Friday, 24th March, 2017

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Friday, 24th March, 2017


The House met at 0900 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]










The Chief Whip and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, I rise to give the House some idea of the Business it will consider next week.


Sir, on Tuesday, 28th March, 2017, all things being equal, the Business of the House will commence with the Motion to suspend relevant Standing Orders to enable the House to sit until all Business on the Order Paper is completed, and thereafter, adjourn sine die.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, thereafter, the House will consider Questions to hon. Ministers, if there will be any. After that, the House will consider presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Then, the House will deal with any Business that may be outstanding on the Order Paper.


I thank you, Sir.


 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!








The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Chitotela): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you most sincerely for granting me this opportunity to make a ministerial statement on the high water levels in Kafue River at Kafue Hook Bridge in Kafue National Park of Central Province.


 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chitotela: Sir, the Government, through my ministry, has prioritised infrastructure such as roads and bridges as key to National development. Accordingly, the Government is heavily investing in the construction, upgrading, rehabilitation and maintenance of the road infrastructure across the country. This commitment is demonstrated through the implementation of various road infrastructure projects being undertaken in the country under the charge of the Road Development Agency (RDA).


Mr Speaker, RDA was established by the Road Public Act of No. 12 of 2002 for the purpose of providing care, maintenance and construction of all public roads in Zambia, and to regulate the maximum weight permissible for transmission on our roads.

Sir, the Government through the Ministry of Transport and Communications, in September, last year, indicated through a press release that the country was likely to receive normal to above normal rainfall during this rain season, (2016-2017) with a possibility of flash floods. Institutions responsible for disaster management were requested to prepare for any eventuality that may arise during this period. Indeed, in January, February and March, 2017, the country has received normal to above normal rains that has exerted pressure on the road infrastructure across the country.


Mr Speaker, on the 11th March, 2017, a report was received from Kafue Hook Bridge site office in Kafue National Park that the Kafue River had flooded, and the water levels had exceeded the historical flood levels at Hook Bridge site. The water level has risen by 3 m since December, 2016. This high level, and the velocity of water, are posing a great danger to the old bridge structure which, I must inform you, Sir, requires urgent attention.


Sir, RDA awarded works contract to Messrs. China Henan International Cooperation Group Co. Ltd for the rehabilitation of the 270 m Kafue Hook Bridge along the Lusaka/Mongu Road (M009) in the Western Province at a contract sum of K147,539,014.61 vat inclusive, with a completion period of twenty-four months. The commencement of the contract was 19th August, 2015 and the planned completion is 8th August, 2017. This bridge links the Western, Central and Lusaka provinces via Lusaka/Mongu Road.


Mr Speaker, the scope of works includes, but is not limited to the following:


  1.  provision of a temporary river crossing, a barge and temporary access roads;


  1. pilling for the proposed bridge foundations;


  1. clearing of vegetation along the bridge approach roads;


  1. construction and installation of sub-structure bridge components;


  1. demolition of dysfunctional piers, crack sealing of the east abutment and the construction of five new piers;


  1. removal and installation of new bridge bearings;


  1. construction of selected embankments for the sub-base, base coarse and new double seal bituminous surfacing on the bridge approaching the road; and


  1. bridge furniture.


Sir, works commenced in October, 2015, and the construction of a temporary bridge was completed in November, 2016. Following the completion of the temporary bridge, traffic will now be diverted from the main bridge. The maximum allowable load on that temporary bridge will be limited to 56 tonnes. Following the floods at the bridge, the Road Development Agency (RDA) engineers are tasked, in liaison with other stakeholders on the ground, to monitor the situation, and advise accordingly when the situation changes.


Mr Speaker, the RDA has responded with haste to engage China Henan International Corporation, and the contractor has since mobilised and started the repair works. It should be noted, however, that because of the amount of work involved, the contractor will only be able to commence works on the main bridge after the water level has subsided. The general public will be advised, in due course, on the requirement to adhere to the weight restrictions on the temporary bridge.


Mr Speaker, allow me to conclude by reaffirming that the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development, through the RDA, will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that roads and bridges of good quality are constructed in our quest to transform Zambia from being landlocked to being land-linked. Further, maintenance of the road infrastructure has been prioritised by the Government. I wish to also take this opportunity to inform the nation that the ministry, together with the RDA, are monitoring the situation on the Kafue Hook Bridge to ensure that, we preserve this important bridge structure for the country, and save lives.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


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


Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Mr Speaker …


Mr Mwiimbu: On point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Mutale: Nawamba kacelocelo.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Chitambo, withdraw that statement immediately.


Mr Mutale: I withdraw it, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to raise a constitutional point of order arising out of Article 72 (1) and (2) of the Constitution of Zambia. Is Hon. Howard Kunda in order to remain in this House after crossing the Floor and joining the Patriotic Front (PF)?




Mr Speaker: Order! Order!


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I have, in my hand, a letter by Hon. Howard Kunda addressed to you, Sir, where he complained against all hon. Members of the United Party for National Development (UPND), except Hon. Keith Mukata.




Mr Speaker: Order! Order!


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, Hon. Kunda signed this letter to you as a PF hon. Member of Parliament.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: As far as we are concerned, he was elected under the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), but he has now consciously started addressing the people and you, Sir, as a PF hon. Member of Parliament. I now lay this document on the Table.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu laid the document on the Table.




Mr Speaker: Order! Let us have some order!


As you can guess, I have to read the letter in question. I cannot make a ruling and conclude this matter extempore. So my ruling is reserved.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, allow me to thank the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development for the timely and good statement he has brought to this House about the Kafue Hook Bridge. I know that the works that are being undertaken at this bridge are quite sensitive, and will need close supervision. Who are the consultants for this project? Additionally, what will be the retention period after the works are completed?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I must state that we take the construction of this bridge going to the Western Province very seriously. I would also like to take this opportunity to caution the general public, especially those who will be travelling for the Kuomboka Ceremony. They must adhere to the permissible weight on the temporary bridge so that we do not lose lives or damage the temporary bridge before construction of the main bridge is completed. Because of the important nature of the bridge, the RDA engineers are monitoring and supervising the construction of this bridge.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, I am aware of the risks that have just been highlighted to the House by the hon. Minister, regarding the flooding of the Kafue River. This means that all the other crossing points upstream and downstream have become a danger to the public. One such crossing is on the Mumbwa/Kasempa road, where there is only a very shaky and old pontoon, which is being used to ferry goods and human beings to Kasempa and the rest of the North-Western Province. When is the Government going to construct a bridge to ensure that people crossing this point are safe, as is the case with other crossing points on the Kafue River? I also want to know when a bridge will be constructed on the Munga River crossing point on the Mumbwa/Kasempa road, which is also flooded.


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I really appreciate the passion by the hon. Member of Parliament for Kasempa. We have been engaging each other outside this House, and I know she just wants to know when the Mumbwa/Kasempa road will be constructed.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chitotela: I have stated to her that we have selected a contractor by the name of China Harbour Engineering Company Limited, and the procurement process has started. So we cannot begin constructing the bridge before we award the road contract. The road contract will also take into consideration all the bridges along that road.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, it has been observed that we only attend to bridges when they completely collapse. Are there technocrats in the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development to determine the lifespan of bridges in this country?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, we have competent men and women in my ministry. That is the reason why we detected the failure on the Kafue Hook Bridge, and we awarded a contract to a contractor in 2015 to work on it. We did not wait. It is the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, under the leadership of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, which realised that we would lose lives if we did not build this bridge between the Western Province, Lusaka Province and Central Province.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, the works on the Kafue Hook Bridge on the Mumbwa/Lusaka/Mongu Road stalled from May to somewhere in November, last year. Many people who worked there have not been paid by the contractor, and people came to my office to complain about this. I want to find out whether the contractor finally settled what he owes my people in the constituency.


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, that question is too delicate for me to answer because I cannot speak on behalf of the contractor. The contract is between the Government and the contractor. In the law of contract, there is no third party. I can confirm that as Government, we paid the contractor US$1 million, last week, so that he can continue working on that bridge. However, I cannot answer the question on whether or not he paid the people he engaged. I do not know.


I thank you, Sir.




The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mrs Mwanakatwe): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to render a ministerial statement on the operationalisation of the Business Regulatory Act No. 3 of 2014.


Sir, you may recall that the National Assembly in 2014, approved the enactment of the Business Regulatory Act No. 3 of 2014. The Act, among other things, seeks to provide an efficient, cost effective and accessible business licensing system as well as a set of principles to guide regulatory agencies in regulating and licensing businesses. 


Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to update the House, and by extension, the nation, on what has so far been done to operationalise this law, and what reforms will be put in place, going forward.


Sir, the House will recall that under the Private Sector Development Reforms Programme, a comprehensive business regulatory reform was undertaken. The main reason behind this was to reform the investment climate which was being hampered by the existence of costly and overly bureaucratic business licensing and regulatory frameworks. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government identified the private sector as a key driver of economic growth and development. To this effect, we are committed to ensuring that policies, laws and regulations adopted by relevant Government agencies are sound, high quality, and supportive of private sector growth. It is for this reason that the Government, through this House, enacted the Business Regulatory Act No. 3 of 2014. Since the enactment of the law, my ministry has facilitated the establishment of the necessary institutional framework to support the implementation of the legislation. This has included:


  1. establishment of the Business Regulatory Review Committee (BRRC) responsible for the implementation of the Act through the provision of guidelines and standards to follow when coming up with regulations; and


  1. establishment of the Business Regulatory Review Agency (BRRA), which became operational in May, 2016, charged with the responsibility of assisting the committee with the performance of its functions under the Act.


Sir, a sensitisation programme for regulatory agencies and public bodies has been implemented to inform them of the provisions of the Business Regulatory Act and its implications, as well as their interactions with the BRRA, going forward.


Mr Speaker, I will now highlight how far we have gone, and what is expected going forward, under some key provisions of the Act.


Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA)


Sir, a key provision in the Act is a requirement of all regulatory agencies to undertake regulatory impact assessments before the introduction of any regulation that affects business. This means that any proposal to introduce, amend, or repeal a policy, regulation, law, Statutory Instrument (SI), fee, charge or levy affecting businesses, collected pursuant to the issuance of a licence, a permit, certificate and authorisation as prescribed by any given law, should be subjected to a regulatory impact assessment before its implementation. The purpose of a regulatory impact assessment is to ensure that:


  1. stakeholders are consulted when developing regulations so that the purpose and impact are well appreciated by all stakeholders;


  1. all possible options or alternatives to a regulation that may be applied to address a problem are explored before coming to a decision that a regulation is the best option; and


  1. regulators appreciates the costs and benefits of a proposed regulation in order to ensure that an informed decision is made to have a regulation that will have more benefits than costs.


Mr Speaker, the BRRA has been tasked with the responsibility to coordinate and mainstream regulatory impact assessments by ensuring that all proposed regulatory frameworks affecting businesses are subjected to the impact assessment process. So far, BRRA has received three regulatory impact assessment reports for review from three different regulatory agencies. The agency has also offered technical support to four regulatory agencies on how to prepare reports on regulatory impact assessments, and how to conduct stakeholder consultation.


Sir, in order to promote development of high quality regulations, the BRRC will soon be issuing guidelines and standards to help regulators adhere to the provisions of the Business Regulatory Act. Further, under this Act, my ministry will develop terms of reference for the business licensing and regulatory framework. For this, we have prioritised the local authorities, agriculture, tourism and energy sectors.


Regulatory Service Centres


Mr Speaker, the Business Regulatory Act also provides for the establishment of regulatory service centre for the registration of businesses and provision of different regulatory services for the business community. The establishment of the regulatory service centres is a strategy aimed at improving the business environment in Zambia, through provision of an efficient regulatory clearing system by:


  1. streamlining registration processes;


  1. reducing the procedures and time it takes to complete registration processes; and


  1. increasing accessibility of business registration institutions by placing services under one roof or portal.


Sir, activities under this aspect of the Act, so far, have largely focussed on streamlining of business registration procedures as well as working towards establishment of regulatory service centres, in all provinces of Zambia.


Mr Speaker, in order to improve the delivery of business regulatory and licensing services, the Government, through the BRRA, is in the process of implementing a virtual integrated business regulation system dubbed, “One Stop Shop Integrated System (OSSIS).” Once implemented, OSSIS is set to drastically reduce the full business registration process through integration of back office systems, and therefore, sharing of information captured by various participating agencies. The successful implementation of OSSIS will also significantly reduce the cost of offering business regulatory services as there will no longer be need for all the agencies to be present at a regulatory service centre for a full registration to be completed, as most of the processes will be completed through the integration of back office systems. The participating agencies in OSSIS project so far include: Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA), National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA), Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), Workers Compensation Fund Control Board (WCFCB), Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) and the Financial Intelligence Centre. The One Stop Shop Integrated System (OSSIS) is operational in the area of information sharing among regulatory agencies. It is anticipated that OSSIS will be up scaled to facilitate issuance of licences through a single window before the end of this year.


Mr Speaker, so far, we have four Regulatory Centres that have been established in Lusaka, Livingstone, Chipata and Kitwe. Lusaka and Kitwe are fully operational with stakeholders including: the Department of Tourism; Zambia Development Agency (ZDA); Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA); Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA); National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA); Workers Compensation Fund Control Board (WCFCB); Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA); Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA); Department of Co-operatives; Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC); Local Authorities; and Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA).


The Chipata and Kitwe Centres are yet to become fully operational, with more services included. So far, the Chipata Center offers services of PACRA and the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), while the Kitwe facility offers services of PACRA and NAPSA.


Sir, it is planned that six more Regulatory Service Centres will be established and operationalised in the remaining provinces, and assessments, for this purpose, have already been conducted.


Electronic Registry


Mr Speaker, the Business Regulatory Act further mandates the Business Regulatory Review Agency (BRRA) to establish, and maintain an electronic registry (e-registry) of business names. The e-registry is meant to serve as a centralised database, and make it possible for online transaction platform holding information on regulations and formalities which businesses have to comply with.


Pursuant to this provision, the (BRRA) has been collecting information on licences, permits, certificates, authorisations and regulations for the electronic registry which is in the process of being updated. In this vein, we are coordinating with regulatory agencies, government ministries and departments because this electronic system will increase transparency and efficiency in the regulatory clearance process.


Additionally, electronic registry will provide legal security and certainty by ensuring that only those business regulation licenses, permits, certificates and authorisations published in the electronic registry have legal effect, validity, and enforceability, as far as business activities are concerned.


In conclusion, Mr Speaker, I will state that the Business Regulatory Act provides the legal and institutional framework to govern business licences and regulation, is an effort by the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, to create an enabling business environment. This Government is committed to providing quality regulations, and addressing red tape that proves to be burdensome for sustainable business growth. This Government wants businesses to flourish, and create jobs and wealth for its people.


I, therefore, thank you, Mr Speaker for the opportunity to update the House on the progress made in implementing the Business Regulatory Act, No. 3 of 2014.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Ema ministers aya!


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement given by the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry.


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out what measures the hon. Minister is putting in place to avoid a situation where Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) is busy trying to be efficient while the local authorities are actually making it more difficult to do business in Zambia. I say so because, a person can go, and register with PACRA a business firm or a corporation, and do everything that is possibly supposed to be done with ZNBC …


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Sorry, Zambia Revenue Authority. Slip of the tongue for those of you who think like you are sleeping.




Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, my question is, what the ministry is going to do to harmonise the operations of the local authority.


Mr Jere: Ema MP ayo!


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Mwibwekeshapo!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, thank you, and let me appreciate the question that has been asked by …




Mr Speaker: Order!


You may continue hon. Minister.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: … the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwe Central. Really, this is one of the reasons why we have set up this Business Regulatory Review Agency (BRRA) because we have realised that there is a challenge for businesses. Once they have got a Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) certificate, local authorities, for example, are coming up with all sorts of levies and other licensing. This is the situation that we have recognised, and we are addressing it.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Chanda (Bwana Mkubwa): Mr Speaker, my question is, on average, how long does it take in Zambia for one to start or register a business, and how does Zambia compare with other competitors in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) region?


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, on average, I would say it takes a maximum of 48 hours. It can take less than 24 hours under PACRA once a person’s business name has been cleared. Other countries are in the region, if you look at Rwanda, for example, they are also between 24 and 48 hours.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mrs Fundanga (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, …


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear! Ema aunties aya!


Mrs Fundanga: … thank you, Mr speaker, firstly, I would like to congratulate the hon. Minister for the efforts she is making. As we all know, the private sector is a very action oriented sector, and as we are introducing all these regulatory review agencies, we should bear in mind that they might just put a cap on the operationalism of the private sector. Zambia has a very large informal sector that has not been integrated into the mainstream of business. My question is, what are we doing about the informal sector?


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Thank you, Mr Speaker, and I wish to thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Chilubi for that question. She is right to say that the informal sector is large, and most of it is not captured in databases at PACRA, even databases at ZRA. I think now we are heading in the area of bringing more and more on board of the informal sector. I know that the ZRA is very much active in this area to bring about portable points of sale where the informal sector can be captured. However, it is a continuous process to ensure that we bring in the informal sector. Many of us, here, in this House, have businesses, and they are not registered. We are encouraging people to register their businesses so that we can know what numbers of jobs are being created, and what revenues can be created. So, it is a continuous challenge, Sir.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr A. C. Mumba (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether Zambia has improved on the ease of doing business index provided by the World Bank from the last index rating? With the implementation of the business regulatory framework, where is the hon. Minister expecting us to be in order for us to quickly tap into foreign direct investment?


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, the ease of doing business over the years, we had improved. The last one we had had gone down. We went down for several reasons; first, the interest rates were prohibiting businesses from borrowing money. Second, was a number of licences that has increased, one of which is the local authority is responsible for. This is why we are putting this regulatory framework in place to ensure that we can bring about much more sanity in the licensing and streamlining the formalities.


  I hope that the next one that we will do is going to see us moving higher up the ladder. For that reason, I would like to invite the hon. Member of Parliament to come to Livingstone between the 12th and the 19th where the World Bank is hosting the Ease of Doing Business Initiative (EDBI) Conference in Zambia: Zambia has been seen, for many years, as a country that is improving in terms of ease of doing business. We have been chosen to host the conference, and I would like the hon. Member to come and see what happens because there are many parameters that the World Bank takes into account when targeting countries, and their policy frameworks. Zambia did go down on the list, last year, but I hope that we can get going forward.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!


Ms Chonya (Kafue): Mr Speaker, creating a regulatory environment is one thing, while ensuring that it works for the betterment of the Zambian people and the economy is another. What is the hon. Minister’s assessment of the rate of performance by the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC)? I ask this question because the CEEC came to Kafue and encouraged the community to come up with project proposals for fish farming and abattoirs, but we have not heard from them since then.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, I rate the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) quite highly. On a scale of one to ten, I would give it a seven because it is doing a great deal across the country. It is present in all the ten provinces, addressing issues of value addition. It has sponsored many fish farms. If nothing has been done in the hon. Member’s area, then I encourage her to see the commission in order to find out exactly what happened.


Sir, we are training and sensitising people. Where we have the capacity, we are bringing people on board in the value chain in order for them to contribute towards the diversification of the economy.


I thank you, Sir.








219   Ms Katuta (Chienge) asked the Minister of General Education:


  1. when desks would be procured and delivered to Lunchinda Secondary School in Chienge District;


  1. whether the Government was aware that primary school teachers were teaching at the school; and


  1. if so, what measures the Government was taking to deploy trained secondary school teachers to the school.


The Minister of General Education (Dr Wanchinga): Mr Speaker, the procurement of desks for secondary and primary schools is an ongoing process. The Government is currently in the process of securing several desks, and Lunchinga Secondary School will be considered once these desks are ready for delivery.


Sir, let me hasten to add that I appreciate the hon. Member’s concern for her school. We have discussed this subject quite a number of times outside the Chamber. I assure her that we are concerned about the situation at this school, and the Government will take remedial measures concerning the situation.


Mr Speaker, the Government is aware that Lunchinga Primary School has a shortage of teachers resulting in a few teachers at the school who are meant to teach at primary level teaching higher grades. This is as a result of a situation which arose when this school was upgraded to a secondary school in 2014. However, the Government, recently, sent five degree holders and nine diploma holders to the school. We plan on recruiting over 5,000 teachers this year, and it is our sincere hope that this school will be one of the beneficiaries.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ng’onga (kaputa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that the procurement of school desks is an ongoing process. School desks have not been distributed since 2010, which has caused children to sit on the floor. When, specifically, will the ministry procure these desks, and provide them to Lunchinda and schools in Kaputa?


Dr Wanchinga: Mr Speaker, like I said, it is the Government’s intention to procure desks on an annual basis, given the fact that there are many breakages in the schools. The last time desks were procured was 2013. However, in 2016, we announced the tender process to procure many more desks. As I speak, the evaluation of these tenders is ongoing, and we are hopeful that we will be able to finalise the process, and procure the desks. Quite a number of desks will be procured, and I hope that schools in the hon. Member for Kaputa’s constituency will benefit from this procurement. We hope that these desks will be procured by midyear.


I thank you, Sir.


Mrs Jere (Lumezi): Mr Speaker, what is the total number of desks that the ministry is supposed to procure, and how many is each province going to get?


Dr Wanchinga: Mr Speaker, there are two categories of desks which are going to be procured. There will be desks procured for primary schools and desks procured for secondary schools. I can come back to the House to give details on specifics on the total number of desks, the number of desks in each category, and how many will be distributed to each province.


I thank you, Sir.




220   Mr Mulunda (Siavonga) asked the Minister of Energy:


  1. what the main objective of the Gwembe-Tonga Development Project was;


  1. whether the project attained its objectives before winding up its operations in 2007;


  1. if not, whether the Government had any plans to revive the project;


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


  1. if there were no such plans, why.


The Minister of Energy (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, just like my other colleagues said, I was appointed by the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, therefore, if the hon. Member wants to interact with me …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order! Hon. Minister, take a seat. I provided guidance earlier on.




Mr Speaker: Order on the left. You see, when I provide guidance, I expect it to be heeded. Continue.


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I thank you for the guidance, but I hope the hon. Member has heard.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, in 1994, the Government of the Republic of Zambia initiated the Power Sector Reform Programme (PSRP) which resulted in the Power Rehabilitation Project (PRP). The Government included a social component to deal with some outstanding environmental and socio-economic issues brought about by the construction of Kariba Dam.


Mr Speaker, the construction of Kariba Dam, in the late 1950s, led to the displacement of about 55,000 valley inhabitants and 35,000 of these were on the Zambian side. The rest were on the Zimbabwean side. However, because of the lack of a well-designed resettlement plan, the inhabitants were forcibly moved, and resettled in areas where the size of land could not adequately support them and their livestock. The socio-economic consequences of these movements to both human and the environment have had a negative impact.


Sir, because of what I have said, the Gwembe-Tonga Development Project (GTDP) was then conceptualised. Its main objective was to mitigate some of the negative impacts on the resettled people, their hosts and the physical environment. This was done by improving the infrastructure, and building the skills capacity of people living in the Gwembe Valley.


Mr Speaker, in meeting the objectives of the project, the following was the scope of GTDP:


  1. rehabilitation of the roads connecting all the four districts (The Bottom and Nkandanzovu Roads);


  1. development of water resources;


  1. provision of technical assistance and supplies;


  1. improvement of the health and education infrastructure of the inhabitants;


  1. Electrification of the lakeshore.

Mr Speaker, the construction of Nkandanzovu School (under the education scope) was successfully completed. All the plans for health infrastructure projects were successfully implemented, including the rehabilitation of a clinic.


Sir, in addition, thirty boreholes were constructed under the Water Development Programme (WDP). One out of two water reticulation plants was rehabilitated. Under the electrification programme, 300 km of the 11 and 33 kV electrical distribution system was constructed along the lake-shore and surrounding areas from Siavonga to Sinazongwe.


Mr Speaker, however, because of financial constraints, the project came to an end in September, 2006, with some objectives not being fully implemented such as the construction of the Bottom and Nkandanzovu Roads, and the electrification of  the lake-shore area.


Mr Speaker, the Government has gone ahead to implement some remaining components of the GTDP as reflected by the on-going construction of the bottom road.


Sir, the procurement of the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor to execute the lake-shore area electrification project shall be conducted by the end of the third quarter of 2017.


Mr Speaker, there are plans for the Government to mitigate some of the negative effects on the people that were relocated as a result of the construction of the Kariba Dam. In fact, the GTDP has also been supplemented by the Zambezi Valley Development Fund (ZVDF) which has also executed a number of projects that were affected in the districts.


I thank you, Sir.




221. Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


  1. when the tarring of the Mumbwa/Kasempa Road would commence; and


  1. why the rehabilitation works had not been undertaken despite the high economic value of the road.


The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Chitotela): Mr Speaker, the Mumbwa/Kasempa Road is earmarked for upgrading using the Contractor Facilitated Initiative (CFI) approach. Works on the road will commence once the procurement process is concluded, and funding is finalised by the Ministry of Finance.


Sir, the rehabilitation of works on the Mumbwa/Kasempa Road are planned under Phase 3 of the Link 8,000 km Road Project. The commencement of works awaits the finalisation of the financing terms by the Ministry of Finance.


I thank you, Sir.




222. Mr Mukosa (Chinsali) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


  1. whether the Government had any plans to construct a bridge across Lubu River in Chinsali District to connect Cheswa Village to Sula Village;


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


  1. if there were no such plans, why.


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, the Government, under the Leadership of President Lungu, has plans to construct the bridge across Lubu River in Chinsali District to connect Cheswa Village to Sula Village. However, the project was not included in the 2017 Road Sector Annual Works Plan (RSAWP) of the budget ceiling. The plans will be implemented once funds are secured for designs and construction of the bridge. As indicated, the Government has plans to construct a bridge across the Lubu River in Chinsali District.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mukosa: Mr Speaker, is it possible that this project can be included in the 2018 Budget?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, we will include this project in the Budget for 2018 if funds permit.


I thank you, Sir.




223. Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa) asked the Minister of Tourism and Arts:


  1. what measures the Government had taken to develop the Northern Tourism Circuit;


  1. what had caused the delay in developing the Tourism Circuit; and


  1. whether the Government had any plans to allow the development and promotion of the Tourism Circuit to be implemented by the private sector.


The Minister of Tourism and Arts (Mr C Banda): Mr Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government’s main focus is to develop a fully integrated tourism resort at Kasaba Bay, in Nsumbu National Park, that will have all the amenities and facilities befitting such a resort. It will act as an anchor for the development of the rest of the circuit which, apart from Luapula, Muchinga and Northern Provinces now includes Eastern Province which was included, following a directive by the Republican President, His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, in 2015.


Sir, in its drive to develop the resort, the Government completed the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for the Kasaba Bay Area in 2014. This document which was completed after years of extensive preparation will be the blueprint for developing the area.


Mr Speaker, major interventions requiring the realisation of the resort have been identified, and work has already started on some of these interventions which include the rehabilitation of the road from Mbala to Kasaba Bay, which has been re-gravelled up to Lufubu River. Works on this road will continue in 2017, and a bridge is expected to be put up on the Lufubu River. The development of this infrastructure will considerably reduce the travel time to Kasaba Bay.


Further, at Nsumbu National Park, works on grading some 42 km of the roads in the park were embarked on, last year, through funding from the Lake Tanganyika Integrated Development Project. This is an African Development Bank (ADB) funded project under the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection whose aim is to improve natural resources management and the livelihoods of communities in Zambia’s Lake Tanganyika Basin, through the sustainable and integrated use of lake resources.


Mr Speaker, the Kasaba Bay Resort Tourism Development Project is expected to be the drawing card for tourists, and will, in turn, act as a catalyst for the development of other attractions in the whole Northern Circuit. Accordingly, there have been notable developments in the rest of the Northern circuit as follows:


Kasama Airport


The works on the new runway at Kasama Airport which started, last year, have continued in earnest, and are expected to be completed this year, in 2017.  The completed runway will be 3.6 km, and will, therefore, accommodate larger aircrafts, and boost the growth of tourism in the area.


Infrastructure at Heritage Sites


Key infrastructure, to add value to some heritage sites in the Northern Circuit such as Lumangwe and Kabulume Falls in Mporokoso and Kalambo Falls in Mbala, was completed in the recent past. This infrastructure includes visitor interpretation centres and shelters.


Management Plans


Management Plans have been completed for a number of heritage sites in the Northern Circuit. These include Chishimba Falls in Kasama, Mwelwa Rock Art in Kasama, Chipoma Falls in Chinsali, Kabwelume and Lumangwe Falls in Mporokoso and Mumbuluma Falls in Mansa. These plans are expected to be the guidlines for the sustainable development of these pristine heritage sites.


Northern Circuit Tourism Guide


Mr Speaker, in its effort to promote both local and international investments in the Northern Circuit, the first Northern Circuit Tourism Guide was produced in the recent past, which highlights the attractions available in the circuit. Copies were distributed to the key missions abroad. Mr Speaker, it is the Government’s intention to be continually upgrading this guide.


Mr Speaker, it is clear that inspite of the delay in the works at Kasaba Bay, especially, the works on the airport, significant headway has been made in the rest of the Northern Circuit as indicated earlier. The delay in the works was because of some technicalities involving the contractor chosen to work on the airport. These technicalities have since been sorted out, and works will resume this year.


Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!


Mr C. Banda: Mr Speaker, the Government is committed to developing the Northern Tourism Circuit through a robust partnership with the private sector. The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has been mandated to look for serious investors to open up Kasaba Bay, and is working on a concession agreement with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife to formalise this process.


Sir, in line with the Government’s policy to encourage local investment in the tourism sector, concession agreements for investment were recently signed between the National Heritage Conservation Commission and local investors for investment at Chipoma Falls in Chinsali, Kalambo Falls in Mbala and Lumangwe Falls in Mporokoso. The local entrepreneurs are expected to put up lodges and other facilities on these sites.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, I am very grateful. I do not think that one can say much more than thanking you the hon. Minister for this very comprehensive answer that he has given to the people of Zambia.


Mr Speaker, I, however, would like to find out whether we need to wait until the Northern Tourism Circuit has been fully developed before we can make all this information available to the people of Zambia or the hon. Minister is doing something to ensure that the people of Zambia are fully aware about this sinking giant, which is lying in the Northern part of this country.


Mr C. Banda: Mr Speaker, we do not have to wait. In fact, if the hon. Member wishes to know, we are already up and running to ensure that everybody is alerted about the intentions of the Government regarding the Northern Circuit. I invite the hon. Member, if he is ready to travel, as we move into the area tomorrow and be there up to Sunday to continue the assessments so that we have more information to disseminate to all those that will be interested to develop the Northern Circuit.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!










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


Mr Speaker, the Zambian financial sector has been growing rapidly with the proliferation of financial services beyond the main stream banking, and greater use of electronic services. These developments have come with attendant supervisory challenges, and risks that need to be matched by an enhanced legal and regulatory framework that introduces modern supervisory practices and international best practice in financial regulations, and operations.


Mr Speaker, the proposed repeal to the Banking and Financial Services Bill is aimed at enhancing the responsibility of the Bank of Zambia of maintaining financial sector stability and avoiding systemic risk. The Bill aims to introduce prudential requirements, among players, that address and check excessive risk taking.


Mr Speaker, the proposed legislation will focus on three major issues:


(a)        protecting the public that entrust their funds with the financial institutions by ensuring that markets are fair;


(b)        maintaining financial system stability and reducing systemic risks; and


(c)        reducing financial crime by avoiding the use of our banking system as conduit for cleaning dirty money.


With these noble objectives, I urge the Members of this August House to support this Bill.


Mr Speaker, may I end by commending the Committee on Economic Affairs, Labour and Energy for the important observations that are contained in their Report. We will study the observations and recommendations, and introduce to the House the necessary amendments that will be deemed necessary to address the observations and recommendations.


Mr Speaker, I beg to move.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, at the outset, I wish to extend my gratitude to you for this privilege to present the views of your Committee and stakeholders, on the Banking and Financial Services Bill, National Assembly Bill, 2017, referred to it by this House on 10th march, 2017.


Your Committee considered written submissions by stakeholders and interacted with them during oral presentations to help come up with this Report.


Sir, the Banking and Financial Services Bill, 2017, seeks to provide for the following:


  1. a licensing system for the conduct of banking and financial business or provision of financial services;


  1. the incorporation of standards, principles and concepts of corporate governance in institutional systems and structures of banks and financial institutions;


  1. providing for sound business practices and consumer protection mechanisms;


  1. the regulation and supervision of banking and financial services; and


  1.  repealing and replacing the Banking and Financial Services Act, of 1994.


Mr Speaker, your Committee recognises the importance of a sound regulatory framework for our financial sector in order to make it more resilient to shocks from within and outside Zambia. A strong regulatory framework is also important to ensure that the sector operates within set standards in order to minimise potential harmful risks to it, and to the rest of the economy.


Mr Speaker, in considering the Bill, witnesses brought out issues that were pertinent, and appreciated by your Committee. I now outline them for the attention and consideration of the House.


Sir, almost all the witnesses supported the Bill. Further, they agreed that Zambia, like other countries, requires to adopt and implement measures and standards aimed at combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other financial crimes. The witnesses observed that the Bill has adequately provided for these requirements.


Mr Speaker, another notable observation made by the stakeholders was that the Bill has underscored the need for financial inclusion to the majority of the Zambian population.


Mr Speaker, there is overwhelming support for the Bill, nonetheless, the witnesses also expressed concerns. For example, they pointed out that the Bill did not address issues relating to data privacy code, including the need to have the Credit Reference Bureau operationalised by an Act, to ensure its enforceability.


Furthermore, Sir, the witnesses contended that the financial sector was supervised by many regulators, all with competing demands that the financial sector has to adhere to. Examples of competing demands include the need to:


  1. adhere to data privacy requirements under large tax Acts;


  1. adhere to different audits standards and accounting processes;


  1. adhere to data sharing requirements with Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA); and


  1. compliance with Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act.


Sir, these requirements will potentially add to the cost of providing financial services, a situation that counters efforts to improve financial inclusion. The added costs also contribute to high lending interest rates in Zambia, since banks pass on such costs to clients.


Mr Speaker, arising from these observations, it is important to have a well-coordinated regulatory framework that will avoid costly duplication. Examples are extensive incorporation of issues on competition and consumer protection in this Bill, which are already reflected in other relevant existing Acts.


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right.


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, another area of concern expressed by stakeholders is the expanding requirements on banks for capitalisation that is reducing profitability and also contributing to high lending rates. In this respect, they expressed misgivings at the fact that telecommunication companies and other companies that have now become actors in the financial industry have no similar heavy capital requirements thereby creating an uneven playing field. The witnesses submitted that there was also need to regulate these firms, and compel them to adhere to prescribed standards and capital adequacy in line with the risk that they posed.


Mr Speaker, the stakeholders were also concerned with the provision by the Bank of Zambia to be both the regulator and a financial services ombudsman on matters relating to consumer protection in banking and financial services. They argued that the Bank of Zambia, being a principal financial regulator, should not preside over matters it was regulating as this created conflict of interest.


Mr Speaker, in the event of a financial service provider winding up, the Bill should protect the interest of the employees by extending the provision of paying only three months’ salary to include, accrued terminal benefits of the employees.


Sir, stakeholders observed that the Bill requires the Bank of Zambia to prescribe rules to guide the auditing of financial institutions. They held that this must be done in consultation with Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA) to avoid being in conflict with international accounting standards. They further argued that the Management Letter, as required by the Bank of Zambia, to be submitted by external auditors was unnecessary, as auditors were already required, under the international accounting standards, to officially communicate the key risk areas, when auditing financial services providers. Stakeholders observed that the Bill provided for termination of appointment of external auditors for failure to perform duties and responsibilities, in accordance with this Bill, or the auditing standards approved by ZICA. They questioned the efficacy of this provision, as it would require the Bank of Zambia to monitor and supervise auditors, a function which was beyond the Bank of Zambia’s mandate and expertise.


Sir, stakeholders also objected to the requirement by the external auditor to submit a notification or intent of resignation from providing a service. This submission, by this arrangement, is to be made to the Bank of Zambia. This responsibility to report lies with the financial service provider.


Mr Speaker, your Committee observed that the Bill required the Bank of Zambia to preside over matters relating to the operations of a board of a financial services provider by even appointing an observer to sit on the board. This requirement creates dual roles for the Bank of Zambia namely:


  1. a regulator; and


  1. a director of the financial service provider.


Sir, in the event of a board decision negatively affecting a financial service provider, your Committee observes that it may be difficult for the bank to be irreproachable, in case of a financial institution winding up. The Bill bars persons to be appointed as director, or senior officer for a financial service provider, if that person has previously held a senior position in a financial institution that has been adjudged insolvent or gone into liquidation. Your Committee deems the Clause as progressive, and has been the practice within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. This, notwithstanding, it is the considered view of your Committee that, reasons for insolvency may be external in nature, and not arising from the actions of individuals employed by the financial service provider. Therefore, in enforcing this provision, it would be important if the Bank of Zambia (BOZ) considered each case on its own merits, taking into account factors which led to the winding up of the financial service provider.


Mr Speaker, your Committee observes with concern that Clauses 68 and 73 of the Bill confer wide and seemingly unfettered discretionary powers on BOZ to take various supervisory actions against financial service providers. Clause 68 gives such supervisory action by BOZ, which may include closure of a bank, and merely requires it to state that it is appropriate to close the bank or take any other action, and this will be sufficient to proceed.


Sir, your Committee feels that it is dangerous to have such a provision because it relies on the belief that the authorities will be good natured individuals who will not abuse such blanket powers. Clause 73 also states that BOZ may take various supervisory measures, including closure, against a financial services provider, even when the provider is solvent. This Clause cannot explicitly provide for the circumstances or conditions under which such supervisory action may be taken, nor does it cross-reference other provisions within the Bill, which outline such conditions or practices.


Mr Speaker, the authorities indicated that Clause 73 must be read with other provisions of the Bill, which are, however, not referenced to in the Bill, thereby leaving the Clause to contestable interpretation. Your Committee is of the view that Clause 73 be properly referenced so as to avoid being possibly abused to punish banks that are otherwise solvent and strong, but being merely targeted for other causes.




Mr Speaker: Order on the right!


Dr Musokotwane: Your Committee notes that Clause 74 states that BOZ may decide not to close an insolvent financial service provider because doing so poses a serious risk to the entire financial system. Under such a circumstance, the insolvent service provider may be taken over by the public.


 Sir, this is normal and acceptable. However, the Committee is of the opinion that it is advisable for the Bill to provide some parameters within which an insolvent financial service provider would qualify for public support. When the matter is left unaddressed in the Bill, the door becomes open for pressure to be exercised on BOZ and the Government to come to the rescue of every service provider that becomes insolvent, a development that may not be affordable.


Mr Speaker, further, your Committee is of the opinion that the Bill should provide for conditions to apply in exchange for the public to support an insolvent bank, which is usually a very expensive venture. Remaining silent on this matter, puts huge risks on the public funds used to support the insolvent financial service provider. As an example, in the absence of a legal provision, influential promoters of an insolvent financial provider may access public funds for support, but then use their influence to retain control and management of the institution. There are examples of this nature.


Sir, finally, Clause 132 provides for the order of priority in paying claimants to a financial service provider that is being liquidated. The list of claimants excludes the public sector that is: BOZ, Ministry of Finance and National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA). This is in spite of the possibility that the public sector would have provided money to try and stabilise the insolvent financial service provider. Your Committee recommends that the public sector be included on the list of claimants. Further, such a claim must be among the top in ranking.


Mr Speaker, as I conclude, it is the view of the Committee that the House gives due consideration to observations and recommendations made by both the stakeholders and Committee on the Bill.  Your Committee is very much concerned with the very tight time-frame …


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear! Former quality!


Dr Musokotwane: … within which technical Bills, such as this one must be interrogated to come up with progressive recommendations. It is aware that this House also receives Bills late in the process. However, it believes that it is possible to rearrange the routing of Bills so as to accord your witnesses more time to study Bills. It recommends that the House supports the Banking and Financial Services Bill,  2017.


Sir, your Committee also wishes to thank all the witnesses to the Bill. We also thank the Office of the Clerk for the usual support. Our sincere gratitude goes to you, Mr Speaker, …


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane: … for according your Committee the opportunity to study the Bill.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, I want to thank the Chairperson of the Committee for the elaborate presentation that he has made on the observations and areas required to strengthen the Bill.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutati: I also want to thank him for indicating that the Bill, indeed, addresses the key issue of financial inclusion. Some of the concerns that have been raised will be attended to in due course particularly, the Credit Reference Bureau and data privacy code. Also, there, is definitely, need to harmonise the Securities and Competition and Fair Trading Acts so that we do not pass on the cost to consumers. With regard to auditing, BOZ will only take the action when the condition of the financial institution indicates that there is need to look at the competencies of the auditor that can be engaged. Further, the board of BOZ will not sit in a routine manner, but only when a financial institution is under distress. However, the points that were raised concerning the closing of a bank under Clause 68 tied with Clause 73 have been noted. The Public Sector Protection is covered under Clause 132 itself, but at (f), where the court will determine the priority in terms of settlement. Lastly, the inclusion of consumer protection is key to addressing some of the challenges that the public has faced in the past.


Mr Speaker, once again, I thank the Committee for the manner in which it has presented the concerns, recommendations and observations, and also for supporting the Bill.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


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


Committed to a committee of the Whole House.


Committee on Tuesday, 28th March, 2017.




The Standards Bill, 2017


The National Technical Regulation Bill, 2017


The Metrology Bill, 2017


Report adopted.


Third Readings on Tuesday, 28th March, 2017.




The following Bill was read a third time and passed:


The Compulsory Standards Bill, 2017.








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


Question put and agreed to.



The House adjourned at 1035 hours until 1400 hours on Tuesday, 28th March, 2017