Friday, 17th March, 2017

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Friday, 17th March, 2017


The House met at 0900 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]










The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, I rise to give the House some idea of the Business it will consider next week.


Sir, on Tuesday, 21st March, 2017, the Business of the House will begin with Questions for Oral Answers, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider the Report Stages of the following Bills:


(a)        The Refugees Bill, 2017; and


(b)        The Agriculture Institute of Zambia Bill, 2017.


Mr Speaker, on Wednesday, 22nd March 2017, the Business of the House will start with Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will debate two Private Members’ Motions entitled “Implement Foster Care Programmes” to be moved by Mr E. Sing’ombe, Member of Parliament for Dundumwezi Constituency.


Hon. PF Members: Question!


Hon. PF Member: We will not allow that.


The Vice-President: The second one is “Give Loans to University of Zambia Students” to be moved by Mr G. G. Nkombo, …


Hon. PF Members: Question!


Hon. PF Member: We will not allow them.


The Vice-President: … Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central Constituency.


Sir, on Thursday, 23rd March, 2017, the Business of the House will begin with Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will then deal with the Committee Stage of the following Bills:


(a)        The Compulsory Standards Bill, 2017;


(b)        The Standards Bill, 2017;


(c)        The National Technical Regulation Bill, 2017; and


(d)        The Meteorology Bill, 2017.


On Friday, 24th March, 2017, the Business of the House will commence with Her Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time. This will be followed by Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. Then the House will consider the Second Reading stage of the Banking and Financial Services Bill, 2017.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.




Mr Speaker: May Her Honour the Vice-President indicate when His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, …


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: … Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, …


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: … arrives to address the House.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Sir, I wish to inform the House that the President, His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, will be arriving at 0945 hours to address the House.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Ema Presidents aya!


Business was suspended from 0906 hours until 0957.


His Excellency the President entered the Assembly Chamber escorted by Mr Speaker.


Hon. PF Members:(singing) Lungu ngatalipo, bonse aba nibagwele. Twalaizandamuna, lelo muledabwa.


(Assembly Resumed)




His Excellency the President (Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu): Mr Speaker, this is another special day, in the history of our nation, when I am obliged by the Constitution to address this august House for the second time in one Session of the National Assembly. This address is different from the opening address to Parliament as it its focus is on the application of our national values and principles as enshrined in the Republican Constitution under Articles 8, 9 and 86 (1) which, unfortunately, many people in the Republic of Zambia may not be aware of. Again, this goes to show our poor culture of reading.


Sir, this address will serve as a platform for the nation to reflect, and debate on the state of the nation with respect to the application of our national values and principles. This reflection, and the debate, should create a common ground of understanding and reinforcement of our commitment, as a nation, to the application of the values and principles on who we are as a people.


This, in turn, will give us the realisation that moral, spiritual, ethical and cultural values are paramount to fulfilling the development agenda of any nation.


Mr Speaker, this address, therefore, should give us all an opportunity to reflect on the importance of national unity, peace and sovereignty of our nation, and the role that each and every individual must play to safeguard our national values and principles.


Being the first time that I am addressing this august House on the application of national values and principles, it is important for us to have a clear understanding of what these values and principles mean.


Mr Speaker, our national values and principles are a set of beliefs and guidelines meant to provide us, as a nation, with a foundation upon which our identity and practices are anchored. Actually, they are our compass, our pillars and, indeed, our foundation. The Republican Constitution outlines our national values and principles which include, but are not limited to the following:


(a)        morality and ethics;


(b)        patriotism and national Unity;


(c)        democracy and constitutionalism;


(d)        human dignity, equity, social justice, equality and non-discrimination;


(e)        good governance and integrity; and


(f)         sustainable development.


The Constitution further demands that these values and principles be applied in the interpretation of the Republican Constitution, enactment and interpretation of the laws and development, and implementation of state policies. We must be committed as a nation to abide by these provisions.


Mr Speaker, this address will focus on giving every Zambian and this Assembly an understanding of our national values and principles which, as we go forward, will be highlighted to guide their implementation by the Government and the citizens of the Republic of Zambia.


The Preamble, as provided for in our Constitution, is unequivocal and succinct in the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation while upholding every person’s rights to freedom of conscience, belief or religion. This declaration is the basis of our national values and principles. The declaration, national values and principles are important as they are expected to shape our attitudes as well as our general dispositions and actions.


Mr Speaker, let me now address the specific national values and principles as provided in the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia.


Morality and Ethics


Mr Speaker, as a Christian nation, we are guided by the Word of God on what is right or wrong.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


His Excellency the President: Therefore, as a nation, we encompass morality and ethics as values that deal with what we collectively believe to be right or wrong. We must, therefore, endeavour to adhere to these values to the best of our ability. As a nation, there is sufficient reason for us to uphold good morals and ethics. It is worth noting, that in the absence of these morals and ethics, we may be led to the degradation of our cultural values and social fabric of our nation. When this happens, trust is easily lost between individuals or between the electorate and their representatives, and even between players in the corporate world, not to mention the politicians. This breakdown of trust is costly to our country at any given moment in time as it represents missed opportunities to build on a better nation.


Mr Speaker, we see symptoms of moral decay in the ever increasing cases of examination mal practices such as leakages, absenteeism at places of work, child defilement and gender based violence to mention but a few. This is worrisome, and indicative of the erosion of good morals and ethics in our society and this should not be allowed to continue.


 If we remain on this path, our moral fabric will be eroded, and this ultimately, may tarnish our national identity in the community of nations. We must change for the better. We must regain the moral high ground, and entrench ethical standards in all our transactions and actions as Zambians. We must carry ourselves forward as a nation.


Mr Speaker, in this regard, the Government is committed to ensuring that good morals and ethics are enhanced, and in the bid to do so, in the Public Service, the first ever code of ethics was adopted as far back as 2008. This code espouses and inculcates the values of honesty, objectivity, impartiality, loyalty, respect, accountability, excellence, confidentiality, integrity and selflessness for the good of our country. Therefore, Government has introduced a requirement for every Public Service officer to sign up to the code of ethics to underline one’s commitment to abide by the provisions of the code in both their official and private lives. By so doing, the officers also agree that their performance will be evaluated in accordance with the code. To this effect, I am redirecting the Secretary to Cabinet to ensure that this code is strictly adhered to.


 Further, and consequential to the Constitution, the Government will strengthen the framework guiding the scope, implementation and enforcement of morals and ethics among public and State officers. We need a Public Service and State offices that are accountable and above board in the conduct of the affairs of the State.


Mr Speaker, I am aware that a number of private sector organisations and non-State actors equally have codes of ethics based on similar values to guide their professional conduct. I wish to commend them, and implore those that do not have such codes to develop and institutionalise them. This is progressive, and good for the nation.


As the saying goes, “Charity begins at home.” Therefore, the application of principles of morals and ethics must be inculcated in our daily lives starting with ourselves as politicians. I repeat.  As the saying goes, “Charity begins at home.” Therefore, the application of principles of morals and ethics must be inculcated in our daily lives starting with ourselves as politicians, …


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


His Excellency the President: … who, in the recent past, have demonstrated high levels of intolerance and disrespect for one another, and in some cases, to the general public, including the media. As a result, this has trickled down to our youths and cadres, and party officials who are emulating our bad leadership examples. We must stop this moral decay. We must enhance brotherhood. We must respect humanity against all odds.


Mr Speaker, let me also urge all parents, teachers and religious leaders to take a lead in inculcating high standards of morals and ethical values in our people especially, the young starting from our families, communities, schools and places of worship. Parents, teachers and religious leaders have been singled out because of their role in the daily lives of our children and youths. If our children are not at home, they must be in school or at least, at church.


 Unfortunately, what prevails in our society is that our children patronise social places such as bars, gambling halls and cinemas, which do not instil good morals. They, sometimes, spend time indulging in under-age drinking, and watching pornographic movies on social media which are both prohibited by Zambian laws.


So, it is up to us as parents, teachers, and leaders in church to take interest in bringing this scourge to an end. Where they do not have cinemas, you find them busy playing bonanza. It is, therefore, imperative that we all play an active role in nurturing, and monitoring the activities of our youths and children.


Mr Speaker, equally worrying, is the sale of alcoholic beverages in bus stations, markets and other public places, including burial sites. This is leading to an increased number of accidents, not only on our roads, but also at places of work, and oftentimes, unnecessarily leading to the loss of innocent lives.


The abuse of alcohol exacerbates gender based violence, defilement and transmission of disease in our communities, including the spread of HIV and Aids. In order to curb and control these vices, I am directing the ministries responsible for national guidance and religious affairs, health, education, community development and social welfare, tourism and arts, local Government and commerce, trade and industry to coordinate their activities, and ensure effective management of the production and sale of alcohol.


Hon. PF Members: Sosa, sosa ichalo chilekumfwa.


The Excellency the President: In fact, I know that we banned tujilijili, but it has come back in the name of Junta. Hon. Minister for Home Affairs, we have to do something.


Patriotism and National Unity


 Mr Speaker, patriotism and national unity should speak to the heart and soul of every Zambian in our quest to sustain our sovereignty, and build a better country for ourselves and future generations. Patriotism invokes an emotional attachment to one’s country. This attachment is not only based on a sense of belonging and national pride, but also a readiness to sacrifice for your country.  We need to build a culture which puts Zambia first in all that we do.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


His Excellency the President: Mr Speaker, every Zambian should identify themselves with the national emblems that represent our sovereignty and national identity, these being our national anthem, our coat of arms and our national flag.

I have observed with dismay, that these national emblems are not clearly understood by many Zambians, to the extent that many even fail to even sing the full and correct text of the national anthem. Their interpretation and understanding of our coat of arms and the national flag is even worse. It is very difficult to understand this!


I expect Zambians to know the words of the National Anthem from the first to the last word, and I ask the Secretary to Cabinet to ensure that we work with the Ministry of General Education to circulate hymn sheets so that those who do not know the Anthem can sing. Further instructions will follow on this subject.


Furthermore, it saddens me to see many Zambians who are unable to identify and interpret national monuments which express our rich national heritage such as:


(a)        the freedom statue;


(b)        the Victoria Falls;


(c)        Chilenje House 394, First President, Dr. Kaunda’s house;


(d)        The fallen footballers’ burial site;


(e)        The presidential burial site;


(f)         Dag Hammarskjold memorial; and


(g)        Ing’ombe Ilede, among others.


Let us take interest in our history. We are people with a history and culture.


Mr Speaker, we must, therefore, endeavour to show our patriotism to this great nation by taking deliberate actions to understand and interpret what these national symbols and monuments represent.


Mr Speaker, let us also maintain, and defend the rights and freedoms of our people.  Let us take a leaf from our founding fathers and mothers who fought selflessly and tirelessly to attain our independence, giving us the freedoms and rights we now enjoy. They did this with a deep sense of sacrifice and love for this country.    It is, therefore, my firm belief that, as Zambians, we must be driven by loyalty, patriotism and promotion of the well-being of our country.


Mr Speaker, the state of patriotism among Zambians today is varied.  We have some Zambians who have a high sense of patriotism while it is totally lacking in others. This is evidenced by some people’s preference for foreign goods and services to Zambian ones. Let me urge fellow Zambians to be patriotic, and at all times, put high preference on buying Zambian goods and services. Further, let me urge the local manufacturers to continuously improve, for example, the quality and presentation of their products in order to instil customer confidence in our local products.


Mr Speaker, the recent happenings, where Zambians are conniving with foreigners to illegally harvest our natural resources such as the Mukula tree and wildlife is another illustration of our lack of patriotism.


Only last night, I learnt that we had eighty-two trucks laden with the Mukula tree logs, confiscated at the Nakonde border post, and were illegally harvested with fake papers from some constituency in Lusaka. Now, these people could not have harvested so much timber without the support and help of Zambians.


 Mr Speaker, even worse is the phenomenon of false accounting, by undervaluing the price of goods and services. This is, sometimes, perpetrated by Zambians, on behalf of foreign-owned companies. This is greatly haemorrhaging the country of millions of dollars. By the same token, those Zambians who over-price goods and services that come into our country are not any better.


 What is happening is that goods coming into Zambia are priced highly by Zambians conniving with foreigners and goods going out of Zambia are priced cheaply by Zambians conniving with outsiders. This is a shame.


In order to maintain our patriotism, I wish to remind Zambians that whenever we receive financial support and goodwill from our development partners, we must always ensure that we pronounce and make reference to such support in our local currency, the kwacha. It helps us understand the extent of the help and also shows that we are sovereign. Let us quote what we receive in Kwacha so that we get to appreciate fully what we are given.


Sir, the ultimate loss of our resources, and the accompanying revenue to the Government as a result of these unscrupulous dealings has a long term negative effect on the development of our country. No matter what the Government does, if we continue to lose through this avenue, there is not much economic growth or achievement for the benefit of our people. So, I am calling upon every Zambian to take stock of their sense of patriotism, and reflect on whether they are truly being Zambian or not.


Mr Speaker, I am equally concerned about the illegal manner in which land is being sold to foreigners.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


His Excellency the President:  At the rate we are selling our land to foreigners, there is veritable danger that we might render our children landless.  The indiscriminate sale of land has an ultimate effect on our children who may end up as squatters in their own country.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


 His Excellency the President: It is saddening that land is sometimes sold so cheaply that the value at which it is being given out could be as low as cheap handouts. I have reports of chiefs giving hundreds of thousands of hectares of land for a second hand Mitsubish Pajero.


We, therefore, as a matter of urgency, need to come up with a revised Lands Act and policy that guarantees sovereignty over our land, which is a key natural heritage.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


 His Excellency the President: I am, therefore, directing the hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources to bring to Cabinet a revised Lands Act and Land Policy, which will ensure that our land is protected for our future generations.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


His Excellency the President: Mr Speaker, the lack of patriotism with regard to land management, shames the selfless spirit of our forefathers and mothers who fought, and died so that we could truly be an independent and sovereign State. It is our duty, therefore, to honour their service to this country by putting our country first in all that we do.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


His Excellency the President: As political players, we should seriously review the unbecoming behaviour of our party members especially, the so called cadres, and bring to an end, the usurping of powers vested in relevant authorities by way of grabbing land, and allocating themselves pieces of land as if they were the law unto themselves.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


His Excellency the President:  Mr Speaker, I am saying this because it is happening not only in the ruling party, but also in all political parties and it has to stop now.           


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


His Excellency the President: Similarly, we need to bring sanity into our local authorities who give away land, sometimes, and sadly so, in our local heritage sites and ecosystem enclaves to an extent that natural habitats for our indigenous species get disturbed. It may also not be strange to discover that land which has deposits of natural minerals is given out to cater for individual interests. This concern can be extended to some of our traditional leaders who have given away land to investors with impunity, in some cases, disregarding all other considerations such as existing settlements, common grazing areas, burial sites and access to water for communities.


Mr Speaker, let me sound a stern warning that my Government will not sit idle while this unbecoming and unpatriotic behaviour continues. This warning is to all of us, including traditional rulers.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Malama: Warn them!


His Excellency the President: Where individual interests outweigh national interests, my Government will not hesitate to repossess or re-enter any such pieces of land or sites.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


His Excellency the President: Against this background, I direct the Ministry of National Development and Planning to ensure that the Seventh National Development Plan (SNDP) and other future plans comprehensively contain clear objectives and strategies connected to our national land use plan.

National unity


Mr Speaker, let me now turn to the issue of national unity. We are all alive to the fact that Zambia is made up of 72 or is it 73 ethnic groupings. This is a fact that we cannot hide, change or ignore. National unity is an essential pre-requisite for the development of our nation. Despite our divergent ethnic, social, religious and political backgrounds, we have a shared heritage and destiny as a country which obliges us to co-exist in unity.


Mr Speaker, our national unity was put to the test by the events that characterised the August 11, 2016 elections, where people of different political persuasions were pitted one against the other. This behaviour is surely unZambian, and should never happen in a Christian nation such as ours. It is in this regard that I appointed a commission of inquiry on voting patterns and electoral violence to make recommendations that will prevent the recurrence of such violence in future elections.


As Zambians, we must, therefore, take deliberate steps to work together to amicably resolve pressing issues for the sake of national unity, stability and prosperity.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


His Excellency the President: We should always be ready to put aside our ethnic and political differences for the good of our nation. This is in line with our motto of “One Zambia One nation.” As patriots, Zambia must always come first in our decisions and actions. 


Mr Speaker, as members of the global village, we acknowledge the need to be part of the global development agenda, but are cognisant of the fact that the interests of our country are primary and fundamental to any of our engagements abroad. In promoting inter-dependency among countries the Government, shall ensure that our global and regional engagements benefit our people by way of contributing towards poverty reduction, wealth and employment creation. This is in line with our policy of promoting economic diplomacy which we shall vigorously pursue.

Democracy and constitutionalism


Mr Speaker, our Republican Constitution clearly declares that Zambia is a sovereign, unitary, multi-party democratic State. Zambia’s democracy is still in its infancy, and we, therefore, must nurture it. Within a space of over fifty years, we have lived through both the one-party and multi-party systems of Government, but we have consciously chosen multi-partism as our preferred form of Government because we collectively believe in the inherent power of freedom and choice embedded in the values of pluralism.


As a democratic sovereign State, it is expected that we shall govern ourselves in accordance with our firm and well-founded democratic principles of:


  1.         choosing Government through periodic free and fair elections;


  1.         active participation of the people in the political and civic life of the nation;


  1.         promotion and protection of human rights; and


  1.         application of the rule of law and equality of all before the law.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


His Excellency the President: Mr Speaker, the Government remains committed, and resolved to promoting and upholding democracy.  In this regard, we have continued to hold free and fair elections.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


His Excellency the President: Where change has happened, there has always been a smooth transfer of power from one administration to another.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


His Excellency the President: This is a clear demonstration of our commitment to and respect for democratic principles of empowering and encouraging the active participation of our people at all levels in the governance system of our country.


Mr Speaker, despite these achievements, there is still room for improvement to enhance our democratic principles. We need to address all the lacunas in our Constitution. We also need to pay attention to the high levels of apathy, negative trends such as regional voting, and decisively tackle the use of violence during elections.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker, it is, therefore, our inescapable duty, as citizens, to actively promote democratic principles in our governance system.

Together, we need to uphold, and promote our democratic culture; together, we need to ensure that there is always a peaceful, secure and stable environment for our fledging democracy; together, we should go beyond any political divide, and work as one people. That is both our duty and responsibility we owe to our nation!


Good Governance and Integrity


Mr Speaker, good governance encompasses respect for human rights, the rule of law, transparency, accountability and effective participation of citizens in national affairs. Further, good governance demands independence of the three arms of Government, the executive, the legislature and the judiciary.  This is cardinal, and I must repeat it. Good governance demands independence of the three arms of Government, the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. 


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


His Excellency the President: As a country, we are proud to say we have a fairly stable and predictable governance system. Our judiciary exercises its functions independently, without undue influence; while our legislature is one of the most vibrant: with effective checks and balances, on the Executive and the entire governance system.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


His Excellency the President: It is truly the voice of the people which effectively exercises its oversight role on the executive through this august house. 


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


His Excellency the President: Furthermore, we have well-functioning institutions offering checks and balances such as the office of the Auditor-General, the Office of The Public Protector, the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Human Rights Commission. These institutions are still being strengthened to help them cope with the ever-changing systems of governance and accountability.


The Government has put in place an e-government system as part of its smart Zambia agenda to entrench transparency and accountability in government operations.


Mr Speaker, as a commitment to good governance, the Government has placed a high premium on constitutionalism. In this regard, we now have the Constitutional Court, the Court Of Appeal and specialised courts of the High Court to enhance citizens’ access to justice and expeditious disposal of cases.


We are alive to the fact that justice delayed is justice denied. The Government will continue to respect the independence of the judiciary, and uphold the rule of law in order to strengthen institutions of good governance. 


Mr Speaker, good governance flourishes where there are high levels of integrity. Integrity demands that one is honest, reliable, and beyond reproach in the discharge of one’s duty and even in personal conduct. This, for instance, entails that a police officer at a check point will assess road worthiness of vehicles without having a bribe in mind. It also entails that a health worker at a hospital will treat all patients with dignity regardless of whether they are in the high or low cost ward and; that a customs officer will collect what is due to the treasury without compromise. The same is demanded of a human resource officer who is expected to recruit on merit, and not to be influenced by tribe or any other negative considerations.


In this regard, Mr Speaker, more is even demanded of us in leadership, be it at community, district, provincial or national level. With integrity, leadership becomes reliable in the eye of those being led which, in turn, enhances their trust and stability in the nation and its leadership.


Mr Speaker, decentralisation of functions with matching resources is a key element of good governance. Decentralisation requires giving power to the people, and bringing the Government closer to them. This is what our national Decentralisation Policy is designed to achieve.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr President: In this regard, the Government is now more determined than ever before to implement decentralisation by devolution while upholding the principles of fiscal decentralisation in line with the provisions of our Constitution.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr President: As citizens, we are all expected to support the implementation of this policy as it guarantees the future of equitably shared prosperity. I know that it is not easy to change policies because of vested interests some people in central Government do not want to pass power to the local communities. Whilst I sit in State House, I will make sure that decentralisation is done.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwale: Ema President aya.


Mr President: Mr Speaker, the fight against corruption in all its forms is key to promoting good governance and integrity. Corruption and other related crimes such as bribery, money laundering and drug trafficking deprive Zambia of her resources and the much needed development. We should, therefore, all recommit ourselves to this fight, and ensure that we work towards attaining a corrupt free society.


The Government will remain resolute in fighting this scourge and combat it


  1. the Government is non-selective in this fight;


  1. the Government demands integrity from all public offices and office holders; and


  1. the Government will further demand that the general public desists from encouraging these vices.


Mr Speaker, good and effective leadership is indispensable to the promotion of good governance and integrity. A major requirement of such leadership is to be approachable, open to new ideas and accountable to the citizenry. Leaders must not instil fear, but rather inspire free debate and consensus building. We, therefore, need to develop and nurture a culture where those in authority are not only accountable, but also listen to the voices of the people that they lead. This is not from me, but in accordance with Article 90 of the Constitution which demands that Executive authority should be exercised in a manner compatible with the principles of social justice and for the people’s well being and benefit.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr President: As a country, we should commit ourselves to the highest standards of transparency and accountability.


Human dignity, equality, equity, social justice and non-discrimination


Mr Speaker, human dignity, equality, equity, social justice and non-discrimination are cardinal to creating an inclusive society. No society can truly achieve social cohesion, unity of purpose and meaningful progress in the absence of these values.


Human dignity is the most important human right from which all other fundamental rights derive. It is inherent in every human being and inalienable. Human dignity is premised on the understanding that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God, and therefore, deserves to be loved, valued and respected…


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr President: … regardless of social standing.


Mr Speaker, in our country, today, human dignity is being violated in multiple ways. Our people have suffered and continue to suffer humiliation through acts that diminish their self worth. We still have families and communities that despise, and discriminate against people living with disabilities to the point of making them feel less human. We have seen children being abused by adults and parents who are expected to be their protectors. Families are now marrying off their girl children at a tender age without consideration of the need for them to help the young people realise the dreams of the future they aspire for. We now see an abomination where spouses are brutally murdering each other. We are also experiencing people being murdered for the sole purpose of sacrificing their body parts for rituals that are both morally and criminally reprehensible.


It is saddening to observe Mr Speaker, how in our communities, children, in some cases, as young as six months, are being defiled as a result of misguided cultural beliefs and practices that sexual intercourse with children cures Acquired Immuno-deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). This shameful practice has not only led to an increase in the number of cases of defilements, but has also escalated the spread of Human Immuno Virus (HIV) and AIDS. We have to bring an end to this.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr President: Mr Speaker, these vices are unacceptable and totally inhuman. In this regard, the Government will not sit idle and watch perpetrators get away with their evil acts. The Government has put in place a number of interventions to address factors impacting negatively on the dignity of our people. The Government is working with faith-based organisations and our traditional leaders to reverse the scourge of early pregnancies and child marriages, including, tackling the problem of ritual killings in some of our communities.


Mr Speaker, we will also further reinforce these interventions by securing the welfare of our retirees, promotion of the Social Cash Transfer Programmes, the Farmer Input Support Programme and the Food Security Pack.


Mr Speaker, I am saying this because some people believe that by killing other people getting their limbs or sleeping with young children, they will become more prosperous. So, if we put measures in place which will check on economic desolation and destitution, probably some people will engage in such activities.


Mr Bwalya: Hear, hear!


Mr President: Sir, other measures are the Public Welfare Assistance Schemes, Economic Empowerment Programmes and the School Feeding Programmes. Further, the Government will strengthen efforts to remove street children, and reintegrate them into communities and families.


Dr Malama: Hear, hear!


Mr President: Mr Speaker, recognising that human dignity is also being eroded in work places; my Government will continue to implement decent work programmes aimed at ending casualisation, develop social health insurance schemes as well as improve skills development so that our people have access to productive jobs.


The Government is equally concerned about the increasing numbers of racial abuse cases at places of work. I am saying that we will not allow this to continue. Through the implementation of decent work programmes designed to enhance the dignity of our people, we intend to restore hope and dignity of the workforce in Zambia. In this respect, let me ask the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development and the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security to investigate allegations that some mining companies have introduced Afrikaans in their mining operations and de-Zambianisation by getting jobs from Zambians and giving them to foreigners. I am talking about jobs like Mine Captain, Shift Officers and so on, jobs which were being done by Zambians until a few years ago. Please investigate this, and bring it to an end.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Members: Sosa, sosa, ichalo chilekumfwa.


Mr President: Mr Speaker, as citizens, we must also do our part in taking care of our less privileged family members and those in need within our communities. Let us revert to the extended family values of olden days where no orphan was mistreated or abandoned, and no widow was deprived of family support be it spiritual, moral or material.


Mr Speaker, the principle of equity is premised on the need for citizens to contribute according to their ability, and access services and opportunities according to their needs. Our Government collects taxes according to the levels of income, and has a duty to ensure equitable development.


This, Mr Speaker, entails that parts of our country that are less developed will be given more attention. In the same vein, vulnerable individuals and communities will also be given more attention by both the Government and society in our quest to attain inclusive development which leaves no one behind. It is for this reason that one of the key development pillars contained in the 7th National Development Plan addresses the need for the Government to aggressively reduce development inequalities.


Mr Speaker, according to statistics from the Central Statistical Office, poverty levels in the country remain unacceptably high, with 54.4 per cent of our people living below the poverty line nationally. The situation in the rural areas is even worse at 76.6 per cent compared to 23.4 per cent in urban areas. Additionally, income disparity stands at 0.69 per cent this means that the gap between the rich and the poor remains extremely wide. It is for this reason that our pro-poor policies, as contained in the 7th National Development Plan, and the Patriotic Front (PF) Manifesto have prioritised infrastructure development in the least developed areas of our country in order to link them up with the rest of the country.


 My Government will continue to ensure ultimately, that no child fails to attain education in the rural areas for lack of educational facilities, or a young mother dying needlessly during childbirth for failing to access a health facility. Reducing poverty, vulnerability and inequalities are central pillars of our 7th National Development Plan, and will continue to be part of our developmental agenda.


Mr Speaker, there can be no free society where any of its members stands at unequal before the law or is deemed undeserving when it comes to opportunities and accessing public services such health, education and social protection, access to clean drinking water and good sanitation. In our Constitution, this fundamental principle is guaranteed to every person regardless of their status. In our quest to promote principles of equality, the Government has made commendable strides in bringing our courts as close to the communities as possible. We are also progressively addressing gender inequalities in all our socio-economic dispensation. The establishment of the Gender and Inequality Commission through Act No.22 of 2015 bears testimony to this effort.


Mr Speaker, as Government, we are working with community groups and co-operatives with special emphasis on women and the youth, to find sustainable ways of empowering them in a bid to reduce poverty. We welcome and encourage the participation other stakeholders such as the church and civil society organisations in this noble cause. The Government is also promoting entrepreneurship through implementation of micro credit programmes, specifically, targeted at our womenfolk and the youth for wealth creation and poverty reduction. These include the Village Banking Schemes, the Savings Group Projects and Savings and Lending Schemes. The programmes are intended to impart skills in business management, basic accounting and marketing to the beneficiaries.


Mr Speaker, discrimination, in any form, is morally repugnant, and we must, therefore, reject it.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr President: It robs our people of their human dignity, and promotes inequality in the distribution of our collective wealth. Accordingly, it is out Christian and national duty to prevent and fight discrimination in all its manifestations.


Dr Malama: Hear, hear!


Mr President: We must guard against any behaviour that fosters discrimination and prejudice on the basis of tribe, race, gender, language, religion, political affiliation or social status.


Mr Bwalya: Hear, hear!


Mr President: Mr Speaker, the Government is concerned with isolated incidences where people living with albinism are deliberately targeted due to misguided cultural beliefs. Let me also hasten to warn against xenophobia, a phenomenon which is alien to our culture. We detest all forms of discrimination. Zambians are renowned for their hospitable nature and love for peaceful co-existence.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr President: So, do not depart from this Zambian way.



Sustainable Development


Mr Speaker, the principle of sustainable development requires us to achieve our National Development Goals without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It is anchored on three interdependent pillars of:


  1. economic development;


  1. social development; and


  1. environmental protection.


My Government is resolved to implementing the 2015-2030 Sustainable Development Goals, which, as a member of the United Nations, we are party to. These are aimed at ending poverty and hunger, and combating inequalities in order to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies among the many goals. These goals are aimed at protecting human rights, and promoting gender equality as well as the empowerment of women and girls. Through the Sustainable Development Goals, it is hoped that we can attain inclusive and sustained economic growth, shared prosperity, and decent work for all as well as combating the drivers of climate change.


Mr Speaker, poverty in Zambia has been aggravated by climate change to some extent. In the face of climate change, the occurrence of natural disasters such as droughts and floods has become common. This has been worsened by the high rate of deforestation and land degradation. Climate change is, in turn, contributing to low crop yields, and posing a threat to household and national food security. Furthermore, climate change has affected the generation of hydro-electricity because of low water levels which, in turn, has negatively affected productivity levels, job creation, and indeed, Government revenue. To redress this, my Government has put in place a Climate Change Policy aimed at increasing our climate change mitigation and adaptation interventions in a multi-sectoral approach.


To address the effects of climate change, and ensure sustainable development, the Government has put in place interventions such as afforestation and reforestation, promotion of conservation farming and diversification of agriculture, including the promotion of fish farming. Other interventions include the development of disaster risk reduction and management, promotion of alternative sources of energy like solar, wind and nuclear energy. At macro-economic level, we are also creating a climate change resilient economy to insulate our economy from these natural occurrences.


Bill of rights


Mr Speaker, let me talk on what civil society organisations would like to hear about, that is, the Bill of Rights.


Mr Speaker, it is not enough to claim to entrench the national values and principles without expanding and enforcing the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights is the bedrock of our national values and principles. This is a list of essential rights and liberties that are enshrined in the Constitution. It is important to note that the current Bill of Rights does not provide for economic, social and cultural Rights. As a result, rights such as the Right to decent accommodation, access to clean water, sanitation and health care are not justiciable.


Mr Speaker, under the current Bill of Rights, it is hard to reach areas such as Imusho, Kaputa…


Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!


Mr President: … Vubwi or Dundumwezi…


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr President: … which have no access to clean water and sanitation. People, there, cannot legally take the Government to task for failure to provide them with these services. Equally, members of the community who are unable to access educational facilities cannot seek legal redress in the courts of law. With an expanded Bill of Rights, citizens shall have the power to make the Government accountable. It is for this reason that the Government will continue to engage in dialogue over the issue of the enhanced Bill of Rights. The demand by some sections of our civil society that a Referendum for the expanded Bill of Rights be held now is obviously untenable.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr President: We need to dialogue over this matter especially, bearing in mind the cost, and considering the fact that we are just coming out of two very costly elections within a short period of less than two years. In short, I am saying, let us find a cheaper and easier way of getting to the expanded Bill of Rights because the Government has no money. In less than two years, we held two very costly elections, and we now need to spare the money, and use it for developmental programmes.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Transformation Agenda


Mr President: Mr Speaker, the application of national values and principles calls for national transformation. To execute this transformation, we have to change our mindset by getting rid of the entrenched behaviours and structures that are in conflict with the defined national values and principles. This transformation is not for the Government alone, it must be embraced by all stakeholders, including the civil society, the private sector and all citizens. Effective leadership at all levels is a key factor in achieving successful transformation.


Mr Speaker, as we continue the journey of national transformation, there will, naturally, be people who are going to resist change. That is expected. We have to remain firm, resolute and focused in pursuing our transformation agenda. This is the only way we are going to realise the full application of national values and principles to the benefit of the nation. I wish to reaffirm that my Government is fully committed to the application of these values and principles. This is a sure way to steer our nation to greater heights.


Mr Speaker, to ensure that these national values and principles are appreciated, and fully applied, a great deal of civic education should be undertaken at all levels. I am saying so because people are wondering where I got these values and principles. They are in the Constitution.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Eba belenga aba!




Mr Mwale: Ema Lawyers aya!


Mr President: These values and principles are national, and they are in the Constitution so go and read afterwards. They are not coming from PF or anybody, but from our Constitution.


The Government will, therefore, embark on sensitisation programmes aimed at reaching every man, woman and child in all corners of this country so that they get to know what these national values and principles are. I call upon all relevant stakeholders to join the Government in this national cause. Once the national values and principles become universal, they will be authentic parameters of our behaviour, and people will know who is a Zambian.


Mr Speaker, for us to move ahead as a nation, we need to inculcate these national values and principles in our children from a tender age. This will entail introducing these values and principles in the school curricula. I expect, therefore, that all of us will take part in the educational effort and the ministry responsible will begin devising mechanisms and strategies to ensure that the values and principles just remain in the Constitution.


Coordination mechanism


Mr Speaker, the successful application of the national values and principles will require effective coordination and leadership. To this effect, the newly created Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance should spearhead this task. The ministry will work closely with the Ministry of National Development Planning to create awareness and report progress on national values and principles. In this regard, I am directing the Secretary to the Cabinet to develop a framework to assist in gathering evidence in the application of national values at national, organisational, community and individual levels. This should include a framework for assessing the operationalisation of our declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation.


Dr Malama: Hear, hear!


Mr President: We cannot remain a Christian nation on paper.


Rev. Sumaili: Hear, hear!


Mr President: We should be Christians in word and deed.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr President: Mr Speaker, in all these efforts, in entrenching the application of the national values and principles, everything will be an exercise in futility if there is no sustained political will. It is, therefore, incumbent upon each and every Zambian especially, the political leadership, to embrace the transformation agenda on the application of these national values and principles.


I assure you, Mr Speaker that the PF will not let down the Zambian people on this one.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr President: I think I can conclude now.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Speaker, we must always bear in mind that, as a country, we have set for ourselves a vision to achieve prosperity for all Zambians. For this to be achieved, we must collectively take the national values and principles that we have espoused in our Constitution very seriously. We must take these values and principles as instructive guidelines that define the minimum acceptable standards of behaviour in our daily lives.


In this regard, Mr Speaker, that we are required to remember that we have individual and collective responsibilities to appreciate, and apply, if we have to attain the prosperity we desire for ourselves. If we do not live by these standards as individuals, collectively we will have failed as a nation. Our journey to prosperity must begin with us embracing our national values and principles as individuals. Lest we forget, we have one history, one culture and one destiny. We are, therefore, obliged to live in national unity, and that unity begins and ends with us embracing our national values and principles. Let us practise this in all our endeavours, in our homes, in our schools and in our work places.


Mr Speaker, the Government, the church, civil society and other stakeholders have the inescapable duty to take ownership of this endeavour, and make it a reference point of moral rectitude our nation. This country deserves the very best.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr President: Mr Speaker, I thank you. God bless Zambia.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


His Excellency the President left the Assembly Chamber.


Mr Speaker took the Chair.

(Business resumed)

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, the Speech that his Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has just delivered stands referred to the Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights, Gender Matters and Child Affairs, for detailed consideration. The outcome of the deliberation on the speech will be contained in the Report of the Committee which will be presented to the House in the June-July meeting.


The Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly will, as usual, make available copies of the Speech to all hon. Members.


Hon. Members who wish to make submissions on the Speech are free to do so within the programme of work of the Committee.


I thank you.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!








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


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1108 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday 21st March, 2017.