Tuesday, 20th December, 2016

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Tuesday, 20th December, 2016


The House met at 0900 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












59. Mr Kafwaya (Lunte) asked the Minister of General Education:


(a)when the construction of additional classroom blocks at Kapatu Mission High School in Lunte Parliamentary Constituency would be completed;


(b)what had caused the delay in completing the project; and


(c)what the total cost of the project was.


The Minister of General Education (Dr Wanchinga): Mr Speaker, Kapatu Mission High School is run by the Catholic Church and the project in question was initiated by the church. However, this is a school which benefits from Government grants. The delay in completing the project at the school is probably due to the cash flow within the church itself. On our part as the Ministry of General Education, we have been unable to assist the school due to lack of finances. We are hoping that in the coming year we will be able to give the usual grant to the school. The total cost of the project is K480,000.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kafwaya: Mr Speaker, save for Lubushi Secondary School, Lunte has for a long time not had another secondary school in the centre of the constituency, which is so vast. In the recent years, we have had Lunte Technical School constructed and operationalised, thanks to the hon. Minister of Finance, who was the area hon. Member of Parliament. Now, Kapatu Mission High School is in the very centre like Mukupa Kaoma and Mose, all of which have been upgraded. However, some of these schools have about 100 pupils in one classroom. So I am just concerned that if …


Mr Speaker: What is your question?


Mr Kafwaya: Mr Speaker, we have to make sure we construct classrooms in order to help pupils to learn in a decent environment. Therefore, when is the ministry planning to make sure that the K480,000 for that project is included in the National Budget as well as the funds for classrooms at Mukupa Kaoma, Mose and Shibwalya Kapila?


Dr Wanchinga: Mr Speaker, like I said, this is a school run by the Catholic Church itself. The church would perhaps be best placed to answer that question. However, on our part as the Ministry of General Education, we can only say that we will be able to assist the school next year under the new allocation for the ministry.


I thank you very much, Mr Speaker,


Ms Mwashingwele (Katuba): Mr Speaker, is the ministry ensuring that the construction of Kapatu Mission High School will include the three cardinal laboratories that are generally missing in other schools? These are the computer, general science and home economics laboratories.


Dr Wanchinga: Mr Speaker, like I said, this is a project by the Catholic Church. However, the Ministry of General Education is very much concerned and we want to ensure that every school that operates as a secondary school has a laboratory and home economics and skills workshops. That is why the ministry appropriates some grants to assist these institutions ensure that such facilities are put in place.


Sir, let me hasten to add that the ministry is currently concentrating on completing those structures which have already been commenced and new works in terms of infrastructure is something that will be looked at later. Let me also mention that this is something that our new Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development will be able to look at in the new year.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.




60. Mr D. Mumba (Chama North) asked the Minister of Health when the following additional medical staff would be deployed to Chama District Hospital:


(a)medical doctors;


(b)clinical officers;


(c)nurses; and


(d)environmental health technicians.


The Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, the deployment of medical staff in the Ministry of Health is an ongoing activity. The following additional staff is scheduled to be posted to Chama District Hospital:


Cadre                                                           Number


Doctors                                                        1

Clinical officers                                            5

Registered Nurses                                        16

Midwives                                                     1

Environmental health technologists             2

Pharmacy technologists                               1

Laboratory technologists                             4

Dental technologists                                    1

Physiotherapists                                           1

Radiographers                                              1


Total                                                             33


Mr Speaker, I thank you.










The Minister of Finance (Mr Mutati): Mr Speaker, I beg to present a Bill entitled the Excess Expenditure Appropriation Bill, 2016, to approve the excess expenditure of seven billion, four hundred and three million, seven hundred thousand kwacha (K7,403,700,000).  


Second Reading today.




VALUE ADDED TAX (Amendment) BILL, 2016


Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.


Mr Speaker, the Bill before this House is seeking to provide for the appointment of tax payers as agents to withhold Value Added Tax (VAT) on payments for supply of goods and services to curb revenue leakages and abolish the Value Added Tax (VAT) Group Registration Scheme to reduce the challenges in the risk profile of individual group members.


Sir, the Bill also seeks to change the validity period of an input tax claim invoice to three months from six months. The Bill further provides for the change of the due dates for filing of returns and payment of VAT.


Mr Speaker, this Bill is straightforward and I commend it to the House.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, in line with its terms of reference, as set out in the Standing Orders, your Committee was tasked to scrutinise the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill No. 42 of 2016.


Sir, in its quest to appreciate the ramifications of the Bill, your Committee interacted with various stakeholders who tendered both written and oral submissions. The object of the Bill is to amend the Value Added Tax Act so as to provide for:


  1. the appointment of tax payers as agents to withhold VAT on payments for the supply of goods and services;


  1. abolishing of the Value Added Tax Group Registration Scheme;
  2. the change of the validity period of an input tax claim to three months;


  1. the change of the due date for filing of returns and payment of tax; and


  1. matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.


Mr Speaker, premised on the above, allow me to highlight a few pertinent issues that emanated from your Committee’s interactions with the various stakeholders during its deliberations. 


Sir, various concerns were raised regarding the proposed Bill. Most stakeholders bemoaned the proposal to reduce the period to reclaim input VAT from six to three months. While acknowledging that this reduction will increase collections by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), they submitted that most businesses will not be able claim input VAT during the proposed period. They argued that most businesses in Zambia were not conducted on a cash basis. In some instances, manufactures for goods and services give payment terms to their customers ranging from thirty to ninety days. Further, the statements are also made based on the date the sale was made. They argued that if this proposal was implemented, it means that companies will not be able to claim input VAT because the payment period was longer than what was being anticipated.


Your Committee, therefore, recommends that efficient and effective tax systems be put in place to ensure that companies meet the deadlines. It is the view of your Committee that efficient and effective tax systems will help to curb the tax evasion scourge. Furthermore, an effective tax system will also help to stop abuse and inefficiencies that result in multiple claims of input VAT by some businesses on the same receipts during the validity period.


Mr Speaker, the stakeholders were also concerned about the proposal to change the deadline for filing VAT returns and payment from the 21st to 16th of every month. It was observed that most businesses did not have efficient and effective tax systems that would enable them meet the proposed deadline. The stakeholders felt that this proposal will increase the cost of doing business because companies will need to acquire and invest in new systems. In this vein, your Committee urges the Government to consult with businesses in the country extensively and if need be, in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region as well in order to make an informed decision. If will not be done, your Committee foresees a situation where non compliance from businesses will increase.


Your Committee supports the measure to introduce tax payers as agents to withhold VAT on payments for goods and services so as to be able to collect tax as source. This measure will go a long way in helping the Government collect tax through ZRA. However, your Committee wonders what criterion the Government is going to use to select tax agents to ensure that this proposal is successful and that the tax collected is remitted to ZRA. In this regard, your Committee recommends that the Government makes it mandatory for all agents to use electronic fiscal devices which will ensure real time monitoring of business transactions. This will help the Government to ascertain the credibility of all tax agents and ensure that all the withheld tax is remitted to ZRA.


Sir, as I conclude, I would like to emphasise that the onus is on the Government to raise the much needed revenue by ensuring that it puts in place stringent measures that will compel tax agents to remit the withheld tax to ZRA and to implement all the proposed measures. If not, all these measures will remain a pipe dream.


Mr Speaker, let me end my debate by thanking all the stakeholders who appeared before your Committee for their invaluable contribution. Your Committee also appreciates the services rendered by the office of the Clerk during its deliberations. Last but not the least, allow me to thank you for according your Committee an opportunity to scrutinise this Bill.


I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, I will be very brief. I have only one concern that I want the hon. Minister to respond to concerning the agents collecting Value Added Tax (VAT) at source before they pay the suppliers of goods and contractors.


Mr Speaker, we already know that at the moment, the Government is finding it very difficult to refund VAT input to mining companies. If the Government starts collecting VAT through agents, what assurance do we have that input VAT for small scale businessmen will be refunded by the Government? As the situation stands, it is very easy because when you are remitting your VAT returns, you minus your input VAT. If the Government cannot pay big corporate companies like mining companies, what assurance do we have that when these agents collect VAT at source, the Government will meet its obligations to pay the input VAT to the small scale entrepreneurs, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)? I can see a situation where most of the SMEs are going to fold up because their capital will be held up by the Government in form of VAT refunds. Their operations will be affected very much. Already, mining companies which are very big have been affected by this problem of their VAT refunds being held up by the Government to the extent that some of them are not paying their suppliers and employees stating that it is because they have not been given their VAT returns.


Mr Speaker, I want the hon. Minister to come clear on that. Otherwise, I support the Bill.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the Committee for the work they have done and for supporting the Bill except for two concerns that have been raised.


Sir, in response, I will combine the concern that has been raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Roan and that which was also raised by the Chairperson of the Committee. This relates to the appointment of suppliers as agents to collect Value Added Tax (VAT) on behalf of Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA).


Mr Speaker, in most cases, the challenge that we have had whenever those supplying particularly to the mining companies have been paid their dues, but in almost 80 per cent of situations, they do not remit the VAT component. So, what we are doing now is that the mining company will recover that at source. When the Small Medium Enterprise (SME) is making the returns to ZRA, they will indicate in that return the amount of VAT that has been held at source. That will improve cash flow.


Sir, in terms of confirmation whether we shall be up to date in the refunds, particularly to the mining companies, the answer is yes. So far, we have made significant improvements and we are only two months behind from six months. By the end of the year, our target is that on the current returns, we shall be 100 per cent.


Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the hon. Members that before the end of this year, we are agreeing on issues of liability relating VAT Rule 18 and agree how we are going to repay this accumulated liability.


With regards to those that we are going to appoint, I wish to inform the House that we shall carefully select those that we are going to appoint and these include the mining houses and the big payers such as the National Rural Fund Agency (NRFA), Food Reserve Agency (FRA), where there are massive volumes of transactions.


However, what we have seen particularly with contractors is that when they get their payment, they do not pay their VAT and they indicate to ZRA that they have not been paid their dues. So, that disease is going to be cured.


The second issue of concern is the submission of the returns which has been cut from twenty-one days to sixteen days.


Sir, the other issue which has been raised concerning the industries and the various stakeholders that they do not have efficient systems to be able to coup and make the returns by the sixteenth of the following month, I wish to state that, if they are carrying on business, efficiency in accounting should be their primary reserve. They should be able to account as quickly as possible. So we cannot transfer that inefficiency from the private sector to the Government sector.


Mr Speaker, on the issue of claiming VAT and the reduction from six months to three months, I wish to inform this House that we believe that it will be positive for the cash flow for ZRA so that we are able to pay the SMEs on time. The extension of six months period was creating a tremendous cash flow problem particularly for SMEs in terms of VAT refund. The reduction will help in ensuring that that the liquidity circulates and we are able to pay the SMEs their VAT refunds on time. That was the primary intention because the SMEs continuously complained of the delays in the VAT repayments.


So, Mr Speaker, we have taken everything into account and ZRA is going to administer some of these issues. Where there are specific challenges, ZRA will consider those that are first.


Mr Speaker, I beg to move.


Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.


Committed to a committee of the Whole House.


Committee today.




Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.


Sir, the Bill before this House is principally seeking to amend the Income Tax Act to provide for:


  1. the increase of the Pay As You Earn tax free threshold for individuals from K36,000 to K39,600 per annum;


  1. increase the PAYE to marginal tax rate from 35 per cent to 37.5 per cent;


  1. to make it mandatory for all financial institutions to facilitate the acquisition of a taxpayer identification number by an account holder;


  1. provide for the Kwacha/United States Dollar exchange rate to be used in translating books of accounts;


  1. make it mandatory for a person changing ownership of a motor vehicle to obtain a tax clearance certificate;


  1. revise the turnover tax regime for persons carrying on business with an annual turnover of K800,000 or less;


  1. increase the tax rate for the advance income tax from six per cent to fifteen per cent;


  1. extend the charge of tax on rental income to statutory bodies;


  1. allow deductions on the skills development levy as an expense; and


  1. provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the forgoing.


Sir, this Bill is straightforward and I commit it to the House.


Mr Speaker, I beg to move.


Mr Speaker: May we have some silence, there are too many conversations going on.


Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, the Committee was tasked to scrutinise the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, National Assembly Bill, No. 43 of 2016. The Bill seeks to amend the Income Tax Act so as to give legal effect to the measures contained in the 2017 Budget Address presented to the National Assembly in November 2016, by the Minister of Finance.


Sir, I am confident that the Members have read your Committee’s report and are therefore familiar with the object of this Bill which is clearly outlined therein.


Mr Speaker, in order to broaden its understanding of the ramifications of the Bill, the Committee invited various stakeholders to appear it to make written and oral submissions. The stakeholders supported the Bill, however, they raised a few concerns which I now highlight.

Sir, some stakeholders stated that the proposed measure to make it mandatory for financial institutions to obtain a tax payer identification number from any person opening an account or holding an account with a financial institution was a matter of concern. The stakeholders feared that the measure might discourage some people, especially those in the rural areas, from using banking services, thereby, negatively affecting the saving culture among our people. Another concern that was raised related to the proposal to extend the charge of tax on rental income to statutory bodies. The stakeholders observed that the rental yields for some statutory bodies would be reduced by 10 per cent resulting into low return on investment and making investment in real estate unattractive. Some stakeholders suggested that the Government should reconsider the measure and allow statutory bodies to continue being exempted from paying tax on rental income.


Mr Speaker, some stakeholders also expressed concern about the proposed increase of the rate of tax for the Advance Income Tax from 6 per cent to 15 per cent. They were worried that the measure would increase the cost of doing business by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), reduce the funds that firms use for investment to expand production and possibly lead to non-compliance.


Sir, your Committee notes that the measures proposed in the Bill are generally meant to widen the tax base and improve efficiency in tax administration. Your Committee, therefore, supports the Bill. However, I would like to highlight some important observations and recommendations of your Committee.


Mr Speaker, your Committee notes, specifically, the increase in the capital allowance rate to 100 per cent from 50 per cent on implements, machinery and plants used in farming or agro-processing. Your committee commends the Government for introducing such a measure as it is in line with the Government’s efforts to promote agriculture as part of the Economic Diversification Plan. Your Committee observed that the Advance Income Tax has been adjusted upwards from 6 per cent to 15 per cent and that the measure is intended to encourage voluntary compliance by businesses. It also understands that Advance Income Tax is not a final tax per say as it can be claimed back once a business or individual becomes compliant. However, your Committee agrees with the stakeholders’ view that the measure is rather punitive. The 9 per cent upward adjustment will increase the cost of doing business. The measure has the potential to reduce the funds meant for reinvestment in order to expand production by businesses and may lead to the unintended result of tax avoidance. In light of this, your Committee urges the Government to consider adjusting the Advance Income Tax downwards.


Mr Speaker the increase in the Top Marginal Rate for Pay As You Earn (PAYE) from 35 per cent to 37.5 per cent is a cause for concern. Your Committee fears that the measure will have a negative impact on the high income earners. The high income earners have a higher tendency to save with banks and therefore, contribute positively to the banking sector. However, considering that they also have to deal with the increasing cost of living, taxing high income earners may worsen their financial position further. They may be left with less disposable income which in turn may lead to reductions in their savings. For this reason, your Committee recommends that the proposed increase in the top marginal rate be adjusted downwards. 


Sir, in conclusion, I wish to pay tribute to all the stakeholders who appeared before your Committee and tendered both oral and written submissions. Your Committee also appreciates the services rendered by the Office of the Clerk during its deliberations. Allow me to also thank you, Sir, for affording my Committee the opportunity to consider the Bill.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, thank you for this opportunity to make brief remarks on the proposed Bill. My focus will be on the issue of taxation, especially regarding the increase in the upper brackets for those who are considered to be high income earners.


Sir, when you consider the fact that the incomes, in real terms, of most employees have been going down since 2011, you realise that the so called ‘high income earners’ are actually not longer high income earners. Their incomes, in real terms, have been eroded by that bout of inflation that we experienced last year when inflation went over 20 per cent.


Mr Speaker, income has been eroded by the fact that in 2011, the US Dollar was costing just under K5 and today it is almost double that, in fact, for some time it was more than double. That has eroded the incomes of the average person. It goes hand in hand with the fact that per capita income six years ago was US$1,600, but today per capita income per person, on average, is US$1,000. There is no question about the fact that incomes have come down.


Sir, incomes are going to be further eroded by some of the measures that we have seen being introduced. We had an increase in license fees, car fees and the like. All these actions that have been taken over the last couple of years have eroded the incomes of the ordinary person and it can be seen in practical terms. When you talk to retail owners they complain that cash flow is very difficult because incomes have gone down.


Mr Speaker, I also understand the situation in which the hon. Minister of Finance finds himself because we have been told that the Budget deficit on cash basis for this year is 7.8 per cent. This means that there is a possibility that on commitment basis, in other words arrears being accumulated and so forth, the deficit could actually be higher. This is one of the highest deficits in the world. Therefore, I understand that the hon. Minister of Finance is trying to find ways and means of closing the gap between revenue and expenditure.


Sir, however, I have some misgivings about the route that is being taken. We have to ask ourselves what caused all this tension between revenue and what the hon. Minister of Finance wants to spend. I believe one of the biggest sources of this tension is the appetite of the Government to spend. In the last five years, we saw increasing amounts of money being spent on things like by-elections. We saw projects being announced without any form of preparations. The pronouncements of new roads, hospitals and universities brought pressure. There was also the establishment of new districts which meant that we had to hire new District Commissioners and increase the number of district officers.


Dr Kambwili: Question!


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane: All these things have increased the pressure on the Treasury. Why does the Government not consider cutting down on expenditure rather than increasing the tax burdens of the high incomes groups, whose incomes have gone down? We are we putting them under extra pressure which is also going to hurt business because the buying power is being taken away by the Government.




Mr Speaker: Order on the left!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, we have been going through this Budget and a number of hon. Members of Parliament have been able to seek clarifications on certain line items. So, why are we focusing on creating extra burden for the people? The hon. Minister should remember that tax is not only what we levy ourselves. Tax is also what happens as a matter of economic dynamics, such as inflation and exchange rate.


Mr Speaker, we also know that today, it has become very hard for anyone to borrow money from the bank. This is because of the interest rates which have been caused by the fact that the Government is over borrowing. That is money that is confiscated from the ordinary person.


Mr Speaker, we have also seen the statutory reserve ratios of the commercial banks going up. For those who do not understand this terminology, the statutory reserve ratio is basically the money that commercial banks are compelled to put in the Central Bank so that there is less money available in the banking system. Of course, that money helps the Government. In that sense, it is a tax because by confiscating money from the commercial banks and putting it in the Central Bank for the sake of stabilising the exchange rate, that of course, creates room for the Government to borrow without jeopardising the economic stability.


Mr Speaker, a statutory reserve ratio is also a tax. This tendency of borrowing and spending money by the Government is creating a big burden on an economy that we have seen slow down. If I had my way, I think I would move away from this path of extra taxes that we are talking about. I would instead, focus more on looking at a Government system with a big knife in my hands and determine where we should cut in order for the citizens to be free. Thereafter, I would see to it that the promise that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government made since 2010 of less taxes and more money in our pockets is delivered. As of now, what is happening is the opposite. This Government has increased on taxes and there is less money in people’s pockets.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, I totally agree with the sentiments by the previous speaker when he says that increasing taxes more especially on employees is actually taking away disposable income, which will lead to a lot of consequences such as groceries closing up because people will not have money to spend. I take very strong exceptions when the member says that the cause of this problem is the careless appetite by the Government to spend on infrastructure development.


Mr Speaker, it must be noted that Zambia has stagnated for a long time.


Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, Zambia’s economic growth has not been significant. This is because we did not have infrastructure in place. By and large, the PF Government took a bold decision to put infrastructure in place in order for us to develop.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, if we want to have infrastructure, people must know that there must be an element of sacrifice and adjusting our way of life. Even at micro or household level, if someone wants to build a house, he should not expect that he is going eat meat and chicken everyday. For someone to save money to build a house, he must reduce the expenditure on his way of life.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kambwili: The PF Government took a bold decision on behalf of the people of Zambia to put up infrastructure. It was very difficult to move from Mongu to Kalabo. This Government took a bold decision …




Mr Kambwili: …to build the Mongu/Kalabo Road so that people can travel from Mongu to Kalabo within hours other than days. I have seen that every time the hon. Member debates, he wants to condemn the infrastructure development of the PF. Even when coming to Parliament today, he was moving on the same roads that the PF built.


Hon. Government Members: Her, hear!


Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I think this is unfair. Sometimes, it is important to appreciate development. People in the rural areas were drifting to urban areas because there were no schools, hospitals and electricity. When we sent teachers to rural areas, they used to run away from those places. Most of the hon. Members of Parliament, who have got rural constituencies, were complaining about this urban drift. Today, because we have taken electricity to the rural areas, we have built hospitals …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kambwili: … and schools, there is very good retention there. So, I find it very difficult to accept that PF must be blamed for taking a bold decision …




Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Roan, just a moment. Please, let him debate in silence. If you have got a different view, when he finishes, you raise your hand. Do not drown him. Continue, hon. Member.


Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, by and large, every country that wants to develop, it must be prepared for a period of turbulences. This is what we are going through right now. I think people can see the reason for this turbulence. If you throw a stone in any direction, the possibility that it will fall on a PF project is 99.9 per cent.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, sometimes, it is a question of jealous that some people continue to blame this Government. They know that the infrastructure development that this Government has rolled out is killing their chances of going into Government.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kambwili: Therefore, I would urge the hon. Minister of Finance …


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Roan, the word, “killing.”


Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, people think that the infrastructure development by the PF Government is demeaning their chances of being in Government. I would urge the hon. Member to take into consideration these sentiments and see how we can balance up. We need to live by the promise of lower taxes and more money in people’s pockets. 


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, this Bill is not supposed to be controversial. We are supposed to be remorseful to the Zambian people in terms taxes. There is a difference between the poverty levels currently and during the time of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) and one should be ashamed to even boast about the infrastructure development in this country.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Sir, the hon. Minister of Finance was very remorseful when he came to present the Budget in this House. He told the Zambian people that the Government needed to have a paradigm shift in the way they do things. This is because the policies which were put in place did not satisfy the Zambian people.  Currently, what infrastructure development is in the rural areas? What infrastructure development can they sonta in Ikeleng’i?


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Sir, the poverty levels there have increased. The bridges and schools have not been constructed. What infrastructure development are we talking about? The MMD showed it through the good policies that they had during the reign of the late President Mwanawasa. This economy had gained and everyone could feel it. The Kwacha had gain against the dollar. The livelihood of people in Zambia was appreciated everywhere. That is why even the donor community appreciated this country. Some of the debts of this country were written-off. Today, with this poor governance, do people think there is any donor who can write-off our debts?

Mr Muchima: We must be humble when we are begging. People are only quiet over the increase of taxes because they are sympathetic about the situation. They want to give the hon. Minister of Finance a chance to see which direction he will take us. People are not happy with the increased taxes and neither are the hon. Members of Parliament.


Madam Chairperson, when the Patriotic Front (PF) came into Government, it promised to lower taxes.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: This was the message that ushered it into the Government. Now, is that the route it has taken today?


Mr Nkombo: They are departing.


Mr Muchima: Let us debate with a heart for the people.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: We used to buy chilli, impilipili, at K1 on the street, but we now buy it at K5.


Hon. UNPD Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Mealie meal used to cost K30, but now costs over K100. If our colleagues can afford this because they are getting money, they should not think that mouths of the Zambians are in ...


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: They should not look at themselves, but at the majority of Zambians. We are here to sympathise greatly with the people.

Madam Chairperson, some of these roads that they are boasting about were initiated by the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD). We could not just take them on board without ignoring other factors. You need to plan and put strategies in place so that you do not injure the left as you take the right.


This infrastructure development that they are boasting about is only in one or two places. It is not throughout the country.


Madam Chairperson, we support the hon. Minister because he has promised prudence in this economy.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: We want to support him because he said that he would not spend what he does not have. However, we would like to remind him not to promise what he cannot fulfil. We want to see how he can measure up and what value he can add, especially that has the MMD background.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. UPND Member: In fact, he is MMD.




Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, today, people are comparing the Governments of the MMD and the PF which has been in power for six years. What issues can we measure? What has improved, especially as regards poverty levels in country? Look at the performance. They are even failing to finance ministries, something that used to be obvious.


Mr Nkombo: No salaries.




Mr Muchima: There are a lot of things that are happening, but Zambians are quiet because they are sympathetic and want to give you another chance. All this goes with governance. You have introduced toll gate fees and increased Road Tax. There are too many taxes that when you add them together, are too much for a person who is getting a meagre salary. You are lucky. In the days when there were vicious unions, you would not drink water in this country. However, Zambians want to help you move this economy.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chisopa: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Mukata: Just debate.


Hon. UPND Members: Sit down!


Mr Kambita: Tcuenga mwane!


Mr Speaker: Order! Order!


Mr Muchima: We are showing maturity ...


Mr Speaker: Order!


Just give me a minute.


There will be no points of order!


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Please, hon. Member for Ikeleng’i, I know that you have fifteen minutes, but we are pressed for time. It is fifteen minutes according to the rules, but we are pressed for time.


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I thank you and oblige.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, in conclusion, ...




Mr Muchima: I did not conclude.




Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, we need to beg both sides of the House to be sympathetic. This Bill is non-controversial. We do not need to be started as we were being started by the other hon. Member.




Mr Speaker: What do you mean by ‘started’?




Mr Muchima: We do not want to be provoked.




Mr Speaker: It looks like you have concluded your debate.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, this Bill is necessary as long as the intentions are good and clear.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, firstly, let me thank the Chairperson of the Committee for the remarks supporting the Bill. Let me also thank Hon. Dr Musokotwane, Hon. Kambwili ...


Mr Mukata: Question!


Mr Mutati: ... and Hon. Muchima ...


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutati: ... for supporting the Bill.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order on the left!


Mr Mutati: The debaters have indicated that the Bill is non-controversial. It is merely meant to widen the tax base, increase efficiency and compliance and be able to deliver revenues for development.


Mr Speaker, in the Budget speech that we delivered, we indicated that we were going to address, particularly, the expenditure component so that we can begin to restore stability and one of the big decisions that we took was on subsidies. Today, I just presented the Supplementary Expenditure of K7,403,000,700 billion which is basically diverting development expenditure into consumption. These are the critical decisions.


Mr Speaker, there are issues on the erosion of the spending power of citizens. The decisions that we are taking to limit expenditure and borrowing will impact on the ordinary person. As we speak, inflation is coming down; the cost of money is slowly coming down and the reserves have begun to go up. It means that we are beginning to restore stability.


Mr Speaker, yes, there will be some decisions that will hurt the ordinary person, but on a macro level, we are restoring stability. So, 2017 will be a difficult and painful year, but you cannot restore without enduring some level of pain.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


 Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.


Committed to a committee of the Whole House.


Committee today.



Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.


Mr Speaker, the Bill before this House is principally seeking to provide for:


(a)        the imposition, payment and collection of a Skills Development Levy at the rate of 0.05 percent of the gross emoluments; and


(b)        for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.


Mr Speaker, this Bill is straight forward and I recommend it to the House.


Mr Speaker, I beg to move.      


Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, your Committee considered the Skills Development Levy Bill, National Assembly Bill, No.44 of 2016. In doing so, various stakeholders were invited to appear before it to make written and oral submissions. I now highlight some of the findings and recommendations of your Committee arising from the interactions.

Sir, the objects of the Bill are to provide for:


(a)        the imposition, payment and collection of the Skills Development Levy at the rate of 0.5 per cent of gross emoluments; and


(b)        provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

Mr Speaker, most of the stakeholders appreciated the need to have a Skills Development Fund, as this will assist mobilise additional resources through which the quality and quantity of skills development can be accomplished. However, they were concerned that the levy will be an added cost to the employer which increases with a number of employees, and consequently, might lead firms that are labour intensive to innovate into labour saving production methods. This might, in the long term, adversely affect job creation in the private sector and weaken Government’s objective of economic diversification and employment generation.


Sir, some witnesses expressed misgivings to have the levy paid into the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Fund established under section 21 (a) of the Technical Education, Vocational Entrepreneurship Training Act No. 13 of 1998 (as amended by Act No.11 of 2005). They contended that this levy would not be used for the intended purposes.


Mr Speaker, your Committee notes that although the activities that the levy will finance are not expressly stated under the Bill, Section 21 (c) of the Technical Education Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Act provides for how the moneys of the fund shall be utilised. This provision allays fears that the funds collected as Skills Development Levy maybe applied to activities unrelated to skills development.


Sir, on the need to create a board to manage the Skills Development Levy, your Committee notes that the composition of the authority, which is a body mandated to manage the fund as provided for under Section 6 (1) of the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training (Amendment) Act No. 11 of 2015, is adequate as it is cross cutting.


Mr Speaker, despite the ramifications raised by the stakeholders above, your Committee is of the view that the Bill is progressive as it seeks to place Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training at the centre of the country’s development agenda. This is necessary to foster industrialisation, empower the citizens with skills required to be self-reliant, increase their chances of creating employment and contribute to the development of the country. The House is, therefore, urged to support the Bill.


Sir, I wish to conclude by thanking all the hon. Members of your Committee for their dedication during the consideration of the Bill and all the witnesses that appeared before your Committee for their valuable input. Your Committee also appreciates the services rendered by the Office of the Clerk during its deliberations. Lastly, allow me to thank you, Mr Speaker, for affording your Committee the opportunity to consider the Bill.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, I thank the Chairperson of the Committee for supporting the Bill which in essence is none controversial and its primarily aimed at improving the quality of skills and therefore, impacting on productivity. We take into account the concerns that have been raised and we will be moving some amendments at Committee Stage.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time


Committed to a committee of the Whole House.


Committee on Wednesday, 21st December, 2016.




The Minister of Finance (Mr Mutati): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.


Mr Speaker, the Bill before this House is principally seeking to align the first schedule of the Customs and Excise Act to the updated 2017 harmonised tariff schedule developed by the World Customs Union.


Sir, the Bill is also meant to revise the rest of carbon emission surtax which has not been increased from the time it was introduced in 2006, imposing a 5 per cent surtax on selected imported goods that can be produced locally and increase the Customs Duty on semi-processed oil. Further, Mr Speaker, the Bill provides for the revision of Customs and Excise Duty Rates payable on certain items and provides for advance ruling on origin of goods.


Sir, this Bill is straightforward and I recommend it to the House.


Mr Speaker, I beg to move.


Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, your Committee considered the Customs and Excise (Amendment) Bill, National Assembly Bill No. 45 of 2016. In doing so, your Committee invited various stakeholders who submitted written memoranda and appeared before it to make oral submissions. I now highlight some of the findings and recommendations of your Committee.


Sir, the object of the Bill is to amend the Customs and Excise Act so as to:


  1. align the first schedule to the 2017 harmonised coding system;


  1. revise the rates of carbon emission surtax and impose a 5 per cent surtax on selected imported goods;


  1. increased Customs Duty on semi-processed oils;


  1. provide for advance ruling on origin of goods;


  1. revise the rates of Customs and Excise Duty payable on certain goods; and


  1. provide for matters connected or incidental to the foregoing.



Mr Speaker, your Committee recommends that in order to bring the coding system in conformity with the World Customs Union, the first schedule should be aligned with the 2017 harmonised coding system as it is the most current system being used.


Mr Speaker, your Committee observes that the imposition of 5 percent surtax on selected imported goods while encouraging their production and consumption of locally produced goods; may have the net effect of unfair competition and inducing the laxity on the part of local manufacturers in the production and delivery of goods. Your Committee, in this regard, recommends that while protecting and encouraging the production and use of locally manufactured goods, the Government must ensure that the Bureau of Standards has the requisite capacity to assure the quality of goods produced locally.


Sir, your Committee notes that the fourth schedule which provides a list of goods that are exempted from the surcharge tax, includes finished products, such as particle boards which ordinarily should be taxed. Your committee in this regard recommends that the Government must engage the Zambia Association of Manufacturers to ensure that only goods that qualify for exemption appear in this schedule.


Mr Speaker, on the increase of Customs Duty on semi-processed edible oils, from 5 to 25 per cent, your Committee observes that while being a revenue measure the proposed 25 per cent import duty on semi-processed edible oils may not be a panacea to import surges that have displaced local production across the value chains. As a matter of fact, the current 16 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on locally produced edible oils has just encouraged smuggling of cheaper edible oils. Your Committee therefore, recommends that in order to encourage value addition in the edible oil subsector, Import Duty for crude palm-oilen should be at 5 per cent and Import Duty for crude soybeans oils and crude palm oil be at zero percent. This is to enable processers to access the cheaper raw materials as inputs into the production of refined oils in Zambia while at the same time creating jobs and income opportunities for the people.


Sir, your Committee notes that the Bill proposes to increase the Customs Duty on imported copper concentrates from free or zero per cent to 75 per cent and observes that whereas the measure will increase revenue for the Government, it has a net effect of discouraging foreign mine houses from using Zambian facilities thereby depriving Zambian mining houses that operate these smelters an income. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that considering the fact that there is excess capacity for smelting in Zambia and in order to attain a win-win situation, this tax should be reduced to 5 per cent. After all, the Government is encouraging value addition which leads to job creation.


Mr Speaker, on the revision of the rates of Customs and Excise Duty payable on certain goods, including spare parts for various machinery and equipment, your Committee observes that this measure has an inherent disadvantage to the Treasury. This is because it will increase the cost of spare parts for various machinery and equipment which are eligible for VAT refunds. In the final analysis, this will result in reduced income tax payable to the Government. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government should develop a framework to assess the impact and transmission effect of certain tax measures on others in order that what is gained on one side is not lost on the other. Your Committee, further, recommends that in order to enhance long term investments plans by business houses, the Government should consider using reasonably long enough time lines to create a stable and predictable business environment.


Sir, your Committee supports the Bill and urges the hon. Minister to consider the observations and recommendations.


Sir, I wish to conclude by thanking all the witnesses that appeared before your Committee for their valuable input. Your Committee also appreciates the services rendered by the Office of the Clerk and her staff during its deliberations. Lastly, allow me to thank you, Mr Speaker, for affording your Committee the opportunity to consider the Bill.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Dr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I promise to be very brief. I concur with the observation of the Committee that the introduction of 7.5 per cent tax on imported copper concentrates will lead to the closing of some smelters and refineries in Zambia. Currently, it is clear that the production of copper has gone down largely because some mining companies such as Baluba Mine and Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) have shut down their underground operations.Most of the smelters now depend on imported concentrates from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Therefore, if we introduce a punitive tax on the concentrates, I foresee a situation where most Zambians will be destitute because they will have no jobs.


Sir, on the other hand, I would like to recommend to the Government that in order for us to create more jobs, we need to restrict the importation of unfinished copper anodes. My heart bleeds when I see trucks loaded with copper anodes destined for export because that takes away the jobs for the Zambians. Copper anodes are takento refineries in South Africa and China, which is unacceptable, yet we have a lot of refineries on the Copperbelt. However, most of the mining companies produce copper anodes which they export to refineries in their countries of origin. This must be stopped rather than introducing a punitive import tax on copper concentrates.


Mr Speaker, I appeal to the hon. Minister to seriously consider the views of the Committee. Much as we need money to lower the expenditure and income gap, I think increasing the customs duty tax from 0 per cent to 7.5 per cent is very deep. We must learn from past experience.When we increased the loyalty tax from 3 per cent to 20 per cent, we had repercussions from the mining companies and we were forced to reverse that decision. Therefore, before a final decision is made, it is important that the views of the Committee are taken into consideration at Committee Stage.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Chali (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity and I will also be very brief. I totally agree with the recommendations of the Committee because if we encourage the importation of concentrates, we might as well forget about the identification of other oil reserves. Therefore, we should put more funds in exploration, limit importation and identify the lifespan of all the existing mines and then we can make progress from there.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr A. Mumba (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I would like to support the Bill. In particular, my interest is on the edible oils. The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) does not have the capacity to establish the difference between crude and process cooking oils. In my view, this should be carefully looked at to avoid the smuggling of oil because the Ministry of Agriculture reversed the decision it had taken earlier on the banof the importation of oil.


Sir, in addition, most Zambians do not engage in the edible oil business and most businesses in Zambia are owned by foreigners. Therefore, the hon. Minister of Finance should take a broad approach in as far as considering the taxes that we had discussed earlier and some of the Bills that we are passing today.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mukata (Chilanga): Mr Speaker, the issue of mining that has been raised by my colleague the hon. Member for Roan is quite critical and having served in the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, we dealt with this issue. This is a very sensitive subject in this country.


Sir, let me prefacemy debate by saying that the Government has no capacity to invest in mining and exploration. However, investment must be attractive and people must be encouraged to invest. If they increase the taxon concentrates from 0 per cent to 7.5 per cent, they will create a problem because there is the issue of quality. Thecopper produced in the DRC is of highquality. In Zambia, the cost of producing a tonne of quality copper at 99 per cent is more expensive than in DRC. If they force mines such as KCM to concentrate on underground mining, they will eventually shut down.This is very critical and in the past, we had to change regulations simply because we were unable to do the obvious.


Mr Speaker, it is important for the Government to raise money through taxes from the various sectors. However, in a chicken and egg situation, one cannot begin to tax before creating the capacity in the mining companies. They are very sensitive and we need to trade carefully with them. My colleague indicated that the pricing of copper is at its lowest at US$6,000 plus or minus, and the production costs in the mining sector in Zambiaare extremely highcompared to the DRC. Therefore, increasing the tax may not help in the long term and they should consider putting a stay on this pull because more people will be laid off.


 I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the chairperson of the committee for the report, the comments rendered and the four concerns that he raised. The first concern that he raised is on the surtax. Indeed, the Government will work, as recommended, with the Zambia Association of Manufacturers in order to select those goods that will be surtaxed. I also take the submissions on semi-processed oils. I think that we need to address the capacity, especially of the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), with regards to policing the smuggling and effectiveness of the imports. This matter is being addressed.


Mr Speaker, the copper concentrate is not 75 percent but 7.5 percent, as a matter of correction. We have taken the concerns that have been raised by the committee and we are currently engaged in intensive consultation on this particular matter and, we shall be relating to the House, fairly soon. Further, spares relate to heavy-duty equipment which is currently being imported into the country duty-free. We have continued to allow duty-free importation of heavy-duty equipment.


I thank you, Sir.


Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.


Committed to a committee of the Whole House.


Committee on Wednesday, 21st December, 2016.




Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.


Mr Speaker, the Excess Expenditure Appropriation Bill, 2016, has been prepared in accordance with Article 203, Clause 4 of the Amended Constitution of Zambia, which states that “Where is there an urgent need to incur expenditure for the purpose that has not been appropriated under the Appropriation Act for that Financial Year and it would not be in public interest do delay the appropriation of the expenditure until a Supplementary Estimate is approved by the National Assembly, in accordance with Clause 2 and 3, the President may, subject to Article 204, issue a Warrant authorising the expenditure and withdrawal from the consolidated funds.”


Sir, it is in this regard that I now present the Excess Expenditure Appropriation Bill, 2016, to approve expenditure in excess of monies aggregating to K7,403,700,000. Of this amount, a sum of K5.7 billion relates to payments of subsidies on fuel and electricity. Further, the remaining amount of K1.7 billion is for payments relating to the maintenance of the strategic food reserve under the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), provisional funds for the e-voucher system as well as the implementation of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and the procurement of firefighting equipment.


Mr Speaker, I thank the House for supporting the Bill.


I thank you, Sir.


Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.


Committed to a committee of the Whole House.


Committee Today.









THE VALUE ADDED TAX (Amendment) BILL, 2016


Clauses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 ordered to stand part of the Bill


Title agreed to.



THE INCOME TAX (Amendment) BILL, 2016


Clauses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 ordered to stand part of the Bill.


Title agreed to.




Clauses 1 and 2 ordered to stand part of the Bill.


Schedule ordered to stand part of the Bill.


Title agreed to.






[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


The following Bills were reported to the House as having passed through Committee without amendments:


The Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2016


The Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2016


The Excess Expenditure Appropriation Bill, 2016


Third Readings today.




The following Bills were read the third time and passed:


The Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2016


The Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2016


The Excess Expenditure Appropriation Bill, 2016










VOTE 78 − (Zambia Security Intelligence ServicesOffice of the President – K685,796,472).


(Consideration resumed)


The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Madam Chairperson, before business was interrupted on Friday, 16th December, 2016, I had in the policy statement outlined the Government’s commitment to a professional intelligence service. To this end, we pledge to support this noble institution through the continued provision of sufficient resources to facilitate effective and efficient operations. I am also hopeful and confident that this House will continue to support this noble cause.


Madam Chairperson, may I now draw the attention of the august House to the proposed budget for the Zambia Security Intelligence Service (ZSIS) for 2017. The 2017 budget estimates stand at K685,796,472, compared to the authorised expenditure for 2016, which was K554,835,789. This represents an increase of 24 per cent, which has mainly been necessitated by the increase in personal emoluments, caused by adjustment of organisational structure and harmonisation. In addition, the increase may be attributed to the fact that the biggest input resource to the operation of this institution is the human resource.


Madam Chairperson, as I conclude, allow me to reiterate my appeal to this august House to favourably consider the proposed budget. It is my honour to the present the ZSIS estimates of expenditure for 2017 for your consideration.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Madam Chairperson, I will be very brief. This Vote needs to be supported by all well meaning Zambians. This country should be in tandem with what is happening in the rest of the world. This nation needs highly trained …


The First Chairperson: Order!


Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours.





Mr Muchima: Madam Chairperson, before we proceeded for break, I was about to say that ordinarily this Vote is not supposed to be debated. Since we are in democratic dispensation, however, we have to show the world that we have nothing to hide by openly discussing this institution. Therefore, I urge our colleagues working under the Zambia Security Intelligence Services (ZSIS) to remain highly professional. On this side of the House, we have agreed to support them. We know the suffering they go through and their needs and this country needs such an institution.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Syakalima (Chirundu): Madam Chairperson, I just want to make a brief note as I support the estimates for the Zambia Security Intelligence Services (ZSIS). Like my colleague said, this is an important institution and more so that we are surrounded by so many countries which are certainly not stable. As of now, I think we may have to direct our efforts to check what is happening in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). I think many of us know what is happening there.


Therefore, we need the men and women in this institution to be awake twenty-four hours a day because what happens in your neighbourhood can adversely affect your operations as a country. I emphasise that we would like our men and women in this institution to be awake for twenty-four hours in the 365 days a year.


We are an unfortunate country because we are surrounded by eight countries. In economic terms, we could be fortunate, but in terms of security, we may have problems because of the many countries surrounding us. We must minimise surveillances and elicitations of civilians, especially in our political milieu. As I said the other time when we were appropriating the Vote for the Zambia Police Service, our internal milieu can be dealt with within our internal security systems. However, our Zambia Security Intelligence Service should be aware of what is obtaining outside. 


Madam Chairperson, the other issue I would like to comment on is patriotism, which Her Honour the Vice-President mentioned. We just passed the Bill on terrorism. We must be aware that people from outside our country can take advantage of our internal problems. When I looked at the meaning of the word, “Terror” in the dictionary, I found that its definition was, “The use of extreme fear to intimidate people especially for political reasons.” Our colleagues in the Zambia Security Intelligence Service must look outside, but they should not look inside because the police can deal with people inside the country. However, the police are now using State terrorism on their own people, according to the dictionary I read.


The First Chairperson: Hon. Syakalima. It is not correct to say that the police are using State terrorism on their own people and it is certainly not constructive. It is not a constructive way to debate. Please withdraw that. As I have always said, let us for once bear in mind the sensitive nature of some of the business we have to deal with and this is one such business. Hon. Members, if you do not have anything to say, do not say anything so that we can conclude the business.


Withdraw the statement about the police using State terrorism.


You may continue.


Mr Syakalima: I have withdrawn it. However, there are certain things that have to be said. This is no longer sensitive per se. The reason why we even appropriate money for the Zambia Security Intelligence Service is because it is an open organisation. This budget is an open budget. The Zambia Security Intelligence Service is not a secret service. We do not have a secret service. The Zambia Security Intelligence Service is an open service.


Madam Chairperson, when the Government is recruiting people for this institution, it must recruit openly. This institution only has a postal address number, 3475 RW Lusaka out in the public. That makes it only recruit people from certain families. People from the same families apply for the jobs. This institution looks at the security of the whole country and is the biggest organisation in charge of our state security both inside and outside the country. It is no longer a secret as it was in the One Party State. At that time, we the people used to fear speaking our thoughts because we used to think someone from this institution would hear our thoughts. That has changed now. In South Korea, they do not have a secret service. It is North Korea that still has a secret service. I encourage the men and women in this institution to go out and check threats on our borders. Certainly, some of the countries surrounding us have problems and that may pose some threats to us.


With these few words, I wish our intelligence service good luck and God’s guidance as it oversees the operations of this country in terms of security.


I thank you, Madam.


The Vice President: Madam Chairperson, I thank the two contributors to the Motion.


Madam Chairperson, let me also assure the country that the security of this country is stable. However, I appeal to our people to be alert and quickly report any situation that can endanger the security and stability of our country.


I thank the hon. Members for supporting the Zambia Security Intelligence Service budget.


I thank you, Madam.


Vote 78/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 46 – (Ministry of Health – K5,732,842,152).


The Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to deliver the ministerial policy statement in support of the proposed 2017 Ministry of Health budget. The layout of my presentation will be as follows:


  1. brief statement on Government policy on health;


  1. brief review of the performance of the previous Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF);


  1. structural changes in the Ministry of Health that have informed the 2017 budget; and


  1. focus on the 2017 budget and the MTEF for 2017 to 2019.


Government Policy on Health


Madam Chairperson, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is determined to transform Zambia into a nation of healthy and productive people. Recognising that productivity is a function of a healthy citizenry, the PF Government has prioritised health, considering it as a key economic investment that will contribute to the evolution of human capital to drive our socio-economic development agenda. In our pursuit of the African Union Agenda 2063 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030, our strategy shall be premised on strengthening health systems and services using the primary health care approach. This is to enhance the well being of all Zambians.


Madam Chairperson, we will re-engineer our health delivery model to emphasise, in this particular order: health promotion, disease prevention, curative and rehabilitative services in close-to-client settings. We will relocate the entry point into the health system from the curative biased specialised clinics, hospital outpatient departments and emergency services to preventive community based care models as close to the family as possible. We will continue strategic investment in the modernisation of hospitals in a bid to reduce the disease burden and strengthen the referral system and curb treatment abroad. In our quest to build a healthy and productive nation, we will emphasise strong inter-sectoral actions to address determinants of health such as nutrition, water and sanitation, education, household income and housing and road infrastructure.


In Zambia today, HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis remain high mortality emergencies while non communicable diseases continue to cause premature deaths and disability. Preventable maternal and infant deaths remain high. Road traffic accidents cause significant mortality while substance abuse incapacitates many, negatively impacting our collective productivity.


Madam Chairperson, with regards to the review of the previous Medium Term Expenditure Framework, (MTEF), it is important to recognise the significant strides made in the last budget implementation period, in infrastructure development, disease control and in curbing maternal and child deaths. Of significance is the construction of the forty new hospitals and over 700 primary health facilities, rehabilitation of 200 health centres, modernisation of tertiary hospitals to include cardiac catheterization services, advanced imaging services and comprehensive renal services. We have recorded significant reductions in maternal and infant mortality, while the incidents of malaria, Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV have shown a downward trend.


We have completed the Cancer Diseases Hospital which is a 240 bed hospital and is now functional. We also have upgraded first level hospitals in Lusaka, in Matero, Chipata and Chilenje and this has brought health services closer to the people.


Madam Chairperson, however, there is a lot to be done to attain the sustainable goals on health. We will do this by making greater and more effective investments in primary health care and by strengthening fundamental components of the health system. Primary health care shall be the pillar of our health system and will be central to preventing epidemics; improving women’s and children’s health; controlling major infectious diseases such as malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS and managing the rising burden of non communicable diseases such as diabetes mellitus, cancer and cardiac diseases.


Madam, with regards to the re-organisation of the health sector and structural changes and Budget Focus for 2017, the Ministry of Health has been re-organised in order to improve efficiency in the delivery of health services, cure the sub optimal of utilisation of human resource and devolve resources to the implementation level. The budget is thus aligned to the new structure.


The headquarters has been restructured reducing the number of the directorates from seven to five.


The directorates of Mother and Child Health and Disease Surveillance have been absorbed into a broader directorate of Public Health and that is what you see in the budget. The directorate of Emergency and Mobile Services has been realigned as a unit under the directorate of Clinical Care. A new directorate of Health Promotion and Social Determinants has been created. This is in line with our new approach to engage communities through a robust sensitisation programme. This is targeted at empowering citizens with information that will enable them make healthy choices. Furthermore, the directorate will be a platform to coordinate with sectors that lie outside the health sector yet determine the health of our people. We will engage and push for health in all policy and health for all.


Madam Chairperson, the reorganization has also seen a drastic reduction in the number of personnel at the helm, as more than forty specialist health personnel have been moved from headquarters to the implementation level, the clinics, hospitals, districts and provinces.


Furthermore, health services in cities have been restructured to address high demand for health services attributable to the high population. Lusaka, for instance, has been zoned and each zone has a zonal hospital with clinical staff and a comprehensive public health team that will deliver promotive and preventive health services right at the doorsteps of the households in the respective zones.


Madam Chairperson, the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) has been segmented into five hospitals. The Children’s Hospital, the Maternity Hospital, Adult Services Hospital, Cancer Diseases Hospital and Ophthalmology Hospital. With these hospitals being managed in the smaller units aforesaid, there will be significant efficiency gains.


Government has further introduced new internship sites to increase the labour force in the provinces. Kabwe, Lewanika, Mansa, Kasama, Solwezi, Katete are now internship sites and Government has posted consultants to these hospitals and twenty new interns will be posted to each of these hospitals. This will increase the numbers of doctors working in these facilities immediately and improve the quality of care that is being provided in these hospitals.


In the 2017 Budget, Madam, the ministry will focus on strengthen health systems and expanding access to comprehensive health services. As we maintain our gaze on the ultimate goal of a healthy and productive nation, we shall decisively address key components of the health system these being: service delivery, infrastructure and medical equipment, human resource for health, health information system, supply chain for vaccines, drugs and medical products, healthcare financing, leadership and governance.


Under service delivery, Madam Chairperson, we will continue to push for access to cost effective quality health services as close to the family as possible. These services will include promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative services with emphasis on primary health care. We will continue to establish appropriate facilitates to anchor the health services and strengthen public health systems.


In order to improve access to primary health care services, the ministry shall complete the construction of the 650 health posts, complete the construction of hospitals that have already started, also build new hospitals and health centres in selected deficit areas. We shall extend the modernisation programme to all the nine provincial hospitals. Furthermore, we are going to introduce two satellite cancer centres one on the Copperbelt and one in Livingstone.


The ministry proposes to spend K237 million on infrastructure, K485 million for primary health care programmes and K143 million for second and third level hospitals.


Under human resource, Madam, we will continue to build a well performing health work force that shall be fairly distributed competent responsive and productive. We will invest in the comprehensive human capital development plan supported by appropriate infrastructure expansion. We will prioritise deployment of health workers with the right mix to completed primary health facilities in both rural and urban areas. We will invest in a cadre of super specialised staff to anchor the modernisation of programme in our tertiary and provincial hospitals, for instance, cardiac services at UTH.


In 2017, we will recruit 7,400 new health workers. The process has since commenced and 5,400 health workers will report for work in January 2017 and 2,000 between February and March 2017.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: This will operationalise the completed health facilities and will also improve the nurse-patient ratio, the doctor-patient ratio in existing facilities.


Under health information system, Madam Chairperson, in our pursuit of smart health, we will continue to invest in health information systems. We will ensure a well functioning health information system that ensures production analysis, dissemination and use of reliable and timely information on health determinants, health system performs and health status.


Madam Chairperson, on logistics for vaccines, medicines, medical supplies and technologies, we will build our health system to ensure equitable access to medicines, vaccines and technologies of assured quality, safety, efficacy and cost effectiveness.


Madam Chairperson, we shall promote local manufacturing as part of our broad agenda to grow our economy, create jobs, prevent capital flight and enhance commodity security. In 2017, we propose to spend K769 million on drugs, vaccines, and medical products. We will continue building new storage hubs on the Copperbelt, Luapula and Muchinga provinces. This will be in addition to the hubs that already exist in Southern, Western and Eastern provinces.


Madam Chairperson, in terms of healthcare financing, in 2017, the Ministry of Health will invest K6 million to introduce the National Social Health Insurance Scheme that shall raise adequate funds for health in ways that shall ensure people can access health services and are protected from financial catastrophe or impoverishment associated with having to pay for the services. The scheme shall provide incentives for providers and users to be efficient.


Madam Chairperson, in terms of leadership and governance we will continue fortifying strategic policy frameworks, providing effective oversight, facilitating coalition building, ensuring regulation and paying particular attention to system design and accountability. We will form a formidable team of leaders for health at all levels of service delivery. We will pursue stronger ties with cooperating partners and leverage resources for health.


Madam Chairperson, at this juncture allow me to thank the cooperating partners who have pledged significant support for the health budget in 2017. This demonstrates the confidence donors have in the Government.


Madam Chairperson, all these interventions are targeted at specific objectives that shall include the following:


  1. reducing and moving towards the elimination of preventable maternal deaths;


  1. reducing and moving towards elimination of deaths of newborns and children under the age of five;


  1. reducing and moving towards elimination of the epidemics of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (Aids), Tuberculosis (TB), malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combating hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases;


  1. reducing and moving towards elimination of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution;


  1. ensuring access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services, including family planning;


  1. reducing and moving towards elimination of premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promoting mental health and wellbeing.


Madam Chairperson, to this effect, in 2017, the Ministry of Health will introduce a de-addiction programme targeting rehabilitation of people who have become addicted to various substances including alcohol and other addictive substances.


Madam Chairperson, other objectives include the following:


  1. strengthening the prevention of substance abuse, apart from treating it;


  1. reducing the number of death and injuries from road traffic accidents by engaging colleagues in other sectors and ensuring that we put up rules that will enhance driver safety and driver concentration;


  1. moving towards health universal coverage, which will include financial risk protection, access to quality essential health care services and access to safe effective quality medicines and vaccines for all; and


  1. strengthening surveillance for early warning risk reduction and management of national health risks.


Madam Chairperson, these aspirations are consistent with the policy directions given by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu and resonate well with the Budget speech as articulated by the hon. Minister of Finance. The Patriotic Front Government will continue to fortify its armamentarium with a sophisticated arsenal of interventions to prevent and cure diseases. With reinforced public health systems and primary healthcare at the centre, we will, on our watch, transform Zambia into a healthy and productive nation and move towards universal health coverage.


As I conclude, I make a clarion call for all hon. Members of the House to support the proposed Ministry of Health Budget.


I thank you, Madam.


Ms Chisangano (Gwembe): Madam Chairperson, I thank the hon. Minster of Health for the information he has given us through his policy statement. Allow me to mention that a healthy nation is bound to be a productive nation. However, we should not forget that every person in this country requires good healthcare. Good healthcare should not be restricted to Lusaka or other urban areas, but should also be seen in rural areas.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Chisangano: Madam Chairperson, we acknowledge that the Ministry of Health faces a lot of challenges and we need to allocate a lot of funding to it. However, we also need good governance with this funding. In fact, according to the Abuja Declaration, the Government should allocate 15 per cent of the annual Budget to health and I hope this is taking place in our country, considering the problems that we have.


Madam Chairperson, let me bring to your attention some of the challenges we are seeing, some of which, I am sure, were talked about by the hon. Minister in his statement. There seem to be a lot of healthcare facilities in the urban areas, but not many in the rural constituencies. People walk for more than 20 km just to access healthcare services in the rural areas. Think about the women in labour who need to access these healthcare services during this time of the year when it is raining. There are no good roads or transportation and as a result women in labour have to travel 12 to 15 km to deliver. The journey is almost impossible and women end up being assisted by traditional birth attendants, meanwhile, we are saying all women should deliver in healthcare facilitates and be assisted by trained personnel. Further, children under the age of five are supposed to be taken to the clinic to be weighed and given vaccines, but sometimes in the rural areas it becomes practically impossible because of long distances to healthcare services.


Madam Chairperson, we have seen rural health posts that are manned by one or two people who are expected to cater for the whole population. The quality of care that will be given by these people is really compromised. In addition to that, there is a critical shortage of accommodation for members of staff. We have heard that there will be a mass recruitment of health personnel, but they do not have accommodation. We thank God that a new hospital was constructed and opened in Gwembe, but there are no houses for workers. Even as workers will be sent to our hospital we wonder where they will be accommodated. There are no Government houses in the township or houses to rent and they cannot stay in villages.


Madam Chairperson, other challenges that we have to consider as we look at this Budget are shortage of drugs and other medical supplies as well as inadequate transport.


This is really making life difficult for people living in rural communities. A health facility can have one or two ambulances but these ambulances may fail to move due to bad roads. We hope that these issues will be looked at critically, taking into consideration the rural areas.


Madam Chairperson, let me also talk about diseases or health conditions that have been affecting our communities, which need our attention. In our communities, we have non-communicable diseases. The Minister of Health mentioned that there is a sensitisation programme on non-communicable diseases. We all know that these diseases have been increasing due to a number of risk factors such as beer drinking, tobacco use and unhealthy diet.  I have noticed that there is so much sensitisation in urban areas as compared to rural areas. In most of the rural areas, there is no television and radio transmission and people lack information. People do not know anything about these diseases. When a person dies of hypertension for example, the only thing that people will think is witchcraft. The people in the rural areas lack information about these diseases. We therefore, need to use the Information Education Communication/Behavioural Change Communication (IEC/BCC) Materials because these will reach our people easily instead of just concentrating on information that is disseminated through television and radio transmission.


Madam Chairperson, let me also talk about nutrition.  Nutrition has been a problem for a long time in this country. Currently, 40 per cent of our children have stunted growth. We should all note that when such children grow, there are repercussions.  The performance capacity of such people becomes compromised. In most of these rural areas, most of the people depend on cassava as their staple food. This does not only happen in my community. Even in Luapula, people depend on cassava. I have seen families that depend on the cassava plant. They make relish out of cassava leaves and nshima out of cassava tubers. They actually feed on the same type of food every day. These people have children that feed on the same. You will find that these children will not be growing well because they are lacking proper nutrients. Therefore, nutritional activities need more funding in this Budget.


Madam Chairperson, we have a lot of youths in our communities that need adolescent health services. The problem that we have is that adolescent health services are limited in our health facilities. Our youths, especially girls are dropping out of school due to lack of family planning services. Some of the youths end up contracting Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). This is due to lack of adolescent health services. So, the problems that affect the adolescents should also be looked at. Let us have more adolescent health services in all the health institutions so that these youths are helped.


Madam Chairperson, the minister clearly stated that maternal and child deaths have increased in this country. Child deaths are usually caused by preventable diseases such as Malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia. We therefore, need more funding in this ministry. We do not want to lose our children because they are our future leaders. We also do not want to see our pregnant women dying.


Dr Chilufya looked down.


Ms Chisangano: Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister is not listening.


The First Chairperson: How do you know?


Ms Chisangano: I can see from here.


The First Chairperson: No, he is paying attention. I can see that. Just continue.


Ms Chisangano: Madam Chairperson, as we are planning to build more health facilities in this country, we should make sure that we know exactly where these facilities will be. We are waiting anxiously for the 650 health posts that were promised to be completed by April, 2017. We want to help our people in the communities. We need more health promotion programmes in all areas in Zambia. We also need sensitisation programmes about non-communicable and communicable diseases in Zambia. We need these programmes in all parts of the country.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Dr Kalila (Lukulu West): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me an opportunity to make some comments with respect to the Budget of the Ministry of Health. I would like to note at the outset that Dr Chisangano, my colleague, ...


Ms Chisangano laughed.


Dr Kalila: ...has done a good job in trying to highlight some of the gaps to the ministry. Therefore, I will be very brief in my debate in order to give an opportunity to most of my colleagues to debate.


Madam Chairperson, indeed, you must have heard of the say that, “health is wealth.” In other words, he who has health has wealth. The reason is that you cannot operate at your potential when you are in a state of impaired health. So, ensuring health lives of citizens is a very costly and complicated undertaking. Health as a matter of fact, is the only sector in my opinion that touches directly to a citizen of any nation. When you look at all our ministries under consideration here, I can safe argue in my view that the most important is health. It is not necessarily because I come from that background but because it is the only sector that affects every citizen anywhere on the face of this earth. That is why it is even a campaign issue across all nations. It is therefore, important that we must take an interest in this matter and try to support it with a lot of money, as much as we are able to do.


Madam Chairperson, health is a social as well as an economic asset, as the hon. Minister has said. Economies have been slowed down or even sometimes, obliterated all together, if we do not pay attention to the health of our citizens. In so doing, I am aware also that many of our members consider health only as medicines, illness or health but it is more than that. I am happy to learn that as country now, we have made a strategic focus or shift from the curative side and we are going to emphasise the primary care approach, which is what has been highlighted to us by the minister.


Madam Chairperson, my debate is mainly on the financial side of this ministry. I know that we have allocated an amount of K5,732,842,152,  which translates to 8.9 per cent of our Budget. This falls short of the 15 per cent requirement by the African Union (AU) or the famous Abuja Declaration. It is not by in any means strange because over the last few years, I think we have not been able to meet this requirement. Many people have argued that when you aggregate the financing to health that is spread across the various sectors, such as the army and churches, you will discover that it is probably more that 8.9 per cent but I doubt if it can reach 15 per cent. The reason why we advocate for a lot of funding in the health ministry is because it is a very complicated undertaking that requires a lot of money.


Madam Chairperson, in this debate, my argument is that this amount of money which has been appropriated to the ministry is not sufficient to undertake particularly, the milliard of strategies and the route that the ministry wishes to undertake. Firstly, I note that there has been a reorganisation at the top. We welcome that if it is going to rationalise and lead to efficiency. We welcome the changes that have happened at our highest medical institution in breaking it up into five hospitals, as we have been told, if only it is going to lead to efficiency.  As you know, in my view, it was one giant monster which we were failing in terms of service delivery. Now that it has been broken down, we hope that it will lead to some of those efficiencies that we are looking for.


Madam Chairperson, in my view, the ministry will struggle to meet some of its strategic objectives with just K5.732,842,152. I have already observed that it has changed its strategic focus by reorganising itself at the centre and you will discover that a lot of money to the tune of K1.5 billion has been allocated to human resource, perhaps, for obvious reasons.


Madam Chairperson, this is not strange because, as you know, you need a cadre of well trained and competitive individuals whom you have to recruit and retain. So, it is fair enough and we can leave it at that. However, my argument is that the Department of Policy and Planning appears to have gotten more money than the Department of Public Health.


Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!


Dr Kalila: I think that this is a paradox when you compare with our strategic focus where we want to deliver more in terms of eliminating some of our infectious diseases and tackling some of the emergent health issues such as non-communicable diseases which my colleague mentioned. The new department has been given the least amount of money. If I recall, it must be K7 million. When we compare this to our strategic goal, we will see that we have not aligned the Budget exactly the way we want to go.


Madam Chairperson, I have no difficulties with the strategy that has been highlighted in terms of strengthening our health systems. Some of the key components such as recruitment of health human resource need a lot of money. The infrastructure development, which has been going on and lagging behind, needs a lot of money. This is obviously going to strengthen our health system. However, the key departments that need to deliver on this have not been allocated enough resources, except for Clinical Care which I notice has been given basically what was given last year and, therefore, would say that there has not been any innovation in this regard. I think that we should have given more money to programmes under the Department of Public Health and the new department which is involved in primary care approach such as promotion and health.


Madam Chairperson, let us take look at some the strategies that the hon. Minister talked about for reversing or ridding the country of certain illnesses. You will discover, for example, that the allocation to Malaria Control Programmes is a paltry sum of K2 million, if I am not mistaken. In fact, many hon. Members here have continued to complain and to ask about what is happening to our Malaria Control Programme in Lusaka and Livingstone. The other day, we heard our colleague from Livingstone debate that the increased prevalence of mosquitoes is going to have a negative impact on tourism because tourists are now turning away.


Madam Chairperson, I know that the fight against mosquitoes is multi-sectoral and, therefore, these words also go to the hon. Minister for Local Government. What has happened to our spraying programmes? What has happened to our scale-up programmes to deal with the issues of Malaria and Mosquitoes?


Madam Chairperson, the allocations to non communicable diseases is actually a paradox and one would like to say that we are not walking the talk. Not long ago, we had a delegation that reminded us that, in fact, we are sitting on a time bomb. Over the years, we have been dealing exclusively with infectious diseases, particularly HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria and, a lot of money has gone in. However, we have at the same time been sitting on a time bomb in these non-communicable diseases that Hon. Chisangano mentioned. For those that may wish to be reminded, these are cardio vascular illnesses, high blood pressure, strokes, cancers, diabetes and respiratory diseases.


Madam Chairperson, most of us sitting here have these non-communicable diseases. I am very sure about that. Most of these relate to four risk factors which my colleague mentioned. Tobacco, alcohol and more importantly, I want to mention to you colleagues, unhealthy diets and the lack of exercise or sedentary lifestyles. These diseases, incidentally, are the highest causes of most premature death. Few people are going to live beyond seventy years if we do not deal with these illnesses.


I am not looking at you, Hon. Lubinda. You are so worried.




Mr Lubinda: On a point of order, Madam.


The First Chairperson: Please, sit down hon. Minister


Dr Kalila: I am just trying to highlight the importance of fighting against these non-communicable diseases and allocating more money because they are affecting all of us. They are actually known as diseases of lifestyle and associated generally with people who are in the bracket that we seem to belong to.


Madam Chairperson, consider our diets even here at Parliament. We are loaded with starch and sugar every two hours. I would like to submit that this is detrimental and that we should do something about it.


Madam, I am sure that hon. Members will agree with me that they have never been anywhere where they are loaded with sugar and starch every two hours. I have observed in the time that I have been here that after five years, more members end up diabetic.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kalila: I think that we should do something to try and change our diet. We should include more fruits and vegetables to our snacks.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kalila: If we continue along this path, Hon. Members will remember me. I just wanted to mention this and connect it to the fact that this is the reason the hon. Minister requires more funding. He needs to tackle some of these issues.


Secondly, I think that it is very important to mention alcohol. Many experts have come to us in the Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services and presented that we need to do something about alcohol consumption, which also translates into some of these non-communicable diseases.


Madam, I am happy that the hon. Minister has mentioned that they are going to undertake a programme of rehabilitating addicts. I think that we must take steps, especially among the youths. Not long ago, we were taken on a tour around the night clubs of Lusaka just to see how much alcohol abuse is going on around this country.


Madam Chairperson, there are some schools that are surrounded by as many as 300 bars within just a distance of 30 to 50 metres and yet the Liquor Licensing Act prohibits this. So, maybe, we should also strengthen our inspectorate division. These are things that we can do, as hon. Members. We should try and help the Ministry of Health. As you heard, health is not just for the Ministry of Health. There are also events that occur outside which can impact the health of individuals. So, we are waiting for the hon. Minister not only to bring the law on social insurance, but the policy and control on the abuse of alcohol.


I was actually surprised the other day that the hon. Minister of Finance was very happy when the Zambian Breweries announced that it was going to expand its capacity to produce more alcohol. Only last week, it announced again that it had reduced the price of alcohol because of the festive period. I thought it would give an economic reason, but only said so that it can make more people drunk during this Christmas period.


I think it is wrong for many youths to welcome this reduction in beer prices.


Hon. Member: Hear, hear!


Dr Kalila: We must begin to look at issues in the right perspective. We need the investment but we should put bottlenecks in the way of increased alcohol intake and abuse among our citizens because it leads to an increased cost. We are going to ask you to give us more money to the health sector as a result of this investment which you are celebrating from the people in the …


The First Chairperson: Order, Hon. Dr Kalila, your time is up.


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Madam Chairperson, I think the hon. Minister who has put out a very strong case requiring the support of this House. Most hon. Members who have spoken have said that the budget for the Ministry of Health is quite inadequate. However, I want to note that the hon. Minster has rightly observed that they are in the process of devolving the ministry. You will discover that most personnel who are supposed to be in the front line of medical delivery are actually engaged in administrative work. If you go to the districts, for instance, you will discover that the District Medical Officer (DMO) is the chief administrator. The DMO is a trained medical doctor, who is supposed to lead in the front line of treating patients and not to leave the job to the junior staff.


Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Health had actually invested into hospital administrators. We need to make use of these hospital administrators. There was a tailor made training programme for hospital administrators at Pedespa, National Institute for Public Administration (NIPA) and if you want, even in Durblin, Ireland. They used to train hospital administrators who were skilled in handling these administrative issues at hospital level. So, it is good that the hon. Minister has observed that these people need to be waned of administrative duties to go back to the front line and see to it that things gets done.


Madam Chairperson, another issue that the hon. Minister should look at is the issue of giving incentives to medical personal. You will note hon. Minister that most of your people are in the habit of what they call, moonlighting. When you go to India, there is a hospital called Apollo. That hospital is for specialised doctors who have formed a consortium and are working together. They have put up a specialised hospital to treat patients where all specialised doctors converge during their free time. Similarly, we can encourage our doctors to put up a powerful, bankable project proposal so that the Government can guarantee the building of a hospital where our specialised doctors can practice from. This hospital should be equipped with all the medical equipment we can talk about so much so that doctors can be encouraged to make money outside their formal employment. Doctors can be assisted to put up a hospital like the one in India called Apollo. I have seen some hospitals in Lusaka, I do not know whether it is an Apollo arrangement, but we can put up such a hospital ourselves so that our nurses and doctors could be operating from there during their space time and charge cost reflective fees to those who can afford to pay. I am sure many people can afford to pay such kind of fees. If people are able to pay lawyers up to K150 million why can they not pay a doctor even a paltry K20,000.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr A.C. Mumba (Katanshi): Madam Chairperson, my contribution to the Ministry of Health policy statement will focus on a cocktail of issues which I will deliver within five minutes.


The First Chairperson: Good.


Mr A. C. Mumba: Firstly, I would like to thank the hon. Minister of Health for the statement. I think the statement is well informed and articulate. I am happy to note that it is the only policy statement that I heard that has focused on one of my passions which the development of Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Zambia. The hon. Minister mentioned that his ministry is going to support local manufacturers. I want to congratulate you, hon. Minister, for that initiative. The only concern I have is that I will be very interested to know which particular products you will encourage Zambian SMEs to manufacture. It the moment, even though the Minister of Finance has emphasised on a number of taxes that he is going to be collecting through Value Added Tax (VAT) and so on, 90 per cent of the contracts that are currently running is Zambia whether in the road sector or Food Reserve Agency (FRA) are not owned by Zambians. I do know what tax the hon. Minister will collect. It is a few Zambians who have a few projects that are going to be squeezed through these taxes. Hon. Minister, your Ministry has a huge component of purchases of highly sophisticated equipment which many a time comes from European countries like Germany and Denmark and there is no technological transfer. Most of that equipment is lying in hospitals broken down because there is nobody to come and service it. So, I think your approach hon. Minister, should be highly commended by everybody. I will be one of the few hon. Members of Parliament who will be interested in supporting you to ensure that you reach out to as many Zambians as possible in giving them this opportunity to do business with your ministry.


Madam Chairperson, I would also want to urge the hon. Minister that his approach of looking after health facilities should be very broad. I know you have already started responding to our needs but I want to bring to your attention that sometimes politics takes over social matters in the districts. One of the clinics that I have in one of my wards has been turned into a home by a local councilor. This has meant that those people in that ward have to go directly to Ronald Ross Hospital and they are charged K20 because they have not passed through a clinic. I will share the details of that clinic with you hon. Minister. I would also like to encourage you, hon. Minister, to also look at our six health posts that have not been constructed yet.


Madam Chairperson, let me also add that, I would encourage the hon. Minister to engage the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development because there are quite a number of site offices that are constructed when roads or schools are being built. These site offices after the project is completed remain unused. These are some of the facilities that can be turned into local clinics and schools.


Madam Chairperson, with those few words, I would like to end here and I thank you.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to make a few comments about the policy statement given by the hon. Minister of Health. I want to thank the hon. Minister for that elaborate statement. I think that the Ministry of Health is very important in the sense that everybody wants to have a health nation. In fact, your vision which is anchored on the provision of higher health services to our people as close to the family as possible, I think is anchored on equity.


Madam Chairperson, my comment is focused on the model that the Ministry of Health is using to construct cancer centres. I am particularly pleased to observe thatPhase II construction works at the Cancer Diseases Hospital in Lusaka have been completed andthe new satellite locations areLivingstone as well as the Copperbelt. You may be aware that Copperbelt Province is severely hit by cancer probably because of the pollution of the environment due to mining activities. I also observed that Lusaka Province is the second hit in terms of population if we use the rule of numbers. From a layman’s point of view, I would attribute this to the lifestyle because it is the most affluent part of the country. The Eastern Province comes in third place. However, I observed that it is 332 km from Ndola to Lusaka, 480 km from Livingstone to Lusaka, over 1,000 km from Chama to Lusaka and over 1,300 km from Kaputa to Lusaka.  Therefore, I tend to wonder the model they are using.


Madam Chairperson,this morning,I was looking at the provincial budgets and I have observed that the Southern Province has been allocatedthe lion’s share of K90 million …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kafwaya: … of course, followed by the Western and Central Provinces. Therefore, from that perspective, I think that there is something special about those locations and the Ministry of Health considers the Southern Province’s position as the centre of the Government’s imagination. However, the hon. Minister should look at the model of resource distribution because the equity that the Government wants to achieve will actually be realised through the distribution of these resources.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.        


The First Chairperson: If we move at this pace, I am sure we will make very good progress. Hon. Minister of Health, could you wind up debate in less than eight minutes.


Dr Chilufya: Much obliged, Madam Chairperson. I would like to thank all the hon. Members of Parliament who have debated on this policy statement. I would also like to thank those who did not, but I am confident that they fully support the Budget of the Ministry of Health.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to respond to a few issues raised by the hon. Members of Parliament. I would like to assure Hon. Chisangano that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government believes in equity and we will distribute our resources equitably and there is evidence to show that. The distribution of the newly completed hospitals or under construction cuts across Gwembe, Kazungula, Kalomo, Nalolo, Limulunga, Kawambwa, Mpika and Chililabombwe and these areas are in the Southern, Western, Luapula, Muchinga and Copperbelt Provinces respectively. The point I am driving at is that the PF Government considers health as a non-partisan subject and, therefore, it isconcerned about the equitable distribution of resources. Therefore, I would like to assure the hon. Members that infrastructure that will anchor primary health care and first level services shall be distributed equitably.


Madam Chairperson, I have taken note of the concerns on housing. As part of the infrastructure expansion programme, we are actually building houses. We even changed the model and instead of building a few stand-alone houses, we shall put up flats so that more staff can be accommodated. It is also important to emphasise that in the absence of decent housing, we encourageour health workers to temporally live within the communities.


Madam Chairperson, we are concerned about the distances that women move and this is the reason we are building health posts so that we can offer health services within 5 km radius. The statement on risk factors that promote Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) is spot on and we will work collectively to ensure that we address determinants of health.


Madam Chairperson, as Hon. Kalila said, there are many factors that influence the health of our people, yet they lay outside the health sector. By having good nutrition, water and sanitation, we will actually be investing in health. Therefore, we are pushing for health policies in all the sectorsso that as we plan we are conscious of health. The reason we have introduced the directorate of social determinants is to remove theperception that weare a victim ministry. We sit idlyand wait for people to inhale the sulphur-dioxide from the mines and we treat them for pneumoconiosis.We see people smoke passively or actively and when they suffer from bronchogenic carcinoma,we treat them. We want to engage the people in the mining sector and water and sanitation department so they can speak about the determinants of health. We will speak with the people in agriculture to ensure that we address health in our policies and we will extensively engage with my dear sister, Hon. Siliya, so that we can move together towards the abolition of tobacco growing and can protect women and men from cancer growths.


Hon. UPND Members: Question!


Dr Chilufya: Madam Chairperson, I am aware that the hon. Minister of Finance would say that the growing of tobacco enhances revenue.However, 6 million people have died because ofbronchogenic carcinomaand all these are preventable deaths. We can afford to be good global citizens and abolish tobacco growing.


Madam Chairperson, the harmful consumption of alcohol shall be discouraged through a robust health promotion programme. I wantto thank Hon. Kalila for convincing the hon. Minister of Finance that financing for the health sector needs to be improved and is the most important. I totally agree with him and I know that the hon. Minister of Finance is very responsive and has heard. The 15 per cent Abuja Declarationto the health sector that Hon. Kalila and Hon. Chisangano spoke about is correct. However, I would also like to assure the House that when we are investing in nutrition,water and sanitation, we are also investing in health. Therefore, if you consider all these investments, you will realise that we have probably gone beyond 15 per cent.


Madam Chairperson, I agree with Hon. Kabanda that District Medical Officers should see patients. I would like to use this opportunity to tell the House that they are no longer called District Medical Officers, but District Directors of Health. Medical is limiting because it only involves curative services. However, health is broader and encompasses health promotion, curative and rehab services. The District Directors of Health provide leadership, but at the same time see patients.


Madam Chairperson, local purchases will be encouraged. We will procure everything we manufacture in the country and we will only import what we do not produce. Therefore, if we are producing Anti-Retroviral (ARVs), anti-malaria and anti-biotic drugs, we will procure them locally.


Madam Chairperson, I just want to thank all the hon. Members of Parliament for the support. Before I conclude, I hasten to state that the observation by Hon. Dr Kalila that most of the money is in policy and planning and not in health promotion and public health, needs to be corrected. We have devolved resources to the frontline and so you will find that monies for malaria control, immunisation and high impact public health interventions are now at provincial level.


If you have noticed, there is an increment in the budgetary allocation for provinces. This is in line or consistent with our policy statement that we are devolving resources, human and financial, to the frontline. The monies that you are seeing under health promotion and public health, therefore, are at central level. As it should, these are small amounts. However, more money is actually at the implementation level where we will be indoor residual spraying and other interventions that will help us to combat disease.


We will be passing Bills in the next legislative session that will focus on protecting people from eating unhealthy foods. We will have the Food Safety and Quality Bill, the National Food and Nutrition Bill and Policy on Alcohol and Substance Abuse as well as services to actually combat alcohol and substance abuse.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


VOTE 46/01 – (Ministry of HealthHuman Resource and Administration – K597,248,114).


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5001, Activity 701 – Legal Affairs – K550,000. Does this mean that now doctors will be hiring private lawyers? Could the hon. Minister explain this provision?


Dr Chilufya: Madam Chairperson, in the spirit of decentralisation, a number of ministries have now been given principal state advocates to deal with the various legal aspects of administration, including procurement, and indeed, any other legal aspect. There is, therefore, a legal department in the ministry that will deal with a broad aspect of legal services.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5001, Activity 103 – General Public Affairs – K398,493. This allocation has almost doubled from what it was in the previous year. I would like to know exactly what this activity is all about and why the amount has increased.


The First Chairperson: Hon. Minister of Health, have you got the question?


Dr Chilufya: Madam Chairperson, if the hon. Member could repeat the question. I did not understand it.


 Dr Kalila: Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 5001, Activity 103 – General Public Affairs – K398,493. This activity had an allocation of K198,000 in 2016 and you are proposing to spend K398,000 in 2017. I just want to know what is involved in General Public Affairs and why the amount has doubled.


Dr Chilufya: Madam Chairperson, there are a number of public events that we shall be involved in. Most of these events shall be to do with health promotion. There is going to be the National Health Week, for instance, where we shall be sensitising the public on the importance of behavioural change. We shall be targeting the risk factors that promote non-communicable diseases and of course other high impact community level interventions to protect people from diseases. Therefore, there will be a number of such events and we have classified them as General Public Affairs.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Dr Kalila: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5008, Activity 025 – Action Taken Report on the Parliamentary Audit Queries and Policy Matters – K196,700. From K40,000 in 2016, the allocation has exponentially gone up to K190,700. I would like to know whether the ministry has a backlog of audit queries, which has necessitated this amount, or is there something significant that has happened that the hon. Minister would wish to enlighten us on.


Dr Chilufya: Madam Chairperson, we have increased support from various donors and all this money is now at implementation level. Further, we have devolved more resources to the implementation level.


In the name of strengthening governance, we are strengthening the audit function. We will, therefore, have more auditors in the various provinces and districts. The issue of ensuring that we are providing services and using monies prudently is enshrined in our budget. We want to enhance control measures to protect resources and donor funds and ensure that we maintain our image of good governance.


Madam Chairperson I thank you.


Mr Miyutu: (Kalabo Central): Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5007, Activity 001 – Suppliers of Goods and Services – K867,935, Activity 003 – Personnel Related Arrears – K2,000,000.


Madam Chairperson, I have noticed that the figure has not changed in Activity 001 despite the many challenges which hospitals such as Kalabo are facing. Further, in Activity 003, the figure has drastically reduced to K2,000,000 and yet there are so many overwhelming complaints from workers. What is your explanation, hon. Minister?


The First Chairperson: Hon. Minister of Health, are you able to answer to the two queries at once?


Dr Chilufya: Yes, Madam Chairperson.


Madam, we have moved the arrears from the centre to the provinces. We will, therefore, be funding the provinces as the monies come in and this is why there is this reduction. We will be paying arrears from the provinces.


With regards to the other question on suppliers of goods and services, the Ministry of Health has received very good support from the Ministry of Finance. We have managed to dismantle arrears on the drug debt in the last quarter, which has reduced from K600 million to less than K160 million, representing more than 75 percent.


Madam Chairperson, we have dismantled more than 90 percent of our debt to contractors building various infrastructures. So, this reduction is justified because of the good support that we have been receiving from the Ministry of Finance. I hope that the hon. Minister of Finance is listening so that he continues to support us in this manner.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.




Vote 46/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 46/02 – (Ministry of HealthPolicy and Planning – K306,034,100).


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5011, Activity 191 – Construction of Staff Houses – K1,000,000. Why has the location been reduced from K4,000,000 to K1,000,000 when there is a critical shortage of staff houses?


The Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Madam Chairperson, there are two reasons namely; budgetary constraints and secondly, we are also relying on the Private Public Partnership (PPP) to give us resources to build infrastructure for houses and health workers in particular.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Vote 46/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


Votes 46/03, 46/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 46/05 – (Ministry of HealthDisease Surveillance Control and Research – Nil).


The First Chairperson: Could the hon. Minister of Health explain why there is no allocation intended for this Activity for 2017.


Dr Chilufya: Madam Chairperson, like I alluded to in my policy statement, we had abolished the Directorate of Disease Surveillance Control and Research and instead we have since put as part of Directorate of Public Health.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Madam First Chairperson: Is it the same explanation for Vote 46/06?


Dr Chilufya: Yes, Madam Chairperson. Votes 46/05 and 46/06 −Ministry of Health− Disease Surveillance Control and Research and Mother and Child Health respectively, are now under the Directorate of Public Health.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


VOTE 46/07 – (Ministry of HealthClinical Care and Diagnostics Services – K1,541,052,751).


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on all the Programmes under 01 – Clinical Care and Diagnostic Services – Nil. Last year, there was K754,000,000 allocated for this vote, but there is completely nothing allocated for 2017. Could I have an explanation?


Dr Chilufya:  Madam Chairperson, the Directorate of Clinical Care has absorbed to another Directorate of Mobile and Emergency Health Services. So, it is now a new directorate which is budgeted together.


I thank you, Madam, Chairperson.


Vote 46/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


The First Chairpersons: Is the explanation for Votes 46/08 and 46/09 the same like the previous one?


 Dr Chilufya: Yes, Madam Chairperson.


 I thank you, Madam. 


Votes 46/10, 46/11, 46/12, 46/13, 46/14, 46/15, 46/16, 46/17, 46/18 and 46/19 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 52 – (Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environment ProtectionHuman Resources and Administration – K487,100,847).


The Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environment Protection (Mr Kaziya): Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to present my policy statement for the year, 2017 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection to be presented by myself.




Hon. Members:  Hear, hear!


Mr Kaziya: Madam Chairperson, allow me from the outset to thank you for allowing me to present this policy statement for the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection for the 2017 to 2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period and 2017 ministerial budget in particular.


Madam Chairperson, allow me to thank His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, for creating the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection and above all, for appointing me as the first hon. Minister of this important ministry. This ministry shall play an instrumental role in the socio-economic development of our country, in view of the global attention to Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs).


Madam Chairperson, I feel most honoured and humbled for the trust and confidence that His Excellency the President has bestowed on me in order to contribute to the destiny of this country in my capacity as the hon. Minister for this ministry. I wish to assure the President that I am equal to the task that has been bestowed upon me. I also wish to categorically state that I shall perform to the best of my ability and knowledge to ensure that I serve the people of Zambia with due diligence and commitment, in line with the Patriotic Front (PF) Manifesto of social justice and inclusive development for all.


Madam Chairperson, my policy statement has been divided into the following categories:


  1. background to the creation of the ministry;


  1. strategic focus areas of the ministry; and


  1. core programmes in the 2017 budget.


Background to the Creation of the Ministry


Madam Chairperson, allow me to mention that the vision of the people of Zambia, as espoused in the national long term Vision 2030, of becoming a prosperous middle income country sets the national and sectoral goals to meet the people’s aspirations. It is against this background that the vision places emphasis on water as a catalyst in the socio-economic development of our country in that water has an inherent relationship to all human endeavours.


Madam Chairperson, arising from that, the realignment of portfolio functions of water development, supply and sanitation as well as environmental management under this ministry repositions and refocuses water development and environmental management in the realisation of sustainable development as articulated in the new global thinking under the SDGs.


Madam Chairperson, according to statistics, access to safe sources of water is lower for poor households, with 48 per cent for extremely poor and 55 per cent for moderately poor, as compared to 75 per cent of the non-poor. It is in this regard that the creation of this ministry could not have come at a better time than this, as it will facilitate accelerated interventions in the provision of water for socio-economic development.


Strategic Focus Areas of the Ministry


Madam Chairperson, the ministry aims to realise the following:


  1. optimal harnessing of water resources for productive use;


  1. provision of clean and safe water supply and sanitation; and


  1. sustainable environmental management and protection.


In this regard, the ministry shall continue to coordinate implementation of strategies in the National Water and National Environmental Policies, including enforcement of provisions under the Water Resource Management Act, Environmental Pollution and Control Act and Water Supply and Sanitation Act to ensure management, development and sustainable utilisation of water resources and the environment.


Madam Chairperson, the ministry’s strategic focus areas include the following:


  1. water resources infrastructure development;


  1. water resources management;


  1. water supply and sanitation; and


  1. environmental management and protection.


Core Programmes in 2017 Budget


Madam Chairperson, my ministry has allocated a sum of K487 million for implementation of programmes in order to realise our mandate. Programmes under water resources infrastructure development will include putting up primary water infrastructure in order to harvest rainwater and bulk water transfer to facilitate availability of water for all uses. An amount of K11.4 million has been allocated for these programmes and will include interventions such as rehabilitation and maintenance of small dams across the country. It is anticipated that once rehabilitated and maintained, there will be improvement in the safety and efficiency of the dams to be able to contribute to increased access of water for irrigation, animal watering, fisheries, water supply, conservation, tourism and other productive socio-economic uses.


Madam Chairperson, funds amounting to K3.1 million go towards increased access to surface water for domestic, industrial, agricultural and other purposes in order to reduce water scarcity. The activities shall include the following:


  1. construction of dams;


  1. undertaking feasibility studies for surface water infrastructure; and


  1. development of operational guidelines for investment in multipurpose small dams.


Madam Chairperson, funds amounting to K400,000 will go towards construction of groundwater exploratory boreholes and provision of water infrastructure for strategic interventions and emergencies across the country.


Madam, K1.1 million has been set aside for maintenance of drilling rigs, plant and equipment as well as dam construction machinery and procurement of support vehicles for use in facilitating groundwater exploration and development and dam construction as well as maintenance of water resources infrastructure.


In addition, K400,000 has been set aside for dams inventory and aquifer mapping to facilitate water resources infrastructure planning, data management, infrastructure development to support the Geographical Information System (GIS) and, consequently, increase access to hydro-geological data.


Madam Chairperson, in order to enhance cooperation at regional level, K600,000 will go towards management of international shared water bodies in order to quantify availability and status of trans-boundary water resources in the Zambezi and Congo Basins and thereby build capacity within Zambia to effectively deal with management of international waters.


Madam Chairperson, to ensure compliance as well as effective promotion of sustainable use of water, K15 million has been allocated to the Water Resource Management Authority (WARMA) to enable it to carry out its functions in line with the Water Resources Management Act No. 21 of 2011.

Madam Chairperson, under water supply and sanitation, focus will be on tackling secondary water infrastructure for domestic supply and waste water treatment infrastructure. Hon. Members of Parliament may be aware that statistics indicate that access to water supply stands at 83.8 per cent while sanitation coverage is 60.7 per cent for the urban population. On the other hand, access to water supply and sanitation facilities in rural areas stands at 47 per cent and 38 per cent respectively. It is evident that access levels require to be accelerated through various interventions. To enhance access to water supply and sanitation, funds amounting to K391 million have been allocated to undertake infrastructure development, information management for water supply and sanitation and research and development. Rehabilitation and construction will be undertaken in both rural and urban towns across the country. It is expected that with these interventions, the Government will improve access to water and sanitation to make significant gains in achieving water related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Madam Chairperson, my ministry, through the Zambia Environmental Agency (ZEMA) shall continue intensifying the implementation of 2007 national policy on the environment. The policy aims at ensuring sound environmental management within the framework of sustainable development. In this regard, ZEMA has been allocated funds amounting K24,603,239 to enable it carry out its mandate of enforcing the provisions of the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Act No. 12 of 1990 as amended in 1999.


Madam Chairperson, in order to contribute to addressing the climate change phenomenon, my ministry shall continue implementing a number of interventions. To this end, K28.7 million will go to the implementation of environmental related programmes notable among them being, environmental support, environmental protection and environmental and natural awareness.


Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, I wish to state that my ministry’s budget is reflective of our priorities within the three sub-sectors. I therefore wish to call upon all hon. Members of this House to support my ministry’s Estimates of Expenditure and Revenue for 2017. Their fervent support will enable this ministry to achieve its vision and ultimately benefit the people.


I thank you, Madam.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Chonya (Kafue): Madam Chairperson, thank you very much. Let me thank the hon. Minister for his presentation.


Madam Chairperson, I will be very brief. They say that water is life yet, it continues to be a very elusive essential commodity in our communities. Earlier, I stepped out briefly to attend to a call from Kafue telling me that the whole town has no water. I thought, “What a coincidence that I will be discussing water in the House, after receiving this call.” I am sure the hon. Minister will make a follow up so that water supply in Kafue is restored.


Madam Chairperson, when we were presenting our maiden speeches, a number of us hon. Members talked about the challenge of water in our various constituencies. From the rural constituencies, we heard of instances where humans have to share water sources with animals, which is a very unhealthy situation. With the creation of this ministry to focus specifically on water development, I hope that such occurrences will receive utmost attention so that people can be guaranteed of healthy living.


Madam Chairperson, we also have the problem of human waste management. In towns in particular, this is a big problem, especially now that people have resorted to sinking boreholes to mitigate the problem of lack of water supply by the Government. Not too long ago, we were given some statistics of the levels of contamination of the water that we use for human consumption. It will be good to see how the new ministry will tackle this challenge.


Madam Chairperson, I looked through the budget lines that the ministry has and it is noteworthy that quite a substantial amount has been allocated to water and sanitation projects. I hope that money will come through to address the various programmes that the ministry has lined up.


Madam Chairperson, I looked through the budget lines for this ministry and it is noteworthy that quite a substantial amount has been allocated to water and sanitation projects. I hope that those monies will come through for the ministry to address the various programmes it has lined up. However, I also observed that there are many budget lines on events such as Women’s Day and Africa Freedom Day in all the ministries. Of course, these events are very important as they are opportunities to sensitise the public on the various issues. However, I think that in a year of austerity like this, maybe we should have streamlined these activities to have one lead ministry to undertake a particular activity to create awareness for the rest of the country. Last week, I  talked about how the Ministry of Gender either by commission or omission, did not include a budget line for the International Women’s Day, but ministries like the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, has been allocated K303,599 just to commemorate the International Women’s Day.  I am just using that as an example without shooting our cause as women because it is a very important one.


The only point I am trying to buttress here is that it seems that events for issues such as Gender Bases Violence (GBV) are being done at the expense of development. I wish these monies we use for routine events would be used for development. Incidents of GBV are increasing and that means that all these sensitisation events have not been effective. I wish that money which was spent on a big event on GBV in Kafue would have been used to improve the water reticulation system in town. Perhaps now, we would have had something to sonta at in town. Otherwise, it was just another day where speeches were given and yet violence has continued because poverty at the household level remains rife. People are fighting because of poverty at the household level. So, I think we need to rethink these events where we spend colossal sums of money for people to just make speeches and they repeat the same speeches every year, they just change the themes. This has to change, especially now that we are trying to make do with the little resources that we have.


Madam Chairperson, let me come back to the water and sanitation budget. I looked at the component of the Keep Zambia Clean campaign and this activity has been presented in the budget as a cross-cutting issue. I think that this activity is supposed to be one of the major programmes for a ministry that is concerned about issues of the environment. We have the challenge of waste management in our towns. The local authorities are having difficulties to manage the situation ...


The First Chairperson: Order!


Business was suspended from 1255 hours until 1430 hours.




Ms Chonya: Madam Chairperson, when business was suspended, I was almost winding up my debate by emphasising on the need for the ministry to do something on the provision of water so that our people can have access to water as well as constructing dam facilities for the animals to drink from. As you may be aware, access of drinking water for animals is a topical issue for people who are into cattle rearing.


Secondly, I was also emphasising on the scaling up of the Keep Zambia Clean Campaign so that Zambia could emulate Rwanda, which is considered to be one of the cleanest countries in Africa. So, if Rwanda is able to maintain a clean country like that, then it means even Zambia is also able to do that. Especially, if we build up on the efforts that were started by Silvia Masebo whom I would want to give tribute to, for starting up the Keep Zambia Clean Campaign.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Chonya: This idea should not be suspended because of her temporal exist from Parliament, because I know that she will definitely be back …


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!




Ms Chonya: … but this great idea should be continued.


Hon. Members may wish to know that behind every Government programme there are individuals who initiate these things and we should acknowledge.


Mr Kamboni: Hear, hear!

Ms Chonya: Other than that, Madam Chairperson, I just wanted to advise the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection to strengthen its consultation and collaboration process with the relevant ministries. For instance, when we talk about provision of water, people in the communities still think of the local authorities which fall under the Ministry of Local Government. So, there is need for a strong inter-ministerial collaboration when dealing with these problems.


I do not know how the collaboration works or how it will work, for instance, between the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection and Ministry of Local Government for them to be able to supply that product. I am saying this because the Ministry of Local Government, for instance, also has the land agency on behalf of the Ministry of Lands. When I looked at the Ministry of Land’s budget and what it is supporting the other ministry to facilitate the land agency, it is quite inadequate. So, I hope that the collaboration between the ministry that deals with water and the local government will be effective so that the local authority is able to bring this much needed commodity to the citizens.


Madam Chairperson, it is acknowledged that this is a line ministry but looking at the budget line, they need to definitely do a bit of cleaning up because there are still some notable overlaps between what the old ministry where it was is proposing to do, and also what the new ministry has put in its budget.


Madam Chairperson, as I am talking about the importance of water, I also want to take this opportunity to appeal to the Minister that as he collaborates with the water service providers, he should ensure to engage them in such a way that this precious commodity does not become beyond reach or become a luxury for many of our people. This is because it is one of those things that have become expensive. In communities where we live, water and sewerage is expecting people to pay those high rates as if these people are in gainful employment. Therefore, we urge the ministry to come up with initiatives that would make water become cheaper and accessible for our people who cannot afford the commodity than the way most of you Members of Parliament would afford it.


Lastly, I would like to make some comments on the Zambia Environmental Management Authority (ZEMA). I heard the hon. Minister mention in his Policy Statement about the ministry’s support to ZEMA and my appeal in this regard is that there is need for this important institution to be left to work without interference, so that it can do its work properly. ZEMA requires undertaking impact assessments of whatever project and when this is not done, it will have an impact on the other developments that happen within a community. For instance, in Kafue, you may have heard about some chicken rearing project in which chickens had stopped producing eggs because that particular community had interfered activities that caused this environmental impact.


As I am talking now, there are some concerns by Kafue residents from the activities by the steel company there that while it is creating employment, there are also some environmental concerns that our people are now raising. Therefore, ZEMA should be allowed to go in and put in measures that this company should adhere to, so that our people are not exposed, and become vulnerable to communicable diseases.


With these few words, Madam Chairperson, I wish to thank you, once again.


Mr Kintu (Solwezi East): Thank you, Madam Chairperson, in debating this Vote, I wish to tell the hon. Minister that there is not much to talk about your ministry because this is a new ministry and you are just settling in, but there are certain issues that probably you need to know about what it means to work in the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environment.


Madam, I was looking at the Minister’s statutory functions vis-a-vis the sister ministries, which are the ministries of Health and Housing and Infrastructure Development. I am aware that there is a ministry responsible for infrastructure which is supposed to carry out the infrastructure development. However, when I looked at your budget, there is a component of sanitation infrastructure development and sensitisation. I am not sure who is going to carry out that activity. Is it the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure or your ministry?


Hon. Minister, I would urge to understand that this sector is a determinant of health. However, I will not discuss the urban water supply and sanitation, but I will concentrate on rural water supply and sanitation because that is where I belong.


 Madam Chairperson, water is a commodity which we cannot live without. Water is a commodity which has been denied to the rural community for many years. Women and children have had to travel long distances in search of water. By the time they come back they are tired and as a result some children do not go to school.


Madam Chairperson, you cannot talk about meaningful hygiene if you do not have sufficient water. The hon. Minister has a huge task ahead of him to ensure that he provides safe and clean water to the community.


Madam Chairperson, sanitation is a big issue in rural communities. I do not know how we are going to manage it, but villages need our support. I worked in the Ministry of Health where I was in charge of programmes pertaining to water and sanitation. We had difficulties because our core function as the Ministry of Health was not to provide infrastructure, but to prevent environmental related diseases.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister needs to come up with a policy that will ensure that each household has access to sanitary facilities. The hon. Minister could introduce a subsidy for sanitation platforms which could be distributed to communities to help with sanitation. If we do not help the community we will keep on talking about sanitation, especially in the rural areas, while not achieving anything. Most the top ten diseases are environmental related diseases. Diarrhoeal diseases are a major cause of morbidity and mortality and that is why we need to work on sanitation.


Madam Chairperson, I looked at the hon. Minister’s statistics on coverage which state that about 40 per cent of the rural community have access to sanitation. However, I do not believe the hon. Minister’s statistics are correct. I worked in the Ministry of Health for a long time and I have travelled through rural communities so I know that very few villages have toilets. Most of the people in the village depend on open defecation and this is a problem. We will never reduce the disease burden unless we ensure that we have a means of disposing human waste in our communities.


Madam Chairperson, when we talk about sanitation we are talking about health. It is the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection that should ensure that the Ministry of Health also begins to perform.


Madam Chairperson, I would also like to point out a few issues in relation to the sanitary pads which the hon. Minister is willing to offer to our school going children. This is a good facility for school going children, but we need to take care of how they will be disposed. The sanitary facilities in rural schools are not very good so we need work out if we will use incinerators or other means in order to dispose of these sanitary pads properly otherwise we will have a problem on our hands. These sanitary pads, if not properly disposed of, can be a source of nuisance and diseases.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to say one or two words concerning this very important ministry, the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection. As my colleague said, water is life and as the common saying goes, sanitation is health. These two things are very connected and when you connect them with what the hon. Minister of Health was talking about, you find that it is absolutely necessary for these two ministries to work closely together in order to reduce the disease burden.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to talk about the situation that is pertaining in Lusaka right now visa-a-vis sanitation. We have a big problem. I do not want to use the word ‘mess’ but we have a big problem.


Mr Syakalima: You have already said it.


Mr Lufuma: Madam Chairperson, the situation right now is a recipe for a health hazard. The Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Local Government are responsible to ensure that water is provided to each and every household in Lusaka and the rest of the country. However, the situation as it exists is that most compounds areas do not have water for period of up to 18 hours a day. Sometimes water only comes at about 2 am in the morning. This situation cannot be tolerated; it has to come to an end.


Madam Chairperson, this is a new ministry which was established because there was a big problem in the provision of water and the department of water under the Ministry of Local Government was not enough. It is up to the hon. Minister to ensure that he steps up to the challenge. If this new ministry is not able to meet the challenge as it exists right now, then maybe when we come to power as the United Party for National Development (UPND) we might scrap it and put it back under the Ministry of Local Government because it would not have fulfilled its mandate.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lufuma: Madam Chairperson, the situation as it exists right now in Lusaka and other Copperbelt towns is also unhealthy in terms of sanitation. Each and every household has a septic tank. What the septic tank is doing to underground water is immeasurable. Something must be done about it. I am aware that in Zambia, we have inherited the colonial system. In the colonial times, the white men had cisterns. In the compounds, we had a situation where each household had a pit latrine. That continues to exist right now.


Madam Chairperson, I think it is high time we changed that situation. Lusaka and other major cities should start having a central sewerage system. This is to ensure that each household is connected to that system so that we do not contaminate the underground water. If we do not do that, we are going to contaminate underground water to an extent where we shall bring a lot of diseases such cholera and typhoid. Therefore, it is important that the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development strategise together. In fact, we should start working on a legislation to ban septic tanks because they are a health hazard to human kind.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister stated that in our rural areas, 47 per cent is covered by boreholes and 38 per cent is sanitation. This obviously, is very low coverage because for most rural areas in North Western and Luapula Provinces, most women and especially our young girls have to walk for 5 km to fetch water. This has social and economic repercussions. This is why you see the girl child is not being educated. These girls spend most of their time fetching water. You will find that by the time they finish fetching water for the entire household, they are so tired such that they cannot study. Due to this, most girls are not able to go to secondary schools. So, if we are going to improve the livelihood of the girl child, I think it is important that coverage, in terms of safe water supply is enhanced, especially in the rural areas.


Madam Chairperson, we have noted that there is a Budget for boreholes in the rural areas. What has happened is inequality in terms of distribution of boreholes. We would like to encourage the hon. Minister to immediately go down and map out an operational plan which ensures that each and every constituency has boreholes so that we remove this element of biasness. This will also ensure that the element of going to beg for boreholes from respective constituencies is removed. People need to have water and it is their right. It is up to the hon. Minister to ensure that this service is delivered.


Madam Chairpersons, in terms of sanitation in most rural areas, as my colleague has said, there is open defecation. During the colonial times, those who are old enough saw that our villages were very clean. Each and every village had a toilet. That is not the case now. In the past, all the villages had toilets because the colonial masters had a deliberate policy to ensure that every village had to have a pit latrine. It was a policy. We can still have that policy as well in Zambia. We must ensure that resources are made available to sensitise the villages. We need to ensure that each village definitely, has a disposable pit latrine so that we do not encourage diseases.


Madam Chairperson, let me also talk about environmental protection. In the North Western Province, as I am talking, forests are being devastated. There is indiscriminate cutting of forests. This covers the Northern and North Western Provinces of this country. We have seen a lot of our Chinese colleagues going to cut trees indiscriminately from the source of water in North Western Province and we have problems with water right now. There is no water in the Kariba Dam because the source has no water.  The trees have been depleted. We all know that trees are a source of water and we should ensure that they are protected. This is up to the hon. Minister together with the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources to coordinate and ensure that our watershed is protected.


Madam Chairperson, at the moment, if we go at the rate that we are going, we shall soon run out of forest coverage in North Western Province and we shall have no water. There is the source of the Zambezi River in Mwinilunga and it is threatened right now. Please, I urge the hon. Minister to put in a strategy to make sure that those who are given the licenses to go and cut trees for timber do plant trees. For each tree that they cut, they should at least plant not less than five trees. If we have a policy like that, we shall be assured that North Western Province will continue to be a reservoir and a source of water in this country.


Madam Chairperson, it is also important for us to ensure that the money that has been allocated to regional sewerage companies such as North Western Water and Sewerage Company Limited and Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company Limited is also distributed. In the Yellow Book, there is K381,888,558 which has been allocated to such utilities. Most of the utilities that have been allocated under this Head they are in urban areas. In other words, we are again, not being sensitive and equitable in terms of distribution of our resources, vis-à-vis capacitating the utilities to ensure that even in places such as Solwezi, Kabompo and Mongu, there is adequate water supply. I can talk about Kabompo right now.


The North-Western Sewerage Company has not been able to cover most of the Peri-Urban Kabompo because it does not have the necessary resources to expand and provide water. The result is that most of our women wake up at 0200 am everyday to queue up for water at kiosks.


Madam Chairperson, imagine that they only get back at about 8 o’clock from fetching water. After this, they have to go to the farms to cultivate. When they get back, they have to ensure that they go and get more water for their husbands and kids to be washed up. So, most of the time, you find that our womenfolk are occupied unnecessarily with trying to access water for household purposes.


Mr Kambwili: You are selfish husbands.


Mr Lufuma: This is happening fifty two years after independence and we cannot accept this situation. So, it is up to the hon. Minister to ensure that the utilities, even in the rural areas of North Western Province have the necessary funding to provide the necessary water to their people.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Mr Mulenga (Ndola Central): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate on this important ministry. I also thank the hon. Minister for giving us an informative statement and sharing, through the House, with the nation the reasons this ministry was created.


Madam Chairperson, this ministry was created by the PF Government to address the challenges which the Zambian people have been facing including air and water pollution by mining firms.


Madam Chairperson, having the environmental protection component under the Ministry of Lands, Environment and Natural Resources and water utility companies under the Ministry of Local Government and Housing created difficulties. The PF Government has put all these portfolios under one ministry and this will make it easy for utility companies to supply clean water.

The hon. Minister stated that one reason this ministry has been created is to ensure the provision of safe and clean ...




The First Chairperson: Order!


Please, sit down Hon. Mulenga.


There are too many conversations, hon. Members.


You may continue, Mr Mulenga.


Mr Mulenga: Madam Chairperson, I was saying that it will be easy for this ministry to ensure the provision of clean water because the challenge of the Ministry of Local Government and Housing was to put measures to engage mining companies when they polluted streams. For example, on 19th February and 8th December, 2016, respectively, the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) discharged sulphur in the Kafue River. This forced the utility company, Nkana Water and Sewerage Company’s treatment plant to be closed. People in Kitwe, Kalulushi and Chambeshi were advised not to drink water from taps. Despite this, the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) has never acted on this.


Madam Chairperson, many speakers before me have reiterated the fact that water is life but mining companies have continued to pollute rivers and streams. So, with the creation of your ministry, which is supervising the water utility companies and ZEMA, it will be easy to ensure that clean water is supplied to the people of Zambia.


Madam Chairperson, let me now talk about air pollution. In Ndola, we have emerging lime mining companies, many of which are owned by Chinese nationals. They are emitting lime dust in the environment which is actually causing harm to farms near the firms. It will be ideal that ZEMA enforces the provisions of the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Act No. 12 of 1990, as amended in 1999. It will actually help many farmers in this area.


Madam Chairperson, actually, these mining companies are discharge water which they pump from their mining processes into streams and make it difficult for farmers to conduct their farming activities. I know that the capable hon. Minister will help the Zambian people receive clean water and live in a safe environment.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kaziya: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for according me the chance to respond and wind up debate on the policy statement.


Madam Chairperson, I wish to thank Hon. Chonya for her contribution on the subject. She raised her concerns on the water shortage that has hit Kafue. I would like her to know that this shortage is as a result of a power outage that is currently being looked at. Technicians have been sent to Kafue to ensure that power and thereby water supply is actually restored.


Madam Chairperson, as regards solid waste management, the K9 million that has been Budgeted under the Ministry of Local Government will be realigned to our ministry to ensure that the problem of solid waste management is contained.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank Hon. Kintu for the sound advice on health issues. He raised concern about the infrastructure component that is in the Budget. He wondered whether it will be administer by my ministry or the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development. I think as earlier on alluded to, we are going to collaborate with the Ministries of Local Government and Health in ensuring that we strike a balance.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Member for Kabompo, Hon. Lufuma has raised a lot of concerns about sanitation. ZEMA is charged with the responsibility to look at environmental issues and I think that we have adequate laws that will address these concerns.


 Madam Chairperson, on the issues concerning air and water pollution in Ndola, I think my ministry will take charge and ensure that these mining houses that are polluting the air and discharging toxic chemicals into rivers are taken to task. I have a plan to go to these mining houses and meet most of these executive officers to ensure that they take responsibility over their discharge and ensure that our people are not subjected to danger.


Madam Chairperson, regarding the event that happened on 19th February, 2016 and 8th December, 2016 where KCM discharged their toxic waste into the Kafue River, ZEMA has actually taken measures to ensure that they take laboratory tests of the water. If the level of toxicity is too high, we are going to take KCM to task. We have adequate laws to address that issue concerning KCM.


I thank you Madam Chairperson.




VOTE 52/01 – (Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection – Human Resources and Administration – K52,934,512).


Mr Mutelo indicated to speak.


The First Chairperson: I have not even called out the Head and you are already standing.




The First Chairperson called out the Head.


Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 1007, Activity 001 – Goods and Services Arrears – K625,896 and Activity 007 – Personnel Related Arrears – K470,896, this is a new ministry, where are the arrears coming from?


Mr Kaziya: Madam Chairperson, we are in transition, we expect to inherit some of these debts from other ministries. We are budgeting so that we are not caught up in web where we fail to pay these debts.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Question put and agreed to


Votes 52/01 and 52/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 52/03 (Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection –Department of Water Resources Development – K12,200,000).


The Minister of Finance (Mr Mutati): Madam Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment:


  1. Under 02 Water Planning Unit, by the deletion of the unit name “Water Planning Unit” and substitution therefor of the unit name “Water Infrastructure Development Unit”; and


  1. Under 02 Water Planning Unit, by the deletion of the following programmes;


  1. Programme 1120 Monitoring and Evaluation, Activity 064 Monitoring Water Resource Development for Productive Use, K100,000;


  1. Programme 1120 Monitoring and Evaluation, Activity 700 Development of the M and E for the Water Sector, K100,000;


  1. Programme 1182 Transport Management, Activity 004 Procurement of Motor Vehicles, K450,000; and


  1. Programme 1203 Sectoral Planning and Development, Activity 700 Sector Planning Meetings, K150,000.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.


Vote 52/03, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 52/04 – (Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection –Planning and Information Department – K1,492,500).


The Minister of Finance (Mr Mutati): Madam Chairperson, I beg to move the following amendment:


  1. Under 01 Human Resource and Administration Unit, Programme 1002, Activity 042 World Water Day; by the deletion of K45,000 and substitution therefor of K95,000;


  1. Under 01 Human Resource and Administration Unit, Programme 1002 Events, Activity 095 Energy Week; by the deletion of K50,000.


  1. Under 03 Water Planning Unit, Programme 1067 Monitoring and Evaluation, Activity 007 Monitoring Water Resource Development for Productive Use and Infrastructure Development; by the deletion of K100,000 and substitution therefor of K200,000;
  2. Under 03 Water Planning Unit, Programme 1067 Monitoring and Evaluation, Activity 099 Development of the M and E for the Water Sector; by the deletion of K100,000 and substitution therefor of K200,000;


  1. Under 03 Water Planning Unit, Programme 1067 Monitoring and Evaluation, Activity 100 Procurement of Motor Vehicles; by the deletion of K450,000 and substitution therefor of K900,000; and


  1. Under 03 Water Planning Unit, Programme 1203 Sectoral Policy and Development, Activity 107 Sectoral Planning Meeting; by the deletion of K150,000 and substitution therefor of K300,000.


I thank you, madam Chairperson.


Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.


Vote 52/04, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 52/06 – (Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection –housing and Infrastructure Department – K391,703,270)


Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification, on Programme 5011, Activity 032 – Urban Water Infrastructure Development – K30,527,316, where is the budget for rural water development. Is it because we have started seeing eggs raining in Lusaka?




Mr Kaziya: Madam Chairperson, the funds are meant to develop major problem areas in urban areas. We are aware that we have a huge challenge in the rural areas. I think going by Vision 2030, we are going to attend to those problems in the rural areas.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification, on programme 5011, Infrastructure Development, seeing that there is nothing for the North-Western Province Water and Sewerage, I wonder what Activity 125 – Water Development – Construction and Rehabilitation – K219,305,361, is embedded in these particular votes.


Mr Kaziya: Madam Chairperson, this question addresses partly what was raised by Mitete. These funds are meant to develop water supply infrastructure in some of the rural areas country wide.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


The First Chairperson: You mean the question that was asked by Mr Mutelo, not Mitete?




Mr Kaziya: Sorry for that. I thank you for your guidance Madam Chairperson, it is actually Mr Mutelo.


Question put and agreed to.


Vote 52/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


VOTE 80 – (Ministry of General Education – K9,187,499,082).


The Minister of General Education (Dr Wanchinga): Madam Chairperson, I wish in the first instance to thank you for the opportunity to give a policy statement on the Ministry of General Education in order to give the context and general direction of the ministry’s 2017 Budget Estimates.


Madam Chairperson, I will begin by giving a synopsis of the policy and legal framework upon which the Ministry of General Education is anchored. I will then proceed to give a description of the major objectives for the 2017 Budget as well as the programmes on which the budget estimates have spoken to. I will also attempt to highlight those programme activities where major shifts have occurred in budgetary allocations between 2016 and 2017.


However, before doing so, let me compliment the hon. Ministers and hon. Members of Parliament who have congratulated the hon. Minister of Finance on the progressive National Budget for 2017, which is in tandem with the policy statements made by His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, in his address to the House at the Opening of the First Session of the Twelfth National Assembly.I wish to also join my colleaguesin expressing condolences to the House on the demise of the Former Deputy Speaker, Hon. Mkhondo Lungu, who was put to rest last week, may his soul rest in peace.


Madam Chairperson, Zambia’s pre-tertiary educational system is anchored on three main pillars, namely, the public or Government, private sector and faith-based institutions, some of which are grant aided. Educational programmes include early childhood education, primary, secondary and adult literacy. It also includes teacher education, school guidance services, education broadcasting, policy formulation, education standards and evaluation. The system also includes a central examining body, which is the Examinations Council of Zambia (ECZ), and now the Teaching Council of Zambia (TCZ).


Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of General Education draws its mandate from the portfolio functions as outlined in the Gazette Notice No. 183 of March, 2012, and as re-enforced by the Gazette Notice No. 160 of December, 2012. The activities of the ministry in the provision of education are grouped into six directorates and four units. Through the relevant Statutory Acts of Parliament, the Ministry of General Education also oversees the public education boards, ECZ, in-service resource centres, TCZ, public colleges of education, Zambia Education Implementation Unit, Zambia Education Publishing House and Zambia National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).


Madam Chairperson, the five programmes of the Ministry of General Education which form the basis of the 2017 Budget are early childhood, primary and secondary education as well as youth and adult literacy and management  and support services. At each of these levels, the budget will provide for teacher’s training and specialised services, enforcement of educational standards, assessment and evaluation including the provision of relevant infrastructure. Other budget lines under each of these programmes will be curriculum and materials development, and open and distance learning. The Government will continue to demonstrate its commitment to youth and adult literacy through the 2017 Budget as well as its support for orphans, vulnerable children andgirl child education and its commitment to the teaching of science and mathematics by supporting and strengthening science centres.


Madam Chairperson, hon. Members of the House will note that the ministry is the largest public sector employer with 134,851 employees constituting about 64 per cent of the total public labour force of which 94,576 are teachers. These numbers have a great impact on the 2017 Budget for the Ministry of General Education. The construction of a total of sixty-two secondary schools has been completed while fifty-three secondary schools are yet to be completed. In addition, skills training centres will also be constructed. Some of the 220 basic schools which have been upgraded to secondary schools still require some basic infrastructure such as laboratories for them to be fully functional. Infrastructure challenges which were experienced in 2016 will be addressed in the 2017 Budget.


Madam Chairperson, the thrust of the 2017 Budget will be firstly, to consolidate or complete programmes started under the previous budgets in the various programmes outlined and to operationalise the new curriculum which recognises the skills and academic lines. Secondly, it will also aim at improving the quality of education. Specific objectives will be:


  1. to complete the existing works, particularly the secondary school infrastructureunder construction and to provide support to the newly upgraded secondary schools;


  1. to improve the classroom learning environment by the provision of key learning and teaching materials such as text books and computers and to reduce the teacher/pupil rations in order to achieve the necessary learning outcomes;


  1. to firmly anchor the teaching of science and mathematics from early childhood to secondary school level and to improve the passing rate at all levels;


  1. to expeditethe integration of early childhood education centres and community schools in the mainstream primary education system and to increasethe number of pupils entering formal primary education with Early Childhood Education (ECE) experience;


  1. to improve teacher education and align it to teaching under the new school curriculum;


  1. to improve child retention in schools, particularly that of the girlchild; and


  1. to increase adult literacy rate by at least 10 per cent.


Madam Chairperson, in presenting this budget, a number of assumptionshave been made namely that:


  1. the exchange and inflation rates will remain stable throughout 2017, which I trust they will; and


  1. the current goodwill towards the education sector, particularly for early childhood and primary education among co-operating partners will continue and that the Ministry of Finance’s releases to the Ministry of General Education will go towards the implementation of the programmes.


Madam Chairperson, my ministry has been implementing Output Based Budgeting (OBB) since 2015 which entails a stronger focus on the realisation of its intended results. This has re-enforced the existing emphasis on compliance to financial regulations, processes and procedures while providing accountability, transparency and the performance orientation of the budget.


Madam Chairperson, let me now take time to highlight some key achievements and challenges that the ministry encountered in 2016 as well the prospects for 2017. In so doing, I should however hasten to state that my ministry endeavoured to fulfil the assurances given to this august House a year ago. Looking back at 2016, the nation made huge and tremendous strides in the education and skills sectors.


2016 Achievements and Challenges


         Early Childhood Education (ECE)


In the area of Early Childhood Education (ECE), my ministry continued its partnership with the private sector and other stakeholders to establish early childhood education centres as close to the community as possible. The ministry is working with partners such as the United Nations Children’s’ Fund (UNICEF), Plan International, Save the Children, ChildFund International, Zambia National Education Coalition (ZANEC) and a number of other partners in increasing quality access to ECE through infrastructure development and various capacity building activities. In order to support ECE, eighty-four teachers were recruited and deployed countrywide in 2016.


Further, the ministry successfully finalised the preparation of the ECE Policy and, currently, the policy implementation plan is being finalised. The ministry also endeavoured to submit the policy and its implementation plan to Cabinet and we hope that this process will be completed in 2017. Out of the K40.4 million allocated to ECE, only K3.5 million was released and allocated to ECE school grants. The ministry planned to construct ECE modern centres but no infrastructure funds were released in 2016.


         Primary Education


Madam Chairperson, in 2016, the primary education sub-sector was allocated K5.3 billion. Of this amount, K3.7 million was allocated to school grants, K3 million was allocated as support to community schools and K30 million to the school feeding programme.


To support the revised curriculum and the implementation of this activity, K6.2 million textbooks for Grades 2, 6, 9, and 11, worth K101.5 million, were procured. In order to reduce the pupil/teacher ratio, a total of 2,289 primary teachers were recruited and deployed countrywide. Due to inadequate release of funds for teaching and learning materials under this sub-sector, the ministry failed to procure enough materials. However, we hope that this is an issue that will be adequately addressed in the 2017 budget.


         Secondary School Education


Madam Chairperson, in terms of secondary school education, the ministry is currently implementing a two-tier education system which offers learners an opportunity to either follow an academic or vocational pathway. The two-tier system was initially piloted in secondary schools which are located near trades training centres. The learners from the secondary schools were learning a trade using the workshop for the trades training institute. Furthermore, a total of 3,410 secondary school teachers were recruited and deployed in 2016 in order to improve staffing at secondary staff sector level.


Madam Chairperson, with regards to the curriculum, the last phase of the roll-out of the revised curriculum which targeted Grade 12 has successfully been done this year. To support the revised curriculum implementation, the ministry procured various school equipment worth K315 million for 300 secondary schools to promote the development of vocational skills in the learners.


With regards to infrastructure development, the ministry continued works on secondary school projects. The ministry completed the construction of fifty-two new secondary school out of the targeted 115 schools under construction. Meanwhile, the first phase of upgrading 220 day secondary schools has been completed.


         Youth and Adult Literacy


Madam Chairperson, in terms of youth and adult literacy, in 2016, the ministry through the youth and adult literacy programmes managed to develop and produce supplementary educational programmes which include ECE, radio lessons, parenting and interactive radio instructions as well as HIV/AIDS radio learning lessons. The biggest challenge noted under this programme is the lack of sufficient funds. Out of the K1.7 million that was allocated, only K617,000 was released. This entails that most of the operations that were planned for in 2016 could not be implemented.


Management and Support Services


Madam Chairperson, in terms of management and support services, which is the largest component, in order to ensure that the ministry delivers its services efficiently and effectively, K619 million was allocated to this programme. With these funds, some of the operations implemented by my ministry included the following:


  1. A review of the national education and skills training policy in order to enrich it in line with the changes that are taking place through Government policies; and


  1. A review of the 2011 Education Act in order to highlight some of the issues that needed to be changed to facilitate the anchoring of the new curriculum. Particularly, this new legal framework is supposed to contain the following:


  1. provisions on ECE;


  1.  provision of free primary and/or secondary education;


  1. changes in language of instruction at lower levels of education;


  1. quality assurance;


  1.  gender;


  1. child protection;


  1. regulation of professional practice and conduct;


  1. domestication of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in relation to education;


  1. promotion of rationale for the design and development of qualifications; and


  1. devolution of ECE, primary education and youth and adult education functions to a local councils


These are the issues that are to be addressed in the legal frameworks which are being perfected. Additionally, the ministry recruited and deployed 5,783 teachers for all levels.


The revision of the organisational structure of the ministry to make it more responsive to today’s design and educational needs is also taking place. Lastly, with regards to teacher education, my ministry allocated a total of K11.2 million as grants in the fourteen colleges of education in the country.  Out of this amount, K8,450,536 was released and the resources were used for the training of teachers in the revised curriculum and also to monitor teachers on teaching practice. The colleges of education implemented the revised curriculum syllabus for teachers and have aligned it to the new school curriculum.


Madam Chairperson, the biggest challenge faced in this area was the implementation of the Output-Based Budget because of the inadequate release of funds. This entails that most of the indicators that were set in the operator matrix could not be realised. None of the other emoluments funds amounting to K63.9 million were released, thus making it very difficult to complete the exercise of developing these indicators.


Madam Chairperson, let me now address the 2017 budget for the Ministry of General Education. In the 2017 budget, we have been allocated a sum of K9.27 billion, for approval. Of this amount, K8.98 billion will be Government funding whereas K292 million will be donor funding. Of this total, about K7.7 billion has been allocated for personal emoluments. This is a very large allocation to emoluments for reasons that I will explain later.


Madam, I am glad to inform the House that the Government has decided to continue with the piloting of the Output-Based Budgeting system in 2017 for the second year running. The implementation of the Output-Based Budgeting has resulted in the following:



  1. the programmes are focused on outputs and not activities; and


  1. there is less misapplication of funds.


 We, have therefore, confident that following this process, the programmes that are being implemented will be able to achieve the strategic objectives which the ministry has set out in the area of early childhood education, primary education, secondary education, youth and adult literacy and management and support services.


Madam, the allocation to the five certain programmes are proposed as follows:


Early Childhood Education


Madam Chairperson, in the area of ECE, the major output for this subsector in the 2017 Budget is to increase the proportion of Grade 1 entrants with early ECE experience from the current 24 per cent to 26 per cent by the end of 2017. It is also expected that there will be an increase in the number of children between the ages of three to six who will be accessing early ECE and will also be enrolling into primary school. We are hoping that this number will increase from the current 202,000 to 3,000.


Madam Chairperson, to this effect, a total of K37 million has been allocated to the sub-sector out of which K30.1 million has been set aside for infrastructure development at this level. About K2.8 million will go towards general operations which include ECE communication strategy and capacity building for teachers involved in early childhood education.


Madam, a further K3.7 million has been allocated as grants to be disbursed to ECE Centres where for their smooth operation. At primary school level, the focus for the 2017 Budget is to ensure that both the Government and community schools receive schools grants as well as the free primary education requirements. This in turn is expected to increase access to quality primary education.


Madam Chairperson, in order to facilitate effective implementation of the programmes at the primary sub-sector, a total of K6.1 billion has been allocated in the 2017 Budget.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Wanchinga: Madam, the detailed breakdown of the allocation is as follows:


(a)     K5.7 billion has been allocated for salaries and wages as well as other emoluments;


  1. K124 million has been allocated for the implementation of various general and administrative operations at school levels;


  1. primary schools grants have been allocated a total of K95 million of which K3 million    has been allocated as support to community schools; and


  1. K35 million for the school feeding programme and the procurement of food as well as   salaries for coordinators of the school feeding programme. Further, K90 million has been allocated for infrastructure development at the primary sub-sector level for the repair, completion and rehabilitation of classrooms, the repair of blown off roofs, drill boreholes, equip the schools with the various material requirements and also to supply the pumps to the boreholes to be drilled.


Madam, in the 2017 focus, we will ensure that the schools that have been constructed since 2008 are completed. A total of K2.1 billion has been allocated to the secondary school sector. These funds are distributed as follows:


  1. about K45.2 million has been allocated towards general operations while K37.9 million will be disbursed as grants for operation of secondary schools;


  1. K23.9 million has been set aside as bursary support and for orphans and vulnerable children; and


  1. the focus in 2017, therefore, will be to complete the remaining fifty-three secondary schools under construction. To this effect, a sum of K449 million has been allocated. The ministry has also allocated K67 million for the procurement of school furniture in the 2017 Budget in order to ensure that the newly completed classrooms are made functional.


Madam Chairperson, the budget will also ensure the continuation of the continuous professional development for teachers. To that effect, an amount of K20 million has been allocated for this purposes. An attempt to increase access among the girls in terms of their participation, will also receive a lot of focus.


Madam, the ministry has embarked on a project called ‘Girls Education and Women Empowerment and Livelihood (GEWEL) Project. This project is anchored in three ministries; Community Development and Social Welfare and the Gender. The Ministry of General Education is focusing on a project entitled ‘Keeping Girls in School.’ This is a project which has been allocated K65 million to complement the support which are receiving on this project from the World Bank.


Madam Chairperson, in terms of youth and adult literacy, the focus is to ensure that there is increased access to youth and adult literacy by the expansion and the rehabilitation and maintenance of existing facilities and the establishment of youth and adult literacy facilities in existing schools. We hope to achieve this objective. It is hoped that we would like to increase the number of adult learners by 10 per cent in 2017.


Madam, a total of K1.3 million has been allocated to this programme. These funds have been allocated as follows:


  1. K409,000 as personal emoluments; and
  2. general operations in youth and adult literacy centres has been allocated K935,000.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Wanchinga: These funds will also be used for the expansion, rehabilitation and maintenance of the existing schools facilities.


Mr L. Tembo: Hear, hear!


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Chairperson, for management and support services programme will be undertaken in a cost effective manner of all tasks to support the efficient delivery of the core functions of the Ministry of General Education in the area of education, training and scientific research and this will include the following:


(a)        gazetting of at least 200 schools countrywide – this is a major issue as number of schools have not been gazetted, therefore, we are hoping that in 2017 …


The First Chairperson: Order!


Hon. Minister, how many more pages do you still have?




Dr Wanchinga: Two pages, Madam Chairperson.


The First Chairperson: Alright. You may continue, please.


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank for your understanding.


Madam, the following outputs have been targeted under this programme:


  1. gazetting at least 200 schools countrywide and reduce the ministry’s audit queries by at least 80 per cent; and


  1. monitor the implementation of the output based budget; and


  1.  review the implementation of the ministry’s strategic plan and its organisation structure.


Madam Chairperson, a total of K825 million has been allocated towards this function. Let me also mention that in terms of economic classification of the 2017 Budget, the summary of it is that the K9.2 billion, which is about 85.1 per cent of the K9.2 billion for 2017 will go for Personal Emoluments because of the high number of teachers and high number workers in the ministry. The goods and services will take about 3.3 per cent and 4.7 per cent will be for the transfers and other payments. This money is going to support various statutory bodies under the ministry. There will be a capital expenditure, which will take about 6.9 per cent.


Madam Chairperson, let me end by assuring the nation …


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Wanchinga: … that through this House …


Ms Katuta: Eba Sir, aba!


Mr Kafwaya: Ema summary aya!


Dr Wanchinga: … that the Government is fully committed to improving the education sector.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Wanchinga: However, the process will require strong partnership with the private sector, faith-based organisations as well as co-operating partners.


It will also require thinking outside the box to surmount some of the challenges facing the teachers and pupils alike. Private sector involvement in constructing low to medium cost housing units and boarding houses for rent, particularly in rural areas, would positively compliment the Government’s efforts, as well as those efforts which are being made through community initiatives and the use of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).


In conclusion …


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Wanchinga: … I wish to call upon all hon. Members of this House to support the 2017 budget for the Ministry of General Education as presented.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Mwashingwele (Katuba): Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for that elaborate policy statement on the Ministry of General Education. Firstly, I want to say I strongly support the budget of this ministry with the following observations.


I will start with the issue of primary education. When you look at the budget of the ministry on face value, it looks like a lot of money has been allocated towards primary education. However, following the hon. Minister’s policy statement, we realise that so much of the primary education budget has gone towards personal emoluments and I would even argue to say it is 90 per cent. This actually defeats the purpose of the whole exercise because if we are going to spend so much on just emoluments, then there is a deficit in the primary education budget. As it may be said, education is not only about having a teacher that is important to the system, but also infrastructure and other resources. You find that we lack a lot of things in the primary school sector because we spend so much on emoluments.


Madam Chairperson, if you visit the primary schools, and I would want to use the example of rural constituencies, you will find that they do not have what we usually call a black board, which is sometimes green. They do not even have desks. I wish I could actually bring pictures of children sitting on the floor or on blocks just to try and get some education. We all know that if a child is not properly sat in class, even their learning is actually affected.


Madam, we are actually way below the 20 per cent allocation of the National Budget towards education, as stipulated in certain protocols that we have agreed upon in the Southern African Region. Therefore, I would beg the hon. Minister of Finance to actually relook at the budget allocation for the Ministry of General Education. I feel this ministry is not getting what it really deserves.


Madam Chairperson, may I also speak about the so-called free education. There have been statements of pride going around that there is free education from Grade 1 to 7. I would want to differ a bit with the hon. Minister of General Education on that point. When we say something is free, it must be totally free of any charge. Charging even a little bit defeats the purpose of giving anything for free. Children are being sent away from schools by the Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) because they cannot raise the money for floor polish, brooms and any other extras.


Therefore, how can we claim that we are giving them free education in public schools with such a situation? If we are talking about primary education really being free, we must have a certain control on the PTAs. According to the Education Act, and the hon. Minister may guide me if I am wrong, a child must never be sent away from school for as long they have stepped a foot in school for that particular term. However, you find a lot of children are being sent away because of basic things that are asked for by the PTA. For 2017, I think such things should be looked at so that the PTAs are controlled.


Madam Chairperson, the other thing that I want to talk about is the quality of time in primary schools. From my teaching experience, I do not think any school child can get anything in two hour. However, you find that most primary schools are giving children only two hours per day in school. Surely, what type of education would a child receive in such a short time? There are too many streams in primary schools or what we used to call basic schools. A child in Grade 7 gets a maximum of three and half hours in school per day. Practically speaking, it means they have only learned four subjects, which is actually not giving them quality time. This is another thing that the hon. Minister needs to look at. If we are going to give what is called quality education, it must be worth what it is called. Otherwise, there is nothing that we are achieving. In Katuba, we may even say children go to school to just play and not to learn.


Madam Chairperson, the other thing that I would want to talk about is science in secondary schools, which I heard the hon. Minister emphasise on. Yes, we need to teach our children science, but I wish the ministry could send out researchers to have a closer look at most of the secondary schools in terms of the science laboratories there. I remember when I went to Grade 8, school laboratories were well equipped. Although I am not a scientist, I know that a laboratory is supposed to have a test tube, Petri dish, Bunsen burner and so on and so forth, but these things not there in school laboratories today. So what science are pupils learning if they do not have the equipment?


When we talk about vocational training, how are children going to cope if they are not prepared at secondary school level? I am glad that this morning we were talking about a Bill on the skills development levy. Those are the skills we are talking about. Can we put so much into what really matters in education, which is the quality of education that we are giving our children. Otherwise, if that does not happen, I do not think in the next twenty-years we will have parliamentarians as I am seeing today who are articulate. The value of education has been eroded and it is because we are not paying attention to what really matters.


Madam Chairperson, having said that, I am happy that the hon. Minister mentioned that out of the 115 schools being constructed nationwide, sixty-two are almost complete. However, the roofs of schools in most places, Katuba Constituency included, have been blown off. This can be attributed to two things. Firstly, some school buildings are very old. Secondly, the workmanship in the construction of some schools is very poor. You find that a new school that has only been in existence for five years has its roof blown-off. When we are building these schools, can we ensure that they will last a life time. They should be able to stand the test of time, especially the weather because we will keep on redoing the things that we have done instead of building other schools.


The hon. Minister spoke about early childhood education. This is extremely elusive in Zambia. The ministry is putting a lot of effort to ensure that children have some form of early education. However, there is a great contradiction. Those children in early childhood classes are learning in English. I teach them the ABC, and literacy and numerals in English, but when they go to primary school, from Grade 1 to Grade 4, they are expected to learn in local languages. That is a great contradiction. We have to have some form of consistency. If children start learning in English in early childhood classes, then they should also learn in English in Grade 1. The Civil Service is extremely mobile. In Solwezi, children learn in kaonde. When a child from there comes to live in the Central Province, he will be confronted with bemba and lenje. This scenario makes us go backwards in education. We need some form of consistency in policies across the country. Otherwise, we will not achieve anything in primary education, which is the foundation of all levels of education.  I beg that we look at that policy of children learning in local languages at primary schools and see whether it is workable in this country, which has seventy-three tribes.


Madam Chairperson, let me very quickly look at teacher training. Teacher training is actually a key to our schools, both primary and secondary. I was very sad to know that the requirement for a teacher to teach in any school is having five O level subjects, inclusive of maths and science. However, the Ministry of General Education has recruited teachers for 2017 who are lacking this basic requirement. The Permanent Secretary (PS) in this ministry has gone ahead to issue a circular saying that these teachers should be retained as long as they rewrite the missing subjects within two years of being employed. I do not agree with that. As a teacher educator, I think it is wrong to do that and a wrong must not be condoned by the Ministry of General Education because once we do that, we will kill the whole process. I am sure those who have teacher training colleges in their constituencies know that there are more than a thousand students who would want to enter a teacher training college. How in God’s name have we found ourselves training people who do not have the basic requirement? How does the Ministry of General Education find itself employing people who do not have the basic requirement? I do not understand. Unless we tighten the quality control of teachers being employed, I do not think I will be happy to give my child to a teacher I know is not fully qualified. I beg the Ministry of General Education to seriously look at this matter.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister talked about the other stakeholders involved in education. Yes, we have other stakeholders, but the ministry should lead by example. Maybe I should take this time to thank all the missionary schools around the country that have been our partners in education way before independence. Sometimes, the ministry does not help them to give us the best. It changes goal posts, tempers so much with the curriculum and introduces too many policies in a very short time. The ministry is experimenting with our lifeline. Education must be conservative to a certain level if we are going to achieve what we want.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Mwashingwele: Every hon. Minister and every Government wants to change the policies in education and I am saying no to that. Let there be continuity. If we are going to get it right, we need to agree that those who understand what they are doing like the missionaries and the private sector be given the leeway to handle education for us. Where the Government is not sure, it should consult those who know and have been in the system for a long time.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Mwashingwele: On that note, I thank you, Madam. 


Mr Mbangweta (Nkeyema): Madam Chairperson, I would like to appreciate the clear statement which has been made by the hon. Minister this afternoon.


Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of General Education is one of the biggest employers and maybe, that is why the hon. Minister took a long time to read his policy statement. I have a few comments to make on what he has presented. The first is that it would help if the other ministries adopted the Output Based Budgeting (OBB). I do not know whether this is a pilot project, but it is very good. If the other ministries were to do the same, it would be easier to implement the performance management system which the Government wishes to do.


The other point I have appreciated is that the Ministry of General Education is one of the only two ministries which has given us an establishment register for its ministry. It is a lot of work, but the bureaucrats in these two ministries, the Ministry of General Education and the Ministry of Health, have given as establishment registers and I think they ought to be commended for a job well done.


Madam Chairperson, last week, the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development indicated that the departments which have been dealing with rehabilitation of infrastructure in the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) should be given to the new Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development. So, I encourage the hon. Minister of General Education to ensure that this is done. I do not know what format is going to be used to do it. I do not know whether the staff in these institutions is going to be transferred to the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development or not. I think transferring the staff to the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development is actually desirable rather than leaving them within their sections. The reason I say this is because a number of us have been to the Ministry of Education to ask it to pay for the rehabilitation of the roofs for some of our schools which had their roofs blown off, but we got no positive response. So, the sooner this situation is resolved, the better for us and indeed, the ministry. Otherwise, the complaints will continue.


Madam Chairperson, if for some reason, by tomorrow, we fail to convince the Ministry of Finance to fund new projects as well as unfinished projects, I will request the hon. Minister of General Education to come up with new projects to be implemented in new constituencies and districts like mine because Nkeyema does not have any secondary schools being constructed. I have no idea why it is so. So, I will request that new projects in the Ministry of General Education, which have not been allocated funds, be considered to be implemented in my constituency.


Madam Chairperson, the other policy which is not working very well has to do with community schools. Parents are being burdened with the responsibility to build community schools and to provide for the teachers, but they are not in a position to do this. So, it might help if the ministry had a look at this so that it can ameliorate it. The ministry would like to achieve its strategic objectives, one of which says, “To provide equitable, quality and relevant early childhood primary and secondary education in order to improve learning outcomes.” At the moment, this is not being achieved. The ministry will do well to revisit the policy which requires  parents to help build community schools.



Finally, I would like to appreciate the hon. Minister because I read in the newspaper that last week he had gone to Kalulushi to look at some of the schools there and he complained about how these schools are dilapidated. So, the point I am driving at is that if Kalulushi has such dilapidated schools, what about in Nkeyema or indeed other rural places? So, it is good that he was able to go there and I am hoping that he will also find time to come to Nkeyema or visit any other place where these concerns have been made. However, the most important thing is that Cabinet will do well to adopt the ministry’s budget because it is very useful and it is very easy to judge and even to assess the officers who will be carrying out the targets which have been set.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Thank you, Madam Chairperson, for giving me this opportunity to debate the Vote on the Ministry of General Education. We have heard a lot sayings about education such as, “Education is the best equaliser” and “Education is the cornerstone of any society”.


Madam, the purpose of education is to train somebody by giving him/her skills that will enable this particular individual to be able to live in his environment and use the natural resources around to earn a living. Currently, the type of education we have in Zambia is whereby our own people end up being the end users of what other people invent. Hence we need to change from this phenomenon.


Mr Mutale: Fulako nama glass!


Mr Kamboni: Madam, allow me to give an example, we are always talking of lack of employment in the country, but if we invested adequately in education, we would create all the jobs we need. There are countries like Singapore that moved from a Third World Country to a Developed Country by simply investing in education. The laptops that we use are products of education. Some countries earn a living from some of the smart phones that we use. All these are products of education. The cars we drive and the new technology we see are all products of education because other people have been able to invest in education and make their countries tick, develop and improve their standard of living. Therefore, there is need to change the way we look at education and invest more.


Madam Chairperson, the other issue I would like to talk about is on writers in education. How come we do not have Zambia writers in our education system? How come our education system does not produce people who invent something we have to order even toothpicks from China? It is high time we changed our education system so that when somebody has completed his education, he is able to be of use in society by producing instead of creating people who will be looking for employment no, that is not education.


Madam Chairperson, allow me now to talk about leakage in our education system. Nowadays, leakage has become the order of the day.


Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: Some pupils buy exam paper before they write an exam. We need to do something in order to defeat leakage. Why has leakage gone ahead of us? It is because we are using outdated assessment methods. No one has ever thought of thinking outside the box.


Mr Mutale: Question!


Mr Kamboni: It is high time we changed our assessment system. There are some assessments that can be used and leakage would be a story of the past. One does not need leakage. This is because they have changed the type of assessment to fit the demands of the modern society.


During exams, students use Watsup to send an answer to a friend on the phone and they can copy. This implies that we need to change the system to fit the present environment. In my opinion, I think the ministry should sit down and look at the assessment methods that are not going to make people worry about leakage. It is high time we changed our education system.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: Madam, if look at education, it is not only in schools. Even in the streets there is education. The Zoona that we use now, Airtel money and MTN money were invented in Kenya. Zambia borrowed this idea and we are very good end users. Now we all talk of Zoona. Today, I think about ten Members of Parliament were sending money using Zoona that was invented in Kenya. What the Kenyan Government did was to go into the streets and tapped young men who were gifted in computers, sponsored and helped them to develop, and they developed a concept which is now used throughout the region. Kenya is taking all the resources, but in Zambia we have nothing of that nature.


The First Chairperson: Order!


Mr Kamboni: Yes ehe!




The First Chairperson: Order!


Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.




Mr Kamboni: Madam Chairperson, when business suspended, I was just explaining to the House that if we invested adequately in education, we would actually improve the economy of this country. If we solely depended on education, then we would produce learners that would be able to invent something. So, it is high time we changed the education system we have in the country in order to get results from education.


Madam Chairperson, I talked of assessment methods, and I said that surely, we are still using the same colonial method of assessing people. For instance, you could have been learning for twelve years, in Grade 12 you are given a test for two hours that makes who you are, this is a very outdated type assessment. You cannot assess a person in one hour when they have been training for twelve years. It is also unfair for somebody to go to school for twelve plus four years at the university sixteen years and he cannot do anything. There is something we can do to make our education system better. This is my point.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


  Mr Kamboni: Madam Chairperson, a lot needs to be done if we are to get the results that we want from the education sector. We need to invest in equipment, human resource and everything else that has to do with education. If we took a holistic approach to education we would derive benefits from it. However, for now, students only learn how to read, write and look for employment.


Madam Chairperson, we should not only talk about agriculture when we talk about diversification from copper. I have not heard anybody suggest that we diversify by investing in education. We would need intelligent people if we are to diversify in that way. We need people that can think outside the box, not the same people who will come and do the same things they were doing last year.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: You cannot get results from the education sector if we continue to operate like this. We need people with a different mindset who will come up with something that is different. We need to put money into our education sector if we are to derive any benefits from it.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: Madam Chairperson, Zambia is amongst the countries that puts the least amount of money in the educational sector in the southern region. At one point we were third in Africa, but now we have gone down the list.


Madam Chairperson, there was an attempt the PF to change the syllabus, but it was done by politicians instead of technocrats.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: The change of the syllabus was disastrous. It was copy and paste, I followed it. The Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA) was supposed to carry out inspections up to Grade 4, but it did not have the capacity. What they said would be done was never done. This was the time when subjects like Chinese were introduced in the country when there were no Chinese teachers. This was the time when computers were introduced in all the schools when there were no computers in the schools.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: This was the time when computer lessons were introduced when there was no electricity in over 90 per cent of the schools. That shows a lack of seriousness. Let politicians leave education to the specialists and technocrats because politicians change things to benefit themselves.


Madam Chairperson, look at the textbooks that we have written ...


Ms Kapata: Question!


Mr Kamboni: ... for example. They removed history from social studies yet when you compare the new and the old textbook you will see that they are the same. It is just copy and paste. All they changed are titles. We need to invest in education. We should get a group of intelligent young people and task them with coming up with a direction for our education sector.


Madam Chairperson, I was talking about how Zoona, Airtel Money and MTN Money were invented on the streets in Kenya. The boys in Kanyama that weld gates and make door frames did not learn that from school, they learnt it from the street. Has the Government bothered to help them? If we pick twelve of those boys per year and send them to further their education they would become geniuses who would benefit this country.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chilangwa: On a point of order!


Mr Kamboni: We need to tap education from everywhere. That boy who is in Petauke ...


Mr Chilangwa: What about girls?




Mr Kamboni: Madam Chairperson, if we helped the people in Petauke who are doing carpentry they would certainly produce more. What I am trying to say is we need an overhaul of the education system.


Madam Chairperson, there is a policy which was introduced by the Government which almost killed boarding schools. It was very bad policy aimed at getting votes. The Government decided that all boarding schools must only pay K1,000 even though each school had its own agreement with the parents. That policy destroyed boarding schools. There were schools that were charging above K1,000 because they had agreements with the parents who wanted their children to be comfortable, but then the Government came with this policy which caused standards to fall. My request to the hon. Minister of General Education is that he revises that policy. Let each school agree with the parents on how they want their children to be kept. There must also be democracy when it comes to schools. The Government should not impose its will. Elections are over so we should remove that policy. It has made Government boarding schools very bad.


Madam Chairperson, we must maintain the same standards throughout the country. I do not understand why cut-off points should differ per province when we are all Zambians. Cut off points should be the same ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: ...  and our educational system should also promote the environment where learners are. Do not force students to learn things which are of no use to their environment.


Madam Chairperson, we have what is called an outcome based system of education. This is where even the attitude of a person is taken into consideration. Some people who had distinctions are bad workers while those who graduated with a pass have a better work ethic. Why is this so?


Mr Mwale: Tell us!


Mr Kamboni: It is because our education systems have ignored the attitude of a person. Attitude is very important in modern day learning. I can be a very intelligent hon. Member of Parliament, but if I do not come to the Chamber, when will people hear what I have to say? If am I never in the House then I have a bad attitude. Our educational systems does not recognise attitude.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Malanji: Wabenja mwehinyoko!


Mr Kamboni: There is no measure for attitude.


Madam Chairperson, we need to go to the outcome based system of education. The beauty of the outcome based educational system is that assessment is continuous. You are assessed continuously so when a conclusion is drawn about you then that is your true nature as opposed to where people are assessed for one hour. A person has been going to school for 12 months, how do you expect to assess them in two hours? We need to move with the times when it comes to education.


Madam Chairperson, the teaching council’s job is not just to collect money from teachers. First of all, the fees that teachers are charged are too high.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: The teaching council in South Africa chargers teachers only about K70, but here they are charged about K500. Teachers have to borrow from finance companies simply to pay for the council. That is not the way a teaching council should be.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: I have not seen anything that this teaching council is doing other than punishing teachers by getting their money. A teaching council is supposed to do more than this.


Madam Chairperson, the problem with Zambia is that we copy systems, but all we are interested in is collecting money and instead of implementing the systems.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Government Members: Drink water!


The First Chairperson: He does not want water. Why are you forcing him to drink water?




Mr Kamboni: My appeal is that the fees that are charged by the teaching council must be reduced to as low as K150.


Madam Chairperson, the association between Government schools and private schools leaves much to be desired. Private schools have their own rules while Government schools also have their own rules. That is not the way it should be done. When hon. Ministers come here they say ‘blah blah’, but nothing really happens.




The First Chairperson: Withdraw ‘blah blah’.


Mr Kamboni: Madam Chairperson, I withdraw ‘blah blah’ and replace it with ‘sugar quoted language’...




Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: ... pertaining to things that are not actually happening. There is need for private schools to be respected like Government schools.


Madam Chairperson, we could make money from research in Zambia. The Zambia Agricultural Research Institute is in a deplorable state. It looks like a ghost town, there is nothing there. Some people are even building on the land which is supposed to be for scientific research. We are not serious about science. How can education help our situation if not enough money has been allocated to scientific research?


Madam Chairperson, finally …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: ... we need to change and make an educational system that will not produce a Zambian who is looking for employment, but that will produce a Zambian who is going to create employment.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Malanji: Wabenja mwehinyoko!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwamba (Lubansenshi): Madam Chairperson, I want to go straight to the issues which I want the Ministry of General Education to take note off. I am aware that the Ministry of General Education is the largest ministry and that it has a lot of employees. In this vein, this ministry has the responsibility of looking after its workers well. This morning, there was question …




The First Chairperson: Order on the right!


Mr Mwamba:  …which was posed by Hon. Kafwaya and he wanted to know when the construction of additional classroom blocks at Kapatu Mission High School in Lunte Parliamentary Constituency would be completed. The hon. Minister responded that that responsibility was transferred to the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development. I want to state here that for the past ten years, I have never seen any construction of infrastructure in schools. This means that we have created a very big gap during the period that we have not been doing anything. As a result, pupils have increased but classrooms are still the same. You will find that one classroom will accommodate a lot of pupils. 


Madam Chairperson, I therefore, request the Ministry of General Education to look into that issue seriously. I know that the Ministry of General Education is a new ministry. I do not even know how it is going to manage to coordinate its activities. It is the responsibility of the ministry to make sure that teachers are taken care of and that is very important. As we are carrying out the exercise of constructing these schools, we should also make sure that we monitor these activities well. We should also ensure that the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development constructs teachers’ houses. I note that teachers get housing allowance which is attached to their salaries. I have observed that in Lubansenshi, some teachers rent houses which are far from schools where they teach. They have to commute every morning. What I know is that teachers are supposed to live within the school premises.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwamba: Madam Chairperson, if teachers live within the school premises, they will be able to monitor the performance of pupils. Some pupils will be able to have tuitions even in the evenings. Therefore, the Ministry of General Education should create accommodation for teachers in schools. If there are no teachers’ houses in schools, those teachers should rent the houses which are not too far away from the school. So, it is important for the ministry to take that into consideration.


Madam Chairperson, I also want to talk about the issue of transport for standard officers especially the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS). In this House, we have been talking about quality education in schools. Now, how can we ensure that schools have quality education if we do not provide transport for standard officers? These officers are supposed to be mobile. They are not supposed to sit in their offices. They are field workers. They have to move from one school to another in order to monitor the standard of teaching in schools. I therefore, appeal to the Ministry of General Education and the Minister of Finance to look at the means of giving standard officers transport so that they are able to move. This move will improve the quality of education in this country.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwamba: Madam Chairperson, I know others are saying, “chapwa” but I still have two more issues to talk about.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to urge the Ministry of General Education to continue with the re-entry policy that has been introduced by this Government. This will enable people who want to continue with their education to do so. I know that men have been distractive because they have a lot of appetite for young girls.




Mr Mwamba: There are situations whereby when these men make our young girls pregnant, they keep away from them. They would not want to have anything to do with them. What I have noticed is that when a teacher makes a girl pregnant, he is apprehended, suspended or even expelled. In this country, we have a lot of workers who flirt around with our girls and eventually, even make them pregnant. What are we supposed to do in such situations? These people are also workers just like teachers and I think something must be done. I suggest that we come up with a policy that will help us arrest this situation. Everybody in this country should regard a school girl as a Government trophy. That way, we will allow our young girls to continue learning without disturbances. There are a lot of brilliant young girls who have dropped out of school due to such disturbances. I urge the Government to seriously look into that issue.


Mr Livune: You are just jealous!


Mr Mwamba: Yes, I can be jealous and there is no problem.




Mwamba: Madam Chairperson, the Minister of General Education said that the construction of infrastructure in schools will be dealt with by the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development. I do not remember when we last opened the new sites for construction of school infrastructure. The population of Zambia has increased but the schools are still the same. We must help the Ministry of General Education to open up new sites where new schools can be built. It is stated that schools should be within the radius of not more than 5km. In Lubansenshi, I am not sure if such a policy applied. W should make sure that we effect that policy so that we bring in more pupils in schools.


Madam Chairperson, finally, let me talk about Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) in Zambia. This is a good policy. I want to encourage the ministry to manage this policy well. In most of the areas where we come from, there are very few places that are actually opening up ECCE centres. That is the problem we have. I therefore, kindly request the ministry to look at that issue so that we have such centres in all areas.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.



The First Chairperson: By special arrangement we shall now consider Head 89, Ministry of Agriculture.


VOTE 89/01 – (Ministry of Agriculture – Headquarters – K5,435,167,917).


The Minister of Agriculture (Ms Siliya): Madam Chairperson, just like those who spoke before me, I wish to begin by putting ion record my condolences to the family of the late Deputy Speaker, Mr Danwood Mkhondo Lungu. May I also put on record madam Chairperson, my gratitude to the people of Petauke who have voted me four times, as Member of Parliament for Petauke Central.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Life Member of Parliament.




Ms Siliya: Madam Chairperson, I note that we are all aware that this budget is being presented in an environment of austerity measures. It is also important to bear in mind that one budget cannot solve all the challenges in agriculture. This budget must be considered as the first step towards a five year plan to increase efficiency and crop diversification, increase exports and GDP earnings in agriculture. The House will recall that in November, 2016, Cabinet approved a major shift in the maize marketing policy. This is aimed at realigning the expenditure in the agricultural sector and redefining the role of the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). The FRA now will be restricted to purchasing 500,000 metric tonnes of strategic reserves allowing the private sector to [play an increased role in crop marketing. The Government will also support an export oriented agricultural trade support policy. The Farmer Input Support Programme will be implemented through the electronic voucher platform in all districts of the country in the 2017/2018 agricultural season.


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Siliya: The policy shift approved by Cabinet and shared with the public through a ministerial statement to this House addresses many of the challenges faced in the sector especially by small holder farmers and results in the prioritisation of expenditure towards the key drives of agricultural growth.


Madam Chairperson, allow me to briefly highlight some of the achievements from the 2016 fiscal year. During the 2015/2016 agricultural season, Zambia experienced poor and erratic rainfall from October to December 2015 as a result of the El Niño phenomenon. Despite this, the total maize production in the 2015/2016 agricultural season increased from 2.6 million metric tonnes in 2014/2015 to 2.8 million metric tonnes which was an increase of 9.73 per cent. The country recorded a maize surplus of 634,681 metric tonnes of maize. The country also recorded increased production in various other crops. The production of soya beans increased from 226,323 metric tonnes in 2014/2015 agricultural season to 267,490 metric tonnes an increase of 18 per cent. In addition, other crops such as rice, cotton and ground nuts also recorded increases in output.


Madam Chairperson, during the 2016 marketing season, the FRA offered a price of K85 per 50kg bag of maize up from K75 per 50kg bag the previous season. The FRA is expected to purchase 500,000 metric tonnes of strategic food reserves. To date, the FRA has procured 280,548 metric tonnes of white maize valued at K476.9 million. I wish to emphasise that funds to pay all debts owed to smallholder farmers who supplied maize to the FRA have been released except for K6.93 million owed to farmers in Northern Province. This amount is expected to to be paid before the end of the year. On the process to secure the strategic reserves balance of 219,452 metric tonnes is advanced and will be completed very soon.


Madam Chairperson, I wish to share with the House that in last farming season the FRA bought maize from various provinces with the Northern Province producing the highest at 87,118 metric tonnes. Seconded was Muchinga with 51,318 metric tonnes, Luapula 49,556 metric tonnes…


Ms Katuka: Excellent!


Ms Siliya: … the North-Western Province with 43,825 metric tonnes, Central Province, 19,524 metric tonnes, the Western Province, 8,716 metric tonnes, the Eastern Province 5,268 metric tonnes, the Copperbelt Province had 5,251 metric tonnes and Lusaka Province was the lowest with 3,002 metric tonnes.


Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Agriculture has been implementing both the convention and electronic-voucher systems (e-voucher) under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). In 2016, the conventional system aims to support 1,666,000 farmers in sixty-four districts while the e-voucher system will support 602,521 in thirty-nine districts. So far, 84,527.5 metric tonnes of compound D fertiliser has been distributed to districts under the conventional FISP, representing 88.2 per cent of the targeted 95,813.92 metric tonnes. In addition, 34,729 metric tonnes of Urea fertiliser has been distributed country wide representing about 40 per cent of the targeted 87,000 metric tonnes. In addition, 4,777.65 metric tonnes of maize seed has been delivered to the districts under the conventional FISP representing a 59.2 per cent of the targeted 8,071 metric tonnes.


Madam Chairperson, let me highlight some of the other specific activities that my ministry under took in 2016.


  1. the Government drafted the National Agriculture Extension Services Strategy which outlines the steps and provisions to harmonise and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of providing extension;


  1. the ministry has commenced the process of creating an e-extension platform for improved services deliver;


In 2016, the Government in collaboration with the European Union procured and distributed over 200 lap tops, 800 tablets and other requisites to extension officers country wide;


  1. the ministry released three orange maize varieties rich in pro vitamin A and one pigeon P variety. The ministry also conducted field trials and analysis of over 5,500 soil, 150 fertiliser and 100 plants sample through soil fertility laboratories.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Siliya:


(d)     my ministry supported various public institutions to bring at least 2,395 ha of land under irrigation using the Irrigation Support Fund (ISF) under the Irrigation Development and Support Project (IDSP).


Outlook for 2017                 


Madam Chairperson, all programmes in the 2017 Budget are anchored around supporting the goal of crop diversification, increased production and productivity as well as increased agricultural exports.


Budget Allocation


Madam Chairperson, the 2017 Budget allocation for the Ministry of Agriculture is K5.43 billion. This represents an increase of 128 per cent from the 2016 Budget allocation of K2.38 billion. Out of the 2017 Budget, K976.1 million is supported by various development partners for key programmes such as crop diversification, irrigation development, mechanisation, agri-business support and value addition.


Priority Programmes for 2017


  1. Crop Diversification


Madam Chairperson, the Government will continue using the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) to drive the crop diversification agenda. In 2017, all the districts will implement the FISP using the Electronic-Voucher (e-Voucher) platform. A total of K2.856 billion has been allocated to the programme and this is an increase from K1 billion allocated in 2016. Using the e-Voucher, we intend to support and increase the production of maize, orange maize, cassava, sorghum, millet, rice, soya beans, cotton, groundnuts, mixed beans and sunflower. The Ministry of Agriculture will take the lead in sensitisation programmes to attain a cultural transformation in our relationship with food. Our idea of food must change from just maize meal nshima to cassava, millet, sorghum meal, rice, potatoes and other food crops.


  1. Agricultural Mechanisation


Madam Chairperson, agricultural mechanisation is key to improving the productivity of the existing efforts in the agriculture sector. Through mechanisation, the small holder farmers will be able to increase their production and productivity. To this effect, the Government has allocated K94 million with the support of co-operating partners to the promotion of agricultural mechanisation.


  1. Agricultural Extension Services


Madam Chairperson, as a ministry, we will continue to scale up and strengthen extension services to enable farmers adopt improved farming practices in order to improve production and productivity. In 2017, the ministry will continue with the development of an electronic extension platform to enhance extension delivery. An allocation of K23.9 million has been provided to support the delivery of agriculture extension services in 2017. The ministry will also endeavour to request Cabinet for Treasury authority for annual recruitment of extension officers to reduce the current ratio of one extension officer to about 1,000 farmers to the acceptable international standards of one extension officer to less than 400 farmers. In addition, K14.58 million has been allocated to the National Agricultural Information Service. This amount includes funds for the development of an effective communication strategy that will involve all Information Communication Technologies (ICTs). We are aware of the positive impact of our farming programmes on community radios in rural areas as well as those aired on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) radio and television.


  1. Irrigation Development


Madam Chairperson, in order to mitigate crop failure that arises from erratic rainfall conditions and support crop diversification, the Government will continue to invest in irrigation development. In this regard, it has made a provision of K434 million in the 2017 Budget for irrigation development countrywide with support from development partners.


  1. Farm Block Development


Madam Chairperson, in order to stimulate private sector investment and increase productivity and production of crops, the Government is in discussions with potential investors on the development of farm blocks in the country. The development of farm blocks will also include the construction of infrastructure such as water and energy for irrigation as well as support infrastructure such as roads, schools, hospitals and housing. K900,000 has been allocated for feasibility studies for the development of Luswishi Farm Block on the Copperbelt. The development of farm blocks will further stimulate agri-business development and exports and much interest has been received from the Saudis, Chinese and Israelis for blocks in Luapula, Northern, Muchinga and Eastern Provinces.


  1. Emergent Farmers’ Support Fund


Madam Chairperson, the Government has created the Emergent Farmers’ Support Fund. The target of the fund is to support emergent farmers to enhance their production and productivity through support for mechanism, input and other services they may require. In piloting this, the Government has made a provision of K2 million in the 2017 Budget. The modalities for this fund are still being developed and the nation will be informed in due course.


  1. Agricultural Research and Seed Systems


Madam Chairperson, the development of technologies that are able to respond to the changing environment is key to increasing production and productivity. It is for this reason that in 2017, the Government has allocated K91.3 million towards agricultural research. Some of the key activities under the research for 2017 include:


(i)         soil surveys, soil analysis and map digitalisation. This will enable the country to move away from the blanket fertiliser recommendations;


(ii)        production of 6,000 cassava and 7,000 sweet potato disease free planting materials for distribution to farmers using the newly established tissue culture laboratory at Mount Makulu Research Station;


(iii)       rehabilitation of dams at Mount Makulu and Mochipapa Research Station in Choma for irrigation purposes;


(iv)       rehabilitating roads leading to the seven research stations; and


(v)        complete the construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure in various research stations and purchasing of field and laboratory equipment to enhance service delivery.


  1. Value Addition and Agricultural Market Support


Madam Chairperson, value addition is key for the growth of the agriculture sector and job creation. The Government has allocated K37 million for value chain development and market support. Further, under Head 21: Loans and Investment, K17 million has been allocated for agri-business value chain development and agricultural marketing support programme. In addition to enhance access to credit by farmers, K20 million has been allocated under the Agriculture and Industrial Credit Fund, also under Head 21.


  1. Building Resilience to Climate Change


Madam Chairperson, in order to mitigate against the impact of climate change on the farmers and to build their resilience, the Government has made an allocation of K100 million. Under this programme, the ministry will conduct activities such as the promotion of climate smart agricultural practices, strengthening of collection and interpretation of climate data and promotion of alternative livelihoods.


  1. Agriculture Training Institutions


Madam Chairperson, the ministry will continue supporting agricultural training institutions to ensure effective provision of high quality training. An allocation of K17.3 million has been made in 2017 to support the training, infrastructure development and other related training services.


Madam Chairperson, having highlighted the key development programmes for the 2017 Budget, I wish to reiterate that the budget is being presented in an atmosphere of economic hardship. However, the hon. Minister of Finance presented hope to all of us. Since we have agreed as a nation to diversify, we are pleased with the fact that even though there was little to share, he recognised agriculture as a key sector for job and wealth creation.


Madam Chairperson, as I end, let me also quickly advise that we have stepped up engagement with fertiliser and seed suppliers in conventional FISP areas so that they can complete the distribution of the inputs in the next seven days and we will meet them tomorrow. 


I am also aware that even the e-voucher has had a slow start. Only this weekend was the Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO) distributing cards in places like Kasama, Mungwi and Nakonde and, we still have a balance in those areas. I will also be meeting with ZANACO management tomorrow to ensure that the bank expedites distribution of the new cards.


Madam Chairperson, I am grateful and indebted to the Ministry of Finance, which has continued to release funds for the Ministry of Agriculture to dismantle debt. Last Friday, K150 million was released and another K150 million, today, to dismantle the 2015/2016 fertiliser and seeds suppliers and transporters debt in FISP.


Mrs Simukoko: Hear, hear!


Ms Siliya: This will prompt the acceleration in distribution of the much needed inputs, considering that the rains are here.


Madam Chairperson, I ask all my colleagues in the House to support the budget for the Ministry of Agriculture.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Imakando (Mongu Central): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to debate. As I begin my debate, I would like to thank the hon. Minister of Agriculture for a well-articulated policy statement. It looks like the policy direction will take us somewhere if implementation will be fair and well-supported.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister talked of improving efficiency, supporting crop diversification, supporting crop exports and ensuring that FISP is well-implemented. She further stated that she will support these measures by making sure that there is irrigation, mechanisation, farm block development, value addition and agricultural market support.

Madam Chairperson, I would agree with the hon. Minister that her ministry is indeed taking the right direction.


Mr Nkombo: Question!


Dr Imakando: The problem, however, lays in the slow implementation of these well-intentioned programmes. The problem lays in inequity, when we cannot allocate these programmes fairly across the country. The problem is with implementation, which, very often, suffers from political interference.


Madam Chairperson, when I listened to the hon. Minister of Agriculture, I could not help but remembered her days as newscaster at the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC). The policy statement flowed so well.


However, I am hoping …


Mrs Simukoko: Hear, hear!


Mr Livune: Question!


Dr Imakando: …that what the hon. Minister has mentioned this evening will be shared equally.


Madam Chairperson, when I think of farm blocks, what comes to mind is Lombelombe and Kalumwange Farm Blocks. I never hear these farm blocks mentioned and I wonder. Hon. Minister, please, share these resources equally across.


Madam Chairperson, mechanisation is what will lift us out of poverty. Mechanisation is what will ensure that we commercialise agriculture. We cannot depend on the hoe and ox-drawn ploughs. It is time to ensure that mechanisation is employed to the fullest. However, it is important that this mechanisation is shared fairly across the country. Every province has its potential and comparative advantage for one crop or another. As we diversify, we must ensure that everyone benefits.


Madam Chairperson, extension services are underfunded. The hon. Minister admitted that we have challenges with the farmer/extension worker ratio. Efforts to increase the numbers depend on agricultural colleges. However, you will be surprised to know, Madam, that many colleges are fast losing land.


The land is being taken away from them and I wonder where our new extension officers will do their practicals. The Natural Resources Development College (NRDC) today has literally no farmland for practicals. If you go to Palabana today, you will be shocked. By the time Palabana was being declared a university most of the land had gone. More than 600 hectares has been taken away from Palabana. The same is true for research stations.


Madam Chairperson, if we are to benefit from agriculture and enjoy the benefits that we intend to reap from agriculture, we have to make sure that what we say in this House is implemented out there and that the slow pace of implementation is dealt with.


Madam, I want to inform the hon. Minister that I have really enjoyed her presentation and I look forward to the implementation of what she has told us in this House. As I wind up my debate, I want to echo my concerns on the e-voucher system. Let us target carefully with the e-voucher system. Let us ensure that we target the right people and that the point-of-sale machine is where the farmers are. Let us ensure that we benefit from the efficiency that we so boast about in this system. 


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to debate the Vote that is on the Floor of the House.


Madam, I have taken note of what the hon. Minister has indicated in her policy statement. However, there are some concerns, which I wish she could help hon. Members in this House fully understand the content of her statement when she comes to wind up her debate. If not today, then, she can do it any time in the near future.


Madam Chairperson, I want to begin from almost where she ended and this is the case of the inputs supply for this particular farming season.


Madam, not too long ago, we were assured that this programme was on course and that as a country, we did need to worry about the inputs. I come from a farming constituency, Mbabala which is largely a maize, tobacco, cotton and sunflower grown area.


Madam Chairperson, if we want to talk about delivering of the e-Vouchers now or farming inputs, whether it is maize or seed, we are already late for this season.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: Madam, where I come from and for some reasons, if you do not plant during the first one or two weeks of December, you are rest assured that you are not going to plant for the rest of the period because the season has already begun on a bad note.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister has been emphasising that farming is a business. If farming is a business, we cannot be talking like about delivering inputs today. At what stage will then people plan for the hectarage of the maize that they want to plant or any other crop that they want to sow?


Madam, what is even more worrying is statement we got in the media that the His Excellency the President is also concerned that and he has given the ministry a one week ultimatum for the farming inputs to be delivered.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: If you are going to be given a one week ultimatum to see the results from today, then, you are talking of somewhere around 25th December, 2016. For any maize or tobacco grown area, we are already in the planting season. So, maybe, you may be talking about sunflower or something in that range.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: Madam, Chairperson, what is again worrying is the statement that came from His Excellency the President that there are people that are sabotaging the input supply. If the statement is coming from the Executive, who is sabotaging who? I cannot imagine how a businessman can withhold the fertilizer because he/she wants to sabotage somebody and at the same time denying yourself income.


Mr Lufuma: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: How could it be possible for a businessman to withhold the seed because he/she wants to sabotage somebody and deny himself income at the same time?


Mr Lufuma: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: We were supposed to be talking about sabotage in the run up to the august elections. After the elections, we should now talk about what exactly is on the ground. I do not think talking or crying about sabotage or who is sabotaging who at this stage makes sense when I need the seed. For sure, I need the seed right now. So, who will I sabotage for me to go and buy the seed because I am looking for seed just like the people in Mbabala Constituency? So, who will sabotage who?


Madam Chairperson, in case the hon. Minister is not aware, some of the fertilizer suppliers in Choma have been calling me because they want me to go and buy the fertilizer from them because they have not activated the e-Vouchers, therefore, they are looking for alternative buyers right now. So, who will they be sabotaging if they are calling us to go and buy their fertilizer from them?


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: Madam, I have said this before that the e-Voucher System is a critical area. If you go to the genesis of this System, it was never designed to benefit a famer, but intended to benefit a trader. Check the origin of this system. It is for this reason that countries that have implemented the e-Voucher System have concentrated on promoting the agro-traders as opposed to helping farmers.


Madam Chairperson, right now, the farmers are at the losing end. For example, what do you do if the e-vouchers are not activated as we are being told today that they are still marooned? The same thing happened last season. What the then hon. Minister was calling savings under the e-vouchers system was not the saving because what happened was that the number of e-vouchers were not activities. Actually, it is a loss because what could have gone into production never happened. Therefore, it was not a savings.


Mr Lubinda: On a point of order, Madam.


Mr Belemu: Madam, before I leave the e-voucher System matter, there have been arguments that have been raised regarding the e-voucher System. One of them is that we are using the platform of Zambia National Farmers Union (ZFU) as opposed to a Government podium. This is a matter that you must critically look at again.


Madam Chairperson, the union is there to represent farmers. So, if you cannot trust your officers or your Government systems, but instead, you have resort to a union to be implementing your programmes, what step then, are you going to ensure that those extension officers do their work? The arguments have been that they do not trust the workers in the ministry, therefore, they have to resort to the Zambian National Union, but they expect to provide extension services that trustworthy. If that is the case then, why you not disband your ministry and resort to managing the ZFU?  It will be more preferable because if you cannot trust the officers in the ministry because they cannot handle agro-input supply properly, you are now trusting a union is a matter that you need probably to re-examine.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: Madam Speaker, the diversification is a good idea and was well said by the hon. Minister.


Mrs Simukoko: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: As a person that comes from a typically maize, cotton, sunflower and cattle raring growing area, diversification does not mean that you must do away with the crop that has been sustaining you for life.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: Whether you like it or not, maize remains a staple. Therefore, we must pay equal attention as we move away from maize. Just like at household level, I am trying to move away from maize, but that does not mean that I am must not consume the same quantity of nshima that I used to consume. So, let us invest in maize. This is the reason we keep saying that there is a shortfall of maize in the region and, therefore, there is an opportunity for us to market the grain. While some of these crops are good, they may not provide the equal opportunity like the advantage that we are looking for.


Madam, there is always been a vexing issue when it comes to marketing of tobacco and cotton. It should have been good the hon. Minister to emphasise what really Government intends to do. WE want to know whether they will be intervention or not in the marketing of tobacco and cotton.


Every year the farmers cry. Some of the neighbours countries like in Zimbabwe, the same buyers of tobacco in Zambia will buy it at the better price than in Zambia. The same applies to cotton. What are we doing to protect the farmers that we would want grow some of these crops, who are also hiding to the concept of preposition of diversification? The reason I would not want to grow cotton is because it is unpredicted when it comes to marketing. At least, I will need the Government’s support to ensure that the market is correct.


Madam Chairperson, under the various programmes that the Government is promoting particularly crops, are you are aware the varieties of the seed that are coming on the Zambian market for most of the crops are not tested on the Zambian market, but they were tested in other countries? Some of them are being supported under certain programme to enhance drought resistant areas, but they are never tested on the Zambian market. Right now, the same variety of crops seems to be the cheapest in terms of price. Therefore, our farmers are going for them and yet, they are tested on the Zambian market and therefore, the yields are compromised. It is high time we begun to look at the seed that is coming on the Zambian market.


For instance, when you ask any agro dealer that is dealing in seed, you will find all kinds of seed and there is no correct information as which seen variety will do well and where other than to see that this is an early maturating, medium or late maturing.


Madam, as we move into this season, I would to ask the hon. Minister to reconsider to pay Government suppliers in the agriculture sector. I am referring to those farmers who may supply maize to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), those transporters and those various services.


Madam Chairperson, one of the problems that disrupt our cycle in terms input supply is because of not paying the on time.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: As we stand today, there some are some transported who transported maize to the FRA, but they have not been paid. Some of them are small transporters/farmers and therefore, they are unable to recycle their money or put the money into back into production. I would also want to urge the hon. Minister to look at the storage capacity of the country. Do we not have incentives that we can bring into the sector to incentivise those that want to increase the capacity of storage?    


One of the reasons we keep saying we had a bumper harvest every season, even when that is not the case, is because we do not have enough storage for all our maize.


Mr Livune: That is right.


Mr Belemu: Zimbabwe and other countries have enough storage capacity because they invested much earlier in this sector. Right now, there are people who would want to invest in storage facilities but what are the incentives for doing so? Personally, I would want to invest in storage so that I can hoard my maize up to the point when the market is right. Therefore, all these are matters of concern.


Madam Chairperson, allow to me end on the issue the hon. Minister ended with, which is mechanisation.  I think the Government needs to help farmers, particularly small scale farmers, to understand exactly what it means by mechanisation. On one hand, farmers are being told that there is a new method, particularly under conservation farming, whereby you just make small holes in the ground, put seeds in there and that is all.  On the other hand, the same Government is buying tractors and talking about mechanisation of farming processes. Therefore, which way are we going? The Government should help me understand what is going on. Which country has ever had a maize surplus on account of using the small holes in the ground method of farming? Is there a farmer in this country who has ever gotten rich by making small holes to plant their seeds?




Mr Belemu: I think we need to bring the correct technology that people will understand. People who grew up in areas where there is farming, like those who claim to be headmen but do not even have a single hectare, will not understand what I am talking about. There is confusion among our farmers right now because they do not whether they should use tractors, ox-drawn equipment or the small holes in the ground method to do their farming.


Personally, my assessment is that I will never get rich if I go about the digging small holes way because I have not reached a certain level of affluence whereby I can afford to have a very big population in my household. I have not sired so many children. I only sired enough children that I can manage to look after. So when we go in the field, we cannot manage to dig a lot of small holes to enable us get rich. Therefore, I would rather buy a tractor or ox-drawn equipment.


Madam Chairperson, I want to emphasise that let us be clear on the methods that we want our farmers to use so that when they apply the correct technology, they are able to progress. Some of them can even afford to mechanise their farms. The only thing is that there has been confusion on which technology is preferable for us to advance our agricultural production.


Madam Chairperson, I do not want to say much because you have guided that as senior hon. Members we must be an example.




Mr Belemu: I am sure I am a very good example. However, I want to conclude by saying that we should do the correct thing. If that happens, I will even be a better example next time by not saying much. As for the hon. Minister, she must improve the agricultural sector because her predecessor did a lot of damage to it.


Thank you very much, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Machila (Magoye): Madam Chairperson, I would like to begin by agreeing with the hon. Minister that we need to embark on crop diversification and using the Electronic-Voucher (e-Voucher) system as a way forward in increasing efficiency in crop production. She also emphasised on mechanisation as a means of increasing productivity. She, of course, touched on agricultural extension services, recruitment of extension officers and adoption of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems to convey messages to our farmers.


However, I was a bit surprised and even taken aback when the hon. Minister went ahead to announce that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) owed the farmers in the Northern Province over K6 million. She further went on to say distribution of inputs would be active by the end of next week. I expected to her to apologise to the people of the Northern Province …


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Machila: … because the planting season in this country starts from around 15th November to 16th December. Anything thereafter is a disaster. Where is the morality in proudly depriving the people of the Northern Province K6 million which they would have invested in agriculture? Where is the morality in saying that farmers would be given the inputs after next week when the planting season would have been gone? It is a scandal of the century.






Mr Machila: We are experiencing these challenges because some people are not aware of what is involved in agriculture. For people who not involved in agriculture, any time is planting season, as long as they see rain coming down. Therefore, since the Government is responsible for the delay in giving the small scale farmers inputs on time, the hon. Minister of Agriculture needs to apologise to the people of Zambia.


Madam Chairperson, let me remind some hon. Members of the House that agriculture is one of the oldest human activities on earth. It goes back to the time of the Garden of Eden.




Mr Machila: All major wealthy civilisations thrived on improved technology in agriculture. An example is the Agrarian Revolution in China. We can also talk about the early days of Benito Mussolini in Italy, who drained a swampy area called the Pontine Marshes to plant wheat and a starving Italy ended up having enough crop for export. We can also talk of Russia or the Soviet Union, which had a shortage of the much needed foreign exchange sometime in the past. The country, however, underwent collectivisation and mechanised its agriculture. It ended up producing cheaply, abundantly and able to export because of using tractors. The Soviet Union earned a lot of foreign exchange, which it ploughed into the general development, including the security and defence sector.


Therefore, the hon. Minister is on the right path to emphasise on agriculture …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Machila: … but the challenge is that the work is being done haphazardly.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Machila: Madam Chairperson, let me come to the issue of the e-Voucher system and I would like to give what is happening in Magoye as an example. I just came back from Magoye Constituency this morning and no single farmer has received inputs for this season. For the people of Magoye, this year is a lost season.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! 


Mr Machila: There are, of course, some farmers who do not depend on the e-Voucher system, but all they need is to be supported by the Government in other areas. I will further give you examples of the resettlement areas in Magoye and Mugoto Resettlement Scheme in Mazabuka Central. Farmers have stayed on those pieces of land for many years. They have attempted to get title deeds, but have failed. This is because of the prevalence of corruption in the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.


If these farmers had land titles, they would have access to a lot of money through borrowing from the banks, for instance. This would enable them to be more productive and do farming as a business. They are not begging, but merely asking for the Government to facilitate the acquisition of title deeds. I have great respect for the patience of some of the people that are affected because in Ngwezi Resettlement in Magoye Constituency, for instance, we have a situation whereby a good number of officers from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources have erroneously got title deeds for land in the Ngwezi Resettlement area. They have never set a foot there and yet, the locals that have been settled there since 1960s find ‘big spanners’ at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources whenever they attempt to get title deeds.


I appeal to the hon. Minister in charge of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to clean the House because we cannot do agriculture without land.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Machila: I will withhold the names now because those officers are not here to defend themselves. However, I have specific names of members of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources who got land and inconvenienced the people in Magoye. The people in Magoye are saying no to such corruption. 


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister mentioned the issue of improving the small holder schemes in rural areas. However, most of the feeder roads in the rural areas are in a very deplorable situation. In Magoye Constituency, roads leading to Itebe in Mwanachingwala’s area, Kalama and Nkonkola in Chief Hanjalika’s area will soon become impassable. Yet, we are supposed to be joyous with a lot of rain that we have been blessed with. However, it is agony because the roads have become small rivers. I agree with the hon. Minister that feeder roads should be worked on, but that idea should not just end on paper, it should be implemented.


Madam Chairperson, my colleagues have mentioned the poor extension services. In Magoye, lack of extension services is a problem. Nanchengwa Agricultural Camp in Nkonkola has not been manned for over ten years.


Hon. Government Members: Nkonkola?


Mr Machila: Yes, in Nkonkola. The agricultural camp in Munjile has been abandoned and so many others as well. There was a sigh of relief when the hon. Minister mentioned that the ministry was going to recruit more extension officers. Hon. Minister, as you recruit these extension officers, kindly send them to Magoye because accommodation is there. You will not talk about lack of housing for them because housing is there. The only inconvenience for them will be the roads leading to those camps because they are almost impassable.


Madam Chairperson, let us take farming or agriculture seriously. I do not want the hon. Minister to give the excuse that she has not dealt with these issues I have mentioned because she just became the hon. Minister of Agriculture. There were other hon. Ministers in charge of agriculture under the Patriotic Front (PF) Government before her. The budget for the 2015/2016 season was approved last year around this time. So, the delay in giving inputs to farmers cannot be justified. We cannot accept that.


Mr Livune: That is right.


Mr Machila: The money was already approved. The Government should have worked to make sure that things were in order so that by November, 2016, all farming inputs would have been distributed. During the election campaign, the PF Government said that it was going to give farmers inputs by end of August, 2016. Is this end of August, 2016?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer, hammer!


Mr Machila: Apologies to the people of Zambia. You are responsible for destroying your own system of agriculture.


I thank you, Madam.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Katuta (Chienge): Madam Chairperson, I just want to mention that I support the budget., though I have some concerns that I want to bring to the attention of the hon. Minister of Agriculture.


Madam Chairperson, I listened to what the hon. Minister said in her policy statement regarding the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). She mentioned that FRA will be given a certain number of tonnes of maize to procure from the farmers. My concern is that I do not know how farmers in rural areas like Chienge will sell their maize. It seems like FRA is only associated with buying maize grain. As I am standing here, some farmers in Chienge have not been paid. I was told that last week, only about twenty farmers were paid for the maize they supplied to FRA. The rain season has started. Farmers are supposed to go and buy seed, but they do not have money and the worst thing is that they have never been given the inputs they paid for the 2014/2015 farming season. Those inputs have never been delivered to the farmers of Chienge.


Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!


Ms Katuta: I would like to suggest to the hon. Minister that maybe the best way to go about helping the framers in rural areas is by encouraging them to go into other kinds of farming, like growing other crops that have been talked about here. When I look at the inputs that they use in farming maize and what they get at the end of the day, I realise that they make losses. The energy that they put into growing maize does not match what they get out of their investment. Some farmers resorted to keeping the maize grain hoping that the price would go a bit higher later. At the end of the day, they missed out on selling their maize to FRA. 


Madam Chairperson, I would like the ministry to look into improving farmers in the rural areas. The hon. Minister stated that the Government is going to come up with a category of emergent farmers. I believe those are going to be commercial farmers. She also spoke about bringing investors from outside the country. We are going to have farmers coming from outside the country when we have potential farmers in rural areas where we have vast land. Why can the ministry not start with bringing investors to train our farmers? One of the conditions of bringing investors in the farming should be that there should be technology transfer to the locals. These investors will bring their technology, but they will not share it with our people. At the end of the day, they will go back to their various countries with their technology and our money as well. We will still have peasant farmers who are not going to improve. They will not even be among the emerging farmers that the Government is going to identify and support. I would also like to find out how the Government is going to identify these emerging farmers. Most of the farmers in the rural areas have not received much support and they do not even have much money. They are dependent on the money that comes from the Government and the Government delays paying them. They end up not cultivating much of the land that they were supposed to cultivate. By the time they receive inputs, it is a bit too late for them to cultivate the land. I would like to make a suggestion that the Government should start looking into improving the rural farmers instead of improving the commercial farmers who are just foreigners. The Government should start improving the rural areas. When I drove through Nsama District, I could not believe it when I looked at the land. The land was so beautiful. That is where block farming should go. Kaputa, Nsama and Chienge districts have got vast and fertile land which does not even need fertiliser.


Mr Ngulube: Finally!


Mr Ngulube: Finally!


Ms Katuta: Let me just summarise.




Ms Katuta: Madam Chairperson, the rural farmers are being used to feed the urban people. I heard from the figures that were mentioned that rural areas are producing more. Yet when it comes to getting what is rightfully theirs, it is not worth much what they have put in.


For this reason, I would rather urge the Government to give rural area farmers other means of farming, especially the diversification kind of farming that the Government is talking about that when it comes to producing maize, let the farmers in the urban areas to go ahead with the farming of maize. This is because the figures show that the farmers in urban areas have not done much in farming maize which is our staple food. Instead, it is gotten from the rural area farmers who are even paid little moneys or sometimes not even paid in time.


Mr Ngulube: In conclusion!


Ms Katuta: Madam Chairperson, I would also like to talk about the e-voucher. I wish to inform this House that in Chienge no one even knows what an e-voucher is.


Mr Ngulube: Finally, Madam Chairperson!


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Katuta: There are no banks in the rural areas so how do we expect these potential or future farmers to improve? All they are depending on is whenever Food Reserve Agency (FRA) will come and pay them.


Therefore, I would implore the Government, to look into helping these farmers in the rural areas where there is so much potential. Help them get the necessary training and they will produce a lot. That is the only life they live and that is all they depend on. They are not like these other farmers in urban areas who would be cultivating maize on this side or other crops, and doing livestock farming and other things. Perhaps if you supported them to grow other crops like sunflower, soya beans and rice it would help. For instance, we have got beautiful rice in Kaputa and Chienge.


Hon. Member: And cassava.


Ms Katuta: Yes, and cassava, thank you for reminding me. If they could just help them, they would be supplying cassava to mines like Kalumbila Mine instead of this mine importing cassava from Australia.


In conclusion, Madam Chairperson, …


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Chonya: Continue!


Ms Katuta: … I would also like to talk about the farm blocks. I wish to state that there were some other areas which were earmarked to be farm blocks in Mununga, a place called Kapakwe. Under the United National Independence Party (UNIP) Government, it was meant for that. This is the reason I am emphasising that the Government should take time to go into these rural areas and look at these places, talk to the Chiefs and turn those places into farm blocks. We should not just be hearing of Mkushi and Nansanga farm blocks, which they have been talking about ever since I was in Diaspora and they are still talking about it and yet we have masses of land lying out there. Please, help the people in the rural areas there to improve …




The First Chairperson: Order!


Ms Katuta: …so that they become commercial farmers.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha (Chifunabuli): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the Vote on the Ministry of Agriculture which I fully support.


Mr Ngulube: Hammer neighbour hammer! Ee ma neighbour aya!


Mr Mecha: From the outset, I would like to indicate that I spent quite a bit of time debating the Fertiliser Input Support Programme (FISP) during the debate on the Supply Motion which was presented by the hon. Minister of Finance.


The First Chairperson: Order!


Is the Chief Whip here? That bench at the back on my right, you are disturbing proceedings in the House.




The First Chairperson: I may be compelled to send the four of your out of the House.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


The First Chairperson: You may continue Mr Mecha.


Mr Sing’ombe: Acting Chief Whip!


Mr Mecha: Thank you, Madam Chairperson, I was making an indication that during the debate on the Supply Motion which was presented by the hon. Minister of Finance, I spent the entire twenty minutes debating the FISP, justifying the K2.9 million allocated to FISP. It is not my desire to go into FISP again. I know there are critical issues that the Minister needs to sort out under FISP. Perhaps the only advice I can give to the hon. Minister of Agriculture is to take the criticisms that have been advanced so far positively.


There are a lot of issues to look at. I, myself, have not been sleeping for the past two nights I think …


Mr Ngulube: Sure!


Hon. Members: Why?


Mr Mecha: … because there is no single farmer in the entire Samfya District who has received an e-voucher.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Just sleep!


Mr Mecha: However, I know these issues that we are having are not insurmountable. At an opportune time, I will be visiting the office of the minister so that I can advance some of the technical input I have on FISP to try and help address the many issues surrounding implementation of FISP.


Mrs Jere: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: Madam Chairperson, I have looked at the Policy Statement critically, I have also looked at the way the budget has been laid under the Ministry of Agriculture. I must indicate that I was elated when I was reading one activity under bilateral, multilateral and regional corporations. I saw an increase in the number of activities that are going to be funded by the donors, the agricultural development programmes. This particular fiscal year, there are about nine activities. In the coming fiscal year, there are about seventeen agricultural development activities that are going to be funded by the donors. So, I was talking to myself, can there be a better way of exemplifying the increasing level of confidence of the external community in the Ministry of Agriculture let alone in the PF Government? There cannot be. The increase in the number of donor funded activities this coming fiscal year demonstrates the high level of confidence that we have actually gained from the donors and this is very important for this country.


From that external perspective, you will also realise that our President, would want this nation to run an agriculture led economy.


Mr Livune: Question.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: This is internal confidence that we are talking about now. So, basically we have confidence from the external people as well as our own people including the President and myself.


However, sometimes we take such kind of confidence for granted. This is high time we put our house in order and the Minister has demonstrated how we are going to put our house in order in the Ministry of Agriculture.


Mr Livune: Question!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: She indicated to this House that the Agricultural Extension Strategy has already been commissioned, which is excellent. Agriculture extension is just as important to agriculture as blood is to the human body. If you do not harness the extension sector, the agriculture sector cannot function. This is why I want to indicate two lamentations.


The first lamentation has to do with the statement which came from the Minister of Finance in his Budget Speech, that engagement of frontline staff will be prioritised only in the ministries of Education as well as Health. The question is: What about agriculture? When so much confidence has been adduced from the donors as well as the people of Zambia?


Mr Ngulube: Ema subject aya!


Mr Mecha: This is the time when we need to have a proper skill leagues in order for the agriculture sector to run.


The second departure point from my lamentations has to do with …


The First Chairperson: Order!


Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.





Mr Mecha: Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister of Finance, in his pronouncements during the Budget speech, indicated that only the Ministry of Health and the Ministries of Higher and General Education would be prioritised for engaging new frontline staff. I, however, appeal to the hon. Minister of Finance to include the Ministry of Agriculture as well.


Madam Chairperson, we need to reduce the farmer to staff ratio because eye contact is very important in agricultural extension. The hon. Minister indicated that they are going to reinforce agricultural extension with electronic extension (e-extension), but e-extension has its own limitations, going by the kind of target group that we have in Zambia, which is farmers who may not be very literate.


Madam Chairperson, the other drawback that I see regarding the actualisation of the Agricultural Extension Strategy has to do with the law that we made in this House. We have a law governing the retirement age of staff who work for the Civil Service. Sixty-five years has been set as the maximum. Looking at the nature of the job of frontline staff in the Ministry of Agriculture, would a sixty year old really be effective? Are we not being counterproductive? There must be an exception to this law. I implore the hon. Minister to come back to this House so that we can revisit that law. We do not need extension officers who are over fifty-five years of age.


Madam Chairperson, I have interacted with some of these extension officers and they have lost their zeal. Even those who are just clocking fifty years have lost their zeal. There is a provision in the Budget for motor cycles. Is a sixty-five year old going to do the work effectively on a motorbike? There are a number of them who have motorbikes, but they are not riding them. They have just parked them and they are selling the selling the fuel they are receiving from different programmes instead of utilising it. We cannot be effective in that way.


Madam Chairperson, if the hon. Minister insists that we are not going to engage new frontline staff, then there is an option to reinforce capacity building of staff. The ministry will carry out a training needs assessment and so many needs will come out. Some of those needs will require that we employ completely new staff, including front line staff. Even at this point, I suggest that the certificate, which is obtained from the Monze College of Agriculture and Mpika College of Agriculture, be upgraded. We do not need such kind of skills.


Madam Chairperson, in the budget for agriculture, you will see the syndrome of ‘training as usual’. There is an allocation for training in rice production and other things, but how long have they been doing this? This is not what the current situation requires. The current situation dictates that we create a lot more linkages. There are so many players that we want to bring on board, such as the private sector who can drive the agriculture sector forward.


Madam Chairperson, in order for a camp extension officer to interface effectively with the private sector he must be able to understand what kind of businesses they are doing. There are very few camp extension officers who are trained in agri-business and those are the kinds of skills we need camp extension officers to have, not just the department of agri-business. These officers need to understand how the operations of agro-dealers and input suppliers are managed. We have a complication under Farmer Input Sully Programme (FISP) because where we are piloting the project there was an assumption that the private sector, through the agro-dealers, would have sufficient capacity to sell inputs to farmers who have vouchers.


Madam Chairperson, there were five agro-dealers who were identified in my district, but only two have come to the party. This is due to deficiencies in the way we manage extension services. We have a challenge and we need to focus on building the capacity of those agro-dealers. We need to help them, but our frontline staff does not have the necessary skills.


Madam Chairperson, we do not just want to emphasise access to FISP, we want farmers to develop from home grown resources and as well as resources from elsewhere. They need to learn to borrow money. If they are working through a cooperative they can borrow from a bank. Does our frontline staff have the capacity to actually facilitate access to rural finance or credit from financial institutions? How well do they understand the operations of financial intuitions? They do not understand the financial products which they are giving out. This entails that we need a completely new skills mix even for the frontline staff in order to be effective. It should not just be business as usual. The time for continuous training is long gone. We must ensure that we address the real challenges that we have in the industry.


Madam Chairperson, agriculture is expected to contribute significantly towards economic growth, which is projected at 3.4 per cent. We are all depending on agriculture to contribute towards job creation. 100,000 jobs is not a joke and if we can leverage the value chain approach, we can create a lot more jobs. However, there are very few camp extension officers who actually understand the value chain concept and can facilitate the creation of jobs. Even as we do training needs assessments and capacity building, we must look at the things that the industry requires at the moment.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: Madam Chairperson, my appeal is that we increase the budget for capacity building. If we reoriented capacity building in the manner I have explained, the Budget will certainly increase. I have looked the budget for the department of agriculture and others and it is nothing to write home about. This simply tells you that we have misplaced our priorities. We need to put our house in order and ensure that we identify the right priorities and deal with them head on.


With these few remarks, I would like to support the Budget.


I thank you, Madam.


The Minister of Justice (Mr Lubinda): Madam Chairperson, thank you very much for allowing me to contribute to this debate, especially after hon. Belemu debated.


Madam Chairperson, first, let me join the hon. Minister of Agriculture in commending the hon. Minister of Finance and Cabinet for the very bold decision that was made to increase allocation to the Ministry of Agriculture from K2,382,266,379 to K5,435,167,917.


If there is anybody who doubts this Government’s desire and commitment to diversify Zambia’s economy, I urge them to rest their doubts by this huge increase. It is actually above the Southern African Development Community (SADC) protocol. Let me also thank Hon. Imakando, who understands agriculture both from the academic and also, from the practical aspects. I join him in commending the hon. Minister for the well-articulated policies that she and her colleagues in the ministry, on behalf of the Zambian people intend to implement as a way of pushing agriculture where it should be the mainstay of the Zambia’s economy.


Madam Chairperson, indeed, all of us have to support the Government’s effort through this ministry in investing not only in subsidies but in areas where it matters the most, such as research. We cannot grow our agriculture without investing in research. All of us must support the efforts of the ministry to invest in research. This is where I also join the minister in calling upon all of us to make sure that we support agriculture research in the various constituencies where we are. Capacity building for our extension officers cannot be over-emphasised. Agricultural practices and methods are changing and we need to ensure that the extension officers have capacity built in them. The idea of Electronic Extension (e-Extension) is equally important. I would like to commend the hon. Minister for providing the electronic facilities to our extension officers.


Madam Chairperson, you will realise that even some us around here are struggling to understand how to use computers because we all understand that the world is becoming electronically connected. Extension officers too deserve to have access to electronic facilities.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister spoke about mechanisation. One of the debaters, without mentioning names, …


Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Lubinda: …was questioning what this mechanisation is all about at the time when the minister was talking about conservation farming. His argument was, “Can potholing increase hectarage for farmers?” For the sake of those who do not understand agriculture, I want to indicate to them that conservation farming does not necessary mean hand-hole agriculture. In this day and age, there is a lot of tractor drawn equipment that is tailor made for conservation agriculture.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lubinda: Those who do not know this and they represent farming communities, I would like them to think whether they are really representing their farmers or not.


Hon. Government Members: ear, hear!


The First Chairperson: Hon. Minister, not that route. The fact that they are here means that they represent those who elected them. Let us not take that route and become controversial. You may continue.


Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, I would like to urge the hon. Minister of Agriculture to make sure that our extension officers go out to our farming constituencies and inform our farmers that conservation farming is not dependent on hand-holes, as they may be told by some people. Conservation farming can be practiced using tractor drawn equipment. It is a very noble idea for the hon. Minister and the Government to increase the access to tractors by farmers. You cannot think about growing sufficient for export if the access to mechanisation is one tractor for 5,000 farmers. You cannot do that. It is known economically. Any agriculture economist will tell us that the total number of hectarage per tractor should be not more than 250 hectares. Now some people are coming to tell us that we should stop this mechanisation programme because it is conflicting conservation farming. It is actually not. It is augmenting conservation farming. I would like to encourage the minister to continue with the programmes that she is running. Let us make sure that we give access to equipment to our farmers.


Madam Chairperson, let me move to another matter which is to do with the Electronic Voucher System (e-Voucher System). When the Government introduced the e-Voucher System, we were not devoid of the fact that there will be resistance. Most of the resistance came from quarters that we understood why they were resisting. There are two things that are constant in life. There is change and resistance to change. Those who resist change end up with shoes that have no soles. The soles get reaped off.


Madam Chairperson, there are people who were benefiting from the conventional Farmers Input Support Programme (FISP). Naturally, we do not expect them to agree and support the introduction of the e-Voucher System. Last year, in twelve districts, the Ministry of Agriculture managed to identify 20,000 unintended beneficiaries. There were 20,000 people who benefited from the 2014/2015 FISP when they did not deserve it. If you multiply 20,000 people at a cost of K1,700 per person, you will get K340 million. That is money that will be taken away from the pockets of those people who were benefiting illegally. Do you expect them to come to Parliament and support that? Naturally not. I would like to appeal to my dear successor that the arguments and criticisms must actually encourage her to move on. She is doing extremely well. This is the reason why the chiefs in Southern Province told the Deputy Minister of Agriculture when he went to meet them that the ministry did well to introduce the e-Voucher System in Southern Province.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, several chiefs mentioned that they were happy that the farmers were not being forced to only grow maize. Due to the e-Voucher System, farmers were liberated to decide on what they want to invest in. Some farmers in Monze, Mazabuka and Choma, when we met them during the agriculture shows, they showed us the cattle that they had bought using the e-Voucher System.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lubinda: They were saying, “We bought this cattle because you gave us the liberty.” That is exactly what this Government is doing. We do not want to continue to think that farmers cannot think on their own. The Government must determine what kind of crop they must invest in. This is why we decided to introduce the e-Voucher System. As we have heard, the hon. Member for Chienge was saying that the farmers in Chienge do not know the e-Voucher. What does that mean? They would like to see the e-Voucher. This is the call across the country. Every farmer in this country would like to be liberated. They would like to make decisions on the kind of agricultural practices they must go into.


Madam Chairperson, I want to also state that ..




The First Chairperson: Order on my left!


Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, I want to indicate that the e-Voucher System is meant to increase the participation of the private sector in the delivery of agriculture inputs. We cannot continue as an agricultural country to depend on a handful of input suppliers. The conventional system is so dependent on one, two or three suppliers of fertiliser. The e-Voucher System allows for more participation. Only in 2016, Mazabuka had a handful of agro- dealers. This is because of the introduction of the e-Voucher System which encouraged more people to set up enterprises to do agricultural business. In Mukonchi, farmers stopped going to Kabwe to buy agriculture inputs. The agro-dealers now are going as close as possible to the farmers to deliver inputs. How else would people to know that the system is self regulating and that the farmer is the one who is paying the least cost and effort in accessing inputs? The e-Voucher System does exactly that.


Madam Chairperson, last year alone, in twelve districts, we registered more than 140 new agro-dealers. If we assume that every agro-dealer was employing five people, it means that in one year, the agriculture sector through the private sector employed 700 people. Let skeptics continue to be skeptics. I would like to say that this is a very noble programme that requires to be supported.


I am extremely pleased to see my colleagues, Hon. Syakalima and Belemu, agreeing with me totally as it should be.


Thank you so much, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




VOTE 89/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 89/02 – (Ministry of Agriculture – Human Resources and Administration – K16,491,289).




The First Chairperson: Mr Mutelo, ask your question quickly, we are behind time.


Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification, on Programme…




Mr Mutelo: Madam Chairperson, Am I protected?


The First Chairperson: You are protected ask your question.


Mr Mutelo: I seek clarification on page 1267 Programme 1001 – General Administration – nil, why has this not been catered for?


Ms Siliya: Madam Chairperson, the programme has been budgeted for on page 1266. You will note that there is Programme 1001 under General Administration.


I thank you, madam Chairperson.


Question put and agreed to.


Vote 89/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 89/03 – (Ministry of Agriculture Policy and Planning Department – K1,085,121,208).


Mr Mutelo: Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 1005, Activity 120 – Agricultural Consultative Forum – K100,000, why such an increase?


Ms Siliya: Madam Chairperson, this is the Agricultural Consultative Forum held this and going forward, there will be more activities taken during this consultative forum as we review policies and some of the strategies in the ministry.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Question put and agreed to.


Votes 89/04 and 89/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 89/09 – (Ministry of Agriculture – Agribusiness and Marketing Department – K3,808,828,728).


Mr Mutelo: Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification, on Programme 1253 – Farmer Input Support Programme is not catered for why?


Ms Siliya: Madam Chairperson, if the hon. Member can go to Programme 1377, that is the reason because we will be implementing the FISP e-voucher in full in 2017/2018, so the conventional FISP will not apply next year.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Question put and agreed to.


Votes 89/09, 89/11, 89/12, 89/13, 89/13 …


Mr Musukwa picks Mr Mutelo’s Yellow Book


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo stood in his place


The First Chairperson: Mr Mutelo, I am sorry we have already passed.


Mr Mutelo: Madam Chairperson, my book has been grabbed from me.




The First Chairperson: Mr Mutelo, do you have a complaint?




 Votes 89/16, 89/17,


89/18, 89/19, 89/20, 89/21, 89/22, 89/23, 89/24, 89/25, 89/26, 89/27, 89/28, 89/29, 89/30, 89/31, 89/32, 89/33, 89/34, 89/36 and 89/37 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 45 – (Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare – K907,953,373).


The Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare (Ms Kabanshi): Madam Chairperson, I wish to thank you for according me this opportunity to contribute to the 2017 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for my ministry, under Head 45.


Madam, I wish to assure the people of Zambia, through this House, that the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare shall remain steadfast in executing its mandate in line with its portfolio functions that include the provision of adoption services, community development policy, community development training, disability affairs policy, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) policy, juvenile correctional services and non-formal education skills and skills training.


Madam Chairperson, I wish to stress that my ministry shall continue to execute its mandate in other functions such as probation services, persons with disabilities, social welfare policy, support to self-help initiatives as well as the national social protection policy.


Madam Chairperson, allow me to inform the nation that my ministry’s budget in 2017 stands at K907,953,373. Compared to the 2016 budget allocation of K429,556,448, this amount represents a 111 percent upward increase. This increase will facilitate the smooth implementation of social protection programmes during 2017 to the poor and vulnerable groups in Zambia.


Mr Nkombo: Question!


Mrs Kabanshi: My ministry will endeavour to ensure that the provision of social welfare and community development as well as empowerment and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities, survivors of gender-based violence, human trafficking and the most disadvantaged people of our country, is delivered effectively.  


Madam Chairperson, allow me, at this juncture, to highlight some of the key programmes in my ministry.


         The Social Cash Transfer Scheme


This programme aims at providing social assistance, in form of cash, to people that are extremely poor and incapacitated and cannot benefit from employment and other labour-based opportunities. The beneficiaries of this scheme require regular and predictable assistance to survive.


Further, the scheme contributes significantly to breaking inter-generational poverty among the vulnerable people. In 2016, the Government implemented the Social Cash Transfer Scheme in seventy-eight districts, thus supporting 242,000 households. Since the introduction of the Social Cash Transfer Scheme, the following are some of the areas where impact has been made and measured:


  1. Food Security

The number of households eating more than one meal per day increased by 19 percent and that of households not severely food insecure increased by 18 percent. Social


  1. Poverty Reduction


Extreme poverty among social cash transfer recipient households reduced by 5.4 percent. Also there was a 10.5 percent reduction in the number of households having an outstanding loan. Social Cash Transfers therefore help households to pay off their debt.


  1. Productivity and Asset Ownership


The Social Cash Transfers contribute to productivity and economic growth among the beneficiaries. There was an increase in the size of land cultivated, overall value of harvest, maize production, rice production and small livestock ownership such as goats, sheep, pigs and chickens.


  1. Education


Beneficiary households are able to send more children to school, with 10 percent increase in the number of children attending primary school.


Madam Chairperson, the House may further wish to know that the benefits outlined above go to show that each kwacha transferred to a social cash transfer beneficiary provides multiple economic effects at community, district and national levels. In order to strengthen the implementation of the programme, various activities ranging from capacity building of officers, procurement of various capital equipment, including motor vehicles, motor bikes, bicycles as well as Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment, have been procured and distributed in an effort to enhance service delivery in the districts.


In 2017, a total of K552 million has been allocated to the programme, with the Government providing K500 million while our co-operating partners are providing K52 million. These resources will enable my ministry to scale-up the programme to the remaining twenty-seven districts and guarantee a nationwide coverage with the total number of beneficiaries exceeding 550,000 households.


Further, the 2017 budget allocation to the scheme will also ensure the use of electronic payments systems in making transfers in order to address any possible fiduciary risks. As the House may note, this programme clearly demonstrates the Government’s determination to uplift the lives of the under-privileged members of our society and, hence, significantly contribute to poverty reduction and vulnerability.


         The Public Welfare Assistance Scheme


Madam Chairperson, this programme is meant to provide assistance through the provision of education, health and social support to incapacitated households in all the districts. To this end, the programme has been allocated K16 million in the 2017 budget as compared to the K6 million in the 2016 budget to enable the ministry to continue providing welfare support to the needy in the country.


In the 2017 budget under this programme, we will mainly focus on educational support. Currently, 50,000 children are beneficiaries of the programme and, in 2017, we are targeting 130,000 children.


         Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities


Madam Chairperson, my ministry also provides support to persons with disabilities through grants and institutions providing specialised services, including lifelong skills, entrepreneurship and micro credits. It is in this regard that a total of K26.3 million has been allocated to various institutions to assistant them build capacity and offer effective services to persons with disabilities and other disadvantaged members of society.

Madam Chairperson, notable among these institutions are the Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the National Vocational Rehabilitation Centre, the National Trust Fund for the Disabled, the Zambia National Library and Cultural Centre and the Matero After Care Centre, to mention but a few.


         Food Security Pack


Madam Chairperson, the overall objective of the Food Security Pack Programme is to promote food security and nutrition among vulnerable households in the country. The programme targets the vulnerable but viable small-scale farmers with agricultural inputs and alternative livelihood interventions in order to ensure food security at household level. To this effect, K39.1 million has been allocated to this programme in the 2017 budget compared to K20 million in the 2016 budget. This allocation will support 40,000 vulnerable farmers.


         Economic Empowerment of Women Programme


Madam Chairperson, I wish to inform this House that my ministry will continue to empower women by providing grants to women groups and micro credit to vulnerable individual women to assist them to venture into income generating activities. Currently, the programme is supporting 5,333 women in fifty-two districts.


In order to promote efficiency and effectiveness, in 2017, the ministry intends to strengthen the decentralised system, introduced in 2015, that empowers districts to award grants and micro credit to beneficiaries.



In 2017, a total of K13,076,106 has been allocated under this programme. Further, the ministry with support from the World Bank will empower 24,965 individual women with productivity grants and skills training under the supporting women’s livelihood component of the Girls Education and Women Empowerment and Livelihood (GEWEL) Project.


Registration of the Non-governmental Organisation


Madam, in accordance with the NGOs Act No. 16 of 2009, my ministry is mandated to register all the NGOs operating in the country. So far, 614 NGOS have been registered comprising of 478 local and 136 international NGOs. Furthermore, my ministry has developed a Draft National NGO Policy in consultation with various stakeholders. Once this policy is approved by Cabinet, it will inform the review of the current NGO Act to address some of the concerns raised by some NGOs. Consequently, in the 2017 Budget, a total amount of K4.3 million has been allocated for the administration of the NGO Act.


In conclusion, I wish to appeal to hon. Members of Parliament to support the 2017 Budget for my ministry.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: Order!


I will allow five hon. Members to debate if you promise that you will do so below ten minutes. Can we agree that you will deliver your points within ten minutes?


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Madam Chairperson, from the outset, I want to support this vote.


Madam, in doing so, first and foremost, I want to remind this ministry that it is a very important and also a critical ministry to meet the needs of the people of Zambia. This ministry is supposed to be giving us statistics of the poverty levels and, therefore, we are supposed to be seeing its presence in every corner of Zambia.


Madam, it surprises me to see what is happening in the ministry today. I have been a Member of Parliament for 11 years and I had a privilege to work in that ministry. Currently, the ministry does not exist in the rural areas. There is no support that is being given to the needy in the field of education including households. In Lusaka, the issue of street kids, which was not there is now the order of the day. At one time, the ministry took advantage of the office, managed to sweep and controlled the streets in Lusaka by removing the street children from the roads. Today, the street kids are back on the streets. We are wondering what is happening.


Madam, many brilliant pupils who have been offered primary, secondary and college places are failing to continue with their education because they cannot afford to pay for their school requisites. It could be that their parents are dead with the HIV/AIDS pandemic, which has affected us so much or maybe, their parents are so poor. Suffice to say that the ministry fails to recommend pupils for bursaries to the Ministry of Higher Education, but instead, it is very selective and yet, it is the same ministry which is very active during campaigns distributing materials such as inputs and whatever they can. It is totally wrong and a misapplication of resources because those actions are against the intentions of the creation of the ministry.


Madam Chairperson, in developed countries, this ministry is entrusted with important issues like the ones we are debating today. These issues concern me because I come from a very poor background, therefore, I would want you, hon. Minister, especially that you a mother to be sympathetic to the people of Ikeleng’i. You should go there and see the poverty levels.


Madam, in most cases, hon. Members are troubled to help out with school children and yet, we are appropriating money which is supposed be used in those areas.  This money is meant to uplift the poverty levels in the country.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to remind the hon. Minister herself comes from Luapula Province where the poverty levels are high. There is also North Western and Western provinces where the poverty levels are soaring. I always talk about these provinces because according to statics, these are very poor provinces. Her attention should be shifted to those areas.


Madam, the cash transfer allocation needs to be used in the three provinces I have mentioned because it has been on the drawing board for a long time and we just hear history or stories about it. You should make it available for the people in the rural areas to have access to it. Since these figures are in the Yellow Book, ask the hon. Minister of Finance to release the money. We need this money in rural areas. I have been to Chilubi Island and the poverty levels are alarming. I know it because I have been there.


Madam Chairperson, people are failing to have three meals per day. It is unacceptable. I do not think many can afford that with the high taxes which we are experiencing today coupled with the cost of meal meal and whatever comes with it. It is her ministry which is supposed to mitigate.


Madam, I told that the Ministry of Finance will intervene the poverty levels by giving you more money. Through that, the money should not be channeled for political expedience, but it should go to every Zambian who deserves it.


Madam Chairperson, I have seen your officers walking. During our time, vehicles were distributed equitably everywhere without looking at the colour, name or political affiliation. We want the hon. Minister to use this money in the most prudent way.


Madam, when I was in that ministry, we use to give money to all the clubs for women and clubs for  empowerment throughout the country, but today, I do not know where this money goes and who chooses who to give . You should tell your officers that this money is tax payers’ money and it is supposed to used everywhere including Mwinilunga and Ikeleng’i in North Western Province, where there are Kaonda speaking people. This money is needed there.


Madam, Chairperson, I promised that I will not take long, but I want the hon. Minister to be effective by going to areas where there are UPND hon. Members because it has been too much spending money in the provinces where there are only PF hon. Members.


I thank you.


The Chairperson: Order!


That was exemplary.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Madam Chairperson, first of all, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for her demeanor. When she was presenting her policy statement, appearance tells you that she is full of humility. I would like to thank you, hon. Minister for that and keep it up. 


Madam, I support the Vote for the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare and in so doing, I would like to indicate that my own interpretation of what has happened from this fiscal year to the next one indeed shows that there was some improvement in terms of absolute figures. So it is commendable. That notwithstanding, I think we should all agree here that we have slid into high inflationary times and I am addressing myself now to the issue of the Social Cash Transfer Scheme (SCTS). We have gone into a period when the Kwacha, our currency or legal tender, has lost its weight dangerously. What the Kwacha could buy last year is definitely different from what it can buy now and it is my anticipation that what it will be able to buy next year will definitely be different from this year.


Madam Chairperson, having said so, I want to say that I feel the money allocated for the SCTS remains insignificant. If I heard her right, the hon. Minister indicated that the impact of this inter-generational removal of poverty is in the region of 19 per cent, which is not good enough. Although she has told us that there is a 20 per cent increment in the allocation for this scheme, we also know that in terms of nutrition, based on the reports we get, Zambia is third at the bottom of the countries in the world that are poorly nourished.


So I am sure that she can understand what I am talking about. In one vein she is saying that there are more families now that have graduated from having one single meal per day to a little bit more food per day, but in the same token, we have been ranked as third among the most malnourished, for lack of a better term, countries in the world. I think we need to harmonise those two states of affairs.


Madam, the World Food Programme (WFP) does support this country through the Ministry of Community Develop and Social Welfare, if I am not mistaken. The WFP should be commended because the effort to try and drive our people out of poverty is no mean achievement.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to now comment on the old people’s homes. It is a fact that in the last five years we have seen more destitute people in our country than ever before. I am using the measure of the people that you find on the street that have come to beg for alms. We had an hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare who nearly tipped over that problem during the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) reign. For fear of bring her into my debate while she is seated, I will not mention her name. At that time, we had only street children. We did not have street adults and that is a fact. If there were there, the numbers were not as alarming as they are today.


Madam, this is an area that we need to look at very critically because this ministry has institutionalised its operations and now has old people’s homes, but the old people are not staying in those homes. Instead, there are on the street. We have a lot of people who have visual impairment and I think they belong to the category of those who are supported by the Zambia Agency for People with Disabilities (ZAPD). Disability does not only entail those who are physically crippled, but even those who do not have sight and sense of hearing fall in that category. There are so many people who are begging for alms on the street.


Therefore, I think that the Government should try and direct itself to addressing that problem because it will become a time bomb. There will come a time when we will not manage to deal with this problem. The Government should not forget that when the problem of people begging in the streets began maybe fifteen years ago, it was small boys and girls begging. Some of them used to smoke hemp and others used to smoke petrol and jenkem. They have now grown into adults. Because of destitution, these people have become violent. Most of the people who are engaged in snatching ladies’ hand bags from vehicles and from those walking are from the streets and this has happened because we did not pay sufficient attention to try to get these people from living off the streets.  There are too many children who are now almost adolescents and adults who know only street life. They do not have love at home. They do not know how it feels to say, “Darling.” To them, survival ni nkondo, meaning survival is like a war. So, every day, they live off the street. They hung around take away outlets so that they can eat things that people with extra money buy. Society is no longer safe. In Lusaka, it is difficult for a female or even a young man to walk freely after 1800 hours because they can be attacked because these individuals on the streets have become so insensitive to life that they can rape or kill someone with no emotion. I think that the hon. Minister should direct himself towards solving this issue.


Madam Chairperson, in the budget, I have seen that funds have been reduced from K7,805,000 in 2016, to K11,000,000 for women empowerment. Hon. Members here have complained that for as long as this women empowerment fund is administered in the office of the district commissioner, who is not apolitical, there will be no fair distribution of this fund. The hon. Minister said that the ministry has reached out to about 5,000 women who will be helped using this K11,000,000 which has been allocated. Funds are going to be given to women who are able bodied instead of using that money to take care of the people I have just described, the people who have started congregating at State House gate, the women and men on wheel chairs demanding that the Government should pay attention to the Zambia Agency for Persons with Disability (ZAPD).


Madam Chairperson, it is difficult for these homes which house people taken from the streets to be successful. These homes will not be successful for as long as there is no attraction for these people on the streets to go into those homes. In Mazabuka, we have a correction facility called Nakambala. A K200,000 has been allocated to this facility for the whole year. I think this is an area we can improve. I do not subscribe to the idea of allocating K11,000,000 to able bodied women. I think this money should go to the most vulnerable people who walk bare feet and do not know where their next meal is going to come from. I hope this women empowerment fund is not going to be used to get political mileage as it has been used for that before. This has happened before in my constituency. The Government came and brought a musician called ...


The First Chairperson: Hon. Member, we agreed ten minutes.


Mr Nkombo: Madam, I am just appealing to the Minister that since we are going to approve the K11 million budget for women empowerment, it should not be politicised. Let everyone access this money if you do not …


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: … we are going to start stressing you. Since I am an obedient Member of Parliament, even though I had many other things to say, I will stop here so that you will not skip me tomorrow when start to debate our provincial vote.


Thank you, Madam.


Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Madam Chairperson, thank you for the opportunity you have given me to debate on this Vote and I will not take very long.


In supporting this Vote, I just wanted to talk briefly about the operations of the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). NGOs play a very key role especially in the area of reduction of poverty in Zambia. However, you will notice that these international ones, the time they come in the country, we do not regulate them as to where they should operate. I will give an example, if you go to Central Province, Kabwe in particular, you will find three to four NGOs, promoting the same intervention in the same locality, like those who are promoting service groups. As a result, you find that they end up duplicating their efforts targeting the same people. At the same time, if you go to places like Monze, Moomba Constituency, you will not find a single NGO that is pushing the issue of service groups.


In Rwanda, when an NGO goes there to operate, first and foremost, the first contact is the ministry then they indicate where they want to go to operate. If that intervention is there in that particular area, the ministry should be able to dialogue with that NGO to go to another area in an effort to cover the whole country.


So, through you, Madam Chairperson, I am requesting the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare to look into this issue so that the interventions these NGOs are bringing is covered thoroughly in the country. They should go to other areas where they are not found.


The other issue I wish to talk about is on the donor funding. When these NGOs bring donor funding to this country, sixty per cent of that money still goes back to the donors. Why do I say so? This is because in most times, they come with a lot of consultants who are paid a lot of money. If you look at our local capacity in terms of the local consultants in the area of community development, the capacity is quite very bad. We do not have consultants whom we can rely upon because most of the time these NGOs will come with their own consultant who end up going back with their own moneys.


So, I do not know whether I should suggest that may be, if possible, you can come up with some kind of a policy to monitor the number of consultants such NGOs are supposed to be bring in the country so that these resources remain in the country. Also just to try to enhance the capacity of the local consultants.


As I said earlier, I do not want to take much of your time, but my key persuasion to you is that monitor the operations of these consultants.


As I conclude in talking about the issue on Social Cash Transfer, I have noted that most of the previous speakers have talked about it, but I noted one thing that the hon. Minister has elaborated about the impact of the Social Cash Transfer but I believe that in any positive kind of arrangement, there are also challenges. I would have loved you to talk about some of the challenges which we are facing currently under the social cash transfer.


Having interacted with beneficiaries of this fund, they said there is untimely disbursement of the funds. Sometimes it takes about four months to receive just a K200. So, when you talk about impact, I really wonder what type of impact you would get where someone has to wait for K200 for four months. So, I would urge you to enhance timely disbursement of these funds so that you can help the people.


With these few remarks, Madam Chairperson, thank you.


The First Chairperson: Order!


Mr Lubinda: Akamba thank you uja asiliza! Asiliza!


(Debate adjourned)






[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


(Progress reported)




The House adjourned at 1957 hours until 0900 hours on Wednesday, 21st December, 2016.