Debates - Thursday, 18th February, 2016

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Thursday, 18th February, 2016 

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for granting me the opportunity to present a ministerial statement on the outbreak of cholera in some parts of the country. The statement is intended to inform the public on the measures taken by the Government to contain the situation and what the public should do to prevent the spread of the disease.

Sir, I wish to inform you and the general public that there is an outbreak of Cholera in Lusaka and Chibombo districts. The current outbreak started on 7th February, 2016. You may wish to recall that Lusaka has not reported a case of cholera for the past six years. Further, you may wish to know that currently, there are on-going cholera outbreaks in some of our neighbouring countries, namely the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Tanzania.

Mr Speaker, cholera is a diarrhoeal disease caused by a germ called vibrio cholerae. It is transmitted through the oral faecal route by eating or drinking contaminated water or food. A person suffering from cholera will have severe diarrhoea described as rice watery stool and vomiting, which results in severe loss of body fluids. Without prompt treatment, cholera kills.

Sir, the current outbreak began in Kanyama Compound in Lusaka. The first case was a child of eighteen months who was said to have presented with diarrhoea and vomiting. Unfortunately, the child died at home before getting to a health facility. The first four confirmed cases were members of the same family who went for treatment at Kanyama Health Centre on 7th February, 2016. As of 15th February, 2016, Lusaka had thirty suspected cholera cases with fourteen being confirmed by laboratory examination. Under treatment, there were five cases in Kanyama.

Mr Speaker, Chibombo District has, as of 15th February, 2016, reported eight suspected cases of cholera with two cases being confirmed by the laboratory. The index case was a patient from Kanyama who had visited relatives in Chibombo.

Sir, the prevention and control of cholera requires a multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary response and strong community partnership and participation. The combined efforts by the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders will not have any impact in cholera control and prevention without the full involvement of individuals at community level.  In order to curb the spread of the disease, there is a need for the general public to adopt safer behaviour with regard to personal hygiene and by doing the following:

(a)    cleaning their homes and surroundings;

(b)    avoiding indiscriminate throwing of garbage;

(c)    avoiding unnecessary handshakes and large gatherings;

(d)    washing of hands with clean water and soap before and after eating foods;

(e)    washing of fruits with clean and safe water before eating them;

(f)    eating properly washed and cooked food while still hot;

(g)    boiling of drinking water;

(h)    adding of domestic chlorine to drinking water;

(i)    using toilets or pit latrines when answering the call of nature; and

(j)    avoiding visiting cholera affected areas.

Mr Speaker, the following are the measures that my ministry has put in place:

(k)    the Ministry of Finance has released K25 million to the Ministry of Health to support the preparedness and response activities to the epidemics;

(l)    a National Epidemic Preparedness Prevention, Control and Management Committee is meeting frequently and regularly to monitor and provide guidance;

(m)    all health institutions in the country have been put on alert and requested to re-enforce preventive measures and reactivate epidemic preparedness committees;

(n)    re-orientation of health care workers in cholera response and management in affected areas;

(o)    my ministry has embarked on health promotion activities to sensitise communities;

(p)    provision of free domestic chlorine, particularly to affected communities;

(q)    cholera treatment centres opened in Kanyama, Matero and Twalumba Rural Health Centre in Chibombo;

(r)    all necessary logistics, drugs and medical supplies are being mobilised;

(s)    additional staff has been mobilised to attend to patients;

(t)    health inspectors and environmental health staff has been mobilised to strengthen the inspection of eating and drinking places, bars, taverns, restaurant and general dealer shops, schools and other places. Those not meeting public health standards will be closed immediately; and

(u)    apart from environmental health staff conducting contact tracing, community based health workers has been mobilised to ensure that all patients and contacts are traced and their homes thoroughly disinfected.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I wish to stress that there is a need to continue investing in long- term measures that ensure that the community has access to clean and safe water supply as well as assuring food supply. I, therefore, urge the civic leaders to provide leadership and play their role in the prevention and control of cholera in their respective communities.

I thank you, Sir.

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

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, we have been expecting the statement for a long time. There have been thirty-eight suspected cases of cholera and fourteen have been confirmed in Lusaka and two in Chibombo. What were the determining factors in arriving at the K25 million that the Ministry of Health has received from the Ministry of Finance? Secondly, what are the anticipated immediate usage lines for this particular allocation? My fear is that it may end up just paying the members of the different committees and will not hit the ground where the problem has hit. Kanyama houses one of the biggest trading places called Soweto Market, where cholera can thrive easily if the rainfall pattern changes just now.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to respond to the hon. Member who has raised a very important issue about how we arrived at the K25 million which was needed for immediate use. It was not difficult. As soon as notice was given of this emergency, the National Epidemic Preparedness Prevention, Control and Management Committee met and wanted to tackle the immediate needs for addressing this situation. The immediate need was to ensure that the water around the area was safe. Therefore, as I have mentioned, chlorine which is used to ensure that water is safe had to be made immediately available. Of course, there was also an urgent need to ensure that there were other supplies which go with the control of cholera. 

Sir, as regards the K25 million, we are not talking of expenditures on the meeting of the committee. We are talking of expenditures on supplies needed for the immediate control while the committee reverts to discussing the long-term needs. Of course, the long-term needs are very much to do with water and sanitation. That is why our colleagues in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing were with us from the first day to ensure that action is taken on the important issue of water and sanitation.

I thank you, Sir.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, it is really a pity that in this day and age, our having outbreaks of cholera after a spell of being cholera free. The issue of safe water is of paramount importance and chlorine would not be very useful without it. How then can the fight against the further spread of cholera be undertaken when we are not talking of the improvement of water supply and in certain areas there is simply no water? What discussions has the hon. Minister had with his counterpart in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to ensure that where there is no water, it is made available?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Mumbwa for pointing out the important issue of providing safe water. Yes, I can state categorically that we were already in a very advanced stage of providing safe water and sanitation. Our colleagues in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing had already made decisions which were already approved by Cabinet on a massive injection into the water and supply situation. I think as we have gone along, Parliament has been aware that a massive investment on this issue of water and sanitation is currently ongoing particularly in Lusaka and across the country. As it happens, this occurrence has only reminded us that what we had begun to do was the correct thing and that we have to intensify that effort.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Konga (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, cholera, as it has rightly been mentioned, is a disease related with untidiness. We all know that prevention is better than cure. This is the rainy season and as we heard, Kanyama where the outbreaks are high houses one of the biggest markets called Soweto. We find near there an abattoir where pigs and goats are slaughtered and openly sold at this market. Has the Ministry of Health discussed with the Ministry of Local Government and Housing with regard to the improvement of the hygiene standards at the abattoir and market where raw pork and goat meat is sold to avert the spread of cholera?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for raising this issue of the environment in which transactions are conducted in relation to food. I did say, but perhaps not emphasised, that we have a problem in these places where food is openly displayed in a very unsafe way. Let me recognise the contribution of our colleagues in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing who were with us, as I said, from the beginning. Those who had a chance to see the visits of our team would have seen that the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing was first to speak about the importance of hygiene control in these places. From our point of view on health, hon. Members will have heard about the closures that we have had to make of various institutions because of our belief that they did not represent the clean environment in which they ought to operate.

So, I can only agree with the hon. Member that the environment in our cities and towns is not conducive for the control and prevention of cholera. Therefore, we must look forward to the time when our Decentralisation Policy will lead to strong councils which will govern their towns and cities in a way that is, at least, acceptable from the health point of view.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, does the ministry have any plans with the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to discourage people from selling some types of food on the streets? Does the ministry intend to ban that arrangement?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I think that it is clear from my earlier statement that we have been working very closely with our colleagues in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. In principle, we all agree that people who sell some foodstuffs in open air ought to be removed from the markets. The way we proceed about removing these businesses from the street is important because these are livelihoods of our people. We should live it to the officers in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to do it in such a way that they do not destroy the community in which we live.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated to us that one of the ways in which we can stop the spread of cholera is by having strong councils. Has the hon. Minister advised the Ministry of Local Government and Housing on how to enforce certain provisions of the Local Government Act, especially with regard to street vending? People are decanting everywhere in town. The place is filthy because people are not using toilets. We are likely to have a swing in terms of the increase in the outbreaks of cholera.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I cannot emphasise more that the collaborative effort between the Ministry of Health and other concerned ministries is critical to the control of waterborne diseases. 

Sir, I can specifically say that the Ministry of Local Government and Housing is the primary partner in the exercise of combating outbreaks of diseases. I do not think it will be appropriate for me to talk in terms of advising them because we work together on several issues. The Ministry of Local Government and Housing is also part of the National Epidemic Preparedness Prevention, Control and Management Committee. There are other ministries involved in the work of the National Epidemic Preparedness Prevention, Control and Management Committee, but specifically the Ministry of Local Government and Housing is a very important member of the team. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is aware that in the next three weeks the Parliament of Zambia will be hosting the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly which is one of the largest gatherings of hon. Members of Parliament in the world. Does he not think that this particular outbreak is embarrassing to us, as hon. Members of Parliament and the Government, because it shows how filthy our environment is when we are about to host a very large delegation of Parliamentarians? What measures is the Government putting in place so that people are not discouraged from coming for the IPU Assembly?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Monze Central for reminding us that the events that we are seeing in Lusaka should be seen as shameful to all hon. Members of Parliament who will be meeting in Lusaka for the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly because the countries where the hon. Members come from have the same problem as us. Since the hon. Members are assembling to look at the contribution which they make in improving the social and economic lives of the people, Zambia should take this as an opportunity to share with other countries how it handles such outbreaks which are of serious concern to our continent.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shuma (Malambo): Mr Speaker, I do understand that in an area called Kasungu in Malawi, there is an outbreak of cholera. Kasungu borders with Lundazi and Malambo. What efforts has the Ministry of Health put in place to combat the disease in the event of the outbreak crossing the border?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for drawing our attention to what is happening across our borders. Yesterday, I was in Livingstone to deal with issues related to the spread of malaria. It is that kind of consultation that has become prominent in our relations with our neighbouring countries. We have said that we must get together and ensure that the borders of our countries do not become a passage of transmission of diseases. Most of our provinces share borders with our neighbouring countries. It is important that we collaborate with our neighbours in handling diseases, particularly those which can be transmitted between countries.

Mr Speaker, I can confirm that because it has been the intention of different governments in the region to collaborate when handling diseases, the meeting which I referred to earlier is only one of several meetings which have taken place.

I thank you Sir.

Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has kept emphasising one issue as a long-term intervention which can be used to respond to the outbreak of cholera. That issue is the improvement of the water supply and sanitation provision. With regard to the current outbreak, he has said the Ministry of Local Government and Housing is in the process of injecting some money in the water and sewerage company. Has the strategy only been restricted to Lusaka, yet the current outbreak has spread beyond Lusaka? The current outbreak has even hit Chibombo which is not provided the water and sanitation service by the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, my mentioning of Lusaka in my response should not create an impression that we are not putting in place any initiatives to improve the water and sanitation services in other parts of the country. I think it is important for us to improve such services across the country, particularly in rural areas. It so happens that prominence is given to events occurring in Lusaka even when a lot is happening in rural areas. I am glad that I have been given the opportunity to assure the hon. Members of Parliament that the Government is already investing in water supply and sanitation projects in all areas, particularly in rural areas.  I certainly think that our colleagues in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing can provide relevant documentation for those who want to see what we are doing to improve our water and sanitation systems.  

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, I note that one of the key issues that brings about the outbreak of Cholera is the lack of water. This morning, your Committee had an opportunity to visit the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) and one of the things it found was the problem of water supply. I thought I should use this opportunity to ask a question and hope to attract your attention to this issue which, in my view, is very important as we may have a bigger problem than what we already have on our hands.

 Sir, what plans does the hon. Minister have to ensure that we have sufficient water at the UTH in light of the fact that we now have an outbreak of cholera?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, some institutions should give an example which others can follow. I recognise the difficulties which the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) has had over the years. I can certainly say that we have addressed most of these difficulties although we still have a few more. 

Sir, the UTH has gone through some difficult times, but let me assure you that the relationship that we have established with our colleagues concerned with water supply is such that there is specific protection for it and, there should not be a major problem.

I thank you, Sir.


  The Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Kalaba): Mr Speaker, I wish to report to this august House that Zambia participated in the 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 30th to 31st January, 2016, under the theme “African Year of Human Rights” with a particular focus on women’s rights. 

  Mr Speaker, the Zambian delegation was led by His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu ...

  Mr Livune: Question!


  Mr Kalaba: ... who was accompanied by Hon. Dr Ngosa Simbyakula, Minister of Justice, Hon. Professor Nkandu Luo, Minister of Gender and Child Development, I and senior Government officials.

  Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President also attended other sideline summits including the 34th Summit of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) for Heads of State and Government, the 24th Summit of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) of Heads of State and Government which were both held on 29th January, 2016 and the African Union (AU) Committee of Ten.

  Sir, along the side lines of the assembly, His Excellency the President also signed three AU treaties, namely the African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection (AUCCSPDP), the African Charter on the Values and Principals of Centralisation, Local Governance and Local Development (ACVPCLGLD) and the Agreement for the Establishment of the African Risk Capacity Agency (ARCA). 

  Mr Speaker, I now wish to highlight some of the achievements that Zambia scored during the summits. I am exceedingly happy to report that the assembly fully supported and endorsed the bid by Zambia to host the secretariat of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of Africa Union (ECOSOCC) in Lusaka which was unanimously supported by all member states of the AU.

  Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

  Mr Mwale: Well done.

  Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, this is the very first organ of the continental body that Zambia will host since becoming a member of the AU and its predecessor the Organisation of African Unity  (OAU) more than fifty-two years ago.

  Hon. Government Members: Well done.

  Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, the hosting of the ECOSOCC Secretariat will translate into employment creation for Zambian citizens as a result of the increased frequency of hosting meetings and conferences. This will not only boost the tourism sector, but also subsequently promote growth in other sectors of the economy, especially that the secretariat will require a state of the art modern headquarters to be constructed on a ten acre plot along the Great East Road.

  Mr Speaker, Zambia was also elected as one of the fifteen members of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) for a three-year-term from 2016 to 2019. This is one of the most important decision making bodies of the AU responsible for the maintenance of continental peace and security. I am proud to state that out of the fifteen countries that were elected and re-elected accordingly to sit on the AUPSC, Zambia was the only country that received 100 per cent endorsement by all member states.

  Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

  Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, Zambia’s membership to the AUPSC during this period is significant as the country will be accorded the opportunity to be more directly involved in preventative diplomacy, facilitation of peace making, establishment of peace support operations and the promotion of peace, security and stability for our continent.

  Mr Speaker, another achievement was the endorsement of the recruitment of Ms Charity Nchimunya, a Zambian national to the position of Executive Secretary for the Africa Union Advisory Board on the Fight against Corruption (AUABFAC). This is, indeed, commendable as Zambia attaches great importance to the fight against corruption as it hinders development for the country and the continent at large.

  Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

  Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, as regards the Africa Centre for Disease Control, Zambia had applied to be a regional collaborating centre for Southern Africa and received unanimous endorsement from the Southern African Development Community (SADC). I am glad to report that Zambia has been selected as the host for the African Union Centre for Disease Control for the Southern Africa Region (AUCDCSAR). The centre will be based in Ndola.

  Mr Speaker, the House may recall that at the 24th Ordinary Session of the AU in January, 2015, the assembly adopted the continents agenda for the next fifty years, Agenda 2063, which is a strategic framework for inclusive growth and sustainable development in Africa anchored on the AU vision of the Africa We Want. 

  Mr Speaker, the domestication of Agenda 2063 in Zambia entails that all ministries, provinces and spending agencies ensure that their programmes, policies and development plans, including the Seventh National Development Plan (SNDP) and the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), are all aligned to it. 

  Sir, the First Ten Year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063 which is from 2014 to 2023 adopted at the June, 2015, Session of the assembly prioritised flagship programmes that need to be implemented. The flagship programmes requiring implementation, among others, include the Pan African Integrated High-Speed Train Network, establishment of the continental free trade area by 2017, silencing of the guns by 2020, establishment of the continental financial institutions and the Grand Inga Dam Project. This Government is determined to ensure that Zambia benefits from these programmes for her citizens.

  Mr Speaker, in addition, allow me to mention that key issues reflected in statements delivered by many of the speakers at the summit highlighted the continued absence of African representation in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). 

  Sir, the assembly committed itself  to the need to create jobs and equip young people with the necessary skills required to implement the continent’s transformational agenda and also underscored the issue of strengthening of democratic processes as several of our countries held successful elections in 2015, which served to re-inforce the political stability on the continent. 

  Mr Speaker, as I have stated to this august House before, following the announcement of the austerity measures by His Excellency the President, the Head of State shall only undertake visits of strategic importance to Zambia. 

Sir, at the invitation of His Holiness, Pope Francis, and His Excellency, Mr Francois Hollande, the President of the French Republic, the Head of State, His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, undertook a two-nation official visit from 4th to 9th February, 2016. His Excellency, the President began his European visit to the Holy See on 4th February, 2016. He was accompanied by the First Lady and I. During private talks with His Holiness, the Pope, His Excellency the President, conferred on a number of important issues. The meeting was of significance to the country in that the Pope, whose pastoral mission is to advocate for the less privileged in society, finds resonance with the Zambian situation and invariably, his positive influence on the international scene cannot be overlooked. His Excellency, the President, also held a bilateral meeting with the Secretary of State of His Holiness, His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who may be equated to the Prime Minister of the Holy See. His Eminence, the Cardinal, pledged the continued support of the Catholic Church to the development process of the country including the reinforced advocacy of the impact of climate change on developing countries. 

Mr Speaker, whilst in Italy, His Excellency, the President, also met with the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), where discussions focussed on the diversification of the country’s economy and the reduction of rural poverty and hunger in the country. Hs Excellency, the President, requested FAO to assist the Government in coming up with long-term plans and programmes on how to address the negative impacts caused by poor and adverse weather patterns, as well as collaborative measures on improving the country’s fish farming industry for both the domestic and export markets. The Head of State discussed matters relating to the continued collaboration and support of IFAD, which is a specialised United Nations (UN) financial institution and a leading multilateral investor in the livelihoods of poor, rural producers in developing countries. There are currently three on-going IFAD projects in Zambia, with a total value of US$60.1 million. 

Sir, after the official visit to the Holy See, the President proceeded to France, where he was accompanied by the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development, and I. During the visit to France, His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, held very important, fruitful talks with His Excellency, Mr Francois Hollande, which covered a wide range of issues related to bilateral co-operation between our two countries. The two Heads of State also conferred on the political situation in the Great Lakes region, which continues to impact on peace and security in the region. During the discussions, the French leader reaffirmed his Government’s dedication to the recently announced Climate Change Aid for Africa amounting to US$2 billion as a vehicle through which France will seek to work with African countries, including Zambia, in addressing their energy challenges. The French leader pledged to support Zambia in the establishment of a national airline, including training in the aviation industry and emphasised the need to explore the potential for cooperation between Zambia and France in this sector. I wish to remind the House that it is the wish of this Government to develop the aviation industry and help turn Zambia into a regional travel hub for the sub continent. 

Mr Speaker, in the area of trade and investment, the two leaders expressed satisfaction that the bilateral agreement on cooperation between the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) and the French Agency for Development could serve as a smooth vehicle through which the private sectors of Zambia and France could spur development. President Hollande emphasised that with an improved Zambian investment climate, the 40 million Euros worth of development assistance to Zambia could be significantly increased. The French leader assured His Excellency the President that there was room for increased investment between the two countries particularly in the area of solar energy. The French leader underlined his Government’s commitment to focus bilateral co-operation in the area of transfer of technology rather than serving as a mere supplier of goods and services, as the former was a more effective way of speeding up technological advancement of African countries. 

Sir, at the same occasion, His Excellency the President and his counterpart witnessed the signing of six memoranda of understanding and agreements in the education, tourism, culture, trade and investment promotion, and financial and broadcasting sectors. His Excellency the President also attended several business engagements including a well-attended meeting with the French Council of Investors in Africa. He also held discussions with the founder of Energies for Africa Project, which is aimed at powering Africa using renewable energy with a fund of up to US$5 billion by 2018. 

Mr Speaker, one of the major highlights of the French visit was the Zambia/France Business Forum, which was organised by the renowned Movement of the Enterprises of France (MEDEF), which was attended by sixty French companies. The business forum was over-subscribed and it was of great importance to Zambia as it created a platform to market and enhance the trade and investment relations between Zambia and France, as well as provide an opportunity for forging long-lasting partnerships.

Sir, His Excellency the President seized the opportunity to lure French investors to visit Zambia and explore the investment opportunities in various sectors, including agriculture, energy, tourism, infrastructure, communication and value-addition, in the manufacturing sector. His Excellency the President was also hosted by a business delegation on renewable energy, and another focused on agriculture and agro-processing industry events. 

Mr Speaker, Zambia will continue to reach out to the international community in order to contribute to sustainable development and as such, our engagement with the outside world cannot be over-emphasised. 

Sir, lastly, I wish to state that the active participation of His Excellency the President in regional, continental and global affairs, as well as his increased interaction and engagement at bilateral level will continue to advance Zambia’s standing on the international stage and serve to promote Zambia’s national interest.

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, I appreciate the report by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to this Parliament. It was detailed ...

Hon. Members: Foreign Affairs! 

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I mean the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs. 

Sir, the hon. Minister has given a good report on the trip which was undertaken by the President. I am sure it has brought a lot of positive things to the country. I would like to find out how the hon. Minister interpreted the image of the country to our friends out there, considering the violence that has been happening in this country. Recent events which include cadres attacking people at an airport cannot support the hon. Minister’s plan of wanting to sell the country as a hub for investment. Which leader in this world would want to be associated with a country which tolerates cadres who cause violence? How is the hon. Minister interpreting this situation? How does he intend to resolve it, especially that he met with the Pope?

Mr Speaker, I have elucidated before on the Floor of this House on a number of occasions that all of us seated in this august House are ambassadors. Unfortunately, some people have found it fit to exclude themselves from this ambassadorial position of selling and raising the Zambian flag high. Some people, more often than not, have insisted on talking about matters which do not enhance the country’s international image. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Sir, I recently read that one of the leaders in some Opposition grouping went outside our borders and spoke ill about Zambia. This is someone who is aspiring to lead this country. It becomes an obvious conclusion that he will not ascend to this position because what country would you to lead it if you are only talking about negative issues. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Sir, we need to talk about the positive image of Zambia. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Hon. Members, any country on planet earth has got its ups and downs, and Zambia is not an exception. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Sir, we remain with one inescapable responsibility of ensuring that we remain true to the aspirations of our country. This is exactly what President Edgar Lungu is doing. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to engage the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs. 

Mr Kalaba interjected.

Ms Imenda: Sir, the hon. Minister says that he cannot hear me. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to engage the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs (speaking louder). I wish to thank him for updating us on the President’s recent trips. Hon. Minister, you mentioned a body that will set up its secretariat in Ndola, Zambia, and the benefits we will have with regard to tourism.  

Sir, the Victoria Falls is a very unique asset in Africa. Why could you not agree to set up the headquarters of this secretariat in Livingstone so that we can get maximum benefit from people coming to visit from all over the world? At least, people will be able to see this spectacular asset. Why would you want to have the headquarters in Ndola instead of Livingstone?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, when I was giving my statement, I saw Hon. Imenda dozing a little bit. 


Mr Kalaba: Sir, I almost brought up the issue. 

Sir, the hon. Member has mixed up the two issues. There is the Southern Centre for African Disease Control, whose headquarters will be in Ndola and ECOSOCC, which will be here in Lusaka. Hon. Member for Luena, you meant ECOSOCC, right? 

Ms Imenda indicated assent.

Mr Kalaba: I told you.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, please, concentrate on your response. 


Mr Speaker: Go ahead. I just want you to be impersonal. 

Mr Kalaba: Thank you, Sir. 

Sir, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is broad based in its approach of ensuring that every part of our country is dotted with international organisations or representation of what is happening on the African continent. There are several things which are lined up for the tourism capital, Livingstone. As you know, Lusaka is the capital city and the AU advised that it would want to have the ECOSOCC Secretariat here. It will be easier for people to come here and attend meetings. 

Mr Speaker, I would also like to take advantage of her question and say that I have just been reminded by Hon. Siliya that some of the companies that we met in France have already started coming to Zambia and she has met with them. Already, this goes to show that we are not only talking the talk, but walking it. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, it is a fact that almost 80 per cent of the African Union (AU) budget is externally funded. Most of the peace and security activities on the African continent are externally funded. Hon. Minister, how does the AU hope to silence guns on the Africa continent by 2020 when, in fact, it does not have adequate resources at its disposal to manage such an ambitious programme?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I see two questions rolled into one and I struggle to decipher the correlation between silencing the guns by 2020 and the funding of the AU. However, I will attempt to do so. 

Sir, I have stated in this House before that the African continent has not sat idly on the aspect of funding its activities. We realise that unless we begin funding our programmes, it will be difficult for us to take Africa to the Africa that we want in 2063. It is for this reason that countries have been put in various tier groups. Zambia, for instance, is in the second tier group. This is to ensure that we continue funding our own budget as AU.

Sir, the silencing of guns issue has been discussed at various international fora because it will create the Africa we aspire for. Zambia is in the Great Lakes Region, a turbulent region where half the members are embroiled in one conflict or the other.  Zambia has continued to play a pivotal role in ensuring that we preach peace and security. Zambia will ensure that we use our position on the AU Peace and Security to achieve this dream of silencing the guns. We want an Africa that is gun-free. We want an Africa that will resolve issues amicably rather than resorting to guns. The continent is making a huge headway in this regard. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister alluded to one aspect of the African Union (AU) deciding, among other projects, to embark on the implementation of the Grand Inga Dam Project.

Mr Speaker, I do recall that the programme to tap power from the Grand Inga Dam has dodged the African continent for over two decades. Successive governments on the continent have talked about accessing power from this dam for over twenty years. 

Sir, what measures is the African Union (AU) tentatively putting in place so that countries on the continent can convince the administration in Kinshasa that this asset can provide clean energy to many African countries so that this project can be implemented as opposed to just talking? 

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, the project, which is under the Ten Flagship Programmes, has commenced. Inga Dam might be housed in Kinshasa, but is an AU project. 

Sir, climate change is not a hoax. Africa has realised that there are certain things it needs to put in place in order for it to achieve its dreams by 2063. Africa needs electricity because industrialisation plays a key role in its emancipation as a continent. For that reason, the project is receiving prominence in order to ensure that we realise our goals by 2063. 

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, as much as we are ambassadors for our country, it is also our duty to present the facts as they are so that we can get help from the international community.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Lubezhi: Sir, are the efforts of the hon. Minister to try to hide things not futile in this age of cutting edge technology as the international community will still get the ugly picture about the things that are happening in Zambia as referred to by Hon. Muchima?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, where I come from, they say, “Imbala ya mushi tabayasukila.”

Mr Mwiimbu: Meaning?

Mr Kalaba: Sir, it means that if there is an announcement that there is a wizard in a village, you should not go to the village headman the next day and ask him why he was talking to you because then you are the wizard.

Mr Lubinda: Ninshi niwebo. 

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwila: Ninshi ni HH.


Mr Kalaba: Sir, I did not mention President Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development (UPND) ...

Hon. UPND Members: Who did?

Mr Kalaba: ... and I did not insinuate that he is the one ...

Mr Shakafuswa: She did not say his name.

Mr Kalaba: She did not mention him?

Hon. UPND Members: No!

Mr Kalaba: Who mentioned him?

Hon. UPND Members: You!


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, it remains our inescapable duty to say good things about our country regardless of the challenges it is facing. Issues of climate change and the fall of the copper price on the London Metal Exchange are a global phenomena. This is the reason hon. Members should get acquainted with the issues affecting the country before they show the international community, that they want to please, that they know nothing. 

Sir, while our opinions may differ, we must remember that we are one people with one constituency which is Zambia. We are Zambians before we are members of any political party. We should be responsible ambassadors. We should promote our country and all the good things happening here. As I said earlier, President Lungu has done very well in this regard. He has marketed our country very highly and we all stand ...
Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: ... to benefit from his interaction with world leaders. 

Sir, it goes without saying that a President of a super power like France would not meet with a President like ours unless our human rights record was clean. Zambia’s human rights record is impeccable. That is why we are an attractive destination.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Katambo (Masaiti): Mr Speaker, ...

Ms Lubezhi: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Home Affairs in order ...

Hon. Members: Foreign!

Ms Lubezhi: I apologise to the hon. Minister of Home Affairs. 

Sir, is the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs in order to misquote my statement by saying that I mentioned the incoming-President of this country, ...

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Lubezhi: ... Mr Hakainde Hichilema, in my question when I did not mention him? I just wanted to find out if at all he is not working against technology because even if we gloss over these things, the international community will still find out what is happening in Zambia. Is he in order to misquote me?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: As I followed it, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs took back that suggestion and made amends. As I have said before, let us keep those who are not with us outside our debates.

Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, it was a blessing for His Excellency the President to make this trip. Who does not want to great the Pope or be blessed by him?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, some people want to portray an image that President Edgar Chagwa Lungu is not supported internationally. What message does the hon. Minister have for those who are doubting whether President Lungu has the support of international leaders?

Mr Kampyongo: Ema question aya.

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, our trip to Italy and France shows the direction which Zambia is heading to. 

Sir, the President was also scheduled to have a meeting with the Prime Minister of Italy, Mr Matteo Renzi, but could not travel back to Italy because of his domestic agenda. However, the President will soon meet Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Mr Speaker, those who think Zambia’s international image is dwindling have got wrong ideas because our good image has kept on growing. President Lungu is liked by his colleagues everywhere ..

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: ... and in turn Zambia is being celebrated. How else can one explain the achievements I have been talking about?

Sir, the ECOSOCC will have a structure in Zambia that will be as big as the AU building in Ethiopia. It will be a massive building which will be built for us by the Chinese Government. Zambia will not spend a single coin on this building because of the diplomacy of the President and how he interacts with Heads of State from other countries.

Mr Speaker, we also met His Holiness the Pope. President Lungu is a Christian. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: I do not know about the others.


Mr Kalaba: Sir, the Pope will only meet leaders who are serious with the governance of their own people. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: As you know, the Vatican is a symbol of morality. So, President Lungu entered into that chamber of morality as well. Obviously, just his stepping into the Vatican speaks volumes. I know there could be jealousy in one corner or the other, …


Mr Kalabo: … but people should swallow that …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: …and admit that Zambia’s attention is being recognised. These are the same people in House who were saying that Zambia is having problems because of not having been seeing any leaders coming into Zambia or the President travelling out. Now that the President travels and interacts with his colleagues, the same people are again saying that the President travels out too much. The President is now interacting with other world leaders. He is bringing good things to the country. Can we learn, as Zambians, as patriotic as we are, to admit that we need to recognise goodness where it is supposed to be recognised. Let us give credit where it is due. That is the mark of mature politics. The moment we deny to appreciate what is visible, obviously, the audience, who are the Zambian people will realise that it will be difficult for the people who do not appreciate the efforts of the Government on the international community to ascend to power. How is it possible for you to appreciate the work of the international community if you cannot appreciate what your own President is doing? We need to support the President because he is doing a lot for Zambia. Already, we are seeing investment which is coming to this country. As a result of this investment, since things happen in a cyclic manner, we will see that jobs will be created, our youths will be employed and wealth will be created. That is how governance works. 

I thank you, Sir.  

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for a well presented ministerial statement. The Catholic Church, as the hon. Minister has mentioned is the largest Christian church in the world. The Holy See is very particular about good governance. He abhors violence and the suppression of citizen’s liberties such as freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of assembly. Considering the selective application of the Public Order Act in Zambia and the rampant political violence being unleashed by the Patriotic Front (PF) cadres in association with the police, …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Lufuma: …what constructive advise did the Holy See offer to the President in terms of strategic measures that have to be undertaken by this Government and how the President can ensure that violence becomes a thing of the past especially, in view of the fact that we are going to have elections very soon?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, once people meet the Pope, they are supposed to be truthful. I will be truthful in my response. The truth of the matter is that the Pope eulogised President Lungu for the role he is playing in the region in ensuring that the region stabilises. Here, I am speaking about the Great Lakes Region as well as the role that Zambia has played, especially, in line with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Number 16, if my memory serves right, which is on peace. Zambia has done very well. That does not mean we are in a perfect island. Yes, there are cadres who might have done things we do not agree with. However, as I said earlier, the truth of the matter is that Zambia has met the benchmarks because President Lungu has lived up to his word to ensure that we co-exist like we have been co-existing in the past. This is why people can do all sorts of things. People can write and sell all kinds of things, but they still go scot-free because Zambia is a democracy. President Lungu swore to uphold the Constitution and that is what he is doing. 

Sir, indeed, to cut the long story short, the Pope praised President Lungu for the role that he is playing in maintaining peace in the region and for ensuring that our country continues to be a role model, not only in the sub-region, but on the continent. We are happy that the Pope also reminded us that out of fifty-four countries on the continent, there are only eight countries that have not experienced any form of civil strife and Zambia is one of them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: That, for us, is a huge milestone which all of us here should celebrate. Even as we do our local politics, we should always endeavour to remember that there are no politics which are worth shedding people’s blood. When you look at the PF records, you will find that no one has been associated with violence.


Mr Kalaba: Others have but not the PF. In this House, we do not mention strangers. We know that there are people whose history and blood is full of violence. 

Hon. UPND Members interjected.

Mr Kalaba: They are there in the UPND.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




302. Mr Mwamba (Lubansenshi) asked the Minister of Tourism and Arts:

(a)    when the squatters in Isangano Game Reserve in Luwingu District would be relocated;

(b)    whether alternative land for resettlement of the squatters had been found; and

(c)    if so, where the land was.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism and Arts (Mrs Banda): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the august House that last year, the Government, through the Ministry of Tourism and Arts, had a programme of evicting squatters from the affected national parks and game management areas (GMAs). The eviction exercise was conducted in Mumbwa GMA and Lukusuzi National Park in Lundazi. This was done in conjunction with some Government institutions such as the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), the Resettlement Department, both in the Office of the Vice-President and the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC). 

Mr Speaker, the eviction of the squatters from the Isangano National Park was planned to be carried out in December, 2015. However, this exercise could not take place because the squatters had already planted the agricultural crops. In this regard, the eviction exercise will be carried out by June, 2016, after the local communities have harvested their crops. 

Mr Speaker, I wish to state that no land for resettling the squatters has been identified yet. The hon. Members of this august House may wish to know that the Department of National Parks and Wildlife is working with the Department of Resettlement and the DMMU which are the relevant offices to settle the squatters.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, the last time a similar question was asked, we were told that Isangano Game Reserve is in Kasama and part of Luwingu. We need to know the correct answer because we are not too sure whether this game reserve is in Kasama or Luwingu. How many squatters are still in this game reserve and how many animals are still there after the poaching came to an end?   

Mrs Banda: Mr Speaker, the Isangano Game Reserve is in Luwingu and part of Kasama. The villages which were affected were forty-three and the total number of those who were affected is10,158 people. In terms of the number of animals that are still in this game reserve, the numbers have reduced greatly.

 I thank you, Sir.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, we are concerned with regard to the state of our flora and fauna. In response to a question by Hon. Hamusonde, the hon. Minister talked about issues to do with the animals. Could she confirm whether during the existence of the squatters in the park, there has been deforestation and whether it is increasing or not considering that the recent economic challenges in our country could have affected the livelihoods of the people.

 The Minister of Tourism and Arts (Ms Kapata): Mr Speaker, deforestation is everywhere were human habitant is including where the people have encroached in the national parks.

 I thank you, Sir.


303. Mr Sichula (Nakonde) asked the Minister of Works and Supply when the implementation of the Pave Zambia 200 Project would commence in Nakonde District.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Dr Mwali): Mr Speaker, the construction works under the Pave Zambia 2000 kilometres Road Project in Nakonde District will commence in 2017. The procurement of contractors to carry out the works under this project will commence in the fourth quarter of this year.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.


303. Mr Mbewe (Chadiza) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing how much money was raised by local authorities, countrywide, from bus levies during the following periods:

(a)    January to December, 2013;

(b)    January to December, 2014; and
(c)          January to June, 2015.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kafwaya): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the consolidated total amount which was collected by the councils in 2013 is K19,521,911.82.

Sir, the consolidated total amount collected in 2014 for bus levies by the councils is K30,832,218.71.

Mr Speaker, the total amount which was collected for the period January, to June, 2015 from the bus levies is K16,343,506.84, which gives us a consolidated total of K66,697,637.

I thank you, Sir.   

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why there was a big increase from 2013 to 2014.

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, the increase was as a result of the measures which were put in the bus stations.

Sir, the history of the bus stations has been associated with political party cadres invading these facilities. They were the ones who were getting a huge share of the revenue that was coming from the bus stations while the councils were collecting very minimal amounts. Therefore, the huge increase in the revenue collection from the stations is as a result of the measures which have been put in place. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that huge sums of money are being collected from the bus stations. Can he promise this House that the sanitation in bus stations will improve since the Government is recording a huge increase in revenue collected from them.

 Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, a certain old person has been known to be a big menace at Intercity Bus Terminus. When we just formed Government in 2011, this man was caught with huge sums of money in the boot of his car, but today, he has been recruited by a certain political party. He was collecting huge sums of money that should have been going to improve the facilities at the bus stations. Today, people are able to see the infrastructure being improved upon because, at least, the councils are now able to collect some revenue from the bust stations.

Sir, recently, there was another thug who was also becoming a nuisance and trying to do similar things, which this old man was doing. We ended up kicking him out of the party. He has also been recruited by the same political party I referred to earlier. 

Mr Muntanga: What position was he in the Patriotic Front (PF)?

Mr Kampyongo: Sir, he was just a thug masquerading as a Patriotic Front (PF) cadre and terorrising people. He has joined another political party and is cheating it that he was part of the victory for the PF after we chased him.

 Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

 Can the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central take his seat. I will give him an opportunity later on. Can the hon. Minister continue, please.

Mr Kampyongo: Sir, we are doing everything possible to ensure that the revenue coming from the bus stations is used to improve the infrastructure and sanitary facilities at these stations so that our people can be served better.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.  

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has mentioned that a big chunk of the money collected as levies was being taken by cadres, but this time around, this money is now being collected by the councils. I want to know whether these cadres still have some shares in terms of percentages so that we know how much the councils are collecting and how much money is going to the cadres. If the cadres are still in the bus stations, why is the Government still keeping them there? 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, it seems the hon. Member did not get me clearly. I stated that, in the past, councils collected very little revenue because the bus station were being run by cadres. As for now, the councils are responsible for revenue collection in bus stations. That is why there is an improvement in terms of the figures that are being generated from these facilities.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, the word ‘cheating’ is clearly unparliamentary. The hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing has allowed the use of this word to be accepted in the House by virtue of what he said.

Sir, two days ago, …

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, could you repeat what you said?

Mr Nkombo: Sir, I was saying that …

Mr Speaker: Is it a point of order by the way?

Mr Nkombo: It is a question, Sir.

Mr Speaker: So, what is the question?

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, two days ago, the proprietor of Simoson Building, Mr Chitambala Mwewa, won a case in the High Court that restrained Patriotic Front (PF) cadres from conducting business in front of Simoson Building where they were getting money, as late as two days ago, from bus owners and had turned the car park of the building into a transit bus stop. In his answer, the hon. Minister used the word ‘cheating’ when he referred to certain members who join certain political parties and laboured to insinuate the irrelevance that people join parties back and forth. Is he aware that the PF lost the matter I have referred to in court two days ago to Mr Simon Mwewa and now the undesignated bus stop has been given back to the Mwewa Family, who are the owners of Simoson Building?

Mr Speaker: Let me just set the record straight. You had earlier on attempted to raise a point of order. It was not possible to raise a point of order when the hon. Minister was responding and that is why I said I would give you a chance. I wanted you to raise, if you were inclined, that point of order when the supplementary question was being raised. Of course, you are free to forfeit or withdraw that course of action.

Hon. Minister, please, note, it may have skipped my ear, but the word ‘cheating’ is not parliamentary and you have no licence to use it. 

You may respond.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, my mind is fresh and I do not remember using that unparliamentary language.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I am aware that it is not permissible to use certain. I do not have limitations in the amount of other alternative words to pick from when speaking.


Mr Kampyongo: Sir, it is unfortunate when hon. Members of Parliament mislead the House and the nation on behalf of certain people. Let me refer to the example my colleague gave earlier on about imbila ya munshi. He explained very well what it meant. I did not mention any political party which these thugs who were terrorising people in the station have joined.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, let me provide guidance. You may take a seat.

Mr Kampyongo resumed his seat.

Mr Speaker: If you look at the question at hand, it is very specific. It is on revenue. The hon. Member for Chadiza who raised this question wanted to know the revenue collection measures which are being used in bus stations. I think let us keep it that way. I know in the process, a lot of reasons and explanations have been given, but that should not stop us from, not focusing on the question at hand. The question is very objective, as I see it, largely non-political and revenue based. I do not want to tie your hands in a manner in which you will fail to respond to the question properly. All I am urging you is to confine yourself to the question. 

You may proceed, hon. Minister. 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your guidance. It is unfortunate that some people want to take advantage of an innocent question to mislead the House. The hon. Member for Mazabuka Central said that the proprietor of Simoson Building obtained a court order or judgement against the PF. That is not correct. He should not mislead the House and the nation. The correct position is that the land in question is the property for the council. The land that I was referring to on the Floor of the House was identified for use as a location for some infrastructure so that we can decongest our streets by moving street vendors to that particular place. One section of that piece of land was at one point used by Simoson Building on lease from the council. Later on, the council decided to terminate the lease agreement because it wanted to develop the piece of land. The Simoson Building proprietor went to the courts …

Mr Nkombo interjected.

Mr Kampyongo: Can you wait because I am giving you the facts. Do not engage me like that.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, take your seat.

Mr Kampyongo resumed his seat.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Mazabuka Central, you are engaging him.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, we are honourable. Let us conduct ourselves honourably. There is no need for these exchanges, so to speak. You can only speak through the hon. Speaker. You cannot speak whilst seated. When you make running commentaries, you may attract certain sanctions. Hon. Minister, please, exercise self-restraint. 

You may continue, please.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the correct position is that after the council decided to terminate the lease agreement because of the change of use for the piece of land in question, the Simoson Building proprietor went to the courts of law. The decision of the court is in the form of consent judgement which is subject to the council and the proprietor agreeing whether the lease should be renewed. That, in itself, is not a court order which can be enforced. If the hon. Member had cared to look at that consent judgement, he would not have come here to mislead the House and the nation.


Mr Kampyongo: Sir, these are the facts on the ground. I want to assure the concerned parties that it is only through dialogue that this matter can be resolved. They should not use people that cannot help them including hon. Members who want to misrepresent facts in the august House.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, at one point, Muvi Television showed a clip of some fraudulent activities at the Inter City Bus Terminus. I recall that the Ministry of Local Government and Housing issued a statement to the effect that the ministry was going to computerise the collection of markets and bus station levies. How far has the ministry gone in computerising the collection of these levies?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I want to thank the hon. Member for that progressive question. Indeed, we have made some progress in that area. Two days ago, we had an investor who came to make presentations on how best this programme can be implemented so that we lessen the money-related transactions which are handled by the offices charged with the responsibility of manning these facilities. So, we are making progress.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


305. Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing when the upgrading of township roads in the Western Province would be completed.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr N. Banda): Mr Speaker, this question is broad. There are so many roads earmarked to be upgraded at different stages. However, the following are the roads earmarked for upgrading and the estimated completion dates:

    Name                                               Status         Estimated Completion Date

Mongu Urban Roads    Works in progress        30th April, 2016

Kaoma Urban Roads     Contract signed and site 
    handed over to contractor on
    15th September, 2015. The 
    contractor is mobilising    31st December, 2016

Senanga Urban Roads    Contract signed and the site
    handed over to contractor on 
    4th September, 2015. The 
    contractor is mobilising.    31st December, 2016

  Sesheke Urban Roads    Project is at procurement
            To be advised

  Kalabo Urban Roads    Contract is awaiting signing    To be advised

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has only talked about Mongu District where road works are almost complete. Is the hon. Deputy Minister sure of the completion, ...

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, before we went on break, I was saying that out of the many roads which are in great need of upgrading, the list given by the hon. Deputy Minister only has one district with completed roads. What consolation can the hon. Deputy Minister give us, who come from the rural parts of the province that we too shall have roads like the ones in Mongu?

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, the Western Province is receiving a big share in terms of township roads being upgraded. The Western Province now has sixteen districts. The Government has embarked on a programme to upgrade roads in all districts. I did not exhaust the list of roads currently being worked on in the Western Province. However, I talked about the projects whose completion dates are known. That is why I just mentioned a few. The Western Province is receiving a lion’s share in terms of money allocated for the upgrading of the urban roads.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, Mongu, Sesheke, Kaoma, Kalabo and Lukulu are amongst the old districts in the Western Province. Since the hon. Deputy Minister has a list, could he just indicate at what stage the works are at in Lukulu.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, what the hon. Deputy Minister is trying to say is that it is very difficult to mention the names of the road projects that have not been procured. However, once the procurement is done, then we shall state the names of the roads and number of kilometres that will be worked on in Lukulu District.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


306. Mr Miyutu asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a)    whether the Government was aware that contractors engaged in constructing buildings in the Western Province procured blocks from Lusaka;

(b)    if so, what the rationale for not procuring blocks made in the Western Province was, and

(c)    when contractors would start procuring blocks made from within the province.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the Government is aware that some of the contractors engaged in the construction of buildings in the Western Province are transporting blocks from Lusaka while others are manufacturing the blocks locally. Contractors are in business and opt to source their materials from the most affordable suppliers. The sourcing of blocks from Lusaka may indicate that blocks are cheaper in Lusaka and of the right specifications in terms of quality. Contractors can only source their blocks locally if the price is competitive and the quality meets the specifications.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister’s answer is very surprising and shocking. In 1964, Zambia became independent and Kalabo District was born. When Dr Kaunda took over power, he started constructing houses in Kalabo using local materials. Up to now, none of those buildings has ever collapsed because of the good quality of the local materials. Therefore, has the hon. Minister checked the blocks being produced locally and how much damage and loss the contractors face due to transporting blocks from Lusaka? From Lusaka, these blocks are actually offloaded in Mongu and then reloaded to be taken to Kalabo. I am sure a number of blocks get damaged on the way. Is that not a drawback on the part of the contractor?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, to start with, the decision to procure blocks from Lusaka is made by the contractors who are private entities, without influence from the Government. The only issue we are interested in is the quality of the blocks and end product. So, we cannot interfere in the contractors’ private arrangements.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Deputy Minister aware that the importation of blocks from Lusaka has caused a delay in the completion of the projects in the Western Province?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, we are not aware that it is a major cause of the delays in finishing the construction works. In fact, as I mentioned in my first answer, a good number of the contractors are manufacturing blocks on site in the Western Province. A case in point is the buildings which we are putting up in Mitete, which is a very difficult area to access. Almost all the contractors there are manufacturing blocks locally.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, for comparison purposes, I would like to know the prices and quality of blocks in the Western Province and Lusaka.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, again, let me say that the interest of the Ministry of Works and Supply is in the quality of the blocks. We have given out the specifications which are that for the 8 inch blocks, we require 2.5 newtons per mm2. For the 6 inch blocks, we require 3.5 newtons per mm2.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, what is the effect of the importation of blocks from Lusaka in terms of costs and on the output eventually? What is the comparison between what is made locally and what is made in Lusaka?

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mukanga): Sir, we are not interested in where the blocks are manufactured. Our main interest is in ensuring that the blocks the contractors use meet the specifications they have been given. If the contractors decide to produce the blocks locally, they would still need to pass the quality tests that will be conducted. Therefore, if the contractors have a certificate to show that their blocks have passed the quality tests, they are free to use them whether they are manufactured in the Western Province or Lusaka. As for the costs, it is up to the contractor to ensure that the costs are within the desired limits in order to make a profit. 

I thank you, Sir.


307. Mr Mbewe asked the Minister of Transport and Communication:

(a)    what the financial status of the National Airports Corporation Limited (NACL) was, as of December, 2014;

(b)    how much money the NACL owed suppliers of goods and services in the same period; and

(c)    how much, in dividends, the corporation declared from 2012 to 2014, year by year.

The Deputy Minister of Transport and Communication (Mr Kapyanga): Mr Speaker, in accordance with the audited financial accounts for the year ending December, 2014, the  National Airports Corporation Limited (NACL) made a profit before tax of K9,306,343 and a loss after tax of K132,741. As at 31st December, 2014, the corporation owed suppliers of goods and services K4,724,995.71. There were no dividends declared from 2012 to 2014.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, looking at the records, may I know from the hon. Minister if he has any intentions of privatising the NACL since it is not making profits.

Mr Kapyanga: Mr Speaker, I think those intentions are not there. The only thing that we are trying to do is re-strategise to ensure that the company starts making profits.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister care to share with this House factors which led to the poor performance of the corporation over the stated years.

The Minister of Transport and Communication (Mr Simbao): Mr Speaker, as we all know, the utilisation of the airports in Zambia is still very poor. This corporation gets its money from fees charged on passengers using airports. Due to the poor flow of passengers, the corporation has not been able to make a lot of money to declare dividends. However, we have seen that with improvements in the tourism sector, the figures are beginning to improve to the extent that the corporation is expected to do well in the coming years.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


308. Mr Chansa (Chimbamilonga) asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a)    when the upgrading to bituminous standard of the Mporokoso/Kaputa Road via Nsama and Nsumbu, would commence;

(b)    what the cause of the delay in upgrading the road, which is in a deplorable state, was; and

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

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, it is envisaged that works on the Mporokoso to Kaputa Road via Nsama Road will commence within the second quarter of 2016.

Mr Speaker, the project has not delayed. It has merely been undergoing a normal procurement process.

Mr Speaker, the project has been divided into three lots for ease of implementation. Each lot will have a completion period of twenty-four months.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chansa: Mr Speaker, is the ministry not thinking of gravelling this road to make it motorable because currently, it is almost in passable? I know that mobilisation will take a lot of time even though the project is divided in three lots. 

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the three contractors are going to mobilise in the second quarter of this year. Under those contracts, they will be obliged to make their stretches of the road motorable.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, it is not the first time we have heard answers like the works will start in the first, second or third quarter. Is the hon. Minister sure that the Government is going to have the money to start work on the roads in question in the second quarter?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, we are committed to executing the works which are earmarked to be undertaken this year. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!

Bishop Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha (Keembe): Mr Speaker, the people in Chimbamilonga and Nsumbu are suffering. A Committee of this House has visited Chimbamilonga before. For the past three years, it has been asking the Government to do something about that road. Hon. Deputy Minister, do you have a programme to deal with the problems of the people in Chimbamilonga?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, what I have outlined in our response is very clear. I think we should remind ourselves that the problems in that area did not start three years ago. The problems have been there for a long time. That is why we have resolved to sort them out.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I am happy that the people of Chimbamilonga will eventually have a good road starting from the middle of this year. The question that begs an answer from the hon. Minister is related to the statements which have been made on the Floor or outside this House by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia and other senior leaders of Government that the commencement of new projects has been suspended. One of the projects which has been suspended due to the lack of funds are the works on the Katunda Road in the Western Province.

Sir, has the suspension of works on new projects been lifted so that the people of Western Province where the projects we talking about are located can start celebrating?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, the procurement of the roads in question is not a new process. The process began sometime back and it is not affected. Thus, it has not been affected by the pronouncement regarding the suspension of funding for new projects. The suspension was targeted at the new procurements. The works on this Mporokoso/Kaputa Road will be undertaken because the contractors have been identified and the budget is there for the road project. 

Sir, with regard to the question on the works on the Katunda Road, …

Mr Mutelo: Yes, Sir.

Mr Mukanga: … let me give the hon. Member a bonus answer, even if it is not part of the principle question. The Katunda Road will be worked on.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is certain that the road which we are talking about will be worked on starting the second quarter of 2016. What financing arrangements are in place for the works other than through the Treasury, which we are continuously told has no money, to ensure that come the second quarter 2016, the road in question will be worked on?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, it is important to note that whatever funding is disbursed comes from the Treasury. So, there is no other financing mode which is used to fund projects. It is the taxpayers’ money which funds projects through the Treasury.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


309. Mr Miyutu asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a)    whether the Government had any plans to extend the Pave Zambia 2,000 Kilometres Road Project to Kalabo District;

(b)    if  so, when the plans would be implemented; and

(c)    what other road projects the Government planned to implement in Kalabo District in the near future.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the answer to this question is similar to the earlier one on Nakonde. The Government has plans to extend the Pave Zambia 2,000 Kilometres Project to Kalabo District. The works in Kalabo are scheduled to commence in the first quarter of 2017.

Sir, as already indicated by my colleagues from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, the Government plans to implement the upgrading of 10 km of township roads in Kalabo District.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


310. Mr Phiri (Mkaika) asked the Minister of Finance whether the Government had any plans to facilitate the establishment of the Zambia National Commercial Bank in Katete District. 

The Deputy Minister of Finance (Mr Mvunga): Mr Speaker, I wish to state that under a liberalised environment, the Government does not direct banks and financial institutions to establish branches in any location, including unbanked areas. Our role, as the Government, is limited to creating an appropriate environment that allows banks and other financial institutions to exploit potential economic opportunities in different areas. Notwithstanding this, the Government, through the Bank of Zambia (BOZ), has continued to engage commercial banks and financial institutions, through moral persuasion, to set up branches in unbanked and rural areas.

Mr Speaker, in addition, I wish to inform the House that as of 31st December, 2015, Katete District had two bank branches of the Finance Bank Limited (FBL) and First National Bank (FNB) and two Zambia National Commercial Banks (ZANACO) express agents. 

Sir, the Government, through BOZ, will continue to facilitate any other initiatives by banks and financial institutions aimed at enhancing financial inclusion in the country.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, ...

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, I would like to seek your guidance on the issue I am about to raise. 

Mr Speaker, I recall that a week ago, I raised a point of order arising from Article 259 of the Constitution of Zambia and you made a ruling that you were in consultation with the Executive in order to make it comply with the demands of the current Constitution.

Mr Speaker, I have decided to raise this point of order before your Committee raises the Motion on the Floor of this House. I have done so because I do not think that it will be prudent for me to raise the point of order when the Motion is on the Floor of the House.

Mr Speaker, you are aware that all of us in this House swore to defend the Constitution of Zambia before you and are also aware that on 5th January, 2016, the President of the Republic of Zambia assented to the Constitution Amendment Act No. 2 of 2016.

Mr Speaker, the issue that I am raising is on the Motion that is going to be moved by Hon. Kapeya.  I have gone through the report of the Committee and noticed with concern that it did not follow the contents of the Constitution of Zambia when it was scrutinising and considering the report pertaining to the nominations to serve as commissioners under the Human Rights Commission (HRC).

Mr Speaker, for ease of reference, Article 259 of the Constitution Amendment No. 2 states that:

“259(1) (b)    that fifty per cent of each gender is nominated or appointed from the total available positions, unless it is not practicable to do so.”

Mr Speaker, I have looked at the nominees and have no problem whatsoever with their qualifications. However, I have a problem with the lack of compliance with Article 259 of the Constitution. The fifty-fifty gender representation in terms of the commissioners of the HRC as provided for under the Act has not been adhered to.

Mr Speaker, the issue I would like to raise is whether the Chairperson of the Committee should proceed to table the report of his Committee for consideration today when there is a serious breach of the Constitution. Taking into account this breach, would it not be prudent for him to withdraw this particular report, cure it and ensure that it is presented only when the 50 per cent gender parity is attained in terms of the commissioners appointed to be part of the HRC as provided for in the Constitution.

Sir, I do not think that we should breach the Constitution with a view to cure the wrong later. Will the House be in order to debate the Motion when there is an obvious breach of the Constitution?

I need your serious ruling, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: The last time the hon. Member for Monze Central raised this subject, I indicated that we are working very closely with the Executive and the President, to be precise. I also indicated that my office, obviously, is intimately involved in the appointments for the simple reason that I constitute the Select Committees. Whenever the appointments are made, I collaborate very closely with the President. I am also just as conscious as you are on the need to comply with the Constitution, not only in this regard, but also in every matter.

 So, rest assured that the Speaker is following these matters very closely, and if you want to know, this is not the end of the process. In fact, I have already received names which are being processed as I speak to you. So, between the President and me, we will do our level best to ensure that there are no breaches of the Constitution. Two known names are coming and will address the very concern that you have raised. I will not allow a breach. Behind the scenes, we are working closely to ensure that there are no breaches. Anyway, I also pointed out that there is a caveat in Article 259. Let us bear this caveat in mind always. The caveat is, namely from available positions, and also the practicability. However, that aside, the question of gender in this regard has been addressed. That is my ruling.

We proceed with our business. The hon. Member for Chadiza may continue. 

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, this is the voice of Chadiza, talking on behalf of the people of Chadiza. On behalf of the people of Chadiza, I would like to thank the Ministry of Finance for giving us a very beautiful bank. The Ministry of Finance has a very good hon. Minister. I know that the Government owns shares in the Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO) and that it also facilitated the building of a very beautiful bank in Chadiza. 

Sir, since you have never seen the bank, I would like to tell you that it is a very good bank. 


Mr Speaker: Order!

How do you know that I have not seen it? 


  Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister extend the same gesture and facilitate the creation of a very conducive environment in Katete so that ZANACO can build a bank in Katete?  

Mr Mvunga: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Chadiza for the accolades he has accorded us. They are most appreciated. Yes, the Government holds shares in the bank, but from a corporate governance point of view, it allows the bank to be run by an independent board. Decision making, in terms of capital investments, budgets and location of new investments of these banks, pass through the board. So, the ultimate decision on where the location of a new bank will be rests with the management of the bank together with the board. However, I have indicated that the Government does appeal to the banks to try to extend their facilities to the unbanked areas. That is as far as we can intervene, from a corporate governance point of view. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I am worried that the Government has to appeal to commercial banks to provide their much-needed services to unbanked areas. Should the Government not just be creating an environment where banks can go to an area because it is conducive for them to make business there? 

Mr Mvunga: Mr Speaker, I will go back to the first paragraph of my answer, where I said,

“I wish to state that under a liberalised environment, the Government does not direct banks and financial institutions to establish branches in any location including unbanked areas. Our role, as the Government, is limited to creating appropriate environments that allows banks and other financial institutions to exploit potential economic opportunities in these areas.” 

Sir, that is exactly what the Government stance is.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, what is the Government doing to attract banks to rural areas that may not seem to be so profitable on the surface, as compared to urban areas, so as to extend the much needed banking services to rural areas? The hon. Minister mentioned that the Government has been appealing to the banks to go and service the unbanked areas. What does he mean by  the use of the word ‘Appealing.’

Mr Mvunga: Mr Speaker, I will go back to what I earlier explained. The decision of where new banks should be placed is vested in the board and their investment criteria. So, you should be giving us the information about the areas that seem to be unprofitable on the surface, but are profitable underneath so that we can take it to the banks and try to persuade them to open branches in those areas. It is undeniable that it is the Government’s ultimate objective to ensure that the unbanked population is banked. It is the Government’s desire to ensure that these banks extend their services to unbanked areas. In terms of creating a conducive environment for banks to do business, we do put up infrastructure in various areas. Banking is about people. You cannot open a bank where there are no people. You have to make sure that there is economic activity within the region for the bank to be viable. The Government is doing its best in terms of infrastructure development to try to create an environment for the banks to find it suitable to invest in certain areas.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned that the Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO) has agents in Katete. Further, he mentioned that there is First National Bank (FNB) and Finance Bank in Katete. The Government has been doing more business with ZANACO than with Finance Bank. The people of Katete, civil servants in particular, feel that ZANACO can be persuaded to open a branch there, like it did in Chadiza, instead of using agents. Katete is bigger than Chadiza. Is there no possibility for the Government, which is a shareholder, to influence ZANACO to provide the much-needed banking services in Katete? 

Mr Mvunga: Mr Speaker, first and foremost, let us understand one thing which is that banking is a homogenous product. It is not a heterogeneous product. A current account is just that. A savings account is just that. More likely than not, there will be a service differential. I actually do not see why banking with Finance Bank should disadvantage you from banking with Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO). Notwithstanding that, is there sufficient business to justify the bank to open a branch in Katete? As an ex-banker, who looked after braches, I know that a bank can only be opened in an area if there is sufficient business to justify opening it. Banks have break-even points which they look at. For instance, to justify an investment in a branch in a particular area, the area may require to have 10,000 customers. Does that area have 10,000 customers to justify that investment? Those are the decision points which the banks go through. So, I am sure that if there was sufficient business justification, a branch would have been opened in Katete. I am sure the bank is still looking at whether the numbers tally to justify that investment. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Deputy Minister to reflect on the fact that once upon a time, ZANACO fully belonged to the State. At one point, the State decided to privatise it. There were many reasons given for that decision. The problems that are arising today, were some of the concerns which the public raised to the then Government when it decided to privatise ZANACO. There was an assurance from the then Government that rural areas which were not viable, from a business point of view, would be supported, and that the services of the Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO) and other banks would be available in areas such as Katete. 

Sir, upon reflection, and having listened to the answer by the hon. Minister now, I am beginning to wonder what the Government’s plans are, taking into account that many of these very important districts have over 10,000 customers who need bank services. What is the Government doing to ensure that the people who are less than 10,000, get satisfactory banking services? 

Mr Mvunga: Mr Speaker, banking models have different types of branches. This is why I explained that in Katete, ZANACO only has express agencies. The way banks operate is that where there are no sufficient numbers, the branches, which are called agencies, are smaller. They do not have back offices and only perform a restricted number of transactions. The is a simplified version of the banking model. In cosmopolitan cities, you will find huge branches because their existence can be justified based on the numbers. Therefore, banks have a model which adjusts itself to the size of the community. This is why we have express agencies in Katete as opposed to a full-blown branch. 

Sir, I just came back on Monday from opening an Indo Zambia Bank Branch in Serenje. The bank will open two more branches in Lundazi and Mungwi, respectively. Therefore, to be fair to the banks, and given the tight operating conditions, they are responding to the Government’s appeal to invest in rural areas. 

I thank you, Sir. 




Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to scrutinise the presidential appointment of Mr Mudford Zachariah Mwandenga to serve as Chairperson, Mrs Kondwa Emily Sakala Chibiya to serve as Vice-Chairperson, and Mr Fred Wamundila Waliuya, Dr Harrington Simui Akombwa and Mr Ackson Mhlakeni Zulu to serve as commissioners of the Human Rights Commission (HRC), for the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, 16th February, 2016.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded? 

Mr Mazoka (Pemba): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. 

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, the appointments of the nominees are made pursuant to Section 5 of the Human Rights Commission Act, No. 39 of 1996.

Sir, your Committee took cognisance of the fact that the HRC is an integral part of Zambia’s democratic dispensation, with a mandate to protect and promote human rights in Zambia, in line with the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia, the Human Rights Commission Act and regional and international human rights conventions and protocols that Zambia has acceded to. 

Sir, in view of this, it is imperative that persons appointed to the position of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Commissioners of the HRC are eminent persons, with good knowledge and experience in human rights issues, who would add value to the operations of the HRC and spearhead the effective and efficient execution of its mandate.

Sir, it is against this background that your Committee carefully selected the witnesses to assist it to scrutinise the suitability of the nominees. Your Committee requested memoranda from relevant State security agencies, professional bodies and other stakeholders, and the appointing authority.  The witnesses also appeared before your Committee to make their oral submissions. In addition, your Committee carefully scrutinised the curricula vitae of the nominees and interviewed each of them in person. All the five nominees were cleared by the State security and investigative agencies. Your Committee was informed by the agencies that none of them had any criminal or adverse report recorded against them, at least, up to the time of your Committee adopting this report.

Further, Mr Speaker, none of the nominees was found to be unqualified or unsuitable to hold the positions to which they were being appointed. However, there were some concerns raised on some of the nominees by the Forum for Democratic Process (FODEP). The body was reluctant to recommend the nominees for Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission, on grounds that they had little experience in human rights or constitutional law which would enable them to defend human rights and fundamental freedoms. 

Sir, your Committee notes that the assertion by FODEP was misplaced as the nominee for the position of Chairperson, being a lawyer, had handled cases involving human rights and constitutional issues, and had covered human rights as part of his legal training. Further, the nominee for the position of Vice-Chairperson had been involved in various human rights-related activities in her various portfolios as her curriculum vitae attests. In fact, as the nominees are lawyers, with over fifteen years standing at the Bar, your Committee found them suitably qualified for the positions in line with Section 5(3) of the Human Rights Commission Act, which provides that the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the commission shall be persons who have held, or are qualified to hold, high judicial office.   

Sir, with regard to Mr Fred Wamundila Waliuya, your Committee notes that the nominee has a hands-on approach to the cause of human rights. His rich curriculum vitae speaks volumes of his achievements, determination and passion with regard to human rights issues. Dr Harrington Simui Akombwa and Mr Ackson Mhlakeni Zulu also possess unique attributes based on their respective backgrounds, which will greatly benefit the commission.

Mr Speaker, your Committee, therefore, found all the nominees suitably qualified to be commissioners of the commission and recommends that the House ratifies the appointment of Mr Mudford Zachariah Mwandenga to serve as Chairperson, Mrs Kondwa Emily Sakala-Chibiya to serve as Vice-Chairperson, and Mr Fred Wamundila Waliuya, Dr Harrington Simui Akombwa and Mr Ackson Mhlakeni Zulu to serve as commissioners of the HRC. 

Sir, in conclusion, the members of your Committee place on record their gratitude to you for appointing them to serve on the Select Committee. Your Committee is also grateful for the services and advice rendered to it by the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly during its deliberations. Your Committee further thanks all the witnesses for their oral and written submissions which greatly assisted it in arriving at its recommendation to the House.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

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

Mrs Mazoka: Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to second the Motion on the Floor of the House. I will be brief in my speech as the mover of the Motion has covered the salient points of your Committee’s Report.

Sir, in considering the nominees, your Committee heard that for one to effectively serve as commissioner of the Human Rights Commission (HRC), he or she needed to be knowledgeable on matters of human rights and must have a track record with regard to the same issues. Your Committee learnt that such knowledge could either be acquired academically or through experience. In addition, the persons should showed ability and interest to learn new aspects and concepts in the field of human rights.

Mr Speaker, as ably articulated by the Chairperson, the nominees adequately meet these conditions to serve as commissioners of the HRC. In addition, your Committee notes that each of the nominees brings with them particular expertise which will benefit the commission. 

Sir, it was also brought to the attention of your Committee that the operations of the HRC are not decentralised, a situation which has posed a challenge with regard to the bringing of human rights awareness closer to people in rural areas. In this regard, your Committee urges the Government to consider decentralising the work of the commission to district level in order to reach the general populace.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, the nominees are qualified and experienced to serve as commissioners of the commission and, therefore, I urge the House to ratify their appointments.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, ...

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, my point of order is motivated by the rules of procedure in the Members’ Handbook. 

Sir, on page 25 the handbook states:

“A point of order is a question raised by a Member who believes that rules of procedure of the House have been incorrectly applied or overlooked during proceedings. A point of order can be raised at anytime in the proceedings.”

Mr Speaker, I am also aware that you have encouraged hon. Members to raise points of order contemporaneously. My point of order is in relation to the discourse we had earlier this afternoon in which I engaged the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing. This is in relation, specifically, to the time when I attempted to raise a point of order at the time he was on the Floor of the House.

Sir, I would like to quote from the proceedings beginning with what you said as follows:

“Let me just put the record straight. You had earlier attempted to raise a point of order. It was not possible to raise a point of order when the hon. Minister was responding and that is why I said I would give you a chance. I wanted you to raise, if you were inclined, that point of order when the supplementary question was being raised. Of course, you were free to forfeit or withdraw that course of action.”

You went on further to state as follows:

“Hon. Minister, please note that it may have skipped my ear, but the word ‘cheating’ is not parliamentary and you have no licence to use it. Now, you may respond.”

  Sir, at this juncture, I have no doubt that the word as used by the hon. Minister truly skipped your ears. 

Sir, I would like to quote the actual part where the Minister, Hon. Kampyongo, used the word ‘cheat’. It reads:

“Recently, there was another thug who was becoming a nuisance by trying to do the same thing which this old man was doing, but we kicked him out and he has also been recruited by some political party. This person was masquerading as a Patriotic Front (PF) cadre and terrorising people. The cadre has now joined another political party and is cheating its members that he was part of the victory for the PF. We chased him.”

Sir, it was at that point that I attempted to raise a point of order. The record is now straight that the word ‘cheat’ eluded your ears when it was used. The verbatim record indicates that Hon. Kampyongo said the following after you cautioned him about the word, ‘cheating’:

“Mr Speaker, my mind is fresh and I do not remember using that unparliamentary language.


Sir, I think that there were interruptions because obviously, the hon. Members heard that word being used. Hon. Kampyongo went on to say,

“Mr Speaker, I am aware that it is not permissible for me to use certain words. I have no limitations in terms of selecting the words to use.


Mr Speaker, is Hon. Kampyongo in order to have, first of all, refused to take responsibility of his own verbatim debate, notwithstanding the fact that it may have, I believe, eluded your ears? Now that I have caught him using an unparliamentary word, I would like your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: Bring the transcript.

Mr Nkombo laid the paper on the Table.

Mr Speaker: My ruling is that, indeed, you have correctly recited the course of events and you have also correctly acknowledged the fact that I had not caught the use of the word, ‘cheating’ as used by the hon. Minister. If he did use the word, I also in the same breath, made a ruling. My ruling on the spot was that he had no licence to use that word. I also recall that earlier on, although you have not brought this out in your point of order, you had suggested in your remarks that it seemed that he has a licence to use the word, ‘cheating’. In ruling I stated that he did not have that licence to use that word. I meant to put the record correct. Obviously, coming to your point of order, the hon. Minister was out of order in denying that he had used the word, ‘cheating’ because the record is clear.

Hon. UPND Members: Verbatim!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Kalomo Central may continue.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, in support of the report that has been put together by your Committee, I want to state that it is important to put the commissioners of the HRC in place. Zambia has quite a number of cases related to human rights abuses. It is a fact that we have had certain incidents whereby human rights have been infringed upon in Zambia. It is true that in Livingstone, we had a number of our party members detained for more than seven days for no apparent reason when it is actually not allowed to detain someone for more than forty-eight hours without charging that individual. 

Sir, the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central was actually incarcerated for twenty-one days. You will remember that there was a time when the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) questioned Zambia over the issues of human right abuses. In this vein, I feel it is appropriate that the commissioners of the HRC be put in place. 

Sir, you have guided that certain provisions of the Constitution can only apply when other related laws are in place. You mentioned that you are constantly in touch with the Head of State and is aware that he is addressing the need for gender balancing with regard to the composition of the commissioners of the HRC. We all know that somewhere behind your back, you are holding on to the list of names of the people whose appointments will be ratified as commissioners of the HRC in future. The handling of matters in that manner is what makes it very difficult for us to trust you, Mr Speaker and the Head of State. This is a matter of trust. 

Sir, as hon. Members of Parliament, we are being questioned over this particular situation whereby we are ratifying the appointment of four men and one lady as commissioners of the HRC. In fact, initially we had six names. During a certain process, one individual was disqualified. In the actual fact, we should have had five men and one lady. In this vein, we are being put in an awkward position. If we go ahead and ratify the appointment of these people, we might be infringing upon certain provisions of the Constitution. The ratification of the appointment of these people should not only be an arrangement between you, Mr Speaker and the President. You should not just flash names before us and expect us to support the process. 


Mr Muntanga: Sir, I believe that we have so many ladies who are lawyers in this country. That is why we even ended up having a female Chief Justice. It shows that our ladies are qualified to be in that field. Therefore, we should endeavour to go ahead with the issue of 50 per cent gender parity with regard to putting in place the commissioners for the HRC. We do not want to put pressure on you, Mr Speaker and the President. The next time we will be required to ratify some appointments in this House, we shall just be looking at you. We will  expect you to tell us what you will be holding behind your back. 

Mr Speaker, I know that we will be assured that the HRC will have nine commissioners. Therefore, if we are approving the appointment of five commissioners now, a list of four names will be brought later. The remaining four vacancies should be filled by females so that we have the 50 per cent gender parity we are talking about. If we do not do things like that, the fight for gender parity will not succeed. I will be surprised if the ladies do not follow up the matters which I am talking about. If they do not, the particular clause of 50 per cent gender parity will be ignored and will not succeed. I, therefore, want to urge Mr Speaker to discuss this issue with the President. We shall be waiting for the four female names so that we have gender parity in terms of the composition of the commissioners of the HRC. 

At this point, with these very few words, I support this Motion with the belief that the issues I have raised will be addressed. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate on this Motion. I will also be very brief.

Sir, when we were debating the Public Order Act Motion yesterday, I started by outlining some events that happened mostly in my constituency which led to people being arrested and incarcerated. I do not know whether the commission was in place when those things were happening. If it was there, I do not know whether it had the personnel to examine those human rights abuses.

Mr Speaker, apart from the arbitrary arrests, which started in January, 2014, people have not been brought before the courts of law or kept in remand prison, but have been ferried to some remote place called Mumbwa, which is about 400 km away.

 Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo rose.


Ms Imenda: Sir, as far as I am concerned, that is already a human rights abuse because those people were taken away from their families. Nobody could visit them to look after their welfare and see how they are faring. Secondly, those people were taken away from their witnesses so that during trial, they would have no witnesses. It could be that they were even taken away from their lawyers, who are their advocates. If there are any worse human rights than what I have highlighted, I challenge anyone to stand up and share them with this House.

Mr Speaker, a similar thing happened during the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) era. In fact, they managed to win a Mongu Central Constituency seat on the basis of certain promises. When the young men demanded to be given something as per promise, they were also arrested. This time, they were taken all the way to another remote place called Mwembeshi, which is more than 600 km away, a few kilometres way from Lusaka, but within Mumbwa District.

Sir, that was purely another human rights abuse because the suspects were taken away from their witnesses, families and lawyers, who are supposed to be their advocates. If my memory serves me right, some people were again arrested from the Western Province and this time around, they were taken to Kabwe. I want somebody to tell me if such a thing has ever happened apart the times of the Dr Kaunda, Nalumino Mundia and Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe era. During that time, people were arrested and taken away from their families to some remote places. As far as I can remember, the worst situation was during the freedom struggle whereby people were arrested and taken to some island, far away from their relatives. What could be the worst human rights abuse than this?

Mr Speaker, the HRC is supposed to be part of good governance structures. We need an institution that oversees that people’s rights are upheld. I, therefore, expect the members who are being recommended to be fair and objective as they seek to protect the rights of the citizens. For now, it seems that our citizens are under attack from all angles. Nobody feels safe anymore. Politicians forget that there will come a time when they will no longer be in power. This is what makes them abuse power. The HRC is good governance institution, which should be protected. For some time, we have been mourning and lamenting the absence of commissioners for this institution. I wish to appeal to the commissioners to champion the upholding of human rights. Although at the moment, there is only one female commissioner who has been appointed by the President, it is our hope that next time around, there will be more women.

Sir, with these very words, I support the Motion.

 Mr Speaker: Order!

Just before we proceed, I want to clarify that there are seven positions available and not nine as indicated by Hon. Muntanga. It is seven positions and not nine. This demonstrates the difficulties associated with the practicability of Article 259 because when we say 50 per cent of seven, it gives us three-and-a-half. Unfortunately, we cannot have half a human being.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this chance to debate. I will be very brief as well.


Mr Mutelo: Sir, they do not want me to be brief.

Mr Speaker: Could the hon. Member proceed. You have the Floor.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, allow me to refer to what the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) said about the nominees. 

Hon. Government Members: Ah!

Mr Mutelo: Sir, on page 4 of the report, LAZ said:

“Your Committee wanted to know what the expectations of LAZ were regarding the newly appointed members of the Human Rights Commission (HRC). In response, your Committee was informed that LAZ was of the view that the respect for human rights in the country had deteriorated because most of the institutions tasked with the job of promoting and upholding human rights had been politicised.”

Mr Speaker, LAZ went further and said:

“On which Government institutions had faced challenges in upholding respect for human rights and the rule of law, the President singled out the Zambia Police and explained that LAZ had in fact engaged the former Inspector-General of Police on matters of human rights, administration of the Public Order Act – which was the subject yesterday – and the violence perpetrated by cadres from political parties.”

Sir, on page 15, one of the nominees …

“ … when asked if the Human Rights Commission Act had any lacuna which she had noted, the nominee stated that the two critical issues that needed immediate amendment related to the appointment of commissioners by the President and the fact that the mandate of the HRC ended only at recommending its findings of human rights violations to the President.”

Mr Speaker, the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) is of the view that the human rights situation in Zambia is very bad. For example, on 9th January, a suspected karavina was arrested in Lukulu. Whilst he was under the custody of the police, he died. When ten of his relatives went to inquiry about him on 10thand 11thJanuary, they were told that he went to the hospital. When they went to the hospital, they were told that he had died. When they went to complain to the District Commissioner (DC), they too were arrested. They were later moved from Lukulu and are being prosecuted in Kaoma. Where are the human rights?

Sir, the Human Rights Commission (HRC) has had no head. That is why we are now trying to give it a head.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, it is long overdue. The commission has had no Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson for many years. It had to take hon. Members of this House to ask why this commission had no Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and commissioners for the Head of State to decide to appoint five nominees. I hope this composition will have a 50/50 representation in terms of gender.

Sir, in Kalumbwa, a village in Mitete, a young man by the name of Simunji Mwenda, a former Grade 7 pupil at Muta Basic School in Hon. Musokotwane’s Constituency, was picked around 0300 hours. He qualified to go to Grade 8 at Sikubuko Secondary School, but is in the cells after he was picked up by game rangers working in collaboration with African parks. Again, where are the human rights? So, I am supporting the appointment of these nominees so that the HRC can have people to head it and can deal with the human rights situations affecting our people especially in the rural areas. Where I come from, kwabulozi, we had a lot of issues involving the Linyungadambo, which the hon. Member for Luena referred to, and we now have cases of violence in Bweengwa, which is Hon. Hamududu’s constituency.

Mr Speaker, LAZ singled out the police as an institution which faces challenges in upholding human rights. I think that this is because of the instructions given to them from the people holding power at that particular time. These instructions could be in the form of enforcing the Public Order Act. The British colonial leaders came up with the Public Order Act. This law was used by the United National Independence Party (UNIP) leadership and, later on, by the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) Government when it came into power in 1991. It has, again, been used by the Patriotic Front (PF) Government which came into power in 2011. It seems even Governments which will come into power in August, 2016, and beyond will continue using it.So, if we can amend this law now, it would be good for us all. Furthermore, all political party cadres should desist from committing acts of violence. Zambia has an ‘A’ rating, but if we do not control the political cadres who are seemingly becoming giants in this country, this rating will drop.

Mr Speaker, when Mutelo is a member of the United Party for National Development (UPND) today, he is a darling, but when he moves to another party tomorrow, he is labelled a bad person. We should not label those people who join other parties bad. Some people have …


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, I know you have your time …

Mr Mutelo: Sir, I said that I will be brief.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, I pray that those who will head the commission will uphold its standards and purpose. However, one nominee said that there is a lacuna in the Human Rights Commission Act. She noted that nominees are appointed by the President and so, are told that they cannot bite the finger that feeds them. For sure, these people will be told not to bite the finger that feeds them.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, I pray that these nominees will be humane, and have the zeal to uphold human rights. However, for the Grade 7 chap, ...

Mr Speaker: The word ‘chap’ is unparliamentary.

Mr Mutelo: Sir, I want to go further and talk about the Grade 7 boy who was arrested in Kalabo. He may be innocent, but some people suspect that he is guilty simply because he is Mutelo’s son and so, he is sent to jail. Things should not be like that. Mr Mutelo may not be in the Opposition for the rest of his life. Let human rights be upheld. I promised to be brief although some people were saying I will never be brief. I lived up to my word and those who were saying otherwise now believe that I am brief.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, with those very few words, I also concur with the House that the appointment of the nominees be ratified.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, let me begin by commending the Parliamentary Select Committee that carried out the scrutiny of the appointed nominees for the thorough job that it did. I also want to commend all the hon. Members that have contributed to the Motion on the Floor. Let me conclude by thanking all hon. Members of the House for their unanimous support towards the ratification of appointment of these men and women who, as we have all seen from the report of the Committee, are of very high integrity. Their work, wherever they have served, has been of very high calibre. You have also noted that they have a lot of experience in the area of human rights.

With those few words, I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, my duty is to thank all hon. Members of Parliament for having supported and ratified the nominees appointed as commissioners of the HRC. Once again, thank you, hon. Members.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.


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 1610 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 19th February, 2016.