Wednesday, 5th July, 2017

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Wednesday, 5th July, 2017


The House met at 1430 hours














286.  Mr Chiyalika (Lufubu) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


  1. when the tarring of the road from Mukobeko Maximum Correctional Facility in Kabwe to Chief Ngabwe’s area in Ngabwe District would commence; and


  1. when a bridge would be constructed across the Kafue River.


The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Chitotela): Madam Speaker, the tarring of the road might be considered in the 2018 Road Sector Annual Work Plan (RSAWP), funds permitting. However, the Road Development Agency (RDA) has varied the scope of the contract for the periodic maintenance of the T2 Road from Kabwe to Chibombo to include spot improvement of the Kabwe/Ngabwe Road and facilitation of continuous flow of traffic on the road.


Madam Speaker, consultancy for the preparation of the detailed design of the bridge across the Kafue River at Ngabwe is currently in progress and the design will be completed by the fourth quarter of 2017. The construction of the bridge is expected to commence in 2018, upon completion of the designs and procurement of a contractor.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Chiyalika: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that the tarring of the road might be considered in 2018. Is he aware that this is a very important road, but it is currently in such a deplorable state that during the rainy season, the trucks that take fertiliser to Ngabwe sometimes fail to use it?


Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, we have officially engaged with the hon. Member of Parliament and the Government is aware that the road is very important. That is why we varied Sable Construction’s contract for maintenance of some portions of the Great North Road to include spot improvements on the Kabwe/Ngabwe Road so that the movement of people and goods, including fertiliser, to Ngabwe is not disrupted.


Madam Speaker, as I stated earlier on, we contracted Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation (SMEC) Consulting Pty at a cost of K7,096,727 to come up with designs for the bridge we intend to construct across the Kafue River. We want the designs made so that we can be informed as we budget next year. So, I assure the people of Ngabwe that this Government is paying attention to that very important road.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has acknowledged that the road in question is important and informed the House that there are contractors working on it. However, I was recently in Ngabwe, but did not find the contractors on the road. Where are those contractors?


Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, the contractor is in Kabwe. Just last week, I had a meeting with the provincial administration, the contractor and the area hon. Member of Parliament here at Parliament. The contractor working on some township roads in Kabwe is the one we have also awarded the contract to carry out spot improvements on the road in question.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Chiyalika: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that Sable Construction only worked on 35 km of the road last year and about 10 km this year? It seems that he has no capacity to continue with the project due to funding. Each time we contact him, he says the Government has not yet funded him. So, if that is the contractor who has been engaged, should the people of Ngabwe expect anything good from him?


Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, the people of Ngabwe should expect something good, bearing in mind that just last week, the area hon. Member of Parliament was lobbying us to engage the same contractor to upgrade the road to bituminous standard. This shows that the people of Ngabwe District have confidence in us.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




287. Mr P. Phiri (Mkaika) asked the Minister of General Education when the following schools in Mkaika Parliamentary Constituency would be provided with desks:


  1. Walira Primary;


  1. Chavuka Primary;


  1. Chamboo Primary;


  1. Kamasa Primary;


  1. Matunga Day Secondary; and


  1. Chimtende Day Secondary


The Minister of General Education (Dr Wanchinga): Madam Speaker, let me preface my response by informing the House and the nation that the issue of desks is one that the ministry has taken very seriously, especially since we have been receiving reports about schools where children sit on the floor.


Madam Speaker, coming back to the question, the ministry has plans to procure about 21,600 single-sitter desks and 30,200 double-sitter desks. The ministry also plans to procure 6,300 laboratory stools. We estimate that we will spend K54 million in total. The mentioned schools will be among those that will be supplied with desks once the procurement process has been completed. Due to our current financial constraints, the procurement process has been done in phases.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr P. Phiri: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned that the desks will be procured in phases. Are we likely to receive the desks in Mkaika Constituency this year?


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, the procurement of desks is currently ongoing. However, I cannot guarantee that the funds will be there to enable us to supply desks to Mkaika Constituency this month or the next. Suffice it for me to say that we are certainly committed to providing desks to schools in Mkaika Constituency.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


 Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Madam Speaker, I am very impressed by the quantity of desks that the ministry intends to procure, funds allowing. That said, Mbala is one of the districts where pupils in some schools sit on the floor. Will the hon. Minister publish a distribution list in the near future so that schools in Mbala and other constituencies know what to expect from the figures he has read out?


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, supplying desks to schools countrywide is not a haphazard process, and we have records of this at the ministry. Therefore, to all those who care to know which schools will receive desks, our offices are open. They can come and get the information. As to whether we will publish the distribution list, I will need to consult my colleagues at the ministry. Suffice it for me to say that it is a feasible proposition.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr W. Banda (Milanzi): Madam Speaker, ...


Mr Mutale: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Mutale: Madam Speaker, my heart is bleeding. Honestly speaking, we, as a nation, are not well.


Madam, this morning, the country woke up to a rude shock of seeing Lusaka City Market on fire. Her Honour the Vice-President and the hon. Minister of Justice visited the scene. His Excellency the President, a man of the people – poor people in this regard, also visited the scene to console those who have been most affected. Is the hon. Minister of Home Affairs in order to sit quietly and pretend that everything is fine instead of informing the nation on what steps the Government will take in response to that incident?


I need your serious ruling, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: My ruling is that I have received communication indicating the Government’s intention to issue a statement on that very important issue on which the hon. Member has raised a point of order.

The hon. Member for Milanzi may continue.


Mr W. Banda: Madam Speaker, the shortage of desks in schools has been there for a long time in this country. When was the last time the ministry distributed desks to schools countrywide?


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, like I said earlier on, the distribution of desks is an on-going exercise. Therefore, we cannot specify when we last distributed desks to all the schools countrywide. That information is available at the ministry, but I think it is easier to work out the dates in reference to specific regions. So, if the hon. Member is interested in knowing when desks were last distributed to schools or regions that he might have in mind, the information can be compiled and brought to the House for his benefit.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, from what I am getting, the hon. Members would like to be given a list of schools that have so far received desks and, if possible, a schedule of the how the ministry will distribute the desks being procured.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: You could, perhaps, bring that information to the House for the benefit of hon. Members. Is that possible?


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, that is a feasible proposition. We will compile the information and bring it to the House for the benefit of the hon. Members.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Kanchibiya, do you still want to ask a question after that assurance?


Dr Malama: Madam Speaker, yes, I do.


Madam Speaker, the shortage of desks in our schools is a matter of great concern, given that our children, especially in the rural constituencies, sit on the floor. Seeing as the cost of transportation is very high and that we have, in some places, the need for skills development and exploitation of wood, is the ministry considering making desks at points of incident in the constituencies, which would be cheaper and allow more desks to be made available for our children to sit on?


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member has made a useful suggestion, and the ministry has already considered it. We have visited schools that make their own desks. There are many young people now with carpentry skills whom we could engage to make desks in regional or district centres. So, that might be one of the routes that we will take in proving adequate sitting facilities to every school.


Madam Speaker, to put the problem in context, there are about 3,800 primary and 871 Government secondary schools in the country. If you visited those schools, you would find that the rate at which the structures break down is very high due to some element of carelessness on the part of some people. Not long ago, I visited a newly-opened school here in Lusaka, which was given desks but, in less than a year, those desks had broken down and were piled up in a store room. So, sometimes, it is very difficult to meet the demand for desks. Let me, therefore, use this forum to appeal to school administrators to look after the infrastructure the Government procures for them at great cost.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.




288. Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


  1. when the construction of Edgar C. Lungu Primary School at Lubuto Centre in Chimwemwe Parliamentary Constituency would commence;


  1. what the proposed structural designs for the project were like;


  1. who the contractor for the project was; and


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


Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, I know that the people of Lubuto Ward in Chimwemwe Constituency are excited that His Excellency the President lived part of his life in Chimwemwe and want to build a school named after him. However, the proposed project is still at planning stage.


Madam, the designs for the project will be made after the requirements have been agreed upon by all stakeholders, including the area hon. Member of Parliament, who stays just ten houses from where the President grew up.


Madam Speaker, the contractor will be known after the tender processes have been completed while the project time frame will be known after the award of the contract.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.




290. Mr S. Tembo (Chadiza) asked the Minister of Local Government:


  1. when the tarring of township roads in Chadiza District would resume;


  1. what the cost of the project was; and


  1. how much money had been paid to the contractor as of 28th February, 2017.


The Minister of Local Government (Mr Mwale): Madam Speaker, the tarring of township roads in Chadiza resumed in the second quarter of 2017.


Madam, the cost of the project is K118 million, of which K34,705,394.87 had been paid to the contractor, as of 28th February, 2017.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr S. Tembo: Madam Speaker, we had promised the people to work on the roads immediately after the 2016/2017 rainy season ended. Now, we are two or three months away from the onset of the 2017/2018 rainy season. Although the hon. Minister says the works resumed in the second quarter of 2017, I just returned from the constituency and found no on-going works there. Further, part of the contractor’s machinery has been ferried away from the site. Is the hon. Minister aware of this? If he is, what will he do about it? I ask because if the roads are not tarred, we will have a similar problem next rainy season.


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, that is quite a loaded question. However, I will answer it.


Madam, as we know, the contractor is still on site, except that he was engaged by the Road Development Agency (RDA) to work on the road that leads to Paramount Chief Kalonga Gawa Undi’s Palace in Katete in anticipation of the Kulamba Ceremony in August, 2017. He withdrew from Chadiza because he was requested to speed up the works in Katete with the Government’s consent. He will return to Chadiza to finish the works. So, technically, he is on site.


Madam, we are aware that the rainy season will start very soon and we will require the contractor to speed up the works once back on site as we also look for some money to pay him.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.




291. Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa) asked the Minister of General Education:


  1. when desks were last delivered to schools in Kaputa District;


  1. what the total number of desks distributed during the last delivery was; and


  1. when the next delivery would be made.


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, I have already commented on this issue and committed myself to availing to this House a list of schools that have been provided with desks. However, to answer the question by the hon. Member, the last time desks were delivered to Kaputa was in 2016 when 200 single-sitter desks were delivered. The House may wish to know that 2,325 desks were delivered to Kaputa District in 2011.


Madam, the next delivery of desks to Kaputa will depend on the availability of resources. However, we will consider the district for the next delivery.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Ng’onga: Madam Speaker, were the 400 desks indicated distributed in 2016? If so, to which schools?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, are you able to give a list of schools to which the desks were distributed?


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, I cannot. However, if the hon. Member is really interested in that information, it can be part of the list I promised to provide to the House.


Madam, just to make a correction, I said that 200 desks were distributed, not 400.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Ng’onga: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for making that clarification.


Madam, schools in my constituency, including those in the centre of Kaputa Town, are also in dire need of desks. Some children sit on the floor during lessons because the last time desks were distributed was around 2010. Will the schools in Kaputa be among the first that will be considered in the next distribution of desks?


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, I do recognise our need to send desks to Kaputa. However, the challenge is there everywhere and, in some districts, it might be worse than in Kaputa. So, I am a little reluctant to say that the district will be one of the first to which we will send desks. There are procedures that we follow in allocating desks. So, I will just assure the hon. Member that the distribution of desks is an on-going programme and an opportunity will arise for us to send some to Kaputa. We will certainly send the desks there.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr A. C. Mumba (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister expressed concern about the premature damage to desks. The new desks that the ministry is trying to procure bring to mind the skills development programmes that we have been running. Has the hon. Minister considered engaging the youths in whom we are investing money to make the desks? I consider making desks to be very simple and wonder why we should procure them from China or India.


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, when I was appointed Minister of General Education, one of the first tasks I was given by Her Honour the Vice-President was to explain why we were about to order desks from China and I assured her that we would have the desks made locally. So, we are not importing desks from India or China. We recognise that we have a lot of talent among our people and that the timber used in making desks is available locally. Therefore, we are now pursuing the idea of manufacturing school desks locally through our Project Implementation Unit. Like I said earlier on, we really need to utilise the skills of the young people in our various towns and localities in the manufacture of school desks. In fact, we have already started doing what the hon. Member is proposing. A while ago, I gave an example of a school in Chiawa that started rehabilitating its own infrastructure. When I visited the area recently, I found a rehabilitated school, and I said, “This is the way to go.” We must rehabilitate our infrastructure and manufacture desks locally using the young people we have trained at a great cost.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kopulande (Chembe): Madam Speaker, let me start by declaring interest because my company, Setrec, manufactures school desks. In fact, it is the one that manufactured the front desks and all the desks used by hon. Ministers in this House.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kopulande: The desks were manufactured and delivered some years back, but they have stood the taste of time and still look good, as you can see.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kopulande: Madam Speaker, the issue of school desks is a problem countrywide. I got from Chembe yesterday. There are no desks at all there and the situation is the same in every district and constituency, yet our procurement has been seasonal. In Botswana, there are local companies that are contracted to manufacture school desks on an on-going basis and the companies are paid as they supply the desks. In my view, that approach would enable the ministry to plan and be able to come to this House and tell us that a given number of desks will be manufactured for Chembe in the next six months and that another number will be made for Mkaika in two months, for example. That is the solution. So, when does the Government intend to adopt such an approach so that we can ameliorate the suffering of our children?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: The hon. Minister will note that the hon. Member for Chembe is not marketing the products that his company makes, but asking generally about the procurement of desks locally.


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, first of all, let me congratulate the hon. Member on running a company that makes durable products because the tragedy of our local companies is that they sometimes do not measure up in terms of standard. Secondly, the idea of borrowing the Botswana model is good, as it would add value to the way we procure desks. Currently, we only procure desks when funds are made available. However, if we had standing arrangements with some local producers, perhaps in every province or district, to supply desks on a continuous basis and be paid as and when funds become available, that would add value to the way we procure desks. So, we have taken note of the idea.


Thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Musonda (Kamfinsa): Madam Speaker, in one of his responses, the hon. Minister bemoaned the rate at which furniture, including desks, is damaged in schools. I agree with him because if you visit schools nowadays, you will find heaps of damaged school furniture, sometimes occupying a classroom. In the olden days, we used to have people charged with the responsibility of continuously repairing and maintaining school furniture. Could the hon. Minister consider reintroducing the continuous repair of school furniture. The rate at which the furniture is damaged makes it impossible to satisfy the demand.


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, that is a useful suggestion, but I think it also goes to show that the ministry and the school administrators need to work hard because the problem lies in the way things are done at school level. Many schools get a little money from the Parent-Teachers Association (PTA) and other charges. So, they can use that money to engage local carpenters to repair damaged desks. That is basically an administrative issue. Many of us who have taken time to visit some schools know that good leadership in schools makes a very big difference. Perhaps, the ministry should invest in improving school management. Many of the problems we face, including those related to maintenance of school furniture, are administrative. Therefore, as a matter of policy, the ministry will continue to encourage school administrators to employ people who will be in charge of maintenance of school furniture just like there are office orderlies and people to slash grass around school buildings or to maintain buildings. If our structure does not support the employment of such people, then, we need to find ways of facilitating the execution of this function.


Thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Chabi (Chipili): Madam Speaker, in one of his responses, the hon. Minister indicated that 200 desks were delivered to Kaputa last year. However, the area hon. Member of Parliament said that no desks were delivered to his constituency last year. That is very confusing. Is the hon. Minister able to withdraw the response he gave to the House and the nation at large?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, please, clarify the situation or, maybe, restate your response.


Dr Wanchinga: Mr …


Ah! Madam Speaker, ...




Dr Wanchinga: ... I will not withdraw my response without evidence to the contrary.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Wanchinga: I provided an evidence-based response with figures that were worked out by my colleagues at the ministry. If it is suggested that the information is erroneous, I will have to verify that before I can accept being in error and give the correct information. It could be that the hon. Member is the one who is not well-informed on the matter.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwale: Namwasha, mudala!


Dr Wanchinga: Emukwaiye.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!


Withdraw that vernacular expression.


Dr Wanchinga:  “Emukwaiye” is withdrawn, Madam Speaker.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister should consider the recommendations of hon. Members on the repair of the desks. I just returned from my constituency where pupils learn in the open and there are heaps of damaged desks, most of which I think were made in China. The desks are made of laminated wood and are easily damaged when they get wet, yet we have proper hard wood in the country. Instead of procuring more desks, could the hon. Minister consider working with the hon. Members of this House and his officers to compile the number of damaged desks, particularly those with damaged work tops, so that they could be repaired with our hard wood.


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, I think the hon. Member’s suggestion touches on Government policy. Indeed, we have good wood from which we can make durable school desks. Perhaps, in future, we may want to engage investors who are interested in partnering with local or foreign companies to make desks. I am sure that the hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources is listening because we have banned the export of Mukula logs. Let us, therefore, find people to set up industries that can produce school desks and other furniture locally. We have a number of avenues. That said, I do not think that the hon. Member for Chama wants to see me or my officers start going round school rubbish pits to check whether the broken desks that have been discarded are Chinese made or not. 




Dr Wanchinga: We have to move forward, and one way of doing that is making a catalogue of the needs of each school and developing a master plan to meet the needs. 


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Ms Katuta (Chienge): Thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Ms Katuta: I also thank the hon. Minister for the desks that were delivered to Chienge. I received word that I should say thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Katuta: That said, I would like to add my voice to the question asked the hon. Member of Parliament for Kaputa.


Mr Chabi: On a point of order, Madam.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Chabi: Madam Speaker, I apologise to my colleague for disturbing her line of thought. However, I rise on a serious procedural point of order.


Madam, during the orientation for both returning and new hon. Members of Parliament, we were guided that there are only two ways in which to respond to any statement uttered on the Floor of this House, that is, “Hear, hear!” in affirmation and “Question!” in dispute. Is the hon. Member for Kaputa in order to shout “Question!”, when all I did was quote his statement that not a single school desk was delivered to Kaputa last year, which means that he was literally disagreeing with his own statement?




Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Chabi: Madam Speaker, I seek your serious ruling.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member for Kaputa was not out of order by saying, “Question!” because he did not agree with the hon. Member for Chipili’s statement. The hon. Member for Kaputa was perfectly in order.


Hon. Member for Chienge, you may proceed.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Ema ruling, aya!


Ms Katuta: Madam Speaker, the headteacher for Mununga Primary School, who is one of the best headteachers in Chienge District, produced 145 desks from trees uprooted in the school premises and repaired many others. Can the Government take a leaf from that? I am of the view that rural schools should be given imprest by the Government in support of such projects, as that would be cost-effective. Like others have already stated, the quality of desks which we receive is substandard. It is almost like they were made of cardboard, not wood. In fact, some were damaged before they were delivered.


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, we have a collective responsibility to find solutions to the many challenges that we, as a nation, face in the provision of education to our children. So, the hon. Member’s idea is welcome. As I mentioned earlier on, I have visited schools where headteachers are in the forefront of efforts to repair or make school desks. I also said that my ministry will invest in enhancing leadership at school level because it makes a very big difference. We will encourage our people in the field, especially the District Education Board Secretaries (DEBSs) and Provincial Education Officers (PEOs) to repair and replace school desks using simple imprest or grants from the ministry. I am just thinking out loud, but the starting point can be to spend 5 to 10 per cent of the grants on the continuous repair and manufacture of school furniture instead of waiting for the Government to source the money to do so. The idea is good and it can be refined.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Madam Speaker, is there a policy directive for all schools in the country to preserve the frames of damaged desks so that we can cut down on Government expenditure when making new ones and avoid tantrums from members of the public?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member, did you say “tantrums”?


Mr Kabanda: Yes, Madam.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Withdraw that word, please.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Did the hon. Minister of General Education get the question?


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, you might have seen me turn right and left trying to understand the question, but I did not. Maybe, he can repeat it.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Serenje, please, withdraw the word “tantrums” and repeat your question because the hon. Minister did not understand it.


Mr Kabanda: Madam Speaker, I withdraw the word “tantrums” and substitute it with “public outcry”. Does the hon. Minister get my question now or should I …


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member, you can repeat the question.




Mr Kabanda: Maybe, I should rewind, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


Please, repeat the question because the hon. Minister did not understand it.


Mr Kabanda: Madam Speaker, have all the schools in the country been directed to preserve the frames from damaged desks as a way of cutting down onexpenditure?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Is that clear, hon. Minister? It is about policy.


 Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, we must have elasticated microphones to match individuals’ heights.


 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!



Mr Ngulube: Ema setting’i, aya!




Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member spoke above his microphone, which means that his voice did not reach me. So, I ask for the indulgence of this House to ask the hon. Member to kneel a little and ask the question again.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: That is alright, hon. Minister.


Hon. Member for Serenje, please, bear in mind that if the hon. Minister does not hear you, he cannot answer your question.


Mr Kabanda: Madam Speaker, I was saying that …




Mr Kabanda: Mbike mukanwa?




Mr Kabanda: Madam, has the hon. Minister issued any directives to headteachers in the various schools around the country to preserve the frames of damaged desks so that they can be used to make new desks by merely repainting them and putting new wood on them? The frame is the skeleton of the desk; the metal structure that remains when the wooden part of the desk is broken.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, the hon. Member wants to know whether the schools have been instructed to preserve the frames.


 Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for his patience in repeating his question. I have now understood him clearly.


Madam, no formal Government policy directive was issued to the headteachers to keep the frames of broken desks. However, there are schools that keep old frames. If the hon. Member went to some schools, he would find classrooms that have been converted into storerooms for frames of broken desks. I must agree that more can be done in that regard if we gave such instructions, as suggested by the hon. Member. However, I think it would be more meaningful for us to give such instructions after putting in place a good mechanism for the utilisation of old frames. Currently, headteachers store the frames, but they still need opportunities to refurbish and reuse some of them. Like I suggested, we could reserve 5 or 10 per cent of the grants for each district or province for the repair of desks and other infrastructure. That way, there would be a good linkage between the storage of the old frames and the repair of desks.


 I thank you, Madam Speaker.




292. Mr Ng’onga asked the Vice-President:


  1. whether there was any resettlement scheme in Kaputa District;


  1. if so, what the name of the resettlement scheme was: and


  1. what the main developmental activities in the scheme were.


The Minister in the Office of the Vice-President (Ms Chalikosa): Madam Speaker, there is one resettlement scheme called Kanga in Kaputa District.


Madam Speaker, the farmers in Kanga Resettlement Scheme are involved in farming activities, such as maize and vegetable growing, and poultry production. The farmers’ co-operative manages an irrigation scheme with a 196,000 litre tank and a pump house. In addition, there is one borehole which is used by the settlers in the resettlement scheme.


Madam Speaker, the scheme is located about 6 km from the nearby school and clinic. Given the small size of the resettlement scheme, which is about 800 ha, with only sixty planned farms for sixty households, no major infrastructure development is currently earmarked there. However, as the Government continues with the holistic development of resettlement schemes, Kanga Resettlement Scheme will equally be considered.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Ng’onga: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the response given to the people of Kaputa.


Madam, Her Honour the Vice-President has indicated that the resettlement scheme is only about 6 km from the town centre. As the Government looks into the development of resettlement schemes, is there a possibility that a road, even just a small feeder road, leading to the resettlement scheme will be built for the people of Kaputa so that the farmers can transport their produce and farming inputs?


 Ms Chalikosa: Madam Speaker, according to the planned implementation focus, the Government is supposed to work on 30 km of access roads. Unfortunately, none of the roads have so far been worked on.


 Madam Speaker, I thank you.


 Princess Mwape (Mkushi North): Madam Speaker, resettlement schemes are important areas in all districts in which they have been planned. What basic infrastructure is planned for resettlement schemes like the one in Kaputa District?


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Speaker, firstly, there are farms in resettlement schemes that are allocated to settlers. After the farms have been demarcated, a service centre at which the settlers register their needs is set up. Further, at least, one school is usually provided, depending on how big the resettlement scheme is. There is also a provision for a graveyard, health centre and an agricultural shed. As I mentioned earlier on, there are also access roads and a number of boreholes determined by the capacity of the scheme or number of households in it. Sometimes, water wells are provided instead. Lastly, there are also staff houses for the people managing the resettlement scheme.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




293. Mr P. Phiri asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


  1. whether the implementation of the Link Zambia 8,000 km Road Project was on schedule;


  1. if it was not on schedule, what the challenges were;


  1. when the construction of the Mtetezi/Msoro Road in the Eastern Province, which was under the project, would commence; and


  1. what the time frame for the completion of the project at (c) was.


Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, the implementation of the Link Zambia 8,000 km Road Project is behind schedule because our target was to complete all the 8,000 km by 2020. The time frame for the project was ten years.


Madam, the major challenge to the implementation of the project has been budgetary limitations. However, the Government is exploring various options for financing the project, such as the contractor-facilitated initiative (CFI), public-private partnerships (PPPs) and engineering, procurement, construction plus finance (EPC+F).


Madam, on the construction of the Mtetezi/Msoro Road also known as the Katete/Msoro/Chipata Road, we have received proposals from two contractors who have expressed interest in working on the road project under a CFI, and we have submitted them to the Ministry of Finance for consideration. The ministry has also started preparing for the possibility of procuring the works under Government financing in the next financial year in the event of its not being given the authority to implement the project using a CFI. In that regard, it the ministry has started preparing the designs and hopes to complete them by December, 2017. If authority to procure the works under a CFI is granted, we should be able to conclude the project by the end of 2017.


Madam, the time frame for completing the Mtetezi/Msoro Road will only be determined once the designs have been completed and the contract works signed.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mung’andu: Madam Speaker, since the …


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


Madam First Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr C. M. Zulu: Madam Speaker, three weeks ago, I asked the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development why works at Likando Secondary School in my constituency had stalled for six years, and his very good response was that the case had been surrendered to the Attorney-General’s Office. However, as we were coming to the House today, he repeatedly called me ‘Six Years Ago’. Is he in order to give me a new name?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: My ruling is that the Chair is aware of the special relationship that exists between you and the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development and I am very sure that his new way of addressing you was used in the context of that special relationship.

The hon. Member for Chama South can ask his question.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mung’andu: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member for Mkaika Constituency’s question was on the implementation of the Link Zambia 8,000 km Road Project which, apart from the Mtetezi/Msoro Road, includes two very important roads in the Eastern Province, namely Matumbo/Kanyelele/Mafinga/Isoka and Chama/Matumbo roads. Unfortunately, the works on the Matumbo/Kanyelele/Mafinga/Isoka Road have stalled. Further, the hon. Minister has mentioned that one of the financing arrangements is the contractor-facilitated initiative (CFI), and that worries me because the contractor working on the bridge at Kampemba has stopped works. Is the hon. Minister telling this august House that all the remaining works under the Link Zambia 8,000 km Road Project will be financed through the CFIs even though they were already contracted? I need clarification on that.


Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, I will start with the latter part of the question.


Madam, I will be very shocked if what the hon. Member of Parliament for Chama South has stated turns out to be true because I have driven on the bridge he has mentioned and I know that the contractor for the bridge that connects the new districts of Muchinga and Shiwang’andu is the same one contracted to work on the bridge in Chama. If my memory serves me well, the contractor was owed K11.2 million, of which we paid K10 million last month. So, I need to confirm whether the hon. Member’s statement is correct because almost 90 per cent of the contractor’s money has been paid.


Madam Speaker, as regards the financing arrangements, I have stated that the CFI is only one of many options being considered for the remaining works under the project. It is not possible to turn a Government-financed project into a CFI unless we enter into a special arrangement with the contractor. I have been dealing with the Mafinga/Chama/Matumbo Road. Fortunately for the good people of Mafinga, two good contractors have proposed to work on the road, one of whom is Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) International. We have no doubt that once some technicalities we are dealing with have been sorted out, the works will commence. What has delayed the project is that the initial design of the road entered into Malawi territory. We, therefore, had to ask the designers to make adjustments so that we did not encroach on foreign land during the construction. That is why the contractor could have delayed in moving on site. As I said, we paid him K9 million last month. So, the engineers are just waiting for the consultant to finalise the adjustments on the designs. The other contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), is working on the road from Chama to Lundazi and Mafinga, where he will link up with AVIC International. He has so far done a good job on 45 km of the road. Therefore, I do not think the people of Chama, Mafinga, Matumbo and Shiwang’andu are worried about the state of their road.


Madam, the people of Matumbo also have a good contractor, China Jiangxi, has worked on about 35 km of their road. I drove through the area and found the contractor on site. So, I need to check with my staff whether the contractor demobilised after I left the place. The China Railway Seventh Group (CRSG), which is working on the bridge, is a very serious company. It has worked on the bridges in the Western Province and is also working on the Mbesuma and Chama/Matumbo bridges.


I thank you, Madam.


Princess Mwape: Madam Speaker, the Government is doing a very commendable job on the Link 8,000 km Road Project. That said, Mkushi is the food basket of Zambia and one of the economic roads to be built under the project is in Mkushi North Constituency. When will the Government start working on that road?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, the principal question is on whether the implementation of the Link 8,000 km Road Project is on schedule. So, I do not wish that you start talking about individual components of the project. Please, give a general response to the question.


Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, as I stated, the Link 8,000 km Road Project is not on schedule and I have given reasons. One of the roads whose construction is not on schedule because of financing challenges, is Piccadilly Road which passes through the hon. Member’s constituency. I know that is the road to which she was referring. We have engaged an Italian company that is willing to work on it under a contractor-facilitated initiative (CFI). Further, I wish to inform the people of Mkushi Farming Block that the World Bank has given the Government US$200 million to improve connectivity of rural agricultural areas and Mkushi was the only district in the Central Province selected to benefit from the programme. Up to 261 km of its feeder roads will be worked on at a cost of about US$30 million.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Siwale (Mafinga): Madam Speaker, when will the contractors the hon. Minister has mentioned start working on the Isoka/Mafinga/Chama Road? I have just come back from the constituency and did not see any contractor on site.


Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, this Government is committed to ensuring that the contractor who is supposed to work on the road in Mafinga goes back on site, and I can confirm that China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) is working on the road in Chama. The hon. Member of Parliament for Chama South said that the contractor is not on site, but his counterpart, the hon. Member of Parliament for Chama North, does not seem to agree with him. So, I need to establish the status quo. However, AVIC International Limited is working on the road in Mafinga. As I said, only last month, we paid the company K9 million. I also said that the initial plan was to have part of the road pass through Malawian territory, but we could not agree with our Malawian brothers on that. So, the part of the road in question was re-routed into Zambia, which makes the project more expensive because of the topographical and geological nature of the new route. However, the contractor has said he is ready to work on the 20 km of the road from Mafinga to the point where the difficult terrain starts, as we sort out the design challenges for the rest of the road.


I thank you, Madam.




294. Mr Imbuwa (Nalolo) asked the Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection:


  1. when works on the water reticulation project at Muoyo Royal Village in Nalolo Parliamentary Constituency would be implemented;


  1. why the contract with Logical Systems Limited was terminated;


  1. whether a new contractor had been identified;


  1. if so, who the new contractor was; and


  1. what the cost of the remaining works on the project was.


The Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection (Mr Kaziya): Madam Speaker, the water reticulation project at Muoyo Royal Village will be completed in six months, after a new contractor is awarded the contract.


Madam Speaker, the contract with Logical Systems Limited was terminated due to poor performance by the contractor.


Madam Speaker, the ministry, through the Western Water and Sewerage Company (WWSC) Limited, is in the process of engaging a new contractor to complete the remaining works on the project. So far, bid documents have been completed by the WWSC Limited and the project will be advertised as soon as funds are released by the Ministry of Finance.


Madam, no contractor has been engaged yet, as the procurement process is still ongoing.


Madam Speaker, the cost of the remaining works is K3.7 million.


I thank you, Madam.




295. Dr Chanda (Bwana Mkubwa) asked the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources when title deeds would be issued to residents of the following areas in Bwana Mkubwa Parliamentary Constituency:


  1. Old Regiment;


  1. Mackenzie;


  1. Kalolo;


  1. Old Mushili;


  1. Chichele;


  1. Mwenye;


  1. Mwange A; and


  1. Mwange B.


The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources (Ms Kapata): Madam Speaker, from the outset, it is important for the House to note that Old Regiment, Mackenzie, Kalolo, Old Mushili, Mwenye, Chichele, Mwange A and Mwange B are unplanned, informal or squatter settlements in Bwana Mkubwa Constituency. In addition, Chichele is a protected forest reserve for which certificates of title cannot be issued without the protected forest being de-gazetted.


Madam, the process of formalising informal settlements begins with the local authority in the areas where the settlements are located, in this case, the Ndola City Council (NCC), undertaking social and economic surveys of the areas and, subsequently, planning the areas. Only after the areas have been planned can the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources issue certificates of title in those areas.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Dr Chanda: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister is aware that some of the named settlements were there prior to Independence, and people have built houses and churches there. So, I wonder whether the ministry has taken interest in the developments in those areas. I also wonder how churches can be built without titles. So, does the Government have a comprehensive plan for re-planning the areas?


Ms Kapata: Madam Speaker, it is there Ministry of Local Government, not my ministry, that is in charge of regional and urban planning under the Urban and Regional Planning Act No. 3 of 2015. So, it is incumbent upon the local authorities to re-plan unplanned settlements.


Thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Madam Speaker, planning has been misunderstood by our local authorities to mean the designation of all unplanned settlements as illegal settlements and relocation or displacement of people from there by demolishing their buildings. Is that what they are supposed to do? In my opinion, when planning an area, the local authorities must recognise the settlements already there and, probably, upgrade them by building roads and providing water and other amenities. I ask because, in my constituency, we are fighting running battles with the council because almost every unplanned settlement is now under threat of demolition without provision of alternative sites for the affected communities.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: If the hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources wants to give a bonus response, she can go ahead and do so.


Ms Kapata: Madam Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, under the leadership of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, which was elected by the Zambians, …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Kapata: … is more than interested in protecting people’s property.


Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Ms Kapata: That is why we have allowed councils to plan informal settlements so that we can legalise them. I agree that demolishing unplanned settlements is not the best thing to do. The best the councils can do is rely on the Act to which I just referred when planning new places.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear! Ema answer, aya!


Mr Mung’andu: Madam Speaker, could the hon. Minister clarify the issue of the issuance of title deeds. She has mentioned that planning is the responsibility of the local authorities, but we are aware that a number of local authorities are not planning agencies under our current law. Instead, there are provincial planning authorities. The local authorities can propose, but approval and everything else is done by the provincial planning authorities, and that has brought many challenges because councils may plan areas under their jurisdiction, but the provincial authorities can refuse to recognise the planned areas like the case was in Ndola. We all know the Ndola saga in which the city council did the planning and both the council and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources were issuing title deeds, yet Ndola City Council should only have issued occupancy licences. For people to have faith in this working Government, what measures has the hon. Minister put in place to harmonise the work of all the planning authorities?


Ms Kapata: Madam Speaker, that question can best be answered by the Ministry of Local Government. As I have stated, we have the Urban and Regional Planning Act No. 3 of 2015 in the Laws of Zambia, under which it is stipulated that the planning of settlements should be done by the local authorities.


I thank you, Madam.




296. Mr Mbulakulima (Milenge) asked the Vice-President:


  1. whether the Government had any plans to display Dr Kenneth Kaunda’s portrait in public places as the founding father of the nation;


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


  1. if there were no such plans, why?


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Speaker, the Government recognises the importance of the proposal to display the portrait of Dr Kenneth Kaunda, the founding father of the nation, in public places. However, it has not yet considered the matter.


Madam, should the Executive feel this can be done, the nation will be informed accordingly.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mbulakulima: Madam Speaker, before I ask a follow-up question, let me take this opportunity to thank Her Honour the Vice-President for the powerful statement she made yesterday on television.


Hon. Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Mbulakulima: I could see that she was not only anguished and disturbed, but that she also had the ‘punch’. It is my conviction that the culprits will be followed up to the end.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister says that the idea in my question is good although it has not yet been considered by the Executive. Now that I have asked this question, will she present the matter to the Executive for consideration?


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Speaker, the  Patriotic Front (PF) Government welcomes proposals like this one and has an open door policy. So, anybody with good ideas can bring them to our attention. We are a listening Government and we shall consider the hon. Member’s suggestion further.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Ngulube: Not ukocha ama markets.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




297.  Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi) (on behalf of Mr Mwamba (Lubansenshi)) asked the Minister of Local Government:


  1. why the street lighting project in Luwingu District, which started in 2013, had stalled;


  1. when the works would resume;


  1. how much money was allocated for the project; and


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


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, the street lighting project in Luwingu District stalled due to budgetary constraints.


Madam, the works will resume in 2018, subject to the availability of funds.


Madam Speaker, K250,000 was allocated to the project. The project will be completed in 2018, subject to the availability of funds.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.








Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights, Gender Matters and Child Affairs for the First Session of the Twelfth National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on Wednesday, 28th June, 2017.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Is the Motion Seconded?


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Madam Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.


Mr Bwalya: Madam Speaker, in keeping with its terms of reference as set out in the Standing Orders, your Committee undertook a study on the implications of the activities of the extractive industry on human rights entitled “The Case of Zambia’s Mining Sector”.


Madam, your Committee received both written and oral submissions from selected stakeholders. It also undertook local tours to selected mines on the Copperbelt and North-Western provinces on which it held three public hearings to get an input from members of the public on the topical issue.

Madam, my assumption is that hon. Members have had the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the contents of your Committee’s report. I will, therefore, only highlight a few issues from it.


Madam Speaker, your Committee chose the subject in order to avail this House and the nation an opportunity to reflect on the human rights implications of activities in the extractive industry, particularly mining. Your Committee recognises that the extractive industry has benefits like the employment of thousands of people and uplifting the lives of local communities through corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. The industry also helps in boosting the country’s economy through the payment of various taxes to the National Treasury. However, it also notes that the industry is associated with many challenges. For example, communities in mining areas are often unable to fairly benefit from their resource-rich surroundings and are increasingly exposed to various forms of environmental contamination, such as air and water pollution. Further, the human rights of the thousands of people working in the mines are often negatively impacted by poor working conditions.


Madam, let me begin by making a general observation on your Committee’s findings regarding the adequacy of the legal framework on the subject matter.


Madam, Zambia has a legal system with progressive provisions, such as the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016, the Environmental Management Act No. 12 of 2011 and the Mines and Minerals Development Act No.11 of 2015. However, your Committee notes that there are still some international instruments that have been ratified, but not domesticated. It is particularly concerned that no deliberate steps have been taken to domesticate the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and, therefore, urges the Government to immediately take steps towards the domestication of the mentioned instruments, which are essential in the protection of human rights in the context of business activities.


Madam, let me also talk about the adequacy of Zambia’s institutional framework in protecting human rights from the activities of the extractive industry.


Madam Speaker, it is a fact that the Government is the key custodian of peoples’ rights and that one of the ways in which the Government can protect the rights of its people is through effective State agencies. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of the institutional framework for the protection of people’s rights in Zambia might not inspire that much confidence currently. Your Committee concurs with stakeholders that State agencies like the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA), the Mines Safety Department, the Water Resources Management Authority, the National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) and the Department of Labour lack the technical and human resources to effectively carry out their respective mandates. For example, the institutions are unable to conduct regular inspections due to understaffing, and inadequate equipment and funding. Your Committee, therefore, strongly urges the Government to urgently improve support to the relevant State agencies for them to discharge their functions more effectively and contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights.


Madam Speaker, another way through which the Government protects the rights of its citizens is by prioritising due diligence audits of human rights during the licensing of companies. More often than not, the Government is quick to undertake due diligence searches on the financial capabilities of companies that apply to invest in Zambia, but does not give the same importance to knowing the companies’ records in respect of human rights in their countries of domicile. Your Committee is of the view that it is at that early stage that the Government should carry out detailed due diligence audits of human rights for the applicants and set out clear standards of behaviour expected of them regarding the promotion and protection of human rights. In this regard, your Committee urges the Government to ensure that institutions involved in the licensing stages prioritise the protection of human rights by carrying out detailed due diligence audit before the applications are approved and licences issued to those who want to invest in Zambia. Your Committee further urges the Government to include representatives of the private sector and other relevant players, such as the Department of Resettlement in the Vice-President’s Office and the Human Rights Commission (HRC), on the Mining Licensing Committee under the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development.


Madam Speaker, your Committee also took keen interest in the plight of workers in the mines and found out that most mines had increasingly resorted to sub-contracting most works to contractors. Unfortunately, contractors’ jobs have turned out a means for the exploitation of workers, as most contractors engaged by mining companies offer poor conditions of service. Further, the workers are employed on short-term contracts that prevent them from joining labour unions and participating in collective bargaining. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to urgently protect the human rights of workers employed by contractors by making the contracting mines liable for any human rights violations by those they contract.


Madam, your Committee observes that one of the unavoidable consequences of the expansion of the extractive industry is the displacement of people. In this regard, your Committee is pleased to note that the Government has come up with the Resettlement and Compensation policies and guidelines that are consistent with international human rights guidelines and international humanitarian law. However, it is concerned that the policies have not been backed by law, which makes it a challenge to enforce them. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to enact appropriate laws on resettlement and compensation in order to enhance the enforcement of the two policies.


Madam Speaker, another matter that is very important to your Committee is the need to restore the environment to a usable state upon the closure of the mines. According to the Zambian laws, the person responsible for polluting the environment is also responsible for paying for the damage and, typically, the restoration processes should begin while mining activities are still ongoing in another area of a mine. In this regard, your Committee is pleased that most mining companies have started implementing restoration programmes. However, it is concerned that the programmes are not comprehensive enough to repair the damage caused. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to ensure that the mines come up with comprehensive plans to meet the restoration standards set for them. This is the only way to prevent what happened on the Copperbelt, where the environment was completely damaged and rendered unusable.


Madam Speaker, let me conclude by thanking you and the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the guidance and support rendered to your Committee during its session and tour of duty. Let me also thank all the stakeholders who made submissions to your Committee. Lastly, but not in any way the least, let me express my gratitude to the members of your Committee for their professionalism and dedication to the conduct of their business, and their support to me, as the Chairperson of your Committee.


Madam Speaker, I beg to move.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?


Mr Ngulube: Now, Madam Speaker.


Madam, allow me to start by paying tribute to the mover of the Motion, Hon. Bwalya, for the able manner in which he has highlighted the key issues contained in your Committee’s report, and to thank him for the able manner in which he led your Committee during the year under review.


Madam Speaker, let me now comment on a few important issues contained in your Committee’s report, one of which is the need for Zambians’ participation in the extractive industry.


Madam, local communities, whether poor or rich, literate or illiterate, should be accorded a platform to participate in the development of their environment. If communities are not empowered enough to understand the nature of development, their benefits and responsibilities, and their limitations, they will be a source of unavoidable conflict for any investor. In this regard, it was evident to your Committee in all the public hearings it held that the local people had a lot of animosity towards the mines operating in their areas. Your Committee, therefore, urges the mines to find ways of engaging the local people, especially on decisions that affect the communities.


Madam Speaker, your Committee’s attention was also drawn to the lead pollution in Kabwe, and is concerned that although the problem has affected Kabwe for a very long time, an information gap still existed on the magnitude of the impact on the citizens due to a lack of local capacity to measure and capture the relevant data,. Your Committee is also concerned that there had been no deliberate efforts from the authorities to minimise the health risks of the pollution. However, it is pleased to learn and report about a World Bank-funded project to reduce the health risks for the affected people in Kabwe and other critically-polluted areas. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to build local capacity, in terms of human and technical resources, to deal with the situation. The Government is further urged to promote further research on the impact of the lead pollution in Kabwe for the problem to be fully appreciated.


Madam Speaker, your Committee was also confronted with the challenges faced by communities whose houses and environment have been negatively impacted by mining activities over many years. For example, in Kankoyo Compound in Mufulira and Tsopano Compound in Chingola, the environment has been damaged and houses have developed cracks. Unfortunately, the mining companies in both cases have not accepted responsibility for the damage and failure to find a lasting solution. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to engage the mines concerned and relocate the affected residents to alternative places, as a lasting solution to their plight.


Madam Speaker, another critical matter dealt with by your Committee is the mining of uranium in Zambia and its impact on the health of the people and the environment. Your Committee notes that there are companies in the North-Western Province that mine uranium, which they claim to be stock-piling. Your Committee received assurances that the uranium was mined in insignificant quantities and kept in its raw state, the result of which was that it had no harmful effects on the environment and the people. However, your Committee knows that uranium poses many environmental hazards. Therefore, it strongly urges the Government to carry out an independent study on the effects of uranium and assure the nation that mining it has no negative effects.


Madam Speaker, I end by urging all members of the House to support the Motion.


With those remarks, Madam Speaker, I beg to second.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chali (Nchanga): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate this Motion.


Madam, in supporting the Motion, let me start by thanking your Committee for a job well done. I will also talk a little about the medical facilities run offered by the mines, especially those run by Konkola Copper Mines (KCM).


Madam, I note the report of your Committee on the educational and medical services offered by KCM, and the on-going pollution of the environment, especially in Tsopano, which is in my constituency.


Madam, the houses in Tsopano were constructed over fifty years ago, and I believe that no proper environmental impact assessment (EIA) was undertaken at the time the mines were being sold. I say so because when you stand outside some of the houses in Tsopano, you can see through the cracks. When your Committee visited the area, it was privileged to get this information from the submissions of witnesses. The Mines Safety Department, the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) and all the environmental safety organisations in the country one can mention have visited the area, but it has been very difficult to decide who is to take responsibility. However, I strongly feel that if ZEMA could present its findings, it would lighten the burden of determining the compensation of the people of that place who are staying in death-traps.


Madam Speaker, your Committee has also highlighted illegal mining activities due to the high unemployment levels among the youth. Two months ago, we recorded some deaths because children as young as ten years old were being taken into the mine plant to plunder scrap metals. In that regard, I commend the hardworking hon. Minister of Home Affairs for using paramilitary police officers to restore sanity at the mine. As we speak, the place is quiet because the boys no longer go there. Further, KCM has agreed to allow illegal miners to work at its dumps, provided they did so in a structured manner. The proposal is being worked on and some co-operatives are being formed, which will result in most of our youths getting some form of employment. The ministries of Mines and Minerals Development, and Home Affairs are driving this initiative, and it looks like a win-win situation.


Madam, the medical schemes offered by the mines are very disappointing. For example, if somebody retires from service in the mine, he/she and all the registered dependants will continue accessing the medical facilities. However, in the event that the retiree dies, all family members stop accessing the facilities, which implies that once a retiree dies, his family also dies. Although that was not raised in your Committee’s report, it should be looked into.


Madam, the issue of pollution of the environment has been raised on several fora, including here, in Parliament, where reports have been presented, but we have to find a lasting solution to the problem. It is for us to stiffen the law against the polluters because, currently, the maximum penalty for causing pollution that adversely affects people is a disappointingly meagre K21,000. How can that be commensurate with the adverse effects on the lives of the affected? Obviously, people will just continue to cause pollution with impunity.


Madam Speaker, I also commend your Committee for raising the issue of the segregation of local contractors in favour of foreign contractors. That is a fact. While we are saying that we should build the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to be the backbone of our economy, preference is given to foreign companies as opposed to local ones. That should be looked into seriously. Related to this problem is that of the number of expatriates employed by the mines. In this regard, the report says KCM has forty-five, but I think that the actual number was understated.


Madam Speaker, with those words, I support the Motion,


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Madam Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to make brief comments on the Motion to adopt the Report of the Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights, Gender Matters and Child Affairs.


Madam Speaker, your Committee must be commended for taking up the challenge of going on the ground to understand the situation obtaining in our mines. It is a well-known fact that the industry your Committee decided to look at is the backbone of this country’s economy. Therefore, it is important for us to pay attention to the plight of the people who operate the mines, that is, the miners, particularly how they are looked after by the mining companies


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1640 until 1700 hours.




Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, I was saying that it is important for us to look at how the mining companies treat their employees.


Madam Speaker, I know my brother, the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, would have reacted more comprehensively to this debate, but let me also thank some mining houses for standing with the Government and preserving the jobs of their employees during the difficult time when we experienced the power deficits that posed a challenge to the operations in the sector and culminated in some people losing their jobs in other mines. Now that we are getting back to normal power supply, we want every citizen and other industries to help us increase the power generation capacity and avoid going through another power deficit. We need the mining houses to come on board on this, and I know that the discussions between them and the ministries of Energy and Finance will bear fruit.


Madam Speaker, the welfare of our miners is cardinal because a motivated miner contributes to production. This is beneficial not only to the mines, but also the entire nation in terms of revenue collected from the mines. It is, therefore, pleasing to note that most mining houses are responding to the call for them to have a motivated workforce whose rights are respected. We hope this spirit will continue for the sake of sustained industrial harmony in the sector.


Madam Speaker, let me acknowledge the comments made by the hon. Member of Parliament for Nchanga on illegal mining. Yes, the Government acknowledges the challenge of a lack of jobs in mining towns. However, inasmuch as we understand the reason our people, especially youths, engage in illegal mining, it is sad to note that they go to scavenge for copper residue on the dump sites for almost nothing. As you know, in the Patriotic Front (PF), I also wear the jacket of looking at the plight of the affairs of youths. So, we have resolved that our youths will not be allowed to continue risking their lives every day like your Committee’s report has sadly indicated, and I am happy that the hon. Member for Nchanga, who is also a stakeholder, acknowledges the efforts we are making to address this issue. We have engaged the mining houses, and we should commend Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) for accepting to come on board and help us in creating an environment in which those young people, who toil every day to enrich certain individuals, can legitimately and humanely conduct business and get a benefit. The company has agreed to make the areas where the youths will be undertaking the mining activities secure, provide some basic safety equipment, and ensure that they get a reasonable benefit. Our focus is on the majority of young people who do the donkey work and cutting out the ‘sharks’ in between. We will not tolerate monsters anymore, and this must be very clear to those colleagues who think they can continue to be greedy and …


Mr Ngulube: And bring Armageddon!


Mr Kampyongo: … reap from the sweat of young people. From Chingola, we will move to all the mining towns, namely Kitwe, Mufulira and Luanshya. All this is meant to ensure that all youths, who deserve to benefit from the natural capital, are given the opportunity to do so.


Madam, those who think that they can challenge the Government and continue engaging in illegal activities must learn from what we have done in Chingola where we flashed out some foreign nationals who had been facilitating illegal activities. We will not tolerate bogus investors who come here to engage in illegitimate businesses. I also ask those who are engaged in legitimate businesses in the extractive industry, for example, those engaged in smelting, to respect the law because no one will be allowed to break the law with impunity in the name of investment.




Mr Kampyongo: In that regard, I assure the legitimate and law-abiding Chinese investors that they have no reason to be worried about what we are doing. The ones we will fight are those who buy raw materials whose origin they do not understand.


Madam Speaker, finally, now that the operations in the mining sector are getting back to normal, I appeal to the mining houses to consider giving back to the communities in which they operate. Those that operate in chiefdoms should ensure that the benefits accruing from the natural capital that God has given us are not enjoyed by the traditional leadership alone, but also the members of the community.


Madam, finally, as a Government, we shall continue creating an enabling environment and issuing permits to deserving investors. Let me also repeat that we will only accept expatriates with skills that cannot be found on the local labour market. The investors must understand the conditions of their work permits. Expatriates cannot promise to train some Zambians to hand over to after two years, but fail to do so and ask to continue working in the country after the two years elapse. We want the expatriates to be sincere when applying for work permits because it is the duty of every government to preserve for its citizens all the jobs that they can do. Further, investment should benefit the local people as well so that there is a win-win situation for everyone.


Madam Speaker, with those few remarks, I support the Motion.


Thank you, Madam.


The Minister of Justice (Mr Lubinda): Madam, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to debate. I will be very brief.


Madam Speaker, the report of your Committee has two parts, one of which the mover, the seconder, my colleague, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, and the hon. Member of Parliament for Nchanga have all concentrated. Let me just make a few comments on the other part, in which my first concern is on a matter I know to be very close to the hearts of many people, namely the graduation of lawyers from the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE), which is item No. 15 of Part II of your Committee’s report.


Madam, it is my pleasure to report to you and the nation at large that extensive work is being done by the ZIALE Council, under the supervision of the Ministry of Justice, to improve the student pass rate. As we may all be aware, the number of students who were admitted to the Bar this year was about 30 per cent of those who sat for the examinations, which is unprecedented. With the opening of a new campus on the Great East Road and the changes proposed by the council, we hope to see even better results. I must emphasise though that these efforts will not compromise the quality of lawyers who will be admitted to the Bar.


Madam Speaker, your Committee also reports that it resolved to await a report on the Political Parties Bill. So, let me seize this opportunity to report to you that a lot of progress has been made with regard to this issue. Like I mentioned last week, the Bill should have been presented to Parliament in this Meeting of Parliament by the Ministry of Justice in conjunction with the Ministry of Home Affairs. Unfortunately, because of the temporary change in the complexion of the House, we decided to present it during the next Meeting. So, I assure your Committee that the Bill will, hopefully, be passed by this House before the end of the year.


Madam, the causes and extent of torture in Zambia are other matters addressed by your Committee. In that regard, let me inform your Committee that the Human Rights Commission (HRC), in conjunction with the Zambia Law Development Commission (ZLDC), submitted to me a draft Bill against torture in Zambia on 27th June, 2017, and I hope it will be presented to Parliament in the next Meeting.


Madam Speaker, another very important matter is that of the death penalty. Your Committee suggests that the Penal Code be amended to define extenuating circumstances under which the death sentence can be commuted. However, having gone through the Penal Code, I would like to state that it might be very difficult for Parliament to be very prescriptive on what can constitute extenuating circumstances. Such matters are best left to the Judges to decide on. Let me also state that this report was written at the end of 2016, by which time the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016 had already been passed, and all the hon. Members of this House who enacted it should have known that it provided for the death penalty in Article 12. Therefore, we cannot abolish the death penalty by amending the Penal Code without attending to the other relevant parts of the Constitution.


Madam, for the information of the House, whereas his predecessors always abstained from voting on the moratorium on the death penalty at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and some countries have been opposing the vote, last year, His Excellency President Edgar Lungu, in his wisdom, discussed the matter with the Cabinet and directed that Zambia does not abstain anymore. So, the country will continue to vote in the affirmative on the demand for a moratorium on the imposition of the death penalty across the world. This is notwithstanding the fact that our courts of law have reluctantly been passing death sentences for the last twenty years. I am sure many people who follow court judgments know that the Judges pass death sentences with much emotional pain. Fortunately, not a single person on death row has been executed since 1999, and this is a good record for our country. So, yes, we have the provision for capital punishment in our statutes, and the sentence is passed on some people. However, no death warrant has been signed since 1999, and His Excellency President Edgar Lungu has indicated to his Cabinet that he has no intention, whatsoever, of signing a death warrant. That is why he has directed that Zambia continues supporting calls for a moratorium on the death sentence at the United Nations (UN). 


Madam, those are the clarifications I wanted to make so that your Committee is aware of the progress being made on the various legal issues it raised in its report.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Bwalya: Madam Speaker, I thank everyone who has contributed to the debate on the Motion on the Floor and supported the Report of your Committee. I also thank those who debated passively and supported the adoption of your Committee’s report.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Question put and agreed to.




Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Government Assurances for the First Session of the Twelfth National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 30th June, 2017.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?


Mr Miti (Feira): Madam Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.


Mr Mutale: Madam Speaker, in performing its duties, your Committee was guided by its terms of reference, as set out in the Standing Orders, and considered forty-seven new assurances and sixty outstanding ones. Your Committee’s observations and recommendations on the various assurances probed are documented in its report. So, I will highlight only a few pertinent issues.


Madam, on 23rd September, 2015, the Ministry of Transport and Communication made an assurance that a project to install communication towers, and extend network coverage to unserved and underserved areas in rural areas, including chiefdoms, would be implemented, with special consideration of the need for maximisation of coverage before deciding on the location of the towers. The hon. Minister stated that Phase II of the project would fill the gaps in mobile network coverage in areas that would not be covered in Phase I. In that regard, it was stated that Kasempa would receive eleven communication towers in the following areas:


  1. Njenga;


  1. Kabila;


  1. Mukunashi;


  1. Kanongo;


  1. Kamakechi;


  1. Mpungu;


  1. Lubofu;


  1. Kelongwa;


  1. Nyoka;


  1. Ingwe; and


  1. Kamatete.


Madam Speaker, this assurance was aimed at providing communication towers in the underserved and unserved areas of Kasempa District. However, Your Committee notes that while eleven towers were earmarked for installation, only the tower for Kanongo area and its repeater have been installed, leaving a balance of ten towers. Clearly, this is not good progress. Your Committee is delighted to note that the procurement process for the remaining towers has already been finalised, but it is still concerned that it has taken inordinately long to conclude negotiations with the financier so that the project can be implemented.


Madam Speaker, besides Kasempa, there are many other areas in the country in dire need of mobile network connectivity where communication towers were earmarked to be erected, but that has not been done. That is especially so in rural areas, where people have no modern means of communicating with one another.


Madam Speaker, it is a well-known fact that telecommunication promotes business synergies by enhancing information exchange, which is critical to the social and economic activities that form the development process. As a means of sharing information, telecommunication is not simply a connection between people, but also a link in the development process, as it ultimately leads to access to health and marketing information, and all other forms of business information. Therefore, access to telecommunications should actually be a right in this modern era, as it affects every human being in every aspect of life. Having evolved from being a means for mere voice information dissemination, telecommunication technologies have become the centre of almost all human activities and knit humanity into one global village. As you may be aware, small businesses and individuals use social media, such as Facebook and WhatsApp to market or source products that they need. If made available in rural setups, access to information and technology would ultimately facilitate the much-needed development there. 


Madam, with regard to the quality of implemented projects, your Committee urges the Government to involve the officers at district level, who are the eventual end beneficiaries of the projects, in the monitoring of projects in their respective districts. Your Committee notes, with concern, that most of the works are supervised from Lusaka by officers who are hardly on the ground to ensure a high quality of products delivered. This concern of your Committee is borne out by the fact that most towers installed in rural areas have reduced coverage due to the sub-standard materials and equipment used by the contractors.


Madam Speaker, your Committee noted, with concern, that contractors take advantage of the absence of Government supervisors to use sub-standard materials and equipment in order to maximise their profits. In this regard, your Committee strongly urges the Government to make budgetary provisions for monitoring and supervision of projects by Government staff in the districts so that high quality materials are used to execute works.


Madam, your Committee urges the Government to evenly roll out the installation of communication towers across the country in order to trigger development in the rural communities through access to all important information, such as economic, political and health information, via interpersonal communication, and social and professional media on mobile networks.


Madam Speaker, the last issue I will comment on is an assurance made by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing on Wednesday, 10th December, 2014, by the then hon. Deputy Minister that, in an effort to improve the operations and training at the National Fire Service Training School, the ministry had acquired land on Kafulamase Road in Kabwe on which to construct a training school that would have modern facilities. He added that the Procurement and Supply Unit in the ministry was studying the terms of reference for consultancy services for the development of construction designs for the school.


Madam, your Committee learnt that the Zambia National Fire Service Training School in Kabwe was established on 1st April, 1968, by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. Further, Kabwe Municipal Council was mandated to run the school through the Fire Brigade by seconding fire officers as instructors. The school was intended to train and equip fire-fighters with skills to fight fires, rescue people and animals, and provide humanitarian services. The school originally catered for local and Government authorities only. However, due to the rapid pace at which developmental projects are being implemented and the need by the private sector to have some of its staff trained in fire fighting skills, the school was forced to start admitting private students as well. At some point, the school even started training students from Malawi and Botswana. However, its current state does not meet the standards required to admit international students. Further, for almost fifty years, it has been ‘squatting’ at the Kabwe Municipal Council premises where it is sharing space with the Kabwe Fire Brigade, because it has not had its own premises since 1968. That situation has interfered with the operations of the Fire Brigade because the drill yard has been monopolised by the school. In 2011, the Kabwe Municipal Council provided about 12.5 ha of land for the construction of a modern fire-fighting school, but that land is still undeveloped to date. As a result, the local community started building houses on the western side of the demarcated land, which was supposed to be unoccupied so that it could be a buffer zone between the community and the school, in respect of the fumes that were expected to be coming from the school once it was operational. Unfortunately, the land was only surveyed in August, 2016, while all the survey diagrams for the school were with the council since 2011.


Madam, your Committee was further saddened to learn that the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources had not issued the title deed for the school because the council had not formally applied for it to be issued, subject to the fulfilment of the necessary obligations, such as payment of applicable fees and timely signing of the lease agreement.


Madam Speaker, your Committee observes that the business and residential infrastructure that modern society spends a lot of money putting up is prone to destruction by fire. That infrastructure forms part of the high-cost investments and has serious economic implications for the development and prosperity of any country. As you may be aware, development is cumulative, and a nation cannot afford to lose its infrastructure to fires because rebuilding the infrastructure would gobble a big amount of money from the economy which would best be used to develop other social sectors in the country.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!                                                                              


Mr Mutale: Therefore, the importance of the fire fighting school cannot be overemphasised. It is for this reason that your Committee was disheartened to learn that a certificate of title had not been issued to the school six years from the time the land was made available. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to ensure that the Kabwe Municipal Council acquires the certificate of title expeditiously in order to deter further encroachments on the land. Further, if the land is not developed after the certificate of title is issued, there will still be a high likelihood of the land being encroached on. With this realisation in mind, your Committee urges the Government to fund the project in the 2018 Infrastructure Development Plan (IDP) so that procurement processes can commence.  


Madam Speaker, in conclusion, I thank you most sincerely on behalf of all the members of your Committee for according us the opportunity to serve on this Committee.  Further, I take this opportunity to thank all the members of your Committee for the meticulous manner in which they contributed to its deliberations. I also thank the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for their unwavering support to your Committee in its undertakings during this Session of Parliament. Lastly, but not the least, I pay tribute to all the Permanent Secretaries (PSs) and officers who made both oral and written submissions to your Committee during this Session of Parliament.


Madam Speaker, I beg to move.    


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?


Mr Miti: Now, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker, in seconding the Motion on the Floor of this august House, allow me to firstly thank the mover, Hon. Remember Chanda Mutale, Member of Parliament for Chitambo, for the articulate and elaborate manner in which he has highlighted some of the pertinent issues on which your Committee deliberated during this Session.


Madam Speaker, in accordance with its programme of work for the First Session of the Twelfth National Assembly, your Committee undertook a foreign tour to Kenya to appreciate how that country’s legislative reforms on energy were encouraging private sector participation in projects. Your Committee also wanted to learn how its sister Committee followed up assurances made by the Executive on the Floor of the House.


Madam Speaker, your Committee interacted with various stakeholders from government ministries and two Committees of the Kenyan Parliament, namely the Committees on Energy and Implementation. In its interactions with the Kenyan Ministry of Energy, your Committee learnt that the ministry’s mandate was to formulate policies in the energy sector and administer the rural electrification scheme. Further, your Committee learnt that when the Kenyan Government was elected in 2013 under the 2010 Constitution, which had been approved through a referendum, there was a legislative push in the energy sector that resulted in an unprecedented increase in power production in the country, which stood at 2,003 MW with 5.7 million or 67 per cent of households connected by May, 2017, from 2.2 million households in 2013. Further, plans were in place to attain 100 per cent access to power by all Kenyan households by 2021, when power production was projected to reach 4,397 MW. Your Committee noted that legal provisions were in place to encourage private sector participation in electricity generation under the 2015 Energy Act, which was passed in the Kenyan Parliament and Senate. Further, policies aimed at increasing local investor participation in the sector were being developed by the Ministry of Energy.


Madam Speaker, your Committee observed that any foreign investment in the Kenya energy sector was to include a local content investment plan as a matter of compliance to regulations. To that effect, the plans had to be designed in such a way that, at least, 4 per cent of the investments would benefit the locals either directly or indirectly on the downstream and upstream of the projects. Consequently, all licence applications required the submission of a local employment plan and a plan for local procurement of goods and services. That policy eventually resulted in the transfer of skills to the locals to the point where big projects are now being handled by Kenyans, hence ensuring that money remained within the country. A good example of transferred skills was observed by your Committee when it travelled to Olkaria, where all the major works in the generation of power were undertaken by Kenyans. Further, the Kenyan Senate was in the process of enacting the Local Content Bill, 2016, which proposes to ensure that investments in property benefited local communities.


Madam, after the enactment of the Kenyan Constitution in 2010, the governance structure drastically changed, resulting in enhanced citizen participation in decision-making processes. That necessitated a review of the energy sector framework with a view to aligning it with the new Constitution. Consequently, the old policies and laws needed to be aligned with the spirit and aspirations of the Constitution and several agencies were created to enable the Executive to deliver services to Kenyans and provide for the exploration of the available energy resources. The 2015 Energy Bill was set to consolidate the laws relating to energy to provide for the establishment, powers and functions of the energy sector entities.


Madam Speaker, your Committee visited some geothermal powers plants in Olkaria, where it learnt that the generation of power using natural steam tapped from active volcanic zones in the Rift Valley was a cheaper way of generating electricity with minimal maintenance costs and very little chance of failure once operational. Further, the Kenyan Government was investing more resources in renewable energy and reducing on investments in non-renewable energy such as thermal energy. The Government began to invest heavily in geothermal energy in order to curb the load-shedding which Kenya experienced when the major source of electric energy was hydropower. To encourage private investments in the subsector, the Government tasked Geothermal Development Company (GDC), a fully Kenyan Government-owned company, to develop steam fields to reduce upstream power development risks. The company reduced the risks of private investors sinking dry or unusable wells, whose cost averaged US$6 million, as it had developed the expertise of its staff to a point of guaranteeing the success of 95 per cent of all the wells sunk by the company. After the wells are sunk, private investors are invited to install their power plant and commence the generation of electricity, which is then wheeled to the Kenya Power and Lighting Company Limited (KPLC), the Kenyan equivalent of the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO), for redistribution to customers through the national grid.


Madam Speaker, if Zambia is to shield itself from such load-shedding, as we experienced from 2015 to early 2017, the Government should explore our geothermal power generation potential, firstly, because it is very low on maintenance costs in running the plants. For instance, one of the power plants of the Kenyan Electricity Generating Company Limited (KENGEN) in Olkaria, which was installed in 1981, still runs perfectly. Some experts contracted to inspect the plant reported that all the equipment that was installed in 1981 was as good as new. Further, as a bonus benefit, there are no direct monthly maintenance costs. Secondly, the power generation capacity is not affected by prevailing weather patterns. So, this source of power has proved to be very reliable, and Kenya is investing heavily in it in its quest to connect all households by 2021 and attain a generation capacity of 5,000 MW by 2030. Your Committee also notes that Kenya is moving towards the electrification of all primary schools in the country, thereby enhancing the use of computers and technology from a tender age in all schools for the benefit of the learners.


Madam Speaker, it should also be noted that Kenya generated more power than it needed and always had excess power that it could use when some power plants were under maintenance and repair, which is rarely necessary for geothermal power plants, anyway. The security of power supply in Kenya has promoted heavy foreign investment and the creation of industries that use a lot of electricity such as steel plants.


Madam, it is the hope of your Committee that private sector participation in the energy sector will be encouraged in the long run as the sector starts generating operational profits, thereby rolling out electricity connections to all parts of Zambia, especially to rural areas which will, in turn, trigger development, as companies and industries, especially in the agriculture sector, will be encouraged to set up factories in rural Zambia.


Madam Speaker, allow me to also comment briefly on one of the most contentious and debated issues currently in Zambia, namely electricity tariffs. Your Committee learned that the tariffs charged to final consumers in Kenya were cost-reflective. It is worth noting that ZESCO has started moving in that direction, with the hope being that of turning ZESCO into a self-sustaining entity and eventually transforming the sector into a profitable one. In Kenya, the sector is already profitable for private investors and is attracting a lot of private investments. Further, your Committee observed that geothermal power reduces the cost of power to the final consumer due to minimum indirect operational costs and almost no direct cost of running power plants. Currently, Kenya is rated among the best geothermal power producing countries in the world and the best in Africa. It is, therefore, the hope of your Committee that Zambia can learn about geothermal power production from Kenya which has acquired a high level of expertise in the sector over time. Your Committee also observed that Kenya’s legislative reforms on energy have been the major reason the country has done very well in electricity generation to the point that it is one of the few countries in Africa that rarely experience load-shedding.


Madam Speaker, allow me to also comment on the operations of the Kenyan equivalent of our Committee on Government Assurances which is called the Committee on Implementation. The committee works more like your Committee, except that it has the power to appropriate budgets for sector ministries, propose to the House sanctions against any Cabinet Secretary who fails to report to the relevant select Committee on implementation without justifiable reasons. The Committee on Implementation also makes inspection visits to foreign countries and undertakes local tours to ascertain the implementation status, just like your Committee. It also comments on the performance of civil servants through the Cabinet Secretaries.


Madam Speaker, with regard to the operations of your Committee in relation to its sister committee in Kenya, your Committee has the very important responsibility of ensuring that the pronouncements and assurances made on the Floor of the House are followed to the letter. Regrettably, too many assurances have been made on the Floor of this august House without being fulfilled. Those assurances excite the electorate in our constituencies and the area hon. Members of Parliament are always blamed for their non-implementation. Therefore, I urge the Government to always stick to its operational plans in tandem with the approved sector budgets because many assurances have not been honoured because adequate funds are not provided for them in accordance with the approved budgets.


Madam Speaker, with those few words, I second the Motion.


I thank you, Madam.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Madam Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to add my voice to the debate on the report of your Committee. From the outset, I wish to make it known that I support the Motion. In doing so, I will add a few points to the report on the fire training school in my constituency.


Madam Speaker, I am aware that the Government has been trying to establish a fire training school in Kabwe, but there has been a problem with the location of the school. As I speak, there is a conflict between the residents of Katondo Compound, where the school is supposed to be situated, and the Kabwe Municipal Council, which wants to clear the area of its residents so that the school can be set up. As a stakeholder, I urge the Government to find a lasting solution to the problem of displacing people to pave way for new infrastructural projects like the training school. I know of the plan to shift the Fire Brigade Station in Kabwe from the town area to that high-density area. However, it will be very difficult for fire-fighters to get out of Katondo Compound in the event of a fire in the town area because of its high population density. There are children, the elderly people and no street lights in the area. As the area Member of Parliament, I am willing to sit down with the relevant authorities and identity an alternative location more ideal for the kind of infrastructure that goes with a fire training school. There are places where the local authority can situate the school without displacing the people, and the people would appreciate that kind of development. The hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources assured us this afternoon that the Government of His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, will not delight in seeing people displaced and their houses demolished. So, I know that the working Patriotic Front (PF) Government will listen to the cries of the people of Katondo Compound, especially the old ladies who think that they will lose their homes and have nowhere to go, which would create what I can call a catastrophic situation that might be difficult to address.


Madam Speaker, if we want to prevent illegal encroachment on pieces of land meant for infrastructure like the training school, we should fence them off to prevent squatters from illegally occupying them and blocking the development of such infrastructure.


Madam Speaker, the people in my constituency claim that the area targeted for the location of the fire training school is customary land given to them by traditional leaders, while the local authority is saying that it needs to displace everybody from Kafulamase so that it can put up small holdings there. Much as the planning authorities want to implement Government assurances, they should not displace people from their land. The Urban and Regional Planning Act of 2011 should be followed. Often, people who submit their building plans to the local authorities take five years to get feedback on their applications. Such people may go ahead and build their house just to be told, five years later, their applications were not approved. I think it is high time we moved in tandem by ensuring that all stakeholders, such as councillors, Members of Parliament and the provincial administrations have full knowledge of what developments need to be undertaken. That way, Members of Parliament will not seem to be fighting against good Government projects.


Madam Speaker, with those few words, I support the Motion.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Madam Speaker, from the outset, I would like to say that I support the Motion. In doing so, allow me to make a few comments on some assurances made before this House.


Madam, on page 24, your Committee’s report states that:


“On Thursday, 24th September, 2015, the hon. Deputy Minister of Home Affairs then made an assurance before this House that the police administration block would be ready by the end of June, 2016 in North-Western Province.”


Madam, your Committee reports that the current status of the project is that the contractor has been funded and he is on site. Your Committee, then, recommends that the Government promptly honours completion certificates once they are issued by the approving authority. While I agree with the recommendation, I also think that caution has to be exercised because we have an issue in Chibombo Constituency concerning completion certificates. There is also the issue of Kawama Police Station, whose houses were built by Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), and they were perfect. However, the administration block was built by a local contractor. The completion certificate was signed two months before the Presidential and General Elections, but six months later, the administration block has been condemned and recommended for demolition. That is a wake-up call to the people responsible for signing completion certificates. They must ensure that all the details of the certifying officer are indicated so that should anything go wrong with the projects he/she certified, he/she is held accountable for their mistake, like the case is in Chimwemwe Constituency. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Copperbelt Police Commissioner, Madam Katanga, are aware that the administration block at Kawama Police Station in Chimwemwe Constituency is a death trap and that something must be done before we hear reports of it collapsing and police officers getting injured.


Madam, another assurance was made before this House on Friday, 7th December, 2012, by the then Vice-President that Mulungushi Textiles would reopen in 2013 as a fully-fledged textile factory. However, your Committee reports that, to date, the factory has not been opened. My submission on this one is that the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry takes keen interest in this issue which relates to trade. We have been seeing shopping malls coming up everywhere, but no corresponding amount of effort in the manufacturing sector of our country. We want to start buying matches made in Zambia. There has been talk of “buying Zambian”, but are we making Zambian products? Can we not even make shovels? Is there much technology involved in manufacturing shovels? We have the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) in place. What is it doing? No wonder the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Unit was removed from the agency and taken to State House. It was not doing enough on that score.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwila: Madam, we want to buy batteries made in Zambia. There is manganese in Mansa and we want Mansa Batteries to be recapitalised. Therefore, the ministry must put more effort in sourcing funds so that factories are opened for youths to get decent jobs in Zambia. We heard that the hon. Minister of Communication and Transport accessed money from the Export-Import Bank to erect communication towers. The same effort must be made by the ZDA and the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry so that things like bicycles can be assembled in Zambia like they used to be before.


Madam, the last assurance made before this House was by the then hon. Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing, who assured this House that the ministry intended to construct a multi-storey market in Solwezi District. However, your Committee reports that, to date, the ministry is still struggling to finish the designs. I am confident that the ministry will sort that out as quickly as possible. When that is done, we have a few experiences from Chimwemwe to share with the ministry because the New Nakadoli Market was constructed under similar circumstances but, after it was completed, there was a wrangle between the contractor and the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO). Upon being paid, the contractor demobilised, leaving the ZESCO bills he had incurred to be borne by those who occupied stalls in the market. That is very unfair to voters in Chimwemwe Constituency, who have been ‘crying’ to be relieved of that burden. However, to date, no action has been taken.


Madam, another experience that we had in Chimwemwe was the non-prioritisation of local traders in the allocation of market stalls. In Kitwe, priority was given to Zambians of foreign origin, which should not be the case


With those few remarks, Madam Speaker, I support the Motion.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, thank you for allowing me to respond to a few issues raised in the Motion ably moved by the mover and seconded by Hon. Miti. I will be brief.


Madam, on the construction of the North-Western Province Police Headquarters, indeed, the assurance was made and I assure Hon. Mwila that, as I speak, the contractor is on site and a lot of progress is being made. I have also taken note of the hon. Member’s concerns on the state of the administration block at Kawama Police Station in Chimwemwe Constituency. If the shoddy works were truly certified, then, we shall follow up whoever certified them and see how we can invoke some provisions in the contract. However, I doubt whether that project was done by Aviation Industry of China Corporation (AVIC) International. The hon. Member must know that AVIC International has implemented very good projects in his constituency and the officers are now accommodated in modern housing units.


Madam Speaker, on behalf of the hon. Minister of Local Government, let me talk about the fire training school in Kabwe. You may wish to know that fire services are cardinal in the local authorities. Just yesterday, you saw the …


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1800 hours until 1830 hours.




Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, when business was suspended, I was reacting to some issues highlighted in your Committee’s report and those raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Chimwemwe.


Madam Speaker, before I proceed, permit me to join the rest of the Zambian soccer fans who are enjoying watching the game between the Chipolopolo and the Taifa Stars of Tanzania, in which our team is leading by four goals to one.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: It seems our senior team is now emulating the spirit of the Zambia National Under-20 Football Team and we must commend it for that.


Madam Speaker, I have just received information that the construction of the Kawama Police Station administration block, which the hon. Member said degenerated into a bad state just after it was completed, was a community project that was funded using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and, later, handed over to the Zambia Police Service. So, it is unfortunate that resources were spent on a project that has not stood the test of time. In that regard, let me take this opportunity to urge all hon. Members of Parliament who wish to use their CDF on infrastructure projects like the construction of police posts to work with the ministry so that we agree on the design specifications and project monitoring. Among the hon. Members of Parliament who have used the CDF to fund projects that are now befitting the community. One of them is Hon. Jean Kapata.


Ms Kapata: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: If you go to Garden Park, you will see the police station she has built there using the CDF. However, in Lusaka District, the leading example in this regard is Hon. Given Lubinda who has constructed modern police buildings with impressive facilities in them. Chawama is another area in which police posts were built using the CDF and contributions by the community.


Madam Speaker, the Kawama case is a bad example of projects funded using the CDF. So, I urge hon. Members to feel free to visit our offices so that we show them how to plan for such projects, like some of us have done.


Madam Speaker, on behalf of the hon. Minister of Local Government, let me comment on the issue of the Fire Services Training School.


Madam, the core functions of fire services are to protect property, and rescue people and domestic animals. A school to provide training in this area was established in 1988, as mentioned in your Committee’s report, and the Government’s desire is to build and operationalise it. Currently, like it has been pointed out. As a former Minister of Local Government and Housing, I must mention that we had intended to start constructing the school last year but, due to financial constraints, we decided to use the money that was made available to buy fire equipment instead. My colleague will soon commission the fire tenders the Government has procured so that our firemen and women can be properly equipped to react to infernos effectively. Currently, it appears that firemen and women are failing to deal with the fires that have been gutting our installations due to a lack of equipment.


Madam Speaker, the land for the training school, which has been referred to by the hon. Member for Kabwe Central, was allocated a long time ago, and it is regrettable that the certificate of title has not been issued to date. The last time I visited the place, we agreed that the council would secure that piece of land by acquiring the certificate of title. My plea, therefore, to the hon. Member for Kabwe Central is that he helps the council to protect that land. I had engagements with the community in Katondo and we agreed that there would be no encroachments on the land. I remember that we even cleared the area at one point in readiness for the commencement of the works. So, I plead with the hon. Member for Kabwe Central not to encourage lawlessness by allowing people to encroach on that plot. Instead, he should work with the local authorities to protect the land because the school that will be built there is very important.

Madam Speaker, I have taken note of the request by the Chairperson of your Committee, Hon. Chanda Mutale, that the construction of the training school be included in the 2018 Budget. I am sure my colleague will do justice to this request.


Madam, when the school will be constructed, there will be no displacements, as suggested by my colleague. The squatters should be protected.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Member for Chimwemwe talked about the construction of a multi-storey market in Solwezi. Indeed, the plans are still on the table. However, he must understand that there were two competing needs in the town. If you went to Solwezi right now, you would find a fully-fledged and operational Civic Centre that was recently constructed. We could not start two projects at the same time because we would face the risk of the projects stalling at some point. So, all effort was put in building the Civic Centre. I am sure that very soon, the construction of the market will be considered because the town is growing at a fast rate.


Madam Speaker, Hon. Mwila further talked about Nakadoli Market. We have taken note of the issue of the electricity bill, which I think can be dealt with.


Madam Speaker, as regards the allocation of stands in Nakadoli Market, the idea was to prioritise the Zambians and the people of Chimwemwe Central in particular. As a stakeholder and people’s representative, the hon. Member can equally take an interest and work with the local authority in Kitwe to ensure that our people benefit before any other person. We accommodate people from various countries, but the citizens of Chimwemwe Constituency must be prioritised.


Madam Speaker, with those remarks, I thank you.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I believe that the hon. Minister of Home Affairs has responded on behalf of the Executive arm of the Government.


Mr Mutale: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Members of Parliament who have debated this Motion and all the members of your Committee on Government Assurances for the good work they are doing for this country.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Ema Chairperson, aba!


Question put and agreed to.




(Debate resumed)


The Minister of General Education (Dr Wanchinga): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to give the Executive’s response to the various issues raised in the report and comments made by hon. Members who debated the Motion. I also thank the mover and seconder of the Motion, and your Committee at large.


Madam Speaker, the issues raised in the report and the debate on this Motion are on four clusters, namely science and technology, education, vocational and entrepreneurship training, and action taken on the recommendations of your Committee in the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Higher Education ably made some preliminary responses to the issues in the science and technology category. Let me add a few comments.


Madam Speaker, five years ago, when I was Chief Executive of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), I appeared before your Committee with my managers and made many recommendations on how to advance science and technology. I followed up that with a small publication titled “Anchoring Zambia’s Development on Science, Technology and Innovation: Which Way for Zambia?” in 2012. I am happy to note that many of the recommendations in your Committee’s report came from that publication, which I gave to the then hon. Minister responsible for education.


Madam Speaker, a number of speakers referred to the policy chain, particularly the issue of having a coherent plan that links development effectively to science and technology which was raised by the hon. Member for Bangweulu. As the Executive, we agree that what the Government really needs to do is develop a national industrial policy to be implemented alongside the Seventh National Development Plan (7th NDP) from which we can derive a national research agenda. Only then can we articulate effectively the human resource, infrastructure, and science and technology requirements for this country and build its science infrastructure. So, your Committee’s recommendation on this subject is very appropriate and the Executive will take it up.


Madam Speaker, there was also a recommendation on funding of science and technology in the country. Indeed, according to the Abuja and Cairo declarations, we need to increase funding to research and development (R&D) activities to, at least, 3 per cent of the National Budget. However, our current funding to R&D is around 0.2 per cent of the National Budget. So, we have taken note of the recommendation and will strive to increase funding to R&D because we have realised that only countries that invested heavily in science and technology have been able to develop their economies. You may recall that countries like Malaysia and Singapore, which are now models of development and industrialisation, were at the same level of development as Zambia in 1964 when we got our Independence. However, unlike our country, they invested heavily in science and technology and leapfrogged to where they are today. So, we know the importance of investing more effectively in science and technology.


Madam Speaker, another very important recommendation of your Committee that has been noted by the Executive is on anchoring national science co-ordination structures in this country. As you know, in 1967, we established the National Council for Scientific Research (NCSR) directly under the Office of the Prime Minister. Later, the council was put under the Office of the Vice-President. However, currently, the NSTC reports to the Director of Science and Technology in the Ministry of Higher Education. In comparison, countries like Malaysia and Thailand have placed equivalent institutions under the Office of the President or the Vice-President. Even in the United States of America (USA), an Executive Order of 1994 directly put the Science Council under the President’s Office. So, we have taken note of our colleagues’ suggestions and, as the Executive, we agree with them.


Madam Speaker, coming to the issue of the national policy direction, in Japan, there is a concept called Kaizen or continuous improvement. That is why the Toyota Corolla of today ...


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Dr Wanchinga: ... will be different from next year’s, even if the difference might only be on the lenses.


Madam, after Independence, when we were faced with very difficult financial conditions, President Kaunda introduced the Import Substitution Policy and we were able to come up with products like Tip-Top. Unfortunately, we lost it along the way. However, as the Government, we have now decided to go that way again. So, I think that, in the coming years, we will see more investment in science, and a more articulated philosophy and approach to advancing science and technology. In this regard, let me mention that I am working on a ‘Marshall Plan’ or investment strategy for advancing science education in this country. The resulting document will be very important and, at some point, I will share it with the House. So, let me just say that we have taken note of the recommendations of your Committee and the submissions of the hon. Members of this House on the importance of science and technology, and pointing the direction we should take the economy of this country as we anchor it on science and technology.


Madam, a number of recommendations were made on education. However, I will comment on two or three very important ones.


Madam, we agree that we need to improve funding to our education sector, and I think that in making this recommendation, our colleagues considered the fact that, in 2015, our investment in education was 20 per cent of the National Budget while, in 2016, it was 20.2 per cent. Currently, we are at 16.5 per cent.


Madam, many international organisations to which Zambia subscribes have been urging member states to keep their levels of funding at 20 per cent, and we know that is the way to go. However, we have to balance investment in the education sector against other national needs. Certainly, we are committed to improving the quality of education, but we are also aware of how constrained we are financially.


Hon. PF Members: In conclusion!


Dr Wanchinga: Yes, very soon, I will conclude.




Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, we are very thankful to our colleagues for the suggestions they have made in the report. We also thank the hon. Members of this House who contributed to the debate on this Motion. However, let me address one disconnect that I would have loved to see addressed either by the report or in the hon. Members’ debate.


Madam Speaker, you may be aware that the Ministry of General Education has, since 2014, been running a two-tier system in which skills training and academic education are provided in parallel streams because we realised that there are children who are very good with their hands who may not have the privilege of academic aptitude. However, we want to ensure that whatever the point at which a child gets out of the education system, he/she will have a means of earning a livelihood. Unfortunately, the linkage to the technical education, and vocational and entrepreneurship training (TEVET) system was not strongly brought out, and we would like to seek more guidance from our colleagues on how we can strengthen it together with what we are doing in the education sector.


Madam, another issue that has emerged in the education sector is the relationship between health and education. We know that …


Mr Mulusa: The old man has worked today.




Dr Wanchinga: … unless a child is healthy, he/she will not perform well in school. No wonder, the issues of comprehensive sexuality and school feeding programmes, for instance, have taken centre stage in the sector.


Madam Speaker, those are my comments on some of the important recommendations made by your Committee and hon. Members. 


I thank you, Madam.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Ema GBM, aya!




Mr Sampa (Kasama Central): Madam Speaker, I thank all the hon. Members for their fruitful contribution to the debate on this Motion. I also thank the members of your Committee for their tireless effort in contributing positively to this great nation.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Question put and agreed to.






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


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1857 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 6th July, 2017.