Debates- Thursday, 4th July, 2013

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Thursday, 4th July, 2013

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Yaluma): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to address this august House on the topical issue of the subsidy on fuel that was recently removed by the Government.

From the outset, it is worth noting that the Government has not entirely removed all subsidies on fuel but, in fact, retained the subsidy relating to the Uniform Petroleum Pricing (UPP). I will speak about the UPP and its effects later in my address.

Sir, fuel subsidies were introduced by the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government, supposedly, to cushion the poor and the vulnerable in society. However, evidence suggests that the poor have not benefited much from the subsidies, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Yaluma: … which were targeted at reducing national fuel pump prices. A subsidy is, ideally, intended to be short-term and serve a specific period. It is not supposed to be in place in perpetuity.

Mr Speaker, the key direct consumers of fuel, the mining industries and urban dwellers who own vehicles, have benefited the most from this measure. Current statistics indicate that more than 50 per cent of the subsidised fuel is consumed by Lusaka, Central and the Copperbelt provinces, mainly by the mines, when most of the intended beneficiaries, the poor, live in rural areas.

The Uniform Petroleum Pricing Programme

Sir, the Government has recognised the need to ensure that the poor in rural areas are not adversely affected by the removal of the subsidies on fuel. Accordingly, it has retained the subsidy on fuel that allows the people in rural areas to pay for the product at the same price as that paid by those in urban areas. Previously, the further away one moved from the main fuel distribution point in Ndola to other places, the more expensive fuel became. However, through the targeted subsidy mechanism under the UPP, the price of fuel in the country, including rural areas, is now uniform.

Mr Speaker, the Government has been paying huge sums of money on subsidies, and this amount has been increasing on an annual basis. Below are some figures that have been paid over the past five years:

Year    Amount Spent (KR)

2009    179,009,688.68

2010    90,000,000.00

2011    247, 600,000.00

2012    754,000,000.00

2013    1,195,000,000.00

Total    2,465,609,688.68

Sir, the payment of the subsidies on fuel is not only a drain on the Government resources, but also diverts funds from key capital and social development projects, such as education, health and road infrastructure, which have direct benefits for the poor.

Mr Speaker, as a result of maintaining the subsidy, the Government’s capacity to collect the Strategic Reserve Fund (SRF) was compromised, and that resulted in a lack of progress in the construction of petroleum infrastructure. As hon. Members of the House are aware, the Government has a programme to construct provincial fuel storage depots as well as to rehabilitate the national storage facilities in Ndola and the Bitumen Unit at the Indeni Oil Refinery.

Sir, under the first phase of the programme, the construction of the Lusaka and Mpika storage depots as well as the rehabilitation of the Ndola Fuel Terminal are almost complete whilst the contractor will soon move to the site for the Solwezi Project. The same will happen in Mongu during the year, once the 3km access road has been worked on to allow heavy trucks carrying materials to reach the site.

Mr Speaker, under the second phase of the programme, fuel depots will be constructed in the remaining provinces, namely, Central, the Eastern, Luapula, the Northern and the Southern provinces. 

Sir, the construction of fuel depots will reduce the nation’s reliance on the Ndola Fuel Terminal and improve efficiency in the distribution of fuel. In the long run, the programme is expected to reduce logistical costs in the distribution of fuel and, hence, lead to lower fuel prices. Therefore, the removal of subsidies on fuel will ensure that the SRF has adequate resources to accelerate the development of petroleum infrastructure.

Mr Speaker, in order to cushion increases in the fuel prices after the removal of the subsidy, the Government has removed the 5 per cent import duty that was charged on petroleum feedstock. In addition, the Government has commenced the process of reflecting taxes on fuel in absolute values as opposed to percentages, which is the case currently. This is in order to mitigate the compounding effect of the increase in the price of fuel. This measure, however, requires an amendment to the law and will, therefore, be presented to this august House for consideration.

Mr Speaker, the Cabinet has also decided that there will now be periodic reviews of fuel prices in line with the economic fundamentals. Given the current economic condition, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is committed to improving the welfare of the Zambian worker as well as the most vulnerable and poor in our society.

Mr Speaker, in order to achieve our desired goal, it is unavoidable for the Government to implement some austerity measures which, initially, will be very painful but, in the long run, yield positive results for the good of the whole country. Let us not forget the saying that the hour before dawn is the darkest.

Hon. Opposition Members laughed.

Mr Yaluma: I, therefore, implore all Zambians to be patient and support this measure, which is aimed at contributing to the accelerated development of our country as well as improved welfare of our people in a more sustainable manner.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has mentioned that fuel subsidies have adversely affected the collection of the SRF. Is he talking about money that was supposed to be raised through the fuel levy? 

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, if the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalomo Central remembers, the first time we reduced the fuel price in 2011, it was by 6.41 per cent, and the SRF was used to cushion the effects of that measure. However, by doing that, we deprived petroleum infrastructure development projects of funding. We will now accelerate the implementation of the projects because that money is coming back into the coffers.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister clarify what he meant by saying that the poor are not affected by the removal of the subsidy on fuel, when the majority of them have to grind their maize in hammer mills that use diesel. They also have to use some form of transport that uses fuel to move to health centres, schools and other places, but the fares have gone up. Can he, really, say that the poor have not been affected?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, firstly, the poor never benefited when we were applying the subsidy. The ones who benefited were those who use their own vehicles, the bourgeoisie. In other words, the haves. Secondly, we were subsidising the mines. Why should we do that? The poor were not benefiting. We are reverting to the UPP so that everybody can pay the same price as that paid by the people on the Copperbelt and in Lusaka. So, that subsidy is still there, but it is being borne by the rich.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I entirely agree that the darkest hour is before dawn. However, that dawn will be our coming into power.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. PF Members: Question!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, prior to the elections of 2011, the PF promised the citizens of this country that once it assumed office, it would ensure that Zambians did not pay the highest price of fuel in the sub-region. It has now dawned on our colleagues in the Ruling Party that Zambia has the highest fuel price in the sub-region. Why have they decided to U-turn on their promises to Zambians?


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, before I answer the question, I just want to remind the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central that, even when making your budget in your house, school or business, you have to review the economic situation. If you do not do that, then, doom will befall you.


Mr Yaluma: The fuel price is dictated by two factors. One is the international market …

Mr Mwaliteta: Pricing.

Mr Yaluma: Yes, pricing.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Mwaliteta, can you stop interjecting.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister may continue.

Mr Yaluma: One is the price on the international market, which is a variable cost. The other is the fixed cost, which comprises other premiums, such as insurance. The variable component is always responsible for the variation in the pricing. 

I also want the House to know that, currently, South Africans are paying through the nose for their fuel.

Mr Kambwili: Yes.

Mr Yaluma: In The Post newspaper of today, it has been reported that the fuel price in that country is almost beyond the reach of ordinary citizens. It is the highest since the end of British rule in 1949. So, in Zambia, we are very stable, and are trying to maintain that stability in the country. That is why I said that you might feel the pain now but, when you come later, you will appreciate this measure. In Bemba, we say, “Uwakwensha ubushiku, bamutasha elyo bwacha.”

Hon. Members: Meaning?

Mr Speaker: Give him the opportunity to translate.


Mr Yaluma: It means that, if you are asleep on your mother’s back as she is taking you from the war zone, you will not realise the favour that she is doing you. You will only do so and thank her when you get to the safer side.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Kazonga (Vubwi): Sir, what guarantee does the hon. Minister give this House and the nation at large that the funds that will be saved as a result of this policy measure will, really, go towards education, health and road infrastructure development?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I think that we all know that the money that we push into the National Roads Fund (NRF) comes from the same savings that we are making from the removal of subsidies. Instead of putting that money in X, we will double it and fund other road projects. That is the function that the Excise Duty is performing. Fifteen per cent of the Fuel Levy goes to supporting road infrastructure development. Yes, hon. Member of Parliament for Vubwi, very soon, we will demonstrate that. Please, watch the space.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has made it clear that the MMD saw it right to come up with the subsidies …


Mr Miyanda: … to cushion the poor and the vulnerable. The party saw it right, then. Today, hon. Minister, you tell us that the poor have not benefited. However, I put it to you that, currently, in Mapatizya, after the removal of the fuel subsidy, the people now pay between K40 and K60. How, in your opinion, have they benefited?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, before I answer the question, I request the hon. Member to just do some little exercise and keep data for the next six months and, then, come back and compare to see how it will come up. 

Sir, we are talking about the poor benefiting from this. The data is there and our statistics tell us that 61 per cent of the population of Zambia is in the rural areas. Do we agree? Thirty-nine per cent is made up of us here, in urban areas. The urban areas, which include Central, the Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces have a consumption rate above 70 per cent. However, 70 per cent of that percentage is consumed by the mining industry. So, if you tell me that we have been subsidising the 61 per cent, then the arithmetic has gone wrong somewhere because the 61 per cent is in the rural areas. If 70 per cent is being consumed by the mines, who are we subsidising?

I rest my case.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, if I may use my mother tongue, ‘mwandu kubita’ which means that the poor are just used, ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo: ... the MMD targeted the poor, but the hon. Minister has just confirmed that it never benefited them. What guarantee, then, do we have that, this time around, the subsidies will benefit the poor? How will the UPP system benefit the people of Washishi, who have no filling station?

Hon. UPND Members: Washishi!

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I thank you.  I think that Hon. Mutelo, the Member of Parliament for Lukulu West, has not done his homework to explain to his people how the UPP is going to benefit them, which he should have been the first person to do. Let me give an example. I said that the prices they are paying for fuel in Lukulu are not directly proportionate to the distance to that area from Lusaka.

Mr Muntanga: There is no filling station in Lukulu West.

Mr Yaluma: Oh, that makes it even worse. Which is the nearest source of fuel?

Hon. Mutelo: Angola.

Mr Yaluma: Is it Angola? So, we are saying that if you are paying X in Lusaka, in Angola, you were supposed to pay four times X, but the UPP came in to cushion that and we allowed everybody everywhere to pay the same amount. So, where do you think the money for transportation is coming from? There is a retained subsidy to cushion the people in remote places so that they pay the same prices as the people who are in urban areas. If you want, hon. Member for Lukulu West, you can take me to your area to go and explain to the people free of charge.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: He says that he will subsidise the trip.


Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, when the hon. Minister says that the Government wants to help the poor, who are these poor people? In my constituency, everyone is complaining. Therefore, I would like him to help me to know who the poor are in my constituency.

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, the cost of fuel is directly proportionate to the distance of the place where the fuel is being taken. We have retained the price despite the removal of the subsidy, which means that there is a partial subsidy. We have maintained the same price so that those people can benefit. You hike the cost of transport, whether it is bus fares or whatever, based on the increase in the price of fuel, do you not? Therefore, if we maintain the fuel cost at the same price in rural and urban areas, it means that they are benefiting because their bus fares will not go up. However, if we had brought in …

Mr Sing’ombe: Who are the poor?

Mr Yaluma: Your grandmother, …


Mr Yaluma: ... and your uncle in Dundumwezi and my grandmother in Malole. Those are the poor people in the rural areas. That is why I said that 61 per cent of the people who are not benefiting from this are in the rural areas. We subsidise the mines, hon. Members. How can we do that? The mines have been consuming more than 70 per cent of the fuel in this country and they were benefiting from that subsidy. If we want to make the rich become richer, then, let us go ahead, but the PF Government is not going to do that. I am sorry about that.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, does the hon. Minister agree with me that cheaper fuel translates into a reduction in the cost of doing business and that, naturally, translates into cheaper goods and services, high productivity and more jobs, which benefit the poor and that, in fact, it is beneficial to subsidise, like any other Government would do.

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I, indeed, concur with him. Those are our intentions and you are going to see that in the nearest future.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, I, definitely, concur with the hon. Minister that we, in Kaputa, did not see the benefit of the fuel subsidy. 


Mr Ng’onga: However, could the savings made from removing the subsidy be channelled towards infrastructure development, particularly in the petroleum industry, such as construction of filling stations, because our main cost in this area is moving drums from Ndola on the Copperbelt to Kaputa.

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, the construction of a fuel storage tank in Mpika will mean that the people of Kasama or Muchinga and the Northern provinces will have shorter distances to haul the fuel to their retail sites. Therefore, there is a direct link. If we do not construct our fuel storage tanks, we will still depend on Ndola, which means that oil marketing companies (OMCs) will still have long distances to cover to take fuel wherever they have to take it. Indeed, we will use the money to complete our programme of constructing petroleum infrastructure, which we have embarked on.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, I am sure that the hon. Minister went to the right school, which gave him a very good economic perspective of the Republic of Zambia. After the subsidies were removed, I am very sure that it had a ripple effect in that the prices of goods and services have gone up. Before those benefits from the removal of the subsidies come and, maybe, they will come in the next twenty years, can he confirm that Zambians are going to be subjected to tough times because they will fail to purchase goods and services because of higher prices.

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I hope that the hon. Member for Chadiza followed my debate. However, I will repeat what I said for him: The hour before dawn is the darkest.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, as the Chairperson of your Committee on Delegated Legislation, I want to use this opportunity to learn from the hon. Minister. I understand that a statutory instrument (SI) was passed to tax people in order to create the SRF, which was to cushion prices, not to generate funds for building roads. There is a separate funding for roads, the Roads Fund, and other means of collecting revenue for roads. What is happening to that SI? Are you ignoring it because your Government has a tendency of ignoring the law? The mines and other organisations you talked about have always enjoyed preferential rates in terms of taxes. Why did you not remove fuel subsidies from those mines and others, but leave the subsidies for the rest of the country?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, it is a pity. First, you are not classified as one of the poor I talked about. However, to a certain extent, you are enjoying that fuel subsidy as well. Secondly, you talked about the SI. We removed the 5 per cent Import Duty. I also said that we will bring that here for your consideration. We will not temper with anything outside the legal framework. We will bring it here for you to consider. The mines and the people who stay in Lusaka, the Copperbelt and Central provinces are part of those who have been enjoying the fuel subsidies. You will have to buy this idea and bite the bullet.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Antonio (Kaoma Central): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister confirm that the price of fuel will continue going up, bearing in mind that the UPP is also another subsidy that will not be perpetual, but will soon be removed.

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, one of the reasons we are doing what we are doing is to ensure that, in the long term, we will have mechanisms for ensuring that the price of fuel goes down. One of the mechanisms, as I said, is to make fuel available in remote places by storing it in the storage tanks we are going to build. That will help us to reduce the price of fuel.

I thank you, Sir. {mospagebreak}

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, we will soon adjourn this House and go back to our rural constituencies. As I represent a rural constituency, I need to go and explain the fuel subsidies very clearly. How will the farmers, who need fuel for their tractors to cultivate more, benefit from the removal of the fuel subsidies? How will the people who depend on hammer mills, which use fuel, benefit because the price of fuel has now gone up and the cost of milling the maize has also gone up? For those of us who come from constituencies that have water bodies and where people use boats that use fuel, how will we explain how the removal of fuel subsidies will benefit the poor people there? How will the removal of fuel subsidies benefit the people in the three instances I have cited?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I would like to say that the road to Kabompo, Chavuma and Zambezi is being tarred. We are just mobilising more funding from the Fuel Levy to construct or rehabilitate more roads. Very soon, you will have a storage tank in Solwezi, which will enable Zambezi, which has never had a filling station, have one because fuel will be available. Secondly, I excuse you because, currently, you do not buy fuel from Zambia. You get it illegally from Angola.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kaingu (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, it is said that you do not make the poor rich by making the rich poor. Hon. Minister, what do you want to achieve, a nation of poor people?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, Hon. Dr Kaingu must respect the rural people because they brought him to this House. He is from a rural constituency and must appreciate those people.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mufalali (Senanga Central): Mr Speaker, why did the hon. Minister think that it was necessary to remove fuel subsidies when he said that 70 per cent of the fuel is consumed by the mines and that only 30 per cent is consumed by the citizenry? How much does that translate into?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, sorry, I would like him to repeat the question.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Senanga Central, please, repeat your question.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minster said that 70 per cent of the fuel that is imported into the country is consumed by the mines while only 30 per cent is consumed by the citizenry. How much does the 30 per cent translate into in monetary terms?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I did not say that. I did not say that 70 per cent of the finished product imported into the country is consumed by the mines. I was talking about the total consumption, which is 855,000 metric tonnes imported and the 649,000 metric tonnes. When you add the amounts, 70 per cent of the total is consumed by the mines. That is what I said. The remaining 30 per cent is mainly consumed by people in urban areas while only a small amount goes to the rural areas.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwanza (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, my question has been overtaken by events.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, how are the people of Luena, who do not have roads, fuel tanks or motor vehicles, and use Scotch carts and canoes, going to benefit from the removal of fuel subsidies? Will the Government reduce the prices of Scotch carts and canoes?

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I, once again, want to indicate to the hon. Member of Parliament that what has made life difficult in her area is the non-availability of fuel due to the long distances from Ndola, where the fuel is sourced. Having a tank in Mongu will, surely, make the distance shorter and fuel available within a short distance. 

Sir, we are also working on the roads. In Luena, we have the Rural Roads Unit (RRU), which works on the roads. If I am not mistaken, one of the roads in your province which, directly or indirectly, supports the economy of Luena, will benefit your people once it has been completed. 

Further, Sir, we are opening up canals, something that has never been done. We have imported dredgers and have to put money into the maintenance of those canals so that the people of Luena and the entire province benefit. We will make it easier for the people there to do their business. So, the hon. Member for Luena should be a little broad-minded so that she can see the direct and indirect benefits of this exercise.

I thank you, Sir.

Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, a cost-benefit analysis indicates that 70 per cent of the benefits have gone to the mines. Being a mono-economy, the mining industry is the goose that lays the golden egg in the Zambian economy. Do you not think that the measures that you have taken will, eventually, kill that goose and, therefore, speak doom to the Zambian economy?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I do not think so. To the contrary, those guys are the same ones who …

Mr Mwiimbu: Are they guys?

Mr Speaker: Order! 

Hon. Minister, please, withdraw the word ‘guys.’


Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, the gentlemen who are involved in mining are the ones who shot down the economy of Zambia. Picking it from the 1970s and the 1980s to the collapse and subsequent closure and privatisation of the mines, they have been making a lot of profit and still enjoy other concessions from the Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has extrapolated to this House the consumption of fuel and confirmed that the mining industries are the biggest consumers of fuel. There was a preponderance of protecting Indeni Oil Refinery by the previous Government and, now, your Government, by the imposition of a 25 per cent Import Duty on finished products. Instead of removing the subsidy across the board, which would entail a price hike on essential goods, why did you not think about removing the 25 per cent Import Duty on finished products, which would land here cheaper than what the Indeni Oil Refinery you are protecting is producing currently? Why have you not just considered closing Indeni and opening the market …

Mr Kambwili interjected.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I need your protection because the hon. Minister of Youth and Sport …

Mr Speaker: Order! 

Complete your question. That is my business.

Mr Nkombo: Why have you not considered …

Mr Kambwili scratched his head.

Mr Nkombo: Do not scratch your head, hon. Minister.


Mr Nkombo: Why have you not considered doing the simpler thing of removing that 25 per cent Import Duty so that the price of fuel remains low in this country? Is it complicated?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I must put it outrightly that this is one way. Any Government will only survive on the revenue it collects through taxes. Discontinuing the 25 per cent duty on imported fuel will, definitely, wreck us.

Sir, remember that the mines are in private hands. Their owners opted to come into the country to make a profit in their operations. We can never remove duty on imported fuel. The customs duty will have to be paid. Whoever wants to bring in fuel should do so, but be ready to be subjected to a 25 per cent duty. So, we felt that there were other avenues. We can remove the subsidies, but not touch the issue of the duty because there are only three taxes applicable, namely, the customs duty, excise duty and value-added tax (VAT). We will maintain all three.  Maybe, we can lower them a little, but we are maintaining them. 

Mr Speaker, we saw other avenues where we can pick up some savings. So, I do not think that is the right thing for the Government to do. We will maintain the 25 per cent duty.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata):  Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development in order to mislead this House and the nation by indicating that the mines are in private hands when he knows that the Government of the Republic of Zambia has shares in them?

Mr Speaker: Order! 

I request the hon. Minister, as he continues responding, to clarify that position.

Mr Yaluma: The Government holds shares, but they are minimal …


Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Speaker: Order! 

Hon. Minister, in due course, you will respond.

May the hon. Member for Kabwata continue, please.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, a subsidy is meant to cushion some hardship, and it is a drain on Government revenue, whereas tax is a revenue measure. Would you like to share with the House and the country, and quieten the hue and cry over the removal of subsidies from, especially, my colleagues, who introduced the fuel subsidy in the first place.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Lubinda: When you did your analysis, was there any rationale that was used to justify having two opposing measures, one which is a cost of revenue, the removal of the 5 per cent import tax, and another, which is a revenue one, the removal of the subsidy? Was this a matter of getting money from one pocket …

Dr Kaingu: Hammer, hammer!

Mr Lubinda: … and putting it in another, as a way of protecting those who already have protection through tax concessions and other incentives, such as the mines?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: May you, please, clarify that.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, that is, exactly, what I have been talking about. I just said that …


Mr Speaker: Order! 

Mr Yaluma: ... a tax is revenue coming into the Government coffers while a subsidy is a cost, and I have just stated how much we have spent in the past five years. We have spent KR2.5 billion. If we had not arrested the situation, by the end of the year, we would have spent KR1.1 trillion. 

Hon. Members, let us re-examine our thoughts.

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chishimba (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, I would like to …

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister in order to imply that the SRF, which was a tax on the Zambian people and a source of revenue for purchasing strategic reserves, is a subsidy when it is a revenue measure that is still in place?

Mr Speaker: I appreciate that you already asked a question earlier on. This is not really a point of order. 


Mr Speaker: If you want that question to be answered, then, find another avenue for putting it. 

Hon. Member for Kamfinsa, continue, please.

Mr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, what is the role of Indeni in reducing the price of fuel?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, Indeni has important functions in the regulation of fuel prices. As you are aware, you can only get 70 per cent of products out of Indeni while the additional 30 per cent is imported. Indeni is very old and depends on commingled feedstock from the East. The company is ripe for closure, but the Government is already offloading 49 per cent to private entities that can help to manage it. As I speak to you, the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) is already looking for suitable partners to work with us. 

Mr Speaker, we have also put up KR400 million for building a new refinery. However, currently, I cannot say that Indeni is an efficient refinery.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Ntundu indicated.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Gwembe, I have already seen you.


Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, before you proceed, there is a pending issue regarding shareholding in the mines. As you respond to the hon. Member for Gwembe’s question, please, bear in mind the intervention by the hon. Member for Monze Central. 

Hon. Member for Gwembe, please, continue.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, … 

Dr Kaingu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Yaluma left his microphone on.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, please, switch the microphone off.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I am very uncomfortable with the answer that the hon. Minister gave when I asked a question. He rightly said that I am an hon. Member of Parliament for a rural constituency, Mwandi.

Mr Speaker: Before you proceed, Hon. Dr Kaingu, I made three similar rulings this week on raising points of order. I said that they must be raised contemporaneously, not as an afterthought so that we avoid winding backwards ad infinitum. So, you cannot raise the point of order.

The hon. Member for Gwembe may continue.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, can I hear from the hon. Minister (pointed at the hon. Minister) …

Mr Speaker: The finger, hon. Member.

Mr Ntundu: Sir, Zambia, Botswana, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) all get fuel from the same source. How come Zambia (pointed at the hon. Minister) …

Mr Speaker: That finger, Hon. Ntundu.

Mr Ntundu: Sorry, Sir.


Mr Speaker: You can ask the hon. Member for Zambezi West to hold your hand.


Mr Kakoma held Hon. Ntundu’s hand.


Mr Speaker: You may continue.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, I would like …

Dr Kaingu: On a point of procedure, Sir.

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mr Speaker: Is that a point of procedure or point of order?

Dr Kaingu: It is a point of procedure.

Mr Speaker, I am perturbed by the hon. Minister’s responses in this House. My question was very clear. You cannot destroy the rich to make …

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Mwandi, sit down. My ruling is very clear. There is no need for what you are doing. 

Hon. Ntundu, please, continue.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, the countries that I have mentioned all get fuel from the same source, yet the fuel price difference between Zambia and Botswana is almost 45 per cent. May I hear from the hon. Minister (pointed at the hon. Minister) …

Hon. Government Members: Finger.


Mr Ntundu: … why that is so. What makes our fuel so expensive?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, to respond to the point of order, the shares that the Government holds in the mines are insignificant.

Mr Speaker, coming to the question …


Mr Speaker: Continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Yaluma: … posed by the hon. Member of Parliament for Gwembe, I would like to correct him. The DRC has very high fuel prices and the people of Lubumbashi rush into Chililabombwe for fuel because their fuel is very expensive.

Sir, the fuel pump price in Zambia is not the highest in the region. As I mentioned earlier, South Africa’s is the highest. 

Mr Ntundu interjected.




651.Mr Mutale (Kwacha) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing when the construction of sewer lines and water flushing toilets in the following wards in Kwacha Parliamentary Constituency would commence:


(b)Ipusukilo; and 


The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kufuna): Mr Speaker, a proposal was done by Nkana Water and Sewerage Company (NWSC) to source US$150 million for infrastructure investment up to 2015. This proposal has been submitted to the Ministry of Finance and covers the provision of water-borne toilets in Bulangililo and Kwacha townships as well as on-site sanitation in Mwaiseni and Ipusukilo. From the current African Development Bank (ADB) funding, 500 on-site toilets will be built in Ipusukilo Compound and community mobilisation has already commenced to prepare for the works.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the consideration the Government has given to Kwacha and Bulangililo. However, can he indicate the timeframe of the project.

Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, I said that we have started mobilising the community. That means that we have started the project. 

I thank you, Sir.


652. Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi) asked the Minister of Justice when the Government would construct staff houses at Bbilili Local Court in Dundumwezi Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Justice (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this House that the Government plans to construct staff houses at Bbilili as soon as funds become available as this is part of the Strategic Plan of the Judiciary. Budgetary provisions for the project will be made in 2014.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, why has a staff house not been built when this local court was built a year ago and is exposed to vandalism? 

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, that was due to budgetary constraints. I have indicated that we will make a provision for staff houses in the 2014 Budget. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister inform this House when his Government intends to make this local court operational. When will it send a presiding officer there?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, advertisements were placed in the newspapers earlier this year and that process is on-going. 

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, Bbilili Local Court was built by the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government more than two years ago. Currently, there is no staff house and the court is not operational. The hon. Minister is saying that the Government will not build a staff house there because there are no funds. He is also telling us that advertisements were placed for a staff to go to that place where there is no house. May he reconcile what he is telling us about Bbilili Local Court. Where will this person you are advertising for stay? We want to know that the local court will be opened.

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, arrangements will be made for alternative accommodation.

I thank you, Sir.


Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, some of the words in our languages reflect a lot.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, in my language, “Bbilili” means “I will keep on crying”. The people of Bbilili are crying, they have been crying and will continue crying.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes.

Professor Lungwangwa: When will the hon. Minister find the money to address this problem?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! 

Let us follow responses closely. The answer to that question has been provided.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, what is the policy on staff accommodation, especially for Government workers in the rural areas? 

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, it varies. Where there is accommodation, an officer will be accommodated. Where there is none, they will rent.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Rent?

Mr Speaker: Order! 

That is the answer.



653. Mr Chungu (Luanshya) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)how many basic schools were transformed into primary schools and high schools into secondary schools in 2012;

(b)of the transformed schools, how many were in the Northern Province; and

(c)when the transformation process would be concluded countrywide.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, 144 basic schools were transformed into primary schools while 134 high schools were transformed into secondary schools in 2012. 

Mr Speaker, no basic school was transformed into a secondary school in the Northern Province. In terms of how long the transformation process will take, as we have repeatedly said on the Floor of this House, it will be conducted in a phased manner.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the hon. Minister’s answer and his attempt to be clear. However, while he says that the transformation is real, not mere rhetoric, and a phased process, he does not say when the final phase will be implemented. When will we, actually, have migrated from the basic and high school system to the primary and secondary school system? Will it be within this mandate Zambians have given you or when we come into power in 2016?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, if the funds will be available, this transformation will be done in a year. We are saying that it will be phased because of inadequate resources for its implementation. Some of the basic schools that are going to be transformed into secondary schools need additional infrastructure. Without budgetary provisions, you cannot transform them. However, I am sure that, by 2016, most of the schools will have been transformed.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, will one of the 134 high schools be transformed into a university in the Northern Province? 

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, as far as I am concerned, there is no school that will be transformed into a university.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, what good effects has the transformation had on pupils and the country?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the effect, as the hon. Member might be aware, is the provision of additional classroom space. If you have travelled across this country like I have, you will find that, in the provinces where we have transformed some of the basic schools into secondary schools, they have provided classroom space to our Grade 10 children. I am sure that, if somebody went to Kabali in Mpika, they would see that it is working.

 Sir, the transformation has many benefits for our children. For example, the construction of a new secondary school takes five years to complete. So, it does not have any immediate social impact on our people. However, if you transform a basic school into a secondary school, the impact is immediate. That is because you would only need to put up a few structures for it to become operational as a secondary school.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kazonga (Vubwi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that there was no school in the Northern Province that was transformed. Will the transformation of schools in the Northern Province be in the next phase, since he talked about phases, or there were problems that made it difficult to transform any of the schools in the province?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the difficulty was that there are, currently, twenty-two secondary schools in the province and, of those, eleven were formerly primary schools that were transformed. As a result of that historical evolution, the province learnt many lessons because some of the eleven secondary schools that were transformed do not have examination centre numbers. So, as a result of that, the provincial leadership in the Northern Province is very cautious in the way it is taking the transformation of basic schools into secondary schools.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Sililo (Senanga): Mr Speaker, are there two programmes that the Government is running as it transforms these schools?  If not, is there any need to change, since there are secondary and primary schools? What are the effects of running these programmes?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, we are not running two programmes. What we have in the Patriotic Front (PF) Manifesto is that we will change the education system, from the basic and high school system to the primary and secondary school system. The only thing that we need to do, as a ministry, is issue a statutory instrument (SI) to effect the process and we are already working on that.

I thank you, Sir.

 Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, are there set standards in the transformation of a basic school into a secondary school? Perhaps, the hon. Minister can choose to give me a bonus answer on what happens to the Grades 1 to 4 pupils who are displaced from such schools. I ask about this because it is a real problem in our rural settings.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I totally agree with what Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo has said. The biggest challenge that we will have with the transformation process is where to take the Grades 1 to 7 pupils, given the distances between the schools. However, in the urban schools, because most of the schools are close to each other, the transformation is easier. That is why, even in other provinces, our Provincial Education Officers (PEOs) have been very cautious. However, as we get towards 2014, we need to guide our PEOs on which schools can or cannot be transformed. From my tour of the Western Province, it is quite evident that we will have that challenge in some places. That is why some of the primary schools will not to be transformed. We will move cautiously because of what Hon. Brig-Gen, Dr Chituwo has said.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, it is like the hon. Minister has toured the Western Province extensively. Is this programme pro-poor? If the basic schools are transformed into primary schools, what are we going to do with the Grades 8 and 9 pupils in the rural areas, where there no secondary schools?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I think that Hon. Mutelo knows very well that it is a pro-poor programme. If we take only his constituency, Lukulu West, he should even be supportive of this programme because I have visited the area and I know what is taking place there. In some provinces, where schools are in close proximity to each other, the Grades 8 and 9 pupils have been and taken to secondary schools and that is working well. In other provinces, where we may not have secondary schools that are close to basic schools, we have a challenge. However, we can still transform them by putting up additional structures.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, one of the reasons the education system was reformed into the basic school system was to address the issues of access, particularly in rural areas, such as Lukulu East and 80 per cent of the constituencies in this House. In reverting the system to its previous structure, a great challenge has been faced. Can the hon. Minister accept that this policy measure was rushed and that enough preparatory work should have been done. We are now having this difficulty of running two parallel systems of education as has been mentioned by my colleague from Senanga.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I do not see any serious difficulties.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Mabumba: The transformation – listen honourable Colleagues – is what will provide a greater benefit to our people. As I said, Hon. Dr Kalila, I have been in your constituency several times. The transformation is what will benefit Lukulu East. Otherwise, if your people will only rely on Lukulu Secondary School, I do not think that is going to provide them a greater benefit. However, if we can upgrade some of schools in Lukulu or elsewhere where our pupils can still walk to, that will have a greater impact on our rural constituencies. I also recognise the fact that there will be challenges because we will need additional funds to put up additional structures like laboratories and teachers’ houses.  So, this is why my colleagues should support the Government policy to remove subsides. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: The Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education needs to have sufficient money to address some of these shortcomings in the upgrading of some of the basic schools into secondary schools.

I thank you, Sir

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, how many provinces have benefited from this transformation, so far? Where has it started?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, regarding the transformation, no province has been excluded.  However, the decision has to be made at the local level. The ministry has, therefore, informed the District Education Board Secretaries (DEBSs) to identify schools that have the potential to be transformed and, after looking at the infrastructure of the schools, agree, at provincial level, to submit the statistics to the ministry. Some provinces, however, like the Northern and Copperbelt provinces, have been cautious on this transformation. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to hear from the senior Deputy Minister, …


Mr Muntanga: … who qualifies to be an hon. Minister because of the way he responds to questions. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Can you leave that to the appointing authority. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I want the appointing authority to know that he is a good person. 


Mr Muntanga: Sir, while there may be this transformation, other problems have arisen amongst teachers. I am talking about the issues of qualifications and the non-availability of teaching staff in some areas. How will you cope with the non-availability of teaching staff in the transformation process, senior Deputy Minister?


Mr Speaker: Order!

The Constitution does not recognise that designation. 

The hon. Minister may respond. 

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, those are some of the issues that I come across in some of the schools that we have transformed when I travel around. However, as we start the recruitment for 2013, in which 5,000 teachers will be recruited, most of them will be targeted at the basic schools that have been transformed. 

I thank you, Sir. 


654. Mr Mushanga (Bwacha) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)whether the Government had any plans to renovate the following health centres in Bwacha Parliamentary Constituency:




(iv)Bwacha; and


(b)when the construction of the maternity wing at Makululu Health Centre would be completed;

(c)whether the Government had any plans to construct a maternity wing at Bwacha Health Centre; and

(d)whether the Government would provide the following health centres with modern equipment:



(iii)Bwacha; and 


The Deputy Minister of Health (Mr Mulenga): Mr Speaker, the Government has plans to renovate the mentioned health facilities in Bwacha Parliamentary Constituency. Munyama, Kang’omba and Ngungu Health Centres are earmarked for renovation in 2014 while the renovations of Bwacha Health Centre will commence this year. The project will be implemented under the Poverty Reduction Programme (PRP) and materials have already been procured by the provincial administration. The renovation of Makululu Health Centre will, however, be budgeted for in 2014. 

Mr Speaker, the construction of the maternity wing at Makululu Health Centre is expected to be completed by July, 2013. Currently, the contractor, Messrs VBS General Dealers, is roofing the structure. 

Sir, the construction of the maternity wing at Bwacha Health Centre is planned for under the Kabwe District Health Office Master Plan for 2014. 

Mr Speaker, the Government, through the Ministry of Health, provided funds for the procurement of medical equipment for twenty-five zonal health centres and sixty health centres in the 2012 Budget. The procurement of this equipment has already been completed and contracts were awarded to the deserving suppliers. Under this procurement, Kang’omba, Ngungu, Bwacha and Makululu Health centres will be catered for once the equipment is received. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 


655. Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)whether the ministry was aware that Kaputa High School had an average of sixty-nine pupils in a class, as of 30th January, 2013;

(b)when the construction of Kaputa Secondary School would be completed; and 

(c)what had caused the delay in completing the school.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the ministry is aware that Kaputa Secondary has an average of sixty-nine pupils in a class, as of 30th January, 2013. That was as a result of the policy of admitting to Grade 10 all candidates with full certificates. However, that policy was changed in 2013. 

Sir, Kaputa Secondary School is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. The completion has been delayed due to financial constraints. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, an average of sixty-nine pupils in a class poses a very big challenge both to the teaching staff and facilities. What is the ministry doing to bring down this number for easy management? 

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, what the hon. Member has said is true. Sixty-nine pupils in a class can pose a challenge for any teacher, regardless of his or her intelligence, to provide quality education. The consolation, however, is that Kaputa Secondary School will be completed in 2013 and there will be additional classroom space to decongest the existing classes.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, in order to appreciate the extent of the problem in Kaputa, what is the standard number of pupils in a classroom?  

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the acceptable ratio is one teacher to forty pupils. However, that varies from location to location. For example, in rural areas, where there are very few secondary schools, you can find higher numbers than normal. That is not our wish and, like we have said before, it is because of the inadequate school infrastructure that we have. 

Mr Speaker, we hope that with the support of our colleagues, the transformation of some of the primary schools will help to decongest the classes.

I thank you, Sir. 


656. Mr Ng’onga asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)whether the ministry was aware that the District Agricultural Co-ordinating Officer (DACO) in Kaputa District reports to the Provincial Agricultural Co-ordinating Officer (PACO) in Kasama while the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) District Officer reports to the Luapula Co-Ordinating Office in Mansa;

(b)what the reason for the current reporting system was; and

(c)when the reporting system above would be synchronised so that the FRA District Office was answerable to the Kasama Office.

Mr Ng’onga left the microphone on.

Mr Speaker: You have to switch off the microphone, hon. Member.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Mwewa): Mr Speaker, the ministry is aware that the DACO in Kaputa reports to the PACO in Kasama while the FRA District Officer reports to the Luapula Co-ordinating Office in Mansa.

Sir, the reporting to the Luapula Co-ordinating Office in Mansa by the FRA Kaputa District Officer is a historical arrangement, with some Government departments in Kaputa also reporting to Mansa while others report to Kasama. However, the system is in the process of being synchronised, as the ministry has already instructed the FRA to normalise the situation as is the case with other Government institutions and agencies.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for that answer. However, my feeling is that to simply say it is a historical affair is not sufficient. From the history, what were the reasons this confused state of affairs prevailed in Kaputa?

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Sichinga): Mr Speaker, this arrangement emanates from the need to address the needs of the farmers in so far as related to the procurement of maize and other crops. It commenced between 2005 and 2006 when it was seen to be more appropriate for purchasing maize and rice. It may please the hon. Member to know that the distance between Kaputa and Nchelenge, at 170km, is much shorter than that from Kaputa to Mporokoso, which is longer by 100km. One would also need to transport produce to Kasama, which is another 175km. Clearly, that was problematic in terms of costs because Mporokoso did not have sufficient storage capacity to accommodate the maize as well as the rice.

Sir, secondly, most of the maize, say 90 per cent, is exported out of Kaputa into other areas and it is easier to get to a tarmac road which can carry this load when you go to Nchelenge. Furthermore, many of the transporters are more reluctant to take the distance to Kasama than to Nchelenge from Kaputa. These are the reasons it became necessary to use that facility.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, with those good reasons advanced by the hon. Minister, why is the Government now trying to synchronise the system?

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, as facilities and storage capacity improve, including roads, it becomes necessary that the Government administrative structures are maintained. So, clearly, as changes take place in the infrastructure of Kaputa, the circumstances will change and, therefore, make it convenient for stocks to be held in different locations.

I thank you, Sir.


657. Mr Sianga (Sesheke) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)how many schools in Sesheke Parliamentary Constituency were allocated funds for the construction of a 1 x 2 classroom block in 2010;

(b)how much money was allocated to each school; and

(c)how the allocated funds were utilised.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, two schools, namely, Nakatindi and Njokomalomo in Sesheke Parliamentary Constituency were allocated funds for the construction of a 1 x 2 classroom block in the 2010 Budget.

Sir, the total amount allocated was KR150,000. 

Mr Speaker, although the money was budgeted for, it was not released. Therefore, we cannot comment on how it was utilised.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, will the undisbursed money in the 2010 Budget be recovered this year?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, unfortunately, although the money was not released, in 2013, our budgetary allocation has already been committed. However, I recognise that, in the future, especially in 2014, we could consider allocating funds to the two schools.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, why was the money not released? Was it misappropriated at the ministry headquarters?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the money was not misappropriated. As our colleagues are aware, the Budget component for the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education has its internal resources and the money that comes from the donors. Unfortunately, in 2010, most of the money from the donors was not released.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


658. Mr Sianga asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a)when the Sesheke District Council would start providing services such as roads, electricity and water before allocating new plots to developers;

(b)when plot owners would be issued with title deeds;

(c)whether the Government had any plans to construct a modern market and bus station in Sesheke District; and

(d)whether the Government had any plans to construct a drainage system in Sesheke Township.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Tembo): Mr Speaker, Sesheke District is divided into two by the Zambezi River. On the East Bank, all the plots in the township are serviced with roads, water and electricity. The provision of water and electricity is the preserve of commercial utility companies, such as the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) and the Western Water and Sewerage Company (WWSC). However, due to the exhaustion of the land on the East Bank, the council acquired 4km2 of land on the West Bank, Katima Mulilo. A lay-out plan has been drawn and approved by all relevant authorities and over 1,000 stands have been numbered. Additionally, 500 stands were surveyed using the Land Development Fund (LDF) under the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. The council has since lodged an application to the LDF to service the area with roads, water and electricity supply lines, and complete the survey and place beacons in the remaining plots that were not covered under the initial funding.

Sir, the council is merely an agent of the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, and is not mandated to issue title deeds to developers. However, in the process of obtaining title deeds, the council provides guidance on how to have the plots surveyed and numbered, and to obtain planning permission from the provincial planning authority and, thereafter, recommend to the Commissioner of Lands for the issuance of title deeds. The Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection would, thereby, be in a better position to guide on when title deeds would be issued to developers who have applied for them. Therefore, the owners of plots in Sesheke who have not received title deeds should approach the Surveyor-General’s Office in Lusaka or Choma in order to facilitate surveying of their plots, after which title deeds shall be prepared and issued to them.

Sir, Sesheke is not among the districts allocated funding in the current fiscal year. The Government has plans to construct modern markets and bus stations in all the districts, including Sesheke. However, these are high capital projects and, currently, funds are not available to cater for all the districts.

Sir, the Government has allocated the Sesheke District Council a stretch of 10.3km of township roads to be constructed or upgraded to bituminous standards under the Link Zambia 8,000 Road Network Project. An additional 15km will be worked on under the Pave Zambia 2,000km Programme. It should be noted that during the design and implementation of these projects, the drainage system will also be incorporated as part of the road infrastructure.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Sianga: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that people in Sesheke consttruct their buildings without having their plots numbered, which causes the authorities not to give them title deeds?

Mr Tembo: Mr Speaker, the breach of any procedure in the construction of infrastructure is an offence.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ntundu: Sir, …

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I would like to apologise to my colleague for disturbing his intention to ask a question. However, Livingstone Constituency appears to be very unfortunate. Last time, we had one hon. Member of Parliament from that constituency who, literally, never attended Parliament. This time, we have another hon. Member of Parliament who does not appear in this House. Since we opened, he has never been in this House. Is the hon. Chief Whip in order not to ensure that the people of Livingstone are adequately represented in this House?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Well, my ruling is brief. Unfortunately, the hon. Member in question is indisposed. That is the reason he is not able to be with us here.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Ntundu: Sir, I am imagining the huge crowds that would be at the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection if all the people being allocated plots were to go there. I want to understand better the role of the councils because I thought that, going by the service fees that they collect, it is to ensure that …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

You have asked the hon. Minister a question, but you are now about to give him the answer. I think that you should let him answer.

Mr Ntundu: I had not finished asking my question.

Mr Tembo: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Minister.

I understand that he did not finish asking his question.

Mr Ntundu: Sir, I had not yet asked my question. What is the role of the council because the hon. Minister has stated that people who are offered plots by the councils have to travel to the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection for the facilitation of their title deeds?

Mr Tembo: Mr Speaker, like I indicated in my earlier answer, it is not a mandate of the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to issue title deeds. It is for the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. Our mandate is to provide services to the community, like I stated in my answer.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, title deeds for most of the council land have been a problem countrywide, including in Nyimba. Does the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing have any intention of meeting with his counterpart at the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection to resolve the issue so that the title deeds for land given by local authorities are processed on time?

Mr Tembo: Mr Speaker, the Government is about to launch the Decentralisation Policy, which entails that most of the functions of the Central Government will be devolved to the local authorities. Once that is done, title deeds will be obtained at the grassroots level, since we will have some officers working at our local authorities from the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, going by the admission of the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing that there is total chaos at her ministry, why should this responsibility be given to that ministry?

Mr Tembo: Mr Speaker, I do not agree with him that there is total chaos at our ministry. However, as a ministry, we are trying to implement the Decentralisation Policy so that it strengthens the human resource capacity in local authorities, which is inadequate. Once we address that, I think, those issues will be things of the past.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister not aware that councils in this country also issue title deeds?

Mr Tembo: Mr Speaker, I have already indicated that, as local authorities, we do not offer title deeds. It is the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection that is responsible for doing so. However, once the title deeds have been issued by that ministry, we can collect them on behalf of customers.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: On whom?


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, it is assumed that hon. Ministers are knowledgeable on issues that relate to their ministries. Is the hon. Deputy Minister in order to mislead this House and the nation by stating that councils do not issue title deeds when they do so under the Statutory Housing Areas Act?

Mr Deputy Speaker: I must admit that even I, the person in the Chair, am not able to make a ruling on that point of order because I do not have the facts on me. However, can the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing come and clarify the issue raised in the point of order.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member for …

Mr Muntanga: It is me.

Mr Deputy Speaker: … Kalomo Central may proceed.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, questions have come up on why plots in rural councils are not even given numbers. In the past, however, one got a number for his plot and a fourteen-year lease signed by the township and city councils. If this Government is not chaotic, why is it not able to sort out the issue of numbering of plots in the local government?

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Kabanshi): Mr Speaker, that is why I made a statement, a few weeks ago, to the effect that no person should develop land which is not numbered. Similarly, no person without a permit and approved plans from the Department of Planning in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing should go ahead and construct their buildings. We are trying to correct the situation that we found.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. UPND Member: The issue of the title deeds by the council?


Mr Deputy Speaker: I said that it would be done in due course, not now.



659. Mr Mpundu (Nchelenge) asked the Minister of Home Affairs when the Government would undertake the following for the National Registration, Passport and Citizenship Offices in Nchelenge District:

(a)provide running water and sanitary facilities for the staff and clients;

(b)provide a vehicle for operations;

(c)provide additional staff; and

(d)construct staff houses.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, the Department of National Registration, Passport and Citizenship is already working on providing sanitary facilities, including running water, for its staff and clients at the Nchelenge District Office. A contractor will soon be engaged, through the procurement process, to go and carry out the stated works as soon as possible.

Mr Speaker, the district offices have not been provided with transport, as most of the operations are office-based. However, whenever a need for transport arises, for instance, during mobile registration, vehicles from the provincial or national headquarters are availed for the officers to use.

Mr Speaker, the department recently recruited more staff under the newly-approved structure. The recruited workers have been deployed to all districts countrywide, including Nchelenge. 

Sir, the Government has no immediate plans to construct staff houses for the department because, currently, all employees are paid a housing allowance, which is a percentage of their annual salary. The workers use the housing allowance to rent their own arranged accommodation. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


660. Mr Mpundu asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    when the Isolation Ward at St. Paul’s Mission Hospital in Nchelenge would be rehabilitated; 

(b)    when the Government would provide adequate grants to the hospital;

(c)    when more staff, especially clinical officers and nurses, would be posted to the hospital; and

(d)    when beds and linen would be provided.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chikusu): Mr Speaker, the rehabilitation of the Isolation Ward at St. Paul’s Mission Hospital will be done under the 2013 Ministry of Health Infrastructure Operation Plan.

Mr Speaker, there has been an improvement in the funding for district hospitals because the Government has increased the Budgetary allocation to the health sector. It is expected that, with increased funding, the monthly grants will also increase in accordance with the resource allocation formula. 

Sir, the filling of positions to reduce the variance between the approved establishment and the staff-in-post at St. Paul’s Mission Hospital and all health facilities countrywide is being done in phases. St. Paul’s Mission Hospital is expected to benefit from the 2013 net recruitment that the Government will conduct. As of today, in Phase I, two registered nurses have been posted to the hospital. In Phase II, it will be given one physiotherapist, two technologists, two clinical officers and two Zambia Enrolled Midwives. 

Mr Speaker, the Government is aware of the need to provide most of our health facilities countrywide with beddings at regular intervals and has already procured beddings for hospitals at KR10,115,184. The delivery of the beddings to the Ministry of Health has commenced. As soon as it is completed, the beddings will be distributed to all the ten provinces and St Paul’s Mission Hospital is expected to benefit from this intervention.

I thank you, Sir.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister, please, clarify his statement that there has been increased funding to the health sector when the truth is that most district hospitals are unable to buy cleaning materials, for example, and medicines have not been delivered by Medical Stores Limited (MSL). There is a persistent discrepancy between the statements of increased funding to the Ministry of Health and the lack of money for health institutions to manage their facilities on account of not receiving their grants from the Government. Can the hon. Minister, please, clarify this discrepancy.

Dr Chikusu: Mr Speaker, there is no discrepancy. The items that the hon. Member has referred are managed by the MSL. Drugs are centrally-procured and, then, distributed to the institutions. The institutions order the drugs directly from the MSL. The 4 per cent allocation to the institutions for specific operations and medical supplies is not affected in this manner.

I thank you, Sir.


661. Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West) asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development:

(a)when the connection of the electricity power line to Mufumbwe, Kabompo Zambezi and Chavuma districts from Kasempa District Sub-Station would commence;

(b)when the project was expected to be completed; and 

(c)what the expected cost of the project was.

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Zulu): Mr Speaker, ZESCO Limited is, currently, in the process of procuring the services of an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor to connect the North-Western Province to the national electricity grid. This will be done by constructing an extensive 133KV sub-transmission system linking all the districts in the province. 

Sir, it is expected that the construction works will commence by October, this year, and be completed in two years, by October, 2015. 

Mr Speaker, the estimated cost for connecting the North-Western Province to the national electricity grid is about KR758.8 million or US$ 140 million.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I am quite encouraged by that answer. However, is it feasible, in the interim, for Manyinga, which has become a district, to have its own provision in terms of power generation?

The Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Yaluma): Mr Speaker, that could be possible. However, we have to assess or evaluate the possibility of giving Manyinga its own localised power generation. For example, we need to know how we can spread the load. Leave that to us and we will find out what we can do about it and, then, give you feedback.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, although the question did not include Mwinilunga, is the district also included in the project that will commence in 2013, since it is not connected to the national grid, too?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, yes, Mwinilunga is one of the towns that will be connected to the national grid as we embark on this project.

I thank you, Sir.


662. Mr Lufuma asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications whether the Government had any plans to widen the bridges at the following locations on the upgraded M8 Road in Kabompo District:

(a)Mundanya on the Kabompo River;

(b)Manyinga on the Manyinga River; and 

(c)Mumbeji on the Mumbeji River.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr M. H. Malama): Mr Speaker, the Road Development Agency (RDA), through the Regional Manager of the North-Western Province, has already carried out an assessment on the mentioned bridges for consideration in the 2014 Road Sector Annual Work Plan, and KR60 million is the proposed allocation to the project in the 2014 Budget.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, why were these bridges left out in the initial project when the road was being constructed?

Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Speaker, the bridges were not budgeted for. That is why they were not included in the project. However, we worked on the part that we considered to have been more important for the people who were still serviced by the bridges.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, considering that the bridges were built in the colonial days, probably in the 1930s or 1940s, they are now very old and risky to the members of the travelling public. When carrying out the review that the hon. Minister mentioned, was a total replacement of the bridges or the construction of new bridges, rather than the mere widening or improvement of the existing small bridges, considered?

Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Speaker, the question was about widening the bridges and we have answered it accordingly. If replacing the bridges will be necessary, we will consider doing that later.

I thank you, Sir.


663. Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi) asked the Minister of Justice:

(a)whether newly-recruited Local Court Magistrates were provided with basic training in law prior to commencing work; and 

(b)what measures the Government had taken to clean up the payroll system in Luapula Province, where Local Court Magistrates, Clerks and Messengers were over-employed, thereby causing distortions.

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, newly-recruited Local Court Magistrates do receive basic training in law and magisterial duties during induction. The training covers areas of law that are consistent with their jurisdictional mandate and include an introduction to the Local Courts Act, Chapter 29 of the Laws of Zambia, the Intestate Succession Act, Local Court Procedures and some human rights.

Sir, the Judiciary requested Treasury authority to normalise the over-recruitment in Luapula Province. The authority was granted through Treasury Authority No. 11 of 2012. Following the authority, the positions were created in the establishment.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, now that the Local Court presiding officers are referred to as Magistrates, what, then, is the minimum qualification required for one to hold that office?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, the minimum academic qualification for the position of Local Court Magistrate is a Grade 12 Certificate with an average of credit or better in all subjects. In addition, one needs to be aged between forty and forty-five years. Further, knowledge in local customary law is required for local court magistrates to be employed in rural areas.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


664. Mr Mpundu asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing when the Government would construct low-cost houses in Nchelenge District.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr N. Banda): Mr Speaker, the Government, through the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, is, currently, constructing low-cost houses in eighteen newly-created district councils. Nchelenge, like other districts, will be considered once funds are available. However, to hasten the consideration, the Government has asked the Nchelenge District Council to submit the following information so that we can be ready for the next budgeting exercise:

(a)lay-out and survey plans for a minimum of 100 low-cost dwelling units with the provisions for municipal services and infrastructure;

(b)lay-out plans for land, not less than fifty hectares, for the national housing authority; and

(c)land for possible public-private partnership ventures in infrastructure.

I thank you, Sir.


665. Mr Bwalya asked the Minister of Home Affairs when the Government last supplied uniforms, mattresses and blankets to prisons in the following provinces:






(f)Western; and


The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mrs Mwamba): Mr Speaker, except for Lusaka, which received 1,500 mattresses in 2013, the provinces named above last received their allocation of mattresses in 2010. For 2013, the following were received:

Province    Uniforms (Pairs)    Blankets    

Lusaka        950     2,500

Copperbelt    3,200    2,500

Central        2,430    2,000    

Southern    978    5,000

Northern    375    520

Western    600    320 

Eastern        1,140    550

Mr Speaker, only about 1,500 mattresses were procured in 2013 for the new Mwembeshi Maximum Prison. The purchases of uniforms, blankets and mattresses are based on the budgetary allocation for the year in question.

Sir, sometimes, the Police and Prisons Service Commission (PPSC), through its own initiative, has procured uniforms for the inmates using the revolving funds from the Prison Industry Revolving Fund (PIRF), which are proceeds from prison farms, industrial workshops, such as metal fabrication, and building units.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Education, Science and Technology for the Second Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 20th June, 2013.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Mushanga (Bwacha): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order No. 157, your Committee considered as its topical issue, “Financing and Infrastructure Development in Existing and Upgraded Public Universities vis-a-vis the Establishment of New Ones.”

Sir, in April, 1997, the then Republican President, Dr F.T. J. Chiluba, appointed a Commission of Inquiry led by Justice Bobby Mark Bwalya to investigate all aspects of the operations of the two public universities then in existence, namely, the University of Zambia (UNZA) and the Copperbelt University (CBU).

Mr Speaker, the Bobby Bwalya Commission of Inquiry presented its report to the Government and, in its White Paper, the Government accepted some of the recommendations and rejected others. However, only a few of the recommendations accepted by the Government have, so far, been implemented.

Sir, ten years after the Commission of Inquiry, in 2007, the Government held a consultative forum in Siavonga on the problems affecting public universities. The forum was facilitated by Dialogue Africa. That was against a backdrop of the operations of the two public universities being beset with several challenges, resulting in persistent student unrest, labour disputes, strikes and even closures. To date, the problems highlighted in the final report of the forum have not been resolved and the unrest persists. 

Mr Speaker, against that background, the Government proposed to transform three institutions of higher learning, namely, Kwame Nkrumah Teachers College, Copperbelt Secondary Teachers College (COSETCO) and the National In-Service Teachers College (NISTCOL) into Nkrumah University of Education, Mukuba University of Education and Chalimabana University, respectively. The Government has also proposed to build Palabana University of Agriculture in Lusaka and Robert Kapasa Makasa and Paul Mushindo universities in Muchinga Province. 

Mr Speaker, in order to get an insight into this matter, your Committee received and considered written and oral submissions from stakeholders and toured the subject institutions as well as a few selected private universities in Lusaka, Central, Copperbelt and Muchinga provinces. Your Committee also undertook a foreign tour to Zimbabwe. Considering that the hon. Members have read the report and have it before them, I will just highlight a few issues contained in it. 

Sir, with regard to the extent to which the problems identified and the recommendations made in the Bobby Bwalya Commission of Inquiry and the Consultative Forum reports have been implemented, your Committee was dismayed to learn that, sixteen years after the appointment of the commission and the subsequent presentation of its report to the Government, many pertinent and useful recommendations have either been only partially implemented or completely ignored. However, your Committee was slightly pleased to note that one of the recommendations has been implemented, namely, the establishment of the Higher Education Authority and the repeal of the University Act No. 11 of 1999, which had raised a lot of concern among universities and other stakeholders, who contended that it was overly prescriptive and restrictive. It is the hope of your Committee that this authority will be operationalised and given the requisite capacity to function as expected. That is necessary, particularly, because quite a good number of private universities have since been established without an umbrella body to supervise them. The implication is that the institutions will be operating in retrospect.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the challenges that the Government faces in implementing the recommendations contained in the two reports, your Committee was informed that this was largely due to the failure by the Government to provide an elaborate legal framework to anchor the proposals. 

Sir, with regard to the adequacy of infrastructure in existing and upgraded public universities, your Committee observed that the infrastructure in these institutions was not commensurate with the enrolment levels in the institutions. Your Committee was informed, for instance, that, at UNZA, the enrolment levels had risen from 300 in 1966 to the current levels of 13,000 students, resulting in an acute shortage of bed and office space, which has forced students, lecturers and researchers to share offices. This has greatly affected efficiency levels, as the lecturer-student contact time has been diminished. Lecture theatres are not only inadequate, but also dilapidated. This has resulted in students standing while attending lectures. Some lecture theatres do not have public address or voice enhancement systems, making it difficult for all students to follow the lectures. The library which, in the past, was the envy of the region, has suffered neglect and is a pale shadow of its former self, with poor ventilation, poor lighting and mostly outdated books. The scenario was the same at the CBU.

Mr Speaker, on whether the Government had the capacity to handle the demands of additional universities in the wake of the current problems, your Committee was informed that, whereas it is necessary to expand access to university education, considering the growing population, the Government had done too much in too short a period, thereby biting more than it was able to chew, as the adage goes.

Sir, the stakeholders contended that it would have been advisable for the Government to adopt a phased approach to building more universities. This point as underscored by the number of uncompleted buildings at Mulungushi, Mukuba and Mulakupikwa universities. If the Government had handled one institution at a time, the resources would have been sufficient to complete one institution before embarking on another.

Mr Speaker, on Mulungushi University, your Committee discovered that the institution had very scanty infrastructure, which had resulted in low enrolment levels, restricted flow of cash into the institution and slowed down the expansion programme. This is, partly, because Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) has reneged on the memorandum of understanding (MOU) it signed on 2nd May, 2008, pledging to provide 50 per cent or US$17.1 million of the cost of setting up the new university. Your Committee was informed that, to date, only US$1 million of the pledged amount had been remitted to the institution.

Sir, your Committee was informed that, in order to finance infrastructure development at the institution, KCM had asked to be given a seat on the governance structure of the university. That was, however, not possible then due to the restrictive nature of the University Act No. 11 of 1999. It is, therefore, hoped that, with the repeal of the Act and the replacement thereof, of the Higher Education Authority Act, KCM will have a seat on the council and that, subsequently, the MOU will be honoured. However, just in case KCM does not come on board to assist the institution, your Committee recommends that the Government provides the KR50 million that the institution needs to complete its building projects.

Mr Speaker, during the tour of Zimbabwe, your Committee learnt that Zimbabwe has nine state universities solely funded by the Government. That means that the Government takes full responsibility for staff salaries and gives grants to universities for daily operations. As a result of this relief, universities channel most of the funds raised from fees and other resources to infrastructure development, maintenance and supplementing staff salaries. Your Committee recommends that, in a similar manner, in order to allow public universities to devote time and resources to infrastructure development, and for the Government to effectively manage the harmonisation of salaries among public university workers that it has embarked on, university lecturers and ancillary staff should, of necessity, be put on the Government payroll and the ratio of lectures to other staff reduced to 3:1. 

Mr Speaker, the other lesson that your Committee learnt from Zimbabwe was that of the financing of students. Your Committee was informed that, thus far, two systems were applicable in Zimbabwe. The first was a combination of a loan and a bursary, with the loan being higher than the bursary. In this arrangement, a student would get assistance, partly as a loan and partly as a bursary, in the ratio of 60/40 per cent. Your Committee learnt, however, that the recovery of the loans became problematic due to the challenge of tracing beneficiaries because most of them could not get jobs in the Government service or even in the country. That led to the loan system being scrapped, at which point the Government, then, devised the Cadet System. 

Sir, the Cadet System is similar to the bursary system in Zambia. Under the system, a means test is conducted during which applicants are scrutinised to ensure that only those who are really needy benefit from the scheme. The other dimension to this scheme is that it only covers tuition, not lodging and meals. Your Committee recommends that, if Government carries on with the bursary scheme, it should be restricted to tuition only to reduce the burden on the national Treasury and avoid student unrest which normally arises from non-payment of meal allowances. 

Mr Speaker, in view of the lack of an assured job market for graduates to enable them to repay the loans they get, the lack of an elaborate loan recovery system, the poor repayment culture among Zambians, as exemplified by the case of the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC), and the fact that only one country was visited, where the loan scheme has been tried, but it failed, your Committee recommends that the Government subjects the proposed loan scheme to further study and scrutiny, particularly in countries where it has succeeded.

Mr Speaker, further, your Committee observed that the Zimbabwean Government has three separate ministries involved in education, namely: 

(a)the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture;

(b)the Ministry of Higher Education and Tertiary Education; and

(c)the Ministry Science and Technology Development.

Sir, your Committee recommends, as per the recommendations of the Bobby Bwalya Commission, that the Government considers setting up a separate ministry responsible for higher education.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I thank you for the guidance and support rendered to your Committee during its deliberations in this session. I also thank the Chief Executives of the institutions that made submissions before your Committee and the Parliament of Zimbabwe for facilitating the tour of State universities in that country and for all courtesies extended to your Committee. My gratitude also goes to members of your Committee for their co-operation and dedication to duty, without which nothing much could have been achieved. Lastly, but not the least, I extend my appreciation to the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the services rendered to your Committee during this session.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Mushanga: Now, Mr Speaker. 

Sir, in seconding the Motion, which has been well-moved by the Chairperson of your Committee, I wish to make comments on a few points contained in your Committee’s report. 

Sir, the challenge that the Government faces in financing infrastructure development is a very big one and needs to be addressed aggressively. We cannot deny that this nation needs more public universities to expand access to higher education, which is so hotly sought after by our young people. The word of caution, however, is that, while the Government endeavours to respond to this challenge, necessary steps should be taken for it not to overstretch itself. 

Mr Speaker, when your Committee toured upgraded and newly-established public universities, it was surprising to note that most of the buildings under construction were between 70 and 80 per cent complete. It was the feeling of your Committee that the Government was spreading resources too thinly, thereby reducing the speed of completion and the impact of the developmental projects. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government completes old projects before embarking on new ones. 

Sir, the other matter your Committee came across while on tour in Zimbabwe was that, whereas Zimbabwean public universities were involved in viable businesses, Zambian ones were not. Therefore, your Committee asks why this is so. It is interesting to note, for instance, that UNZA has almost lost ownership of York and Lyempe Farms, which should have been supplementing Government grants. Even Zamnet, the pioneer of internet service provision in Zambia, is in the doldrums, behind very late entrants on the market. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that public universities in our country engage qualified business managers to make these ventures profitable and viable.

Mr Speaker, the upgrading of infrastructure at institutions like NISTCOL, which has, for a long time, been a teachers’ college, might not be enough to turn them into fully-fledged universities. There is a need to put the lecturers, qualified though they are, through a paradigm shift and inculcate a university mentality into the institutions.

Sir, on the issue of the involvement of the private sector in infrastructure development and student finance in our universities, your Committee notes the PPP at UNZA, where a developer is building a shopping mall on university land on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) mode. That programme is commendable and all public universities must take a leaf from it and be encouraged to go that route. However, it would help a lot if the Government excused the universities from the procurement processes and procedures that make it difficult and expensive for them to operate cost-effectively. Further, private institutions that go into partnership with public universities or sponsor a particular number of students should enjoy exemption from certain taxes.

Mr Speaker, as I conclude, I would like to thank the Chairperson of your Committee for the exceptional manner in which he presided over the business of your Committee. I am a man of few words. So, allow me to just thank all the members of your Committee for their co-operation, dedication and commitment to duty. 

Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, I thank you for affording me this opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the Floor.

Sir, listening to the Chairperson of your Committee highlight the problems that the public universities face, particularly UNZA, I can only draw one conclusion, which was also stated on Page 15 of the report, namely, the lack of political will to resolve the problems.

Mr Speaker, we know that, before the elections that we had in 2011, many political parties promised our young people in the universities that they would solve the problems the students faced. The Patriotic Front (PF), in fact, swept the votes at UNZA Polling Station based on the promises that it made to the students. However, now that it is in power, it has failed to demonstrate that same political will …

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Kakoma: … to solve the problems that the students at UNZA face. Instead, when the students attempt to complain, the Government sends police officers in riot gear to beat them up.

Mr Speaker, this attitude is not going to solve the problems at UNZA. The increased funding that the PF promised to the universities has not been sufficient enough to solve the problems. In fact, when you look at the tables in your report, the variance is increasing. That shows that there is no political will in the PF Government to solve the problems at UNZA and other public universities. 

Sir, the desire by the PF Government to establish more universities in this country, particularly in provinces that did not have universities was hailed by many people. However, as it is turning out to be, the new universities are not being allocated fairly and equitably throughout the country. There are many provinces that have been left out from this programme, namely, the North-Western, Western, Luapula and Southern provinces. The Government has opted to concentrate on the construction of universities in Lusaka and Muchinga provinces. That is unacceptable because this Government has told the people of Zambia that it intends to provide inclusive development and growth. How will the people in the Northern Province feel part of the inclusive growth of the PF Government when they are excluded from having a public university? That, I think, just goes to demonstrate that this Government does not intend to take everybody on board in its development plans.

Sir, I also wish to …

Mr Kapeya: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, the establishment of universities in Zambia is an on-going process. It is not a one-off achievement. Therefore, is the hon. Member of Parliament for Zambezi West in order to claim that only Muchinga and Lusaka provinces are benefitting from the project?

I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

First of all, by way of guidance, I think that members of the Executive should listen. The idea is to see how you can absorb some of the views being expressed. In as far as that point of order is concerned, the hon. Member is expressing the view that, currently, only the two provinces mentioned will have universities. Whether the Government intends to spread out in future is another issue. That is why I advise members of the Executive to listen and just see how they can take into account the views being expressed. Like you have said, the Government intends to roll out to other provinces.

Mr Kakoma: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your wise guidance.

The idea of having more public universities is not an issue. We all agree that this population is growing and we need more public universities. The point of concern is that these universities must be widely and equitably spread, instead of having two public universities in one town when some whole provinces do not. It is not right to have two public universities in Chinsali and Chongwe, respectively, while the rest of the country is left out. That is not inclusive and equitable development.

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

Mr Kakoma: Mr Speaker, I recall that, during the run up to the 2011 Elections, the PF promised the people that it would provide free education to the Zambian young people up to the university level. That was, actually, a policy that it copied from the United Party for National Development (UPND) Manifesto, but we did not have any difficulties with another party deciding to provide free education to students. Unfortunately, all of a sudden, it has now decided that the students in the public universities must pay economic fees and those going to secondary schools in this country must fend for themselves. Many pupils are finding themselves out of secondary schools because their parents cannot afford the fees that are being charged in those schools. It is worse for colleges and universities. 

Mr Speaker, we cannot hope to develop our country if we do not pay attention to the issue of skills development. Equally, we cannot hope to have more skills in the economy by depending only on the children of the rich, who are able to afford paying for them. There is a need for Government intervention so that even pupils from poor families can go to school. I am a living example of a person from a poor family who made it with assistance from the Government. My father was a very poor peasant farmer but, because of the free education policy of the then Government, I managed to go to UNZA and completed my degree in economics and business administration. Without that policy, I would have been a village headman in Zambezi District, Chief Chinyama Litapi, and, perhaps, married many wives and bought nets for fishing.

Sir, the only thing that equalises opportunities for personal development is education. Some of those people who are now in the Government are beneficiaries of free education. Some people in this Government benefited from free education at the CBU or UNZA, where they ended up in the School of Law. 

Mr E. Lungu left the Assembly Chamber. 

Mr Kakoma: For instance, the hon. Minister who is just walking out had free education.


Mr Kakoma: However, after climbing to higher heights, through the ladder of free education, they want to remove the ladder so that nobody else gets degrees and diplomas. They do not want anyone else to get as rich as they are. 

Mr Speaker, I do not agree with your Committee’s recommendation for the Government to do away with free education and charge economic fees. If this Government implements the recommendation, which will disadvantage the majority of our young people, the UPND will re-introduce free education at all levels when it comes into power. Everyone with ability will be given the opportunity to go to school, free of charge, up to university level and the Government will pay.  

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Kakoma: Mr Speaker, it is a question of priorities. 

If the PF Government had the political will and right priorities, the money that we are spending on by-elections could have been enough to build a number of universities and provide free education to our young people. Instead, this Government finds it necessary to increase their number of hon. Members of Parliament, rather than build universities and provide free education to the people. Its priorities are wrong and that is why it finds it difficult to fund public universities.

Mr Speaker, from the report, I note that public universities are now being encouraged to go into business. For instance, UNZA has gone into a PPP and is building a shopping mall on its land, just next to Arcades Shopping Mall.  

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Kakoma: Sir, although your Committee’s report commends that as a good measure, I do not agree with it. I have noted that, over the years, public land vested in the education sector has slowly been taken away under the guise that the sector will benefit. For instance, some land was given to a Libyan company to construct the Millennium Village on the understanding that Lusaka Girls School would benefit. To date, the school has not benefited. It is now a commercial entity, a lodge, and the money generated goes into private pockets. There have also been reports that the land where Arcades Shopping Mall currently is and the one acquired by the late President Chiluba belonged to the university, but was given to private developers. Who can tell me how UNZA has benefited from that move? In the same vein, I do not think that giving more of the university’s land to private developers to build a shopping mall and hotel will benefit the university at all.

Mr Speaker, tell me, how many students will manage to lodge in a hotel and study at the university? That is purely commercial. The students will not benefit at all. The best thing that could have been done was to encourage a private developer to put up low-cost halls of residence, which would be affordable for the students to lodge in. The rooms could also be opened up to the public when students go on recess. Many countries do that. That is the route to go, rather than creating a hotel on university land and expect the students to benefit from it. Hotels usually have a casino, disco and some other forms of entertainment and the students will go there to enjoy themselves and get disturbed in their education. 

Lastly, Sir, I would like to draw your attention to the issue of community schools that was in the previous report and the response in the Action-Taken Report. 

Sir, your previous Committee had recommended the taking over of community schools by the Government in order to provide the infrastructure, teachers and all the materials needed to improve the quality of education in those schools. 

Mr Speaker, before the PF Government came into power, it was for the idea of taking over community schools. Now that it is in power, it has changed its stance, claiming that there is no money to do so. From the 5,000 teachers that it intends to recruit, only a few will be sent to community schools. Why not take over those schools and synchronise them with other schools? It does not help for a party to promise people things and, then, change its stance after getting into power. This ype of governance, which is based on not telling the truth, is what has made many governments in Africa and the world over to be voted out soon after being voted in. That is what will happen to the PF Government because it has not fulfilled the promises that it made to the Zambian people. 

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Kakoma: The party made phony promises to the people, knowing very well that it would not fulfil them. Now that it is in the Government, it has closed the doors and its members continue to eat well while the poor people and the students who gave them the votes are suffering.

Mr Speaker, with these few words, I thank you. 

Mr Mwanza (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to add my voice to the debate on the Floor. From the outset, I would like to say that I support the Motion. However, there are two areas in the report that I firmly disagree with.  

Mr Speaker, the first issue is the re-naming of COSETCO in Kitwe as Mukuba University. That is not right. I had a chat with the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education about a new university being developed in Solwezi West that was also to be known by the same name. The application to the council and the Commissioner of Lands was approved and land for the university has already been apportioned. The ministry, therefore, usurped this channel to re-name COSETCO as Mukuba University. 

Mr Speaker, I appeal to the officials in the ministry to look for another name for the former COSETCO because ‘Mukuba University’ is already taken by an upcoming university in the Changojye area of Solwezi West Constituency.

Mr Speaker, I also stand here with a very heavy heart because there are provinces in this country that do not have a single university. In the North-Western Province, as Hon. Kakoma has said, we do not have a university, and I find it extremely strange for the PF Government to build two universities in one village. Chinsali, in Muchinga Province, has two new universities, namely, Mulakupikwa University, which was initiated by the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government, and Paul Mushindo University. These two are in Chinsali, yet Lundazi and Kalabo do not have universities. Is that genuine planning?

Hon. Opposition Members: No.

Mr Mwanza: Mr Speaker, it is not. It is meant to induce the people of Muchinga or the Bemba-speaking people to be more influential than other tribes.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Mwanza: Mr Speaker, it is not right for you to do that. The Bemba people are not more important than others …

Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I have reluctantly risen on this point of order. 

Is the hon. Member on the Floor in order to mislead the nation and the House, by saying that the two universities he is referring to are in the same village? Is he in order not to recognise that one of the universities he is referring to is, actually, being built in recognition of Dr Kaunda’s birthplace? 


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Kampyongo: We have other nations where statesmen are being recognised. Is he in order not to recognise the fact that Paul Mushindo University is being built in recognition of Dr Kaunda’s birthplace, Lubwa Mission? 

I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: You have adequately debated your point of order. So, I am sure that, when the hon. Minister debates, he might want to respond to that, too.

You may continue, hon. Member.

Mr Mwanza: Mr Speaker, I have a very heavy heart because I feel, very strongly, that we are being duped here.

Mr Nkombo: Yes.

Mr Mwanza: Sir, the Bemba people have now become so influential as to ensure that two universities are built in Chinsali.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwanza: That is not right.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Order, Hon. Mwanza!


Mr Deputy Speaker: I think that, as hon. Members of Parliament, we should be careful with what we say. Let us not promote tribal sentiments. Let us be calm. I am sure, Hon. Mwanza, that you are capable of debating calmly.

You may continue.

Mr Mwanza: Mr Speaker, I think, I have made my views very clear on that issue and do not wish to say anymore. However, I would like to emphasise that I am extremely disappointed with the PF Government for putting up two universities in one district. It is wrong for one village to have two universities when there are provinces without a single university in the country. That must go on record.

Sir, I agree with the recommendation of the Committee that each province must have a university. That is what we found in Uganda, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Each province in those countries has a university.

Mr Speaker, what is clear is that, here, the universities are being allocated based on partisan considerations, which is not right. What is important is for each of the provinces to, at least, have one university, as is proposed in the MMD Manifesto. We were trying to construct a university in Changojye area, but the PF Government has come up with a different name for it to usurp the name that was initially chosen. That, too, is wrong.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: Sir, the university …

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Solwezi West Constituency is bringing out very important points about the state of our nation. Are the hon. Members of Parliament on your right, especially those who have, unfortunately, not been to university …


Mr Nkombo: … in order to continue making running commentaries when the hon. Member is busy trying to make his point?

I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: The serious ruling is that, as hon. Members of Parliament, we do not have to have a university education for us to debate here. Everybody is free to debate as they please.

You may continue, Hon. Mwanza.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: Mr Speaker, the other point I would like to address relates to fees. This is an area where I would like to openly disagree with the Committee. Your Committee concludes its recommendations by stating …


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwanza: … that students going to universities must pay economic fees. I think, that is wrong and ill-timed. We cannot afford to do that currently. Most parents who send their children to these universities are very poor people. The PF Government has already punished them by removing subsidies on fuel and mealie-meal, but wants to punish them further by making them pay more for sending their children to the university. That, in my view, is wrong, and I would like to put it on record that I disagree with this recommendation. I think that the status quo should continue.

Mr Speaker, I also know that the universities are not business-oriented. That is very unfortunate, but it is how we, Zambians, have been brought up. There are very few Zambians who are business-minded. In this vein, I will not say that the construction taking place at UNZA is out of place. It is, rather, a step in the right direction. Like the seconder of the Motion said, the right way is to ensure that what is happening at UNZA continues. I know, for sure, that UNZA used to have a farm, but I do not know what has happened to it. I see a lot of brown grass there. It would be very helpful if that farm were made profitable for the university to get extra income. However, it is my plea that, for the universities that will be constructed in future, the way to go is to ensure that they have entrepreneurship courses, from which they can get more funding.

Sir, I am very sorry about the report concerning Mulungushi University. The university was founded on the principle that it would be a cross between UNZA and the CBU. We were going to have a university where parents would be required to pay a little more. To me, that was good. However, the fees have become excessive. Our children cannot go to Mulungushi University or Zambia Centre for Accountancy Studies (ZCAS) because these institutions are very expensive. I would like the PF Government, through the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, to look into this issue. It is a serious matter that needs serious attention. 

With these few words, I thank you, Sir.

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, thank you for according me the opportunity to add my voice to the Motion on the Floor on behalf of the people of Lupososhi Constituency. From the outset, I will say that I support the report of your Committee. However, in so doing, I have a few things that I need to raise.

Mr Speaker, on Page 7 of the report of your Committee, there is a recommendation for the establishment of an autonomous statutory body to manage Government funding to universities. In my view, direct funding to these institutions should continue because creating other bodies will only add to the bureaucracy and inefficiency. On the same page, there is the recommendation of charging of economic fees, which sounds lucrative and makes very good business sense, but can only work if the Government puts in place appropriate safety nets for the vulnerable, especially those from rural constituencies. Yes, there are people who come from the affluent society and can afford certain fees. We know that there are some people, in this country, who have been able to send their children abroad for studies. Yes, those must be subjected to paying economic fees. However, that should not be the case for people from rural communities like Lupososhi, Chifunabuli and, I want to believe, even Kaputa.

Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya: Those people must be given a chance to access university education very cheaply with help from the Government of the day.

Mr Speaker, on Page 19 of your Committee’s report, there is a recommendation that the Government facilitates the PPPs by, perhaps, giving tax incentives or waivers. However, tax incentives, in this country, have not worked. We have seen situations in this country when people come in the name of the PPPs, set up businesses and are given tax holidays but, after five years or so, they have packed and left. In the process, the country has missed out on a lot of revenue. 

Mr Speaker, tax incentives should not be encouraged. Private institutions should lobby for non-tax incentives. Our tax revenue, as a percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP), is below 20 per cent. Therefore, going in that direction will only further lower that 20 per cent that we are currently getting, which is already too low, especially for a developing country like Zambia. Tax incentives have not, in any way, achieved their intended purpose.

Mr Speaker, on Page 43 of the report, there is yet another suggestion that, generally, private universities were doing better than public ones in resource mobilisation and infrastructure development. Those are private universities like the Zambia Open University, Cavendish University and University of Lusaka. In my view, that might not be true. If you made a detailed analysis, you would find that these institutions may have very high borrowing levels, to the extent that, if we do not check them, they will be asking for bailouts in the future. So, they may, indeed, be building all the big infrastructures, but what are their loan levels? That is something for the Government to check and worry about. 

Mr Speaker, on the same page there is a recommendation of your report, and I want to read it:

“In order to encourage PPPs, which are proving very useful in infrastructure development in existing public universities, the Government should simplify the procurement process.”

Mr Speaker, in my view, it is not the simplification of the procurement process or, indeed, any other Government procedures that is needed. Elaborate rules and procedures are needed in managing public funds. The solutions are improved productivity and efficiency in Public Service delivery, through the development of an appropriate work culture, including ensuring that those charged with the responsibility of manning public institutions are able to account for the funds that they have been given. There is an attitude that we have to work on, which can only be changed through the Public Service. Those who seem to be dragging their feet in changing with the Government of the day must be left by the wayside.

Mr Speaker, …

Mr Livune: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, I stand on a very serious point of order. The colleague on the Floor, who is debating so well, has not informed this House that, actually, what he has told this House and the nation is a replica of the UPND Manifesto. He is, basically, reading our manifesto. He is busy plagiarising it as he is a UPND material. Is he in order to remain in the PF when he should have crossed to the UPND where he belongs?


Mr Deputy Speaker: That is one of the points of order that are meant to make people laugh. It is not substantive.

Can the hon. Member on the Floor continue.


Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, I am, actually, reading the report of your Committee, not the manifesto of the UPND, to which I do not belong.

Mr Speaker, I want to comment on the issue of universities getting into business to raise funds and be able to support their operations. I have seen that there are developments near the Arcades Roundabout. That is good and looks lucrative, but we must do it very cautiously so that the public interest is not undermined. We all know that private enterprises are interested in short-term profitability, which might have adverse long-term social consequences.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: UPND material.


Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, with those few comments, I thank you.

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to debate the Motion on the Floor of the House. Hopefully, I will be as brief as is necessary. 

Sir, I have received your report with mixed feelings because there are things I agree with and some that I disagree with. I want to begin by stating that, when you enter UNZA, you are greeted by a poster bearing the university’s motto, which is, “Service with Excellence”. 

Mr Speaker, those who came up with that motto had in mind an institution that would be a centre of academic excellence and promote research. Unfortunately, when you go there, what is going on no longer honours that motto. Actually, the university is slowly, but surely turning into a centre of commercial excellence, and I have two examples to qualify my position. Last week, I went to the university and found that students who performed well at Grade 12 and deserve university education can no longer afford a place because there are only limited slots for those students who should be enrolled on Government bursary on the basis of academic excellence. The university has now resorted to allocating more slots to self-sponsored students. When I inquired, the university insisted that it receives inadequate funds, and this is a story with which I am familiar. However, one would have expected that, with the new Government of the PF, these trends of poor funding would have begun to be reversed. Alas, it appears, that will not be the case. That is why I disagree with your Committee’s recommendation that the university begins charging commercial fees.

Sir, UNZA was built at a time Zambia had only about one hundred graduates, who had the daunting task of leading the country to development and prosperity. So, it is an institution whose foundation is anchored on economic and national development. Therefore, everything else that goes on at that university must revolve around the realisation that it is an instrument of development. We can use that university as an instrument of development by realising that, amongst the many natural resources that Zambia is endowed with, none of them is more important than its human resource. How do we, therefore, begin to discriminate against the people who have excelled at Grade 12 and provide for those whose parents are well to do? That is a challenge to our colleagues in the PF, especially that, during the campaigns, they also joined the chorus of providing free education.

Mr Speaker, as a result of the continued poor funding to the university, we have seen a situation in which the accommodation crisis continues to escalate by the day. Before the new Levy Mwanawasa Hostels were commissioned, the university had a capacity of 3,300 bed spaces, not rooms. I am not sure how many were added through the Levy Mwanawasa Hostels Project, whose initiation I am proud to have been part of under the able leadership of Professor Robert Serpell and Hon. Professor Lungwangwa.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa indicated assent. 

Mr M. H. Malama: Ba Lungwangwa finshi efyo benga kufunda? Balisha abana impanga yonse. Balifilwa nokushita na matebela.

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, for the record, those hostels should have, actually, been called University of Zambia Students Union (UNZASU) Hostels because, when we were in the union, we led the initiative for the construction of those hostels. When I was leaving, as UNZASU President, the then Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) can attest that we left K3.1 billion that we had raised for the commencement of the project. That was when the Government took up the initiative to complete it because we appointed the late President, Dr Levy Mwanawasa, SC., may his soul rest in peace, as Patron. What is disappointing, however, is that, from that initiative that we left, there appears to be nothing that is being done to alleviate the acute accommodation crisis at UNZA, the CBU and other institutions of higher learning. It is most disheartening that, where the ideas have been implemented and construction begun, buildings are being left to turn into white elephants.

Mr Speaker, if you go to UNZA, behind the School of Veterinary Hostels, you will find an abandoned construction project. The construction, which started under the leadership of President Mwanawasa, SC., with a view to using the hostels as accommodation during the All Africa Games was halted and, from 2008 to date, nobody has taken up the initiative. I had expected that, since those hostels were already at an advanced stage of construction, the PF would provide for them in the current Budget and complete them, instead of creating and budgeting for new universities when infrastructure that is already up could get ruined. I am very disappointed with that level of neglect by our colleagues for that reason. They have opted to create new universities whose establishment appears to be laced with political intent.

Mr Speaker, the acute shortage of accommodation is transcending its effects beyond students not just having somewhere to rest after studying, but also beginning to rob the students, who have already been admitted to the university, of their admission spaces. I have cases that I am currently pursuing at UNZA that emanate from the CBU, where management has banned squatting without a corresponding remedial measure for the students whom it has over-enrolled in comparison with the available accommodation, leading to students, some of whom are in second year, abandoning studies.

Mr Speaker, I will be interested to hear, from the response of the hon. Minister, what the ministry is doing about that crisis, which the management of the CBU has created by banning squatting and, therefore, making it impossible for those students who are already admitted, but cannot afford to rent boarding houses the same way students at UNZA are renting very expensive boarding houses. I would be very grateful to hear what the ministry is doing in response to that crisis.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to add my voice to the debate on the construction that is near the roundabout at Arcades, which is a PPP.

Mr Speaker, again, I would like to state that I was privileged to be a member of the University Council ...

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

[MR DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing the people of Choma to continue with their debate.

Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was about to comment on the issue of the PPPs, especially the venture that is taking shape near the Arcades Roundabout. I happen to have been privileged to be a member of the University Council under the able leadership of the then DVC, Hon. Professor Lungwangwa, which initiated pooling university resources with those of private partners to alleviate the financial inadequacies of the university. However, I was very disheartened to discover that somebody, whoever it is, wants to put a shopping mall at the university. What are the shopping mall and hotel for? Of course, somebody can argue that the developer will be paying rentals to the university. However, that was not the original idea when we, as members of the University Council, made that decision to partner with the private sector. The original idea was to invite private developers to put up hostels. 

Sir, currently, students pay up to K1 million, per month, and this can be verified on the ground. A person who could have put up hostels for rent could have made more money than the shopping mall he is trying to put up there, which is just adjacent to Arcades Shopping Mall, which is already competing for the market. It is difficult for me to decipher the logic on the map of reasonableness why the university land can now be given for the construction of hotels and shopping malls. If it is possible, that project should be halted. Let whoever that developer is put up hostels. He is likely to make more money faster because the market is readily available for students to rent those hostels. Otherwise, a hotel or whatever else is being developed does not make sense to me.

Mr Speaker, I also want to add my voice to the debate on the establishment of universities. I would like to propose that this issue be based on a firm national development plan. It should be known that, in a certain Budget, a university will be built in the Southern Province and, in another Budget, a university in the Western Province, instead of making pronouncements at rallies in places where there are by-elections. You cannot say that you are building two universities in Chongwe because of a by-election.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa: I think that such kind of haphazard development is likely to miss the national development agenda, which should be inclusive in nature. 

Mr Speaker, I can buttress my point by stating that the Southern Province, arguably, has the best secondary schools in this country. That is why most parents in Lusaka take their children to schools there. I am talking about schools like St Canicius, Hillcrest Technical High School, St Mark’s High School and Njase High School. After they have been educated there, the children come back to compete for space here. I think that, for a long time, the Southern Province has had a number of secondary schools churning out students who perform very well. Why not put up a university there? The only university in the province is Rusangu University, which is for the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church. We think that, while it is good for every place to have a university, and that every place deserves a university, it must be very crystal clear to everyone that a university in the North-Western Province will be in the Budget for 2014 or 2015, for instance, unlike waiting for someone to defect, then, make such a pronouncement at a rally.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, I think, that kind of development is highly questionable. 

Sir, I also want to bring to the attention of the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education something very important that is about to be implemented at UNZA. Since the 1996 Academic Year, the university has been running on a semester system, which allows an academic year to run through the calendar year, with one break or recess only. Now, the university, under some influence, is reverting to the term system, in which students will have three terms in a year, instead of two semesters. Many students I have spoken to have said that this is going to be costly on their part. For instance, travelling, for many of these students from poor families, especially those from rural areas, is a huge cost. That is why, when the university is closed, you will still find many students resident there. Therefore, the issue of reverting to the term system is being questioned by both students and members of staff, and they have complained to me that they have been bull-dozed on the issue. I hope that the hon. Minister can look into that.

Mr Speaker, the other issue I would like to comment on is the accessibility of bursaries to students, especially those going for studies out of the country. A rough survey has revealed that a number of the bursaries are given to people whose parents are able to sponsor them.

Mr Muntanga: They are rich, for sure.

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, there is a lot of discrimination. If you went and pulled out a list of people sponsored by the Government to study abroad, you would find that a number of them are from well-connected families. I think that the time has come for selection of people to be based on the ability of their mind, not the connections that they have.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, I would also like to hear from the hon. Minister what the PF Government is doing to dismantle the huge debt burden of the university. I am aware that, under the MMD Government, there was a strategic plan that enabled a certain amount of money to be allocated in the Budget every year for dismantling the debt at the university. I want to hear what the PF Government is doing.

Mr Speaker, finally, I want to talk about the treatment of UNZA students under the PF Administration. 

Sir, when the PF was in the Opposition, especially in the run up to the 2011 elections, it was very popular at the university, and the results of the elections showed that. The UNZA Polling Station is one of the biggest in Munali Constituency and it gave many votes to the PF. It was very disheartening to hear His Excellency the President issue the directive that the students who were demonstrating against the removal of subsidies should be arrested. I was most worried about that because it appears as though the PF Government does not appreciate that the expression of views by the students is not done out of their being youths with energy, but is something mandated by this House. UNZASU is not a creation by the will of the students.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Mweetwa: It is a creation of an Act of Parliament, the University Act, and the mandate of the constitution of UNZASU is to represent the interests of the students and speak for the voiceless. The voiceless, who are in the majority in this country, opposed the removal of subsidies by the PF Administration. It was very strange to hear the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces give the directive …
Mr Muntanga: To arrest.

Mr Mweetwa: … that students at UNZA be arrested for simply expressing their views. These are the reasons some people think that, pursuant to its bufi and ‘don’t kubeba’, this PF Government is operating like Zambia is a police State presided over by a dictator. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member for Kapiri-Mposhi.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Bauze.  

Mr Mumba: Zimba alala!

Mr Musonda (Kapiri-Mposhi): Mr Speaker, I stand to support the Motion on the Floor of the House, which has been well-presented and seconded. 

Sir, may I take this opportunity to speak in this august House for the first time and, thus, make my maiden speech.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musonda: Mr Speaker, Sir, may I take this rare opportunity to congratulate you …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! 

Just to acquaint you, since you are new to the House, ‘Mr Speaker, Sir’ is not allowed.


Mr Deputy Speaker: You should say, ‘Mr Speaker’ or ‘Sir.’

Please, continue.

Mr Musonda: Sir, may I take this rare opportunity to congratulate the hon. Mr Speaker, the Deputy Chairperson of Committees of the Whole House and you on your election to those important offices for the Eleventh National Assembly.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musonda: My people also echo the overwhelming support of the entire House. I also congratulate my fellow hon. Members of Parliament who, like me, were elected because of our promise to make Zambia a better country to live in.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musonda: Sir, my full names are Eddie Christopher Musonda, born at 1400 hours on Tuesday, 27th March, 1956, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Proper MP!

Mr Musonda: … in Kabwe. I come from Nkotami Village in Kakwelesa Ward, Chief Mukonchi, Kapiri-Mposhi.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musonda: Sir, I bring to this august House a lot of experience from both the public and private sectors. My experience, over a period of thirty years, is spread over a number of institutions that I worked for, including Mazabuka District Council, Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA), Lima Bank and the Ministry of Health.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musonda: Mr Speaker, I started politics while in secondary school in the Youth League of the United National Independence Party (UNIP) in 1975 when I was in Form 4. I also participated in campus politics at UNZA between 1979 and 1981. I was also Secretary for Lubambala Ward in Mpika from 1986 to 1988. In 1991, I joined the MMD, but left in 2001, upon the formation of the PF.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musonda: Sir, in 2011, I was adopted by the PF to contest the Kapiri-Mposhi Parliamentary Seat which I lost to the MMD candidate but, because I was not satisfied, I used my constitutional right and petitioned the election.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musonda: I lost in the High Court case, but appealed to the Supreme Court.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musonda: Mr Speaker, my appeal was successful. With God’s grace, the Central Committee of my party, the PF, re-adopted me to re-contest the seat.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musonda: I won with a sweet victory for the people of Kapiri-Mposhi.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musonda: Sir, I am grateful to the President of our party, His Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, the Central Committee and hon. Members on your right for this gesture.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musonda: Mr Speaker, I owe much of what I am, today, to the people of Kapiri-Mposhi, who include my family, my wife and my campaign team on your right, led by Hon. Philip Kosamu and, ultimately, to the President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, for their unfailing personal commitment before, during and after the by-elections.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musonda: More gratitude also goes to those who stood by and supported me during my struggle to ensure that justice prevailed over my petition in the courts of law.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwewa: Tukala mikata!

Mr Musonda: Sir, that includes even some of our colleagues on your left.  

Mr Speaker, I commend the Judiciary for the manner in which it presided over my case which, eventually, led to the by-election that led to my being duly elected Member of this august House.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musonda: Mr Speaker, I would be failing my people in Kapiri-Mposhi if I did not appreciate the recent declaration by His Excellency the President to create Ngabwe District, which borders Kasempa in the North-Western Province. That was, indeed, a bold and timely decision which His Excellency the President took. It is also a clear demonstration of the Government’s desire to implement the Decentralisation Policy.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musonda: Mr Speaker, the Republican President should further be encouraged to reconsider re-aligning the remaining part of Kapiri-Mposhi District into two more constituencies in order to foster adequate delivery of development to our people.

Sir, Kapiri-Mposhi Constituency is Zambia’s ideal gateway to economic prosperity as it links Lusaka, the Copperbelt, the Northern and Luapula provinces.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musonda: Sir, it is one of the few constituencies with two railway lines, namely, TAZARA and Zambia Railways. Because of its strategic position, its population has increased from 35,942 to 240,841. The constituency has a total surface area of 18,250km2.

Mr Mumba: The size of Rwanda!

Mr Musonda: My constituency has plenty of arable land for various farming activities, and many rivers and swamps for fishing.

Mr Speaker, my constituency boasts of having bought 575,112 50kg bags of maize during the 2012/2013 Farming Season. That is an indication that Kapiri-Mposhi has the potential to be among the best farming blocks in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region. The District Agriculture Co-ordinator’s (DACO) Office has successfully registered 68,000 farmers. My hope is that all of them get farming inputs because they have shown that they deserve them.

Sir, allow me to congratulate the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock for the initiative to pilot the electronic voucher (e-voucher) system, which will eliminate poor distribution of farm inputs.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musonda: Mr Speaker, your staff at the ministry involved can do a better job if only all administrative challenges were addressed.

Sir, despite the creation of the new Ngabwe District in my constituency, our health facilities remain overwhelmed with more patients than before, some of whom are accident victims along the Great North Road and the Kapiri-Mposhi/Ndola Road.

Mr Speaker, let me take this opportunity to thank the Government for its intention to construct a dual-carriage way from Lusaka to Kapiri-Mposhi.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mumba: Working Government!

Mr Musonda: I am confident that the number of fatal road traffic accidents recently witnessed will significantly reduce and ease the pressure on our limited health personnel and facilities. What we need, in the long run, are more hospitals and clinics to attend to the sick, more road, air and boat ambulances to ferry critically-ill patients, more staff at Kapiri Urban Health Centre …

Mr Mutale: Mupele amenshi.

Mr Musonda drank some water.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Boma.

Mr Mpundu: Power is sweet.


Mr Musonda: Mr Speaker, I was saying that we need more staff at Kapiri Urban Community Health Centre and adequate provision of medical and non-medical supplies. I will continue to lobby from the listening PF Government …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Mumba: Working Government.

Mr Musonda: … to increase the allocation of health posts to Kapiri-Mposhi from seven to, at least, fifteen by 2016.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Musonda: Sir, it is a pity that pregnant mothers, at times, die on the way to the nearest health facilities, which may be 20km or more from their places of domicile. 

Mr Speaker, allow me to talk about the youth in Kapiri-Mposhi and the challenges they face. The youth in my constituency are quite industrious and, therefore, need to be empowered to improve their livelihoods. As my Government continues to disburse the Youth Empowerment Fund (YEF), it should kindly look at my constituency so that the youths are kept busy in income-generating ventures, which shall prevent them from indulging in dangerous vices like excess intake of alcohol, drug abuse and illicit sex, which leads to the acquisition of HIV/AIDS.

Mr Speaker, our women play a very pivotal role in feeding this nation.

Mr Mpundu: Hear, hear! 

Mr Musonda: Therefore, as we look at the various ways of empowering our citizenry, it is prudent that this class of people is looked at critically. I shall, therefore, endeavour to lobby for their empowerment from our relevant ministries of the Government, which are already assisting our women.

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

Mr Musonda: Mr Speaker, let me draw your attention to the security of the people in my constituency, who face a number of challenges due to insufficient police presence. The police station in my constituency is understaffed, with seventy police officers serving a population of approximately 240,841 people, a ratio of 1:3,392. This situation is very alarming, considering that the level of lawlessness is very high in the area 

Mr Mumba: MMD.

Mr Musonda: Therefore, I urge the able hon. Minister of Home Affairs to quickly facilitate the construction of police stations in the densely-populated areas, such as Material Compound, Mukomba, Ndeke and the Town Centre, which are havens of criminal activities. It is also a pity that long distance motorists and pedestrians have been attacked by armed criminals at night because of the ripped portion of the Great North Road just as you pass Kapiri-Mposhi.

Mr Nkombo: It is time up.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

You are disturbing him.

Mr Musonda: I am sad to note that some of the victims are amongst us in this august House.

Mr Speaker, Kapiri-Mposhi has grown to the extent that it deserves a prison facility. It is my wish that, during my tenure of office, a prison facility can be constructed in Kapiri-Mposhi. Some people who find themselves on the wrong side of the law are treated inhumanly by being detained in small cells. These include remandees and prisoners serving short sentences, who are supposed to be taken to the nearest prisons in Kabwe. 

Mr Speaker, the benefit of quality education is paramount to all of us. Therefore, it is gratifying to see hon. Ministers travel long distances to ensure that even the rural communities access better education services. I urge the hon. Ministers to continue this culture of hard work, …

Mr Muntanga: Which one? 

Mr Musonda: … and work even harder than before because the future of our nation depends on them. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Musonda: Mr Speaker, the PF Government should be commended for the newly-opened Kapiri Girls Technical and Kapiri Day Secondary schools.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Musonda: However, I must be quick to say that there is a need to quickly open Chipepo Secondary School and construct more and better schools in places like Ngabwe, Mukonchi, Likumbi, Chibwe, Bwaya, Mumbachala, Lubuto, Lukomba, Renaton-Kashitu, Kapandwe, Chilumba and Muteteshi.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Musonda: Mr Speaker, may I acknowledge the good political will from the Government for quickly transforming the lives of many people in Zambia, including the terminally ill, the physically challenged and retirees.

Sir, many retirees have received their packages and this gives me hope that even our colleagues from Kapiri-Mposhi District Council, TAZARA and Lima Bank will be treated in the same way.

Mr Speaker, realising the levels of unemployment and non-availability of recreational facilities in my constituency, I wish to lobby the Government and the private sector to support infrastructural development, including the construction of an airstrip and modern stadium, especially that Kapiri-Mposhi is a centrally-located constituency.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Musonda: Mr Speaker, Kapiri-Mposhi has many economic comparative advantages, one of which is the presence of quality building sand, which should be exploited in terms of concrete paving and brick-making for construction. That will create employment opportunities.

Mr Speaker, the plight of our chiefs in my constituency has been overlooked. The Government has realised this and has created a line ministry to attend to their welfare. However, that ministry has to be fully supported if we want to preserve our tradition, cultural norms and heritage. There is a need to build office blocks for the district officers and construct palaces for the chiefs. None of my five chiefs has decent accommodation befitting their status.

Mr Speaker, these few challenges I have highlighted here do not undo those previously presented to this august House by my predecessors. I now ask for total support from all the people in my constituency so that they can work with me to realise development. I am their tool. So, they should use me.

Mr Mumba: Including Zimba.


Mr Musonda: Mr Speaker, allow me to take this opportunity to congratulate Hon. Misheck Mutelo and Hon. Patrick Ngoma …

Hon. Member: Washishi.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Musonda: … on winning their Lukulu West and Feira by-elections, respectively.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Musonda: I further congratulate Hon. Daniel Munkombwe, who is my father-in-law …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Basankwa

Mr Musonda: … on bouncing back into this House after his nomination by His Excellency the President.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for affording me the opportunity to comment on this very important report on universities in our country.

Mr Speaker, this report has highlighted a number of issues that are very important to the development our universities.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

We have stopped listening.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I would like to commend the Chairperson of the Committee for moving this Motion and presenting the report coherently, clearly and with emphasis on very important issues. 

Mr Speaker, this report is inviting all of us to make a critical reflection on where our universities have come from, where they are today and where they ought to be. It has made reference to a number of areas that should afford us an opportunity to examine our universities critically. Issues of funding, students, infrastructure, the development of private universities, teaching, research and general scholarship in the universities are very important, but I will only focus on a few. 

Mr Speaker, with regard to the issue of the PPPs in infrastructure development in universities, UNZA was the first public institution to come up with the concept of building infrastructure under PPP, way back in 2003. I was privileged to have been the DVC then. We put together a taskforce to think through the whole concept and what could be done to promote the development of the UNZA land. A very comprehensive analysis was made over a period of two years to determine how the UNZA land could be developed meaningfully to serve the interest of the university. Under the Estate Development Plan (EDP), we set aside what was called the University Business Park, which is what you see being developed near Arcades Shopping Mall. That business park, …

Hon. Government Members interrupted. 

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order, at the back on my right!

Professor Lungwangwa: … was modelled on what was happening in the University of Dar-es-Salaam, where they have a business city, with many private investments. We also adopted that mode so that the university could have an area where business matters would be transacted. The business enterprises will be paying money to the university. The centre will, of course, have a hotel, a filling station and other businesses. 

Mr Speaker, additionally, the land was demarcated to have staff housing developed, again, under the PPP mode. The land was also planned to have student hostels as well as a sports complex with an auditorium. The plan was approved way back in 2005. Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo was the hon. Minister of Education when the plan was approved. Of course, there was no legal framework to back the PPP concept then. Therefore, that development could not take place until after 2008, when this House passed the Public-Private Partnership Act. That is how, now, UNZA has been able to come up with the developments that we are seeing. Of course, more developments still have to be done to build student hostels, staff housing and the sports complex. I thought that I should clarify that point, …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: … since I was part of the people who started the project.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Sir, one could even say that the project was my brain child. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, another issue that your report has focused on is that of funding universities. The report has clearly put together the thinking on the funding of universities. Of course, in the past, we had a predominantly State or Government-sponsored funding system to the universities in which students got bursaries and the universities got grants, almost 100 per cent of the funding. Over the years, however, we have seen many problems. What this report is saying is that we should have a diversified funding mechanism for universities. We should have grants in place, but also encourage universities to come up with business ventures. At the same time, we should have a critical review of the way students are funded. We should not only concentrate on bursaries, but also tap into private resources. 

Sir,, quite a number of our people send their children overseas. Clearly, if we improve the quality of our universities, in terms of their academic standing, we may see people who are sending their children overseas send their children to the local universities. That is what the report is saying and, I think, that is very important. There are those who can afford and those who cannot, who ought to be supported through bursaries, scholarships and student loans. That is what prevails in a number of countries. I think, as a country, we should reflect on that and find a more diversified way to fund universities. 

Mr Speaker, another aspect your report is bringing out is that of stimulating research in our universities. That is a very important recommendation. The report says that the Government should find a way of accommodating universities in the overall national research programmes so that the universities can do research for the Government and, by so doing, generate resources to support further research activities in universities. That is very important and, I think, as a House, we should reflect on it and determine how these recommendations and ideas can be implemented so that we create a vibrant academic environment in our universities. 

Sir, another aspect that your report is pointing out is that of monitoring the development of universities, especially academic development, to enhance quality. That can best be done by the HEA which, like it happens in other countries around us, oversees the development of both public and private universities. It monitors the quality of staff, infrastructure, students and many other aspects. It is important for us to do that. The report says that, when we do all these things, then, we will see our universities develop or operate more effectively for the development of our country. 

Mr Speaker, your report also points out the need for us, as a country, to review the vision for our universities.

Mr Speaker, the other dimension that your report is pointing out is the need for us, as a country, to review the vision for our universities. When UNZA was established, in the 1960’s, there was a clear vision for it. It was to be an institution that would be one of the mechanisms for enhancing national self-determination and development. Hence, the Government put a lot of effort in developing staff for the universities and many of us were sponsored to go overseas for our postgraduate programmes because of the Government’s commitment to the programme.

Sir, research was also promoted in the universities. We had various research programmes, such as the Educational Research Bureau (ARB), the Institute for African Relations (IAR) and the African Studies Institute (ASI). All these were research institutions that were promoted by the Government of the day. Students were also supported through bursary schemes. That is what we mean by placing the universities in the context of a national vision.

Sir, since the 1980’s, and following the Bretton Woods school of thinking, the universities have been in a limbo and a bigger problem in the sense that there has not been a very clear national vision for them. This is the time to reflect on the national vision for our universities. As we develop them, we should ask ourselves what their role will be in the 21st Century knowledge-driven economy. What will be the role of academic staff, in terms of their research, in assisting the promotion of a knowledge-driven economy?

Mr Speaker, if you went to China, you would find that the Chinese Government has set up big campuses because it wants to see universities of the 21st Century. If you looked at the American Model, the Government came up with the Land Grant universities, way back in the 19th Century, to promote agricultural development in the rural areas. That is what we should consider doing. It is also what your report is saying. The Executive should think clearly, in terms of the vision for our universities by not establishing them on a benevolent basis, but on the basis of a clear national development vision and strategy so that they can operate much more effectively and contribute to the national development agenda. This is what your report is saying.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, with these few comments, I totally support the report.

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Professor Luo): Mr Speaker, let me acknowledge the report that has been presented to us and thank the mover and the seconder of this Motion. 

Sir, the comments that have been made by those who have been debating cannot go without comment from the Executive. There were several debaters who talked about the lack of political will in the handling of matters in our education sector, in particular, the issues raised in the report, and the funding of universities. 

Mr Speaker, if one defined political will correctly, I think that it would be very clear to all of us that the PF Government has showed a lot of commitment to education. It has been demonstrated its political will by moving away from what I call ‘NATO’, No Action, Talk Only, which has been our modus operandi in the past. We have moved to action and we have demonstrated that.

Mr Speaker, there was talk about money that could have been used in a better way, not on by-elections. It is, in fact, interesting that the people who are causing by-elections should continue coming to this House and criticising them. That is because they are the ones who have been expelling their members.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, there was a proposal for reflection by Hon. Professor Lungwangwa and, I think, that is an important statement. Those of us on your right campaigned throughout Zambia. We saw what was obtaining in the country. In the process, we also made election promises. When we came into the Government, we started reflecting, individually and collectively. It is this reflection on our education sector that has made us to take some of the strides we have taken, such as the construction of various universities in the country.

Mr Speaker, let me take some time to talk about some of the issues that were raised on some of the universities that are being constructed. There was disquiet and some tribal remarks in this House, which are not desirable because we are leaders.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Minister! 

You will recall that I ruled that out of order. So, move. Let us not go back to that.

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your guidance.

Sir, if you look at the universities that have been constructed, here, in Lusaka, they are three public universities. In Kabwe, there are two universities, namely, Kwame Nkrumah and Mulungushi. In Kitwe, there are also two universities. Why should the universities in Chinsali be an issue in this country?

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, I also want to state that, maybe, our colleagues have not been listening to what has been announced on the establishment of universities. King Lewanika University is in the Western Province and there is a university that has been mentioned in Luapula Province. There are only three provinces where we have not announced the establishment of universities, namely, the Eastern, Southern and North-Western provinces. Those will be done because we are not a NATO Government, but one of action.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, I am even happy that the Committee visited Zimbabwe. That country is where it is because, throughout its political dispensation, it did not tamper with the education sector. However, the history of education in Zambia is sub-sector investment programmes (SSIPs), the Basic Education Sub-sector Investment Programme (BESSIP) and community schools, which is what the PF is trying to correct. If we had not moved away from the first structure of our education system by introducing BESSIP, we would be at the level on which Zimbabwe is.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! 

Professor Luo: The destruction of an education system creates the problems that we face currently.

Mr Speaker, I would like to state that, as a Government, we take the lessons from Zimbabwe very seriously. That is why the structures that we are bringing back now have an exit strategy so that those who cannot finish Grade 12 can go straight into technical education, as is the system in Zimbabwe. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Luo: To that effect, we have increased the number of skills training centres, an issue that was raised by one of the debaters.  

Mr Speaker, in its quest for political commitment, the Government has established the Higher Education Authority (HEA), whose role is quality assurance.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

The people on my left are not doing what they are supposed to do. Can we, please, be orderly.

Hon. Minister, you may continue. 

Professor Luo: Sir, I want to emphasise that the role of this authority is quality assurance; that the right cadre of staff teaches in our universities. The authority will ensure that the correct knowledge is delivered and that the quality of education is of an international standard. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, this is part of our commitment to delivering quality education in this country. This body will be responsible for quality assurance in both public and private institutions. I hope that the authority will give us the correct picture of what is obtaining in private universities because, currently, we do not know what is obtaining in those institutions. 

Mr Speaker, in one breath, people are saying that we should not open more universities while, in another, they are saying that we should. I want to state, this evening, that the PF Government will open more universities.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Luo: If you go to London or Manchester, you will find many universities. If you go to New York, you will find community, private and public universities. We want to follow that agenda. 

Mr Speaker, financing universities is an on-going exercise. This is the decision that we have made as a Government. There is no such thing as “one shoe fits all,” and there is no one model that is successful. Every model has its challenges and, to that effect, as a Government, we have started working on a Bill on loans so that we can also test it and compare it with our bursary system. Again, this is testimony to the commitment of this Government. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, we were told that universities must be institutions that promote research and education. That is why His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia re-named the Ministry of Education as the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education in order to marry university education with science and technology. That will get us to the level where we will be able to link technology to commerce and trade, which can only be done if these institutions are harmonised. Breaking up a ministry compromises the thinking. You should give us the opportunity to test this model and see how our education system can be tailored so that it links secondary education to university education. You should also allow us to see how we can promote research so that staff researchers are able to obtain knowledge, link it to technology and, then, test it out there to be part of business in the country.

Mr Livune: Question!

Professor Luo: Sir, I know that Hon. Professor Lungwangwa, coming from a university, understands what I am talking about. 

Mr Speaker, as a Government, we do recognise the challenge of accommodation in our universities. That is why we have sent out bids for the PPPs so that we start improving not only the hostels, but also the learning environment and libraries. In the long run, this will help us to deal with the shortage of accommodation. 

Mr Speaker, as a stop-gap measure to the accommodation crisis at the CBU, we have organised boarding houses for our students. We are aware that this could be expensive for them, but it is only a stop-gap measure as we develop more accommodation.  

Mr Speaker, I also want to talk about the riotous behaviour at our institutions.  I do not know whether everyone noticed that, when the recent riot took place at UNZA, all the students wore black T-shirts. There is no way our students could afford to get those T-shirts so early in the morning. 

When we talk about ...


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

This behaviour is unbecoming. I do not like it. You are forcing me to send you out. I do not want anybody victimised. How can you be engaging in direct talk when somebody is on the Floor? This is unacceptable. Please, Hon. Deputy Minister on my extreme right and Hon. Muntanga, stop it. 

Hon. Minister, you may continue. 

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, I think that we should know that the students at the university are our children, nephews, nieces and grandchildren, and we should not use them for political expediency. We should be the first ones to counsel students and stop them from breaking property, both at the university and the general public’s. They should not burn vehicles. It is difficult for people who are listening out there to consider us leaders if we are going to allow people to express their opinion by destroying vehicles. In other places, students demonstrate, but they do it peacefully. No one has said that people cannot express their opinion peacefully. We need to continue counselling our students so that they become the leaders of tomorrow. If we use them for political expediency, we are, actually, destroying our children. In fact, we are destroying the nation because these are the people who will take over from us. 

I am very proud, Sir, to have been given a mandate by the same students, as hon. Member of Parliament for Munali Constituency, and I will continue to counsel them so that, one day, they can also be professors. I will never use them for political expediency. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Professor Luo: Mr Speaker, UNZASU was not established to create problems. In fact, a union leader should be seen as a person who will give guidance to the rest of the students.

Mr Speaker, I want to conclude by stating that the Government of the day is very committed to making education in Zambia stand the test of time. As a result, we have committed ourselves to upgrading the community schools. So, those misleading assertions that we have departed from our election promise are not true. We will, actually, continue, slowly, given our resource envelope, to dismantle the bill at the university, upgrade our community schools and build more universities. Where the announcement is made does not matter. The important thing is that we are not NATO. We are an action-oriented Government. 

With these words, I would like to thank the mover and the seconder of the Motion.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, I would like to acknowledge the interest generated by this very important subject among the hon. Members. I also acknowledge that it has, sometimes, generated some emotional reactions. That merely underscores the fact that education is very important. 

Sir, in recognising all the hon. Members who have debated this Motion, I would also like to urge the Executive to take a keen interest in this report and hope that what is contained in it will inform some of the decisions that will be made by our Executive.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to.


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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1932 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 5th July, 2013.