Debates- Thursday, 11th July, 2013

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Thursday, 11th July, 2013

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






694. Mr Sianga (Sesheke) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    what the establishment for doctors at the district hospital level was;

(b)    how many doctors Yeta Hospital in Sesheke District had;

(c)    when the establishment for doctors at the hospital would be filled; and

(d)    when the hospital would be provided with an ambulance.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chikusu): Mr Speaker, the establishment for doctors at district hospital level is five, broken down as follows:

Cadre    Establishment

General Medical Officer    2

Medical Officer in Charge    1

Senior Resident Medical Officer    2

Total    5

Sir, currently, there are no doctors at Yeta Hospital in Sesheke District, as the two doctors stationed there are both on study leave at the University of Zambia. However, the district has one doctor at the District Medical Office, one at Mwandi and another at the District Hospital. The three doctors serve the patients in the district.

Mr Speaker, the filling of the establishment for hospitals is an on-going process and more doctors will be posted in the next recruitment. In fact, the Ministry of Health posted two Senior Resident Medical Officers to Yeta Hospital in the first phase of the recruitment, who will report for duty at the end of this month.

Sir, the Ministry of Health has commenced the procurement of 207 ambulances for both basic and advanced life support. The ambulances are likely to arrive in the country around August, 2013 and Sesheke will be assigned an ambulance from that consignment. Delivery of the ambulances is expected in the next two weeks.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sianga: Mr Speaker, why did the ministry send students as doctors to the mentioned hospital, and when does it intend to deploy permanent doctors?

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, the doctors sent to the hospital were not students. They are qualified, have undergone a proper internship and are fully practising doctors. The reason doctors go for further education is to advance in their specialisation for the benefit of the patients.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, we understand that going to school is a good thing, but the vacuum that is normally left, for four years, in certain instances, is too much for the patients who require the doctors’ services. What is the ministry planning to do to ensure that this vacuum does not exist when doctors go on study leave?

The Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, I appreciate the question. This is a matter that has been of concern to the ministry. Our review of postings is intended to create a category of staff that remain on the list of employees, but not committed to a particular institution for the period that they have gone for training. This means that the funds which would have been used to pay their salaries will be released to enable us to appoint another person. That is in progress.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, Zambia has trained many doctors, but most of them have gone for greener pastures outside Zambia.  Now that we have a critical shortage of doctors in our country, what is the ministry planning to do to recall most of our doctors, who were trained at a very high cost, to come back to Zambia?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I think that the return of our doctors from abroad would be a good thing, and it is encouraged, but it is a very small drop in the ocean compared with the needs for medical services. It has, therefore, been decided by the Government that there should be a radical increase in the intake of our schools of medicine. In the next few weeks, I will publish and distribute our new programme of vastly-increased intake in our medical schools, which is meant to take care of the absences that are caused by departure to other pastures.

I thank you, Sir.


695. Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi) asked the Minister of Finance:

(a)    how much money was owed to food suppliers by the following institutions from 2009 to 2010, year by year:

(i)    Zambia Prisons Service;

(ii)    Zambia Army;

(iii)    Zambia National Service;

(iv)    Zambia Air Force; and

(v)    Zambia Police Force; and

(b)    why the suppliers were not paid on time.

The Deputy Minister of Finance (Mr Mukata): Mr Speaker, the amounts of money owed by the mentioned institutions were as follows:

Institution        Amounts Owed (K’million)

        2009    2010

Zambia National Service        ---    3.4
Zambia Army        ---    ---

Zambia Police Force    4.68    2.92

Zambia Prisons Service    11.88    15.96

Zambia Air Force    15.74    20.99

Mr Speaker, the delay in paying the food suppliers was a result of budgetary constraints. In this regard, the budgetary provisions for food procurement have been progressively increasing over the years. In addition, the Treasury has advised ministries, provinces and other spending agencies to prioritise the dismantling of arrears in their respective budgets.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, these are good records, but I am surprised as to why the Zambia Army did not owe any suppliers. I do not know what happened. Did it stop operating or what?

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, would you want to respond?


Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, it is a very disingenuous question. Nevertheless, …

Mr Sikazwe: Disingenuous.


Mr Mukata: … the question was whether the Zambia Army owed any suppliers any money in the respective periods and the answer is that it did not. However, you could ask a question on whether the Zambia Army sold other materials to some people, then, we can answer that question properly.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kaingu (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, the figures sound very small. Surely, the Government failed to pay K4 million in 2010? Is he talking in terms of the current kwacha, which was rebased, or the 2010 currency?

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Speaker: I think that we should all take note that we have since migrated …


Mr Speaker: … from the old denomination. For ease of communication, he is referring, of course, to the rebased kwacha.


696. Mr Mushanga (Bwacha) asked the Vice-President:

(a)    when the Government would complete the harmonisation of salaries and conditions of service for defence and security personnel;

(b)    what had caused the delay in completing the process; and 

(c)    what the benefits of the exercise were.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Mwango): Mr Speaker, the rationalisation and harmonisation of salaries and conditions of service exercise for defence and security personnel was completed in August, 2012.

Sir, there was no delay in completing the exercise. However, what delayed was the implementation, which had to await clearance from the Treasury for funding. The harmonised salaries will be implemented with effect from 1st September, 2013, together with the revised salaries and conditions of service for the rest of the Public Service employees.

Mr Speaker, the benefits of the exercise are as follows: …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the left!

Mr Mwango: 

(a)    the recruitment and retention of highly motivated defence and security personnel;

(b)    improved transparency in the compensation system;

(c)    promotion of vertical and horizontal equity in the compensation structure;

(d)    strengthened link between pay and performance; and 

(e)    enhanced salary administration and improved wage bill management, as the salaries and conditions of service will be rationalised.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


697.    Mr Mpundu (Nchelenge) asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry:

(a)    why the Government banned the export of scrap metal in September, 2011; and 

(b)    when the ban would be lifted.

The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Sampa): Mr Speaker, the ban on the export of scrap metal was effected, through Statutory Instrument No. 102 of 2011, by the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government in order to grow the local steel industry and mobilise scrap metal reserves for the production of steel and iron products by the emergent new steel and iron plants in the country.

Sir, value addition to scrap metal contributes to job creation and increases foreign earnings from exporting high-value steel and iron products, as opposed to exporting raw scrap metals. The ban on the export of scrap metal was also expected to cure the increase in the vandalism of electrical and telecommunication installations that resulted from the high demand for scrap metal and the resulting increase in the export of scrap metal then. It should be noted that telecommunication cables, power lines and manhole covers have been on high demand everywhere. In addition, coils from air-conditioning units, pipes, catalytic converters, street signs, rail lines, bridge rails, statues and sculptures, building components and even graves have often been targeted.

Mr Speaker, the local scrap metal processors employ a reasonable number of people and normally offer long-term employment to highly-skilled professionals like engineers and craftsmen, thereby creating quality employment. 

Sir, in the case of scrap metal dealers, the kind of employment offered is normally temporary with low-skill levels that do not offer social security, which is not the Government’s policy. The Government wants people to be in decent and sustainable jobs.

Mr Speaker, the Government has no plan to lift the ban on the export of scrap metal. However, it has taken keen interest in the iron and steel industry and is, thus, continuing to monitor developments in the sector, using relevant instruments, with a view to responding appropriately to those developments.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mpundu: Mr Speaker, if the hon. Minister got information to the effect that the major local buyer of steel will close for a month for maintenance, would scrap metal dealers be allowed to export?

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, the major buyer is Kafue Steel in Kafue, where the company is a major employer. If it closes for maintenance, however, there are still other companies equally in need of steel, namely, Zinc Aluminium Lead Copper (ZALCO) Limited, Good Time Steel in Lusaka and Scaw in Kitwe. The supply is not even able to satisfy the demand. In fact, Kafue Steel is opening a mine in Mumbwa to get more of the iron that it needs because it does not get enough supplies from the scrap metal dealers. 

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, how many companies are involved in iron and steel processing?

Mr Speaker: That is a new question. Hon. Minister, are you able to provide a bonus answer?

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, yes, I can.

Sir, there are, at least, four companies, and there is high demand for steel and iron products. In this regard, more suppliers and buyers are coming up on the market.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mutale (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, has the ban on scrap metal exports reduced the amount of vandalism in the country?

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, vandalism only occurs when there are buyers of scrap metals. If there are no buyers, there is no need for anyone to go and start stealing cables because no one will buy them. Mostly, the local companies, such as Kafue Steel, buy from the local scrap metal dealers and keep records of their transactions. When exports were permitted, there was no adequate documentation. In fact, most of the scrap metal was smuggled out. So, yes, the ban has reduced vandalism significantly.

I thank you, Sir.


698. Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a)    why the construction of Kasukwe Market in Dundumwezi Parliamentary Constituency stalled;  and

(b)    when the works would resume.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Tembo): Mr Speaker, the construction of Kasukwe Market in Dundumwezi Parliamentary Constituency by the Kalomo District Council commenced after a grant of K30,000 was given to the local authority in 2007. The works have since stalled because the local authority has not been able to allocate any extra funds to the project.

Mr Speaker, works will only resume when funds have been made available for the project. The Government, unfortunately, does not have any allocation for the project in the current Budget. However, provisions will be made in the 2014 Budget for the completion of Kasukwe Market.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, why did the ministry decide to build the market when it had no capacity to complete it?

Mr Tembo: Mr Speaker, the Government has the capacity to build markets across the country. The problem with Dundumwezi is that the local authority did not submit the request for more funding.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, if the Government has the capacity to build markets across the country, as the hon. Deputy Minister has just informed us, why has it not built the markets that hon. Members of Parliament have been asking in the various constituencies?

Mr Tembo: Mr Speaker, there is a process that is supposed to be followed, especially in terms of funding. Further, infrastructure development is a continuous process. We will build markets across the country when funds are available.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has indicated, on one hand, that the reason the construction of the market in Dundumwezi has not been completed is a lack of budgetary provisions and, on the other hand, that the Government has the capacity to build markets in all the constituencies in the country, although it is failing to build one small market in Dundumwezi. Could he be kind enough to reconcile these two conflicting statements to me so that I can clearly understand what is on the ground.

Mr Tembo: Mr Speaker, like I said, the Government has the capacity to build markets across the country, and it is already doing so. However, this is an on-going exercise. 

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that Kasukwe Market was not completed because the local authorities did not request funding. Was this project being supervised or not? If not, where were the supervising officers? 

Mr Tembo: Mr Speaker, of course, we have our own supervisors at the local level. The lack of effective supervision of projects is what we have been addressing in the system. I am saying so because most of our colleagues in the local authorities did not have that capacity. Now, with the recruitment of Local Government Service Commissioners (LGSCs), we will correct things so that projects can be implemented in the right way.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulomba (Magoye): Mr Speaker, we have learnt from the hon. Minister that this market was funded in 2007 but, to date, it is still at slab level. Can the hon. Minister assure the people of Dundumwezi and the nation at large that this project will be included in the 2014 Budget.

Mr Tembo: Mr Speaker, like I indicated earlier, it is not our problem, as a ministry, but that of the local authorities, who have not submitted the fresh bill of quantities (BOQs) so that we fund the project. If we receive the BOQs, the project will be funded by 2014.

I thank you, Sir.


699. Mr Bwalya asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs:

(a)    what benefits would accrue to Zambia from hosting the Conference on Cluster Munitions;

(b)    which areas in Zambia had been cleared of landmines;

(c)    how many square kilometres remained to be de-mined in order to complete the task; and

(d)    how many victims of landmines were rehabilitated and provided with mobility aids, such as artificial legs and wheelchairs, between 2005 and 2012.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs (Dr Lungu): Mr Speaker, by hosting the Conference on Cluster Munitions, Zambia will benefit from the following:

(a)    boosted international image as a partner in global peace;

(b)    promotion of the country’s image at international fora;

(d)    strengthening of Zambia’s position in multilateral organisations, such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU), to which she is a member; 

(e)    publicity and promotion of Zambia’s tourism industry;

(f)    increased access to foreign exchange during the course of the conference;

(g)    opening of doors for Zambia to get assistance for the disabled victims of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW); and

(h)    a deduction from Zambia’s obligatory contribution to the Implementation Support Unit (ISU) of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM). This will, with regard to Zambia’s hosting of the conference, be treated as in-kind contribution within an accessed and hybrid financing mechanism.

Mr Speaker, all areas that were known to have been contaminated with landmines in the Southern, North-Western, Eastern, Western, Central, Luapula and Lusaka provinces have been cleared by the Zambia Army. This is according to the 2008 Survey of Landmines and Other Explosive Remnants of War carried out by the Norwegian People’s Aid Mine Action.

Sir, there are no known square kilometres remaining to be de-mined in the country. This is because it is not feasible to provide meaningful outer perimeters of the contaminated areas because the areas that were infested with landmines are sporadic and were rudimentarily marked.

Mr Speaker, the Government of the Republic of Zambia, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, under the Zambia Mine Action Centre (ZMAC), rehabilitated four landmine victims. The victims were from the remotest areas of the North-Western Province bordering Angola. The assistance included prosthesis treatment, new artificial legs and special shoes.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that the de-mining exercise has been completed countrywide. A fortnight ago, the hon. Deputy Minister of Youth and Sport, who happens to be the hon. Member of Parliament for Sinjembela, complained and pleaded with the Government to help in de-mining a part of Shang’ombo District. I am aware that even Imusho has also not de-mined. Can he reconcile these statements.

Dr Lungu: Mr Speaker, de-mining is an on-going process, not a static one. So, once our officers get information that some areas have mines, then, we dispatch our officers to those areas.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


700. Mr Chungu (Luanshya) asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development whether the Government had any plans to re-establish the Department of Water Affairs, which was responsible for, among many responsibilities, the clearing of canals.

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Zulu): Mr Speaker, the Department of Water Affairs still exists, but it is no longer responsible for clearing canals or dredging because that function was transferred to the Department of Maritime and Inland Waters in the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications after Government departments were re-structured.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chungu: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mbewe: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Luanshya.

Mr Chungu: … I would like to find out from the hon. Minister …

Mr Mbewe: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, Chadiza rarely stands on points of order.


Mr Mbewe: This is my first point of order during this sitting and it is necessitated by the gravity of the issue. Is the hon. Member for Bangweulu, who is sitting there and drinking Government water, …

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Mbewe: Yes, it is Government water. Is that your water?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Chadiza.


Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member in order to sit comfortably, when on Page 11 of today’s The Post newspaper, there is an article with the headline, “Samfya Hunters Refuse to Have Dogs Vaccinated”?


Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I quote:

“Hunters in Samfya District are refusing to have their dogs vaccinated for fear of making them less vicious during hunting expeditions.”


Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, rabid dogs are a menace to the public. When an individual eats a rabid animal, he is also affected. Is the hon. Member in order not to educate his people on the importance of vaccinating dogs so that they do not transmit diseases to the people?

I need your serious ruling.


Mr Speaker: My ruling is that there are many challenges in Chadiza. I believe that the constituency in Chadiza is looking forward to your resolution of those many challenges, instead of focusing your attention on Bangweulu. I think that you are out of order.


Mr Chungu: Mr Speaker, when will the Government procure dredging machines? I ask this because, out of the ten that were promised, only three have been procured for clearing the canals in this country.

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, like I said, this function has been transferred to the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications. So, our ministry would not be in position to tell, exactly, when these machines will be procured.

I thank you, Sir.


701. Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West) asked the Minister of Finance how much money was spent on the following projects as of April, 2013:

(a)    printing the rebased kwacha currency;

(b)    sensitising the public on the new currency;

(c)    circulating the currency; and

(d)    withdrawing the old currency from circulation.

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) entered into three-year currency supply contracts with Giesecke and Devrient, otherwise known as G and D, of Germany, for the supply of bank notes and South African Mint Company for the supply of coins for the period 2012 to 2014. The contracts, which were duly awarded by the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) through a tendering process followed the expiry of the contracts for the period 2010 to December, 2012. 

Mr Speaker, BoZ was going to enter into new currency supply contracts to print banknotes for the period 2012 to 2014, with or without the rebasing of the Zambian currency. The decision to rebase the currency, therefore, simply coincided with the new currency supply contracts for 2012 to 2014.

Mr Speaker, BoZ contracted to procure 285 million banknotes in 2010, at a cost of €13.93 million from D&G. Of the total amount contracted, the bank received 263.4 million pieces from the printers, at a cost of €12.75 million, as of 30th April, 2013. In addition, the bank contracted to procure 232 million coins for 2012 at a total cost of US$3.81 million from the South African Mint Company. The bank incurred a total cost of US$1.05 million on printing and delivering 61,956,000 coins, as at 30th April, 2013. 

Mr Speaker, BoZ spent K12.69 million on conducting currency sensitisation programmes countrywide. The bank mostly used its own members of staff to undertake this exercise. In addition, it used various media, including television, print, radio and billboards, to mention only a few, to disseminate information on currency rebasing.

Sir, one of the key responsibilities of BoZ is the distribution of the national currency countrywide. The distribution of currency is a routine operation undertaken by the bank. In this regard, BoZ, in addition to the regional offices, operates six sub-chests in the main provincial centres where commercial banks withdraw currency to issue to the public. However, given the large volumes of the rebased currency that the bank had to distribute countrywide before the launch of the new currency on 1st January, 2013, incremental costs were incurred to the tune of K474,010. 53. 

Finally, Sir, one of the guidelines issued to commercial banks by BoZ was that no old currency would be paid out to customers following the issuance of the rebased currency on 1st January, 2013. Therefore, all the old currency deposited at commercial banks was repatriated to BoZ. It should be noted that commercial banks are responsible for the cost of cash-in-transit from their premises to BoZ and sub-chests and vice-versa. Therefore, the only cost that the bank incurred was to evacuate the old currency from the sub-chests to BoZ, and that amounted to K335,734.01, as at end of April, 2013. 

Sir, the total amount of old currency withdrawn from circulation, as at 30th April, 2013, was K3.5 trillion, representing a 92 per cent withdrawal rate. As I indicated a few days ago, as we speak, today, the withdrawal rate stands at 96 per cent.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.  

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, there have been complaints from the general public concerning the quality of the new notes. Is the Government contemplating replacing the K5 and K2 notes?

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, it is not the first time that we are hearing complaints on the quality of bank notes. The bank is receptive to these complaints and is looking into it. We are aware that queries have been raised in certain quarters and are looking at the merits and demerits of the different issues that have been raised regarding the notes. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, could I hear from the hon. Minister, in his opinion, what the demerits are.  

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, since this is a personal question, I, personally, do not find any demerits on the notes. 


I thank you, Sir. 

Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, the complaints about the quality of the bank notes are genuine. It is a factual experience of the marketeers and various business people. Can the hon. Minister give us a factual answer regarding what BoZ is doing to address this problem. 

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, BoZ is considering all these complaints in their totality and we will take a position. I cannot say whether they are dancing or laughing. All I know is that the bank is taking these issues into account.  

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Minister, limit your response to the issues. Practise some patience with hon. Members on my left. They are here to hold you accountable. This is the nature of the system. 

Hon. PF Member interjected.

Mr Speaker: That is why you are on the right. It is by choice. 


Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, concerns have been raised about whether we can revert to the K1 notes, as opposed to the coins, because people lose them or throw them away all the time since they are not used to moving with them. Can you consider reverting to the K1 note to avoid losses. 

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, to bury this persistent issue once and for all, the procedure is very specific and demands a very detailed consideration of technical issues. I indicated that this issue is under consideration. Diverse complaints as well as assurances have been received on the matter. This, therefore, goes both ways. In short, I ask the hon. Member to, perhaps, put a specific question so that we can come up with a detailed answer on what, exactly, is being done on the issue. Currently, I can only confirm that complaints have been received and the issues are being considered. However, as to the final details of what is being done, I think, I will be at sea and suffer the risk of misleading the House.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: I hope we are not harping on this issue.

Mr Kalaba: Harping!


Mr Speaker: To avoid repetition, let me give some guidance. Complaints have been received, acknowledged and are being considered. That is the response from the hon. Minister.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, my question is not on the quality of the currency, but on the rationale behind the BoZ’s decision not to mint a 1n coin in this country. The denominations start at 5n, and that is adversely affecting business transactions?

The Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, the issue is one of practicability.


Hon. Opposition Members: Baima!


Mr Chikwanda: It is not practicable to have 1n coins because the price structure in the country does not make it a very expedient arrangement.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, in answering part (a) of the question, the hon. Deputy Minister quoted the money spent in Euros. For example, he said that we spent €13.9 million and €12.6 million. Can the hon. Minister help me and, maybe, many other Zambians to understand the amounts in kwacha terms.


Mr Mwiimbu: It is not allowed to quote in foreign denominations.

Mr Speaker: Let him respond. Do not supply answers.

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, first and foremost, that is the actual amount of money that was spent, and it was a foreign transaction. Do not get caught up in that business of Statutory Instrument (SI) 33, which prohibits the quoting of local transactions in foreign currencies. This was a foreign transaction. So, the actual sum that was paid out was over €13.7 million.

Hon. Opposition Members: No.

Mr Mukata: If you need the amount converted into kwacha, you can see me at break time. I will get my calculator …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Hon. Government Members: Yes.

Mr Mukata: It is a very … Let me ...

Mr Speaker: You have answered the question, hon. Deputy Minister.

Mr Mukata: Indeed, I have, Sir.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: On a light note, I hope that people are not expecting the kwacha to be transmitted.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to ask the hon. Deputy Minister a follow-up question. 

Sir, since the hon. Deputy Minister does not see any demerit in the quality of our current currency notes with particular regard to the K2, K5 and K10, I would like him to shed a little light on whether he is satisfied with the specifications that were given to the printing company of this currency, considering that it is public knowledge that the actual notes, especially the K100 note, does not have very sophisticated security features, and we see many counterfeit notes in circulation today.

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, the question I was asked by Hon. Ntundu was whether, personally, I am satisfied. It was not about the Government’s position, and I said that, personally, I did not see any demerits in the quality of the notes. Since the follow-up question, again, is asking me, in my personal capacity, not the Government, …

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Kalaba: Go ahead! 

Mr Mukata: … I invite Hon. Nkombo to ask me that question over a cup of tea. Then, I can give my personal views.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Kalaba: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mukata: However, if it is about the Government’s position, ...

Mr Speaker: Order!

Let us have order. Complete your response, hon. Deputy Minister.

Mr Mukata: The answer is two-faced. If it is an official position that is being requested, I humbly request that a question specifically targeting that issue be put and we will get a technocrat to comprehensively deal with the specific issues that will be raised. Otherwise, I am not an expert on bank notes. I need to consult the technocrats on such specific information.

Mr Kalaba: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukata: I think, that is fair.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: I just want to give some guidance here, hon. Minister. I know that you may be very cautious about the language, and the questions and their formulation. However, for all intents and purposes, you are responding to the questions in your capacity as an hon. Deputy Minister. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Let us not go into literalism about these questions.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: You are responding as an hon.  Government Minister.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear! Long live the Chair!

Dr Kazonga (Vubwi): Mr Speaker, as a follow-up on the question asked by the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central on the lack of a 1n coin, which is the minimum denomination, can the Government consider introducing it because of the losses and gains that are being experienced in business transactions. For example, if you do not have a 1n, there could be a gain or a loss. I remember the hon. Minister saying that the omission is for practical reasons. Here is a practical hypothetical situation whereby an item costs K1.56, but one only has a 5n. If the 1n were available, it would be possible to pay exactly K1.56. 


Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, as earlier indicated by the hon. Minister, the one ngwee denomination, when you compare its value with those of other currencies, I think, there were difficulties in having the one ngwee denomination brought in as a coin. However, if you are talking about the difficulties in change, and you gave an example of a K56, …

Dr Kazonga: 56n.

Mr Mukata: … if you are talking about 56n, all you need to do, if you want change, is give 60n, then, get 4n in two 2n coins as your change.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwiimbu: There are no 2n coins.


Mr L. J. Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, currently, there is a shortage …

Mr Hamudulu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister in order to mislead this House and the nation at large that there are 2n coins when, actually, the smallest coin we have is the 5n? I seek your ruling, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member of Parliament for Sinda, ask your question. The hon. Minister will take the point of order into account as he responds.

Mr L. J. Ngoma: Sir, currently, in the Eastern Province, there is a severe shortage of coins. What is the Bank of Zambia or the Ministry of Finance doing to ensure the availability of the coins in the province?

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, clarify that issue about coinage as well, as you respond.

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, let me deal with that important question about distribution, first and, then, I will get to the other issue. 

Sir, in my earlier answer, when I was talking about distribution, I indicated that the distribution of coins and bank notes is being done through the commercial banks. However, it takes a bit of time to hit a critical mass because, at times, you are talking about the withdrawal of the old currency and replacing it with the new one. You will also note, from the answer that I gave, that there is a little shortfall, especially, of the coins. The number of coins that have been supplied is quite insignificant. With the bank notes, at least, all have been supplied. So, the problems you have are two-fold: we hit the optimal level, both in terms of the number of coins, saturation and supply. You heard that most of the money that has not been collected is in the rural areas and, as people circulate, I think, we are going to hit the desired level. In terms of the change, …


Mr Speaker: Order! 

Mr Mukata: … when you talk of 56n, the example I was giving …

Mr Ndalamei: Nshima.

Mr Mukata: Nshima?


Mr Speaker: Continue with your response, hon. Deputy Minister.

Mr Mukata: Sir, I know that they are still grappling with the removal of subsidies, but we will deal with that.


Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, the example I was giving was intended to show that you can find room to transact. It was just an example. You can find room to give a higher denomination and get smaller change in return. You do not really need the 1n, specifically, to navigate between transactions. It is just necessary to find that mid-point. That is what I meant.

I thank you, Sir.


702. Mr Matafwali (Bangweulu) asked the Minister of Justice:

(a)    how many legal practitioners had their practising licences suspended between 2007 and 2012, year by year; and

(b)    of the suspended legal practitioners, how many had been restored, as of March, 2013.

The Deputy Minister of Justice (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, the numbers of legal practitioners who had their practising certificates suspended and those whose certificates were restored for the period 2007 to March, 2013, are as follows.

Year     No. of Certificates Suspended        No. of Certificates Restored 

2007    1    1    

2008    3    1    

2009    2    0

2010    4    2

2011    4    1

2012    3    2

2013    0    1

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Matafwali: Mr Speaker, of the underlying reasons for the suspension of the licences, which was the most prominent?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, that question requires further research. Maybe, the hon. Member could put in a new question so that we check what the reasons for the suspensions were.

I thank you, Sir.


703. Mr Bwalya asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication why the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) had not facilitated the construction of communication towers, despite assurances, in the following areas of Chilubi Parliamentary Constituency:

(a)    Mofu Ward;

(b)    Mwape Kalunga;

(c)    Lubilikila; and

(d)    Chipelembe.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr M. H. Malama): Mr Speaker, Mofu, Mwape Kalunga, Lubilikila and Chipelembe were initially not programmed for installation of towers due to financial constraints. However, the Government has now planned to extend the installation of communication towers and services to Chief Matipa and Chief Chiwanangala by mid-2014. Mwape Kalunga and Chipelembe will be covered under Chief Matipa while Mofu will be covered under Chief Chiwanangala. Lubilikila will be covered later. The objective is to have all areas covered by the end of 2015.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.




Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs’ Affairs for the Second Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 8th July, 2013.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, your Committee, in performing its duties, was guided by its terms of reference, as set out in the Standing Orders.

Sir, during the year under review, your Committee undertook a study of the status of fire-fighting services in Zambia. It also considered the 2013 report of the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing and the Action-Taken Report on the Committee’s report for 2012. It also undertook a foreign tour to Namibia to study the implementation of the Fire Policy in that country.

Mr Speaker, in performing its duties, your Committee was mindful of its role of ensuring that councils deliver quality services in an efficient and effective manner to the local communities.

Sir, fifty-one local authorities were cited in the hon. Minister’s Report on the Audited Accounts of Local Authorities for 2013. Following the consideration of the matters raised, your Committee expressed concern at the continued failure by local authorities to abide by regulations in the management of public funds. Your Committee noted that guidelines pertaining to the retirement of imprest and utilisation of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), among others, are still widely overlooked. Your Committee was further saddened that most recommendations made by your previous Committees had not been addressed by the relevant principal officers. That is equivalent to belittling the authority of your Committee and this House. Your Committee, therefore, strongly urges the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, whose responsibility is to supervise the local authorities, to take stern disciplinary action against erring officers in order to ensure that laid-down guidelines and financial regulations are followed. 

Sir, your Committee also noted, with concern, the high rate of transfers of controlling officers in councils. Some of these transfers made by the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) are done without consulting the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and some of the transferred officers had performed poorly in their previous stations. It was disheartening for your Committee to learn that such officers were simply transferred to other councils. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that, in order to ensure the effective and efficient management of the councils, every promotion, transfer or dismissal be done in consultation with the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

Mr Speaker, your Committee also discovered that most councils lacked qualified staff in key positions. That had negatively affected the performance of the councils. Your Committee, therefore, urges the LGSC to ensure that qualified people are recruited to take up positions in the councils. Your Committee further learnt that members of staff in most councils had taken leave to pursue long-term studies without following the laid-down procedures, and that most of the lapses in the administration of council regulations were as a result of the long absences of key staff. Your Committee recommends that the Ministry of Local Government and Housing ensures that controlling officers in the councils follow the laid-down procedures in considering applications for long-term study leaves by members of staff.

Sir, let me spend a little more time commenting on the challenges faced in the fire-fighting services of Zambia because this is a subject that has been given very little attention in the past. 

Sir, your Committee was saddened to note that the management of fire services in Zambia is one of the most neglected areas of service provision. Your Committee learnt that Zambia had no fire policy and that, due to the lack of a national fire policy, there was inadequate overall policy guidance in the provision of fire-fighting services in the country.

Sir, your Committee learnt that most fire stations were constructed in the pre-Independence era, when the population and catchment area were relatively small. With the current growth in population, residential, commercial and industrial areas, the radius covered by one station far outstrips the possibility of adhering to the recommended response time of three to five minutes after receiving a fire emergency alert.

Mr Speaker, most local fire authorities do not have fire tenders that match risk categories. Your Committee learnt that the recommended number of fire tenders in an incident was four, with a water capacity of between 5,000 to 10,000 litres, a turn-table ladder to provide access, in case of high rise buildings, a rescue fire tender carrying all types of rescue equipment and an ambulance. Currently, no fire brigade in the country has the full complement of fire-fighting equipment. Your Committee was further saddened to learn that most of the fire-fighting equipment that was donated to the country and distributed to the councils in 2008 is very old and obsolete. Some of it cannot be used at all.

Mr Speaker, your Committee noted, with great concern, that, forty-nine years after Independence, Zambia only had one fire-fighting training school in Kabwe. Further, the curriculum and equipment at the school are outdated. Your Committee also observed that the Fire Service Administration Regulation of 1991 had limited scope and coverage. In light of the above, your Committee recommends as follows:

(a)    the Government should urgently develop a fire policy and formulate legislation that will provide legal support to the policy to enforce fire safety, such as prevention, protection, detection and suppression;

(b)    the Government should take seriously the importance of fire services by ensuring that adequate funding is provided to the sector for training of fire-fighters and for the purchase of modern fire-fighting equipment;

(c)    the Government should ensure that the process of fire prevention, detection, fighting and sensitisation involves everyone at community level. Every citizen should be made aware that they have a role to play in fire prevention and fighting;

(d)    the Government should ensure that the establishment of a fire station is prerequisite to the establishment of a district;

(e)    the Government should review and update the fire-fighting training curriculum and upgrade the current college in Kabwe; and

(f)    the Government should look at the possibility of establishing a fire-fighting training school in each provincial headquarters.

Sir, in conclusion, I thank all Town Clerks, Council Secretaries, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and the Auditor-General’s Office for their co-operation during your Committee’s deliberations. Your Committee would also like to thank the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for services 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.

Mr Speaker, with these few remarks, I beg to move.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, now.

Mr Mbewe: Aah! The shortest man.

Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, in seconding the Motion, I would like to, firstly, congratulate the mover for the able manner in which he has moved it. 

Mr Speaker, in its study of fire services, your Committee had the rare privilege to undertake a study tour to Namibia …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Ndalamei: … to compare the provision of fire services in that country with the services provided in Zambia and learn best practices in the provision of this very important service. 


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, your Committee learnt that Namibia was one of the few countries in Africa that have taken the provision of fire services seriously by developing a fire policy and legislation to guide the provision of the service. The Namibian Fire Service receives funding directly from the Central Government for the purchase of modern fire-fighting equipment and training of men and women in modern techniques in fire-fighting. The private sector had also been encouraged to play an active role in the provision of fire-fighting services. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee further learnt that Namibia had identified community sensitisation as an important first step in fire-fighting. Every member of the community was continuously made aware of his or her role in the prevention of fire accidents. In view of this lesson learnt from a country that only got its Independence in 1990, your Committee recommends that the Government seriously recognises fire as a major threat to the well-being of Zambians. Fires had erupted in all the provinces of the country and most of the key sectors of the economy. As a result, lives had been lost and property destroyed.

Mr Speaker, the need for a fire policy, a fire Act and provision of adequate funding to the sector cannot be over-emphasised. Your Committee recommends serious sensitisation of members of the public on their role in fire prevention, and one of the ways of ensuring that is through fire drills, which should be regularly carried out in schools, hospitals, shopping malls, markets and, even here, at the National Assembly.

Mr Speaker, with those few words, I beg to second.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, I thank you and your Committee for such a well thought-out report and the topics considered. 

Sir, let me start with the second part of the report of your Committee, which is on the accounts of most councils vis-a-vis the financial irregularities cited therein. I will begin with the Kitwe City Council.  

Sir, the audited accounts reveal something that must really make us think a little harder and outside the box to address the problems that affect councils around the country. For a council like Kitwe City Council to have so many outstanding creditors and debtors and poor management of records, it leaves little hope for councils like Katete and Luangwa. However, let me put my points in chronological order.

Sir, our councils are of serious concern in this country, as revealed by your report. Firstly, their administration is very weak. As a result, development is not rolling out in the outskirts of our country. Development in Zambia is now about Lusaka only. Even in Lusaka, although it has not been mentioned in the report, there are bigger councils that are supposed to be self-sustaining, yet they demand a lot of money from the Central Government. This Committee went to Namibia and saw how even smaller cities like Walvis Bay are self-financing. Big councils like the Kitwe City Council have the ability to raise money at a local level to run their affairs. Today, the Central Government is pumping a lot of money to work on urban roads in cities like Kitwe and Lusaka, denying development to the poor people in the outlying areas of our country. Therefore, there is a need to strengthen the administration of councils.

Mr Speaker, what has happened, especially in the last three years, upon the introduction of new regulations in the LGSC, whereby the chief executives and management of councils are appointed by this commission, is that the power has been removed from the local administration or local governance. The executives report to the councils. Many a time, people have complained to us, hon. Members of Parliament, who are also councillors, that we are doing nothing to improve the welfare of our people, yet the people who manage these institutions are appointed by someone else. These people must begin to be accountable to the councillors in their different localities. Those are their employers.

Mr L. J. Ngoma: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Hamududu: Today, we are being given Council Secretaries who do not toe the development agenda in their councils. As a result, we have problems. You cannot take them to task over the rates that they are collecting from the people in their localities. So, there must be a relationship on the issues of revenues that are collected in our towns. They must be used to deliver services. If you come from Livingstone or Kitwe, for example, which appear in the report, the people on the streets, who pay rates on property, must see where their money is going, instead of the money that they pay being consumed by the administration. The maintenance of towns should not totally depend on grants, as is the case currently, because there is no accountability on the revenue collected by the councils. Your Committee was very surprised when it went to Namibia, a country with a small population, to see that, from the local taxes, the councils are able to do a lot. In one of the towns they visited, Windhoek, the urban roads are wholly maintained by the revenue from the councils.

Mr Speaker, Kitwe and Lusaka have councils that are bigger than Windhoek’s. They have enough potential to raise revenue to maintain the infrastructure, collect refuse and provide water and sanitation in the localities. This is a challenge to the new Government. Will it make the councils work? If it does not make the local councils work, it will not reverse some of the negative social indicators in our country.

Mr Speaker, yesterday, there was a Motion on the millennium development goals (MDGs), which are being averaged. If you check the MDG on poverty, it is almost being met in Lusaka and on the Copperbelt. However, if you go to Luapula, the North-Western and the Western provinces, the poverty levels are as high as 90 per cent because the local councils are not effective. Even the funding formula is inequitable. We need more money to go to the councils that do not have the potential to raise enough money. Unfortunately, the bigger councils like Lusaka, Kitwe, Ndola and Livingstone are the ones taking the biggest share of the grants from the Central Government. The smaller towns receive virtually nothing, yet that is where the majority of the poor people live. If we want to reduce poverty, we must take money to where the majority of the poor are, and the channel used to take the money there should be the councils. We ask this Government to bring the Local Government Service Commission Act back to this House for amendment so that the power can be returned to the people. These council executives should begin to be accountable to the people at the local level because, currently, they have to consult someone in Lusaka, who is very far from the issues that affect the people in their local settings. There is a very big disconnection in that.

Mr Speaker, this Government has an ambitious road programme which, unfortunately, is mainly meant to connect towns. There is very little that is being done to capacitate councils to deal with access roads to where the poor live. The agency to maintain these roads is with the councils, yet most of them do not even have the necessary road-making equipment. The graders in the councils were left by the United National Independence Party (UNIP). The councils, who are the custodians of the local roads, and who must work on them, are incapacitated. We, therefore, need to recapitalise the local councils so that they can deal with local problems. You can have good roads between towns. However, if you do not rehabilitate the rural roads, the poverty levels will continue to go up in this country.

Mr Speaker, another aspect of the poor running councils that adversely affects our poor people is the maladministration of the CDF. The CDF was introduced in this House to address the inequalities that existed in our country because of the realisation that most of the money was being consumed at the centre, and that there was a need to devise a formula to share the national cake. However, the maladministration of this fund by the councils has defeated its intended purpose, good as it might have been. We are now here asking for an increment of the CDF. That is the right thing to do. Our friends in countries like Kenya have raised the CDF to US$1 million, and I can tell you that, with US$1 million or K5 million, we can do a lot to improve the welfare of our poor. For example, in Monze, my colleagues and I have bought a new 140 Series grader at K1.7 million from the CDF. However, this report shows that the councils are, somehow, incapable of administering the fund.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Hamududu: Yes. We did not buy the second-hand ones that are bought corruptly. We bought new graders.


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, you can verify that. If you had given us a little more money, we could have done more. However, the councils are making Zambians to begin to doubt whether the CDF is necessary enough to be given to the constituencies. Therefore, can we clean the administration of the councils so that the credibility of the CDF is maintained. It should not be discontinued because of its maladministration by the people that you have given us to work in the councils. If you give us latitude, as councillors, to appoint our own executives in the councils, we could maintain only people who could apply this money correctly. Currently, people are failing to use the CDF properly. They are also failing to implement projects with the K1 million CDF. They are failing to exhaust the money in one fiscal year and, every year, there are balances rolling into the following year because of maladministration.


Mr Speaker: Order!

May I have order on the right.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, please, give us the latitude to appoint our own executives so that we can bring the right people, who will deliver and be accountable to us in our different localities. This country is not short of people who can make the councils work. However, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing is imposing incompetent people on us, and most of the issues that have been raised will not go away because the people who are appointed in these councils have more allegiance to the appointing authority than to the people that they are supposed to serve.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear. Hear!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, council workers must have allegiance to the people they serve so that there can be a connection between what they do and the needs of the people, who are, ideally, supposed to employ them. I can give you an example, and I keep bringing this issue up. Many Zambians, such as teachers, nurses and bankers, who have money want plots to build houses, but they are failing to get them. Meanwhile, we are complaining about the lack of investment and jobs. Even if construction jobs are short-term, people would find the means to put food on the table if there were construction jobs in the country. The councils are failing to think outside the box. I am not sure of the number of councils in this country, but let me say that we have eighty, for argument’s sake. If each of the eighty councils allocated 200 plots, we would create so many jobs for our people. It does not matter that the jobs would be temporary because our people do not even have temporary ones. 

Sir, the councils, in their current state, are a hindrance to the development of the country. Therefore, I urge the Government to quickly strengthen them. It can do that by being very clear about what councils must do on the revenue side. The Ministry of Local Government and Housing, with the help of some assessment teams, can give these councils some revenue thresholds. You could, for example, ask the Monze District Council, or Kitwe City Council to raise a certain amount of money in a year from their local taxes, and make that a key performance indicator. We saw that in Rwanda, where the councils are given performance contracts that stipulate how much money they should raise in a certain year, and the Central Government augments a certain amount as grants and tells the councils what to do with the money from the local revenue and the grants that they are given. 

Sir, the council workers in Rwanda are given very clear targets that they should meet by, at least, 70 per cent or be fired. If we did that, eventually, we would weed out all the non-performing council workers. Therefore, we need to re-orient the way the councils are administered. I ask the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to visit Rwanda. When we went to Rwanda with the Chairperson of this Committee, we were embarrassed that a highly-populated country so poor in natural resources and with an economy based on agriculture was making so much progress. Its local councils were ticking. 

Sir, the councils can raise significant amounts of revenue locally. However, the ministry is not giving them targets. There must be an independent team to assess the revenue potential of different councils and the determined potential should be put as a key performance indicator for a given council. What must be done in these councils must be clear in the workers’ contracts. Therefore, hon. Minister, as the councils bring you requests for approval of their yearly budgets, there must be a performance contract to those budgets so that the key deliverables are clear. If you want people who have low integrity to perform, you need to bring performance contracts. It is like being in a place where there are thieves. You will have put burglar bars.


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, the performance contracts are burglar bars to keep the thieves away. We must move to that system in this country. At the end of the year, you will not need to fire anybody. They will fire themselves if they do not reach a particular threshold. For example, if you gave the CDF to Monze Council and it did not finish disbursing the money by September, the workers should fire themselves. It is as simple as that. Currently, you say that hon. Members of Parliament are not working. Our job here is to fight for the CDF amount to be increased. Someone else is blocking the progress. 

Sir, when you go to most towns, you find that there is garbage everywhere. The councils are failing to build simple drainage systems and collect garbage, which you can simply put on a truck and take away. The towns are dirty, yet we want investment. There is no serious investor who can invest in this country. It is too dirty for anyone to consider.


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, the moment one comes into this country – currently, in Livingstone, where we are hosting the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly (UNWTO-GA), most of the visitors have already booked accommodation on the Zimbabwean side because that is what makes sense. The Zimbabwean side is cleaner, the roads were rehabilitated on time and reservations were made six months ago. People are not reserving accommodation now. They did it six months ago. However, that is when we are doing our roads and cleaning the city. That cannot work. Livingstone is too dirty. We helped our brothers across. I think that Zimbabwe must send a statement to thank us for requesting to jointly host this conference because 80 per cent of the revenue is going to that country because there is nothing on the Zambian side. The town is dirty, the roads and all other things are bad, yet the council has …

Mr Mwiimbu interjected.

Mr Hamududu: Yes.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, the inequalities that we face in this country are a result of the ineffectiveness of the councils. In order to address the issue, Kenya has even put it in the constitution that 15 per cent of its Budget goes to the local counties. At least, that is a beginning. Can you imagine, if we gave 15 per cent to the councils here, in Zambia, of course, after cleaning them up. Poverty would begin to reduce in Kaputa, Shang’ombo, Katete and other outlying areas. This country is rich in natural resources. There are more opportunities for this country, but we are taking long to clean up the system and put in place effective systems to strengthen institutions. 

Sir, we want you, when you leave office, …

Mr Mwila: When?

Mr Hamudulu: Whenever. God is the one who knows.

We want you to leave the legacy of having created functioning institutions, key among them being the councils. 

Mr Speaker, in Namibia, when the current Government took over, it never disturbed the local government system that it inherited from the colonial era. Here, in Zambia, we did the opposite. In Lusaka, I hear that there used to be meters to show how much one had to pay for parking a car. However, the Government decided to remove them, saying that people did not need to pay in their own country.

Sir, we, the residents, must pay for the service and have never refused to do so. I live in a small town whose residents are ready to pay the rates and levies. They have no problem, as long as they see corresponding services. They are sensible. So, can we have working systems so that our people can move with us. Currently, they do not see any credibility in paying rates to the councils for them to abuse the resources. Most council workers pocket the money collected from levies because we have not put clear key performance indicators to show where the money raised should go. That must be part of the process of approving the annual budgets for councils. At the end of each year, the Government must not fire those who are not performing. Their performance must fire them. For those who do not work, there must be a system for them to fire themselves.

Mr Speaker, performance-based management is the best way to clean up this country. If I am not performing, get me out. If you are not performing, you will be moved out. High performers will finally remain in the system and improve the human conditions in this country.

With these few words, I want to thank the mover and seconder of the Motion for the wonderful report.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the Motion on the Floor. 

Sir, to start with, I commend the mover and the seconder of the Motion for the able manner in which they discharged their functions.

Mr Speaker, your report has a number of lamentations and highlights issues arising from councils, such as non-adherence to financial regulations, retirement of imprest, poor performance and a lack of qualified staff. Most of these challenges centre on the people who implement council programmes. I am going to concentrate on the implementers and leave policy issues to other debaters.

Mr Speaker, while we can have good policies in these councils, the onus is on the people we have employed to implement them. However, how attractive are the jobs in the councils? How much, as a Government or country, have we invested in the people we have entrusted with the responsibility of managing the councils?

Sir, in Zambia, …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours. 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I had started debating the people we have charged with the responsibility of running programmes in our councils. I would like to continue by looking at how we recruit these important officers.  

Mr Speaker, currently, council officers are employed by the LGSC, a commission that does not supervise their performance. The officers, after being recruited by the LGSC, are supervised by officers to whom they have no allegiance, whatsoever, which has very adverse effects on the way they perform. Not only are they recruited by the commission but, even when it comes to transfers, it is also the commission that is solely responsible for effecting transfers without even consulting councillors, who are the ones who actually supervise the officers. 

Sir, I also want to debate the way we maintain council workers. I will come a little later to that issue. 

Sir, the sad events arising from the anomaly in the recruitment of officers for the councils is that the officers tend to be very arrogant to the councillors. They do not have any allegiance to them. Some of them even boast that the councillors do not know how they got their jobs in the councils, and that the councillors do not know who put the workers in their positions. So, councillors are left powerless because that is true. We do not know how they get into the councils. So, their allegiance is elsewhere. I, therefore, suggest that the Government reviews this aspect so that council workers know whom they should have their allegiance to.

Sir, further, council officers are paid by the Central Government. Therefore, they do not care whether the councils make money or not because, at the end of the month, they will still get their salaries. If only their pay depended on how they performed in revenue collection, maybe, they would work harder. As the situation is, currently, they are not motivated to work hard.

Mr Speaker, I also want to talk about the issues that arise from the arbitrary transfer of works by the LGSC. Some of the issues that arise are that some officers leave half-implemented programmes where they are transferred from. Even when people think that the officers are progressing, because the commission does not consult those who are on the ground to appraise their performance, they are transferred. As such, there is a disconnection and progress in the councils is hindered. My appeal, therefore, is that, if you cannot review the recruitment aspect, then, at least, when it comes to transfers, let us consult the people who work with these officers. We should consult on the merits of transferring officers based on their past performance.

Mr Speaker, in terms of how we look after the implementers of local government programmes in the councils, this country has councils that do not pay salaries to their workers for years. These are human beings who have families and some are so qualified that they could get jobs elsewhere. However, how do we treat them? I may not have specific cases, here, but I know that there are councils that have not paid their workers’ salaries for months. How do we expect those workers to perform on empty stomachs and when their children cannot go to school? 

Sir, I urge the Government to look at the grants that it gives to assess if they are enough to sustain our councils. We have councils, such as Mpongwe, that were making a lot of money from the grain levy, but that has since been abolished by the Government.

Mr Nkombo: Mazabuka was making K2 billion.

Mr Hamudulu: Yes, Mazabuka, too. 

They used to make so much money from the grain levy, but that was withdrawn without any corresponding increase on the grants that the councils receive. This is detrimental to the performance of the councils.

Mr Speaker, let me go back to the issue of transfers of council officers. Some of the councils are very small and still emerging. For example, Chikankata and Chirundu have officers who sleep in the open. In Chirundu, they sleep at the bus stop because there is no accommodation. The officers are expected to wake up in the morning and go to discharge their functions in the council after spending nights in the cold.

Mr Speaker, my bone of contention is that most of the councils are not failing to discharge their mandate because of the vastness of their areas, as it has been seen in certain quarters, but because they are not properly funded. So, even if we create these new councils, if the current funding trends continue, they will still not function.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, I will give you a very good example, which I cited earlier and will now repeat. 

Mr Speaker: Order! 

There is too much consultation going on.

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, a council that is not well-funded …

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Siavonga, please, avoid repetition.

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, I am trying to drive a point home because, when we raise issues, our colleagues in the Executive do not seem to pay attention to them.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Hamudulu: Yes. 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, please, sit down. The rules do not permit you to repeat what you have already said. If you want to drive your point home, you have to use other strategies, not repetition because that is not permitted, assuming that is your strategy.

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, I thank you for that guidance.

Hon. UPND Member: Strategise.

Mr Hamudulu: I will try to use some rhetorical antics that may see me progress.

Mr Speaker, the Government, in my opinion, should review the recruitment of council officers, as I said earlier. The issue of transfers …

Mr Speaker: You are just confirming that you are repeating.


Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, the point I am making is that the councils must be well-funded in order for them to discharge their functions.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Kakoma interjected.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I would like to render my support to the Motion that has been ably moved and seconded. I would like to take note of the brilliant submissions that have been made by the hon. Members for Bweengwa and Siavonga, respectively. However, I would not want to repeat what they said.

Mr Speaker, however, I want to emphasise that the introduction of the LGSC has brought about indiscipline in the local government service. The disciplinary procedures in local authorities have become lengthy and, as a result, many of our officers are frustrated that their cases are not being addressed in time. 

Sir, I urge the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to amend the regulations so that the initiation of disciplinary procedures is conferred on the various local authorities. The LGSC should only be left with the appellate jurisdiction. If that is done, we will be instilling discipline on our members of staff.

Mr Speaker, the other issues that I would like to talk about is the issue of the fire service in the country, which is called Emergency Services in other jurisdictions. I have noted that, in our jurisdiction, the fire-fighting services are only mandated to extinguish fires, with little capacity to provide emergency services to victims of various forms of accidents in the country. I recommend that firemen be mandated to also provide emergency care to accident victims. We have noted, with concern, that, whenever there is an accident, the Fire Brigade rushes to the scene with little knowledge of how to handle the victims.

Mr Speaker, in a number of situations, members of the public have ended up dying because of the mishandling of emergency situations. I would like to recommend, therefore, that fire-fighters be trained in the management of emergency situations, as is the case in other countries. I note that in most of the jurisdictions, the Fire Brigade does not even have ambulances. Even when there are people who have been injured, they are not afforded appropriate transport to the hospitals for emergency treatment.

Sir, the other issue I would like to briefly address is that of devolution. I recall that, in the past, most of the major cities were sub-divided into councils and management boards. It is impossible for a city like Lusaka to be managed from the centre. It is impossible to collect the revenue requisite to the provision of services to the people of Lusaka. In the past, Lusaka was sub-divided into mini-counties. We had Roma Township, Chelstone, Chilenje and Makeni municipal boards. I recommend, therefore, that we devolve service provision to the localities and establish counties and sub-counties within big towns if we are to provide the requisite services to our people. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, there is no way that an officer from the Lusaka City Council can manage to collect rates in Lusaka. As the situation is, currently, Lusaka City Council collects only about 2 per cent of the rates that it is supposed to collect.

Mr Kakoma: And it waits for people to go and pay. 

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, the council waits for people to volunteer to go and pay. Unfortunately, Zambians are not used to volunteering to pay for services. They have to be followed. I, therefore, strongly recommend that we decentralise. Let us go back to the old system in which we had sub-Bomas or municipal jurisdictions within the city. For example, Matero was a township. That way, you will be able to collect rates and have personal relationships with the rate payers. 

Sir, in the same vein, even in the rural areas, I know that Mpika, for example, is a very big district. It cannot be managed from the centre. There is a need to establish sub-Bomas within Mpika. It does not auger well to create new districts. All you have to do is create sub-Bomas within a district. In Chingola, there was Chiwempala Township. That way, we will be able to collect revenue and effectively manage the local government system. As I indicated, this is my major plea to the relevant authorities. If the Government does not implement devolution in the next three years, I have no doubt in my mind that we will implement it and the people of Zambia will be very appreciative.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, you implement the Decentralisation Policy and ensure that there are townships within Lusaka. I am not saying that Lusaka should cease to be a city, but there is a provision within the Local Government Act, for the establishment of sub-counties and sub-councils within the City of Lusaka. That is my recommendation as I rest my case and support the Motion.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, I would like to support the report and, in so doing, would like to make one comment on the current scenario in as far as fire-fighting in the country is concerned. 

Sir, even though we do not have a fire-fighting policy and Act, it is something, which is long-term, I know that we have other means of controlling fire, such as building regulations and standards. I note that, in the report, if I am not mistaken, your Committee did not dwell on these two very important issues. The two are what we have been using, to date, but there is a lack of enforcement. The building regulations deal with the structure of buildings in terms of fire resistance. On page 6 of your report, one of the observations is that: 

“Fire safety engineering specifications are not included or provided with architectural drawings. Consequently, fire prevention is side-tracked and ignored.”

Mr Speaker, I have a different view. I think, these are given by qualified engineers and architects. The issue that defeats all purposes is that there are so many so-called practitioners who are allowed by the councils to come up with the working drawings, and the implementation aspect. I would have been happier if the Committee had dwelled more on what we currently have regarding the standards and regulations which, if followed, would definitely minimise the occurrence of fire accidents. 

Sir, the council must not approve working drawings, such as engineering and architectural drawings, that are done by unqualified people. Qualified professionals like engineers and architects know how to minimise fire occurrences because it is part of their training. If you allow somebody who never went to university or college to come up with working drawings, we would miss a lot of what is required to divert fire. What I am saying is that coming up with a policy or an Act of Parliament is a long-term undertaking. However, the regulations and standards that we currently have are enough if we enforced them. 

Mr Speaker, finally, with regard to the training school or college in Kabwe, in the last Meeting, I remember, I was one of the members of this Committee and we visited the college. It was in a very bad state and there is a need to upgrade it if we are to manage fire emergencies better. We also need to pump in a lot of money so that we can have well-trained fire-fighters who can handle modern equipment. 

Those were my few remarks.

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Kabanshi): Mr Speaker, I am delighted to have the opportunity to respond to the Report of the Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs’ Affairs as considered by this august House.

Sir, it is evident that, in most of the councils, there is the problem of financial mismanagement. The councils in this country have, for over twenty years, been characterised by poor delivery of services and inadequate accountability over resources raised locally or provided by the Central Government. Therefore, I am obliged to state what the Government intends to do in order to revamp the local government system in Zambia. 

Sir, most of the issues that have been raised by the hon. Members of Parliament are very cardinal and the Government is working very hard to improve the operations of councils. You will soon start seeing some of the results of that.

Mr Muntanga: Are you sure?

Mrs Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, some of the measures that the Government has taken are:

(a)    a comprehensive financing mechanism for local authorities, in line with the PF Manifesto. Virtually all of the councils face serious fiscal gaps and are failing to meet their obligations. Unless financial empowerment is undertaken within a larger local government financing framework, the solvency of councils will remain a challenge to the nation;

(b)    strengthening of the internal audit function in the councils. The role of the internal audit in ensuring accountability in the use of public funds cannot be over-emphasised. Any officer guilty of financial mismanagement in any council will not be recommended for transfer to other councils, as disciplinary action is essential, not merely transferring non-performing officers from one council to another, as that amounts to spreading incompetence from council to council;

(c)    enacting of a Local Government Finance Act by replacing the current Local Authority’s Regulation Number 125 of 1992. The local authorities regulations are too outdated and weak to enforce compared with the Public Finance Act at the Central Government level. For instance, under the Public Finance Act, it is mandatory for controlling officers to institute an effective internal control system as a way of enhancing accountability and transparency in the use of public resources, which is not the case under the local authorities regulations;

(d)    speeding up the pace of the public expenditure management and financial accountability reforms, such as the roll out of Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), activity-based budgeting and the implementation of a computer-based financial management system, in all councils. These tools will assist the councils to be more accountable and ensure timely reporting of financial information;

(e)    review of the institutional mechanism between the LGSC and my ministry in order to ensure effective co-ordination on matters of human resources in the councils; and

(f)     implementation of a comprehensive inter-governmental fiscal transfer system in order to address both vertical and horizontal imbalances between rural and urban councils. This measure will effectively resolve the challenges of unfunded mandates to all local governments.

Mr Speaker, I thank your honourable Committee for this informative report. It is my considered hope that all of us will work together to revamp the local government system.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, allow me to thank Hon. Ndalamei, for seconding the Motion, and your Committee, for coming up with this informative report. I want to also thank the hon. Members who have debated, especially those from this side of the House (pointed at hon. Opposition Members). Yesterday, I indicated that there was a need for us to interact so that we could benefit from one another.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the report of your Committee on the Auditor-General’s Report on the Implementation of Gender Mainstreaming Activities in Zambia for the Second Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 8th July, 2013.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, in the past few years, the Auditor-General has undertaken a number of performance audits. The audit of the implementation of gender-mainstreaming activities in Zambia was conducted during January to April, 2010, and covered the years 2004 to 2009. The audit was designed to answer specific questions, some of which were as follows: 

(a)    whether the Government development goal of attaining gender equity and equality between men and women was being achieved;

(b)    whether gender had been mainstreamed by ministries, provinces and other Government spending agencies into policies, laws, programmes and activities; and

(c)    what the possible causes of the deficiencies in the implementation were. 

Mr Speaker, the findings of the audit and the responses from the Government are well-captured in your Committee’s Report. I will, therefore, just briefly highlight a few issues which your Committee has recommended. 

Sir, as you are aware, Zambia has ratified the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development of 2008. As a matter of fact, some aspects of the protocol, with regard to gender-based violence (GBV), have been domesticated into the Anti-Gender-Based Violence Act No.1 of 2011. However, there is the aspect of the 50/50 representation of men and women in decision-making positions, which Zambia is yet to domesticate. 

Mr Speaker, in Zambia, women representation at different levels of the Government structure is negligible. For example, out of twenty Cabinet Ministers, only four are women. In this Parliament, there are only seventeen female Members of Parliament out of 150. Moreover, of the eight nominated hon. Members of Parliament, none are women. Your Committee appeals to the President to use the opportunity to nominate eight hon. Members of Parliament to appoint more women so that women representation can be enhanced in the National Assembly of Zambia. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, the current sad state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue. Your Committee is only hopeful that the current Constitution-making process will be completed soon so that the proposed proportional representation becomes a reality in which some seats in Parliament will be reserved for our womenfolk. 

Mr Speaker, the other important issue that was highlighted in the Auditor-General’s Report was that of gender imbalances in the educational sector. The Auditor-General highlighted the fact that there was no gender parity between males and females with regard to admission at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education. Girls, especially in rural areas, are generally disadvantaged due to a number of factors, such as the lack of policies and laws that reinforce gender parity and equality; high drop-out rates, as a result of girls being socialised for becoming wives or mothers; teenage pregnancies and early marriages or both; and long distances to be covered between homes and schools, which expose girls to sexual harassment and violence. 

Mr Speaker, in view of these revelations, your Committee is of the view that the Government should ensure that the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education engenders all its policies so as to forestall gender imbalances in enrolments at the various levels of education. 

Sir, your Committee also urges the Government, as a long-term goal, to adequately fund the construction of more boarding schools for girls, especially in rural areas, so as to reduce the vulnerability of girls to risks that come with walking long distances from home to school. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, your Committee further urges the Government to ensure that the re-entry policy for school girls who fall pregnant is scaled-up so that girls can resume school within a reasonable time after giving birth. Your Committee also recommends that the Government engages the traditional authorities at various levels, in conjunction with relevant non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to find ways and means of curbing early marriages, which are rife, especially, in the rural areas. 

Mr Speaker, part of the institutional mechanism that the Government has put in place is the implementation of gender mainstreaming activities at the provincial and district levels, through the Provincial Development Co-ordinating Committees (PDCCs) and the District Development Co-ordinating Committees (DCCs). The audit noted that most of the committees, especially at the district level, had failed to carry out any gender mainstreaming activities since their inception. That was attributed to the fact that most of the members of these committees were not trained in the use of the implementation guidelines and checklists provided by the Ministry of Gender and Child Development. To remedy this, the Ministry of Gender and Child Development had enlisted the Office of the District Commissioner (DC) to be the focal point for gender issues at the district level. 

Mr Speaker, the need to mainstream gender in our local communities is of utmost importance. Therefore, your Committee urges the Government to enhance training of gender sub-committees in the districts. Failure to do this will negate any efforts being made at the national level to mainstream gender in the ministries. Further, your Committee is concerned that the DCs are the gender focal point persons at district level. Your Committee is of the view that the gender portfolio will not be given enough attention due to the other duties that the DCs perform on a daily basis. It is your Committee’s opinion that, apart from training and orienting the DCs in gender analytical skills, the Government should emphasise to them the need to mainstream gender in all activities at the district level. In addition, your Committee urges the Ministry of Gender and Child Development to devolve to the districts so that there are gender experts to handle the implementation of gender mainstreaming activities at that level. 

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I extend your Committee’s gratitude to you for affording us the opportunity to serve on this Committee. Gratitude is also extended to the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the guidance rendered throughout this session. I also wish to thank all the stakeholders who provided information to your Committee during its deliberations. Of course, I cannot forget my indebtedness to the Office of the Auditor-General for its professional input throughout your Committee’s meetings. 

Mr Speaker, I beg to move. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

Ms Namugala: Now, Sir.

Mr Speaker, I wish to second the Motion on the Floor of the House, which has been so ably moved by the Chairperson of your Committee. 

Sir, I would like to begin by drawing your attention to one of the most important findings highlighted by the Auditor-General, the failure by the Government to reduce the number of reported cases of rape and defilement by 2 per cent. This was one of the targets set under the Strategic Plan of Action, Performance Indicator and Targets.

Sir, according to the Auditor-General, there has, actually, been an increase in the number of reported cases of rape and defilement, meaning that the Government wings tasked to curb these vices are struggling or lack the capacity to vigorously pursue the perpetrators of these violent acts and bring them to book.

Mr Speaker, in 2011, this House passed the Anti-Gender-Based Violence Act No. 1 of 2011 in the hope that its enforcement would greatly reduce cases of GBV. However, almost two years later, cases of GBV have continued to increase, especially those against women and girls.

Sir, almost every week, there are media reports of GBV cases committed across the country, especially against women. There is, therefore, a need for a concerted effort by both women and men to fight the scourge. The role of men in the fight against GBV has not been adequately articulated, leading to a situation in which men, who are the perpetrators in most cases, do nothing to assist in the fight against GBV.

Mr Speaker, men need to realise that it is wrong for women and girls to be abused simply because they are weaker physically.

Sir, your Committee is greatly concerned about the increasing incidence of GBV, and urges the Government to scale up the efforts being put in place to fight the scourge, especially in rural areas. The Government should vigorously engage the traditional leadership in various localities to tackle the problem because most of the GBV has its roots in some cultural and traditional practices that are harmful to women and girls.

Mr Speaker, more needs to be done, by way of research, to understand why a grown man would be sexually attracted to a four-year old girl and defile her, why a young man would rape an eighty-year old woman or why a man would beat up his wife and claim that it is because he loves her.


Ms Namugala: Sir, your Committee recommends that the Government conducts awareness campaigns on the Anti Gender-Based Violence Act for the general public to understand it and know how they could seek redress in cases of its violation. Your Committee also recommends that the said Act be translated into the seven main local languages for the benefit of the majority of our people, who do not understand English.

Your Committee is aware that, under the Anti Gender-Based Violence Act, there is a fund that is meant to assist victims of GBV. It, therefore, recommends that the fund be operationalised as soon as possible so that victims of GBV can access it. The fund will help to economically empower the victims of GBV so that they do not return to the same abusive environment. This will also help to reduce the non-reporting or withdrawal of GBV cases for fear of losing the source of income if the bread winner is the perpetrator.

Lastly, Mr Speaker, there is a need for the Government to complete the engendering of sector policies. You will note from the report that out of sixty policies earmarked for appraisal and review, only forty-one have been engendered while thirteen policies have not. In the absence of gender-responsive policies, gender mainstreaming cannot be achieved.

Mr Speaker, with these remarks, I beg to second the Motion.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for affording me this chance to comment on this very important Motion.

From the outset, this report says, “Auditor-General Report on the Implementation of Gender Mainstreaming Activities in Zambia.” It is not about what we report, write or reason, but what we need to implement. Many ideas have been written and polices formulated, but not implemented, as the case is from 2004 to 2008 and 2008 to 2013.

Sir, on Page 5 of your report, the Committee observes that the problem of the high attrition rate at different levels of the education system were a consequence of several factors, including inadequate infrastructure, in terms of physical space and sanitary facilities to absorb girls, as well as distances to schools for the rural girls. These girls, eventually, become women. In view of the above, your Committee recommends the construction of more schools with boarding facilities for children in the rural areas, with an equal number of boarding facilities for both girls and boys.

Sir, this report is on the audit for 2004 to 2008. However, to date, rural places like Mitete have no boarding facilities. As a result, children from Mitete go to Lukulu as day scholars. They rent houses at their own risk and end up having pregnancies prematurely, fall into the trap of the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus and Acquired Immuno-deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and join the mass of drop-outs due to the non-implementation of these activities. This observation by your report is correct. We have people living in places like Kaputa and Shang’ombo and, as long as we do not take the requisite facilities there, we will just be singing, talking, writing and reporting, but nothing will change. Not until we build the Mitete Boarding School will we be answering some of these questions. The people will see governments come and go without solving their problems. 

Sir, on Page 6, your report states that: 

“In order to improve access to the empowerment fund by vulnerable groups, that includes women, the Commission, with the guidance of the Government, reviewed and revised the conditions and procedures for accessing the fund.”

Sir, on Page 7, your reports states that:

“The forms meant to cater for small loan applications of …

Mr Mufalali: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, is Hon. Munkombwe in order to go into a deep sleep in this House?

I need your serious ruling, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Deep what?

Hon. UPND Members: Sleep.

Mr Speaker: You see, it is possible to make a presumption when you see that somebody has closed their eyes.


Mr Speaker: It is a reasonable presumption, but it is not conclusive. He might have been reflecting on some issues. I did not see him.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, I hope he was not meditating.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, I was saying your report states that the forms meant to cater for small loan applications for the Citizens Economic Empowerment Fund (CEEF) would require collateral. However, in Washishi, the word ‘collateral’ is not known, yet you say that this fund is targeted at people in rural areas. You come up with collateral requirements for people in rural areas, who live in pole and mud huts because you have not educated them, to access the funds. As long as the implementation of development programmes is not made pro-rural, we will not progress, no matter how many statements are made and NGOs formed. 

Sir, the rural people are very clever.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo: At the end of the day, they will all come to Lusaka. They all have relatives in Lusaka. Those who will not be accommodated by their relatives here, in Lusaka, will end up on the streets. Then the heaps of garbage will continue to grow. However, if we take development to the rural areas, the people in those places will not bother to migrate to Lusaka. Why would they come here when the services are delivered on their doorsteps? However, they fall into the trap of …

Mr Mukata: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, I rise on a serious point of order, and this is my first time in two years. Is the hon. Member on the Floor in order to debate a very important subject like this in a hodgy-podgy manner?

Sir, I need your serious ruling.

Mr Muntanga: What is hodgy-podgy?

Mr Speaker: I presume that he is referring to the hon. Member for Lukulu West. If so, I do not think that he is debating in a hodgy-podgy manner.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Lukulu West, you may continue.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, those comments can only come from someone who is not a rural dweller.


Mr Mutelo: However, if there are no boarding facilities in a rural area, then that is a matter of concern. If some people have forgotten their roots, we do not want to do the same. We are saying that they who are literate should be considerate of those who are not. Let the powers that be consider the plight of the people in rural areas because, if they do not, we will continue talking about GBV and rape cases because the people from the rural areas will come to the streets of Lusaka and Livingstone. 

Sir, when the Government cannot educate its citizens for them to have the right papers, they fall into the trap of rape cases. When required to meet the conditions of some protocols, such as the 20 per cent women representation in Parliament, you will not have the required numbers. You will not meet that target if you do not educate the rural people. It can only be done by taking the services to them. The rural people are the ones who put people in the various positions they are in. When we need these people, we go to them but, when it is time to deliver services to them, we forget about them. Is that how it should be?

Mr Speaker, I referred to pages 5 to 7 of your report. There is no gender equality at all. In the rural areas, where there is a need to sensitise people on the importance of gender equality, that does not happen. No one goes to sensitise people in Nyangongo and Washishi. So, how will the people there know? Traditionally, any girl who reaches puberty is ready for marriage. That is what they know, traditionally. Bakabata kapunya mulomo.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, what that means is that, the parents to the girl who has reached puberty will ask for animals for their daughter’s hand in marriage. However, when there are people and NGOs to educate them, then, we will be talking about benefits for this nation.

Mr Speaker, it is the ministries of Gender and Child Development; Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education; and Chiefs and Traditional Affairs that should collaborate to curb this vice. It is also the job of NGOs to go into the outskirts and sensitise people if we are to win this fight. If not, we will continue talking about the same problems year in, year out, whether during the Eleventh or Twelfth National Assembly, and whether under the leadership of the United National Independence Party (UNIP), the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) or the Patriotic Front (PF), as we wait for the United Party for National Development (UPND) to form Government.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, I earnestly appeal to the appropriate ministries to take guard. 

With those very few words, I beg to support.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, in supporting the report of your Committee, I want to start where the hon. Member of Parliament for Lukulu West ended. 

Sir, the hon. Member of Parliament for Lukulu West said something that made others laugh. As he was debating, some questioned the quality of hon. Members in the UPND. I want to emphasise that the likes of Hon. Mutelo are the quality in our party. 

Mr Speaker, why have we failed to attain 30 per cent women representation in key decision-making positions? The problem is with the widely-accepted notion that a woman must submit to a man. That is a traditional belief that has become inherent in us. However, gender equality must start from our own homes.

Mr Speaker, how many accept that gender equality must exist in the home? I do not think that there are many. This issue is very serious. Auditors went to find out what the Government had done to achieve 30 per cent female representation in key decision-making positions. However, we cannot achieve that if our way of life is such that a woman must submit to a man. Even the auditors that went to conduct the audit I mentioned do not believe that we can achieve that goal.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, we should look at what happened in countries that have managed to increase female presentation in key decision-making positions. The country that has been praised, Rwanda, went through war. Men were busy fighting while women were the ones running businesses. Therefore, the women have now been accepted in key Government positions and the whole world is talking about Rwanda.

Mr Speaker, what we are asking for is a system that indoctrinates everyone, more or less, to accept equality between women and men. Currently, it seems as though the fight for gender equality is only for women. Why should the hon. Minister of Gender and Child Development only be a woman? The concept of gender covers both man and woman. However, whenever there is anything to do with gender, men stay aloof. If we do not change our attitude, it will be very difficult to attain the equality we are talking about.

Mr Speaker, in the early stages, when people started talking about women’s liberation, a German woman said that this liberation could do very well if only a man could lead it, but she was laughed at. What she meant was that we needed men to be actively involved as we talked about gender equality. How many men here are prepared to surrender their names for the surname of the woman they have married as a demonstration of equality? 


Mr Muntanga: How many of you?

Mr Kakoma: Ah. No one.

Mr Muntanga: If a woman suggested that her husband uses her surname, there would be a revolt in the home. We need to reach a stage where gender mainstreaming should go into every section of our society and not only restricted to Government positions. We need to reach a stage where we leave behind arguments about the President not having appointed any women among the eight nominated hon. Members of Parliament. One person cannot manage to bring about gender balance in our society. This is a national challenge.

Mr Speaker, your Committee’s report has brought out a number of problems. The auditors we met stated that it was not possible for us to achieve gender equality. Therefore, we should look around for solutions. In the early stages of the post-Independence era, we had the Department of National Guidance, which preached humanism and brainwashed people. That is why Zambians are a little docile. They went through humanism. The need to do unto others as you would have them do unto you was preached every day. However, when the generation of the early UNIP days is gone, we will have a new generation of people who did not go through that indoctrination. Therefore, there is going to be violence and people hacking one another because they have not been taught to live together. There is a need to teach people to live together. That is why every section of our society should be taught what gender equality is, as mentioned in the report. It must prevail in our homes. You, men, should be able to cook as well and help your wife, not always your wife cooking for you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: That will be a sign that gender equality has reached your home.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I know that His Honour the Vice-President has come because I have arrived.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, if, in your own home, you are not able to open up, how do you expect other departments to do so? How do you expect the Government to do so? How do you expect the President to balance this problem?

Mr Speaker, the Bible says that a woman shall not talk in front of men in a church. There are so many churches fighting over the right of a woman to preach. In those churches that are allowing women to preach, there is a problem. Maybe, there are people here who do not know that. In every church I have attended, there is controversy over allowing women to minister because there is a Bible verse that prohibits a woman to stand in front of men. Of course, some are now modernising and allowing women to preach, but they do this after so many queries. Even in your church (pointed at Mr Kakoma), you have only male priests.


Mr Kakoma: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member for Kalomo Central, address the Chair.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I am not talking about your home. I am talking about every home, through you.


Mr Muntanga: They should have this gender mentality in them.

Mr Speaker: Through the Speaker.


Mr Muntanga: Through the Speaker, Sir.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, the only problem is when you cannot balance the children you have. If you have more girls than boys or more boys than girls, then, there is a problem. However, the point is that we should try to balance gender roles. I would have wanted this Committee to go further in looking at gender problems. We need another national guidance department to make people understand that there is a need for men to share with women.

Mr Mwiimbu: We need a trip to Uganda.

Mr Muntanga: Well, even a trip to Rwanda, where there are many women in key decision-making positions. There are more women working there than here, and I am not talking about marrying more than one woman.


Mr Muntanga: If we are going to allow men to marry more than one wife, we should allow women to marry more than one husband, too.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Speaker: Are you through?


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I am not yet through.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, gender is a critical issue. When we talk about Zambia’s participation in the Beijing Conference, who was the hon. Minister for Gender then? It was President Sata. He was in charge and led a group of women to Beijing. Yes, maybe, you had forgotten. What we are saying, now, is that we should see one of the men on your side become hon. Minister of Gender and Child Development. If you have more girl children in your home, you will understand why we need policies that promote the education of girls.

Mr Speaker, I know that we have problems that are inherent in our tradition. We have to teach the women to open up. However, for the very few that open up, it becomes impossible for them to get married …


Mr Muntanga: … because they become more like men. However, I want to appeal to women that this is what they have been looking for. Open up, women.


Mr Muntanga: Be free to discuss.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I do not want …

Mr Speaker: I assume that you are through, hon. Member for Kalomo Central.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, this is very important.


Mr Speaker: I may have to …

Mr Muntanga: You want to stop me?


Mr Speaker: Yes.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, this is why gender matters do not go away. I am sorry if ‘opening up’ has been misunderstood. All I meant was that women must be free and assertive.

Mr Bwalya: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Mulusa: Chungu, ikala panshi, iwe!

Mr Mwila: Mulusa wali lusa! 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, I stand on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member on the Floor, Hon. Muntanga, in order, first and foremost, to go cross-country in his debate, and secondly, to begin to encourage women to start proposing love to men in this country?


Mr Speaker: Order!

He, probably, might have been misunderstood. However, the point is that we should focus on the Motion and the report. Let us avoid repetition, as there are many other people who would like to debate. We are constricted in terms of time.

You may proceed, Hon. Muntanga.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I know that other people want to speak, and that is why they are given time. Unless I am curtailed, I will not have less time than other hon. Members. 

Sir, this is what I am talking about. One talks about women’s freedom as a gender matter and the first thing a man thinks about is that a man must be proposed to. Nothing else. You see the thinking, Mr Speaker?


Mr Muntanga: The thinking is that a woman is a tool …

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kalomo Central, may you sit down. 

 Let me provide guidance. We have a report, which has content that is a product of a great deal of deliberation. It was also produced at a cost. Equally important is that this is a national forum. Let us bear that in mind. I ruled, earlier, that we should avoid repetition. However, your debate has been repetitive, to a large extent.

You may continue.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I will avoid repetition because I would be reading your report. The report tells us about the failure to reach 30 per cent land ownership by women. I moved away from the failure to look at the problems of gender. I believe that it was effective for me to debate. Short of that, it is for me to read this report and repeat what it says. 

Mr Speaker, in summary, this report tells us that there is a problem in gender matters. It is from there that I must say that, in gender mainstreaming, we should go further so that we achieve our goals. So, when I give examples, it is to show the problems that are inherent in gender matters and the attitude of the people in the country. The attitude is such that they hardly accept that a woman can do certain things. I may have given examples that may have offended others, but my point is that those are inherent problems. Without addressing these things, other than just reading to you, for me …

Mr Speaker: Hon. Muntanga, may you sit down.

Mr Muntanga: I will, therefore, say thank you very much. I am …

Mr Speaker: Hon. Muntanga, may you sit down. There is no dialogue with the Speaker. The Speaker is simply providing guidance for the benefit of the House. That is all.


Mr Speaker: There is no need to engage in a dialogue with the Speaker.

The hon. Member for Bweengwa may take the Floor.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, I have just about ten minutes. So, allow me to raise a few issues. First of all, I want to comment on the report. 

Sir, it is quite a commendable development in our Parliamentary democracy that Committees can now look at performance audits. The Auditor-General audited gender mainstreaming activities in Zambia to gauge how far we have implemented the policies we have formulated for ourselves. I think that, if we move in that direction, then, we will be serving our people better. This is a good reform, and I want to thank the mover of the Motion and the Committee for that. Here, at home, this House has passed laws and regulations. We have also committed ourselves at international fora. The Auditor-General has done an audit and found us wanting.

Mr Speaker, this report is very informative and the women out there are listening and want to hear us. I thought that I must speak, even though I spoke on the other Motion. Maybe, there was little interest, but people expect more interest from us to comment on this very important report. They came to this House to submit and they want to hear our views on the report. 

Sir, gender inequality in this country is a very serious issue and the cause of poverty, to a very large extent. Many documents before the Government, such as the MDG Report co-authored by the Government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), have identified gender inequality as one of the bottlenecks to reducing poverty and child mortality, improving maternal health and reducing the high incidence of HIV/AIDS in women. We have policies that have been itemised, which include the National Gender Policy, various sectoral policies, the Budget and work plans, and strategic plans of action in the ministries of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, and Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. These policies must be seen to be implemented. I want to start with the girl child. 

Mr Speaker, the gender inequality problem requires serious political will and commitment from all of us. There are simple targets we must meet, one of which has been discussed by my colleagues here, the issue of representation. This country has signed the SADC commitment for 30 per cent gender representation in all organs. The women must come to the table and speak for themselves. It seems that we, the men, have failed to speak for them because issues concerning women are not improving at all in this country. 

Mr Speaker, I have a report by this Government that says that thirty-eight mothers die each month when giving birth to another life because of poor health facilities and inadequate human resources. 

Sir, the women must come to this Table to speak and allocate money for themselves. It is now proven, in development studies, that youths, women and the disabled must speak for themselves for their plights to be considered. That is why we must have reserved seats if elections cannot bring women into the House. 

Sir, we now have the Constitution-making process. Let us make a commitment, as political leaders, to ensure that the issue of gender representation is embedded in our Constitution so that all of us are compelled, for example, to adopt a particular number of women. If that is not achieved, we must have reserved seats for women like other countries, such as Tanzania and Rwanda, have done. In Kenya, they now have what they call special seats in the elections. For example, in this country, where we have more than eighty districts, there should be a woman representative from every district, and there should be seats that would only be vied for by women so that we are assured of having over eighty women in the House. There must be deliberate efforts to bring women to the table because the issues concerning women are not being addressed seriously. At the centre of the MDGs was the issue of gender equality. 

Mr Speaker, I also want to talk about education. The girl child ... I was in Feira for the campaigns and I got a picture on my iPad. We have committed crimes in this country as political leaders. The situation I saw is tantamount to a crime. The future of the girl child in this country is very bleak. Most of us here are Members of Parliament from rural constituencies. We must, really, raise our performance. I do not even have the right words to say. We must own up and admit that we have failed our people. The girl children are not even in school. When she eventually becomes a woman, the girl child has little access to land. Unlike in the old days, when, literally, every woman was married, today, we have many female-headed households because of HIV/AIDS and other problems. Therefore, the empowerment of women is very important. 

Sir, a woman must be as empowered as a man because women are running homes today. They are looking after children. When making policies, we must have clear responsiveness to the issues of women. Let me give examples. Over 60 per cent of our population lives on agriculture and, by the way, the majority are women. The census statistics tell us that there are more women than men in this country. Therefore, there are more women in agriculture, yet there is no deliberate mainstreaming of gender in the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), which was considered here. In the FISP package, there should have been certain inputs that are directly ring-fenced for women. Let there be two queues in our districts. As a starting point, we could say that 30 per cent of the inputs be for women. There must also be a different window for men and women, especially those from female-headed households. We must do that. The malnutrition you see in this country, I want to tell you, is because most of the men are somewhere else. As I am talking to you, the women are looking for something to cook this evening while some men are drinking. That is a fact. Therefore, when you empower a woman, you are helping to improve the nutrition of women and children …

Hon. Opposition Members: And the man.

Mr Hamududu: … and the man, when he finally comes back home.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, and when some of the men go back home the following day, because they slept somewhere else, especially on Fridays, as a way of enhancing gender equality, we must also begin to put some measures on their behaviour. For example, drinking places must be closed at a particular hour. The men must go home. If you drink beer, you should buy it and drink it in your house. Why do you want to be drinking till morning? If you drive on Fridays, and I drive on Fridays in order to see the situation, …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Unfortunately, I do not drive at that time.


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, I will give you a ride so that you can see what people are up to.


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, you will find the majority of the male folk drinking from Friday evening to Saturday morning.

Hon. Mulusa: Alone?

Mr Hamududu: Yes. There is even no parking in Kabwata. I am just saying that there is a form of behaviour …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, they have done that in Botswana. There is a particular hour for closing bars. It could be 2100 hours or 2200 hours. The people must go home and address issues of the home. This problem of alcoholism is worsening problems of the child and the woman. That is the truth. 

Mr Speaker, early marriages are also becoming a problem. We have a report from an NGO we work with in our advocacy programme. Early and under-age marriages are a serious problem. The laws must be punitive for short-changing the life of a girl. Most of the men involved in girls’ early marriages are much older than the girls, who become single mothers in a short time because of the age difference. Therefore, when men marry young girls, they must pay a little price for it. One of the commitments we should make is that women must be empowered.

Mr Speaker, the other issue is that of pregnancies. Let me use my nephew as an example. My nephew is in the United States of America (USA) and he impregnated a girl somewhere. I like the laws in the USA. In America, if a woman has two children from two different men, she does not even need to work because the monthly maintenance is so punitive and the man can even go to jail if he fails to provide child maintenance. We must strengthen our laws on child maintenance, especially for those people who impregnate people at will. This is because it will help to protect the girl child.

Mr Nkombo: So, is our nephew paying?

Mr Hamududu: My nephew is paying. I told him that, if he failed to pay, he should ask me to help him because I support child maintenance. In this country, people are just busy impregnating girls and leaving children everywhere.


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, I want to see a country in which my children, Ellen and Ethel, will be safe; where, when pregnancies come, they will be taken care of. If there is a weakness in our policies, we must address them. The Government must look at this report and see how we can implement our policies. Where there are weaknesses, we should enhance the policies. This country is rich, yet I wonder why we are not making serious advances in human development on very simple matters. I have just gone through this report and it has exposed us. Let me keep my commitment.

Mr Speaker, in summary, the voices of women must be heard in our policies. Let me also talk about the issue of drop-out rates for children in schools, especially the girl child. 

Sir, the report I have says that, for all the children who are enrolled in schools, a big percentage of women drop out. After dropping out of education and being disempowered in life, they end up being pregnant and marry early. These are issues of moral justice and they must be addressed very seriously. We, Members of Parliament, must support those who are disadvantaged, such as the women in this country. For my last words, someone told me that this country will not make progress because women are crying everyday and that, because of that, the Almighty God is not happy. There are so many women crying because we are not giving them their fair share of the national wealth and their worth in life. Where I come from, if women are not happy, you cannot prosper. If your wife is complaining all the time, even your business will just be diamacaed. It will not prosper.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!    

What does that mean?

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, it means that your business will not come out right. Therefore, our women must be happy. When our women are happy, I think that we will also be happier and make better decisions. On a serious note, this country will move forward only if we respect our women and bring them to the table to eat and own things the way we do.

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

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Gender and Child Development (Mrs Banda): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me the opportunity to debate the Motion on the Floor. I also thank your Committee for the comprehensive observations and recommendations on the Auditor-General’s report. I also want to thank the hon. Members who have ably contributed to the debate.

Sir, since our core business of the Ministry of Gender and Child Development is gender mainstreaming, it will ensure that all the observations and recommendations mentioned in the report are considered with due seriousness.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Banda: For instance, on the issue of equal participation of women and men in the political and public life, the Government has started the process of domesticating the Committee 
on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development through the drafting of the layman’s Bill on CEDAW. The committee to spearhead the process has already been appointed.

Mr Speaker, on the issue of gender imbalances in education, which is on Page 5 of the report, the Ministry of Gender and Child Development will work closely with the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education to ensure that the infrastructure in schools being constructed takes into account the needs of both girls and boys and the distances to school, especially in rural areas.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mrs Banda resumed her seat.

Mr Speaker:  No. I was trying to get hon. Members to be silent.

Mrs Banda: Mr Speaker, on the empowerment of women, which is on Page 7 of the report, the ministry will open dialogue with the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) in order to come up with implementable measures, such as policy guidelines to address the loan-administration processes and ensure that women applicants have equal access to the loans.

Sir, on the requirement of, at least, 30 per cent of land to be owned by women, on Page 10 of the report, the ministry will ensure that instructions given under Circular Minute, ML/101/1 of 2009, are adhered to in both the Land Policy and Lands Act.

Mr Speaker, on Page 11 of the report, there is mention of cases of rape and defilement, and the fact that they have not been sustainably reduced by 2 per cent. The ministry will work closely with the Victim Support Unit (VSU) to ensure that annual statistics are collected and updated data is readily available. Further, the ministry will continue to conduct awareness campaigns for the public on the Anti-Gender-Based Violence Act and ensure its full implementation.

Sir, regarding the failure to put in place shelters for victims of GBV, on Page 12 of the report, the ministry will work with the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health to ensure that adequate resources are provided for that project in the 2014 National Budget. 

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Gender and Child Development is responsible for co-ordinating the implementation of the Act, through a multi-sectoral technical committee, which has already been put in place and is operational.

Sir, Page 14 addresses the Medium-Term Budget Cost Circular. The ministry takes note of the observations and recommendations of the Committee and will ensure that clear guidelines on how and what ministries and other spending agencies should include in their budgets regarding gender-related activities are prepared and circulated.

Mr Speaker, if you go to Page 15, there is an issue concerning inadequacies in the National Gender Policy. On this, the ministry wishes to report that the review of the national Gender Policy was all-inclusive and consultations with all stakeholders, including NGOs were done.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I thank the members of your Committee for their commitment to the production of this report. In particular, I thank the seconder of the Motion, Hon. Namugala. I also wish to thank all the hon. Members of Parliament who have spoken in favour of this Motion. In particular, I would like to thank the hon. Deputy Minister of Gender and Child Development for committing the Government to the implementation of the recommendations of your Committee.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to.{mospagebreak}


(Debate resumed)

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, when the House adjourned yesterday, I had just called on the Executive wing of the Government to provide leadership and start, in earnest, the process of formulating the post-2015 development framework for Zambia.

Sir, Zambia will need to focus on key social and economic sectors on which the post-2015 development framework should be underpinned. The Government will also need to identify stakeholders from the public and private sectors, the civil society and the general public who can be part of the process to develop a home-based post-2015 development framework.

Mr Speaker, realising that poverty and inequality remain the biggest challenge of our time, …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, realising that poverty and inequality remain the biggest challenges of our time, there is a need to identify key social and economic sectors that could be used to accelerate the poverty reduction agenda. The Government is, therefore, called upon to accelerate funding to the health sector, especially by meeting the 2001 Abuja Declaration in which the Government pledged to increase funding to the health sector to, at least, 15 per cent of the overall Annual National Budget. The Government also committed itself to increasing funding to the education sector under the Dakar Framework on Education of 2000. 

Mr Speaker, suggested key drivers of growth should include infrastructure development in the sub-sectors, such as energy, mining, tourism, construction, roads, rail, and information and communication technology (ICT). The post-2015 development framework will need to be supported by very strong governance systems and institutions, and sound policy and implementation frameworks. That will further require monitoring and evaluation systems that will track the progress made on key performance indicators. Downward and upward accountability will need to be enhanced throughout the whole process of implementation. Therefore, there is a need to renew and accelerate the fight against all forms of corruption without being perceived to be selective in any way.

Mr Speaker, country ownership of the post-2015 development framework will be very critical. The different stakeholders will, therefore, need to be part of the process by ensuring that the Government, the private sector, civil society …

Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir. 

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I apologise for disturbing my dear brother, who is on the Floor and debating very well on a Motion that is non-contentious. However, I have a very serious concern.

Mr Speaker, we were just debating a very serious Motion on matters of gender and an hon. Member on the Floor was guided by the Speaker. In reaction to that, the hon. Member walked out of the House.

Hon. UPND Members: Aah!

Hon. Government Members: Yes.

Mr Kampyongo: I want to know. I was in this House …

The Deputy Chairperson: What is the point of order?

Mr Kampyongo: Is the hon. Member for Kalomo Central, …

Mr Kalaba: Muntanga.

Mr Kampyongo: … a very senior hon. Member, for that matter, in order to come and verbally attack the Clerk of the National Assembly in this House after we had adjourned? 

I need your serious ruling, Sir.

The Clerk of the National Assembly indicated dissent.

The Deputy Chairperson: The serious ruling is that the hon. Member seconding the Motion should continue.

Hon. UNPD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, the framework will further need to be harmonised with …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Mucheleka: … other development instruments, such as the annual Budgets, the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), national development plans and the Vision 2030.

Sir, the post-2015 development framework should be based on interventions that should be broken down to also take into account the different needs of our people so as to achieve equity. Affirmative action will be required, especially …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Mucheleka: … for marginalised groups of society, such as persons with disabilities, the youth, women, children and the rural people. 

Mr Speaker, with regard to MDG No. 8, which is on global partnership for development, Zambia would need to base its engagement on the Post-Busan Development Effectiveness International Framework. This aims to facilitate and promote aid for trade and investment. We need to call for the mainstreaming of key development issues, including capacity development, financing for development and South-to-South co-operation. 

Mr Speaker, the regional economic communities (RECs) will also need to play their meaningful role in facilitating regional trade and economic integration to create employment opportunities and improve the livelihoods of our people, including the youth, who still largely remain unemployed.

Mr Speaker, I, therefore, second the Motion moved by the hon. Member of Parliament for Bweengwa and urge the Executive to provide leadership in accelerating the attainment of the achievable MDGs and further develop the post-2015 development framework for Zambia.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

May the consultation on my right be moderate.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, in supporting this Motion, well-moved by hon. Member of Parliament for Bweengwa and seconded by the hon. Member for Lubansenshi, I would like to state that it was a timely reminder for us here gathered that the issues of the MDGs affect us and our electorate in the constituencies, collectively. 

Mr Speaker, this is truly a non-controversial Motion. What we need to do is remind ourselves that the MDGs were a commitment made in 2000 by 189 Heads of State and Government. We learnt in depth from the mover what the eight MDGs are and where we are in terms of attaining them as we move towards the deadline of 2015.

Sir, my debate will hinge on the fact that, perhaps, we, as Parliamentarians, may not have focused specifically on the MDGs, yet these are goals and targets that are in the best interests of our people.

Mr Speaker, one notes that the MDGs were agreed to by our Heads of State and Governments in 2000. For instance, Zambia is on its way to achieving MDG No. 2, that of providing universal access to primary education. However, on reflection, it is clear that 2000 was a long time ago, and there cannot be any country that can be developed socially and economically by people with a purely primary education. There is a need, therefore, to shift our goal posts to look at secondary and tertiary education, and entrepreneurship and innovation training. 

Mr Speaker, we note that, in the area of HIV/AIDS, under MDG No. 5, the target was met, at 4.3 per cent, yet there is still a worry when we see an increase in the incidence of HIV/AIDS. We also see inequalities that we have been debating in that girls and women are twice vulnerable as boys and men. 

Mr Speaker, we have learnt lessons in the quest to attain the MDGs. We have been, as a country, submitting status reports on the attainment of the MDGs. From those, we have identified where we are doing well and where we are not. Therefore, the idea of accelerating the programme was mooted. We note, with sadness, that, in some areas, there has been a reversal, for instance, in sanitation, environmental sustainability and gender equality.

Mr Speaker, I contend that, in our Parliament, or parliaments, in general, we are catalysts to in the attainment of the MDGs. It is, actually, in our interest that, in our legislative role, we look at those laws that impact on the attainment of the MDGs. We have been discussing GBV and gender equality. We have to look at whether these laws are adequate or not. If they are not, how, then, do we assist in their implementation? 

Sir, in our constituencies, if we get involved in championing the attainment of the MDGs, we will assist the Executive in timely implementation of policies. In order to do that, there is a need for us to capacitate hon. Members of Parliament on the MDGs. They are not goals that were thought of from outer space. They were arrived at after analysing the issues that affected most countries. Therefore, there was a need for nations to come up with measurable indicators. There is no reason, as a nation, we cannot add our own national indicators within the framework of the MDGs to achieve socio-economic development. 

Mr Speaker, we see, in our everyday lives and our work, as hon. Members of Parliament, issues that confront us. There are issues of infrastructure, such roads, and education, health, poverty and food production. All these are covered by the MDGs. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us, as we play our role as legislators to look at these issues with more scrutiny. With more awareness, if there are induction programmes for hon. Members of Parliament, or through debates like this one or public hearings, then, Parliamentarians can play an effective role in promoting the attainment of the MDGs. 

Mr Speaker, how have we tried to assist in ensuring the attainment of MDGs? We have in our system, the Parliamentary Committees. Clearly, these are Committees that look at specific issues regarding the performance of the Executive. We also have caucuses. We have got the Parliamentary Caucus on the Child, the Parliamentary Caucus on Conservation, the Coalition of African Parliamentarians on HIV/AIDS, the African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption (APNAC) and many others. All these look at the goals that are part of the MDGs in one way or another. If that is the case, should the formation of a Parliamentary caucus on the MDGs not be considered? If formed, the caucus would look at all the issues, from poverty, primary education, gender issues, and child and maternal health under one Committee. Perhaps, this is food for thought. As we heard, earlier, with Sessional Parliamentary Committees, there are dedicated budgets. If the present system is effective, then, perhaps, what we need to do is sharpen and continue to review progress. After all, we only have two and half years before 2015 and, thereafter, we will have the post-MDG era. 

Mr Speaker, as Parliamentarians, we have the oversight function in our mandate,. Many of our work in the Committees and our constituencies have to do with the implementation of various projects and programmes by the Government. All of these issues have to do with improving the livelihood of our people. Here is where an hon. Member of Parliament comes in. We cannot run away from that. The third role we are mandated with is representation. That is the role in which we reflect and acknowledge the opinions and concerns of our electorates. We need to know the issues that concern the electorate and engage the Executive in order to have those issues addressed. In that regard, it is important to reflect on the value of the CDF in our attempt to accelerate the attainment of the MDGs. If well-structured and formulated around an effective legal framework, one can see that we can assist in the attainment of the MDGs, for instance, in the area of sanitation. Most of the CDF has been used on the construction of additional classroom blocks, health posts and boreholes. All these are attempts to meet the needs of our people. Therefore, one can see that it is important to strengthen that aspect. Indeed, as Parliamentarians, one can see our contribution as a catalyst to the attainment of the MDGs. 

Mr Speaker, this Motion, really, as I stated, is non-controversial. In terms of engagements, who should be our partners? Clearly, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the lead partner. However, in terms of caucuses that are in this House, there are other UN agencies, such as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UN-AIDS), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and, most importantly, we have civil society organisations (CSOs) in many of the areas. With the engagement of these institutions, we can assist. Clearly, there is a role that Parliament can play in accelerating the attainment of the MDGs. 

Mr Speaker, I do not intend to speak longer than this, but only to emphasise that Parliament and Parliamentarians play a key role, through their legislative, representative and oversight responsibilities, in ensuring that what was promised at international fora and referred to every year in pronouncements of the Ministry of Finance is implemented correctly and timely. 

With these few words, I would like to support the Motion.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to support this very progressive Motion that has been ably moved by Hon. Hamududu and seconded by Hon. Mucheleka.

Sir, my debate, this evening, will be anchored on MDG No. 1, which is, “Eradicating Extreme Poverty and Hunger by 2015.”

Mr Speaker, this Motion is urging the Government to accelerate the attainment of the MDGs. In debating this Motion, I would like to state that I speak with a heavy heart.

Sir, yesterday, the Government defeated a Motion moved by Hon. Mulusa, which had called on the Government to accelerate the attainment of the MDGs.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I will demonstrate why I speak with a heavy heart.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Member: Question!

Mr Mwiimbu: Last Saturday, I was driving to my farm in Chisamba around 0500 hours. As I was driving along Lumumba Road, approaching the Spectra Filling Station in Matero, I saw a mob of people headed towards town. It was very early in the morning and they were walking. So, I was alarmed as to what was happening and decided to divert and use an inner route. When I enquired what was happening from some people, I was informed that those people were not actually demonstrating against anything, but walking to town for work because they could not afford transport fares.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, they cannot afford transport fares because of the extreme poverty that has been inflicted on them.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: As a result of the Motion that was defeated yesterday, we will not be able to attain MDG No. 1. The people in the townships of Lusaka, who have been struggling to buy mealie-meal, will not be able to buy it after the removal of subsidies because of what the Government has done. If its members are not aware, the price of a 50kg bag of maize has risen to K75. That is the price in the rural areas. It, therefore, entails that the price of mealie-meal will rise to more than K100 per 25kg.

Mr Livune: Shame, shame!

Mr Mwiimbu: The people in the townships are struggling to buy that bag at K50, yet the price is about to rise to K100. They will not afford it.

Mr Speaker, yesterday, I heard Hon. Kapata tell the nation that …

Ms Kapata: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member debating in order to refer to me as having said something yesterday, when the Motion that was debated …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Ms Kapata: … failed? Is he in order to mention my name?

I need your serious ruling, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: The ruling is that, as the hon. Member continues debating, he should take that point of order into account.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I will take your ruling into account.

Sir, the rules of this House are that, once a debate is in the Hansard, which is a public document, one can quote what an hon. Member of Parliament ...

Mr Belemu: For Mandevu.

Mr Mwiimbu: ... said.

Mr Speaker, I was saying that, yesterday, the hon. Member for Mandevu, when making a statement on behalf of her ministry, stated …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, Hon. Mwiimbu!

I gave some guidance. You can continue debating without necessarily of referring to the hon. Member by name. 


Mr Livune: We might as well leave.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Livune, may you, please, leave the Chamber. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


The Deputy Chairperson: I heard your comment. Leave the Chamber.

Mr Livune left the Chamber.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your guidance and will not refer to the hon. Member by name. However, let me state that, yesterday, the Government informed the nation that it was cushioning Zambians from extreme poverty using a fund called the Social Cash Transfer. Currently, in most of the districts, the Social Cash Transfer is K65. As a result of the removal of the subsidies, the beneficiaries will not be able to buy even a bag of mealie-meal. What cushioning are we giving the people? None.

Sir, yesterday, we heard from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock that the Government is diligently providing subsidies to some subsistence farmers in the rural areas. I would like to demonstrate that, in fact, the Government has removed the subsidy from the poor farmers. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: You listen to what I am about to say. In past years, the farmers were required to pay K50 for a bag of fertiliser, but they struggled to raise that amount. The Government has, this year, decided to increase that amount by more than 100 per cent. It is now …

Hon. UPND Member: K130.

Mr Mwiimbu: … K130. That is what the farmers are required to pay per bag. If the farmers whom we are assisting were struggling to raise K50, how do you expect them, this year, to raise K130? They will not afford it. If they will raise any money equivalent to what they were raising last year, it will entail that the farmer who was able to get four bags of fertiliser last year will get two bags this year. This is what they will afford. By reducing the number of bags to two, are we increasing or reducing poverty? What we are doing is, actually, escalating the poverty levels in the rural areas. We are not doing our people any favours by increasing their contribution, and I am raising this issue for your own benefit. 

Mr Speaker, a number of areas had drought this year. His Honour the Vice-President is on record indicating to the nation that, this year, his office would provide relief food to a number of constituencies. Do you, honestly, believe that someone who will be queuing for food will be able to buy fertiliser? Hon. Colleagues from rural constituencies where there are farmers, do you, honestly, believe those farmers will afford to buy fertiliser? You should know that there is no pride in receiving relief food. It is humiliating for anyone to queue for food. 

Mr Speaker, this Government is aware that many people will be queuing for food this year, yet it has decided to punish them further by increasing their contributions. We are not reducing poverty but increasing it. I know that you passed the resolution yesterday, but why do you not reflect on it? It is your responsibility to assist the people if you want to attain MDG No. 1. How do you expect the people of Mugubudu and Tafela Nsoni in Chipata …


Mr Mwiimbu: … to contribute K130 for a bag of fertiliser? 

Hon. UPND Member: Zozwe.

Mr Mwiimbu: Including the people of Zozwe. 


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, the people of Solwezi East have stopped grinding maize into mealie-meal. They are now pounding it because they cannot afford to take their bags of maize for grinding. We are appealing to you, hon. Colleagues. You said that the subsidies were not only benefiting the poor, but the rich as well. I also heard one hon. Member say that we, on your left, only ate cornflakes. However, we only ate cornflakes before the removal of subsidies. We are now roasting maize because we are used to eating cornflakes. 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Let us guide one another. Hon. Mwiimbu, I think that the issue of subsidies was debated and closed. Therefore, concentrate on the Motion. 

You may continue.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I am urging the Government to ensure that the poor farmers in rural areas are empowered by providing fertiliser at almost no cost for three years because the issue of subsidies was only discussed yesterday. Now, it will not be a subsidy, but a gift to the hunger-stricken people, who cannot afford to pay the contributions for fertiliser. 

Mr Speaker, in Monze Central Constituency, which I will again represent in 2016, …


Mr Mwiimbu: … the people cannot afford transport to town to seek medical assistance. The hunger and poverty levels have been escalated by some decisions I will not mention. 

Mr Speaker, I ask my colleagues to search their souls.

Dr Kaingu: They have none! 

Mr Mwiimbu: If you have a humane heart, suspend this decision long enough to assist our poor people. I have some advice for you. When we used to debate the way I am doing now, our colleagues used to ignore us.

Mr Mukanga: Which ones?

Mr Mwiimbu: You know whom I am referring to. 


Mr Mwiimbu: They used to ignore us and they paid the price. If you also ignore us, and I hope that you do, it will be at your own peril. 

Mr Mukanga: They lost the elections.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Minister, you will be given a chance to respond. 

Mr Mwiimbu: I am just advising you. Take my advice or leave it. We will be happier to be ignored because that will facilitate your exit. 

Mr Speaker, if I were not genuine, I would not have spoken the way I have. 

Mr Chikwanda interjected.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, sometimes, certain statements or comments are ad nauseam, and I hope that those making them will not continue. 

Mr Speaker, with those few remarks, I would like to urge all of us to support this very noble Motion, which is for the good of our people. 

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, this Motion is, actually, a rider to the Motion that we debated yesterday on subsidies. 

Sir, as a former hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare, and Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources, …

Mr Mushanga: When?

Dr Kaingu: … I find myself in the right position to comment on these two Motions by using the Motion on the MDGs.  

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

We only have one Motion on the Floor. 


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

May I just remind you, Hon. Dr Kaingu, that there is only one Motion being debated. I do not know where the second one is coming from. 

You may continue. 


Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, the attainment of the MDGs hinges on the social, cultural and economic dispensation. 

Sir, when the MDGs were being launched in 2000, the economy of Zambia was on its knees. By 2003, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had helped Zambia to come up with a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), which looked at the sectors that could drive the economy of the country. Five sectors were identified, namely, mining, agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and construction. 

Mr Speaker, on the face of it, someone can think that the economy of Zambia is strong enough to attain the MDGs by 2015. However, the truth of the matter is that the economy is weak and, if essential goods and services are not subsidised, there is no way the country can attain the MDGs.

Sir, MDG No. 1 is about ending extreme poverty and hunger. By the time we were leaving office, the MMD Government had eradicated hunger in this country.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu: We had also managed to reduce extreme poverty. There was poverty, but not extreme poverty.

Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu: I was the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services and I travelled to almost all parts of the country. I can boast that I am the most travelled Minister in this country.

Mr Mukanga: Where?

Dr Kaingu: I have been everywhere in almost all the constituencies.


Dr Kaingu: The interventions that we had in the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services are the Food Security Pack (FSP) Programme …

Mr Mukanga: Aah! Bashi Iris.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I am sure that you heard the comment by the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications …

Mr Muntanga: And Chief Whip!

Dr Kaingu: … whom I give a lot of respect, …

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Member, continue debating and ignore the hecklers.

Dr Kaingu: … but is now proving to be philosophically indisposed.


Dr Kaingu: Sir, we had many interventions in the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, such as the FSP, with which we assisted vulnerable, but viable farmers to purchase fertiliser. However, with the increase in fertiliser prices, money that will be appropriated to this programme will not cover the people who are vulnerable but viable. By the way, these are policies that I helped to craft.

Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Dr Kaingu: In the same ministry, we had the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) Programme. However, given the way you are administering your economy, I can see that you will not be able to scale the programme up, despite the fact that it was allocated K300 billion, which is K300 million today. This means that MDG No. 1 will not be achieved even if we were given fifty years.

Sir, we also had the Public Welfare Assistance Scheme (PWAS), by which we used to take care of incapacitated and chronically ill people. It is a fact that there are people who cannot be employed no matter how many jobs you create because they are too old, chronically ill or disabled. So, without assistance to such, you cannot attain MDG No. 1.

Mr Speaker, I would like to adopt Hon. Mwiimbu’s words that, in the absence of the Motion that you defeated yesterday, there is no way you can attain MDG No. 1.

Sir, let me move to MDG No. 3, which is about empowering women. There has never been an advocate of women’s empowerment in this country like myself.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Dr Kaingu: I went everywhere.


Dr Kaingu: When I came to …

Mr Musukwa: That is why you have many wives.

Dr Kaingu: Women empowerment has nothing to do with my marital status.


Dr Kaingu: In fact, they are empowered, in case you do not know.


Mr Musukwa: Question! By whom?

Mr Kampyongo: You have got two wives.

Dr Kaingu: When I went to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, the budget for the Women Empowerment Programme was only K600 million, but I worked very hard, …

Mr Musukwa: We worked, too.

Dr Kaingu: ... yes, and I want to recognise the late Vice-President, Mr George Kunda, SC., may his soul rest in peace, for having been very helpful in that effort. My colleagues will bear me witness on how we fought to raise the budget to K15 billion by the time I was leaving. So, women …

Professor Luo: Is it true?

Dr Kaingu: Well, we were creating space for you, but you are messing up.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Please, address the Chair.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, it is very clear that, with the change of the nomenclature of the ministry to Community Development, Mother and Child Health, social welfare has been lost, meaning that we are going back to extreme poverty.

Sir, I want to take this opportunity to clear what I said on MDG No. 5, which is about maternal mortality. I was quoted as having said that Zambia should not promote the recruitment of male midwives. I still want to repeat what I said. Zambia would do very well to achieve the maternal health if only the money that is spent on male midwives was spent on traditional birth attendants. For us, who come from rural constituencies where there are no roads and female midwives have no accommodation, the huge sum of money that you spend on male midwives would do very well to promote traditional birth attendants. I want to boast that, in my constituency, where we have many traditional birth attendants, we do not have a high rate of deaths from maternal mortality. Therefore, …

Mr Mukanga: Maternal mortality.

Dr Kaingu: What did you say, ba pongoshi?

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


The Deputy Chairperson: There is no ba pongoshi here.


The Deputy Chairperson: Please, may I remind you to avoid inviting hecklers by addressing the Chair.

Dr Kaingu: Thank you, Mr Speaker. 

Sir, let me move to MDG No. 7, which is about environmental sustainability.

Mr Sikazwe: What about it?

Dr Kaingu: I will excuse you because you do not understand what I am saying.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, there is a relationship between cultural diversity and bio-diversity. It is our people who go to the forest to cut grass or poles to build their thatched structures. They also go to collect fruits and honey. If they do not look after the bio or eco-system, the system will suffer.

Mr Mbewe: Like Botswana.

Dr Kaingu: Indeed! 


Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, when I was at the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources, we were trying to operationalise Act No. 7 of 1999, which created the Forestry Commission. In that Commission, we wanted the participation of traditional institutions and the communities. The hon. Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection should know that we have 108 national forests and 300 local forests. We wanted to engage the people so that they could help us to manage the forest. I wanted to interest the ministry to borrow from the Zimbabwean or African Cosmo vision, in which we believe that the world is divided into three: the human world, the natural world and the spiritual realm.


Dr Kaingu: Sir, we said that the people could identify trees that should be respected because they bore fruits and sheltered the spirits. We believe that a human being is spiritual. In fact, …

Dr Phiri interjected.

Dr Kaingu: If you do not know, then, I do not know why you are an hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, we believe that there are sacred animals, such as lions, baboons and donkeys, for some of you.


Dr Kaingu: You must respect such animals.

Hon. Government Member: In Mwandi.

Dr Kaingu: Yes, indeed, in Mwandi.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, we wanted to use the African or Zimbabwean Cosmo vision, which is, currently, doing very well. Actually, in the sustenance of the environment, Zimbabweans are doing very well, and I would like the hon. Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection to go to Zimbabwe and see how that vision is working.

Sir, I have been heckled so much and I wish I could continue. However, I am sure that very few people have heard the few words I have spoken, apart from you. The majority has not understood what I have said. However, as a country, we, indeed, need …

Professor Luo interjected.

Dr Kaingu: … yes, a conceptual framework. We can copy from other people. We need to promote our economy in order to attain the MDGs. If we fail to grow our economy, then, the only way to go, to attain the MDGs, will be to subsidise. When I was young, I read a book titled, “You Will Remember Me.” If you do not do what I am saying, you will remember me.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu: Sir, as we near 2016, the fuel price will be about K20 and that of mealie-meal will be K120. Then, there will be no Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I am indebted to you for allowing me to debate this Motion, which, I am convinced, is non-controversial. Let me begin by thanking the mover, Hon. Hamududu, and Hon. Mucheleka, who ably seconded it.

Mr Speaker, this is a very rare Motion, as a matter of fact, because it is the kind of Motion that both hon. Members on your left and those on your right could find a common position on which to stand. I am having difficulties to decipher whether or not the colleagues on your right will have any reservations in supporting it whole-heartedly.

Sir, the MDGs are the most broadly-supported, comprehensive and specific poverty reduction targets that the world has ever established and collectively agreed upon. That is why, in my preamble, I thought it wise to ask that we also stand together because these goals represent much more than just an individual country’s commitment but, rather, require a global approach. To attain them, it is important that everybody plays their part. Unfortunately, in the Third World, where we are, we have very diverse competing needs and governments, especially in Africa, have struggled to manage their countries’ meagre resources prudently and apportion them to the right areas in order to address the challenges that hamper the attainment of the MDGs.

Mr Speaker, it is a fact that attaining the MDGs simply means a better life for people living in poverty in this country. That is, basically, what it means. Having said so, life without adequate food and other prerequisites, starts to diminish. The first MDG is about people having adequate food. So, life without basic education means that the means to get adequate food starts to diminish. A lack of education also means that the desire for one to live a healthy life starts to diminish. It also means that you cannot have access to clean drinking water and good sanitation, which puts you very far from attaining the MDGs. 

Sir, the empowerment of women is one that, I think, sits at the centre of the MDGs, although that comes in the long term. The mover of the Motion ably discussed this point. So, I will not go too much into it. To me, it means that we should empower the girl child because it is a matter of fact that she will graduate into a woman.

Mr Speaker, there are challenges, the world over, in attaining the MDGs, which range from global economic recessions, food crises, energy shortages, fuel shortages, to be precise, and, in many cases, even energy for heating, electricity, in this case.

Sir, among the challenges that I have identified are the realities that come with global warming and climate change. Zambia is not an exception to these challenges. Unfortunately, I think that, if we do not do the right thing, we shall have a catastrophe. It would be very good if the Government gave annual progress reports on the indicators of progress towards the attainment of the MDGs.

Mr Speaker, I have outlined four challenges that negatively impact on the attainment of the MDGs. However, my plea to all of us seated here is that we should, instead of diminishing the zeal, escalate it to make sure that we achieve our targets. I think that we must ignite our resolve to deliberately place measures where they ought to be put. The mover of the Motion indicated that Lusaka and the Copperbelt seem to be giving the wrong indicators. When you average what is obtaining in the rural areas of our country with what is obtaining in Lusaka, the most urbanised part of our country, you may get some comfort. However, I want to say that there is squalor in Lusaka.

Mr Speaker, I want to adopt the words of Hon. Jack Mwiimbu and Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr Brian Chituwo as my own in trying to demonstrate that, much as the indicators may show that we are closer to attaining the MDGs, as the mover said, the reality on the ground indicates otherwise. There is poverty in Lusaka and that is the reason crime has increased in Lusaka and on the Copperbelt. I know not of any individual who takes crime as a hobby or sport. People who engage in crime are compelled to do so. What are the drivers of this behaviour? It is poverty. That is why criminals move at night when they cannot be identified. They are only trying to provide bread and butter in their homes, but they cannot afford to. So, the only thing they can do is rob others. There are very rare kleptomaniacs in this country; those who just steal for the sake of it.  Many people steal in order to make ends meet.

Mr Speaker, the Government’s policy of removing subsidies from the essential needs relevant to our attainment of the MDGs escalates the poverty levels within our structure. So, it is a question of judgment to determine whether we moving forward or backwards. My thinking is that we are moving backwards.

Sir, I know not of any treaty, bilateral, multilateral or even international agreement, in which it has been agreed that we shall embark on infrastructure development at the expense of meeting the MDGS. On the first MDG, which is about ending poverty and hunger, it is important for me to state, here, that Zambia has subscribed to the Maputo Declaration on Food Security. Therefore, one of the major proposals that I will give this Government, and I will try to be elaborate, is not only to remove subsidies, as it has done, but also to provide fertilisers, as proposed in the UPND Manifesto, at least, for two years to deserving farmers free of charge. 

Mr Speaker, yesterday, I made a comment during my debate about the 60c that is lost in the computation of the fuel price in this country. We learnt that, in most of our neighbouring countries, the general price for finished fuel products is US$1.20 yet, here, it is US$1.83. So, there is a 63c difference, and I want to spend a moment on this amount because I want the country to know that it is sitting somewhere in this House with some people who make decisions.

Sir, the point I am trying to drive at is that …

Mr Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Just to guide each other. I think that the issue of the 63c was adequately debated and the people who contributed pointed in a certain direction. So, move to another point.

Mr Nkombo: Sir, with your permission, we would have been saving US$450 million if the fuel price in this country was the same as in our neighbouring countries. Therefore, this US$450 million unnecessary expenditure on fuel could go a long way in procuring fertiliser to give free of charge to those who are going to build our national food reserves for two years or, at least, three years, in accordance with the UPND Manifesto. You have forbidden me to speak about the 60c and I oblige but, when I multiply it by the consumption of fuel in this country, at 750 million litres, it gives me US$450 million. This money is lost and that is why we cannot attain the MDGs.

Sir, I was speaking about agriculture, and Zambia is a signatory to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). I am informed that there is only a desk officer for this programme at the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, yet this programme was conceived a long time ago. I think, the Government would do well to start implementing this programme so that, instead of the 5 per cent that the PF Government allocated to the agricultural sector in the last Budget, it allocates 10 per cent. How does the Government get to the 10 per cent? By putting money where our mouths are.

Sir, I also spoke about prudent management of resources. At this juncture, I want to indicate that Rwanda, which has been a showpiece for Africa in attainment of MDG No. 2, has allocated about 33 per cent of its Budget to education. In the long term, if you educate a national and, more so, a female national, you are very sure of achieving poverty reduction. Zambia, under the PF Government, allocated 17 per cent of its Budget towards the education sector. I think that it is business-as-usual because that is just a percentage point below the SADC benchmark of 18 per cent.

Dr Phiri consulted with Mr Chikwanda.

Mr Nkombo: If I were the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, instead of continuing to pay attention to the hon. Minister of Finance, I would open my ears to understand that Rwanda is at 33 per cent, 23 per cent more than Zambia. We have, obviously, experienced some dark years, to the extent that some people may be beyond redemption in terms of education, but I think that, if the hon. Minister fights with his colleagues in the Cabinet to get, at least, 30 per cent into the education sector in next year’s Budget, we will be getting somewhere. 

Mr Speaker, I am still on prudent management of the country’s resources and want to deal with the issue of the Eurobond ... (Paused).

Mr Nkombo: I expected Hon. Kapyanga to respond. 

Sir, in Rwanda, the bond that they took was much less subscribed than ours. I am told that our bond was subscribed up to US$12 billion, and our hon. Minister of Finance even got an award for the confidence that subscribers had in helping us to come out of our economic malaise. Rwanda, at 4.3 billion subscriptions, only got US$400 million. When the MMD was leaving office, it had applied for a 500 million Eurobond, but it was over-subscribed because of the confidence that the banks had in this country. What plan have we had for the US$750 million Eurobond?

Sir, 120 million of the Eurobond, I am told, is still sitting in the bank many months after that money hit our account. That, to me, is indicative of the fact that we did not have a plan for that money, which is accruing interest. The only thing that I could give a bit of credit on is the investment into the power sector. The Zambia Electricity Supply Cooperation (ZESCO) has got its fair share of the Eurobond. We should never forget and be oblivious to the fact that that money will have to be paid by future generations. That is what is going on here. 

Sir, as regards the issue of road infrastructure, vis-a-vis the Link Zambia 8,000km Road Infrastructure Project, what is Zambia being linked to? That is totally obscure. We are fifty years into our Independence, but you want to spend money on an obscure programme. We do not even know how much money you have been putting into this sector.  I ask you, ladies and gentlemen, who and where are you linking Zambia?


Mr Nkombo: We are dealing with issues of poverty and health. You, actually, appended your signatures to the commitment to meeting the MDGs.


Mr Nkombo: Even our colleagues, now on our side, used to rant the same way you are doing currently, until elections came. It is just important that …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, it is difficult …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Nkombo:  … to imagine that you can ...

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Nkombo:  … just keep money ...

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Nkombo: … and just go to the account and peep.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

I think that reasonableness must return to the House. There is no need for people who are seated to engage a person who is debating. By the same token, I expect the Executive to take note of whatever the person debating is saying so that you can respond appropriately. So, please, let us desist from cross debates. There is no need for that. Further, when debating, address the Chair and be civil in your language. 

You may proceed, Hon. Nkombo.

Mr Nkombo: Sir, I was trying to indicate to the hon. Minister of Finance, who is a very dear friend, that the goodwill that came with the award that he received for the over-subscription of the Eurobond will soon diminish because it does not add up. It cannot do for you to go, everyday, where you are keeping the US$120 million that is meant to rehabilitate the Zambia Railways infrastructure, just to peep and say, “Oh, iliko? Ee iliko,” meaning, ‘‘Is the money still there?’’ and, then, you come back, sit and drink tea.

Mr Speaker, when you borrow money, you have to put it to use immediately because it accrues interest. That is the bottom line of what I am saying. It is as simple as A, B, C, the alphabet, not the hon. Minister of Finance’s initials. It is as simple as when you go into Grade 1 to start learning, and the first letters of the alphabet you learn are A, B and C. Please, as quickly as possible, put that money to good use and get me back that 60c so that it goes to fertiliser support so that we have a meaningful Budget for the agricultural sector, which will bring this country out of squalor and poverty. 

With those few remarks, I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to make a few comments. I want to compliment the mover of the Motion for choosing a subject that evokes and unleashes such eloquence. However, Mr Speaker, eloquence is, sometimes, inversely related to accuracy.


Dr Kasonde: It is not my intention, therefore, to go into the details of what the hon. Members have said but, rather, to just add two comments relating to MDG No. 6 and the post-2015 agenda. 

With regard to MDG No. 6, Sir, I can do no better than to, perhaps, refer hon. Members to the report of the UNDP on the progress made up to 2013. I quote:

“The number of Zambians infected with HIV has dropped to 14.3 per cent of the population. Zambia has, therefore, already achieved and surpassed the MDG target for HIV prevalence, which is 15.6 per cent.”

The report goes on as follows:

“Therefore, the focus, now, should be on intensifying prevention and, in particular, the application of the Test and Treat.”

Sir, I can boast, on behalf of the Government, that, in 2012, the Government introduced the Test and Treat which, only last month, was endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and all the other countries were advised to follow. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kasonde: From the foregoing, I think, we can derive that the interpretation of the UNDP and that of the UPND are at variance. 

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I am sorry that I am interrupting a respectable doctor. However, is he in order not to mention the problems at the National AIDS Council (NAC), where workers are in two-month’s salary arrears and the funding is getting seriously … Is he in order not to mention that this might hamper the good progress mentioned in the report?

The Deputy Chairperson: The serious ruling is that the hon. Member is still on his feet debating. He may come to that later, if he so wishes.

You may continue, hon. Minister.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I was going to continue only to refer to the post-2015 agenda by saying that, at the World Health Assembly of May, 2013, the Zambian delegation proposed a resolution that health be put at the core of the post-2015 development agenda, and that proposal by Zambia became a resolution of the WHO. I think that we can, then, accord some kind of leadership to Zambia for what it achieved.

Mr Speaker, may I conclude by saying that the evidence before us does not, in any way, point to a need for this August House to prevail upon the Government to accelerate efforts to attain the MDGs. On the contrary, like was proposed by the hon. Member for Mumbwa, hon. Members may be urged to keep abreast and be acquainted with the great leap forward that has been achieved by the Government towards the attainment of the MDGs and, indeed, on the post-MDGs agenda.

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Dr Katema): Mr Speaker, I would also like to contribute to the Motion on the Floor. I will highlight what is being done by the Government. 

Sir, under the goal to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, the Government has scaled up the Social Cash Transfer Scheme (SCTS), which is targeted at the poor of the poorest. 

Mr Speaker, a prudent farmer knows that, if he has a limited number of bags of fertiliser, and he needs to fertilise his poor crops, he identifies the crops that are failing and takes the meagre fertiliser to that plant, ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Belemu: Is that how you farm?

Dr Katema: … rather than broadcasting it, as it has been envisioned.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, that is what a prudent farmer would do, and that is what this Government is doing. The Government, through my ministry, is working on what is called a Single Register, on which identified poor and vulnerable people …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

The hon. Minister is now responding. 

You may continue, hon. Minister.

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, poor and vulnerable households will be identified by their peers in the community and the Government will have a register of the vulnerable people whom it will target.

Mr Speaker, under the same goal, the Government has intensified the Food Security Pack (FSP) Programme by increasing the number of beneficiaries. These are farmers whom the former hon. Minister mentioned. They are poor but viable farmers. These will receive inputs from the Government without making any contribution. These are the vulnerable; the poor of the poorest in the community. We will increase the number of beneficiaries under this programme.

Mr Speaker, under MDG No. 4, on reducing the child mortality rate, the Government has instituted some measures. Just this morning, I launched the New Born Framework with interventions that will start from the community level, such as keeping the baby warm, early initiation of breast-feeding and exclusive breast-feeding. This framework is being disseminated to the rest of the country at all levels of health care provision.

Mr Speaker: Order!

(Debate adjourned)


The House adjourned at 1955 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 12th July, 2013.