Thursday, 2nd March, 2017

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Thursday, 2nd March, 2017


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources (Ms Kapata): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to issue a statement to this august House on the outcome of the 22nd Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which was held in Marrakech, Morocco, from 7th to 17th November, 2016.


Sir, the main focus of the conference was to accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change (Paris Agreement) following its early coming into force on 4th November, 2016. As the House might be aware, the agreement was expected to come into force in 2020. However, following the attainment of the number of parties required to ratify it, the agreement came into force much earlier than expected. The parties to the convention were expected to develop modalities, procedures and guidelines to accelerate the implementation of the agreement at the Marrakech Conference.


Sir, during the high-level session, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, ...


Mr Livune: Question!


Hon. Government Members:Ata, iwe! You are mad.


Ms Kapata: ... issued a statement in which he stressed the need for parties to demonstrate their commitment to addressing the global problem of climate change by taking ambitious actions to reduce carbon emissions and building momentum towards the implementation of the agreement. His Excellency the President also delivered a keynote address on behalf of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) during the high-level ministerial dialogue on climate finance in which he emphasised the need for the LDCs to be supported in adapting to the adverse impacts of climate change.


Mr Speaker, the Marrakech Conference, which was dubbed an implementation conference, adopted a set of twenty-five decisions under the conference of parties, three under the meeting of parties to the Kyoto Protocol and two under the meetings of parties to the Paris Agreement. The highlight of the conference was a call for parties to move forward with the writing guidelines of the Paris Agreement, which was adopted in 2015 to strengthen global response to climate change. To that effect, the governments set 2018 as the deadline for completion of the guidelines for the operationalisation of the agreement to ensure confidence, co-operation and success over the years and decades to come. In addition, the heads of States, governments and delegations adopted the Marrakech Action Proclamation for our Climate and Sustainable Development in which they welcomed the rapid coming into force of the Paris Agreement and pledged high political commitment to implementing it to combat climate change as a matter of urgency. The developed countries parties also re-affirmed their commitment to mobilising US$100 billion by 2020, pledged to provide support to the countries that are most vulnerable to the impact of climate change and underscored the need to support efforts aimed at enhancing their adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability.


Sir, in order to build capacity to help countries enhance their effort in combating climate change in a timely manner, the parties established the Paris Capacity Building Initiative, as defined in Article 13 of the Agreement.


Mr Speaker, the implementation of climate actions was enhanced through the launch of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Partnership, a coalition of developing and developed countries and international institutions working together to ensure countries receive the technical and financial support they need to speedily meet their climate and sustainable development goals. Zambia submitted its nationally determined contribution to the UNFCCC Secretariat in 2015 and the country is expected to benefit from both the technical and financial support of the NDC Partnership.


Mr Speaker, in the energy sector, the Government signed a Declaration of Intent to accelerate the supply of and access to clean, renewable and sustainable energy services to Zambia’s citizens and businesses with a group of co-operating partners comprising the European Union, the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of Ireland, the Republic of Italy, the Government of Japan, the Government of Sweden, the United Kingdom (UK), the United States of America (USA), the World Bank Group and the African Development Bank (AfDB). In this regard, Zambia will access €284 million in grants and €111.5 million in concession loans to support the rehabilitation of existing hydro power stations, expansion of infrastructure, promotion of renewable energy targets and piloting of waste management bio-gas plants.


Mr Speaker, during the conference, Zambia also participated in several side events, including renewable energy; water resource management; climate change adaptation financing; and implementation of nationally determined contributions. The country also held bilateral talks that centred on resource mobilisation for the climate adaptation and mitigation projects with the Governments of Finland, USA, China, Germany, Brazil and India.


Sir, the Marrakech Conference was a success in that it will translate into tangible benefits for Zambia if the country positions itself well to benefit from the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Some of the benefits that will accrue to Zambia include access to €395.5 million support to the energy sector, a share of the US$100 billion that the developed countries parties have pledged to developing countries and various other forms of technical and financial support to enable the country adapt to the effects of climate change. In that regard, I am sincerely thankful to this august House for approving the ratification of the agreement, which was an important step towards the country’s benefiting from the various mechanisms of the convention. My ministry, in collaboration with various Government institutions, will continue to engage the relevant stakeholders to strengthen the institutional arrangements for the implementation of the 2016 National Policy on Climate Change and domestication of the Paris Agreement.


Sir, in conclusion, I thank His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, for ably leading the Zambian delegation …




Ms Kapata: … to the conference.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Kapata: I also thank my fellow Cabinet Ministers and the two Members of Parliament, Hon. Howard Kunda, MP, and Hon. Anthony Kasandwe, MP, who were part of the delegation. The two represented this House well during the parliamentary session of the conference. His Worship the Mayor of Kitwe, Mr Christopher C. Kang’ombe, also ensured that Zambia’s views on cities and climate change were represented in the final declaration adopted. Finally, I extend my sincere appreciation to all the delegates who tirelessly and diligently worked long hours to ensure that the interests of the country were represented in the decisions passed.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, you are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement issued by the hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, the Conference of Parties (COP) has been like Christmas, which comes every year. We started from Kyoto in 1997. Now, the hon. Minister is telling us that the Paris Agreement on Climate Change will benefit this country. How many big economies, such as the United States of America (USA), Canada, United Kingdom (UK) and Germany have ratified the agreement? We need to start seeing the fruits of the COP. 


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, I do not have the numbers right now. I am yet to confirm. However, I am aware that many countries signed the Paris Agreement and we will compile a list of them.


Sir, the agreement has been entered into now instead of 2020 so that countries can receive the monies promised under it. 


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr C. M. Zulu (Luangeni): Mr Speaker, indeed, climate change has to be dealt with seriously.


Sir, two or three years ago, the ministry embarked on a tree planting programme that involved hon. Members of Parliament, and I remember that 3,000 trees were planted in my constituency, Luangeni. Is the ministry thinking of continuing with that programme?


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, tree planting is an on-going programme of my ministry. In January, 2017, the President launched the 2016/2017 Tree Planting Season and every district was tasked to plant, at least, 20 ha of trees.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mbangweta (Nkeyema): Mr Speaker, what institutional arrangements has the ministry put in place to enable the country to benefit from the capacity building component of the agreement?


 Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, we are waiting for the Cabinet to fully operationalise the department on climate change. There are a few technocrats in the department, but that is not enough.


Sir, with your indulgence, I would like to provide more information in response to Hon. Nkombo’s question.


Sir, out of 197 countries, 133, including China and the USA, have ratified the agreement.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kufakwandi (Sesheke): Mr Speaker, the new United States (US) Administration has already sent a warning that it will withdraw from global environmental agreements, including the Paris Agreement, because they do not benefit the American people. In fact, in his address to the Joint Session of Senate and the House of Representatives a day or so ago, President Trump mentioned that his administration would also cut foreign aid and funding to that country’s environmental management agency. Given the possible pulling out of the US, which is one of the biggest contributors of resources, what is the future of the Paris Agreement?


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, first of all, I would like to put it on record that I am a Minister in Zambia, not in the US.


 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Kapata: Secondly, Sir, I have just mentioned that 133 countries have ratified the Paris Agreement. Therefore, if the US pulls out, there still be other countries that will work for the success of the agreement.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the update on the Paris Conference.


Sir, I am more interested in knowing how the money that will come as grants and loans will be …


Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Nkombo: Sir, I thank you for allowing me to raise this point of order.


Mr Speaker, you have guided, in the far and near past, on the dangers of using sarcasm in answering questions.


Sir, the hon. Member for Sesheke asked a question that we thought was of extreme importance in which he did not, at any time, suggest that the hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources is a Minister in the United States (US) Government. Is the hon. Minister, therefore, in order to respond in a manner that we think is totally sarcastic instead of just answering the question.


I seek you ruling, Sir.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Members!


The rulings do not come from the shouts you make whilst seated. It is only I who can decide. That said, I was also taken aback because I did not see the connection between the hon. Member’s question and the hon. Minister’s statement.


Hon. Members, I have repeatedly said that plain questions deserve plain answers.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order!


Therefore, that reference was unnecessary.


That is my ruling.


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, what mechanism has the Government put in place to enable the common people to see the tangible benefits of the US$284 million concessional loan to the energy sector, seeing as they are currently unable to see the benefits of the many loans this Government has borrowed already?


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, first of all, I apologise to the hon. Member for Sesheke.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: That is very gracious.




Ms Kapata: I am Catholic.


Dr Chanda:Ema MP, aba!


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, I will answer both questions.


Sir, the Paris Agreement is a legally binding instrument that once it is applied, cannot be changed. Therefore, it will not be possible for America to withdraw from it.


Sir, coming to Hon. Muchima’s question, I would like to say that the money that we will receive will go to the hydro power stations. The resources from the Paris Agreement will be applied in three sectors, namely sustainable forestry, energy and agriculture, and we will see to it that the money is applied properly.


 I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwiimbu: (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, …


Ms E. Phiri: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Ms Phiri: Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to raise this point of order.


 Sir, is the hon. Minister of Home Affairs in order to keep quiet over the serial killings that have been seen of late? As the House might be aware, two girls were found killed in a maize field in Chilanga. Two days ago, another woman was raped and killed in Kanyama. As if that was not enough, toady, I am just coming from witnessing the recovery of the body of a taxi driver who was killed in his car.


Sir, can the hon. Minister to tell the nation what the Government is doing to stop these killings.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Ms E. Phirisobbed.


Mr Speaker: Order!


I will give the hon. Minister of Home Affairs an opportunity, early next week, to update the nation on what efforts have been made by his ministry to contain the situation.


That is my ruling.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I send my condolences to the people of Kanyama and Chilanga on the serial killings that have occurred in the area.


Sir, getting back to the ministerial statement, is the ministry considering processing coal briquettes in order to avoid the persistent use of charcoal as a fuel, bearing in mind that charcoal burning is a major contributor to climate change in this country?


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, I am aware that the Ministry of Higher Education is implementing a project to that effect and I am sure that the hon. Minister of Higher Education will issue a statement on that.


 I thank you, Sir.


Mr Sampa (Kasama Central): Mr Speaker, some sections of our society have condemned the foreign trips made by His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu. What benefits accrue to the country from the Government’s participation in the conference?


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, indeed, His Excellency the President attended a high-level segment of the meeting. Many other presidents also attended that very important meeting.


Sir, there are many benefits that accrue from a president participation in international meetings. For example, like I said, we managed to get a grant of €284 million. So, it is more beneficial for the President to attend international meetings than for him to just stay in the country.


 I thank you, Sir.


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, carbon credits are one of the tools commonly used to mitigate the effects of industrial activities on climate and promote livelihood improvement in the locations where they are implemented. Usually, it is the case that the countries in the north, which are highly industrialised, pay for conservation of forests in places like Zambia, which are mostly rural and have huge forests. Did the high-powered delegation, which included the President, negotiate for carbon credits from which rural communities in Zambia can benefit? We can use carbon credits to conserve forests, especially for the people of Kasempa.


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, the carbon credits are one of the tools we are using. Actually, we are using it around the country because carbon emissions are all over, and we are putting up mechanisms to ensure that they work.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Sir, ratifying the agreements and attending conferences …


Mr C. M. Zulu: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr C. M. Zulu: Mr Speaker, lately, we have seen and read media reports about people who are masquerading as genuine pastors, but end up misleading Zambians. Some are turning water into paraffin or manufacturing United States (US) Dollars. Is the hon. Minister of Home Affairs in order to keep quiet and not take action against those pastors?


Mr Speaker: Please, file a question.


That is my ruling.


Mr Belemu: Sir, ratifying the agreements and attending conferences are good, but what would be of value to Zambia is domesticating the agreements and putting in place the relevant policies. Since the hon. Minister referred to two agreements, how soon will the domestication take place? Further, when will we the policy on climate change be implemented?


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, the policy on climate change is already in the pipeline and will soon be presented to the Cabinet. Thereafter, it will be implemented.


I thank you, ‘Your Excelle...’, sorry, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Chama South, please, ask your question.


Kafwaya (Lunte): Mr Speaker, I am the hon. Member for Lunte. The hon. Member for Chama South is not here today.


Sir, I am just following up on the question asked by the hon. Member for Ikeleng’i, in which the questioner said that this Government has contracted many loans and grants. However, in her statement, the hon. Minister stated that the Government is receiving a grant. Could she kindly clarify whether this grant is a loan.




Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Lunte, your question is not clear. Do you wish to recast it?


Mr Kafwaya: Yes, Mr Speaker, I will happily recast it.


Sir, my understanding of a grant is that it is not repayable, but we have been told here by the hon. Member for Ikeleng’i that the grant the hon. Minister mentioned is a loan.


Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!


Mr Kafwaya: That is where my problem is, and I would like the hon. Minister to just clarify that matter. Is it a grant or loan that we will be given?


Ms Kapata: Sir, let me just read what I said in my statement.


Sir, Zambia will access €284 million in grants and €111.5 million in concessional loans. The concessional loans that the country will get will be at very minimal interest rates, if we do apply for them.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Mr Speaker, implementing the Paris Agreement on Climate Change entails having a green economy. As we domesticate the agreement, what measures have been put in place for us to not undermine our industrialisation drive? As we all know, very few African countries emit significant amount of carbon.


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, we will industrialise using green energy and technology.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, knowing, as we all do, that climate change is caused by industrialisation and land overuse, what mitigation measures and strategies is the Government employing to overcome these challenges?


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, I have already mentioned that proper forest management and land usage will help us sustain our forests.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.




The Minister of Local Government (Mr Mwale): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity, once again, to issue a statement on the issue of councillors’ allowances.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the councillors across the country have contended that they should be full-time employees like mayors and council chairpersons because they are elected by registered voters in their districts. They also contend that Articles 264 and 265 of the Constitution provides for councillors to be paid a salary, not an allowance, like the case is with the Judges. Article 153(1) of the Constitution provides that:


 “(a) councillor shall be elected in accordance with Article 47(3) by registered voters resident within the district”.


Further, Sir, Article 47(3) of the Constitution prescribes a first-past-the-post system of electing a councillor. It is noteworthy, from the outset, that the Constitution does not state whether councillors are to serve on a full-time or part-time basis.


Mr Speaker, on the question of whether councillors are entitled to allowances or salaries, Article 264 of the Constitution provides that the emoluments of councillors shall be determined by the Emoluments Commission, as prescribed. Article 266 states that the emoluments include “salaries, allowances, benefits and rights that form an individual’s remuneration for services rendered, including pension benefits or other benefits on retirement”. It is noteworthy, however, that the Emoluments Commission has not yet been operationalised, as the law to operationalise it has not yet been passed. Once the commission is operationalised, it will be responsible for approving councillors’ emoluments. Pending the operationalisation of the Emoluments Commission, Sections 71 and 119 of the Local Government Act, Cap 281 of the Laws of Zambia, are instructive on the entitlement of councillors. Section 6 of the Constitution of Zambia Act No. 1 of 2016 continues the force of existing laws that are consistent with the Constitution as amended.


Sir, my ministry sought legal guidance from the Attorney-General on the following:


  1. whether councillors should continue to serve on a part-time basis or become full-time employees; and


  1. whether councillors were entitled to an allowance or a salary.


Mr Speaker, the considered view of the Attorney-General’s Chambers is that Section 71 and 119 of the Local Government Act, Cap 281 of the Laws of Zambia are consistent with the Constitution to the extent that Article 264 of the Constitution, which vests the power to determine councillors’ emoluments in the Emoluments Commission has not yet come into operation by virtue of Section 21 of the Constitution of Zambia Act, which provides that:


“Subject to Section 6, where an Act of Parliament is required to give effect to an Act of the Constitution as amended, that Article shall come into effect upon publication of the Act of Parliament or such other date as may be prescribed by, or under the Act of Parliament.”


Mr Speaker, the Attorney-General guided that Section 71 of the Local Government Act empowers a council to pay fees and allowances to councillors with the approval of the Minister responsible for local government and that the hon. Minister’s approval must be provided by way of a statutory order or notice in writing to the principle officer of a council (Section 119 of the Local Government Act). In terms of the law, therefore, councillors are entitled to be paid fees and allowances approved by the hon. Minister of Local Government. In short, the Attorney-General’s guidance is that councillors are entitled to be paid fees and allowances determined by the hon. Minister in terms of the Local Government Act until such a time that the Emoluments Commission is operationalised. In view of that guidance, I will, through a statutory instrument (SI), revise councillors’ allowances from K700 to K3,000. I have since submitted the SI to the Ministry of Justice for clearance and the new allowance will be effected immediately the SI is published, which will be within the course of this month.


Mr Speaker, in conclusion, let me urge all councillors across the country to remain calm and steadfast in discharging their functions in their respective wards to the best of their abilities.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


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


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, when coming up with the remuneration packages for mayors and council chairpersons, the hon. Minister used a certain scale. Will the K3,000 be implemented across to the board in district, municipal and city councils?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, yes, it will be across the board because the K700 the councillors used to get was also across the board.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, what considerations were made to come up with this meagre allowance? Taking into account that mayors get about K19,000 per month, is it fair to pay councillors K3,000?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I said that mayors and council chairpersons are full-time employees who are not permitted to work elsewhere. Further, they report for work at 0800 hours and knock off at 1700 hours. Councillors, on the other hand, are part-time employees. On the Copperbelt, for example, some councillors work in the mines and get paid. Therefore, the K3,000 is an allowance, not a salary. I agree with the hon. Member that the amount might not be good enough for the kind of work they do, even though it is only an allowance. However, it is just a stop-gapmeasure. The Emoluments Commission will determine a more appropriate remuneration package for councillors, looking at the kind of work they do.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, even when councillors were entitled to the K700 allowance, some councils, such as Namwala, had problems raising money to pay councillors and accumulated arrears. So, who will be responsible for paying the councillors the new allowance?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the National Treasury will be responsible for paying the allowance because we do not want to overburden our councils with this heavy burden. Some councils have thirty councillors and would not be able to provide municipal services if they had to pay their councillors’ allowances at the new rate.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo): Mr Speaker, will the hon. Minister settle the arrears owed to councillors by council when the allowances were still at K700 before implementing the K3,000 allowance?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, our agreement with the Ministry of Finance is that it will pay the allowances for January to December, 2017. The settling of all the arrears accrued in the past will still be the responsibility of the councils.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Mr Speaker, given the fact that some city councils, such as Lusaka, Kitwe and Livingstone, generate a lot of revenue, will local authorities be handing over their revenues to the National Treasury?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I do not know the context of that question. I think I stated that we have established a fund for bus stations and markets. So, local authorities will make contributions to that fund from the fees they collect from the markets and bus stations. However, that does not relate to emoluments for councillors.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mbangweta (Nkeyema): Mr Speaker, how will the new allowance be funded by the Central Government given that we already approved the Budget? 


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, that is a headache for the hon. Minister of Finance. We have requested that money and the hon. Minister of Finance will provide it. I know that the Budget provides for contingencies and that the ministry can seek supplementary expenditure from this House, as provided for in the Constitution. The hon. Minister can also raise the Local Government Equalisation Fund (LGEF), but I do not want to decide for him. The Ministry of Finance will take care of that business.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that he relied on the provisions of the Local Government Act to do what he has done because the Emoluments Commission is not yet in place. In his estimation, when will the commission be in place? Further, in view of his answer that councillors are part-time employees, does see the possibility of their being put on a salary when the commission comes into force?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, remember to restrict yourselves to one question.


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I have clearly stated that councillors are part-time employees and that they will, therefore, continue to be entitled to allowances only. What the Emoluments Commission will have to determine is how much that allowance should be.


Sir, regarding when the commission will come into being, I ask the hon. Member to file in a question to the appropriate ministry or the Office of the Vice-President. I am unable to provide that information because my ministry is not responsible for the creation of commissions.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, thank you very much …


Mr Sing’ombe: On a point of order.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Hon. Government Members: Aah!


Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, thank you very much for allowing me to raise this point of order.


Sir, one of the duties of the hon. Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance is to prepare the nation for the soon coming of our Lord, and ...




Hon. Members: Amen!


Mr Sing’ombe: … this morning, we were told that there was an image that appeared in the clouds over Kitwe, which sent a number of people into a panic, with some who had bottles of beer throwing them away …




Mr Sing’ombe: … and kneeling down to pray. Is the hon. Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance in order to not explain that image?




Mr Sing’ombe: Sir, I need your serious ruling.




Mr Speaker: If you want the hon. Minister to guide you, ask her a question and she will provide the guidance.


That is my ruling.


Hon. Member of Parliament for Kabompo, please, continue.


Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, before I was interrupted by that point of order, I was about to thank the hon. Minister for his statement which has clarified many issues regarding the remuneration of councillors. That said,the hon. Minister has said that the Emoluments Commission has not yet been put in place and that until such a time that it is put in place, he will determine the allowances for the councillors only. However, my question is on the mayors and council chairpersons. Since the commission has not yet been put in place, who determined the remuneration of the council chairpersons and mayors, and what criterion was used?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, we used the same law that was used to determine the allowances for councillors. We present three scenarios to our colleagues in the Ministry of Finance and they picked one. What we used as a benchmark was what the principal officers get there. Since mayors are leaders, we had to look at their remuneration in relation to that of principal officers like town clerks and council secretaries. However, once the Emoluments Commission comes into being, their remuneration will also be determined by that body.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Chonya (Kafue): Mr Speaker, in one of the Minister’s previous statements, he indicated to that he would investigate the practice of councillors giving themselves plots as a means of remunerating themselves. How far has he gone with that investigation and when he is likely to get back to us?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, we are done with the investigation and we have even prepared a statement that we will issue to this House once given a slot.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Fungulwe (Lufwanyama): Mr Speaker, I appreciate the stance taken by the hon. Minister to uplift the standard of living of our councillors even though it is not enough.


Hon. Government Member: Aah!


Mr Fungulwe: My question is: What are the modalities for paying councillors’ allowance? Will they be automatically credited into the councillors’ accounts?


Mr Kambwili:Walikwata inkongole?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the money will be bundled together with the LGEF and sent to the various councils, which will be responsible for crediting the councillors’ accounts.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Kasanda (Chisamba): Mr Speaker, as a former councillor, I really appreciate the increment. However, my question has already been asked by the hon. ‘Minister’ for Monze Central and the hon. Minister has answered accordingly.




Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Which ministry is Monze Central?




Ms Kasanda: I beg your pardon, Sir.


Mr Speaker: I do not remember the House approving such a ministry.




Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I would like to appreciate the accordance of the status of Minister for Monze Central Constituency.




Hon. Government Members: Shadow Minister!


Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, the hon. Minister has informed this House and the nation that he used the same law to determine the salaries for mayors and councillors, viz the law that provides for his ministry to provide fees and allowances to councillors. Unfortunately, under that law, there is no provision for him to determine salaries. So, how did he decide to discriminate against the councillors by saying that they are not entitled to salaries because the Emoluments Commission has not yet been established while, at the same time, awarding salaries …


Hon. Government Member: Which salaries?


Mr Mwiimbu: … to mayors and chairpersons?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, it is clear that mayors and council chairpersons are full-time employees who are not expected to work anywhere else. Therefore, what we give them is not an allowance, but a salary. I also stated that I sought the Attorney-General’s counsel on whether councillors can be deemed full-time employees and I was guided that they cannot. So, it is very clear that councillors can only get an allowance, not a salary.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, my question is a rider on the hon. Member for Sikongo’s question regarding the arrears owed to councillors.


Sir, Luwingu District has a council that has not been able to pay its councillors’ allowances consistently. Can that council use the Local Government Equalisation Fund (LGEF) to clear the arrears?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I would have to discuss that proposal with my technocrats. What we encourage is that 20 per cent of the LGEF goes to capital expenditure while the rest goes to staff remuneration and other needs. Councillors are, therefore, encouraged to think outside the box in seeking ways to raise revenue to remunerate themselves in the context of the K700 allowance.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nyirenda (Lundazi Central): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for increasing the salaries of councillors. However, what measures has he put in place to ensure that the councillors stop masquerading as honourables or stop using the title of ‘honourable’?




Mr Speaker ignored the question.


Mr Chisopa (Mkushi South): Mr Speaker, my question is follow up on the Local Government Equalisation Fund (LGEF). The hon. Minister stated that 20 per cent of that fund is supposed to be invested in capital projects. Unfortunately, some local authorities have not used the 20 per cent to benefit the community. What monitoring mechanisms have been put in place to ensure that the 20 per cent is ploughed back into the community?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the fund is audited by the Office of the Auditor-General, which alerts us if there are discrepancies. However, hon. Members of Parliament, as major stakeholders, should come forward if they have any information so that we can see what we can do. As far as we are concerned, most councils have been using the 20 per cent on capital projects.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, how much of the Local Government Equalisation Fund (LGEF) is allocated to each council?


Mr Speaker: I have difficulties allowing that question.




Mr Michelo: Let me rephrase it, Sir.


Sir, is the hon. Minister in a position to tell us how much of the LGEF is given to each council?


Mr Speaker: That is not the subject of this discussion.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, we have heard that the allowances for councillors have increased from K700 to K3,000. Will councillors elected to the positions of deputy council chairperson and deputy mayor get the same allowance or will they get slightly more?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, unfortunately, the deputy mayors and deputy council chairpersons are part-time employees and are categorised as councillors. Perhaps, the Emoluments Commission will have a different view on the matter, but for now, that is the position.


I thank you, Sir.




The Minister of Higher Education (Prof. Luo):  Mr Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for giving me the opportunity to issue a statement to this august House on the status of the colleges of education newly-upgraded into universities, namely Chalimbana, Kwame Nkrumah and Mukuba universities. I will also update the House on the strategies the ministry will implement to finalise the upgrading of the universities.


Sir, as hon. Members will recall, the upgrading of colleges of education into universities is a policy first announced of the late President of Zambia, His Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata. From the time the pronouncement was made, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has made massive investments in the upgrading of three institutions, namely Chalimbana, Kwame Nkrumah and Mukuba, into universities. Among the investments are on-going infrastructure development works, which are aimed at expanding the enrolment capacity of the learning institutions. When the works are completed, the Government hopes that the institutions will have infrastructure worthy of their university status.


Mr Speaker, the investment in infrastructure development is worth K254.3 million, broken as follows:


Institution                                                                                 Amount (K)


Chalimbana University                                                               43 million


Kwame Nkrumah University                                                     103.6 million


Mukuba University                                                                   104.1 million


Sir, the money has been used to construct additional student hostels, libraries, lecture theatres, tutorial rooms, administration blocks and staff housing.


Mr Speaker, the Government’s review of the progress made on the transformation of the colleges into public universities reveals that there has been little progress made over the past three years. As a result of that realisation, and to speed up the transformation process, I have approved the affiliation of the three institutions with already existing public universities using Part VI of Section 37 of the Higher Education Act No.4 of 2013.


Mr Speaker, my ministry is committed to executing strategies that will fully implement the process of upgrading the three institutions. Some of the strategies will be short to medium term, spanning three years, while others will be long term, spanning more than three years.


The Short to Medium Term


Mr Speaker, in order to quicken the transformation of the institutions into fully-fledged universities, the ministry has decided to affiliate Mukuba University to the Copperbelt University (CBU), Kwame Nkrumah University to Mulungushi University and Chalimbana University to the University of Zambia (UNZA). The terms of reference for the CBU, Mulungushi University and UNZA, in this arrangement shall be, but not limited to the following:


  1. second four senior members of staff the new institution to be responsible for finance, administration, academic development, overall leadership and spearheading of the transformation process;


  1. take stock of the programmes offered at the diploma, bachelors and post-graduate levels;


  1. take stock of the staff teaching in the universities and determine their qualification to teach their respective programmes;


  1. take stock of the infrastructure and see whether it meets the minimum requirements for an institution to be called a university;


  1. determine whether the infrastructure meets the enrolment levels;


  1. propose the infrastructure development requirement necessary to meet the university standards and courses provided;


  1. redesign the learning programmes to be in line with national requirements; and


  1. ensure that the institution meets the following minimum requirements, as demanded by the Higher Education Authority:


  1. governance and management;


  1. academic programmes;


  1. teaching and learning, which will also be anchored on admission policy, academic calendar, course material development, learner support systems, learner assessments and student record management;


  1.  on staff and training, they will look at the policy on staff recruitment and development, sufficiency of full-time and part-time staff, support staff and conditions of service;


  1. on physical infrastructure, they will consider whether the facilities are in good quantity and quality for teaching and learning;


  1. they will be involved in financial resource mobilisation to support the operations of the universities, look into accounting systems, financial procedure manuals, risk assessment policy and external auditing;


  1. they will put in place health and safety measures that will facilitate compliance with the minimum requirements for health, safety and good sanitation;


  1. they will develop the visions, missions and strategies for the institutions;


  1. they will participate in promoting research and ensure that there is adequate provision for research infrastructure and ethics; and


  1. they will be involved in issues of technological infrastructure, such as access to the Internet for staff and students, management of information system facilities and platforms for electronic learning (e-Learning).


Mr Speaker, my ministry will also ensure that all the qualified and deserving members of staff are officially appointed to the positions in which they are serving in their respective universities. Further, in order to enhance the quality of training provided in the institutions, my ministry will fast-track human resource development for academic staff through research, face-to-face, open, flexible and distance learning.


Sir, in order to increase the enrolment capacity of the three institutions, my ministry will make available the resources needed to complete all the infrastructure projects. Additionally, it will make sure that the contractors hand over all the components of the projects as soon as they are completed. 


Mr Speaker, the transformation process will be implemented over a period of three years with a view to providing technical support in the development of governance systems, policies and infrastructure, and promoting a university culture in the three institutions. 


Mr Speaker, the officers to be part of the management teams of the three universities will be as follows:


University                                           Officers to be Seconded


Chalimbana University                      Officers from UNZA, School of Education


Mukuba University                            Officers from the CBU


Kwame Nkrumah                               Officers from Mulungushi University


Sir, during the period of affiliation, the new universities will operate without councils, as they will be under the councils of the universities to which they are affiliated. In this regard, my ministry has dissolved the councils that existed in the three institutions. In the long term, the ministry will ensure that the universities have adequate and sustainable financing so that they can establish councils.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, you are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement issued by the hon. Minister of Higher Education.


Ms Chonya: Mr Speaker, what financing strategy is the Government thinking of implementing given the fact that all the major public universities that are supposed to oversee the new universities have financial challenges of their own?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, universities all over the world are never 100 per cent financed by the Government. We all know that universities are centres of knowledge or havens of the critical mass. In French, they say that is where you find the ‘crème decrème’.




Hon. Member: It is ‘crème de la crème.


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, that means, the cream of the country.


Mr Ngulube: Like me.




Prof. Luo: So, our institutions will have to run like other institutions all over the world.


Sir, with regard to the financing strategies that we are implementing, the ministry has asked the universities in Zambia to reposition themselves. One of the important ways of generating finances for a university is for members of staff to provide consultancy services and share the money realised with the university because the members of staff will use the university’s time and equipment. Another way is for most of us seated here to contribute to the universities from which we graduated. Zambia has not encouraged people to give back to their alma maters. We will create an alumni database in my ministry and ensure that we all starting giving back to the institutions that made us what we are.The third way to finance universities is through research. With just a touch of the button, universities can call anywhere in the world and submit research proposals that can include money for activities like staff development. I have told deans, professors and heads of departments that they will have to account for their existence. One cannot be called a dean or head of department if one cannot develop one’s institution, year by year, which is supposed to be an example to the students. Through the staff development fellows and money one attracts, one contributes to the development of one’s university. So, things have changed and our institutions are no longer the same, and everybody is running with that.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Tambatamba: Mr Speaker, during her last visit to the University of Zambia (UNZA) in January, 2017, the hon. Minister was disappointed to find that some students slept on the rooftop. That is the mother of all universities. So, what measures are being put in place to renovate and restore UNZA to the glory it enjoyed from its inception to the 1980s?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, the reason students were sleeping on the rooftop has nothing to do with renovations, but over-enrolment. This year, the university enrolled more than 6,000 first-year students. What is even worse is that the students had come up with what I call a coping strategy against the policy of the university, which requires students who fail to stay at home for a year, after which they can repeat the subjects. Now, students who fail in, say, engineering, they reapply immediately to the School of Education.


Sir, my ministry has told the universities to stop over-enrolling. I have also asked all the university Vice-Chancellors to submit the bed space and infrastructure capacities of their institutions. We are also working on modalities for admitting students to UNZA. We may even go the South African route, in which students are admitted centrally so that we do quality control.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has dissolved the councils of the new universities and transferred their responsibilities to the councils of universities to which they will be affiliated. Does she not think that will overload the councils that will be given the extra responsibilities? Further, how long will it take for the new universities to have their own councils?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, the measure is a short-term one and will be in effect for three years only. That is the desire of the ministry because we want to establish councils that will be able to do what they are expected to do. Over the last three years, for example, the staff who have worked in the three institutions have remained on the payroll as teachers, yet it was the responsibility of the councils to appoint the staff to the appropriate positions. One cannot let people work for three years without appointing them appropriately. Another example is that to date, the teaching programmes have not been streamlined. It is, again, the responsibility of the council to ensure that the senate does that. So, we do not want to continue with that kind of approach. Rather, we want to create an opportunity for the transformation of the universities. In this regard, I wish to inform you that I have held meetings with the university councils, Vice-Chancellors and everybody else, and they agree with this proposition. They are also equal to the task.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, 157 people have retired from the University of Zambia (UNZA), some as far back as fifteen years ago, but they still draw salaries because they cannot be paid their retirement packages. Further, there are about 24,000 students at the university, but only about 4,000 are accommodated on campus. Additionally, the university receives less than half the money it requires to run per month. In the midst of all this, the Government is developing other universities. What is the Government doing to pay the retirees who have drawn full salaries for fifteen years because they have not been paid their retirement packages?


Secondly, Sir, what is the ministry doing ...


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


Mr Kamboni: Oh, sorry, Sir.




Mr Speaker: I had guided earlier ...


Mr Kamboni: Yes, yes, Sir. Thank you very much.


I will end here, Sir.




Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, ...




Mr Speaker: Order!


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I have explained that universities in Zambia have not been run like other universities. I also said that it should not always be the responsibility of the Government to spoon-feed universities beyond their establishment. That is why we are changing the way universities will operate.


Secondly, Sir, I have asked the Ministry of Finance to help us fast-track the dismantling of the universities’ debts. To that effect, I have a committee of three that will look at how that will be done and ensure that the mistake will never be repeated.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has given examples of how she believes universities can bring extra money into their coffers. One of them, alumni contributions, has been tried before. Hon. Members will recall that during the Mwanawasa Administration, several former students, one of them, Mr Elias Mpondela, led an initiative to raise funds for the University of Zambia (UNZA). Today, we are still talking about the same university being in dire straits. The hon. Minister also talked about research, which is non-existent in our institutions simply because there are no research funds available to our academicians. Even in this year’s Budget, we raised questions on this issue. The hon. Minister also raised the issue of consultancy. Unfortunately, this country still prefers foreign consultants at the expense of our academics. Given this scenario, one would expect the hon. Minister to talk about the loans scheme that has been proposed and talked about, which the Justice Bobby Bwalya Commission expressly said appeared to be the panacea to financial problems in our institutions. Why is the ministry not operationalising the loans scheme, which will do much better than the measures that have been tried before, but have failed?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like the hon. Member to make a distinction between a loan scheme and financing for activities of the university. The loan scheme is meant to support students financially, whereas, what we are talking about now is financing for all the operations of universities.


Mr Speaker, let me go back to the Alumni initiative during the Mwanawasa Administration.


Sir, a one-off initiative cannot finance a university forever. What would work is an Alumni Programme that is properly cultured and enshrined as a policy in the university. That is what we are talking about here. Some of you who have studied abroad understand better how such programmes work. For example, I am an alumnus of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, ...


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: ... and I make an annual financial contribution to the two colleges. The institutions have robust information systems and databases on all their former students and can trace them wherever they may be. Even someone seated here like Hon. Cornelius Mweetwa would be traced and made to pay.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: In terms of research, Mr Speaker, it is never funded by the Government, as it is what makes one to be called an academician. An academician is supposed to look at the activities going on all over the world and apply to participate. For example, in my field of training, the National Institute of Health (NIH) sends out invitations for participants in different health research activities every three months. The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) also sends invitation for researchers in different activities every month. In fact, when I was Head of Pathology and Microbiology, the departmental budget was not less than US$4 million …


Mrs Fundanga: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: … because I was getting money from everywhere. So, we need to have proper structures and policies in the universities.


Mr Speaker, the loan scheme will not be implemented this year because I have informed this House that enacting a law is not enough. We have to spend this year developing information systems and transforming one of our departments into a Skills Development Division so that we develop a proper delivery framework.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Mr Speaker, the Professor seems to …


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Lufuma: … have confused me more…


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lufuma: … than she has clarified the situation. I do not know whether we are talking about the new institutions as universities, university colleges, colleges that are affiliated to universities, et cetera. I am at sea.




Mr Lufuma: Sir, the hon. Minister talked about the terms of reference (TOR) for the staff who have been seconded from the established universities to the new colleges, universities or university colleges, I do not know the right terminology. One of the TORs was for them to assess at the ‘edequacy’, …


Mr Ngulube: Adequacy!


Mr Lufuma: … yes, adequacy, thank you, of lecturers and the quality of what is taught. Another is that they evaluate the adequacy of the financial management systems. To me, it seems that the Government did not do enough groundwork before announcing the establishment of these universities. No wonder, it is only now trying to put systems in place. Would I be right, therefore, if I said that the Government prematurely announced the upgrading of the colleges.


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I was waiting for the hon. Member to tell me which sea or ocean he is on, whether it is the Pacific, Mediterranean or the Atlantic.




Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, the Government did not announce this programme prematurely. Neither were they in a hurry. We were right to announce the programme at the time we did. Universities are set up as colleges and transformed into polytechnics or fully-fledged universities when they start doing well. The most important element is the human resource in the institution. That is why we have decided to revisit our approach to human capital.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mrs Fundanga (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, I congratulate the hon. Minister on the way she has cemented her issues. However, I have one concern, that is, we have not had an outstanding polytechnic university since Independence. In this age of cutting-edge industrialisation, it is very important that we tackle this issue and start stressing polytechnic education. For instance, and this is on record at the University of Zambia (UNZA), most people from Chilubi Island, maybe, because we eat fish, study either medicine or engineering. So, could the hon. Hon. Minister, as she proceeds with the opening of the FTJ Chiluba University, consider turning it into a high polytechnic university? Has she considered opening a polytechnic university in Zambia?


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament is spot-on in saying that we have not provided for polytechnics in Zambia. However, there are institutions in this country that, although not called polytechnics, have been operating as such.


Sir, to give comfort and counsel, my ministry has amended the Higher Education Act and the Higher Education Authority Act. Hopefully, we will also present a Bill to Parliament soon in which we have prescribed the minimum requirements for an institution to be called a university, university college, polytechnic, colleges or trade school. One of the higher learning institutions that meets all the requirements to be a polytechnic and has been operating as one is the Northern Technical College (NORTEC) in Ndola.


Sir, as soon as our Bill is enacted into law by Parliament, we start moving in the direction proposed by the hon. Member.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kabwe Central, you may ask your question.


Mr Kambwili: Mazhandu!


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, I thank Hon. Kambwili for giving me that name.




Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that universities will have to submit their accommodation capacities before enrolling students. However, we know that there are students who make their own accommodation arrangements outside campuses. Does she not think that restricting enrolment levels on the basis of accommodation capacity will deny millions of Zambians the opportunity to access university education?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, in every country, there has to be order. I do not know whether the hon. Member of Parliament has had the opportunity to go to some of our institutions to which I have been and seen the toilet facilities and rooms. In some cases, a room meant for two students has eight squatters. Some accommodated students even advertise for squatters on WhatsApp. The over-enrolment, firstly, puts too much pressure on the infrastructure and, secondly, creates a sanitation hazard. So, it is very important for the ministry to instil order in those institutions. Some students can be day scholars and stay in boarding houses. What we want to do is ensure that a room meant for two people does not accommodate eight. If the hon. Member does not know what is obtaining in our universities, I challenge him to visit some of them with me.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Katuta: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is my muse.


Hon. Opposition Members: What does that mean?


Ms Katuta: She inspires me a lot.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Katuta: Mr Speaker, that said, my biggest concern is on bursaries. In Chienge, about 300 children have done very well, but they cannot access bursaries because they do not have much information on how to do so. Could the ministry consider decentralising the administration of bursaries so that they can be obtained at the provincial level?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, we are moving away from giving bursaries to giving loans. The loan scheme will be implemented in 2018.


Sir, the lessons I have learnt from countries that have implemented student loan schemes is that it is very problematic and that it will be very dangerous for us to decentralise it from inception. So, we first need to learn lessons on it. When it is well-established, we can decentralise it. In short, I can confirm that decentralisation is the way to go in the future.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Musonda (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, universities all over the world are moving away from providing accommodation to students, probably, so that the money that they raise is mostly channelled to their core business. Does the Government plan to take that route and put in place a regulatory framework to protect students from being exploited by private accommodation providers?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, the only reason we have been putting emphasis on providing student accommodation is to protect them. The countries in which student accommodation is not provided by the colleges and universities have well-developed transport systems. So, we will eventually take that route, but I think that, for now, we have to accommodate the students so that they can access school library facilities since we do not have city libraries. When my colleague, the hon. Minister of Local Government, sets up city libraries, then, we will take that route. You tailor your dress according to the cloth you have.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, what is the hon. Minister doing to ensure that the cut-and-paste culture in the existing universities is not taken to Chalimbana, Kwame Nkrumah and Mukuba universities? I am sure she has gone to institutions that are research centres, yet they do not have laboratories, beakers and other research instruments.


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I am aware of the issue raised by the hon. Member. That is why we have removed the bureaucratic bottlenecks in the ministry and opened our doors to having regular discussions with these institutions. We have also asked them to be submitting quarterly reports so that we can monitor the progress of their transformation. Further, my staff and I will be visiting them to ensure that their reports truly reflect the situation on the ground.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, during my tenure as President of the University of Zambia Students Union (UNZASU), I was a member of the university’s Senate. Further, in the last National Assembly, I represented this Parliament on the University of Zambia (UNZA) Council.


Sir, through my association with the university, I have come to learn that the over-enrolment to which the hon. Minister has referred and banned is actually a result of the Government’s failure to fund the universities. Usually, the disbursement percentage to the universities is less than 40 per cent per year. That is why the universities opt to over-enrol, including applicants who did not meet the entry grade, on self-sponsorship to enable them to operate. Seeing as the hon. Minister has banned over-enrolment, which sustained the universities, what will the Government do to ensure that the institutions continue to operate?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, let me answer this question by giving the example of Mulungushi University, which does not depend on Government support. It only gets a grant. However, if the hon. Member goes there, he will not find the issues that he is raising. This morning, I asked some people to go and visit a college in Luanshya, which college is run by a woman called Mrs Jere. The college is impressive because the woman has tarred a road there; the grounds are well kept, with some of the most expensive flowers grown; the rooms are clean; and the institution is up-to-date in meeting its obligations to the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA).


Mr Speaker, we have to run our institutions correctly. I have asked the mountains to go to the anthill because that is the kind of leadership that we want my Vice-Chancellors, Chancellors and chairpersons to demonstrate. We must move away the existing perceptions. If given the opportunity to remain Minister of Higher Education, I will, in the next five years, we should have education tourism by doing the right things.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukata (Chilanga): Mr Speaker, my question is anchored on the clear lack of linkages and pathways between universities, colleges and trades schools.


Dr Kambwili (Looking at Hon. Prof. Luo): Professor, nakulakupepelako wikaba nga ine.


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Roan!


You cannot engage the hon. Minister that way.




Mr Mukata: Sir, I have not heard the hon. Minister come out clearly on the issue of over-enrolment in schools. Since 1964, we have seen a proliferation of universities and students going straight from secondary schools to university when they could go to trades schools to begin their upward movement there by getting certificates, after which they could go to, say, the National Institute for Public Administration (NIPA) to get diplomas. Thereafter, they could go to university to upgrade their qualification. This situation has caused a problem. For instance, it causes a person who fails in the School of Medicine in his sixth year is excluded without any form of certification. That also applies to lawyers. If the same person had enrolled at Chainama College of Health Sciences or a similar institution, he or she would have got a diploma after two or three years. Does the hon. Minister not think that it is high time we re-aligned and reoriented our education system? The trades schools, not the universities, should become the centres of excellence so that our people begin to invest in practical skills? Currently, the universities churn out manila warriors, people with no practical skills and are mismatch with the labour market.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, those who are saying, “Hear, hear!” will be very disappointed to learn that my ministry is seriously focusing on skills development. We have already thought through that will amend the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training (TEVET) Act so that the High Education Authority (HEA) will be the only institution with authority over higher education issues. The Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA) will focus on the training. This will ensure quality training. To this effect, we have introduced a skills levy because we want to support as many people as possible.


Sir, let me take advantage of this question to inform this august House that the countries of the world that have turned their economies around did so by focusing on what the cottage industries or what we call small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Zambia. India is one of the countries that is celebrated for growing its economy. The people who do that kind of work are not university graduates, but artisans. To this effect, in 2018, we shall move in that direction.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune (Keembe): Mr Speaker, given that the Government will roll out the loan scheme for universities, and as someone who is experienced in post- and undergraduate training overseas, I wonder the hon. Minister has subsidies on student loans. However, my question is: Given that we will now provide loans, not bursaries, will the Government ensure that financially-disadvantaged, but academically-gifted applicants access things like grants and scholarships? I ask this question because these incentives are provided in the countries to which the hon. Minister has referred.


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


Sir, we have gone beyond what the hon. Member is asking about. That is why I am saying that we need to re-align and reposition our universities better. Those kinds of schemes do not only come from the Government, but also from the private sector and universities, themselves. Our amendment to the Act takes taken care of that.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Fungulwe (Lufwanyama): Mr Speaker, what is the standard qualification for one to lecture in a university? Further, what criterion is used in selecting lecturers in universities?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, the minimum qualification for a person to teach undergraduate students in a university is a master’s degree. A person with a bachelor’s degree cannot be a college lecturer, meaning he or she can lecture those pursuing certificate or diploma programmes.


Sir, as I stated in my statement, one of the TOR for the administrators of the new universities is to assess the quality of lecturers in those institutions. I have also said that only people who have some specified minimum qualifications and demonstrate an ability to development staff will continue occupying certain positions.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kufakwandi (Sesheke Central): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for her statement. It is a good idea to transform some colleges into universities. However, my worry is on the economic aspect. Has the Government assessed whether the economy has sufficient capacity to absorb most of the graduates who will graduate from the universities and colleges?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I think that the issue is not whether we analysed the economy’s ability to absorb the graduates or not. It is, rather, about ending the thinking that people who get diplomas from colleges or degrees from universities need to be employed. In fact, those people, if properly cultured, would understand that they went to a university or a college to be given the tools necessary to go out in the world and start contributing to the economy. That is what will turn our economy around. In Zambia, unfortunately, we think that graduating from college automatically means that one should go to be employed by someone else. That is why the ministry, as one of its reforms, wants students to be trained in both theory and practice by spending nine months in class and three on attachment or three years in class and the last one year on attachment. We also want the universities to inform their students that they do not go to universities or colleges to pass mathematics or biology only, but to be developed holistically as human beings so that when they go into the world, they will be responsible citizens. I do not know how many of you have taken the trouble to go to our universities only to find people saying, “Bama yo, bama yo!”.


Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!




Prof Luo: That is not done at university. There, one has to have a different mentality. These are the changes that we are bringing to our universities.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!








128. Mr Jere (Livingstone) asked the Minister of Local Government:


  1. when the construction of the Town Centre Market in Livingstone would be completed;


  1. what had caused the delay in completing the project;


  1. what the cost of the outstanding works was; and


  1. what the time frame for the completion of the remaining works was.


The Minister of Local Government (Mr Mwale): Mr Speaker, the ministry intends to complete the construction of Livingstone Town Centre Market by December, 2017, subject to availability of funds.


Sir, the delay in completing the project has been caused by inadequate funding for construction of markets in the 2016 Budget.


Sir, the cost of the outstanding works is K23 million and the time frame for completion of the  project is one year after resumption of works.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Jere: Mr Speaker, there was a market that was demolished at the project site. After the demolition, the people who used to trade there were promised that the market would be rebuilt in a specified time frame and they have been patient enough, convinced that the market would be been completed by now because construction started in 2012.


Is the hon. Minister aware that the contractor is not on site?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I am aware that the contractor is not on site for the reasons I have already stated. The contractor is owed some money. So, he cannot continue to be on site because doing so would mean keeping workers and equipment there, and that costs a lot of money. However, once we source the funding, we will ask the contractor to go back on site.


Sir, I know that we promised the people to complete the market within a specified time frame. However, one of the reasons for the delay in completing the project was that we had to make variations. We had to expand the facility.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Jere: Mr Speaker, does the hon. Minister know that the people whose shops were demolished are now claiming compensation?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I am not aware of that. So, my ministry will send officers on the ground to check which agreement the claim is based on because the market is for the people and for the good of the city.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, why did the ministry decided to expand the facility when it knew that there were no resources to complete what was planned for initially?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, we thought that we needed to expand the facility so that we dealt with it once and for all. I believe that the people of Livingstone will appreciate this facility more than the one initially planned. We had to be conclusive.


I thank you, Sir. 


Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, the ministry plans to build markets in other areas, yet there is a market it is failing to complete. In my view, the Town Centre Market in Livingstone is more urgent because people who traded there were momentarily displaced for political expediency.


Sir, this Government wanted to give Livingstone a facelift ahead of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Conference. Why does it not budget for the completion of that market instead of telling us that it will attend to it when funds are available? Is the hon. Minister not aware of the inconvenience that he is causing for the marketeers?


Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, when we started the project in question and many others in different areas, we took it that funds were available at the Ministry of Finance and that the projects would be completed in the stipulated time. However, like Hon. Chitotela said yesterday, all of us know that we have had too many elections in this country in the past few years. 


Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!


Mr Mwale: There were unforeseen occurrences, including falling copper prices and demand on the international market, leading to our collecting less tax, and the drought we had. So, our economic situation got distorted. That was beyond our control, and we were not the only ones affected. To use the common phrase, it was global. Now that things have begun to improve, it is our hope that we will complete those projects and initiate a few more.


I thank you, Sir.




129. Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa) asked the Minister of Justice:


  1. why judicial officers in Kaputa District report to the Luapula Province Administration instead of the Northern Province Administration; and


  1. when that anomaly would be rectified. 


The Minister of Justice (Mr Lubinda): Mr Speaker, Judiciary officers in Kaputa District used to report to the Luapula Province Administration despite the district’s geographical placement in the Northern Province for administrative convenience only. This was because it was a challenge for one to get to Kasama from Kaputa and relatively easier to go Mansa from Kaputa.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I had just started telling the House that judicial officers in Kaputa District had been reporting to the Luapula Province Administration until very recently for administrative convenience only.


Sir, the road between Kasama, which is the Provincial Headquarters of the Northern Province, and Kaputa District was impassable while the one from Kaputa to Mansa was much better. Additionally workers from many other Government departments in Kaputa reported to Mansa instead of Kasama, not only judiciary workers.


Sir, as for the second part of the question, I would like to inform the House and the people of Kaputa that after we got the query from the hon. Member of Parliament, the Judiciary instructed officers in Kaputa district to start reporting to the Northern Province Administration because the road has now significantly better because of the hard work of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lubinda: I therefore, like to assure the hon. Member and also the people of that areas generally that most Government departments in Kaputa and the surrounding districts will now be instructed to report directly to Kasama and not Mansa.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for this assurance and for what has been done. However, following the realignment in the reporting arrangement, Kaputa has had no magistrate since July, 2016. Would the hon. Minister be kind enough to inform the people of Kaputa when they will get a magistrate to deal with the backlog of pending cases, as per our request.


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that question. It shows that he is very concerned about the plight of the people he represents because the questions he asks are meant to help his people.


Sir, let me remind my Hon. Colleague that when I presented the budget for the Judiciary in December, 2016, I indicated that we were concerned about the inadequate number of magistrates across the country, and Kaputa is one of the district that does not have a magistrate. I am not able to specify a date, but I assure the hon. Member that a magistrate will be deployed to Kaputa in due course. I also encourage him to continue knocking on my door so that this does not slip off my mind. When magistrates are employed, we want to ensure that one is provided for the people of Kaputa.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!




130. Mr Mumba (Chama North) (on behalf ofMr Mung’andu ((Chama South) asked the Minister of General Education:


  1. when the following schools in Chama South Parliamentary Constituency would be electrified to enhance the learning environment:


  1. Kamilala Boarding Secondary;


  1. Chikwa Day High School; and


  1. Chitheba Day High School;


  1. what the time frame for electrifying each school was; and


  1. what the total cost of the project was.


The Minister in the Office of the Vice-President (Ms Chalikosa) (on behalf ofthe MinisterofGeneral Education(Dr Wanchinga)): Mr Speaker, the Kamilala Boarding Secondary School to which the hon. Member refers is officially recorded as Chama South Boarding Secondary. The school has been provided with a electricity generator by the Government.


Sir, Chikwa and Chitheba day secondary schools will be electrified or provided with generators after they are fully constructed. In the meantime, there are plans to provide them with solar panels with the capacity to meet their electricity demands.


Mr Speaker, the schools will be electrified by the end of 2017.


Sir, the cost of the project cannot be indicated now, as it will be known only when the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) gives us quotations after we submit an application.


 I thank you, Sir.


Ms Chonya (Kafue): Mr Speaker, does the Government have a programme for electrifying the schools under construction when completed? To me, it appears that the electrification programme is left to the schools, which are poorly funded.


 Ms Chalikosa: Mr Speaker, the electrification programme is dependent on the completion of the construction of the schools. Yes, the ministry will electrify the schools once they have been constructed. This will be done in phases, depending on the availability funds.


 Mr Speaker, I thank you.




131. Mr Kabanda (Serenje) asked the Minister of Health:


  1. when the Government would construct the following infrastructure at the new Serenje District Hospital:


  1. Mortuary;


  1. Mothers’ shelter; and


  1. Kitchen;


  1. when beds would be procured for the hospital; and


  1. when additional medical staff would be deployed to the hospital.


The Minister of Higher Education(Prof. Luo) (on behalf ofthe Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya)): Mr Speaker, New Serenje District Hospital already has a mortuary and kitchen while the mothers’ shelter is currently not one of the structures to be constructed under the current scope.


Sir, the ministry procured beds for various hospitals in 2016, of which fifty beds and fifty bedside lockers have been delivered so New Serenje District Hospital.


Mr Speaker, in 2017, the ministry has deployed the following health workers to New Serenje District Hospital:


Category                                             Number


Radiographers                                          1


Dentists                                                     2


Clinical Officers                                       4


Nutritionist                                               2


Pharmacy Technologists                          1


Nurses                                                       8


Medical laboratory technologist              3


Total                                                         21


Mr Speaker, I thank you.     


Mr Kabanda: Mr Speaker, why is the New Serenje Hospital Mortuary not functional?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, we will send a bio-medical technologist tomorrow to go and assess the reasons that mortuary is not functioning. Otherwise, the ministry has not received any reports of the mortuary not working. If it is not functional, yet the head of that institution, who is supposed to notify the ministry, has not informed us, then, we will take it as a failure of leadership.


I thank you, Sir.




132. Mr Kasandwe (Bangweulu) asked the Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection:


  1. when the water reticulation project in Samfya District would commence;


  1. what had caused the delay in commencing the project; and


  1. what the estimated time frame for the completion of the project was.


The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Ms Mulenga)(on behalf ofthe Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection) (Mr Kaziya): Mr Speaker, allow me to start by congratulating Under-20 National Football Team for the superb performance they put up yesterday, and the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) for broadcasting live the matches of the on-going tournament.


Mr Speaker, the water supply and sanitation project in Samfya is expected to commence once the Government signs the loan agreement with the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the Small Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Project. In November, 2016, the AfDB Board of Directors approved a US$135 million loan to finance the implementation of a water supply and sanitation project in selected urban areas of the Western and Luapula provinces and the Chambeshi Water and Sewerage Company, which services districts that include Samfya.


Sir, there are no expected delays in the implementation of the project, as all preliminary activities are on course.


Sir, the estimated time frame for the completion of the project is three years after the disbursement of funds, which is subject to all the conditions precedence to the loan agreement being met.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.




133. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare what measures the Government had taken to reduce the number of disabled persons begging on the streets of Lusaka.


The Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare (Mrs Kabanshi): Mr Speaker, the ministry, in collaboration with the Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities (ZAPD), has put in place the following measures to reduce the number of persons with disabilities begging on the streets of Lusaka:


  1. in 2016, the ministry, through the ZAPD, repatriated over 100 persons with disabilities to various destinations in the country;


  1. in 2016, five groups of persons with disabilities in Lusaka were empowered with K5,000 per group to enable them engage in income-generating activities and twenty-eight individuals were empowered with funds for farming;


  1. the ZAPD provides education support to persons with disabilities both at the secondary and tertiary levels. In Lusaka, 1,000 learners were supported; and


  1. the ZAPD sensitises people on the dangers of begging on the streets.


Mr Speaker, the ministry has put more people living with disabilities on the Social Cash Transfer Scheme (SCTS) in Lusaka. Further, the disabled get double what other people on the programme get because of the extra costs they incur in their day-to-day social interaction.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, some of the disabled people move around town naked, especially along Mumbwa Road. Has the ministry taken time to talk to them to know their problems and why they are on the streets?


Mrs Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, the principal question is on disabled people in Lusaka while the people to whom he has referred in the follow-up questions are those with mental disabilities. However, I will still answer him.


Sir, the ministry, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, is ensuring that the mentally ill are taken care of, and the Ministry of Health is coming developing a policy on how this issue will be handled. Our sister ministry does its best, but we need to work together to help those people to adhere to the treatment they receive from health institutions in their communities because the Ministry of Health does not have the capacity to follow them everywhere. That is the reason some of them are found walking about on the streets naked


I thank you, Mr Speaker.




134. Mr Jere (Livingstone) asked the Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development:


  1. when construction of a modern stadium in Livingstone would commence;


  1. what had caused the delay in commencing the project;


  1. what the time frame for the completion of the project was; and


  1. what the estimated cost of the project was.


The Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development (Mr Mawere): Mr Speaker, the Government is still committed to constructing a modern stadium in Livingstone through a public-private partnership (PPP). The project will commence as soon as the Government gets a partner to finance the project.


Sir, the project has not commenced because the Government has not yet found a partner to fund it.


Mr Speaker, the time frame for completion will depend on a number of factors that will include the design and financing plan.


Sir, the cost will only be known once the design has been agreed upon.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Jere: Mr Speaker, Livingstone now has an international airport where big planes can land and its people were excited when the former President, Mr Rupiah Banda, announced that the Government would build a stadium in the city after building the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola. One of the reasons for that is that we expect the people who would go there for football to also have an opportunity to view one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Victoria Falls. How soon will the ministry find a partner so that the stadium can be constructed?


Mr Mawere: Mr Speaker, sport, especially football, has become a very big business venture the world over, and Zambia has recognised it as such. However, when it comes to the business side of it, we want to encourage the private sector to take advantage of the enabling environment that the Government has provided. It is in the same spirit that the Government has invited the private sector to partner it in building a stadium in Livingstone.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, so far, the Government has failed to find a partner and there is no indication to suggest that it will any time soon. Why does it not consider using the model that was used during our administration to build the Levy Mwanawasa and National Heroes Stadia, that is, by means of a loan, in that case, one from the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of China?


Mr Mawere: Mr Speaker, the Government does not want to continue getting loans from co-operating partners. Instead, it wants the private sector to take advantage of the enabling environment and be part of these business ventures. Like I said, sport, especially football, has become a very big business venture, and we want the private sector to take advantage of that and maximise profit from it.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, since the construction of the stadium in Livingstone will depend on the Government finding a private partner, what is the Government doing to find that partner? How is it looking for that partner?


Mr Mawere: Mr Speaker, we have engaged potential investors and are awaiting their responses.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, has there been a policy a shift on the construction of stadia in the country, a matter on which the Government has made several pronouncements in this House? In fact, in Mongu, there was a ground-breaking ceremony for a similar project.


Mr Mawere: Mr Speaker, the Government has not shifted its position on the way it will construct stadia in Zambia. However, we want almost every province to have a modern stadium very quickly. So, we want to use the route we have now proposed so that we speed up that process.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, reference was made to the mode used in the construction of the stadia in Ndola stadium and Lusaka after which you were asked whether you are shifting from it?


Mr Mawere: Mr Speaker, we have not changed our approach. We are just encouraging the private sector to come on board and take advantage of the enabling environment we have put in place as a Government.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, stadia cost millions of United States Dollars to construct. Has the hon. Minister done some market research on whether a small town like Livingstone can have a sufficient volume of business to attract a private person to invest millions of dollars with the definite hope of recouping his or her investments in his lifetime? Is the hon. Minister sure that the mode he is proposing is viable?


Mr Mawere: Mr Speaker, I have not done such research yet, but I feel that at the rate sport, especially football, is becoming very attractive, many business institutions are willing to invest their monies in sport infrastructure. I also feel that Livingstone, being a tourist centre, is a viable place for that kind of a business.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo): Mr Speaker, if I heard correctly, the hon. Minister said that the ministry was discussing the issue with co-operating partners. How many co-operating partners have shown interest in building stadia in Livingstone, Mongu and other provincial headquarters?


Mr Mawere: Mr Speaker, I have not referred to any discussion with any particular partner. What I said is that we have floated the idea to potential partners we have identified.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said there is no policy shift in the construction of stadia. In an event that the co-operating partners do not come forth, for how long will he sit in his office and wait for the stadia to be built?


Mr Mawere: Mr Speaker, for now, we have taken that route. At the appropriate time, we will review our position if it will become necessary to do so.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, if the environment that the Government has created to attract private investors does not yield results, will the Government get back to the old way building stadia?


Mr Mawere: Mr Speaker, we are still using the same model. We are just encouraging the private sector to take advantage of the enabling environment. 


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, the question is: Assuming the option you are pursuing now fails, will you revert to the one you used to build the stadia in Ndola and Lusaka?


Mr Mawere: Mr Speaker, it is very difficult for the Government to work on assumptions. However, I am sure that at an appropriate time, we will be able to go the way we went with the construction of the Levy Mwanawasa and Heroes National stadia.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, what, on average, is the cost of constructing a stadium in Livingstone?


Mr Mawere: Mr Speaker, it is very difficult for me to give an estimate now because the costs differ according to design and size of the stadium one wants to construct.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that he cannot work on assumption. Is he not working on the assumption that the private will, at some point, come on board and partner the Government in these projects?


Mr Mawere: Mr Speaker, as I have already said, the Government does not work on assumptions. So, I will not take that path.


Thank you, Sir.


Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




135. Mr Kasandwe asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


  1. whether the Government had any plan to upgrade to bituminous standard the Kalubanshi/Milenge Road in Bangweulu Parliamentary Constituency;


  1. if so, when the plan would be implemented; and


  1. if there was no such plans, why?


The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Chitotela): Mr Speaker, the Kalubanshi Road in Bangweulu Constituency is part of the Kasanka/Milenge Road, which is on the Road Sector Annual Work Plan for 2017. We floated the tender under unsolicited proposal for execution by contractor-facilitated initiative (CFI) model. We have since received the proposal and are currently reviewing it.


Sir, we plan to implement the project once we finish the reviewing the proposal we have received.


Thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Kasandwe: Mr Speaker, in its plans, has the Government considered connecting the road from Milenge to Misundu in Ndola? As he is aware, the distance from Milenge to Mansa, Provincial Headquarters, is about 200 km while Milenge to Misundu is only 130 km?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, for now, we are considering the road from Kasanka to Milenge Boma so that we can ease the movement of people, goods and services in that area. Of course, it would be a shorter route to get to the Copperbelt via Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). However, international laws stipulate that we engage our counterparts in the DRC before we can implement such a project. The idea is prudent. So, we can consider it and engage our brothers in the DRC on it.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mbulakulima (Milenge): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that brilliant answer.




Mr Mbulakulima: However, as we speak, the road is almost impassable. So, while we await that beautiful outcome he has projected, …




Mr Mbulakulima: … is it possible for him to do some interim works to enable goods and services to reach my district?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, as a concerned Government, we have released funds to the Luapula Province Administration for emergency road works and spot improvement so that the people of Milenge are not cut off completely. Soon, I will liaise with the Provincial Minister to ensure that some of that money is allocated to that part of the road.


Thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, on a light note, Hon. Mbulakulima has made our day here because he has demonstrated what people become when they go to the other side.




Mr Mbulakulimarose on a point of order.


Hon. Opposition Members:Iwe,sit down!




Mr Mwiimbu: That was a compliment. You are beautiful!




Mr Mweetwa: Sir, I am very concerned for the people of Milenge and want the Kasanka/Milenge Road to be worked on. Asking on behalf of the people of Milenge, is there a realistic chance of the hon. Minister and his Government upgrading that road to bituminous standard as he has alleged, given that there many projects that his ministry has assured this House that it will implement? For instance, the contractors for township roads in Mazabuka, Choma and many towns have demobilised. Is there a realistic chance that the people of Milenge will see that road worked on despite the Government’s failure to complete other road projects in the past?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I do not want to go cross-country speaking on projects in Mazabuka or Monze. I will restrict myself to Milenge.


Sir, I assure the people of Milenge that this working Government of the Patriotic Front (PF) …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chitotela: … has decided to upgrade Kasanka/Milenge Road in Luapula Province to bituminous standard this year. As soon as all the procurement processes are concluded, the contractor will move on site and the people of Milenge will, finally, have a bituminous-standard road being built by this Government.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the Government assurance that has been made by the hon. Minister on the Floor of this House.


Mr Mwiimbu: However, let me remind him that he, the hon. Minister of Finance and the President …


Mr Mweetwa: Yes!


Mr Mwiimbu: … have all state that the Government would not implement any new projects until all the projects currently under implementation have been ongoing completed. That is in conflict with his assurance to the people of Milenge that the road will be worked on this year.




Mr Mwiimbu: Unless he is telling us that all the current projects will be completed by next year in time for that new road to be worked on.


Mr Mweetwa: Hear, hear!


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I know Hon. Jack Mwiimbu, the Member of Parliament for Monze Central, wants to provoke me into giving him a catalogue of all the projects we are implementing or have implemented. However, I will restrict myself to the Kasanka/Milenge Road because for now. As a Government, we stand by all our pronouncements, and I will issue a statement on the status of the road sector in Zambia.


Mr Speaker, the Kasanka/Milenge Road project is not a new one, as it has been on our plans and we even advertised it last year. So far, two companies have expressed interest under unsolicited bids and after a review of the companies, we picked one that we felt could execute the works at the end of last year.


Sir, let me also want to correct the notion that we will be able to complete the road this year. It is practically impossible to tar a road in one fiscal year.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I take solace in the saying that the last shall be first.


Sir, the hon. Minister is aware that the Government is bound by collective responsibility. When the hon. Minister of Finance comes to make a pronouncement, it is assumed that it is based on fact, including when he made the statement on the austerity measures that the Government has implemented, in which he declared that new projects would only be funded after projects under implementation were completed. An example of a project pending completion was the one on the Mazabuka township roads, which had already been gravelled and were just about to be covered in bitumen. Now, the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development seems to be at odds with what the hon. Minister of Finance said. Can he say, in no uncertain terms, that there are some roads, such as the Kasanka/Milenge Road, that the Government will implement even if they are currently not ongoing?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, the speech by the hon. Minister of Finance is a consolidation of various ministries. If the hon. Member for Mazabuka would care to remember, the hon. Minister of Finance allocated K8.6 billion to the road sector in 2016. We submitted a number of road projects that we would continue implementing under the CFI, which would constitute K3.7 billion of the K8.6 billion.


Sir, as I have stated, there is no departure between the statements I have made today and those I have made in the past.I still maintain that all on-going infrastructure development projects will be completed before we embark on new ones, and I stated a while ago that the Kasanka/Milenge Road is not a new project.The procurement process can start in one year and be concluded in the next. The year in which the works start is not necessarily the starting point of a project.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




136   Mr Hamusonde asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


  1. when construction works on Mumbwa Road from the Lumumba Road Junction to Garden House Hotel would be completed; and


  1. what had caused the delay in completing the project.


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, the construction works on 9.4 km of Mumbwa Road from the Lumumba Junction to Garden House Hotel are substantially complete and the road, which has since been opened, was handed over to the RDA on 7th December, 2016.


Sir, what caused the delay in the completion of the project was the relocation of service lines for the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) and telecommunication companies.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, the contractor used decollated polesinstead of centre line poles,which have since been destroyed on the stretch from Lumumba Road to Premium Oil. Could the hon. Minister find out why the contractor, who has to redo the works, did not do a good job?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, like the hon. Member for Nangoma, the RDA and other stakeholders observed that the contractor did a bad job and because it was within the defect liability period, the contractor moved back on site and worked at his own expense.


Sir, we need to be vigilant and ensure that we get value for money by identifying defects in projects within the one year defect liability period so that the contractors can amend them.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, that project is commendable, as the road has been turned into a two-lane one, which has improved traffic flow tremendously. However, the furniture on the road appears not ready for use. The concrete borders in the middle do not have reflectors and that is causing vehicles to hit into them. Further, the streetlights were installed, but not switched on. When will indicators be placed on the concrete borders so that motorists can see them at night? Further, when will the streetlights be switched on?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, the challenge we have on that stretch of the road is vandalism. When the contractor handed the road over, he had put all the road signage, but people started removing them. So, let me just say that we will continue monitoring the road and sensitising our community not to tamper with the road signage.


Sir, we are putting streetlights on all the newly-built roads in Lusaka and the contractor for that road will soon install the lights there as well. That is why I said the road was substantially complete, not 100 per cent complete. We still have to put street lights and ensure that they are all working before we can declare the road 100 per cent complete.


Mr Speaker, in order to create a sense of responsibility, maybe, we should come up with punitive measures for those who crash into streetlights. For example, a person who damages a streetlight should pay for its restoration. If you drive during the weekend, you find many streetlights that have been crashed into by motorists.


Sir, I assure the people of Lusaka West that we shall soon put the streetlights on the road. However, we call for responsible behaviour from road users so that the benefits from the investment in the road sector are sustained.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I want to complement the question asked by the hon. Member for Mbala because I feel the hon. Minister has not addressed one critical component of it.


Sir, the hon. Member for Mbala lamented the lack of reflectors on the barriers and I believe that even if there are streetlights, for as long as there are no reflectors on the barriers, motorists will continue hitting into the barriers and having accidents. Are the vandals to blame for the lack of reflectors?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I said that the reflectors were put, but the people in the area have been removing them. Some people remove, polish and sell them to other people to whom they claim they are precious stones. These conmen are taking advantage of the people, who do not know that they are actually buying reflectors. We will, therefore, quickly replace all vandalised reflectors and sensitise our people to change their mindset and the practice of saying,“This is Government property”,because public infrastructure is our property. That mentality will not help us at all. We must treasure all public infrastructures and take the responsibility of teaching our fellow citizens that vandalism of public infrastructure will not add value to the economy of this country.


I thank you, Sir.




137. Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central) asked the Minister of Fisheries and Livestock:


  1. when an artificial insemination machine would be procured for the Artificial Insemination Centre in Kalomo District;


  1. what the cost of procuring and developing the machine was; and


  1. what had caused the delay in procuring the machine.


The Minister of Fisheries and Livestock (Mr Katambo): Mr Speaker, the ministry has two artificial insemination centres (AICs). One is at the National Artificial Insemination Services (NAIS) in Mazabuka while the other is at the Centre for Veterinary Research Institute (CVRI) in Lusaka. The purpose of the centres is to collect and process bull semen for distribution to satellite artificial insemination centres (SAICs) across the country.


Sir, the collection of bull semen is done using specialised equipment installed at the main centres in Lusaka and Mazabuka, which also have plants for production of liquid nitrogen. Unfortunately, the plant in Mazabuka is small and has a limited capacity to supply liquid nitrogen to satellite centres.


Mr Speaker, the two main centres supply processed semen and liquid nitrogen to six SAICs located in Chibombo, Ndola, Solwezi, Kabwe, Mapepe, Kalomo and Choma. The satellite centres are responsible for the co-ordination of artificial insemination (AI) activities in areas they are designated to service. Theactivities of SAICs include storage of bull semen and liquid nitrogen for use by the local farmers, and providing AI services. May I also take this opportunity to inform this august House that only the Mapepe and Choma SAICs are fully operational. The ministry is in the process of fully operationalising the other centres by procuring and installing basic AI equipment, such as storage tanks for liquid nitrogen and bull semen,tanks for moving semen to outer stations and breeding boxes, which are artificial insemination kits (AIKs). The Government is also in the process of constructing infrastructure to house these facilities and offices accommodation for officers who will operate them. It will also procure motorcycles and deploy suitably-qualified officers to provide AI services in the designated areas.


Sir, the Government has no plan of procuring an artificial insemination machine (AIM) for the SAIC in Kalomo District and similar centres because they do not require it for their operations. However, I am pleased to inform the House that the Government has completed the construction of infrastructure that houses the equipment and an office. It has also procured a motorcycle for the centre and is in the process of procuring basic equipment required for the centre’s operations.


Mr Speaker, as stated above, a satellite centre does not require an AIM for its operations. Therefore, no money will be spent on procuring and delivering the machine to the SAIC in Kalomo District. However, the cost of procuring tanks for liquid nitrogen, semen storage and movement of semen to outer stations, and a breeding box (AIK) is currently about K20,000.


Sir, let me take this opportunity to clarify to the people of Kalomo District that the delay in operationalising their centre has not been due to the procurement of an AIM, but rather due to lengthy processes for procurement of AI equipment and identifying suitably-qualified officers to provide AI services at the centres, and limited supply of liquid nitrogen from the NAIS in Mazabuka. To address these challenges, the ministry has allocated K10 million to the procurement and installation of a bigger nitrogen plant in Mazabuka in the 2017 Budget. That will facilitate constant supply of liquid nitrogen to all AICs in the Southern Province and other satellite centres across the country.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ng’ambi (Chifubu): Mr Speaker, I commend the hon. Minister for the robust plan to increase the production of animals in the country. That said, does the ministry have intentions of procuring similar machines for the Copperbelt Province and Ndola, in particular, where there are farmers engaged in animal production?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, our intention for all the centres in the districts to have tanks for liquid nitrogen, including Ndola.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kamboni: Mr Speaker, in Kalomo, the building where the AI accessories are supposed to be kept was built some years back, but the accessories have not been provided yet. Granted, we know that the main centre is in Mazabuka. However, the centre in Kalomo to get services from the main centre, it needs some accessories. When will those accessories be provided so that the centre can provide the service for which it was intended?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, the ministry is training officers in providing AI services to our various famers, including in Kalomo. We have also procured breeding boxes for the centres, again, including the one in Kalomo. That process is on course. Further, as indicated in the Budget, we will procure a motor vehicle equipped with an AI tank for delivering liquid nitrogen to all satellite centres, among them Kalomo. So, I assure the hon. Member that will be done.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, what is the time frame for the provision of accessories to breeding centres, considering that liquid nitrogen is what enables the semen to be kept below a certain temperature for it to be effective?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, as I said, we are in the process of procuring a vehicle that will be delivering liquid nitrogen to various satellite centres, including Kalomo. That will be done as soon as resources are made available to the ministry. As I have indicated, again, in the Budget for 2017, K10 million has been allocated to the issues the hon. Member of Parliament has raised.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Chonya: Mr Speaker, I have listened to the challenges that the hon. Minister has said exist in the procurement of liquid nitrogen. Can the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) not be an option for the supply that product?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, the recommended supplier of liquid nitrogen is BOC Gases. However, if the nitrogen plant in Kafue also produces the liquid nitrogen, the ministry can work out the best way of using it to supply nearby places.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.








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


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1802 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 3rd March, 2017.