Tuesday, 22nd November, 2016

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Tuesday, 22nd November, 2016


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]











Mr Speaker: I wish to inform the House that, in the absence of Her Honour the Vice-President, who is attending to other Government Business, the Hon. Chief Whip, Mr Richard Musukwa, MP, has been appointed Acting Leader of Government Business in the House from today, Tuesday, 22nd November, 2016, until further notice.


Thank you.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!








The Minister of Agriculture (Ms Siliya): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to update the House and the nation at large on the Cashew Infrastructure Development Project that I launched on the 5th of November, 2016. This statement has been necessitated by the need to inform Parliament and the public at large on policy measures that the Government is pursuing in order to diversify the economy towards agriculture in general and high value commodities in particular.


Sir, cashew is not a new crop to Zambia. Cashew was first introduced in Zambia in the 1940s. The growth of the industry was very slow due to low production and the lack of marketing and processing facilities until 1985 when the Government commercialised cashew production and processing by establishing the Zambia Cashew Company.


Mr Speaker, the Zambia Cashew Company established a processing plant in 1985. The initiative was meant to strengthen the out grower scheme to benefit the local people through the sell of their crop to the company. With the establishment of the processing plant, the cashew industry grew rapidly from 1986 to 1992.


Mr Speaker, the sudden withdraw of the Government’s financial support due to the Structure Adjustment Programme (SAP) and the inclusion of the processing plant on the privatisation list contributed to the decline of the cashew industry in Zambia.


Sir, the Global Cashew Industry is currently producing around 2,463,000 metric tonnes of raw cashew of which 48 per cent or 1,188,000 metric tonnes is produced in Africa.


Sir, in Zambia, the current cashew nut production stands at 850 metric tonnes per year from an estimated, 1,700,000 trees that produce 0.5 kg of raw nuts per tree annually.


Mr Speaker, you may wish to note that the current cashew prices stand around US$6,000 per tonnes in comparison to copper prices which is at less than 5,000 per metric tonne. Cashew is one commodity that has been identified as being a high value commodity that can earn the country much-needed foreign exchange. The cashew hub in Zambia has approximately 1.3 million ha with the potential to produce 130,000 metric tonnes of raw cashew nuts per annum. The industry has the potential to create about 10,000 jobs and support 100,000 small-holder farmers.


Mr Speaker, cashew nut has been identified as one of the high value crops in Zambia. It is against this background that the Government of the Republic of Zambia made a request to the African Development Bank (ADB) for financial support to revive the industry. In response to this request, the ADB sent an identification mission to Zambia in 2014 and preparatory and appraisal missions in 2015. These missions culminated in the development of the cashew Infrastructure Development Project which was approved by the bank’s Board of Directors on 4th November, 2015.


Sir, the Government of the Republic of Zambia has sourced a total amount of US$55.42 million, out of which US$45 million is a loan from the ADB, to finance this project. US$8.31 million is the Government contribution and US$2.11 million is beneficiary contribution. The loan will be paid over a period of twenty years with a grace period of five years at 0.06 per cent as interest rate.


Mr Speaker, this project will be implemented for a period of five years in ten districts of the Western Province, namely Mongu, Limulunga, Senanga, Kalabo, Nalolo, Sikongo, Shang’ombo, Sioma, Lukulu and Mitete. It will be implemented involving all players in the cashew value chain to ensure sustainability.


Sir, the project is composed of three components, namely the following:


  1. support to cashew value-chain has the three sub-components and these are, irrigation infrastructure for cashew nurseries and clone gardens, cashew plantation rejuvenation and establishment and infrastructure for cashew processing and marketing;


  1. capacity building has three sub-components and these are training, technical support and matching fund;


  1. project management has two sub-components, namely project co-ordination, monitoring and evaluation.


Mr Speaker, the project will partner with private investors to put up a processing plant to absorb all the raw nuts from farmers. The private partners will be identified through a competitive bid. This partnership will create a readily available market for our cashew farmers and will enhance continuity. Capacity will be built among the Government staff, farmers and processors to ensure efficient implementation of the project. The project aims to directly benefit 60,000 household beneficiaries out of which, 30,000 will be rural women and 1,000 youths each, planting 1 ha of 100 trees. The project will, thus, give out a total of 6 million productive cashew trees.


Sir, in addition, the project will rehabilitate existing cashew plantations in the province. Ultimately, the project will directly and indirectly benefit over 600,000 households in the Western Province. At full maturity, the 6 million cashew trees will produce raw cashew nuts of up to 60,000 tonnes per annum. At this production level, the province will be able to export an average of 15,000 tonnes of kernels per annum with a turnover of US$90 million at the current price of US$6,000 per tonne.


The project, through the Matching Fund, will promote ownership by small-scale entrepreneurs of, at least, ten Cashew tree nurseries and four Cashew processing plants.


Mr Speaker, the Government will continue to partner with the various actors who have been making efforts to revive the Cashew industry in Zambia. These include the Western Cashew Industries (WCI), Cashew Growers Association of Zambia (CGAZ), Zambia Works Economic Development (ZWED) Limited and the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC).


The Government has also received considerable support for the project from the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE).


I will continue to update the House on the evolution of this project and hope that the ministry will receive the full support of the hon. Members of the House as it executes the Cashew Infrastructure Development Project.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


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


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, I want to thank the hon. Minister for this well-designed programme of Cashew nut production in the Western Province. However, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister where that money, which has been sourced for this project, is currently sitting so that the people of the Western Province do not become excited and only to be told the next day the same story of the lack of budgetary sufficiency and all sorts of excuses. I would like to know where the money is and when this programme will be commissioned.


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, let me assure my colleague, the hon. Member of Parliament for Ikeleng’i, the House and the public at large that this is not a story. The US$55 million is sourced at great expense to this country with US$45 million coming directly from the ADB as a loan and US$8 million direct support to this project from our country. So, this is not a story.


Mr Speaker, this money is meant only for the Western Province to be disbursed in the ten districts that I mentioned. The loan was approved recently and processes to ensure that it is used according to its purpose have been put in place.


I cannot tell hon. Member the details about whether it is sitting in the Zambian Government account or not. However, I can state that the implementing agency is the Ministry of Agriculture. We have ensured that this money will not be used for any other programme in the Ministry of Agriculture because it is targeted at the Cashew Infrastructure Development Project.


Mr Speaker, this loan has come with a tabling of how it will be spent to ensure that it is not spent on anything else. For example, in the first component of improving the value chain, the sub component on infrastructure for cashew nurseries and gardens will get US$26.09, translating to 47.1 per cent; the second sub component on cashew plantation rejuvenation and establishment will receive US$12.95 million, which is 23.4 per cent, and the last component on value chain addition which is infrastructure for cashew processing and marketing, will receive US$2.63 million, which is 4.7 per cent. We also have a component on capacity building and project management. All these four components have been allocated resources to ensure that what went through before must not be repeated.


Mr Speaker, if we clearly allocate resources for projects, we expect results from the implementation. So, we are focused and can assure the hon. Member of Parliament that this is not a story. This money is only going to the people of the Western Province.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, a project of this magnitude needs a lot of attention. For example, the Western Province has an extremely difficult terrain and, therefore, the transport aspect has to be given a lot of attention to facilitate the transportation of the plants and the products.


Mr Speaker, what attention is being given to infrastructure development, especially feeder roads in the rural areas, in order to facilitate the implementation of this project at its various stages?


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament has made a very important observation. We have said that this cashew project is very different. It is like no other. In this one, we are looking at the whole value chain of the cashew nut sector. We have been mindful of the fact that it is not just about planting the trees, but the infrastructure to support marketing and processing.


You may recall that I mentioned that in supporting the cashew value chain, the sub component addressing infrastructure for cashew processing and marketing has been allocated US$2.63 million.


Mr Speaker, we are aware that we will have to provide power for processing and roads for transportation, marketing and for all these activities to take place. This project has not just been designed with agriculture in mind, but with a development concept.


Mr Speaker, we have looked at gender by ensuring that we target women households and that half of the farmers we will work with are women. We know that we cannot leave women behind. We have thought of the development concept in this project and that is why we have targeted the youth.


Mr Speaker, hard infrastructure, including feeder roads, is necessary. This project has budgeted for the entire infrastructure that is needed to allow for marketing and processing agribusiness to actually happen. We are aware that the product will have to move from the plantation to an agro-processing point and to the export market.


Mr Speaker, I think that this is the news that the Western Province has been waiting for to accelerate development alongside this cashew nut production promotion project.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kundoti (Luena): Mr Speaker, cashew nut growing is very favourable in the Western Province. When the Cashew Company was introduced in the Western Province, it was overwhelmingly received by the people of the Barotseland. They worked so hard to see to it that it was a success story. However, later on, we saw it collapse and the cashew nut farmers, villagers, the youth and women were so frustrated by what had happened. The Government has come up with this beautiful project which, I believe, can be good and desirable for the people of the Western Province. However, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what the cause of the collapse of the Cashew Company was and what measures have been put in place to see to it that, this time around, this new cashew nut growing project does not collapse in a like manner.


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, in my statement I said that this is not the first time we are hearing about cashew nuts in Zambia. We had an introduction of cashew nuts in the 1990s, but the company collapsed. It was a Government-owned company whose processing plant was privatised, but there was also a lack of investment in the whole value chain. I think those are the lessons we have learnt. However, now, the people of the Western Province have to take ownership of the project.


Secondly, Mr Speaker, in my discussions with His Royal Highness and the kuta, they did commit to releasing the needed land so that those who will be involved in this project feel that it is their own because they can get title to the land as well. I think it was a great commitment by His Royal the Highness and the kuta.


Thirdly, Sir, I think that the involvement of the ADB, this time, will assist because it is a development bank. We, as a people of Zambia, and as the Government have also learnt some lessons over time that when we make an investment, we must look at the whole value chain and where the bottlenecks can stem from. As the other hon. Member said, it is nothing to plant cashew nut trees if we cannot transport the cashew nuts because of a lack of feeder roads or power to process the nuts . In the absence of these, we will fail from the beginning.


Mr Speaker, that is why when the ADB partnered with us. It carried out a total due diligence and programme design and came back to us stating how we were to go about our cashew nut project if we, as Zambia, were to get a loan. It gave guidelines from planting all the way up until the export market and everything else in between, including extension services and improved seedlings from the nurseries so that we get a better crop. This means that we must monitor and evaluate, provide for processing, involve the private sector, have export markets and the necessary infrastructure in place. This is what is different about this project from the previous one.


Mr Speaker, I think it remains up to the ten districts in the Western Province to do the right thing by picking farmers who are industrious enough to participate in this project because this is not a social welfare programme. It is an investment project from which we expect a return which will be at household level.


Sir, we, in the Government, are not good at doing business. We want the people in the Western Province, who are industrious, to see the US$55 million as an opportunity even in times of austerity.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Kufakwandi (Sesheke Central): Mr Speaker, I want to agree with the hon. Minister that this is a very important development for the Western Province. It takes about seven years or more for a cashew plant to produce cashew nuts. Therefore, my question is: Does the project provide for alternative livelihoods for households that will be involved in this programme during the period before they start harvesting the nuts?


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, well, firstly, we are starting from zero and in trying to address the issue of people having access to a better income, as raised by the hon. Member, of course, the Government is providing the Social Cash Transfer Scheme in support of the most vulnerable people. However, this project is targeted at helping those who might just be …




Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!


Ms Siliya: … on the border line of the poverty datum line or, in fact, just a little above the datum line, who have the industrious capacity to take advantage of this project, create wealth for themselves and jobs for other people. That is the idea of this project. So, we assume that there are levels of poverty in the Western Province, like in many parts of Zambia, but at the same time we have to target those who have the capacity to make it so that they can help other people.


So, Sir, we are starting from zero. The cashew nut trees that are there now are thirty years old. Most of them are diseased and they are not the best varieties because they are not early maturing varieties and are not producing cashew nut cannels. We are saying let us intervene with six million new trees. Seven years is not a very long. Agriculture is not for the faint-hearted, it lasts a life time. Let us begin somewhere and for those who are prepared to get involved and wait for seven years, they will reap more than they can imagine. Cashew nuts are US$6, 000 per tonne today. I think we should see the glass as half full. Let us see the potential and try to fill the other half.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, the negative reactions and sharing of past experiences as regard cashew nut growing that the hon. Minister has heard from hon. Members of Parliament are very real and it should be so even on the ground. I want to find out from her what measures have been put in place to ensure that the leadership, not only Members of Parliament, but the entire leadership chain, is brought to the ownership of this project because this sort of money we are talking about is a huge investment which we have not seen in many years.


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I do appreciate the tone of the question. I think sometimes you really have to fight perception. It might not be reality, but perception can drive reality. First of all, like I stated, we have a great partner in the ADB. For it to take a chance on Zambia during these difficult times is because it carried out its due diligence. It sent its agriculture experts and it believes that if we implement this project, it is possible to reap some profit in the Western Province.


Mr Speaker, when I went to launch the project, we ensured that all the necessary stakeholders were available for the launch. The District Commissioners (DCs), who are in charge of these districts, were present and I gave them a very strong message that it was their responsibility to inform the people of the Western Province about the availability of this project and people must start preparing their minds. The media was present at the launch. So, we sent the message that this money is targeted for the Western Province beyond the Western Province and something good can happen just within seven years.


Sir, we ensured that their Royal Highnesses were informed. We met with His Royal Highness and the kuta to explain to them what the Government was doing in their area and that it needs their support too in terms of releasing land. This land, through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, can be titled and people can take ownership and know that things will be done differently. We have also involved various public opinion leaders like church groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to ensure that they too sensitise the public that, indeed, this project might have gone wrong before, like many things do sometimes in life, but it is time to make progress. We cannot continue looking backwards. I think, ultimately, the onus lies with the hon. Members of Parliament in general. However, I think that for the Western Province, particularly, people need hope that in seven years, some of them can truly become wealthy. I think we owe it to ourselves to send that message of hope to the people.


Mr Speaker, I urge all of us to work together because we are definitely in this together. The people of the Western Province are looking to us, as leaders, to give them hope. This is our first step in providing that hope.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister explained that the Barotse Royal Establishment is well engaged in this cashew nut project. Land in the Western Province is predominantly traditionally held and huge tracts of land are in the hands of individual family households. If the hon. Minster was to check, she would find that there are a few families that hold land in the Western Province. Looking at the amount of money that will go into the project, is there a way of looking at the amount of land that will be covered in the execution of this project to ensure that all the people of the Western Province are involved.


Mr Speaker, allow me to find out who will manage this project on behalf of the Government.


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, when the Government and the ADB was designing this project, we took time to conduct the necessary due diligence. If we are targeting 60,000 farmers and each with a hectare to plant 100 trees, it means that we are looking for 60,000 ha. We took this message very clearly to His Royal Highness that it was important for him to release land to individuals for farming so that they can use it as an asset to leverage access to financing. I must say that the response was extremely positive. In fact, even the members of the kuta themselves, in the end, told me that they wanted to participate in this project. They were excited and saw the potential.


Sir, I think that the challenge of land is not unique to the Western Province. It is a national problem. 94 per cent of the land in Zambia is traditionally owned. I think that as we move forward, we have to begin to attach true value to land. Just looking at land and saying that I own it for sentimental reasons is nothing, but sharing poverty. Until we can translate land into earning you money in your pocket and account, it means nothing. So, we have to begin to give Zambians individual pieces of this country so they can begin to turn it into value. That was the message that His Royal Highness, the Litunga, in the Western Province shared with us and that he is willing to support this project. It cannot work without the most important factor of production, which is land. So, I am very confident that the leadership in the Western Province wants to seize this opportunity and that it will make land available, working with my colleague the hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Kasune (Keembe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister talked about the mechanisms that have been put in place so that women can benefit from this developmental project of cashew nuts. Is there any other mechanism in place in case there are unforeseen environmental causes that may end up jeopardising the expected revenue from this project? Secondly, will these farmers be protected in any way so that they do not end up having challenges?


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, again, when designing the project, we had to really consider the economic value as well as the social development value. That is why we said that 50 per cent of the targeted beneficiaries must be women and that is 30,000 out of the 60,000 farmers. However, ultimately, we believe the impact of this project will be on 600,000 people. Maybe, I did not answer the question that was asked earlier on in terms of who will manage this project which I think is very much linked to what the hon. Member of Parliament is asking. Of course, the ADB will carry our hand through this project. We both have a vested interest in this project. We have our experts in the Ministry of Agriculture, who are based in the Western Province, but we will also have expert support from the ADB and anywhere else we see fit. That is why the component of monitoring and evaluation is very critical and an amount of US$2.27 has been budgeted for in terms of project management. Like any programme, you have to keep monitoring so that if you are not getting the desired results, you will be able to adjust. We have just begun implementing this project and we took into consideration climatic changes. That is why we felt that we were winning on all levels in the Western Province. In view of the climatic weather conditions in the Western Province, the cashew tree will not just produce cashew nuts, but it is good for the environment. So, we will plant 6 million extra trees. Secondly, we have taken care of the women and youth issue and that is a very important social aspect of this project.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, is there a project manager?


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, the project is being managed by the Ministry of Agriculture. That is the executing agency.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Keembe’s question had an element of protection or something, maybe, in the lines of insurance.


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, obviously, in the design of the project in terms of first of all the loan itself, there are always issues of insurance. However, like I said, the programme has just been designed and regarding the emphasis in terms of its execution, we have taken care of issues of risk management. However, we have also conducted a due diligence to know that we will not revert the will. We know that cashew trees grow in the Western Province and all we have to do is improve the variety. Clearly, monitoring will be very important to ensure that issues of mismanagement of resources and the use of these resources on ineligible issues such as workshops are avoided. Since the bank will attach its own people to this project as well, it has put in place a number of measures in terms of risk management.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for sharing that information. I think information sharing is key and she is good at that. I also want to thank the hon. Minister for embarking on the necessary journey towards the realisation of the diversification agenda. I have no doubt in my mind that this initiative will contribute significantly to this. However, given that she has now been in the ministry for, at least, a month, does she think that the ministry has sufficient internal capacity to manage the diversification agenda generally, and particularly this project?


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I think that we, as the Government, have the capacity and that is why we have taken this decision to put our money on crop diversification where it matters. By investing in cashew nuts, it shows that we have the capacity to think properly, to do what we promised to do and take action. The action we have taken is to implement this project. Remember the ADB did not just give us money, but we requested for a loan to implement this project. The bank has given us the technical and financial expertise.


However, I think that we have the capacity even within the Ministry of Agriculture and that is why it is the executing agency. Cashew nut growing is just one component of the activities we carry out in agriculture. Next year, the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) will support ten crops apart from maize and that is the Government making the decision that we have to diversify. Obviously, by monitoring and evaluating this project in the Western Province, we will be able to procure the necessary consultancy as and when needed. However, I think that this is not the first time in Zambia we have done things like this. It is just that now we want to do them with the certainty of success.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Ng’ambi (Chifubu): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for coming up with a wonderful project that will lift the lives of the 600,000 people of the Western Province. However, I still feel that concerning the challenges that seem to be coming from the political leadership, those who have expressed their views over this matter seem to be very negative. I am worried because the investment of an amount of US$55.4 million in an environment where there is no political will is a recipe for failure of the project. Could the hon. Minister tell the country the kind of interventions that have been put in place to separate the political leadership from such a wonderful project?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, the question is on de-politicisation.


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I think that, sometimes, we place too much emphasis on our politicking and forget that the people out there just want the basics. The people of the Western Province, like everywhere else, just want incomes at household level to enable them to take their children to school and feed them well. Therefore, in designing this project, many stakeholder meetings took place. When it comes to this project being implemented, the citizens of Zambia in the Western Province are the ones to benefit from it. When being implemented, the 60,000 farmers will be identified using a system that will not be based on which political party one belongs to. These are all citizens whose needs a responsible Government is responding to. So, as leaders, we all owe it to ourselves to not politicise everything because if we do not give the people confidence and hope, they will begin to wonder what kind of leaders we are. Truly, it is good to look back and see what went wrong, but let us not permanently remain in the past and fail to make any progress. If we do not make any progress, we will be stranded in the past and remain with anger and in anguish. We have to be hopeful.


Sir, the Western Province has many young people who want to be farmers and will, therefore, participate in this programme. I think that they have a new way of looking at things and not get pre-occupied with politics. They just want to make money like other citizens. So, I have hope that we have managed to de-politicise this. It remains for us, Members of Parliament and politicians, to also de-politicise this matter.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kamondo (Mufumbwe): Mr Speaker, the people of the Western Province should be excited about this project. I am sure that this project will be very helpful and reduce poverty, which we really appreciate. I would like to find out if the Ministry of Agriculture has intentions of supporting other crops. Are pineapples among the ten crops that the hon. Minister has suggested to be diversified into? Further, does the Government have intentions of re-opening the cannery factory in Mwinilunga and Ikeleng’i in the North-Western Province?


Mr Muchima: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Ordinarily, I would have disallowed that question.




Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, when we travelled to the Western Province, the ADB country representative was so amazed to see so many unripe mangoes on the roadside being loaded onto trucks to be sold in Lusaka. He immediately challenged us in the ministry to begin to work on a facility that would support the horticulture industry in this country.


Sir, we have had a lot of discussions over that. Just yesterday, we had one with the Italian Ambassador to Zambia and we discussed the fact that the horticulture industry in Zambia had been neglected. This morning, I met with a Polish delegation that complimented the pineapples grown in Zambia. They said they were absolutely amazed at how wonderful and sweet these pineapples are. So, in support of my friend, the hon. Member of Parliament for Ikeleng’i, I will extend as much energy and effort to this matter so that the promise by the bank to offer some support in terms of agro-processing of fruits in the country is realised.


Mr Speaker, we also want to support the growing of rice on a larger scale in the Western Province because we know that there is potential. That is why it is a very important that we have increased support to the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) in terms of crop come 2017.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mbangweta (Nkeyema): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has listed a number of expenditure which is likely to be incurred in certain components. I would like her to clarify how much has been provided for feeder roads within the same project. This will enable us to understand whether the roads will be attended to. The other question is for her to clarify where the processing plant will be placed.


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I have aggregate numbers on infrastructure development. It will take me time to check in this project document. However, I will be happy to discuss with the gentleman afterwards.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, what is the answer to the second part of his question?


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I do not have information relating to the location of the processing plant. This project will be carried out in ten districts. When it comes to ranking the districts in as far as the potential for cashew nuts is concerned, Mongu is number one, followed by Limulunga, Senanga, Lukulu, Kalabo, Sioma, Nalolo, Sikongo, Mitete and Shang’ombo respectively. That is the actual ranking in terms of the potential in these areas. As people are looking to site an agro processing plant, I would assume that they take into consideration the district with the most potential, which in this case is Mongu. The other factors that are considered are population, the accessibility to power and a good road network and the financers such as commercial banks, among others. However, I cannot give that information in an exact manner at the moment.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: Each hon. Member of Parliament should ask only one question. Do not preface your questions. Just get straight to the point.


Mr C. M. Zulu (Luangeni): Mr Speaker, it is true that a big project like this one would send shivers into the, ...


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, I have just said no prefacing your questions. So, what is your question?


Mr C. M. Zulu: Mr Speaker, are cashew nuts only grown in the Western Province or they can also be grown in other parts of the country?


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I do believe that they can grow in areas with similar soils and weather as the Western Province. However, on a large-scale and in trying to pilot this project, we felt that we should focus on the Western Province because it already had experience with cashew nuts. Secondly, the Western Province has land available and soils suitable for this kind of crop. That is why we targeted this particular province.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, in avoiding the hierarchical nature of the rural areas, what mechanisms will be provided to ensure targeting does not hinge on a who-is-who basis?


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I think we, Zambians, are hierarchical by nature. There are 60,000 farmers to be chosen and somebody has to choose who qualifies. This will not be done by the Minister of Agriculture. When I went to the Western Province, I spoke to various leaders who included District Commissioners (DCs), church leaders and farmer groups themselves. We agreed that they would have to be honest when it comes to this project. If one has no capacity or interest, then, they should not get involved just for the sake of it. That is why we said the key was to pick industrious people who will help us create jobs for other people. That key lies purely with the people of the Western Province, the leadership there, the farming groups and private sector to take advantage of this project. Ultimately, the success of this project lies with them. However, we will do everything we can to create some guidelines so that we try to pick the best so that we can have a return on this investment.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Mr Speaker, this programme appears to be very ambitious. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what criteria the ministry will use to indentify the beneficiaries so that we do not fall into the same trap where the implementers of this project are the beneficiaries as well.


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, the Ministry of Agriculture can only provide guidelines. Ultimately, stakeholders, farm groups and civic and business leadership in the Western Province, who are the beneficiaries, will have to work with us, as the executing agency, to identify industrious farmers.


Mr Speaker, my comfort is that we will, as the executing agency, work with the ADB and procure the services of a number of specialists such as agronomists and project managers. Hopefully, we can carry out many field visits to identify industrious farmers and verify that they are willing to participate. This is why we said that out of the 60,000 targeted, 30,000 should be women and 1,000, the youth.


However, we want women to reap from this investment. Further, we do not want youths who are simply bored and looking for an opportunity in the short-term. We want youths who will commit to the agriculture sector. This is the best that we can do. Ultimately, however, the responsibility lies with the leadership, the people and the business community of the Western Province. They need to take advantage of this opportunity.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mecha (Chifunabuli): Mr Speaker, I know that the cashew value chain development, which has been assigned to the Ministry of Agriculture for implementation, is a very complex process. I am worried about the sustainability of interventions beyond the lifespan of five years. Can the hon. Minister enlighten us on the sustainability mechanisms that have been put in place?


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, we must have faith in ourselves and the private sector. It is only the private sector that will create the wealth that the Government needs, through taxes, to develop this country. We cannot keep thinking that projects can only work when the Government is involved. I think that there is enough evidence to show that when the Government is involved in projects most of the time, they do not work. This is why this support is only limited to five years.


Mr Speaker, we hope that since six million trees have been planted, 60,000 farmers have been identified, land issues have been dismantled and resolved and people, who now know that their families own these trees, have titles, sustainability will guaranteed. The money that they will make from this project will be their household income for re-investment. I think that this is a huge commitment that the farmers and the people of the Western Province have to make.


In fact, I feel that we underestimate the small-scale farmers, especially in the rural areas. These people know the math. They know that one plus one equals two and that if they do not invest in productivity, they will not be able to look after their children. So, I feel quite encouraged and confident that this will be sustainable because they will get the initial support in capacity building, infrastructure, finances and field assessments by extension service officers. Even now, the Ministry of Agriculture, which is the executing agency to ensure that this project is sustainable, is providing extension services to farmers nationwide and, the Western Province will not be an exception.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Mr Speaker, I am aware that audit of over 3,000 properties in Zambia, under the Land Audit Programme, has stalled because surveyors have not been paid. How certain is the hon. Minister that the 60,000 plots will be surveyed by this number of surveyors who, up to now, have not been paid?


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I know that we are coming from a background of challenges. However, I also believe that it is possible to begin to do things differently. Even when it is impossible, it still can be done.


Over the weekend, the hon. Minister of Finance, other Government officials and I were in the Eastern Province. We found a huge water challenge in Chipata all because of K300,000. It was good to hear the hon. Minister, on the spot, say that on Monday, yesterday, K300,000 would be availed. Someone asked him if he was already spending money allocated in the 2017 Budget and he responded that this was money he would receive as relief from the subsidies to ensure that social justice was implemented.


Mr Speaker, by doing away with fuel subsidies, he is able to pay for the water reticulation in the province. I am sure that this is the new way of doing things. We must be able to move money from where it was probably being used for consumption to deal with real issues that will unlock the potential in terms of economic development.


The matter raised by the hon. Member for Mwembezhi with regard to surveyors is a chicken and egg issue. We know that we need land titled, yet we are failing to parcel it so that it can be accessed. I think that these are just artificial bottlenecks and, looking at them with different eyes, they can be addressed.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Sampa (Kasama Central): Mr Speaker, this is a pilot project. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether there has been any feasibility study undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture to assess the risk of concentrating this project in one particular area. Why was it not spread out to other provinces?


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, the straightforward answer is that we would not have had a financing document with the ADB without due diligence. A lot of work was done prior to the loan being signed with the Government of the Republic of Zambia. A lot of things were considered, including the fact that the level of poverty in the Western Province is probably a bit higher than anywhere else in the country. We also looked at the soil composition of the province and what crops could be grown compared to other provinces. In looking at all these variables, it was decided that this project could be done, on a mass scale, in the Western Province because, ultimately, the whole country will benefit. 


Mr Speaker, Petauke has no copper mines, but we expect that our schools will also be built by the copper revenue. If the Western Province will begin to have cashew nuts as its copper and sell it at US$6,000 per tonne, the Government will get its rightful taxes and go on to build schools and roads in other areas.


The problem is that we have been trying to solve an agricultural problem using one solution, which is maize, for the whole country. We are saying that maize can be produced elsewhere and the people of the Western Province may end up getting it cheaper while they produce something else and contribute to the country in another way. I think that this is how we need to begin to look at things.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!








10. Ms O. Phiri (Nyimba) asked the Minister of Livestock and Fisheries:


  1. when the Nyimba Livestock Marketing Centre would become operational; and


  1. what had caused the delay in operationalising the centre. 


The Minister of Fisheries and Livestock (Mr Katambo): Mr Speaker, the construction and rehabilitation of the Nyimba Livestock Marketing Centre was completed in 2016.


The centre is expected to run as a marketing and demonstration centre for livestock technologies. It is expected to become operational by January, 2017.


Mr Speaker, allow me to also apologise to the people of Nyimba for the delay. The Nyimba Livestock Marketing Centre was constructed through the African Development Bank funding (ADB). At the time the ADB project was closing, the construction works at the centre had not yet been completed. Furthermore, at the time the infrastructure was being handed over to the ministry, it was discovered that the floor in the piggery was too smooth, making it slippery for the pigs to walk normally, the rails of the crush pen were made of veld fencing (barbed wired), which was not able to restrain animals and the water troughs for cattle were too deep for the animals to access the drinking water.


Sir, in order to rectify the above cited challenges, the ministry had to undertake the following works:


  1. completed the outstanding construction works;


  1. roughened the floor to make it easy for the pigs to walk normally;


  1. replaced the rails in the crush pens; and


  1. made water troughs shallow for the cattle to easily access the drinking water.


Sir, given this status, the Government needed time to mobilise resources needed to complete the outstanding works at the centre. To ensure effective management of the centre, the ministry has indentified an officer to manage it and is in the process of indentifying more officers to help in its management. I, therefore, wish to reiterate and assure the people of Nyimba and the hon. Member that they will start benefiting from this facility by January, 2017.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister help us to get a benefit of understanding the modus operandi of this livestock marketing centre.


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, the Nyimba Livestock Marketing Centre deals in crop development, livestock development, support to research and extension training, infrastructure facilities like building, access roads, water supplies, rural finance comprising rural investment funds and agriculture credit and the provision of technical assistance.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




11. Mr Chansa (Chimbamilonga) asked the Minister of Transport and Communication when the Government would procure a vessel to ease transport problems between Nsumbu and Mpulungu on Lake Tanganyika.


The Minister of Transport and Communication (Mr Mushimba): Mr Speaker, the Government has plans to provide water transport services between Mpulungu and Nsumbu through to Kasanga in Tanzania by Messrs Pendulum Transport and Fishing Company Limited. This is a wholly Government-owned company (formerly known as St. George Fisheries Limited).


Sir, further, the company evaluated the possibility of providing water transport service to Nsumbu alone, as per the question by the hon. Member, but the evaluation proved that providing water transport service to Nsumbu alone was not to be cost-effective on the part of the Government, hence the extension of this route to cover Tanzania. Arising from that, the Government had to enter into bilateral agreements with Tanzania to operationalise that. Zambia has since drafted a water transport agreement for consideration by Tanzania so that we can start providing this service.


Mr Speaker, further, the Government awarded a contract to Messers SHAFTEX Zambia Limited for the supply of a 200-seater passenger vessel at a cost of K26,216 that will be deployed on this route to make sure that we service the people of Nsumbu. During the procuring process of this vessel, the Government encountered some challenges with financing and as soon as that is addressed, the passenger vessel will be delivered and operationalised.


I thank you, Mr Speaker 


Mr Chansa: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister the type of the vessel the Government is planning to procure because Lake Tanganyika is stormy such that if the Government procures a boat, which can be used on rivers like Luapula or Zambezi, then, it cannot be used on Lake Tanganyika. 


Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, the ministry and the Government in general is aware of the state of the river in question. We, as a Government, know the terrain and also understand the type of a vessel that is required. I can assure the hon. Member that the 200-seat passenger vessel that the Government has procured meets the standards required for the velocity and turbulence experienced on this river.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, I hope the hon. Minister is not talking about a river, but Lake Tanganyika, as the question dictates.


Sir, Lake Tanganyika is a very difficult transportation route and the people who live on the lake shores also have difficulties. Is the ministry thinking of establishing various landing bases for the vessel in order to carter for the people living on that route?


Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, I would like to make a correction to my previous answer. I was referring to Lake Tanganyika and not a river. I am sorry about that.


Sir, I spoke about the studies that have been carried out to make sure that when this mode of transport is made available, it has facilities to support it, including the landing base that the hon. Member referred to.


I thank you, Sir.




12. Mr Chansa asked the Minister of Communications and Transport when the Government would facilitate the construction of communication towers in the following areas in Mpulungu District:


  1. Vyamba;


  1. Iyendwe;


  1. Kalongola;


  1. Musakanya;


  1. Kasakalawe; and


  1. Kopeka.


Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, the Government has plans to start implementing Phase II of the communication towers in un-served and underserved areas of the country.


Sir, in 2015, the Government undertook a nationwide study of the poor network connectivity that was experienced, especially in the rural areas. When the Government completed undertaking the study, it mapped where towers need to be put up. 


Mr Speaker, for Mpulungu District specifically, we came up with eight towers that will be put in the following locations to close the network gap that was identified in the studies that we undertook:


Area                               No. of towers


Vyamba                         2

Kalongola                      1

Fundiamali                     2

Itimbwe                         1

Kasakalabwe                 2


Sir, the current status of phase II of this project is that the Government is in negotiations with Exim Bank of China to finish with the loan agreements so that we can commence the implementation of the project.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, this programme was undertaken by the hon. Minister’s predecessor. Therefore, was there a schedule in advance to know which areas are to be tackled? I am particularly interested about my area Ikeleng’i where we face a similar problem.


Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, indeed, the study that I spoke about was started before my time at the ministry and it mapped the entire country. There is actually a map that we have at the ministry that shows where the black spots are in the country. Those are the black spots that we are now trying to target. There are 1,009 towers in total that will be put up. When we spread them across the country, we will have about five to seven towers, on average, in many constituencies. If hon. Members are interested in specific areas of their constituencies, they can come to the ministry to look at the maps we have for each constituency.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, it has been a custom of this House for our colleagues in the Executive to, sometimes, avail to us documents such as this map which the hon. Minister has talked about. Therefore, is he in a position to make this map available to all hon. Members of Parliament so that we can all see some of the communication grey areas and enhance our abilities to lobby his office?


Mr Speaker: I hope there is also no custom to not visit the offices of ministries.




Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, I was actually trying to encourage hon. Members of the House to come to my office and familiarise themselves with the good works we are doing in the ministry. Nonetheless, it is possible for us to print that map and put it in the pigeonholes so that every hon. Members can appreciate the grey areas in the un-served and underserved places that will be targeted in phase II of the project to erect communication towers.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, what will the hon. Minister do about the towers that were mounted by the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA), but do not function and, as a result, there is no communication network in places like Lambwe, Chomba and Lunshinda? In other words, these towers do not provide the service which they were meant for.


Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, we have identified that problem. We are aware of the fact that some of the towers that were erected in phase I of the project did not meet the objective of putting them up.  They were either too short or not in the areas that they should have been in. Therefore, the ministry has plans to revisit some of these areas. As we start phase II, we will revisit some of these sites to make sure that they are operationalised by correcting the inadequacies so that network coverage could be attained in these areas, in future where these short towers may exist.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker gave the Floor to Ms Miti.


Ms Miti (Vubwi): Mr Speaker, I had the same question as that of the hon. Member for Chienge because I have a similar problem in my constituency, particularly in Nzozwe where there is a tower which is not working.


Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Mr Speaker, has the ministry already identified the contractor to execute the erection of the 1,009 towers across the country?


Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, the contract for phase II to erect 1,009 communication towers has been given to a Chinese company called Huawei Technologies Company Limited. After we finalise the funding mechanism, that is the contractor that will lead phase II of putting up communication towers.


I thank you, Sir.


Prof. Lungwangwa : Mr Speaker, phase II of this project should have taken place in March or April, this year. Last year, hon. Members of Parliament, who were in the House, were requested to indicate to the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) where they wanted to see the communication towers installed in their constituencies and we did that. We were, however, told that the project could not take off because there was no money. The hon. Minister is now telling us that the Government is at the point of negotiating with the Exim Bank of China for a loan for this project to be executed by Huawei Technologies Company Limited. Therefore, when exactly does the hon. Minister think this project will take off the ground because the year is now coming to an end?


Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, yes, the input of hon. Members into this process was taken into account as we carried out the feasibility studies on the un-served and underserved areas. To a large extent, their concerns on where these towers should be have been addressed, as it will be seen in the map that we will provide, especially if on the technical side we also saw the need to have a tower in that location.


I also acknowledge that, indeed, this project should have taken off a few months earlier but, obviously, there were some other challenges that were faced. So, the new roll-out programme is that we plan to finish the negotiations with the Exim Bank of China and get the funding that is required for phase II by end of this year so that in the first quarter of  2017, we can start implementing this project.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Kasune (Keembe): Mr Speaker, when the contractor for these towers does not meet the required standards or somehow the job is not well done, are there measures in place to recover the funds that will have been spent so that the Government does not continue borrowing and repeating the same works? That also goes for many other ministries, but maybe the hon. Minister can highlight the measures in this particular ministry.


Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, whenever we sign a contract with any contractor, there are usually performance clauses in there. If these performance clauses are not met, the contractor may not be paid completely or may not be paid the full amount. There are cases where we have received damage payments for work that was done incorrectly. So those mechanisms do exits.


Mr A. B. Malama (Nchelenge): Mr Speaker, what is the contractual sum that will be paid to Huawei Technologies Company Limited and what measures have been put in place to ensure that the towers that will be erected actually work, unlike what happened in phase I?


Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, the contract sum in question for Phase II of the construction of towers is US$280 million. The technical team that the Government put up to conduct the feasibility study also took into account what needed to be done after looking at the mistakes made, such as towers of improper standard, in the first phase. We learned from those experiences and I can assure the hon. Member, the House and the people of Zambia in general that we have done our homework and these towers will meet the standards. We will make sure that we take coverage to the un-served and underserved areas of our country.


I thank you, Sir.


Mrs Fundanga (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, I am a bit concerned about the cost of the vessel you are buying for Lake Tanganyika bearing ...


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member, we have moved on from that.


Mr Musonda (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated the amount of the loan that will be used for constructing these towers. Is there any deliberate policy by the Government to empower local contractors in the construction of these towers?


Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, that is a very important question, especially for this Government because empowering its contractors is key to ensuring that poverty is alleviated in some parts of our country. There is a deliberate policy to ensure that we, as a Government, give the main contract to Huawei, which will, then, sub-contract some of the work to our people. If you look at phase I of the project, the contractor did not carry out all the works. It engaged our local contractors to carry out some of the work and they were empowered. For some of the projects that the Government is implementing, like modernising airports, a major contract was given to a Chinese company, but sub-contracts were given to local companies to encourage empowerment and capacity building among our companies here in the country.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, depending on where the hon. Minister is standing, things can appear to be upside down or right side up. Has he ever thought that it would be more logical to get Zambian contractors who would, in turn, sub-contract companies like Huawei, considering that the steel that we use to make these towers can be procured locally? Huawei can, then, provide what is absent from this country.


Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, in an ideal situation, that is really what we would want. We would want our local companies to carry out all the work. However, the reality today is that some of these projects are highly technical and complex. As we wait for our local industry to grow to that complex level, we have to continue hiring foreign contractors, but require them to utilise our local labour and continue the capacity building and skills transfer to our local companies.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, from what I understand, according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), underserved and un-served areas such as the ones in question are supposed to be catered for by the regulating agency, in this case, the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA), from the funds that it collects from various service providers. Unfortunately, in this country, such revenue is sent to the Central Government and not to serve the purpose I have mentioned. What is the hon. Minister’s comment on that?


Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, I am not aware of the Act he has referred to that we should overcharge someone so that we can take that money to un-served and underserved areas. I need to come back to the House once I have done more research on that.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: That is the way it is supposed to be.


Mr Chiyalika (Lufubu): Mr Speaker, I know that we have highly qualified engineers in Zambia. Why can our engineers, who are well qualified, not carry out this work instead of contracting the Chinese?


Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, I think I touched on that earlier when I responded on why we keep hiring outsiders to carry out some of this work. We are cognisant of the fact that we, as a Government, have very qualified engineers in Zambia. I said that some of these projects are really complex and difficult to implement and require a lot of experience. I am not sure we have many engineers in Zambia who may have a ten, fifteen or twenty year experience that we may need to enact and successfully complete a project of this magnitude and complexity. So, our mode, at the moment, is to find the best contractor who has the skills and capacity we need and, then, if they happen to be from outside the country, we put our people underneath them so that we can continue with the skills transfer so that in future, we can do these works ourselves.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kopulande (Chembe): Mr Speaker, I am concerned about the answer by the hon. Minister ...


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kopulande: ... on the technical complexity of communication towers. Communication towers are simply steel structures and are only complemented by transmitters which are the components that are technically complex. They can be imported. Can the hon. Minister explain to this House what the technical complexity is in the construction of steel structures?


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, when you look at it from the outside, everything seems a bit simple. You may be misled into thinking that erecting these towers is simple. However, the type of programmable logic controllers they carry, the software loaded in there and the powering of these towers are complex issues. We do not have any power cables going there. Therefore, how do we power these towers? Will we power them using solar energy? Solar energy does not work in the night. These complexities have to be understood and once they have been understood, we can grow as a country. We are still a developing country. We do not have a lot of experience implementing certain projects and we rely on those who know how to carry out the work. Once we hire them, we make sure that they teach our people so that they acquire the experience and the knowledge and then, in the future, we can start implementing these projects ourselves.


I thank you, Sir.




13.    Mr Chansa asked the Minister of Defence:


  1. what the total number of earthmoving equipment being used by the Zambia National Service on feeder roads, countrywide, was;


  1. how the equipment was distributed in the following provinces:


  1. Northern;
  2. Eastern;
  3. Western;
  4. Southern;
  5. North-Western; and
  6. Luapula; and


  1. whether the Government had any plans to allocate additional equipment to cater for all the districts, countrywide.


The Minister of Defence (Mr Chama): Mr Speaker, the total number of earthmoving equipment under the Zambia National Service (ZNS) is 350 units. The distribution in the provinces of concern is as follows:


   Province                                           No. of Pieces


   Northern                                             41


   Eastern                                                38


   Western                                               30


   Southern                                             34


   North-Western                                    40


   Luapula                                               45


Sir, it is the Government’s desire to have earthmoving equipment in all the districts countrywide. However, at the moment, the Government has concentrated on the provincial centers.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, when this equipment is at the provincial headquarters, who plans the schedule for districts and how much money has been put aside for this institution in these districts?


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, the institution responsible for the equipment is the ZNS.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned the fact that there are forty-one pieces of equipment in the Northern Province. However, this equipment seems to lack certain parts, thus, the roads that are being worked on leave much to be desired. Is there a plan to ensure that equipment that is sent to particular provinces has all the required parts to ensure that the roads that are being worked on last longer? This will save on the cost of redoing the works on the same feeder roads day in and day out.


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, the spare parts are usually procured periodically, depending on requirement and the breakdown of the equipment. Those are the details that the people concerned with repairing the equipment workout from time to time in order for the roads to be worked on schedule.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, what is the composition of this equipment?


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, the equipment comprises of graders, compactors, bulldozers, water bowsers and a number of other equipment.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr S. Tembo (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, the feeder road earthmoving equipment in the Eastern Province had a schedule and the last time I checked, it was in Vubwi. When will the machines be moved to Chadiza as they have been marooned in Vubwi even after completing the works?


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, I would have to look at the schedule, which I do not have. The question was specific to the number of equipment in the provinces.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Please, let us bear in mind that we are dealing with supplementary questions. If we introduce new questions, it will be difficult for us to progress. A classic example is the question that was posed to the hon. Minister a moment away.


Hon. Government Member: About the units?


Mr Speaker: Not about the units, about Vubwi. You may ask about Chongwe or Senanga and expect answers this afternoon, but it may not be possible to get them.


Mrs Chinyama (Kafue): Mr Speaker, does the hon. Minister know the number of equipment in Lusaka Province? More importantly, how can this equipment be accessed and at whose cost? For instance, if I want a road to be worked on in the rural community of Nabwale in Kafue, what procedure would I have to follow to get this equipment?


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, I do not have the number of equipment for Lusaka Province because the question was for the five provinces mentioned.


Sir, as regards the second part of the question, this equipment can be accessed through the local authorities. All the stakeholders in the district make a schedule on which roads will be prioritised and submit it to the provincial committee and later on to the ZNS after which the roads are worked on.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has talked about earthmoving equipment, but this equipment is not always appropriate. Some of us do not have a single gazetted road. We have canals on which this equipment cannot be used. You need specific machines for clearing canals. Some of the people in my constituency are totally stranded because the canals in the Makoma area have completely dried up. When will appropriate equipment be acquired so that even those of us whom the Government has not given roads can have our canals cleared?


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member can consult the Ministry of Works and Supply which is the ministry dealing with canals. I am not competent to answer that question.


I thank you.


Mr Chisopa (Mkushi South): Mr Speaker, knowing very well that the programme of improving feeder roads by the Zambia National Service (ZNS) was introduced last year by His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, to ensure that the rural parts of this country have access to feeder roads, can the hon. Minister confirm to this House that for the past one year, the Patriotic Front (PF) has been on course in terms of improving the feeder roads in the rural parts of this country.


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, yes, I can confirm that we are on course. Most of the roads are being worked on in the rural parts of the country and I intend to issue a ministerial statement on the same so that I can update the House on the works that have been done so far.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mbangweta (Nkeyema): Mr Speaker, I come from Nkeyema, which is about 380 km from here, and I have never seen this piece of equipment. I could invite the hon. Minister to come with me on Friday so that we see this equipment.




Mr Mbangweta: Mr Speaker, as the hon. Minister read out the figures, I looked at the variations and would like to find out the criterion used in determining the number of equipment to be taken to a given area.


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, if the hon. Member was listening very attentively, I said that the equipment is at provincial level and not at district level.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Mwashingwele (Katuba): Mr Speaker, I come from a rural constituency and the community is being charged by the Zambia National Service (ZNS) for the grading of feeder roads. Is the ZNS in order to do that?


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, I cannot confirm that allegation by the hon. Member. I need to find out whether the community is being charged or not.


Mr Speaker: Are they supposed to be charged? I think that is, in essence, the question.


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, I am not sure in what terms they hire this equipment from ZNS. That is why I am unable to answer that question.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kasonso (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, when will the timetable for these works be made available in various provinces, particularly, in Solwezi West Parliamentary Constituency?


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, it is not the Minister’s responsibility to make the work schedule. The work schedule is worked out at provincial level. All the stakeholders come together and prioritise the roads that are supposed to be worked on. After that, they provide that schedule to the ZNS for works to be carried out.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, let me thank the hon. Minister for owning up that he needs to find out about whether the Zambia National Service (ZNS) does charge or not. My experience three years ago was that the famous Mugoto Dam blew up and we hired the ZNS to repair it at a great cost. It is survived for a month and a half and then it blew up a second time. It has been blown ever since. The ZNS has not come to carry out remedial measures. What channels can one use to get a refund of the money that the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) paid to the ZNS so that we can get our dam going? If the hon. Member is kind, does the ZNS run an enterprise …


Mr Speaker: Well, I announced earlier on that we need one question per person.


Mr Nkombo: Sorry, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was about to respond to the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central Constituency. The question was a bit contradictory because in the first breath, he said that they hired the equipment and in the second part, he talked about the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) in the Vice-President’s Office hiring the equipment from the Zambia National Service (ZNS) to work on the dam that collapsed. He also talked about a refund. He started wondering whether he could get a refund on behalf of the DMMU …


Mr Nkombo interjected.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Let us have order.


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, …


Mr Speaker: Just hold on. I am not yet done. Just respond to the question. That is all. If you try to figure out why the question was asked, we will run into these challenges.


Continue, hon. Minister.


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, the DMMU partners with the ZNS to undertake certain disaster management programmes. If there were challenges regarding the works that were carried out by the ZNS, it is up to the DMMU to follow up with the ZNS in order to work out a programme on how to either get a refund or get the works redone.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kopulande: Mr Speaker, out of the six provinces that have been addressed in terms of allocation of earth moving equipment, I notice that Luapula Province has got the largest number of equipment, with forty-five pieces. In my maiden speech, I bemoaned the developmental challenges of Chembe and the suffering of the people there. At the moment, the rains are pouring heavily and soon, an area called Chipete Ward will be cut off from the rest of the district. I believe that while the equipment is in the province, there is a challenge of putting it to work because of the lack of fuel. What is the Ministry of Defence doing to ensure that there is fuel available for the equipment to carry out the work it was intended to and alleviate the sufferings of the people, particularly in Chipete Ward of Chembe District?


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, once resources are allocated to the ZNS, we will ensure that work is carried out according to the schedule that has been agreed upon by stakeholders in respective provinces and districts.


Mr Speaker, I would like to assure the House that I will issue a ministerial statement on the work that has been carried out so far and what we intend to do, going forward, given resources.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.








(Debate resumed)


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice, on behalf of the people of Kaputa, to the debate on the 2016 Budget Address, which was presented to this House by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Felix Mutati, themed “Restoring Fiscal Fitness for Sustained Inclusive Growth and Development.”


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance was basically affirming what His Excellency the President indicated in his policy direction to this House and to the people of Zambia on how he intends to run the country from this year, going forward.


Mr Speaker, allow me to start by quoting the words of the hon. Minister of Finance where he compared Zambia’s economic performance with that of the rest of the globe because it premises on the fact that the Zambia’s economy cannot be considered in isolation from bigger economies. I quote part I, paragraph 20 of the Budget Speech:


“Sir, global economic growth in 2016 is projected at 3.1 per cent, a rate slightly lower than the 3.2 per cent recorded in 2015. This is on account of the lower economic activity in the advanced economies. In the emerging and developing countries, growth is projected to strengthen slightly to 4.2 per cent in 2016 from 4.0 per cent in 2015. This is despite lower growth in China. In Sub-Sahara Africa, growth is projected to fall to 1.4 per cent in 2016 from 3.4 percent in 2015. This is largely on account of a slowdown in the larger economies like South Africa, Nigeria and Angola.”


Mr Speaker, I bring this point forward to just indicate that the Zambian economy does not stand like an island where our expectations of the performance of the economy are singly focused without being influenced by what happens in the rest of the world.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister went on to say that Zambia’s low economic growth performance was as a result of lower international commodity prices, electricity deficits and high inflation rate, among many others. These are the issues that we basically experienced. It is needless to mention that there were challenges in other economies.


Mr Speaker, does a Budget like this one give hope, especially to the people of Kaputa whom I represent? Is there anything that the people of Kaputa should look forward to seeing out of this Budget? The answer is, yes. I will look at some pertinent issues that affect the people of Kaputa, which I have seen this Budget address adequately.


Mr Speaker, my first point of call is the agriculture sector. Taking the vision from the President’s Speech, which he presented to this House, His Excellency the President indicated that, going forward, he would like to move the economy from its current heavy dependence on copper to one that is agriculture-based and dependent on agriculture, livestock, fisheries and the entire value chain.


Mr Speaker, this vision gave the impetus not only to the hon. Minister of Finance, but also to all of us to let agriculture be one of the key pillars of economic development. When the hon. Minister came to this House, we saw that the measures that he outlined to deal with agriculture really speak to the vision. This is why some of us believe in the fact that we have a President who walks the talk.


Mr Kampyongo: Hear, hear!


Mr Ng’onga: The pronouncements he put forward are what we are able to see. How can I demonstrate this? We all know that K2.9 billion allocated to the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) will be rolled out through the e-Voucher System which I will later talk about.

This particular Budget allocation of K2.9 billion far exceeds the allocations for 2013 and 2015. It also exceeds our expectations. Speaking for myself and the people of Kaputa, we did not expect that this Budget would allocate this amount of funds to the agriculture sector. We are almost at 9 per cent, a per cent lower than what is agreed upon by both the African region, through the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), and Sub-Saharan Africa.


Mr Speaker, this commitment gives us hope that this Government means well. What it wants is to drive the agriculture sector to a level where it can contribute to the national revenue base accordingly.


Mr Speaker, K428.5 million has been allocated towards support of irrigation. Again, we know that being where we are, coupled with the current climatic changes, we cannot over emphasise the need to support irrigation. In future, we want to move away from the mono-growing of rain-fed crops such as maize only.


Mr Speaker, there is also an allocation of K942.5 million to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). Again, the policy measure is to restrict the FRA to dealing with the strategic food reserve, which we know to be its mandate. We know for sure that we must secure food for national consumption as much as we want to grow the economy.


Mr Speaker, K40 million has been secured as an emerging farmer fund support. This money will go towards mechanisation.


Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President indicated, in this House, that he would love to send the hoe to the archives or the museum. We all understand that as the population grows, we cannot continue to feed ourselves by using a hoe and an axe. We need to find money so that people can mechanise.


Mr Speaker, about K18.3 million has been allocated to aquaculture development and there is also US$55.4 million which has been secured for cashew nut production, as a way of diversifying from growing cash crops for consumption to cash crops for export.


Mr Speaker, I have a few words on the K2.9 billion allocated to the roll out of the electronic- Voucher system (e-voucher). I have hope in the fact that the e-voucher system has already shown that there are savings that could be realised. For those who followed the hon. Ministers Budget presentation closely, there are reports of savings in the thirteen districts in excess of K136 million. How was this money saved? The e-voucher system cuts the transportation cost incurred in the distribution of inputs such as seed, dips and fertiliser because these costs now fall on the private sector that distributes inputs.


Sir, the savings are realised because there were ghost farmers registered through co-operatives which were getting inputs from the Government. We are now able to recoup this money back into State coffers. The other important thing is that the e-voucher system ensures that materials are in the right places even before the rains start. Under the conventional system, people had to wait for the Government to find the resources in order to distribute these inputs to where there were supposed to be used. However, the private sector is always profit-oriented and business-minded and, as we speak, the inputs are in areas where the private sector knows that the farmers will use the e-voucher system. Inputs are already in place waiting for the e-voucher to be activated in order to distribute inputs to the farmers.


Mr Speaker, the other important issue is that a farmer, for the first time, has to make a decision for him or herself and not wait for somebody else to make a decision on his/her behalf on what to grow in the current farming season.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ng’onga: A farmer has to decide whether to go for livestock, fisheries or stock feed. Putting money in the e-voucher programme means that the farmer has been given power. For me, this gives me a lot of hope that the agriculture sector will be able to grow.


However, Sir, there are caveats to this e-voucher system. We must be able to ensure that the implementation of the programme is tip top. As we are trying to roll out this e-voucher system, let us ensure that the required facilities that go with the system are in place. Otherwise, we find we will that people in distant places where telephones may not be in place might be disadvantaged. All in all, the e-voucher system is a good programme.


Mr Speaker, let me quickly look at other areas that I have seen this Government walking the talk. One such area is on policy consistency. There is a policy measure that dictates that going forward, border closures or what you call commodity or export bans will not be used because these tend to disadvantage us, as Zambians, as we want to be producers and become a breadbasket of the region. Once borders are closed, our colleagues in neighbouring countries look at us as a people who may not be able to sustain exports when they need them. So, our neighbours start looking for other markets to import from. When this particular policy is done away with, we are telling neighbouring countries that we can use other measures to ensure food security. However, those who are in the trading business will always contact other places to conduct business and also those that grow more should be able to export. This gives an incentive to a commercial farmer or those who farm beyond what they can consume because they are always food secure and there will be crops or commodities that they can sell.


Mr Speaker, the other issue I want to briefly talk about is the hope I see in the tourism sector. The statement from the hon. Minister indicates that there was an increase in the number of tourists’ inflow last year. We know for sure that there is a fund that the hon. Minister proposed, the Tourism Development Fund, which will be able to address not only the tourism infrastructure, but also tourism products. This is, again, a welcome move. For those of us who are in the Northern Circuit, a programme that was started many years ago, we would want to urge the hon. Minister of Finance and the hon. Minister of Tourism and Art to ensure that they start addressing the issues that relate to the Northern Circuit because there are many products and even far much more than what we can find in the Southern Circuit.


Mr Chansa: Hear, hear!


Mr Ng’onga: When you come into Mbala, there is not only the Kalambo Falls, but also there are other tourist attractions like the Moto Moto Museum. There is also a point at which the Germans surrendered during World War II and a monument is erected there. When you go to Mpulungu in Nsama or Kaputa, there are lakes, rivers and waterfalls. So, these particular tourism cites, if packaged well together would see the tourism sector thriving.


Mr Speaker, the other area in this Budget which I saw that the people of Kaputa will smile about is on road infrastructure.




Mr Speaker: Order, on my left!


Mr Ng’onga: The hon. Minister indicated that this Government will still continue with the Link Zambia 8,000 km Road Project, Lusaka 400 km Road Project, Copperbelt 400 km Road Project and also the construction of feeder roads and bridges. Although it will be at a reduced pace, as more economically viable roads will be the focus, we know for sure that the hon. Minister has not curtailed this particular programme of road construction. For us in the rural areas like Kaputa, we are very happy. If there is anything that we beg from the hon. Minister of Finance, hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development, it is basically for the roads that lead from Mporokoso to Kaputa …


Mr Chansa: Hear, hear!


Mr Ng’onga: … and the road that links Nchelenge to Chiengi to Kaputa …


Mr A. B. Malama: Hear, hear!


Mr Ng’onga: … to be worked on in our life time. If this is done, the request of the people of Kaputa would have been served.


Mr Musukwa: Those are economically viable roads.


Mr Ng’onga: Yes, those are economically viable roads.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ng’onga: Those roads lead into the Democratic Republic of Congo. If they are opened up, fish, maize and even cashew nuts would probably find their way into Lubumbashi.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, lastly, the exciting part will be support to the social sector. His Excellency the President indicated that he does not want to leave anybody behind in this particular Budget. For sure, I can see this through the social sector safety nets. The Social Cash Transfer Scheme has been up scaled and now targets 500,000 from 242,000 households. It is looking at supporting 105 districts in the country. This is the way it is supposed to be. A caring Government cushions its people as they go through hard times.


Mr Speaker, the number of households targeted for the food security packs has increased from 30,000 to 40,000 in ten provinces. The public welfare assistance has moved to 134,000 people. This particular sector is extremely important because we all know that not all of us are of the same economic status. There will always be people that must be looked after and supported in our society. While we are looking at these social sector safety nets, may I ask the hon. Minister of Finance and all hon. Ministers concerned that there be a synergy between the money that goes into the social sector, such as the Social Cash Transfer Scheme, and the money that goes into the conventional Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), especially this year, because this money targets the same vulnerable, but viable people. If there is synergy and we look at these numbers, we know for sure that we have exceeded the 10 per cent that is required by Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) because this money is targeting the same people in the social sector.


Mr Speaker, with these few words, may I just conclude by referring to what His Excellency the President mentioned. We know that this is the first Budget to presented in this five-year term we have just began and for it to work and perform, we all need to own it. This Budget does not divide this House.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ng’onga: Every one of us must own it. I know that we may have our own misgivings, but we want the Budget to perform because all of us want to live in a better Zambia tomorrow. So, colleagues, all of us, as leaders, are challenged by His Excellency the President to own this Budget. Let us move together and, tomorrow, we will all speak the same language.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!       


Ms Mwashingwele (Katuba): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this time to debate on the Budget. I would like to thank the hon. Minister of Finance for presenting the Budget. Having listened to all the hon. Ministers and hon. Members of Parliament who have spoken today, I am concerned looking at how the 2017 Budget has been allocated. My concern is on the allocation to the education sector.


Sir, you realise that this year’s allocation to the education sector has dropped by almost 2 per cent. When you look at the needs of this country, you realise that certain areas that have not been researched on well have been allocated too much money. I am specifically talking about the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). I come from a rural constituency and I want the hon. Members of this House to understand that the allocation to the FISP has been tripled, hence making it almost the highest allocation in our 2017 Budget. However, when you look at it practically, the FISP has not actually worked to our advantage in the 2015/2016 Farming Season. Using Katuba Constituency as a case in point, most of the people who benefit from the electronic-Voucher (e-Voucher) System either received their inputs very late or their cards did not work.


Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!


Ms Mwashingwele: Furthermore, many farmers in Katuba have not been paid by the FRA. Legally, we can actually say that the FRA has stolen from our people.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, the word ‘stolen’ is unparliamentary.


Ms Mwashingwele: Mr Speaker, I withdraw it and replace it with the phrase, “The FRA has not honoured its promise.” In that case, I feel allocating too much money towards the FISP before actually getting the true results of what went wrong in the last farming season is a disservice to our people.


Sir, in the education sector, because of some protocols, the Government signed a minimum of 20 per cent of the National Budget to be allocated to this sector. Last year, more than 90 per cent of the primary school education budget went towards teachers’ emoluments and other sorts of things which were not directly attached to the teaching and learning process of our children in this country. According to a research that was conducted by the World Bank, we realise that the literacy levels in Zambia have gone down because the resources that are allocated to the education sector become lower every year. The last time the Government allocated about 20.2 per cent to the education sector was in the 2014 Budget.


Mr Speaker, in the 2017 Budget, most of the resources that have been allocated to the education sector are towards infrastructure projects and loan schemes for university students. As much as I appreciate this move, we must all understand that if we do not invest into our primary and secondary education, we will not achieve anything in this country. The hon. Minister talked about highly technical issues. Our children are not literate enough to actually take on some responsibilities and we keep on assigning them to outsiders because we feel that our own children are not educated enough.


Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!


Ms Mwashingwele: Mr Speaker, even the mechanisation we want to enhance in agriculture needs an informed nation to be able to use those machines. As such, to have tripled the allocation of the FISP in the 2017 Budget when we have not even done a complete analysis of why the e-Voucher was not successful in 2016 is too high a risk for our limited resources in Zambia. I am not saying that so much money cannot be put into the FISP basket, but it is at the expense of social services that are surviving on a shoe string. We are aware that some farmers’ e-Vouchers were not activated for sure. However, we still insist on taking up a very high proportion of the country.


Sir, I suggest that the best thing we can do is to bring in the private sector. Let me give an example of Mount Meru Ltd in my constituency. It is ready to fund farmers who will grow soya beans and cotton so as to sustain its manufacturing industry. However, unfortunately, as a country we are not looking at that. We are emphasising on an expenditure type of budget unlike an income making budget and that is not good for this country.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Mwashingwele: Mr Speaker, I would like to urge the hon. Minister of Finance that if the tripling of the FISP budget is not an emotional one, that budget only be doubled so that the other funds are channelled to general education. The quality of education across Government schools is highly compromised because of poor funding. The main idea is to move from public funding to more of private funding, which I have already mentioned. One may realise that from a crop like cotton, we get lint, yarn, cake …


Mr Nkombo: Oil.


Ms Mwashingwele: … and oil in the final analysis and all these can never be thrown away. However, we need to ensure that we involve all the stakeholders. It is not good to put so many eggs in one basket. For example, regarding the FISP, we are not clear about its beneficiaries and this is actually a disservice to the people of this country.


Mr Speaker, we need to be more open to ideas, especially that our economy is limping in such a manner. There have been arguments that this Budget is something that we all need to take up responsibly and look at what we owe to the people of this country.


Mr Speaker, under our health sector, when you go to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH), you find that most of our people, including children, sleep on the floor, but look at how much has been allocated to the sector in the 2017 Budget. If we are to emulate other countries in the world, I urge the hon. Minister to take note of the tenets they uphold. Other countries of the world believe that a healthy and educated nation is a more progressive one. Even to enhance sectors like agriculture we need the education and health sectors to be given priority in our Budget.


Sir, we understand that food security is very important, but it has more stakeholders. The hon. Minister of Agriculture always says that it is not the Government’s business to conduct business, but agriculture is a business. So, it must be taken hands on. A pack of 10 kg seed and four packets of fertiliser will not change the livelihood of a household. Those in rural communities understand that if you are a good producer, a 10 kg pack of seed may only give you a maximum of about fifty to eighty 50 kg bags of maize. When you sell them to the FRA at K87, they will not actually give you back how much you spent on producing them even if they are sold via the e-Voucher based system. So, the loss on certain productions is actually very high.


I believe that the Ministry of Agriculture is not doing its research. If it went into research, it would understand that although so much money is being spent on crop diversification, it may not actually do us a favour. That is why the FISP is not giving us a good return at household level. As regards food security, we are basically growing the food to import to other countries. In fact, the FISP is more beneficial to our neighbouring countries than to us because we sell raw materials.


Mr Speaker, I still emphasise and ask the hon. Minister of Finance to review the allocation to the FISP in the next Budget. Instead of tripling the allocation, he should double it so that monies can be channeled to other social needs that our country is so badly in need of.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukosa (Chinsali): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me an opportunity to debate the Motion moved by the hon. Minister of Finance for this House to resolve into Committee of Supply on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the year beginning 1st January, 2017 to 31st December, 2017.


Sir, I want to commend the hon. Minister for bringing to this House a Budget which is inspiring and instills confidence in the Zambian citizenry. The theme for the 2017 Budget is: “Restoring Fiscal Fitness for Sustained Inclusive Growth and Development.” I feel this is the right theme because the hon. Minister is looking at putting the economy on the right track so that it accommodates development. When we look at the performance of the country’s economy in the past year, you will agree that it has not been doing very well. For instance, the inflation for the month of February, 2016, was at 22.9 per cent. However, there has been some improvement as by 30th September, 2016, it stood at 12.5 per cent. That improvement is an indication that the target of achieving single digit inflation in 2017 is realistic.


Sir, this is not the first time that a target of single digit inflation has been set. It happened in 2007 at the commencement of the global credit crunch. Zambia’s inflation at that time stood at 16.6 per cent. The hon. Minister of Finance, then, set an inflation target of 10 per cent for 2008 and in that particular year, our inflation stood at 9.9 per cent.


Mr Speaker, the other issue that I would want to support in this Budget is the Government’s objective of achieving 3.4 per cent gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2107. That figure may appear low, but the beauty about it is that it is realistic and we will achieve it. In trying to understand the significance of the hon. Minister’s use of restoring fiscal fitness in the Budget theme, I looked at the export earnings from 1st January to 30th September, 2015 and compared it to the same period in 2016. The export earnings registered a drop of about 19.3 per cent with the first decrease being recorded in copper export earnings, which dropped by about 20 per cent from US$4 billion to US$3.2 billion. The non-traditional exports dropped by about 18 per cent, bringing the average to about 19 per cent. So, when the hon. Minister talks about restoring fiscal fitness of the economy, I believe that he is simply urging us to claim back the loss that we suffered during this period so that in 2017, we should increase our export earnings. On this basis, I support the Motion by moved the hon. Minister of Finance.


Sir, in his Budget Speech, the hon. Minister of Finance indicated that the Government intends to diversify the agriculture sector by growing other crops such as cashew nuts, which the hon. Minister of Agriculture talked about earlier today. This is a very good move by the Government and it should be supported.


Mr Speaker, the Government has also secured about US$40 million which will be available for lending to peasant farmers to promote the mechanisation of crop production systems. This is a good move because if the peasant farmers in Chinsali and other rural areas accessed this fund, they would improve production in the agriculture sector. They would also create employment because they will be able to buy equipment, tools such as tractors, and other machinery used in the agriculture sector.


Sir, the 2017 Budget supports the growth of small and media enterprises (SMEs). Therefore, we need to support its implementation. The hon. Minister of Finance stated that about US$50 million has been secured for onward lending to the SMEs for industrial purposes. You all must be aware that we cannot achieve meaningful industrialisation if we do not incorporate the SMEs. It is only when we use them that we can have meaningful industrialisation. As a result of this, the Government saw the need for the SMEs to be empowered, hence it securing the US$50 million. So, I will urge the people in my constituency to apply to have access to this US$50 million. They can get a part of this money so that they improve their livelihoods and, in the process, we will also help to alleviate poverty in the rural areas like Chinsali.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister also indicated that the Government would establish an Agriculture and Industrial Credit Guarantee Fund for the SMEs to facilitate access to affordable financing. We have many SMEs in the construction sector and when they are awarded contracts, they are requested to submit performance bonds or advance payment guarantees for them to have access to advance payments. What normally happens is that these SMEs fail to obtain the guarantees because they do not have sufficient collateral to submit to the insurance companies or financial institutions where they are supposed to obtain those guarantees from. So, the Government has come up with this initiative to help the SMEs. This fund will help the SMEs get promoted, supported and helped and in the process, more employment opportunities will be created.


Mr Speaker, further, the Government has pledged to work on the road from Mpika to Chinsali and Chinsali to Nakonde.


The people of Chinsali are particularly happy with this move by the Government and the hon. Minister of Finance should be commended for considering this important road project which brings in a lot of revenue through trucks that move from Dar-es-Salaam to Lusaka via Nakonde and proceed to the Copperbelt, Kasumbalesa and many other parts of the country.


So, because this road is used by trucks, it is important that it is rehabilitated and the people of Chinsali are thankful that the Government intends to work on it.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukosa: Mr Speaker, I would now like to address the Social Cash Transfer Scheme.


All of us are aware of the austerity measures that have been put in place for next year. These measures will have some negative impact on the lives of people, especially the poor. This caring Government is cognisant of this fact. As a result, it has doubled the number of beneficiaries of the Social Cash Transfer Scheme from 242,000 to over 500,000, representing over a 100 per cent increment. This is a commendable move by the Government and the hon. Minister of Finance, which we support and welcome.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance stated that the Government intends to attain domestic revenue of at least 18 per cent. I want to urge all hon. Members of Parliament to help the Government in the collection of revenue. We are in a better position to talk to the people in the constituencies and inform them about the importance of starting to pay taxes. We need to educate entrepreneurs in our constituencies, as we hold developmental meetings, on the importance of paying taxes. It is only when taxes are paid that the roads in constituencies will be constructed or rehabilitated.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukosa: As I was going through the Yellow Book, I came across one issue that I want to bring to the attention of the hon. Minister of Finance. I noticed that the total monies that will be financed by foreign and local co-operating partners is about K21 billion. Of this amount, about K2 billion will come as a grant, meaning we will get this money without conditions of paying interest.


The hon. Minister, however, has not indicated where approximately K6 billion, under the multi-lateral project loans, will be obtained from. I do not know whether we have yet identified the potential creditors for this K6 billion, which is quite substantial. About K833 million will come from the African Development Bank (ADB) while about K500 million will come from the World Bank. If we do not know where this K6 billion will come from, it means that we do not know the terms and conditions that will be attached to the facility.


Further, Mr Speaker, about K3.31 billion, also under multi-lateral project loans-foreign, is also supposed to come from other creditors whom we do not know. The total sum of these amounts under the multi-lateral project loans is about K9 billion and we do not know where it will come from. The percentage of these monies whose source we do not know, by dividing the K9 billion over K19 billion by 100 percent, is 46 per cent. This means that we are not sure of where 46 per cent of the total sum to be borrowed will come from.


Mr Speaker, in paragraph 31 of his speech, the hon. Minister of Finance states that it has been difficult to implement the 2016 Budget because some of the planned external financing did not come through. The problem is that if up until now we do not know where 46 per cent of the total sum to be borrowed will come from, the situation may recur. It may be difficult to implement the Budget because we may not receive this money.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukosa: Having looked at this, I want to recommend to the hon. Minister of Finance to talk to the technocrats as soon as possible so that they can start identifying the sources of this money. Already, this is November and, come January, we start implementing the Budget. So, we need to start identifying the sources of this money. 


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that the Government has given an instruction to the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to conduct a situation analysis on State-owned enterprises. The hon. Minister should be commended for this move. It only makes sense that when a parastatal which is supposed to make profit as a business entity is not doing so is disposed of the way other companies have been in the past. The hon. Minister mentioned a number of companies, but I want to suggest that he also looks into the operations of the Zambia Daily Mail and the Times Printpak Zambia Ltd.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukosa: These are two companies with a common objective. The Zambia Daily Mail and the Times Printpak Zambia Ltd each have a Managing Director, Finance Director, Operations Director and a committee of board members. All these people get salaries and we are all aware that senior management officials get huge amounts of money. If we combine the operations of these two companies, we would make huge savings.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukosa: This is how I see it.


Mr Speaker, the national tolling programme is a very good move that will give us a lot of revenue. I just want to recommend that we seriously consider automating these facilities so that we enhance transparency and remove the element that can create corruption by officials handling finances being collected from road users.


Mr Speaker, personally, I am happy with the removal of subsidies on fuel. I want to propose that if possible, the Government considers removing subsidies on electricity as well. Here is an example, which is not factual, but merely for illustration purposes. For example we have three people using electricity. If, as the Member for Chinsali I am using electricity for K100 per month and the subsidy on that electricity is K20, the saving that I am making is K120. Another hon. Member, who has a big house, irrigation equipment, lots of lighting and mets wire around the house is paying K1,000 per month, the saving that he is making on that electricity is K200,000. The third example is of an ordinary citizen in Chilunda Village of Chinsali who does not have access to electricity, hence saves nothing. So, where do we stand?


Sir, this particular Budget’s theme is: “Restoring Fiscal Fitness for Sustained Inclusive Growth and Development.” This theme also fits in the theme of His Excellency the President’s Address to this House. His Excellency the President also preached about inclusiveness and equality. If, for instance, all hon. Members are benefiting from the subsidies of electricity, the people of Chilunda, Kalela and Choshi villages in Chinsali are not benefiting from these subsidies. So, we have to do away with the subsidies so that we start paying for the service that is due to all of us.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukosa: Sir, in conclusion, I just want to commend the hon. of Finance for his Budget Speech because he talked about the creation of a stable macro-economic environment. When a steady macro-economic environment is created, we will have a conducive environment that can enhance private sector participation.


Mr Speaker, with these few remarks, I support the Motion moved by the hon. Minister.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwila: Ing’ombe ni matole.




Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate the Budget.


Sir, I will begin with a Latin principle which the hon. Minister of Finance should know very well because this is the principle which we were being reminded about from time to time when we were in the Cabinet together. It is the principle of ‘primus inter pares.’ I am sure the hon. Minister recalls that. It means ‘a senior among equals.’


Sir, a Minister of Finance is a senior among equals.


Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear


Prof. Lungwangwa: He or she is a senior among Cabinet Ministers. He or she is supposed to enable the President see things differently. That is the role of a Minister of Finance to a larger extent.


Mr Speaker, clearly, this Budget will begin with what the hon. Minister of Finance sees as problematic and critical from a policy point of view, policy issues which have to be addressed. One of the critical policy difficulties the hon. Minister is implicitly highlighting in this Budget is the problem of weak controls in the machinery that is supposed to deliver services to our country, the Public Service.


Sir, in the middle of the Budget Speech, the hon. Minister is telling us that our Civil Service is not quite transparent and accountable. This is a big problem. He is telling us that we have a problem with the Civil Service not adhering to planned programmes and that the accruing of arrears in the Civil Service is largely because there are weak controls. There is no following of the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) and even the spending by ministries and other spending agencies has been outside it. This is the worry that the hon. Minister of Finance is seeing in the operation of that machinery which is supposed to deliver services to the public. This is a big concern.


Mr Speaker, if the machinery for delivering services is as described here, whatever we may do in terms of the allocation of figures, we are not going anywhere. What are the examples and the evidence of the problem with our Civil Service from the policy point of view?


Sir, in the Auditor-General’s Report, we have glaring examples of the problem in our machinery for service delivery. For example, unvouchered expenditure moved from K67.1 million in 2013 to K349.3 million in 2015. What a problem. Paying undelivered materials moved from K19.9 million in 2013 to K251.5 million paying in 2015. Irregular payments moved from K14.4 million in 2013 to K115.3 million in 2015. These were irregular payments in the Public Service. Wasteful expenditure moved from K354,000 in 2013 to K39.8 million in 2015. Overpayments rose from K360,000 to K26.5 million in 2015. The failure to follow procurement procedures moved from K8.8 million in 2013 to K35.7 million in 2016, yet this is the machinery for public service delivery.


So, if there is fiscal indiscipline, which is a policy issue that the hon. Minister has identified, how do we expect this machinery to deliver services to the various parts of the country? It is a problem. Unless these problems are addressed, development will be a pipedream. It will be a problem to attain development in our country.


Mr Speaker, another area that the hon. Minister is worried about in this Budget is that of unplanned expenditure, and there happens to be so much of it in the Government. For example, development projects pop up during by-elections, and there have been so many by-elections over the last five years. This has prompted the unplanned for works on feeder roads. These are unplanned expenditures which, of course, distort the Budget.


Sir, things like the creation of districts with all the attendant details in terms of expenditure for human resource personnel and district commissioners (DC), among others, are not planned for. Excessive commissions of enquiry are unplanned for. All these and many more are areas which, of course, are a problem in terms of how we manage our budgets. These are all policy concerns the hon. Minister is raising. To some extent, we agree with him – primus inter pares. He should enable his colleagues to see things differently and turn around the Civil Service.


Mr Speaker, most of the fiscal expenditure indiscipline and control weaknesses in the Public Service have to do with the type of personnel that is employed. For example, who has been employed as controlling officers? How effective and experienced are they? If that is not addressed at policy level, no matter how beautiful the Budget may be, it will not take us anywhere. Therefore, the Government needs to address the machinery of public service delivery.


Mr Speaker, other issues are, of course, policy related. In his Budget Address, the hon. Minister told us that we are in a grave economic situation. It is true that Zambia is in a grave economic situation, but our colleagues on your right have been denying this fact over the past five years. Therefore, the hon. Minister of Finance must demonstrate to them the gravity of our economic situation.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Lungwangwa: In the Budget Speech, the hon. Minister also said that this Government should be one for all Zambians. It should, indeed, be a Government for all Zambians, hence we should see equitable development in all parts of the country. Almost every Zambian is a taxpayer and, therefore, the resources which go into the Budget are emanating from all Zambians. As a result, the hon. Minister of Finance must make his colleagues realise that development must go to every part of the country. Public resources allocation must truly be equitable in various parts of the country.


Sir, let us look at what has happened over the past five years. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government has embarked on road projects such as the Copperbelt 400 km, Lusaka 400 km and Link Zambia 8,000 km. Where has the road infrastructure development under these projects taken place? To a large extent, it is not in all parts of the country, but only in some. This may not be good enough in terms of equitable development.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Lungwangwa: The hon. Minister of Finance has said that hard choices and implementation of difficult reforms have had to be made. I agree with him and one of the hard choices which have to be made is to have differential Constituency Development Fund (CDF) allocations between rural and urban constituencies. For example, look at Kabwata Constituency. Can it be compared to Nalikwanda or Lunte?


Mr Sing’ombe: Never!


Prof. Lungwangwa: It can never be compared to a rural constituency. Look at the amount of resources that have gone into Lusaka Central Constituency. Can that be compared to Kalabo or Dundumwezi? The answer is, no. Therefore, a hard choice which has to be made is to make sure that the CDF going into the rural constituencies is higher than that going into the urban areas.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Lungwangwa: These are the hard choices that the hon. Minister should make and we shall all support him when he does that because most of us here represent rural areas. So, he has to bring that proposal here and he will get our full support.


Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!


Prof. Lungwangwa: Sir, further, the hon. Minister has told us that we need unity and hard work in order to make economic headway in this country. Zambia is deeply divided and the hon. Minister of Finance must inform His Excellency the President that we are deeply divided, as a nation, emanating from the last general elections. Therefore, how do we heal the country? This is an important responsibility of the hon. Minister of Finance, in line with the principle of primus inter pares.


Mr Speaker, when the hon. Minister says that he will bring a Bill here on planning and budgeting in order to control the weaknesses in the Public Service, we welcome that intent because the current system is weak, as we have described it here. We agree with the hon. Minister because there is a need to have a law that ensures punitive measures on erring officers in the public service, especially those who are misusing public resources. This is in line with what we see as the problem with the public service machinery in service delivery.


Now, those are the macro policy issues which I think have to be addressed with the support of the hon. Minister’s colleagues in the Cabinet to ensure that we have a civil service that is efficient, effective and can work to deliver the planned development programmes that he has in mind as the hon. Minister of Finance.


Mr Speaker, allow me now to just make a few comments on some sectors. I would like to clarify the misconception which I think was presented last week by one of our hon. Colleagues who debated about the cordon line in the Western Province. When we debate this issue in here, it is because we are informed by other people who have seen it or have more experience with this situation. They have told us to make it a point in our debates to clarify that the cordon line may not be in the best interest of the Western Province because villagers cut the wire and use it for other things, they have seen this. Therefore, what they need are things like veterinary vaccination centres, dip tanks, breeding centres and extension workers to assist them with proper animal husbandry. If the money being used for the cordon line can be spent in those areas, it would go a long way in preventing diseases. These are policy issues which must be addressed.


Therefore, Mr Speaker, when my colleagues debated along the line of the cordon line not being in the best interest of the province, they were not being unreasonable. We are actually stating a fact, which I hope hon. Minister will be able to consider.


Mr Speaker, I will now briefly talk about other issues. When you look at higher education, the University of Zambia (UNZA) and Copperbelt University (CBU) have had student loan programmes since 2004. A look at the website of the ministry’s Bursaries Committee can confirm that. However, the operationalisation of a recovery plan of the loans has not been followed strictly. The Student Loan Programme is not an either or policy alternative. It must be in line with other means of supporting students in institutions of higher learning. The bursaries, scholarships, voucher system and student loans must all go together as a package to finance different categories of students. However, in the hon. Minister’s address, it has been put as the only panacea to address the problem of financing students. That should not be the case. I think more research must be conducted and there are many countries elsewhere that have come up with student loans and other means of financing students.


Sir, let me shed more light on the issue of the Skills Development Fund. A very good example of that is Malaysia. Malaysia has developed what is called the Skills Development Corporation. Students leaving school and those out of school get loans from the Skills Development Corporation, which is funded by both public and private contributions, and they pay back. They get loans to acquire skills certificate, diplomas or an advanced skills training programme. So, that is a good model which I think, if looked at very critically, may assist the way we are looking at funding our skills development, which is very important.


In my view, the Skills Development Fund should not be funded in the same way that the bursaries are funded. This is what is implied in the hon. Minister’s statement. The hon. Minister says that students will access skills development funding as a loan, the same way those who go into universities are getting loans. These are areas to look at.


Mr Speaker, briefly, in agriculture, I think colleagues who have debated before have talked about the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). The FISP has been given a 186 per cent increment to K2,856,000,000. That is very huge. The FRA allocation has been increased by 26 per cent. The question is: How will these programmes assist in raising agriculture productivity, enhancing skills and improving business in the agriculture sector? I think these are policy issues that we have to pay attention to, including the challenge of the 10 per cent tax on export of maize. Clearly, in both the short-term and long-term, we will take ourselves out of the regional market. Zambian maize will be too expensive to be bought by Malawi, Congo and other countries in the region. These are policy issues that the hon. Minister has to look at.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity given to me to debate the 2017 Budget presented by the hon. Minister of Finance. Allow me to applaud the hon. Minister for a well-thought-out address which clearly outlined the Government’s strategic plan for 2017 and consolidating His Excellency the President’s economic development agenda under the theme, “Restoring Fiscal Fitness for Sustained Inclusive Growth and Development.”


As we move forward, it is imperative for us to acknowledge the realities of the dynamics of the global economy we are operating in as these have implications for our development process. We should, therefore, double our efforts and harness our strengths, as a nation, to collectively address the rather complex challenges that confront us in our increasingly globalised and interdependent world. In the midst of major economic challenges, we need to focus our energy on restoring the fiscal fitness for sustainable economic inclusive growth and development. The macro economic objectives, policies and strategies for 2017 are very clear and specific in that they are measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound, as set out in paragraph 32.


From page 1 to 7 of his speech, the hon. Minister highlighted four key sector policies and interventions, namely agriculture, industrialisation, tourism and mining. Allow me to focus my debate on three key sectors, that is, agriculture, industrialisation and tourism, as these are the sectors that resonate with the aspirations of the people of Chienge ...


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member, just a moment. I need to provide some guidance. We are past the maiden speeches now. So, you are not allowed to read as it were, verbatim, whatever you have prepared. Of course, you are at liberty to speak to your notes but, so far, all indications are pointing to the fact that you are reading a script.


Those who will follow after the hon. Member for Chienge, please, bear that in mind. It is not permitted.


Hon. Member, unlike your colleagues on your right, the hon. Ministers, you cannot read. So, you may need to reorganise yourself very quickly.




Ms Katuta: Mr Speaker, may I suspend my debate.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mulenga (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me such an opportunity to add the voice from Ndola Central to the debate on the National Budget.


Sir, the people of Ndola Central are saying that this Budget is progressive. Ndola Central has seven wards and out of these, four are in the peri-urban areas. The major source of income for the people of Ndola is agriculture. As we all know, Zambians have depended on maize as their source of income. Today, the Government has come up with another thought, that of diversification. Zambians need to diversify from maize to other crops which will make them earn more. Today, the hon. Minister of Agriculture issued a statement concerning cashew nuts. She said that cashew nuts fetch more than US$6,000 per tonne and maize, today, fetches US$174 per tonne. This means that a Zambian will earn US$5,826 more if he or she engages in the growing of cashew nuts. If Zambians can achieve cashew nut output as is the case with maize, it means that more than a million tonnes of cashew nut can earn us US$6 billion, which is more than 90 per cent of our current Budget. 


Mr Speaker, we can take a leaf from Kenya. Kenya has been producing tea and coffee. From 1999 to 2001, Kenya was ranked number four in the world in the production of tea and it earned US$441 million. In coffee production, it earned over US$90 million. If Kenya can do it, even Zambia can. Only 20 per cent of Kenyan land is fertile for agriculture and out of that, only 12 per cent receives adequate rainfall, which means the 8 per cent does not receive adequate rainfall. If Kenya can make it out of 12 per cent of fertile land, we can also make it. I commend the hon. Minister of Finance and the hon. Minister of Agriculture for coming up with these ideas to improve agriculture production. We are trying to increase the gross domestic product (GDP) of our nation. Our nation has been a mono-economy. We have depended on copper and, now, we want to depend on agriculture.


Mr Speaker, coming to livestock, the hon. Minister talked about the cordon line. Kenya was the major beef exporter in Africa, but in 2008, it lost a contract to export 400,000 tonnes of beef to Europe because it was not disease free. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government wants many Zambians to rear livestock. We must export beef to earn foreign exchange. However, in order for us to export this beef, we need to ensure that it is marketable choice meat of high quality. For the meat to be considered choice meat, it has to be disease free and that is the reason the Government thought of the cordon line.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, one of the hon. Members of Parliament who spoke before me said that there is a need for vaccine centres. In paragraph 42 of the Budget Speech, the hon. Minister of Finance indicates that the Government will scale up veterinary centres for vaccines. Therefore, I believe that has already been handled and I can agree with the hon. Minister of Finance that we are on course.


Sir, I come from a business background. I started doing business when I was fourteen years old and I have never been in formal employment. I am in agriculture and one of the major challenge we, as small entrepreneurs, is capital. We have had to fight our way through. One can walk into a bank with all the required documents to obtain a loan, yet it has still been difficult to obtain one. The hon. Minister of Finance has told us that US$40 million has been deposited with the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) so that those small entrepreneurs who do not have collateral can access this loan.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mulenga: The PF Government has thought about the peasant farmer who does not have collateral.


Mr Speaker, many of our relatives in the village own land, but do not own title deeds. This makes it difficult for them to mechanise their fields. The Government has deposited this US$40 million for our brothers and sisters in the village and peri-urban areas to be able to mechanise their fields. We are all aware that when you mechanise a farm, your output increases, and so, we are looking at increasing output and that is why the Government has come up with the initiative of giving out loans to farmers.


Sir, coming to mining, we have a lot of young miners on the Copperbelt, who are normally referred to as Jerabos, and young miners in the North-Western Province called atizano miners who use picks and shovels to mine their minerals. I stated that I come from a business background and apart from dealing in agriculture, I am also a miner. It took me seven years to find a partner to invest US$2 million in a processing plant.


Mr Speaker, these young miners on the Copperbelt and the North-Western Province are mining on a small-scale and selling to the Chinese. Copper ore with a content of 2 per cent is being sold to the Chinese at US$40 per tonne. If this young miner sells 20 tonnes, he will walk away with US$800, but that Chinese will make over US$800 per tonne after concentrating that copper. The cost of a floatation plant is less than US$200,000 and the reagents used to concentrate the copper, which are flogrant, lime and acid, are not expensive.


Mr Speaker, our Government wants to empower these small-scale miners to own their own processing plants and that is another reason the Government deposited US$40,000 with the DBZ. The Government wants to make Zambian nationals rich by enabling them to own their own processing plants, instead of making the Chinese rich.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chibanda: Landa mwaice wandi!


Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, coming to the subsidies, my business also involves dealing with miners and I know that Kansanshi Mine alone uses five truckloads of 30,000 litres of diesel per day. This means that Kansanshi uses 150,000 litres of diesel a day and that money is being subsidised by the Government when our brothers and sisters in the village are suffering. Why should we subsidise fuel for the mines?


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mulenga: According to my calculation, if you multiply the subsidy of K4 per litre by 150,000, which Kansanshi is using, it simply means that the Government was subsidising K600,000 a day for Kansanshi alone. We have over five big mines. If we multiply that amount by four, it means that the Government was subsiding K2.4 million per day. When that is multiplied by the rate of the United States Dollar, which is K9.8, it comes to US$1.2 million per day. The Government will save over US$30 million dollars a month by doing away with the fuel subsidy. Why should the Government subsidise fuel for big mines like Kansanshi, Mopani and Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) at the expense of the Zambian people?


Hon. Government Members: Hammer!


Mr Nkombo: Hammer who?




Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Mulenga: Sir, even the electricity subsidy should be done away with. Kansanshi Mine alone is using 163 MW per month which, if translated into kilowatts, comes to 163,000 kW.


Mr Speaker, we are all aware that before the late President, Mr Mwanawasa, SC., died, he went into agreements with these big mines.

Mr Speaker, the big mines are buying electricity at 3 cents per kW while the Government is importing electricity at 14 cents per kW. So, the Government is making a loss of 11 cents per kW. We need to repeal Bills in relation to the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) so that each mining firm pays the cost. If we continue at this rate, we will not go anywhere. It is, therefore, important that the electricity subsidy is done away with.


Mr Speaker, before I conclude, let me remind the hon. Minister of Finance over the companies that the Industrial Development Corporation Zambia (IDC) needs to check. Every economy is driven by energy, we want the Government not to have a hand in the energy sector. If we apply the law of supply and demand in business, the private sector will create a shortage on the market. When it creates that shortage, it will twist the arm of the Government to go by its rules. We tried this in 2002 and 2003. There were contracts that were given to Total Zambia Limited and Trans-Saharan Trading Limited. They tried to twist the arm of the Government to bend to their rules, but it did not succumb and they pulled out. They created a shortage which actually affected the economy of this nation. So, it will be ideal for the Government to have a hand in the energy sector.


Mr Speaker, I come from Ndola Central and I can confirm that these companies are the major employers in Ndola. They have employed more than 1,500 of our people. Many of these people live in Ndola. This will affect us. We are talking about creating jobs. If we take away these jobs, it will be difficult for our people to survive.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr M. Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, thank you for this opportunity to debate the good Motion that was moved by the hon. Minister of Finance on behalf of His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu. We have noted that this Government has proposed to spend K64.51 billion in this Budget. This literally, translates into 27.7 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP). It is quite a leap from last year’s Budget. Given my background, this makes me wonder if we have embedded mechanisms that will ensure that the money is used for the intended purpose to better the life of a Zambian. I note that a Zambian is going to pay taxes through the domestic revenue of K42.9 billion, which has been proposed in the Budget. I am grateful for our co-operating partners who, we presume, will bring in K2.23 billion to support us, but we will still have to borrow K19 billion for us to be able to meet that expenditure. I, therefore, concur with the hon. Minister when he brings out three critical areas that we need to look at in expending this money.


Sir, the first critical area is education, which was well debated. The second one is health, which is doing very well. The third one is public order and safety. Public order and safety has been allocated K2.3 billion. When I look at the amounts that we have set for this, I doubt if we intend to provide public order and safety the way we have been doing it previously. Let me try to briefly address how we have been doing it.


Sir, in 1994, the police service went into ten-year reforms which started in 1996 up to 2006. At that time, it was projected that, as a nation, we would have 27,000 police officers. To date, we have about 18,000 police officers. Now, when you look at the ratios, you will note that there are areas within our nation, for example, Kanchibiya, where I come from, which is the size of half of Lusaka Province. Lusaka Province is at 21,000 sq. km. Kanchibiya is about 18,000 sq. km, but we do not have an institution to look at public order and safety. There is no police in Kanchibiya.


Mr Speaker, we are grateful that His Excellency the President and the Government have gone into dividing Mpika District, which is 41,000 sq. km, into three districts. This will help because Kanchibiya is bigger than the country called The Gambia, which is 11,000 sq. km. Kanchibiya is almost one and three quarters bigger than The Gambia. Rwanda is about 26,000 sq. km. This translates that the difference in size between Kanchibiya and Rwanda is only about 6,000 sq. km. It is not only Kanchibiya which is big in Zambia. We have many more constituencies that are big, but you will find that public order and safety is not represented. You will find that when the Budget comes, as it has often been, constituencies such as Kanchibiya and other rural parts of Zambia are not taken care of. We need to find a way …


Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


Dr Malama: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was talking about Kanchibiya and had just given its length and breadth in comparison to Lusaka and Copperbelt provinces. I am now about to compare it to Luapula Province.


Mr Speaker, Mpika District, at 41,000 sq. Km, is as big as the entire Luapula Province at 47,000 sq. km although some say 51,000 sq. km. I, therefore, want to support the hon. Member who mentioned that we need to look at the challenges of urban and rural constituencies when considering the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).


Hon. Member: Hear, hear!


Dr Malama: Mr Speaker, even in the Public service, teachers in urban areas are not as incentivised as those in rural areas. Teachers in rural areas are given rural hardship allowance. Hon. Members who come from rural constituencies carry burdens.


Mr Speaker, let me talk about Kanchibiya, for example, where we have schools with no roofs. This is a constituency which, under normal circumstances, should be divided into three or four constituencies. The people here look up to the Government and when there is no CDF, they look up to the hon. Member of Parliament even for public order and safety. Therefore, let us give special consideration to rural constituencies as we determine the CDF.


Mr Speaker, let me get on track on public order and safety. Many people say that our country is safe and we thank God for it is. There was a wise man some generations back who said that, “Unless God watches over a city, they that watch do so in vain.” We are grateful that we are a Christian nation. God has watched over us and developed us into a responsible nation. However, he is not pleased with the way we conduct certain issues.


Mr Speaker, one of the major components I wish to see in the institutions of public order is the forensic service. Crimes would be committed and specimens for evidence would just be left unattended until recently that we able to send them to South Africa for investigations. For example, when a man violates the body of a young girl, evidence is picked, but not utilised in the courts of law because of the lack of forensic services.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Malama: Mr Speaker, there is also a need to improve our surveillance systems. Currently, when a thief breaks into a house and steals and there are no eye witnesses, people will just say, “ sorry,” because there are no facilities like the closed circuit television (CCTV). This is something that we can look at in this Budget if we dare to keep our neighbourhoods safe.


Mr Speaker, in this time of the human-immuno deficiency virus/ acquired immuno deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), you find that a man goes into a home and violets a mother and her daughter. The evidence is available because there is what is called the Locard’s Principle in forensics which entails that at every contact, there is evidence that is exchanged. If two human beings meet, greet or are within the same vicinity, there is trace evidence exchanged.


Sir, when a person gets to the scene of a crime, there is a lot of evidence shed. However, looking at the current form in which our institutions exist today and what is being allocated to them in the Budget, they will not be able to use science in protecting families. People will commit crimes which will not be detected and, in the end, they might just become serial in their criminal activities. They will attack here and there and keep moving to new crime scenes because our institutions in public order are constrained by the budget to detect crime and bring culprits to book. Therefore, I am asking that we consider increasing the amount allocated to this critical sector, public order and safety, that was highlighted by the hon. Minister of Finance just as the allocation to health and education was increased.


Secondly, Mr Speaker, I would also propose that the House critically looks at establishing the forensic service in 2017 as it could not be established in 2015 and 2016 for the lack of funding. We should not gross over this issue. Where can we find the money to establish the forensic service? It has been well debated, in my opinion, that the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) was allocated K2.9 billion, which is more than the allocation to public order and safety. Already, the vehicle which is being used to deliver the FISP to its intended beneficiary, the poor farmer, is porous.


Mr Nkombo: Yes!


Dr Malama: Along the way, the affluent have registered some of the people under their influence by getting them national registration cards (NRCs) and called themselves a co-operative. They must be arrested. We cannot have such a system.


Hon. Opposition Members:


Dr Malama: They get the money and opportunities away from the poor farmer on the ground.


I agree with the previous speaker who deliberated in a very none partisan manner on the FISP. The Government means well, but the FISP does not reach the farmer on the ground as intended. Therefore, we should see how best this money can be expended.

Sir, Kanchibiya, as a constituency, would best benefit from part of the money from the FISP through irrigation and works on feeder roads. Kanchibiya is cut-off from an area as big as Kafue because there is no bridge. However, we are grateful to our caring Government because I am sure that a bridge in Kanchibiya is one of the bridges to be looked at. Since time immemorial, the people in Kanchibiya have not been able to access their town centre in Mpika because they cannot easily cross Lwitikila River.


Mr Speaker, may I commend the hon. Minister for the funds that have been allocated to the emergent farmers. I will propose that we look at the issue of comparative and superlative advantage, which is our proximity to natural markets. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is looking to us for food.


Mr Kopulande: Hear, hear!


Dr Malama: We can grow crops for exportation to the DRC and Angola and generate revenue. People are saying our economy has no money. We need to export in order to have money. The other day, we were discussing how Saudi Arabia provides a market for a million goats per month. During a given month, its demand for goats is as high as four million. The Democratic Republic of Congo equally looks for sheep. Let us look at this market.


Mr Speaker, according to the Global Hunger Index, this nation has been called the third hungriest nation on earth after the Central African Republic and Chad. Since 2014, we have moved seven paces up and that is something that we must be worried about, hon. Minister of Finance.


Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!


Dr Malama: Why should we be maize centric? Maize is not that nutritious. It is a crop that was introduced from Mexico in the 14th century and brought here by the Europeans in the 1930s. By then, our people viewed it as food for the Europeans.


Mr Kampyongo: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, unfortunately, your time is up.




Dr Malama: Sir, I am very grateful.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




Mr C. Zulu (Luangeni): Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Budget.


Firstly, I would like to thank the hon. Minister of Finance and his team for a well-thought out Budget. They deserve a pat on the back.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr C. Zulu: Mr Speaker, this country has gone through a lot of unfortunate situations which have seen it having five elections year. As if that was not enough, we had this power deficit. Again, we have these low copper prices. This clearly shows that our country is in trouble. What brought us to this stage cannot take us to where we want to go. We cannot go on with what brought us to this current stage.


Mr Speaker, to get us where we want to go, as a country, we have to put in place stringent measures such as the ones the hon. Minister put in place. I like the way the hon. Minister has broadened the tax base. That is the way to go. Other countries like Ethiopia did it a long time ago. They are doing very well now. They must give you a receipt for whatever you buy from the streets so that everyone pays tax. Mozambique is doing well because everyone pays tax. The hon. Minister has introduced a number of taxes which will compel those importing plastic products to pay tax. In a way, the hon. Minister is discouraging the importation of such materials into the country because they end up being a nuisance on the street. The hon. Minister has also increased tax on edible oils.


Mr Speaker, we can produce edible oils here in this country. It is a welcome move that the hon. Minister has introduced tax on these oils. We will produce our own edible oils. The Eastern Province has a lot of groundnuts and sunflower. Why do we not produce our own edible oils? It is also a welcome move that the hon. Minister has introduced tax on tobacco. We will live a healthy life now.


Mr Nkombo: Aah!


Mr C. Zulu: The hon. Minister has also introduced tax on beer. People will now be involved in more productive activities than wasting time on beer.


Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President has led the way by halving his salary.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr C. Zulu: I believe that the next one to do that will be my brother, Hon. Garry Nkombo, …


Mr Nkombo: Question!




Mr Speaker: Do not refer to hon. Members.



Mr C. Zulu: Sir, like the hon. Minister stated in his Budget Speech, we need to be united as a country. All of us, as hon. Members of Parliament, drive this country like a machine. When you are driving a vehicle, the first thing you see is a broad wind screen and then the small rear view mirrors. What this entails is that you can refer to where you come from, but cannot remain in the past. Let us look at where we are and what we want to do next. I think that is the progressive way.


Mr Speaker, I commend the hon. Minister for actually coming up with such measures. Of course, there will be side effects, but I am sure he has also put in place measures that will take care of the vulnerable. The hon. Minister has done a very good job. Let us all support this Budget meant for the Zambian people, regardless of the political grouping they belong to.


Sir, we should behave like lions. The lion is called the king of the jungle and an elephant is called the giant of the jungle. However, the moment one lion sees an elephant, it knows it has found food and four lions come together to bring it down. If wild animals can unite and bring down a giant, why should human beings fail to come together to conquer a giant? I think that is the way to go.


Mr Speaker, a lot of things have already been said on the tariffs and agriculture. I would like to encourage the hon. Minister of Finance to implement whatever is in the Budget on the ground. I thank you for the opportunity to debate and everyone for listening.


I thank you, Sir.                                                                           


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Mukumbuta (Senanga Central): Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to present my maiden speech. First and foremost, I would like to thank the Lord God Almighty who appointed me to be the servant of the people of Senanga for the next five years. The Almighty God knew that even before I was born, I would be the chosen servant for Senanga. I, therefore, want to sincerely believe that I am part of this august House strategically for a purpose, which will be reviewed soon by the Creator himself.


Sir, I would like to go straight into giving you felicitations on your re-election as hon. Speaker of this august House and the resounding victory of your two Deputies, who went through unopposed. Your job in this House is not an easy one. The responsibility to unite a House which seems to be divided requires an impartial approach …


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukumbuta: … and you deserve prayers from all of us. Love must also be encouraged amongst us. In the absence of love, we will find ourselves in the trap of partiality, which is treating people …




Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!


Mr Mukumbuta: … or hon. Members according to their outward appearance, party affiliation, religious and geographical locations. That way, we will be guilty of creating distinctions amongst ourselves and, perhaps, making judgement based on evil motives.


Mr Speaker, I, Mulowa Mukumbuta, the Kitwe-based Senanga law-maker, had a long journey to Manda Hill. My road to Manda Hill was a rough one, full of barriers and obstacles. My journey began in 2011 when I lost the 2011 parliamentary seat under the United Party for National Development (UPND) ticket in Wusakile Constituency to Hon. Richard Musukwa, who is the Government Chief Whip.




Mr Mukumbuta: Mr Speaker, losing an election, especially in Wusakile where I am a renowned business executive, was not only painful, but also a drawback to my political career. I realised, then, that if the door to Manda Hill was closed, there should be another door of redemption open somewhere.


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Mr Mukumbuta: That was when I made my five-year strategic plan, my vision was outlined, my goals set and the door opened 1,000 km from my town base, Kitwe, and Senanga was the redemption centre.




Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukumbuta: Mr Speaker, Senanga my home town and village was the only answer to my dream. Unfortunately, I did not find it easy. I was welcomed with terminologies such as muzwahule, which simply means a stranger from far away.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukumbuta: Mr Speaker, to be called muzwahule in the village and town where I was born was not only strange, but also humiliating. Even if someone is not born in Senanga, no one would stomach or tolerate such terminologies being used on them, especially in a country like mother Zambia in which the motto, “One Zambia, One Nation,” is the order of the day.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukumbuta: Mr Speaker, however, as a Christian, I had to forgive them. It reminded me of my biology teacher in the early 1990s at St. Edmund Secondary School who taught me that all human beings are mad, but the only difference is the percentage of madness.




Mr Mukumbuta: In the same way, what differentiated me from the people who called me muzwaule is their perception. I am now their law-maker and representative ready to lead them to the promised land.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukumbuta: Mr Speaker, my speech will be meaningless if I do not recognise the people who assisted me to climb the ladder. Therefore, let me now render my heartfelt gratitude to my President, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, …


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!                


Mr Mukumbuta: … the people’s choice and president of the alternative government of the UPND and all the leaders of the party structures from the national management committee down to the branches for identifying me and giving me a rare opportunity to be the parliamentary candidate for Senanga Parliamentary Constituency. I would also like to thank my beautiful wife, Mary Bwalya Mukumbuta, who is the comfort of my heart and who I found in Luapula Province.




Mr Mukumbuta: Mr Speaker, before I go any further to mention my heroes whom I walked with on this journey to Manda Hill, I would like to remind this august House that the people of the Western and Luapula provinces have a number of things in common.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukumbuta: They feed on cassava, feast on fish and are geographically situated on water bodies.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukumbuta: Additionally, they are supporters of the Liverpool Football Club.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukumbuta: So, it was not a mistake for God to give me a rib from that side of the country. I would also like to thank my charming children and, of course, other family members for the predominant role which they played in my success and my campaign team led by Mr Charles Mayeya, popularly known as Kapikicha, who was such a robust and skilful campaign manager. I congratulate him for the job well done.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukumbuta: Mr Speaker, I would also like to thank Mr Ernest Sibote, the constituency chairperson, for propounding my profile in a self-explanatory manner, Mr Ling’ope, for his canvassing, Mr Justine Chikupya, my election agent who worked very hard, Miss Hellen Kakoma, the UPND Senanga District Chairperson, for being in my campaign entourage for ninety days of serious campaigns and lastly, but not the least, my artist, led by my niece, Nalucha, the renowned barotse artist popularly known as Kasinalu whose dancing skills left many of the spectators shocked and star-struck.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukumbuta: Mr Speaker, with this team, victory was certain and it was, indeed, a whitewash in Senanga starting with the President, Member of Parliament, Council Chairperson and all the twelve councillors from the twelve wards of Senanga Constituency. About 90 per cent of the votes cast in this constituency were put in one basket, which is the UPND basket.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukumbuta: Sir, it was, however, not an easy battle competing with the party in Government which had all the resources to its advantage. The green chitenge material was wrapped around almost every tree in Senanga. Mannerisms of Father Christmas took the centre stage and money distribution was the order of the day.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Mukumbuta: Mr Speaker, when we looked at such sophisticated and crucial adventurers from the other camp, change of approach was the only alternative for us. We had to change the message of campaign and so, we travelled to Lusaka and borrowed the methodology of watermelon. We improved on it and it was a proper donchi kubeba, which simply means, “Do not tell them. What is in your heart should be a secret.” We told our supporters to be green on the outside while being red on the inside. We also told them that whenever the Patriotic Front (PF) gave them one chitenge material, they were to demand for two. When they given K50, they were to demand for K100 and when they find the members of the PF eating, they were to eat with them, but on the day of redemption, they were to remember that their vote is secret. The party that wanted to win elections using money was taught a bitter lesson. The people of Senanga refused to be bought. Dununa reverse was converted into dununa forward. The once called mighty PF in Senanga was converted into patriotic failures.




Mr Mukumbuta: Mr Speaker, allow me now to draw your attention and that of this august House to the injustices that the people of Senanga are subjected to despite being one of the oldest districts in the Western Province. This district gave birth to districts such as Shang’ombo, Sioma and for a reason, the popular Nalolo District. Senanga has remained underdeveloped for a long time.


Sir, these injustices include the lack of a road network. The terminology such as Link 8,000 km Road Project has been a mockery to the hearts of the people of Senanga. Not even a single road has been worked on in Senanga. The only road the people there see is the Mongu/Sesheke Road, which was, perharps worked on by the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) Government.


Mr Speaker, it is said that where a good road goes, development follows, hence there is no development in Senanga. I want to make an earnest appeal to this PF Government to quickly give the people of Senanga the roads they deserve, both in the urban and rural parts of the constituency.


Sir, the other injustice faced by the people of Senanga is water and sanitation. Despite Senanga being near the Zambezi River, popularly known as Lyambai in the Western Province, its taps run dry. This makes me wonder how areas that are far away from rivers and lakes manage to have water on a daily basis. It is said that water is life. Therefore, allowing people to stay without water is an injustice of the worst kind.


Mr Speaker, with regard to education, I wonder how the standards of education in Senanga and the entire Western Province have continued going down, bearing in mind that the Western Province was the hub of education during the period 1965 and 1966. Out of the 100 men and women who were studying at the University of Zambia (UNZA), then, about 75 per cent of them came from the mighty Barotseland.


Sir, there is no proper education infrastructure in Senanga. A number of teachers’ houses are still grass thatched and are in a very poor state, fifty two years after Independence. I want to urge this Government to consider building more schools in Senanga Constituency and improve on the existing infrastructure. After seeing the UPND manifesto, which was promising free education from Grade 1 up to tertiary education, the PF Government promised to provide free education from Grade 1 up to Grade 7.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukumbuta: Mr Speaker, I would like this Government to take that direction. According to one son of Africa, Nelson Mandela, “Education is a greater equaliser.” May his soul rest in peace. This Government should ensure that opportunities exist to have equitable access to primary, secondary and tertiary education by providing free education to all school going children of this great nation.


Sir, Senanga Constituency is in need of social amenities such as football stadia, other sports facilities and recreation centres in order to keep our youths busy for it is said that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Prostitution and alcohol partaking have become the order of the day. It is heartbreaking to see young girls being sexually abused in the name of relationships. All this immorality is attributed to failure by the Government to facilitate social amenities to the youths in my constituency.


Mr Speaker, it is amazing that fifty-two years of Independence, the people of Senanga are still using stone age communication methods such as writing letters to send messages of funerals, sicknesses and other important information. Out of the twelve wards in Senanga Constituency, ten have no communication network. When people are faced with different calamities such as death and sickness, they fail to inform their relatives within the shortest possible time. It is for this reason that I call upon the Government to provide the people of Senanga with modern equipment and tools of communication.


Sir, the lack of employment is another issue affecting the people in Senanga. Most of our people, including the youth are not in employment. However, employment opportunities can be created because the area is blessed with natural resources such as hard timber. If the much-talked about industrialisation can be extended to Senanga, we can add value to the timber there, hence creating more jobs for Senanga residents.


Mr Speaker, it is disheartening to see how our people are being exploited by giving away their logs at prices as low as K20. If taken to other towns, for instance, Lusaka, the same logs would be sold at K1,000 and even more if taken to other countries like South Africa. Further, the timber products are sometimes more expensive than steel products. One example that I can give is that of Uniturtle products. Timber caskets are more expensive than those made of steel. The same timber casket can be bought at K10,000 here in Lusaka while in Mongu, the same casket costs K15,000, yet these caskets are made from timber from Senanga. What does this mean? It simply means that if such industries are taken to Senanga, these products would be cheaper and would also create employment for our people in that area.

Mr Speaker, cattle rearing is the order of the day. So, the area is a cattle ranching hub. In a Zambeef shop in Senanga, beef is K27 per kg while in Lusaka and the Copperbelt, beef is K50 per kg. The price of beef sausage is the same for Lusaka, the Copperbelt and Senanga. What does this mean? It means that if value addition took place in Senanga, the price of beef sausage would be cheaper than in any other area and this would create employment for our people. These are just some of the injustices that our people are being subjected to.


Mr Speaker, allow me, as I conclude, to comment briefly on the Budget Speech given in this House by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Felix Mutati, President of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD).


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


Please, refer to him as Hon. Felix Mutati.


Mr Mukumbuta: I beg your pardon, Sir, Hon. Felix Mutati.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukumbuta: Mr Speaker, it is not uncommon that even Budget debates are not based on profound grounds. Budgets may sound feasible, persuasive and convincing, but be misleading to Zambians. A budget, which is purported to be pro-poor and directed to diversification and is supposed to …




Mr Mukumbuta: Mr Speaker, they are disturbing me. May I be protected?


Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Mukumbuta: … target to the creation of 100,000 jobs does not provide specific allocations to these policy statements.


Mr Speaker, in a country like Zambia, which does not support entrepreneurship, it becomes almost impossible to create meaningful jobs. Local entrepreneurs are not given tax rebates to motivate them in order to grow their business and create more job opportunities for others.


Mr Speaker, science and technology, which are concomitant to the mining industry, have brought more harm than good to agriculture. Fertile soils are transformed into what I can term as unproductive lands.




Mr Mukumbuta: For us to diversify this economy from mining to agriculture, we should completely forgo mining.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.





Chief Whip and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1914 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 23rd November, 2016.