Debates - Wednesday, 10th February, 2016

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Wednesday, 10th February, 2016

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, I sincerely thank you for giving me the opportunity to issue a ministerial statement on the suspension of the Kitwe, Ndola and Livingstone city councils. 

Mr Speaker, my recent tour of selected councils revealed rampant illegal land allocation perpetuated by some councillors and council officers, which has resulted in members of the public losing confidence in some local authorities. The Government could not allow the situation to continue unabated. Therefore, in line with Section 88(1)(b) of the Local Government Act, Cap 281 of the Laws of Zambia, I suspended the Kitwe, Livingstone and Ndola city councils through the issuance of Statutory Instruments (SIs) No. 4, 5 and 6 of 2016, which were published in the Government Gazette of 22nd January, 2016. The suspension of the councils is meant to pave the way for law enforcement agencies to investigate the matter. The three city councils were supposed to lead by example not only by the conduct of their councillors and officers, but also in service delivery and adherence to laid-down procedures in land allocation. Consequently, I appointed the following public officers as Local Government Administrators for the three councils:

Council    Appointee

Kitwe City Council    Mr Chazya Musukuma

Livingstone City Council    Mr Charlston Hamulyata

Ndola City Council    Mr Macloud Nyirenda

The three Local Government Administrators have taken over the operations and functions of the respective councils. The officers will act for the initial ninety-day period stipulated in Section 88 (1)(a) of the Local Government Act, Cap 281 of the Laws of Zambia and will only relinquish the functions after the conclusion of the investigations. Part of their work will be to submit to my office and the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing reports on the progress of the investigations at the end of the first and second months, and the final report, with recommendations of the team of investigators on the action to be taken to deter would-be perpetrators of illegal land allocation, to the Government, through my ministry. 

Mr Speaker, I reiterate that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government will not tolerate any misconduct from either councillors or council officers in the delivery of services to their communities because it is this kind of illegality and abuse of office that has, over the years, led to the poor performance of our local authorities. All councillors and council officers should know that the PF Government will not falter in its fight against illegal land allocation and that my ministry’s reactions to illegal practices and under-performance by officials will continue to be firm. It is said that to be forewarned is to be forearmed. So, those involved must prepare themselves because there will be no sacred cows in the fight against illegal land allocation, corruption, abuse of office, laziness, theft of public resources and other vices. The suspension of the Livingstone, Ndola and Kitwe city councils is intended to be a lesson to councillors and senior council officers who indulge in illegality. My timely warning to them is that the long arm of the law will eventually visit them no matter how long it takes. In this regard, I will continue to encourage all councillors and council officers to comply with the provisions of the law in the running of the affairs of the councils. 

Sir, let me take this opportunity to, once again, warn the officers at the affected councils and others that I will not condone any indiscipline of any kind. The conduct of any officer must be exemplary, both at work and away from work, as it has a direct impact on the performance of the councils. In the same vein, I urge all the officers at the Livingstone, Ndola and Kitwe city councils to accord the necessary support and co-operation to the appointed Local Government Administrators to enable them to discharge the functions of the councils efficiently and effectively for enhanced service delivery to the residents in the respective districts. Similarly, I urge the Local Government Administrators to do their best to satisfy the expectations of the Government and the people in the respective districts as they discharge their functions. 

Finally, Sir, I thank, most sincerely, the hon. Deputy Minister for the Copperbelt Province and the hon. Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, who chairs the Inter-Ministerial Task Force on Illegal Land Allocation and Acquisition. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Hon Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I congratulate the hon. Minister on the bold decision that he has taken. That said, he undertook a survey of the three city councils in which anomalies were discovered in land allocation. However, history shows us that illegal land allocation in Lusaka has been perpetrated by some people believed to be members of the Patriotic Front (PF) who are not councillors or council officers. The hon. Minister has also said that he believes that some of the culprits are former Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) members who have sought refuge in the PF. Given the vigour and zeal that he has demonstrated in his desire to arrest this malaise, why has he failed to curb the illegal allocation of land by those his party has disowned, but are still on the loose, especially in the Lusaka West area, where their syndicate pounces on titled land and apportions it to its members?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I have consistently stated that the problem of illegal land allocation should not be politicised. Criminals will be treated as such, regardless of what they claim to be. People from different political parties are currently appearing in court and I have tried by all means not to apportion blame to any political party. In Livingstone City Council, which was the first I visited, I found irregularities and started by suspending the land agents. Later, investigations were instituted and the Mayor was found wanting by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). 

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Kampyongo: The erring Mayor, like the hon. Member who is saying ‘Question!’, is a member of the United Party for National Development (UPND).

Hon. UPND Members: Aah!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: He is currently appearing in court. However, like I have stated, it will not help anyone to blame political parties, as the criminal activities are committed by individuals. That is why we have resolved to fight them head-on. I repeat, there will be no sacred cows. We shall treat every individual as they deserve to be treated.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Lusaka?

Mr Speaker: As we progress with the questions and answers, please, hon. Minister, direct your mind a little more to Lusaka.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, may I remind the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing that the Republic of Zambia has a new Constitution, which was enacted by this House through an amendment and that the powers he is purporting to have are drawn from the Local Government Act, which is part of the Constitution of Zambia. In order for him to understand the question I will ask, let me cite one provision of Article 152 of the new Constitution, which states that:

“The national Government and the provincial administration shall not interfere with or compromise a local authority’s ability or right to perform its function.”

Before the enactment of this Constitution, there was no law that prevented the hon. Minister from involving himself with the administration of local authorities.

Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that he has no power, whatsoever, to interfere with the operations of local authorities? According to the new Local Government Act, if he had suspicions, he should have reported them to the police without dissolving or suspending the councils.

Mr Kambwili interjected.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, ...

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Let us proceed systematically.


Mr Speaker: If it is a point of order, then, raise it.


Mr Speaker: Order!

The hon. Member wants to arrest the same thing you are doing there, which is speaking while seated. 


Mr Speaker: I am addressing both sides of the House, hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting. Let us avoid making running commentaries. 

Mr Kambwili: Much obliged, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, before I respond to Hon. Mwiimbu, the Learned Counsel, I want to ...

Hon. Opposition Members: ‘Late’?

Mr Speaker: He said, “Learned.” He cannot be ‘late’ and still be here.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, we have been dealing with cases in Lusaka about which I am sure that the hon. Member is aware. We have not ignored what is happening here. Those who are breaking the law are being dealt with, with some even appearing before the courts of law. So, I will not stop at the three councils, but will continue to others. I will go back to the Southern Province ...

Mr Livune: Why?

Mr Kampyongo: ... because there are people in councils there who are fighting each other over plots.

Mr Speaker, I think that I do not need to be a lawyer for me to respond to the question asked by Hon. J. J. Mwiimbu, which he has based on one Article of the Constitution. I would have loved him to read and apply his mind to all the Articles that govern the local government system. There is no law that prohibits me from doing what I have done. I am well informed that what I have done is within the confines of the Constitution that we have. 

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I am aware that there is no law school at Copperstone University, …


Mr Mwiimbu: … and that the institution has, therefore, not produced any graduates in law. Is Hon. Kambwili, therefore, in order to abuse me and flout the clear rules and regulations pertaining to how debates are conducted on the Floor of this House? He has a propensity to make running commentaries and insult others. 

I seek your serious ruling, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Certainly, nobody, regardless of his or her qualifications, can ever make running commentaries while the House is sitting and be in order. 


Mr Speaker: It cannot just be in order.


Mr Speaker: In fact, I have already addressed this issue and Hon. Kambwili has acknowledged my guidance. Probably, you just did not follow our business at that particular moment.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has suspended councillors, leaving …

Mr Mbewe: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I apologise to the hon. Member who was on the Floor for disrupting his debate. 

Sir, my point of order concerns the security of this House. I think that this House is not properly secured. Is the hon. Deputy Minister of Transport and Communication, Mr Kapyanga, in order to come to this House with weapons, which are a threat to the safety of the hon. Members of this House? 


Mr Mbewe: I request that, if possible, the hon. Deputy Minister be searched before this House becomes vulnerable to violence.


Mr Speaker: Well, I assure you that the security of the House has not been compromised in any way and that what you are seeing are not weapons, ... 


Mr Speaker: ... but totally innocuous aids prescribed by the medical professionals to help the hon. Deputy Minister to continue performing his representative role. That is all.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister suspended the councillors and left the officers who prepare reports for both the committees and councils. Assuming that the investigations will not be concluded in ninety days in which the Local Government Administrators will oversee the councils’ operations, what would be the fate of the councillors, some of whom are not guilty? I ask this question because when Parliament is dissolved, the councils will also be dissolved and the councillors may wish to be candidates in the forthcoming elections.  

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, we remain hopeful that the investigations will be concluded within the ninety-day period. Should that not be the case, we shall still follow the law in determining the way forward. 

I thank you, Sir.

Bishop Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha (Keembe): Mr Speaker, I commend the hon. Minister for suspending the councils for abuse of office and ask him to extend his action to those councils that abuse the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) because Zambians are not benefiting. For example, we have situations in which a borehole in Keembe can cost K30,000 to K35,000 while one in Lundazi costs K12,000.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I think that the contribution by the hon. Member for Keembe, Bishop Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha, is more of a request than a question. Certainly, I have taken note of the concerns that he has raised and I will make appropriate follow-ups on the request.

I thank you, Sir.




247. Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe) asked the Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs:
(a)    whether the Government had any plans to change the title ‘Sub-Chief’ in reference to a certain category of traditional leaders to a more befitting one; and

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

The Deputy Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Mr Kufuna): Mr Speaker, the Government has no plans to change the ‘Sub-Chief’ title in reference to a certain category of traditional leaders. 

Sir, in light of the response to part (a) of the question, part (b) falls off.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, I thought that the suggestion implied by my question was harmless, but …

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Although the frequency of points of order is becoming a source of concern to me, I will see how we fare before I make a determination. 

A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me the opportunity to rise on this point of order. I note that the hon. Minister of Justice is not in the House, but I believe that he is represented. I say this because my point of order is on him.  

Sir, when the hon. Minister of Justice moved the Motion for the House to amend the Constitution, he clearly told us that one of the provisions that would be amended was the one concerning the appointment of hon. Ministers from Parliament. He later changed his position and said that the appointments would be done from within Parliament and that any other related sub-Article to that fact would fall off. Is he in order to have ignored a Clause under Article 116 that allows hon. Ministers to be appointed outside Parliament, and Article 116(2)(e), which allows hon. Ministers to remain in their positions until another person assumes the Presidency?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, Hear!

Mr Muntanga: Sir, when Parliament is dissolved, all hon. Members of Parliament, including hon. Ministers who are appointed from Parliament, lose their membership of this House. Therefore, it is an anomaly for an hon. Minister who was appointed from this House to continue holding the ministerial portfolio when the House has been dissolved.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, Hear!

Mr Muntanga: Sir, one of the electoral rules prohibits the use of public resources in pursuit of partisan interests during election campaigns. Therefore, the hon. Minister of Justice should have proposed a repeal of the provision on the appointment of hon. Ministers from Parliament, as he had promised he would do, instead of deliberately leaving the Article in the Constitution.


Mr Speaker: Order!

What I find strange about this point of order is that during the debate on the Motion moved by the hon. Minister of Justice, the Committee’s very clear and loud position was that the Draft Constitution be not tampered with, but rather be passed by this House as presented. Although the House was in Committee and I was not in the Chair, I was connected to the Committee and, as usual, I followed the debate.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Speaker: I heard that loud cry. Other than that, during the Committee …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Wait! The Speaker is speaking.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Speaker: During the debate, hon. Members were at liberty to move amendments and raise these matters. I will not comment extensively on the state of the Constitution although I would have liked to. 

I rest there.


 Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, I was saying that the ...


Mr Mbulakulima: Order!


Mr Mbulakulima: Sir, my thinking was that the question would attract the attention of my hon. Colleagues.  


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mbulakulima: Sir, we should move with the times. Should we continue using the ‘Sub-Chief’ title fifty-one years after we attained Independence and have modernised …


Mr Speaker: Order!

I know that this question might have excited interest, but can we give the hon. Member for Chembe a chance to make his point.

 Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, I thank you for the protection.

Sir, in the olden days, some workers were given titles like ‘cleaner’ and ‘tea maker’, but we have since modernised those titles. So, since this concern has been brought to the attention of the hon. Minister, does he not think that to continue using the ‘Sub-Chief’ title is demeaning to those to whom it refers? 

Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, currently, the Government has no intentions of changing the title. If there are people who want it changed, they should engage Their Royal Highnesses, who are the ones who can make the suggestion to the Government.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, it appears that the Sub-Chiefs are well known to the Government. How many Sub-Chiefs are there in this country? Further, what does the Government think about that category of traditional leaders? In other words, what role do they play in our society? Are they headmen, senior headmen or Chiefs?

Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, the question under consideration is about changing the ‘Sub-Chief’ title, not about the number of Sub-Chiefs in the country. If the hon. Member wants the Government to avail him additional information, I advise him to file a new question.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, I have been prompted to ask this question because the Government has clearly indicated that it recognises the ‘Sub-Chief’ title. Do Sub-Chiefs also get allowances commensurate to their rank?

Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, my short answer is that Sub-Chiefs do not get any allowance.

 I thank you, Sir.

 Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, if the ‘Sub’ prefix in the ‘Sub-Chief’ title is demeaning, is the Government considering changing titles like ‘Sub-Boma’ and other titles that are used in legal contexts?

 Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, maybe, the person who feels that the ‘Sub-Chief’ title is demeaning is the hon. Member who has asked the question.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, the title ‘Chief’ has its history in our country, Zambia. We used to have Kings, such as Lewanika. Gawa Undi also deserves the ‘King’ title because he presides over two Paramount Chiefs, one in Mozambique and another in Malawi. 

Hon. Minister, are we not thinking of restoring the prestige of our traditional rulers by giving them titles that befit them instead of sustaining the colonial legacy of our former colonial masters not wanting our Kings to be at the same level with their Kings and making our Kings subservient to theirs? As a country, can we not think outside the box and give our Kings new titles that they deserve?

 Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, I have answered that question already. If Their Royal Highnesses want to change this title or any other, they can initiate the process, then, the Government will take it up.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, what is the role of Sub-Chiefs? Do they attend the House of Chiefs meetings?

 Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, Sub-Chiefs do not attend the House of Chiefs meetings.

 I thank you, Sir. 


248. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development:

(a)    when the rehabilitation of Mambulwe Dam in Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency would commence;

(b)    who the contractor of the project was; and

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


Mr Speaker: Let us have order, both on the left and the right!

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Zulu): Mr Speaker, the rehabilitation of Mambulwe Dam, also called Nangoma Dam, will commence in 2016 after the procurement process, which will start in the second quarter of 2016, is finalised.

Sir, the contractor for the project has not yet been engaged as the procurement process is yet to commence.

Mr Speaker, the project time frame will only be determined after the contractor has been selected.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, the dam in question is the one from which the people of Lwiili Mine, Mumbwa Zambia Air Force (ZAF) and Mambulwe areas used to draw water. What has the Government done to ensure that the affected people have water?

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, preliminary assessments were conducted by the Provincial Water Officer in October, 2014, to ascertain the feasibility of rehabilitating the dam. Following the results of the preliminary assessment, a detailed survey and design has been scheduled to be conducted after the 2016 Rainy Season, the purpose of which is the production of designs, a report and a bill of quantities (BoQ), which will constitute part of the tender document for the rehabilitation works. Thereafter, the procurement of the project contractor will commence and is expected to take a minimum of four months. The rehabilitation works will start as soon as the contractor is procured.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, I am aware that the Ministry of Agriculture also has a budget and programmes for the rehabilitation and construction of dams. Is there any effort by the ministries of Energy and Water Development, and Agriculture to co-ordinate their programmes and purposes for constructing and rehabilitating dams, for example, in ensuring that if a dam is constructed, it will not only be used to provide drinking water for cattle, but also to irrigate crops?

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, yes, although the ministries of Energy and Water Development, and Agriculture have separate programmes on dam construction and rehabilitation, they co-ordinate their activities.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, the dam in question, on which the people depended, was damaged six years ago. While the Government is still working on the documents and plans, what immediate steps is it taking to ensure that the people in that area have water? Water is life.

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, the Government realises that people and animals need water and that, as the hon. Member correctly put it, water is life. However, we have to follow the laid-down procedure of rehabilitating or constructing a dam. We cannot skip any stage.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order!

The consultations on my immediate left are rather too animated.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, as we have heard, the dam in question used to provide water to the people around Lwiili Mine and Mumbwa Zambia Air Force (ZAF) Base. The question that has not been answered is: What measures has the ministry put in place for the affected people to access water in the meantime?

Mr Muntanga: Correct!

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, the ministry has plans to rehabilitate the dam, which is seriously needed in the area. We have undertaken the assessments and, this year, we will rehabilitate the dam. That is all we have done.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Bishop Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha (Keembe): Mr Speaker, I am a former Commandant of the Zambia Air Force (ZAF).

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: A good one.

Bishop Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: I am the one who made the decision for the construction of the waterways from Nangoma Dam to the ZAF Base, which has many people. Could the hon. Minister tell us what emergency measures have been put in place for the people in the base to have water? Surely, there must be a way for the Government to drill boreholes for these people because it has become very costly for them to have water.

Mr Speaker: I invite a direct response to the question from the hon. Minister.

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, the ministry works according to the demands of the hon. Members of Parliament. So, if the hon. Member of Parliament for Nangoma needs the Government to drill boreholes in his area, we will do that. In fact, as I have already stated, we already have plans to rehabilitate the dam.

Mr Livune: Give a direct answer. 

Mr Zulu: Direct answer?

Mr Speaker: Do not engage those who are making running commentaries.

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, if the hon. Member for Nangoma wants boreholes to be drilled in his area, he can contact the ministry and we will drill them.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, clearly, the people have had no water in the last six years in Nangoma. Has the ministry failed to engage their colleagues in the Disaster Management Mitigation Unit (DMMU) to deal with the situation?

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, earlier, I stated that an assessment was conducted. That was done in conjunction with the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU). We also worked together to come up with the plans for the rehabilitation of the dam.

I thank you, Sir.


249. Mr Shuma (Malambo) asked the Minister of Defence when the following feeder roads in Malambo Parliamentary Constituency would be rehabilitated:

(a)    Malama/Chinzombo;

(b)    Nkhoko/Kasamanda Clinic in Msoro area;

(c)    Chikowa/Nyamundela;

(d)    Katemo/Kabalika in Mnkhanga area;

(e)    Lugomo/Kamphasa in Jumbe area;

(f)    the road leading to Senior Chief Nsefu’s Palace; and

(g)    the road leading to Chief Mnkhanya’s Palace.

The Deputy Minister of Defence (Mr Mulenga): Mr Speaker, the mentioned feeder roads in Malambo Parliamentary Constituency, which fall under Unit 3, will be rehabilitated after the completion of the works in units 1 and 2. Currently, the Zambia National Service (ZNS) is rehabilitating feeder roads in three Parliamentary constituencies, namely:

(a)    Chipangali;

(b)    Chipata Central; and

(c)    Vubwi.

The three constituencies fall under units 1 and 2, as outlined on the prioritised schedule submitted by the Provincial Administration as follows:

Unit 1    Unit 2    Unit 3     Unit 4

Chipangali     Vubwi    Lumezi    Nyimba

Chipata Central    Chadiza    Lundazi    Kapoche

Kasenengwa    Milanzi    Chasefu    Petauke

Luangeni    Mkaika    Malambo    Sinda


I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shuma: Mr Speaker, while I appreciate the categories that have been outlined, it is important that I mention that we have emergencies in some areas where people are cut off from clinics and other essential services. In this regard, what is the Ministry of Defence doing to mitigate the situation in the interim?

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the hon. Member of Parliament for Malambo Constituency for bringing to our attention the state of the roads in his constituency and telling us where emergency services are needed. However, emergencies are not addressed using routine works, such as the ones I have spelt out. In emergencies where people are cut off from the rest of the districts, we can easily and quickly mobilise our officers from the ZNS and the necessary equipment taken to the affected areas so that works are executed on those spots. So, I can only promise that if there are such emergencies, we will move in.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr P. Phiri (Mkaika): Mr Speaker, ...

Mr Mtolo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, thank you for according me the chance to rise on this point of order.

Sir, on 15th March, 2013, this House debated and passed a Motion to remove the immunity of the Former Republican President, His Excellency Mr Rupiah Banda. Thereafter, Mr Banda was taken to court, but on 1st July, 2015, Chief Resident Magistrate Joshua Banda acquitted him of all the allegations levelled against him. Unfortunately, and this is common knowledge, the old Constitution did not have a clear provision on what to do in a case like that. However, the current Constitution is absolutely clear on the steps that should be taken. With your permission, I will quote Article 96(10):

“Where a court acquits the person who held the office of President or who performed executive functions, of an offence for which that person’s immunity from criminal proceedings was removed, the immunity of that person shall, for all purposes, be deemed not to have been removed, without further proceedings.”

Mr Speaker, whilst understanding that the law might not be applied in retrospect, this Clause guides us on the point of order raised on this matter yesterday by the hon. Member of Parliament for Chadiza Constituency, Hon. Mbewe. Is the hon. Minister of Justice, who is the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House, in order to allow the country to remain in a state of very serious anxiety on the status of the former President by not explaining the status of the Former President’s immunity to this House and the country at large? 

Sir, I seek your ruling.

Mr Speaker: My ruling is that you have read the relevant Constitutional provision. So, if there were any anxieties in any quarter of Zambian society concerning this matter, I would like to believe that they have been put to rest by the letter that you have quoted. If there are any doubts, impediments or challenges that a potential beneficiary of the provision might have about that position, it is possible for one to vindicate oneself in light of the state of the law. However, if our colleagues on the right are inclined to making a public pronouncement on the matter, I will give them the liberty to do so in the House. For now, however, may it suffice for me to say that you have laid everything bare. 

That is my ruling.

Mr P. Phiri: Mr Speaker, before the point of order was raised, I was about to ask the hon. Minister when the Government expected to move the equipment to Malambo Parliamentary Constituency. I want to know the exact quarter and year.

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for that question. 

Sir, in my earlier remarks, I stated that the officers will move to the constituencies under Unit 3 as soon as the works in the constituencies under units 1 and 2 have been completed. As regards the quarter in which that will happen, I want to say that we are currently in the rainy season. So, the works may be intermittent and the officers may not finish all of them in this quarter. However, the works in the three constituencies will definitely be completed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has outlined a good programme for the Eastern Province. Is the feeder road rehabilitation programme meant for the whole country? If so, could the hon. Deputy Minister avail this House the programme so that we are made aware of when our feeder roads will be worked on.

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

Sir, the programme is meant for the whole country and is planned to cover about 9,000 feeder roads in four years. We have already distributed the equipment to all the provinces, with each province getting, at least, three sets of earth-moving equipment. The programme was launched in the Western Province by Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning in December, 2015.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister confirm to me that enough money has been allocated to this programme and that the works will, therefore, not stall midway through.

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, the programme has been planned very well and funding has already been released by the Ministry of Finance. For the first phase, we have, so far, been given about K64 million. That is the money we are currently using. Once it is exhausted, we will get more funding from the Ministry of Finance for the second phase.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has appreciated the fact that Hon. Jacob Shuma, the Member of Parliament for Malambo, has brought to the ministry’s attention some areas that have been cut off from the rest of the country and that such areas require urgent attention. He has also said that the matter will be looked into. Will the Government’s rapid response to this matter be through the Rural Roads Unit (RRU) or is there a special unit that responds to emergency cases like this one?

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, it all depends on the situation. If our equipment in a given province is adequate and not committed to other projects, we can easily send it to an area that requires urgent attention. Obviously, that would cost us less than what sending equipment from another province or all the way from Lusaka would cost us. So, depending on the gravity of the emergency, we can even suspend routine works to move the equipment to another area. If that is the case in the area in question, that is what we will do.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, my question is on what was touched on by the hon. Member for Sikongo. Let me rephrase the question because the hon. Minister’s response did not answer it. 

Sir, the hon. Minister’s response implied that there are plans for the development of rural feeder roads at the constituency level. Is there any document that can be availed to us that indicates schedule for working on feeder roads throughout the country?

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, we have adopted a bottom-up approach in the planning of projects. It is the councils, of which hon. Members of Parliament are members, that prioritises the roads on which the Government should work. The priorities are, then, submitted to the District Commissioner (DC), the provincial administration and onward to us.

Sir, the 9,000 km of feeder roads that we intend to work on in four years are in phases. We have the list of roads to work on in the first phase and have sent equipment to the respective areas, where works have started. Therefore, if the hon. Member of Parliament for Nalikwanda did not make submissions to the provincial administration through his council, it will be very difficult for us to know the roads on which to work in the area. So, the ball is in his court. As area hon. Member of Parliament, he has to submit the roads that he wants worked on and we will oblige.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


250. Mr Ndalamei asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    whether the Government had any plans to construct a district hospital in Sikongo;

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

(c)    if there were no such plans, why.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Health has plans to construct a first-level hospital in Sikongo District during the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for 2017 to 2019. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


251. Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central) asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry:

(a)    what type of products were exported to Angola;

(b)    whether the Government had any plans to encourage people living along the border with Angola to export agricultural products to that country;

(c)    if so, what the plans were; and

(d)    when the plans would be implemented.

The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Mpundu): Mr Speaker, the products that Zambians exports to Angola are beans; groundnuts; bed mattresses; vegetables; maize; soya bean oil; chickens; rice; birds’ eggs for hatching; hammer mill parts; self-propelled bulldozers and angle dozers (re-exports); alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages; crushing or grinding machines for earth, stone and ores (re-exports); cereal flour; vehicles (re-exports); preserved sardines (kapenta); et cetera.

Mr Speaker, the Government is already encouraging the export of agricultural products to Angola and other countries not only by people living along the borders, but all Zambians who are willing to participate. Some of the measures the Government is putting in place to encourage are:

Bilateral Trade Agreement 

The Government has negotiated a bilateral trade agreement (BTA) with Angola to pave the way for preferential trade between the two countries, given that Angola is currently not part of the Southern African Development Community Free Trade Area (SADC-FTA). The signing ceremony was on 21st January, 2016, in Luanda, Angola. This agreement allows some products from Zambia to enter the Angolan Market duty-free and paves the way for the resuscitation of discussions on the memorandum of understanding (MoU) to be signed between Moxico Province in Angola and the North-Western Province of Zambia. The discussions stalled due to the absence of an implementation framework at the national level. Further, our Government is in discussions with the Angolan Government aimed at facilitating business linkages between Zambian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and their counterparts in Angola so as to encourage cross-border trade.

Development of the Lobito Corridor

Mr Speaker, the Government has mobilised a grant amounting to US$8.4 million under the African Development Fund (ADF) Regional Operation Envelope of the African Development Bank (AfDB) to support trade facilitation measures covering both rail and road components of the Lobito Corridor, as well as the development of value chains and economic clusters along the corridor in both Zambia and Angola. The following are the focus areas of the project:

(a)    promoting value chain development and participation of SMEs, particularly from the agricultural and construction sectors, in the supply chain of larger companies along the corridor. This will ensure inclusiveness and expand trade volumes to enhance utilisation of the corridor and amplify its development impact;

(b)    supporting marketing information or intelligence and business match-making to increase awareness of opportunities available in both Zambia and Angola, and facilitating networks and business partnerships;

(c)    supporting the implementation of a simplified trade regime (STR) for small-scale traders, including the establishment of trade information desks; and

(d)    developing business incubation programmes to support SMEs in agri-business and related industries in product aggregation, and access to inputs, market intelligence and capacity building, especially in moving up the value chain, such as grading, processing, packaging of products, attainment of standards et cetera. This will be done in collaboration with the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) and otter partners.

Mr Speaker, some of the plans are already being implemented, for example, the BTA, while others, such as the Lobito Corridor Project, are in the process of being finalised. For example, an aide memoire that outlines areas of support has been signed with the ADF of AfDB. The project document will be finalised by the first quarter of 2016 while the implementation of the project is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2016.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has given quite an elaborate …

Mr Mutelo: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, I am sorry for disturbing my neighbour’s debate.

Sir, in Part I of the amended Constitution, Clause 2 states:

“An act or omission that contravenes this Constitution is illegal.”

Mr Speaker: Could you, please, repeat that.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, Part I, Clause 2 of the Constitution states:

“An act or omission that contravenes this Constitution is illegal.”

Sir, I have gone through this Constitution to the last page and I have not seen a provision for the appointment of Deputy Ministers …

Mr Speaker: Of what?

Mr Mutelo: Of Deputy Ministers.

Sir, hon. Cabinet Ministers and Provincial Ministers are provided for while the Deputy Ministers are not.

Hon. Opposition Members laughed.

Mr Mutelo: Are the hon. Deputy Ministers seated here legally or illegally? I just seek your indulgence on the matter. Maybe, that is why Hon. Ching’imbu is now the Minister for the North-Western Province while his colleague has become the hon. Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing.

Mr Speaker: When you read the Constitution, you should read it conjunctively with the other documents. 


Mr Speaker: We pasted two documents, namely, Act No.16 and Act No. 17, which are now Act No. 1 and Act No. 2 of 2016. Read them together.

Generally speaking, let us find time, as political parties, to go through what we did here …


Mr Speaker: … last year.


Mr Speaker: Let us go through those documents. We are still Legislators until May, 2016. Organise in-house seminars and consultations …


Mr Speaker: … and engage lawyers or legal practitioners to help you go through both documents because they are all important. I do not want to get too involved in these matters because my voice is limited by convention. I just preside over the House.

That is my ruling.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has made an elaborate response to the questions raised. However, many of the things to which he has referred exist only on paper, meaning that they are untraceable on the ground.


Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, which of the plans that the hon. Minister said were implemented will specifically benefit the people in the rural areas of the Western Province along the border with Angola? In case the hon. Minister is not aware, there is illegal trade between Angola and Zambia, which should be prevented. 

Mr Mpundu: Mr Speaker, it is the first plan, the BTA, that will benefit the people. Before it was put into force on either side of the border, the traders used to pay duties. Since 21st January, 2016, however, traders on both sides of the border do not have to pay duty on all the negotiated products, which are about 3,000 tariff lines. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has enumerated a number of initiatives aimed at trade facilitation between the two countries. However, even a first-year student of economics will tell you that easy movement of people and goods between the two trading partners is essential for trade to flourish, and one thorny issue that is vexing trade between Zambia and Angola is the visa requirement for the citizens of the two countries to move from one country to the other. What efforts have been made to address this issue in view of the ‘regional integration’ catch phrase?

Mr Mpundu: Mr Speaker, the visa issue has been addressed through the BTA, which will facilitate the free movement of the two peoples.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, I am glad to hear that Zambia and Angola have finally signed a bilateral trade agreement (BTA), and I congratulate the Government on that.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: It was long overdue. 

That said, what domestic efforts are in place to sensitise the small and micro entrepreneurs along the borders on the provisions of the BTA so that they take full advantage of this trade agreement, especially considering that one of the barriers that exists between Zambia and Angola is that of language? Many of our people cannot speak Portuguese. Likewise, many Angolans cannot speak English.

Mr Mpundu: Mr Speaker, funds have been made available out of the US$8.4 million to support market information and sensitisation on opportunities that exist in both countries under the Lobito Corridor Project. The other issues can also be addressed under that facility.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, if, today, I wanted to go to Mushiko, Luena, in Angola where I hail from, would I need a visa?

Mr Mpundu: Mr Speaker, there are two types of visas. For example, if you travel to Kenya, which is a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), you may be given a courtesy visa, meaning that you do not pay anything. However, I have made it clear that the movement of people between Zambia and Angola will be free. Therefore, what would the purpose of a visa be? One might only be required to produce a courtesy one, which is obtained free of charge.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, is it yet free or will it be in the future? I ask this question because people who live along the borders with Angola and take cattle to that country are normally arrested on charges of being illegal immigrants. 

Mr Mpundu: Mr Speaker, effective 21st January, this year, the movement of people between the two countries is free.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


252. Mr Mbewe asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    how many anti-retroviral therapy centres had been established in Chadiza Parliamentary Constituency, as of 31st January, 2015; and 

(b)    of the centres above, how many were operational.

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, Chadiza District has six anti-retroviral therapy (ART) centres, namely, Chadiza District Hospital, and Chikoma, Miti, Sindamisale, Taferansoni and Sazu rural health centres. 

Mr Speaker, the ART centres in Chadiza Constituency are operational.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I do not understand what the hon. Deputy Minister is talking about because Sindamisale is not in Chadiza. However, I will not go into details because he is my friend. 

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member for Chadiza, I know that we need light moments, but I assume that you have a question, a serious one, regardless of your personal relationship with the hon. Minister. Let us keep it that way because we are transacting official business and you are representing your constituency.

You may continue.

Mr Mbewe: Sir, the hon. Minister’s response is wrong because the clinics that he has mentioned are not in Chadiza.

Mr Speaker: What is your question?

Mr Mbewe: Two of the clinics that he has mentioned are in Vubwi, not Chadiza, and I cannot accept information that concerns Vubwi Constituency when I asked about my constituency. I need information that pertains to Chadiza.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Are you through?

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, yes. I need answers that pertain to Chadiza.


Mr Speaker: We know about the need for answers, but are you through asking?

Mr Mbewe: Yes, Sir.

Mr Speaker: That is all.


The Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, I appreciate not only the question, which is very important, but also the vigour with which the question was expressed. 

Prof. Luo: And the ugly face that he made.


Dr Kasonde: Sir, although I cannot match the level of the questioner’s vigour, I can certainly say that we have it on record that the mentioned centres serviced Chadiza before and after the separation of the two areas.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Chadiza has put it to the hon. Minister on the Floor of the House that the mentioned centres are not in his constituency. What is the actual position?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I must congratulate the hon. Member on creating a problem where there was none.


Dr Kasonde: It is in that light that I must repeat what I said. Initially, Vubwi was part of Chadiza. So, when we talk of the institutions that served Chadiza before and after the split, the centres I have presented are accurate.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, in light of the separation of Vubwi from Chadiza, is it possible for the hon. Minister to bring the correct answer to the hon. Member of Parliament so that the hon. Member can fulfil his representative role? I appreciate the fact that the information the ministry has might have been collected before the district was split.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, on the guidance of our colleague from Chadiza, I will also be gentle with the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central, since we share a birthplace. So, I will take the point he has raised, but still draw the House’s attention to the fact that, as changes in our districts have taken place, the services have also had to be adjusted. Some of them have already been adjusted while others are yet to be. That is the environment in which we are operating.

I thank you, Sir. 


253. Mr Miyutu asked the Minister of General Education: 

(a)    what measures the Government had taken to enhance the retention of teachers working  in rural areas;

(b)    whether the Government had a policy on the number of years a teacher must work at one station before being transferred to another;

(c)    if so, what the duration was; and 

(d)    whether the policy was enforced to the letter. 

The Deputy Minister of General Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, the ministry is effecting several proactive measures to enhance the retention of teachers working in rural areas, such as construction of staff houses. For example, currently, we have 115 boarding secondary schools under construction. For each of those schools, which twenty staff houses will also be built. In addition, as part of their terms and conditions of service, the Government, through the Payroll Management and Establishment Control (PMEC) Office, pays teachers rural and remote hardship allowances to compensate them for the hardships they face. The Government also introduced the Public Service Micro Finance Company (PSMFC), which has been providing loans to teachers, some of whom have used the loans to build houses. Further, the ministry has embarked on the continuous professional development of teachers, including those in rural areas. For example, currently, 2,975 teachers are being trained through a fast-track programme at various universities in this country. 

Sir, yes, the Government has a policy on the number of years a teacher on first appointment must work at one station before being transferred to another. The number of years is two.

Sir, the Ministry of General Education has been strictly enforcing the policy on the number of years a teacher on first appointment must serve at a particular station prior to being transferred. However, there are several exceptional grounds, such as marriages or illnesses, that can necessitate transfers before the two years have been served.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, in Zambia, the Government finds it very easy to give theoretical answers, but …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member for Kalabo Central, just help me understand what you are saying by telling me what theoretical answers are. 

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, theoretical answers are answers that are not workable or not attainable. 


Mr Speaker: You may continue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that, in many incidences, the Government policy of requiring a teacher to serve for two years at one station before being transferred to another is not being adhered to? Some teachers are being transferred to stations of their choice before they even report to their station of deployment. Is he aware of that? If he is, how will he curb the vice? 

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I do not know why Hon. Miyutu said that I gave theoretical answers when I mentioned the construction of 115 secondary schools and twenty staff houses for each of the schools in my answer. I can give another example of Sikongo, a part of Kalabo District, where we are building a secondary school and twenty staff houses will be built. I also said that the rural and remote hardship allowances are part of the conditions of service for teachers in rural areas. If I gave a theoretical answer, can he tell me whether the teachers in the rural areas of Kalabo do not receive the rural and remote hardship allowances. I further said that we are providing continuous professional development to 2,975 teachers across the country, and that some teachers from Kalabo are befitting from this programme. So, what theoretical answer is he referring to? I do not understand him. 

Sir, in answer to part (b) of the question, I said that the ministry has been strictly enforcing the policy on the number of years a teacher must serve at a particular station before seeking a transfer to another station. However, I also stated that there are exceptional grounds for which teachers may be transferred before the two years elapse. For example, if a person gets married or has a medical condition, we do not expect him or her to serve two years in a particular station. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned illness and marriage as two examples of conditions under which a teacher can be transferred to another station before two years have elapsed. Under what circumstances does the ministry transfer teachers to a school that does not exist, such as Mbabala Secondary School? Teachers keep being transferred to that school, but it does not actually exist. 

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, unfortunately, I am not aware of that situation. If that really happened, then, it was an omission that I can investigate. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, many teachers are being transferred from rural areas to urban areas on the basis of marriage, and I thank the Government for deploying forty-five teachers to Mitete this year. However, how many of the forty-five will remain in Mitete by the end of the year? I think that it will be only ten. Therefore, what is the ministry doing to ensure that people in rural areas marry teachers in the urban areas …


Mr Mutelo: … so that we can also see the migration of teachers from urban to rural areas? It seems that the marriages are only between rural teachers and urban people. Will the ministry effect measures to encourage the transfer of teachers from urban areas to rural areas? I ask this question because no matter how many teachers are deployed to Mitete, eventually, they will all come back to Lusaka. 


Mr Speaker: I do not think that it would be in order for me to allow the hon. Minister to answer the question because it is beyond him.  

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, one of the issues that cause teachers to leave the rural areas is that such areas do not have electricity. While I know that there is a Government policy to electrify all schools in rural areas, a number of rural schools, especially those in Chongwe, have still not been electrified. Do the ministries of General Education, and Energy and Water Development have a time frame for the electrification of all the schools in rural areas? 

The Minister of General Education (Dr Phiri): Mr Speaker, there is no time frame because the demand is quite high. However, let me hasten to say that apart from not having electricity in our schools, there are other factors that contribute to the movement of teachers from rural to urban areas. Those other factors cannot just be ignored. Suffice it for me to say that we are confident that we will electrify as many schools as possible in collaboration with the Rural Electrification Authority (REA).  

I thank you, Sir. 

Bishop Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, fourteen teachers were deployed to Kalobelo School in my constituency. Unfortunately, currently, the school only has two teachers while the other twelve just use it as a pay point. Is it possible for the hon. Minister to sort out problems like this one in many other rural schools? 

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, the issue that Hon. Bishop Lt-Gen Shikapwasha has raised is very pertinent and we are aware of the predicament regarding the gazetting of schools and their establishments countrywide. In this regard, we are currently taking stock of our teachers and have already discovered that quite a large number of them are not in places where they are supposed to be. So, the ministry, the Public Service Management Division (PSMD) and the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) will soon take appropriate action. The situation is quite a worrying, but we think we can put it to rest as soon as possible. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Sianga (Sesheke): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister clarify for me what a rural school is. I ask this question because some teachers in rural schools receive the rural hardship and remote hardship allowances while others do not. 

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I saw this question coming. So, let me spend a little more time explaining the rural and remote hardship allowances for the benefit of hon. Members of Parliament, who can, in turn, help us to educate the communities in which our schools are. 

Sir, the rural hardship and remote hardship allowances are aimed at compensating teachers who work in rural or remote areas for the hardships they face, and are part of their terms and conditions of service. The rural hardship allowance is paid at 20 per cent of a teacher’s basic salary while the remote hardship allowance is paid at 25 per cent. For purposes of paying the two allowances, a rural station is one that is between 30 and 70 km from the nearest district, for Category A; 25 and 70 km, for Category B; 20 and 70 km, for Category C; and 15 and 70 km, for Category D. A remote station, on the other hand, is one that is over 70 km from the nearest district, for categories A, B and C, and over 15 km, for Category D. As the House might be aware, we have about 93,000 teachers countrywide. Therefore, to enforce such guidelines becomes problematic at times. However, this does not mean that we are not on top of things. We try, as much as possible, to use the guidelines to give our teachers what they deserve even though, at times, we run into difficulties, which our officers resolve from day to day. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


254. Mr Kasandwe (Bangweulu) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a)    whether the Government had any plans to improve the water reticulation system in Samfya District;

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

(c)    if there were no such plans, why.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr N. Banda): Mr Speaker, the Government has plans to improve the water supply and sanitation situation in Samfya District. 

Sir, the Government has already engaged the African Development Bank (AfDB) to finance the rehabilitation and construction of water and sanitation infrastructure in Samfya District. The bank has just undertaken its preparatory mission to Samfya and, once it approves the project proposal, the implementation of the project will commence in the third quarter of this year. 

I thank you, Sir. 


255. Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo asked the Minister of Information and Broadcasting when the Government would present the Access to Information Bill to Parliament for enactment. 

The Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Mr Tembo): Mr Speaker, the Government will present the Access to Information Bill to Parliament for enactment as soon as the Cabinet approval processes have been completed. The ministry has already submitted the final draft Bill and proposed amendments to the thirteen laws to the Ministry of Justice for clearance, as per procedure. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that brief response. 

Mr Speaker, why, after so many promises to this House, has the Bill still not been presented? The time frame in which the Government promised to present it has elapsed. Why has the Bill taken so long to go through the drafting process and get cleared by the Ministry of Justice?

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Mr Kambwili): Mr Speaker, first and foremost, it must be noted that calls for the presentation of the Bill did not start in the last four years, and I know of a Government that was in power for twenty years without presenting the Bill. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: We, on the other hand, have taken some steps towards presenting it. However, like we have said before, the Bill is very sensitive and needs to be approached with care because it is in conflict with many Acts in the Constitution. 

Sir, like the hon. Deputy Minister said, we have identified thirteen Acts that need to be harmonised with the Bill, namely: 

(a)    the Interpretation of the General Provisions Act, Cap 2 of the Laws of Zambia;

(b)    the Zambia Security Intelligence Service Act (1998), Cap 14 of the Laws of Zambia;

(c)    the State Security Act, Cap 11 of the Laws of Zambia;

(d)    the Penal Code, Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia;

(e)    the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act, Cap 112 of the Laws of Zambia;

(f)    the Defamation Act, Cap 68 of the Laws of Zambia;

(g)    the Protected Places and Areas Act, Cap 125 of the Laws of Zambia;

(h)    the Census and Statistics Act, Cap 127 of the Laws of Zambia;

(i)    the Official Oaths Act, Cap 5 of the Laws of Zambia;

(j)    the Copyright and Performance Act, Cap 406 of the Laws of Zambia;

(k)    the National Archives Act, Cap 175 of the Laws of Zambia;

(l)    the Electronic Communication and Transaction Act (2009), Cap 21 of the Laws of Zambia; and 

(m)    the Information and Communication Technology Act (2015), Cap 15 of the Laws of Zambia.

Sir, we need to harmonise these laws in order for us to present a well-thought-out Bill to this House.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, notwithstanding the fact that there have been several administrations that have failed to present that piece of legislation to this House, it is gratifying to hear the hon. Minister say that it is still a work in progress. 

Sir, we all have limited time in this House because we are about to go and seek fresh mandates from the people of this country. Is it the intention of the Government to present the Bill before Parliament is dissolved or is it waiting to try to get another mandate before doing that?

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, Zambia will not come to an end after the General Elections that will take place this year. Therefore, we will leave it to the technocrats to do their job diligently. 

I thank you, Sir.


256.    Mr Hamusonde asked the Minister of Tourism and Arts: 

(a)    whether the Isangano National Park in the Northern Province was operational;

(b)    if not, what measures the Government was taking to resuscitate the operations of the Park; and 

(c)    what factors had led to the decline in the operations of the park.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism and Arts (Mr P. Ngoma): Mr Speaker, before I proceed, let me briefly give information on the location of the park.

Sir, Isangano National Park is located in Luwingu and Kasama districts, Northern Province, Zambia. It covers 840 km. 

Sir, while the park is currently operational, it is facing some challenges in its operations, which include inadequate funds, manpower and basic infrastructure, such as roads and accommodation for staff. In addition, there is a decline in the wildlife population due to poaching and human encroachment on the park.

Sir, the Government, through the Ministry of Tourism and Arts, will increase support to all national parks, including Isangano, to improve its operations. 

Mr Speaker, I have already stated the factors that led to the decline in the operations of the park. However, we are confident that adequate funding to the sector will provide sufficient infrastructure. That will, in turn, attract investors to the tourism sector.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, why is the Government failing to control poachers in national parks when that is being successfully done in other countries, such as Botswana?

Mr P. Ngoma: Mr Speaker, the problem is that of inadequate manpower. However, the ministry has had a discussion with the Ministry of Defence to assist in that regard. When the discussions have been concluded, we will be able to increase the manpower to protect our national parks.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, what does the hon. Deputy Minister mean when he says that the ministry has been talking to the Defence Forces? Does it intend to use soldiers in place of game guards due to the absence of manpower that he has spoken of? If that is the intention, I am worried because soldiers and game guards undergo different kinds of training. So, will the ministry capacitate soldiers, lieutenants and colonels, to go into game parks and protect our wildlife?

The Minister of Tourism and Arts (Ms Kapata): Mr Speaker, poachers are becoming more sophisticated and are using a lot of sophisticated equipment, such as airplanes, and techniques that Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) officers do not have. We have intercepted people trying to smuggle animals out of Zambia.
I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, firstly, the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central wanted confirmation that you will deploy soldiers into national parks and, secondly, if so, will you train them for that role?

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, we will not deploy soldiers, but simply seek their support. In the Southern African region, most countries are using their armed forces to combat poaching and Zambia has sent missions to other countries to learn from what is obtaining there. We think that if we engage the armed forces, we will be able to control poaching in this country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: And the second part?

Ms Kapata: What was the second part?

Mr Speaker: It is about training soldiers.

Ms Kapata: Well, soldiers are already trained, Sir.


Ms Kapata: We can only train them on how to protect the animals because they are already trained in other aspects.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister read a long list of problems that affect the national park. Looking at what she said, everything boils down to insufficient funding. So, when does this Government hope to actually inject money into that national park to resuscitate its operations?

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, a time frame cannot be given because our resource envelope is small. We have other priorities. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, I am still interested in the ministry’s desire to use the armed forces in protecting wildlife in the national parks. 

Sir, the hon. Minister has said that the ministry wants to adopt some practices of other countries in the Southern African region. Given that we market Zambia to other countries in the region in many ways, and one of the things that we consider first is peace, does she not think that the use of military personnel in the national park will undermine tourism, since national parks are one of the major tourism investment areas in the country?

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, the use of Defence Forces has nothing to do with the way Zambia should be marketed. The reason for using them is that they have sophisticated equipment that ZAWA does not have. The Wildlife Department does not have helicopters. There are some people who wanted to donate equipment to the department, but they could not do so because there was no agreement between the parties. On the other hand, the prospective donors have an agreement with the armed forces for supplying equipment. That is why we need to enhance the use of armed forces. 

I thank you, Sir.

Bishop Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, at the risk of making a statement, I would like to tell the hon. Minister that the defence forces are trained to fight wars and kill animals for food. 


Mr Speaker: That is news.


Bishop Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, I know that the model in Botswana has worked well. However, it has failed in other areas where it has been tried. The only reason it has worked well in Botswana is that the President of that country has taken a personal interest in ensuring its success. Do we have the political will to run a similar programme here, in Zambia?

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, I want to put it on record that the directive to use the armed forces in wildlife protection was made by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu. Even when he came to open Parliament, he mentioned that. So, the political will is there. Therefore, the hon. Member should not ask me whether there is political will as though he is asking …

Mr Speaker: You have already answered the question.


Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that the ministry wants to request the armed forces’ help because poachers are now using sophisticated equipment. Has the ministry investigated the source of that sophisticated equipment?

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, we do not need to undertake a study …


Ms Kapata: … to know the source of poaching. The evidence is there and we have many examples. If the hon. Member wants to know more information on the matter, he should file in a new question and I will give it to him. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, let us put matters into perspective. 

The question is not whether or not sophisticated equipment or weapons are being used, but rather the source of that equipment. The hon. Member wants to know if any study has been directed towards identifying the source of the equipment, not its deployment.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, the source is our neighbouring countries, but I do not want to mention the names of the countries. There are aeroplanes that come into Zambia from our neighbouring countries flying very low so that they are not detected by the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) radar. Such an incident is on record, and I am sure that the hon. Member knows about it because he reads newspapers.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, since the hon. Minister knows the source of the sophisticated equipment, what is the Government doing to nip the practice in bud? I ask this because it is a danger to Zambia’s security. 


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Members on the right!

If you want to assist your colleague, you are entitled to do so, but it should be in an appropriate manner, not simply bursting out whilst seated. We do not transact our business that way. You can send a note to your colleague if you want to help her. 

Ms Kapata: Sir, there is no need for anyone to help me. 

Mr Speaker, firstly, I want to mention that we are actually contacting the concerned countries through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Secondly, once we catch the culprit, we impound their equipment. The Government of the Republic of Zambia seized one aeroplane involved in such operations recently. 

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, …

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

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I apologise to the hon. Member who was on the Floor for disrupting her debate. 

Sir, there is a categorical difference between stealing, and I apologise for using that unparliamentary word, and poaching. The equipment that the hon. Minister is referring to, the one she assumes we all know about, is an aeroplane that was used by South Africans who had come to airlift or steal animals. Is the hon. Minister in order not to answer Hon. Lufuma’s question, which was on the source of the sophisticated equipment used by poachers? The question is specifically related to poachers, not thieves. The plane that the Government impounded belongs to thieves who violated our air space and attempted to take Impalas to their country. In my view, that was totally different from poaching. 

I seek your serious ruling, Sir.    

Mr Speaker: I think we are having difficulties. The first one is on procedure. I will be very slow to allow points of order that are used to overcome the difficulty of a failure to follow up a question. So, if the hon. Member wants to follow up a matter, but he or she has used his or her chance already, he or she can pass it to a colleague. 

The second problem is the way the hon. Member has paraphrased the question. I, for one, think that the question asked by the hon. Member for Kabompo West was very general, and I understood it to have been concerned with the source of the equipment. The hon. Member for Mazabuka Central has gone further and refined the distinction between poaching and stealing, which is totally extraneous to the hon. Member for Kabompo West’s question. The clarification was good and I commend him for that gracious undertaking. 

Let us continue.

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, does the hon. Minister not think that it would have been prudent for her ministry to capacitate the game guards with sophisticated equipment so that they can counter the poachers instead of running to other organs, which were created for different purposes altogether?

 Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, shockingly, under the law, when a wildlife officer kills a poacher, he is charged with murder, but when a wildlife officer is killed by poachers, he is said to have died on duty. Therefore, we need to correct the law that governs the wildlife sector in this country. Until we do that, we will be just at the same level, and that is why we have taken the additional step. In Botswana, the law that governs the wildlife sector is very stiff. So, people do not poach anyhow. In fact, most people who go to poach in Botswana and our other neighbouring countries are Zambians.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Mr Speaker: Again, I will take you back, hon. Minister. The hon. Member for Namwala is asking whether it would not have been more appropriate for the ministry to capacitate the staff currently managing the game parks so that they can attain the levels of sophistication needed to deal with sophisticated poachers instead of falling back on the Defence Forces.

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, funds allowing, we will go that way. Currently, however, we do not have the funds.

I thank you, Sir.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, one of the responses from the hon. Minister on the issue of planes coming into our country to poach was that …


Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Sir, I am seeking clarification.

Mr Speaker: Let us have some silence. I am struggling to follow the hon. Member’s question.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I seek clarification on the hon. Minister’s claim that aeroplanes from our neighbouring countries evade our radars. Is it a general occurrence? Is she saying that we do not have sufficient security facilities to detect breaches of our air space, and that anybody can come into our country and conduct illegal activities undetected?

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, it is a known fact that when aeroplanes fly very low, they are not detected by radar. The hon. Member is a General. Therefore, he should know what I am talking about.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!  

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that when a game guard kills a poacher, it is considered murder. What charge is slapped on a soldier who kills a poacher?


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, that question does not arise because the armed forces have not yet gone into the game parks.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that when a game guard kills a poacher, it is treated as murder, but when a poacher kills a game guard, such an officer is said to have died on duty. Is she saying that a poacher who is caught after killing a game guard is not charged with poaching or murder? Is it what the law says in Zambia?

Ms Kapata: Sir, when the poachers are caught, they are charged with poaching. However, mostly, when poachers kill wildlife officers, they run away. In short, they get away with the crime.
 I thank you, Sir.




The Minister of Justice (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1703 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 11th February, 2016.