Tuesday, 15th November, 2016

Printer Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, 15th November, 2016


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












Mr Speaker: I have three announcements to make.


Firstly, I wish to inform the House that in the absence of Her Honour the Vice-President, who is attending to other Government Business, the hon. Chief Whip, Mr Richard Musukwa, MP, has been appointed Acting Leader of Government Business in the House from today, Tuesday, 15th November, 2016, until further notice.


Thank you.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Speaker: Secondly, following the appointment of Hon Mulenga Kampamba, MP, as Minister of Information and Broadcasting, I wish to inform the House that Ms Olipa Phiri Mwansa, MP, has been appointed to replace her as a Member of the Southern African Development Community – Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF). 


I thank you.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Speaker: Thirdly, I wish to inform the House that I have permitted the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to convene a consultative meeting with hon. Members of Parliament on the Revised Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Guidelines. This meeting will be held on 21st November, 2016, in the Amphitheatre at 09:30 hours. The meeting will be held on voluntary basis.


All Members are requested to attend this very important meeting.


Thank you.








The Minister of home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, I want to sincerely thank you for according me this opportunity to render a ministerial statement on the issue of mounting traffic check points by our security wings.


Sir, I would like to state, once again, that this topical issue I am about to present to the House today has been with us for a long time.


Mr Speaker, over the last few weeks, my ministry has received numerous complaints from the members of the public regarding the disproportionate security and traffic check points which they have been subjected to by the security wings, and in this case, the Zambia Police Service.


Sir, while the security and traffic checkpoints are essential to the promotion of compliance with traffic laws and regulations as well as successful security management, they can be an inconvenience to motorists, and also substantially add to the cost of doing business in the country.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, to address the problem of insensate traffic check points, my ministry has directed the Zambia Police Service to rationalise the management of security and traffic check points without compromising compliance with traffic laws and regulations and public security. To this effect, the Zambia Police Service has reduced on the number of permanent security and traffic check points throughout the country from eighty-one to forty strategic points.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the permanent security points province by province are as follows:


Lusaka Province


  1. Kafue Bridge on the Great North Road – South of Lusaka;


  1. Makeni Turn-off along Mumbwa Road;


(c)     Chirundu/Siavonga Junction; and


  1. Chalimbana, popularly known as Moono Turn off.


Copperbelt Province


  1. Kafulafuta;


  1. Sabina;


(c)     Mukambo;


  1. Sakanya;


  1. Luanshya/Kitwe Road/Ndola Junction;


  1. Kafue Bridge along Kitwe/Ndola Dual Carriage Way;


  1. Solwezi/Chingola/Chililabombwe Junction; and


  1. Kasumbalesa.


Central Province


  1. Chisamba;


  1. Kapiri Mposhi on the Great North Road;


  1. Nangoma on Mumbwa Road; and


  1. Ndabala.


Northern Province


  1. Nkole Mfumu on the Kasama/ Mpika Road;


  1. Kasesha; and


(c)     Luwingu.


Muchinga Province


  1. Nakonde/ Mbala Turn-Off;


  1. Isoka/Mafinga Turn-Off;


(c)     Chinsali/Nambuluma Police Station; and


  1. Mpika Weigh Bridge.


Western Province


  1. Kasaya along Livingstone Road;


  1. Sioma Bridge; and


(c)     Lealui Junction along Kalabo Road.


Luapula Province


  1. Musaila/Serenje/Samfya/Mansa Junction;


  1. Luwingu/Mansa Road at Chipili Police Post;


(c)        Mwense/Mbereshi Road Junction; and


  1.      Nchelenge/Mbereshi Road Junction.


Eastern Province


  1. Kacholola, along the Great Road;


  1. Lundazi/Chipata Road;


(c)        Chanida Border Post between Zambia and Mozambique; and


  1.       Mwami Border between Zambia and Malawi.


North Western Province


  1. Mutanda Junction in Solwezi;


  1. Kapijimpanga,  along Solwezi Road; and


(c)        St. Dorothy, along Chingola/Solwezi Road.


Southern Province


  1. Livingstone Weigh Bridge;


  1. Zawa Gate along Nakatindi Road; and


  1. Mazabuka at 10 Miles.


Mr Speaker, since security and traffic checkpoints are an essential tool, like I stated earlier on, for fighting and monitoring crime, the Zambia Police Service may mount a security and traffic checkpoint, as dictated by the security situation. However, members of the general public may only expect security checkpoints at the points given in this statement. My ministry shall put up advertisements in the electronic and print media informing the members of the general public on the sensitive areas where the security and traffic checkpoints might be permanently mounted.


To complement these security and traffic checkpoints, the Zambia Police Service will intensify motorised patrols on highways. This is to ensure that there is compliance by road users. The police have also trained more riders through police training schools to enhance these motorised patrols.


Mr Speaker, in the recent past, we have also witnessed, with dismay, the incidents of harassment of traffic police officers by motorists. One incident occurred just a day ago when a female police traffic officer was attacked by male drunken motorists. This is a situation that my ministry and, indeed, the Government shall not condone. I want to condemn such acts, in the strongest terms, and wish to warn anyone found harassing officers that the law shall take its course. In the same vein, I appeal to my traffic officers to ensure that they deal with members of the public with courtesy and respect.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. 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 of Home Affairs.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister’s predecessor came to this House and made a similar statement on the Floor. He assured the nation that roadblocks would not be mounted randomly by the Zambia Police Service. However, this instruction was ignored with impunity and the then hon. Minister of Home Affairs had to come back to this House to apologise.


What assurance is the hon. Minister giving this House that his instruction to the Zambia Police Service will not be ignored with impunity, taking into account the caveat to the statement that has been made that the Zambia Police Service, in its prudent examination, will mount roadblocks at anytime? Does the hon. Minister not think that the Zambia Police Service will use this to mount roadblocks anywhere and at anytime, without seeking authority from the hon. Minister?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, indeed, my predecessor started working on this matter. All I have simply done is pick it up from where he left off. We consulted extensively. In fact, this morning, I was discussing with my counterpart from the Ministry of Communication and Transport, who also has portfolio functions of regulating highway management. We had to get the Zambia Police Service itself to work out this schedule that I have given you.


Hon. Jack Mwiimbu, this should be a collective responsibility. I know that you are being inconvenienced in one way or the other as well. So, this should not be left to the hon. Minister of Home Affairs alone. I will make available this schedule to you, hon. Members, through your pigeonholes, so that where there is defiance in terms of compliance, you can notify me in real-time.


Mr Speaker, we have some permanent checkpoints in existence. However, the ones I am talking about are those that are mounted anyhow. For example, as you come from Lusaka, there is a permanent checkpoint at Kabangwe, but as you move from this point to the Daughters of Mary Immaculate (DMI)-Saint Eugene, you find another checkpoint mounted. As you move from DMI-Saint Eugene to Chisamba, there is another checkpoint mounted just after 10 Miles. These are the checkpoints that will not be entertained.


Mr Speaker, I would like to assure Hon. Mwiimbu that the checkpoints that we will permit must be prompted by a real security need. We will not entertain a situation where someone just wakes up and goes to mount a checkpoint, knowing very well that there are permanent checkpoints in-between. These are the ones I am calling counterproductive and unjustifiable. It will be incumbent upon everyone, including the general public, to report such checkpoints. As I said in my statement, we will publish the schedule both in the print and electronic media so that people are aware. If anyone mounts a checkpoint in a place that is not in the schedule, the public should notify us and we will crack the whip.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, my question has been asked by Hon. Jack Mwiimbu, however, could the hon. Minister clarify whether this statement includes checkpoints mounted by the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA).


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the checkpoints by the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) are included. What will happen is that RTSA, which is the regulator, will collaborate with the Zambia Police Service.


Like I said, my colleague from the Ministry of Communication and Transport and I have been meeting to try to provide direction so that these two units work in harmony and complement each other with regards to managing the highways. So, there will be nothing like finding a checkpoint mounted by RTSA at one point and another mounted by the Zambia Police Service at another. They will work on the same checkpoints and this is how it shall be.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that he has just picked up from where his predecessor, Hon. Mwila, left off. With regards to the defiance or failure of this programme to succeed, has the hon. Minister interrogated the situation to find out why there was defiance by the law enforcers in mounting roadblocks anywhere they wished?


Also, some have argued that the motivation for officers to mount roadblocks was to attend to domestic needs by collecting money from motorists whose vehicles might have been defective and instead of impounding the vehicles, they would compromise and get money for immediate need at home, which is basically corruption. 


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the process was not concluded then. This schedule I have brought today was not done. There was a directive to lessen the number of checkpoints, but this process we have just concluded was not done. We were going into a very interesting period of electioneering, and so, the police had justification to continue mounting checkpoints as they did.


Mr Speaker, as for the other aspect of corruption, at this juncture, I do not think it should be a blame game because the police stand on the road and who induces them to take the money? It is a member of the public who pulls money from the pocket to give the police officers. He or she is equally party to this corruption. So, this is time to rectify this challenge. The members of the public must know and understand that they can stop corruption at these checkpoints because they are party to it. It is incumbent upon all of us to play a role in sensitising members of the public to ensure that they move with vehicles that are road worthy so that they avoid this issue of money exchanging hands.


Going forward, we are also making sure that we put measures in place to lessen the exchange of monies between individuals. We have done it in the process of getting passports. People deposit money in an account instead of giving cash to officers. We want to introduce motorised patrols. If the police stop a motorist and find him or her wanting, they can charge him or her. The work relationship between the Zambia Police Service and the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) will be such that if someone is charged and is expected to pay a fine, the police do not need to get the money there and then because RTSA has got the data base for all the motorists. The details of the offender can be dug from there and they can, then, followed up. Those are the issues we are pursuing to lessen the issue of money exchanging hands.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, we have been at this point before. I remember when I took up command on the Copperbelt, we stopped these checkpoints and it took effect. When I took up national command of our police service, we stopped the mounting of checkpoints for a few months. I congratulate the hon. Minister for doing the same. Knowing him as I do, I believe that what he has said will be. Will the Ministry of Home Affairs pick a leaf from the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) and put up proper working facilities, toilets inclusive, as the appearance of the checkpoints is an eyesore.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, we are using what His Excellency has called a multi-sectoral approach to resolving national matters. Our colleague, the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development was just discussing with us on how we will put up facilities on the highways. I have noticed that there is damage caused on the roads where we are putting up these check points. The stress on the roads caused by the weight of the vehicles exerted on one point is there for everyone to see. We will start by getting the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure, under Hon. Chitotela, to re-engineer these portions so that, as they remain permanent checkpoints, the damage that is being caused on the roads can reduce.


Sir, when we say that checkpoints mounted anyhow are counterproductive, people might not realise that eventually, those points where checkpoints are mounted will be damaged and the money needed to repair them will be more than the money collected from those points. We are also looking forward to utilising the points where the Road Development Agency (RDA) will mount the toll gates. They will be one-stop points. The police will check for whatever they want to check on a vehicle while the driver of the vehicle pays toll fees at the toll gate. These are the future plans of how we will deal with these matters in a multi-sectoral way with other line ministries.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, between Kabwe and Lusaka, there are about nine if not ten checkpoints, speed traps and the presence of Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) officials. As a result, it is now taking about four hours to get into Lusaka. The points at which these roadblocks are mounted have become seriously warped. In fact, this has become dangerous because in trying to avoid the police officers at these checkpoints, motorists are over speeding in a quest to bypass them. How soon will the hon. Minister’s directive be effected? I know that as he was giving this ministerial statement, there was a group of police officers in vanettes heading towards Kabwe trying to beef up the ten checkpoints. Instead of standing in places where they can be conspicuous, they hide so that they can waylay motorists. I have seen an instance where a police officer ran from the bush trying to stop a vehicle by waving his hands.


Can the hon. Minister, kindly confirm to us how soon this directive will be effected because we cannot wait to get some of the checkpoints off the road. Sometimes, we have police officers from Lusaka fighting with those from Kabwe over who should be where. At Landless Corner, the road has become seriously damaged because there are two check points there. We are told that one is for officers from Lusaka and the other one for those from the Central Division, yet there is a permanent checkpoint at the police station at Keembe Turn off.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, these measures are taking effect immediately. One of the requirements for any trained officer is to obey lawful instructions. These are lawful instructions being given in an august House and anyone who will disobey them knows the consequences. However, I assure you that we will make sure that the officers do their part in complying with these instructions. Otherwise, the consequences for them are very clear.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mbangweta (Nkeyema): Mr Speaker, over the weekend, we learned something which is being applied today and this is commendable. I would like to find out whether the ministry is willing to train policemen and women manning the roadblocks as part of the measures the hon. Minister wants to implement. Of the roadblocks the hon. Minister has authorised, I am closely associated with the one at Makeni Turn Off, which is at Star Cottage and the one at Nangoma because I pass there almost every other week. The checkpoint at Star Cottage is the most problematic and challenged. I think it would help if consideration was given to the training of officers at those check points.


Mr Speaker, when passing through these checkpoints and I am driving a vannet, for example, I will be engaged in a robust discussion with the officers manning the roadblock even though at the end of the day they will find out that my vehicle has nothing wrong with it. However, if I am driving a car, no one will bother me. The impression that is created is that if you are driving a vannet, then, there will naturally be something wrong with your vehicle. I think a change of mindset, through training, might help.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, before I respond to the hon. Member’s question, let me seize this opportunity to welcome back to the House my elder brother, Hon. Chishimba Kambwili, and congratulate him on his victory in the petition.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: Sir, the suggestion by the hon. Member is, indeed, timely and appreciated. I was just alluding to the fact that we had some of our graduating officers showcasing their motorcycle handling skills. Some of them were female police officers for that matter.


Mr Speaker, we are not only looking at training officers under the traffic section, but also various sectors of policing. We are looking at a way of reintroducing in-service training programmes for our officers using the existing training institutions as we look forward to having a fully-fledged in-service training facility for our officers to sharpen their skills in various fields of policing. That is a timely and appreciated suggestion.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, I totally agree with the hon. Minister when he says that these checkpoints are an inconvenience. For example, when tourists arrive in Livingstone, they are greeted by these checkpoints and, at times, they feel frightened. Tourists would want to visit a lot of places, but they are inconvenienced by the checkpoints that are mounted almost everywhere. Is there a timeframe given to motorists within which to pay for these offences as opposed to having their vehicles impounded and asking passengers to disembark from the vehicle there and then?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, if the hon. Member had followed my responses, he would have realised that these are measures that we are looking at. We want to see how our police officers can collaborate with RTSA to make sure that the inconvenience of impounding vehicles and piling up vehicles on the road is cut out. We need to change the whole approach and that is why we are saying we want to reduce the exchange of money at these checkpoints because that is a source of problems. The issues of corruption that we are talking about come from the temptation to handle so much money at these checkpoints.


Very soon, I will come back, and I am sure my colleague, Hon. Mushimba, will equally come back to give a statement to the House on how we will utilise RTSA. RTSA is fully equipped and has the digital data of all motorists which it can use to deal with traffic-related issues. If an offender is supposed to pay a fine within seven days, RTSA can retrieve his/her information from the system. The system should show that an offender has a pending fine to be paid within seven days. If that payment is not made within seven days, then, RTSA can follow up because the system has the contact details of motorists. These are things that we will make sure we implement sooner rather than later so we can save people from the inconvenience they go through.


I thank you.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, the traffic section of the Zambia Police Service seems to be the most attractive and is the section that harasses the general public the most. Has the hon. Minister taken time to find out from the general public how they feel about the roadblocks and the police officers? If he has not, when does he intend to find out to cure that disease?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, Hon. Muchima and the general public might remember that I was the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs for more than two years. I have been to these checkpoints and I have personally experienced what goes on there.


Sir, I once went to a checkpoint at 10 Miles with Col. Panji Kaunda and our officers. I was dressed casually and people could only recognise Col. Kaunda. I stopped a minibus driver and asked him to show me his first aid box. He took a long time to fetch it and when he brought it, he took even more time opening it. I, then, asked him not to waste time as there were other people who needed to be attended to which he said, “Bwana, ni kambe chabe zoona. Umu mulibe vilimo. Muli chabe chi koti.




Mr Kampyongo: This meant that there was no first aid kit in the box and the only thing that was in there was his coat. I, then, asked him what he would do if he got involved in an accident and how would he help the people that he was carrying. He said that he had been trying to tell the owner of the vehicle to buy these things, but he or she had not done so. I, then, asked him to follow me to the office so we could charge him and conclude the matter.


Mr Speaker, as we were walking, and I did not realise this was being captured on camera, the driver said, “Bwana, nawona lelo yakakana because pali ba minister kuja. Sitinga silizina chabe kwamene kuno?”




Mr Kampyongo: Meaning that, “Officer, I have seen that things are difficult today because the hon. Minister, Col. Kaunda, is here. So, let us just conclude this matter here.” When I asked him how he wanted us to resolve the matter, he said he could give me a K50 there and then. Then, he would give me another K50 upon his return.




Mr Kampyongo: When we got to the enquiries and he realised that I was also a Minister he was taken to heels. This just shows you that there are inducers and those that are induced.


Mr Speaker, Hon. Muchima has been through this as well. I remember him coming to my office when I was Deputy Minister around the time when His Excellency the President was the Minister of Home Affairs. He had an issue against a traffic officer who did not treat him well somewhere around Kabwe. He brought a complaint and explained how he been treated. He was harassed over payment of a fine. So, we summoned this officer and had a lengthy chat. Today, Hon. Muchima always comes back to me to report on how this officer has transformed. She has been an ambassador of how officers can conduct themselves when dealing with members of the public.


Sir, all of us can play a role. You, as members of the public, can stop and talk to the officers in a non-confrontational manner to make them realise that there are there to serve the people. This should not be left to the Minister alone. We know about the temptations at these roadblocks, but when we ensure that our officers do the correct things, the members of the public will appreciate the police service. There are human beings in those uniforms. Therefore, they deserve to be controlled just like we control other professions.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: The other arm of the question was that, “Have you sought to find out how the public feels about the officers?”


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, when I was giving all these examples, I was just trying to make the hon. Member understand how much I appreciate what goes on on the roads. I did mention in the statement that we have been receiving numerous statements from the members of the public. From time to time, I drive on the road incognito, and I see it for myself and get to talk to the officers. I know what the members of the public have been talking about. That is the reason we have taken this step to address their plight and complaints.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for shedding light on that very important topic because it is close to the heart of every motorist. I was very interested in the stories that the hon. Minister just gave us on this Floor. I was wondering and I would like to find out whether the hon. Minister took the K50 that he was offered?




Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I want to thank Hon. Ambrose Lufuma for putting some light moment in the House. I did not take that K50. I wanted to make that person understand that giving me that K50 was not a solution because he was responsible for people’s lives. For as long as he was on the road, there was a possibility that he could be involved in an accident and what would he do to help the people without first aid? My interest was to make sure that he appreciated that the first aid box was not for him to put his coat. It was for him to store medication which could be used to help the people he was carrying on everyday basis. So, we counseled him properly and we did not effect an arrest. Later on, he actually called to assure me that he had stocked up his first aid box. That was satisfactory for me.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Chibanda (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, now that the hon. Minister has elaborately told the nation and the House which roadblocks will be permanent, is there any immediate thought from his ministry vis-à-vis the Ministry of Transport and Communication of introducing electronic payment facilities at these points?


What is the hon. Minister’s comment on police stations that have continued to allow private vehicles to be parked in their premises at a fee?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, you may answer that question although you are not obliged to answer the latter part. It is out of context.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, indeed, I want to assure the hon. Minister of Parliament that we are looking at a number of options. Some of the equipment that we are getting is also to identify important documents such as driver’s licences. There is something that we are working on between my ministry and the Ministry of Transport and Communication. In short, we have plans in place to ensure that we have these electronic gadgets that should help the motorists pay electronically.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Just a point of counsel. The hon. Member for Mufulira may pursue that matter through a question.


Evg. Shabula (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Speaker, my question concerns the security and safety of traffic officers that stand on the roads. Many times, I have seen our police officers stand in the middle of the road while raising their hands to stop an oncoming vehicle. This has brought a lot of problems because, at times, the vehicle approaching may not have breaks, yet in the meantime a police officer is in the middle of the road. To me, that is a risk and that is why, in the past, we have seen some of our traffic officers being run over by vehicles. What safety measures is the ministry putting in place to ensure that our police officers are not injured or killed in the process of stopping over speeding vehicles?


Sir, the other issue is that of toilets at the check points where these officers are stationed. There are no proper toilets at these check points that the officers can use to perform their duties.




Evg. Shabula: What measures is the ministry putting in place to ensure that these officers are respected and happy with their stations?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the reason we are saying we will have designated permanent checkpoints is that we need to ensure that they have all the facilities required. Some of them already have facilities. If you go to Chisamba, you will see that the permanent checkpoint there has facilities. The checkpoints that have challenges are those which are put up randomly, and these are ones we are saying must not be in place. The permanent checkpoints will have the facilities.


Mr Speaker, to answer to the hon. Member’s concern over the issue of officers standing in the middle of the road, we have this challenge at randomly mounted checkpoints. At permanent checkpoints, every motorist will see the signals and will know that they are approaching a checkpoint. The police officer does not even need to stand in front of the fast moving vehicle in order to stop it. In some cases, motorists will move slowly due to traffic as they are approach the checkpoint. This is the reason we are insisting that we should just have permanent checkpoints to avoid all the dangers that the hon. Member of Parliament has mentioned.


I thank you, Sir.


Mrs Jere (Lumezi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister correctly pointed out that check points are being reduced. He also talked about the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) officers, but I did not hear him talk about the immigration officers and the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) officers who, in some parts of this country, do mount check points. In view of this, what measures is the hon. Minister putting in place to ensure that these other categories of officers also join their colleagues at the checkpoints that he has pointed out?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, immigration officers rarely mount checkpoints on highways. They are usually found at border control points. They are available for operations at points where we suspect movement of illegal immigrants whom we would like to intercept. You would never find a permanent checkpoint on the highway mounted by immigration officers.


Sir, I would like to leave the matter of officers from the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) to Hon. Charles Banda. However, we can collaborate to ensure harmony even though what ZAWA looks for is totally different. It is into people who pounce on Government trophies without authority. However, we can see how we can collaborate and bring it on board and work with it instead of having disjointed checks.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Zimba (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, sometimes, police officers mount discreet road blocks and the moment a motorist tries to drive past, they spring up from nowhere, just as the hon. Member for Kabwe Central mentioned. Similarly, when police mount speed traps, they hide in the bush and the moment you try to drive past, at say, 120 km per hour, they spring up from nowhere to stop you by waving a hand.


In South Africa, for example, police do not have to stop a motorist for over speeding. They have computerised systems and an erring motorist will just find a ticket in the mail box. Does the Government have any plans to implement such a system to avoid the risks on both the officers and the motorists?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, we are trying to cut down on this cat-and-mouse relationship between motorists and law enforcement officers. There is nothing to achieve in endangering one’s life by mounting a surveillance gadget discreetly only to come and jump on the road. We are insisting that, for now, we will support motorised patrols because they can achieve a lot. It is easy for one to see a motorist who is over speeding and take down the number plate to help check with the data base under RTSA.


Sir, when the police mount random checks, they cannot get the person who is over speeding. By the time he or she is approaching the checkpoint, he or she is aware of it and reduces speed. In Zambia, we have this tendency to shy away from disclosing to traffic officers if a driver was over speeding. However, when a police officer patrols on a motor cycle, he or she is able to see someone cruising and if he or she has a gadget to capture the excessive speed, the offender can, then, be followed and stopped. This is what is being done in the modern world and what we will do for now. However, going forward, as we upgrade the roads, we also want to look at the issue of installing cameras. For example, we can install cameras on the dual carriage way from Lusaka to Ndola to help capture over speeding motorists.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, the reason we have had increased roadblock points is the friction that exists between the Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RTSA) and the Zambia Police Service over who is more qualified to mount traffic-related roadblocks.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that he has consulted his colleague, but that is almost at gentlemen’s level. However, I would like to find out if the hon. Minister is working towards harmonising the actual regulations and the law. At the moment, the Zambia Police Service will insist that it is the most qualified, according to its regulations and the law, and RTSA will also say that, by the Act, it is the most qualified. Has the hon. Minister worked around seeing to it that there is just not only reliance on the goodwill between him and the hon. Minister of Transport and Communication, but also that the consultations become law and that everyone knows who is qualified to carry out this particular task?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, it is not a question of who is supreme between the Zambia Police Service and RTSA. The two perform different roles. RTSA is a regulator and the Zambia Police Service is a law enforcer. So, RTSA is more into ensuring that road safety regulations are followed. It is part and parcel of road designs. For example, it deals with how the pedestrian is catered for, the road signage or whether the speed limit signs have been mounted correctly. Its role is more regulatory.


Mr Speaker, my colleague likes to give an example of a child who goes up to a certain level and then gives way to another. For example, RTSA examines the competence of drivers to be on the road and the police ensure that those drivers who have been tested abide by the rules on the road. The police can arrest and prosecute offenders on the roads.


Sir, the roles of the two institutions are complementary. There is no question of supremacy of one over the other. We are providing leadership. We are not just talking between ourselves as Ministers. For example, we had a meeting this morning and I had my whole police command in traffic management and my colleague came with the entire senior management at RTSA. We are trying to harmonise what seems to be an issue of conflict and ensure that the issue of supremacy is put to rest.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, allow me to commend the hon. Minister for being one of the few hon. Ministers who attended and participated fully in the just-ended workshop which was very useful. I wish all hon. Ministers had attended. I look forward to seeing the effect of that workshop.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, where as the hon. Minister has announced the measures to regularise roadblocks, the problem will now be worse because traffic police use personal motor vehicles to carryout police work.


Sir, in Choma, police trail people even at filing stations. They follow you and impound your vehicle and accuse you of pirating on some particular day. They conduct roadblocks using private motor vehicles, giving rise to the perception that there could be some pecuniary advantage, hence their investing in the use of personal property to carry out Government work.


Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Mweetwa: What measures are being put in place to equip the police or traffic police with adequate transport to end the problem of the use of personal motor vehicles?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the concerns that the hon. Member for Choma Central has raised are quite valid. I want to assure him that apart from what the hon. Minister has apportioned to us, we expect to procure some motor vehicles. We are also engaging other stakeholders who are willing to help us equip our police service adequately in terms of mobility. Motor vehicles, in this case, are one of the key areas we are looking at. So, we will ensure that we equip our police officers adequately. However, let me also urge the hon. Member of Parliament, who is knowledgeable in the area of enforcement, to support us because those cases which his constituents reported to him sound like harassment. If someone commits an offence and the police use their personal vehicles to chase after him or her, it is not desirable. However, we can also be helpful so that we zero in on particular complaints and then we can address them accordingly.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Siwale (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, in Mafinga, we have one permanent check-point which is 1 km away from the Luangwa River and is manned by the police and the council. The people use Noah buses from Mafinga to Isoka as a mode of transport and the police charge the Passenger Service Vehicle (PSV) drivers K100 for each trip, that is, K50 one way. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if the Government has a deliberate policy that allows the police to charge these motor vehicle drivers?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member said that the check-point is manned by the police and the council. However, I would like to know who collects the money between the council and the police. If it is the police, then, we certainly do not have a deliberate policy for them to collect money from public vehicle drivers in such a manner. I would want the hon. Member to get more details on who is paid between the police and the council so that we can, then, know what type of action to take to remedy the situation.


However, Sir, I also want to say that councils also put their barriers and collect all sorts of fees. We will equally engage them so that we harmonise the situation. If a permanent police checkpoint is mounted at point A and the council also mounts its barriers 20 km away, then, it does not make sense. I think I will engage the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to see how we can harmonise. In the meantime, the hon. Member can do us a service by zeroing in on who collects the money between the police and the council so that we can address the matter appropriately.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwamba (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate the hon. Minister on this well-timed action. On many occasions, I have realised that the drums that are put before the checkpoint are dangerous, especially at night. Is there a way that the ministry can ensure that the drums are removed from the road and, perhaps, other signs are put so that before one reaches a checkpoint, he or she is able to identify where the police are to avoid accidents?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the hon. Member’s observation and question. Indeed, you may recall that when I was still at the Ministry of Home Affairs, we had brought in equipment for checkpoints which we wanted to test. We are just waiting for our suppliers to make changes to those models. We had one on the Airport Road and another one in Chisamba. We are trying to move away from the drums because they can be a hazard. We can paint them, but eventually that paint wears off. So, we are trying to get similar equipment to what we had installed as a permanent feature. Therefore, now that we have identified permanent checkpoints, it will be easy to equip them for the visibility of our motorists.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr C. M. Zulu (Luangeni): Mr Speaker, if I get to a checkpoint and I am found wanting, when am I supposed to pay the fine? Is it just there and then or am I supposed to be given time to pay?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, it could be both. There are times when the police have official receipts for that matter at the point where they stop you or they can give you a charge sheet for you to pay at the police station. However, we have had challenges and this is the reason I said that we need to review all these issues so that we lessen, especially, the aspect of motorists paying at checkpoints. They can be charged at the checkpoint, but pay later at the police station within a specified period of time which will be agreed upon. I think that is an ideal situation, going forward.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mukumbuta (Senanga  Central): Mr Speaker, to be honest, I like the hon. Minister’s voice output. It comes out with authority and, sometimes, outweighs his stature.




Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Mukumbuta: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister differentiate between a roadblock and a checkpoint? Some roadblocks have characteristics similar to checkpoints. Also, does he not think that it is time we completely got rid of the roadblocks? Blocking a road regardless of who does it is a public nuisance.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I do not know whether the hon. Member meant that it is the stature which outweighs the voice.




Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the distinction between a roadblock and a security checkpoint is very clear and we misuse the terms when we use them interchangeably. Roadblocks are normally mounted in war-tone countries. When there is a roadblock, the road is permanently blocked and, maybe, only emergency vehicles are allowed to pass through. So, I am talking about the security checkpoints. There is a public misunderstanding of the two terms. So, we have been having checkpoints on our roads. Whether they are needed, yes, in certain strategic points, they are a must. Zambia is a land-linked country and most of our borders are porous. So, we need to have these strategic checkpoints for security purposes because they are a necessity.


However, Sir, what we are saying is that we should manage them well so that we do not inconvenience the members of the public and those who are visiting our country because they give an impression that the country’s security is not stable.


I thank you, Sir.


Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, indeed, these security and traffic roadblocks are an inconvenience, a cost in doing business and also a danger to the health of motorists. Most of the high blood pressure cases among motorists are as a result of these road blocks.




Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, a few years ago, every province was given a highway patrol vehicle. However, these vehicles were grossly abused by our officers who used them for taking children to school and to run other personal errands. When do we hope to see these highway patrol vehicles on the roads and what measures are envisaged to be put in place so that the vehicles are used only for what they are intended?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I hope Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa has not been a victim of high blood pressure. I do not know whether it is triggered as he awaits being checked.


Sir, very soon, you will begin seeing the presence of our highway patrol officers on our roads. That will be done as we are phasing out the unnecessary checkpoints. We must have the presence of our officers on the roads. Whether these vehicles will be used for their intended purpose is a requirement for citizens to ensure that it is done. The hon. Member will be where I may not be. Therefore, there is no harm in the hon. Professor, who will appropriate money to this ministry to procure the same vehicles, to get concerned and approach these officers. As a citizen and as someone who is appropriating the funds, it is only right for him to question the officers and remind them to manage the vehicles properly. All citizens have this obligation. That way, we will be help each other. The acquisition of patrol vehicles is not meant to serve me alone, but all the citizens. So, as citizens, we all have a collective responsibility to ensure that public resources are utilised prudently. So, this is one area that requires monitoring.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mulunda (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for noticing and agreeing that some of these roadblocks are a nuisance and an inconvenience in some cases. I want to appeal to the hon. Minister to ensure that even as the in-service training is being carried out, the officers must be reminded that they should not cause unnecessary traffic jams on the roads. In some cases, an officer manning a checkpoint will cause motor vehicles to pile up as they deal with a particular driver. For example, what happens is that an officer will stop a driver of a truck right in the middle of the road and while checking the documentation, the driver will leave the truck in the middle of the road while he talks to the officer. My appeal is that the officers should ensure the drivers being attended to pull off the road so as to give way to other motorists.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I want to sincerely thank the hon. Member for the appeal. I assure him that his appeal is well noted and it will be taken into consideration.


I thank you, Sir.











THE SECURITIES (Amendment) BILL, 2016


Clause 1 ordered to stand part of the Bill.


CLAUSE 2 – (Interpretation)


The Minister of Finance (Mr Mutati): Madam Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment on page 14, in line 13 by the insertion immediately after the word “excluding” of the words “a clearing and settlement facility maintained by the Bank of Zambia, or.”


Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.


Clause 2, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.


Clauses 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131 ordered to stand part of the Bill.


Clause 132 – (Take-overs)


Mr Mutati: Madam Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 132, on page 90 in the marginal note by the addition of the words “or substantial acquisition” after the word “take-over.”


Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.


Clause 132, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.


Clauses 133, 134, 135, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, …




The First Chairperson: Order! Hon. Ministers, I need your co-operation, please.


…. 165, 166, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175 …


The First Chairperson: Order!


Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.





The First Chairperson: …176, 177, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184 ordered to stand part of the Bill.


CLAUSE 185 – (Members of Tribunal)


Mr Mutati:  Madam Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 185, on page 115, in line 13 by the insertion immediately after the word “following” of the word “part-time.”


Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.


Clause 185, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.



Clauses 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 191, 192, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 200, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221 and 222 ordered to stand part of the Bill.


First and Second Schedules ordered to stand part of the Bill


Title agreed to.






[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


The following Bill was reported to the House as having passed through Committee with amendments:


The Securities Bill, 2016


Report Stage on Thursday, 17th November, 2016.




The Zambia Institute for Tourism and Hospitality Studies Bill, 2016


Report adopted.


Third Reading on Wednesday, 16th November, 2016.






The following Bill was read the third time and passed:


The Patents Bill, 2016









(Debate resumed)


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to move the proposal on the Motion of Supply moved by the hon. Minister of Finance on Friday, 11th November, 2016. Allow me to congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance on presenting a very realistic and eloquent Budget under the theme, “Restoring Fiscal Fitness for Sustained Inclusive Growth and Development.” The hon. Minister put emphasis on fiscal consolidation and discipline, that is, you cannot spend what you do not have and cannot borrow without regard to the ability to repay.


Sir, we are all aware that our country has been going through economic challenges and as such, the hon. Minister of Finance has set economic targets that are not only realistic, but also very smart. The Budget presented by the hon. Minister is not a populist one. It is a Budget that is not meant to woo accolades, but one that sets the tone for a serious economic turnaround. The importance of micro, small and medium enterprises, as engines of growth has been elevated with the necessary measure of setting up a credit guarantee scheme to ease access to finance.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance has set the economic recovery programme on five pillars. Allow me to itemise and explain the envisaged benefits of these pillars.


Tax Policy and Administration


Mr Speaker, this first pillar involves strengthening tax policy and administration to improve revenue inflows and to shift public expenditure back to affordable levels. As I said earlier, we cannot spend what we do not have.


Sir, subsidies have cost the nation over US$1 billion in 2016 alone. This money will be reallocated to more productive areas and targeted towards supporting the poorest households. This is a very good move made by the hon. Minister, as research has shown that subsidies are not only unsustainable, but also benefit the rich. I will give an example. If you look at our supply side of the subsidies, particularly in the agriculture sector, you will discover that if we do the cost benefit analysis, much of the monies that we put into the Fertiliser Input Support Programme (FISP), particularly to do with fertiliser, benefits the suppliers of fertiliser rather than the farmers. Our country has been subsidising crop production, particularly maize, but our peasant farmers still remain at the same level of poverty.


Social Protection


Sir, the removal of subsidies can harm the poor as they are the least able to adjust. To ensure that the poor are better protected, the Government will embark on the second pillar that will see an increased budgetary allocation to social protection, including addressing the plight of pensioners. The hon. Minister has done this by pushing the allocation for social protection to about 85 per cent to K2.7 billion in order to cushion the vulnerable. Of that amount, K552 million is for the Social Cash Transfer Scheme and K1.7 billion is for the payment of pension benefits under the Public Service Pension Fund (PSPF). The Social Cash Transfer Scheme has been subjected to extensive evaluation and its impact has been documented. Several positive impacts have been demonstrated to date, including reduced poverty, increased food security, improved child well-being, improved living conditions and greater productivity and asset ownership. Therefore, the decision by the hon. Minister of Finance to increase the Budget allocation for social protection is a good move as many vulnerable people are set to benefit, as evidence shows.


Economic and Fiscal Governance


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stressed the need to safeguard Zambia’s resources so that there is no wastage to achieve high impact from our spending. It is for this reason that the Government will improve the economic and fiscal governance. This will involve strengthening of regulations and laws to make them more punitive to abusers and ensure transparency in the way we arrive at our economic and spending decisions. It is a well-known fact that fiscal responsibility is essential to creating a better, stronger and more prosperous nation for the next generation. The choices we make today or fail to make will determine what kind of future our children and grandchildren will inherit in twenty to forty years from now. Therefore, facing up to both the short and long-term fiscal challenges will help put the nation on a path to lasting prosperity and raise standards of living. Thus, strengthening of laws and regulations in this regard, as proposed by the hon. Minister of Finance, is a very welcome move as the nation will be able to save money being lost through corruption and other loopholes in the system.


Mr Speaker, fiscal discipline is actually one of the important elements of sustainable economic growth. Let me give an example. The tax threshold has been adjusted from K3,000 to K3,300. Most citizens out there might have complained about this because it is natural to expect to earn more. However, it is the duty of every citizen to pay tax. I know that others will challenge me and say that it is the usage of that tax that can discourage a citizen from paying tax. However, let them be assured that their money is in safe hands.




Mr Speaker: Order!


The hon. Minister of Agriculture, if you need to consult that intensely, you can go out and consult outside.


You may continue, hon. Member.


Mr Mung’andu: Mr Speaker, I was saying that Zambians out there should be assured that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, through this Budget that was presented by the hon. Minister of Finance, will make sure that their money is safe.


Budget Credibility


Mr Speaker, budget credibility remains a big concern. Past variations to the Budget have been as high as 25 per cent. This cannot continue given that the discretionary Budget is only about 2 per cent of the domestic revenues. The fourth pillar, as espoused by hon. Minister of Finance is, therefore, centred around improving Budget credibility, better planning, adherence to expenditure plans and improvement of the quality of Government expenditure.


Sir, the Budget is the key instrument of translating national priorities into actions and a key instrument for domestic accountability as its implementation is subject to scrutiny by the Legislature and external audits. Whether it can fulfil this role is dependent on the soundness of the Budget institutions and processes. Therefore, the proposal by the hon. Minister of Finance to emphasise the credibility of our Budget will enable us achieve its intended goal.


Economic Stability


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance stated that the fifth pillar will provide greater economic stability, which provides a better platform for economic growth and job creation. Without stability and market confidence, the private sector will not recover. Under the pillar, the Government will also put in place measures to unlock growth by targeting investment in the sectors with binding constraints to growth.


Sir, on the investment side, it will enable enhancement in energy and transport infrastructure. On the policy side, the Government will prioritise efforts to reduce the cost of production and ease doing business.


Mr Speaker, restoring the economy entails reducing the country’s debt burden whilst safeguarding social services such as primary health services and education services to benefit vulnerable citizens. To this end, I am glad to note that the Government’s allocation to external debt payment has increased from K3.6 billion in 2016 to K6.4 billion in 2017, while allocations for the Local Government Equalisation Fund have also risen to K887.8 million from K717 million allocated in 2016. Further, it is gratifying to note that K5.7 billion has been allocated to the health sector with K769 million being earmarked for drugs and medical supplies and K267.5 million has been allocated for medical infrastructure and equipment. About K10.5 billion will be spent on education with K323.5 million allocated to recreation, culture and religion and the Farmer Input Support Programmes (FISP).


Sir, it is important to note that the 2017 Budget is also titled towards austerity measures designed to realign the economy with the country’s economic realities. While the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) threshold has gone up to K3,300 from K3,000, the tax rate has also been increased up to 37.5 per cent for those earning above K6,200. That will allow the Government to generate revenue locally.


Mr Speaker, generating recourse is the ‘in thing’ and citizens have to co-operate with the Government as it begins to implement measures that may not be pleasant to the pocket, but beneficial to all citizens in the long-term. Apart from PAYE, the Government has also adjusted upwards taxes on airtime, beer and cigarettes, among others.


Sir, let me reiterate the hon. Minister of Finance’s words to this august House that the task of restoring stability and accelerating growth will not be easy. We have to be bold and decisive. It is, therefore, imperative that citizens support the Government’s resolve to build the economy to a level that will benefit all in due course.


I beg to move.


Mr P. Phiri (Mkaika): Mr Speaker, let me begin by thanking you for according me this rare honour of seconding the Motion of Supply on the Estimates of Revenue for the year 1st January, 2017 to 31st December, 2017, moved by the hon. Minister of Finance on 11th November, 2016.


Sir, let me commend the hon. Minister of Finance for the eloquent manner in which he delivered the Budget Speech to the House. It is my hope that he will steer the country’s economy towards stability and prosperity. As stated by the hon. Minister, our economy is, indeed, experiencing some serious turbulence.


Mr Speaker, in seconding this Motion, allow me to highlight some issues that I think are pertinent. While I agree that desperate times require desperate measures and that tough decisions will have to be made, I am hoping that, as the hon. Minister pledged, the poor members of society will not be forgotten as the Government works towards stabilising the economy and bringing about growth. The hon. Minister of Finance will, therefore, have to ensure that the second pillar of the economic recovery programme, Zambia Plus, which deals with the scaling up of Government social protection programmes to protect the most vulnerable in our society from negative effects of the austerity measures, is implemented without fail.


Sir, let me remind the hon. Minister of Finance that providing economic opportunities for our people will be good for social stability in the country. It is an established fact that economic inequality is bad for all as it undermines the growth of social cohesion. Lessons have been learnt from the Arab Spring, that is, the uprisings that took place across the Arab world in 2011 on the necessity of democratic reforms and the urgent need for governments to provide basic employment opportunities for their people.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance informed the House and the nation as a whole in a very candid manner that Zambia is facing its toughest economic challenge in a decade as a result of weak commodity prices, electricity shortages and that hard choices and difficult reforms would have to undertaken. These hard choices will include the following:


  1. increasing electricity tariffs;


  1. adjusting fuel prices in line with market conditions;


  1. increasing user fees and charges levied by various Government departments; and


  1. revising upwards the motor vehicles carbon tax rates.


Sir, all the foregoing measures will put pressure on our already burdened people. In addition, the Government is proposing to increase customs duty on spare parts for various machinery and equipment. I suppose this also includes spare parts for motor vehicles. This measure will negatively affect a lot of our people who are running taxis to take care of their families. Increasing the cost of spare parts will increase their cost of doing business and send some of our people out of business.


Mr Speaker, I am, however, relieved to note that in the agriculture sector, the Government will continue to support our small-scale farmers with support under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) in the 2017/2018 Farming Season. I am also happy to note that the support will be extended to cotton, cashew nuts, soya beans, cassava and rice. This is a welcome move by the Government, as it will bring about diversified agricultural production. While the support to maize production has helped to guarantee food security for our country, it has not worked to move our farmers and people in rural areas out of poverty.


Mr Speaker, I welcome the Government’s mobilisation of US$40 million for supporting small-holder farmers to acquire agricultural equipment. While welcoming the initiative by the Government, I hope that in order to ensure that these resources achieve intended objectives, the Government will need to take the following into consideration:

  1. ensure that the beneficiaries understand that this is a revolving fund and that it must be paid back. You will remember that this is not the first time that the Government of the Republic of Zambia is giving out money for empowerment of its citizens. In the past, repayment rates have not been very encouraging. I would, therefore, want to urge the newly created Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance to assist our people change their mindset on loans. Our people should be educated on the need to pay back loans; and


  1. effective targeting of beneficiaries with viable business plans and track records. It will be necessary to avoid the challenges of the past where these resources were politicised and were given to party cadres. I am hopeful, as stated in the Budget Speech, that resources in the 2017 Budget will be allocated to promote equitable development across the country.

Mr Speaker, I note, with satisfaction, the Government’s pledge to maintain policy consistency in the agriculture sector so as to guarantee stability and predictable access to wider markets. To this end, the hon. Minister has promised to do away with export bans and setting of prices above market as measures to regulate agriculture markets.


Sir, this policy pronouncement needs to be clarified and more information provided to calm our misgivings. The House will remember that in the 2016 Marketing Season, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) had challenges in buying enough grains for the strategic reserve in a number of provinces because of smuggling. The hon. Minister of Finance will need to come to this House to brief us on how the Government will prevent smuggling of maize and how this will stamp out corruption in the export of maize. We cannot assume that all those involved in the purchase of agriculture products are patriotic.


Mr Speaker, I welcome the Government’s intention to diversify the economy by industrialising the country through value addition in the agriculture, mining and forestry sectors.


Mr Speaker, I note, with satisfaction, the financing initiatives that the Government will put in place to support small and medium enterprises overcome financing challenges. I also note that the Government will institute interventions to nature our industries so that they can withstand external shocks, thus, creating a competitive private sector-led economic growth. To ensure that this succeeds, the Government should work as a team so that no department should work in contrast to this policy.


Mr Speaker, the House will remember that the former Minister of Agriculture had banned the importation of edible oils, but we started seeing smuggling of these products into the country, illustrating the need for the various Government departments to talk to each other.


Mr Speaker, on the idea of attracting the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) and other investment companies to support industrialisation under the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), this initiative should be taken very cautiously so that these pension houses do not become insolvent. We should not forget that thousands of pensioners depend on these institutions for their livelihood.


Mr Speaker, it is clear from the policy statement contained in the 2017 Budget Address that our people should place themselves for greater sacrifices. It will be important for the Government to ensure that people’s sacrifices are not in vain. I, therefore, welcome the Government’s intention to improve transparency and accountability in its economic recovery programme. The Auditor-General’s Reports have been very consistent in highlighting weakness in governance and management of our national resources and limited absorption capacity among the Government departments. To address these issues, I hope to see the following:


  1. mobilising resources for sustainable development financing from domestic and external sources. The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) should enhance its performance so that the taxes due to the Government are collected. The Minister should work on enhancing revenue administration through modernised progressive tax systems, improved tax policy and more efficient tax collection;


  1. putting in place stringent measures to ensure that the Government is not losing money through corruption; and


  1. developing the implementation capacity at national level. National administrative and technical capacities have long been identified as the key drivers for the development and lack of capacity as a major bottleneck for achieving progress in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, let me end by urging the hon. Minister to ensure that the implementation of the 2017 Budget comes to pass. The theme of the Budget ensures that there is sustained inclusive growth and development for everyone. The hon. Minister will need to back his statement that his Government is pro-poor by ensuring that there is public funding for programmes that lower the barriers being faced by the most disadvantaged children such as girls, the disabled and those living in rural areas and urban informal settlements.


Mr Speaker, with these few remarks, I beg to second.


Mr Kufakwandi (Sesheke): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the 2017 Budget. We are all aware that our country is going through very serious challenges. We also know that at the end of the day, the Zambian people, like a patient in a hospital, should not get over dose of medicine because they may not survive. We appreciate the challenges that the economy is facing and the prescriptions that have been put forward, we do not fully agree with a number of them. The Budget is, indeed, an instrument to translate policy into actions, programmes and projects.


Therefore, it gives us an opportunity to assess whether we are walking the talk. In his address to the House on 30th September, 2016, His Excellency the President mentioned a few cardinal issues with which to test the 2017 Budget to see whether it fully puts into action the policy direction as well as the strategic orientation.


Mr Speaker, among other things, His Excellency the President talked about the need for regional balance in development and in the distribution of resources. He talked about the need for agriculture, livestock and fisheries to be the main driver of the Zambian economy starting with the Seventh National Development Plan (7thNDP) which starts in January, next year. He also talked about the need for industrialisation, diversification of the economy, job creation and improvement of our business environment to attract investment. So, as we debate the 2017 Budget, these pronouncements are important in our discussions to help us see whether we are on the right track or not.


Mr Speaker, I appreciate the point raised by the hon. Minister of Finance in his presentation that this Budget is laying a foundation on which we can build the future. However, what is very important is that as we sacrifice for the future, we have to be very careful that our people are not hit, not just below the belt, but perhaps on the head as well.


Sir, we note from this Budget that a number of the pronouncements in it are not pro-poor. Let me give examples. The implications of the removal of subsidies on fuel and the planned removal of subsidies on electricity are quite heavy for the man on the street because it will bring about a spiral effect in price increases.


Sir, although the hon. Minister laboured on the issue that there has not been any programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), we find, as we scrutinise this Budget, that a lot of the measures contained in the Budget are actual conditions of the IMF.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kufakwandi: This includes the removal of subsidies. We also see another area where our people are being hit on the head, Pay as You Earn (PAYE). The tax regime that has been proposed means that the majority of our middle class, who are falling in the category of earnings between K4,000 and K6,000, will now pay K37.5n for every Kwacha that they earn. So, the take home pay is substantially reduced.


Mr Speaker, we also know that this middle class is very important in our society. These are the people who shop from all these shopping malls and markets that we see. If we reduce their purchasing power, we risk some of these malls and super markets closing down. This is a very important issue to look at.


Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!


Mr Kufakwandi: We also note that the tax regime proposed is not substantially addressing the issue of expanding the tax base. There are so many people in the informal sector making money in the country who do not pay tax. We are hitting hard the people who have been regularly paying tax already instead of trying to expand the tax base.


Sir, this Budget does not demonstrate that we are beginning a journey to make agriculture the mainstay and the driver of the economy. In this Budget, only 7 per cent of the expenditure is targeted towards agriculture. We all know that the Maputo Declaration, to which we are signatories, requires African countries, which want to fully tap the potential of the agriculture sector in generating employment and exports, to allocate at least 10 per cent of the Budget to agriculture. Considering that this is a recovery Budget, we should have looked at this sector and given it more resources than is the case.


Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President talked about the need for balanced regional development. What we see in this Budget is that the regions which have been benefiting a lot are the ones that will have projects completed. Those which got nothing continue to get nothing.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kufakwandi: This is not equity. We demand that we start implementing the principles that are in our Constitution which require every corner of this country, as His Excellency the President said, to have a fair share. The Budget, in its current, form does not convince us that this is the case.


Mr Speaker, another area of great concern is that of diversification. You will recall that the issue of diversification has been with us from the time of President Dr Kaunda. I remember him saying that, “Each morning I wake up, the water is going to the Indian Ocean.” This country has 40 per cent of the water resources in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). How is it possible that our people do not have water to drink? How is that possible? It is because the diversification programmes that we have been talking about have no targets. For example, we do not assess where we are in 2016 and project where we want to be in 2021.


Mr Speaker, copper contributes 70 per cent to our export earnings. So, with this diversification that we are talking about, where will copper be in the next ten years, for example, and what will its contribution be? These are hard facts that we need to agree on so that with all the programmes that we do, we can access the performance against the agreed targets. So, it is not clear on what is it that we will earn in terms of targets, where we are going, what will happen in the next five years or, for example, how much agriculture will contribute to our export earnings.


Sir, the other area is on job creation. This Budget is basically not going to bring about growth. I think that is very clear. In the absence of growth of the economy, it is difficult to create jobs. The economic growth rate for this year is 3 per cent and the projection for next year is 3.4 per cent. That it is very marginal. The impact will be very small, meaning that the way we are suffering or having problems today will not substantially change. We have been told that 100,000 and 1 million jobs will be created and it is very difficult to discern how it will happen in those lines. We talked about half a billion jobs not long ago, but how much have we done or achieved? What were the challenges and how do we address those challenges so that we are on track? These fundamentals are missing in our Budget.


Mr Speaker, on the issue of State-owned enterprises, we want the Patriotic Front (PF) Government to take the same position that the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) took and clearly say that some of these enterprises will be sold off. We know about the Zambia Telecommunications Company Ltd (ZAMTEL) story and that there was something wrong. And it is back again on the list.


Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I want to stress once more that the 2017 Budget is not pro-poor.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!       


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Kufakwandi: In fact, it taxes the poor through the removal of subsidies on fuel and the resulting hiked commodity prices of essentials. That is a tax. It taxes them for transport and they have to pay more than was the case before. Secondly, this Budget does not give hope that the Zambian people will have better lives …


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Hon. Government Members: Question!      


Mr Kufakwandi: … in 2017 than those in 2016. The hon. Minister emphasised that there is no programme that has been agreed with the IMF. Now, what that means is that the financing or implementation of this Budget is also under challenge because as we all know that the IMF programme is the entry point for all donors to support us. In the absence of the IMF programme, there will be difficulties …




Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!


Mr Kufakwandi: … in securing support from the donors. Of course, we know that some of them will come because their agenda is to look for raw materials all over the world. We know that. So, we believe that this Budget provides no relief to the Zambian people.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, thank you for according me the opportunity to debate the 2017 Budget.


Sir, as I debate, I would like to thank the hon. Minister of Finance for being candid with this nation on the hardships the people of Zambia will face and that the future, in this recovery programme, will be difficult for everybody.


Mr Speaker, as I debate, I would like to remind our colleagues in the Patriotic Front (PF) of the promises and slogans they made prior to the 2016 Elections. The PF colleagues used to tell the people of Zambia that they would have more money in their pockets …


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: … as they manage the economy and that the cost of living in Zambia would be lower. They used to tell us, including on the Floor of this House, that the economy was doing very well and that there was no need for us to fix it.


Sir, in contrast to their slogans, we had a slogan that the economy is broken and Mr Hakainde Hichilema (HH) would fix it.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!                               


Mr Mwiimbu: The hon. Minister of Finance has agreed with us …


Hon. Government Members interjected.


Mr Mwiimbu: … that the economy is broken.


Mr Speaker: Just a moment. Take a seat.


Mr Mwiimbu resumed his seat.                      


Mr Speaker: Let us avoid these running commentaries. Whenever we get in a certain area, we get excited. The hon. Minister of Finance and the rest of you are listening. You will have an opportunity to debate. This Motion will be debated until 30th November, 2016, and that is when we will close it. I hope we will take maximum advantage of this period. For those of you who did not attend the seminar, for whatever reason, this is the problem.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: People came in at a high cost to try to help us. I always say that take notes. It is as simple as that. You will have your chance to debate. I want to follow these debates as well. You want the statements to be accurate and agree with you, but it is not possible.




Mr Speaker: There will be wrong statements and things that you will not agree with, but they have to be said anyway.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: We spent a lot of time from Saturday, Sunday to Monday. Today, it is Tuesday, but we are back to these same problems.


Continue, Hon. Mwiimbu.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, thank you for the protection and guidance to the House. I was saying that in the United Party for National Development (UPND), our slogan was that the economy was broken and that Mr Hakainde Hichilema would fix it. That slogan has come to pass by the hon. Minister of Finance agreeing with us that there is a need for the economy to be on the path to recovery. That means the economy has been sick. You cannot say you are recovering if you have not been sick.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, it just shows that there is something wrong with the economy. That is why I praise the hon. Minister of Finance for being frank with us. We were being misled on the Floor of this House that the economy was doing very well. It took the current hon. Minister of Finance to tell us the actual state of affairs of our economy. As a result of his candidness, he has told us the measures he would like to implement, and I praise him for that.


Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I did state that in their campaigns, our colleagues in the PF were telling people that they would have more money in their pockets. Unfortunately, the measures the Government has taken will ensure that our people have no money in their pockets because they will spend more. They will spend the little they earn to survive. That is the situation. The taxes have gone up and subsidies have been done away with. Therefore, it entails that everything that is acquired by the residents of this country will go up. That is a fact. There is nothing that has been reduced in this Budget. As far as I am concerned, the only thing that will come down is rain. Unfortunately, even the rain is not falling to enable the people of Zambia to practice agriculture.


Mr Speaker, before the elections, there was an attempt by the PF Government to increase electricity tariffs. That decision had to be reversed due to its consequences. A number of companies closed down because of the high cost of doing business in the country. What has changed now? What will make the companies tick in this country after the Government increases the electricity tariffs? What will make the companies in this country thrive after the Government has increased the prices of fuel?


Sir, I have no doubt in my mind that the consequences of these actions will lead to some workers being laid off and companies closing. Once you close companies, many of our people will have no employment. They will have no means of earning a living. The poverty and illiteracy levels will go up. It is the same Government that has removed free education through the law we passed on the Floor of this House.


Therefore, if the Government does away with all the subsidies, which are the means of sustenance for the people of this country, what does it expect them to survive on? We have heard the measures that the Government has put in place. The hon. Minister of Finance talked about scaling up the Social Cash Transfer Scheme. We appreciate that, but the Government should note that the amount being given to our people under the Social Cash Transfer Scheme is not more than K85. We are aware of what has happened. From the time the Government increased the price of fuel, mealie meal prices have gone up and now a 25kg bag of mealie meal costs above K100. Even the people who will be given the K85 will not be able to buy a bag of mealie meal. So, how is the Government cushioning them?


Sir, we are punishing our people through the austerity measures we are putting in place. This Budget must have a human face. The Government must look at the plight of our people. You are all aware that the cost of transportation has gone up because of the various measures that the Government has put in place. Consequently, all the commodity prices have gone up. Companies have started folding, and that is a fact. The major companies which have been operating in this country have closed their factories. We are aware that Zambian Breweries is closing so many of its outlets. It, therefore, means a lot of our people have been laid off.


Mr Speaker, even the furniture companies that have been selling their goods on hire purchase basis in this country have started folding. This means that our people will end up on the streets. What measures is the Government putting in place to cushion the people? It is talking about the Social Cash Transfer Scheme, which only benefits the poor of the poorest. It is not even being implemented in all districts and neither is it in the urban areas. It is in the rural areas.


Mr Nkombo: Where there is squalor.


Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, the hon. Minister must realise that the effects of the measures that have been put in place will affect most of our people in the urban areas. These are the people who were singing dununa reverse.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Now these people are saying, “Dununa regret.”




Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, that is because of the measures that the Government has put in place. There is one issue which my brother, Hon. Kufakwandi, talked about and it relates to parastatals. The battle cry for the PF in 2011 was to re-nationalise the parastatals that were privatised so that jobs could be created for the people. The PF said that it wanted to create the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) so that all the parastatals could come under one umbrella. That was the battle cry.


Mr Speaker, the PF, at various fora, condemned the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD). Some of those MMD officials ended up in court on accusations of having benefitted from the privatisation process, in particular, the privatisation of the Zambia Telecommunications Company (Zamtel). A lot of things were said about that transaction. What has happened after the demise of late President Sata? What has made you change your stance? Are you now coming to this House to tell the nation that late President, Mr Sata, erred in ensuring that all those parastatals that were intended for ...


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Monze Central, I think that for cultural reasons, let us leave the former President out of this debate. Let us discuss policy.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I thank you for that guidance. I will not mention his name. I want to state that the current PF Government is saying that the regime of the late Head of State was wrong in reversing the privatisation of Zamtel.


We are all aware that Zamtel is on its knees because it is bankrupt. It has no money to sustain itself. We are also aware that the hon. Minister of Finance has been looking for US$250 million to recapitalise it. This just shows that there was no prudence whatsoever in the decision the PF Government had taken to nationalise Zamtel. It was just populism and emotions at work. I know that the hon. Minister of Finance is being polite to us by saying that he will hive-off certain State-owned companies that are not viable. He should just be candid and tell us that parastatal companies that will be found wanting will be privatised.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: He should tell us that those parastatals that will be found wanting are going to be privatised, as the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government did.


Mr Speaker, however, there are consequences to what the Government intends to do. The consequences are that a number of our people will lose their jobs and end up on the streets. It is not just Zamtel that is not operating prudently. We, on your left side, have in mind the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO), which is being mismanaged because of the dealings of the PF. We are aware that the PF Government has been interfering in the operations of ZESCO. The manning levels in ZESCO are not appropriate. There is no prudence. Whoever wants to have his or her child employed rushes to ZESCO.


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Mrs Mulyata: It is true.


Mr Mwiimbu: We are aware of what is going on there. We are aware of the complaints the officers at ZESCO are raising pertaining to the operations of this company. That is why even the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is telling the Government to find a way of ensuring that ZESCO is managed prudently. It is because of the dealings of our colleagues on your right.


Mr Nkombo: They are dealers.




Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, the Government is saying that it wants to encourage and promote tourism. Tourism will never progress and grow in this country if the governance of this country is poorly managed. There is no way tourists will come to this country when they read reports that people are being arrested, abused and rights are being violated with impunity. We have to address issues of governance. If we do not do that, there is no way we will encourage tourism.


Sir, tourism thrives in environments where there is free enterprise, movement and proper governance. I have no doubt that once we achieve that, Zambia will be a sightseeing haven because we will have so many tourists. Unfortunately, however, Zambia’s governance record currently is at its lowest ebb from the time of Independence because we are failing to address issues.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, this country is for all of us. When we see that there is something wrong, we have to voice out. If our colleagues on the other side do not want to listen and address the issues we are raising, they are not only damaging themselves, but also damaging us, as Zambians.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, today, we had a very unfortunate incident where one of the proprietors of an upcoming newspaper was called to appear before the police for merely managing a newspaper. It has never happened before in this country until we made the mistake to place power in the hands of our colleagues on your right.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sikazwe: Question!


Mrs Mulyata: Kaleza chabe!




Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, issues of a free media are cardinal to governance. We appeal to our colleagues to search their souls and ensure that they put in place proper measures if they have to resurrect the economy or if they want the economy to recover. If they do not do that, the economy of Zambia will continue sliding. There is no prudent investor who would want to invest money in the situation we are in unless you go to another dictator to come and invest here because dictators do not believe in human rights. They will give you all the money you need. All they want are benefits. Civilized societies and countries, however, will never invest in a country that is going through turmoil. We have a responsibility, as a people, …


Mr Lubinda: There is turmoil in Zambia?


Mr Mwiimbu: There is turmoil in Zambia.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member, do not go into a dialogue. Just ignore the comments. Those are my problems.




Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, there is economic, social, financial and political turmoil in this country.


Mr Speaker, the last statement which I want to make is that certain hon. Ministers, who are supposed to be appearing in court, should have the prudence to state that there is dignity in being quiet and …


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member, I am afraid you cannot advance that point.


Mr Mwiimbu: I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima (Chirundu): Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this chance to give my maiden speech in this honourable House which, obviously, reverberates with the essence of our ancestors. From the outset, let me join the chorus, certainly not of the indifferent, in wishing you and the other presiding officers God’s good guidance as you, in turn, guide this House. I am positive that history will assess your individual contributions to society as an example of elevated understanding of duty and authentic dignity. Accept the assurances of my fairest consideration and I wish you personal happiness.


Mr Syakalima: Mr Speaker, it is always customary to thank those people who saw to this House. I have in mind our own party, the party president and his vice-president. You will appreciate and agree with me that Mr Hakainde Hichilema …


Mr Mwamba: Question!


Mr Syakalima: … and Mr Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba …


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: … traversed the breadth of this country and, I think, they touched every corner of this country and the people of Zambia accepted their message because it resonated well with what they have wanted the country to be. I think the country responded accordingly.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwamba: Question!


Mr Syakalima: What followed thereafter we leave to history because it is always history which, again, assesses the future.


Mr Speaker, as you might know, Chirundu is a relatively new constituency. It was cut off from Siavonga, where I was a Member of Parliament for ten years. I want to thank the people of Chirundu for giving me a chance to be their first Member of Parliament, as a new constituency.


Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: Mr Speaker, I am sure many people were trying to ask why I was not debating, as a behavioural scientist, when you go to a certain society, you first observe the behaviour of that society.


Hon. UNPD Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: So, I have been quiet for one month. Although I was here for ten years, the five years I was not here, probably, could have changed the House. Therefore, it was my duty to observe the behaviour of the House. I think I am now more than qualified to take my seat which was bestowed upon me by the people of Chirundu.


Mr Speaker, I want to dwell mostly on the happenings in this country. Following my brother, who talked about governance, I think that there is a tragedy of missing a point in this country. If we are not very careful, this country can be a victim of chaos in our governance record.


Mr Speaker, it is important for those who have been given the opportunity to govern the country to observe the rights of individuals and everybody. You cannot continuously want to lead a country by instilling fear and creating tension in order to rule. It has never happened anywhere. History tells us that any economies of governments that do not observe good governance and at the same time limit the freedoms of its people spiral downwards. It is an open secret. All of us are born with rights and for ease of following, we create constitutions. Of course, there are countries which do not have constitutions, but have certain laws in place that limit the behaviour of the government. It is quite unacceptable for us who have a come up with a Constitution to want to trample upon the freedoms of our people.


Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: Mr Speaker, I feel so sad for I never ever felt that one day, this country could reach this stage we are at ...


Mr Sing’ombe: Hmmmm!


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Mr Syakalima: ... where freedoms of people are so limited, people cannot speak and they can be arrested wantonly. It has never happened that way. This is the first time that we are seeing all these things.


Mr Speaker, never had I ever felt that I would see people moving with machetes on the roads and hacking each other …


Mr Sing’ombe: Hmmmm!


Mr Syakalima: ... until blood oozes just like that.


Mr Speaker, there are those people who fear to slaughter a chicken. Just the sight of blood of a chicken makes them feel bad. How about human blood? I know where this thing of people hacking each other came from. Immediately the Patriotic Front (PF) came into Government, …


Mr Mwamba: Question!


Mr Syakalima: … it started harassing the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) here and there by beating up its members, burning their stores and de-registering the party and all such things. What type of culture are we making that every time there is a change of Government those who were in the preceding Government must be prepared to run around? It is not right.


Mr Speaker, I do not know if Hon. Peter Daka is here. He can bear me witness. I think the incident I am about to narrate was probably the beginning of everything. When there was a by-election in Msanzala, I went there to help the MMD. I still remember when one MMD member was lacerated with a broken bottle and his intestines came out. We had to rush that boy to a certain hospital. I do not know whether it is St Francis Mission Hospital. Hon. Peter Daka was there, unfortunately, the one who was campaign manager at that time was the then hon. Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, one Edgar Lungu …


Mr Speaker: Now, hon. Member …




Mr Speaker: … even your reference to Hon. Daka I was uncomfortable with.




Mr Speaker: You started well by just addressing issues and making general statements. I think let us keep it that way because you see, the more you get into these details, they could even be controversial. Some of the people you drag into the debate have no voice here. They will not be able to respond.


So, if you are making points about violence or electoral violence, let us keep it that way, but avoid bringing in individuals for it becomes very delicate because we are immunised in here.




Mr Speaker: As we debate in here, we are immunised.


Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!


Hammer, hammer!


Mr Syakalima: Mr Speaker, what I am putting across is the levels of violence which have grown from a small issue to bigger ones. Today, our people continue to be harassed by the police and members of the PF. When The Post newspaper was being published, if you checked what was happening on the streets, every time a vehicle would come, bound up those vendors, beat them up and confiscate the newspaper. That is being savage.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: You cannot live in a society like that. Everyday someone should question whether the Government will come for them that day.


Sir, society is such that we are never permanent wherever we are. I always give an example that politics is like a person going to the toilet. When you enter the toilet, the next thing is to come out. You will not be there permanently.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: Sir, when you enter politics, you will be in the Government and the next thing, you will be out. So, the reason civilised societies, if you like, cushion themselves is so that they are not victims of hate by others when they leave the government.


Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: There must come a time when governments leave and those who form the next government continue working for the people. What is a government after all? It is when people, as a whole, hire officials to administer a nation for public good. Therefore, we are just hired officials. Therefore, the Government has been hired for the good of the public. It is not in place to intimidate or to chase people around. What time will it settle to work? Already, a Budget which will be very difficult to pass, has been presented. This Budget cannot be administered in a country where there is tension. We must call a spade, a spade and not a long spoon.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: The measures that are being brought require cohesion in a country. That is what is required. It is not right to wake up every day with the aim to arrest someone or look for who has said what. It is not right.


Sir, this county is bleeding. This country is at war.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member, once the Speaker is on the microphone, please, you should give way.


We need to be factual in our statements. As far as the meaning of war is concerned, there is nothing close to what you are saying happening here. There is no war. If we take the Queen’s language, there is no war. We are not at war. We are at peace. There may be political differences, but in the literal sense, they do not amount to war. As leaders, we need mind our mode of expression.


Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: The other day, when I was dealing with the issue that arose from the debate by the hon. Member for Mapatizya, I mentioned that people are listening. We should be in the forefront in settling people. We all know where we have come from but, certainly, as far as the meaning of war is concerned, literally, Zambia is not at war.


You may continue.


Mr Syakalima: Sir, I would like to thank you for your guidance.


Mr Speaker, if my brother, Hon. Lubinda, cared to check the Hansard, …   


Mr Speaker: Order!


You see, hon. Member, you are now wasting time.


Mr Syakalima rose.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Take your seat.


There is no need to drag Hon. Lubinda into your debate. There is no need to do that. You see how much time and energy is being wasted. These are the issues that I was going over and over from Saturday, Sunday until Monday.


Hon. Government Members: He never attended.


Mr Speaker: Order!


There is no need to do that. We should be in the forefront pacifying. That is what leadership is all about. We should not fan these situations. People are looking up to us to lead even in the manner we debate. Therefore, we should show leadership.


You may continue.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: Mr Speaker, I want to thank you for your guidance.


Sir, for the sake of the record, I was going to say that we are at war with hunger and squalor. I was also going to say that if we are at war with hunger, squalor, disease and poverty, can we concentrate on these and not …


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: … the tension that we have.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: Sir, this is exactly what I meant, and I have said these things several times on the Floor of the House. We cannot afford to have a tensed up country. I think I am giving leadership.


UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: We cannot afford to allow that. We have a lot of things to do and fight for the sake of our people. Therefore, we cannot constantly think about who to arrest each day. That is what I want to emphasise.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: Sir, it pains me that justice does not always prevail. I think that it must always prevail. This is why we were created in the image of God. He is a just God. Even when He will judge, he will do so justly. It is for this reason that those people who are judges are called ‘Justice’. It is meant that they will have a just society.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: I seek a just society.


Mr Nkombo: Not gong’as.


Mr Speaker, just like scholars, who follow the truth wherever it takes them, I will follow justice wherever it takes me.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: Sir, this is just the bedrock of any civilised society. I have spent this time talking about governance because this is one thing that will get us out of these economical quagmires. That is the only solution. The hon. Minister of Finance should talk about these things so that we concentrate on how we will alleviate the suffering of our people. We have no option, but to do that.


Sir, I know that we belong to different political parties, but we have no option, but to live together for the next five years. So, we must understand each other as long as something is good for the country.


Sir, to tell you the truth, our colleagues are not running this country properly. We are seeing that.


Sir, let me now turn to the hon. Minister of National Guidance and National whatever, prayers.




Mr Speaker: Order!


No. It is not prayers. It is Religious Affairs.




Mr Speaker: That is what we approved here. It is Religious Affairs and not prayers.




Mr Syakalima: Sir, I also want to appeal to that ministry to, please, try to guide the country because this country is now suffering from moral degradation and spiritual emptiness. We cannot afford that. There is a need for repentance and restitution because we do not know what has befallen us, as a country. Who knows, maybe, we are being punished because of our own inequities, as a country.


Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: Therefore, we need to fill in that gap, hon. Minister of Guidance.




Mr Syakalima: Sir, I have spoken a lot and I have spoken on my behalf and that of our people in Chirundu. As I take this seat graciously bestowed upon me, I will stand tall and speak their language and that of the poor.


Lastly, may God, who is omnipotent, the benefactor of order, the fountain of justice and the protector in all ages of the world of virtuous liberty continue his blessings upon Zambia and give it all possible success and duration, consistent with the ends of His providence.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1815 until 1830 hours.


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]




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


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1832 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 16th November, 2016.