Thursday, 24th November, 2016

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Thursday 24th November, 2016


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












The Minster of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to issue a statement on the alleged brutal handling of journalists by the Zambia Police Force and the presence of police officers on the perimeters of the National Assembly of Zambia on 18th November, 2016.


Mr Speaker, this statement is in response to the two points of order raised by the hon. Member for Monze Central, Mr Jack Mwiimbu, and the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central, Mr Gary Nkombo, respectively, during my absence from this august House, as I had gone to Livingstone on national duty.


Sir, Hon. Mwiimbu wanted to know the measures my office had put in place against police officers who were allegedly brutalising journalists while Hon. Nkombo wanted an explanation of the presence of police officers in riot gear on the perimeters of the National Assembly of Zambia. Permit me to read the two points of order verbatim.


Mr Speaker, on Thursday, 17th November, 2016, when Hon. Mukosa was asking a follow-up question on the statement issued by the hon. Minister of Local Government, Hon. Jack Mwiimbu raised the following point of order:


“Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to raise a point of order hinging on the national interest.


“Sir, of late, we, as members of the public and hon. Members of this House, have witnessed the unfortunate brutalisation of journalists by the police, which has become very rampant and continued with impunity despite the protestations of journalists and media houses. Allow me to cite a few examples.


“Sir, two weeks ago, the United Party for National Development (UPND) President, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, and his vice were in Kasama where they intended to visit a radio station. While there, some journalists who had accompanied them, including a Muvi TV journalist, were severely beaten by the police. As if that was not enough, we have information that a manager at Komboni Radio here, in Lusaka, was also brutally beaten by police officers. Further, two days ago, journalists were brutality beaten at a Radio Mano in the Eastern Province on account of their having perceived differences with Patriotic Front (PF) officials.


“Sir, on Friday, 11th November, 2016, the hon. Minister Finance presented the National Budget to this House and implored citizens and foreign investors to invest in the country. He also indicated that one of the priority areas for investment was tourism. However, we all know that these unfortunate incidents of brutality against journalists will impact negatively on the Government’s good intentions to woo investors. Therefore, is the hon. Minister of Home Affairs in order to remain quiet and not inform this august House what measures he is taking against overzealous police officers who are brutalising journalists for doing a good job on behalf of the nation?”


Mr Speaker, in your ruling, you asked me to respond to the point of order during the course of this week.


Mr Speaker, Hon. Nkombo’s point of order, which was raised when Hon. Dr Kalila of Lukulu East was on the Floor during a Questions for Oral Answer session, was as follows:


“Mr Speaker, I apologise for interrupting my colleague’s line of thought.


“Sir, this is a people’s assembly and it is supposed to operate as transparently as possible. However, this morning, around 0700 hours, a platoon of riot police assembled outside the Assembly. Generally, in the last few years, the police have been associated with intolerance and brutality. Therefore, their presence outside has unsettled my hon. Members, especially those on your left hand side.


“Sir, my point of order is: Is the Leader of Government Business in the House, in the absence of the hon. Minster of Home Affairs, in order not to explain the reason for the police’s patrolling of the people’s Assembly in riot gear?”


Sir, your ruling was:


“I request the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, in absentia, to respond to this point of order together with the one raised by the hon. Member for Monze Central.”


Mr Speaker, I hereby render my statement.


Sir, on the point of order raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central, I wish to report that the Zambia Police Force is not brutalising journalists in Zambia. In fact, there is no record of the force being brutal to journalists or any other citizen operating within the confines of the law. Instead, the force works day and night to maintain law and order throughout the country to allow our people, including journalists, to go about their lawful activities without undue interference or hindrance.


Mr Speaker, let me set the record straight regarding the specific examples cited by the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central for the benefit of all hon. Members and the country at large.


Sir, the House was informed that a journalist from Muvi Television had been reported to the House as having been severely beaten by the police at Radio Mano in Kasama. However, the journalist was not beaten by the police at all. On the contrary, he was arrested by the police and charged with the offence of conduct likely to cause a breach of peace after he went to Radio Mano, where police officers had been deployed to avert any potential breakdown of law and order in Kasama. The so-called journalist, however, saw it fit to engage in behaviour that was provocative to the police, including using demeaning and abusive language to them.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the journalist was arrested, charged and detained at Kasama Police Station, but later released from custody after paying the admission of guilty fee. Further investigations into the conduct of the journalist revealed that he had been sponsored to provoke the breakdown of law and order at Radio Mano and the rest of Kasama.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Shame!


Mr Kampyongo: Evidently, as far as this matter is concerned, the police handled the disorderly gentleman in accordance with the law. The conduct of the journalist and his sponsors could not be tolerated in any society that cherishes law and order. Neither could it be tolerated by the Zambia Police Force or other law enforcement agencies. My Government cannot allow breaches of the law, peace and order because, as we all know, they are counter-productive and not in the interest of our economy and our people at large. I must also make it very clear that journalists, like all other citizens in this country, are not above the law.


Mr Mutale: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: They must, like all citizens, including the hon. Members seated here, …


Mr Lubinda: Including Jack.


Mr Kampyongo: … operate within the confines of …


Mr Mwiimbu: Lubinda!


Mr Kampyongo: … of the law.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: Sir, the case of the manager of Kamboni Radio, which occurred here, in Lusaka, is active in the courts of law after the police took the manager to court for assaulting a law enforcement officer on duty, ...


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: … and the manager counter-sued the Government on similar grounds. So, I am unable to comment any further on that matter.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central also stated that some journalists were brutally beaten at Radio Mano in the Eastern Province. However, this august House might wish to know that there is no radio station called ‘Mano’ in the Eastern Province.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: So, suffice it for me to say that police officers are always expected to be professional and impartial in the execution of their duties. To that end, there are procedures for dealing with officers who conduct themselves in an unprofessional manner and those found to be in breach of their code of conduct are liable to disciplinary procedures, including prosecution and dismissal, in some cases. In particular, the officers are not authorised to brutalise those arrested for breaking the law. They are also well versed in the law governing their operations and officers in charge (OICs) of police stations have the duty to ensure that officers under their charge conduct themselves professionally at all times. The OICs are also empowered to handle complaints from members of the public on-the-spot.


Mr Speaker, regarding the point of order raised by Hon. Gary Nkombo, it is true that police officers in riot gear were deployed on the perimeters of the National Assembly of Zambia on Friday, 18th November, 2016, to avert a breach of the peace around Parliament Buildings after an intelligence report revealed that some people had planned to demonstrate around the institution without following the laid-down procedures. The action of the police was, therefore, a precautionary measure to avert any potential breach of peace around Parliament Grounds in line with the Zambia Police Force’s mandate to protect lives and property, and maintain peace, law and order in Zambia at all times. To live up to its responsibilities, the Zambia Police Force has to be alert and always ready to counter any potential breach of peace, law and order. Therefore, the presence of the police on the margins of the National Assembly should not be a cause for concern among hon. Members of this august House because, who enact the laws that the police are expected to uphold.


In conclusion, Sir, the Zambia Police Force operates freely, professionally and within the confines of the law, and its officers are not brutal in the execution of their difficult duties. Instead, they protect the rights of all people who live and work in Zambia. To execute its mandate, the force does, from time to time, conduct operations aimed at preventing potential threats. In this vein, I appeal to my fellow citizens and all people of good will, to support the force and ensure that our country remains the oasis of the peace that it is well known to be.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!


Jack waka beja.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, you are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement issued by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs. Before you do that, however, let me give some guidance.


Firstly, each one of you is entitled to one question, as per custom. Secondly, let us avoid long and winding prefaces to our questions. This is time for seeking clarifications only. 


Hon. Member for Monze Central, you may ask your question.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I acknowledge the statement made by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs in which he acknowledges and condones the actions of the police against some journalists in this country. The journalists have heard him.


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that there is no record of police brutality in this country. With your permission, allow me to remind him that the Inspector-General of Police apologised to the nation and set up a commission of inquiry on the brutal conduct of police officers against some Zambians at Woodlands Police Station. To date, however, we have not heard any update on that matter from the Inspector-General and the hon. Minister. Further, Her Honour the Vice-President apologised on the Floor of this House ‒


Hon. PF Members: What is the question?


Mr Mwiimbu: I will come to my question.




Hon. Government Members: Aah!


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, …


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Monze Central!


Please, resume your seat.


Mr Mwiimbu resumed his seat.


Mr Speaker: I think that you should get to the point of your question.


Mr Kopulande’s phone rang.


Mr Speaker: The difficulty that I have with your approach is that you are introducing new subjects instead of restricting your question to the ministerial statement. When you do that, the hon. Minister might want to respond to the issues you are raising and even ask for some time to verify some of your assertions. So, we have a statement on the Floor that relates to specific incidents on which I directed the hon. Minister to comment. However, I know where you are coming from. You want to respond to a general statement with particulars. The problem with that approach is that the hon. Minister will also need respond to those particulars. For instance, you said that the Inspector-General apologised to the nation. Surely, in all fairness, the hon. Minister will need to verify that with the Inspector-General.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: I assume that when I directed him to make this statement, he had to assemble these facts. So, it is inappropriate to introduce new subjects. If there is anything unsatisfactory about his statement, get to those points.


You may continue.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, in line with your guidance, I will specifically refer to one statement the hon. Minister of Home Affairs made on the journalist and manager for Komboni Radio.


Sir, Her Honour the Vice-President apologised on the Floor of this House to the nation and to this House.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: She apologised.


Mr Speaker: What is the question?


Mr Mwiimbu: My question is: Is the Vice ‒




Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, is the hon. Minister imputing that Her Honour the Vice-President of the Republic of Zambia misled this House and the nation by apologising for the conduct of the police?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for Monze Central.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: No, he is not a Minister.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, my apologies. Sometimes, it is good to encourage people in their pipe dreams.


Mr Mwiimbu: Pipe dream?


Mr Kampyongo: Sir, I made it very clear that the matter the hon. Member is raising is before the courts of law.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: That said, I was in this House when Her Honour the Vice-President regretted the incident involving the manager of Komboni Radio and our officers. The apology was given subject to a confirmation of the reported brutalisation. It was a conditional apology. That does not take away anything from what I have said. As I indicated, there are two cases in court stemming from that incident. So, I do not want to go into the details because the matters will be determined by the courts.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: I will take the next questions from the hon. Member for Mufulira, Nalikwanda, Lukulu East, Nkeyema and Solwezi West.


Mr Kasonso indicated.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Solwezi West, is there something you wish to bring to my attention? I have noticed your gesticulations.


Mr Kasonso: Sir, I thought that I would be omitted.


Mr Speaker: Even if you were omitted, you would have to wait …




Mr Speaker: … like the many other hon. Members who have not been recognised. We have just begun, but you are already complaining.


Hon. Member for Mufulira, you may ask your question.


Mr Chibanda (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that the journalist in the Kasama incident had been sponsored. Is he in a position to tell the House who sponsored the journalist?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the journalist was in the company of politicians from the United Party for National Development (UPND), …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: … including the party president and his vice, who had gone to the Northern Province, and those who followed the events know what transpired because we saw some video clips of some journalists, especially those from Radio Mano, being chased from a meeting by the Vice-President of the UPND. So, the journalist could have been sponsored by the politicians with whom he was.


I thank you, Sir.


Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, Hon. Kampyongo is the Minister of Home Affairs. Therefore, his office should be the guarantor of protection, …


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Lungwangwa: … peace and security to every Zambian, including himself.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Lungwangwa: Sir, the hon. Minister said the police are not brutal, yet we have seen video footage of police brutality …


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Prof. Lungwangwa: … on national and international news media. Is he saying that those videos are false? The citizens are listening. So, can he come out categorically on that.


Mr Lubezhi: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, first and foremost, Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa should not doubt that I am the Minister of Home Affairs …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: … for the whole country …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: … and that my duty is to protect him, other citizens and myself. However, in executing that mandate, I will state facts for what they are. As I have already stated, journalists deserve to be protected by the police as they perform their duties. However, they should not be abused by those who are in politics to achieve undesirable results.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo:  They have a role to play and they are trained to report effectively, as the mirrors of society. However, we all know what happens to the mirror when it is broken.




Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, what I am saying is that, like the police, we all have the responsibility to be professional in our work.


Sir, I wish Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa was more specific about the video clips to which he was referring because there are many videos posted on social media. If the hon. Member believes that the fiction he sees on social media is gospel truth, that is his prerogative. However, it is very difficult for me to address such issues. If he provides me with details like the dates, the officers involved and what the officers did, then, I can make a follow-up. So, let me just assure Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa that my duty is to ensure that this country continues to be an oasis of peace. In doing that, I will not look at the colour, creed or political affiliation of those involved.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mbangweta (Nkeyema): Mr Speaker, I am constrained because we have been guided that we should not give personal examples.


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


Please, give me a moment.


For the umpteenth time, let me say that we are asking questions on points of clarification on the statement issued by the hon. Minister. So, if you have any question in that regard, you are free to ask. I know that this is a very emotive issue. So, if you want clarification, but start with examples and adducing evidence, we will run into difficulties. The hon. Minister has said that if you generalise, he cannot particularise his response.


If we follow our rules, our task will be very simple. This is an opportunity to seek clarification. So, if you are not clear about any part of the ministerial statement, you may ask the hon. Minister what he meant. However, if you want to start by citing examples, we will not make progress.


You may continue.


Mr Mbangweta: Mr Speaker, there have been a number of hon. Ministers in the Ministry of Home Affairs before the current one. In his opinion, why have the complaints about the police brutality escalated?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I will try to avoid joining the hon. Member in his speculations.


Sir, my ministry is called the Ministry of Home Affairs. It is not the ‘Ministry of Police’. So, the job of the Minister of Home Affairs is not to micro-manage the Zambia Police Force. Like I said, the Zambia Police Force operates independently because it has a chain of command that performed its duties even when I was away. Even as I stand here, they are performing their duties without me knowing.


Mr Speaker, I also wish that the hon. Member had come with some empirical evidence of his claims about the escalation in complaints against the police. Let me also inform him, since he is new in this House, that I am not new in that ministry, as I was a Deputy Minister there. I have just gone back as a Cabinet Minister.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Kampyongo: I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasonso (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, does the hon. Minister not think that the conduct of the Zambia Police Force towards journalists is tarnishing the already bad image of his Government?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, it is not desirable for us to see any skirmishes between the Zambia Police Force and our journalist because they both have duties to perform for the benefit of the people of Zambia. Our desire is to see journalists feel comfortable to be protected by the police. It is for this reason that we want to create harmony between the two parties because the police are the ones to whom people run. I will push that agenda during my tenure in the ministry. For your information, there are many programmes that we are implementing in the Zambia Police Force, including the retraining of our officers.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.   


Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Mr Speaker, the points of order that the hon. Minister has addressed in his statement and the follow-up responses he has given, to me, suggest that some people are gaining expertise in sponsoring wrongdoing and twisting facts for political, social or other forms of gain. Is the ministry, therefore, thinking of being innovative and proactive in responding to these issues, as opposed to waiting for points of order?


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I want to sincerely thank the hon. Member for that question and piece of advice. I must say that I am one of those people who appreciate the role of journalists, and I have worked with many of them. If you follow my record, you will not find any challenges in my interaction with them. Again, I insist that the way forward is to harmonise the working relationship between the law enforcement agencies and the media. For the information of hon. Members, there is a good number of journalists in the law enforcement agencies. However, like the hon. Member has stated, it is very difficult to prevent some people from twisting facts. So, I advise our colleagues in the media that when they know that when they see us, the politicians, trying to do something that is not good for the public, they should advise us to desist and shun our activities. They should not allow us to abuse them in our desire to achieve our political goals. If they cover genuine events and report the truth, the people of Zambia will get an accurate image of the political leader being. If, on the other hand, they accept to be hired by politicians and become loose cannons to the point of breaking the law, then, they will feel the wrath of the law and, when that happens, sometimes, their sponsors will scamper and not be there to support them. So, I think it is important for our colleagues to do their work professionally and work in harmony with the law enforcement agencies.


Sir, we are already being innovative in engaging members of the public and are working to enhance the work of our Public Relations (PR) offices to that effect.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Sir, I am extremely disappointed by the venom in the statement and the answers to follow-up questions coming from an hon. Minister from whom citizens and others expect protection of their human rights.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Mweetwa: Sir, the hon. Minister has stated that Her Honour the Vice-President made a conditional apology. However, we were in this House when she made a second statement on the matter, saying that she had been briefed on what had transpired and apologised again. With this reminder or information to the hon. Minister, in case he had forgotten or was not in the House when the second apology was made, does he still stand by his assertion that there is no record of police brutality in this country?


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, first and foremost, my job is not to impress the hon. Member. You are here to guide all of us when you feel we are using language that is not desirable or acceptable in this august House. Therefore, my colleague should learn to be courteous as we engage in debate.


Mr Speaker, I have responded to the matter concerning Her Honour the Vice-President’s apology. Further, my colleague, who has a law enforcement background, should know that when people lodge in complaints and counter-complaints, it means that there could have been altercations. I must also state that behind the uniform of the Zambia Police Force, which my colleague used to wear at one point, there is a human being who is equally entitled to the enjoyment of human rights. I have seen the file on the assault case involving the manager of Komboni Radio and the scratches on one of the officers involved. The officer was bitten and his reaction to the bite might have been excessive. Those are the issues we want the courts to determine. However, like I have already said, I do not want to delve into the details of that case because it is active in the courts of law. So, what Her Honour the Vice-President regretted, and rightly so, was the altercation because it was unnecessary. I think I have made that point very clear.


Sir, I also want to advise my colleague that when there are specific cases of police brutality, it would be good for him to mention them. I would also want to look at his record vis-à-vis respect for human rights when he was still in uniform.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, as the principle officer and authority in charge of the Zambia Police Force, how does the hon. Minister of Home Affairs wish to be remembered by citizens, especially the members of opposition political parties and the media?




Mr Speaker: Order!


I will not ask the hon. Minister to answer that question because I do not see the connection between it and the statement on the Floor. I do not see anything on which the hon. Member is seeking clarification. When she asks the hon. Minister how he wishes to be remembered, what clarification does she seek?




Mr Speaker: Remembrance?




Mr Speaker: No, no.


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Mr Speaker, it is an unavoidable law of natural justice that the measures a person uses against others will be used against him or her; that what goes around comes back around; and that what goes up must come down.


Mr Speaker: What is your question?


Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I want to ask the hon. Minister …




Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!


Mr Lufuma: … if he has confirmed that the journalist at Mano Radio Station in the Northern Province was not assaulted and that there was, therefore, no incidence of police brutality.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I assure the hon. Member that, indeed, what goes around comes back around and that I know I am not the first Minister of Home Affairs. I will not be the last either, and I am indebted to His Excellency the President and the people of Zambia for giving me this opportunity to serve them, this time around. Further, I assure the hon. Member that I will execute my functions to the best of my capabilities and in strict adherence to the law.


Sir, as to whether I verified the alleged assault on the journalist, I wish he could show me evidence to counter what I have said. There are procedures involved in assault cases. So, for example, the hon. Member could have come with a medical report from an authorised medical officer showing that the journalist was assaulted ‒


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!


Let me guide you.


I think that the hon. Member’s question was very specific. So, for us to make progress, both the left and right, should be specific in the questions and in the responses. The problem is we are clouding the issues. The hon. Member simply wants to know whether you verified the facts of the incident. That is all.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I verified that the journalist was arrested and detained and that he was released after paying the admission of guilt fee. Those are the facts I have.


Mr Speaker: What about the assault? The verification he needed was about the assault.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, there is no record of the assault, as no complaint of the purported assault was lodged.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I believe that Ms Lesa Kasoma was assaulted by the police while the hon. Minister believes she assaulted the police. This issue is in the public domain and still subject to litigation.


Sir, there is a contradiction between Her Honour the Vice-President’s unreserved apology and the hon. Minister’s assertion that there have not been incidences of police brutality against journalists. Likewise, there is a contradiction between the views of the two police officers involved in the case, with one alleging that Her Honour the Vice-President had limited knowledge of the incident and the other admitting that the police officers were wrong. The matter will reach its logical conclusion in court. If the conclusion will show that the hon. Minister’s position is wrong while Her Honour the Vice-President’s is right, will the hon. Minister have the integrity to come here and apologise to the country and to Ms Kasoma, who was stripped naked by the police officers?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I have made it very clear that this matter is before the courts of law. However, some people have opted to become judges or lawyers in the matter. It is not my role or the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central’s to decide the outcome of this matter because things do not work like that. I have stated the facts as they are. When we have the outcome from court, we shall treat it as such.


I thank you, Sir.








18. Ms Mwape (Mkushi North) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:


  1. when Masansa Police Post in Mkushi North Parliamentary Constituency would be upgraded to a police station;


  1. how many police posts were earmarked for construction in the constituency in 2017 in order to enhance the security situation; and


  1. where the police posts would be situated.


The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, yes, there are plans to upgrade Masansa Police Post to a Grade C police station upon the implementation of the new structure of the Zambia Police Service, subject to the availability of resources.


Sir, no police posts are earmarked for construction in the constituency in 2017, as the Government and my ministry will not embark on any new projects before the current ones have been completed. Nonetheless, the police will continue to conduct motorised patrols in the constituency to protect our people.


Mr Speaker, the police posts which will be constructed in future will be situated in Kasokota, Msofu, Upper Lunsemfwa, Miloso and Tinso.


I thank you, Sir.




19. Mr Chansa (Chimbamilonga) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:


  1. what the total number of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda who entered the country through the Mpulungu Port from January, 2015, to September, 2016, was;


  1. how long it took for refugees to be transferred from transit camps to refugee camps;


  1. which institution was responsible for transferring refugees from transit camps to refugee camps; and


  1. whether the Government availed resources to authorities in Mpulungu to take care of refugees prior to their transfer to refugee camps.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the total number of asylum seekers who entered Zambia through the port of Mpulungu between January, 2015, and September, 2016, was 350. All of them were from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).


Sir, it takes between seven and fourteen days for refugees to be transferred from the respective points of entry to refugee settlement camps.


Mr Speaker, the office of the Commissioner for Refugees, a department under the Ministry of Home Affairs, is responsible for the relocation of refugees from entry points to refugee settlements.


Sir, the Office of the Commissioner for Refugees provides resources, such as transportation and food both in the camps and in transit. The funds are provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) under a partnership agreement.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, how many of the 350 refugees have been integrated into society?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, none of the 350 refugees has been integrated into Zambian society. They are all still refugees in the camps.


I thank you, Sir.




20.    Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya) asked the Minister of Defence when the following feeder roads in Mapatizya Parliamentary Constituency would be rehabilitated:


  1. Luyaba/Mafumba;


  1. Chidi/Mafuta;


  1. Mondilida/Kanyanga/Siejumba;


  1. Chinkoyo/Mulamfu;


  1. Zimba/Muzya/Manyemunyemu;


  1. Chuundwe/Mafumba/Kanyanga;


  1. Siampondo/Kamukeza Community School;


  1. Kabanga/Sianjina; and


  1. Siamono/Njabalombe/Luyaba.


The Minister of Defence (Mr Chama): Mr Speaker, the time frame for the rehabilitation of the mentioned roads cannot be determined at the moment ...


Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Chama: ... because they are not among the thirty-three primary feeder roads being rehabilitated by the Zambia National Service (ZNS), as per the priority list submitted by provincial administration.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Chama: The roads will, therefore, will only be rehabilitated when they appear on the priority list, which is prepared and submitted by the provincial administration.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Miyanda: Mr Speaker, in which month or quarter of the year are priority lists for rural roads submitted by the provincial administration to the Ministry of Defence?


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, the submission is done from the beginning of the year. The prioritisation starts from the ward level, moves to the district level and finally to the provincial level, from which the final list is submitted to the ZNS.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, which roads are on the priority list submitted to the hon. Minister’s office?


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, the list is quite long. So, the best I can do is put it in the hon. Members’ pigeonholes.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Mr Speaker, does the hon. Member know that Njabalombe is the most economic road in that area? How is it possible that it was not included on the priority list?


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, it is very difficult for me to determine which roads in Mapatizya Constituency, Kalomo District or the Southern Province are economic and which ones are not. It is up to the local leadership to prioritise the roads they want us to work on. The task of the ZNS is to work on the roads on the list submitted by the provincial administrations.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, for the record, Mapatizya Constituency is in Zimba District, not Kalomo District. That said, since Zimba is a new district, I believe that the hon. Minister has dedicated some time to singling out a few important roads. If the mentioned roads are not on the priority list, which roads in the new district of Zimba are on it?


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, like I have said, neither the hon. Minister of Defence nor the ZNS determine the roads to be worked on. The wards, the councils and the hon. Members of Parliament have to sit and prioritise the roads in their area and submit a list to the ZNS. I thought I made that point very clear.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, when does the hon. Minister intend to work on the thirty-three roads on the priority list? Further, is the money for project available?


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, the works have been ongoing. We have been working in Sinazongwe and Kazungula districts ...


Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Chama: ... and we shall move to Namwala District in December, 2016.


Ms Lubezhi: Aah!


Mr Nkombo: Question!


Mr Chama: We will, then, move to Kalomo District in January, 2016, funds permitting.


I thank you, Sir.




21. Dr Chanda (Bwana Mkubwa) asked the Minister of Finance:


  1. why Zambia’s trade surplus declined from US$1.6254 billion in 2014, to US$74.3 million in 2015;


  1. whether the fall in the trade surplus had negatively affected the country’s balance of payments and, if so, how; and


  1. what measures the Government was taking to address the trade imbalances with foreign trading partners and ensure that the country engages in free and fair trade.


The Minister of Finance (Mr Mutati): Mr Speaker, Zambia’s trade surplus declined from US$1.6254 billion in 2014 to US$74.3 million in 2015 because of a decrease in the export earnings from Zambia’s traditional export, copper, from US$7.6185 billion in 2014 to US$5.2336 billion in 2015. The decrease in copper export earnings was due to a 23 per cent declined in realised copper prices, from 6,646.1 per tonne in 2014 to 5,120.5 per tonne in 2015. Further, non-traditional export earnings declined from US$2.272 billion in 2014 to US$1.8486 billion in 2015.


Mr Speaker, the merchandise import during the period under review also declined, but at a lower rate of 13.5 per cent, that is, from US$8.594.8 billion in 2014 to US$7.436.2 billion in 2015.


Mr Speaker, indeed, the fall in the trade surplus, which was driven largely by a sharp decline in trade balances, negatively affected the country’s balance of payments, which recorded a deficit of US$432.3 million in 2015, compared with a surplus of US$321.6 million in 2014. 


Sir, the Government is aggressively pursuing the diversification of the economy and the merchandise export. Presently, copper exports account for approximately 70 per cent of Zambia’s merchandise exports and this situation leaves the country extremely vulnerable to economic shocks due to fluctuations in copper prices. The Government’s diversification and industrialisation agenda is intended to correct this situation. In this regard, the Government has prioritised agriculture as a key enabler of diversification and intends to invest more, for example, in irrigation development, and reform of the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) as a means of enhancing productivity and efficiency in the sector. The Government is also embarking on a rigorous programme to develop industrial parks and value-chain promotions as part of the industrialisation agenda.


Mr Speaker, to ensure that it engages in free and fair trade, Zambia has embraced the principles of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which are our regional economic communities, and of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). As a member of these organisations and a signatory to their trade protocols, Zambia has signalled its commitment to ensuring free and fair trade with its trading partners.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister say that the reason the traditional export earnings declined is low copper prices, but I did not hear him mention the reason the decline in revenue from non-traditional exports.


Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the reasons for the decline in the non-traditional export earnings could be many. The first one is that the markets for some of our non-traditional exports are shrinking. In particular, we were not able to accumulate foreign exchange in the export of maize, which was banned then.


I thank you, Sir. 


Mr Kufakwandi (Sesheke): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned that copper contributes 70 per cent to our export earnings. What will be the contribution from non-traditional exports five years from now?


Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, were I able to see into the future, I would give the hon. Member an accurate answer. Unfortunately, I can do neither. So, what is important are the efforts we are making to diversify the economy, providing incentives to industries so that they are able to export a lot more and promoting tourism. We hope that will boost our non-traditional exports and, thereby, reduce the proportion of copper’s contribution to our export earnings as a percent.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister referred to the promotion of diversification and singled out the prioritisation of agriculture, among other interventions. Let me remind him of something of which I believe he is already aware, that is, that tobacco is one of our forex earners. Unfortunately, in the Southern Province, the production of tobacco is currently in a steady decrease due to the taxation regime in that sector. Again, the hon. Minister is aware of that. Over the recent few years, the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and the Ministry of Finance have been waiving tax on tobacco administratively, yet continuously including it in the Budget. What will the hon. Minister do to formalise that administrative arrangement, assuming that he wishes to continue with the waiver?


Mr Speaker: The difficult I have with your question is that I do not know what it has to do with trade.


Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that there is a decrease in our exports and he has referred to non-traditional exports, one of which is tobacco, whose production is on the decline. If that decrease in production continues, the decrease in exports will also continue. He has also said that we will promote diversification and provide incentives to industry. One of the incentives is the waiver of tax on tobacco. My question is: What will he do about that incentive about which he has spoken?


Mr Speaker: That is closer to the subject than the earlier question.


Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, there are many factors in the reduction of the output of tobacco other than tax. In the last ten years, the production of tobacco has declined from 44 million kilogrammes to around 10 million kilogrammes despite the administrative incentive that the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has been extending to the industry. So, we need to look at the fundamentals first because we cannot single out one factor as the main one.


Mr Speaker, coming to the administrative waiver of tax on tobacco, we met with the Tobacco Association of Zambia (TAZ) yesterday and resolved to find a solution to the challenges relating to the issue of taxes in 2017, and that the association finds ways of boosting tobacco production. The Government cannot dish out incentives without a corresponding response from the industry.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mukosa (Chinsali): Mr Speaker, is the Government considering any other measures, apart from diversification, to help reduce the trade imbalance?


Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, in the 2017 Budget, we have indicated that we will create trade zones around border areas, such as Kasumbalesa, where we will accept business transactions made in United States (US) Dollars because the lack of such centres has been one of the challenges to increased exports. Further, the Value Added Tax (VAT) Rule 18 is inhibiting exports. So, we will simplify it, as we believe that doing so will boost our export earnings.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.










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


Mr Speaker, following the approval of Supplementary Estimates No. 2 of 2016, which will provide additional funds for the provision of essential services by the Government during the financial year ending 31st December, 2016, I now present to this House the legislation necessary to give effect to the resolution of the House. This Bill is, therefore, intended to authorise supplementary expenditure not exceeding in the aggregate K3.9 billion from the general revenues of the Republic for the provision of required services during the financial year ending 31st December, 2016.


Mr Speaker, Supplementary Estimates No.2 of 2016 was comprehensively debated in this House on 10th November, 2016. So, I do not expect it to generate another lengthy debate and, accordingly, commend the Bill to the House.


Mr Speaker, I beg to move.


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


I thank you, Sir.


Mrs Chinyama: Hear, hear!




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


Committed to a Committee of the Whole House.


Committee on Friday, 25th November, 2016








(Debate resumed)


Mrs Chinyama (Kafue): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me this opportunity to debate the hon. Minister of Finance’s Budget Speech to the House on 11th November, 2016, under the theme, “Restoring Fiscal Fitness for Sustained Inclusive Growth and Development.”


Mr Speaker, when I heard about the five pillars that underpin this Budget, I was almost excited, but I have listened to too many Budget presentations in which many good pronouncements are repeatedly made.


Mr Speaker, as a reminder to the House, allow me to mention the five pillars that will underpin this Budget. The hon. Minister talked about “enhancing domestic resource mobilisation and refocusing public spending on core public sector mandates; scaling up social protection programmes so that the most vulnerable do not feel the impact of this recovery Budget; improving economic and fiscal governance by raising the levels of accountability and transparency in the allocation and use of public finances; restoring credibility of the Budget by minimising unplanned expenditures and halting the accumulation of arrears; and ‒




Mrs Chinyama: I am quoting what the hon. Minister said.


Sir, the hon. Minister also said that he wanted to ensure greater economic stability, growth and job creation through policy consistency in order to raise confidence for private sector investment.


Mr Speaker, as I said, these measures were good to listen to, but we will wait to see the extent to which they will be implemented because our biggest challenge has been implementation.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mrs Chinyama: Mr Speaker, let me now make some observations on some of the pronouncements that were made on specific sectors. On agriculture, my colleagues who spoke earlier made their observations on the electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System and I confirm that their sentiments reflected the feedback I got from the farmers in Kafue, particularly on the difficulty of implementation.


Mr Speaker, I mentioned in my maiden speech to this House that the people of Kafue were excited when the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) came up with an initiative to promote aquaculture among entrepreneurs in the district. We now wonder as to what has happened to that process and the support that was expected to be received from the Government on the establishment of abattoirs because there has not been any activity in that regard.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance also touched on industrialisation. However, as I have pointed out in this House before, I do not see how the Government will successfully revolutionise agriculture without paying attention to the needs of our only company that produces fertiliser, namely Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ).


Sir, the hon. Minister of Finance also talked about the measures he would implement to assist some state-owned enterprises to become more viable. Among the parastatals he mentioned were Zambia Telecommunications Company (ZAMTEL) and Zambia Railways Limited, and I expected the NCZ to be among those companies. I am reliably informed that a study had already confirmed the viability of the company, yet what has been happening leaves us, the people of Kafue, wondering whether the Government is really serious about diversifying the economy to agriculture. The NCZ is very indebted and has failed to pay those who supply it with inputs for producing fertiliser because of the operational challenges it has faced. You have also heard about the failure by the Government to honour the payment of salaries for the company’s workers. We are currently in the rainy season when the company should have been at its peak of production. I appeal to the hon. Minister of Finance to pay the company the attention that the people of Kafue want it to receive. It is pointless for us to neglect that industry and continue to import fertilisers from other countries, thereby creating jobs abroad while the people of Zambia and, in particular, Kafue suffer from joblessness.


Mr Speaker, there have been pronouncements on making Kafue an iron and steel economic zone. The people of Kafue are anxiously waiting to see how the Government will implement that programme and the incentives that will extended to them. There has not been much information on the programme after the pronouncement and we have, therefore, been left to wonder as to what will really happen.


Mr Speaker, let me touch on the National Road Tolling Programme (NRTP), a strategy the Government wants to use to raise funds for rehabilitating our roads. This might be a good initiative, but the feeling of the people of Kafue is that they are being made to shoulder the burden of raising funds for the Treasury on behalf of the rest of the country. The K20,000 proposed as the toll fee for single entry means that the many civil servants who work in Lusaka, but stay in Kafue …


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Mrs Chinyama: … will spend K40,000 on the toll gates daily and K1 million by the end of the month.


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Mr Kamboni: K1,000.


Mrs Chinyama: Sorry, Sir, K1,000.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, did you say “K20,000”?


Mrs Chinyama: Yes, Sir, K20,000 per …


Hon. Members: K20!


Mrs Chinyama: Thank you for the correction. I meant K20, K40 and K1,000 respectively.


Sir, if you add to the toll fees the cost of fuel for the small, but decent kind of car used by a civil servant, which consumes about K100 worth of fuel per day, the total cost of commuting for the twenty-five working days will be K3,500. Further, it is important to note that the impact is not felt by people who drive their private vehicles alone, but also by those who commute on public transport, whose operators have hiked fares astronomically. That is why the people of Kafue are crying and hoping that this Government will demonstrate that it is a listening one.


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Mrs Chinyama: Otherwise, we will encourage corruption among our civil servants for them to make ends meet because some of them get paid K4,500. So, if they spend K3,500 on commuting to and from work, it means they are left with about K1,000 to meet other needs. Is that practicable? I am sure you will agree with me that something needs to be done.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Chinyama: Mr Speaker, I liked the hon. Minister’s remarks on education because he rightly acknowledged that enhancing the provision of education is the key to emancipating people from poverty in the long term. However, I am very sad to see the gains we have lost in the education sector. I am one of those who have been involved in the education sector for a long time, having been in the civil society, where we campaigned for the budgetary allocation to education to be raised to 20 per cent of the National Budget in line with international protocols. Under this Patriotic Front (PF) Government, we have seen a reversal of all the gains in the sector. For example, in this Budget, the allocation has come down to 16.5 per cent. In my honest opinion, this is not the time we should reduce the education budget, given the many challenges that the sector is facing.


Hon. Government members: Question!


Mrs Chinyama: For example, our colleagues have talked about the problems in the teaching information communication technology (ICT) about which we have been talking in the last two or three years, whereby pupils sit for their practical examinations over three days due to inadequate computers or power outages. Evidently, that means that the education sector needs a lot of money.


Mr Speaker, I have looked at the addendum on projects that remain incomplete in the education sector. Some of the projects were started way back in 2008 and should have been completed by now, yet we have reduced the sector budget. How will we complete all those projects? I have been crying about one secondary school in my constituency, Chikupi, whose construction, like many other projects, started way back but, to date, it has not been completed. In that regard, one thing on which I wish to commend the Government is its decision not to initiate new projects until the pending ones have been completed. I used to wonder why anyone would start a new project when there is another one he has failed to complete. So, I am glad that we have start putting politics aside and focusing on development. We are now thinking correctly. I know that one of the reasons for people starting new projects without finishing pending ones was that they did not want to be seen to be working on Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) projects.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance has announced that only teachers and health personnel will be recruited under this Budget. However, I have not seen any recruitment worth talking about because what has been happening is a mere replacement of those who have left the two services through death or retirement. There is no actual addition of staff and job creation. I know that the hon. Minister refuted the allegation that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had imposed some conditionalities on us, but this Budget makes those allegations seem valid. I expected more jobs to be created on account of the four ministries that were created. Without recruitment of staff, I wonder how the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance, and the other three new ministries will operate. In a way, we may validate the speculation that the creation of the ministries was merely meant to create jobs for people at the ministerial level, which is unfortunate for our young graduates who have been roaming the streets with their papers in the hope of being employed in the Civil Service.


Mr Speaker, the Government has tried to mitigate the challenge of inadequate classrooms in secondary schools by converting primary schools into secondary schools. This means that we are actually creating a problem at the primary school level because we are taking away the space that should have been used by primary school children. So, the Government needs to revisit that practice and avoid turning it into a policy because we will deny our children the opportunity to enjoy free primary education.


Sir, I note that the Government plans to continue with programmes that are supposed to improve the economic status women and youths. Like other hon. Members, I request that there be equity of access among the youths and women in the different parts of the country. I have in mind the women in Chiawa to whom, as I indicated in my maiden speech, we have unnecessarily given food relief year in and year out when they could sustain themselves if we helped them with the irrigation schemes mentioned in the Budget and empowered them to rear goats. I recently saw on advertisement about the high demand for goats in Saudi Arabia, which intended to import over 1 million goats. This opportunity could benefit the women of Chiawa.


Mr Speaker, let me now briefly comment on the aid policy. I noticed that the Government has realised that it cannot sustain the Budget and the country on borrowed funds and now intends to engage its co-operating partners. This is good because we will have an opportunity to get grants instead of entangling ourselves in loans. Currently, our Budget is skewed heavily towards debt servicing instead of service delivery. So, we need fiscal discipline and, like one hon. Member said, we need to move away from being dictated to in terms of what we want to do.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Chinyama: Mr Speaker, under the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, we had the leverage to spend on our country priorities. We can still have that leverage if we demonstrated that we are accountable to our people and disciplined in terms of managing our finances.


Mr Speaker, in conclusion, …


Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


Mrs Chinyama: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was about to conclude my debate.


Sir, in conclusion, let me say that I have looked at the past five Budgets and realised that apart from a few areas where there are increments, the allocations, by function, have gone down in the 2017 Budget. The only area where there is consistency is defence and security. When a question was floated as to what legacy we want to leave, I thought that was food for thought because Zambia is not at war. We live in peace. So, I urge the hon. Minister of Finance to help the Government to refocus. As President of the MMD, he might have intentions of ruling this country one day, but certainly only after our president, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, has fixed things.


Thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Government Members: Question!  


Mr Ngulube: Hakainde who?




Mr Speaker: The next debaters are the hon. Members for Sioma, Chembe, Mazabuka Central, Lupososhi, Chifunabuli and Kamfinsa.




Mr Speaker: Order!


You are being recognised. The Clerks-at-the-Table are working. So, just indicate and you will be recognised. Do not despair.




Mr Speaker: That is how this system works.


Hon. Member for Sioma, you have the Floor.


Ms Subulwa (Sioma): Mr Speaker, I thank you sincerely for according me this opportunity to deliver my maiden speech to the First Session of the Twelfth National Assembly.


Sir, let me take this rare honour and privilege to congratulate His Excellency the Republican President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: … and the Republican Vice-President and Leader of Government Business in the House, Her Honour Bo Inonge Mutukwa Wina, …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: … on emerging victorious in the just-ended and tightly-contested general election.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Further, I congratulate you and your two Deputies on going winning your positions unopposed. Lastly, but not the least, I thank the United Party for National Development (UPND) leadership for providing a political platform on which I emerged victorious during the party’s primaries. Unfortunately, in its wisdom, the party opted for a different candidate at the eleventh hour. However, I did not give up and here I am today as the duly elected Member of Parliament for Sioma.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, Zambia is a Christian nation and I am a Christian. As such, I take this opportunity to thank the Almighty God for allowing me to be elected Member of Parliament from among the many candidates who contested the Sioma Constituency Seat. Indeed, it is God who chooses leaders.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Without Him, I would not be here today.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, the competition was stiff and I was like the Biblical little David fighting the Goliath in the name of UNPD, Patriotic Front (PF), Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) and Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) candidates.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Just like little David, I did not give up and the Lord I serve delivered a sweet victory for me. Further, this victory is not mine alone, but also for all the women, the youths and the good people of Sioma.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, I ran as an independent. Therefore, I had very little resources compared to my opponents, who had big campaign budgets from their parties. In fact, there were moments I felt like giving up due to the stress of the campaigns. I even suffered partial blindness and could not walk because of the pressure.




Ms Subulwa: At times, I had no vehicle or fuel and used an oxcart to criss-cross the vast constituency of Sioma. What gave me strength to forge ahead, however, was the poverty that I saw on the faces of little girls and boys who yearned for good leadership to advance their cause and improve their livelihood.


Mr Speaker, my campaign was financed through the valuable donations of chickens, milk, maize and other food stuffs by the poor people of Mutomena, Mulamba, Liwandamo, Mbume and all the other six wards of Sioma Constituency. The people also gave me a place to sleep and water to wash my face as we soldiered on together to ensure that our message of development reached every ward, village, woman, man, grandfather and grandmother, boy and girl.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Our biggest resource was our issue-based message, which resonated with the people of Sioma.


Mr Speaker, being the only female Member of Parliament in the entire Western Province, I encourage women and the youths to realise that what men can do, women can do even better.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Hence, we should never give up fighting for the opportunity to be of service in improving the lives of the many marginalised citizens of this great nation. In this regard, I congratulate all the women parliamentarians.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, I would be failing in my duties if I did not whole heartedly salute all the manduna, senior headmen, my campaign team and the good people of Sioma Constituency in all the ten wards, namely Mulamba, Liwandamo, Mutomena, Mbume, Nangweshi, Kalongola, Mbeta, Nalwashi, Sikabenga and Sioma, for the confidence and trust that they have shown in me by overwhelmingly voting for me, the first female independent parliamentary candidate in the area.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: I thank them all, for they are the reason I am here today giving this speech.


Further, Sir, I thank most sincerely the following women’s organisations:


  1. Zambia National Women’s Lobby Group;


  1. Women in Law and Development in Africa;


  1. Women and Law in South Africa; and


  1. Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA).


Sir, without the logistical support of these groups, my campaigns would have been a nightmare. So, I will forever be indebted to them. As you know, it is not easy to emerge victorious in a male dominated and tightly contested election, but ...


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: ... these organisations believed in my message and helped me to disseminate it to the people of Sioma. I am further especially grateful to my relatives, friends and other well-wishers, who too numerous to mention. May God Almighty richly bless and reward them for their support. I have in mind a ninety-year-old man from Mulele Village who requested an audience with me after one of my campaign meetings. When I got to his hut, I discovered that he was blind and could hardly walk. However, he was very excited to meet me and told me that his desire to meet me followed a message of mine that he had heard on Channel Africa. He, then, encouraged me and told that he was happy to meet a young woman who was bold enough to vie for a parliamentary seat.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: He, then, contributed a 50 ngwee towards my campaign and blessed me by spitting in my face while saying, “Uyoyange Mbololwa. Mulimu akutuse uka wina,” which means, “Be blessed Mbololwa. God help you. You will win.” My special thanks go to that old man. Our campaign resources came from people like him and it is to people like him, who are very vulnerable and innocent, that I dedicate my tenure in Parliament. I will endeavour to serve them in truth and in spirit.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, such people as the old man I met should be the reason we wake up to come and provide the surety and hope that Zambia is their motherland. In this regard, service above self will be my goal. So, help me God.


Mr Speaker, I am inspired by my late father, Mr Tommie Subulwa Subulwa, may his souls rest in peace. Much as his political career did not take off, he has succeeded through me, his daughter. Bo Ndate or “father’, how I wish you were here today to witness this occasion and hear your daughter, Nancy Mbololwa Manamiye, make her maiden speech. Unfortunately, you are no more with us, for our wishes are not God’s plans.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Thank you, dad. I love you more in death.


Mr Ngulube: I love you too.




Ms Subulwa: To my mother, Mrs Patricia Nasilele Mubita Subulwa, I say thank you for your prayers, love, care and support. You are such a great mother. I also thank my siblings, Twaambo, Akakulubelwa, Lindunda, Munalula, Sinyinda, Mubiana, Malumo and Mukelabai for being there for me. To my beautiful thirteen children, I say thank you, and I love you.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, in every competition, there are winners and losers. In this regard, …




Mr Speaker: Order!


Ms Subulwa: … I congratulate all the winners, both retuning hon. Members of Parliament and the new ones, from whom I have a lot to learn. To the losers, my word of encouragement is that they should take heart and continue to serve this great nation in whatever way you can until 2021, when we shall again go back to the people of Zambia in whom the real power rests to ask for mandates again. Zambia is greater than any individual and ours is a competition to serve our motherland with distinguished honour, integrity, commitment and dedication, not for personal glory. In this vein, I wish to remind the House that the time for politicking is over.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: It is now time to put our differences behind and forge ahead together in the spirit of ‘One Zambia, One Nation’, …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: … focusing our energies on delivering to the people of this great nation, the majority of whom live in abject poverty and look up to us to make their lot better.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, the people of Sioma, like any other constituency in Zambia, expect a fair share of socio-economic development and are willing to contribute to national development through agriculture and tourism. Indeed, the constituency has great potential in the agricultural and tourism sectors. As the country embarks on the diversification of its economy from total dependence on copper mining, Sioma is loudly and clearly saying that it is ready to contribute to the effort by developing its rich potential in the two sectors. This nation has sung the song of diversification since Independence, but has little, if anything, to show for it. My desire is for the Twelfth National Assembly to walk the talk for the sake of national development and the prosperity of our people. However, in order to realise the potential Sioma has in tourism and agriculture, there is a need to open the area through the development of infrastructure, such as good all-weather roads to link Sioma to Imusho Border Post via Nangweshi, Mbume, Mutomena and Sinjembela; Matebele to Shangombo; and Senanga to Kalabo via Sioma and Nalolo. There is also a need to construct gravel roads to connect the ten wards of the constituency and a bridge at Matebele, and provide a reliable and effective water transport system for the people of Mbeta and Kalongola to save the many lives that are lost needlessly. The constituency also needs a reliable telecommunication network system. In this era of technological advancement, we cannot afford to keep our people cut off from access to television, radio, telephony and Internet facilities. The people of Sioma want to have access to accurate information through television and radio services so that they can know and appreciate what the Government is doing.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, it is not funny that some people in the constituency still think that Dr Kenneth Kaunda is the Republic President when our current President is Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu.


Sir, water is life. Therefore, the current situation regarding the water and sanitation facilities in our schools, health facilities and villages is unacceptable. In order to have healthy and productive people who can significantly contribute to national development, it is important that we sink adequate boreholes for them. The foregoing is the bedrock for improvement in other areas, such as easy access to medical facilities, schools, markets for agricultural produce and easy delivery of farming inputs.


Mr Speaker, on behalf of the people of Sioma, I wish to state that the political violence exhibited especially by the youths is motivated by misinformation and frustrations due to a lack of jobs and equitable administration of economic empowerment programmes for our youths, women and other marginalised groups. Our people need empowerment for them to meaningfully invest in agriculture and tourism in order for them to improve their wellbeing in a sustainable manner.


Sir, while Sioma has benefited from the ongoing infrastructure projects, such as the construction of a health post and a school. Unfortunately, though, some projects have been abandoned half way while some contractors are taking too long to complete projects despite the people being anxious for the projects to be completed. So, much more needs to be done in order to take services as close to the people as possible. The health posts and schools are important, but without adequate qualified personnel, medicines and other supplies, the desired outcomes cannot be achieved, hence the people’s plea for the projects to be completed. Otherwise, the projects risk becoming white elephants and a mockery to the people.


Mr Speaker, it is also import that amenities like banks and electricity are made available to the health workers, teachers and other civil servants in the area. We need to create an enabling environment for our people. For how long will we expect our workers to perform to our expectations when they are deprived of access to facilities to which their colleagues in urban areas have access?


Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I would like to say that anything of worth is not easy to do. I, therefore, passionately appeal to all well-meaning Zambians that since we only have one country, we should put its interests above our narrow, egoistic, individual and partisan interests …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: … if we are to remain relevant to our current and future democratic dispensation and national economic development.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kopulande (Chembe): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the Budget Address delivered on the Floor of this House by the hon. Minister of Finance on 11th November, 2016. For the first time in many years, an hon. Minister of Finance has presented a Budget that is a clear demonstration of soul-searching and thinking not only outside the box, but also far away from it in terms of finding ways and means of putting our country on a genuine economic diversification journey.


Mr Speaker, economic diversification songs have been sung since the early 1970s, when we saw the crash in copper prices on the world market. That, coupled with the rise in the prices of oil around 1972 put heavy challenges on this country’s economy and the meagre resources realised from copper exports. We started talking about diversifying the economy and agriculture was often mentioned as an avenue for the diversification effort. However, no serious policy manoeuvres were made over the past fifty years of our nationhood that are comparable to the ones we are seeing today. This country has been as inconsistent in our economic policy performance as the copper prices simply because we have believed in the cyclical nature of commodity prices. When copper prices are low today, we start talking about diversification of our economy into agriculture and tourism. However, when the prices rebound, we become complacent, not realising that the price falls will return in the future.


Mr Ngulube: Tell them!


Mr Kopulande: Mr Speaker, I believe that the real journey towards economic diversification started on 26th November, 2015, when President Edgar Chagwa Lungu called a press conference at State House and said he wanted to move Zambia from a mining economy to one based on agriculture. I recall listening to him and thinking that the real re-engineering of our economy had begun. That commitment on the part of President Lungu was clearly echoed on 30th September, 2016, when he officially opened this Session of the House and laid his vision clearly on the Table. The hon. Minister of Finance, who clearly understood the policy direction that the President was giving, took it up and presented a unique Budget on 11th November, 2016. This Budget is clearly non-partisan and non-regional, and every hon. Member of this House can identify with it. If the hon. Members look closely in the Budget, everyone of them will find something for him or her in it. There is something for the poor, old woman, young man, farmer, student, child, school girl and everyone else in this Budget, and that is innovation at its best in terms of linking a vision to action.


Mr Kampyongo: Hear, hear!


Mr Kopulande: Mr Speaker, for fifty years, the people of Chembe have been an appendage of other districts, namely Mansa and Milenge. For the first time since the Independence of this country, however, they have their own hon. Member of Parliament to whom they can cry. Therefore, they have tried to understand this Budget and identify what is in it for them. I met them last week and they are very excited because the Budget Speech was like one crafted specifically for them.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kopulande: This Budget Address has spoken to the fundamental challenges of the people of Chembe, who should have been flying like eagles, but have been waddling like ducks all these years because they have not been given an opportunity to be represented directly on the Floor of this House. Now, they have sent me here to do exactly that.


Mr Nkombo: Hon. Mwansa Mbulakulima, raise a point of order.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Kopulande: Mr Speaker, the people of Chembe are happy with the Government’s policy direction that emphasises agriculture because it speaks directly to their needs. For example, the hon. Minister of Finance announced that the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) would be extended to cassava, rice and cotton, and the people of Chembe grow some of the best rice in this country. Most people who have tasted Chembe rice can confirm that it is one of the tastiest and has the best of flavour. Unfortunately, all these years, the Government has not supported the production of that crop. Further, cassava cultivation is the main economic activity of our people, yet the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has not bought even one ounce of it all these years.


Mr Speaker, a fund has been created to support over 1,000 emerging farmers in the 2017 Budget. Our prayer in Chembe is that some of the beneficiaries will be from our district.


Mr Speaker, the lifting of the maize export ban is a very positive development for the people of Chembe because effective January, 2016, maize and mealie meal will pass through the Pedicle Road to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and that drive mealie meal prices down. The people of Chembe will now sell their produce wherever they want, including the DRC. You will soon see Chembe become the biggest foreign exchange earner in the agricultural sector.


Mr Speaker, clearly, the creativity in the hon. Minister of Finance’s Budget is backed by creative tax policy measures, such as allowing 100 per cent capital allowances on agricultural equipment, removal of taxes on irrigation equipment and provision of funding for the establishment of fisheries. That excites my people.


Mr Speaker, we see an opportunity in the area of industrialisation because Chembe has a Multi-Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ). In that regard, it is our prayer that the 2017 Budget will fund the development of a master plan for that MFEZ and that the facility will be gazetted so that the hon. Ministers of Finance, and Commerce, Trade and Industry, and all of us can go out and attract investment. Her Honour the Vice-President has been to Chembe and seen what is already happening there. Following the establishment of Mansa Sugar Limited, we are poised to become bigger and sweeter than Mazabuka.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kopulande: Mr Speaker, the people of Chembe see opportunities in tourism and look forward to the establishment of the Tourism Development and Investment Corporation that the President announced would be a subsidiary of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). Unfortunately, we have not heard much from the IDC on that pronouncement by the President. I hope that the corporation will still be established.


Sir, the people of Chembe are excited that the Government has finally recognised the plentiful occurrence of manganese and iron in their distinct. In fact, the planned geological mapping of the whole country will reveal that Chembe is immensely endowed with mineral resources.


Sir, while our people are complaining about being hurt by the shift to charging cost-reflective tariffs on electricity, I am happy that there is an investor who is willing to put up a 600 MW solar power plant in Chembe. The investor was in the country last week. That investment, if made, will save us from incessant power outages and load shedding. In the petroleum sub-sector, the people of Chembe call on the Government to analyse the role of the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) in raising the cost of petroleum products. For instance, is it necessary for us to have ERB offices in the provinces? Have we not made the institution unnecessarily too big and, thereby, contributed to the high cost of products?


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister emphasised the need to fix our roads in his Budget address. In that regard, the Pedicle Road, if completed, could generate a lot of revenue for this Government through the charging of toll fees. The contract for the construction of the road was signed four years ago and works started. However, over the past two years, only 20 km have been completed. Therefore, I pray that the project will be facilitated and expedited. I can see that the listening hon. Minister is taking notes. I am very impressed by that and sure that he will attend to the road. Additionally, some people may have seen me talk about the Chembe/Chipete/Kalasa Kando Road on television. That road is in a deplorable condition and the people will soon be cut off from the rest of the district as we get deeper into the rainy season. So, I hope the hon. Minister of Finance will address that, too.


Mr Speaker, in order to improve international trade, the hon. Minister decided to introduce trade centres. As Chembe is a border town, its people are saying, “Ba Minister, twapapata, tubikenipo naifwe, meaning, “Hon. Minister, please, include us on the list of places in which trade centres will be created.”


Sir, the people of Chembe are crying because they sit on the banks of one of the largest rivers, yet they are thirsty every day and their children do not have water to bath in the morning before going to school. So, I pray that Chembe be considered under the Integrated Small Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Programme, which has been mentioned on paragraph 74 of the Budget speech. Again, I say, twapapata, come to our aid in Chembe.


Mr Speaker: Meaning?                                                               


Mr Kopulande: Sir, ‘twapapata’ means ‘please’.


Mr Speaker, we all know that school is the sine qua non of development, and the people of Chembe are excited that their boarding school will soon be completed, teachers employed, teachers’ houses built in schools, more sanitation facilities built to ensure that the girl child remains in school, and a skills training centre built. That can only be the result of a progressive Budget and Government.


Sir, many innovative interventions in the social sector have been announced, such as the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) scheme, which is already operational in Chembe; and women’s and youth empowerment programmes, under which I believe US$55 million  has been allocated as capital for youth entrepreneurs. As I said, this Budget has something for everybody.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kopulande: Mr Speaker, I must emphasise that despite the creativity of this Budget, there are some conditions that need to be present for it to succeed. Further, for it to be implemented, we need integrity in the Civil Service. In this regard, the Report of the Auditor-General does not sit well with the moral fibre of the Civil Service. We also need national unity in order to successfully implement this Budget. Let us face it, this Budget is creative and innovative, and has been developed by a pro-poor Government. Surely, it will benefit all of us. So, we, both on the left and right, must hold our hands together and work together, like I clearly said in my maiden. In addition, the policies that have been pronounced in this Budget are the first steps to our success. However, for our country to be credible and attract investment, we must be consistent and send the same message year in and year out so that the international investor community can believe in us. In order to make these policies implementable, we must come up with a robust investment promotion initiative that will cover all investors.


Mr Speaker, in conclusion, this Budget has addressed many issues and it will be the answer to the cries of the people of Chembe and those in the north, south, east and west of this Republic. Therefore, I ask all hon. Members of this august House to support it.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister of Finance for presenting this Motion to Parliament. It was his mandate to do so.


Sir, to begin with, it is important for me to assure the hon. Minister that he has our support.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: There is no doubt in my mind that he has the support of the hon. Members on this side of the House because his success is the success not only of those of us who are privileged to represent the people, but also for the whole country.


Mr Speaker, in England, Hon. Mutati would have been called the Chancellor of the Exchequer and he would live on No. 11 Downing Street.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: That is how important his portfolio is. So, we will not belittle the activity that we are undertaking today.


Mr Speaker, budgeting is at the centre of financial management and sets some laws, regulations and policies that have to be followed in order to facilitate the collection of revenue and dispensation of expenditure among competing needs that may be sectoral or regional. 


Sir, as you may recall, in the last Parliament, the late Hon. Mwanza, who used to sit here, spoke about how he thought we had not achieved equity in the distribution of development projects in our country. Therefore, the hon. Minister of Finance must be mindful that posterity will judge his conduct in that very important portfolio when he is no longer there.


Mr Speaker, in his Budget Speech, the hon. Minister of Finance was the bearer of a message from the President of the Republic of Zambia asking us to favourably consider the Budget that he presented. In debating his speech, I will not flatter him, but I will also measure my statements because I know him to be a measured man.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance started his Budget Speech by thanking his predecessor for being what he termed “a man of immeasurable dedication to national development”. He was also very mild in his description of the state of the economy and he made me realise that he is diplomatic. However, factually speaking, the economy is in a malaise.


Sir, as we have said before, human beings come and go, but institutions remain. Here is a fundamental principle with which we have to live for the rest of our lives: nothing is permanent apart from change.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: Sir, I want to argue that this economy is in this malaise because of some individuals the hon. Minister praised in his Budget Speech.


Mr Speaker, when the hon. Minister of Finance was still on this side of the House with us, he and I often pleaded with our colleagues on the right then to reduce on reckless borrowing. We have even called for divisions on Motions on debt contraction on the Floor of this House.


Sir, when the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) was leaving office, the then hon. Minister of Finance, who is seated there (pointing at Hon. Dr Musokotwane) together with the current hon. Minister of Finance left our economy in a certain condition and foreign reserves worth more than three months of import cover. These are the issues the hon. Minister brought out in explaining why he thought we would have a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 3.4 per cent. It is a fact that his predecessor and crew were very loud in thinking they could achieve a 7 per cent growth rate.


Mr Speaker, I believe Hon. Mutati would have done better had he started by revealing the Budget performance for 2015 so that we could know where we were because a development agenda does not have a finishing line. Nobody would have chastised him if he gave us that information. That said, I think that the hon. Minister is very brave because he made his statement so flamboyantly that an ordinary person could not understand it. The truth, though, is that this economy is on its knees because we made wrong decisions, as a country, and I will spell out the mistakes.


Mr Speaker, in my opinion, one of the wrong decisions that we made was electing the Patriotic Front (PF) in 2011 ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: ... because it is clear that when the MMD was leaving office, this country was much more stable economically.


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Mr Nkombo: Sir, thankfully, there is now a blend of people from the MMD on either side of the House. It is true that every dark cloud has a silver lining and I hope Hon. Mutati is the silver lining in this dark PF cloud.




Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated clearly that about K19 billion of his K64.5 billion Budget would have to be borrowed. I would like to argue that when he meets the International Monetary Fund (IMF), whenever that will be, maybe, in February, 2017, the later will be satisfied enough with the austerity measures that he has instituted to provide advice and money. In that regard, I hope that the wastage that we see in the Auditor-General’s Reports and all the things that went wrong in the five years of the PF’s rule will be corrected by Hon. Mutati.


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Mr Nkombo: Otherwise, posterity will judge him harshly. As the silver lining in a dark cloud, he needs to stand out in ensuring that the austerity measures he has pronounced are implemented. This is not the time to fool the people. I heard, through Her Honour the Vice-President, that the President had halved his salary and people are excited by that, calling the decision an austerity measure. However, we know that is nowhere near being an austerity measure. It is just a gimmick …


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Nkombo: … or trick because halving the President’s salary ...




Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


The words ‘gimmick’ is unparliamentary.


Mr Nkombo: I withdraw it, Sir.


Sir, it is a fraudulent way to behave.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Speaker: No, hon. Member!


Please, resume your seat.




Mr Nkombo resumed his seat.


Mr Speaker: Not long ago, I referred you to page 23 of the National Assembly Members Handbook, 2006, where the following is found:


“While on the Floor of the House, Members should not:


“… (d) reflect upon the conduct of persons in higher authority (i.e. the Head of State or the Chair) unless the discussion is based on a substantive Motion drawn on proper terms”.


That was specifically directed to you ...


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: … and it was, again, in relation to the Head of State. We can canvass on these issues if we do not personalise them or become emotive about them. I do not think it is fair to cast aspersions in that fashion. Whatever we think about the measure, let us be fair to one another, at least, in the manner we debate. The President is not here to defend his position. So, to suggest that he engaged in trickery is unfair. Further, when you say “fraudulent”, whom is he defrauding?


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I always treasure your counsel and I apologise for sounding emotive.


Sir, what I am trying to say is that austerity measures are policies implemented specifically to reduce Government deficits. To be very polite, we all know that the Head of State’s salary does not sustain his livelihood.


Mr Mwale: Question!


Mr Nkombo: Sir, you and I budget for mealie meal every month while he does not. I am trying to project these statements that are made, sometimes unsolicited, on the ordinary people. Zambians are much cleverer today than they were in the past. For instance, when a Presidential delegation goes somewhere, it carries money in suit cases and brief cases.


Hon. UNPN Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: Further, the hon. Minister indicated that he will remove the subsidy on electricity. That is not surprising since the people on your right do not pay for electricity in their homes.




Mr Nkombo: Neither do they pay telephone and water bills. I stand to be corrected.


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


Resume your seat for the second time.


Mr Mwale: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: No point of order, hon. Minister for Local Government. I am sure you should know better.




Mr Speaker: Let us have some order!


Hon. Member for Mazabuka Central, when you take that line of debate, the result is that you begin debating the hon. Members of the House. The conditions for Members of this House, both those on the right and the left, whatever they may be, are not subject to debate here. So, you need to veer off that course. For the second time, let me stress that if we take a personal approach, it will not be fair. I enjoyed the earlier debates and did not have to guide the debaters this often. Now, I have to intervene every five minutes, which is not ideal. Let us be impersonal and discuss issues around the economy of Zambia, not individuals. We are all affected in one way or the other. So, no one should get personal about these issues.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, once again, I withdraw that statement.


Sir, there are people who do not pay electricity bills ...




Mr Nkombo: … because their bills are paid by the Government. So, they do not know the suffering of the ordinary Zambian. That is a fact. So, when the hon. Minister says that he will do this and that, I think we must always look beyond ourselves.


Sir, the hon. Minister indicated that he intends to hive off some parastatals and I agree with him. There is no contest and he will get my personal support. However, we cannot deal with the future without dealing with the present and the past. People were prosecuted here for selling the Zambia Telecommunications (ZAMTEL) Company Limited to Lap Green Networks. That is why the years of PF rule are wasted years for this country. Some hon. Members of this House, including the hon. Minister, were victims of the slander against the MMD. Today, we are right back where we started from, as this Government wants to sell ZAMTEL in the midst of litigation. We know about all this although we do not know the details.


Sir, I have said it before and will say it again: the devil is in the details in the Yellow Book. We will still share our views when the Yellow Book is presented. For now, I think that this House should allow me to speak on behalf of the people I represent, who know what I am talking about because we discuss these issues. My people asked me if this Government wanted to sell ZAMTEL Limited again and I agreed, saying that the hon. Minister had just been clever enough to use the phrase ‘hive off’. He said that his Government would conduct a study on the merits and demerits of selling the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) and Indeni Petroleum Refinery Limited. Who will undertake that study? The archives of this Assembly have recommendations on some of our parastatals, including Indeni Petroleum Refinery Limited. Instead of giving K2.3 billion to the police, who continually assault Zambians, this Government can buy a hydro cracker for Indeni Petroleum Refinery Limited to enable it to process crude oil instead of commingled feed stock. Those are the solutions. This Government should also withdraw the police officers from Mazabuka and send them to Kanchibiya, where they are in short supply because, to be honest, we are chocked with them. 




Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, yes, you said that we should not be emotional, but how can we not be when our people are being brutalised by the police? The money allocated to the police is almost the same as that allocated to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). It seems this Government values the brutalisation of its citizens by the police the same way it values national food security.




Mr Nkombo: That is unfair. The manner in which the police deal with citizens is totally unfair. For example, as I am speaking, there are twin boys in Mazabuka who are suspected of having killed someone. However, instead of taking them to court, the police are keeping them at a police club under protection. You know very well that I was once a suspect in a murder case and I was not taken to the police club. Instead, I was taken to prison by these ones.




Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


When you say, “these ones”, to whom are you referring? Who took you to prison here?


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I cannot mention the one who took me to prison because you have forbidden me from personalising issues. However, the hon. Minister then ‒


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


Resume your seat.


As far as I know, no one here performed the task to which you are referring during the last five years I have been in this House. When you say, “these people”, you mean the hon. Members of Parliament.






Mr Nkombo: Thank you for your guidance, Sir.


Mr Speaker, history continues to repeat itself. Just today, there was a ministerial statement on police brutality. I am sure that when we look back after leaving this House, we will see that there was a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the PF and the police. In 2011, the PF used to beat MMD members and the police would try to protect the victims. These days, following the change of personnel in the offices, the police are working with the PF to brutalise citizens. Not long ago, someone raised an issue about political prisoners and you know as much as I do that our Provincial Chairperson was released on a nolle prosequi only three days ago after being detained for two to three months. That is unfair and an abuse of the judicial system. No wonder, I am asking why the hon. Minister wants us to approve his allocation of K2.3 billion to the police. I used to like the police but, now, I can confirm to you now that I do not.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: In fact, every time I see a police officer, what comes to my mind is that, one day, there will be an insurrection in this country. The police are also fatigued of being given instructions to brutalise the people. Like the hon. Minister of Home Affairs said, inside those uniforms are human beings. So, they tell us, “talema ku kumenyani”, meaning …




Mr Nkombo: … “We are tired of beating you up.”




Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, as I said, the devil is in the details in the Yellow Book. So, for now, let me just urge the hon. Minister of Finance not to fall prey to the things that caused us to go wrong in the past. Poverty has been a historical fact in this country. We have been living in poverty. That is why I am glad that the day the hon. Minister first went into his office, there was a clergy man who went with him to exorcise his office and remove the demons of  …




Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


Resume your seat once again.


Mr Nkombo resumed his seat.


Mr Speaker: You are now debating the hon. Minister and that is not permissible because he cannot respond. So, whatever you are saying will be taken as gospel truth, which is not fair.


Mr Nkombo: Sir, there was a clergyman who went to the Ministry ‒


Mr Speaker: Order!


It does not matter who went to the ministry. You simply cannot debate him in that fashion.


Mr Nkombo: Sir, I am glad that we have a Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member, please, steer away from that issue.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I am talking about the ministry, not the hon. Minister. I would like the hon. Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance to pray that the demon of excessive borrowing does not return to this country ...




Mr Nkombo: … and I will her in that prayer. The hon. Minister said that we cannot spend what we do not have, but we intend to borrow K19 billion from somewhere. If we are not careful, we will borrow the bulk of it from the domestic market and crowd out the private sector. What, then, will happen to the cost of living and interest rates? This country needs prayers and we will continue supporting the hon. Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance in praying against the demon of borrowing that has brought our economy to its knees.


Mrs Chinyama: Amen!


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I have said that the hon. Minister’s success will be my success if he lifts this country from the doldrums of debt, which was over US$3 billion when the MMD was leaving office, but has swelled up to US$9.7 billion under the PF Administration. The repayment of that debt will not be in his lifetime.


Mr Speaker, I have questions for the hon. Minister. As he works in that office, which was exorcised, could he find out for me ...


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


I have advised you against saying that. Please, withdraw that assertion because the hon. Minister is not in a position to defend himself. That is only logical.


Mr Nkombo: Sir, I withdraw and replace it with ‘the office where prayers were said.’




Mr Nkombo: Sir, I would like the hon. Minister to find out what happened to the sinking fund that was meant to mobilise funds for the repayment of the huge debt we had contracted. I am sure that he is familiar with the matter because we were together in this Assembly when the borrowing threshold was raised. So, he should tell us what happened to the sinking fund, the cheap fuel from Saudi Arabia about which someone talked and the fight against corruption. He must be candid and brave enough to tell us what happened to the rule of law in this country, where the people live in fear, yet the Government wants to put more money into the police, who are responsible for instilling fear in the people. I have already given him accolades. So, he should tell us who bought the expired anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs.


Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: He should also tell us how, now, there is more money in people’s pockets and more jobs.


Sir, the hon. Minister has embarked on a difficult road and I sympathise with him. We had to get to this point for the PF to indirectly agree that it has failed to run this economy and decide to hire the hon. Minister. I agree with that perspective. The appointment of the Hon. Mutati comforts me, to be honest. When he looks around him, he will know what I am talking about.




Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I promised the people of Mazabuka and myself that I would stand by the hon. Minister of Finance, who had said that he would complete pending projects. His predecessor failed to work on township roads in Mazabuka. He only signed contracts for 18 km of roads to be worked on and used them to de-campaign me, but he failed. I know that the current hon. Minister of Finance cannot do something like that.


Mr Speaker, you know very well that Zambia Sugar Company Plc is domiciled in Mazabuka and makes a huge contribution to Government revenue. However, the Kafue/Mazabuka Road is in a bad shape despite being an international road. Many people, especially those who are not familiar with the road, are dying on it. For us, who are familiar with it, chances of getting involved in road accidents are slim because we can tell you where there is a pothole and where there is none. The hon. Minister might go to officiate something on using that road and he might overturn, and we will say, “We told you so.” So, fix the Kafue/Mazabuka Road.


Mr Speaker, last time, we were told that its rehabilitation was on the cards. Now, we must see some action.


Sir, I have been very mild today.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to add my voice, on behalf of the people of Lupososhi Constituency, to the debate on the 2017 National Budget.


Mr Speaker, we use history predict the future, learn some lessons and correct things that may have gone wrong.


Mr Speaker, let me start my debate on this Motion by referring to the cover of the Budget Speech because it inspires me and the people of Lupososhi Constituency. It inspires me because it has demonstrated a lot of hope in the future for new jobs, economic development and eradication of poverty. I can see some mining and farming machinery. There is also some poultry farming and, on the other side, some construction. I can further see an aerial view of Lusaka that demonstrates the technological aspect of our country and, most importantly, there is a picture of people gathered, which means that information is being disseminated. In a corner, there is some good road built by the PF Government.


Hon. PF Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Bwalya: There is hope that the country will be opened up and that whatever is produced in the economy will reach the market, which will, in turn, pump the much-needed foreign exchange into the economy and create the much-needed jobs.


Mr Speaker, I have listened to a number of my colleagues who debated before me. Some have said that something went wrong and that the economy is on its knees, and they used various descriptions. However, let us get back to 2006 and see what happened to the Zambian economy, and relate it to what we are going through currently.


Mr Speaker, in 2006, we had general elections. Though budgeted for, that was a huge task to undertake. Two years down the line, in 2008, we had a calamity in the loss of a sitting President due to natural causes whose funeral gobbled a lot of resources from our economy because it was very expensive and was not planned for. The money for that funeral came from the economy just two years after the general election. Soon after the burial of the Late President Dr Mwanawasa, SC., may his soul rest in peace, we held a Presidential by-election that was equally not planned for, but gobbled yet another huge amount, which fractured our economy a great deal. We thank our co-operating partners for helping us to rejuvenate the economy, which was growing at a very slow pace. The main effect of those events, though, was the uncertainty that hang around the Zambian economy globally, as investors were not sure of whether to invest in it or not, because they did not know who would get the reins of power. Yes, the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) won the elections, and we are glad that we peacefully went through that election. Thereafter, we started trying to get the economy back on track.


Mr Speaker, as if the state funeral for the late Dr Mwanawasa, SC., and the resulting Presidential by-election were not enough for our economy, in 2011, just about two years later, we had to go into another general election and spend colossal sums of money. Fortunately, we managed that election very well. However, in 2014, we started experiencing a partial drought that adversely affected the economy of this country. To a larger extent, we began distributing relief food due to the food shortages we began experiencing.


Mr Speaker, on the international market, too, many things happened. The price of copper started falling while oil prices were going up. As members of the global village, the economic shocks in the international market affected us, too. However, that was not all because, in the midst of the economic shocks, another calamity befell us when His Excellency President Michael Chilufya Sata died in office. That was unplanned for and had nothing to do with any political party. We had yet another expensive funeral and a lot of money was spent. Again, soon after that we had a Presidential by-election in 2015, which gobbled more money from the same Zambian economy. This is 2016, and we just had another costly general election.


Mr Speaker, the calamities that befell Zambia, coupled with the drought that we started experiencing in 2014 due to climate change, which led to a power deficit in 2015 and forced us to start importing electricity at very high tariffs had devastating effects on our economy. Did any political party cause the drought that we had in Zambia? No. Did any political party cause the fall in the water levels in our rivers, lakes and dams?


Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!


Mr Bwalya: Well, I do not know. Maybe, those colleagues of mine who are near the Kariba Dam tampered caused the water to dry up in the dam.




Mr Bwalya: The truth, Mr Speaker, is that the low water levels are due to natural causes. No wonder, the hon. Minister of Finance has come up with a theme, “Restoring fiscal fitness for sustained inclusive growth and development” for his Budget. We have to restore the economy’s fitness because it was injured by all the natural causes I have mentioned.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Bwalya: Our economy suffered from certain things that were beyond human comprehension and which had nothing to do with politics.


Mr Mwamba: Tell them!


Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, we now have to move forward. The people of Lupososhi are very happy that for the first time, the Budget will support the provision sanitary pads to female pupils free of charge. That is as it should be because comprehensive sexuality education demands that we begin shaping our future by taking care of our young ones so that they are able to look after themselves in future. My appeal to the hon. Minister is that he should not end there because the boy child is as important as the girl child. Let us begin to break the myth that we cannot talk to our children about sexuality. We must go a step further and introduce contraceptives in schools.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hmm!


Mr Bwalya: Otherwise, I think that we will remain behind because the world is changing. We have to make the hard decisions that have not been made before, but which are good for our country because the world is changing. You may not be able to talk to your children about sexuality, but they will access that information on the Internet or television. So, what is the myth? Where is the secret? When you are not there, your children access some sites that you think you have blocked. So, why not open up to them? Why do you want somebody else to educate your children on sexuality? So, the provision of sanitary pads in schools is commendable. However, we should go farther and encourage comprehensive sexuality education in schools.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, there is a provision for the review of legislation on the Zambia Public Procurement Agency (ZPPA). This is long overdue because the Procurement Act has been one of the major hindrances to the country’s development. There are only twelve months in a year just like this Budget is for twelve months only, yet the procurement processes is so cumbersome that it takes the whole year to conclude, meaning that projects cannot commence in the year in which they were budgeted for. I, therefore, suggest that the proposed review of the procurement Act be taken very seriously.


Mr Speaker, the proposal to detach the Government from the procurement of oil is a good strategy, but we need to tread cautiously so that the country is not held to ransom. The oil marketing companies (OMCs) must be given a clear legal framework within which they should operate. Otherwise, chances are that they may end up causing artificial shortages and start manipulating prices, which will affect the cost of doing business in our country. Equally important is the idea of revising the Public Finance Act to stiffen the punitive measures against erring officers. However, I think that we need to focus on prevention, which is far better than cure. Punitive measures have proved ineffective in preventing abuses. For me, the biggest hurdles in that regard are the Code of Conduct and the disciplinary measures in place. It takes so long to discipline a civil servant that by the time punishment is meted out, the erring civil servant might have either retired or died. So, the hon. Minister of Finance needs to review the Code of Conduct and the Disciplinary Code to bring them up to speed so that whoever errs can be dealt with within a reasonable period of time. The Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) used to dispose of disciplinary cases within a week or month and I think that the Public Service should aim for the same levels of efficiency in handling disciplinary cases.


Mr Speaker, the K10 levy on timber that is exported raw is a welcome move but, again, we should tread cautiously so that we do not put our forests at risk because there are some people who will not mind paying the K10 because they know that they will make lot more money. If possible, the hon. Minister should increase the levy so that we do not wake up one day and find all our forests gone. There is a lot of money in the timber trade. So, we should cherish our trees and get the much-needed foreign exchange from them.


Sir, the introduction of Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and Value Added Tax (VAT) clients’ registration is yet another good measure. However, we need to also look at it from the information and communications technology (ICT) perspective and link every VAT registered client to the main server at the ZRA for easy monitoring of revenue collection and quick response because when the server shows that there is no activity in some shop, it is easy to send officers to that shop, who may find that the shopkeepers opted to use calculators instead of cash registers.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Bwalya: For example, the Zambia Electricity Corporation Supply (ZESCO) is able to monitor where there is a problem from the headquarters. We can use the same technology to ensure that we get as much revenue as possible.


Sir, there was mention of a lack of confidence among small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Government policies, which hindered them from accessing Government funding. In this regard, the hon. Minister must meet the SMEs and assure them that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government means well and is ready to work with them. That way, the SMEs will be in the fore-front of creating the much-need jobs.


Mr Speaker, let me conclude by commenting on the measurement of output in the mines. I think we need to put scales there so that we can get our fair share of the money realised in that sector. Accountability and transparency should be taken seriously, but we also need to re-evaluate the status of the integrity and audit committees. If these committees function as they are supposed to and provide feedback to hon. Ministers, then, we should be able to arrest some of the abuses that continuously surface in the Auditor-General’s Report.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha (Chifunabuli): Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to contribute to the debate on the Motion of Supply currently on the Floor of the House.


Sir, from the outset, I must indicate that I am very excited by the theme of the Budget Speech presented by the hon. Minister of Finance because it is very consistent with the pronouncements made by His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, which are aimed at fostering the accelerated economic development of the nation. It is also consistent with events in the global, international and national economies. I am particularly elated that the theme is on restoring fiscal fitness.


Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister of Finance for being very courageous in announcing some of the key measures that will help in restoring fiscal fitness. That was not very easy to do and it gives me hope that this Patriotic Front (PF) Government is awakening to realities of the modern times. We are aware that many things have gone wrong in economies and that there is an energy crisis everywhere, and that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region has not been spared. The people are panicking because energy is the life blood of all economies. Currently, the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF) is contemplating subscribing to the Inga III Dam Project, which is aimed at resolving the energy crisis in the region. Everybody is worried because there is economic retardation in all senses of the word.


Sir, I am very confident that the prioritisation of agriculture and industrialisation will help us to overcome most of the challenges we are facing, which have been brought about by the fall in the price of copper and declining water levels in most of the water bodies from which we generate power, resulting in reduced productivity in the agricultural, mining and other sectors. However, I am very confident that if we did the right things in agriculture and reduced on the heavy involvement of the Government in the conduct of business in the sector, which is supposed to be done by the private sector, it would help a lot. I have looked at the seven micro-economic objectives and it is obvious that agriculture will contribute to the achievement of about four of the seven objectives. It will actually help us to stabilise the rate of inflation, …


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!      


Mr Mecha: … which is skyrocketing, reaching the record high of 22.9 per cent in February, 2016,  and it has been very difficult to bring it down. We only managed to bring it down to about 12.5 per cent in October, 2016. However, even then, we did not understand the factors that led to the fall because the food and non-food prices kept going up. That has given us a headache. Even as we contemplate lowering it to 9 or 7 per cent, we will suffer in trying to devise mechanisms for doing so. 


Mr Speaker, what is important, to me, is the average inflation rate for the country. We are focusing on the year-end inflation rate to try and achieve a single-digit rate. Of what value is it to consider the current situation where the inflation rate is over 20 per cent most of the year, ...


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: … except in October, 2016? For me, it is pointless because it does not add value.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: Last year, we failed to bring down the inflation rate from 21 per cent to a single digit. We brought it down to 21 per cent but, two months later, in February, 2016, it shot up again. I am concerned because I have passion for the agricultural sector and I know that the only way to redeem this country is through this sector. There is a lot we can do to manage inflation during the period between December and February, the production period. However, if we bring down inflation in December just for it to rise in January and February, then, what are we doing, hon. Minister? It is very difficult because the indications are that prices are rising and food supply is going down.


Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: This means that the farmers do not have food.


Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: This is a critical period at which we must look critically because it affects productivity and the implementation of programmes. You can come up with very good programmes for small-holder farmers but, if they have no food between December and February, then, forget about increasing production and productivity. So, we must look at these critical windows when designing programmes like the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), which is very important and very well-designed, but might not be effectively implemented. No wonder, we see very low and unimpressive productivity levels in almost all the crops supported under FISP. How do you expect to get average productivity of 2.8 million metric tonnes from small-holder farmers when the potential for maize is about 10 million metric tonnes? When you look at the gap and the period over which we have implemented FISP, it is clear that the programme has not worked to the expectation of the people. You should not be surprised that most people who debated before me were against the increased allocation to FISP. However, I am determined to justify the continued existence of FISP because it is a very important programme.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: It is the only programme that gives me hope, if well-implemented, because there is a lot for the private sector, households and the Government to gain from it.


Mr Speaker, let me justify my support for the allocation of K2.9 billion to FISP. Let us look at FISP vis-à-vis private sector development. The private sector ‘guys’ are business persons. They are entrepreneurs who have already read your minds.


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


Did you just say “guys”?




Mr Mecha: No, or did I? If so, I withdraw it.


Sir, the private sector stakeholders ‒




Mr Speaker: Continue, hon. Member.


Mr Mecha: I have replaced “guys” with stakeholders.


Sir, the private sector has smelled money in the hon. Minister’s pronouncements on FISP. They are almost touching and feeling it because they are good at it. 


Mr Speaker, K2.9 billion is a lot of money and, under the current arrangement, the Ministry of Agriculture procures fertiliser when the private sector was supposed to supply it.


Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: This is the reason farmers do not receive inputs in good time and, consequently, plant late. How, then, can we expect increased productivity from small-holder farmers? We cannot …


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: …and should not. Essentially, what we need to do under FISP is empower the private sector by reducing the heavy involvement of the Government in the procurement process. Let the private sector position itself to do the job because they have the money and instruments they can use to supply fertiliser across the country and throughout the year. You may be aware that, currently, the private sector is leveraging the agro-dealer network and that there are too many agro-dealers in the communities from which we come. This is why even in my maiden speech, I emphasised the need to develop agro-dealerships in wards. The private sector is forging relationships with agro-dealers for one simple reason, and that is, to reduce the cost of doing business. They want to reduce overhead costs by using the existing physical infrastructure and personnel in the communities instead of putting up their own. That is where the agro-dealers come in. As you know, the essence of running a business is to maximise profits. 


Mr Speaker, on the other hand, the mushrooming of agro-dealerships is a very good indicator for job creation. We have about 150 constituencies and, in mine, there are about eleven wards. Assuming we developed one agro-dealer per ward and linked them to the private sector so that they can sell inputs on commission, how many jobs would we create? My calculation says over 1,500 jobs. Further, the agro-dealers do not work alone, depending on the volume of work. If an agro-dealer is involved with five seed companies, the volume of trade will be very high and that will make accounting for the money complicated, leading to the employment of our children who have been to accountancy schools. That will be job creation. Again, assuming that each agro-dealer employed one book-keeper, how many jobs will we create? So many. This is why I like FISP. Hon. Members should engage the Government properly so that some of the functions it is executing can be devolved to the private sector. If that is done, the biggest winners will be both the private sector and the agro-dealers, who are essentially emerging farmers. That is what we desire and that is what will create wealth and jobs. The households are also stakeholders and will benefit from enhanced food security during the critical period of production.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


Mr Mecha: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was saying that there are many winners in the FISP equation of which I only mentioned two, that is, the input suppliers and the agro dealers. The biggest beneficiary, however, is the small-holder farmer. The first important benefit accruing to the small-holder farmer is, obviously, the subsidy on the inputs.  It is not in my interest to discourage the programme because it subsidises production. Another important benefit we will reap if we re-oriented FISP will be the localisation of the supply of inputs by the private sector. The inputs will be taken to the doorsteps of the farmers, which will, obviously, lower the cost of doing business for the farmers because, currently, the farmers source inputs from distant suppliers. That is compounded by the very bad road infrastructure in rural. Further, the prices are very high. For instance, in my constituency, Chifunabuli, a farmer pays K80 to K100 for a lift to the Boma, which is about 70 km away. A return trip costs about K180. That is already a drain on the farmers’ coffers.


Sir, the other benefit is that once the farmers have increase efficiencies, we are going to see increased production, …




Mr Speaker: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: … that will be an incentive for traders to swarm into the communities. What is happening currently is that most traders are using agro dealers as aggregators of the produce, further increasing the latter’s capacity to generate income throughout the year, as they do not only depend on the income from input sales, but also on income from buying produce from the local farmers on behalf of the big traders. So, they will also be winners. As a result, food security and surplus production will be assured, and there will be both food and income, which is a big win. Other than that, the increased production will feed into the industrialisation drive about which everybody is concerned.


Sir, the hon. Minister of Finance has already provided some incentives for increased production of cooking oil by increasing the import duty on the commodity from 5 per cent to 15 per cent. Therefore, many people will come on board and become big winners.


Lastly, Sir, the Government, because it will not be heavily involved in the distribution of fertilisers, it will make a saving ‒




Mr Speaker: Order!


The conversations on the right are rather loud.


Mr Mecha: Sir, the savings realised will go to the other needy areas like education and health, which will satisfy those who have suggested that we remove some money from FISP and take it to education.


Mr Speaker, in conclusion, FISP has very high potential to contribute towards the achievement of a single-digit inflation rate, employment creation and the attainment of the 3 per cent projected Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate.


Sir, I support the Motion.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Musonda (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion moved by the hon. Minister of Finance.


Sir, from the outset, and like many of my colleagues who debated earlier, I commend the hon. Minister for moving this Motion.


Mr Speaker, in his preamble, the hon. Minister clearly talked about where we are coming from, that is, our very difficult economic situation over the past ten years. I also commend him for acknowledging that the implementation of this Budget will require a unity of purpose and hard work from all of us. Let me comment on the aspect of unity of purpose.


Sir, I am worried about our ability to achieve unity of purpose, especially looking at what is obtaining in the House and the country politically. In the House, the political divisions are very evident in the manner we debate, the words we use and the bitterness we demonstrate. In this regard, I propose that deliberate measures be put in place to enhance the unity about which the hon. Minister spoke.


Mr Speaker, being a new hon. Member of Parliament and not very accustomed to political debates, I am afraid, I seem to convince myself that there is so much political tension in the country that the unity required to drive this Budget might not be attained. I want to say to the powers that be that talking about the need for unity without taking deliberate and practical steps towards resolving the political divisions will not unite this country. In this regard, I propose that the Executive and the Ruling Party, which I know is much stronger than the Opposition and Independent hon. Members put together, should initiate some kind of reconciliation measure to heal the political divisions so that we achieve the unity that the hon. Minister mentioned in his address, which will help us in implementing the Budget.


Mr Speaker, we can say a lot about the 2017 Budget but, at the end of day, its success will be determined by how well it is implemented. I am happy that Article 63(2) of the Constitution provides for Parliament’s oversight over the Budget. Let me particularly draw your attention to part (c) and (d) of the Article, which state that Parliament will scrutinise the way the Executive spends the resources in the Budget, and that parliamentary approve should be given for the contraction of loans by the Government.


Mr Speaker, I would appreciate seeing the five clauses in Article 63(2), which are (a) to (e), reflected and operationalised in the Standing Orders of the House. I am worried on that score because we do not seem to perform some of the roles laid out in this Article. For Example, I think that the whole House agrees that the cashew nut project is viable and the Government is in a hurry to commence the project commenced, as evidenced by its launch by the hon. Minister of Agriculture last week. However, the project is actually funded under the 2017 Budget. We were told by the hon. Minister of Finance that the US$55 million allocation will largely be financed by a loan from the African Development bank (AfDB). Since the project has already been launched, before the Budget is approved, it appears that the Executive might have already contracted the loan from AfDB and started the implementation of the project. I may be a new Member of Parliament, but I do not think that the US$55 million loan was approved by the House.


Mr Speaker, I want to see the oversight function of Parliament stated in Article 63(2) enhanced because it is only when this august House has been given a lot of leverage to periodically monitor the performance of the Budget that we can probably avoid many of the lapses we have seen in the past. I think that the architects of the Constitution took into consideration the fact that it is not enough to only control the implementation of the Budget through the scrutiny of what has already been spent through the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). So, I would prefer to see this House allowed to perform its constitutional function because the success of any Budget lies in our proper performance of this function. As hon. Members of Parliament, we have been given the opportunity to own this Budget. If we performed our constitutional function within certain guidelines and procedures, if the implementation of the Budget failed, that failure would not be blamed on the Executive alone, but the Legislature as well.


Mr Speaker, let me also talk about the allocation to the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). In my view, the CDF is a tool that hon. Members of Parliament can use to take various activities closer to the people and enhance their presence in the constituencies. I am also of the view that we should have taken a leaf from the way constituency offices are funded in other countries and deliberately enhanced the use of the CDF. I believe that this is the position of the majority of the hon. Members on both sides of this House.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Musonda: It is a problem for most hon. Members of Parliament that when they go to their constituencies, they are expected to undertake various activities and respond to some requests from their constituents, yet they do not have sufficient means to attend to those requests. That has made some hon. Members of Parliament to lose face and even elections, as evidenced by the very high turnover of Members of Parliament in this Assembly. I am reliably informed that over 70 per cent of hon. Members in this Assembly are new. If the administration, allocation and disbursement of the CDF remains as it was in the last Assembly, probably most of us will end up being one termers.


Mr Speaker, I implore all the hon. Members of the House to realise that the Budget the hon. Minister of Finance has put before us is a recovery one. Irrespective of how we debate, I believe that is a unanimous position. As Members of Parliament, we are now expected to play a major role in scrutinising how the resources in this Budget will be allocated and utilised. So, the failure of this Budget will directly translate into our failure to execute the oversight function that has been bestowed on us by the Constitution. Therefore, I appeal to all of us to support the Budget and be alert in monitoring how it will be implemented.


Mr Speaker, with those few words, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Samakayi (Mwinilunga): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to debate the estimates of revenue and expenditure for 2017.


Sir, there are certain things that the hon. Minister of Finance has put in this Budget that he believes very strongly are going to benefit Zambians. I want to adopt those things as my own. I also recognise some of the valuable comments that have come from both the left and the right, and adopt them as my own.


Sir, this Budget was prefaced with good phrases like ‘pro-poor’ and ‘restoring fiscal fitness’. However, despite having agreed with the hon. Minister on many issues that he has put in the Budget to benefit Zambians, I wish to disagree with him when he characterises this Budget as being pro-poor.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Samakayi: The Budget has failed to pass the test of being pro-poor and I will demonstrate how. In the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Administration, the allocation to the education sector was between 20 and 25 per cent of the Budget. In this Budget, it has been reduced to 16.5 per cent. I want to believe that hon. Members of this House know that education is an equaliser. It puts the son of a peasant farmer and the son of a rich man on equal footing. I am a son of a village carpenter and if Dr Kaunda did not invest in education, I would not be here debating matters of national importance.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Samakayi: Mr Speaker, another aspect of this Budget that makes it not to be pro-poor is that when the hon. Minister of Finance came to announce it, my expectation and that of many Zambians was that he would raise the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) exempt threshold from K3,000 to K5,000 ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Samakayi: … because Zambians are now faced with high prices of essential goods brought about by the removal of subsidies on fuel. We all know that when you touch the fuel price, you touch the price of every essential commodity. There is also an imminent introduction of cost-reflective tariffs on electricity. Perhaps, many people know think that will be done to electricity tariffs only. However, the same will happen to the tariffs for another essential commodity, namely water, because this is a business principle being introduced. We all believe that water is life and, perhaps, the poor man uses more water than the rich man, yet both will be subjected to the same tariff. How, then, is this Budget pro-poor? 


Sir, I do not want to talk about toll gates because that subject has been debated extensively by the hon. Member for Kafue. I fully agree with her sentiments and analysis. The hon. Minister may argue that he has provided adequately for the people under the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) scheme, but who benefits from that? There is a class of people who do. I believe very strongly that the people who are in the low income bracket, the working class, are not beneficiaries of the scheme and they are the ones the Government is subjecting to high taxes. A worker who gets a K6,000 salary will pay K800 as PAYE and remain with K5,200. If he or she lives in Kafue, he or she will pay K800 per month as toll fees. Further, the fuel price has gone up, as have the prices for essential commodities. So, the person in the low income bracket is in trouble. However, the Government exist to look after our people and we need to cushion them against these difficulties somehow.


Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!


Mr Samakayi: So, I ask the hon. Minister of Finance to think about the poor man and woman. Raising the PAYE exempt threshold from K3,300 to K4,000, is not asking for too much.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr M. Tembo: Question!


Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!


Mr Samakayi: Mr Speaker, let me now talk about the restoration of fiscal fitness, which many people have discussed. As one of his fiscal measures, the hon. Minister of Finance plans to only allocate resources to activities that will enhance service delivery and investment, which is very good. Among other things, the hon. Minister of Finance is also saying he will restrict the role of the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to procuring and managing strategic food reserves. To the best of my knowledge, the strategic food reserve is 500,000 metric tonnes. However, the allocation to the agency in the 2017 Budget is K942.5 million which, by my calculation, will buy 1.2 million metric tonnes. That is the country’s annual consumption and is more than twice the 500,000 metric tonnes the hon. Minister says he wants to buy. Why is he providing so much money? The FRA is not a warehouse for the private sector, but for the strategic food reserves of the Zambian people. However, private businessmen buy the maize reserves from the FRA at a lower price instead of buying on the market. My argument is that it is not merely an issue of allocating resources, but also about looking at where we are being wasteful and trying to make savings there.


Sir, one issue I want to bring to light is that of the Commissioners (DCs). We once asked the hon. Minister of Local Government why DCs should continue to be in office and we were told that Her Honour the Vice-President would answer that question. However, when the question was put to Her Honour the Vice-President by the hon. Member for Nkeyema, she failed to answer ‒


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


Resume your seat.


Mr Samakayi resumed his seat.


Mr Speaker: You cannot debate Her Honour the Vice-President.


Mr Samakayi rose.


Mr Speaker: Just wait.


Hon. Government Members: Sit!


Mr Samakayi resumed his seat.


Mr Speaker: You cannot debate her.


I will still emphasise the point that you should not be emotional. This is what happens when you lose control of your emotions; you drift from issues to personalities.


Please, withdraw that statement.


Mr Samakayi: Mr Speaker, I withdraw that statement. As a new Member of Parliament I am bound to make mistakes.




Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Samakayi: Sir, we have been told that there will be no expenditure on new projects and that the Government will only finish the projects that are currently under implementation. The North-Western Province, my district, Mwinilunga, and my constituency, Mwinilunga, do not have any projects under implementation this year.


Mr M. Tembo: Cashew nuts!


Mr Samakayi: Therefore, the question we are asking is: Apart from the Chingola/Solwezi and Solwezi/Mushindamo roads, what is in this Budget for us?


Hon. Government Members: Cashew nuts!


Mr Samakayi: I am not from the Western Province where the Cashew Nuts Project is being implemented. I come from the North-Western Province. The problem is that you do not even know where Mwinilunga is!




Mr Samakayi: Sir, there is nothing for us in the Budget. At the weekend, I travelled from Mwinilunga …




Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Samakayi: … and the people of North-Western Province are saying the Government can finish the projects started in preferred provinces but, come 2018, they will ask for a revision of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) to include provide for the construction of a university in the North-Western Province.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Samakayi: Mr Speaker, the people of the North-Western Province will be irritants to the Government until we get that which we deserve.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Samakayi: We believe very strongly that we are contributing immensely to this economy, yet we are not getting a fair share of the national cake. So, we will not rest until we are considered positively.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Samakayi: Mr Speaker, I commend the hon. Minister of Finance on the diversification drive. Diversification is something we should have done a long time ago. However, maybe, the question that we should ask is: What has been the problem? Further, do we currently have an institutional framework designed to implement the national diversification programme? Will we implement it in agriculture, mining, tourism and industry? The answer is no.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Samakayi: That is an inefficient way of doing things. So, I propose that we create a special purpose vehicle through which we will implement the programme. The benefits of having a special purpose vehicle are greater focus in the allocations of resources, greater co-ordination of activities and enhanced monitoring of programme implementation.


Ms Mwashingwele: Excellent.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Samakayi: Sir, again, let me discuss the natural order of things. In order to implement the diversification programme, we need to identify the things that should come first. I believe very strongly that we need to start with the roads. We are not only asking for tarmac roads, but good gravel roads, too. That should be accompanied by the provision of power to the areas that need it. I believe that we can start diversification in areas that are electrified and have good roads. In the areas where there are no electricity and good roads, let us provide those amenities. For me, to go full throttle in implementing the diversification programme, I would dedicate the first two years to the areas that do not have roads and power. In the third year, I would concentrate on the implementation of the fundamentals of diversification, which would then rest on the things that I have mentioned above. That is how I think we should move, as a country.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Samakayi: Mr Speaker, finally, although you told the hon. Member from Chirundu that we are not at war, I want to say that we actually are …




Mr Samakayi: … in terms of development. However, I do not mean a physical war, but one of the minds and consciences because the Executive is ignoring the North-Western Province.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukata (Chilanga): Mr Speaker, I am indebted to my hon. Colleagues who have already debated the Budget Speech before me, such as Hon. Kopulande, who reminds me of our days as National Trustees in the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD). His eloquence still subsists. I also thank the other colleagues who have spoken positively about the 2017 Budget or suggested ways of improving it.


Mr Speaker, I really sympathise with the hon. Minister of Finance and acknowledge his effort in coming up with a robust Budget. Clearly, the level of debate I see here is a product of what went into that Budget, which is mind-provoking, innovative and setting certain parameters that, perhaps, are uncharted. I see the hunger that people have to debate it.


Sir, clearly, the hon. Minister and his team had little time to put this Budget together, especially given that it was developed just after the elections. I congratulate them on doing a good job.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, the Budget clearly highlights the five pillars that will underpin and anchor the developmental of the country, and I notice that the hon. Minister has pinned the programmes on Zambia Plus. In my mind, when I saw ‘Zambia Plus’, being someone who likes to flex his mind, I thought that, perhaps, the hon. Minister had veered away from ‘Zambia Forward’ which, perhaps, he meant it was supposed to be ...


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukata: … because I think the two mean the same thing. They entail that we need to start moving forward and think outside the box.


Sir, my debate will be anchored on the first, third, fourth and fifth pillars. In my discourse, I want to agree with the hon. Minister that internal domestic resource mobilisation to finance public expenditure is very critical. Mistakes have been made, not only in the last five years but, perhaps, going back to the United National Independence Party (UNIP) days. So, I do not think it is time to point fingers at one another. That will not take us anywhere.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukata: Of course, we can learn some lessons because our past shaped the current situation. We need to learn from our circumstances and debate profusely.




Mr Speaker: Order, on my right!


Mr Mukata: Sir, we can agree or disagree, but we also need to find a common trajectory going forward. Otherwise, come 2018, our mothers and sisters, those who need medical help and our children who need education will all be adversely affected. Let us not be hardnosed debaters who will just debate for the sake of fixing others because that will come back and bite us.


Sir, the people of Chilanga have no time to invest in aimless debates because they want to see this Budget work. However, the hon. Minister needs to take on board a couple of proposals, which are well-meant because this Budget is meant to serve all us, Zambians.


Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, we know that the basic drivers of this country’s economy are the industrial, agricultural and energy sectors about which my colleagues have spoken. When we talk about industry and manufacturing, at the base of it, as my colleagues have stated, are the small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) who, in countries like Japan, account for 99.7 per cent of companies, create 70 per cent of jobs and account for 50 per cent of all value addition in the manufacturing sector. I am sure we all wish our country could become like Japan, Malaysia and India, which is just on the heels of Japan. So, we need to copy Japan’s model of structural adjustments and re-engineering that promotes the SMEs, who are the backbone of that country’s economy.


Sir, if we want to be like Japan, clearly, we need to lift our SMEs to the level that they are supposed to be, and I am talking about the institutional framework that anchors the SMEs in this country. How can we expect to create 100,000 jobs in 2017 or 1 million jobs in five years when we have anchored the SMEs on a department with not more than thirty people? Where is the human resource to drive that process? I agree with Hon. Samakayi that it is a seemingly good effort, but actually a hodgepodge, like a shotgun firing in all directions hoping to catch some form of development. Things have to be co-ordinated.


Sir, we need a special purpose vehicle to drive SMEs and co-operatives. Sometimes, we do not seem to understand the SMEs and co-operatives. We just talk about them without appreciating their arrangements. We only relate the co-operatives to agriculture, growing of groundnuts and such things. That should not be the case. We can have an SME arrangement or co-operative in Buseko under a special purpose vehicle, which should be a ministry. Zimbabwe has a Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development while here, in Zambia, it is merely an underfunded department with less than twenty people. In Japan, it is an agency while, in Malaysia, it is a department under the President’s office. How I wished the Road Development Agency (RDA) could be a department under some ministry and the SMEs put under the President’s Office. That way, it would receive the attention it deserves and the 1 million jobs would be created. Please, let us consider having a standalone ministry with a separate budget for SMEs so that the issues of monitoring and evaluation, and co-ordination would be facilitated. Otherwise, I can bet my last dollar that we will come back in 2018 with nothing to show for all this talk.


Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukata: We will just continue to see misappropriation of resources not because people want to do it, but because there are few officers doing monitoring and evaluation. As you know, the biggest component in the actualisation of projects is ensuring that inputs match outputs. However, when there are limited human resources, people take their eyes off the ball and money is wasted.


Mr Speaker, from his days at the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, I know that the hon. Minister of Finance is incisive. There are people that we can learn from and I do not apologise to pinpoint those who have excelled in Zambia. I have a lot of faith in this hon. Minister, especially in his experience gained from the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry. We want to see it show in the Ministry of Finance. I know that sometimes ministries do not confer. It is almost as if they are competing fiefdoms. It is like if I do not like the Minister of Agriculture, then, I will not fund his ministry and it is a battle of egos to see who the heavy weight is.


Mr Speaker, there is also the issue of creating backward and forward linkages. The Ministry of Finance can facilitate business that through the issuance of different statutory instruments (SIs) to enhance SMEs’ access to business.


Mr Speaker, we can have a plethora of financing platforms and funds, and the SMEs can have the money to grow groundnuts and other crops, but where will they sell the produce? There are large enterprises that import tomatoes for their canteens from South Africa because the Managing Director’s (MD’s) wife has a company that is doing the importing. Insider dealing is a reality. On the Copperbelt, people are suffering because they cannot supply to the mines. We want to see the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CPCC) do its job of ensuring that our SMEs are able to win contracts to supply the mines, which are our mines. We respect the investors, but we need to actualise the backward and forward linkages if the SMEs are to develop. Where will the SMEs sell their products if we do not support them?


Mr Speaker, take Scaw Limited, for example, which produces mill balls on the Copperbelt. Where will it sell those hard balls if the mines do not buy them? Will it cook them as mince meat?


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukata: The mines buying from India. I will mention specific names because I have been on the ground. Lafarge, for example, buys mill balls from India. I found them there and I asked why they did not buy locally and they said that the local products are of substandard quality. I, then, took South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) registered mill balls, but they still dilly-dallied. So, I think that we have the institutional and regulatory frameworks, but we fail to enforce our regulations. Look at our approach to standards? We accept the importation of the substandard products that flood our markets. Look at the roofing sheets we import. We complain about the occurrence of disasters even when there are minor storms in places like Kalingalinga, where houses collapse, and the reason is that we import A4 size roofing sheets when the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) demands that roofing sheets be of a 2.2 mm size. That is the size of the roofing sheets manufactured by MM Integrated Steel and other companies in the country, yet we allow some people to bring in substandard materials that they sell cheaply and outperform our people. We are exporting jobs.


Mr Speaker, I am thankful that the hon. Minister has made Kafue and Kalumbila iron and steel economic zones. 


Mr Kampyongo: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukata: However, between Kalumbila and Kafue, there are other steel millers like Good Time Steel, Scaw Limited, Agro Fuel and MM Integrated Steel. How will such benefit from that policy? In my view, the best way to bring everybody on board and on an even kiln is to invoke safeguard measures under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) by declaring the sector an infant industry so that the importation of steel is heavily taxed. Yes, we are members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the WTO and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) but, under the WTO, we are allowed to introduce some protectionist measures if we declare an industry an infant one. Despite having stockpiles of roofing sheets, MMI Steel is closing down.


Mr Speaker, allow me to also say that we are all part of the Government and, since we are talking about being proudly Zambian and buying Zambian, why are we in the forefront of negating that effort? In fact, the Government is a major consumer of foreign goods. Look at where we are seated or the Bar and you will see Chinese materials. Out of respect, I will not mention the furniture in your office.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukata: However, you can go to the ministries for evidence and see Chinese furniture.


Mr Nkombo: Your Committee Rooms.


Mr Mukata: Why do we not procure furniture from Buseko? It is our wood that goes to China and comes back as furniture, yet we boast about having imported furniture. I think that we need to bite the bullet and face reality. We must be proudly Zambian and buy Zambian. In fact, I will write to President Lungu to start firing all those found with Chinese furniture.




Mr Speaker: I am sure that is on a light note.




Mr Nkombo: No!


Mr Mukata: Well, he is my friend because we are both lawyers. So, he has heard and will fire them.




Mr Mukata: We must buy locally.


Mr Speaker, the procurement system in this country is such that when contractors bid for a contract for a school, they put in window bars and door frames bought from China. How about our people at Buseko? Who will buy from them? So, we must re-align the procurement system to allow the steel companies to input into the tender so that the building contractor will only build. Lafarge must also input its supply of cement while the building contractor must just go to Lafarge and collect cement on an invoice. We know that the contractors put mark-ups on materials, which increases the cost of projects.


Mr Speaker, since my time is running out, I will quickly talk about roads. Why are we so hooked on bituminous standard roads? Is there an engineer who can explain to me?


Mr Livune: They do not have engineers.


Mr Mukata: Why can we not try the concrete roads that the people of Chilanga? Let the Government build the bituminous roads anywhere else it wants but, in Chilanga, we only want concrete roads, which are seven times cheaper and much stronger. If the Government changed to concrete roads, it would build more roads using the same amount of resources it currently uses on constructing bituminous roads. A good example is the Kafue Bridge, which was built of concrete because of the strut. It is stronger, yet cheaper. Please, let us begin to think outside the box and cut costs.


Mr Speaker, how much money are we spending on road contracts and what is the training component of that money? Where is the technological transfer? We complain of shoddy works by our people and say that they cannot build roads. The question is: Where were they trained? Is there a university that teaches people how to make roads in Zambia? There is none. So, we need to invest in apprenticeship programmes by ensuring that the contracts we award have, at least, a 5 per cent sum for training so that, one day, we can boast of local contractors who can build good roads. So, I suggest that the ministries of Finance; Commerce, Trade and Industry; and Higher Education go and study the Indian model, which has served the people well in that country.


Mr Speaker, we also need to introduce curricula in schools from Grade 1 that will facilitate the training of people to think business and SMEs. As the President mentioned, we have a mindset problem. Every time we ask our children what they want to become, they say that they want to be teachers, ...


Mrs Jere: Lawyers! 


Mr Mukata: ... lawyers and other professions. However, whether our children want to become lawyers or teachers, we must still train them to think business. That should be the catchword.


Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukata: That will be a game changer for us.


Sir, the allocation to the compensation fund is meagre and very dangerous for this country. In terms of liabilities, the Government owes close to half a billion dollars under the Compensation Fund, yet the hon. Minister has only allocated US$10 million. Even assuming there was a moratorium or people somehow became averse to suing, it would take fifty years to clear those areas at US$10 million a month. However, in the real world, there are more cases coming and interest accruing. The institution does not have legislative drafters to draft Bills like the ones we have here. It also does not have litigators. In this country you can probably sue for anything, get a judgment in your favour and be paid for it. So, we need lawyers there. I think ministry has been neglected and that we need to pay more attention to it.


Mr Speaker on water and sanitation, yes, it is good to think of boreholes but, if sank anyhow, they are a danger. The growth in our population has increased the demand for toilets and boreholes, leading to the two going on a collision course.


Ms Lubezhi: Uh!


Mr Mukata: We should use the Japanese International Corporation Agency (JICA) model of distributing water. Let us preserve our water harvesting sources. Currently, if you go to Mtendere and all the other places, you will find that our water sources are being breached. Why can we not give our people the dignity of having reticulated water? If you go to Zingalume, you will find the JICA tanks where water is pumped and there are pipes that distribute the water to the residences. I think that copying that model would help us.


Finally, Mr Speaker, I support this budget and encourage hon. Members to debate and interrogate it but, at the end of the day, to realise that it is our Budget.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!






The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1932 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 25th November, 2016.