Thursday, 8th December, 2016

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Thursday, 8th December, 2016


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












46.    Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


  1. why the construction of the Mukonkoto/Mukupa-Katandula (RD42) Road had not commenced despite the Road Development Agency awarding the contract in 2015;


  1. what the name of the contractor for the project was; and


  1. what the way forward on the matter was.


The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Chitotela): Mr Speaker, the Government has not awarded the contract for the construction of the Mukonkoto/Mukupa-Katandula (RD42) Road to any contractor through the Road Development Agency (RDA).


Sir, following my answer to part (a) of the question, part (b) falls off.


Sir, the Government will explore the possibility of using the Rural Roads Unit (RRU) to work on the road next year.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, the Mukonkoto/Mukupa-Katandula has since been washed away by rain. Consequently, no vehicles can move from Mununga to Chief Mukupa-Katandula’s area. What will the Government do to ease to the movement of people between the two areas?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, two weeks ago, we released K900,000 for emergency works. We will consider doing the same in respect of the road in question. Further, I have directed the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) to release K3 million for emergency works in the high-rainfall provinces, bearing in mind that we are in the rainy season. 


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Chisopa (Mkushi South): Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Kaputa said that a contract for the construction of the road in question was awarded in 2015 while the hon. Minister has said that the contract was not awarded. Can the hon. Minister tell us whether the hon. Member for Kaputa misled this House.




Mr Speaker: I do not think it is fair to put such a question to the hon. Minster. He has stated his position on the matter and that is enough.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that he has released money for emergency road works in some provinces. Which provinces are those?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I directed the NRFA to release K3 million per province to the capitals of the high-rainfall provinces of the country so that the provincial authorities do not have to run to Lusaka to ask for money whenever there is a need to undertake emergency road works. The provinces are the North-Western, Central, Luapula, Northern, Muchinga and Eastern.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chisopa: Mr Speaker, before I ask my question, I would like to congratulate the hon. Member for Chitambo on being appointed Acting Chief Whip.




47.    Mr Chisopa (on behalf of Ms Mwape (Mkushi North)) asked the Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs:


  1. when the construction of palaces for the following chiefs in Mkushi North Parliamentary Constituency would commence:


  1. Mulungwe;


  1. Shaibila; and


  1. Chitina;


  1. what the estimated cost of the project was; and


  1. what the expected period for completion of the project was.


The Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Mr Sichalwe): Mr Speaker, the construction of palaces in Chiefs Mulungwe, Shaibila and Chitina in Mkushi North Constituency will be considered after the completion of the construction of palaces in the first phase.


Sir, the estimated cost of the project will be determined immediately prior to the commencement of works.


Sir, the period for the completion of the project will depend on the availability of funds.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Chisopa: Mr Speaker, what is the time frame for Phase I of the programme?


Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, we have allocated K6 million in 2017 Budget for the completion of Phase I of the programme.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, the house in which Chief Sikufele of Manyinga and Kabompo districts in the North-Western Province lives is almost collapsing. Does the ministry have plans to provide funds for the rehabilitation of chiefs’ palaces?


Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, the chiefs’ palaces are rehabilitated subject to their need for rehabilitation being brought to the attention of the ministry. We work with the Provincial Administrations, which prepare bills of quantity (BoQs) on the necessary works. I, therefore, wish to take this opportunity to urge my fellow hon. Members of Parliament to bring these issues to our attention so that we can quickly rehabilitate our chiefs’ palaces.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, in Chama District, there are about seven chiefs, all of whom have no palaces and vehicles. Even Senior Chief Kambombo uses a bicycle. What criteria does the ministry use in deciding to construct palaces for chiefs?


Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, under Phase I of the construction of chiefs’ palaces, we decided to build three palaces per province, bringing the total to thirty palaces countrywide. In Muchinga, the Provincial Administration asked us to build palaces for Chiefs Kopa, Katyetye and Kambombo, and the three palaces are currently the ring beam level. Further, as I have already said, we have included funds for the completion of the current projects in the 2017 Budget.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Chiyalika (Lufubu): Mr Speaker, some palaces were being constructed, but the works have stalled due to poor funding. What guarantee is there that the palaces scheduled for construction under Phase II of the programme will actually be constructed?


Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, in 2014, my ministry provided K1.2 million to each Provincial Administration for resumption of the works that had stalled. We have since written to the Ministry of Finance release to the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs all the funds that were not channelled to the construction of the palaces. So, we are in the process of being refunded those funds, which will help us to complete Phase I before we can commence Phase II.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mung’andu: On a point of order, Sir.




Mr Speaker: Order!


It looks like we do not have any further questions other than some point of order that is inconceivable.




Mr Speaker: I am sure the Whip will assist me.











VOTE 87 – (Anti-Corruption Commission – K76,133,279).


The Acting Leader of Government Business and Chief Whip (Mr Musukwa): Madam Chairperson, I rise to present the 2017 Estimates of Expenditure for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).


Madam Chairperson, the Patriotic Front (PF) recognises the detrimental of corruption on society. As such, it has dedicated itself to curbing the vice through collective efforts of both the public and the private sectors, and the Zambian society at large.


Madam Chairperson, Zambia has continued to suffer from the damaging effects of corruption perpetrated by selfish individuals and firms that are bent on enriching themselves at the expense of national development. My Government is committed to ensuring that public resources are utilised for the intended purposes. That commitment was echoed to this Parliament by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, in his speech during the Official Opening of the First Session of the Twelfth National Assembly on 30th September, 2016, when he stated as follows:


“My administration will, to this end, not relent in its fight against corruption, money laundering, drug trafficking and all the evil vices. We will take the fight against these evil vices to every corner of the country and every institution, be it public or private. There will be no sacred cow. The fight against corruption, in all its forms, is a key tenet of democracy and good governance.”


Madam Chairperson, this is a very strong message to all perpetrators of corruption that the time to act has come and that the Government will decisively deal with anyone found wanting. As the President said, this Government is geared to take this fight to every corner and institution of this country, be it public or private.


Madam Chairperson, the revelations of the Auditor-General’s Report, year in and year out, leave much to be desired. This nation needs a holistic approach to addressing the problems of misapplication of resources, unaccounted-for imprest, wasteful expenditure and undelivered goods and services, among others, as these are the indicators of a lack of transparency and accountability in the management of public resources.


Madam Chairperson, we need to promote good governance in the public sector by vigorously strengthening ethical conduct, administrative rules, and procedures and systems that govern the activities of public bodies, as these measures will assist in the fight against corruption.


Madam Chairperson, my Government will neither have any sacrificial lambs nor deliberately target any of our nationals because of their social or political affiliation. To the contrary, it will apply the law fairly and firmly across the board. To this effect, mechanisms for detecting, prosecuting and preventing corrupt practices will be enhanced. Further, the operations of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and other oversight institutions will be strengthened to enable them to perform checks and balances in the administration and utilisation of public resources. In this regard, the commission has been tasked to re-strategise and come up with new and effective interventions against the scourge of corruption. There is no more time for mere rhetoric, as we are determined to see the perpetrators of corruption arrested and stolen public money and the property recovered. The people of Zambia want to see justice dispensed and we want these measures to act as a hindrance to anyone contemplating engaging in corruption as a means of enriching themselves quickly.


Madam Chairperson, allow me, now, to present to this august House the estimates of expenditure for the ACC, which are in line with its mandate stipulated in the Anti-Corruption Commission Act No. 3 of 2012.


Madam Chairperson, in order to ensure that corruption is rooted out of the public and private sectors, the Government’s focus in both immediate and medium terms will be on the following areas:


(a)        procurement;


(b)        public finance management;


(c)        public licensing;


(d)        land allocation; and


(e)        possession of unexplained property or wealth gained through processes that cannot be properly accounted for.


Madam Chairperson, the commission will specifically undertake the following initiatives:


(a)        conduct effective and efficient lifestyle audits. This will be done through prosecutions led by investigations so that the quality of evidence is improved and more convictions secured;


(b)        conduct targeted procurement audits as a means of preventing corruption and sealing loopholes of corruption in institutions;


(c)        target young people, particularly in the nursery and primary schools, for anti-corruption education programmes in order to impart integrity in them at an early stage;


(d)        work with chief executive officers (CEOs) of various institutions to streamline the National Integrity Programme and strengthen its implementation. This will enable institutions to devise internal mechanisms for addressing corruption and aspire to eliminate audit queries; and


(e)        effectively communicate its achievements to the public in order to win public confidence and support for its operations.


Madam Chairperson, it is anticipated that, once implemented in 2017, these programmes will go a long way in curtailing corruption and fostering integrity among Zambians.


Madam Chairperson, the 2017 budget for the commission is K76,133,279, out of which K17,077,223 is the operational budget. As can be seen, the Government has increased the operational budget by about 75.8 per cent from the K9,716,533 allocated in 2016, and this financial boost is expected to enhance the capacity of the commission to increase the rate of completion of cases and convictions.


Madam Chairperson, let me take this opportunity to thank all the hon. Members of this august House who have continued to provide support to the ACC and the overall fight against corruption in Zambia.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for according me this opportunity to debate the budget for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).


Madam Chairperson, I am particularly surprised to hear the Government Chief Whip and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House say that the Government has directed the ACC to take specific measures necessary to the eradication of corruption in the country when we are all aware that the commission is supposed to be independent, not influenced by those in the Executive or the Legislature. We are also surprised to hear leaders of the Executive make public pronouncements about their realisation that many Ministers have a lot of unaccounted-for money in their accounts.


Hon. PF Members: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: The Government leadership was not supposed to lament if it realised that some members of the Executive were perpetrating corrupt activities. Instead, appropriate action must have been taken against the culprits as per the laws established in this country.


Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Otherwise, the impression created will be that there is no political will to fight the scourge.


Madam Chairperson, we are also perplexed to realise that the ACC always reacts to the sentiments of the Executive leadership. Of late, we have seen the commission wake up from slumber and start investigating corruption cases after the President of the country lamented the scourge as if it did not know what was going on all along.


Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: Why should the ACC take appropriate action only after the President has spoken of some elements of corruption in his Cabinet?


Mr Sing’ombe: And follow my brother Kambwili.


Mr Mwiimbu: Why does it seem to only investigate people who are seen to have fallen out of favour with the Government?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: If it is professional, it should investigate objectively and prudently even if the suspect is still in the Government.


Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!


Mr Mwiimbu: Why should it be the case that only those who are not on the right seem to be investigated for corrupt activities?


Madam Chairperson, the ACC is talking about investigating those whose lifestyles are not commensurate with their earnings.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: We know of junior officers in the Government and the Civil Service who have children in expensive schools in Lusaka where they pay US$20,000 per term, ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: … yet the commission does not investigate them because it thinks that they are the power brokers. So, what confidence is the ACC inspiring in us? It just shows that the commission is currently used to target those who have fallen out of favour with the Government, and that should not be the case.


Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!


Mr Mwiimbu: The Government is aware that there is a lot of corruption in the procurement system of this country.


Mr Livune: That is right!


Mr Mwiimbu: For example, in the road sector, every Zambian has been wondering why it costs K2 million to construct 1 km of a road in this country when the cost in our neighbouring countries is K400,000. Everyone of us here has been raising issues on road contracts that have been awarded and the very poor quality of the roads that have been constructed in this country, ...


Prof. Lungwangwa: The roads are constructed by the same people.


Mr Mwiimbu: … yet the ACC has not moved in to investigate. The Lusaka/Kabwe Road is sinking and melting, but no action has been taken against the contractor because the contractors are our friends and there are people in the Government system who are benefiting from the contracts awarded, ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: … yet Zambians are suffering because of the shoddy works being executed.


Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!


Many Members of Parliament have complained about the road works that have been executed in their constituencies.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!




Mr Mwiimbu: If their complaints are genuine and reports have been made to the authorities, why are the authorities not taking action? It just shows that there is something wrong in the operations of the ACC and the public’s confidence in the commission has been eroded.


Mr Nkombo: Finished!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, every leader has also complained about most of the contracts awarded outside the road sector and the ACC is supposed to take appropriate action whenever a complaint is lodged in. Queries have also been raised in the Auditor-General’s Report and some of the issues raised by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the Auditor-General border on outright theft, …


Hon. Opposition Members: Correct!


Mr Mwiimbu: … but there is nothing being done about them. As though that was not bad enough, we know of people who have been fired more than four times in the past, but they are being re-appointed in different positions. Why?


Mr Nkombo: Hmm!


Mr Mwiimbu: If somebody has done something wrong in one sector, why transfer him or her?


Mr Nkombo: To State House.




Mr Mwiimbu: That is condoning corruption, and those who condone corruption are also corrupt.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: We should not allow the perception that we condone corruption to permeate the minds of our people.


Madam Chairperson, in this country, it appears that the corrupt are the ones who are being appreciated.


Mr Syakalima: Yes!


Mr Mwiimbu: We have all heard Ministers and the Head of State lament the corruption in the Public Service. So, where do we go to complain if the leaders who are supposed to take appropriate action are the ones lamenting? We need action from our leadership, and those who are corrupt should not only be followed when they are out of the Government because that is not fair.


Madam Chairperson, the security of tenure of the Director-General of the ACC, even if it is provided for under the law, is not there in reality. That makes the ACC officers incapable of performing their functions fairly and prudently. We know some leaders who could not be prosecuted because they wielding a lot of power. They could even go to the commission and threaten the officers there with impunity. The ACC must not be seen to be selective in its investigations.


Mr Ngulube: In the MMD (Movement for Multi-party Democracy) Government.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, somebody is saying that happened in the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government. I did not know that. However, I can tell you that the occurrence to which I referred occurred in the Patriotic Front (PF) Government …


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: … and it has continued to happen under this PF leadership.




Mr Ngulube: The first PF Government.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, my plea to my colleague, the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House, is for him to ensure that the ACC is allowed to perform its duties prudently and professionally. We want the public to have confidence in the commission, but that can only happen if we correct the perception that it only prosecutes those who are not in the Government. That perception is not good for the country, which is losing a lot of money as a result of the corruption in the procurement system. For example, we, the Members of Parliament, have lamented the fact that a borehole, which ordinarily costs around K15,000, costs  K60,000 under the Government procurement system.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hmm!


Mr Nkombo: Why?


Mr Mwiimbu: Further, a dip tank that ordinarily costs K20,000, in the Government procurement system, it costs more than K150,000. Surely, there must be something wrong.




Mr Mwiimbu: Unfortunately, the ACC is part of the procurement system, as it sits on the Procurement Committee.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Hon. Opposition Members: Yes! Do you not know that?




Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, those who are exhibiting ignorance must read the regulations on procurement. In every procurement committee, there is a representative of the ACC, …


Mr Nkombo: And DEC.


Mr Mwiimbu: … Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) …


Mr Nkombo: And Zambia Police.


Mr Mwiimbu: … and Zambia Police Service.


Madam, when corruption is seen to be rampant despite these institutions being members of the procurement committees, it is a sign to members of the public that there is something wrong, as the commission is abetting corruption. Even in the land allocation system, there is a member of the ACC who sits on the relevant committee. So, if a committee on which the ACC sits is corrupt, will we not be right to say that the ACC is also corrupt …


Hon. UPND Members: Yes!


Prof. Lungwangwa: They are compromised.


Mr Mwiimbu: … and compromised? No wonder, it is failing to investigate corruption cases. Have you ever heard of a river draining itself out of water?




Mr Mwiimbu: If a river did that, it would cease to be a river, and that is the problem we have. So, the ACC must be detached from the procurement chain so that it can investigate professionally. Otherwise, it cannot investigate a process of which it is a part.


Madam Chairperson, I hope our colleagues on the right have taken note of the few points I have made in support of the vote.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Madam Chairperson, thank you for according me this chance to add the voice of the people of Kalabo to the debate on the 2017 budget for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).


Madam Chairperson, sometimes, selfishness deters development and keeps the benefit of development from reaching the majority of the people, especially those in the rural areas.


Madam Chairperson, the establishment of the ACC was good and well intended. However, along the way, we seem to have lost track, as we hear the unending story of corruption every day. Instead of reducing with every resource allocated to the commission, corruption is increasing. 


Madam Chairperson, in remote areas like where I live, when you hear about the ACC, you think of becoming a member of the Ruling Party so that you are protected from prosecution.


Mr Ngulube: Question!                


Mr Miyutu: That is what we experience. Most of those who have been successfully prosecuted for corruption by the commission are not members of the Ruling Party or high ranking Government officers, which gives the impression that the commission was set up for the lower classes in the community. Most people in the upper class do not get prosecuted or investigated.


Madam Chairperson, the ACC has a mandate to conduct corruption research and that is why these resources are allocated to it. So, it should know where corruption is occurring. It should not use these resources to persecute those who support the Opposition because that is wrong. It should, instead, ensure that public services reach all Zambians, especially those in the rural areas, because corruption hinders development from reaching the rural areas.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Miyutu: The commission should ensure that the appropriated resources reach the intended communities.


Madam Chairperson, road blocks contribute to the increase in corruption. There is a lot of corruption in traffic management and that has contributed to the increase in road accidents. As I said yesterday, these commissions are made up of human beings who are part of the communities in which they live. So, they are affected by what happens in their communities. I think, therefore, that they should realise their importance in the development of this country.


Madam Chairperson, some complaints arise in the communities because of the weakness of the ACC. For example, the commission has only 117 investigators, yet this country has ten vast provinces. That is a ratio of about twelve investigators per province.


Mr Nkombo: Eleven and half.


Mr Miyutu: Further, most of the investigators are based in urban areas. Consequently, the commission is not very active in some provinces. Therefore, there is a need to employ more investigators instead of general workers. Currently, the commission has only fifteen prosecutors. That is not being serious. However, a good day will come when the people of Zambia will have a government that will reach out to them. I believe that almost happened, ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Mr Miyutu: … but things went wrong somewhere. However, we know that the powers of the Almighty will not end there. So, when that day comes, we will serve the people proficiently.


Hon. Government Member: When?


Mr Miyutu: It is just a matter of time. We are just counting days.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Miyutu: Madam Chairperson, the number of prosecutors must be increased so that the ACC can have the capacity to execute its mandate. Surely, we want corruption to be eliminated so that Zambia develops. The people in the Government need to know that development will not come by magic. These are the blunt tools that are draining the resources that are supposed to build classrooms. You can see that K529 million is going to waste in this country when we need classrooms and clinics to be constructed. I make these calculations every day and I can tell you how much money is going to waste. So, this money we are approving in this House will not help the people of Zambia.


With those few words, I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Kunda (Muchinga): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me an opportunity to add my voice to the debate on this Vote, which is very important to the country because it will ensure that funds are taken where they are supposed to be used.


Madam Chairperson, there are many sectors that are suffering in this country due to corruption and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is very important because it fights corruption and makes it possible for people to have a meaningful life. However, if we do not support this Vote, we may permit corruption to become the order of the day, as has been the case in the recent past.


Madam Chairperson, we do not need to politicise this Vote because it is very important. The Agricultural sector depends on this Vote to get the resources allocated to it. For example, there is a need to ensure that fertiliser reaches the people for whom it is intended. The social sector also needs the ACC to ensure that our people receive the support they are supposed to receive from the Government, which is losing a lot of money through corruption. The commission should eradicate the corruption we have been talking about day in and day out. As I said earlier, there are a lot of areas that need the attention of the ACC so that our people can be supported and have a good life like many other people. Rural areas, for example, where I come from, depend on agriculture, which can transform this country. However, the sector is not doing as well as it should because of corruption.


Madam Chairperson, those are the few words I wanted to add to the debate on this Vote, and I urge all the hon. Members to support it so that the ACC can carry out its mandate of eradicating the corruption that has been rampant in the past.


I thank you, madam.


Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Madam Chairperson, thank you very much for giving me this chance to contribute to the debate on the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Vote.


Madam Chairperson, the commission is called “Anti-Corruption” because there is corruption in the first place, and a product of corruption cannot be used to fight the scourge.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Government Member: Question!


Mr Mutelo: If you are a product of corruption, you cannot fight what produced you.




Mr Mutelo: Madam Chairperson, the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House talked about selfish individuals and that there would be no sacred cows in the fight against corruption. What if he says that when there are sacred cows?


Madam Chairperson, the most important too that the ACC needs to fight corruption is information. Without information, the commission will not fight ‘colluption’.


Hon. Government Members: ‘Colluption’?


Mr Mutelo: It mother tongue interference. So, do not mind my pronunciation.




Mr Mutelo: Madam Chairperson, on the other hand, you cannot have information if there are no whistleblowers and the whistleblowers will not divulge any information if they are not given any incentives or protected by the law.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: Further, even if it is given information, the ACC can only fight corruption if given an effective platform, that is, an independent media. 


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: No government-controlled media in the world has ever fought corruption. 


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: So, a government that controls all the television and radio stations, and newspapers or bans the private media cannot fight corruption.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: Madam Chairperson, when the President was swearing-in some Ministers on 31st October, 2016, if I am not mistaken, he said that he was concerned …


The First Chairperson: Order, Hon. Mutelo!


Are you quoting the President?


Mr Mutelo: Not really, Madam Chairperson. I want to paraphrase.


The President said that he was concerned about increasing cases of corruption at both the ministerial level and lower levels of the Government. He went as far as revealing that he had received reports connecting some ministers to corrupt activities. He added that if the reports were confirmed to be true, he would not hesitate to relieve the culprits their duties even before they were investigated.




Mr Mutelo: He said that he would not wait for the ACC to investigate. Further, on 4th November, 2016, Her Honour the Vice-President and Leader of Government Business in the House, the one who has just given the policy debate, …




Mr Mutelo: … when responding to a question on the Floor of this House, said that no one could be prosecuted or relieved of his or her duties without investigations. She made that statement just four days after the President had said that he would not hesitate to relieve anyone found wanting of his or her duties even without investigations. How can we fight corruption this way?


Madam Chairperson, on the, day the President made the statement about corrupt ministers, he also took a swipe at the ACC, accusing it of failing to prosecute corruption cases proactively and waiting for political directives. That is very true. The ACC will not investigate anyone until there is a political directive. So, the commission will only do its job effectively if we depoliticise it. Granted, as the President noted, it is probably difficult to act against some constitutional office bearers because they are protected by the Constitution. That is why while there is an increase in corruption at both the ministerial and lower levels, the corruption at the lower levels gets more exposure. In this regard, I want to protect police officers, and it is not on account of my friendship with the hon. Minister of Home Affairs that I wish to do so. All we talk about is corruption at roadblocks, yet we heard the Head of State say that corruption cases have increased at the ministerial level as well. So, yes, we have no sacred cows, as Her Honour the Vice-President said.




The First Chairperson: Order, Hon. Mutelo!


Her Honour the Vice-President is not in the House.






Mr Mutelo: Noted, Madam. I meant, the Acting ‘His Honour’.




The First Chairperson: No. It is the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House.


Mr Mutelo: In place of Her Honour.




Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: Madam Chairperson, the ACC will do its work properly only when given information and freed from political directives. If there are some ‘stringes’ measures or powers involved ‒


Mr Ngulube: Stringent!


Mr Mutelo: Yes, ‘stringent’ political measures, not ‘strings’.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: Madam Chairperson, the budget for the ACC was K73,339,376 in 2016 while the one for 2017 is K76,133,279. Is that enough, given that insufficient funding is one of the hindrances to the commission’s effectiveness? If it has to investigate someone with billions of kwacha, but it is not well-funded, its officers may end up being compromised and failing to investigate, as the Leader of Opposition has stated. If the investigators are not infected by corruption, then, they are affected.




Mr Mutelo: Madam, corruption has many names. Some call it a cancer. However, it is not that. Cancer is cancer and corruption is corruption.




Mr Mutelo: Let us call it what it is, and that is, ‘corruption’.


Madam Chairperson, let us give the ACC the money it needs, not directives, and let it work professionally. Only then will its work be meaningful. Since the 1980s, when it was enacted in this Parliament, and 1996, when it was repealed, the Anti-Corruption Commission Act has not been effective. We can even repeal it again. However, as long as we do not detach politics or the political heavy hand from the commission’s work, we will not achieve anything.  


Madam, His Excellency the President wondered how some people had managed to acquire wealth within a very short time. I would equally wonder if a person who has K1 today woke up having K4,000 tomorrow, but fails to explain how he or she acquired the money. That would raise questions from the highest level up to the lowest.


Madam Chairperson, in supporting the Vote for the ACC, I wish to urge Zambians to support the commission by providing it with the necessary information. I also call on the Government to allow the private media to operate independently instead of suppressing it because it is an important whistleblower.


With those very few words, …




Mr Mutelo: … I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the Vote for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). From the outset, I wish to state that the people of Kaputa and I support this very important Vote and the work that the commission continues to do.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Ng’onga: Madam, as my colleagues who have already debated have said, the commission is very important and we are all agreed on that because this issue is a non-partisan. Although my colleague on the other side has advised against it, I wish to call corruption a cancer or a disease that leads to the misappropriation of resources. In most cases, corrupt people tend to disadvantage others, especially those who are not party to their actions. The resources that should be used for the public good go into the pockets of a few people with access to them.


Madam Chairperson, the problem I see in this country is that we all want to apportion blame mostly on politicians and Ministers as if they are the only ones who are corrupt, yet we all know that corruption happens at all levels and in all sectors. In the past, mansions or big businesses were only associated with apamwamba, that is, the upper class. Today, one wonders how the clerks and office cleaners have managed to get their hands on public resources and become increased with riches. Probably, it is because they have links to the masterminds behind the corrupt activities. Therefore, heaping all the blame on Ministers on account of their being decision-makers is missing the point. We must fight corruption at all levels, which means that this work cannot be left to the ACC alone because it does not have an adequate human resource and is not represented in our districts and constituencies. So, this is a fight we should all boldly take up.


Madam Chairperson, we, Zambians, are quick to point fingers at others and to accuse them of being corrupt, forgetting that three other fingers point back at us. So, we should take up the fight wholeheartedly and avoid concealing sources of corruption. We should not fear those we know to be involved in this vice. Instead, we should report them to the commission. I am sure that the laws in place are adequate to deal with the culprit, and they even protect whistleblowers. There are people who just point fingers in hiding or cast aspersions at others or make innuendos in the press for the sake of tarnishing other people’s images. Those with irrefutable evidence should make use of the relevant institutions so that we see an actual decrease in corruption. Those of us who have been privileged to visit other countries know that no part of the world is immune to corruption. However, there are differences in attitudes towards the scourge. In some countries, if you misuse public funds, people will definitely rise en masse to ensure that you are punished so that others can learn a lesson from your treatment. Surprisingly, in this country, all we do is point fingers at one another. For Example, when somebody leaves a ministerial position, we immediately start connecting him or her to corruption yet, when he/she was in office, we did not say anything about him or her. If someone is corrupt while in office, we should present the evidence so that we can hold our leaders to account. I suppose that is all we are here for, but ...


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ng’onga: … the fight should not be only for Members of Parliament, but all Zambians. Let us be patriotic and realise that corruption cannot be fought by the ACC alone.


Madam Chairperson, there are two parties to every incident of corruption, namely, the one who corrupts and the one who is corrupted, and it is very difficult for one of them to report himself or herself. So, those of us who are not involved should expose such acts. In the same vein, I wish see the Judiciary, which adjudicates in such cases, expedite the handling of corruption cases and ensure that justice is seen to be dispensed so that convictions can act as a deterrent against corruption.


Madam Chairperson, I support this very important Vote wholeheartedly. In fact, were it possible, I would ask the hon. Minister of Finance to increase the allocation, which has roughly stagnated. It is not a big improvement for a budget that was K73 million in 2015 to be K76 million in 2017. In the future, the hon. Minister of Finance should consider allocating more money to this institution so that it is strengthened enough to save public resources from abuse.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Mr Musukwa: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to wind up debate.


Madam, I sincerely thank all the hon. Members who have debated this Vote.


Madam Chairperson, because of the unanimous support this Vote has received from my colleagues, I do not want to belabour the point. Therefore, I just want to say that we are all just spinning around the same issue and that I have seen that our commitment to the fight against corruption is important to hon. Members of Parliament. I am very grateful for that. Nevertheless, I have to emphasise a few points.


Madam, it is important for my colleagues to note that this Parliament, under the leadership of the Patriotic Front (PF), …


Mr Livune: Question!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Musukwa: … enacted the law on abuse of authority of office, which was evidence of the collective commitment of us all, including Members of Parliament, to the fight against corruption. Therefore, when His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, tutors his team on the dangers of corruption, he is exercising his prerogative as captain of the ship.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Musukwa: It is his duty to guide his team. So, I think that it is not fair to demonise him for talking against corruption. Having a Head of State who is so committed to fighting corruption as to declare his commitment to his Cabinet, Members of Parliament and entire PF membership is good for this country and I expected hon. Members of Parliament to acknowledge that. Moreover, we have not seen the same commitment from the leaders of other political parties.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Musukwa: His Excellency the President and the PF are committed to fighting against corruption because we know its evil effects, and I think we all agree that the scourge is bad for this country.


Madam Chairperson, I have sent Hon. Jack Mwiimbu, my fellow leader in this House, a copy of my statement so that he can peruse it and see whether his insinuations that the Government directs the operations of the ACC are correct. The commission remains independent and professional, and that is how we wish it to remain. In fact, I made this point in my earlier statement. So, no one will tell the commission what to do. Meanwhile, all of us should avoid being selfish and wanting to enrich ourselves through corruption so that we are not visited by the commission.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Musukwa: Madam Chairperson, it was alleged that the ACC is represented on the Procurement Committee. However, my investigations have shown that it is not. As rightly stated by our colleagues, that is meant to keep the commission from having a conflict of interests in prosecuting procurement-related corruption cases. Otherwise, how could it investigate such cases when if it sat on that committee? This concern has been raised by the Public Accounts Committee and several other Committees in the past.


Madam Chairperson. I am very grateful for Hon. Miyutu’s contribution on this Vote, although he has left the House.


The First Chairperson: He is there.


Mr Musukwa: Okay, he is present.


Madam, Hon. Miyutu spoke with a lot of passion about corruption being responsible for underdevelopment, especially in our rural areas and I agree with him. In that regard, we will ensure that resources recovered through fighting this scourge go towards developing our rural areas, and empowering our women and youths. However, I would be failing in my duties if I did not inform the hon. Member that the day for which he is waiting will not come ...


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Musukwa: … again because it already passed on 11th August, 2016, when the elections were conducted. The next one will come in 2021.




Mr Musukwa: Madam, I am also thankful for the contribution of Hon. Kunda, the Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee. I saw a lot of vigour in him as he urged the House to fight corruption. This is the commitment we need to see from our leaders.


Madam Chairperson, I also thank Hon. Mutelo for his contribution. The “Acting Her Honour” agrees with him that we need to create a platform for whistleblowers to expose corruption by protecting them from reprisals when they provide authorities with information on corruption. In this regard, my Government is committed to ensuring that there is no sacred cow in the fight against corruption in the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary. So, I urge all citizens to be committed to this fight.


Madam, I am also grateful to Hon. Ng’onga for his emphatic contribution on the dangers of corruption and the benefits of fighting the scourge at all levels.


Lastly, Madam, I sincerely thank all the other hon. Members of Parliament for their passive support for the Vote.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Hon. Governments Members: Hear, hear!


VOTE 87/01 – (Anti-Corruption CommissionHeadquarters – K78,133,279).


Mr Mutelo: Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Unit 04, Programme 4000, Activity 001 – Salaries ‒ Division I – K24,069,674 and Activity 002 – Salaries Division II – K550,702.  Why have we reduced the allocations to salaries for workers in the Investigations Department?


The Minister in the Office of the Vice-President (Ms Chalikosa): Madam Chairperson, on Unit 04, Programme 4000, Activity 001 – Salaries ‒ Division I – K24,069,674 and Activity 002 – Salaries Division II – K550,702, the decrease is due to positions that were frozen and have remained vacant.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on page 1220, Programme 4035, Activities 001− Insurance – K349,898, 010 – Maintenance of Motor Vehicles – K237,007 and 017 – Motor Vehicle Fuel & Lubricants – K103,200. Given that logistics and transport management is a key component in the fight against corruption, I do not know how we can expect effective operations in the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) when we have drastically reduced such budget lines.


The First Chairperson: What is the question?


Mr Chaatila: Madam Chairperson, what are the reasons for the reduction in the allocations to the three Activities?


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Chairperson, on Programme 4035, Activity 001− Insurance – K349,898, the reduction is because of a discount in insurance premiums for old assets. As for Activities 010 – Maintenance of Motor Vehicles – K237,007 and 017 – Motor Vehicle Fuel & Lubricants – K103,200, the decrease is due to rationalisation of the use of our scarce resources.


I thank you, Madam.


Ms Chonya (Kafue): Madam Chairperson, I am looking at Unit 04, Programme 4013, Activity 021 – Investigations ‒ Lusaka – K3,527,540. I am wondering why this Activity will only to be restricted to Lusaka. Does the commission not anticipate having similar Activities outside Lusaka?


The First Chairperson: Did you get the question?


Ms Chalikosa indicated dissent.


The First Chairperson: Hon. Chonya, please, repeat the question.


Ms Chonya: Madam, I seek clarification on why Unit 04, Programme 4013, Activity 021 – Investigations – Lusaka – K3,527,540 has been limited to Lusaka. Does the commission not anticipate conducting similar investigations outside Lusaka?


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Chairperson, the amount is meant for investigations in Lusaka and areas in other provinces.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 4013, Activity 094 – Case Management System – K1,127,799. Why has this Activity been funded for next year when it was not funded this year?


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Chairperson, this allocation is meant to cater for annual licensing fees for the Electronic Case Management System that is used by the Investigations and Legal departments.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Mutelo: Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 4001, Activity 009 – Esaamlag – K35,520. What is this Activity about?


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Chairperson, the amount is meant to cater for the cost of the commission’s participation in the East and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group meetings for knowledge-sharing on money laundering activities. The allocation is meant to cater for travelling expenses.


I thank you, Madam.


Princess Kasune (Keembe): Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 4058, Activity 015 – Procurement of Specialised Equipment – K104,000. What type of equipment will be procured?


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Chairperson, this allocation is meant to cater for the replacement of the old information communication technology (ICT) equipment.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Kopulande (Chembe): Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programmes 4013, Activity 021 – Investigations – Lusaka – K3,527,540 and 4000, Activity 001 – Salaries Division I – K24,069,674. I have observed that the core function of the commission has received only one-seventh of what the salaries function has received, and this seems to be the case in many Government departments that the salaries function receives more funding than the core function. Can it be argued that the commission is over-staffed, hence the core function not sufficiently funded?


The First Chairperson: Is the question on why there is more money allocated to salaries instead of the core function?


Mr Kopulande: Exactly, Madam Chairperson.


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Chairperson, this amount represents basic salaries, and housing and transport allowances, including the 1 per cent increase that was allocated and awarded to the members of staff in 2016.


I thank you, Madam.


The First Chairperson: Hon. Minister, I think you need to address the issue of the low allocation to the core function of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Chairperson, the allocation to the core function depends on the number of activities to be undertaken. Due to budgetary constraints, this is the amount we could allocate.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Mutelo: Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 4046, Activity 006 – Anti-corruption Clubs (Communities & Schools) – K280,400. Will the clubs also be formed in Washishi, Mitete, Kalabo or Kaputa?


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Chairperson, there is a schedule for the formation of clubs in various districts. If the hon. Member needs more information on this, he can visit the office.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 4047, Activity 034 – Co-ordinate NACP Implementation – K1,183,080. Firstly, what does the acronym mean? Secondly, what extra activities have warranted the astronomical increase in the allocation from K200,000 this year to K1,183,080 in 2017?


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Chairperson, NACP stands for National Anti-Corruption Policy.


Madam, the increase in the allocation to this activity has been necessitated by the planned holding of three Technical Committee meetings and one Steering Committee meeting. The amount is also meant to cover the cost of the printing and launch of a revised NACP and its implementation plan. The review of the policy will include the holding of workshops with key stakeholders.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Kunda (Muchinga): Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 4071, Activity 003 – Publicity – K71,000. Why is there such a big reduction in the allocation to this Activity when the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is supposed to publicise its work?


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Chairperson, the reduction is due to a re-alignment of some Activities.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Vote 87/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 13 – (Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs – K130,551,129)


The Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Mr Sichalwe): Madam Chairperson, thank you for according me this opportunity to present the 2017 budget for the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs.


Madam, the ministry draws its mandate from Government Gazette No. 183 of 2012 as amendment by Government Gazette No. 561 of 2012. That mandate is to implement programmes relating to chiefs and traditional affairs, such as conducting the business of the House of Chiefs in order to foster good governance, construction of chiefs’ places, documentation of traditions, provision of support to traditional ceremonies and resolution of conflicts in chiefdoms.


Madam Chairperson, my ministry’s aggregate ceiling for 2017 is K129,393,795, compared with K129,498,401 in 2016. Although the figure seems not to have changed, this august House might wish to note that unlike the allocation for 2016, the one for 2017 will not have to support the National Museums Board (NMB) and the National Heritage Conservation Commission (NHCC), which have been transferred to the Ministry of Tourism and Arts.


Madam Chairperson, the K129,393,795 ceiling is broken down as follows:


Activity                                                                                    Amount (K)    


Personal Emoluments                                                              33,791,867


Chiefs’ Subsidies and Retainers’ wages                                 61,200,000 …


The Chairperson: Order, hon. Minister!


The Head total in the Yellow Book is different from the one you have mentioned to the House. Can you reconcile the two.




Mr Sichalwe: Madam, I beg your pardon. Let me make a correction.


The Chairperson: Order, hon. Minister!


I suggest that you consult your officers when business is suspended. Meanwhile, you can make your policy statement without referring to the amounts. Otherwise, you will mislead the House.


Mr Sichalwe: Thank you, Madam Chairperson, I will follow your guidance.


The Chairperson: Order!


Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.





Mr Sichalwe: Madam Chairperson, when business was suspended, I had just started giving a breakdown of the 2017 budget for my ministry. I apologise the incorrect figure I mentioned and thank you for quickly noticing the error. The correct allocation to my ministry for 2017 is K130,551,129, broken down as follows:


Activity                                                                                          Allocation (K)


Personal Emoluments                                                                          3,791,867


Chiefs subsidies and Retainers’ wages                                            61,200,000


Retainers’ terminal benefits                                                                  626,028


Recurrent Departmental Charges                                                     33,775,900


Heritage Site Management                                                                   265,000


Support to Museums                                                                            800,000


Contributions and Subscriptions                                                             92,334


Madam, the mistake I made earlier was in relation to the last three items.


Madam Chairperson, the allocation for Chiefs Subsidies and Retainers’ Wages has been increased from K23,558,400 in 2016 to K61,200,000 in 2017 due to the increment in earnings awarded to chiefs and their retainers by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, in April, 2016, in accordance with the provisions of the Chiefs Act, Cap 287 of the Laws of Zambia.


Madam, the 2017 approved ceiling for personal emoluments, like in 2016, stands at K33,791,867 while the liquidation of arrears has been allocated K1,282,000, of which K840,000 is for dismantling personnel-related arrears while K442,000 is for settling outstanding bills for goods and services.


Madam Chairperson, allow me, now, to inform this august House about some notable achievements of the ministry in 2016 and some challenges encountered.


Operationalisation of the Department of Planning, Research and Information


Madam Chairperson, after receiving Treasury authority in November, 2015, the ministry operationalised the Department of Planning, Research and Information in January, 2016. The department is responsible for co-ordinating policy issues, planning, budgeting, and monitoring and evaluation of the ministry’s projects and programmes.


Election of Members of the House of Chiefs


Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs successfully conducted elections for members of the House of Chiefs in all the ten provinces in line with Article 169, Sub-Section 2 of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016, which provides that the members of the House of Chiefs be five chiefs from each province elected by the fellow chiefs in their respective provinces. This implies that the membership of the House of Chiefs has increased from three chiefs per province, which was provided for in Article 132 of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 18 of 1996.


Support to Traditional Ceremonies


Madam Chairperson, in 2016, the ministry supported recognised traditional ceremonies through grants to cultural associations. Further, the Government was represented at traditional ceremonies by guests of honour. This provided a platform for interaction and exchange of ideas between the Government and the host communities.


Madam Chairperson, the Government is committed to the development of chiefdoms and the country at large. In this regard, let me inform the House about the programmes the ministry will implement and the activities it will undertake in 2017.


Support to Districts


Madam Chairperson, since its creation in 2011, the ministry has established its presence in eighty districts across the country. In order to facilitate effective service delivery by district officers, a new budget line called Support to Districts has been created and allocated K4,800,000.


Infrastructure Development


Madam Chairperson, in 2017, the ministry will continue the implementation of Phase 1 of the construction of chiefs’ palaces. In this phase, the Government is constructing, at least, three palaces per province, which are at various stages of construction. We intend to complete the construction of chiefs’ palaces in the first phase of the programme before starting the construction of another set of palaces. This is in line with the Government’s policy of focusing capital budgets on the completion of on-going programmes before embarking on new ones. Six million Kwacha (K6,000,000) has been allocated to this programme in 2017.


Increased Membership of the House of Chiefs


Madam Chairperson, following the amendment of our Constitution, the membership of the House of Chiefs was increased from thirty to fifty so as to enhance the administration and conduct of the business and operations of the institution of chieftaincy. Further, the change is expected to strengthen the link between Parliament and the House of Chiefs, as the latter will deliberate on Bills relating to customs and traditions as well as any other matter referred to it by the President before the Bills are tabled in the National Assembly. Additionally, the administration of justice through traditional courts will be enhanced.




Madam Chairperson, the Government recognises the fact that chieftaincy is not only a traditional governance institution, but also one that can contribute significantly to the social, economic and political development of the country. However, that can only be effectively realised in an environment where there are fewer chiefdom boundary disputes, among other problems. The ministry has recorded an increase in both succession and boundary disputes in our chiefdoms and this is a worrisome situation. In this regard, the ministry, through the House of Chiefs, will endeavour to resolve most of the conflicts as soon as they are reported. In addition, the ministry has engaged the Office of the Surveyor-General to reproduce the 1958 Chiefdom Boundary and topographic maps and K574,247 for that task in the 2017 Budget. The maps will, then, be distributed to the chiefdoms and other stakeholders in a sensitisation programme.


Chiefs’ Welfare


Madam Chairperson, in order to uphold the status of the office the chief and to enable chiefs to discharge their traditional functions under the customary law, the ministry will continue to pay them monthly subsidies and K61,200,000 has been provided for that in 2017. The money will also be used to pay chiefs’ retainers’ wages.


Traditional Ceremonies


Madam Chairperson, traditional ceremonies are a vital platform of interface among the Government, chiefs and the local communities because they preserve the cultural heritage, and enhance the exchange of traditional values and important historical information. They also provide a forum for dissemination of information on the development agenda in the respective chiefdoms through speeches. In addition, they promote unity in the chiefdoms. In this regard, the ministry has allocated K1,010,000 to support grants towards the hosting of traditional ceremonies and the representation of the Government at the ceremonies. In addition, K502,500 has been allocated to the documentation of customs and traditions as a way of contributing to the preservation of the cultural heritage of the country.


Registration of villages


Madam Chairperson, the registration of villages is meant to generate provide vital statistical information that can serve as the basis for planning and decision-making on the types of developmental projects that can be implemented in the chiefdoms by individuals, organisations and institutions. In this regard, the ministry has set aside K200,000 to facilitate the supervision of village registration in chiefdoms.


Cross-cutting Issues in Chiefdoms


Madam Chairperson, my ministry will continue collaborating with other sector ministries and stakeholders in ensuring sustainable development in chiefdoms as it implements multi-sectoral programmes. In this regard, K200,000 has been provided for the implementation of water and sanitation activities in chiefdoms and sensitisation against child marriages.




Madam Chairperson, notwithstanding the achievements recorded, my ministry continues to face challenges, especially with regards to the limited capacity of the House of Chiefs Chamber. This has been particularly problematic following the increase in the membership of the House from thirty to fifty. Further, the chamber’s recording and public address systems frequently malfunction. In order to address these challenges, the ministry is considering several options, including the use of the National Assembly Chamber when Parliament is on recess, the hiring of conference facilities like the Government Complex and the construction of a new Chamber for the House of Chiefs as a long-term measure.


Madam Chairperson, allow me to reiterate my ministry’s commitment to uplifting the lives of the people in our chiefdoms through the preservation and conservation of our rich cultural heritage. In this regard, I wish to pay glowing tribute to our co-operating partners and various stakeholders for the support rendered to my ministry in 2016. I further wish to humbly appeal to the hon. Members of this august House to support my ministry in the initiation and implementation of developmental programmes in our chiefdoms. Lastly, I call upon the hon. Members of this august House to support my ministry’s 2017 estimates of expenditure for my ministry.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Madam Chairperson, I am grateful for the opportunity to debate the budget for the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs.


In my usual style, Madam, I want to state that we will support this Vote because we have no other option. In fact, I think that when we decide to do something, we should do it with all our might so that we succeed. Unfortunately, the money the Government has invested into the ministry is too little to yield any significant returns. So, we must have that at the back of our minds as we approve this Vote.


Madam Chairperson, it is said that charity begins at home, and all of us here belong to one chiefdom or another and have roots planted somewhere and that is where we  royal family ...


Mr Kampyongo: Since when?


Mr Nkombo: … and in our tradition, just like the tradition is here, we are not allowed to debate ourselves.




Mr Nkombo: However, in the interest of building the establishment of traditional affairs, I decided to make a few comments.


Madam, chiefs are the custodians of our customs and traditions. Yes, a legal framework has been put in place for the administration of chiefs’ affairs. However, I am worried that the traditional establishments sometimes get patronised by politicians. For now, I just wish I could speak as the son of a chief, not as a Politician.


Madam Chairperson, allow me to state that chieftaincy is a family affair that should remain as such. The current practice of the hon. Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs wanting to choose who becomes a chief and who does not is a legacy of the colonial hegemony.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister mentioned some challenges that the ministry faces, including succession and boundary disputes. As you know, the only authoritative document on chiefdom boundaries is still the 1958 Map of Chiefdom Boundaries. For a long time now, we have advocated for the map to be updated so that boundary disputes can be put to rest once and for all. As we all know, human beings come and go, but institutions remain. We will leave this place and our successors will ask, “What were these people doing?” “Why did they not resolve these land disputes?” We have heard of some candidates being burnt to death. Am I wrong, hon. Minister? We have also heard of the right heirs being forbidden from ascending to power, as the case was with Paramount Chief Chitimukulu Kanyanta Sosala Manga II. There were many challenges and shenanigans here between us and the immediate past administration until the death of President Michael Sata and the resulting Presidential by-election, which made the Patriotic Front (PF) to recognise the current Paramount Chief Chitimukulu for political expedience. The Hansard has proof of Paramount Chief Chitimukulu being referred to as “masquerading as be a chief” by the PF Government.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, issues of chieftaincy should be left to the royal establishments. As much as possible, the Government should let the royal establishments to figure out the rightful man for the throne. The moment people with no royal blood like some of our colleagues in this House get involved with their partisan interests, they just complicate things.




Mr Nkombo: That is what causes some people to murder others over succession disputes.




Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, I pray that those without royal blood who are making vulgar comments will respect those of us have royal blood in our veins.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: It is not my fault that I was born in the Mwanachingwala Royal Family.


The First Chairperson: Order, hon. Nkombo!


You are now debating yourself. Please, debate the Vote.


Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, those who were born into royalty should not be faulted for that privilege, and they must be respected and given the preserve to choose who leads their clans. As we all know, tribes are just extended clans. For example, I am from the Mukonka Clan, but we also have the Munsakas and Mundendas, and we know one another. So, for a person from, for example, Lusaka to go and adjudicate over a traditional issue in the Mwanachingwala Chiefdom is wrong. We, the custodians of the traditions must be allowed to handle such matters.


Madam Chairperson, the increase in the boundary disputes to which the hon. Minister referred is a result of the discovery of more natural resource endowments by our chiefs and us, headmen, in our chiefdoms and areas. That has caused a lot of trouble for us because we now know that there are some royalties those that accrue to those of us who are part of the royal establishments.


Hon. Member: You are not royalty.


Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, no matter how much someone insists that I am not part of any royal establishment, it will not change the fact that I am, and it is not my fault that I am royalty while they are commoners. 




Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, as a Government, we only have the Land Circular of 1985, of which I am sure you are aware since you have been here for a long time. The absence of a clear land policy is also a recipe for continued disputes among chiefs. The circular under which we operate allows a chief to alienate maximum of only 250 ha of land. One day, I heard an hon. Minister betray his ignorance of the ceiling on the hectarage a chief is allowed to alienate to anyone, be it an investor or even a son of the soil. In this regard, I think that we need to help the hon. Minister to develop a national land policy so that all other things can start falling in place. For sure, chiefs are the owners of traditional land.


Madam Chairperson, those of us who are fortunate enough to be fairly well travelled will tell you about the Aborigines, the traditional owners of the small continent of Australia. Yes, they are not that much recognised in the running of the Australian Government, but those who colonised that part of the world continued to recognise and respect their right to existence. Unfortunately, most of them do not like to go to school, but that is their own problem. In Zambia, on the other hand, the traditional owners of the land have been left out of the school system. As a result, they cannot excel at a personal level.


Madam, we must ensure that what the Government collects, say, from Lumwana is used firstly to the benefit of the people of Lumwana because the moment the money is taken from that chiefdom into Control Account 99, it is like a blood bank that has been put under the care of a Dracula. It will be spent elsewhere and that is a challenge that can be resolved by giving the chiefdoms statutory mandates to collect royalties. A small part of that money, say, K2,000 or K3,000, could be channelled to a fund for supporting traditional ceremonies. Currently, chiefdoms collect royalties without statute authority. The investors just have a chat with the chief in the evening and leave a little money behind when they depart. If they had a statutory mandate to collect royalties, they would not have to worry about where they would get animals to be eaten at traditional ceremonies. They would just go to the Ministry of Tourism and Arts and pay for a licence to kill a buffalo. As you know, buffalo meat costs far much more than the K3,000 that is given to organisers of traditional ceremonies. So, the resources are so thinly spread. Take, for instance, our Lwiindi Ceremony in Monze, which is attended by more people than those Jesus fed with two fish and five loaves.




Mr Nkombo: How on earth ...


Ms Katuta: That is blasphemy.


Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, I need your protection. Someone is saying I have blasphemed when all I did is use figurative speech.  


The First Chairperson: Just continue with your debate.


Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, I appreciate the guidance.


Madam Chairperson, K2,000 is not even sufficient to buy fuel for chiefs who may wish to travel to a ceremony to support a fellow chief. The hon. Minister knows about the multitudes of people to which I referred because we met, not so long ago, in Dundumwezi at the Chungu Ceremony of Chief Chikanta. The people were uncountable and I am sure that he might have felt like he was in the middle of Chawama Compound, which is densely populated. I am telling the truth. So, K2,000 is a joke for such an occasion.


Madam Chairperson, I started by saying that all of us here come from villages. That is very important to me. When we came from there, we left some bad traditional practices and I think that the ministry should scale up its campaigns for the eradication of harmful traditional practices like sexual cleansing. It should remind chiefs on a daily basis that the practice is a conduit for the spread of the deadly human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immune-deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) pandemic amongst us. The ministry should spearhead the dissemination of that kind of information.


Madam, there is so much that I can say but, like I said, I am a member of a royal establishment and royalty do not speak too much.




Mr Nkombo: Therefore, I would like to rest my case here.


Thank you most sincerely, Madam, for allowing me to debate.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwashingwele (Katuba): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate this very noble policy statement. I thank the hon. Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs for presenting it well.


Madam Chairperson, people should understand that I am very passionate about this topic. In keeping with the custom established by Hon. Nkombo, I will also state that I am Headwoman Mwashingwele.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwashingwele: Therefore, I will debate as an insider who is knowledgeable about what actually happens in chiefdoms.




Mr Ngulube: I am also Chief Tutwa.


Mrs Mwashingwele: Madam Chairperson, we need to understand the importance of training chiefs for development facilitation and it is quite surprising that no amount has been allocated to that activity in the 2017 Budget.


Ms Katuta: On a point of order, Madam.




Mrs Mwashingwele: Madam Chairperson, am I protected from the hecklers?


The First Chairperson: You are protected.


Let me also clarify that chiefs are not allowed by the Constitution to sit in this House. So, I want to believe that there is no chief here.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


The First Chairperson: You may continue.


Mrs Mwashingwele: I thank you for that very clear guidance. I think that Hon. Ngulube has understood.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to mention, like I did earlier, that the training of chiefs is very important in a lot of areas. It is quite interesting that this training is not allocated anything in the 2017 Budget.  Our chiefs have different levels of education. Therefore, some of them need continuous training. There is no way we can neglect to allocate funds to such an activity, unless we are saying that we do not intend to facilitate any form of development through them next year. If it was an oversight, I beg the hon. Minister to reconsider this part and allocate the funds.


Madam Chairperson, I have observed that K2 million has been allocated for the procurement of vehicles, but not vehicles for chiefs. That is moving away from the core function of the ministry. So, it will be important for this House to know for whom the vehicles are being procured because the ministry is not new and already has vehicles in use. We have heard on the Floor on this House this afternoon how one chief only has a bicycle for transport. Why should we lower our chiefs to such levels when money is allocated to the ministry?


Madam Chairperson, as already observed earlier by Hon. Nkombo, the money allocated to this ministry is very minimal, especially given the fact the resources exploited from the respective chiefdoms. For example, the sand, stones and gravel from Mungule Chiefdom in Katuba Constituency is brought into Lusaka everyday to build the city, but no direct benefit accrues to Chieftainess Mungule because the council, which collects revenue from such activities, does not plough the money back into the chiefdom. So, let us be very cautious when allocating funds to this ministry and remember that chiefdoms are our foundations. The ministry needs a lot of support because its chief clients cannot speak for themselves on the Floor of the House despite having various needs. For example, some palaces do not have piped water; power, whether hydro or solar; and decent roads leading to the palaces. How can we be proud when our chiefs are deprived of all such basic needs? We need to consider at the plight of our chiefs when preparing budgets.


Madam Chairperson, the allocations for the managements of heritage sites should not be in this budget, but be moved to the Ministry of Tourism and Arts. So, the K800,000 that has been allocated for support to museums could have been allocated to the building of another palace instead. Why should we duplicate works in an underfunded ministry? I suggest that if possible, that amount be re-allocated to some programme that directly benefits our chiefs.


Madam Chairperson, reference to the 1958 Map of Chiefdom Boundaries as a means to resolving conflicts has continuously been made. However, sometimes, the conflicts are not caused by the chiefs. Rather, the chiefs are actually victims of the selfishness of us, the politicians, residents or investors. It has been said that the maximum hectarage that a chief can allocate is 250 ha. However, we, the politicians, are often the ones who go into the chiefdoms with the so-called investors, who have nothing to their name, and lobby for them to be given 10,000 ha. We even root for the purported investors. God help us.


Hon. Government Members: Hmm!


Ms Mwashingwele: Why are we depriving our people of land?


Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Ms Mwashingwele: Madam Chairperson, when conflicts arise between or among chiefs, sometimes it us who fuel the conflict.


Madam Chairperson, as Hon. Nkombo has stated, the Government should accept that successions are a family matter.


Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!


They are our business.


Ms Mwashingwele: Even if the Government invests a lot of money into the welfare of chiefs, the replacement of dead chiefs should be strictly family business and the decisions of the royal families should be respected even if we may not like them. Otherwise, succession issues will destroy the fabric of our being; our cultural norms and true identity. Successions may look like simple matters, but they divide chiefdoms and families.


Madam Chairperson, sometimes, the inconsistencies between political and chiefdom demarcations are the sources of conflicts in the districts. For example, a single district might host two or three chiefdoms. So, can we sit down with the owners of the land, the chiefs, and resolve the disputes instead of forcing the political boundaries on chiefdoms on the chiefdom ones.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Mwashingwele: Otherwise, we will destroy the livelihoods of the native inhabitants of the areas. As we know, chiefdoms preceded the political administrative divisions.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Mwashingwele: We need to approach the issue of boundaries very cautiously.


Mr Mutelo: Induna!


Ms Mwashingwele: Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister spoke about the achievements of his ministry and I do appreciate the increase in the number of chiefs to represent each province in the House of Chiefs. It is a good step going. However, we should be cautious in conducting the elections so that we do not have some provinces that will be represented by more chiefs from one tribal grouping at the expense of others.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Mwashingwele: We should have a policy in place that enables the ministry to come in and ensure equal representation in the House of Chiefs whenever that is not ordinarily achieved by the election process. Otherwise, unrepresentative representation will be a source of unnecessary conflicts.


Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: Hear, hear!


Ms Mwashingwele: Madam Chairperson, we appreciate traditional ceremonies and, as was already mentioned, the ministry’s K3,000 grant towards their hosting is a mockery. If we really want to help, we should do it wholeheartedly. Otherwise, we should just stay away. Some chiefdoms spend as much as K400,000 to organise traditional ceremonies, then, the Government provides K3,000. I would rather we find another way of helping the organisers.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to appreciate the subsidies to both the chiefs and their retainers, as they have given a lot of self-esteem to the chief. I encourage the ministry to continue that support. I think that is one aspect on which the Government has received many accolades from different places of the country.


Madam Chairperson, regarding the research on the chiefs and chiefdoms about which the hon. Minister talked, I want to encourage him to ensure that the ministry sends people who understand what they are doing as researchers. The hon. Minister also talked about the registration of villages. I do not know whether he is unaware that every village already has a register. Why should we spend so much money to undo what has already been done? If we really want to conduct research, let us start with finding out from the local people and the chiefs so that we do not re-invent the wheel by registering people who are already registered. The K200,000 allocated to that activity could have been used on sinking of boreholes for chiefs who are in need of clean drinking water.


Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, we need clinics in our chiefdoms. Some chiefs have to drive or cycle long distances to the nearest clinic. Unfortunately, sometimes, even when they get there, the find stock outs of medicine.


Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!


Ms Mwashingwele: That is not helping us. We owe our chiefs a lot and should take care of them.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me this time to debate this very important Vote for our chiefs. From the outset, I want to say that I support the budget. However, in doing so, I just have a few issues that I need to highlight.


Madam Chairperson, knowledge is power, but I can see that there is ignorance even among the elite on the issue of land allocation. There is a misconception that the chief can only allocate up to 250 ha. However, as a land surveyor, I know better.


Mr Ngulube: We know that.


Mr Jamba: Madam Chairperson, it is only when you want to be given a title deed that you will be restricted to having 250 ha. Otherwise, chiefs are able to give 10,000 ha because there are two forms of land holding in this country. If I do not want a title deed, I can get 20,000 ha of chiefdom land. So, we need to educate our chiefs that they can allocate any quantity of land and people can get title deeds for it although I know that land administration has caused many problems in many chiefdoms.


Madam Chairperson, I think it is very important for the hon. Ministers Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, and Tourism and Arts to work closely. I once met an Australian in the Lower Zambezi National Park who told me that he had dropped out of school and was not very educated. I had gone to carry out a survey at a certain palace when that young man arrived and, immediately the chief saw the white man, he welcomed him and offered him 2,000 ha of land. I think the tendency of our chiefs to favour of another colour must be raised in the House of Chiefs. We must teach our chiefs that the colour of a person means nothing. It is unfair for an Australian with an inadequate education to be given 2,000 ha of land in the Lower Zambezi National Park when indigenous Zambians cannot be given even 2 ha.


Hon. UPND Members: Hammer, hammer!


Mr Jamba: This problem must be resolved, especially on the corridors of the Lower Zambezi National Park, where the chiefs have been giving land to white people, but when the indigenous people ask for land, they are asked, “Uli na zingati?”, meaning, “How much do you have?” I think we must organise seminars in which we will sensitise the chiefs on the importance of empowering the local people.


Madam Chairperson, let me also say that ten years from now, some chiefs will be chiefs in name only because they will not have land. So, we should audit the administration of customary land and review the relevant policies. As we all know, three quarters of the land in Zambia is customary land. Therefore, if the chiefs continue to give land on title to foreigners, some of them will end up not having any left and when they call for meetings no one will bother to attend because once your land is on title, you no longer need the chief’s good will to continue having it. In short, you are no longer subject to him.


Madam Chairperson, let me now talk about the disputes concerning the ‘1950’ Map of Chiefdom Boundaries.


Hon. UPND Members: 1958.


Mr Jamba: Yes, the 1958 map.


Madam, that map is the source of some of the controversy among chiefdoms because the headmen, who are the eyes of the chiefs, do not know their boundaries. How I wish that the money the Government wants to spend on the registration of chiefs could be used to sponsor Medeem Limited, which took surveyors round this country in an attempt to define the boundaries of villages.


Mr Ngulube: They failed.                                                       


Mr Jamba: Wait! You are not a surveyor.




Mr Jamba: Madam Chairperson, for the chiefs to be empowered and minimise on the disputes, the village boundaries must be defined, and that is a simple thing to do. There is state-of-the-art technology that can only take a few days to define a village’s boundaries.


Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources must look at the issue of game management areas (GMAs) or forests in our chiefdoms. Our chiefs allow people from England or elsewhere to destroy the forests because they are paid money. No wonder, roofs are blown off schools, clinics and other buildings. It is because of the cutting down of trees.


Madam Chairperson, the budget for the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs is too small and I wish it could be increased so that we could tackle some of the issues in the chiefdoms. The hon. Minister can consult the surveyors for more information.


I thank you, Madam.       


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Madam Chairperson, the issue of chiefs is quite emotive because it is attended by many challenges.


Madam Chairperson, regarding traditional ceremonies, I think that a predictable amount of money should be allocated to them relative to their importance.


Madam, on the issue of boundary disputes, I think that they have caused many divisions in the chiefdoms and among chiefs. So, the ministry should address the issue with due dispatch.


Madam Chairperson, allowing families to choose a chief has its merits and demerits.


Mr Livune: Aah!


Mr Kabanda: I am on the Floor. So, allow me to speak.


Madam Chairperson, if people meet, choose a chief and present him to the Government for gazetting and the Government to gazette chiefs as it used to do in the past, how many chiefs will we have in this country? We will have too many of them and our resource envelope will not allow us to support all of them. There is another school of thought that contends that the Government should decide who is supposed to be a chief, …


Hon. UPND Members: Question!


Mr Kabanda: … but first allow the people to recommend that person accordingly. I think such issues require further investigation so that we can come up with the right formula because both formulas currently being considered have flaws, which is partly why there are proposals for the current Constitution to be amended.


Madam Chairperson, the previous speaker claimed that there is no clear policy that clarifies how much land a chief can allocate to an individual. Actually, the Land Circular of 1995 clearly stipulates that a chief can allocate up to 10,000 ha, subject to the Government approving the allocation after considering the activities that the investor will undertake in a particular area and the benefits those activities will to bring to the country. Other than that, every chief can allocate 250 ha without Government approval.


Madam, as other hon. Members have said, it is very important to train chiefs in various aspects instead of just confining them to their palaces. Their minds need to be broadened so that they are able to understand global issues.


Madam Chairperson, with those few remarks, I support this Vote, although the allocation should be increased because it is negligible.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Munkonge (Lukashya): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate.


Madam, at no time did the Bemba Royal Establishment (BRE) have a dispute regarding the Chitimukulu. We knew who he was.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Munkonge: Some people were confused about it simply because the Government took too long to recognise Kanyanta Manga II.


Madam, one of the challenges we, the people from the Northern part of the country, have had is that while we talk about gender equality, we have noticeably failed to have our Bemba chieftainesses recognised. There are many, but the ones that come to mind immediately are Chanda Mukulu, Mumbu Mfumu and Kasonde Chisuna, who are very senior chieftainesses in the Bemba tradition. Therefore, attempts must be made to have them recognised, and I hope that we will consider including more chieftainesses as we expand the membership of the House of Chiefs. The ladies can take sanity to the House of Chiefs like they have done here, in Parliament.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Munkonge: Madam Chairperson, I think that when the chiefs interact, they have an opportunity to confront the issue of tribalism. I say so because we, the politicians, seem to throw that term around very easily. At the risk of debating myself, I would like to say that my grandfather was very good friends with Chief Mukumbi of the North-Western Province in the House of Chiefs and that when I went to the North-Western Province, I was received like their son. There was no animosity. The same was the case when I visited Chief Kapijimpanga. So, if we are lacking in some of these areas, the House of Chiefs, whose members have a direct link with the people, can be used to resolve them properly. One challenge we have, traditionally, is that of early marriages and polygamy. Again, having had a grandfather who had ‒


Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!


The First Chairperson: Order, hon. Member!


Are you now speaking as a son of the chief or as a Member of Parliament?


Mr Munkonge: Madam Chairperson, as a Member of Parliament, I am speaking about the challenges inherent in some traditions.


Madam, one of the social challenges we face is polygamy. I may not be brave enough to say whether polygamy is good or bad, but I am able to say that it exists and it is one of the many things whose appropriateness the House of Chiefs should determine because some of the vices lead to early marriages.


Madam Chairperson, on the issue of land alienation, I cannot speak for areas outside the Northern Province, but I have noticed that Chief Kopa of the Bisa is surrounded by Bemba chiefs. The question is: How did that come about? History tells us that we are invaders who conquered other people.


Mr Ngulube: And we are thieves.


Mr Munkonge: One of the things that happen when people talk about boundaries in the current dispensation is that they try to correct history and settle disputes over lands they lost in battles a long ago. However, since we cannot have the opportunity to fight again, we only have to approach this issue very seriously, as it will be a source of disputes for years to come.


Madam Chairperson, I was happy to hear the hon. Minister talk about the preservation of history because one of the shortcomings of our history is that it is passed on orally. Therefore, with loss of memories and, to some extent, change in traditions, we will not have consistency in our historical narrative. So, it is paramount that we document our history. However, in doing that, if we are not careful, a lot might be lost in translation as we translate the traditions from the original languages into English.


Madam Chairperson, I support this Vote, but also agree with Hon. Nkombo that more should be done. We have lost a lot from our rich cultural fabric because of imitating the Western ways of living or doing things. Now, we have people who can come together with their in-laws for a drink and in the end start insulting one another. I hope that will not come to us in the name of modernisation. Let us keep our traditions. Yes, I earlier hinted that we should get rid of some of the bad aspects of our traditions. However, let us not forget them because their origins have inherent value. So, we need to remember how some of them crept into our culture and became established practices and the logic that underpinned their adoption, but which might not be obvious in our current environment. In this regard, I propose that we educate chiefs on two aspects, namely their traditions and how those traditions have evolved over time, and how they should interact with other tribes and their subjects now that we can no longer use spears or other coercive means of engagement. Now, we need to discuss issues. Unfortunately, in some places where people are still very traditional, they still want to resolve issues the way they did centuries ago, that is, by burning those who are not strong enough to defend themselves. The shocking part of it all is that such acts are not perpetrated in the bush, but in areas where people have cellular phones but, unfortunately, no fire brigade.


That said, Madam Chairperson, I support the Vote.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Sichalwe: Madam Chairperson, I thank all the hon. Members who have supported the budget for my ministry.


In particular, I thank Hon. Nkombo, who lamented the inadequacy of the money allocated to the ministry. Indeed, as the hon. Minister of Finance hinted, we can only spend what we have and this is what we have. So, we just have to work within the available resources. Hon. Nkombo also emphasised the importance of defining chiefdom boundaries. Indeed, the need to update the 1958 Map of Chiefdom Boundaries cannot be overemphasised. I, therefore, agree with Hon. Nkombo that part of the K574,247 that the ministry will be given for the production of topographic maps should be used on the reproduction and, if necessary, updating of that document.


Madam Chairperson, chiefs are instrumental in the campaign against child marriages. Apart from that, my ministry will ensure that the institution of chieftaincy facilitates the eradication of harmful traditional practices, such as sexual cleansing.


Madam Chairperson, Hon. Nkombo might wish to note that Article 165 of the Constitution of Zambia, which we passed on that very long night, clearly states that succession will be left to the culture and tradition of a particular chiefdom. All the other hon. Members who belaboured the issue may also wish to refer to the same Article.


Madam Chairperson, Hon. Mwashingwele ‒




Mr Sichalwe: No. In this House, she is an hon. Member.


Madam, Hon. Mwashingwele raised the issue of the re-alignment of the NHCC and the NMB to the Ministry of Tourism and Arts. If you recall, just before business was suspended, I was cautioned by the Chairperson that the figures I was giving out were not the same as those in the Yellow Book. The reason for that mismatch, as I explained later, after business resumed, was that we had budgeted K265,000 for heritage management, K800,000 for the support to museums, K92,334 for contributions and subscriptions to organisations and K900,000 for co-ordination of mausoleums. Maybe, the hon. Member was not in the House when I was explaining that. All four se items were supposed to have been re-aligned to the Ministry of Tourism and Arts, which has taken over the two statutory bodies. We have since written to the Ministry of Finance to that effect.


Madam, the purchase of motor vehicles that Hon. Mwashingwele mentioned is still being considered by the Cabinet. So, I cannot discuss it here.


Madam, Hon. Jamba was more concerned about the training of our chiefs. In this regard, I wish to inform him that we held one meeting on this issue last month in Kabwe, which was facilitated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). With regard to his debate on boundary disputes, I refer him, too, to Article 165 of our Constitution.


Madam Chairperson, I thank Hon. Kabanda for his wise debate.


Madam Chairperson, Hon. Munkonge, who lamented the non-inclusion of chieftainesses in his province in the House of Chiefs, should know that the new Constitution has increased the membership of the House of Chiefs and left the selection of the five chiefs to represent each province in the hands of the chiefs in each particular province. So, I ask him to engage the chiefs in his province so that they include chieftainesses among their representatives in the House of Chiefs.


Madam Chairperson, I thank all the hon. Members for supporting the budget for my ministry.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


VOTE 13/01 – (Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional AffairsHeadquarters – K46,575,997).


Mr Mutelo: Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 5011, Activity 323 – Rehabilitation of Offices at Provincial and District Levels – K179,800. Does the ministry already have district offices to rehabilitate? To the best of my knowledge, it does not.


The First Chairperson: Hon. Members, let me guide the House.


I will be very reluctant to allow unnecessary questions on detail because we are moving at a very slow pace today. 


Hon. Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, you may respond.


Mr Sichalwe: Madam Chairperson, indeed, we have some district offices. If the hon. Member listened carefully to my policy statement, he should have heard me mention that we have seventy-two district offices.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Vote 13/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 13/02 – (Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional AffairsHuman Resources and Administration Department – K2,455,215).


Mr Mutelo: Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 5129, Activity 002 – Training of Chiefs for Development –Nil. This activity was raised by most hon. Members who debated. Why is there no allocation to this activity for 2017? What if there will be new chiefs?


The First Chairperson: Simply put, why is there no allocation?


Mr Sichalwe: Madam Chairperson, Programme 5129, Activity 002 – Training of Chiefs for Development –Nil has been moved to Programme 5003, Activity 038.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Vote 13/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


Votes 13/03, 13/04 and 13/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


The First Chairperson: Just to guide, again, I will curtail any hon. Member whose debate is too repetitive of what has already been belaboured. As I said earlier, there is no need for you to exhaust all the fifteen d allocated minutes.


Hon. Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance, you may make your policy statement.


VOTE 32 – (Ministry of Religious Affairs and National GuidanceHuman Resources and Administration – K12,352,465).


The Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance (Rev. Sumaili): Madam Chairperson, I am greatly honoured to present the first budget for the newly-established Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs.


Madam, from the outset, allow me to thank His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, for establishing this very important ministry and recommending its ratification to Parliament.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Rev. Sumaili: Madam Chairperson, on 28th August, 2016, His Excellency the President announced the creation of a ministry to be responsible for national guidance and religious affairs and, on 27th October, 2016, Parliament ratified the creation of the ministry. Under the National Guidance function, the ministry will facilitate the dissemination and realisation of the national values and principles enshrined in Part II, Article 8, of the Constitution (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016, namely morality and ethics, patriotism and national unity, …


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Rev. Sumaili: … democracy and Constitutionalism, …


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Rev. Sumaili: … human dignity, equity, social justice, equality and non-discrimination, good governance and integrity, and sustainable development. These values and principles will be integrated in all sectors and permeate all areas of life. Further, every year, the President will report to the National Assembly the progress made in the application of the values and principles. 


Madam, under the religious affairs function, the ministry will actualise and operationalise the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation, as enshrined in the preamble of our current Constitution, while upholding people’s right of freedom of conscious, belief and religion. As you know, the Constitution acknowledges the supremacy of God Almighty over the nation’s affairs. So, Christian values and principles should guide the three arms of the Government, namely the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary. Our education system, the media and arts, entertainment and family value systems should reflect Christianity. In this ministry, the Church in Zambia will find empowerment, better organisation, amplification of its voice and a platform to be become a true partner to the Government in development, provision of social services and social justice.


Madam, this ministry will also deal decisively with fake prophets and churches ...


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Rev. Sumaili: … that are involved in spiritual gymnastics, cheating and stealing from the people.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Rev. Sumaili: Madam Chairperson, …


Madam First Chairperson: Order, hon. Minister!


‘Fake’, ‘stealing’ and ‘cheating’ are unparliamentary. You have to withdraw them.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Rev. Sumaili: Madam, I replace it with “non-genuine” churches and prophets.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Rev. Sumaili: Madam Chairperson, the portfolio functions of the ministry are:


  1. Christian Affairs;


  1. Christian Policy;


  1. Religious Affairs;


  1. Religious Policy;


  1. Organisation of Public Religious Celebrations;


  1. Co-ordination of Religious Services in the Public Service, Education and Prisons;


  1. Preservation of Christian and Religious Sites;


  1. National Guidance ;


  1. National Values, Ethics and Principles; and


  1. Interdenominational Dialogue.


Madam Chairperson, the ministry will also perform the following functions:


  1. facilitate the actualisation and translation of the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation into practical, workable and realistic interventions;


  1. provide a policy and legal framework for dealing with Zambia’s national and Christian heritage;


  1. promote national unity, national symbols, good morals, social justice and good governance within a Christian framework;


  1. facilitate the mainstreaming of Christian values in Government business, education, family, media, arts and entertainment and business;


  1. provide a platform for dialogue and collaboration among the State, the Church, religious organisation and other stakeholders;


  1. preparation of annual and other reports on issues of national unity, national symbols, morality, social justice and good governance for His Excellency the President and the National Assembly;


  1. co-ordination of public religious events in which the State has an interest;


  1. collaboration with the National Heritage Conservation Commission (NHCC) on the preservation of Christian and religious sites, and worthwhile customs and traditions; and


  1. promotion of interdenominational dialogue.


Madam, in conclusion, it is clear that the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance will play a vital role in the provision of guidance to the nation. It will also provide an institutional framework through which the ideals and aspiration of Zambians will be achieved. Therefore, the funds requested for the ministry will be necessary for the effective execution of its responsibilities. So, I request the hon. Members of this august House to support these estimates.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima (Chirundu): Madam Chairperson, I am somewhat reluctant to support this Vote, but the ministry is there and has to be funded.


Madam, the question is: Will the ministry operate the way it is meant to? Further, how will it police all the values the hon. Minister has mentioned? That will be very difficult in a country where there are many problems and in which things taste ‒ I feel very sorry for the hon. Minister and her ministry.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: Madam Chairperson, this is probably why many people initially did not like the idea of the State involving itself in religion and many Church mother bodies argued that religion should be left to the churches while the Government administers State affairs so that religion can feed into the State and vice-versa. So, this combination of religious affairs and national guidance, and State affairs is very difficult and calls for the people who will run the ministry to be above board. It will also require the hon. Minister and her ministry to be above all State institutions if we are to make the ministry work in our supposedly Christian country. So, the ministry has a tall order and I sympathise with the hon. Minister. How will her ministry fit in the atmosphere of suspicion and fear that prevails in this country? How will it work in a country where corruption levels are known to be very high?






Mr Syakalima: What I am saying is that the hon. Minister is part of a Government that was said to be corrupt.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Syakalima: Madam Chairperson, clearly, the ministry and hon. Minister will have to balance their feet on the thin line between serving God and serving man.


Ms Kalima: On a point of order, Madam.


Mr Chisopa: On a point of order, Madam.


The First Chairperson: Order, hon. Members!


Please, resume your seats. I will not allow any point of order during this segment.


Continue, Hon. Syakalima.


Mr Syakalima: Madam Chairperson, I am saying these things with a very heavy heart because where I come from ‒


Hon. Government Members: Where?


Mr Syakalima: Madam, I meant my background.


Madam, the hon. Minister and her ministry will have to walk a tight rope and work extra hard because, as we have been told, there is corruption among the Ministers in the Government she is serving.


Madam Chairperson, my other point is on the morality of everyone who will serve in the ministry. The hon. Minister has a religious background and we suppose that she is morally upright, hence her talk about moral guidance. However, the ministry will need morally upright staff starting from the Permanent Secretary (PSs) down to the cleaners for it to work. Unfortunately, it will be quite difficult to find such people. We just hope that the people who will want to serve in this ministry will evaluate themselves before getting involved with it. On our part, we will only be able to judge them after they have settled in their positions.


Madam, I once thought that the ministry would hit the ground running when created and the hon. Minister appointed. By now, we should have been talking about what gains could have been made in reducing corruption, tension and other vices in this country. To me, this is the ministry that has to fight evil.




Mr Syakalima: As I see it, the hon. Minister and her ministry stand between the heavens and the rest of us to intercede for us. That, again, is a tall.




Mr Syakalima: The officials will have to speak to individuals as well as the entire country, and keep their eyes open to see who is doing what, yet what the hon. Minister and her ministry do will be between God and them.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: As you know, only God knows the heart of man.


Mr Ngulube: Holy Ghost fire!




Mr Syakalima: As we are taught at church, “Not everybody who calls me ‘God’ will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.”


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: These were some of the concerns of the many Church mother bodies that were against mixing religion with politics, which is extremely complicated. As I see it now, because this is the way the devil works ‒




Mr Syakalima: Just listen.


Madam, when a person is put in a position to intercede for others, he or she must be mindful of the fact that Jesus was taken to Mount Sinai ‒


The First Chairperson: Order, Hon. Syakalima!


We are not discussing the hon. Minister, but the ministry. Please, avoid referring to her in her individual capacity.


Mr Syakalima: Thank you for that guidance, Madam Chairperson. That is why I have been very careful to separate the ministry from the hon. Minister, as the head. I have to walk on a very tight rope because this is an extremely difficult subject.




Mr Syakalima: Madam, in this atmosphere of corruption, I pray that the ministry will not be taken to Mount Sinai to be tempted by being shown what others have seen around.




Mr Syakalima: If the Son of God was tempted, we, mere mortals, are also bound to be tempted. Therefore, it will be very important for us to pray for the ministry.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: Amen.


Mr Syakalima: Madam, as politicians, we sometimes make promises. Just yesterday, I heard that some cadres were protesting that they had not been given the jobs they were promised and I want to relate that to the ministry’s work.  The ministry should teach the politicians to avoid making false promises.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: For example, in May, 2016, there was a promise that 500,000 jobs would be created in this country by December, 2016.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: Now, the Government has presented a Budget that promises to create only 100,000 jobs in 2017. False promises are bad. In the dictionary of morals, a false promise is theft of trust by calculated pretence ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: … and God punishes people who make such promises.


Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance will have to deal with all the things about which I have talked, and that will be a tall order for the hon. Minister and her ministry. So, I can only wish her God’s grace so that she can overcome all the turbulences and temptations. Later, we will have to evaluate her performance even if her actions are between her and God.


I thank you, Madam.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mulunda (Siavonga): Madam Chairperson, I thank God that we have a Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance.


Madam, the hon. Minister said that this ministry will deal with bogus pastors. I wonder what punishment will be meted out on those pastors. Will they be declared unchristian or called and prayed for, and asked to repent so they can become genuine ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mulunda: ... men and women of God?




Mr Mulunda: Do not disturb me.


Madam, in a Christian nation like Zambia, the three things we are supposed to look at are the integrity, principles and morality of the individual. Will we walk as Jesus taught us to walk? Will we be able to bring everybody under one roof and begin to embrace one another, divided as we are today?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mulunda: It is a fact that we are currently not walking together and that is the reason this ministry was created. It was to unite the nation. However, there are many things that should be dealt with for us to reach the point where we can hug one another and walk together. That will require a lot of praying. Like my elder brother, Hon. Syakalima, said, the ministry needs upright officers if it is to effectively execute its mandate. Otherwise, the hon. Minister will be alone in her quest, as everybody else will be doing something contrary to the ministry’s objectives and we will not achieve the goal of the ministry.


I thank you, Madam.


The First Chairperson: I commend the brevity of your debate, Hon. Mulunda.


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance could not have come at a better time than now, when the country is deeply divided ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Jere: ... and needs moral guidance.


Madam Chairperson, as the previous speakers have said, the ministry was supposed to be placed at the apex of governance so that it could act as an overseer because there are too many vices in the ministries, the notable one being corruption. This country is poor today because of the way those who have been entrusted with public resources have handled them. For instance, many of our children are uneducated and our farmers do not receive their inputs on time or receive expired inputs because of the untrustworthiness of those who have been charged with the responsibility of dispensing national resources.


Madam, indeed, we need independent institutions to deal with the divisions in this country. When we were growing up, we used to look up to the Church as the final arbiter and reconciler of conflicts.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Jere: So, I expect the ministry to be above partisan politics. However, my fear is that the current hon. Minister might only be upright and neutral because she does not have a constituency. Tomorrow, we may have someone in charge of the ministry who will politicise everything. For example, instead of calling a spade a spade, he or she might act like Squealer, the character in Animal Farm, whose role was to turn white into black. I hope this ministry will not tread that path.


Madam Chairperson, we have lost our values. When we were growing up, we were told to respect elders and leaders in society. Today, I hear people here make statements about our leaders that are not good for this nation. Our children, who look up to this august House, should be inspired to emulate those who have been Members of this august House. However, some of the Members of this august House keep making running commentaries and insulting during debates. That is not good for the nation.


Hon. Opposition Members: Makululu.


Mr Jere: Madam Chairperson, I also want to talk about fake prophets.


The First Chairperson: Order, hon. Member!


I ruled that ‘fake’ is unparliamentary. Please, withdraw it.


Mr Jere: Madam Chairperson, I want to talk about those prophets who are not genuine. It is not only among prophets that you find people who are not genuine. There are also some professionals who are an embarrassment to their professions. There are lawyers ‒




Mr Jere: Lawyers always speak last for purposes of guidance. No wonder, they are called ‘learned’, not ‘educated’. It is because those who worked hard still rule us to date. However, the law has been static in this country because of people who trivialise many things.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Jere: Some lawyers always give their opinions instead of stating the law as it is.


The First Chairperson: Order, hon. Member!


Are you discussing the law or the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance?


Mr Jere: Madam Chairperson, I want to emphasise that there are people to whom others look up for leadership, guidance and inspiration. People should be inspired when a lawyer speaks and comfortable when a Judge passes a judgment. They should be satisfied that they are listening to somebody who has experience and knowledge ‒


The First Chairperson: Order!


Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.




Mr Jere: Madam Chairperson, when business was suspended, I was just agreeing with the hon. Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance that the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary need moral guidance.


Madam, it is shocking and saddening to see how the national cake is being shared. Recently, we heard of tractors that were procured and distributed, but some areas did not get any.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Jere: That simply shows that some people are not ready to share the national resources equally. Similarly, some constituencies were given their Constituency Development Fund (CDF) while others were not even though the Government claimed not to have had adequate funding. It is for that reason that the Executive must be guided not to look at the tribe, ethnicity or voting patterns when distributing public resources. Today, ‘ka votedwe’ has become a prominent phrase in this august House.


Hon. Government Members: Meaning?


Mr Jere: Madam, ‘ka votedwe’ means, “The way people vote”.


Madam Chairperson, with regard to fundamental human rights, I wish to state that they are not given to Zambians by any individual, but they are an individual’s from conception to death. Such rights include the freedoms of choice, movement and association. Therefore, it should not be an offence for somebody to belong to one club rather than the other. However, in this country, it has become an offence, for instance, for one to belong to the Lions Club instead of a chess club.




Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Jere: Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, I hope that the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance will not look at political affiliation when considering the veracity of religious leaders. It should not consider those who espouse views contrary to those of its officers’ as not being genuine prophets. Fairness must prevail and the opinions of all Zambians should be respected even if they are different from ours.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Mr Mweetwa and Mr Mutelo both indicated to speak.


The Chairperson: Hon. Members, I have been informed that you agreed that the last person to debate will be Hon. Mweetwa, but I can see another hon. Member indicating.


Hon. Government Members: Ba Mutelo!




Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to add the voice of the people of Choma Central, in particular, and that of the United Party for National Development (UPND), in general, to the debate on the Vote on the Floor of this House.


Madam Chairperson, from the outset, I would like to declare interest in debating this Vote because I am a true Christian.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mweetwa: Against the principle that we do not debate ourselves, I will still go ahead, knowing that I represent many people.


Madam Chairperson, I am one of the people who have ardently opposed the creation of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance from its inception because, from where I stand, it is totally unnecessary. Therefore, in my view, this expenditure is a waste and the money could have been used on far more viable and sensible economic activities instead of funding a ministry to regulate religious affairs in a country whose Constitution does have provisions for regulating religious affairs.


Mr Chibanda: Question!


Mr Mweetwa: The declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation is not enforceable as law. It is just a State principle to direct the conscience of the nation. Therefore, it does not warrant expenditure. In any case, the relationship between each one of us and his or her Creator is personal and does not need Government regulation. The Government cannot do anything to enhance anyone’s chance of going to heaven. If anything, those in this Government are creating a path to hell for themselves.




Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


The First Chairperson: Order, Hon. Mweetwa!


You know that you cannot use that word here. So, just withdraw it.


Mr Mweetwa: I withdraw it, Madam Chairperson, and replace it with “some unbearably hot place where evil people will go in the future”.




Mr Mweetwa: Madam Chairperson, I emphasise that we should not be in the forefront of creating among our citizens the misconception …




The Chairperson: Order, hon. Members on the right!


Mr Mweetwa: … that Zambia being a Christian nation entails that our country is a Christian nation at law. Every person in this country is at liberty to practice his or her religion. Therefore, the creation of a ministry of religious affairs anchored on Christianity is discriminatory to the other religions that are recognised in this country. How will this ministry, which is anchored on Christian values, relate with other religions? Those are the issues that have made me to oppose the creation of the ministry and this Vote.


Madam, like the Human Rights Commission (HRC), the ministry has been allocated K12 million. How can a commission like the HRC, an institution with specific areas of need and a mandate to improve the lives of the people of Zambia, receive the same budget as a ministry that will do nothing?


Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!


Mr Mweetwa: For me to be convinced that I will draw any benefits from the ministry, it should have been indicated somewhere in this Budget that the ministry will be praying for us, for example. We should not think that other forms of wastage of resources are in any way different from this classic form of white collar wastage of public funds.


Madam Chairperson, we have a tendency to trivialise issues in this country. We are not talking about a Church here, but about a ministry created by law. I say this because some of the sinners here will say I am opposing the creation of ‒




The First Chairperson: Again, ‒


Mr Mweetwa: Madam, I withdraw the word ‘sinners’ and replace it with ‘hypocrites’.




Mr Mweetwa: From here, they will ask me how I can ‒


The First Chairperson: Order, hon. Member!


As senior hon. Members, we should be good role models to the new hon. Members of this House. It really does not help the House for one to do what you are doing. You know very well that the words you are using are not allowed, but you continue to use them.


Continue with your debate but, please, bear what I have just said in mind.


Mr Mweetwa: Thank you for that guidance, Madam Chairperson. I am much obliged and replace the word with ‘non-true believers’.


Madam Chairperson, how many clinics and schools can be built from the K12 million to improve the lives of people of Choma Central Constituency? This money will be used to assemble in the name of God, but what those people do afterwards is something else. President Lungu told us, not too long ago, that some of these hon. Ministers are corrupt, yet they were the same people who bowed their heads on the National Day of Prayer, Fasting and Reconciliation in another wastage of taxpayers’ money. We have been told that even the people who preached at that function were paid. How does one get paid to take souls to heaven?




Mr Mweetwa: Madam Chairperson, on reflection, however, I have somehow persuaded myself to think that this ministry is necessary at this particular time when the country is under the leadership of the Patriotic Front (PF).




Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mweetwa: It is with a heavy heart that I must confront the reality it is justifiable to spend this money, which should have been saved for economically viable projects, on this ministry because at this particular time, under the PF and its current leadership, it is more necessary than any other.




Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mweetwa: This funding will give us the justification to ask what the ministry will do to change the mindset and governance style of the PF. For that reason, when the hon. Minister spoke about national guidance, I said, “Amen” because of what is happening in this country. For example, more than 2,000 people were incarcerated after the elections on trumped-up political charges, which amounted to political prosecution. Some have been incarcerated and charged with aggravated robbery for trying to protect their vote. That means that the people responsible for this are unholy and need the intervention of this ministry.




Mr Mweetwa: It is shameful to have an Executive that is in charge of protecting human rights come to the Floor of this House and brag that it would expand prisons and send more people there. Such people need this ministry to change their mindset ...




Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Livune: Like Kampyongo.


Mr Mweetwa: … so they understand that they are where they are temporarily to administer the affairs of the nation on behalf of everybody, not just their political party.


Madam Chairperson, there is a lot of police brutality in this country and the people who are supposed to guide the police to act professionally come to the House to defend the professional misconduct of police officers. Such people need the intervention of this ministry.




Mr Mweetwa: Those in charge of governance have failed to handle issues using the existing laws and institutions, and are looking up to God to save us, which is indicative of a failure of political leadership. What kind of leadership is this? The hon. Minister should know that she has a huge clientele of people on your right who need the national guidance about which she talked so that they can refocus and come down to earth.




Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Mr Mweetwa: Madam Chairperson, I heard the hon. Minister talk about patriotism and national values, and I agree with her. No wonder, I have changed my position on her ministry. Those are the values we need to guide our nation. The national symbols can be used to promote a national identity and keep this country united, invincible and peaceful. Unfortunately, what flags do we see flying all over town?


Hon. Opposition Members: PF!


Mr Mweetwa: They are dirty PF flags and they make the city look dirty. In fact, one would think that the election was next month because the cadres keep replenishing those dirty flags. So, we need this ministry.


Mr Ngulube: Hakainde’s court case!


Mr Mweetwa: Madam Speaker, I was very excited to hear the hon. Minister say what the ministry intends to do. In my view, this ministry should be conceived within the context of a desire to mirror the behaviour of the Government. However, on one hand, we have a ministry that espouses national unity, peace and reconciliation and, on the other, a rabid Executive ...


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Mweetwa: ... that thinks that the power it wields has to be used ‒


The First Chairperson: Order, Hon. Mweetwa!


Resume your seat. I have curtailed your debate.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Madam Chairperson, ...


Mr Ngulube: Ema MP, aba.


Mr Mung’andu: ... thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Floor.


Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance, as its name suggests, has been established to promote our values, and protect and uphold the Constitution. Our Constitution declares this beautiful nation a Christian nation while upholding the freedom of conscience or the rights of people to profess the minor religions. That means everyone is catered for.


Madam, the essence of this ministry’s existence is to guide us, which is very important because some people really need guidance. For example, after elections, some people get emotionally torn apart when they lose.


Hon. Government Members: Two guys.


Mr Mung’andu: … and when that happens, they need the ministry to counsel and guide them that leadership comes from the Creator. It is a result of God’s favour, not one’s wealth or eloquence. The ministry will guide such individuals or political parties.


Mr Ngulube: And lumpens!




Mr Mung’andu: Madam Chairperson, the ministry will also promote ethics. Countries like those in the Middle East, Asia and Scandinavia have upheld some ethics that we seem to be slowly losing in our country. That can be detrimental to our national development.


Madam, the unity of this country is more important than any of us. Our forefathers, Dr Kaunda and his team, managed to maintain the unity of this country and left us the very big challenge of keeping it united at all times. I challenge my colleagues to prove me wrong on this.


Mr Ngulube: The challenge is accepted.


Mr Mung’andu: Madam Chairperson, two or three individuals should not believe that they can rule this country through divisions because that will never happen, and this ministry is there to guide such.


Madam Chairperson, we have come from a brutal election period that will take certain individuals two to three ‒




Hon. Opposition Members: Brutal?


Mr Mung’andu: Yes, because it bashed some people and they are failing to recover.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mung’andu: It was brutal in that sense.


Madam Chairperson, had this ministry been created earlier, we would not hear some hon. Members always debating politics because it would have counselled them.




Mr Mung’andu: Madam Chairperson, the view of the people of Chama South is that this House should be united. Unfortunately, from the look of things, it is very difficult for some hon. Members to accept that we are one. Had this ministry been operational earlier, it would have used many strategies to counsel people who think like that.




Mr Mung’andu: It might also have approached the wife of the hon. Member who is saying, “Hear, hear!” on the other side to soften him so that he receives spiritual guidance.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mung’andu: Madam Chairperson, by now, people would have stopped thinking that if they see someone with His Excellency the President, then, he or she has defected from his or her party ... 


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mung’andu: … and we would not have situations in which hon. Members on the left of this august House are told not to attend State functions. How will Members of Parliament develop their constituencies if they do not work closely with the Government?


Madam, I am very grateful to hear that almost everyone is in support of this ministry because it will easily frustrate some people’s ungodly desire to divide the country.


Mr Ngulube: Satanic!


Mr Mung’andu: Madam Chairperson, this country was declared a Christian nation and Christianity is practical. I believe that declaration will be further entrenched through this ministry and that the fear of our colleagues that other religions will not be protected is unfounded. If anything, our Constitution is very lenient on people who profess other religions. In Iraq, for example, you cannot claim to be Christian.




Mr Mung’andu: I challenge anyone who thinks otherwise to go there and declare himself or herself a Christian …


The First Chairperson: Order, Hon. Mung’andu!


Desist from comparing our country and its Constitution other countries and their constitutions. Our Constitution very clearly protects the people’s freedom to practice other religions.


Please, continue with your debate, but bear what I have said in mind.


Mr Mung’andu: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for that guidance.


Madam, I was trying to stress the point that our Constitution is extremely liberal and tolerant compared with those of other countries, especially in the Islamic world.




Mr Mung’andu: Madam Chairperson, as a Christian, I strongly believe that this ministry will propel the observance of our Christianity, which faces more challenges than religions like Islam, to greater heights.




Mr Mung’andu: Madam, there are many ‘prophets’ who have mushroomed ...


Hon. Government Members: Doom.


Mr Mung’andu: … and very soon, you will hear Freemasons claim to be Christians.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mung’andu: It is this ministry that will counsel such people and convert them to Christianity.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: And Satanists!


Mr Mung’andu: Madam Chairperson, what kind of a person shuns such an important national event as the National Day of Prayer, Fasting and Reconciliation?




Mr Mung’andu: I can guarantee that once the ministry is fully operational, half of them will attend the next event on 18th October, 2017, because they will have been guided and prayed for.


Mr Ngulube: Repentance and baptism!


Mr Mung’andu: They will have realised that those holding them at ransom will not answer for them on judgment day.


Ms Katuta: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: We will also spray doom.


The First Chairperson: Order, Hon. Tutwa Ngulube!




Mr Mung’andu: As politicians, we will be judged individually. If my party tells me not to attend State functions even those held in God’s honour, where will I get development?


Ms Katuta: Nowhere.


Mr Mung’andu: The people of Dundumwezi will judge their hon. Member based on what he will do, not on what someone somewhere thinks.




The First Chairperson: Order, on my left!


Mr Mung’andu:  Madam Chairperson, this ministry will be able to tell those people that we are one and that they should not waste time listening to the one misleading them.




Mr Mung’andu: We are one in this country. I, for example, interact freely with especially those who come from Mapanza.


Hon. PF Member: We marry from there.


Mr Mung’andu: One hon. Member of Parliament might even have ‘Ng’andu’ for a middle name, …


Hon. PF Member: Hang’andu.


Mr Mung’andu: … which simply shows that we are one, and this ministry will emphasise that. It will have programmes, for example, to promote ethics and morality, and tell the people of Mazabuka Central and Monze Central constituencies ‒


Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Madam.


The First Chairperson: Order, Hon. Nkombo! 


Please, resume your seat.


Hon. Mung’andu, if you take that route one more time, I will curtail your debate. Stay away from Monze Central, Mazabuka Central or any other constituency. Debate the Vote.




Mr Mung’andu: Madam Chairperson, I mentioned those constituencies because I strongly believe in oneness.




Mr Mung’andu: As a leader, I believe that a problem in any part of the country affects all of us. When I debate, I do not restrict the context to Chama South. What we do here affects the whole country.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mung’andu: Madam, this country needs unity, and I believe that the ministry will promote it and correct the minds of those who think that they can divide us.


Mr Chibanda: And convert them from Freemasonry.


Mr Mung’andu: It will convert those who believe in ungodly acts and promote Christianity.


Mr M. K. Tembo: And those who stop others from attending national prayers.




Mr Mung’andu: You are disturbing me.




Mr Mung’andu:  Madam Chairperson, at the end of the day, we are one and should not allow individuals, not even fellow political party members, to divide us.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Rev Sumaili: Madam Chairperson, I am very grateful to all the hon. Members of the House who have contributed to this debate. Let me, again, say that we, the people of Zambia, acknowledge God Almighty, the creator of heaven and earth, as the Lord over our land.


Hon. Members: Amen!


Rev Sumaili: Therefore, we look to him for help.


Hon. Members: Amen!


Rev Sumaili: Madam, I agree with Hon. Syakalima that we have many social challenges. We all hear about what is happening in families every day and we have to do something through this ministry to restore family values.


Ms Katuta: Hear, hear!


Rev Sumaili: The church is the salt of the earth ...


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Rev Sumaili: ... and the light of Zambia.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Rev Sumaili: Madam Chairperson, today, I was privileged to meet over 1,000 clergymen and women, who came from different denominations to prays and discuss the challenges that the nation faces. We also discussed how the church needs to arise again and be the salt of the nation. So, I believe that through this ministry, God will help us to deal with the challenges that we face today.


Madam, Hon. Syakalima talked about prayer. Yes, prayer is very important, and it is very surprising that some people politicise calls for prayers. We should not politicise the things of God or ...


Ms Katuta: God forbid!


Rev Sumaili: ... judge those who pray and call them hypocrites. How we you know that they are? Can we enter their hearts? So, let us just support prayer events.


Ms Katuta: Hallelujah!


Rev Sumaili: madam, when Hon. Mweetwa, who had began his debate by declaring that he is Christian, ...


Ms Katuta: He was hit by the Holy Spirit.


Rev Sumaili: ... started debating in a certain manner, I started interceding.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. PF Members: Fire, fire!


Hon. UPND: Fire, fire!




The First Chairperson: Order in the House!


Hon. Members: Fire, fire!


The First Chairperson: Order, hon. Members!


Rev Sumaili: I said, “God Almighty, can you touch his tongue ...”




Rev Sumaili: “... so that he starts supporting this ministry”, and he did.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. PF Members: Hallelujah, amen!




Rev Sumaili: Madam Chairperson, I stand here as a servant of God and of the people, and I am passionate about this assignment. I call it an assignment because I know that it is seasonal. God has remembered Zambia ...


Ms Katuta: Hear, hear!


Rev Sumaili: ... and is looking at us. This door that He has opened is a way of blessing this nation ...


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Sumaili: ... and He will do that.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Rev Sumaili: Now, ‒


The First Chairperson: Order, hon. Minister!


May I guide you.


Please, try not to preach so…




The First Chairperson: … that we can make some progress. Just respond to the issues raised in the debate.




Rev. Sumaili: Madam Chairperson, when the Holy Spirit is in control ‒




Rev. Sumaili: Madam Chairperson, there was an issue about non-genuine prophets and pastors.


Madam Chairperson, in the meeting that we had with the clergy, we talked about the issue of false prophets and pastors. There clergymen and women who are also concerned about the prophets who are masquerading to be genuine ‒


Mr Mutelo: How will you deal with them?


Rev. Sumaili: Well, we have Church mother bodies.


Ms Kalima: Do not answer them.


Rev. Sumaili: Madam Chairperson, we will start by ensuring that the Church mother bodies have corporate governance systems in place. They all must have boards, accountability mechanisms and codes of conduct that they can cascade down to the member churches. We have been working together with the relevant bodies on that. The Government will not control the Church, but work in partnership with it.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Rev. Sumaili: In addition to that, there are regulatory frameworks this ministry is working together with the Registrar of Societies and the Ministry of Home Affairs to put in place so that our collaboration with the churches is done professionally, equitably, fairly and genuinely. We want to bring order to the body of Christ.


Mr Nkombo: You should work with the Mast because it knows a lot.


Rev. Sumaili: Madam, the issue of corruption is important to my ministry, and I am thankful that our President, His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu, is serious about fighting the scourge.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Rev. Sumaili: That excites me because I will work with the President. I have been a Commissioner at the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and I will work with various institutions involved in the fight against corruption.


Mr Mwamba: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: You were also at the Human Rights Commission (HRC).


Rev. Sumaili: Yes.


Mr Ngulube: Ema speech, aya!


Rev. Sumaili: Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, I want to say that Zambia is truly a blessed nation …


Mr Mulunda: Amen!




Rev. Sumaili: … and that this ministry is an effective and great door that the Lord has opened for us. This morning, the Church committed itself to unifying the nation …


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Rev. Sumaili: … and I want to assure you that when we kneel down to pray, we do not just pick here and there; we pray for all Zambians and all the leaders so that we can continue to enjoy peace.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Vote 32/01, 32/02, 32/03, and 32/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


Vote 21- (Loans and Investments – Ministry of Finance – K12,305,615,084) and Vote 37 – (Ministry of Finance – K3,792,409,561).


The Minister of Finance (Mr Mutati): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to present my policy statement on the 2017 Estimates of Expenditure for the Ministry of Finance, Loans and Investments. In my debate, I will focus on Heads 21 and 37.


Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Finance is charged with the responsibility of mobilising and managing public resources. It is also responsible for co-ordinating the preparation of National Budgets in line with the country’s development plans. It is in this regard that my ministry will reposition itself to support our economic recovery programme, Zambia Plus, and our core programmes will be built on the five pillars I mentioned in my Budget Address, which aim to restore budget credibility, transparency and policy consistency.


Madam Chairperson, Head 21 contains allocations for contributions and subscriptions to international organisations, counterpart funding to donor-aided projects, financial restructuring and infrastructure financing.


Madam Chairperson, the K12.3 billion proposed under this Head includes funding for the following:


  1. K123.5 million for payment of contributions to regional and international organisations;


  1. K154.8 million for projects like the Citizens Economic Empowerment Fund; Action Plan on Youth Empowerment; Cancer Disease Hospital, Phase Two; and the Youth Skill Training and Development;


  1. K3.4 billion for recapitalisation and investment of Government institutions, of which K2.1 billion has been set aside for dismantling arrears accrued by various ministries;


  1. K500 million for dismantling of arrears accumulated on fuel subsidy;


  1. K661.8 million for emergence power imports; and


  1. K8.6 billion on road infrastructure under the Rural Development Agency.


Madam Chairperson, allow me to highlight the salient features of Head 37.


Madam, my ministry continues to pursue prudent fiscal management in the implementation of appropriate policies, programmes and strategies for sustained economic growth. In order to accelerate the development agenda of the country, my ministry has budgeted to spend K3.8 billion. Notable expenditure under Head 37 includes the following:


  1. K1.2 billion as grants to institutions like the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), whose allocation has been increased to support efforts to improve revenue collection; the Public Service Pension Fund (PSPF), the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA), the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), National Roads Fund Agency (NRFU), Zambia Institutes of Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR), to mention just a few;


  1. K1.4 billion to facilitate payment of pension arrears by the PSPF;   


  1. K777.9 million for the employer’s share of statutory obligations for all civil servants, which is centrally budgeted for by my ministry; and


  1. K112.3 million for constitutional office holders’ personnel emoluments.


Madam Chairperson, I hope that the statement I have made will be enough to convince this House to approve Votes 21 and 37 as I commend them for consideration.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Madam Chairperson, thank you ‒


The First Chairperson: Order, hon. Member!


Let me guide the House first.


The hon. Minister’s statement was on Heads 21 and 37 combined. So, the two Heads will be debated simultaneously. Please, take that into account as you debate.


Prof. Lungwangwa: Madam Chairperson, I will take that into account, but my emphasis will be on the policy principles of the Ministry of Finance.


Madam Chairperson, as I drove to Parliament this morning, I was listening to the proceedings of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on the radio and it was extremely shocking to hear the Permanent Secretary (PS) for one of our provinces, …


Mr Nkombo: Muchinga.


Prof. Lungwangwa: … I think it was Muchinga, tell the Committee that the provincial administration is constructing two houses, one for the Provincial Minister and another for the PS, at K4.8 million.


Hon. UPND Members: Aah!


Prof. Lungwangwa: Madam Chairperson, that is extremely extravagant because that amount of money can go a long way in financing the strategic development objectives of our nation in line with the need for prudent management of our scarce resources that the hon. Minister has pointed out. The PS also said that K4.7 million has been used to construct twenty low, middle and high-cost houses in the province. So, spending K4.8 million to constructing two houses never seen in the history of this country and designed by a private architect with swimming pools and other luxurious facilities is not prudent management of our resources, and I plead with the hon. Minister to put a stop to such extremely extravagant expenditure of resources because such an amount of money can go a long way …


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Prof. Lungwangwa: … in providing our people with clean water and sanitation facilities, among other services.


Madam Chairperson, the other issue I would like to raise is one that is very dear to my heart and I have debated it in this House for the three years during which I sat on the same bench with the hon. Minister.


Madam, the hon. Minister of Finance is primus inter pares, meaning, “First among equals”. One of his main roles is to ensure sanity at the expenditure level. As he pointed out, his role is to co-ordinate. So, clearly, he is supposed to know what goes on in the various ministries.


Madam, for three years, I have been cautioning Ministers of Finance to pay close attention to resource allocation at the ministerial level because extravagance is inimical to development, especially in our rural constituencies. I still wish to do so today. A comparison of the allocations to various ministries as support to the Ministers’ offices shows that the Ministry of Defence has been allocated K20,000, which is twice the K10,000 allocated in the 2016 Budget while the Ministry of National Development and Planning has been allocated K1,150,000, which is almost four times the K270,728 allocated in the 2016 Budget. Varying amounts have been allocated to the other ministries, with some getting increases and others getting reduction.


Madam Chairperson, let me highlight a few ministries’ allocations to the Office of the Minister. I can see that the Ministry of Works and Supply has cut its support to the Minister’s Office from the K540,000 in the 2016 Budget to K160,000 in 2017, which is a very big reduction although the allocation is still extravagant; the Ministry of Home Affairs has cut its allocation from K658, 000 to K363,000; the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry has cut its allocation from K900,575 to K307,000; the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock has made a very big reduction from K154,000 to K63,574 while the ministries of Tourism and Arts, Lands and Natural Resources, and Justice have maintained their 2016 allocations in the 2017 Budget at K213,361, K300,000 and K193,800, respectively.


Madam Chairperson, my point is that we must critically look at the allocations to Ministers’ offices because those amounts of money can go a long way, like I have repeatedly pointed out, in improving the quality of life of our people, particularly in the rural constituencies. K1,150,000 is too much money to allocate to the office of a Minister. If we slashed those allocations, we can save enough money to sink boreholes so that our people can have clean water, improve feeder roads, provide sanitation amenities in our rural areas, improve health care and construct culverts for people to walk on. I think that the sums allocated to Ministers are unnecessarily large. Over the past five years, we have seen our colleagues, the hon. Ministers, go all over the country to inspect developmental projects. Yes, that can be done, but there should be limitations because that is the work of civil servants. Ministers must stay in their offices to provide policy direction and strategic thinking. They must also be available for consultation instead of gallivanting all over the country in order to use of their monetary allocations.


Madam, the hon. Minister of Finance, as the first among equals, must try as much as possible to ensure that money goes to activities that improve the quality of life of our people, and that our transformation agenda improves the villages. He must ensure that the quality of life of our people is improved by 2063, and that we have better and affordable facilities. Having been a Member of Parliament for Lunte, which is a rural constituency, the hon. Minister knows that it does not cost that much money to build a primary school or create comfort for a rural teacher.  One hundred thousand Kwacha (K100,000) can go a long way in improving the working conditions of a teacher in a rural area by building permanent structures. This is the kind of money that we can save if we control extravagant and unnecessary expenditure. 


Madam Chairperson, this is the time to tell our colleagues in leadership that in line with the dictates of Agenda 2063, it is not business as usual. People demand seriousness and prudence in the management of their resources, and we can grant them their wishes by, among other means, monitoring, for instance, the various developmental projects under implementation. If the Government has allocated money for the drilling of 2,000 boreholes, we should be informed so that we can demand to be told by our colleagues in the Executive how the boreholes can be equitably allocated across the country. We should also get rid of some unnecessary, irrational or unrealistic projects. Imagine what we could have achieved, as a nation, if money that went into the purchase of tractors was used to buy cattle, for instance. We could have bought millions of cattle and allocated them to our people and in five years, a family given five or ten cattle would have twenty or thirty cattle. Imagine the tremendous impact on the quality of life of our people that would have. That is the way to go. We know that if we use tractors constantly, especially on a small piece of land, the soil gets bleached and destroyed. We know this. Is that a prudent way to use scarce resources? Let us be serious and analytical, and demand a development strategic direction. This is not the time for us to relax and do things that will not better our country.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister of Finance has a big task and we wish him well. We shall support him, but only when he does the right things.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Prof. Lungwangwa: We shall support him when he demands that his colleagues move away from extravagance to prudence in resource management. We shall support him when he says he wants to see equitable distribution of our scarce resources across the country. Additionally, we shall support him if he works to improve the quality of life in the rural areas. Doing all these things does not cost much, but require a change of mindset. We, therefore, expect his office, as a primus inter pares, to impress upon his colleagues to change their mindset and transform our country for the betterment of all.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kufakwandi (Sesheke Central): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on this Vote. I also thank the hon. Minister of Finance for his statement.


Madam, since Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa has dealt with most of the other issues, I will restrict myself to investment and debt management.


Madam Chairperson, I am sure we all know that all countries borrow to implement their Government agendas, but the different between countries is on where the money is borrowed and how it is used.


Madam Chairperson, when borrowed money is invested properly, we always see the benefits. The countries that started at the same level in the 1960s when they became independent are miles apart today because some countries utilised the loans that they have received from various donors properly while others have wasted theirs or invested it in wrong areas.


Madam, since 2011, our focus has been on the development of infrastructure, mainly roads, and the source of loans has largely been the Eurobond market. However it takes, at least, fifteen years for a bituminous road to start providing returns. I suppose that is the standard in the trade. Therefore, it is very important for our negotiating and debt management team to relate the loans’ maturity and the time the projects funded will start providing benefits. The expensive Eurobonds we borrowed for roads will be due for repayment in 2022 and 2024, yet the roads we built will only start giving us returns in fifteen years, around 2026.


Madam Chairperson, there are very cheap sources of funding, such as the multi-lateral financial institutions, with which the hon. Minister of Finance is very conversant, which were created by countries to provide resources for long-term investment in particular areas, such as infrastructure. Sometimes, the interest on loans is less than 1 per cent. So, why do we go for Eurobonds whose interest rates are 5 per cent when cheaper sources of funding are available and Zambia is a member of the institutions that provide that funding? So, really, the point I am trying to stress is that the hon. Minister, as the first among equals, should really bring our cost of borrowing down because it is too high. No one is saying that roads are not important. In fact, they are very important. However, they must be built cost-effectively, and this is very important for the hon. Minister to bear in mind.


Madam Chairperson, in his Budget Speech, the hon. Minister emphasised that we need an economic recovery programme starting in 2017. I agree with him because that programme will lay the foundation for future economic development. We are currently going through a transition towards a better economic situation. Therefore, we have to be very careful with our borrowing. According to the hon. Minister, our external debt is very high, at US$6.7 billion, which is 40 per cent of our gross domestic product (GDP). So, we are on the edge of a cliff and any further careless borrowing will tip us over the edge and we will join the club of states with no economic credibility in the eyes of the international community. However, I am sure the hon. Minister is equal to the task of driving our economic recovery programme.


Madam, in the 2017 Budget, debt servicing has been allocated K11 billion, which is double the allocation to health and equal to the allocation to education. Those involved in this business always talk about debt sustainability frameworks, which is basically the idea that the level of borrowing that a country has done should be sustainable. When the people of Sesheke ask me what this means, I try to simplify it. So, when they, as ordinary citizens, ask how they can tell whether their country is borrowing beyond its means, I tell them to just go to a classroom and if they find there are no desks there, then the country is failing to buy those desks because it is servicing loans.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Kufakwandi: Equally, if they went to a hospital and found that there were no medicines, it means the country is spending too much money on debt servicing. It is that simple and all the complex terminologies that some people try to use to explain the phenomenon are irrelevant. If we cannot provide quality social services, then, the money must be going elsewhere.


Madam Chairperson, we must note that the problem is not with technocrats at the Ministry of Finance or in other ministries, but rather with more with the politicians who try to appease the population by coming up with grandiose schemes with petty projects that, at the end of the day, remain unfinished. In the process, the people become even angrier. We have heard a lot about classroom blocks, clinics and roads that remain unfinished. We agree with the hon. Minister’s position that we have to complete what has been started before initiating new projects. However, that should apply across the country, not in selected regions.


Hon. Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Kufakwandi: Madam, one of the reasons for incurring debt is that we do not have sufficient domestic revenue. Our informal sector is growing, but its contribution to Government revenue, in terms of taxes, is only 5 per cent. So, we have to expand that base. I have been to countries where the collection of tax revenue is not done by the equivalent of the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), but rather by private people contracted by the Government while in the Ivory Coast, you do not need a licence to set up a bar or restaurant. You just start operating, but within three or four days, someone would come to you and collect what you are supposed to pay. We equally have to be innovative in the collection of taxes, especially from the informal sector, so that we can expand our domestic resources and reduce on borrowing. After all, what China is giving is tax money collected from its people. We can also do better in that area.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister emphasised the need for fiscal fitness, saying that we should not spend what we do not have. We definitely have to take the path of living within our means, and someone spending K4 million to build two houses in Chinsali for some Government officials is living beyond our means. What sort of civil servants will stay in houses so grandiose? We have to end that kind of spending behaviour. Otherwise, we will get back into the pre-2005 debt trap and we will have to appeal to the mercy of our donors to come to our aid, and I think that one of the most embarrassing things, even at the household level, is for a person or family to fail repay a debt and ask for forgiveness.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Kufakwandi: We have to avoid that ...


Mr Ngulube: In conclusion.


Mr Kufakwandi: ... at all costs.


In conclusion, Madam Chairperson, ...




Mr Kufakwandi: ... I am not against this Vote. All I am saying is that in the next five years, we have to be very cautious and get off the path we have trod since 2011.


I thank you, Madam.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The First Chairperson: Just to guide the House, there is a special Head for debt servicing and that is Head 99. So, any sentiments on debt servicing should be reserved for the debate on that Head.


Hon. Kamboni, you can take the Floor.


Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!


Hon. PF Member: Question!


Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Madam Chairperson, on behalf of the people of Kalomo Central and Zambians at large, thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate.


Madam, I was taught in Grade 4 that when you throw a boomerang, you must know how to handle it when it comes back because it does so with the same force with which you threw it. If you do not know how to handle it, it will kill or injure you.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: Madam Chairperson, similarly, when you over-borrow money, you may fail to repay it and that will bring embarrassment or misery to you. Going back into history, we see that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has already borrowed more money than the United National Independence Party (UNIP) Government borrowed in twenty-seven years.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Kamboni: I have no problem with borrowing, but before we borrow, we must come up with a repayment plan and ensure that we have the capacity to pay back.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: If, for example, when our gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate is 3.4 per cent, we should not borrow too much.


Madam, the PF Government borrowed the most expensive type of loan a country can ever get without any consultations or consideration of the level of interest we would have to pay.


Mr Ngulube: You have good roads now.


Mr Kamboni: Some of the loans the PF got will take ten years just to clear the interest before repaying the actual loan.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: The state of the country’s economy is critical because of over-borrowing and I think that if the Government had thought very well, we would not be in the problems in which we currently are.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Kamboni: Madam Chairperson, I have always said that Zambia is endowed with abundant natural resources. So, the question is: Why are we poor? Obviously, it is because of over-borrowing and having a human resource that has no capacity to add value to our national resources and solve the Zambian problems. It is disappointing that we are still talking about borrowing when we are resource-rich and ordinary Zambians are the ones paying for that carelessness.


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Mr Kamboni: Madam, the money we borrowed has now finished and we cannot borrow any more. All we can do is beg from asking the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Executive must listen when we advise it because we are all involved in paying back the loans.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Kamboni: Madam, the “One Zambia One Nation” motto is popular in this House. However, none of us here is a child to fail to know that the motto is not reflected in the way the national cake is shared.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: It is not right to take the elephant’s share to oneself while chanting the slogan. What kinds of semantics are those?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: Madam Chairperson, for example, we have heard about the procurement of some tractors and how sixty-two of them were given to one province and twelve to one district, yet some provinces like the Southern Province, which is an agricultural hub, were only given six. What kind of sharing is that?




Mr Livune: Hammer!




The Chairperson: Order!


Mr Kamboni: Madam Chairperson, ‒




The Chairperson: Order, hon. member!


Resume your seat for a moment.


Hon. Members, both on my left and right, I have been taking note of the groupings that are in the habit of always making noise in the House. I hope you can see me looking, as I want to avoid mentioning your name, although that appears not to be working very well.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: There is nothing wrong with consulting and even reacting to your colleagues on the Floor by saying “Hear, hear!” or “Question!”.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!




The Chairperson: However, you cannot continue in the manner you are doing it because we need to maintain order in the House. After all, we are honourable Members and are live on television. I do not think this is the conduct we want to exhibit to the nation.


Hon. Kamboni, continue, please.


Mr Kamboni: Thank you, Madam Chairperson. I really need your protection at this moment.


Madam, the “One Zambia One Nation” motto should not be mere rhetoric, but rather be reflected in the way we do things. So, the national cake should be shared equally to every part of Zambia. That is why I opened my debate by with a reference to the people of Kalomo Central and Zambia at large. I have the interest of both my constituency and the whole country at heart.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: Madam, everybody pays taxes in Zambia, not one section of the country. Therefore, when we ask for a fair share ‒


The Chairperson: Order!


(Debate adjourned)






[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


(Progress reported)




The House adjourned at 1957 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 9th December, 2016.