Tuesday, 26th September, 2017

Printer Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, 26th September, 2017


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to inform you that I have authorised the hon. Minister of Agriculture, Mrs Dora Siliya, MP, to hold a half-day meeting for all hon. Members of Parliament.


The meeting, which is aimed at updating you on the electronic voucher (e-Voucher) System for accessing inputs during the 2017/18 Agricultural Season, will be held in the amphitheatre, here at Parliament Buildings, on Thursday, 28th September, 2017, starting at 0900 hours.


I urge all hon. Members to attend this important meeting on a voluntary basis.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: I am aware that this is a subject that attracts a lot of interest.


Thank you.








27.    Mr Mecha (Chifunabuli) asked the Minister of Agriculture:


  1. what the total number of farmers on the electronic voucher (e-Voucher) System in Chifunabuli Constituency was;


  1. of the farmers at (a), how many had cards that had not been activated as of 20th June, 2017;


  1. when the cards would be activated; and


  1. what measures had been taken to avoid the challenges encountered in the implementation of the e-Voucher System in the 2016/17 Farming Season.


The Minister of Agriculture (Ms Siliya): Mr Speaker, the number of farmers on the electronic voucher (e-Voucher) System in Chifunabuli Constituency in the 2016/2017 Farming Season was 3,525. This number was part of the 7,296 targeted farmers in the entire Samfya District.


Sir, of the 3,525 farmers, 543 had cards that had not been activated as of 20th June, 2017. Of the 543 cards, thirty have since been activated. The hon. Member for Chifunabuli might wish to know that, last week, the Treasury released K8 million in our continued effort to liquidate the approximately K275 million carry-over debt from the non-activation of e-Vouchers. Currently, the debt stands at K96 million.


Mr Speaker, the ministry plans to commence the implementation of the e-Voucher programme for the 2017/18 Farming Season early in order to provide a long transaction window that will allow for unforeseen challenges to be dealt with.


Sir, you will recall that, in the 2016/17 Farming Season, banks began the distribution of cards in late November and December, 2016, and January, 2017. For the coming season, our plan is that, by 2nd October, 2017, farmers who will be ready should be able to deposit their contributions to their e-Vouchers. As of today, input suppliers and agro dealers for the programme have been selected.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mecha: Mr Speaker, while Parliament was on recess, I visited …


Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order relating to the privileges of hon. Members of Parliament.


Sir, in one of the sittings of the Eleventh National Assembly, you directed members of the Executive and the Back Benchers to resolve issues pertaining to hon. Members of Parliament visiting their constituencies. This issue was addressed by your office and an announcement was made on it. Further to that announcement, a circular was generated by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and sent to all police stations in the country asking them to allow hon. Members of Parliament to perform their duties without hindrance in their constituencies. Alas! Of late, we have seen a number of hon. Members of Parliament being harassed by the police when visiting their constituencies. The latest incident was the harassment of the hon. Member for Kabwe Central in the last three days, which was televised. The hon. Member almost cried as he was being harassed by the police in Kabwe.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, has the instruction that resulted from the agreement between the Ministry of Home Affairs and us, through your intercession, been withdrawn? We want to know so that we decide what measures to take as, hon. Members of Parliament because it is now very difficult for us to visit the constituencies and meet our constituents.


Sir, I seek your serious ruling on this matter.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Kapata: Why are you interested?


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!


Hon. Members, you may wish to know that I have decided to suspend the issuance of ministerial statements between today until the Budget Speech is delivered. I have taken this step in order to enable as many hon. Members as possible to debate the President’s Speech. As I indicated earlier, we have very limited time for this debate this year. However, I will allow the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to issue a ministerial statement next week to clarify the position on and issues around the matter that has been raised by the hon. Member for Monze Central.


That is my ruling.


The hon. Member for Chifunabuli was on the Floor. He may continue.


Mr Mecha: Mr Speaker, when Parliament went on recess in May, 2017, I toured my constituency to establish the status of the redemption of e-Vouchers and discovered that a number of farmers had cards that had not been activated. I also discovered that the e-Vouchers that had not been activated were being held by agro dealers. Are agro dealers mandated to keep e-Vouchers for farmers?


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, Samfya District was only included on the e-Voucher System in the last farming season and I admit that many challenges, including the late activation of cards, mostly due to late release of funds by the Government, were encountered in the implementation of the programme in the district. As a result, many agro dealers, working with farmers’ groups and the DACO, used their initiative and released inputs to farmers before their cards had been activated so that the farmers would not miss out on the farming season. In that gentleman’s arrangement, the agro dealers got cards from the farmers so that when the money was released and the cards activated, they could work with the farmers to get their payments for the inputs supplied. Admittedly, that was not how things should have been done under normal circumstances. I must also admit that the arrangement was used in many parts of the country. However, we hope that, this year, with the new e-ecosystem around the farmer, which has been facilitated by Smart Zambia, we will try to avoid a repeat of that situation by beginning the activities in good time.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mwiinga (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, some farmers paid for their contributions towards their electronic vouchers (e-Vouchers), but their cards were not activated. What will the ministry do about those cases?


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I have mentioned that, at the end of the 2016/2017 Farming Season, the ministry had a carry-over debt of K275 million from non-activated e-Vouchers. The farmers had paid their K400 contributions, but the Government had not released its contribution. However, the inputs were supplied by the agro dealers. No wonder, they got the cards from the farmers, like the hon. Member for Chifunabuli has told us. So, the agro dealers are the ones owed money. The farmers are not owed anything because most of them got inputs.


Sir, we are committed to liquidating the debt owed to input suppliers, as evidenced by the fact that we have cut it from K275 million to K96 million. We hope to settle the whole debt with the disbursements for this agricultural season.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, some farmers paid K400 contribution towards their electronic vouchers (e-Vouchers), but their cards were not activated. Granted, the hon. Minister says that the debt will be cleared. However, such farmers would like to know whether they will still pay the farmer contributions for this season’s programme or their contributions for last year will be carried forward to this year.


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, even though the cards were not activated, the farmers still got inputs from agro dealers. So, when the debt is liquidated, the agro dealers and the supplier to the agro dealers are the ones who will be entitled to the money. Therefore, the farmers who will have their cards activated and participate in this year’s programme will have to pay the K400 contribution. Otherwise, they will not receive new inputs.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, Chifunabuli and Lupososhi are neighbouring constituencies. Further, Samfya and Luwingu are also neighbouring districts. Therefore, the happenings regarding the electronic voucher (e-Voucher) programme in Chifunabuli sent shivers among the people of Lupososhi, who went to the extent of asking to be exempted from participating in the programme as a result. What is the hon. Minister doing to ensure that we do not face the same challenges now that the programme is being rolled out across the country?


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, the comfort that the Ministry of Agriculture is that it will engage in consultations with stakeholders, including hon. Members of Parliament, for whom a meeting has been scheduled by my ministry on Thursday, 28th September, 2017. Further, we have enhanced the programme in terms of monitoring by creating an e-ecosystem in conjunction with Smart Zambia around the farmers so that we can detect problems quicker. Most importantly, we intend to begin the process by October, unlike last year when we began almost at the end of November. So, the earlier we begin, the earlier we will be able to detect problems and address them. We have also tried very hard to engage the agro dealers in the dissemination of information to farmers because they are our frontline. To that effect, I will hold a meeting with agro dealers tomorrow.


Sir, I think that everybody will appreciate the leap we have taken this year, which is from 39 per cent to 100 per cent. So, we hope to disseminate as much information as possible. We have also tried to interact with agro dealers, camp extension officers, block officers, DACOs and farmers so that we can detect problems as quickly as possible and, through the Smart Zambia platform, to monitor what is happening nationwide.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, evidently there were problems in Chifunabuli last year. As somebody has observed, that was before the hon. Minister decided to roll out the electronic voucher (e-Voucher) programme to the rest of the country. Now that the hon. Minister is insisting on rolling out the programme to the rest of the country despite the problems witnessed last year, does she not see the danger of her ending up depriving small-scale farmers of one of the last benefits that they get from the Government?


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the hon. Members’ anxieties. However, firstly, we have decided to roll out the programme 100 per cent so that we can use the very scarce resources efficiently. Already, by scaling the programme up to cover the whole country, the ministry has been able to save K1 billion, which we can use for implementing infrastructure projects in agricultural and other sectors of the economy. Further, our investigations reveal that most farmers are quite pleased with the e-Voucher programme because it gives them a chance to choose what inputs to gets from agro dealers. Already, reports coming in indicate that there are already outbreaks of army worms. Fortunately, the programme will allow the farmer to go to the agro dealers, get their four bags of fertiliser and seed, and spend the balance on pesticides, such as karate, to fight the army worms. So, we think that this is a much more efficient way to distribute inputs. When we were using the conventional Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), there were stories of inefficiencies and corruption. Now, the Government only interfaces with farmers through bank cards, and that reduces inefficiencies. We may experience problems now, but I think this will prove to be a better system in the long term. We have really endeavoured to clean up the system.


I thank you.


Mr Kasandwe (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, there were about 1,400 farmers whose cards were not activated in Samfya District, of which Chifunabuli Constituency is a part. As of 21st September, 2017, 311 cards had been activated, leaving a balance of 1,100. Can the hon. Minister kindly inform the people of Bangweulu and Samfya District when the balance of 1,100 cards will be activated.


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I cannot state the exact date. Further, I am quite sure that the farmers got inputs. So, all I need to do is assure the agro dealers and suppliers who are owed money through the non-activated cards that we are doing everything possible to liquidate the debt. As I said earlier, the debt was K275 million, but is now down to K96 million. We hope to factor the debt in the disbursements for the 2018/2019 Agricultural Season.


Thank you, Sir.


Mr Michelo (Bweengwa) Mr Speaker, the farmers in Bweengwa are not happy with the electronic voucher (e-Voucher) system. Now that the hon. Minister is aware that the system failed us last season, what mechanisms has she put in place as she rolls out the system to the entire country so that she does not fail Zambians again, especially the small-scale farmers in Bweengwa Constituency?


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, if you look at the numbers, I think you will see that the e-Voucher programme was very successful last year because, of the 600,000 farmers we had targeted, only 40,000 had cards that were not activated. However, we hope to improve on that this year. I agree with the hon. Member that we had some challenges, many of which had to do with the disbursement of funds, but we learnt some lessons from the challenges. We started the programme early and are engaging the agro dealers better because, at the end of the day, whatever happens, we want the farmer to have access to inputs first, then, we can deal with everything else like we are doing now.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Evg. Shabula (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Speaker, in my constituency, many people have grown maize. For example, I have harvested more than 4,000 bags. Unfortunately, many farmers in this country are crying over the price of maize. Does the hon. Minister have any plans to increase the floor price of maize? Simple arithmetic will show that to produce maize and sell it at K60 per 50 kg bag is unprofitable. Does the hon. Minister plan to increase the Floor price of maize?


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, I can respond adequately to that question when I debate the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address during the Official Opening of the Second Session of the Twelfth National Assembly because the matter has been raised by other hon. Members of Parliament. Further, it is totally outside the scope of the question with which we are currently dealing.


I thank you.


Mr Mwamba (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, from the hon. Minister’s responses, I get the impression that the Government has taken charge of the situation and the problems we saw in Samfya, namely the late or non-activation of cards, will not be there anymore. However, there was also the problem of agro dealers being insufficient. That was also the case in my constituency. Currently, there is only one agro dealer we have seen. Has the hon. Minister put anything in place to ensure that distant places are also covered by the so-called agro dealers?


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, this year, the Government will put about US$200 million or just under K2 billion in the hands of the farmers through the cards. That should be enough motivation for the private sector to participate fully because there is a lot of money to be shared. The Government decided to give the money to the farmers instead of crowding out the private sector.


Sir, traditionally, there have been thriving private agro dealers in some parts of Zambia. However, in some areas, agro dealerships are a new thing. However, the there is a lot of appetite now and people are setting up companies so that they can participate in the business. We just hope that, in time, and with the lessons learnt, we will create a vibrant agro sector that will meet the farmers’ needs. I also hope that there was a satisfactory response from the private sector in Lubansenshi Constituency when we advertised for the 2018/2019 programme. We will also do whatever we can to encourage the growth of the agro sector in the constituency and the district.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Fungulwe (Lufwanyama): Mr Speaker, farmers, especially the small-scale ones, including those in Lufwanyama Constituency, do not have information on the implementation of the electronic voucher (e-Voucher) system. What measures has the ministry put in place to ensure that they are given the necessary information?


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, this country is organised into agricultural camps and blocks to which we deploy extension officers who register the farmers for FISP and the e-Voucher system, and interface with them regularly. That is the first mechanism for information dissemination. Further, DACOs often feature on community radio programmes to share information. Provincial Agriculture Officers (PACOs) also disseminate information while the headquarters has also been producing a number of television programmes in conjunction with the National Agricultural Information Services (NAIS) to educate and inform our farmers on the e-Voucher system. I also I know that hon. Members of Parliament have a critical role to play in the implementation of the programme. This is not a short-term programme. So, we will continue doing what we need to do until all the farmers know how to use the card, pay their contributions through the banks and decide the inputs to get from agro dealers.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, some farmers who have not received adequate information about the electronic voucher (e-Voucher) system have been told that they can share what they buy with their e-Voucher with those who have not received the subsidy from the Government. Could the hon. Minister clarify whether that is how the programme works.


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, there have been many rumours surrounding the e-Voucher system. Some people went as far as saying the programme is satanic simply because the card is red. Others also said that the Government just wanted to get people’s information for election purposes. The other rumour is that people can share a card. These are just rumours. Some leaders of farmers’ groups get their members’ personal identity numbers (PINs) and cards, and use them while the intended beneficiaries suffer. In this regard, I think that it is time we reform farmers’ groups because they are mostly aligned with political parties and most of the members do not even know that they are members of the co-operatives. So, we need to think of co-operatives as business organisations that can be used as leverage in commodity trading. So, we have a lot of work to do and information dissemination has to continue. I have been in the field and met people who are totally convinced that the e-Voucher system is satanic. We just have to educate them that the Government is trying to support them and increase production.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.




28. Mr Lufuma (Kabompo) asked the Minister of General Education:


  1. whether the Government had any plans to recruit teachers in 2017;


  1. if so, what the total number of teachers to be recruited was;


  1. what the total numbers of teachers earmarked for deployment to each province were; and


  1. whether the Government had any plan to deploy more teachers to rural schools.


The Minister of General Education (Dr Wanchinga): Mr Speaker, indeed, the Government has plans to recruit teachers in 2017.


Sir, the total number of teachers who will be recruited in 2017, which is what is possible from the K111 million allocation to that activity in the 2017 Budget, is 2,000. The ministry is aware that the number is very small considering the rate of attrition of teachers, particularly given the unfortunate discovery by the ministry that some teachers had got employed using fake qualifications. So, once the process of cleaning up the teachers’ database is completed, we will certainly need to employ more than 2000 because space to recruit more teachers will be created in the existing budget. However, for now, the number we will recruit is 2,000.


Sir, there are a number of factors that are used to determine the distribution of teachers to the provinces. One critical criterion is the teacher-pupils ratio. There are 8,827 primary and between 923 and 925 secondary schools in the country, which are not evenly distributed among the provinces. However, the number of the teachers who will be deployed to the 220 schools that have been upgraded from basic to secondary schools will be more or less uniform. There are also between sixty-one and sixty-three secondary schools under construction whose distribution across the provinces is equally uneven because the teacher-pupil ratio is not the same across provinces.


Mr Speaker, when deploying teachers, we also consider the fact that the numbers of teachers in rural areas have been depleted teachers due to transfers and resignations. So, due to the criteria we have to consider in deploying teachers, we cannot tell beforehand how many teachers will be distributed to each province. We have to sit and analyse the vacancies and ratios before arriving at the numbers. 


Sir, like I said, we attach a lot of importance to ensuring that our rural schools get the teachers they need and are considering ways of ensuring that there is positive discrimination towards our rural areas in the allocation of teachers.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the elaborate answer that he has endeavoured to give to this House in order to make us understand the difficulties that his ministry faces vis-à-vis the deployment of teachers to schools, in general, and rural schools, in particular.


Mr Speaker, last time I was in the constituency, I was told that, at times, the ministry does send teachers to rural areas, but the teachers do not stay there. They go back to urban areas just a week after reporting or otherwise abscond. Because of that phenomenon, Lunyuwe Primary School in my constituency does not have a single teacher. My question is: What measures is the Government instituting to ensure that teachers who are posted to rural schools remain there? Further, what long-term measures is it taking to ensure that there is a balance between the rural areas and the urban areas in terms of the deployment of teachers?


Dr Wanchinga: Mr Speaker, the problem of teachers moving from rural schools to urban schools is a subject of great concern to us. In that regard, the first measure we have taken is to increase the number of years a teacher is required to serve in a particular area before asking for a transfer from two to four years. The second measure that we are considering is to send teachers to areas they come from, which will reduce allegations of teachers being bewitched or having sleepless nights due to strange experiences. We think that if people are posted to their areas, they are more likely to stay longer in there. The third measure we are implementing, which is very important, is that of decentralisation. The majority of the 104,000 teachers in the ministry are primary school teachers. When we devolve early childhood and primary education, the local authorities in rural areas will take control of the teachers and it is most likely that they will be able to keep teachers in their schools because they will be able to notice a teacher who is always out of his or her station and replace him or her. The fourth measure is a reaction to the pressure we get from people asking for transfers from rural areas to urban areas. I must add that hon. Members of this House contribute to this problem.




Dr Wanchinga: Almost on a daily basis, we receive names of teachers to be transferred and my hon. Colleagues ask me whether I can transfer their nephew or niece.


Hon. Members: Hm!


Dr Wanchinga:  I often leave this House with many notes from people asking me for transfers and that is contributing to the rural-urban movement of teachers. In that regard, we have decided to use the football transfer model. We will not allow teachers to be transferred at any period of the year. Instead, will consider applications for transfers at during the teacher recruitment exercise so that we can determine how many teachers a school, district or province requires and weigh that against the applications for transfers. That will help us to decide which transfers to sanction, having first looked at whether we can replace the teachers with new ones as soon as they are transferred.


Sir, we have noticed that teacher shortages tend to be subject-specific. For example, when we transfer a mathematics teacher from a rural school to an urban one, it takes long for the school to get another mathematics teacher. Therefore, if we marry the recruitment and transfer processes, we should be able to contain the problems that the transfer of teachers is creating in rural areas.


Mr Speaker, those are some of the measures that we are putting in place to ensure that our schools in rural areas, such as the one mentioned by the hon. Member for Kabompo, are not deprived of teachers.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister will agree that the current lack of teachers in most primary schools negatively affects the quality of education in this country and that unless something is done about it, we might as well forget about producing a high calibre of graduates from our school system.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has admitted that the 2,000 teachers to be recruited this year are a drop in the ocean and that the problem will be compounded by an ongoing purge of teachers with forged qualifications from the Teaching Service. Further, the last time I checked, the attrition rate in the service was between 9,000 and 10,000 teachers per annum. Compared with the recruitment of 2,000 teachers, the difference is 8,000 teachers. So, the number of teachers who are supposed to be recruited to just replace those leaving the service keeps growing every year. Is there any hope that rural schools like Kaluro and Lumuwe in Kabompo, which have one teacher and none, respectively, will get enough teachers to provide quality education to pupils?


Dr Wanchinga: Hon. Minister, …




Dr Wanchinga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member raised the issue of hope. Perhaps, we should resuscitate the Hope Foundation.


Sir, clearly, we are very hopeful that the schools in my friend’s area will receive the required number of teachers. Yes, 2,000 teachers will be recruited in 2017. However, without pre-empting the hon. Minister of Finance’s Budget Address, I would like to assure the hon. Member that we shall see more than double that number of teachers, between 4,000 and 5,000, recruited in 2018. Equally, we are hopeful that we will be able to recruit similar numbers of teachers in the years to come.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, I totally agree with the hon. Minister that there is a critical shortage of teachers in this country yet, year in and year out, people graduate from colleges. For instance, 900,000 teachers graduated from David Livingstone College of Education (DALICE) this year.


Hon. Government Members: Aah, 900,000?


Dr Wanchinga:  Are you sure?




Mr Jere: Mr Speaker, I am sorry, I meant 9,000 graduates.




Mr Speaker: Order!


It was a slip of the tongue.


You may continue, Hon. Jere.


Mr Jere: Sir, what criteria will be used to select the 2,000 teachers in the recruitment, bearing in mind that many teachers graduated from colleges last year and this year?


Dr Wanchinga: Mr Speaker, the recruitment process is in the hands of the technocrats in the ministry, including the Provincial Education Officers (PEOs) and the district education board secretaries (DEBSs), who meet and develop the recruitment criteria, taking into account the factors I mentioned earlier, such as the teacher/pupil ratios in the various schools. In terms of the selection of teachers, they look at the qualifications and teaching subjects of the applicants. For instance, currently, the priority is being given to the recruitment of science, technology and mathematics teachers because that is the category in which there is the biggest shortage of teachers. In the other categories, we seem to have more than we need.


 I thank you, Sir.


Mrs Chonya (Kafue): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister knows about Chikupi Day Secondary School, which has been under construction for the last five years. However, some efforts are being made to open it in January, 2018, to ease the pressure from the demand for secondary school places in that area. Is the school one of those likely to benefit from the deployment of teachers to which he has referred? Further, when will the recruitment take place?


Dr Wanchinga: Mr Speaker, I do not want to commit myself to deploying teachers specifically to that school.




Dr Wanchinga: However, I assure the hon. Member that the circumstances she has mentioned are some of those we will consider and prioritise in the deployment. Schools that are under construction, but due for opening will certainly require teachers. Therefore, they will be on the priority list. However, I am unable to state the number of teachers who will be sent to the school.


Sir, I assure the hon. Member that everything has been cleared. So, we should be able to start the recruitment of teachers any time next month.


Sir, I thank you.


Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, recently, it was discovered that the ministry has been recruiting teachers who graduated recently, leaving those who graduated earlier. At one point, it even recruited student teachers. What is being done to ensure that teachers who graduated earlier are prioritised over those recently-graduated during recruitments?


Dr Wanchinga: Mr Speaker, the fact that one completed a teacher’s course earlier does not mean that one should be recruited first. I said, a while ago, that we put emphasis on teaching subjects. So, if a person who graduated four years studied history while someone who graduated yesterday studied mathematics and science, and there is a greater need for mathematics and science teachers, certainly, the mathematics or science teacher will be recruited before the history teacher. Further, some people graduate from teacher’s colleges without the required grades in the required number of Ordinary Levels (‘O’ Level) subjects. This is one of the biggest problems in the ministry. Some colleges of education, some of which operate in former chicken runs, …




Dr Wanchinga: … accept applicants with three or four ‘O’ Level subjects instead of the five required. Such students may graduate with diplomas and start masquerading …


Hon. Member: Masquerading?


Dr Wanchinga: … as trained teachers, yet still not be employed four years later because they do not meet the ‘O’ Level requirements. The majority of those who have not been recruited year in and year out fall in that category.


Thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, the ministry has been recruiting about 2,000 out of 8,000 teachers who I think are trained every year. Why does the ministry not come up with a policy of recruiting teachers in a more transparent manner? In the past, whenever one reached Grade 12 or Form 5, one knew which Zambia National Service (ZNS) camp to which one would go. Why does the ministry not similarly recruit teachers from the universities and colleges which, I believe, would stop the current trend of trained teachers being left out during recruitments?


Dr Wanchinga: Mr Speaker, I am not quite sure of the angle from which the hon. Member looked at the issue of transparency in the recruitment process. Assuming I got her question right, let me assure her that the way teachers are recruited currently is the most transparent. The recruitment exercises are advertised, and I think some hon. Members saw me make an announcement on television (TV) on that recently. The ministry has also followed up on my statement.


Sir, all teachers interested in being recruited apply and, like I said, there is a committee of PEOs and DEBSs who do the selection based on their needs. I cannot imagine a better process. Nonetheless, if the hon. Member has some suggestions on how we can improve the system, we are quite happy to sit down with her and benefit from her experiences.


Sir, the past to which the hon. Member referred, when human resource officers used to go to the universities and colleges to recruit people, was a time when there was a critical shortage of human resources. Now, the labour market is flooded with people looking for jobs. So, the best we can do is to advertise and put in place a mechanism for sieving the applicants.


Thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mwamba: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the ministry is causing an artificial shortage of teachers, especially in rural areas? In places like where I come from, Lubansenshi Constituency, teachers are transferred anyhow from there but, as they come here to Lusaka, they are not removed from the staff establishments for the districts, which would give an opportunity for the District Education Board Secretaries (DEBSs), like the one for Luwingu, to replace the teachers transferred from the various schools. So, the number of teachers in Luwingu might continue to be stated as 100 when fifty of them are in Lusaka. Is the ministry able to put in place a mechanism for ensuring that teachers who are transferred are removed from the school and district payrolls so that they can be replaced? Is such a mechanism in place or is the hon. Minister contemplating coming up with one?


Dr Wanchinga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member has answered his own question. We are, indeed, contemplating coming up with a mechanism like that, and that is why I said that when we decentralise, it will become easier to manage the Payroll Management and Establishment Control (PMEC) numbers to which he has referred.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, I seek clarification on the issue of early childhood education.


Sir, we seem to have a shortage of early childhood teachers. As the Government plans to deploy more teachers to schools in rural areas, what plans are in place to ensure that this sector of education is adequately catered for as quickly as possible?


Dr Wanchinga: Mr Speaker, for the information of the House and, perhaps, members of the public who may be listening, early childhood education is not a new phenomenon in our education system. We used to have it as “Sub A” and “Sub B” before Independence. A child had to do two years of preschool before going into Standard 1. After Independence, however, the country was in a hurry to develop the human resources. Therefore, that sector of the education system was phased out and children started school in Grade 1. We also phased out Standard 6 and Form 6 at secondary school level. Early childhood education was given to the local governments and continued to be administered by them for a long time until recently, when there was a realisation that we were denying our children the head start they needed in education. So, early childhood education was accorded the recognition it required and reintegrated into our education system, although we are still behind on a number of things. For instance, we do not have adequate early childhood teachers, and learning centres and resources. Those are the areas on which we are putting a lot of emphasise, and you will hear on Friday, when the hon. Minister of Finance presents the Budget, that a substantial amount of money ...


Mr Mabumba: Do not talk about the Budget.


Dr Wanchinga: Sorry, Sir, I have been guided against speaking about the Budget. Ema guidance ayo, ayi?




Hon. Member: Ema guidance.


Mr Speaker: I was getting anxious.




Dr Wanchinga: Mr Speaker, the point I was trying to make was that the issues raised by my colleague on early childhood education have been taken note of and that we are really working hard to ensure that early childhood education is properly administered in this country.


I thank you, Sir.




29. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Agriculture:


  1. what the total number of agro dealers registered to sell inputs to farmers under the electronic-voucher (e-Voucher) system countrywide was, as of 31st May, 2017;


  1. what the criteria for registering the agro dealers were; and


  1. why Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency had no registered agro dealers on the e-Voucher system.


The Minister of Agriculture: Mr Speaker, the number of agro dealers registered to sell inputs to farmers under the e-Voucher system during the 2016/17 Farming Season was 475. As at 31st May, 2017, the registration of agro dealers countrywide had begun and it has since been concluded.


Sir, the participating agro dealers are registered through a national tender and are subjected to the following criteria, as stipulated in the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) Implementation Manual:


  1. they must have a physical presence in the district;


  1. they have the capacity to stock inputs listed under the FISP e-Voucher system;


  1. they must have relevant certificates to deal in agricultural, livestock and fisheries inputs;


  1. they must have an operational bank account;


  1. they must preferably be located within the agricultural block;


  1. they must be credible agricultural inputs traders;


  1. they must operate a point of sale (PoS) machine;


  1. they must have reliable networks with input suppliers; and


  1. they must not have been involved in fraudulent activities under FISP.


Mr Speaker, Mumbwa District, under which Nangoma Constituency falls, had nine registered agro dealers during the 2016/17 Farming Season who adequately supplied agricultural inputs to all the farmers in the district. The ministry has concluded a national tender for registration of more agro dealers for the 2017/18 Agricultural Season and it is expected that Mumbwa will have additional agro dealers.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, since the hon. Minister is aware that some agro dealers have no capacity to supply inputs, is it not possible for the ministry to sell agro chemicals to farmers like the National Agricultural Marketing Board (NAMBOARD) used to?


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I realise the hon. Member of Parliament is nostalgic, but what we are trying to do now is encourage the growth of private agro dealers. So, even though Nangoma might not have had adequate experienced agro dealers, particularly in the 2016/17 Farming Season, I am quite confident that it is a big market and that, soon or later, agro dealers with the right competencies will be identified to supply inputs to the farmers there. As a district, Mumbwa has immense capacity to attract more agro dealers, and that is why we hope that the number has since grown this season. I will be able to ascertain whether the number of agro dealers in Mumbwa District has increased when I meet them tomorrow. Hopefully, there will be a dealer from Nangoma.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, who determines the prices of the inputs supplied by the agro dealers? Is it the ministry or the agro dealers? In Kalomo, during the last farming season, some agro dealers sold a 50 kg bag of fertiliser at K250 while others sold it at K325.


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, obviously, the price is determined by a number of factors, such as the suppliers’ prices, since mostly of the fertiliser in this country is imported. Even the fertiliser manufactured by the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) is produced using imported raw materials, and there are mark-ups added by the dealers and, finally, by the retailers.


Sir, the price of agricultural inputs is controlled by market forces, not determined by the Government. Hopefully, this year, we hope that the electronic eco-system we have created around the farmer will enable price discovery. We must be able to provide a platform on which we can monitor the price nationwide so that when we see an outlier or a big jump in the price like we saw last year, from K250 for a 50 kg bag of fertiliser to K350, we can find out why and admonish agro dealers who will take advantage of the farmers by inflating the price of inputs. We were not able to do that quickly enough last year and that is why we have called the agro dealers to meet us because we have a fairly good idea of what the price should be from talking to the suppliers of the inputs. Our meeting with agro dealers is meant to provide a carrot and a stick because the Government is investing a lot of money in this programme and it does not want the farmers to be taken advantage of.


I thank you Sir.


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, I have heard that the agro dealers are at liberty to fix the prices according to the situations. How come, then, that the Government fixed the price of maize at K60 for a 50 kg bag when the farmers got their inputs from the agro dealers?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, do you want to answer that question, given what you said earlier?


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, I will issue a comprehensive statement on this topic later. However, let me clarify that the Government does not set the prices for maize or any other commodities sold by other parties. That is why the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) only set prices at which it is able to buy particular commodities. With regard to the supply of fertilisers, the Government is not in that business at all. So, it is not involved in the setting of prices. However, it is interested in ensuring that the commodity is made available to farmer at the most reasonable price. So, we do not allow agro dealers to take advantage of farmers.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.




30. Mr Mutale (Chitambo) asked the Minister of Energy:


  1. whether the Government had any plans to establish a Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) office in Chitambo District;


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


  1. if there were no such plans, why.


The Minister of Energy (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, the Government has plans to establish a Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) office and a sub-station in Chitambo District, as reflected in the District Development Master Plan for Chitambo. To that effect, a plot has been allocated for the construction office and sub-station, and ZESCO is currently in the process of formalising the acquisition of the plot. The company has submitted the application to Chitambo District Council and is currently awaiting feedback from the council.


Sir, the implementation of the project is expected to commence in the middle of next year, once funds are made available through the ZESCO budget for 2018.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, Chitambo is a developing district that really needs the services of ZESCO. Further, as the hon. Minister might be aware, since he passes through the district, the people of Chitambo, including me, are poor yet, for them to access ZESCO services, they have to travel about 50 km to Serenje District. What immediate interventions is he planning to make to help lower the cost incurred by the people of Chitambo in accessing ZESCO services?


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, indeed, Chitambo is recognised as a new district. That is why ZESCO has applied for a plot in order to be able to take its services closer to the people of Chitambo. Regarding immediate interventions, it is very difficult for me to give an answer to the hon. Member that might not be appropriate. So, I can only say that, for now, our people in Chitambo will continue getting the services from the nearest districts.


Mr Speaker, for the comfort of the hon. Member, in April, 2017, I held a stakeholders meeting in Central Province. Unfortunately, the hon. Members of Parliament for constituencies in the province were not in attendance. We called everybody in the province, including the Provincial Minister. I do not see him now, but he can attest to the fact that one of the commitments I made in the meeting was that Chitambo would be one of the districts prioritised for infrastructure development in 2018.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


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


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister …




Mr Lihefu: … for the transmission of hydro power to Manyinga Constituency.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lihefu: As he might be aware, Manyinga has depended on thermal power until recently. However, the people there currently face the same problem as the people of Chitambo. Does the ministry have plans to establish Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) offices in newly-created districts like Manyinga?


Mr Mabumba: It is true, Mr Speaker, that there is a lot of work that ZESCO is doing in Manyinga, including the construction of a sub-station because of the new infrastructural foundation that has been laid in the North-Western Province. In fact, I to invite my hon. Colleague to join us in commissioning the North-Western National Grid in Kabompo and Lukulu districts on 28th September, 2017. So, I assure the hon. Member that we will construct offices from which people will be able to access services easily in Manyinga, which is a new district.


Thank you, Sir.




31. Ms Phiri (Kayama) asked the Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection:


  1. whether the Government had any plan to provide safe and clean water to all the residents of Kanyama Parliamentary Constituency;


  1. if so, what the specific plans were;


  1. when the plans would be implemented; and


  1. if there were no such plans, why.


The Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection (Mr Kaziya): Mr Speaker, the Government is currently providing safe and clean water to Kanyama Constituency through the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) and Kanyama Water Trust via house connections and water kiosks. The water kiosks operate on a twenty-four-hour basis. However, there are some areas that are not supplied with water and they are mostly new development areas near the Kanyama Water Trust boundaries and Chinika Secondary School.


Sir, additionally, the Government plans to construct a 65 km water supply network and sink boreholes at a cost of K40 million. The project is expected to commence as soon as funds have been made available.


Thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Phiri: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the water trusts do not offer a twenty-four-hour service, yet they are donor-funded community initiatives? Further, the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) does fails to provide water even to the areas where it has a presence. Can he tell us where the twenty-four-hour service is provided.


Hon. Government Members: Hammer!




Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, the intention of the Government in constructing trust water points and kiosks was to provide Kanyama with a twenty-four-hour service. If that is not being done, I will make a follow-up to ensure that it is done.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Mr Speaker, how many households in Kanyama currently receive clean drinking water?


Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, I am unable to state the exact number of households that are connected because doing so would require conducting a census.


I thank you, Sir.


Mrs Chonya: Mr Speaker, , if my memory serves me right, earlier in the year, the hon. Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection indicated that ten boreholes would be sunk in each constituency. How far are we with that programme, which I believe could be the solution to Kanyama’s need for clean and safe water?


Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, as promised, the Budget provided for 2,000 boreholes to be sunk countrywide, and that translates into a minimum of ten boreholes per constituency. We have been implementing the programme and we will soon reach the hon. Member’s area, funds allowing.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister’s predecessor indicated to this House that the Government was planning to implement a large-scale programme to construct flushing toilets in Kanyama. How far has that programme gone, seeing as the biggest problem that the people of Kanyama have is that human waste in pit latrines mixes with water in boreholes?


Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, I am not aware of the plans to which the hon. Member has referred. I will go back to the ministry and find out if there are such plans.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kintu (Solwezi East): Mr Speaker, what is the Government’s policy on sanitation?


Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, the Government has a vision to achieve 65 per cent sanitation as we march towards 2030.


I thank you, Sir.










The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mrs Mwanakatwe): Mr Speaker, I beg to present a Bill entitled the Corporate Insolvency Bill, 2017.


Sir, the object of the Bill is to provide for:


  1. corporate receiverships ‒ appointment, duties and responsibilities of receivers;


  1. business rescue ‒ appointment, duties and responsibilities of business rescue administrators, rights of affected persons during business rescue proceedings, and business rescue plans;


  1. schemes of arrangements or compromise with creditors;


  1. winding up of companies ‒ appointment, duties and responsibilities of liquidators, committees of inspection, special managers and the Official Receiver;


  1. insolvency practitioners and their duties and responsibilities;


  1. cross-border insolvency; and


  1. matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on National Economy, Trade and Labour Matters, which is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House by Thursday, 19th October, 2017.


Hon. Members who wish to make submissions on the Bill are free to do so within the programme of work of the Committee.


Thank you.




(Mrs Mwanakatwe): Mr Speaker, I beg to present a Bill entitled the Companies Bill, 2017.


Sir, the object of the Bill is to:


  1. promote the development of the economy by encouraging entrepreneurship, enterprise efficiency, flexibility and simplicity in the formation and maintenance of companies;


  1. provide for incorporation, categorisation, management and administration of different types of companies;


  1. provide for the approval of company names, change of name and conversion of companies;


  1. provide for shareholders’ rights and obligations, and the conduct of meetings and passing of resolutions by shareholders;


  1. to encourage transparency and high standards of corporate governance by providing for the functions and obligations of company secretaries and directors;


  1. provide for issue of shares, share capital requirements, alteration and reduction of share capital, and disclosure requirements of companies;


  1. provide for the public issue of shares, the issue and registration of charges, and debentures;


  1. provide for incorporation of financial reporting provisions, maintenance of accounting records and access to financial information of companies;


  1. provide for amalgamations;


  1. provide for registration of foreign companies doing business in Zambia;


  1. provide for deregistration of companies;


  • to repeal and replace the Companies Act, 1994; and


  1. provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on National Economy, Trade and Labour Matters, which is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House by Thursday, 19th October, 2017.


Hon. Members who wish to make submissions on the Bill are free to do so within the programme of work of the Committee.


Thank you.








(Debate resumed)


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, when business was suspended yesterday, I had just started debating the President’s Speech.


Sir, in my debate, I had referred the House to page 41, paragraph 125 of the speech, where the President talks about how the Government is working and making progress. Let me also refer you to paragraph 126 of the speech, where the President indicates that poverty levels are increasing and that he is consistent in his speeches.


Mr Speaker, let me also refer to the speech the President issued to this august House on Friday, 17th March, 2017.  I quote:


“Mr Speaker, in this regard, the Government is committed to ensuring that good morals and ethics are enhanced. In a bid to entrench ethics in the Public Service, the first ever code of ethics for the Public Service was adopted in 2008.


“The code disposes and inculcates the values of honesty, objectivity, impartiality, loyalty, respect, accountability, excellence, confidentiality, integrity and selflessness for the good of our country.


“Therefore, the Government has introduced a requirement for every Public Service officer to sign up to the code of ethics to underline one’s commitment to abide by the provisions of the code in both their official and private lives.”


Mr Speaker, in my opinion, the President’s Speech has misplaced priorities.


Mr Mabumba: Question!


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, very little has been achieved regarding the pronouncements the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has been making since its coming into power.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Sir, some of my colleagues on your right are opposing me, but I know that they are actually dying inside.




Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


Let me provide some guidance.


It is part of our tradition that people can question what you say in your debate. However, I do not think you should allow yourself to be distracted. Remain focused on your debate and make your point.




Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, the point I am trying to make concerns accountability. In developed countries, when a president makes a pronouncement, he is accountable for all the commitments he makes. Unfortunately, there have been pronouncements on and launches of projects in this country but, to date, the implementation of those projects has been neglected. Let me refer to a place I know very well. Ikeleng’i District was created seven years ago but, to date, there is no single building that has been completed. The house for the Chieftainess is still at box level, and one wonders what is happening in this country. Where is the progress about which people are talking? Those are issues on which we should have been building. A pronouncement was made regarding the construction of the Mumbwa/Kasempa Road a long time ago, but I have not seen any road that has been constructed on that route. There was also a pronouncement regarding the construction of the Kaoma/Katunda/Lukulu/Kabompo Road, but the road has not been constructed. Equally, we were told that the so-called Jimbe Road would be tarred in three years, but nothing tangible has happened on that road. This Government has just created a lot of dust in that area. Those are the issues on which this speech was supposed to concentrate because they affect the people of Zambia. The Sesheke Road is in a bad state. I know that some of our colleagues travel by air. So, they do not know how we suffer when we drive on the roads.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Recently, I was in Sesheke and I can confirm that the situation there is very bad. These are the issues that are supposed to be addressed, but this Government has misplaced priorities.


Sir, the President talked about the construction of the Nseluka/Mpulungu Railway Line. How can that be done when the poverty levels have increased in this country? What should come first between the construction of the railway and poverty reduction? I do not understand how the railway line will alleviate poverty in 2018. There are many issues that have been left unattended to in this country, including the famous Constituency Development Fund (CDF).


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, for about four years, we have not received the CDF, and we are always told that it is because the Government has no money. Has this country made any progress?


Sir, the reason I am saying that our priorities are misplaced is that the policy directions are not reflected in the Budget. We all know that the Budget is supposed to be implemented in full. Unfortunately, what we see is the implementation of projects and programmes outside the policy direction. One good example is the prioritisation of the purchase of the now famous fire tenders.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, unfortunately, we have to continue talking about this issue because of the manner in which it was handled. We are crying for the CDF, and we need to repair fallen schools and recruit teachers. So, how can we prioritise the purchase of fire tenders at US$42 million when we only need US$1 million to build many schools in places like Chama, Kaputa and Kazungula?


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Sir, the people of Zambia were supposed to be consulted on the use of that money because it is theirs. The Government says that it has no money, but some people are busy spending money extravagantly behind the doors. Whether the US$42 million was correctly or wrongly spent, the decision to spend it on fire tenders was wrong, and Zambians need an explanation because it is their money that was spent. That money could have been used to address several issues afflicting the people. No wonder, poverty levels have not declined in this country.


Mr Muchima drank some water.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, this country, …


Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.


Mr Nkombo: Where were you?


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


Could you both resume your seats.


Hon. Minister, you might have been out of the country and may not be aware of the decision I made at the commencement of this debate. As per practice, and for obvious reasons, I discouraged the raising of points of order during this debate. Otherwise, there would be a flurry of points of order and we would not make progress. Therefore, I encourage you to take note of all the issues he is raising and, at an appropriate juncture, respond to them when given the Floor. If there is something out of order in the hon. Member’s debate, it is my prerogative, as the Presiding Officer, to intervene.


Hon. Member for Ikeleng’i, you may continue.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I thank you for the protection.


Sir, the President’s Speech sounds good, but it does not address the priorities of Zambians. For example, a while ago, the hon. Minister of General Education stated that there are insufficient funds to recruit more teachers. So, what was supposed to come first between the procurement of the fire tenders and the recruitment of teachers?


Mr Speaker, when I heard of the creation of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance, I was very happy because I thought everything in this country would be done according to God’s will.




Mr Nkombo: There are more sinners now.


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, if I was the hon. Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance, I would have resigned because of the sins and misdeeds in this country, as I could not …


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. member!


You are implicitly dragging another hon. Member into your debate. Do not proceed that way.


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your guidance.


 Sir, I was raising the issue of morality. This country must have morals. The President is talking about unity and a Smart Zambia. Those two objectives can only be attained if we have good morals. Our moral standards should have improved during the administrations of Dr Kaunda, Dr Mwanawasa, SC., Mr Banda and other Presidents and, today, we could have been on course to achieving the Smart Zambia about which we are talking. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Zambia has become divided because of the cheap political games we are playing. There is too much hate in this country sponsored by the Ruling Party.


Mr Ng’onga: Question!


Mr Muchima: That is what this speech was supposed to address. The police is always up to arresting someone. However, only members of the Opposition are being arrested. Since Independence, only members of the Opposition commit crimes in this country.


 Mr Speaker, we need to demonstrate high moral standards and integrity.  We should not have situations in which the Inspector-General of Police can be ordered to arrest someone by a cadre and he hastily effects the arrest. We should not have a situation in which there is never money to buy food or books for students in public universities, but there is always money to conduct operations to arrest members of the Opposition.


Hon. UPND Members: Tutwa!




Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, currently, I cannot even address a meeting in my constituency.


Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Neither can the councillors. We are not being allowed. The law says that one only needs to notify the police about a meeting, but the police think that means one has to seek permission from them. That is why people are saying that this country has become police State. A police officer has become more powerful than those of us at who are of a certain standing in the Government. Not long ago, my colleague was being stopped from addressing a meeting in Kabwe and the whole incident was covered on live television. Where is our democracy? Where are our rights? We are supposed to be free in our constituencies.


Mr Speaker, the issue of money is critical. There are many issues that require attention. The President talked about social security, community development and similar programmes, but I have not seen their impact in my constituency. Seven years after their district was created, the people of Ikeleng’i do not have a water reticulation system. The people there still draw water from rivers because they are yet to see running water off a tap. So, where is the development that is being talked about?


Mr Speaker, we should have priorities. For example, we should know what road has economic value before investment money in the road sector. We cannot just dream up projects, and the President cannot just go to Kaputa, Nchelenge or anywhere else, launch projects and, thereafter, abandon them like what is happening throughout the country. The Government is deceiving us. I wanted the President’s Speech to address these issues. All those projects that have been launched should be finished. The problem is that we are too selfish.


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


What you are doing is inappropriate. You are now not only debating your colleagues, but also casting aspersions. Let us make our debates issue-based.


You may continue.


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I oblige.


Sir, not long ago, the hon. Minister of General Education was talking about issues relating to the transfer of teachers in response to a question on the Floor of the House. However, this year, the four teachers who had been deployed to Jimbe School in Ikeleng’i have already been transferred and they have gone with their establishment posts. The same thing happens in the Ministry of Health, and that is leaving the North-Western Province and other rural parts of the country without the necessary human resource because the establishment slots are being taken elsewhere. While all that is happening, we are busy talking about a railway line that will cost too much to construct.


Mr Speaker, I also wanted the speech to address the decentralisation drive. The President should have explained how the people will be empowered to make decisions over their money, such decision as whether to buy a fire tender, build a school or put up a water reticulation system.


Hon. UPND Members: Hammer!


Mr Muchima: Our priorities are misplaced. For example, there is a shortage of accommodation space at the University of Zambia (UNZA) and the money spent on the recent acquisition of fire tenders can build the accommodation we need at the university.


Mr Speaker, I am now sixty years old, …


 Hon. Member: Only?


Mr Muchima: ... but I have never seen a fire tender in my village, and having one is not our priority, compared with having adequate food. It is stated in this speech that hunger levels are high, but efforts have been misdirected. There was a need for consultations.


Mr Speaker, we wanted this speech to go deeper in reflecting the issues in the villages. For example, Parliament is a huge resource of proper data. You send your Parliamentarians throughout the country every year through your Committees. The Government can do the same so that the speech is based on real data and reflects exactly what the people of Zambia want. Unfortunately, this speech does not address the issues that affect our people.


Mr Speaker, the President touched on radio and television communication. We have been hearing these issues for some time now. We have heard about the contraction of huge loans that are not used for the intended purpose. For example, two days ago, in my area, the District Education Board Secretary’s (DEBS’s) vehicle, which was ferrying some examination materials fell into the Zambezi River yet, during a by-election, the PF had promised the people of Zambezi West that a bridge would be constructed in the area. However, to date, that has not been done. These are the issues I wanted the speech to address.


Mr Speaker, I also wanted the President to address the much-talked-about World Bank loan that is supposed to alleviate our problems. He also needed to tell us how indebted we currently are and how our reserves are as we go into debating the Budget so that we are focused and seek to seal the loopholes.


Mr Speaker, I have been to most districts in the country, including Chilubi, and I know the poverty levels, like the President says, are high. However, does the speech give us hope that the poverty levels will be reduced by talking about the construction of a railway line and buying of fire tenders? The answer is no. We need a speech that provides solutions to the many problems that our country is facing.


Mr Speaker, I do not want to talk about the many other things on my mind against which you cautioned me. However, corruption cases should be investigated thoroughly if this country is to progress.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the President’s Address to this august House, which is supposed to be a guide on how the country will proceed in the coming year.


Mr Speaker, I have read the speech several times to see if it, in any way, addresses the issues that affect the people of Zambia. However, what I get from it is a President blowing his own trumpet.


Hon. PF Members: Question!


Dr Kambwili: It is nothing, but that. The issue of whether the President is performing or not should be left to the people of Zambia to decide.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. PF Members: Question!


Dr Kambwili: One cannot come here as President and boast that one’s Government is working.


Hon. PF Members: Question!


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: One needs to leave that for the people of Zambia to decide.




Dr Kambwili: How does the President come to Parliament and say his Government is working when, for four years, civil servants have not had a salary increment and, after four years, they are awarded a meagre 10 per cent increment.




Dr Kambwili: We should be serious and stop mocking the poor.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer, hammer!


Hon. PF Members: Question!




Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Members!


Hon. Member for Roan, please, continue.


Dr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, on average, civil servants earn about K3,000 a month, and 10 per cent of that is K300. That is the increment yet, in the same four years, the Government removed subsidies on fuel and increased electricity tariffs by 75 per cent in one year.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: Sir, the Government has awarded civil servants a 10 per cent salary increment effective January, 2018, before the hon. Minister of Finance presents the Budget. So, we do not know what tax measures the 2018 Budget will have. It is, therefore, very difficult ...


Mrs Simukoko interjected.


Dr Kambwili: Ba Nonde, please, can you behave. You are near me.




Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Roan!


Please, take your seat.




Mr Speaker: Order!


Let us have some order please.


Hon. Member for Roan, you are a very senior hon. Member of the House. So, you know that you cannot proceed in that fashion.


You hon. Members who are in the habit of making running commentaries, you are also a source of disruptions.


Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!


Mr Mbangweta: That is the problem.


Mr Speaker: You see, in a democracy, you need to be tolerant.


Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!


Mr Speaker: You may not like what someone is saying, but you still have to listen to it.


Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!


Mr Speaker: When your opportunity comes to debate, you can counteract what he or she said.


Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!


Mr Speaker: That is how it is done in a democracy.


So, hon. Member for Roan, do not be distracted.


Continue with your debate.


Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!


Dr Kambwili: Sir, at least, for me, I served in a Government that awarded a 300 per cent salary increment in one year, just after the Patriotic Front (PF) came into power. That is what it means to think about the poor.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: This new PF, on the other hand, has awarded a 10 per cent.




Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


There is only one Patriotic Front (PF), ...


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Speaker: ... and you are a member of that party as far as my records show.




Mr Speaker: You are an hon. Member of Parliament for Roan on the PF ticket, ...




Mr Speaker: ... courtesy of a Court order.




Dr Kambwili: Sir, the era of mocking civil servants by giving them salary increments of 5 or 10 per cent was in the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government. I wonder whether the PF has now gone back to the MMD.




Dr Kambwili: We cannot reduce from 300 to 10 per cent. That is a big joke. However, I will forgive this PF Government because of the combination in it.


Ms Chonya: Blue and green.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutale: Judas!


Ms Kucheka: Which one?


Dr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, if I heard correctly, one of the issues raised in the speech …


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


When you say “combination”, you are debating your colleagues.


Dr Kambwili indicated dissent.


Mr Speaker: I mean, we can read between the lines.


Please, continue with your debate.


Dr Kambwili: Sir, I clearly remember hearing the President say the following:


“Mr Speaker, your Government is working was on the social cash transfer”.


Sir, this is another way of mocking the poor. The social cash transfer (SCT) amount is K70 per month, and here is a President who cares for the people saying there is a woman in the Western Province or Kalomo who will be able to build a house, pay school fees and pay people to work in her field using the K70. Nangu kutumpika abantu?




Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer, hammer!


Dr Kambwili: Sir, let us be serious with leadership. If we have nothing to talk about, it is better we keep quiet.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!




Dr Kambwili: Sir, there are over ten newspapers on the streets today selling at K10 and I am sure the President reads more than seven of them per day. So, the cost of his newspapers is what is given to the poor, yet he comes here and says his Government is working.




Dr Kambwili: We will leave it for the people of Zambia to judge.


Sir, on economic diversification, somebody says that the electronic voucher (e-Voucher) system will be rolled out in all the districts and thinks that amounts to diversification. This is the only country in which when we grow a lot of maize, then, we say the agriculture sector is doing very well. There is no agriculture to talk about in Zambia.


Mrs Simukoko: Ah!


Mr Mbangweta: Yes!


Dr Kambwili: If we were serious about the agriculture sector, this could have been a middle-income country by now. However, our priorities are wrong ...


Ms Chonya: Hear, hear!


Mr Chisopa: Question!


Dr Kambwili: ... because we only look at the bumper harvest of maize without even knowing where the bumper harvest comes from.


Mr Mukumbuta: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, if you remember well, before President Mwanawasa, SC., came into power, the growing of maize was at a very low scale because people did not have a market to sell their produce. President Mwanawasa, SC., allowed the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to start …


Mr Chabi: May his soul rest in peace.


Dr Kambwili: …buying more maize than the 500,000 metric tonnes required for the Strategic Food Reserve so that it could provide a market for maize. Since there was now a ready market for maize, people got interested in growing the crop, knowing that the FRA would buy it.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: Today, this Government has gone back to saying that it can only buy for Strategic Food Reserve, meaning that it has killed the market for poor maize farmers. What will happen is that the peasant farmers will stop growing maize.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: I can assure you that there will be no bumper harvest next year.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: We have gone back to the old days when people used to go with salaula to exchange for a bag of maize.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: People were happy to sell their maize at K85 per 50 kg bag …


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


What do you mean by “salaula”?


Dr Kambwili: Second-hand clothes, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: I see.


Dr Kambwili: Sir, people used to go into the villages with second-hand clothes to exchange for maize and farmers stopped growing maize because they were not earning reasonable income from it. This Government has forgotten why President Mwanawasa, SC., allowed the FRA to buy more than 500,000 metric tonnes of maize. It was to provide a market because the National Agricultural Marketing Board (NAMBOARD) had been closed.


Sir, when you have selfish people, …




Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.




Dr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, I was about to say that the SCT programme is a very good tool for fighting poverty. However, I think that we should base it on the minimum food basket, not the K70 or the proposed K95, which can only buy a bag of mealie-meal. So, telling the people that a woman in Kalomo did this and that out of that amount is misleading, and when the President is in the forefront of those misleading the nation, then, we should be worried, as a country.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, this Government must sort out the problems in the mining sector, and I expected the President to tell this House what the Government will do about the situation in the mining industry. That is what the people of Luanshya, Chingola and the Copperbelt in general wanted to hear. Alas! There are only four sentences on the sector, which is the backbone of the economy, yet some people want to say this is a serious Government.


Madam, Baluba Mine was closed on the basis of low copper prices and electricity supply deficits. When I was a Minister, I went there and was told that the mine could not operate until the price of copper was above US$5,000 and there was adequate supply of electricity. Today, the price of copper is close to US$7,000 per tonne and there is an abundant supply of electricity, but Baluba Mine is still closed. Leaders who become too familiar with the investors and are sponsored by them during election campaigns have difficulties controlling the investors when they do wrong because they remember the packages they would have collected for vitenge.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear! Ulula!


Dr Kambwili: That is what is killing this nation. So, as long as the investors are able to give money for vitenge and contribute to somebody’s election victory, Baluba Mine will remain closed.


Hon. UPND Members: Shame!


Dr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, the employees of Dangote Cement Limited are suffering, and we know Dangote’s friends.


Hon. UPND Members: Who are they?


Dr Kambwili: The workers are currently on strike, but the hon. Ministers cannot issue directives to Dangote.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear! Ulula!




Dr Kambwili: It meets where Dangote goes. We know it, mpukunya matobo. However, the man is quiet.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


First of all, can you translate that phrase into English.


Dr Kambwili: Cake, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Secondly, I am trying to avoid interrupting your debate, but I can see that you are almost drawing the hon. Ministers into your debate. Please, refrain from doing that and debate the Speech of the President.


Dr Kambwili: Madam, we should go to Dangote and sort out the issues that our people are facing. Dangote has employed over 3,000 workers, but they have no union. The agreement between workers and the company states that union activities will not be allowed. I have the papers and can lay them on the Table.




Dr Kambwili: The people are watching and posterity will judge us very harshly.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: Madam, Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) just changed the nomenclature from outsourcing to secondment, which is one and the same, yet the hon. Minister has given it a go-ahead and people are being transferred without being paid their terminal benefits to new people who have come in and will be responsible for everything, including the payment of terminal benefits. How can that be called secondment? What I know about secondment is that the seconding company continues to be responsible for paying one’s salary and terminal benefits, and handles disciplinary cases. However, in the case of the KCM miners, they have been told that everything has been transferred to the Chinese, and we know what they are able to do. An underground miner gets paid K700 per month, but the Government is quiet.


Miners, we are coming to sort your issues out.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!




Dr Kambwili: Madam, no administration exists in perpetuity. The goodness about political power is that it expires after a period. After five years, others come in. So, the miners should not worry. It is only four years to go before we come in.




Dr Kambwili: Madam, what is there to talk about in terms of health facilities in Zambia for some people to come to this House and boast that they are working? Go and look at the hospitals and you will not believe it what you will see. At the entrance to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH), there is a pothole and everybody, including directors, pass there. You cannot believe these things. Thanks to Hon. Stephen Chungu and me, the hospitals in Roan are very clean, …


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: … with porcelain tiles in all the wards and rhinolite ceilings. That is leadership, not just coming here to say that we have hospitals, yet the hospitals are very dirty …




Dr Kambwili: … and have neither linen nor medicines. Please, stop mocking the poor. The President goes to good hospitals while others go to hospitals where they become worse upon arriving there, yet he comes here to boast.




Dr Kambwili: I went to Kasama with the Committee on Health and found that Kasama General Hospital is painted with the red polish known as mwandaba. Surely, how can one allow such a thing fifty-three years after Independence and, then, say one’s Government is working? Where is it working?




Dr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, in education, community schools manned by unqualified teachers are doing much better than Government schools. I feel sorry for my elder brother, Hon. Dr Wanchinga. He is very hardworking, but he found the system had already collapsed.




Dr Kambwili: If you look at the results in Government schools, the attitude of teachers and how many periods the children are taught, you will cry, yet we have a Government. The President says that his Government is working, on the one hand, and that the poverty levels are very high, on the other. He can continue citing his statistics. He claims that inflation is at 6 per cent and that the gross domestic product (GDP) is at 4.5 per cent. However, as long as the benefits of the growth are not enjoyed by the ordinary people, he will go …


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: … the way the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) lost the elections despite recording excellent GDP growth rates of 7, 8 and 9 per cent, and 6 per cent inflation because the economic growth did not trickle down to the poor civil servants to enjoy the fruits of their sweat.


Madam Speaker, I love the PF, but we need to change the way we do things so that we can stay in power for another five years. However, we need to change the President.




Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Roan!


Dr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, with regard to infrastructure development has become a conduit …


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, Hon. Kambwili!


You will not use this House to campaign. The President’s Speech has enough issues to occupy you for the entire twenty minutes you are given the Floor. So, debate the speech.




Dr Kambwili: Much obliged, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker, a standard dual carriageway has two lanes on each side and globally costs, on average, US$1 million per kilometre to construct. In this country, however, it costs US$3.7 million.




Dr Kambwili: This Government should not think that the people are not watching. Insoni ebuntu. Having a sense of shame is what makes us human. If one steals with impunity, …


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Roan!


“Stealing” is unparliamentary and you know that. Can you withdraw that word.


Ms Kapata: Mwense Market!


Dr Kambwili: Madam, if one is dipping …




Dr Kambwili: Madam, no one should plunder national the National Coffers with impunity like we are seeing happen in this Government. One cannot come here to talk about 800 km …


Mr Chabi: Hotels!


Dr Kambwili: What are you talking about? Who told you to build hotels? Is that the job of the Road Development Agency (RDA)?


Mr Chilangwa interjected.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Minister for Luapula Province!


Hon. Opposition Members: Ah! Shame!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Roan, you may continue.


Dr Kambwili: Madam, the people of Zambia will have the last say. The corruption that we are seeing in this Government is much more than what we witnessed in the ten years of President Chiluba’s reign. Naba wina, naba nonka. Niba kabolala, aba bantu!


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, Hon. Kambwili!


Please, resume your seat.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Milenge, you can debate.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili left the Assembly Chamber.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Kapata: Mwense Market!


Mr Mbulakulima (Milenge): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this rare opportunity, on behalf of the people of Milenge, to add a few remarks to the debate on the President’s Speech.


Madam Speaker, …




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, on my left!


Hon. Member for Milenge, please, continue.


Mr Mbulakulima: Madam, these are very exciting moments. A lot has been said about the President’s Speech. However, in my understanding, the President’s Speech is not a ministerial statement, party manifesto or a budget speech. It is a speech that encompasses everything and gives direction to a country. I deliberately decided to debate later because I wanted to hear, especially from the other side of the divide, whether pages 1 to 68 of the speech have anything positive. Indeed, because my colleagues are in the Opposition, they have said that there is nothing worthy of praise, and that has left me wondering.


Madam Speaker, the problem is not with the speech, but with my colleagues in the Opposition. I believe that most of the issues that we have been addressing concern conflict and marginalisation. I am sure we all see the conflict in the way we debate and analyse issues. No matter how good a speech is, what we continue to see is the usual story of competing for political power. No one wants to accept acknowledge the soundness of the speech.


Mrs Simukoko: We cannot hear you.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Simukoko: Open your mouth.




Mr Mbulakulima: Madam Speaker, many have said that the atmosphere in the country is tense and that we are divided. That worries me. If this country is polarised, what are we, individually and collectively, doing about it? That is one question we need to answer.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mbulakulima: Tension or no tension, there is a paradigm shift in conflicts. In the past, there used to be inter-state conflicts or wars, if you like. Today, there are intra-state conflicts, and I am sure that hon. Members know the source of the conflicts. Africa is especially besieged with conflicts, but what causes the conflicts?


Madam Speaker, most hon. Members know that some of the causes of intra-state conflict are:


  1. inequalities in the distribution of the country’s wealth;


  1. sharp ethnic or tribal differences or dominance;


  1. a lack of citizen participation in the governance of the country;


  1. dictatorial tendencies;


  1. religious differences;


  1. ineffective delivery of public services;


  1. social exclusion;


  1. high poverty levels;


  1. extreme underdevelopment; and


  1. structural complexes.


Madam Speaker, two weeks ago, I worked on my last paper for my Masters in Peace, Leadership and Conflict Resolution studies at the University of Zambia (UNZA). So, I speak with authority on these issues.




Hon. Member: Ba yama.


Mr Mbulakulima: Those are the causes of problems in Africa. So, we need to address them, and I believe that this President’s Speech tries to do that. Let me cite some examples.


Madam Speaker, in paragraph 2, on page 1, His Excellency the President says:


“As we collectively reflect on how we have walked together as a country in implementing our National vision by taking stocks of our achievement, challenges and, indeed, what lies ahead of us, let me pay tribute to my predecessors who in many ways made immense contribution in implementing the key milestones contained in the Vision 2030.”


Madam, His Excellency the President used the word “together”. He is recognising the efforts of his predecessors, and that is the way it is supposed to be. He is not claiming all the credit for himself, but appreciating the people who preceded him in office.


Madam Speaker, on page 2, His Excellency the President says:


“Let me reassure the nation through this august House that the invocation of Article 31 was not meant to unduly inconvenience the general public, but to preserve peace and security in the country.”


Ms Mulenga: Hear, hear!


Mr Mbulakulima: Madam, I think that is where we get it wrong. From the time we passed that Bill, many people have been complaining about it. However, if we took stock of the situation, how many people have really been inconvenienced by the invocation of the Article? No one.


 Ms Mulenga: Hear, hear!


Mr Mbulakulima: So, why do we not acknowledge that? As an expert, let me tell this House that one of the reasons cited for conflicts is the failure by governments to act in good time.


 Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Mbulakulima: The Government is supposed to take charge when it sees things going wrong.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Mbulakulima: According to the United Nations (UN), people are supposed to watch out to early warning signs because they always precede conflicts.


 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Bwekeshapo!


Mr Mbulakulima: Unless, the early signs of conflict are taken seriously and acted on, the situation will degenerate into chaos. That is exactly what this Government did by revoking Article 31. It was for the good of the people of this country.


 Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


 Mr Mbulakulima: Madam Speaker, His Excellency the President went on to say:


“The theme of my address to this august House is ‘moving towards a prosperous Smart Zambia in peace and tranquillity without leaving anyone behind’”.


Madam, he also says:


“The theme calls upon all of us to seriously reflect on the state of our national unity and, by extension, our sense of patriotism and the spirit of ‘One Zambia, One Nation”’.


Madam Speaker, again, His Excellency the President is addressing some of the causes of conflicts in Africa by calling for peace, tranquillity and inclusiveness. Social exclusion and inequality must be rooted out and the people of Milenge must feel that they are part of Zambia.


Ms Mulenga: Hear, hear!


Mr Mbulakulima: His Excellency the President further says:


“In today’s address therefore, I will highlight the key result areas or strategic pillars of focus which my Administration has set for itself as outlined in the Seven National Development Plan. Under each pillar, I will elaborate what we have managed to achieve and make key policy pronouncements which will guide development in the country going forward.”


Madam, the President said “we”, not ‘I’.


Mrs Simukoko: Hear, hear!


Mr Mbulakulima: Anyone who has studied administration will tell you that the President is making a review, providing feedback and giving the way forward.


Madam, on page 6 of the speech, His Excellency the President says:


“Therefore, the spate of acts of arson and sabotage, hate speech on socio media and other injurious acts against each other are an assault on ourselves. No iota of explanation can justify what we experienced in the recent past”.


Madam Speaker, that is fair. Almost all of us have complained about the abuses on social media, and that is the same situation His Excellency the President is trying to arrest.


Madam, His Excellency the President went on to say:


“During the State of the Nation Address in March this year, I discussed before this august House our application of the national values. I stated that patriotism and national unity should speak to the heart and soul of every Zambian in our quest to sustain our sovereignty and build a better country for ourselves and future generations. These words are as alive today as they were on the day I stated them”.


Madam, this is very reassuring. Therefore, every reasonable Zambian must reflect on the statement because that is as it should be. So, I do not agree that this is an empty speech.


Madam Speaker, His Excellency the President further says:


“In addition to upholding peace and tranquillity as one people, the theme of my address speaks to our collective quest for pro-poor development and prosperity for all, in all spheres of our human endeavour. Sustainable development should be for all, rich or poor, differently abled persons, as well as those who are able bodied. We will continue to drive efforts to achieving a better life and a better Zambia for all.”


Madam, that statement is all-encompassing. What I have observed, and this is the reason I believe we could be the source of problems, is that there is no province that is willing to admit that it is ahead of other provinces in terms of development. If you look at Zambia today, the development ranking of the provinces is as follows:


  1. Lusaka;


  1. Copperbelt;


  1. Southern;


  1. Eastern;


  1. Central;


  1.  Luapula;


  1. Western; and


  1. Northern.


Hon. Opposition Member: Why?


Mr Mbulakulima: Madam, there has never been a time we agreed to take more resources to Luapula or the Western provinces because it is each one is for himself or herself. That is the kind of greed or a lack of appreciation that brings conflicts. So, unless we seriously reflect on the issues raised in the speech and change, conflicts will continue to be among us. This speech is very rich.


Madam, on page 24, His Excellency the President says:


“I am glad to report that tan on-line system that links the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development with the Zambia Revenue Authority is now operational. Through the system, most large copper mines now report their production levels. The system has facilitated access to more detailed data and improved the tracking of reported production. The system has also enabled the incorporation of data on previously un-reported products. Work is in progress to include export, import and trade permits on the system.”


Madam, the problem we have is that people are evading paying tax. That was even cited in the Mbeki Report. With the technology in place, however, this Government has managed to track the actual production figures in the mines. Therefore, I do not agree with anyone who says this is not fair.


Madam Speaker, on page 33, the President says:


“Further, feasibility studies on the Nseluka/Mpulungu Railways have been concluded, while the study on the Livingstone via Kazungula to Sesheke Railway Line has commenced. In addition, feasibility studies for the greenfield railway line from Chingola to Jimbe will commence in 2018. Feasibility studies for the Kafue-Lions Den railway line between Zambia and Zimbabwe will also commence in 2018.”


Madam Speaker, His Excellency the President’s thoughts cut from Livingstone to Chingola. He also says:


“Once completed and operational, these projects will contribute towards extending the life-span of our roads.”


Madam, four provinces have been catered for under the same system. That is what we called fair distribution. The equity is there for all to see. However, if we do not seriously reflect on such issues, we shall be shooting in the dark.


Madam Speaker, I believe that the speech has been all-encompassing because it looks at the short-term or the ‘now’, the 2018 National Budget, the 7NDP, the Vision 2030 and, above all, the African Union (AU) Agenda 2016. So, where are the gaps for anyone to blame the man? Everything has been incorporated. So, I urge my colleagues to take time and look at that.


Madam, forgive me, but I am sure my people in Milenge are listening because we are on the edge of Mansa Central. Of the 160 constituencies, His Excellency the President mentioned Milenge twice in connection to electricity and health. We considered that a privilege. We, therefore, do not believe that there is marginalisation or exclusion. To us, this speech is very appropriate.


Madam Speaker, allow me to give some counsel.


Madam, I remember my good friend from Mwinilunga saying that corruption is a cancer and that the Patriotic Front (PF) got elected into Government by claiming that the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government was corrupt. Furthermore, he said that corruption had, however, escalated because the PF had gone to bed with the people it hounded out of the Cabinet. In other words, my colleague believed that the corruption that was in the MMD Government had been transferred to the PF Government. I do not agree with that idea. I know that an old man is uneasy whenever dry bones are mentioned in a proverb. These are the issues I want to address by talking about morality and ethics. My colleague who made the remarks was the Chairperson for Local Government in the MMD and a candidate for the same party in 2011. He was also the campaign manager in many constituencies. In short, what I am saying is that it is immoral and unethical to make such remarks. When I look at my colleagues on the other side who were in the MMD, but are in the United Party for National Development (UPND) today, I see men and women who served this country diligently. Further, from where I am standing, I see their thirst to serve. Given the chance, they can serve this country and Parliament …


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


I do not think it is fair for you to say that. I do not see any thirst, at least, not on their faces. In fact, I would like you to refrain from debating your colleagues. As you know, the rules are that we do not debate ourselves. You were doing well until now.




Mr Mbulakulima: Madam, I have done very well and I wish to continue on that path.




Mr Mbulakulima: Madam Speaker, let us reflect. We all seem to know the sources of conflict and there reasons for our being where we are today. In countries that have been besieged by conflict, it all started from a small act of carelessness and not wanting to accept glaring realities. This country has come a long way and we live as brothers and sisters. As hon. Members, we drink coffee together in the restaurant. All we need is to take that spirit of togetherness to the larger society. We are the lawmakers who are supposed to be in harmony, but when people listen to us, they may think the heavens are falling. Yes, one can disagree with one or two things in the President’s Speech. Generally, however, I believe that this is an excellent speech on which we can build to make Zambia a better place.


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


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, please, note that on Friday, 29th September, 2017, the House will sit in the afternoon because this the day the National Budget will be presented. That leaves us with only two days to wind up this debate. In fact, from tomorrow to Thursday, hon. Ministers will respond to some of the issues that have been raised. So, I urge all Backbenchers to be considerate and by not exhausting the twenty minutes allocated to them if possible. They can make their points in less than twenty minutes so that as many of their colleagues as possible can debate.


Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to convey the views of the people of Lupososhi Constituency, whom I represent.


Madam, the speech by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia to this august House is a general policy direction to which those who are charged with the responsibility of implementing the various policies must adhere. Therefore, it need not be elaborate. In fact, it need not touch all the areas because the various policies touch on various aspects of the economy.


Madam Speaker, His Excellency the President, on page 5 in paragraph 15 states the following:


“To move forward towards a prosperous smart Zambia in peace and tranquillity without leaving anyone behind, we all need to take a soul search.”


Madam Speaker, soul-searching calls for a lot of integrity, probity, honesty and introspection from every Zambian.


Madam, when I give you my word, I am supposed to live by it. That is what the President meant by all of us doing some soul-searching. Betrayal is a very dangerous thing.


Mrs Simukoko: Hear, hear!


Mr Bwalya: Madam Speaker, it is also very dangerous to turn back on your word, and it is also true that uwakwensha ubushiku, ba mutasha elyo bwacha, meaning that people only appreciate those who take them through turbulences and difficulties to a good destination upon reaching the destination. The President of the Republic of Zambia has been going through rough times, spending sleepless nights to ensure that he drives this country to a good destination for the wellbeing of not only this generation, but the generations to come.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Bwalya: Those who think that they can get to the dawn without going through the midnight are joking. To see any new day, you need to go over midnight. In this regard, the President has been breaking through the night to enable Zambians to wake up the following day and find the economy and the exchange rates stabilised.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Bwalya: Madam, it is true that we need to search our souls because the truth of the matter is that this country wakes up every day to find the price of fuel reduced because His Excellency the President works very hard. It is also true that we need to accept that we have been party to the various decisions that have been made in this country. Without debating ourselves, I want to say that the governance system of this country includes the Legislature. Therefore, we have a part to play in whatever decisions are made by the Government. So, soul-searching is very important. We need to remain true to our promises, values and integrity.


Madam Speaker, on page 19 of the Address, the President raises a number of issues that need to be addressed not by him, but by those he has employed to carry the mantle and satisfy the Zambian people. He says:


“Government is aware of the challenges that our farmers are facing in marketing their produce. Government is pleased to note that the private sector is already participating in crop marketing through the Zambia Agriculture Commodity Exchange”.


Madam Speaker, when a person is magnanimous enough to accept that there are challenges, he needs to be respected for it. The President is magnanimous enough to say that there are challenges in the marketing of produce by the farmers. Surely, any credible leader, after having done some soul-searching, has to accept that there are negatives even when he is the one in the driving seat, and that is what the President does. So, there is no need for anyone to make political mileage out of this. The President identifies the challenges, but it is for all us to overcome them.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Bwalya: Madam Speaker, I appeal to the hon. Ministers of Finance, Agriculture, and Commerce, Trade and Industry to invigorate the commodity exchange so that it can seat well in the Zambian economy. The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) was born in the same way to address the gaps in revenue collection. Just like the ZRA, the commodity exchange requires not only a legal framework, but also the political will for us to be able to find an alternative market for farmers to sell their commodities.


Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!


Mr Bwalya: Madam Speaker, the institution could become very important if well-supported and given the necessary human and financial resources. 


Madam Speaker, on page 19, paragraph 56, the President acknowledges that there are many fruits in this country to which we can add value and export to bring in the much-needed foreign exchange. He, then, proposes a number of things to be done in that regard. That is what a leader is supposed to do, namely to give direction. Let me quote him:


“To promote value addition, Government is supporting a number of pipeline projects to be delivered in the next two years. These include establishment of a mango processing facility in Eastern Province, investment in a palm oil plantation and palm oil processing plant in Luapula Province; investment in a cashew nut project in Western Province and re-establishment of a pineapple processing facility in North-Western Province”.


Madam Speaker, the President touched on almost every province, as almost every province has potential to process some fruits to bring money, help in poverty reduction and contribute to job creation. Hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, this is fertile ground for us to make sure we do what is needed. It is very important that we look back at lessons learned. In this country, we used to produce Tip-Top, and we need to find out what went wrong in the past before we can embark on the implementation of these very important pronouncements by the President. Otherwise, we may end up in the same trap. The President has asked the nation to develop the industries that he mentioned in the respective provinces.


Madam Speaker, let me take the House to an issue that is very dear to everyone’s heart, that is, the need for us to reduce poverty using various avenues, such as the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) scheme, a very good programme that deserves our support. The amount allocated to the programme has been increasing slowly. Every journey starts with the first step. We may have started with a small amount of money, but I can assure you, as someone who comes from a rural constituency, that the money is still highly appreciated. 


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Bwalya: More people want to get that K240. The programme requires a huge Budgetary allocation so that a poor person in Sub-Chief Mulala’s area can benefit and get a share of Zambia’s resources.


Madam, on page 41, paragraphs 126 and 127, of the speech, the President addresses poverty and vulnerability reduction, and proposes some things that need to be done. He says:


“Our vulnerable include orphans, female and child headed households, differently abled persons, the chronically ill on palliative care and older persons. Our interventions, therefore, should give them hope for a better life and that of their children and children’s children.”


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare needs undertake a vulnerability audit so that when we increase the number of beneficiaries, we also ensure that the money does not keep going to the same people or the wrong people. if this is not managed well, it will benefit the same people year in and year out, thereby denying assistance to other people who may also need it.


Madam Speaker, having a smart Zambia will be a good thing, and all that is required is a balancing act because it is easy to computerise and mechanise everything to an extent of that the human touch is removed and certain factors that breed corruption eliminated. However, it must be noted that technology is very dynamic. So, we need to be careful with this area. It is possible for a programme to become obsolete by the time one finishes installing it and people begin to come to grips with it, and one ends up having to begin all over again, which might be quite costly. We also need to avoid becoming a dumping ground of technology. For example, we have communication towers that need to be upgraded from time to time. It is one thing to erect them, but another to keep their software updated. So, we need to move as fast as possible in our quest to mechanise and make a smart Zambia.


Madam Speaker, when one decides to leave, it is always better to go peacefully. The Bembas say, “Bayafye tabashya balona”, meaning that a person who decides to leave must not injure many people before leaving because he or she might need them on his or her way back.


Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Bwalya: There is a way we do things, and there are principles enshrined in our Constitution that we need to live by. So, let us be consistent. Sometimes, at the end of the day, people who were party to things that happened may end up opening themselves up by being careless in their speech because somebody somewhere will recall …


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


You have lost me. I was following your debate, but I now do not understand which part of the President’s Speech you are debating.




Mr Bwalya: Thank you, Madam Speaker, for your guidance.


Madam, the part of the speech that I am debating is the one that calls for introspection. As leaders, there are certain aspects of our lives to which we should point and say we have contributed to the wellbeing of Zambians. Therefore, let us not begin throwing stones at the things that we have built. Instead, we should maintain them and make them grow. That is called leadership. At times, one needs to swallow a bitter pill in order for one to maintain one’s integrity and wellbeing.


Madam, ubuntu calls for a lot sacrifice and introspection. Corruption has been a song in this country and it is a cancer that no one wants. Wherever it shows its ugly head, it must be fought with all the means available and all effort.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Bwalya: However, he who comes to equity must come with clean hands. That is soul-searching.


I thank you, Madam.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune (Keembe): Thank you, Madam Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the speech issued to the House by His Excellency the President in this Session of the Twelfth National Assembly.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: The theme of his speech is “Moving towards a Prosperous Smart Zambia in Peace and Tranquillity without Leaving Anyone Behind”.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: As leaders in this House, it is critical for us to look at the phrase, “without leaving anyone behind”. Unfortunately, my heart bleeds especially for the people living in rural Zambia. We all may be aware of statistics that show us that over 60 per cent of the population of Zambia live in rural areas, yet we are talking about not leaving anyone behind.


Madam, many of us agree that without education, our people, especially the children and the women, will forever be left behind. That is because there are huge disparities between the schools in rural areas and those in urban areas. If we would be honest enough, as leaders of this country, we need to begin raising a united voice and act together to end the disparities.


Hon. Opposition members: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: As a representative for Keembe Constituency, which is not far from Lusaka and is one of the largest constituencies in this country, I have observed that there are high illiteracy levels in my area because it is not unusual for a child to walk more than 15 or 17 km go the nearest school on an empty stomach and sit on the floor because the school has no desks. The pupil, then, has to the walk same distance back home. How do we expect to enhance the human development in the country with such situations? Either we will never do it or it will take us a long time to do it. How do we expect those who teach our children to teach them well when they do not even have proper accommodation and some have to rent houses in nearby villages? These are the challenges that teachers and many other civil servants in rural areas face.


Madam, talk is cheap. Therefore, it is important for us to realise that leadership comes with responsibility, stewardship, accountability and transparency. In the very short time that I have been a representative for the people of Keembe here and of course as a lawmaker in Zambia, I have come to realise that, for each one of us, there is a time to come into Parliament and a time to leave it.


Ms Simukoko: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: When the time for us to leave comes, the question we will be asked is: What legacy have we left behind? What legacy will we leave behind for the poor women in rural Zambia at large, not just in Keembe Constituency?


Hon. Member: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: Madam, when the President talks about the child in Mufumbwe having the same education as the child in Kabulonga, I wonder how practicable that is today. We, including the listeners outside this House, all know the answer to the question. The child in a rural area is still left behind.


Madam Speaker, in my constituency and some of my colleagues’ constituencies that I have had the opportunity to visit, I there are no computers and electricity supply to support the introduction of computer studies in schools. How will we achieve the development that we need for our children? Education is at the centre of the development of a country. As it has been said, you can tell a country’s character by the way it treats its young people. How do we answer that? How do we respond to that as Zambians?


Madam, on the issue of fifty-fifty gender representation in Parliament, ...


Hon. Female Member: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: ... I call not only to the President of this country, but also to all of us as women in leadership, to not get comfortable and lose track of our need to lend a helping hand to other women when we come here so that they, too, can occupy these seats in Parliament. Women have been knocking on the door for too long without doors being opened for them. It is a democratic disparity and deficiency in democracy when, in a country that has 164 Members of Parliament, only about thirty are women. Unfortunately, sometimes, when we, women, come in Parliament, we begin to look away from the plight of women. There are many women in Zambia who are educated and have the capacity to rule this country.


Madam, any countries that has achieved …


Mr Livune: Question!


Ms Kasune: … a fifty-fifty percentage representation had enabling policies in place. Can we put policies that will encourage the attainment of a fifty-fifty percentage women representation in place.


Mr Livune: Question!


Hon. Female Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: Every woman should rally behind this cause regardless of political affiliation.


Hon. Female Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: Can we say to Zambians people that mere politicking based on political affiliation is long gone. Enough is enough!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: My fellow leaders, we will fail Zambians if we do not actualise what is put on paper. If not implemented, this speech is only worth the paper on which it is written. Many of the challenges faced by Zambians are caused by misappropriation of funds and misplaced priorities.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: We need to change.


Madam Speaker, the key areas in this country are education, health care, agriculture, infrastructure, especially as it relates to roads, and ensuring equity between rural and urban areas in the allocation of development projects.


Hon. Member: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: Madam Speaker, from the speech we learn that there are about thirty-five district hospitals in Zambia at different levels of completion, of which twelve are operational. Keembe, in Chibombo District, is one of the oldest constituencies in this country, but it does not have a district hospital. We have to ensure that the development goes to all parts of Zambia, not just to one region.


Madam Speaker, there has been extensive discussions on mandatory human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing, especially on social media.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: As a person living with HIV, I am passionate about these issues. Therefore, I wanted to hear the President clarify that mandatory testing is not possible. What I hope he is referring to is Test and Treat ...


Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: ... because that is what is crucial for a country like Zambia. We can boast about the reduction in the prevalence rate from 13 per cent to 11 per cent, but we need to remind ourselves that 46,000 new infections each year is still a very big number and that the country is losing the fight. Hence, hon. Members of Parliament should work together to implement social programmes or policies to support routine testing, which is important because, without it, some people may not manage to handle the pressure that comes from knowing that they are HIV positive.


Madam Speaker, one of the successes that Zambia recorded under the millennium development goals (MDGs) was a reduction in mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Results will be there for all to see when declarations are followed by policy implementation. However, we have heard from some quarters that some people on antiretroviral therapy (ART) are being given expired drugs. I ask the hon. Minister of Health to look into this issue because we cannot achieve the 90-90-90 target by 2020 if we have challenges in giving people the correct treatment. The 90-90-90 target aims to ensure that 90 per cent HIV positive people know their status, 90 per cent of those diagnosed with HIV receive treatment and 90 per cent of those on treatment achieve viral load suppressed. The goal of the target is to eradicate HIV and acquired immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) by 2030.


Madam Speaker, let me also comment on agriculture, especially as it relates to rural constituencies. We have heard about the plans to diversify the economy not only through tourism, but also through agriculture. It cannot be overemphasised that we cannot diversify the economy through enhanced agricultural productivity while farmers’ inputs are not delivered on time and the electronic voucher (e-Voucher) system has challenges.


Madam Speaker, agriculture, health and education are all dependent on good infrastructure, especially road infrastructure. Many hon. Members may know that the areas around Chisamba and Chibombo contribute a great deal to Zambia’s food basket, but the road infrastructure there, including in Keembe, can make one cry. It takes a long time to travel short distances because of the poor state of the roads.


Madam Speaker, if the President was sincere in saying that the people in Mufumbwe and Keembe will have the same opportunities and privileges as those in urban areas, then, now is the time to implement the relevant measures. Otherwise, the speech will be mere cheap talk.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: As they say in religious circles, faith without works is dead. So, it is important that we all work together to implement these programmes.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: Madam Speaker, another area I would like to address is the delimitation of constituencies. Many of my colleagues, both from the Ruling Party and the Opposition, complain about the size of their constituencies. Katombola, Keembe and Kapiri Mposhi are a few examples of vast constituencies that need to be delimitated so that our people can have better representation.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: If that is not done, we will be spread thinly and fail to effectively foster development in our constituencies.


Madam Speaker, I have a humble background, but I have come this far because of the opportunities opened to me by education. So, can we give our children and their children the same opportunities in education.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: Madam, a mother in Chibombo should not have to walk several kilometres to find safe drinking water. Further, many diseases in our country are preventable, and we should do more to fight them.


Madam Speaker, women empowerment is also very critical. My background is in non-governmental organisations (NGOs). So, I think that if we are to attain a smart and progressive Zambia that leaves no one behind, we have to go beyond just implementing social programmes for the poor to empowering women to stand on their feet.


Madam Speaker, it would be remiss if I did not speak about violence in this country, especially the violence perpetrated against women. The electoral violence that continues to deter women from participating in politics has to be discouraged by all well-meaning Zambians. It does not help our country when we engage in violence.


Madam Speaker, women and children suffer the most in times of war. Fortunately, Zambia has enjoyed peace since Independence and we seemed to do well in terms of governance. However, we are now losing both. The people who are listening should hold us accountable because this is the role that we have chosen to play. The Government should be open to checks and balances. This means that the Government should listen and act upon the contributions of the Opposition, which should play an important role in the building of a better Zambia for our children.


Madam Speaker, my hope and prayer is that the theme of the speech will not just remain on paper, but will be actualised. Zambia has many laws and policies that we need to implement so that, come 2021, people will look at us and say, “Well done” because we would have fulfilled the promises we made to them and our country would be better than we found it.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Mulenga: Ema Opposition, aba!


Mr Mulenga (Ndola Central): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to add the voice of the good people of Ndola Central to the debate on the perfect speech delivered by our dear President.


Mr Livune: Question!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1810 hours until 1830 hours.




Mr Mulenga: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, I was thanking you for giving me the Floor.


Madam, the theme of the President’s Speech is “Moving towards a Prosperous Smart Zambia in Peace and Tranquillity without Leaving Anyone Behind”. For us to know where we are going, we need to know where we are coming from and where we are today. Last year, during the elections, we witnessed a lot of violence and the violence has continued in the nation. For us to bring this violence to an end, it is important for all national leaders to live in peace and preach peace to the people we lead. The President of this nation has called on all hon. Members of Parliament to live in peace. None of us seated in this House today lost a son or daughter during the 2016 Tripartite Elections. In fact, those whom we put in the front during acts of violence are not even our blood relatives. That is why the President has seen it fit for us to join hands, regardless of our political affiliations, and bring violence to an end.


Madam Speaker, let me appreciate and congratulate my predecessor on the Floor for not appreciating the President’s Speech and being non-partisan in her debate. If we apply wisdom to this speech, we will find that it is good. If we do not, however, we will think it is a tired speech.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mulenga: Madam Speaker, the great leader, the late Mr Nelson Mandela, the son of Africa, who was imprisoned for twenty-seven years, said that he would be the glue between the white and the black people of South Africa, and he lived true to that promise.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Mulenga: Madam Speaker, the President told us to apply more energy to things …


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


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!


I will not grant any point of order during this part of the sitting.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mulenga: Madam Speaker, the only people who can end this violence are the leaders of political parties and other national leaders, including hon. Members of Parliament. If we tell the people to bring this violence to an end, they will do so.


Ms Katuta: Say that again!


Mr Mulenga: Madam Speaker, in the violence that followed the elections, many people were chased from their homes and their property burnt down. What kind of leaders are we if we cannot protect even those who did not vote for us? I am proud that I can say that there was no violence in Ndola Central Constituency and no members of the Opposition were chased from their homes even though the Parliamentary seat and all the council seats were won by Patriotic Front (PF) candidates. That is the Zambia we want to see today and tomorrow, and hand over to our children.


Madam Speaker, I have heard many people talk about the price of mealie-meal in this country. Indeed, the President has said that we are working. The inflation rate has definitely gone down and the cost of imported has fallen. The cost of doing business has also fallen because the kwacha/United States Dollar exchange rate has fallen to below K10 per US$1. Before the elections, it was at K13 per US$1. Indeed, our President is working.


Madam, some people said that this is a tiring speech because they concentrate on doing certain things in the night. 




Mr Mulenga: Madam Speaker, if we spent …


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


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Mulenga!


I will not allow you to debate in that fashion because, as you can see, you are now attracting negative attention from some of your colleagues.


Mr Chabi interjected.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Chipili.


You may continue, hon. Member for Ndola Central.


Mr Ngulube: Water, water, water!


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mulenga: Madam Speaker, the price of mealie-meal, which is a very important commodity in this nation, has been reduced. Some people have been saying that the Government has set a price for a 50 kg bag of maize. I fail to understand their thinking because the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) was not created to engage in trading. The FRA was created by the Government that preceded the PF Government for purposes of buying food for strategic reserves. Therefore, those who are saying that the Government has set the price of maize at K60 and that it is mocking the farmers are not being reasonable and they seem not to understand the economic sense behind the price. Let us cost the cost of production so that we can substantiate our claims.




Mr Mulenga: Madam Speaker, in primary school, we were told that an empty tin makes a lot of noise, and that the bigger the tin, the louder the noise.


Hon. Government Members: hear, hear!




Mr Mulenga: Madam Speaker, let me justify my claim by costing a 50 kg bag of maize. A lima produces fifty bags of maize.




Madam Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Members!


Mr Chabi indicated.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Chipili!


Hon. Member for Ndola Central, please, resume your seat.




Mr Chabi: Walapwa, iwe! The farmers are listening.


Ms Mulenga: Go to the Copperbelt.


Mr Chabi and Mr Kabanda rose.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Hon. PF Member: Alakwa ninshi?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Please, resume your seats, hon. Members.


As I have said before, the hallmark of leadership is respecting people who have a different viewpoint from your own and allowing them the space to express that view.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Many of you who want to rise against the hon. Member for Ndola Central have had your time to debate …


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: … and everybody listened attentively while you debated.


Mr Chabi: He is misleading the people


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I do not expect you to rise again, hon. Member for Chipili. Allow the hon. Member for Ndola Central to debate. You may not agree with him but, just like you, he has the right to debate .


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Ndola Central, continue with your debate.


Hon. PF Members: Hammer, hammer!


Mr Mulenga: Madam Speaker, I thank you for your protection.


Hon. PF Members: Hammer, hammer!


Mr Mulenga: Madam Speaker, …


Ms Mulenga: Bakulule, iwe!


Mr Mulenga: … those who doubt me can go to the Parliament database to see that I am a farmer. In fact, I live on a farm. So, I know what I am talking about. I grow maize and keep more than 1,000 pigs.


Mr Chabi: You are debating yourself.


Mr Mulenga: Okay, let me refrain from debating myself. I was just establishing the fact that I know what I am talking about because I am a farmer.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mulenga: Madam Speaker, for the sake of time, let me move away from the number of bags and, instead, cost a lima. A lima requires the following:


Input                                                                Unit Cost (K)                    Total Cost (K)


2 Bags of D-Compound fertiliser                              300                                   600


2 Bags of Urea fertiliser                                          300                                    600


10 kg Bag of Seed                                                  250                                    250


Weed Killer                                                            200                                   200


Labour (Cultivation and harvesting)                         700                                     700


Total                                                                                                             1,750


Madam, I am a businessman and I cost everything I do to justify the profit I make at the end of the day, and this practice should trickle down to the people we lead.


Mr Mutale: Bauze, mufana.


Mr Kampyongo: Well researched!


Mr Mulenga: madam, the cost of farming for a lima is, therefore, K1,750. Meanwhile, through the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), the farmer contributes K400 which, if added to the K1,750 takes the total to K2,150. So, the farmer can get inputs worth K2,100. So, the cost to the farmer is K50 per lima when we do not cost time. That is the reality. In fact, let me commend this Government for introducing the electronic voucher (e-Voucher) system so that the farmer can easily get inputs from the nearest agro dealer. That is taking services to the people. The system will be perfected very soon.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mulenga: Madam Speaker, the harvest per lima is 50 x 50 kg bags. However, we can even be conservative in our estimates and put the yield at 25 bags which, if sold at K60 each, will give the farmer K1500.



Madam Speaker, we need to understand that it is not necessary to criticise everything. I am Member of this House, but I have noticed that there is the problem of people criticising everything at the expense of the taxpayers who sent us here.


Ms Mulenga: Hear, hear!


Mr Mulenga: If we disagree with Government policies, why do we not offer suggestions? That is the most important thing.


Madam Speaker, another thing that has raised a lot of dust is the estimated cost of the Lusaka/Ndola Dual Carriageway Project, which is US$1.2 billion.


Mr Chabi: Na hotel.


Mr Mulenga: I have not seen anybody come to this House to tell us what materials will be used or show us an engineering report. We need a report. We need to know the Government is making. Are we happy that we lose many lives on the Ndola/Lusaka Road? No amount of money can buy back life. So, for us to save lives, the Government has to construct the dual carriageway.


Madam Speaker, in the same vein, I advise the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development that, the next time such a capital project is undertaken, he should consider bringing Zambians on board as financiers. Many Zambians invest in insurance, especially in educational policies for their children. That money can be used to finance such projects and the interest that we pay to our creditors can be paid to Zambians. We can do that by selling Government bonds to Zambians. The US$ 1.2 billion about which we are talking can be raised by Zambian businessmen and women. If one Zambian can invest US$20,000, we will need only 60,000 Zambians to finance the road.


Madam Speaker, the President’s Speech has brought light to the people of Ndola Central, in particular, and Zambia, in general, because it was a progressive report of where we have been, where we are today and where we are going. Those who have suggestions should bring them on the Floor of the House.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chabi: Ema Farmer, aba!


Dr Chanda: Well done.


Mr Kabamba (Kafulafuta): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to add my voice, on behalf of the people of Kafulafuta, to the debate on the wonderful speech that was delivered by His Excellency the President of Zambia.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabamba: Madam Speaker, the President’s Speech is a road map to our socioeconomic development. A road map tells you where you have been, where you will be and what will use to get to the destination.


Mr Chabi: Holy Ghost fire!


Mr Kabamba: The speech indicated all those components.


Mr Mulenga: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabamba: Madam Speaker, for one to talk about moving, one must be at a certain point.


Mr Mulenga: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabamba: So, the President took time to look at where we have been economically, socially, politically and culturally and, now, he is saying that we have underperformed in some areas. Quite well, we have had a few challenges, but we need to move to a prosperous smart Zambia.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabamba: Madam, the President has not just given us a background, but has equally given us a picture of our destination, which is the attainment of a prosperous smart Zambia.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabamba: The President also mentioned how we can get there.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sikazwe: Teach us.


Mr Kabamba: He did not just say what we needed to do without showing and convincing us on what how we needed to do it. He said that, for us to attain a prosperous smart Zambia …


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabamba: ... we needed to address a number of issues that included poverty and vulnerability.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Fundanga: Come on, Copperbelt!


Mr Mulenga: Yes.


Mr Kabamba: The President did not just end there, but went on to say that, for us to attain a smart Zambia, we needed to reduce developmental inequalities.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabamba: That the people in Kafulafuta should have the same privileges as the people in Kansenshi or Ndola Central.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabamba: If it is about schools, they should be built in Kafulafuta too. That is how to address developmental inequalities.


Madam, the President also said that, for us to attain a prosperous Zambia, we needed to invest in human capital and foster good governance.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabamba: We also need to appreciate the fact that the pillars to prosperity that the President mentioned are backed by a number of interventions and policies.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabamba: We are talking about diversification in every aspect, be it …


Mr Mulenga: Tell them.


Mr Kabamba: … in energy, mining and the way we operate.


Hon. PF Members: Hammer, hammer!


Mr Kabamba: Madam, the President also said that we should develop our infrastructure.




Madam Speaker: Order, on my left!


Mr Kabamba: Thank you, Madam.


Mr Kabamba: Madam Speaker, for us to actualise the pronouncements, we have the pillars that I have mentioned. However, the pillars will mean nothing if they are not backed by policies. Fortunately, the policies have been put in place.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabamba: Madam Speaker, we improving on infrastructure and communication, and service delivery. In education and health, for example, we training teachers and nurses so that we can improve on service delivery to the people.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabamba: Madam Speaker, this speech is very rich and profitable to every Zambian.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabamba: I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Mecha (Chifunabuli): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to add the voice of the people of Chifunabuli to the debate on the speech delivered by the President to this august House.


Madam Speaker, from the outset, I must indicate that I am very excited by the theme of the speech, which is about moving towards a prosperous smart Zambia without leaving anyone behind.


Mr S. Tembo: Yes!


Mr Mecha: My interpretation is that we must begin to move towards a prosperous Chifunabuli Constituency. If I were asked to describe the President’s Speech, I would not hesitate to say that it is a smart speech.


Mrs Fundanga: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: Madam Speaker, those of us who took time to read the speech know that it has a well-defined destination implied in key deliverables, which are five key result areas. That is what we are all expected to work towards.


Madam, this speech derived its enormous strength from a number of documents to which we have been exposed, namely:


  1. the President’s Speech for last year, which is a building block. Most of the pronouncements that the President made were also made last year, and that is good for the country because it provides a springboard to attaining the key deliverables that the President outlined. He was very consistent in his speech;


  1. the Seven National Development Plan, on which we had a workshop yesterday. The workshop opened my eyes and ears. If you look at the key deliverables in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), they are very consistent with what the President outlined in his speech;


  1. Vision 2030, to which the President kept referring. That is what we are moving towards;


  1. the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). If you look at the objectives of the SDGs, you will see the connection with the President’s Speech; and


  1. African Union (AU) Agenda 2063.


Madam, we have digested all these documents and we know where we are going. When the President says he is working, he is, indeed, working.


Madam, I do not want to give a debate without a context because that is not in my practice.


Mr S. Tembo: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: Madam Speaker, at this juncture, I will navigate to my constituency to demonstrate what the President meant when he said he was working.


Madam Speaker, you will recall that during my maiden speech in Parliament, I told this august House that the people of Chifunabuli were very emphatic on what they wanted me to achieve as the area Member of Parliament, and is sang this song:


Isa ungolole Ponde. Nalikonkomana, isa ungolole abanobe balifilwa, …


Mr C. Zulu: Meaning what?


Mr Mecha: … meaning, “We are overwhelmed by development challenges. Hon. Mecha, help us fix these numerous problems”.


Mr S. Tembo: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: Madam Speaker, the biggest problem that the people indicated to me was the construction of the road, which had stagnated development in Chifunabuli Constituency.


Mr S. Tembo: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: As I speak, the contractors are working …


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: … on a stretch of about 113 km from Musaila to Kasaba. I was there two days ago There are seventy-seven crossings that need to be fitted with culverts because the road is complex. However, more than 70 per cent of the works on the crossings has been done. The Government releases money on a regular basis and, last week, it disbursed money for the same cause. Is the Government not working?


Ms Mulenga: It is!


Mr Mecha: It is.


Madam, the people of Chifunabuli are always referred to as poor, ati bapina. It is true and the statistics are there to confirm that. However, this listening Government, through the Presidential pronouncements made last year, has done a number of things for those poor people. If you go to Chifunabuli today and check the records at the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare, you will find that the Government has identified many of the poor people for inclusion to the beneficiary list of the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) programme.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: That is happening and I know because I was there two days ago. Under social protection, a number of girls who had fallen pregnant and got into early marriages, especially those from very poor households, have been given a second chance by this listening Government. Further, under the Keeping Girls in Schools Programme, many girls have received bursaries to continue their education, and Lubwe Secondary School can attest to that because it has received a number of scholarships for the girls. Therefore, can we still say that the Government is not working? If it is not working in some constituencies, the area hon. Members of Parliament should not blame anyone because when the President makes pronouncements, it is up to the hon. Member of Parliament to translate it into an action plan and follow up on it.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: If the Member of Parliament decides to boycott Parliament because you did not vote for the Government and think that it will just dream about you, you have no one to blame.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: Madam, the President has inspired me to raise the standard of the work plan that I work out for my area.


Mr Michelo: On a point of order, Madam.




Hon. Government Members: Hammer, hammer!


Mr Mecha: The President has made a pronouncement on improvement of communication in the area and we have already mapped it and identified where towers will be put up.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: The people of Chifunabuli have started buying mobile telephones, which will ease communication and ensure that farmers have access to market information at any time. I know there are many things that the Government has not done, but we are talking to the hon. Ministers.


Madam, on water and sanitation, forty-two boreholes were sank in my constituency two months ago.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: I have also been informed that a big, 120-seater boat to service the people of Chifunabuli and other districts is ready for shipment into the country. I saw the pictures of the boat and it is marvellous. Its interior cannot be compare with those of aeroplanes we have in Zambia and the hon. Member you see on the Floor will be drinking coffee as he navigates Chifunabuli Lake.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: Madam, before I became Member of Parliament for Chifunabuli, the people there were crying for development. Now, they are seeing the development, and no one can stop them from appreciating what has been done for them. They have to appreciate. I know there are still many issues that we need to address. For example, we need to operationalise the Entrepreneurship, Livestock Development and Fisheries funds, but I have already been informed that the guidelines are being developed and that, very soon, we will begin accessing the funds.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Gender has already started distributing two-wheeled tractors to the women to help them improve agricultural productivity, as low productivity is the biggest challenge in our area because the road is in a bad state, and access to inputs and other services has been very poor. Now that the road will be worked on, all these services will fall into place.


Mr Malanji: Bambile benzyinyoko!


Mr Mecha: Madam, people have been talking about the price of maize being too low because it dropped from K85 to K60. Let me take time to talk about that.


Madam, during the last Session, I indicated to this House that Zambia was not the only country that had over-produced maize, as most countries in the region had equally done so. Even in Swaziland, which is a net importer of maize, the price has gone down.  If you look at the Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) statistics, you will realise that the price of maize has also gone down in Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Mozambique and Malawi because of oversupply. I sympathise with the farmers because they had anticipated a higher price. However, things have happened this way because of the law of demand and supply.


Mr Livune: Question!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: Madam Speaker, one interesting fact about which I want to remind the House is that the Government has been subsidising consumption for the farmers. The highest yield ratio achieved by the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) was 2.1 tonnes per ha in in 2010. In 2001/2002, when we serious drought problems, the yield dropped to 0.58 tonnes per ha. In terms of bags of maize, 2.1 tonnes is about forty-two 50 kg bags. Productivity in the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is around 3 metric tonnes or sixty bags for smallholder farmers. The potential yield of maize is about 10 tonnes or 100 bags per ha, and the Government has continued to put a lot of money into subsidising farmers, which has not helped this country to increase smallholder productivity. Essentially, the Government has been paying the price for the farmers’ inefficiency. Let me give an analogue of a child that is given a sweet by its parents as an incentive to do its homework. Think about it. If one day the sweet is not given, will the child perform? That is what we are trying to move away from.


Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Mecha: Madam, productivity has been low, and this is the time we need to begin to seriously think about what we need to do. What are the critical problems? In the context of regional and international markets, there is no country has reduced poverty using a price incentive without achieving high productivity. The bottom line is that, for farmers’ incomes and production to increase, the efficiency of production must be increased. Otherwise, we will not go anywhere. If you asked me whether our maize is a cash or food crop, I will definitely say that it is a food crop, and it has been for some time now. There will be no profits made at the rate the farmers are growing it.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: It has to be used purely as a food crop. If we are going to talk about farming as a business, let us forget about maize. That is why the President came to tell us to promote a number of crops that will give us a comparative advantage, such as cashew nuts and tea. In Luapula Province, sugarcane production has been commercialized, has it not?


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: There is even a sugar factory.


Mr Chabi: Where?


Mr Mecha: Madam Speaker, tea has been commercialised.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: We are also trying to commercialise rice production in conjunction with Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA).


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: So, we are promoting crops that can give farmers profit. Cassava has also been commercialised now and many hectares are under cultivation in Kawambwa District as I speak. The crop will soon be rolled out to other areas in Luapula Province.


Madam Speaker, the Luapula Expo and Investment Conference brought opened up many opportunities for development and many potential investors are talking to us. Just last week, I was talking to one who is interested in converting soya beans into bio-diesel. So, we should not just focus on maize because it will not help us reduce poverty, which is envisaged in one of the key deliverables that the President came to outline.


In conclusion, Madam Speaker, …


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: … the President was right to indicate that …


Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Mecha: … his programme would leave no one behind.


We can see from the indicators that Chifunabuli Constituency, which was once behind, is now fully on board. We are driving to a smart Chifunabuli.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha: Indeed, we have a President who is not only driving a smart programme, but who is smart too, and derives his authority from a smart party called the PF.


I thank you, Madam.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate the Motion.


Madam, when you plant a bean, it sprouts. However, when you plant a bean, but a rat comes out, then, you have every reason to be worried.




Kr Kamboni: Possibly, the million-dollar question today is: What is it that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has planted in the economy of this country?


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: Madam Speaker, the President is saying one thing, but what is happening on the ground are brutality and psychological violence, which are taking this country backwards and compromising all the tenets of democracy. What remains are white shells that consume taxpayers, yet they are irrelevant to the governance system.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: That is synopsis of what is happening in the country at the moment.


Madam Speaker, let me take you to page 66, paragraph 202, of the speech, where the President talks about the Constitution of Zambia and how we should live by it. The first thing that a President does when he is elected is to swear on the Bible to uphold the Constitution of his country. However, what did we see under the PF Government? Hardly did two weeks pass before the President breached the Constitution. When an electoral petition was filed, according to Article 104, the President was supposed to hand over powers to the Speaker.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: That did not happen.




Mr Kamboni: The Constitution, in a Christian country, was abrogated barely two weeks after the elections. Is that the rule of law? 


Hon. Opposition Members: No!


Mr Kamboni: Madam Speaker, as if that was not enough, when Parliament was dissolved, Ministers continued working.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: The people lamented the wrong, but the PF did not listen. The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) had interpreted the law and guided that it was illegal for Ministers to continue working, but the PF still did not listen, until legal proceedings were initiated in the Constitutional Court, the highest court in the land, which ruled that the Ministers should pay back the money they had earned during their illegal stay in office. To date, they have not paid back the money. Is that the rule of law?


Hon. Opposition Members: No!


Mr Kamboni: We are told that a fish rots from the head first.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: We should not pay lip service to important national issues. When we say something, we must do it. Otherwise, our being here will not make much sense.


Madam Speaker, President talked about peace, unity and tranquillity. After July, this year, the PF set up a taskforce specifically to brutalise and arrest those who were opposed to their views on tamped-up charges. Most of the victims were United Party for National Development (UPND) members.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Kalomo Central!


Do you have evidence to substantiate those allegations?


Mr Kamboni: Yes, I do, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: You do?


Mr Kamboni: Yes, I do.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Are you ready to lay it on the Table?


Mr Kamboni: Yes, I will do.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Until you are ready with it, please, move away from that line of debate.


Mr Kamboni: Madam Speaker, paragraph 209 of the speech calls for love among citizens in a Christian nation. One of the reasons we chased away the colonial masters was that they used dogs on black people. I never thought that I would live to see security dogs used on Zambian citizens like it happened in August, this year. That has got to change.


Madam Speaker, paragraph 195 on page 64 is on transparency and accountability. However, the main ingredient of the PF Government is corruption and violence.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: We will not stop talking about the acquisition of the fire tenders. I googled the most expensive fire-fighting machine, and the make I came across was a Mercedes Benz, not the Scania that we bought, and the price was around US$390,000. Meanwhile, we bought a cheaper make at US$1 million. There were some wrong things about the procurement of the fire tenders? Firstly, the bidder who was awarded the tender was not the lowest. Further, we were told, right in this House, that the bidder gave the specifications to the tendering authorities and encouraged them to buy the make that was bought. Under normal circumstances, the person who advertises a tender is the one who provides the specifications, not the bidder. Secondly, the company that supplied the fire tenders was only one year old. In fact, it was specifically registered to supply the fire tenders.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: Meanwhile, the regulations say that only companies that are three years or older can be awarded a contract. The supplier of the machines had no prior experience in supplying those kinds of machines,


Madam Speaker, what is saddening is that it is the poor woman in Shangombo, Chifusa and Kalomo, not the plunderers, who will pay for the fire tenders. As if that was not enough, Nalumumba Bridge was destroyed but, to date, it has not been repaired. I do not even know how people are moving between Kalomo Central and Mapatizya. I think the hon. Member for Mapatizya will not come to Kalomo Central once the rainy season start. A Permanent Secretary (PS) and the Road Development Agency (RDA) inspected the damage. However, each time we ask for money, we are told that it is not there. The works on 20.9 km of Kalomo internal roads have not been executed because the Government says that it has no money. Surely, how can this Government construct a road at US$3.8 million per kilometre using a single-sourced contractor?


Madam, we have become a laughing stock in Southern African Region. I saw a report on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on how Zambia had awarded a US$1.2 billion contract to a named company to work on one of the roads, at around US$3.8 million per kilometre, when the highest estimated cost of constructing a road in the region was around US$300,000.




 Mr Kamboni: Meanwhile, we are expected to agree with such things. We cannot expect any development in this country with this kind of corruption.


 Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


 Mr Kamboni: Madam, His Excellency the President talked about tourism and that the Government wanted to promote the sector. No tourist wants to go to a country where there is a threatened state of emergency. Tourists visit safe destinations. I live in Kalomo, near Livingstone, and the hon. Member for Livingstone can agree with what I am saying. The number of tourists who visit Livingstone has gone down by more than half. They now go to Victoria Falls Town because of the threatened state of emergency and poor governance management system.


 Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: So, we cannot talk after declaring a threatened state of emergency. In any case, who is threatening whom in this country? I suppose it is the PF Government that is threatening citizens.


Madam, the President talked about constructing another railway line, and that is incomprehensible given that we already have a railway line that under-utilised; a defunct railway line that we have utterly failed to use. None of us can use that railway line or a Zambian Railways train. So, if we are failing to utilise the already-existing railway line, why should we construct another one in some people’s home area? That project is another way of mismanaging finances because the PF Government has come up with a different system of looting. It uses projects to benefit its members through kick-backs and other fraudulent means.


 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


 Mr Kamboni: That is why it wants to construct the new railway lines. We do not need those railway lines now because we have many pressing challenges in this country. Who will benefit from the new railway lines? If the Government has failed to run what is already there, how will it run the new ones? In Europe, railway lines really help in providing commuter transport and we use trains when we are there. The systems there are effective, to say the least. Here, on the other hand, the system is dead.


Madam Speaker, let me now talk about education investment.


Madam, the President talked about building a university in Muchinga Province, but the university in question has no laboratory facilities and uses the facilities of a secondary school. Equally, the School of Medicine on the Copperbelt has no equipment. It is a shell. As I speak, there are manoeuvres to relocate the Natural Resources Development College (NRDC), which this Government did not build. That college has produced important people in this country, including Prof. Luke Kadobeka who went on to work at the University of Zambia (UNZA) and University of Pretoria, and was twice voted best scientist in Namibia. Now, the PF wants to relocate it to Mumbwa because some people want to share its prime land like they did in Chilanga.


Hon. UPND Members: Shame!


Mr Kamboni: Madam, they should leave the college alone because they did not build it. If they have the money, let them build another school of agriculture. No one will stop them from doing that. Why should they destroy what is already there or count what is in the air? What if they leave the Government tomorrow? Will they not leave the college uncompleted? That college is well-equipment and well-built, and it has served the country very well. There are many who studied at the institution here.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: Madam, this Government is talking about diversification, but it is not the first time we are hearing this song. However, we do not see any action. How can anyone talk about diversification while busy killing agriculture? What kind of thinking is that? Those who justify wrong things, such as corruption, in this honourable House are as bad as the perpetrators of the vices.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


 Mr Kamboni: In 2008, under the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government, a 50 kg of maize cost K65. Under the Mwanawasa Administration, a United States Dollar cost K3.50. Now, it costs around K10, yet the PF wants farmers to sell their maize at K60 per 50 kg bag. Most people in my constituency are farmers and they are not happy with the PF Government. They do not want to hear anything to do with this Government because they are very annoyed. Some have told me that it will be madness for them to grow maize for sale again. This Government has failed to run the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), which it always talks about. In my constituency, there are 28,000 twenty-eighty registered farmers, but only sixteen were able to benefit from FISP. Now, we are told that the programme will be rolled out throughout the country, yet nothing has been done about a number of corruption cases that were reported.


Madam, the President talks about an electronic education (e-Education) system. One of the reasons I do not see the need of attending the President’s Speeches is that they are mere exercises in rhetoric. How can you talk about the electronic learning (e-Learning) when you have failed to provide computers in schools after making computer science a compulsory subject? Further, most schools are not connected to the National Electricity Grid. Who does not know what e-Learning? How can the PF Government talk about e-Learning at the highest level when it does not have the necessary facilities? It looks like those in power live in another country while another set of Zambians face the realities in the country.


Madam, in 2021, …


 Mr M. Jere: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: … Zambians will decide because they have been taken them for granted for too long.


Mr Livune: Hammer!


 Mr Kamboni: Madam Speaker, we lose huge sums of money because of not being transparent. If you read the Auditor’s Report, you will see that the money we lose in five to ten years can start a country from scratch on an island.


 Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: Madam, when officers in the Government ministries want to engage in corruption, they start by transferring principled Chief Accountants and bringing in their own so that they can loot.




Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: Madam, this Government is talking about not leaving anyone behind. However, in my life and the history the history of this country, the PF Government is the first to fire civil servants for tribal reasons. Medical doctors, civil servants and police officers were fired because of some rumours. As a result, civil servants across the country are not free. They are also being retired based in the personal, not national interest. So, this Government should not talk about love because it is politically unhygienic.


 Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: It needs to change the way it does things because it is on the path of self-destruction. However, it is not yet too late for it to change. I do not know whether it thinks that it is strengthening itself by violence or arresting people. History shows us that when people are arrested, they actually become more resilient and united, and come back to fight harder. If this Government does not believe what I am saying, it should revisit the history of South Africa


Madam Speaker, let me now talk about employment creation.


Madam, the youths in this country are not happy with us. Sometimes, we, hon. Members of Parliament are insulted for sins committed in this House. How can we talk about creating 500,000 jobs when we are failing to create even 100,000? All we have seen in the PF Regime are people losing jobs for no reason. We see young men being retired from without even being charged or given any chance to exculpate themselves. Our medical doctors are being retired, but when those in power fall sick, they go outside the country for treatment while the rest of us have to go to Zambian hospitals when we get sick.


Madam Speaker, the people who have been fired are highly trained and experienced civil servants, but they have been replaced with cadres. Currently there is a big crisis in the Ministry of Health. My former students, who are medical doctors at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH), tell me that their boss is a cadre who does not even know how to spell ‘Panadol’. How can you run a country like that?


Mr Kampyongo: Wabeja, iwe!


Mr Kamboni: That is the reason the United National Independence Party (UNIP) Government collapsed.




Mr Kamboni: Madam, regarding the famous Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), I attended a workshop and I did not see anything different or worth talking about it. The plan was developed by only a few people who locked themselves in a conference room for two weeks. They did not go anywhere. A good national plan cannot be produced without the involvement of all the key stakeholders. Hon. Members of Parliament, who are the agents of development, do not even know what the 7NDP is because they were not involved in its formulation. So, who will implement the development strategies in it? The councils do not know anything about the 7NDP either. All that the Government wants to do is pay lip service to development issues so as to show people that it is working. How can a document that was produced by a group of few people a national development plan? In fact, we should not even talk about the plan here.


Madam Speaker, there have been claims of a woman in Kalomo who invested the K90 she was receiving in the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) scheme and managed to build a house.




Mr Kamboni: At the weekend, I spent time visiting the SCT beneficiaries in Kalomo because I know all of them. However, I did not find that woman. All the beneficiaries of the scheme I saw are a sorry sight. When you see them, you feel like shedding tears because they do not have the happiness about which we are talking here. Honestly speaking, if this is the way we think; that K90 can build a house or be used to start a successful business, then, we are not capable of running the country. Such claims can only come from a deadwood government.




Mr Kamboni: By ‘deadwood’, I mean ‘non-performing’.


Madam Speaker, it is not too late for the PF Government to redeem itself. Our colleagues on the other side must learn to love the whole country. The path they taken of only developing certain sections of the country and forgetting about the others is not right. Someday, not too long from now, they will need everybody to help them remain in power. I warned them in my maiden speech that if they did not sort out the economy, they would pack and leave, but they did not listen. Instead, they invested in chaos, violence and arbitrary arrests of people, who are made to use buckets as toilets while in detention. When such people share their experiences with the outside world, they are called unpatriotic. What kind of thinking is that? There is nothing unpatriotic in my telling the truth about my experiences anywhere.


Madam Speaker, whatever goes up comes down. The PF will not be in Government for long. Therefore, our colleagues must learn to govern properly now. We need the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) and Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to be independent and free. I was very surprised to hear the ACC endorse the fraudulent procurement of fire tenders and awarding of road projects. In fact, we do not have an anti-corruption commission because the one we have is abetting corruption. Now, it is arresting whistle-blowers instead of the people who steal. That is how useless it has become.


Madam Speaker, let me end by urging the PF to change for the better of the country.


Thank you very much, Madam.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasandwe (Bangweulu): Madam Speaker, on behalf of the people of Bangweulu, I want to comment on the speech issued in this House by the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu.


Madam, development has different models, and I have never seen a society in which human beings agree on everything. I can compare development to a medical diagnosis. I have never seen a health worker who simply grabs a patient and injects him or her or prescribes Panadol without first doing a diagnosis. One has to run tests on the patient and discover what is making the person to feel unwell first, then, prescribe medication. If the patient does not improve after the medication, the doctor changes the medication. In my opinion, that is exactly what the President did. He acknowledged that this country is not where it is supposed to be, and I can see a number of solutions to fix what is not right in the speech.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasandwe: In philosophy circles, we say the human being is born free, but always in chains. We enslave ourselves when we willingly and freely refuse to accept the reality on the ground. This country is changing.


Mr Mbulakulima: Intellectuals!


Mr Kasandwe: When you willingly and deliberately decide to ignore what is obtaining in the political and economic arena, then, you are enslaving yourself. That is what it means to be born free, yet always be in chains.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasandwe: In my opinion, the President’s Speech is very innocent. The problem is with the human being who assimilates or interprets it. Like my colleague from Chifunabuli said, any script read out of context becomes the reader’s. So, when this speech is read out of context, it is no longer the President’s.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasandwe: There was a Rabbi some years ago who was trying to educate his students on how people are changed by what they perceive. So, he gave an example of some seeds that fell on dry land, some in thorny areas, others on rocky ground and some on good soil. There are some of us whose thinking is dry, and our minds dry and rocky and our hearts thorny. Therefore, we cannot assimilate anything. Only when we open up will this speech make sense to us.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ng’onga: Ema quality, aya!


Mr Kasandwe: A colleague of mine, I will mention his name with his permission because he is my brother, said that this speech is empty. That brother is the hon. Member of Parliament for Chipili.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


You may not go that way.


Mr Chabi: On a point of order, Madam.




Mr Kasandwe: Much obliged, Madam Speaker.


Madam, I do not understand some people’s line of reasoning. Just because some clinics under the 650 Health Posts Project have not been built in Luapula Province, then, the President’s Speech becomes empty? This is a manifestation of the absence logic and common sense in assimilating the speech.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Kasandwe: We need to apply logic and common sense. The fact that a clinic that was supposed to be built in Bangweulu under the 650 Health Posts Project has not been built does not justify some people saying the speech is empty. What about the district hospital that has been built in Bangweulu? Some people say this speech is empty because there is no university in Luapula. What about the skills training school that has been built in Mwense? We need to accept that this Government led by President Edgar Chagwa Lungu is scoring.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasandwe: Madam, I assure you that I am not happy that one elder brother of mine has left this House. We need to be morally upright and speak the truth and be consistent in our thinking. There was an hon. Member of Parliament who, prior to the 2016 Elections, had a catalogue of the developmental successes of the Patriotic Front (PF). He went on different fora to talk about the many secondary schools that this Government had constructed. He also had a catalogue of roads this Government had constructed. However, today, he says that the PF is not performing. When did we stop performing, for crying out loud? The President has given us a direction. No leader can lead his people without a vision. I see a vision and a direction of where we are going, and what the President wants to achieve for all of us to have a better life.


Madam Speaker, anywhere you will go, governing a country is a collective effort. So, all of us here are party to the governance of this country. In this regard, I am reminded of a passage I read in one of the ancient books.


Madam, there once was a man who wanted to save his people from slavery and he led them on a journey to freedom. However, just when the people he was leading thought they had been liberated, they found themselves facing three big obstacles: on their sides, they faced huge mountains; in front, they faced the sea; and, behind them, their former masters were chasing after them to take them back into captivity. So, the great leader knelt down and prayed to his ancestors, asking them why they had led him to a place where they knew there were big obstacles over which he would fail to take his people. As the man prayed, a voice came from somewhere saying, “What is it that you have in your hand?” The man said, “I have a staff”.  Then, the voice simply said, “Use it”. It did not prescribe how the man was to use the staff. It merely instructed him to use what he had in his hand. The man used his staff and a way was paved for his people to survive.


Madam, every vote that was given to each hon. Member of Parliament is a staff to make a difference in this country we call Zambia so that there can be a better life for all of us. In the same way, this speech is the President’s staff, and he wants to use it to improve the living conditions of all Zambians …


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Mr Kasandwe: … without leaving anyone behind.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasandwe: Madam Speaker, I do not have to belabour the point that all of us, by virtue of being hon. Members of Parliament, have something to contribute to the development of Zambia. We should use our staffs to develop Zambia. The blame game will not take us anywhere. The PF this and PF that kind of discourse will not help us. I was in the Southern and Western province two weeks ago and I saw that there are some parts of those provinces that needed attention. To be honest, the Livingstone/Sesheke Road is in a bad state. So, on behalf of the people of that area, I urge this Government to work on that road because it is an economic one. So, I realised that there are a number of roads that need to be worked on in other parts of the country just like there are in Bangweulu Constituency. So, collectively, we can look at those areas that need help, regardless of where we come from. The people of Bangweulu need a road in Malukunda. They also want the Kapata Road to be fixed and many other projects to be implemented. However, there are areas of the country that may be in more need of help than those in Bangweulu. So, collectively, we should agree on what must be done.


Mr Mbulakulima: Mention Milenge Road.


Mr Kasandwe: I am told that even the Milenge Road needs to be fixed.


Madam Speaker, as leaders, we should know that just condemning will not take us anywhere. We should propose solutions to problems that this country is facing.


Madam, this speech has a vision, and I have read it five times so that I could understand what the President is saying to the people of Zambia. There is no way this speech can be said to be empty. It is inspiring and points the direction the President wants to take this country.


I thank you, Madam.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Madam Speaker, I rise to contribute a little to the Motion. I am glad that the Presiding Officer for today is a lady because my key point touches on women. Were I allowed to, I would have mentioned some names and asked the women here to pay attention and hear the cry of their fellow women in the rural areas.


Madam Speaker, the President’s Address was not motivating for the people in the rural areas. In fact, it was a speech for those who are rich and those who live in towns. We have talked about the fire tenders that cost about US$42 million several times, with some people claiming that the cost should have been just about US$14 million. Meanwhile, your fellow women wake up at 0400 hours to fetch clean water for drinking and only return home around 1200 hours because they have to walk 20 km carrying a 20 litre container of water. As you go home today and enjoy easy access to clean water, think about the mother out there who has to walk 20 km or 30 km in search of water. Some children, especially girls, have dropped out of school because they have to draw water, yet we are here talking about having procured fire tenders at that huge cost. I know that the Executive was aware of that deal because there is no way such a huge amount of money can be paid out without the Executive being aware. We have been cautioned against using the word ‘stinking’. So, I will say, whether the deal was ‘smelly’ or not, it is still unacceptable on the basis of equity. It should not have been approved when there are many more pressing challenges in Zambia. For me, that beats logic.


Madam, I would have loved to hear the President talk about the redistribution of wealth to the rural areas. Currently, the poverty levels in some areas are as high as 92 per cent while, in towns, the highest poverty level is 50 per cent. This shows that the rural areas have been neglected, yet the President concentrated his speech on the urban areas. For example, the roads being constructed are all in urban areas.


Madam Speaker, the agriculture sector is now dead. All people talk about in the sector are livestock, water and a bit of mechanisation. There are many broken dams in the rural areas, yet the Government is talking about putting 200,000 ha of land under irrigation. The truth is that irrigation is for the rich, and that is why I say this speech is for rich people.


Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Chaatila: Why is the Government failing to just allocate a little money to the maintenance of the dams used by small-scale farmers? I earlier talked about people lacking water, yet the US$42 million spent on the fire tenders could have funded the sinking of, at least, 5,800 boreholes in this country. On average, that is 40 boreholes per constituency. I wonder how our colleagues can afford to smile after all these things they do. We are not arguing for argument’s sake, but because our colleagues do not want to listen to us. Hon. Kampyongo does not want to listen to us.




Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order!




Mr Chaatila: Hon. Kampyongo, on many occasions, we have gone to the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) under the Office of the Vice-President to report the damaged dams, but nothing is forthcoming. Meanwhile, we are here to make serious decisions on these issues. What are we offering to poor Zambians?


Madam, I know that most of my colleagues are urban dwellers, but I am a villager and I know what I go through with my people in the constituency. It is painful. So, listen to us when we talk. We are not here for the sake of opposing our colleagues. If you want us to stop complaining, give us the money to work on the rural dams, boreholes and roads.


Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Chaatila: We have been talking for a long time now. I am happy for my colleague from Chifunabuli that everything in his constituency is rosy. However, we just ask for little things like disbursement of the Constituency Development Fund (CDC) for us to sink boreholes in our areas, but it is not forthcoming.


Madam Speaker, I also thought that the President would emphasise the fight against climate change, which is knocking on our doors, but we are pretending that nothing is happening. We are not doing what we can about the challenge. Zambia is now very dirty. People who come to Parliament and see the surroundings feel like they are outside Zambia, where plastics, which we know are dangerous to the environment, litter the whole place. We can do something about such things, but we continue to throw such materials out of our windows as we wait for a donor to come and clean our backyards someday. These are the issues I thought the President would emphasise without using that jargon the people will not even understand.


Hon. Opposition Member: In Luapula!


Mr Chaatila: Currently, there are people busy cutting down trees for charcoal because the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has failed to offer them alternative means for earning income. They know what their activities do to the environment. Tomorrow, we will be talking about …


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


(Debate adjourned)




The House adjourned at 1955 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 27th September, 2017.