Thursday, 29th June, 2017

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Thursday, 29th June, 2017


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












Mr Speaker: I wish to acquaint the House with the presence, in the Speaker’s Gallery, of the following hon. Members of Parliament and staff from the Parliament of Uganda.


Hon. Oshabe Patrick Nsamba, MP - Leader of the Delegation;

Hon. Ariko Herbert Edmund Okworo, MP;

Hon. Muyanja Mbabali, MP;

Mr Etrima Sunday Olishe - Senior Research Officer; and

Mr John Tamale Mirundi - Legal Officer.


On behalf of the National Assembly of Zambia, I would like to receive our distinguished guests and warmly welcome them in our midst.








Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I have a ruling to render, arising from a complaint by Mr Rasfold Bulaya, hon. Member of Parliament for Mpongwe Parliamentary Constituency, regarding his suspension from the House.


Hon. Members, I wish to inform the House that on Wednesday, 14th June, 2017, the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly received a letter from Mr Rasfold Bulaya, hon. Member of Parliament for Mpongwe Constituency. In the letter, the hon. Member expressed surprise that his name was on the list of the forty-eight suspended hon. Members of Parliament from the United Party for National Development (UPND). The hon. Member further stated that upon receiving the charge letter from the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly on 23rd March, 2017, he exculpated himself by stating that his absence from the House on Friday, 17th March, 2017, was due to the fact that he was appearing as a witness before the Mpongwe Magistrates Court in the case between the People and Gabriel Namulambe. In support of his claim, Mr Bulaya, MP, tendered a letter dated 27th March, 2017, from the Mpongwe Magistrates Court, attesting to the fact that the hon. Member attended court on that day.


Hon. Members, the complaint by Mr Bulaya, MP, raises the issue of whether an hon. Member of Parliament can attend a court session during a sitting of the House without prior permission of the Speaker or Chief Whip.


Hon. Members, Standing Order 151(1) of the National Assembly of Zambia Standing Orders, 2016, provides as follows:


“151(1)            There is hereby established the Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services comprising the First Deputy Speaker and nine other members appointed by the Standing Orders Committee.”


Paragraph (3) of the same Standing Order goes further to provide as follows:


“(3)      The Committee shall examine every case where a member has been absent from a sitting of the House or any committee without permission of the Speaker, or the Chief Whip and report whether the absence should be condoned or circumstances of the case justify that the House should, by resolution, either direct the Speaker to reprimand such member or suspend him or her from the services of the National Assembly for such a period as it may determine.”


The import of this provision is that unless it is practically impossible to do so, an hon. Member should seek prior permission before staying away from the sitting of the House or its Committees, for whatever reason.


Hon. Members, a review of the record shows that Mr Bulaya, MP, did in fact, respond to the charge letter written by the Clerk of the National Assembly on 23rd March, 2017, addressed to all the hon. UPND Members of Parliament who did not attend the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency the President. The affected hon. Members were given up to 28th March, 2017, to exculpate themselves.


In a letter dated 27th March, 2017, and received by the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly on 28th March, 2017, Mr Bulaya, MP, accordingly exculpated himself on the charge of absenteeism. In the exculpatory letter, the hon. Member explained that his absence from the House on Friday, 17th March, 2017, was as a result of his appearing as a witness before the Mpongwe Magistrates Court in the case of The People v. Gabriel Namulambe. In support of his claim, the hon. Member submitted to the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly a letter from the Mpongwe Magistrates Court confirming that he did attend court on 17th March, 2017. However, the letter was not processed conclusively at the material time.


Hon. Members, from his exculpatory letter, and the evidence adduced, it is clear that Mr Bulaya, MP, did not boycott the sitting of the House on Friday 17th March, 2017. His absence was, however, due to the fact that he was attending court on the material day.


Nonetheless, by failing to obtain the requisite permission to be absent from the House on Friday, 17th March, 2017, the hon. Member was in breach of the rules of the House and is still liable to be punished.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: However, the punishment to be imposed should not be as severe as the one imposed on him earlier on together with the forty-seven suspended Members. This is because the offence committed by Mr Bulaya, MP, is not one contemplated under Section 28(2) of the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act. Instead, the appropriate punishment is one contemplated under Section 28(1) of the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act as follows:


  1. formal warning;


  1. admonition;


  1. reprimand; and


  1. apology.


Hon. Members, having taken into consideration the circumstances that led to Mr Bulaya, MP’s absence on the material day, I am inclined to lift his suspension with immediate effect because it is disproportionate to the offence committed, as he did not boycott the State of the Nation Address by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, on Friday, 17th March, 2017. I have, instead, decided to formally warn the hon. Member in accordance with section 28(1)(a) of the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act, Cap 12 of the Laws of Zambia. That is, in future, he should not stay away from the proceedings of the House without permission from my office or, indeed, that of the Chief Whip, or else I will be compelled to impose a stiffer punishment.


In view of the foregoing, I hereby further amend my ruling of 13th June, 2017, to exclude the hon. Member for Mpongwe Constituency from the list of the forty-seven hon. Members of Parliament who were suspended for boycotting the State of the Nation Address by the President on 17th March, 2017. I further direct the Clerk of the National Assembly to ensure that the records are amended accordingly.


I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Ashuka!








The Minister of Defence (Mr Chama): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me yet another opportunity to present a ministerial statement on the status of deploying Zambia National Service (ZNS) troops in the anti-smuggling operations of maize grain and maize products.


Sir, the ZNS is a wing of the Defence Forces that is mandated to train citizens to serve the Republic, develop infrastructure, enhance national food security and contribute to socio- economic development. It is with this background that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia directed that the ZNS be engaged in the monitoring of the movement of maize and its products in the country so as to curb smuggling which had become a threat to national food security. It is for this purpose that the Zambia National Service troops were deployed in all the regions of the country.


Mr Speaker, from the time the operations began in March, 2016, maize, mealie meal and vehicles were confiscated and forfeited to the State through legalised channels. This resulted in the availability of mealie meal on the market, stabilisation in the price of mealie meal and improved food security.


Sir, the confiscated commodities were disposed of by the courts of law. Of these, 7,534 x 25 kg bags of mealie meal and 267 x 50 kg bags maize were handed over to the Zambia Correctional Services.


Mr Speaker, despite the above-mentioned achievements, the ZNS encountered some challenges during the course of duty, among them:


  1. insufficient manpower to man the long porous borders around the country;


  1. a lack of support from some stakeholders in disposing off some impounded commodities, resulting in delays in the whole process;


  1. a lack of legislation to enable the ZNS to dispose of some commodities so as to speed up the process; and


  1. inadequate laws to deal with the forfeiture of vehicles which, in most cases, resulted in the same vehicles being used repeatedly for smuggling by the perpetrators of the vice.


Mr Speaker, the ZNS troops have since been withdrawn from all the areas of operation due to the bumper harvest that the country has experienced this farming season. However, some officers have stayed behind in some areas specifically to guard the vehicles which were impounded, awaiting the disposal of the cases by the courts of law.

I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chibanda (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister break down the numbers of the impounded bags of mealie-meal and maize, province by province.


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, I am unable to provide that information at the moment, but I can provide it at a later date.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, as a matter of guidance, when a ministerial statement is given, it is an occasion for points of clarification. I should have mentioned this earlier. I have said before that hon. Ministers are not encyclopaedias.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, does the ministry have plans to return the impounded trucks?


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, we have no intentions of returning the trucks. The cases have been disposed of in the courts of law. So, once the trucks are forfeited to the State, they are auctioned in accordance with the law.


I thank you, Sir.


Amb. Malanji (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, were the vessels impounded at the discretion of the Zambia Police Service and the Zambia National Service (ZNS) or is there a Statutory Instrument (I) in place?


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, there is a law in place that mandates forfeiture of vessels that have been used in smuggling of goods.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Zimba (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that there was no co-operation from the stakeholders. Who are the stakeholders and what were the reasons for not co-operating?


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, the stakeholders include the smugglers who we arrested. Some of them have run away and abandoned their vehicles.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Mr Speaker, one of the challenges the hon. Minister cited is the lack of manpower. Is the ministry planning to employ more officers from the Zambia National Service?


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, there was no provision for recruitment in the 2017 Budget. Only the Ministries of Health and General Education received a budget for recruitment. We envisage a provision for recruitment for the Ministry of Defence and all the Defence Forces in the 2018 Budget.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr C. Zulu (Luangeni): Mr Speaker, it looks like the Zambia National Service (ZNS) did a better job than the Zambia Police Service. What did the ZNS do differently?


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, the ZNS supplemented the good work of the Zambia Police Service. The operations were successful because of the collaboration.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kunda (Muchinga): Mr Speaker, there have been complaints from the members of the public relating to the disposal of the forfeited mealie meal and maize. What measures have been put in place to avoid such complaints?


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, all the vessels and maize that were confiscated are being disposed of through the courts of law. At the moment, there are a number of pending cases in the courts of law. We do not confiscate and dispose of the items until the courts make a ruling on the respective cases. However, some people run away. That is how we can tell that they are smugglers. When the owner of the maize or mealie meal does not return to claim it, we have to dispose of it before it goes to waste.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr A. C. Mumba (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I am aware that following the impounding of smuggled maize and mealie meal, the hon. Ministers of Defence and Home Affairs conducted a tour of the country. There were many incidents of smuggling at Mukambo Border post in my constituency. However, we have received reports that some of the major smugglers of mealie meal are police officers. How is the hon. Minister’s office treating such cases? Can he cite an example of any disciplinary action that has been taken against the culprits, particularly in my constituency.


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, all the cases relating to officers, either in the Zambia Police Service or Zambia National Service (ZNS), who were cited for their involvement in the smuggling of maize and mealie meal, were handled according to the Government’s disciplinary code. I can assure you that all the cases received the attention of the authorities. We collaborated with the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure that all the culprits were dealt with.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ng’ambi (Chifubu): Mr Speaker, part of the mealie meal was confiscated from people’s homes in one of the townships called Kawama in my constituency. This caused an outcry in the community. Is the mealie meal that was confiscated within Zambia part of the consignment that was forfeited to the State?


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, the investigations that were carried out in collaboration with the Zambia Police Service pointed to someone who was implicated in the smuggling of maize. The suspect was followed to where he was storing some of the products. I think this is the case the hon. Member is referring to. I cannot elaborate further because I do not know how that matter was concluded by the Ministry of Home Affairs.


I thank you, Sir.




The Minister of Higher Education (Prof. Luo): Mr Speaker, I wish to take this opportunity this afternoon to sincerely thank you for giving me this rare opportunity to update the nation on a topical issue regarding bursary support to first year students at the University of Zambia (UNZA) for the 2016/ 2017 academic year.


Mr Speaker, as you know, this issue has continued to raise a lot of concerns here in Parliament, amongst parents, members of the public and even more the students who require bursary support.


Mr Speaker, you will recall that when I addressed the issue of bursary support to the university students and other institutions of higher learning in this House in February, 2017, I emphasised that the Student Loan Scheme was not going to be implemented this year. I also stated that it would only be operational in January, 2018 because we needed to put in place certain systems and requisites that are important in delivering an efficient student loan system.


Mr Speaker, countries where loan schemes have been implemented had to go through a rough road in order to come up with a robust system. In addition, we wanted to appoint a loans board that would oversee the overall administration of the loan scheme. Furthermore, we need to restructure the Bursaries Committee that should operationalise the Student Loan and Scholarship Scheme.


In summary, Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this House that my ministry is on course because it has since appointed the Students Loans Board and has started restructuring the Bursaries Committee which will respond to the challenges of the Students Loans Scheme.


Mr Speaker, this afternoon, I will focus on bursaries for first year students in the 2016/2017 Academic Year. I am sure hon. Members are aware that this year this programme has been riddled with a number of challenges. There have been alleagtions that we are corrupt in the way we handle the issue of bursaries. Before I go any further, let me take this opportunity to talk about why we had some problems. 


Sir, UNZA enrolled about 6,439 students when it knew that the ministry had only budgeted for 2,000 students. It is for this reason that it became imperative that I come to this august House to give a ministerial statement to inform the nation that the ministry had only enough funds to support 2,000 students. Therefore, instead of giving bursaries to students haphazardly, we decided to clean up our data system so as to synchronise it with the data that we received from UNZA.


Mr Speaker, after this exercise, it was established that 1,028 students were already in our system as had already benefited from the bursary scheme. So, they were not eligible for bursaries because they had probably failed and were repeating some subjects. The policy is that if a student is repeating some students, he/she is not eligible for bursary support. We also discovered that 511 students were already receiving bursary support under the Copperbelt University (CBU) and that 428 students were non-school leavers who had completed school long before 2013. According to the policy in the ministry, the students were not eligible for bursary support. I should hasten to say that we revised the policy to allow all the students to benefit. This left us with a total of 3,983 eligible school leavers for consideration for bursary support. As I had said earlier, the ministry had only budgeted for 2,000 students.


Mr Speaker, we managed to award bursaries to 2,009 students, representing 50.4 per cent of the total eligible applicants. So, we were left with 1,974 school leavers and 428 non-school leavers, bringing the total to 2,402 students. In order to consider all the 2,402 students, we engaged the hon. Minister of Finance to ask for more financial support. When cleaning up the data, we found that out of the 2,402 students, only 1,915 had appealed for consideration because some of the applicants had managed to pay the fees. This shows that they could afford the fees.


Mr Speaker, some of the applicants had discontinued their studies at UNZA and opted to go to other institutions of learning. I wish to report that we managed to get more support from the Ministry of Finance which made it possible for us to support 544 students in March, 2017 and 442 students in May, 2017. We also supported 135 students in June, 2017. In total, 1,041 students had appealed. 


Mr Speaker, among the appellants were probably fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh years students who were unable to pay the fees. We felt that it would be a pity for a student to drop out of medical school in the seventh year. There were also engineering and agriculture students who were in a similar situation. These students were given bursary support.


Mr Speaker, about 76 per cent of the applicants got bursary support.


Sir, I wish to conclude my address by thanking the hon. Minister of Finance for the support and for giving me a listening ear whenever I went to talk to him about the number of students who were camped outside my office. I also wish to thank him for the support he gave to the 206 students who were about to complete their studies, especially those that were taking up science subjects.

Mr Speaker, let me take this opportunity to address students at UNZA and the nation at large. Bursary support is not a right, but a privilege. Therefore, when the Government offers students support, they are expected to go to the university to do what is expected of them. They should realise that the university is a centre of knowledge and should be the biggest adviser to the country and the Government at large. Therefore, they should not disrupt the academic activities at the university.


Mr Speaker, I wish to appeal to my fellow parents to take the behaviour of their children at UNZA seriously, we are giving their children an opportunity that should be treasured. This is an opportunity that cannot be regained once lost.


 Sir, I also wish to take advantage of this opportunity to say that the allocation of bursaries was not marred by any corruption. We set up a committee of people outside the university from Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED), Zambia National Education Coalition (ZANEC) and the Ministry of General Education to preside over the allocation of the bursaries.


Mr Speaker, the reason people come to this House to talk about corruption is that some of them are linked to the students who collect money from fellow students, in the pretext of knowing some people who can find them a bursary. There was nobody they could talk to this year, as they did not know where the bursaries were being awarded from. The students have since been arrested and will appear in court so that this vice is brought to an end. I want them to mention everybody they have been dealing with and some of the people with the loudest mouths may find themselves caught up in the web.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


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


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, I am grateful to the hon. Minister for this wonderful statement that has clarified issues relating to bursary support.


Mr Speaker, there are students in our constituencies who have been affected by the lack of bursary support. The hon. Minister mentioned that the University of Zambia (UNZA) had overenrolled and that the initial budgetary allocation was meant for 2000 students only. However, some students were allowed to attend class before the bursaries were allocated. So, they were sad when they were unable to obtain bursary support. Some of them could have taken their lives. What are we doing to ensure that enrolment figures at the university are determined by the amount of support it receives from the Government in order to avoid the sort of shock that was experienced by the who were allowed to attend class before the bursaries were awarded and  only to be asked to leave afterwards?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, let me correct the impression that has been created. Nobody allowed the students to attend class before they got bursary support.

Mr Speaker, UNZA has become too big and probably unmanageable. We are working on other modalities to make it a bit more manageable. So, nobody allowed the students to attend class. It is due to the nature of the institution that people did not realise that the students were actually attending class. So, I wish to correct the misconception because this disquiet was brought to this august House that students were allowed to attend class.


 Sir, I stated earlier on that because we had students who had remained unsupported, I had to go back to the hon. Minister of Finance to ask for extra resources which he did, hence the extra numbers of students who have been supported that I read out. In fact, some of them appealed for bursaries despite having the capacity to pay the fees. The only students we have not been able to support yet are slightly below 200.


Mr Speaker, let me also take advantage of this question to say that my ministry has decided to ensure that we allocate quarters so as to give an opportunity to students from rural areas who have no idea about how to access bursary support. In the next few months, we shall carry out a survey and analyse the statistics on pupils in different parts of the country so that as many pupils as possible are supported, especially those taking science subjects since we want to diversity our economy into agricultural industrialisation. We need scientists to be able to meet this desire.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Zimba (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, the increase in the enrolment figures, from the budgeted for 2,000 to 6,439, are alarming. Was the ministry unaware that enrolment was going on? What measures are being put in place to ensure this is not repeated?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, when the ministry is expected not to interfere in the management of institutions that are autonomous, this is the problem that arises. To this effect, one of the measures that I have taken is to meet up with vice-chancellors and principals and their management teams once every month to ensure that we move in tandem and for them to know that their autonomy is limited because the institutions are grant-aided and they are, therefore, answerable to the Ministry of Higher Education.


We are also introducing entry examinations. I have had an opportunity to look at the results of students. It is not possible that all the students can get distinctions in every subject. Sometimes, I wonder whether the students of today are more intelligent than those of yesterday. The answer is no. So, I am inclined to link this with the reports of examination papers being leaked. We need to take a second scrutiny of the students. Every prospective university and college student will be subjected to an entry examination so that we only admit crème de la crème into our institutions.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, we have seen that public institutions of learning do not have the capacity to absorb all the school leavers. This has been the problem and may be the reason for the over-enrolment at the University of Zambia (UNZA). When is Student Loan Scheme is introduced, will it be extended to private institutions of learning since most of them have high enrolment figures nowadays, but the challenge is that most students cannot afford the fees?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, when the Student Loan Scheme is introduced, all institutions of higher learning in the country will be eligible. However, not all the students who are admitted to university will be eligible to the loan. We are devise a system of selecting those who merit receiving the loan because, as I said earlier on, some of students are none performers. The loan will be for performers only. Private universities have their own challenges. One of these days I will give a ministerial statement on our views on private universities. We actually need to clean up the entire Higher Education System. So, the entire Higher Education System should be cleaned up so that we have an education system that will not only produce quality graduates, but also stand the taste of time …


Mr Mwale: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: … and contribute to the economic performance of the country.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ng’ambi (Chifubu): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has stated that the University of Zambia (UNZA) overenrolled up to 6,000 students. She also said that some students were not allowed to continue with their studies when they had been allocated computer numbers and their names were appearing in the university register. I would like to find out if the ministry is considering carrying forward the students who are not going to be offered bursaries this year.


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I am sure a number of us have applied to universities before. The fact that I have a letter of acceptance to a university and have been allocated a computer number does not mean that I can go into that university and attend even when I have not paid the fees. You only become a student of the university when you have paid the fees and are registered as a student. That is how the system works. So, only the students who registered were true students of the university. I have also belaboured the fact that despite the disturbance in the enrolment, the ministry worked hard to get more money to get some of the affected students into the university. Only about hundred students have not been given bursary support. I do not want a recurrence of this situation because it has been a painstaking task I have told the universities to try to scale down and review their application and admission criterion so that only students with very good results are taken on. In the past, universities would never admit students with eighteen or twenty points. The least number of points was fifteen. Why should we be taking on students with eighteen points?


Mr Speaker, let me also mention that universities are into the business of making money from student fees. There is over-enrolment because there is a belief that universities can make money from student fees to pay lecturers.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: Universities should make money from the activities that take place there because in universities is where we have the crème de la crème that engage in research and raise money from research activities. Universities engage in technology and innovation and should make money from that. For instance, universities can come up with business ventures related to technology in order to raise money. We are working towards moving universities away from thinking that they can make money from school fees to pay their staff. The reason the Government owes universities a lot of money is that they have not been operating as universities. For instance, a university lecturer has a class at 0800 hrs and, by 0900 hrs to 1000 hrs, he/she is on her/his way to the Zambian Open University for another class. University lecturers are not supposed to do that. When they are not teaching, they are supposed to be researching. When they are not researching, they are supposed to offer consultancy services and part of the money raised is supposed to go to the university. They are also supposed to be involved in innovative and critical thinking. I will soon start requesting for support in providing training in critical thinking so that we can restore the status of universities.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kalobo (Wusakile): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the well-articulated statement. However, I wish to find out the initial target number of students who will benefit from the Student Loans Scheme.


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I will come back to the House to talk about target figures because, at the moment, we are raising money for the loan scheme. We are talking to our co-operating partners and private institutions. Thus, I will be able to state the figures at an opportune time.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Mr Speaker, in response to the question by the hon. Member for Kaputa, the hon. Minister of Higher Education made reference to a quarter system. I would like to find out whether the quarter system will factor in historical data on regions that have benefited more from the Bursary System so that preference is given to provinces such as Northern, Muchinga and North-Western.


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, ...




Prof. Luo: ... I have always said that in universities and schools there are no ‘dogs’ that chase away certain individuals while others remain in school. I think every Zambian is entitled to benefit from the programme we are implementing. I will not look at historical data, but I will look ahead. The only defining factor will be the statistics and reports from the career guidance staff whom we are going to employ to go round the schools. We would like to cast the net wide and benefit from the intelligencer. So, if I start referring to historical data, I am going to limit our catchment. As hon. Minister of Higher Education, I want to capture all the intelligencer in this country.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Dr Chibanda (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the well-articulated statement. She has clearly given the Government’s position on bursaries. What is the position of the Bursaries Committee on students who have been sponsored by the corporate world like the mines into the university?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, having been able to work and interact with people in many countries, I can confirm that Zambia has been given a raw deal from the so-called private sector. I do not think the private sector has played its role in supporting education in our country, particularly institutions of higher learning. To this effect, I have started having meetings with some Europeans who are running businesses in the country so as to create a partnership with them and they appreciate that they have as much responsibility as we have in the education of students because they are the beneficiaries of the people who are studying in our institutions. Yes, the corporate world will be part of this whole system. However, I would like this to be done systematically so that we capture both the beneficiary students in our system. We shall also put in place a tracking system so that we know where they will be after graduating and how they will pay back the loans. These are discussions we are having with the private sector, including the mines.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, I have listened very carefully to the statement. Like the hon. Minister has always said, universities all over the world are not just involved in teaching. For instance, they are also involved in research and many other activities that help them raise funds. There are many mines in Zambia and companies that depend on the university and its staff for technological advancement in science and other areas. Are there regulations such as a Statutory Instrument (SI), for instance, that compels all Government ministries, private businesses and the mines to take advantage of the available resources in universities so that part of the monies they generate from their activities are channeled towards the Higher Education Loan Schemes?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, in the first sitting of Parliament, the hon. Minister of Finance brought a Bill to the House entitled, “Human Resource Development Skills Levy”. That answers the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwe Central’s question. My ministry and the Ministry of Finance worked out this Bill as a way to compel everybody to contribute to higher education in this country. In case the hon. Member did not see the Act, I can avail him a copy.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, I would like to commend Hon. Prof. Luo for the usual forward looking and energetic approach to her work. However, I would like to respond to what she said about the importance of research in higher learning institutions. In his Speech for the Official Opening of this Parliament, His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, talked about the need for technological innovation. He said that he would like to see the hand hoe eliminated by the 2030.


Sir, agriculture, forestry, water, mining, engineering and many other sectors are yearning for innovation from the higher learning institutions and researchers. In neighbouring countries like South Africa, we see universities sustaining themselves purely from royalties and patents on innovations which they are creating all the time. In our country, the last innovations were the tip top drink, masuku wine and milk biscuits somewhere around 1978. We have not heard about them despite the huge budgetary allocations towards the innovations. Does the hon. Minister have any plan to come back to this House and inform us about the measures the ministry is taking to ensure that institutions of higher learning and researchers, who are maintained at the universities at a great cost, come up with some innovations for the benefit of our economy?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, although the hon. Member has departed from my topic for this afternoon, I will give him a bonus answer. At the moment, we are restructuring some of the research institutions because they have not been performing. I announced through the press that boards of some institutions have been dissolved. We have identified Kabwe Institute of Technology as one of the incubation centres for technology.


Sir, we are also looking at how universities can do more research by amending certain parts of the Higher Education Act. At an opportune time, I will bring the amendments to this House so that hon. Members can appreciate some of the changes we made to the Act that will make it possible to change some of the activities at the University of Zambia (UNZA).


Mr Speaker, in my ministry is a statutory body known as the Technology and Business Council. It is a pity its performance has been slow. However, we have taken a swipe at that institution so that it can do more. There are many innovations that need further incubation and then they can be linked to the industry. The hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources talked about the production of the Mukula Tree by the Copperbelt University (CBU).


Ms Kapata: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: We now have quite a number of Mukula plants and are trying to propagate more through the laboratory. We are doing the same with plant species like chikanda and mumbu that are almost extinct. All this is being done at our universities. Thereafter, we can link them to industry. Furthermore, we have had a challenge of making research part of the activities of the university and that is what we are working on.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Musonda (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the Government for its initiative to ensure that the Grade 12 school leavers get into higher institutions of learning. It is said that Zambia is a young country because there is a high proportion of the young to the old. Having said this, the Government should strive to give all the Grade 12 school leavers who qualify to higher institutions of learning the opportunity to study. Does the Government have a plan to increase the absorption capacity of universities and other institutions of learning as opposed to controlling the absorption rate through a cut-off point system? What do we do with pupils who actually pass, but cannot get into university?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, let me inform this hon. House that not everyone can pass Mathematics and English which are prerequisites to university entry. For this reason, there are colleges and trade schools that admit students who cannot qualify to university. In the amended Act, we proposed to introduce polytechnics and other institutions.


Sir, I also wish to take advantage of this question to inform the House that my ministry will adopt a totally different system of education in addition to the existing partnership with the Ministry of General Education. Some people do not make it to the university because they are not academically gifted skill. However, they may have beautiful voices. So, we should have a college in this country or a faculty in a university that will promote music. Some people are good at theatre arts. So, I intend to introduce colleges and an approach to learning where people can explore their potential and become theatre artists. Very soon, a delegation from my ministry will be travelling to Nigeria and Ghana to learn how they have developed their theatre arts industry because it is something that we would like to start by 2018.


Mr Speaker, some people are good with their legs.




Prof. Luo: I would like to have a school where such people can go and learn how to dance and make a career in dancing.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: This is the approach we are taking.




Mr Malanji: Like Jean Kapata!


Prof Luo: Like Hon Kapata, yes.


Ms Kapata: Ah!




Ms Kapata: Point of order!


Prof Luo: On me?




Prof Luo: We also intend to open such facilities in secondary schools to give pupils two extra years of training to acquire a diploma. Grade 7 and Grade 10 school leavers can go into such schools and acquire certificates.


In our industries, simple welding jobs are done by foreigners. We are told that there is no capacity in this country. I would like to create capacity in our people to do welding jobs and operate heavy equipment and machinery. This is what I would like to introduce. I hope that this can be done as soon as the systems and the law are in place. I hope that the amendments will brought in the next sitting of Parliament so that we set the ball rolling.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. Cousin …




Dr Malama: I mean the hon. Minister of …


Prof Luo: Your teacher!


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Ema former teacher, aya!


Dr Malama: Mr Speaker, Zambia has identified agriculture as one of the major drivers of the economy. However, in our wards, there is an acute shortage of extension officers. In the Student Loan Scheme that has been introduced, have we apportioned a significant amount towards the training of students in agriculture?


Prof Luo: Mr Speaker, I would like to share with the hon. Member of Parliament whom I had the pleasure to teach as a medical student …




 Prof Luo: … that the Ministry of Higher Education has put a high premium on skills development.


Amongst the people that we shall be providing skills to are those in the agriculture sector. In fact, some of them will be trained by some schools that we have proposed to open. Furthermore, most secondary schools in areas like Mkushi will offer an extra two year programme for skills development. Zimbabwe has introduced this system and it has really sustained skills development in that country.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Daka (Msanzala): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister talked about scholarships for university students. I would like to find out what the ministry is doing about scholarships for trades schools, which fall under its ambit. 


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I will have the privilege of giving the House a bit more training after this. The hon. Member for Msanzala is right behind me but he did not hear what I said. 




Prof. Luo: The Ministry of Finance, in partnership with the Ministry of Higher Education, after passing the 2017 Budget, developed the Human Resource Skills Development Levy. The major institutions in skills development in this country are trades training institutions, including Ukwimi in Msanzala Constituency. 


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, the introduction of entry examinations into colleges and universities is a progressive development. I would like to find out what measures have been put in place to ensure that the entry examinations, like the Grade 12 Examinations, are not leaked?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, we are working very hard to create a system that will remove the human element from examinations. We want them to be computer-generated. Two weeks ago, I was very pleased to learn that the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) has a progressive computer system with a database that we can use to develop questions and store them. Apparently, the system prevents hacking. So, leakages will also be cut off. We are exploring this potential of working in partnership with ZICTA.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.







279. Mr Mutale (Chitambo) asked the Vice-President:


  1. what the total number of farms developed by settlers in Katikulula Resettlement Scheme in Chitambo was;


  1. whether the Government had any plans to electrify Phases I, II and III of the resettlement scheme;


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


  1. when the construction of schools and clinics in the resettlement scheme would commence.


The Minister in the Office of the Vice-President (Ms Chalikosa): Mr Speaker, by the end of 2016, a total of 1,070 farms in Katikulula Resettlement Scheme in Chitambo District were under development.


The Government’s plan is to ensure that all resettlement schemes in the country, including all the three phases of Katikulula Resettlement Scheme, are electrified. The implementation of the plan for Katikulula Resettlement Scheme is ongoing. This includes the electrification of Phases I, II and III of the resettlement scheme. The electrification will be done by the Rural Electrification Authority (REA), once funds are made available.


As regards the commencement of the construction of schools and clinics, you may wish to know that one school, out of the planned three, is already established and operational. Out of the planned three health posts, the construction of one clinic has been completed. What is remaining is the commissioning so that the health post can be operational. The Government’s plan is to complete all the planned activities as resources are made available. 


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, it has taken time to establish the facilities at Katikulula Resettlement Scheme. As a result, at has become a challenge for many settlers to live there. Consequently, they have resorted to selling their pieces of land to foreigners. My question is: What is the Government doing to provide facilities for the people of Katikulula Resettlement Scheme?


Ms Chalikosa: Mr Speaker, firstly, the Government does not allow the selling of land in any resettlement scheme. Therefore, if there is any activity of such a nature, it should be reported to my office. Otherwise, there is no provision for selling land in resettlement schemes.


Sir, secondly, we are engaging the line ministries to provide the required social amenities. We have realised that resettlement schemes have been left behind in terms of development. However, they are now part of the development process, as we have engaged line ministries such as General Education to look into the issue of providing schools, Health to provide health centres, Commerce, Trade and Industry to provide markets and Energy to speed up the process of electrification. Therefore, this is an on-going process and the Government is committed to ensuring that it is implemented.


 I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Order!


 Is the hon. Member for Chitambo coming up with a follow-up question?


 Mr Mutale: Yes, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker, I have not been given the timeframe within which the people of Chitambo should expect some activity in the resettlement scheme.


 Ms Chalikosa: Mr Speaker, I mentioned that this is an on-going programme. I also said that the Government will actively pursue this issue as resources are made available.


 I thank you, Mr Speaker.




280. Mr Chiyalika (Lufubu) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development when the construction of the following infrastructure in Ngabwe District would be completed:


  1. staff houses;


  1. post office;


  1. civic centre;


  1. district administration block; and


  1. police station.


The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Chitotela): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that all the staff houses have been roofed and plastered. All things being equal, the construction of the house is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2017.


Sir, the contract for the construction of the post office was recently terminated. The contractor has since challenged the termination and the matter is being looked into by my ministry. Funds permitting, the construction of the post office is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.


Mr Speaker, the contract for the construction of the civic centre was terminated and the process of engaging another contractor to finish the works is underway. Funds permitting, the project is expected to be completed by December, 2017.


Sir, the contract for the construction of Ngabwe District Administration has been recommended for termination due to poor performance by the contractor. The completion date will be known after the engagement of a new contractor. The construction of the police station and ten associated houses are at an advanced stage and is expected to be completed by December, 2017.


Sir, in anticipation of a follow-up question, I wish to inform the House that my ministry will be paying the latest interim certificates, which it received from the contractors who are engaged in the district infrastructure development. All the infrastructure development in Ngabwe could be completed by the end of this year because we do not have challenges of termination of contracts.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Chiyalika: Mr Speaker, I am somewhat worried about the lack of monitoring of projects by the ministry because some contractors abandoned projects last year and there is nothing happening to date. I, therefore, suspect that this could be a similar situation with some projects in other parts of the country. May I know who is responsible for this?


 Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, in my ministry is a department called Public Infrastructure, which used to be called Directorate of Buildings, that is responsible for monitoring projects. So, we are responsible for monitoring all public infrastructure developments that are taking place across Zambia.


Sir, I stated that one contract was terminated. The Provincial Public Infrastructure Officer has recommended the termination of the second contract because the contractor is not performing as expected. The third contract was terminated, but the contractor has requested for a second chance. If he is given a second chance, we need to get reassurance from him that the project will go beyond December, 2017.


Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether there are officers at the district level who supervise projects because it takes long for contracts to be terminated.


 Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member should know that the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development is a new ministry that was created in November last year. It took over a department called Directorate of Buildings which was under the then Ministry of Works and Supply. This Government wants Zambians to have value for money. So, we want to come up with a new structure for the ministry. This was presented before the Cabinet and was approved.


Sir, it does not make business sense to certify works which the ministry does not supervise on a daily basis. So, the Cabinet has approved the creation of a new structure that will comprise positions of District Buildings and Roads Officers who will be responsible for the daily supervision of all infrastructure development in the district. I, therefore, expect the House to support the proposed budget for my ministry for 2018 to enable us to adopt the new structure and employ more staff at district level to enhance the supervision of all public infrastructure developments.


 Mr Speaker, I thank you.








Mr A. C. Mumba (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Communications, Transport, Works and Supply for the First Session of the Twelfth National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on 27th June, 2017.


Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?


Mr Zimba (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.   


Mr A. C. Mumba: Sir, in performing its duties, your Committee was guided by its terms of reference as set out in the Standing Orders of 2016. During the year under review, your Committee undertook a study of the prevention of road traffic accidents and the management of railway transport. Further, it considered the Action-Taken Report on your Committee’s report for the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly. Your Committee also undertook a local tour of Muchinga, Central, Lusaka and Southern provinces and a foreign tour to Tanzania.


Sir, road traffic accidents are ranked the third highest cause of death after Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and malaria in Zambia. Many road traffic accidents have happened on Zambian roads and hardly a month passes without news of an accident and many lives having been lost.


Mr Speaker, according to the 2015 Global Status Report on Road Safety produced by the World Health Organisation (WHO), road traffic accidents in low and middle-income countries are estimated to cause economic loss of up to 5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP). Globally, an estimated 3 per cent of GDP was lost due to road traffic accidents.


Sir, it was for the reasons stated above that your Committee decided to carry out a study to establish the causes of road traffic accidents and ways of preventing them. Following the study, your Committee observes that human behaviour such as excessive speed, failure to judge distance and driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs are the major causes of road traffic accidents. Your Committee further observes that road traffic accidents place a major social and economic toll on families and the healthcare sector of the country. In addition to the loss of lives of economically-active people and injury inflicted on accident victims, there are costs related to funeral expenses, the treatment of accident victims and the repair of infrastructure and damaged vehicles.


Mr Speaker, in light of the above-mentioned observations, your Committee recommends widespread and intensified sensitisation of members of the public on the dangers of road traffic accidents and the importance of adhering to road safety practices. It is important to introduce regulations to curb over-speeding using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and other Information and Communication Technology (ICT) monitoring devices. The use of GPS technology to monitor the speed of vehicles will help to ensure that public service vehicles are not driven at excessive speed. Your Committee further recommends the implementation of an on-the-spot testing for alcohol and drug using breathalysers. Those found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs should be apprehended.


Sir, your Committee recommends the timely amendment of the Road Traffic Act to ensure that the mandatory requirement by the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) to conduct road safety audits and mandatory review and authorisation of all road-related infrastructure development undertaken by the Road Development Agency (RDA) and local road authorities are carried out. The Government should take the above-mentioned recommendations seriously in order to prevent road traffic accidents and save lives and property.


Sir, in 2014, the nation was assured that the Government would put in place various measures to revamp the railway transport sector so that it could contribute to the movement of bulky goods, thereby preserving the road infrastructure. It was for this reason that your Committee decided to undertake a study of the railway sector to examine whether any improvements had been made.


Mr Speaker, following its study, your Committee observes that the Government is still faced with challenges in the management of railway transport. Generally, the two railway operators do not have enough rolling stock and track capacity to provide the required services. Your Committee observes that although the Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) had received a Eurobond capitalisation of US$120 million, it is struggling to function due to low business turnover and the burden of debt incurred due to poor fuel management, the rehabilitation and maintenance of railway infrastructure and payment of terminal benefits for retired employees.


Sir, the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) is also faced with low business turnover and debt incurred for infrastructure rehabilitation and maintenance. It was disheartening for your Committee to tour the TAZARA Workshop in Mpika, which is now a shell of itself. Most of the tools in the workshop are obsolete, making it impossible to carry out any meaningful repairs on the many train engines that are broken down. Your Committee was equally concerned to learn about the plight of retired employees who were living in abject poverty due to the nonpayment of their terminal benefits.


Sir, your Committee notes that although the country has a number of competing needs, the railway sector requires adequate injection of capital to make it viable. Once the sector is recapitalised, it will help to ease the pressure on the roads, as most of the goods will be transported by rail, resulting in the roads being kept in a good condition and having a longer life span. This will further result into a reduction in the number of road traffic accidents.


Sir, your Committee also observes that railway companies are experiencing problems because they have a mammoth task of both managing and operating railway lines. This is a very costly exercise. In order to deal with this predicament, your Committee recommends that the Government expedites the presentation of a Bill to Parliament, proposing the creation of the National Railway Development Authority. The creation of the authority will result in a split between the maintenance and development sections of railway infrastructure. The current railway parastatal companies will be restricted to railway operations, whilst the new agency will take care of the maintenance, rehabilitation and development of railway infrastructure.


Mr Speaker, the above institutional reforms will provide the railway operators an enabling environment for competitive costing of their services against operators in the road sector. It is also envisaged that this will attract the private sector companies to invest in railway transportation.


Mr Speaker, to ensure efficient management of the railway sector, your Committee recommends that the Government has a budget line in the National Budget for railway rehabilitation, maintenance and development. This measure will enable the railway operators to competitively offer their services relative to the road transport sector and make them attractive to more customers with the possibility of increasing their market share.


Sir, the Ministry of Works and Supply briefed your Committee on the deteriorating condition of State House which is more than eighty years old. State House has deteriorated to alarming levels. The Government has spent huge amounts of money on piecemeal maintenance works, but this has not helped the situation. Apart from being old and damaged, the building is not able to cater for various State functions, as there is no conference room and banquet hall. This has resulted in the Government incurring huge expenses on the hire of these facilities. During its tour of State House, your Committee also observed that the extent of the damage was not only appalling, but also life threatening.


Mr Speaker, your Committee, therefore, recommends the building of a new State House that is large enough to cater for State functions.


In conclusion, Sir, let me take this opportunity to thank all the stakeholders for their co-operation during your Committee’s deliberations. Your Committee further wishes to thank the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the advice rendered during its work. Finally, your Committee wishes to express its gratitude to you, Mr Speaker, for the guidance given to it during the session.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?


Mr Zimba: Now, Sir.


Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like to congratulate the mover of the Motion for the able manner in which he presented it.


Sir, road traffic accidents have robbed the nation of many young lives, inflicting financial havoc not only on the affected families, but also the nation. The need for road safety can, therefore, never be overemphasised.


Mr Speaker, in view of the miserable situation described above, your Committee decided to carry out a study on the prevention of road traffic accidents. As part of its study, your Committee undertook a local tour to Muchinga, Central, Lusaka and Southern provinces. Your Committee is pleased to note that there has been massive road development in the country. However, more needs to be done to ensure that roads are safe. There is a need for constant maintenance and rehabilitation of roads. Your Committee further noted that a lack of road signage, road markings and shoulders has made it difficult for road users to observe road traffic regulations. Broken down vehicles are unable to pack safely away from moving traffic. Your Committee strongly calls upon the Government to prioritise the building of a dual carriageway from Lusaka to the Copperbelt, as several road traffic accidents have occurred on this route. A dual carriageway will certainly reduce road traffic accidents.


Sir, your Committee had the privilege of touring Tanzania for a benchmarking exercise. A tour of the Dar Rapid Transit Project was very motivating. It was amazing to see how concerted effort can lead to the implementation of a project that ensures safe, efficient and environmentally friendly transport system for a large number of residents in the city of Dar-es-Salaam. The project has not only helped to reduce congestion on the roads, but also road traffic accidents. Your Committee strongly urges the Zambian Government to learn from its neighbour and examine how a similar project can be implemented in a growing city like Lusaka.


Mr Speaker, from the study of railway transportation, your Committee learned that no matter how well refurbished train coaches are, as long as the state of the railway line remained poor, broken down and unmaintained, railway transport would continue to be slow, inefficient and unattractive to users. Therefore, there is a need to provide enough support that will revive the railway system, as this will ensure that bulk goods are transported by rail. This will free the road network and result in having well maintained roads with a longer life span. Well maintained roads will not only prevent road traffic accidents, but also reduce on the expenditure on road repairs and channel the money saved to other areas of need such as health and education.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, from the outset, I wish to declare interest in this Motion. As an hon. Member who is from Mbala, which is 1,400 km from Parliament, I have to travel that distance on the Great North Road every month. So, this Motion is close to my heart.


Sir, transport and communication are the ‘vein and artery’ of our commerce. This is what really drives our economy.


Mr Speaker, I wish to commend the Government for introducing the toll gates. Toll gates are a brave innovation. In future, we should not shy away from introducing good ideas if they can uplift the state of our infrastructure or governance.


Sir, we have argued on the Floor of this House and have been reassured by the respective hon. Ministers of Transport and Communication and Home Affairs that the demands by traffic police officers for motorists to make on-the-spot payments for traffic offences will come to an end. I have been calling for the introduction of a ticketing system so that motorists can pay fines in a prescribed period of time and at their own convenience. However, this has not come to pass. Let me remind the Ministries of Transport and Communication, and Home Affairs to introduce the ticketing system.


Mr Speaker, the railway is key to the recovery of the economy. The damage that heavy haulage trucks cause to our roads is unbelievable. Two weeks ago, I attended the graduation of my last born son in Ndola. The state of the whole stretch of the road from Lusaka to Ndola is a traffic hazard, as there are ditches and trenches on the road. You have to navigate properly because if your tyres go into the ditches, you can lose control. The trucks have created furrows on our roads, posing a danger to motorists. In fact, it is not advisable to travel on that stretch of the road at night. We should do something about this and the solution lies in transporting cargo via railway. The Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) has been a letdown. The ministry should do something about it quickly. The little revenue we get from the mines is nothing compared to the expenditure on the maintenance of roads. The entire Lusaka/Ndola/Kitwe Road needs rehabilitation a few years after it was resurfaced. This will be an expensive undertaking.


Mr Speaker, still on the railways, I wish to talk about passenger transport. Probably, the cheapest way to travel intra city is by rail. Currently, there is no intra-city railway transport. Not even the Njaji commuter train, which was not so perfect, is functional anymore.


Sir, it is for this reason that we would like to implore the relevant ministry to liaise with its counterparts in Ethiopia and Kenya that have made advances in this area. Recently, the two countries launched fast-track trains in their cities. Ethiopia has introduced a fast-track passenger train in Addis Ababa and I am told Kenya is also in the process of launching one. We should also move in that direction. Since Zambia is now a middle-income country, I think we deserve a modern passenger transport system from Chilenje to Matero, through Chelstone and Chilanga. We need this facility. The ministry should find ways of reviving intra-city passenger transport which should be cheaper than mini buses, or else people will not use it. The experts in the ministry should carry out some feasibilities studies so as to come up with a perfect solution to the problem of intra-city passenger transport.


Mr Speaker, I now wish to talk about the Tanzania-Zambia Railways (TAZARA). TAZARA was a creation of our forefathers. I cross TAZARA several times on my way back to my village in Mbala. It pains that I hardly ever meet the TAZARA train on the way. In fact, I have not seen the train probably in the last four years. I know it is still in operation, but I never get to meet it despite travelling at different hours. I have never come across it.


Prof. Luo: I boarded it!


Mr Simfukwe: It is good that you rode it hon. Prof. I know that it is still in operation but it moribund.


Sir, there are rumours that our colleagues on the Tanzanian side do not want the TAZARA system to thrive. This should be confirmed because we could be negotiating on unequal grounds. We could be comparing mangoes and apples. I am told the trucking business in Tanzania is lucrative. There are thousands of trucks in Tanzania that make money on the Zambia side and other countries, rendering TAZARA unprofitable. If TAZARA is revamped, it will affect the trucking transport business in Tanzania. So, the Tanzanians do not want it. Whether or not the rumours are true, we should leave that for the experts in the ministry concerned to confirm.


Therefore, when we are sitting across the table with our colleagues from Tanzania, we should know exactly what their position is. We could be discussing with people who do not share the same interest or are not putting all their cards on the table.


Mr Speaker, the Great North Road has been damaged by the trucks that transport copper, cement, sugar to Mpulungu. We should find a way of Zambia not being short-changed by other countries. As regards TAZARA, we should be on top of this issue.


Sir, when TAZARA is revamped, it should be extended to Mbala and Mpulungu. Mpulungu is the only port in Zambia. Probably, most people do not know that there is a port in Zambia where huge ships dock to carry cement, sugar and copper. Unfortunately, as is always the case, none of the ships belongs to a Zambian.


Mr Speaker, when you go to Mpulungu Harbour, Lake Mweru or Lake Kariba, there is hardly any discernible form of transport of commercial value on the water bodies.


Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!


Mr Simfukwe: Lake Tanganyika stretches into my constituency and that for Hon. Sikazwe and the Hon. Ng’onga.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simfukwe: We share part of this beautiful water body. However, I grew up believing that the owners of the huge passenger ships, S. S. Liyemba and Mongozo, were Zambians.




Mr Simfukwe: I have read a lot about the history of Liyemba, but I will not bore you with that. The passenger ships, Mr Speaker, are owned by our Tanzanian brothers. There is no single cargo ship on Lake Tanganyika that is owned by the Zambian Government or anyone on the Zambian side, …


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simfukwe: … yet these water bodies stretch far. It takes two hours to fly over Lake Tanganyika. This is a big water body that holds a lot of opportunities that we have failed to exploit. We do not have even small passenger boats to carry people to the islands or along the coastal line. I am aware that the Government is in the process of procuring some passenger boats. However, it should also encourage private entrepreneurs to invest in water passenger transport.


Mr Speaker, I also wish to comment on the issue of air transport. Sir, most of the hon. Members of Parliament on the front bench of the Backbench, …




Mr Simfukwe: … are from far-off constituencies …


Mr Speaker: That is new terminology!




Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, most of the hon. Members on this Backbench are from far-off constituencies.




Mr Simfukwe: Sir, some colleagues call it the front bench of the Backbench.




Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, they have a keen interest in air transport. The Northern Circuit is more endowed with tourism potential than any other part of Zambia. However, it is the farthest from the centre of the country. So, for those of us from the Northern Circuit, the provision of air transport is non-negotiable.


When His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu went to grace the Mutomolo Ceremony in Mbala on the banks of Lake Chila a few days ago, he was saddened by the fact that his instructions to have Mbala Airport commercialised had not been followed.


Hon. Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Simfukwe: However, I have been assured by the hon. Ministers’ responsible that works will start soon. We want to see commercial aircraft landing at Mbala Airport, which is a modern airport, but lacks a terminal for passenger arrivals.


Mr Speaker, it is important that air transport is extended to Kasama and Kasaba Bay.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simfukwe: Kasama is the provincial capital for the Northern Province. When I stopped over in Kasama on my way to Mbala, I was glad to learn that works on the new runway at Kasama Airport had commenced. I wish to implore the hon. Ministers responsible for this project to ensure that it is completed on time. The construction of Mbala, Kasama and Kasaba Bay airports will meet the need for air transport in the Northern Circuit.


The construction of Kasaba Bay Airport is almost complete. All that is left to be done is the tarring. I am quite happy that some hon. Ministers travelled to Kasaba Bay. This is a sign that works at the airport might be concluded soon. We are quite optimistic, Mr Speaker, that the Northern Circuit will benefit immensely from tourist arrivals once the ‘triangle’ of airports, namely Kasama, Kasaba Bay and Mbala is complete. This is because there will be more visitors coming to these parts of the country.


Mr Speaker, in order to attract more visitors to the Northern Circuit, there is a need for air transport to connect Chinsali, Muchinga and many other parts of northern Zambia. However, all these brilliant ideas and initiatives can only be a reality if the experts carry out feasibility studies before implementing the projects. Without proper feasibility studies, some projects will remain white elephants. Feasibility studies give a chance to the Government and the experts to make modifications where necessary so that projects are successfully implemented like the toll gates.


With these few remarks, Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, allow me to thank your Committee for its report and the hon. Member for Mbala who has just completed his debate.


Sir, road carnage has deprived families of their loved ones in our country. However, the Government should be commended for its efforts in preserving the lives of the travelling public.


Mr Speaker, one of the issues we should look into is equipping the officers whom we deploy on our roads with functional equipment such breathalysers to enable them to take off the roads motorists who drive under the influence of alcohol. Imagine someone travelling a distance of 1,400 km only to be killed by a drunken driver when he/she has almost reached her/his destination. Such incidents could be avoided if officers are given functional equipment. Accidents deprive people of their husbands, wives and children.


Sir, the second issue I would like to talk about is in regard with the Ministry of Transport Test (MOT) which ensures that all vehicles on our roads are roadworthy. President Abraham Lincoln was once stopped by a police officer while riding his horse. The President later said that he was very proud of the officer who stopped him because he was carrying out his job professionally.


Mr Speaker, we should ensure that the vehicles on our roads are roadworthy, whether they are Public Service Vehicles (PSV), for the Zambia Police Service or the ministry. It is unfortunate that most PSV and Government vehicles are not roadworthy. This is failing to lead by example. Minibus drivers are rude and their buses are also not roadworthy. Nobody should be exempt from following traffic regulations.


Sir, some countries have employed the MOT test by ensuring that each vehicle goes through a garage to be checked before it is allowed on the road. However, if you check the vehicles on the roads in our country today, you will notice that most of them are not roadworthy and are a danger to the lives of not only the drivers but also the travelling public.


Sir, like toll plazas, there should be service stations along the highways where traffic police officers and other emergency services like ambulances can be stationed. This is where the travelling public can go to report if there are any security concerns. The emergency services should be provided by a professional cadre, not a political cadre At the moment, when there is a road traffic accident, an ambulance has to be called for from the nearest hospital to attend to the injured. Sometimes, the ambulance does not get to the scene of the accident quickly enough and this results in loss of life. Some countries have invested in ambulances to attend to victims of road traffic accidents. However, this requires deliberate resourcing.


Mr Speaker, the toll plazas have been well built, but the service provided by the officers manning is not commensurate with the infrastructure.


Sir, once again, I wish to thank your Committee for conducting a tour of State House. State House was built in the colonial days. Initially, it was the Governor’s mansion. We are yet to build a residence that is befitting heads of State.


Mr Speaker, I wish places like Livingstone could be considered for the construction of the State House.


Hon. Government Members: Ah!


Dr Malama: I know.


Sir, in Malawi, there are two State Houses. One is in Blantyre and the other is in Lilongwe.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Dr Malama: Who, among the President’s colleagues, would turn down an invitation to accompany him to Livingstone? If Heads of State are invited to Zambia, they would look forward to seeing the Victoria Falls because it is a natural attraction that would earn this country the revenue it needs, as it would boost tourism. There are many other areas that can serve this purpose.


Secondly, Mr Speaker, there was a time when there were some speculations about the security at State House being compromised, but I know it was not true. However, it is important to have a state house that is secure enough to be occupied by the Head of State.


Sir, in some areas of the country like the Western, Copperbelt …


Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.




Dr Malama: Madam Speaker, …


Mr Ngulube: Ema neighbours, aya!




Dr Malama: … before business was suspended, I was about to talk about the need for the leader of the nation to interact closely with the people in wards, constituencies, districts and provinces. Therefore, Presidential Guest Houses should be in good condition. Otherwise, it would be difficult and expensive for the Head of State to visit most of the parts of the country.


Madam Speaker, the Head of State can only learn about the challenges the people are faced with if he interacts with them. It becomes easier for him to come up with solutions to the problems people have when he is on the ground. For instance, in most parts of this country, people have challenges of transport due to bad roads.


Madam Speaker, the people of Kanchibiya appreciated the visits of His Excellency the President and Her Honour the Vice-President to the constituency because important pronouncements were made during the visits. It is difficult for the Head of State to visit areas where there is no proper accommodation. He prefers to visit places where he can have a comfortable stay.


Madam Speaker, the late President Michael Chilufya Sata directed that the Copperbelt Presidential Guest House be rehabilitated because he appreciated the importance of the Head of State travelling and interacting with the voters all the time and getting to know the challenges they are faced with.


Madam Speaker, airstrips in places like Kasama, Chinsali, Mongu, Solwezi, Chipata and Mansa are in a bad condition. This is discouraging for private aircraft to fly to such areas. As a result, people are forced to drive distances as long as 1,400 km. We all know that this is counterproductive to the economy. One hon. Member talked about having to drive a distance of 1,400 km to get to his constituency. Can you imagine how productive that Member would have been if he flew for forty-five minutes. He can a lot in the time he spends on the road.


Therefore, Madam Speaker, I wish to urge hon. Members not to talk about international airports and executive mansions only, but also water transport. They should also talk about places where there are rivers but no water transport. People need canoes to cross rivers.


Madam Speaker, in Kanchibiya, we need water transport in places where there are no bridges. In some areas, children are unable to go to school because they cannot cross the rivers. I wish to thank the hon. Minister of Transport and Communication for taking into account the challenges that most constituencies like Kanchibiya are faced with in regard to transport. Not too long ago, he responded to the needs of some areas in various provinces and we look forward to seeing him in Kanchibiya. Recently, five people died in Kanchibiya as they were trying to cross the river. The boat they were travelling in capsized and they all perished.


Madam Speaker, may I take this opportunity to thank Bangweulu Wetlands for providing a canoe for the people of Kaonda in Kanchibiya. We know that water transport is extremely important in this country.


Madam Speaker, let me now talk about railway transport. Mpika is like Kabwe in as far as railway transport is concerned. Mpika has one of the best workshops in Central and Southern Africa.


Mr Ngulube: The whole world, actually!


Dr Malama: Madam Speaker, my cousin, who was seated here (Prof. Luo), who normally wants me to call her my elder sister …


Mr Ngulube: Young lady!


Dr Malama: … and lecturer, must be commended for taking the management team for the Copperbelt University (CBU) to Mpika to visit the Tanzanian-Zambian Railways (TAZARA) Workshop. It observed that the workshop could be a good training ground for engineering students. I think such initiatives should be encouraged. Why should we waste an asset as important as the TAZARA Workshop in Mpika? Many men and women were trained there, but some of them are out of employment. If given an opportunity, they can make equipment from the same workshop for use locally and for export because they are equal to the task.


Madam Speaker, the TAZARA Workshop ...


Mr Ngulube: In conclusion!




Dr Malama: I can conclude, but only if the problems of the TAZARA Workshop are solved. However, because they have not been solved, I will ask my hon. Cousin from the Eastern Province to ‘conclude’ his conclusion.




Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Malama: Madam Speaker, the workers of TAZARA can contribute to the revenue of this country if the workshop and railway line were utilised productively. It was envisioned that the railway line would help take off the roads heavy loads of copper and other goods. However, the goods are still transported by road and the result is what we are debating today. The transportation of heavy loads by road should be banned so that they are transported via railway. However, the issue of the security of the loads should not be overlooked. The railway companies should ensure that they have staff who are trustworthy enough to take care of people’s property both at the stations and in transit.


Madam Speaker, t in the developed countries, people travel by train. In this country, however, very few people travel by train.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Dr Malama: Madam Speaker we need to invest in both intercity and intra-city railway transport. It is difficult for people to keep time in the morning because of the congestion on the roads.


Mr Ngulube: I thank you!




Dr Malama: Madam Speaker, my neighbour thanks you and I thank you too.




Dr Malama: Madam Speaker, before I conclude, I wish to say that we fail to understand the architects, surveyors and engineers of roads in this country. Our roads develop potholes faster than those in the United States of America (USA), Canada or the United Kingdom (UK). Potholes are a major contributor to road carnage. Are we being patriotic because the roads are constructed at a great cost?


Madam Speaker: Your time is up.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Madam Speaker, I thank you for according me the opportunity to support the Motion on the Report of the Committee on Communications, Transport, Works and Supply.


Madam Speaker, I will start with the issue of the Tanzania-Zambia Railways (TAZARA). Like the Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL), TAZARA has been underutilised. We seem to be inconsistent because we say one thing one day and another thing the next day. We even acquired the Eurobond to pump into the ZRL in order to resuscitate it. However, the question is: Is there political will to resuscitate the ZRL or TAZARA? I am speaking about this for the second time in this House. If there was political will, the hon. Minister of Transport and Communication would have come up with a Statutory Instrument (SI) to regulate the tonnage which should be transported by road between Tanzania and Zambia so that a tonnage that is beyond the set limit is transported by rail.


Ms Katuta: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabanda: It is as simple as that. Surely, the answer does not lie in Tanzania. I am not trying to counter the sentiments by my elder brother, Hon. Mwalimu Simfukwe, that there are indications that Tanzania is not able to support us in the running of TAZARA. Madam Speaker, we are a Sovereign State capable of making our own laws to regulate our railway system. If there was an SI in place to regulate the tonnage that should be transported by road from Tanzania to Zambia, what will Tanzania say? Nothing.


Ms Katuta: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabanda: Tanzania does not control us.


Ms Katuta: No!


Mr Kabanda: This is our Parliament where we pass laws. It is not a Tanzanian Parliament. So, we should be able to regulate the tonnage that is transported by road from Tanzania to Zambia. Most of the goods that are transported to and from Tanzania should be transported by rail. Copper, for instance, is too heavy to be transported by road. That is why the roads are easily damaged and there are frequent accidents on that route.


Madam Speaker, let me look at the issue of bus transport within Bomas. I am not sue what Boma means, but I think it stands for British Overseas Management Authority. In the southern part of the country, all the Bomas are along the road or line of rail. However, in the northern part, the Bomas are located 2 to 6 km inside. Some buses do not reach towns like Serenje or Lundazi because they are way off the main road.


Madam Speaker, for us to benefit from the little monies that travellers leave in respective Bomas, there should be a policy that compels buses to drop off passengers at the stations and not the turnoff. Thereafter, they have to hire taxis to get into the central business district (CBD).  This is not right.


Madam Speaker, these issues are within our means. We do not need change to be initiated by other people. We are the change agents ourselves.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabanda: Is there anybody who is going to bring change to us? We are the contemporary generation that is going to bring change to this country and make things work for the betterment of our people.


Madam Speaker, I support this Motion and thank you.


Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): I would like to commend your Committee for the good observations made.


Madam Speaker, page 25 of your Committee’s Report is talks about the recapitalisation of Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) with the US$120 million Eurobond. ZRL got the Eurobond in 2013, but this is when the report is coming being tabled, recommending that an audit team is sent to go and find out how the money has been used.


Your Committee’s report has highlighted that the money has been misused, which is an unfortunate situation. There seems to be some serious irregularities in the utilisation of the funds.


Madam Speaker, not too long ago, there were issues of mismanagement of funds at Ndola City Council. Two weeks after the Head of State visited the council, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) are working on the case to bring the culprits to book. Why has it taken more than four years to verify how the Eurobond, which we have not started paying back, was used? The hon. Minister should quickly sort out this issue so that we recover the money that has been misapplied at ZRL.


Madam Speaker, on page 3 of the report, your Committee has recommended that the Tanzania-Zambia Railways Authority (TAZARA) should fence off its land so as to avoid encroachment. There is a similar situation in Chimwemwe, Kitwe, where ZRL has started selling part of its land, which is less than 10 metres from an active railway line, to foreign nationals. This is land that is meant for a railway reserve. The company has now become an estate agency for the Ministry of lands and Natural Resources instead of improving railway transport. The hon. Minister of Transport and Communication should follow up this matter. The Zambians are now asking why they, too, cannot be allowed to build so close to the railway line. This is a matter of great concern to the people of Chimwemwe Constituency.


Madam Speaker, when Mr Rupiah Banda was in power, there were some reports that the Government wanted to build a new State House. I was one of the people who opposed that idea because we were not told why the Government wanted to build another State House. Now that I have read the part of your Committee’s report talks about the constant sewer blockages, leaking roofs and inhabitable rooms and many other defects at State House, I support your Committee’s recommendation that land be found for the construction of a modern State House because we cannot subject the Head of State to such conditions.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


E campaign, iyi!


Mr Mwila: Imagine what would happen if the sewer line got blocked when there is a State function. So, the issue of State House needs urgent attention.


Madam Speaker, I agree with your Committee’s recommendation on night travel. However, if enough consultation was made with the transport operators and passengers, I do not think that my constituency would have submitted that 2100 hours is too late. We would have loved the deadline to be pushed to 2400 hours ...


Mr Malama: Ah!


Mr Mwila: ... so that the last bus from Kitwe to Lusaka can leave around 1800 hours and arrive in Lusaka around 2300 hours so as to enable people from Chingola and Chililabombwe, who get into Kitwe around 1600 hours, to catch the bus. I think something should be done about the ban on night travel because it is affecting the business activities of the people. Last week, His Excellency the President said that more 79 per cent of Zambians are self employed.


Madam Speaker, I look forward to the tabling of a Bill that will allow the Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RTSA) to fully take control of all traffic-related matters and relieve the Traffic Department of the Zambia Police of that responsibility so that it concentrate on securing peace, lives and property.


Mr Chabi: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwila: Madam Speaker, your Committee has recommended that contact numbers be displayed on buses, but it has not specified whose numbers should be displayed. Is it for the proprietor of the bus, the toll-free number for RATSA or both? I would like to believe that they meant the toll-free line for RATSA. I think this issue should be clarified.


With these few remarks, I firmly support the Motion and thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Madam Speaker, allow me to support the Motion to adopt the Report of the Committee of Communications, Transport, Works and Supply.


Madam, there is a need for the Ministry of Transport and Communication to work closely with companies like the Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) and Tanzania-Zambia Railways Authority (TAZARA). When the hon. Minister of Transport and Communication and I visited the ZRL Workshops in my constituency, we found the workers rehabilitating some wagons. We do not need to go to South Africa or Brazil to have this done because we have the capacity to rehabilitate our own wagons. I believe what is lacking is not political will, but incentives. We should improve the conditions of service for workers in order to attract more engineers to ZRL.


Madam Speaker, in 2012, when the Government of the Republic of Zambia cancelled the concession for the Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ), many engineers left the company. As a result, there is a backlog of work. Most of the activities in TAZARA and ZRL are related to physics, engineering and technology. If we cannot entice Zambian engineers who are working outside the country to come and work for ZRL, regardless of how much money is pumped into the company, it will go to waste because work in the railway sector cannot be done by a lay person, as it is mostly engineering related.


Let me refer to China’s railway sector. The Chinese have now developed bullet trains and have built many railway lines. A distance that is covered in seventeen hours by road is covered in two hours by bullet train. Also, if takes someone two days to reach a certain destination by bus, it takes him/her six hours by train. So, most people prefer to use the rain because it is faster than using aeroplanes and motor vehicles. The distance between Lusaka and Kabwe is about140 km to 150 km by road. However, by rail, it is less than 100 km. So, if we improved the railway sector, it would be easier for us to travel between the two cities.


Madam Speaker, I am worried because the employees in the Estates Department of ZRL have become thieves. Sorry, I withdraw the word ‘thieves’. It has become an estates agency.



Mr Ngulube: All it does is look for people who want to buy land. I challenge it to deny the fact that it has sold 90 per cent of the railway reserve. I have objected to the building of a toilet next to the railway line or a house 2 m away from the railway line in my constituency. What would happen if there is a derailment? ZRL has deliberately allowed people to build near the railway line. So, from Livingstone to Chililabombwe, the railway reserve has been sold. In Choma, ZRL demarcated the railway reserve into plots and sold them. One wonders what would happen if a need arose to expand the railway line or build an extra line. In Kabwe, the land near the railway crossing from Lusaka has been sold. However, I tried to stop the construction works.


Madam Speaker, the Ministries of Transport and Communication and Lands and Natural Resources should stop ZRL from selling land because it is not a land agency. It is not supposed to make money from the idle pieces of land because they were left there for a purpose. The British did not build the railway line next to the road because they knew that in future there could be a need to extend it either on the left or right. If we want to build a new railway station today, where would we build it? Houses have been built on all the railway reserves near the Emmasdale traffic lights. The whole railway reserve has been sold and there is nowhere to put up the infrastructure that we talked about in the railway sector.


Madam Speaker, I am also aware that the majority of the people who work for ZRL are demoralised and we need to find a way of motivating them. However, they are afraid of complaining because some of them were fired early this year when they asked for better conditions of service. They have a union, but their representatives cannot speak. All those who advocated for the rights of workers were either fired or retired.


Madam Speaker, I speak with emotion. So, it is important that we review Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 76 that was passed to ban vehicles from moving beyond a certain time. This SI has actually brought misery to the travelling public.


Mr Kampyongo: Question!




Mr Ngulube: Madam Speaker, in the past, ...


Mr Daka: Mazhandu!


Mr Ngulube: ... an ordinary Zambian who travels from Lusaka to Nakonde to buy some merchandise would start off from Lusaka Intercity Bus Terminus in the morning and reach Nakonde in the evening. The following day, he/she could buy the goods, start off for Lusaka at 1400 hours and arrive the on next day. Now, one needs four or five days to travel to Nakonde and back. He/she would spend the first day travelling to Nakonde. The following day would be spent buying the merchandise and travelling back to Lusaka. There is a need to review the SI for economic purposes. The ban has been interpreted differently. I am a kaponya and I come from the business world.

Hon. Government Members: Meaning!


Mr Ngulube: Madam Speaker, a kaponya is a small-scale business person ...




Mr Ngulube: ... or investor.




Mr Ngulube: Madam Speaker, there have been suggestions from the transporters to find a better way of preventing accidents than stopping people from travelling at the night. Those of us who live in transit towns like Kabwe have observed that from the time the SI was put in place, service stations have laid off most of their workers.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Ngulube: I know people have differed over this matter and will continue to do so, depending on how one feels at the time he/she is speaking.




Madam Deputy Speaker: Continue, hon. Member, you have my protection.


Mr Ngulube: Madam Speaker, eating places from Nakonde to Kapiri Mposhi and Kabwe ...


Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Madam.


Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to rise on this important point of order. The Statutory Instrument (SI) the hon. Member is referring to was passed after extensive consultation and research and it relates to people’s lives. There is no economic benefit that can surpass human life.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: We have lost lives that could have contributed to the economy that the hon. Member is talking about.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: The prevention of the loss of lives and having a service station closed, which was probably established ...


Madam Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, what is your point of order?

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Member, who is also a Learned Counsel, in order to ...




Mr Kampyongo: ... mislead this House, himself ...




Mr Kampyongo: ... and a transport bus company, which was punished for negligence when a number of people’s lives were lost, by stating that the responsible measure to prevent people from dying in numbers as a result of travelling at night so as to allow people to rest should be reviewed?


Madam Speaker, I seek your serious ruling.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwale: Ema point of order, aya!


Madam Deputy Speaker: My ruling is that as the hon. Minister of Home Affairs is also listed as one of the Ministers to speak on behalf of the Government, he will take time to clarify the SI and measures taken by the Government to ensure that it is adhered to.


That is my ruling.


Hon. Member for Kabwe Central, you may continue.


Mr Ngulube: Madam Speaker, my comments may have sounded somewhat awkward, but they are on page 8 of your Committee’s report. When I said that I support your Committee’s report, I was actually debating along those lines. However, for my own safety, allow me to ‘run away’ from that issue.




Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Madam Speaker, I normally take five minutes on the Floor but, today, I apologise for going beyond five minutes.


I wish to conclude by saying that apart from eating places along the line of rail experiencing a significant reduction in business activities, a number of people travelling across towns for business have lamented the negative effects of the ban on their businesses. These are the complaints on the ground.


Madam Speaker, as much as it is important to save lives, we should consider the people who depend on trucks for income. Most of them use trucks to transport merchandise from one town to the other. Therefore, if the trucks are not moving, it will be difficult for them to do business. Truckers have also complained that moving during the day increases the wear and tear on their vehicles and they have to replace tyres more often.  


Madam Speaker, as we debate this Motion, it is important to lend a listening ear to the views of the voters so that we do not seem to punish them when one section of society suffers fatalities. I am aware that the SI to ban night travel was targeted at buses as they are the ones who are mostly involved in traffic accidents. I agree that this was a good preventative measure. However, truckers and people who simply carry goods were also affected by the ban. This ban may have been lifted at some point. However, we should find ways of preventing road traffic accidents, most of which happen are a result of human error or interference. We should sensitise members of the public about the dangers of travelling on dilapidated roads.


I speak on behalf of the people of Kabwe Central because I travel to and from Lusaka on a road that has many potholes. We should work on the potholes to avoid more accidents. We have to find ways of slowing down traffic or misbehaving drivers.  .


Madam Speaker, I support the Motion and I thank you.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Daka (Msanzala): Madam Speaker, I wish to declare interest …


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Msanzala, you are a Member of this Committee. However, since I have already given you an opportunity to speak, I ask that you do so in three minutes.


Mr Daka: Madam Speaker, I was just about to declare interest as a Member of this Committee. However, there are some salient points that I wish to raise that are not in the report. 


Madam Speaker, transport is an integral part of national development. The Mongu/Kalabo Road will be ‘gone’ if we do not take measures to develop the canal on the Zambezi/Lwanginga/Kalabo River. We should be able to look at what the right hand has done in order to help the left hand.


Madam, our roads are unforgiving in the sense that the minute a motorist dozes off, he/she is dead. I wish to urge the road planners to ensure that the road shoulders are widened. I also wish to ask colleagues in the transport sector to consider putting up emergency services along the roads. Further, when a new government comes into power, it should not destroy what the previous government has put in place. 


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Daka: The Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) has failed in Zambia but is thriving in Tanzania. In Dar-es-Salaam, more than 2 million commuters use TAZARA to and from work every day. It is an integral part of their development. We have to appreciate what the people before us have done. The people of Tanzania appreciate what Dr Kaunda and Dr Nyerere did. If you want to change the whole sphere of management by rubbishing everything that those before you have done, you are doing a disfavour to the ordinary citizen.


Ms Katuta: Hear, hear!


Mr Daka: TAZARA is ‘dead’ on the Zambian side. Further, this notion of Tanzania not liking TAZARA should be done away with. I have talked to people …


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!


Mr Ngulube: Your three minutes are up! Thank Madam Speaker.


Madam Deputy Speaker: You are a Member of this Committee, Hon. Daka.


Mr Daka: Yes I am, Madam Speaker.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Allow others who are not Members of the Committee to speak. You have made your point.


Mr Daka: May I be allowed to conclude, Madam Speaker?


Madam Deputy Speaker: Alright.


Mr Daka: Thank you, Madam.


Madam Speaker, ...


Mr Ngulube: I thank you!




Mr Daka: The hon. Member who is asking me to say thank you must declare his interest.




Mr Daka: Madam Speaker, I wish to mention that the Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) utilised the Eurobond properly.


Madam Speaker, I beg to sit down.




Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Madam Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Chavuma, you have the Floor.


Mr Mutale: Ulande ifya mano lelo!




Mr Lumayi (Chavuma): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to this important Motion on the Report of the Committee on Communications, Transport, Works and Supply.


Madam Speaker, when communication is well co-ordinated, it involves the dissemination of information from sender to receiver. In order to co-ordinate the economy, businesses and all else that is needed by man, we need communication.


Madam Speaker, half of the population in Chavuma cannot communicate because there are no communication towers.


Madam, transport is cardinal in our economy today. The port of Lobito in Angola is the nearest port for the copper coming from Kansanshi, Kalumbila and Lumwana mines. I do not know why the Ministry of Transport and Communication is silent on the railway line to connect Zambia and Port of Lobito. The distance from Kalumbila Mine to the railway line in Angola is only about 400 km. This lack of a railway line has greatly affected the people of the North-Western Province. Plans to construct a railway line from Chingola to Solwezi started way back. However, they are still on paper. People are not talking about this project anymore. 


The Solwezi/Chingola Road is severely damaged because of the heavy trucks that drive on that road. People risk their lives everyday by driving on this dusty road.  We appreciate that there are some works going on on this road, but the pace at which they are being carried out does not please the people.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Lumayi: Contractors have been working on this road for three years, but the road keeps getting damaged. The construction of the railway line between Chingola and Solwezi would save the road network in the North-Western Province. I would, therefore, like to urge the hon. Minister to find ways of connecting the railway line to Port of Lobito so that goods and services can be transported from Kalumbila to Angola and Lobito in particular as this is the nearest town to the sea.


Madam Speaker, it is cardinal to accomplish that which is good for our people whilst we are in power. The message from the good people of Chavuma is that the ministry should consider constructing canals to ease their movement to and from the West Bank of Chavuma.


Madam, the people of Chavuma will appreciate it if the hon. Minister could consider providing them with speed boats to help ease the transport problems.


Madam Speaker, the Motion under consideration is important. Therefore, I thought that it should not be moved without a contribution from the good people of Chavuma.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo indicated.


Mr Ngulube: Ema Ministers, aya!




 The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Madam Speaker, I wish to thank you for this opportunity to debate.


Madam, I would like to tell my brother, the hon. Member for Kabwe Central, that my point of order was not meant to be a threat. After all, he is my younger brother. Besides, I have a responsibility to ensure that I guide him.


Madam Speaker, I wish to make a few contributions on the Motion to adopt this important report. I would like to draw your attention and that of the House to page 2 of your Committee’s report.


Madam, part one of your Committee’s report is on the awareness of how road traffic accidents (RTAs) were ranked the third highest cause of death after the Human Immunodeficiency Virus/ Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and malaria. The difference in the causes of death is that when one suffers ill health, we start anticipating what will happen next. Accidents, on the other hand, rob families of their bread winners instantly.


Madam Speaker, when I was appointed Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Home Affairs in 2013, my first worst experience was to witness an RTA involving a Post Bus that occurred between Kabwe and Chisamba in the early hours of the morning. This means that the bus could have left Ndola in the night.


Madam, when we got to the accident scene, it was saddening to see the carnage. Thereafter, we had to deal with the bereaved families, as most of the passengers were breadwinners who were travelling to Lusaka to do business as mentioned earlier on. At the same time, colossal sums of money were lost.


Madam Speaker, it is, therefore, important for the Government to reduce the causes of accidents. The introduction of Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 76 of 2016, which my hon. Colleagues referred to, has resulted in a decrease in the number of RTAs. We have inconvenienced the people by making their businesses suffer, but cannot apologies for protecting people’s lives.


Madam Speaker, among the major contributing factors to RTAs is overspeeding. It is common, at the moment, to see a motorist, who is travelling a short distance, to drive at ‘concorde speed’. It is worth noting that driving a vehicle and moving a vehicle are two different things.


Madam, I know that my Hon. Colleagues who is responsible for transport and communication will belabour this matter. However, the reason law enforcement agencies and other regulators insist on the importance of learning how to drive and not to move vehicles is that when someone is taught how to drive, he/she will be able to understand the do’s and don’ts of driving and how one is supposed to manage the vehicle even before it starts moving. However, currently, most motorists know how to move a vehicle from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’, but disregard the traffic regulations. I wonder how many people understand that before they start driving a car, they should familiarise themselves with the Highway Code. To make matters worse, there are automatic vehicles that people can drive effortlessly.


Madam, in most cases RTAs, the drivers are not licensed. Therefore, my counterpart and I are working hand-in-hand to ensure that only those who are licensed to drive are allowed on the road. I wish to emphasise that we are going to be firm on this matter.


Madam, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is another cause of RTAs. For instance, if you drive along Chilumbulu Road in Kabwata Constituency, you will see a line of drinking places and many vehicles parked at those places. The drivers of those vehicles drink and are on the roads thereafter. Some of them drink from 1800 hours to 0200 hours or 0300 hours in the morning. They leave the drinking places tired and ready to retire to bed, but only for a short time because, a few hours later, they jump onto the vehicles again and are back on the road. 


Madam Speaker, all that I am saying is backed by statistics. So, we have an issue of morality to deal with. Like I said earlier, my hon. Colleague and I have been working and, very soon, we shall see the men and women in uniform on the roads. We shall ensure that we target the areas that are well known to us.


 Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: This is a forewarning so that people are not taken surprise. Very soon, we shall get onto the roads to deal with this insanity.


Madam Speaker, I now wish to talk about the issue of pedestrians. In the recent past, we have recorded a huge number of hit-and-run cases. It is an offence to run away after hitting someone on the road. It is for this reason that I say that if one wants to be a driver, it is important to familiarise himself/herself with the Highway Code because it states what one should do when he/she accidently hits a pedestrian. If one cannot stop for fear of being lynched, he/she report to the nearest police station. It is better to report to the police than to be pursued and eventually arrested because running away without attending to an accident victim is an offence. So, it is important that people understand some of these issues.                             


Madam Speaker, I wish to take this opportunity to warn officers in the Zambia Police Service who are charged with the responsibility to manage traffic. I have listed the authorised checkpoints. However, it would appear some undisciplined people have not followed the directives I gave in this Assembly Chamber.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, some people have complained in this House that we only discipline officers from certain parts of the country. When we discipline errant police officers, heads roll. We do not want people to think that we have ‘chased’ officer ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ because of where they come from.


Prof. Luo: Akashungulukapo apo, Lihefu!




Mr Kampyongo: I hope the Police Command can get my message, which I have sent before. I wish to request police officers who are in the habit of mounting illegitimate checkpoints to stop forthwith. Now, there will be no warning, but action.


Mr Kopulande: Kokolapo!


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, someone proposed that we should implement a ticketing system for traffic offences. We are trying to implement measures to lessen the exchange of money in areas of operation. We want to ensure that people pay to the State when they are charged with an offence. Every vehicle has a plate number by which motorists can be identified. So, it is not possible for one to go untraced. The Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RTSA) has got a data base on all motor vehicles and drivers. So, traffic offenders can be traced without having to avail themselves. We can still trace those who are charged, but fail to pay the fine.


Madam, we are replicating the system of payment of departments such as the Immigration and National Registration, Passport and Citizenship have done were payments are deposited into a bank account and receipts are submitted to the offices. All this is aimed at lessening the perceived corruption in the Zambia Police Service.


Madam Speaker, motorists also contribute to this vice. There is a large number of corrupt motorists in this country. Why should a licensed driver with a roadworthy vehicle allow anyone to push him\her into paying a fine for an offence that he\she has not committed? Some motorists drive defective vehicles knowing that they can ‘flash’ money at police officers when they are charged for the traffic offence. I wish to urge motorists who are in the habit of engaging in corrupt practices to ensure sure that their vehicles are roadworthy at all times.


Madam Speaker, also wish to appeal to public transporters to be humane enough to realise that when they drive a bus with defective brakes to the Eastern Province which has a difficult terrain, for instance, they are putting the lives of passengers at risk. Transporters should always ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy and in perfect condition.

Madam, the recent incident where a bus with defective brakes was involved in an accident at Luangwa Market was due to negligence. This was an act of criminality because it is a criminal offence to choose to drive a vehicle that is not roadworthy. The lives of that were lost in that accident, some of whom were for breadwinners, will never be replaced. The owner of that bus will probably replace it. So, as we enforce the law, we wish to appeal to bus owners to ensure that they put safety measures in place as they conduct their business. They should think like human beings.


Madam Speaker, my colleague will announce the measures his ministry is putting in place in relation to the gadgets that should be installed on public buses. However, passengers should know that they, too, have a responsibility of ensuring that drivers of public service vehicles do the right thing. Surely, how can someone not get concerned when a vehicle he/she is travelling in is being driven by someone who does not seem to be competent? Passengers can request the drive to stop the vehicle in order to save lives. Unfortunately, passengers to choose to sit quietly while they are being transported like loaves of bread.




Mr Kampyongo: So, wish to say to the traveling public that they pay for a service. Therefore, they should ensure that the service is provided in a professional manner.


Lastly, Madam Speaker, I know that my dear brother will talk about the infrastructure at State House. My ministry is only responsible for the security of the institution. In fact, I feel State House should have been declared a national monument as soon as some of its features were revealed to the public. There are some security features of State House that were exposed to the public. It is not for me to ask who decided to do that but, I believe, that is the time we should have turned it into a national monument and built a new one.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I am not saying this for the sake of the sitting President. State House is a national institution. In fact, if we start building a new State House now, the current President might not get to live in it. However, we are looking at the future and the decision to build a new and modern State House with proper facilities should be made now. I reiterate my ministry is only concerned about the security aspect of State House. Therefore, the Ministries of Housing and Infrastructure Development, and Works and Supply should expedite the construction of a new State House because it is a very important institution of governance.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Chitotela): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to support the Motion and respond to some of the issues that have been raised in the report of your Committee on Communications, Transport, Works and Supply. I wish to limit my remarks to just three issues. I will talk about transportation by road and the designing and construction of the dual carriageway between Lusaka and Ndola. Lastly, I will talk about the very important matter of constructing a new State House. I think Parliament and the Executive should agree to move forward with this matter, as it was first raised by the Fourth Republican President, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda.


Madam Speaker, allow me to put it on record that as the ministry responsible for designing road infrastructure in Zambia, we have also observed, with great concern, that our roads were designed in such a way that there was no provision for walkways for pedestrians and lanes for cyclists. Our roads only have a provision for two vehicles. However, we are redesigning the roads so that road contracts that are awarded include the construction of walkways for pedestrians …


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1810 hours until 1830 hours.




Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, when business was suspended, I was talking about redesigning our roads to take into account the passage of pedestrians and other road users. In future, our roads will be more than 6 m wide. The Road Development Agency (RDA) has been instructed to ensure that all road designs are 11 m wide so that in an event of a road accident or a vehicle blocking a part of the road, other road users are not inconvenienced. We have taken note of your Committee’s recommendation relating to this matter and shall adopt the new road designs to the letter.


Madam Speaker, I also wish to correct the misconception of the hon. Member of Parliament for Chavuma that the Solwezi/Mwinilunga Road Project started three years ago. To the contrary, this project was launched in November, 2015. If we calculate the time, we will find that the project was launched barely one year ago, yet it is almost 70 per cent complete. The contractor has completed 30 km of Lot I of the road and it is now open to the public. As for the first and second layers of the road, the contractor has done 75 per cent of the earth work. When His Excellency the President visited Chingola, he announced that K2.1 billion had been sourced for the completion of the Ndola/Kitwe/Chingola dual carriageway up to Solwezi. We also want to construct a dual carriageway from Lusaka to Kasumbalesa. We have been engaged in serious discussions with a private developer by the name of ZAMTAL who is interested in taking up the project to develop the road from Ndola to Kasumbalesa.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwe Central also talked about state of the road between Lusaka and Kabwe. I wish to announce that the RDA signed a contract with China Jiang Xi Corporation, which is developing the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, to start building another lane from Lusaka to Ndola and a bypass in Kabwe and Kapiri Mposhi. The contract will include the creation of two new satellite cities between Lusaka and Kitwe. We want to attract people to settle in those cities. The contractor will also rehabilitate the existing lane from here to Ndola. We also want Masaiti District to become a satellite city so that we can attract people to settle there. This contract is fully funded by the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank). So, there will be no delays in the implementation of the project. The Government plans to complete the construction of satellite cities and roads by 2020. All things being equal, before the end of August, 2017, His Excellency the President should launch the construction of the dual carriageway.


Madam Speaker, your Committee has recommended that we build a new State House, and that is the position of the Government. However, I must state that the new State House will be built in Lusaka. The Ministry of Finance requested ministries to submit projects to be included in the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and my ministry included the construction of a new State House in its submission. I hope Parliament will approve the construction of the new State House.


Madam Speaker, in order to show transparency, my ministry will bring a budget for this project to this august House for approval. Once approval has been granted, we shall put everything in place to ensure that the project begins next year. However, because of the nature of the institution, the new State House will be built under strict privacy. Only the ministry responsible for public infrastructure and the Office of the President will be involved in its construction. As a democratic nation, we should show that we have given the President the mandate to govern the country by making him live comfortably. The description of the condition of State House on page 38 of your Committee’s report is saddening. State House was built in the 1930s. None of us here would be willing to live in a house that was built in the 1930s. State House has outlived its usefulness. Therefore, I support the recommendation of your Committee to build a new one. We are in discussion with the Commissioner of Lands, and have identified pieces of land where we can build a new State House. When Parliament approves the budget for the construction of a new State House, the construction should start next year. Since we knew that we needed to construct a new State House, we engaged a private consultant to give us an architectural impression of the design. It will be a marvel. I was given the privilege to see the structural impression of the building. It will be a State House befitting the Head of State.


Madam Speaker, I support your Committee’s report and I thank you.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Nkhuwa): Madam Speaker, I wish to take this opportunity to thank you for allowing me to contribute to the debate on the Motion that the House adopts the Report of the Committee on Communications, Transport, Works and Supply. I also wish to commend your Committee for working tirelessly to produce this report.


Madam Speaker, I wish to comment on issues raised in Part III on page 38 of your Committee’s report with regard to the special submission made by my ministry on the way forward in dealing with the poor state of State House buildings.


As you may be aware, my ministry is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that all the infrastructure for the Government is maintained. So, when the infrastructure is in a state of disrepair, we bring that to the attention of the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development that is responsible for building infrastructure.

So, it is for this reason that I will talk about the state of disrepair of State House. I have read the report of your Committee and I wish to say that I personally took a trip around State House and I have seen it is not befitting a head of State.


Madam, I wish to mention that in 2014, the Ministry engaged Zulu Development Consultants to carry out an extensive assessment of the building. Some of the findings of your Committee were also highlighted in the Consultancy Report.


Most of the fittings are obsolete and require replacement. As a result there are constant repair works going on at State House. The cost of routine maintenance has increased to about K2 million per annum, from the previous K1 million. The Government also incurs high costs on the hire of facilities like marquees, portable toilets and furniture during State functions because the existing buildings do not comprise banquet halls.


Madam Speaker, going by your Committee’s recommendations, I wish to inform this august House that my ministry came up with two options as follows:


Option I was that the foundations needed underpinning followed by general rehabilitation at a cost of K12 million. This would require excavation in the inside and outside of the building. This will mean that most parts of the building will not be used.


Option II was that a new building be built and the old one be rehabilitate to be used as a museum or left as a national monument.


Madam Speaker, to that effect, in 2010, proposals were made to construct an office block at an estimated cost of US$20 million. However, the proposal was not approved because some stakeholders perceived it to be costly, as they had divergent views.


The ministry had no option but to continue with the constant maintenance works.


In conclusion, Madam Speaker, the structure is a health and safety hazard to the users. Also, the current piecemeal maintenance is not the best option, as the costs increase continuously. The best option would be to construct a new office block in order to safeguard all the users.


Madam, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Hon. Kampyongo who raised issues of security at State House. I also wish to thank Hon. Mwila for seconding the proposal that a new State House be constructed and Hon. Dr Martin Malama who brought to light issues that are of concern to all of us. He also state that State House was inherited from our colonial masters and that as Zambia, we should leave a legacy by building a new one.


With these few remarks, Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Katuta: Tulelolela imisebo!


Hon. Member: Hear, hear!


The Minister of Transport and Communication (Mr Mushimba): Madam Speaker, first and foremost, allow me to commend your Committee on its collective effort to ensure that the Government, my ministry and other ministries that have spoken ahead of me, and the Government agencies be accountable in delivering the vision that this Government of His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has on transport, information communication technology (ICT) and the other areas that your Committee talked about.


Madam Speaker, I wish to assure your Committee that we have taken note of the observations and recommendations that have come out of this report. I will touch specifically on some of the key areas that have been raised and amplify the Government’s position on the recommendations and some of the concerns that have been raised.


On road safety, Madam Speaker, we note the recommendations of your Committee, especially on the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill, on-the-spot testing for alcohol and drug abuse, the suspension of licences for regular road traffic offenders and, like Hon. Kampyongo said, more sensitisation of passengers on their right to stand up when they are being transported like loaves of bread. To this effect, I wish to inform the House that my ministry has finalised the National Roads Safety Policy and the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill that are both going to be tabled before the Cabinet. The policy will address the majority of the recommendations and observations that have been highlighted in your Committee’s report.


On the Statutory Instrument (SIs) relating to road safety that I signed, Madam Speaker, as a Government, the profile of our road safety was gloomy. People were dying needlessly on the road. When we investigated the causes of accidents, we found that rate of accidents had reached unacceptable levels. As a Government, we appreciate the fact that to address this matter exhaustively and holistically, we needed to come up with immediate-term or stop-gap measures as well as long-term measures.


The thirteen SIs we signed in November last year included:


  1. installation of Global Position Systems (GPS) and speed management gadgets on public service vehicles;


  1. fitting of seat belts in public service vehicles;


  1. fatigue management for drivers who transport people to ensure that they get adequate rest before they transport people; and


  1. restricting certain sectors of public transportation to specific hours of the day. Thus, restricting buses and trucks from moving in the middle of the night when people are tired and visibility is at its worst, coupled with poor road signage and the presence of potholes.


Therefore, Madam, the SIs provide stop-gap measures so that we step back and analyse further how we can further address the whole safety profile and attain our goal of having zero accidents on our roads.


Madam Speaker, according to the statistics on Road Traffic Accidents (RTAs) the measures we put in place have resulted in a reduction in the number of RTAs. In the three years before the Sis were put in place, there were ten RTA-related deaths per day. Recent reports from the Zambia Police Service have revealed that the number has reduced to about five deaths per day. However, five deaths is still too many. We are working with all the agencies in the road sector, that is, the Traffic Police and other law enforcement agencies, to ensure that the regulations intended to reduce the number of RTAs further are enforced.


Madam Speaker, on the state of railway transportation in Zambia, the Government is aware that railway transportation is key to economic growth. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government appreciates that to grow the economy at the required rate, all the four modes of transportation, namely road, railway, aviation and waterway transportation, have to be accessible, available and affordable to the public. We have been charged with the responsibility to ensure that the transport sector is thriving.


Madam Speaker, several observations that your Committee made on railway transportation are similar to those made by the Government. Some of the initiatives that we have come up with are aimed at addressing some of the anomalies that have been pointed out.


Madam Speaker, I will bring the National Transport Policy to this august House which will specifically highlight some strategies that we have come up with to revamp the railway sector. I will also bring a Bill to introduce the Railway Development Authority whose object is to ensure that the railway sector becomes competitive. The railway system is being impacted by the fact that the two railway companies are burdened with infrastructure maintenance in addition to the core business of transporting passengers and goods.


Madam Speaker, on the contrary, roads are not owned by the truckers. Truckers transport their goods on the road and pay user fees and toll fees, but they do not own the roads and the maintenance of the roads is done by another institution. Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) and Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) are burdened with all the infrastructure maintenance, making them highly uncompetitive in the transport equation. The introduction of the Railway Development Authority will result in a split between railway operations and maintenance so as to enable the two railway companies to manage their costs and be more competitive. This will also enable them to focus on their core business of transporting goods and services. 


Further, Madam Speaker, the ministry has just concluded work on a SI whose object is to request a certain amount of cargo to be transported by rail. We have engaged stakeholders such as the mining houses, transporters of fertilisers and others who transport bulky goods start transporting cargo by rail. This will not only decongest the roads and extend their lifespan, but revitalise railway transportation. The business opportunity that the railway sector lost over time for the many reasons that we are trying to address, will be recovered. This will also create employment and the cost of transportation will reduce, thus making the country competitive.


Madam Speaker, your Committee notes that both TAZARA and ZRL need recapitalisation. We have carried out some studies to figure out the amount of recapitalisation that is required for both companies. The studies have been concluded and we shall ensure that we invest the required amount so that the railway sector remains viable.


Madam Speaker, the US$120 million Eurobond was mentioned in some of the submissions. This is a sign of the Government’s commitment to continue investing in this sector. The Government released the money by in good faith to make to address the immediate needs of ZRL. By and large, that has happened.


Madam Speaker, before ZRL received that money, the speed of its trains had dropped to as low as 10-15 km per hour. Further, the rate of derailments was high, permanent ways needed to be worked on, railway slippers needed replacement, security concerns were high and the locomotives were worn out. In short, the institution was in bad shape. However, when the company received the US$120 million Eurobond, the permanent ways were worked on, locomotives were refurbished and many other interventions were made.


Madam Speaker, as a result of the interventions that have been put in place, the speed of the locomotives has increased to 40-50 km per hour. However, this is not the ultimate speed. Slow areas of the railway tracks have been worked on and both goods and passengers are transported faster and safely. We have also worked on the inter-mine railway connection. Recently, ZRL transported Chambeshi Mine products all the way to the port. Revenue collection has also improved. The interventions have also resulted in an increase in the tonnage being transported and an improvement in customers’ perception of the company.


Madam Speaker, in addition, ZRL was recently named the best exhibitor at the Copperbelt Mining, Agricultural and Commercial Show where the company showcased its activities. We shall continue investing in TAZARA and ZRL in order to make them profitable and viable.


Madam Speaker, there were also a couple of comments on the state of the waterways. I admit that more needs to be done. When the PF Government came into power, it carried out a countrywide survey on all the canals and water bodies, especially in the western and northern parts of Zambia where there are large water bodies. We recognised the importance of making transportation in those areas. So, we procured twenty-seven dredgers and most of which have been received. We are now grappling with how to deploy them and ensuring that they are used appropriately. We also procured vessels to operate on the dredged canals. We procured six three-passenger vessels and three cargo vessels. We have received a passenger vessel and are waiting for two more passenger vessels and three cargo vessels. Contracts have been awarded for the deployment of the vessels on the water bodies that have been highlighted in the report.


Madam Speaker, we shall adopt and incorporate the proposed reforms that were noted in the report of your Committee in our long-term plans for water transportation.


In conclusion, Madam Speaker, I would like to commend your Committee for coming up with this exhaustive report. I also wish to assure your Committee that most of the recommendations that have been tabled will be vetted for appropriateness. The recommendations will also be incorporated in the future plans of the ministry so that we can be in tandem with the desires of the Government.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear! Ema wind up, aya!


Mr A. C. Mumba: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank you most sincerely for giving me the chance to wind up debate. Before I leave the Floor, I would like to recognise the efforts of my colleagues, the members of your Committee, who worked tirelessly to make these contributions and all the hon. Members of Parliament and hon. Ministers who have taken time to debate and support your Committee’s report.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Question put and agreed to.




Mr Mwewa (Mwansabombwe): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Information and Broadcasting Services for the First Session of the Twelfth National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 27th June, 2017.


Madam Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?


Mr Kasandwe (Bangweulu): Madam Speaker, I second the Motion.


Mr Mwewa: Madam Speaker, you may wish to note that during the 20th Anniversary of Multichoice Operations in Zambia on 17th December, 2015, His Excellency the President of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, directed the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services to table before the Cabinet a film policy before the end of February, 2016, in order to provide clear guidelines aimed at developing the sector. The presidential directive motivated your Committee’s choice of study for the First Session of the National Assembly which is, “The Role of the Film Industry in the Promotion and Preservation of the Zambian Cultural Heritage”.


Madam Speaker, in its quest to ascertain the role of the film industry in the promotion and preservation of the Zambian cultural heritage, your Committee interacted with various stakeholders who tendered both oral and written submissions before it.


Madam Speaker, your Committee also undertook on-the-spot checks on the availability of infrastructure and skills in the selected districts of the Copperbelt, Southern and Lusaka provinces. It is my humble view that since the report was tabled on 27th June, 2017, hon. Members of this august House have read through it. In this regard, allow me to highlight a few cardinal issues that emanated from your Committee’s deliberations.


Madam Speaker, it is disheartening to report to the House that all the witnesses who appeared before your Committee lamented the absence of a consolidated legal and policy framework to guide the operations of the film industry. The stakeholders observed that the legal framework within which the film industry operates is insufficient. They submitted that the current legal and policy frameworks cannot contribute effectively to the promotion and development of the film industry in Zambia. This has resulted in the absence of leadership, procedures and regulations related to the film industry and to a lack of strategies that could address the critical challenges of the industry.


Madam Speaker, in view of the foregoing, your Committee urges the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to expedite the finalisation and adoption of the National Film Policy which will culminate into a legal framework that can strengthen and create an enabling environment for the film industry to thrive and adequately contribute to sustainable economic growth, empowerment of the industry practitioners and promotion, and development of Zambia’s cultural heritage.


Madam Speaker, the stakeholders also noted that the current legal and regulatory framework of the film industry is fragmented in different Government ministries such as Information and Broadcasting, Tourism and Art, Commerce, Trade and Industry, and Local Government. It is your Committee’s considered view that this fragmentation has contributed to the poor co-ordination in the creative arts industry.


Madam Speaker, in this regard, your Committee recommends that the Government harmonises the scattered pieces of legislation lying in different ministries into the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in order to provide for smooth co-ordination of the creative arts industry.


Madam Speaker, your Committee was appalled to learn that fifty-two years after Independence, the country has no training infrastructure to support the film industry. The country does not have any formal film training institution to provide the required human resource for the industry.


Madam Speaker, during your Committee’s interaction with some of the institutions of higher learning like the University of Zambia (UNZA), Zambian Open University, Evelyn Hone College of Applied Arts and Commerce, and Zambia Mass Communications (ZAMCOM), it was brought to light that none of them had an established faculty in film production and cultural studies. Despite the rapidly growing activities in the film industry, the institutions did not take advantage of the gap to establish courses and training programmes.


Madam Speaker, your Committee further notes that most actors, writers, editors and directors have no formal training at all. They learnt most of their work through practical experience. The players in the industry held fancy titles such as film director, production director and sound engineer, but they lacked an in-depth knowledge in film production. As a result, local film production lacked a professional touch in terms of acting, script writing, shooting, directing, sound and editing. This is not because of a lack of appropriate equipment, but a combination of a lack of requisite training and skills development from institutions of higher learning.


Madam Speaker, your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to support the plans by institutions of higher learning to introduce film studies at certificate, diploma and degree levels through increased funding. The Government should also construct modern infrastructure for practical cinematography in the already established institutions.


Madam Speaker, the Government should also provide incentives to universities to enable them to establish faculties in film and cultural studies. The Government should also play a leading role in the establishment of a film training institute.


Madam Speaker, your Committee also observes that there the study of the Zambian culture is not being promoted. As a result, there is a considerable amount of cultural illiteracy in the country, as the Zambian cultural heritage is not being taught in schools. This has created a vacuum that is being filled by the study and absorption of the western cultures.


Madam Speaker, in view of the foregoing, your Committee recommends that cultural studies become an integral part of the entire education system, from kindergarten to university, and be examinable. The Government should also introduce an annual cultural week which should culminate in a day of cultural celebration, similar to the Heritage Day in South Africa. Consideration should also be given to the creation of a national holiday to celebrate our national culture and heritage.


Madam Speaker, your Committee also notes that there is a lack of collaboration or synergy between related areas of culture and the film industry. There is also little engagement between the local film industry and similar international organisations in the art sectors. This kind of interaction is important for the sector in order to learn modern methods of preserving the Zambian culture through film production.


Madam Speaker, in 1985, a group of Nigerian artists came to Zambia to learn how to act on stage and adapt that into film. This was showcased by Messrs Danny Kanongeki, Maximo and Greg Lungu. When the Nigerian artists went back to Nigeria, they set up a faculty at Ife University. Today, we watch Nigerian movies and are glued to the televisions to watch the Nigerians perform. Our own grandmothers watch these films and our domestic workers end up burning pots because they get glued to the television.


Madam Speaker, the film industry in Nigeria has contributed about 1.4 per cent to Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP).  They learnt from us. So, I am pretty sure that we can also do it.  In this regard, your Committee recommends that the creative industry twins with similar organisations in order to appreciate what other international organisations did to boost cultural preservation through the film industry. The Government should also set up a task force to study and recommend ways of harmonising, organising and managing film makers, producers, distributers, book publishers, writers, musicians on hand and fine arts, visual and performing arts for mutual benefit.


Madam Speaker, in conclusion, let me take this opportunity to thank you for the guidance rendered to your Committee during the session. I also wish to thank the stakeholders who tendered both oral and written submissions before your Committee. Let me also thank the Members of your Committee for their co-operation during the session. Last but not the least, my gratitude  goes to the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the invaluable support and services rendered to your Committee during its deliberations.


Madam Speaker, I beg to move.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


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


Mr Kasandwe: Now, Madam.


Madam Speaker, I thank you for according me the opportunity to second the Motion that has been ably moved by the Chairperson of your Committee on Information and Broadcasting Services, Mr Rodgers Mwewa, MP. Let me also take this opportunity to thank the Chairperson for the able manner in which he presided over your Committee’s deliberations.


Madam Speaker, I will confine my debate to issues that were raised during your Committee’s local tour of the Copperbelt, Lusaka and Southern provinces in order to appreciate the challenges the industry was faced with.


Madam Speaker, let me begin by echoing the sentiments of most of the stakeholders regarding the inadequate support the industry was receiving from the members of the public, most of whom bemoaned the lack of encouragement from parents and guardians for children to take up careers in the film industry because they wanted them to get sustainable and pensionable jobs in the Government and private sector.


The stakeholders further noted that unlike Hollywood and Bollywood where actors cut across all age groups, in Zambia, most roles were acted by those below the age of 55. Worse still, the majority of Zambian movies were comic in nature while a fraction of them were based on romance.  Thus, most parents, guardians and Zambians at large painted a gloomy picture of the industry, as it was perceived by many as child’s play, less serious and not lucrative.  As a result, the film industry has been left into the hands of hobbyists and entertainers.


Madam Speaker, in view of the foregoing, your Committee recommends that if the industry has to thrive, there is a need for the Government to urgently build supporting infrastructure in the industry such as training centres, performing and recording studios in all the provincial centres. For instance, the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) has contributed greatly to the growth of sports in the country. This is because most of the youth engage in various sporting activities at the facility.


Similarly, Madam Speaker, the construction of modern infrastructure in the film industry will encourage and attract people to take up careers in performing arts. In fact, if well developed, the film industry can be an important tool to fight some of the vices being perpetuated in our communities such as early marriage, crime and vandalism of public property.


Madam Speaker, like soccer, the film industry can be a unifying factor if properly managed.  Thus, putting up infrastructure will mirror the importance the Government attaches to the industry. Otherwise, without proper infrastructure, the industry will continue to lag behind.


Madam Speaker, the stakeholders also bemoaned the inadequate financial support from the Government, private sector as well as other stakeholders in the industry. This has contributed to the failure by some film producers to meet their contractual obligations such as deadlines and payment of production crews on time.


In view of the above, your Committee recommends that the Government devices a well-rounded system of support for film production, arts and culture through public financing. The Government should also establish a cultural or film fund that will provide resources to empower film and cultural associations with the necessary requisite skills to enable them to document cultural heritage sites and produce films on traditional ceremonies.


Madam Speaker, your Committee observed that there is a lack of publicity on theatre, arts and drama activities that take place at play houses and theatre centres in the country. In fact, let me hasten to mention that during your Committee’s tour of the Copperbelt, it was brought to light that this country had a lot of talent in schools which, if well natured, could contribute to the growth of the industry. The poems presented by pupils on the Copperbelt highlighted the need for this country to seriously promote cultural and traditional values that seem to be vanishing at a rapid speed.


Madam Speaker, your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to put in place modern infrastructure that would promote theatre in schools which should be used to nurture young talents. The Government should also play a leading role in helping cinemas and arts institutions to devise ways of increasing public awareness of their activities. It should also give an opportunity to pupils from different schools to perform at national events, as this will give them a platform at which to showcase their talents.


Madam Speaker, …


Mr Ngulube: I thank you!




Mr Kasandwe: … as I conclude, I would like to sincerely thank you for affording your Committee an opportunity to undertake a local tour in order to appreciate what is obtaining on the ground regarding the film industry.


Madam Speaker, allow me to also join the Chairperson of your Committee in thanking all the stakeholders who appeared before your Committee during its local tour for their invaluable contributions.

Madam, last but not the least, your Committee also expresses its gratitude to the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the services rendered to it during its deliberations.


Madam Speaker, I beg to second.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Mrs Mulenga): Madam Speaker, I wish to thank the Chairperson of the Committee on Information and Broadcasting for the comprehensive report tabled before this august House.


Madam Speaker, the ministry was privileged to attend the sessions of your Committee on the topical issue of, “The Role of the Zambia Film Industry in the Promotion and Preservation of Culture Heritage”. The Government will study the observations and recommendations in your Committee’s Report and ensure that no effort is left in resolving some of the issues raised therein.


Madam Speaker, allow me to give an update on a few issues that were raised in your Committee’s report.


  1. Lack of a Formal Film Policy


Madam Speaker, I wish to report to this august House that the Cabinet has approved the National Film Policy. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is putting in place modalities to implement this policy. This is a major milestone in the history of this country. The Government will be introducing measures to facilitate the implementation of the policy and I wish to appeal to the hon. Members of this august House to support the measures.


  1. Lack of Higher Learning Institutions Providing Training Targeting the Film Industry


Madam Speaker, I wish to update the House that my ministry has started the process of transforming the Zambia Institute of Mass Communication (ZAMCOM) into a Media and Film Institute. In this regard, a strategic plan for that purpose has been developed and K2 million has been allocated in the 2017 Budget to kick-start the implementation of the activities. I just want to say that a month ago we actually launched the turnaround strategy for the institute.


  1. Lack of Tax Exemptions on Equipment and Materials to Support Film Production


Madam Speaker, I wish to report to this august House that, at the moment there is tax exemption on some equipment but not materials. The ministry will continue to engage the stakeholders to work out modalities of extending exemptions on broadcasting and film production equipment from this year to the next five years.


  1. Lack of Film Production Facilities in Rural Areas and the Location of most Film Production Companies along the Line of Rail


Madam Speaker, the Government notes this observation. It is for this reason that my ministry is establishing Provincial Broadcasting Stations across the country. Once completed, the facilities will offer sufficient capacity for local artistes in the provinces to use these facilities to produce their own content. I wish to assure the members of your Committee that my ministry is actually setting up a content fund. Once this fund is set up, the money will be distributed through organisations and associations such as the National Arts Council.


Madam Speaker, I will come back to the House at a later date to give an update on the implementation of the Digital Migration Project. Then, I will be able to give more details on the progress made regarding the Provincial Broadcasting Studios.


  1. Absence of a Board of Commission to Monitor or Regulate the Film Industry


Madam Speaker, my ministry recognises that with the approval of the Film Policy by the Cabinet, there is a need to review the institutional framework to ensure that adequate mechanisms are in place to monitor and regulate the Film Industry. I must hasten to also mention that there is a lot of convergence nowadays between media, films and information communication technologies (ICTs). Therefore, the Government will ensure that the establishment of monitoring and regulatory institutions does not create unnecessary duplication but rather reflect the trends in the industry. The regulatory institutions will, therefore, be more efficient and effective.


Madam Speaker, I wish to assure the House that my ministry will study in detail the report of the Committee on Information and Broadcasting Services. I wish to conclude by thanking the Chairperson of your Committee and all its members. My ministry will take the necessary steps to start implementing some of the recommendations so as to ensure that the film industry contributes to job and wealth creation in the country.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwewa: Madam Speaker, let me take this opportunity to thank all the hon. Members of this august House for supporting the Motion in silence and while seated.


Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwewa: Most importantly, Madam Speaker, let me thank the hon. Minister of information and Broadcasting for supporting the Motion.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. 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 1930 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 30th June, 2017.