker, the Lusandwa South, Chambombo and Chigombe/Msoro roads have been proposed for rehabilitation in 2021, 2020 and 2022, respectively, under the ZNS RMP. In the interim, the Road Development Agency (RDA) will carry out surveys on the roads in the second quarter of 2016 to determine the necessary interim maintenance and spot improvement works to be undertaken on them pending the regravelling works. 

Lastly, Sir, the designs for Msoro/Katete Road via Mtetezi and Msoro/Chipata via Nyakatokoli roads under the Link Zambia 8,000 Kilometres Road Project will be finalised in May, 2016. The tendering process will commence thereafter. The works for these roads have not been budgeted for in 2016 due to budgetary constraints. It is, however, envisaged that the works will commence in 2017, subject to the availability of funds. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that answer.

Sir, I stand here fully aware that the people of Kasenengwa are very interested in hearing the hon. Minister re-confirm that the works on the Msoro/Chipata Road, which passes through Mboza, one of my wards, will be worked on. The road was initially supposed to be worked on in 2014, but the works were postponed to 2017 due to financial constraints. Now, the hon. Minister has said that it will be worked on when funds become available. However, a lot has been said about the road. For instance, I was on Muvi Television, not long ago, talking about it. Please, ba hon. Minister, …


Ms Kalima: … I will only use Bemba. 


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

Please, use the official language. 

Ms Kalima: Hon. Minister, can you confirm for the people of Kasenengwa exactly when the road will be worked on. The bridges on the road are also damaged. Currently, it is very difficult for vehicles to use the road. When will this road be worked on? Confirm, hon. Minister, so that the people of Kasenengwa can hear for themselves and remind you in case you forget. Personally, I am very touched and I do not want to lose my seat over the state of that road. 


Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the road is being worked on, and I repeat that the consultant for the designs has submitted the preliminary design report, which has since been approved by the RDA. The consultant is also scheduled to submit the draft design report by the end of March, 2016. So, the works will definitely commence once these procedures have been finalised. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, my question is similar to that of the hon. Member for Kasenengwa. 

Sir, the hon. Minister has said that the works will commence when funds are made available, yet he has also said that they are on a plan. That response has been given to us time and again, and this project might be pushed to 2025. Has there been no liaison between the ministries of Works and Supply, and Finance for the hon. Minister to know when the funds will be made available so that the people of Malambo and Kasenengwa constituencies are told when the roads will be worked on? 

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Kasempa should draw comfort from the fact that we have indicated the time frame in which we hope to commence the works. With regard to consultations between my ministry and the Ministry of Finance, they are ongoing. Like I said earlier, subject to funds being available, we will start the works. 

I thank you, Sir. 




Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House urges the Government to disburse the 2015 Constituency Development Fund (CDF) it appropriated in December, 2014. 

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. 

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to move a Motion, which I have not done in five years. Over that period, there have been occasions on which I felt compelled to do so, but I have always felt that the privilege of moving a Motion must be exercised with restraint and reserved for the most critical issues affecting our country, and I feel that today is the time for me to move such a Motion.

Sir, this is a very simple Motion that seeks to urge the Government to release the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) for 2015, as appropriated by this House. As a starting point, and for the sake of those following us on radio, I will provide the background to the CDF. 

Mr Speaker, the CDF is money that this House appropriates annually to finance developmental activities in all the 150 constituencies of this country. It is the responsibility of the hon. Members of Parliament, working with the community and the district council, to identify the developmental activities to be funded in a year using the guidelines set by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. 

Sir, the idea of budgeting for the CDF started in the early days of the rule of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD). The MMD Back Benchers then, especially those representing rural constituencies, were complaining that the National Budget had focused more on funding development projects in urban constituencies at the expense of the rural ones. So, they agitated for the establishment of the CDF so that all the constituencies, rural ones included, would be allocated money for development every year. In fact, the original plan was for the CDF to be given only to the rural constituencies. With the introduction of the CDF, no constituency would go without receiving some form of financing from the Budget in a financial year. In the worst case scenario, in which the line ministries did not implement any developmental activities in a constituency, the CDF would still be there for constituents to use it on some project no matter how small the projects. So, the introduction of the CDF in the Budget was an important step towards equalising opportunities for Government funding between urban and rural areas. It also addressed, to some extent, a major flaw in the current practice of the Government budgeting for the ministries instead of budgeting for the provinces, districts or constituencies. Let me elaborate on that.

Sir, the current budgeting system allocates funds to ministries for national projects. For example, money for building primary schools, teachers’ houses and similar projects, whether in Kasempa or Chasefu, is allocated to the Ministry of General Education in Lusaka. The ministry, in turn, sends the money to its offices in the provinces and districts for the execution of works. This budgeting system must be contrasted with one in which the money for development is budgeted for the provinces, districts or constituencies. Under such a system, the provinces, districts or constituencies get direct funding from the Budget and it, then, becomes their task to allocate the funding across areas of need, such as education and health, in their jurisdictions. 

Sir, a serious weakness of budgeting according to ministries, as opposed to the provinces, districts or constituencies, is that it is inherently not transparent, unless extra measures are taken to improve that aspect. For example, Parliament might appropriate large sums of money to the Ministry of General Education for developmental projects throughout the country. However, the ministry, upon receiving the money, might choose to use most of it on a few provinces, districts or constituencies at the expense of others. Of course, this can be cured by providing a work schedule.

Mr Speaker, the bias in the allocation of budgetary resources was also on the minds of those who drafted the recent Constitution, hence their recommendation of the establishment of provincial assemblies, which would have implied the shifting of the budgeting systems from the ministries to provinces. Unfortunately, as we all know, that recommendation was rejected by the Government despite the fact that it would have made it virtually impossible for any province to walk away without any development funding because the anomaly would be too visible to go unchallenged.

Sir, the CDF partly cures the problem of inequity, which can become inherent in the current budgeting system in which some ministries have concentrated their development efforts in some provinces or constituencies at the expense of other areas. For example, in the last five years, hon. Government Members of Parliament have lavishly praised the Government for unprecedented development in their constituencies while the rest of us have complained bitterly about the lack of development in ours. The lack of development has included the abandonment of projects, such as the construction of communication towers in Liuwa, which had been initiated by the MMD Government. Under such circumstances, the CDF has played the important role of being an equaliser in the distribution of development funds. However, the fund cannot be a perfect system for equalising funding opportunities because the amount allocated is small. Against that background, let me examine how the CDF has progressed over the years.

Mr Speaker, the amounts allocated to the CDF started modestly at about K30,000 in the early 1990s, but it has increased steadily since then to reach K1.4 million per constituency in the 2016 Budget. While the amount remains far below what constituencies need to significantly dismantle the backlog of development challenges, the CDF has, nevertheless, done and continues to facilitate commendable development work.

Sir, despite all the positive things I have said about the CDF, I regret to inform you that the Government has not been releasing the funds to the expectations of the hon. Members and the communities.

Mr Speaker, over the past five years, this House has, without fail, appropriated the CDF, but the Government, without justification, failed to release it, especially in the last two years. Since the Patriotic Front (PF) Government took office, the CDF has only been released in 2011, 2012 and 2013. For 2014, it was released for only some constituencies, especially those controlled by the PF, while others, especially those controlled by the Opposition, have not seen it to date. As for the 2015 CDF, which was appropriated in December, 2014, more than one year ago, I am not aware of any constituency that has received it. The CDF for 2016 was appropriated by this House last year. However, seeing as the CDFs for 2014 and 2015 have not been released, we have no hope that the 2016 CDF has any chance of being released at all. That is why it is important for hon. Members of Parliament from all parties to demand the release of the funds. 

Sir, the non-disbursement of the CDF has caused anguish and delayed development in rural constituencies, especially those held by the Opposition. In most of the constituencies, there has been very little or no development projects executed by the line ministries of the Government. We have almost been 100 per cent dependent on the CDF to finance projects. So, when our CDF is not released, development comes to a standstill in our constituencies. Let me illustrate that with a few examples from Liuwa Constituency. 

Sir, before 2011, there was a classroom block under construction at Lukena Basic School and it had reached the roof level. However, upon assuming office, this Government abandoned the project and, five years later, not a single brick has been added to the building. So, we planned to use the 2015 CDF to complete the project, but the withholding of the CDF will keep the projects uncompleted indefinitely. Similarly, when the PF assumed office, it found four clinics under construction at Mulinga, Luoke East, Mushukula and Namweti. However, despite the lobbying that I have done during the past five years, none of the clinics has been completed. Again, since the Central Government had shown no interest in completing the clinics, we resorted to using the CDF to complete the project one at a time. So, with the withholding of the CDF, the four clinics will remain uncompleted and the poor villagers will continue walking more than 30 km, in some cases, to access health care. Since coming into power, this Government has abandoned other important projects, such as the construction of Libonda High School. Of course, the CDF is too little to complete such projects. I must also add that withholding the CDF has unleashed another blow against development in the sense that other necessary projects cannot be embarked upon due to a lack of funds.

Sir, in Liuwa Constituency, we do not have sufficient classrooms built with acceptable construction materials. Most of our schools are mud-and-pole structures. Also, especially in the newly-created Upangoma Ward, there are children who walk up to 12 km from their village to the nearest school and cover the same distance back to their villages. That effectively shuts them from the opportunity to be educated. Additionally, only about 10 per cent of our teachers are accommodated properly. The rest live in mud-and-pole houses. There is also hunger in the area and the list of development challenges is endless.

Mr Speaker, the challenges …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours. 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was listing a number of challenges patterning to inadequate infrastructure in Liuwa Constituency. The challenges are many and, of course, it will take us many years to resolve them. However, it is also true that had the Government been consistent in releasing the CDF and, better still, increased the amount, good progress would have been made in that regard. Unfortunately, the Government has even chosen to withhold the funds. 

Sir, in calling for the CDF that was already budgeted for to be released, I fully recognise the economic and financial difficulties that our nation is experiencing, as explained by the hon. Minister of Finance last week. So, I empathise with the hon. Minister over the situation. However, there are still some troubling questions. For example, the hon. Minister told this House that whereas there was a slight revenue shortfall of 4 per cent, the greatest pressure on the Budget resulted from overspending, which was up by 10 per cent. As a representative of a poor and rural constituency, I am disappointed and find it difficult to understand why the Government deemed it fit to overspend in 2015, mostly for the benefit of urban dwellers and, at the same time, withhold even the little CDF that was allocated to our rural people. I think that at a time like this, the focus should have been on protecting the weakest in society by releasing the CDF. 

Sir, on the overspending, I have heard some colleagues in the Government boast about constructing dual carriageways in Lusaka and the Copperbelt, and building new airports and revamping the existing ones even when the economic case for doing so is questionable. They also boast about paving urban roads. The question that I have, however, is: What about us in rural areas? Do we not matter? If we do not matter, then, it means that the Government, which proclaimed itself pro-poor, has turned against the rural people, and that is unacceptable.

Mr Speaker, I urge all my colleagues who represent the rural people, irrespective of our political affiliations, that we are duty-bound to speak out boldly on behalf of our people. The rural people are not concentrated in one place, where they can organise themselves, make noise and defend their rights. So, it is our responsibility to speak for them. If there is financial austerity, as it is the case today, the burden of austerity must be shared equitably between urban and rural areas. That is all we are asking for. The burden should not be borne only by the rural people by foregoing their CDF. I find that undesirable and unacceptable. 

Sir, the PF Government has borrowed heavily since coming into office. It has borrowed more than US$5 billion, to be specific. Further, last week, at its insistence, we increased the borrowing threshold from just over US$5 billion to just under US$18 billion. The latter figure is broken into a US$14 billion limit for external loans and US$4 billion on guarantees for investment. So, if the Government decides to use all the borrowing space available to it, which it might soon do, then, the debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio will go above 100 per cent, way above the 40 per cent threshold that the Government has always told us about.

Mr Speaker, with the extreme appetite for borrowing billions and billions of dollars that this Government has, how, then, can it fail to raise the necessary resources to fund the CDF, which totals a pitiful US$18 million for all the constituencies in Zambia? In my view, the failure to mobilise the money can only mean a lack of commitment. 

Sir, in conclusion, I urge this Government to release the 2015 CDF that this House approved in December, 2014, for all the constituencies. This Motion is non-partisan because most of us here, whether members of the MMD, United Party for National Development (UPND), P), Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) or Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD), represent people in the rural areas where the CDF is badly needed. The people of Liuwa are desperate for that money. So, are the people of Nalolo.

Mr Shakafuswa: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: The people of Sinazongwe and Chasefu also need this money and, of course, so do the people of Luena. The money is needed everywhere. So, I will be surprised and disappointed if anyone in this House, especially those of us representing the poor rural people will oppose this Motion. In case some hon. Members will oppose it, it is their right to do so. However, let them oppose loudly. Perhaps, they should even oppose it in their local languages so that the people they represent …

Mr Speaker: I will not permit them.


Dr Musokotwane: Sir, I am saying that those who will decide to oppose it should be clear in saying that their people do not need the CDF. Their people should understand them properly.

Sir, with those words, I beg to move.

Mr Shakafuswa: Hear, hear!

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

 Mr Hamudulu: Now, Sir.

Mr Speaker, I am sincerely grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to second this Motion. I also congratulate the mover of the Motion, Hon. Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane, Member of Parliament for Liuwa Constituency, on ably moving the Motion. In this regard, my focus will be on the salient issues that he has not touched on.

Sir, the Motion is non-controversial, as it simply urges the Government to release funds meant for the development of the constituencies. That is a legal obligation of the Government. 

Sir, the mover of the Motion has given enough background to the establishment of the fund. So, I will start by giving the legal history of the fund and the administrative guidelines that govern its implementation.

Mr Speaker, in order to give legitimacy to the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), a number of laws have been enacted, and guidelines and policies instituted over the years. These are:

(a)    the CDF Guidelines of 2006, which regulate the administration and utilisation of the CDF, from project selection to implementation and monitoring. The guidelines set out the procedures to be followed by different actors, such as the Area Development Committees (ADCs), District Development Co-ordinating Committee (DDCCs) and the council;

(b)    the Local Government Act of 1991, which links the CDF to Section 45(1) and (2) of the Local Government Act, Cap 281 of the Laws of Zambia (as amended by Act No. 19 of 1992 and Act No. 30 of 1995). It stipulates that constituency development grants can be made to a council. It also demands regular auditing of the utilisation of the grants by local Government auditors;

(c)    the Public Procurement Act of 2008 which, together with the Public Procurement Regulations of 2011, govern public procurement in Zambia. The Act’s objective is to ensure transparency in public procurement procedures at all levels;

(d)    the Public Procurement Regulations of 2011, which are the Statutory Instrument (SI) to the Public Procurement Act, regulate procurement planning, the bidding process and the management of contracts;

(e)    the National Decentralisation Policy of 2013, which aims at establishing a decentralised structure that empowers the provinces, districts and communities to achieve socio-economic development and effective service delivery, and promoting people’s participation in local governance;

(f)    Cabinet Circular No. 1 of 1995, as part of Zambia’s Public Service Reform Programme, which establishes the Provincial Development Co-ordinating Committees (PDCCs) and the DDCCs, and empowers them to plan and co-ordinate development efforts at the provincial and district levels, respectively. With regard to the CDF, the DDCC ensures that the selected projects are not already funded by other sources in the district development plans (DDPs) and constituency project funding. The DDCC also appraises the selected project proposals and submits reports to the council; and

(g)    Cabinet Circular No. 10 of 1995, which established the CDF and the Constituency Development Committees (CDCs).

Mr Speaker, the mentioned pieces of legislation all point to one basic fact, that is, the CDF is a very legitimate and legal undertaking that the Government is supposed to honour. In fact, devolved funds are very significant for many reasons. The CDF, for example, represents a departure from the past practice of centralised planning in which the Central Government was the primary development agent to a new regime in which communities and stakeholders participate actively in determining their development priorities and allocating the available resources accordingly. The CDF, therefore, enables poor and marginalised constituencies to have significant amounts of money injected directly into the local economy, and many proponents of the CDF argue that this could be a solution to much of the demand for community development finance at the grassroots level, and has the potential to address localised socio-economic problems.

Mr Speaker, since its introduction in 1995, the CDF has, in one way or another, helped to transform the lives of many low-income Zambians. When properly administered, the CDF has taken service delivery closer to the people. Thus, the fund has great potential for transforming people’s lives and turning around the Zambian economy if better implemented and optimally utilised. Strengthening the CDF is, therefore, not an option, but a prerequisite for development. So, it is sad to note that despite the visible importance of the CDF to many poor Zambians, no constituency, at least to my knowledge, received it in 2015, and that has a number of serious repercussions. Let me touch on a few of them.

Mr Speaker, firstly, the CDF is a conventional exercise in the sense that it is a fixed amount for each constituency and the communities know how much they receive annually. So, they are able to plan and prioritise their projects. However, the non-disbursement of their allocations jeopardises project implementation and execution. Secondly, as all may be aware, citizen participation in the governance of the country is very essential to any democratic dispensation. In that regard, the CDF is one avenue that has become very prominent in developing countries. Therefore, the failure to release CDF allocations is depriving citizens of their right to participate in governance. Last, but not the least, the CDF is an entitlement of citizens, as is evidenced by the number of legislations that govern it. As such, there is no need to deprive our people of their entitlement. As hon. Members of Parliament, we are supposed to tell our people in the constituencies why there has been no funding for the CDF in 2015. Thus, this Motion gives the Government an opportunity to tell the people what is happening to their money.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, we are not asking the Government to do anything new or outside the law. I have enumerated a number of pieces of legislation that actually make honouring the CDF legally binding. So, we are merely reminding the Government of what is expected of it by the citizens of this country. So, I ask all the hon. Members to support this very progressive Motion. As the debates ensue, my eyes and ears will remain wide open so that I can see and hear the surprise hon. Members who will oppose this Motion.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Hamudulu: In fact, such hon. Members should not only have their debates recorded, but their photographs taken, too, …


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member! 

You are now debating your colleagues. You have veered off the Motion.

Mr Hamudulu: Much obliged, Sir.

Mr Speaker, I am urging my hon. Colleagues to support this Motion, bearing in mind that they are not only speaking within the confines of this Chamber, as our people are listening to us and the moment of reckoning is around the corner. So, I will keenly wait to see those hon. Members …


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

You have concluded your debate, yet you are going back to debate your colleagues.

Mr Hamudulu: Yes, Sir, I have concluded.

Mr Speaker: So, I do not want to curtail your debate.

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, I thank you for the guidance. 

Sir, I urge my colleagues to support this non-controversial Motion.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Very well.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, this Motion is non-controversial and timely because our people are expectant of development. Unfortunately, currently, we are constrained to take development to our people because of ulterior factors. Some of the inhibiting factors are within our ambit while others are beyond it. Therefore, it will only be fair that monies like the Constituency Development Funds (CDF), which the people, especially those in rural areas, need, are disbursed.

Sir, we have plans for big projects in our various constituencies but, because of certain constraints, money is not getting down to the people. Today, hon. Members’ role has changed from that of legislating to that of being the channel for development. So, when there is a developmental gap somewhere in the constituency, the Member of Parliament has to become the gap-filler. For instance, if the roof of a school is blown off, the parents of that school’s pupils will ask for help from the Member of Parliament instead of the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS), the Provincial Education Officer (PEO) or the Ministry of General Education Headquarters. In such circumstances, we fall on the CDF. Today, we may face blown-off roofs, tomorrow, it will be about access to clean water and sanitation and, the other day, it will be about bad roads. That is when the CDF comes in handy.

Sir, saying that the Government should release the 2015 CDF is being magnanimous because the 2016 CDF should also be disbursed. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: I agree with the mover of the Motion that we are subsidising the urban areas at the expense of the rural dwellers. Like I said last week, most of the Government expenditure is on things like purchasing electricity and fuel for its officials. Are these priorities? I ask this because we may be subsidising people who are already able to pay for these services. Why, given that only 5 per cent of Zambia is electrified, does the Government spend K25 million every month subsidising electricity for people who do not even appreciate the cost of the electricity? If you go into most homes, you will find that the people leave their geysers and lights on throughout the day. Does that not mean that the energy bills for such people are very affordable? It is unfortunate that in Zambia, we politicise everything. When we say that we should make the price of electricity cost-reflective, some people cry foul as if there is an alternative. We have to decide whether to tie up our money in expensive electricity subsidies or release it to our people. The prudent choice is for us to find a way of releasing some of the money to our people, including those in the rural areas. We need to stop politicising issues like the cost of electricity and find Zambian solutions to the challenges we face. If we do that, we will have some relief in the end. 

Sir, we, the politicians, should not only want to make things very difficult for those in the Government because, one day, we may become the Government and face the difficult situation we now want to create for others. In that regard, we would have to, firstly, deal with the difficult situation we deliberately created and, secondly, move towards a better position. Therefore, I would rather we work on making things better now so that if we got into the Government tomorrow, we would find it easy to operate. Unfortunately, in Zambia, we oppose people who want to make things better and refuse to co-operate when called upon to help. We should remember that, tomorrow, we may be the ones in need of co-operation from other people and they may shun our efforts to collaborate with them.

Sir, we, Zambians, need to solve our own problems and appreciate the fact that Zambia has a high intellectual capacity to solve its problems. That capacity is not restricted to this Parliament, but is scattered across this country within the political sphere and outside it. There are some Zambians who can give better advice than that given by the so-called politicians, who advise with folded arms. 

Mr Bwalya: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: I will not allow points of order during this segment.

Mr Shakafuswa: Sir, the Government might be of the view that urban areas should be prioritised over the rural areas, but I believe that it is important for a little drop to go to the rural constituencies, too. Yes, the Government is implementing the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) in the rural areas, but that programme specifically targets farmers only and has not even improved the poverty levels in our rural areas, as intended. So, how, then, do we assist that child who cannot go to school because there are not enough classrooms to accommodate all the children? The Members of Parliament need to come in and construct schools and clinics in their constituencies using the CDF. Most hon. Members here have bought graders, which are being used to make feeder roads passable. So, if the 2015 CDF has not been disbursed yet, what message are we giving to the people of Zambia? Is it that those who are driving VX Prados are more important and, therefore, deserve the subsidised fuel? Are we telling them that we need to buy electricity for the people with four geysers in their houses? That should not be so. I think that we, Zambians, need to bite the bullet and start living within our means. In England, some people bath once a week to cut down on water bills. In Zambia, on the other hand, some people bath four times in a day, oblivious to the cost implications. For water to be pumped into the tank, electricity is used, and that is a cost. So, our colleagues, such as those in England, save while we borrow and ask for aid from them. It is high time Zambians realised that the era of luxuries is gone. Our people cannot just expect to be fed by the Government anymore. So, we now need to inculcate politics of reality into our people. The politics of socialism, in which people expect the Government to pour resources into programmes aimed at alleviating their poverty, is long gone. This time around, our people need to realise that they also have a role to play in contributing to the welfare of this country.

Sir, as I said at the beginning, this Motion is non-controversial and, in light of the suggestion of my hon. Colleague, I do not see anyone who wants to be photographed. Hon. Kambwili, in particular, the people of Roan Parliamentary Constituency are waiting for you, ...

Mr Kambwili: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order, Hon. Shakafuswa!

Please, avoid debating your colleagues. You were debating very well, but you are now dragging your colleague into your debate.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, please, allow me to give credit to the mover of this non-controversial Motion, which is close to all our hearts. I know that the people of ... where do you come from (pointed at Hon. Kampyongo)?


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member! 

Mr Shakafuswa: Sir, I know that most of the hon. Ministers here may want us to speak on their behalf.

Mr Speaker: You are still debating your fellow hon. Members.

Mr Shakafuswa: I beg your pardon, Sir.

Sir, the people in our constituencies, whom we represent here, are waiting for us to speak out openly on their behalf because we have that latitude to do so. We needed the CDF yesterday, as one hon. Member put it.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Chilangwa (Kawambwa): Mr Speaker, I would have loved to go to town and back in deliberating on this wonderful Motion, but I am constrained by two factors. First of all, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government understands its responsibilities. We know very well the right thing to do and the right time to do it. 

Sir, this Government is aware that the people in our constituencies are waiting for the 2015 Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to be disbursed. So, the funds will be released as soon as the hon. Minister of Finance mobilises the resources. That is why, last week, he was here saying that difficult situations call for drastic measures. It was also in that vein that we decided to increase the latitude for the hon. Minister of Finance to mobilise resources last week. In that debate, I would have loved to see the mover of this Motion support the hon. Minister of Finance during the debate on the previous Motion. However, he did not do so. Equally strange is the fact that my hon. Colleague who seconded this Motion and is appealing for support from other hon. Members has been abandoned by all his colleagues in the United Party for National Development (UPND). They have all run away, which means that they are not interested in the Motion.


Mr Chilangwa: They have left him alone. So, because of those two constraints, I will not debate this Motion any further.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the Motion, which I support. In that regard, I congratulate the mover and seconder on ably moving it. 

Sir, when I look at the hon. Members of Parliament representing rural constituencies, I can see that, in their hearts, they are saying that it would be good if the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) could be released.

Mr Speaker, I acknowledge the fact that the Executive is doing its best to develop educational infrastructure, particularly in the secondary school sub-sector. We have also heard about the financial constraints hindering the completion of educational and health infrastructure. However, the Central Government’s financial constraints can only be loosened, by and large, through the local government system. I can safely say that about 80 per cent of the CDF has gone towards educational infrastructure while, maybe, 20 or 25 per cent is spent on health infrastructure. The rest is used on boreholes, feeder roads and bridges.

Mr Speaker, we all agree that education is the best equaliser. Therefore, taking away the local government function of educational infrastructure development means that we are perpetuating the inequality between the urban and rural children. In the rural setting, as has been stated, the CDF has been used mainly on upgrading of community schools so that the Ministry of General Education can take over the responsibility of providing teachers and learning materials. That is the right way to invest in the future of our nation. Therefore, when we do not do that in a timely manner, we deny the rural child the ability to take up the new technology necessary to increase productivity in agriculture. We also promote inter-generational poverty because the rural families' children and grandchildren will remain poor. I am sure that the Patriotic Front (PF) does not want to go down in the annals of history as a Government that increased poverty in the nation by refusing to release the CDF on time.
Mr Speaker, some of the rural constituencies in this country are Mumbwa, Malambo, Mulobezi, Nalolo, Chasefu and Petauke. I have been to those places and know the need for the Central Government to be assisted through the local government system in the upgrading of schools and health centres.

Sir, stating that the Government knows what it is doing does not justify delaying the release of the CDF. Of course, we know that the Government knows what it is doing but, as it has been stated here, it is facing financial difficulties. Therefore, why do we not, then, take a shorter route to development, which reaches our people directly, rather than through the overburdened sector ministries? That is why we urge the Government to release the 2015 CDF.

Mr Speaker, I think that I must reiterate that this is a non-partisan Motion. As usual, my debate is brief and to the point. So, I can only tell my colleagues that we need to see some action on the disbursement of the CDF instead of the promises that we have been given so far. Yes, the needs are many, but this is one of the priorities that we are asking for on behalf of our people.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Mr Kambwili): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to just add a few words to this Motion, which is non-controversial. However, I think that the mover was just trying to gain political mileage in moving it.


Mr Kambwili: I will justify why I say so. 

Sir, there was a country called Zomba in a certain book I read. In that country, there was a Finance Minister whose name was Maisokotwane, not Musokotwane.


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister! 

As you have mentioned, this Motion is non-controversial. However, the way you are proceeding will make it controversial. Please, let us just debate the Motion without bringing controversy into it.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, thank you for your guidance. I will not mention the name of the Finance Minister. However, he was a nominated Member of Parliament and Finance Minister of a country called Zomba. At some time, Members of Parliament called for an increase of some expenditure called the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). However, the Minister constantly refused to oblige them, saying that the Government had to run hospitals and schools, too. At that time, Zomba did not have any financial constraints and things were running normally. The price of the country’s main export commodity, which was the mainstay of the economy, was very good. In time, the Minister moved to the other side in Parliament after he was elected Member of Parliament. 

Mr Hamudulu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: I am not allowing any points of order.

Mr Kambwili: By that time, Zomba, like many other countries in the world, was experiencing a very strenuous economic situation and the Government had so many things to take care of. For example, it had to find money to buy medicines in hospitals and import electricity and fuel. It was at that time that the former Minister moved a Motion urging the Government …

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister! 

I am afraid I will not allow that line of debate. I can read between the lines and see what you are trying to do. I do not know whether I should give the Floor to the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, what I am trying to say is that we all realise that we need the CDF. As a Government, we also agree that we need to release the funds, but we currently have a very big problem in collecting revenue. The reasons for our failure to disburse the CDF are very simple. We have an electricity shortage resulting from inadequate rainfall, which is an act of God. We have not been able to generate enough electricity, meaning that industrial productivity is constrained and the Government cannot collect enough taxes from the companies. At the same time, the price of our major export commodity, copper, has plummeted. So, we are not collecting as much revenue from the mining industry as we used to. 

Sir, given the dire economic straits in which this country is, the hon. Minister of Finance has to address the priorities in the economy. In this case, there are four priorities at which he has to look, much as it is important for him to disburse the CDF. Currently, we are importing electricity at a very high cost and the Government is subsidising it for the consumers. If we stop doing that, industrial activity will come to a complete standstill and there will be no money raised to run the education and health sectors, and pay workers’ salaries. So, it would be irresponsible for the Government to fund the CDF at the expense of paying civil servants their salaries, importing electricity and buying fuel to run industries. It is all a question of priorities. To me, what is important is that we keep Zambia afloat. If we do not pay workers’ salaries for one month, there will be a lot of anarchy in this country and it will become ungovernable. So, we are being a very responsible Government by using the money we collect prudently. 

Sir, the people must remember that when the Patriotic Front (PF) came into office, it disbursed the CDFs for 2011 to 2014. For 2015, we did not release the CDF because we have had economic problems since 2013. Even the people who have moved this Motion have been telling us to cut down on some public expenditures and projects. Now that we are doing so by temporarily scaling down on projects so that we can keep Zambia running, they decide to move a Motion that calls for the opposite course of action. They want us to not pay salaries so that we give them the money for the CDF so that they complete a classroom block or something. The withholding of the CDF is a measure that must be taken or Zambia will come to a standstill.

Mr Speaker, as much as this Motion is not controversial, I think that, as a responsible Government, we have to look at the priorities. We cannot release money for the CDF when there is no medicine in hospitals and we are struggling to pay salaries. We have to pay salaries, and run hospitals and schools before we can think of other projects. So, I do not know whether to support this Motion or not, but I think that the mover is just politicking because he person was a Minister of Finance in the previous Government

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to take part in the debate on the Motion on the Floor. I acknowledge its mover, Hon. Dr Musokotwane, and its seconder, Hon. Hamudulu. I also thank Hon. Shakafuswa, Hon. Chilangwa, the Member of Parliament for Kawambwa, Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo and my counterpart, the ever-flying Hon. Chishimba Kambwili, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, for their contributions.

Mr Speaker, allow me to equally give a brief background to the subject of this Motion. 

Sir, indeed, the Constituency Development Fund is budgeted for by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing in the annual National Budget appropriated by this august House. The annual CDF allocation is budgeted for within the ceiling that the Treasury provides in the core circular. This principle was also applied to the allocation for the 2015 CDF. The funding for the CDF was initially disbursed to my ministry by the Treasury. The ministry, then, disbursed the funds to the CDF accounts of the constituencies on condition of the constituencies having submitted returns for the previous allocation. The CDF bank accounts for all the 150 constituencies are maintained by the councils within which the constituencies fall. With the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy, the CDF is now disbursed directly from the Treasury to the constituency bank account. The role of the ministry in the current dispensation is to lobby the Treasury to disburse the CDF when funds are made available.

Mr Speaker, in the 2015 National Budget, which was approved by Parliament in 2014, K210 million was allocated to the CDF. The sum was to be disbursed to all the 150 constituencies in equal amounts of K1.4 million. In that respect, the ministry profiled the disbursement of the 2015 CDF between the first and third quarters of 2015. However, the funds were not disbursed in spite of its being profiled for disbursement because the Treasury was still disbursing the 2014 CDF allocation in 2015. Further, you may wish to know that some constituencies had not been allocated the 2014 CDF by December, 2014, because they still had huge unspent balances at the end of that fiscal year. This can be attested to by the Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) because these are the issues with which the Committee deals.

Mr Speaker, the 2015 Fiscal Year stands out because the release of the CDF stood at K72.8 million, against the K210 million allocated. In addition, the release of K78.8 million related to the 2014 Fiscal Year, implying that no CDF was released for programmes relating to the 2015 allocation.

Mr Speaker, the Government runs a cash budget, not an accrual one. This, the mover of the Motion must understand clearly because he is very conversant with these issues. Therefore, there are no carry-over budgetary appropriations or allocations from a previous fiscal year. All the allocations are tied to a single fiscal year. The unfortunate non-disbursement of the 2015 CDF allocation was in no way an orchestration of events by the Government to stifle the much-needed development interventions at the community level. The Government was committed to releasing the funds, but the fiscal space could not allow it. I must place it on record that this caring Patriotic Front (PF) Government has continued to take development to all the corners of the country even without the release of the CDF. 

Mr Speaker, the constituencies that were given their 2014 CDF in 2015 were funded using the 2015 CDF. So, the deferred disbursement of the 2014 CDF affected the 2015 allocations, as what remained after payment of the arrears could not suffice for all the 150 constituencies. Hence, in the quest to equitably distribute the resources, the Government had to re-align the Budget so that funds were mobilised for the 2015 CDF. Unfortunately, that was not to be because of the economic challenges that Hon. Chishimba Kambwili referred to. The alternative funding option for the 2015 allocation was for the Government to request for a supplementary budget from Parliament. However, that was the least-desirable option because the revenue inflow was still low and there were other unanticipated events, such as the low water levels at the Kariba Dam, which meant the importation of supplementary power. We all know where most of our revenue is collected, and we cannot pretend to ignore the effects of the power deficits on our revenue basket.

Mr Speaker, the 2015 Fiscal Year was unfavourable, as the country experienced many economic challenges that had an adverse effect on the 2015 Budget. In view of those challenges, the Government re-aligned the activities earmarked for implementation to ensure that all obligations, particularly debt servicing, personal emoluments, importation of emergency power, social service delivery, health care, education and running infrastructure contracts, were not affected by the economic challenges ensuing from low revenue inflow resulting from low copper prices. Due to the foregoing, the Government committed itself to releasing part of the 2015 CDF during the fourth quarter of 2015, as it was anticipated that there would be an improvement in the fiscal space.

Mr Speaker, the Government has not overlooked the importance of releasing the 2015 CDF allocation to the constituencies. It is aware that the CDF is a life line for our citizens at the community level because it is more localised and easily accessible. So, the release of the 2015 allocation remained a priority of the Government in spite of the fiscal challenges that the nation faced. So, we are all in agreement that the money is needed by our communities. 

Mr Speaker, neither PF-held nor Opposition-held constituencies were given the 2015 CDF allocation and the status has remained the same to date. That, however, does not mean that the Government is running away from its responsibility of making the 2015 CDF available.
Mr Speaker, the Government cannot promise that it will disburse the 2015 CDF to the constituencies because the challenges faced in the previous fiscal year have not improved much. Nevertheless, it is committed to beginning the release of the 2016 CDF allocation. 

In conclusion, Sir, in view of the inadequacy of the fiscal space in the 2016 Budget, especially that the country will hold general elections in 2016, and still has to import power so that production in our industries can continue and we can collect revenue, the Government’s position remains that it will focus its energies on mobilising resources so that the 2016 CDF is funded and the constituencies with incomplete projects can complete them. That is the commitment that the Government has undertaken and will ensure that it is met.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, there is only one point that I would like to repeat, and that is, it is the responsibility of all of us who represent rural constituencies to speak for them. When we see things happening in the urban areas in the midst of financial problems, we ask, “What about us?”

Mr Speaker, I thank all those who have debated the Motion, with the exception of the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting, for the civility and logical nature of their argument. 

Mr Kambwili laughed. 


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Question that this House urges the Government to disburse the 2015 CDF put and negatived.


Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa): 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 Hon. Mr Justice Martin Musaluke, Hon. Mr Justice Egispo Mwansa, Hon. Mr Justice Mathew Kasonde Chisunka, Hon. Mr Justice Edward Luputa Musona and Hon. Mr Justice Derrick Mulenga, to Serve as High Court Judges for the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 29th February, 2016.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

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

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, the appointment of nominees was made pursuant to Article 140 of the Constitution of Zambia, Cap 1 of the Laws of Zambia, which states: 

“The President shall, on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission and subject to ratification by the National Assembly, appoint the ―

(a)    Chief Justice;

(b)    Deputy Chief Justice;

(c)    President of the Constitutional Court;

(d)    Deputy President of the Constitutional Court; and
(e)    other judges.”

Further, Article 141(1) states as follows: 

“A person qualifies for appointment as a Judge if that person is of proven integrity and has been a legal practitioner in the case of:

(a)    Supreme Court, for at least fifteen years;

(b)    Constitutional Court, for at least fifteen years and has specialised training or experience in human rights or constitutional law;

(c)    Court of Appeal, for at least twelve years; or

(d)    High Court, for at least two years. 

In addition, Article 141 (2) states that: 

“A person appointed as judge to a specialised court shall have the relevant expertise as prescribed.” 

Sir, in view of the critical role of the Judiciary in the country’s governance system, your Committee resolved that only competent persons with unquestionable integrity, diligence, eminence, sound character and a strong commitment to justice should serve as High Court Judges. This was, therefore, your Committee’s criteria in scrutinising the suitability of the nominees to be appointed High Court Judges. 

Mr Speaker, in conducting its task, your Committee requested memoranda from relevant State security agencies, professional bodies and other stakeholders, and the appointing authority. Witnesses also appeared before your Committee to make their oral submissions. Your Committee also interviewed the nominees and carefully scrutinised their curricula vitae (CVs), and established that all the nominees possess the qualifications prescribed in the Constitution for appointment as High Court Judges. It was also established that the conduct of the nominees, both in their official and private lives, was good. In addition, submissions from the State security agencies indicated that there were no adverse security reports on any of the nominees. Other stakeholders were also generally convinced of all the nominees’ suitability to occupy the positions of High Court Judge. 

Mr Speaker, allow me, now, to briefly outline the findings of your Committee on each of the nominees. 

Hon. Mr Justice Martin Musaluke

Sir, your Committee noted that the nominee was admitted to the Bar in 1994 and, therefore, had served at the Bar for over twenty years. The nominee, having worked in the private and public sectors, and serving as Judge of the Industrial Relations Court since 2014, will undoubtedly take valuable experience to the High Court Bench. Further, the Chairperson of the Judicial Complaints Authority informed your Committee that the commission had not received any complaints against the nominee relating to his performance as a judicial officer. This goes to show that the nominee is of good character and discharges his duties diligently. In view of that, your Committee supports the nominee’s appointment as a Judge of the High Court. 

Hon. Mr Justice Egispo Mwansa

Sir, your Committee was informed that the nominee was admitted to the Bar in 2000 and, therefore, had served for more than fifteen years at the Bar. The nominee’s career as an adjudicator began in 1991, when he joined the Judiciary as Magistrate, Class III. He has since risen through the ranks to become Deputy Chairperson of the Industrial Relations Court, a position he has held since 2014. Your Committee has observed that since his appointment as Judge of the Industrial Relations Court, the nominee had discharged his functions diligently. The witnesses who appeared before your Committee also generally supported his appointment. In view of that, your Committee supports the nominee’s appointment to serve as Judge of the High Court.

Hon. Mr Justice Mathew Kasonde Chisunka 

Mr Speaker, your Committee was informed that the nominee was admitted to the Bar in 1983 and, therefore, had served for over thirty years at the Bar. The nominee has vast experience as a lawyer in the financial sector, where he has served at the senior management level, and was very knowledgeable in banking, central banking, and the finance and investment sector of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). In terms of experience as an adjudicator, the nominee is currently Deputy Chairperson of the Industrial Relations Court, a position he has held since 2014. 

Sir, the nominee’s experience will undoubtedly benefit the High Court Bench. So, your Committee supports his appointment. 

Hon. Mr Justice Edward Luputa Musona 

Mr Speaker, your Committee was informed that the nominee was admitted to the Bar in 2000 and, therefore, had served for more than fifteen years at the Bar. The nominee’s career as an adjudicator began in 1988, when he joined the Judiciary as a magistrate. He has since risen through the ranks to become Deputy Chairperson of the Industrial Relations Court, a position he had held since 2011. He was later elevated to Judge in-Charge of the Industrial Relations Court in Ndola, a position he has held since 2014. Furthermore, your Committee was informed that the nominee had distinguished himself as a firm administrator and adjudicator. In view of that, your Committee supports the nominee’s appointment as Judge of the High Court.

Hon. Mr Justice Derrick Mulenga

Mr Speaker, your Committee was informed that the nominee was admitted to the Bar in 2000 and, therefore, had served for more than fifteen years at the Bar. The nominee’s career as an adjudicator began in 1991, when he joined the Judiciary as Magistrate, Class III. He went into private practice from 2001 to 2015, when he rejoined the Judiciary as Deputy Chairperson of the Industrial Relations Court. Further, the Chairperson of the Judicial Complaints Authority informed your Committee that the commission had not received any complaint relating to the nominee’s performance as a judicial officer. That showed the nominee’s high level of integrity and diligence. In view of that, your Committee supports his appointment as Judge of the High Court. 

Sir, your Committee did not find any information against the suitability of any of the nominees to be appointed Judges of the High Court. Therefore, your Committee recommends that this august House ratifies the Presidential appointments of the nominees as High Court Judges. Your Committee also commends the appointing authority for making the appointments to facilitate the realisation of the provisions of the amended Constitution.

Finally, Sir, your Committee expresses its profound gratitude for the services rendered to it by the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly. The Members of your Committee also express their appreciation to you for appointing them to serve on this Select Committee. Your Committee is equally grateful to all the witnesses who appeared before it and provided the valuable information that assisted it in making an informed recommendation to the House. 

Sir, it is now my pleasure to call upon this House to ratify the appointments before it. 

Mr Speaker, I beg to move. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

Ms Mphande: Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, let me begin by thanking you for affording me the opportunity to second this Motion. The mover has adequately covered the salient points upon which your Committee supports the appointment of the nominees as High Court Judges. In this regard, I shall be very brief in seconding the Motion. In doing so, I will just highlight one observation made by your Committee. 

Sir, your Committee is aware of the fact that the Constitution, as amended, particularly Article 259(1) (d) provides that where a person is empowered to make a nomination or appointment to a public office, that person shall ensure a 50 per cent representation of either gender unless if it is not practicable to do so. In this regard, your Committee observed that the reason all the nominees were male is that they were appointed to the High Court from the Industrial Relations Court, where they were already serving. Your Committee further observed that their elevation to the High Court was done in compliance with the provision of Article 133 of the Constitution, which makes the Industrial Relations Court a division of the High Court. Your Committee was, therefore, satisfied that there was no Constitutional breach in the appointments. 

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, allow me to thank the Chairperson of your Committee for the proficient, objective and fair manner in which he presided over the meetings of your Committee. I also extend my sincere gratitude to all the members of your Committee for their professionalism and unity during the Committee’s deliberations. 

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

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I commend the mover and the seconder for ably moving the Motion on the Floor. I also commend the Committee for the thorough manner in which it scrutinised the suitability of the five nominees for appointment to the office of High Court Judge. 

Mr Speaker, as the Committee has rightly pointed out, the nominees are serving as Deputy Chairpersons of the Industrial Relations Court and, with the enactment of the new Constitution, the Industrial Relations Court is now a division of the High Court. Therefore, the Deputy Chairpersons have to be appointed High Court Judges. So, we are merely regularising their appointment because the position of Deputy Chairperson will no longer exist.

Sir, as you may have noticed, the nominees are all men. However, that does not breach Article 259 because the five nominees were subjected to the same process when they were appointed Deputy Chairpersons. This august House ratified their appointment and, since then, they have conducted themselves professionally.

Mr Speaker, I thank the Committee for a job well done. I am also grateful to the House for the unanimous support of the appointments. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his remarks. I also thank all hon. Members for supporting the Motion silently.

I thank you, Sir. 

Question put and agreed to.





The following Bill was read the third time and passed:

The Layout-Designs of Integrated Circuits Bill, 2016.




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

Question put and agreed to. 


The House adjourned at 1759 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 3rd March, 2016.