Thursday, 5th October, 2017

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Thursday, 5th October, 2017


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












47. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Fisheries and Livestock:


(a) whether Zambia exported livestock and livestock products to other countries;


(b) if so, to which countries the products were exported; and


(c) what the main challenges faced by local farmers in exporting the products were.


The Minister of Fisheries and Livestock (Mr Katambo): Mr Speaker, Zambia exports a variety of livestock and livestock products to other countries. Below is a list of livestock and livestock products that are exported:


Live Animals                                                   Livestock Products


day-old chicks                                                  Ultra-heat treated (UHT) milk

Point-of-lay pullets                                          Honey

Quails                                                              Yoghurt

Boran embryos                                                Ice-cream

Cattle                                                               Wet Blue Leather

Goats                                                               Butter



                                                                                     Table Eggs



                                                                                      Dressed Chickens


Sir, Zambia exports livestock and livestock products mostly to countries within the Southern African sub-region. The following are the export destinations:


Product                                                                Export Destination


Goats                                                                    Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)


Cattle                                                                     DRC and Malawi


Horses                                                                    DRC and Zimbabwe


Poultry (Hatchling Eggs, Day-Old                        Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Angola, Malawi

Chicks and Point-of-Lay Pullets)                          Mozambique, Kenya and Botswana


Beef                                                                         DRC and Angola


Table Eggs                                                               Kenya, DRC, Tanzania and Zimbabwe


Dairy Products                                                          Zimbabwe


Honey                                                                      Republic of South Africa (RSA) and Europe

                                                                                             (United Kingdom, Norway and Germany)


Wet Blue Hides and Leather                                 Italy, Malaysia, China, India and RSA


Mr Speaker, the main challenges faced by local farmers in exporting livestock and livestock products are the following:


(a) failure by small-scale farmers to make livestock and livestock products competitive and of international standards with regard to branding, packaging and storage facilities;


(b) failure by farmers to produce the volumes needed for the export market;


(c) failure to meet international sanitary requirements,  which are disease control, traceability and standards of abattoirs, among others; and


(d) limited financial capacity.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, why is the Government failing to control cattle diseases?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, the policy focus in the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock is disease control. The ministry has the Central Veterinary Research Institute (CVRI) here, in Lusaka, which manufactures vaccines for various cattle diseases. So, the Government is not failing to provide veterinary medicines for the farmers. Only a few weeks ago, we launched the East Coast Fever Immunisation and Treatment Programme. Further, a few days from now, I will launch the Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) vaccines, which are manufactured in Lusaka by the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that local farmers are failing to meet internationally-accepted standards for the export of livestock and livestock products. One of the standards they are failing to meet could be those relating to abattoir conditions and the meat. Given that ZAMBEEF no longer buys products from farmers because the economy has collapsed, what is the Government doing to help the farmers to improve their standards so that they can export local products?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, there are quite a number of challenges our small-scale farmers face, like the hon. Member has indicated. One of the programmes the ministry is implementing is on pasture development, which involves the feeding of our animals with supplements and various types of grasses that are specifically grown for that purpose. Another one is on the improvement of the breeding stock in our livestock centres. The improved stock is, then, distributed to our farmers so that they can improve their breeds and raise the quality of the meat they produce to internationally-accepted standards.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that the Government is making efforts to control cattle diseases.


Sir, I am aware that the Government had embarked on the construction of veterinary laboratories in provincial headquarters to help farmers deal with or be knowledgeable about cattle diseases prevailing in their communities. However, where I come from, I have not seen much of the effort about which the hon. Minister is talking. How far has the programme gone?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, indeed, the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock is constructing several laboratories in the ten provinces and some of the structures, such as the one in Solwezi, have been completed and await commissioning while others are almost complete. The laboratories will assist in the production of certain vaccines, animal disease identification and research.


Thank you, Mr Speaker.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, the opportunity to export agricultural products is an opportunity to create employment at home. Are we encouraging farmers in the provinces that near the countries to which we export to increase their production and be able to export more, especially processed goods, by giving them preferential treatment?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, the ministry has extension officers who run sensitisation programmes in livestock production, especially for small-scale and smallholder farmers in rural areas of our country. They also sensitise the farmers on market linkages and provide them with loan and financial facilities in conjunction with our co-operating partners so that they can engage in processing and sell beef that is of an international standard.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, one of the challenges that farmers face is at the point of exit in border areas where, sometimes, livestock products get spoiled. Does the ministry have any measures in place to help the farmers to fast-track the clearing of their livestock products?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, the ministry has established a number of checkpoints and screening points in the border areas to help small-scale farmers. Let me also take advantage of this opportunity to say that legal imports are incorporated into these establishments. We inspect goods, such as those that are confiscated and given to health centres. So, yes, the ministry is helps and reaches out to farmers so that they have easy access to services.


Thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Zimba (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, among the challenges the hon. Minister mentioned was the issue of value addition. In terms of packaging, is there a deliberate policy to help the farmers attain the required standards? What are we doing or what do we hope to do?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, I think I referred to two programmes in the ministry, namely the Enhanced Smallholder Livestock Investment Project (E-SLIP) and Livestock Investment Smallholder Project (LISP), which are funded by our co-operating partners. The projects give the beneficiaries a lot of help in respect of processing of their produce into finished products, which will allow farmers to sell beef or poultry products that meet international sanitary requirements.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mukosa (Chinsali): Mr Speaker, what efforts is the Government making in sensitising the people of Chinsali and other parts of our country Zambia on their ability to export leather to Italy and increase production for export so that we can earn more foreign exchange?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, the ministry has constructed several service centres where our officers share that kind of information with farmers share and help them in their areas. In addition, there are also private entities engaged in that work and deals with farmers. Zambeef, for example, sensitises farmers on exports to countries with which we have bilateral trade agreements.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, among the challenges farmers face in the exportation of livestock and livestock products, the hon. Minister mentioned branding. I am wondering how branding affects the exportation of livestock and livestock products. Where is the relationship between the two?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, branding is important because it relates to traceability. We need to know the origins of the livestock. Unfortunately, most farmers do not brand their animals. So, the ministry is encouraging tagging or branding of animals so that it is easy to trace their origin.


Thank you, Sir.




48. Mr Mukosa (on behalf of Mr Ngulube) (Kabwe Central) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


(a) when the rehabilitation of the following health facilities in Kabwe District would commence:


(i) Poleni Clinic; and


(ii) Kabwe General Hospital;


(b) what had caused the delay in rehabilitating the two health facilities; and


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


The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Chitotela): Mr Speaker, the rehabilitation and expansion of Poleni Clinic will commence in 2018 while the rehabilitation of Kabwe General Hospital has already commenced. The Eye Hospital is under construction, the mother’s shelter has been completed and a new maternity wing is planned for construction before the end of this year.


Sir, the delay in rehabilitating the two facilities has been due to resource constraints. The Government had to prioritise works, as it could not implement all the works at the same time.


Sir, the time frame for the completion of Poleni Clinic and Kabwe General Hospital will be determined by availability of funds from the Treasury.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mukosa: Mr Speaker, how much has been allocated for the rehabilitation of Kabwe General Hospital. Further, who is the contractor?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I must confess that I did not check who the contractor for the Kabwe General Hospital is. With your indulgence, I can bring the requested information to the House on a later date.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister not aware that when a question is asked, his staff are supposed to give him information incidental to the question? As an hon. Minister, how can he not know the answer to such an obvious question, which is drawn from the principal question?


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: I will not allow the hon. Minister to respond to that question because he has indicated his position very clearly, and I assume he regretted that fact.




49     Mr Kamondo (Mufumbwe) asked the Minister of Energy:


(a) when the following schools in Mufumbwe District would be electrified:


(i) Kamabuta;


(ii) Matushi;


(iii) Kashima East;


(iv) Kashima West;


(v) Chilemba;


(vi) Munyambala;


(vii) Shukwe; and


(viii) Kikonge; and


(b) what caused the delay in electrifying the schools.


The Minister of Energy (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, on the 30th August, 2017, the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) commenced feasibility studies to establish the scope and cost of electrifying the schools in question.


Sir, there has been no delay in electrifying the schools because, according to the Rural Electrification Master Plan (REMP), the schools are earmarked for electrification in 2026. However, depending of the availability of funds, the authority might implement the projects earlier.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kamondo: Mr Speaker, I am saddened by the hon. Minister’s response because when the President came here two weeks ago, he assured the people of Mufumbwe that:


“Through e-education, for instance, a child in Mufumbwe should be able to receive equal educational materials and lessons as the one in Kabulonga.”


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamondo: How does the Government expect the people in Mufumbwe to achieve that? Could the hon. Minister tell the people of Mufumbwe whether he is the one who is against them? The President has given his assurance. So, what has happened?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, are you against the people of Mufumbwe?




Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) is a pro-poor Government.


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mabumba: Pursuant to that approach, its policy is to deliver social justice and equity to the people irrespective of where they are.


Sir, the hon. Member is new to this House. So, maybe, he does not know that I did a lot for Mufumbwe when I was in the Ministry of General Education. However, he can rest assured that we will do our level best to electrify the schools in Mufumbwe, funds permitting, so that our pupils can have access to information and communications technology (ICT).


Mr Speaker, like I have said before, I intend to hold a workshop, subject to confirmation, for hon. Members of Parliament so that we can agree on a position on how the rural schools and public health institutions will be electrified based on the 2018 budget for rural electrification.


I thank you, Sir. 


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, ...


Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, this House deals with facts. However, the hon. Minister of Energy referred to the hon. Member for Mufumbwe as a new hon. Member of Parliament. According to my records, Hon. Kamondo was first elected to Parliament in the 2010 while the hon. Minister was elected a year later. Is the hon. Minister in order to insinuate that an older man is new to this House when he actually came here a year earlier than him?


I seek your ruling, Sir.




Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: It is difficult for me to rule ...




Mr Speaker: ... because I do not have those records now. I would have to check on the records and verify the correct state of affairs. Without having to come back to the House, I will advise the parties involved.


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I assume that most hon. Members, especially those from the rural areas, want their schools to be electrified. No wonder, this question keeps being asked. What is the Government’s policy on this matter, since we are heading towards computerisation?


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, currently, we are at 4 per cent rural electrification and we want to leapfrog to 51 per cent by 2030. However, in order for us to do that, we will need funds to be available. That is why we need to engage hon. Members so that we agree on how we will electrify as many public institutions as we can, starting from 2018. I do not want the ministry to think on behalf of the hon. Members of Parliament because their priorities may differ from ours, as they know their constituencies better than we do. If we consult them before we start spending money from the 2018 Budget, they will help us to prioritise the areas that should be attended to in their constituencies. After that, we will electrify the public institutions in those places. 


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Fungulwe (Lufwanyama): Mr Speaker, how many schools does this Government plan to electrify in 2018 countrywide, including in Lufwanyama?


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I do not have a list of the specific schools that will be electrified in 2018. However, we have already fixed the project scope, and I will issue a ministerial statement on this issue after I consult hon. Members of Parliament. That is when I will be in a position to know how many public institutions will be electrified next year. Hon. Members are aware of the Budget projection for 2018. So, as we begin to debate the 2018 Budget, they should help me to get additional financing from the Ministry of Finance so that most of the challenges that their public institutions in their respective constituencies have can be dealt with.


Sir, those who have been in Parliament longer …


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Mabumba: … know where we have come from in terms of budgetary allocations compared to what we have in the 2018 Budget. It is merely a question of engaging the hon. Minister of Finance to ensure that he gives us the funding. I am very happy to note that, in 2018, there will be a major difference in terms of the budgetary allocation to the ministry. So, I think we will implement many projects in 2018.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, Manyinga is one of the districts in the North Western Province that have just been connected to National Electricity Grid and most Government institutions there are not yet electrified. Is there any plan by this ministry to connect power to institutions like Chifuwe and Kachinakachi secondary schools?


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, like my colleague has stated, Manyinga is one of the districts that have been connected to the newly-laid North-Western Transmission Line. Already, the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) is laying the backbone infrastructure to support power generation in the district. The company will build a sub-station that will support the electrification of some of the schools the hon. Member has mentioned. The hon. Member of Parliament knows how much work ZESCO is doing in his constituency.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Mr Speaker, if I got the hon. Minister correctly, he said that he would only electrify the schools in Mufumbwe in 2026? If I did, where will he, the hon. Member for Mufumbwe and the Patriotic Front (PF) be in 2026 …




Mr Mutelo: … for him to assure us that he will attend to schools in Mufumbwe in 2026? Is he being serious? He stated that the electrification programme will start in 2018. Why can the ministry not include Mufumbwe in the 2018 programme?


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is a friend of mine.




Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, respond to your friend.




Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, indeed, the hon. Member is my friend. That is why Mitete has been electrified. 




Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, of course, the time frame, in the context of the hon. Member’s career, is very important. However, REMP is the basis on which we implement most of the projects. I referred to 2026 because that is what is indicated in REMP, which was developed by an independent consultant who took into consideration the priority areas for electrification. However, I also said that if funds will be available, my colleague’s area might be electrified before his tenure ends in 2021.  We will prioritise Mufumbwe when we get additional funding because we want our colleague to be able to tell his constituents that he took electricity to the area when he goes back there in 2021.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Kamondo: Mr Speaker, Hon. Mutelo asked the hon. Minister if he was being sincere in stating that the projects would be implemented in 2026. I also wonder what criterion was used to prioritise the electrification of schools in Manyinga and Kabompo, which are beyond Mufumbwe. 


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, there is a national envelop that is used to address the challenges of our constituencies. However, that money is not sufficient to cover every district in the North-Western Province simultaneously.


Sir, if, in the past, we have managed to electrify a bit of Kabompo and other areas, it was because the Budget allowed us to do so. Given that we now have got the backbone infrastructure in place in the province, Mufumbwe will be included in our project. In fact, let me state that I was in the hon. Member’s constituency in May, this year. The hon. Member knows that we are very passionate about that area. That is why I had to go there to look at a few things. So, given that our Budget has started increasing, we will look at the schools and see how we can support the hon. Member before 2021. I know his focus is obviously 2021.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr C. M. Zulu (Luangeni): Mr Speaker, credit must be given to the Patriotic Front (PF) Government for connecting all the districts in the North-Western Province to the national grid ...


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr C. M. Zulu: … at the colossal cost of US$163 million. Lukulu District in the Western Province was included in the exercise.


Mr Speaker, in the latest Budget, K251,331,670 has been allocated to the Rural Electrification Authority (REA). Is it not possible to connect even half of the schools in Mufumbwe in 2018?


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, everything is possible. That is why I said we will have a workshop with hon. Members so that we agree on the priority list. The challenges my colleagues have, in terms of the electrification of schools, clinics and other public institutions, are also my concerns. However, in the past, we have had very inadequate budgetary allocations. Fortunately, like my colleague has said, for 2018, we have received K251,331,670, and the hon. Minister of Finance has said that he is still mobilising some money from our co-operating partners.


Mr Speaker, once we get the funds for 2018, ZESCO will start the work. At least, we have fought for cost-reflective tariffs and we are at 98 per cent. So, I think our ambition for 2018 and beyond is so much that many of our public institutions will be connected to power when I bring REA and ZESCO together. The schools and clinics that are too far from the national grid will be provided with solar home systems. However, for me, prioritisation is very important. I do not want to go into Hon. Nkombo’s constituency and electrify schools that may not be his priority. I, therefore, want to listen to the hon. Members so that, when we package the project, it will address the aspirations of many of my colleagues here.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mukumbuta: Mr Speaker, electricity is very important to the education sector, and I have noted that most schools in Nalolo Constituency, including primary schools, have been electrified. Lyangati Ward in my constituency, which shares a boundary with Nalolo, has a number of schools, including secondary schools, that are not electrified despite the transmission lines being available in the area. In some instances, what is required to connect classroom blocks is just the armoured cable. How much money is needed for us to be connected to electricity?


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, it might not be just a question of putting a cable, as my colleague has put it. There might be a need for a transformer, for example. However, the most important thing is that the facilities must be wired, and I am glad that both my colleagues, the hon. Ministers of General Education and Health are here. Sometimes, we put the backbone infrastructure and distribution line is place, but we find that the clinics and schools in that area are not wired. Therefore, ZESCO or REA cannot provide electricity to such structures. So, I would like to bring the hon. Ministers of General Education and Health on board because the responsibility of my ministry is to provide the backbone infrastructure while the other ministries are given money through grants. They should, therefore, wire the schools and clinics so that it is easier for ZESCO and REA to connect the structures to the power lines. If my colleague is honest enough, he should be able to confirm that some of the schools in his area are not wired. Otherwise, if they are wired, let him come to me inform me so that we can electrify the schools in no time.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, the former Deputy Minister of Energy, Hon. Charles Zulu, has just congratulated the hon. Minister of Energy and his Government. However, the end of every line is the beginning of another. Before the current hon. Minister took his position, there was another who answered to the name Kenneth Konga. It was in his time that the Rural Electrification Master Plan (REMP) was designed and ...


Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: ... he used to update the House on the implementation of REMP on a bi-annual basis. Instead of the current hon. Minister saying, “Come to me”, is it possible for him to tell us when he will present a status report on how many social growth points have been electrified, which is the essence of REMP, so that we do not congest his office, which is very small, to find out what is going on in our constituencies? I will not go to his office just yet.


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I do not need Hon. Nkombo to follow me. Of course, Ministers change offices and, realising that, we have assessed the implementation of REMP, including its successes and challenges. One of the major challenges, like we have repeatedly said, is a lack of funds.


Sir, when REMP was conceptualised, US$50 million was supposed to be made available every year for its implementation of rural electrification projects. Alas! In most cases, we have got US$10 million annually. It is for that reason that I want to take my hon. Colleagues through the workshop to which I referred, in which hon. Members of Parliament will be provided with information on the successes of REMP and our strategic focus starting from 2018 to 2021.  Before the final programme is brought on the Floor of this House, we want to have the input of the hon. Members of Parliament. So, when we hold that workshop, I will be happy if Hon. Nkombo will come to hear the successes and challenges that we have had and our plans for the period from 2018 to 2021.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.




50. Mrs Mwansa (Nyimba) asked the Minister of Local Government:


(a)        whether the Government had any plans to rehabilitate feeder roads in Nyimba Parliamentary Constituency;


(b)        if so, how many kilometres would be rehabilitated in 2017;


(c)        when the project would commence;


(d)        if there were no such plans, why.


The Minister of Local Government (Mr Mwale): Mr Speaker, like I said yesterday, the ministry is developing a three-year programme to rehabilitate all feeder roads that need to be rehabilitated, including those in Nyimba Constituency, in a phased approach.


Mr Speaker, procurement of the works on the 24 km Butotwe/Chipembe/Matonge Food Reserve Agency (FRA) shed has since been concluded and the contract signed.


Mr Speaker, the works mentioned above are expected to commence in 2018 after the granting of Treasury authority.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Mr Speaker, Nyimba Constituency is close to my heart because I married from there.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, I have been to Nyimba several times and seen that the condition of the roads is quite bad. Given the hon. Minister’s answer that there are plans to work on the roads in 2018 and bearing in mind the fact that the rainy season is upon us, what immediate plans does the ministry have to cushion the suffering of the people of Nyimba?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, we do not have any plan to cushion motorists who use the roads in Nyimba because we think that doing some patch-up works on roads that we will soon renovate will be a waste of resources. So, our idea is to wait for next year to implement our plan. Like I said, we have already procured the works for, at least, one 24 km road. However, we cannot start now because the rains will be with us soon and we have not been granted Treasury authority.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Fungulwe: Mr Speaker, in most responses that the hon. Minister for Local Government has gives us, he suggests the use of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to rehabilitate of roads. However, the rehabilitation of roads is a very expensive exercise. Has the current CDF been increased from the K1.2 million that was not enough to fund road projects? Does the hon. Minister plan to increase the CDF amount in the 2018 Budget?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the principal question is on feeder roads. Nonetheless, I can answer that, from what we have been told by the hon. Minister of Finance, we will maintain the K1.2 million. However, the Budget is subject to approval by this House. Therefore, the ball is in our court.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.




51. Mr Mutale asked the Minister of Information and Broadcasting when a motor vehicle and other necessary equipment would be provided to the Zambia News and Information Service (ZANIS) Office in Chitambo District.


The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Ms Mulenga): Mr Speaker, the Government is aware of the various challenges all the districts in Zambia, especially the newly-created ones, face in the provision of social services. It is for this reason that a motor vehicle and other necessary equipment will be provided to the Zambia News and Information Service (ZANIS) Office in Chitambo District when funds are secured for the purpose.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister knows that a society without information is as good as dead. So, is a society that does not speak for itself. The people of Chitambo would like to showcase the activities in their area to the rest of Zambia, and they can only do that through ZANIS and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Now, that the officers in Chitambo do not have even a simple camera …


Mr Mutelo: Oh!


Mr Mutale: …or recorder, how will we develop, as district? What immediate measures will the ministry put in place to help the people of Chitambo?


Ms Mulenga: Mr Speaker, as a responsible Government, we are concerned about the districts, especially for the newly-created ones.


Sir, my ministry has provided for the procurement of equipment under the ZANIS budget for 2018. So, we will provide computers, cameras and vehicles to selected districts because of budgetary constraints.


Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, I sympathise with my friend from Chitambo. However, at least, the Zambia News and Information Service (ZANIS) has an office in his constituency although it does do not have equipment. In Lundazi, which is an older district, ZANIS does not have a presence. Why do we not have ZANIS offices in our district when Chitambo, a new district, has? Are there plans to send ZANIS to Lundazi? If so, why has that taken so long?


Mr Speaker: That is different subject and a different location. You can pursue it through a separate question.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister’s response to the hon. Member for Chitambo’s lament on being left behind in the provision of equipment like these gadgets here (pointing at the microphone), is that the equipment will be provided when funds become available, they will. However, the hon. Minister also referred to the 2018 Budget and said that the Government will give things for which the hon. Member for Chitambo did not ask, such as vehicles, computers and cameras, to selected districts. All the hon. Member for Chitambo wanted was a camera, but the hon. Minister lamented the Government’s lack of money. Through my benevolence, I ask Hon. Mutale to can come and get a video camera from me as a donation to Chitambo.


Mr Mutelo: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: Sir, can the hon. Minister specify whether Chitambo has been allocated a video camera and a motor vehicle next year so that Hon. Mutale can go and tell the people in his constituents that those things will be provided for the first time and that they can catch up with us in Mazabuka Central who have had those things for a long time.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Mulenga: Mr Speaker, I assure the House that this Government is not leaving anybody behind. If you look at the history of ZANIS, vehicles were last bought in 2006. However, since the Government is concerned, it will procure some for selected districts because of budgetary constraints.


Sir, I assure the House that every district, whether newly-created or old, will get a computer and a camera. We will also continue to budget for the procurement of more vehicles.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.








Mr Daka (Msanzala): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to scrutinise the Presidential appointment of Mrs Cecilia Nsenduluka Mbewe as Clerk of the National Assembly, and Mr Kapetwa Zacharia Phiri as Director-General of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), laid on the Table of the House on Wednesday, 4th October, 2017.


Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?


Ms Mwashingwele (Katuba): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.


Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, the Presidential appointment of the Clerk of the National Assembly of Zambia was made pursuant to Section 3 of the National Assembly Staff Act, Chapter 257 of the Laws of Zambia, while the appointment of the Director-General of the ACC was made pursuant to Section 9 of the Anti-Corruption Commission Act No. 3 of 2012.


Sir, in carrying out its task, your Committee took note of the fact that the nominees were being appointed to head key governance institutions in the country. In view of this, your Committee resolved that only highly-qualified and competent persons with unquestionable integrity, diligence, eminence, experience and, above all, commitment to the promotion of good governance and the rule of law should be appointed to these very important offices.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, in this regard, your Committee carefully selected witnesses to assist it to scrutinise the suitability of the nominees. It requested memoranda from relevant the State security agencies, professional bodies and other stakeholders, and the appointing authority. The witnesses also appeared before your Committee to make oral submissions. Further, your Committee also interviewed the nominees and carefully scrutinised their curricula vitae (CV) to ensure that they were suitably-qualified and competent enough to ascend to the positions to which they had been appointed.


Sir, some stakeholders expressed concern that the appointment of the Clerk of the National Assembly is unconstitutional because it was made by the President under the National Assembly Staff Act when Article 84(1) of the Constitution called for the appointment to be made by the Parliamentary Service Commission under the Parliamentary Service Act No. 12 of 2016. While your Committee agreed that the Constitution provided for the appointment of the Clerk by the Parliamentary Service Commission, it noted that the Parliamentary Service Act No. 12 of 2016, which sets out the composition of the Parliamentary Service Commission and provides for its operations, had not yet come into force because the relevant statutory instrument (SI) to operationalise it had not yet been issued. Your Committee was guided by the provisions of Section 21 of the Constitution of Zambia Act No. 1 of 2016, which provides that where an Article of the Constitution requires the passing of an Act of Parliament to take effect, that Article only takes effect once the relevant Act of Parliament has been passed. To this end, since the Parliamentary Service Act is not yet in force, the appointment of the nominee had to be made under the National Assembly Staff Act. This provision of the law was supported by a number of witnesses, including the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ). To that end, your Committee was satisfied that the appointment of the Clerk had been made in accordance with the law.


Sir, your Committee observed that the questions surrounding the law on the appointment of the Clerk emanated from the fact that the Parliamentary Service Act had not yet been operationalised. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Executive to immediately issue the SI to operationalise the Parliamentary Service Act.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Daka: Sir, with regard to the Director-General of the ACC, some witnesses were of the view that since the Director-General was appointed by the President, he or she could not act independently. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Director-General be appointed by an independent body to enhance the independence of the office and dispel the notion that he or she acts on the directions of the appointing authority.


Mr Speaker, your Committee notes that all the witnesses who submitted on the nominees were satisfied that the nominees possessed the requisite academic qualifications, competence and experience to serve in the positions to which they had been appointed. This was because both had had illustrious careers in the Public Service, served their respective institutions with distinction for several years and risen through the ranks to head them. Your Committee, in this regard, commends the appointing authority for promoting and, therefore, rewarding officers who have dedicated their career lives to the Public Service because this does not only ensure institutional memory and continuity in public institutions, but also motivates officers in the Public Service to work hard.


Sir, as regards the findings of the Committee on the nominees, I wish to inform the House that, concerning Mrs Cecilia Nsenduluka Mbewe, all the State security agencies cleared her of any adverse report that could prevent her from being appointed Clerk of the National Assembly.


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


Mr Daka: Further, your Committee observed that Mrs Mbewe is a legal practitioner who was admitted to the Bar in 1996 and that she joined the National Assembly of Zambia as an Assistant Journals Clerk in the same year. The nominee is a hardworking and committed officer who has risen through the ranks to become Deputy Clerk (Administration) and is currently the Acting Clerk of the National Assembly.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Daka: The nominee’s rise through the different portfolios of the National Assembly is evidence of her competence, commitment to duty and capability to serve as Clerk of the National Assembly.


Mr Speaker, your Committee notes that during her twenty-year stay at the National Assembly of Zambia, the nominee attended several meetings of Clerks-at-the-Table in the Commonwealth. This not only enabled her to acquire vital knowledge on the best practices and procedures on the Business of the House, but also exposed her to the various functions of the Office of Clerk of the National Assembly. She also attended specialised courses in Parliamentary Practice and Procedure at the Lok Sabha in India. She, therefore, has a wealth of knowledge in parliamentary procedures and practice, and administration of Parliament. In view of this, your Committee supports her Presidential appointment as Clerk of the National Assembly ...


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Daka: … and recommends the ratification of her appointment.


Sir, on the second nominee, …


Mr Mwale confers with Mrs Mwanakatwe.


Mr Daka: Order!




Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


I have not delegated those powers to you.


You may continue.




Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, thank you for your guidance.


Mr Ngulube: Ema orders, aya.


Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, all the State security agencies cleared Mr Kapetwa Zacharia Phiri of any adverse report that could prevent his appointment as Director-General of the ACC.


Sir, your Committee noted that the nominee is a qualified legal practitioner who has been practising in the Public Service since his admission to the Bar in 2006. Before joining the ACC, the nominee had worked for the Legal Aid Board, where he rose from the position of Legal Aid Counsel to Acting Principal Legal Aid Counsel. He joined the ACC in 2012 as Chief Legal and Prosecutions Officer and rose to the position of Director-Legal and Prosecutions, and has been Acting Director-General since January, 2017. The nominee is a focused and hardworking officer, as evidenced by his rise through the ranks, both at the Legal Aid Board and the ACC. During his stay at the Commission, the nominee has attended courses in trans-international crimes and leadership management, and is the current Vice-President of the Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities in Africa.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear! Ema CV, aya.


Mr Daka: Sir, based on the foregoing, your Committee proposes the ratification of Mr Kapetwa Zacharia Phiri as Director-General of the ACC.


Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, I thank you for appointing your Committee to undertake the honourable task of scrutinising the suitability of the nominees to serve in the positions to which they have been appointed. Your Committee also places on record its appreciation to the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the services rendered to it during its deliberations. Your Committee further thanks the State security and investigative agencies, professional bodies, institutions, other stakeholders and the nominees for their oral and written submissions that assisted your Committee in making informed recommendations to the House.


Sir, I beg to move.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


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


Ms Mwashingwele: Now, Sir.


Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me the opportunity to second the Motion before the House. In doing so, I wish to echo the mover’s words on the importance of the Offices of the Clerk of the National Assembly and Director-General of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to the administration of Parliament and the fight against corruption, respectively.


Sir, the Clerk of the National Assembly is the principle adviser to the Speaker and hon. Members of Parliament on rules, practices and procedures of Parliament. In this regard, the person appointed to that office must be selfless and ready to accommodate all hon. Members of Parliament regardless of their political affiliation.


Mr Speaker, your Committee is confident that the nominee possesses the requisite attributes to occupy the office, considering the manner in which she has performed her duties in the different portfolios she has held over the years.


Sir, as regards the appointment of Mr Kapetwa Zacharia Phiri, your Committee observed that the nominee possessed personal attributes that suit him for the position of Director-General of the ACC.


Hon. Opposition Member: Question!


Ms Mwashingwele: Sir, your Committee is, therefore, confident that he will be able to perform his duties with diligence and commitment.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Mwashingwele: Mr Speaker, you may, however, wish to note that the nominee has an enormous task ahead of him, primarily because he is being appointed at a time when the commission is confronted by a variety of challenges. Among the challenges is the public perception that the fight against corruption is selective and targeted at former political leaders and public officers while senior Government officials are insulated from prosecution.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Mwashingwele: Sir, the other perception is that the commission is not independent of political interference. These perceptions tend to erode public confidence in the commission. Therefore, they need to be effectively addressed if the commission is to succeed in its fight against corruption. It is, therefore, gratifying to note that the nominee possesses all the required attributes. Further, your Committee is pleased that the nominee has assured it of his total commitment to the fight against corruption.


Mr Livune: Question!


Ms Mwashingwele: Sir, in conclusion, I also thank the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the invaluable support rendered to your Committee during its deliberations.


Sir, with these remarks, I thank you.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to be the first to debate the ratification of the Presidential appointment of the Clerk of the National Assembly and the Director-General of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). 


Mr Speaker, it is important that those appointed to serve at the ACC bear in mind that the institution is not only meant for politicians. 


Mr Syakalima: Yes!


Mr Ngulube: I wish to agree with the seconder of this Motion that the perception among Zambians is that the commission cannot investigate people who are still in the Government; that it only goes for people when they no longer serving in the Government. So, Mr Kapetwa Zacharia Phiri has the mammoth task of proving that the commission is independent.


Mr Livune: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Ngulube resumed his seat.


Mr Chabi: Continue, iwe naiwe!


Mr Speaker: I will reluctantly allow this point of order. It will be the only one I will allow.


Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, I stand on a very serious point of order on the hon. Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, who is seated comfortably here.


Mr Mung’andu: Question!


Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, some chiefs in the Southern Province have been removed from the Government’s Republic of Zambia (GRZ) Payroll without cause.  I have in mind, my chief in Kazungula, Chief Mukuni; Chief Hamusonde of Bweengwa; and Chief Mwanachingwala of Mazabuka. Is the hon. Minister in order to exclude our chiefs from the payroll when he knows that they are entitled to Government benefits because we, their children, contribute to the Treasury through taxes?


I seek your serious ruling, Sir.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: I will allow the hon. Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, in the course of next week, to clarify the issue.


That is my ruling.


For emphasis’s sake, hon. Members, I repeat that this is the only point of order I will allow because I want us to progress smoothly with this Business.


Hon. Member for …


Dr Kambwili: Mazhandu.




Mr Speaker: … Kabwe Central, please, continue.


Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, before I was interrupted, I was saying that the Director-General of the ACC must prove to this country that the commission is independent and impartial, and that it does not dance to the tune of politicians, as per the current misconception.


Mr Speaker, there are too many allegations of corruption against the Government and individuals. Every undertaking these days is labelled corrupt, and we want the ACC to get back to the way it was in the past when it produced reports on all cases reported to it.


Lately, Sir, the ACC has been silent …


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: … on many allegations of corruption. Perhaps, that is because it does not have a substantive Director-General. Further, we have seen a growing trend of the commission being quick to announce the arrest of individuals, but slow to announce acquittals. We want the ACC to stand firm and report to the nation its findings on most allegations.


Mr Speaker, I am very happy that Mr Phiri is a youth like me and was only a year ahead of me at the University of Zambia (UNZA). I know that he will prove that the younger generation is better than that which is pushed around.


Dr Malama: Question!




Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, in the event that the ACC does not prove its independence, it risks being labelled a political entity.


Sir, I want to know if the ACC has a mandate to investigate Government officials, such as Ministers and Members of Parliament, or it only investigates when told to do so.




Mr Ngulube: I am asking about this because that is what most people believe.




Mr Ngulube: We saw that in the other administration, not in the Patriotic Front (PF) Government of President Edgar Lungu. A certain Head of State told the commission that it could not investigate a Minister without his permission. To date, it is still believed that the President’s permission is required before the commission can investigate a Minister, Member of Parliament or any senior Government official, yet the Constitution provides for the independence of the commission.  Let us, therefore, leave the ACC to work independently.


Mr Speaker, we have heard people allege that there was corruption in the procurement of fire tenders and the awarding of the Lusaka/Ndola Dual Carriageway contract. We want the ACC to clear the air on the two issues. The people who are answering on behalf of the commission are not its employees. Some people are saying that the ACC cleared this and that issue while the commission dozing instead of telling the nation what the position is.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, in winding up, I thank the mover and seconder of the Motion for their brilliant presentations. I also thank you for according me the opportunity to raise the flag.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate the Motion on the Floor.


Sir, the nominee for Clerk of the National Assembly is eminently-qualified and immensely experienced.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: This is my third year in Parliament …


Hon. Members: Term!


Dr Kambwili: Sorry, Sir.


Sir, this is my third term in Parliament, and I can assure you that Mrs Cecilia Mbewe has exhibited very rare leadership qualities the whole time I have been here.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


 Dr Kambwili: She is the kind of person into whose office a person can easily walk and get the necessary advice on Parliamentary issues.


Sir, when I first came to Parliament, I depended very heavily on two people, namely Hon. Given Lubinda …


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: … and Mrs Cecilia Mbewe, for insight into what goes on at Parliament.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: I assure you that I have had a lot of good advice from her. Therefore, I do not hesitate to support your Committee’s recommendation on her appointment.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, even if the Constitution provides for these appointments to be made by the President, I think that it is important for the independence of the Legislature from the Executive that we start thinking about Clerk of the National Assembly being nominated by the Parliamentary Service Commission. This is because it is human nature to be loyal to the appointing authority.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: So, Mrs Mbewe is adequately qualified. However, for the rest of her life, she will carry the indelible mark of having been nominated Speaker of the National Assembly by President Edgar Lungu. As a result, …


Hon. Members: It is Clerk of the National Assembly!


Dr Kambwili: Sorry, Sir, Clerk of the National Assembly.


As a result, she might fail to make certain decisions. However, knowing my sister, and knowing efyo abena Mporokoso baba, …




Mr Speaker: Meaning?


Dr Kambwili: It means that, knowing how people from Mporokoso are, I am very confident that she will not be intimidated. I have been in the system long enough to know what I am talking about.


Sir, the political interference in the administration of Parliament must come to an end, and I congratulate Mrs Mbewe on her nomination, which I am sure this Parliament will ratify, and wish her all the best in her new position.


Mr Speaker, coming to Mr Zacharia Phiri, we have heard that he is eminently-qualified. However, since he has been Deputy Director of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), I would like to ask him why a simple case of corruption takes one year to conclude. That is what erodes the confidence of the general public in that institution. Someone was accused of corruption on 8th November, 2016, and today is 5th October, 2017, but the ACC is still investigating. What is it investigating? Is it trying to go to heaven to get the evidence?




Dr Kambwili: I mean, let us be serious with our responsibilities. If there is no case, the ACC should not be scared of politicians. It should tell them that there is no case on a particular person. Failure to do so is what has led to some people being marginalised and insulted because a lot of room is left for speculation. Some people have been under investigation for too long. When I was young, we used to listen to a story on radio titled “Ilyashi lyakwa Kalila Mateyo”. The story was endless. That is similar to what happens with ACC cases and some people have taken advantage of such situations to demean others. Whenever they see someone, they say, “He is the one who is facing corruption investigations”. The investigations are taking too long for some people. However, other people get arrested one day and are committed to court the following day. So, let us be professional in the way we conduct ourselves and not to allow these institutions to be used by politicians to demean and insult their opponents.


Mr Speaker, it is very disappointing that when people complain that there was corruption in the procurement of the fire tenders, the first people to say that there was no corruption were representatives of the ACC. They even added a rider to that by stating that if people wanted the tender process revisited, they were ready to do that.  Automatically, they were telling us that the commission is useless and toothless.


Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!


Dr Kambwili: If it cleared the tender process, why say that it was ready to revisit the case if people wanted it to do so? That automatically tells us that the report it was giving us was not correct and was not the result of a good job. So, how can people have confidence in the ACC?


Mr Speaker, today, somebody sent me a picture of a state-of-the-art fire engine purchased by an airport in Liverpool at £760,000 or US$1 million. I encourage my colleagues across to look at that picture. If you compare that fire engine with the ones Zambia bought, even a child in kindergarten will know that ubu bupupu.




Mr Speaker: What do you mean, hon. Member for Roan? You have moved away from the official language.


Dr Kambwili: Sir, it means “this is pure theft”. Even a kindergarten kid will know that this is corruption. So, I appeal to some of our colleagues in this House that when people say there is corruption and you are the first one to rebut the allegations, you will just mess up your reputation.


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


The words ‘mess up’ are unparliamentary.


Dr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I will replace that phrase with ‘spoiling your integrity’.


Sir, someone  even went on top of one of the fire engines.




Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Roan!


Let us avoid debating ourselves.


Dr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your guidance.


Sir, Last night, I was listening to the justification of the cost of the fire engines by …




Mr Speaker: Order!


Dr Kambwili: … the Regional Fire Manager for Lusaka, who said the fire engines can cost US$1 million each because they had four oxygen cylinders and one cylinder costs K20,000. He does not even know what K20,000 multiplied by four equals.




Dr Kambwili: Then he went on to say the fire trucks have four axes.




Dr Kambwili: You could even see that the man had just been told what to say because he did not know what he was talking about.




Dr Kambwili: So, my brother, Mr Zacharia Phiri, has a lot of work to do.


Sir, the problem is that we forget that people know us. Before I became a Member of Parliament, there were people who knew me. Equally, before one becomes a Permanent Secretary (PS), for instance, there are people who knew that person. Today, it has become normal for people who work at State House to become rich in one year. We knew some of the people who work at State House before they went there. We even know the type of vehicles they used to drive and they used to come to us when we were Ministers before they were appointed at State House to say, “Ba mudala, petrol nayimpwila”. 


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Roan!


That is not the official language.




Dr Kambwili: Sir, they used to come to our offices and say, “I have run out of fuel and left my Corolla in Kalingalinga”. We would, then, give them a K100. Today, they are stinking rich.


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Roan!


If you consult the Unparliamentary Language Handbook, specifically on page 21, you will find that the word ‘stinking’, which you just used, is unparliamentary and not acceptable in this House.


Dr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I will say they are smelling rich. They have become unbelievably rich in one year or about two years of being public servants at State House. Some of them even boast that they are the only civil servants who do not drive rubbish Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) vehicles because they have their own posh cars, yet they could not even afford fuel for their Corollas not too long ago.


Sir, while people are becoming rich overnight under unexplained circumstances, the ACC is just watching. What more evidence does it want to have? That is why people have the perception that the commission can only investigate a public servant or Minister after he leaves office, especially those who were fired. The commission needs to do something to end this perception. When a person is alleged to have accumulated wealth he cannot account for, it is only reasonable for the commission to call that individual and say, “May we know how you acquired this wealth?” For example, to open the designer shops in Dubai that some people at State House own costs not less than US$10 million. A person who was known as a simple journalist has bought house and demolished it to make a disco house called Wawaya, within one year of starting work at State House and ACC officers go there to drink. If you go to State Lodge, you find that almost all the mansions built there are owned by people who work at State House, and a few politicians and cadres. Meanwhile, the ACC is more interested in asking a person who has been in business since 1993 to explain how he got his property.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, do not debate yourself.


Dr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I have not mentioned anybody.




Mr Speaker: Continue.


Dr Kambwili: Sir, I will be the first to come after three years and tell the man we are about to ratify that I wasted my vote on him if he will not do anything to correct the situation at the ACC. He should not be scared of politicians. If I have stolen, I should be called a thief and corrupt person because that is what I am. When I say a man is corrupt, some people say that I am insulting. If that is the case, I am 100 per cent guilty because corruption is corruption and theft is theft.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: There is no substitute for these words.


Mr Speaker, this country is rich, and we can do a lot with our resources. How much does a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner cost? The US$1 million at which each fire tender was bought is enough to buy MRI scanners for almost all the hospitals in the rural areas, but a few selfish people were more interested in cutting deals in the fire trucks tender. Firstly, we saw public installations catch fire and, then, the justification of the purchase of the fire trucks at US$42 million.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: Even if the fires were accidental or caused by other people, where I come from, we say, “Ubushiku umukote afwile, elo chimbwi chanya imfwi, ninshi chimbwi echilyile umukote”.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: Literally, that means, “When an old person with grey hair disappears in the village and a grey hair is found in a hyena’s faeces, then, it is the hyena that consumed the old person”.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: When we saw the fires, we asked, “What is causing these fires?”




Dr Kambwili: Then, all of a sudden, we were confronted with fire engines costing US$42 million.  Ninshi chimbwi nachilya  umukote.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: I mean, this is a straightforward case. So, we should not even waste time declaring a threatened state of public emergency. Chimbwi chalinya  kale imfwi.




Dr Kambwili: So, it is the ACC that can give comfort to the people of Zambia on all these issues.


Mr Speaker, globally, the average cost of constructing a dual lane motorway, a road with two lanes on one side and two lanes on the other, is US$1 million per kilometre if the project is on virgin land, where you have to stamp out trees and make bridges. Making a dual carriageway with driseal costs that much per kilometre. However, here, we are told that it will cost much more. Where did some people you learn their engineering?




Dr Kambwili: They should not think that people are dull because Zambians are very intelligent. Today, at a click of a button, you can see the cost of these things on the Internet. So, no matter how they try to justify this kind of corruption, the people of Zambia are ahead of them. By the way, where I come from, we also say akanwa ka milandu kalaibala, meaning, the guilty are quick to protest their innocence even when they have not been directly accused of wrongdoing. If you see people saying that there is corruption and somebody starts getting annoyed, wishibe fye ati nimpupu iyo.




Mr Speaker: Meaning?


Dr Kambwili: Meaning that the latter is the corrupt person.


Sir, there are many hon. Ministers and hon. Members of Parliament in this Government. So, when somebody generally says, “You thieves” or “bakabolala, imwe” and someone wants to fight, it is because the culprit knows him/herself. As it is said, ifyakulya ubushiku fitulukila kumalushi, meaning that something done during the dark will come to light during the day.


Sir, we do not want an ACC that waits for people to leave office before it can act against them. When Zambians people cry out against some individuals, the commission does not need to wait for someone to file an official report with it. It should initiate investigations whenever people complain about corruption-related issues. That is what we want and that is what is done in other jurisdictions. By the way, Zambians have a lot of information. You may be wondering how I come across this information. People have lost confidence in the ACC. When they go to report there, the commission goes to the culprits to say, “It is Permanent Secretary so and so who reported you”. That is why people do not report things to the commission anymore. So, I warn those who are in public offices that the civil servants are very clever. They see the rubbish or dirt in which their supervisors are involved, but they just watch. When the supervisors leave office, their former subordinates will be the first witnesses. So, some people can come here and mislead us after buying guest houses at K650,000 cash, but when you go to their banks, they do not even have 1 ngwee. They have no history of money in the banks.




Dr Kambwili: Mr Phiri, wherever you are, I know you are listening because this is of interest to you. My brother, go and clean up the kind of corruption that makes people to declare K2.5 million the value of their asset portfolio in 2015 and, one year later, in 2016, declare K23 million.


Hon. UPND Members: Hmm!


Dr Kambwili: Nibu magician?




Dr Kambwili: Is it magic? How can you make such kind of money?


Sir, there is more I could have said, but I am conscious of the time limitation. So, I will just urge Mr Phiri to and clean up the corruption in our country, especially in this administration. I support his ratification.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate this important Motion.


Sir, I have now been in the House for about one year.


Hon. Member: It is more than one year,




Mr Kabanda: I am the one talking. So, do not put words in my mouth.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Kabanda: Sir, I have interacted with Mrs Mbewe and found her to be very sober and of mature disposition.


Hon. Members: Where?


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Serenje!


Please, resume your seat.


Hon. Members, let us have some order. This is earnest business we are transacting, and I should not have to remind you of that. There is no need for excitement.


Hon. Member for Serenje, continue, please.


Mr Kabanda: Thank you, Mr Speaker for protecting me.


Sir, before I was interrupted, I was saying that I have interacted with Mrs Mbewe during the one year I have been in this House, and I have found her to be of very sober disposition. I have also looked at her curriculum vitae (CV), which is quite rich. Therefore, I think that her elevation to the position of Clerk of the National Assembly is long overdue.


Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabanda: Mr Speaker, I also think that Mrs Mbewe possesses the institutional memory on which this House will depend, and it will be invaluable to all of us and other discerning stakeholders.


Mr Speaker, I do not know the second nominee, Mr Kapetwa Zacharia Phiri, personally, except that a Board Chairperson mentioned that he is an introvert, meaning that he does not associate much. So, I do not have much to say about him.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Chonya (Kafue): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee that was appointed to scrutinise the Presidential appointment of Mrs Cecilia Nsenduluka Mbewe and Mr Kapetwa Zacharia Phiri.


Sir, from the outset, I want to adopt the debates of the hon. Members of Parliament for Kabwe Central and Roan as my own ...


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mrs Chonya: … because they have raised most of the issues I wanted to debate. Nonetheless, I wish to advise the nominees to put the interests of Zambians, rather than the interest of their appointing authorities, first when their appointments are ratified. In this regard, I appreciate the point raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Roan on the human tendency to be loyal to the appointing authority or the one who put bread and butter on one’s table when they should be more loyal to Zambians. If the nominees put Zambians first, they will definitely go in the annals of the history of this country as having been men and women of integrity. We have seen what influence has done to many people, especially recently.


Sir, hon. Members who are active on social media will know that this is the only time and regime in the history of Zambia in which almost all institutions have been compromised, for lack of a better word. I can give examples of how the police, the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), the Constitutional Court and, as somebody already alluded to, even the National Assembly of Zambia, are no longer executing their functions professionally.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Jere: Yes!




Mrs Chonya: Mr Speaker, that is regrettable because these institutions are supposed to transcend our individual interest as stakeholders.


Mr Jere: Hammer!


Mrs Chonya: Tomorrow, when we leave our offices, we will still need these institutions to protect us, our interests and the interest of the general public because that is what they are supposed to do. So, as I congratulate the nominees and wish them well in their new jobs, as I hope that their appointments will be ratified this honourable House, I also appeal to them to be men and women of integrity.


Mr Speaker, when the hon. Member for Kabwe Central talked about the other nominee being a former school mate, …


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mrs Chonya: … I was compelled to peruse his curriculum vitae (CV) and I discovered he is a youth of thirty-five years. Therefore, I urge him to particularly stand out and make his fellow youths proud. He must also convince us that if entrusted with important national responsibilities, youths can execute them without fear or favour. At thirty-five, one is vulnerable to being intimidated into doing certain things by some political giants. So, one has to be strong, bearing in mind that one is protected by the law.


Mr Speaker, I have not interacted so much with our own nominee, the Acting Clerk of the National Assembly, but I have perused your Committee’s report and I saw that she is highly recommended by who have worked with her, such as our immediate past Clerk of the National Assembly, Mrs Doris Katai Mwinga, and the former Speaker of National Assembly, Mr Amusaa Mwanamwambwa. I have no doubt that the two were particularly better placed to make the recommendations they made. So, we cannot doubt their recommendations.


Sir, in the report, Mrs Mbewe commits herself to continue facilitating the reforms that the National Assembly is currently implementing. So, I urge her to take very keen interest in ensuring that those reforms are smoothly implemented. I am sure that some of the reforms specifically discussed in the report will please many hon. Members, especially my Colleagues from the Western and North-Western provinces. However, I was looking at something a little deeper than that, namely the enhancement of the Legislature’s role in facilitating development for our people, which is the reason for our being here in the first place. I would not have minded postponing the modernisation of my room to January, 2018, if doing so would have given some relief to the Treasury so that the school in Kafue can be completed. So, the kind of reforms that I would love to see the National Assembly implement are those that will make us, as an institution, start operating like proper offices, even through our respective Constituency Offices, just like the Judiciary and Executive. When I compare three arms of the Government, were they shops, I would put the Legislature in the same bracket as a Kantemba, a small shop that is just beginning.


Sir, amidst the myriad of expectations from our electorate, the only thing we have worth talking about here is the infamous Constituency Development Fund (CDF), which this Government can fail to disburse even for three years, yet be comfortable. I do not know where it gets its comfort from when it does not disburse money that is meant for the electorates. Hon. Members of Parliament are under pressure trying to facilitate development from their pockets. That is giving the electorates a raw deal. No one here can meet all these demands of his or her constituents from their pockets. How can one run a Constituency Office from one’s pocket? We need proper systems so that our offices can begin to play an increased role in the area of representation and development facilitation.


Sir, I think we have done well in terms of law making, but very few of our people even appreciate the laws we enact. Like I said the other day, it seems we can afford to ignore and break the laws. So, it is very difficult for our people to appreciate them. However, once our offices are empowered to respond to the various developmental challenges in our constituencies, the people will find the motivation to wake up at 0300 hours and stand in a queue to vote on election day. However, if we continue on this path, I do not see us satisfying the various needs of our people.


Mr Speaker, it was interesting to learn that the turnover of Members of Parliament after every election is almost 70 per cent. That is because people have different expectations from what this Parliament is providing. So, we have to get to a point where what we are doing is appreciated by our people out there.


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. member!


Are you still discussing the nominee?




Ms Chonya: Sir, I am discussing the reforms that the nominee is supposed to help us implement.


Mr Speaker: I think you are putting a lot on the nominee.


We have a Committee, a Speaker and an entire House to implement all those things you are saying.


Ms Chonya: Mr Speaker, I went that way because I read in the report that the nominee is supposed to be the principle advisor to the Speaker and everyone else at Parliament.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Chonya: She is also supposed to be an advisor to the Parliamentary Reforms and Modernisation Committee which, if I am not mistaken, has only met four times while the other Committees were busy. I believe the Committee is supposed to be vibrant if we are to bring about meaningful reforms in our institution.


Sir, in conclusion, I appeal to the Ruling Party to give some space to people appointed to various offices to exercise their professional freedoms to make the correct decisions in the best interest of the country. Otherwise, we will sit here and ratify well-recommended individuals with proven track records of exemplary service but, in the end, they will leave much to be desired in the discharge of their duties because of undue influence.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to add my voice on behalf of the people of Lupososhi Constituency to the debate on the Presidential nominations for Clerk of the National Assembly and Director-General of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), who have been brought to Parliament for ratification.


Sir, your Committee did a commendable job and I am happy with the calibre of the witnesses it invited to make submissions.


Mr Speaker, the nominee for Clerk of the National Assembly is well-versed, qualified and of sober mind. So, it is my expectation that she will not only provide quality leadership in Parliament, but also provide quality advice to the Office of the Speaker. I believe hon. Members of Parliament will benefit from her vast experience in this institution. With that said, it is my expectation that the wealth of knowledge that is reposes in Mrs Cecilia Nsenduluka Mbewe will add value to the reform of Parliament.


Sir, as Mrs Mbewe takes up the position of Clerk of the National Assembly, the success of this institution will be on her shoulders because what she advises the Speaker will translate into this institution continuing to maintain its credibility and the seriousness or otherwise of its business transacted both inside and outside the Chamber. That is especially true in respect of the Constituency Offices that this Parliament is constructing countrywide. There is a need for the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly to facilitate the furnishing of the various offices that have been constructed. The quality of the offices is good, but I think there is quite a lot that is lacking, and I hope the nominee will look into those aspects to make these offices habitable and responsive to the needs and aspirations of the electorate, who are looking forward to accessing various services from the National Assembly. This is especially important as we try to take Parliament closer to the people.


Sir, I congratulate Mrs Mbewe, as I am sure the House will ratify her appointment as soon as this exercise is over, and I assure her that we are behind her in ensuring that this institution is placed where it belongs. There is quite a lot that needs to be done about the welfare of hon. Members and staff of Parliament. The nominee also needs to interact with the various Parliaments in the Commonwealth so that she can replicate the best practices in the Zambian Parliament to help it move at the same pace with the rest of the world in as far as the Business of the House and the welfare of the hon. Members and staff and Parliament are concerned.


Mr Speaker, regarding the nominee for Director-General of the ACC, he is youthful and I believe he will use his youth and energy to rejuvenate the commission and ensure that it works within the confines of the law and the aspirations of Zambians.


Sir, Mr Kapetwa Zacharia Phiri is being elevated to a position with no friends; a lonely position for which he needs to have a very thick skin in order for him to be able to professionally apply himself to his work. He will not only face interference from his colleagues, but also from those who are not in a position of power today.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was talking about how the appointment of Mr Kapetwa Zacharia Phiri as Director-General of the ACC will not allow him to have friends and how he needs to have a thick skin for him to apply himself well. He will be under quite a lot of pressure from all angles, but corruption is a cancer that needs to be cured. Wherever it shows its ugly face, it needs to be stamped out as quickly as possible. However, he needs to be wary that he will also have the responsibility of ensuring that the resources of the commission are applied to the most critical cases. The commission will have to be seen to be prudently applying the resources that this House will appropriate to it. There will be many allegations both from those are in power and those who are not. Some of them will push him so much that he will wrongly be convinced that they have credible evidence. It will be up to him and his commission to sieve the reports before committing the resources of this country. He will have to be convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the resources are being applied to credible cases.


Sir, the nominee also needs to work in collaboration with the various law enforcement and investigative wings of the Government. We now have the Office of the Public Protector in addition to the Zambia Police Service (ZPS) and the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), which will be able to give him credible information on which he can base judgments on whether or not to prosecute a given case. Otherwise, the pressure that we will be applied on him will lead to wasteful expenditure.


Sir, it is my sincere hope that Mr Kapetwa Zacharia Phiri will remember that his fellow youths are looking up to him to make the grade so that he can convince this country that the youths can also be equal to the task when given positions of responsibility.


Sir, I wish to congratulate Mr Phiri him in advance as we go into the ratification process. I also welcome him to this very important institution in the governance structure of this country. Ours is a very young democracy in which there will be a lot of mudslinging and wild allegations. He, therefore, should do what is expected of him and conferred on him by both the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia (Amendment) Act, No. 2 of 2016 and the Anti-Corruption Commission Act of 2012.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima (Chirundu): Mr Speaker, I thank the mover and the seconder of this Motion. I also thank you for according me the opportunity to debate this Motion.


Sir, as already rightly put in the report, the nominee for Clerk of the National Assembly has been known to some of us for quite some time. She has grown before my eyes not necessary in age, but professionally. Therefore, we do not have any reservations on her nomination. All I can say is that she should look after all of us. Our core business, as Parliamentarians, can be made easier if her staff are motivated. 


Mr Speaker, after his ratification as Director-General of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Mr Kapetwa Zacharia Phiri will naturally be very happy because he will ascend to a higher position. Although he was already in the system, I am still afraid because he will now be at the cradle. The problem of corruption in this country is pervasive. So, he has a mammoth task ahead of him. I actually feel for him. So, as he celebrates today, he must also remember that the task ahead of him is huge.


Mr Speaker, I was reading on corruption and came across a portion that stated that corruption had acquired the status of a national emergency in Zambia. A national emergency unlike the one that was declared by the President. It is. That say how ugly things are in our country.


Mr Speaker, I read in your report that he is quite a young man. That makes the burden placed on his shoulders heavier. 


Hon. UPND Member: More than him.


Mr Syakalima: The challenge is for him to show the country that he can be above board.


Sir, another portion I read defined corruption as the worst poison that abuses public power for private gain. A snake bite is very poisonous and if one is not taken to the hospital early after being bitten, one dies. That is what corruption is to Zambia. So, the whole country is almost dead.


Mr Mutale: Question!


Mr Syakalima: So, the person who is being ratified has the mammoth task of hiving us some antidote so that we do not die. That is why I feel for him. It is in me.


Sir, I do not want to belabour the point on offshoots of corruption because I said them adequately yesterday. Today, my job is just to advise the nominee to do what the public wants him to do. Hon. Dr Kambwili said wondered how people turned out different after being ratified. The answer is that they want to show loyalty to the appointing authority. Yes, they can be loyal to the appointing authority but, probably, it is more important to be loyal to the nation.


Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: They can pay homage to the one who appointed them, but being loyal to the nation is a duty. In any case, one person might nominate them, but we are the final arbiters. So, why do they not fear us more? What is being reposed in them is public trust because the ratification they get from Parliament is an endorsement by the entire country.


Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: So, if they like fear, we are the ones they ought to fear. In this regard, I wish our statutes provided for us to recall the people that we ratify, and that is food for thought, so that people give loyalty to the country. They should not say that they were appointed by a particular person because they come here to be ratified by the whole nation assembled. So, if the nation gives them the mandate, why do they fear an individual more?


Sir, the people we are ratifying, especially the nominee for Director-General, must be loyal to the country. The task ahead of him is quite huge because corruption has become so pervasive that people now say that Zambia is a soulless country. When people die, we say, ‘May your soul rest in peace’.




Mr Syakalima: However, we are being told that our nation does not even have a soul because of corruption, and the Director-General must give us return the soul in us even if we are dead.


Mr Speaker, we want a Zambia in which everybody will say they have an equal share, not where a few individuals get the lion’s share. Ten (10) per cent of our people share 90 per cent of our wealth while 90 per cent of our people share only 10 per cent of our wealth. That is the gene coefficient. So, how can we live in such a country? How can we feel that we are human beings? Even you who are corrupt, how do you feel?


Hon. PF Members: Who?


Mr Syakalima: Who?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, do not engage in dialogue. Try to use third-person language to avoid these questions.


Mr Syakalima: Sir, even those who are corrupt, …


Mr Speaker: Precisely.


Mr Syakalima: … how do they really feel when they take money that should have gone into a hospital? How do they feel about the fact that their enjoyment is at the expense of dying children and unresourced? Is it really justifiable? Very few people have torn the country among themselves while our women die in maternity because of poor hospitals. I think that we cannot continue with this. Who do you think will stop this one day? There must be a stop to it, and that is why I say that the task for the Director-General is huge.


Mr Speaker, the only thing that I can do now is pray that as these people are ratified, they will remain prayerful because ahead of them are mammoth tasks and temptations. I pray for them to be able to do the job that which the country has tasked them today.


Mr Mutale: Amen!


Mr Syakalima: May they not betray the public trust.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing the voice of Chama South to support the nomination of Mrs Cecilia Nsenduluka Mbewe.


Sir, I have looked at Mrs Mbewe’s academic and professional background and discovered that she has worked for the National Assembly for twenty years, which is not a joke. She has also progressed in her career, which very few of us can do. From the University of Zambia (UNZA), she was admitted to the Bar and, from the Journals Section, she was appointed Deputy Clerk (Administration). I am sure she knows almost all corners of the National Assembly.


Sir, being your principal advisor, I think she is the right person to look into the welfare not only of hon. Members of Parliament, but also staff of National Assembly. I say so because twenty years is enough time for one to appreciate the challenges that Members and staff of Parliament go through.


Madam Mbewe, I say congratulations in advance. There is no doubt that your appointment is well-deserved.


Mr Speaker, I will call Mr Kapetwa Zacharia Phiri a brother because he was my senior by two years at Hillcrest Secondary School. He completed in 1996 while I went there in 1998.


Dr Chanda: Ah!


Hon. PF Members: Bana!




Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Mung’andu: Mr Speaker, being a Hillcrest alumnus, I am very proud of him and urge him to realise that the task ahead of him requires patriotism, foresight and, above all, integrity. I say so because the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is among the key institutions that protect the finances of our country.


Mr Speaker, we heard almost everyone cry that the ACC has not lived up to its mandate. We have also heard from people who, just yesterday, were Ministers and saw nothing wrong with the ACC but, the moment they were fired …


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mung’andu:  … for reasons that people of Chama South, Chiefs Chifunda,  Tembwa and Chikwa areas, may not be privy to, they now see problems in the commission.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mung’andu: The moment they tested the Back Bench, they started seeing corruption.


Dr Kambwili: Question!


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mung’andu: Mr Speaker, in supporting Mr Phiri’s appointment, I also warn him that immediately we ratify him, his office will be flooded by individuals, some with good intentions, but most with malicious ones. Zambians are well-known for not supporting one another.


Hon. Opposition Members: Who?


Mr Mung’andu: Mr Speaker, in Zambia, if the hon. Member of Parliament for Chama South buys a new car, he has stolen. Meanwhile, if a foreigner, even a refugee who arrived in the country yesterday, drives a top-of-the-range vehicle, then, he has worked hard.


Mr Speaker, I will not do justice to the time you have given me if I do not advise Mr Phiri that the person who nominated him is of impeccable character; a man of integrity.


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Mr Mung’andu: Mr Speaker, his Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa is no doubt above board.


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mung’andu: Mr Speaker, our country is going through a tough developmental phase and tough decisions have to be made. Most Zambians have the perception that a country can only move forward if money is directly put into their pockets. When they hear that a dual carriageway has been contracted, the first thing that comes to their mind is to ask why money was spent on such a road and immediately start singing about corruption. If they are challenged to show evidence, I do not know whether they develop high blood pressure, but they run away from the Assembly Chamber.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mung’andu: So, Mr Phiri, be weary of such characters.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mung’andu: Mr Speaker, I urge Mr Phiri, being the person given the responsibility to arrest and prosecute those who will engage in corruption in this great country, to remember that among his duties is implied the protection of the image of his Excellency the President.


Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Mung’andu: Mr Speaker, our Constitution does not allow politicians to be directly involved in procurement.


Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!


Mr Mung’andu: This is a fact.


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Mr Mung’andu: Mr Speaker, in the Public Service, procurement is initiated by …




Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member on the Floor, just a moment, please.


Let us respect one another’s viewpoints. Obviously, there are different viewpoints here. So, you cannot muzzle the hon. Member’s views like you are trying to do. Let him debate freely. Whether you like what he is saying or not, it does not matter. Keep your peace.


Hon. Member for Chama South, please, continue.


Mr Mung’andu: Thank you, Mr Speaker, for your protection.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Mung’andu: In our country, Mr Phiri, …




Mr Speaker: Maybe, he is still addressing Mr Phiri.




Mr Mung’andu: Mr Speaker, I am addressing the man we will ratify.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mung’andu: Mr Phiri, in our country, …


Mr Ngulube: Ema mistake, aya!


Mr Mung’andu: … the people who are involved in procurement are the technocrats. There was a case in which the former hon. Minister of Tourism and Arts was dragged to court for reversing contracts that had been awarded by the technocrats. That was called interference. This is a fact.


Mr Phiri, your duty will be to protect the Presidency.


Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Mung’andu: The Government is like a large octopus. His Excellency cannot be in every office, but he has appointed you to keep vigil on various institutions. Civil servants can do some wrong things of which even the hon. Ministers or His Excellency may not be aware. However, when it comes into the public domain, all the people, including those who were fired, will blame the Presidency. So, Mr Phiri, as we ratify you, I appeal to you to keep your eyes close …


Hon. UPND Members: Open!


Mr Mung’andu: … to the activities in the ministries.




Mr Ngulube: Ema mistake, aya!




Mr Mung’andu: Mr Speaker, ‘close’ can be contextualised in many ways. I mean that he should keep his eyes ‘closer’, not ‘closed’, to the procurement activities in many ministries. By so doing, he will help us erase some perceptions that, at times, destroy governments. The enemies of this working Government are trying to create the impression that it is corrupt.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Mung’andu: If they consistently say that to naïve people, it will appear true. However, when the Director-General closely monitors the procurement activities, he will be able to curtail certain activities of which we believe the Executive might not be aware.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Mung’andu: Mr Speaker, with those few remarks, I support the ratification of Madam Mbewe and Mr Phiri.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Mr Speaker, it has been a while since I debated, …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutale: … but I was listening attentively.


Sir, the ratification of the nominees has come at the right time because I have been here for a year and a month now and have observed the culture of officers here, at Parliament. From the institutions that I have been, I rate the workers of this institution the most disciplined, …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutale: … hardworking, efficient and well-cultured.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutale: I commend your office for the hard work that it exhibits together with your workers.


Sir, the nominee for Clerk of the National Assembly will be an inspiration to other staff who have been looking forward to being promoted. It would have not augured well for us to bring in a new person when we have a person with vast experience. The two nominees …


Ms Kapata entered the Debating Chamber and took her seat.


Mr Ngulube: Ema Baptist, aba!




Mr Mutale: … went through a thorough vetting by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), Zambia Police Service, Transparency International Zambia, (TIZ) and Human Rights Commission (HRC). The report indicates that none of the nominees was found wanting by the named institutions, …


Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Mutale: … meaning that their standing in society is good. Morally, the nominees also qualify to serve in the positions to which they have been appointed.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, the elevation of Mrs Cecilia Mbewe will create room for others to also be elevated, and that is how it must be.


Sir, some hon. Members of Parliament who debated before me gave instructions to the ACC, especially the incoming Director-General, to be disloyal to the Presidency.


Hon. Government Members: Shame!


Mr Mutale: I do not agree with that. There are leaders everywhere in the world and it is incumbent upon their followers to respect them. It is also incumbent upon us to be loyal to the Government of the day and its leaders, especially the President.


Mr Speaker, the nominees will be sworn in by the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, and they will pledge allegiance to him. Even at family level, which is the smallest government, we expect children to respect and show allegiance to their parents. Similarly, the Director-General is expected to respect the Head of State because, whether he likes it or not, the Head of state will be his boss and give him directives ...


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!


Mr Mutale: … in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, which will be Mr Phiri’s guide. The Head of State is the custodian of our Constitution.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, I am taken aback when I see a ngwele, a coward, …


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Chitambo Parliamentary Constituency!


Please, resume your seat.




Mr Speaker: Let us have some order!


Hon. Member on the Floor, you will run into difficulties if you start responding to your colleagues. That is where the problem starts and, in the process, you may not be able to exercise self-restraint, thereby ending up making the kind of comment you just made.


Hon. Members, I have repeatedly said that our task is not to censor one another’s debates because when we do that, then, there will be no freedom of expression. Equally, those on the Floor should not be easily irritated. That is the problem with running commentaries. Some viewpoints may not be palatable, but that is how democracy works. Our colleagues want to be heard just like we do. We have different views, orientations, backgrounds and outlooks, and democracy is about tolerating people with divergent views. We should not want to hear only what we like because that is not possible. Even in a family, members have different viewpoints.


Hon. Member for Chitambo Constituency, it is totally unnecessary for you to go on that trajectory. Concentrate on expressing your views and leave the maintenance of discipline to me. In any case, I do not know what that word you used means and how it fits into your speech. I could not comprehend it.


You may continue.


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


Sir, a ngwele is a coward.


Sir, we will not take kindly to cowards using this platform to demean the Presidency because you have, several times, guided us to not drag into our debates people who cannot defend themselves. Instead, we should discuss matters affecting us and do so in a good way.


Sir, people who work for State House have certain entitlements they enjoy.


Hon. Opposition Members: Ulula.


Mr Mutale: Sir, those people are entitled to own vehicles and have fuel. That is not corruption or theft. Therefore, anyone who comes here to allege that State House is ‘smelling’ with corruption must provide proof. The laws of this land are very clear. If you see that one is corrupt, you must report to the ACC. For example, we are saying that someone got a golf course, markets and advance payments, but we are not doing anything about it. We did not only make the allegations, but also reported to the ACC. We are waiting for those who are accusing State House of being corrupt to do the same because the ACC is there to serve all Zambians.


Mr Speaker, we should not mislead this young man who will be at the helm of the ACC. For the information of the cowards who cannot report corrupt activities, but see corruption in legitimate transactions, we shall not be scared to develop this country because when we decided to control the resources of this country, we knew what it would take. We are equal to the task. So, we shall work on the roads and come to this House to explain how much the road works will cost. If other people feel that there is corruption in the construction of roads, they are free to go and report to the ACC, which will, in turn, do its work.


Sir, no one should drag the name of the President and the Presidency into the debates in this House when they know that the President will not be given a chance to respond to the allegations made against him.


Sir, I support the ratifications of the nominees.


In conclusion, I thank the mover and the seconder of this Motion.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate this Motion. In doing so, allow me to thank my friend, Hon. Daka, for his excellent presentation of the Motion. I also thank the seconder for her support to the mover.


Mr Speaker, let me debate the appointment of Mrs Cecilia Mbewe as Clerk of the National Assembly first. In so doing, I first want to pay tribute to the former Clerks. Mr Chibesakunda did his part to groom Mrs Mwinga, who also did her part to groom Mrs Mbewe, and that is how it ought to be. A leader must always identify one or two people to whom he or she will hand over the mantle of leadership when he or she leaves so that the good work of the office continues.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simbao: None of us will be in our jobs forever. I, therefore, thank Mrs Mwinga for identifying and grooming Mrs Mbewe.


Mr Speaker, obviously, the record is clear that Mrs Mbewe has been in this institution for a long time. She has knowledge of almost all the areas of this institution. It makes sense when a person who has risen through the ranks of an institution becomes its head because, then, one faces the future of the institution with his or her feet firmly planted in its history. I am sure that when Mrs Mbewe realised that she could be Clerk of the National Assembly, she thought about what she would for the institution if given the opportunity. So, she should be very clear on her vision for the institution.


Mr Speaker, it was very gratifying to see the good things that the former Speaker, Mr A. Mwanamwambwa, and the former Clerk, Mrs D. Mwinga, said about the nominee. One of the qualities that they both pointed out is her calm temperament. Mr Mwanamwambwa even included her good demeanour. These are the qualities that have made her the nominee for the position of Clerk of the National Assembly. When she assumes her position, I urge her to add more qualities good qualities. It might be easy to get to the top, but she has to fight to stay there. 


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: She will now encounter many challenges from which she was shielded when she was a junior employee. As the defender of the institution, she will now be very exposed. Therefore, she will need more qualities. In addition to her calm temperament, I want to assume that she will take on the virtue of being firm, but fair so that discipline is maintained.


Sir, I always wonder how the Clerk, as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Assembly, juggles her administrative duties and her roles in the Chamber. I find the responsibilities too much for one person. I believe, however, that she is prepared enough for both roles.


Mr Speaker, it is the first time I have seen a nominee whose appointment has satisfied everyone. I noted the concerns raised by Transparency International Zambia (TIZ). However, I also note that they have been adequately addressed on page 25 of the report. I hope that TIZ is satisfied with the explanation.


Sir, Mrs Mbewe has been given that office with the good will of all hon. Members of Parliament. So far, I have not heard any dissenting voice on her appointment. 


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Simbao: That is important because she will need the support of hon. Members of Parliament and her staff to succeed in her job.


Mr Speaker, coming to Mr Phiri’s nomination, I wish to say that corruption is as old as the world itself. It is an old craft that is usually clothed in the garb of nobility. In the past, people thought that corrupt people looked ugly. To the contrary, they look just like anybody else.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Simbao: It is their mind that is a problem. 


Sir, I am very glad that Mr Phiri has been picked for this job because he is young and I want to believe that he has not yet been polluted by the air of this world that makes people do certain things. As such, I believe that he will quickly know what his staff is able to do. He will be able to see those who are genuine and those who are not. I only hope that he will overcome the problem of non-committed staff. I believe that he has been given this challenge because he is young.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simbao: If he cannot control the older people, at least, he can control the younger ones for the future of Zambia. We want a corruption-free Zambia.


Sir, there was a time TIZ used to talk so much about our position on the corruption index. I do not hear much of that anymore and I hope that means our country has improved in that regard. If that is the case, I pray that Mr Phiri will put his foot down really hard suppress the scourge even further and, maybe, root it out completely so that the country can make progress and this perception of many people being corrupt, which is really affecting all of us, can be done away with. When people shout “Corrupt!”, it comes back in future to mess … I am sorry for using that word.


Sir, it comes back to disturb the whole country, especially the young people who do not know whom to believe anymore. So, if Mr Phiri does not manage to control the older people, I hope he will handle the younger ones so that, in ten or twenty years, we will have a different country. It is possible for him to do that if he puts aside fear and relies on the Constitution. I hope he is listening.


Sir, we trust that Mr Phiri will make a difference and a name for himself. He should be the one to change this country for the better.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The Minister for Eastern Province (Mr M. Zulu): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for your indulgence.


Sir, the Motion under consideration is very important. Going through the report, it seems agreeable to the idea that the nominees should be ratified, as their appointments have not been opposed.


Sir, some individuals who spoke earlier were concerned that the appointments under consideration have been made by the President instead of the Parliamentary Service Commission. Those who cared to read know that, indeed, Article 84 reposes the power to appoint the Clerk of the National Assembly in the Parliamentary Service Commission. However, in the absence of the Parliamentary Service Commission Act, Section 6 and 21 of the Constitution of Zambia Act No. 1 of 2016 apply. Therefore, the old law still applies for purposes of these appointments. That should put the matter to rest.


Sir, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government agrees that there should be very little interference by the Executive in the work of the Legislature.


Mr Livune: Question!


Mr M. Zulu: That is settled, and Mr Livune would testify if he bothered to read.




Hon. Member: Hammer!


Mr M. Zulu: Mr Speaker, there have been no adverse reports on the lady who has been appointed Clerk of the National Assembly, and it is important for the Government to continue to build people up to lead their institutions. What is interesting about this case is the gender sensitivity of the PF Government. The former Clerk was a lady and she has been replaced by a lady.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr M. Zulu: That shows the good will of the PF Government for the enhancement of the rights of women in all spheres. The two sexes are equal and we are taking women along with because we do not want to leave no one behind.


Sir, it is certain that we will have a substantive Clerk of the National Assembly who will have the full support of hon. Members of Parliament. Therefore, we anticipate that Parliament will execute its functions effectively.


Mr Speaker, it is said that if bread is half-baked, you blame the baker, not the bread. As hon. Members of Parliament, we promulgate different laws, yet we, time and again, lamented the way procurements are done and how things go on in society. We are the bakers. We made the laws that govern procurement and it is for us to identify the weaknesses in the laws. We must engage the Clerk and initiate some amendments to the relevant laws so that we can be proud of our product. We should not complain that the Anti-Corruption Commission Act and Zambia Public Procurement Authority Act are half-baked and do not meet our needs because we are to blame. In fact, even on issues of corruption, maybe, we should take the fall for our failure to strengthen the institutions about which we are complaining.


Sir, indeed, we should ratify the appointment of Mrs Mbewe.


Mr Speaker, I had the opportunity to know Mr Kapetwa Zacharia Phiri whilst in university and I worked with him at the Legal Aid Board. He is, indeed, a man of integrity and exemplary character. He is also adequately qualified to take over at the ACC. The weapon at his disposal is the Anti-Corruption Commission Act, which knows no face. So, I believe that he will not be a respecter of faces in the promotion or implementation of the Act. This is because when we were together at the Legal Aid Board, he looked at the needs of the clients, not their faces. With him, we worked and served the needs of the indigent who needed the services of legal practitioners.


Mr Speaker, I have heard quite a number of lamentations. As I stated earlier, when the bread is half-baked, you blame the baker, not the bread.


Mr Lubinda: You blame Livune!


Mr M. Zulu: Sir, I had the opportunity of being one of the prosecutors in the Silvia Masebo Tribunal, when she was alleged to have been involved in procurement. For that reason, I had the read the Anti-Corruption Commission Act, the Zambia Public Procurement Authority Act and several other laws that relevant to procurement in the Government, which has been subject to public debate for quite some time. The perpetrators of public misinformation have forgotten that it is their duty to read and inform the public truthfully on the public procurement process.


Mr Speaker, during the deliberations of the Sylvia Masebo Tribunal, I learnt that the procuring entity sets up a procurement committee headed by the controlling officer. The definition of ‘controlling officer’ excludes State officers, hon. Ministers, the President or hon. Members of Parliament. Further, it is the controlling officer who chooses who should be part of the procurement committee. The Zambia Public Procurement Authority Act has prescriptions on who can be part of the committee.


Mr Speaker, those who bother to read know that the composition of procurement committees include representation from the ACC, Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), Office of the President and all the investigative wings. The purpose of that representation, as intended by Parliament, is so that there is oversight to ensure that all procedures are followed and the outcome of the process is credible. So, when the ACC and DEC say they found nothing wrong in the procurement of something, it is because they were represented on the procurement committee. That is very important. This being the noble House that it is, I would expect that we all read widely. Listening in silence seems to suggest otherwise, but I dare not debate my colleagues. So, let me focus on the issue with which I had started.


Mr Speaker, the lamentations are unwarranted because what we have is what governs us. If we are able to identify the weaknesses in the laws that are supposed to help Mr Kapetwa Phiri to handle his cases or Mrs Mbewe to run Parliament more effectively, we ought to address those weaknesses. We should not stand on anthills and say that we, the bakers, are not responsible for the half-baked bread. Instead, we should take responsibility, get down from the anthill and strengthen our laws.


Sir some people contend that it is midnight in Zambia because of certain things that are happening. I say it is actually midday. One only needs to open one’s eyes to see that it is midday. Our colleagues cannot see because their eyes are closed, not because it is midnight.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr M. Zulu: Sir, there were concerns about ACC investigations taking too long. The commission is intended to be autonomous. Therefore, no one has any right to suggest how long an investigation should take. Let it take as long as is necessary for the commission to collect enough facts to be able to take the case to court.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr M. Zulu: For that purpose, it can take even ten years. However, that is not an indication of a lack of progress.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1810 hours until 1830 hours.


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


Mr M. Zulu: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was saying just because an investigation has taken long, it does not mean that progress has not been made.


Sir, we will go on talking about how best we want the Director-General to work, and that is very good advice. We will ask him to be diligent in his work. However, perhaps, we should change our way of looking at things. In order for the Director-General to be very effective, he only needs two things, namely an enabling Act and evidence. If we do not empower him with a appropriate pieces of legislation, he will not be effective. So, I expected the debates to be centred on issues to do with enabling the commission to better discharge its mandate through the Act. Perhaps, we, hon. Members of Parliament, should initiate legislation to enable the Director-General to be as diligent as we want him to be. We cannot just blame him for not doing what he ought to be doing when we do not know his reasons. If, however, he has sufficient powers and laws, but he is not acting, we should provide the evidence on which he ought to act. That is very necessary.


Sir, hon. Members of Parliament should look at how best to enable the institutions about which they are complaining to be more effective because Parliament is the creator of creatures called institutions and the statutes that regulate them.


Mr Speaker, the world appears green to those who wear green lenses, but it reverts to its normal appearance the moment the looker takes the lenses off. Equally, those who put on lenses of corruption see a corrupt world. If they take off the lenses, then, they will see that there is no corruption in the world.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr M. Zulu: So, it is necessary for us, as diligent hon. Members of Parliament who are dedicated to our duty, to carry out our duties diligently and faithfully as we swore to do. However, those who wear the lens of opposition will be opposed to everything. So, I ask them to take off that lens and see the world as it is so that they can appreciate things as they are.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr M. Zulu: Mr Speaker, I support the appointment of the two nominees and recommend their ratification, as nothing has been said about them that suggests otherwise.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to support the two nominations. I will speak very briefly.


Sir, I read your Committee’s report and noted that none of the witnesses expressed any reservation on the two nominees, which means that their suitability to hold the two positions is unquestionable. Therefore, I am not in a position to question their suitability.


Sir, my friend here, the hon. Member of Parliament for Chama South, boasted that Mr Phiri was his brother. Let me also say that Mrs Mbewe is my sister.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kafwaya: In fact, her village in my constituency and there is not a single person who is opposed to her appointment there either.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kafwaya: Therefore, I support the nomination. However, I have a few words for my sister, Mrs Mbewe.


Sir, a good leader is one who provides solutions. So, I urge my sister to avail herself and provide solutions ...




Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Kafwaya: ... to both hon. Members and staff of Parliament.


Sir, not so long ago, Mrs Mbewe was a deputy to somebody and, soon, she will have deputies. So, I urge her to treat the offices below her with because it is important to have a good name. A good name is better than riches, it is said. Mrs Mbewe should be a good leader so that she will be spoken of very highly by those who will succeed her. As we all know, she might not have any influence on who will succeed her, but it is very important that those who will come after her say good things about her just like she has many good things to say about her predecessor, I assume. I have observed from the report that her predecessor says that she is a very hardworking person. So, I wish her well and I fully support her nomination.


Mr Speaker, Mr Phiri will be at the helm of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), an organisation that is against corruption because ‘anti’ means against.


Sir, the synonyms of corruption I got from an online dictionary are dishonesty, unscrupulous, deceit, deception, double dealing, fraudulent, misconduct, criminality, delinquency, wrongdoing, alteration, falsification, manipulation, abuse, subversion and misrepresentation.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Kafwaya: Mr Phiri will be at the helm of an organisation that will be against all these things. In that regard, I wish to point out that it is deception to acknowledge an appointed office, but fail to acknowledge the appointing office. It is also delinquency to say one thing and believe in another or refuse the call to love one another when we need love to develop our country. That is because people cannot agree on anything and move the country when hatred is the norm. It is also total delinquency not to accept that we need to reflect, as a nation.


Hon. Opposition Member: Question!


Mr Kafwaya: Mr Speaker, I want to end by supporting both of these nominees.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to debate the Motion on the Floor.


Mr Ngulube: Mwapwa baisa!




Mr Nkombo: Sir, indeed, a mammoth task is ahead of us, but it is the prescription of our duty to ratify the nominees.


Sir, indeed, we all believe that corruption is a vice that robs citizens of many things, including self-actualisation, and it condemns citizens to poverty, hunger, unemployment, illiteracy, ignorance and all the negative things. So, when we are considering the ratification of a man who will be at the helm of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), we need to sober.


Mr Speaker, I will come back to the nomination of Mr Kapetwa Zacharia Phiri because I just want to make a few comments on the nomination of Madam Cecilia Nsenduluka Mbewe first.


Madam, Mrs Mbewe is a fine lady and it is difficult to falter her. I have been here for almost twelve years now, through which she has been respectful and pleasant. I also think that she is honesty because honesty lies deeper inside. So, I think she deserves this appointment. However, let me give a few words of caution to our lady because she is taking over the mammoth job of running this big institution.


Sir, let me remind everyone here that Parliament is the third wing of the Government and that it is supposed to be autonomous. The Chair being the Head of this wing, the nominee will run the secretariat and manage many things that include the welfare of Members and staff of Parliament.


Sir, your report touches on the long delay in the operationalisation of the Parliamentary Service Commission by the Ministry of Justice.


Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: I noticed some ink marks where the report says that according to the current Constitution, this appointment should not have been made by the President. This is quite true, but we have to shift from one paradigm to another. So, it is acceptable. After all, she is a good person.


Sir, I think that people are born good and with integrity, but society or the systems contaminate them. Depending on the system, a person can adapt to fit in. I am sure that Mrs Mbewe will be resilient enough to not fall prey to the human weakness of bias and looking at the appointing authority.


Sir, if she cares to, Mrs Mbewe can take leaf from one prominent individual I esteem very highly in my life, the late Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC., may his soul rest in peace, who was convinced by his patriotic self to leave the Government when he saw that there was corruption in his boss’s administration. Yes, he was appointed by someone but, when he smelled corruption, he resigned and went into the annals of our history as somebody who came out when he saw rottenness inside.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: Therefore, it is wrong to promote the notion that one’s appointing authority is one’s alpha and omega even when things are wrong.


Sir, another eminent person I wish to talk about is Mr Vernon Johnson Mwaanga, who is still among the living. I salute him ...




Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Nkombo: … because when he served under Dr Mwanawasa, SC., he was sent on an assignment to Congo …




Mr Speaker: Let us have some order!


Mr Nkombo: … and public perception is that he did not carry out the assignment very well. Mr Mwaanga came back and held a press conference at which he resigned from the Government. That is called integrity.




Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Nkombo: Sir, the third person I wish to mention is Madam Roselyn Mutinta Wandi, who was at the helm of the ACC, but also resigned, although we are yet to know, maybe, sometime in the future not so distant, why she resigned. I will tell my hon. Colleagues what I think.


Sir, on 31st October, 2016, while swearing in Hon. Nkhuwa and a few other hon. Ministers seated here, President Lungu chided the ACC, saying that it was exhibiting inertia in fighting corruption. That is the time he said there was corruption among his hon. Ministers.


Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: Therefore, among the people Mr Phiri must check with a microscopic eye in his functions are the hon. Ministers because his boss, the one who has nominated him, said they are corrupt.


Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: Who are we to argue with President Lungu when he says that they are corrupt.




Mr Nkombo: So, one of the duties of Mr Phiri is to objectively, fearlessly and quickly check the hon. Ministers. Thereafter, he can descend to the hon. Members of Parliament and go all the way down to the public officers.


Sir, one sure way to check corruption without the bickering, finger-pointing and bad-mouthing about which our colleagues were worried is to simply look at the asset declaration forms. There must be a documented trail of what we own. There is no way a person can be poor today and rich with properties by sunrise tomorrow without having any money in the bank.


Mr Lufuma: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: Sir, Mr Phiri must work with the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to save this country by targeting the affluent people like the ones alluded to by Hon. Dr Kambwili. Working in State House is not a passport to comfortable. These words are meant to unsettle the comfortable and, maybe, comfort the unsettled. There are so many people who are unsettled in this country. We have been told, and I think it is an understatement, that 54 per cent of our population is poor. However, that does not mean that the remaining 46 per cent are rich. I think the rich make up 5 per cent or less.


Sir, according to my research, the ACC, and Mr Phiri knows because he has worked there for four years, having dealt with 1,349 cases in the last three years, only secured twenty convictions in 2017. It also had six acquittals. In 2014, it had ten convictions while in 2015 it had sixteen convictions. This should tell you a story of the shenanigans that go on in our society, where people just go to report cases anyhow. Some hon. Minister would open some enquiry and the ACC opens many files to keep itself busy and, then, go to court just to fail to prosecute the case.


Sir, let me comment on the very humbling debate by the hon. Minister for Eastern Province, whose demeanour I like.


Sir, the hon. Minister said that if a loaf of bread is half-baked, we must blame the confectioner, and that we are the baker because we make the laws. I want to illustrate to you that, in this case, the baker has been delinquent. We are the baker and we have allowed the President to take a route he should never have taken.


Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: It started when the late President Michael Sata became President and moved the Road Development Agency (RDA) from the Ministry of Works and Supply to State House. We did not contest the move. Where are the rumours and innuendoes about corruption? Are they at the Ministry of Works and Supply? No, they are at the RDA, which wants to use US$3.7 billion on a road. Do you think this young man of thirty-nine, which is about half my age, ...




Mr Nkombo: ... can go to the President and report that he smells corruption?


Hon. Government Members: Aah!


Mr Nkombo: I said he is about half my age.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Nkombo: Sir, I would like to strengthen the incoming Director-General of the ACC, and I want to repeat that I like the demeanour of the hon. Minister for the Eastern Province.


Mr Speaker, in my hands is the Public Private Partnership Act, 2009, and I was in this House when we passed it. It states, at Part III:


“4(1) There is hereby established the Public-Private Partnership Unit which shall be responsible for the implementation of the provisions of this Act.


“(2) The Unit shall be a department in the Ministry responsible for finance and shall be under the control and supervision of the Minister responsible for finance.”


Sir, the Act says that the unit shall be under the control and supervision of the Minister responsible for finance, this man seated here (pointing at Mr Mutati).


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, President Lungu unilaterally decided. Therefore, he asked for the accusations of corruption on those who were in this ocean ...


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Mazabuka Central!


Resume your seat.


Mr Nkombo resumed his seat.


Mr Speaker: The trajectory you have taken is a difficult one in the sense that you have singled out the President ...


Mr Mutale: You see manje?


Mr Speaker: ... and you are taking a position in relation to him.


Mr Mutale: Waona manje?


Mr Speaker: The President, unfortunately, will not be able to respond ...


Hon. Opposition Members: His Ministers!




Mr Speaker: ... and that is the reason I always insist that we deal with the issues, not personalities. I will not intervene when we stick to the issues. The President might have his own side of the story, which will not be heard. Meanwhile, these debates are virtually public, but the public will only hear one side of the story.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I appreciate your guidance.


Sir, a Presidential decree moved the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Unit from the Ministry of Finance to State House.


Mr Mutale: So?


Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!


Mr Nkombo: That was a cut-and-paste from what had happened to the RDA. The Opposition, including the current hon. Minister of Finance, complained about how the RDA could not go to State House because there would be no way for it to be checked. That was when the Government brought in the Link Zambia 8,000 Kilometre Road Project and many other projects in the road sector. Today, it is difficult for anyone to check how much money has been pilfered from the road projects because the RDA is at State House. The same is true of the PPP Unit and I am not shy to say it. There was a Presidential decree, Hon. Makebi Zulu, that that moved the unit to State House. Therefore, the bread about which you were talking was stolen from the oven. There is no bread right now.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Question!




Mr Nkombo: So, there is nothing we can do because the bread was illegally taken away from the Ministry of Finance, where it should be, to State House. However, in his Budget Speech, that hon. Minister (pointing at Mr Mutati), who has neglected his responsibility to tell his boss to take the unit back to the Ministry of Finance as required by the law, told us that there will be no money spent on the Lusaka/Ndola Dual Carriageway because it is a PPP, yet he is not the one supervising it, but State House.


Mr Mwiimbu: Correct!


Mr Nkombo: When we continually say it smells corruption, we end up sounding like small children shouting, “Corruption, corruption!”.


Mr Speaker, this young man we are ratifying today does not have the ability to challenge the Presidency. There comes a point where even I back off a bit when it comes to the Presidency because it is a powerful institution backed by the Constitution. The PPP Unit should be taken back to the Ministry of Finance so that we can access it. I am a member of the Committee on Economics Affairs, Energy and Labour, and we have lamented the abrogation of the law. Why was the bread taken away from the oven before it was cooked? Why has someone started eating the dough? It is annoying.




Mr Nkombo: Sir, the Office of the Director-General of the ACC is now going to a juvenile just like the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP). I am sorry, I withdraw the word “juvenile” and replace it with ‘a young person’.




Mr Nkombo: Sir, we were all around when the ACC transformed. I recall, from my own age group, the likes of Justice Kapembwa, Mr Nickson Banda and Mrs Rosewin Wandi. These were old people. The DPP in the Kaunda era, if you remember, was a Mr Simuziya who used to carry himself with a lot of dignity and decorum. That was when Mr Nabulyato was where you are. Those people were beyond reproach.




Mr Nkombo: Now, we have a young person who will dance to every tune the President hums, as suggested by someone who debated.


Mr Ngulube: Gary, are you older than the Speaker?




Mr Nkombo: Someone said that the President is the boss and that whether the nominee likes it or not, he would have to listen to what the President says. The President said that the ACC was inert. Inertia, for those who think it is a simple word, means showing no skill, clumsy, incompetent, amateurish and crude. That is what the President said about the ACC when he was admonishing his hon. Ministers for being corrupt. That is the song we will sing until heaven comes down because we respect the President. If the President says his hon. Ministers are corrupt, who are we to say they are not?




Mr Nkombo: Sir, the hon. Ministers have to help this man by submitting to public demands. Hon. Ministers should volunteer themselves if the public demands that there be an inquiry over a dubious procurement, just Dr Levy Mwanawasa, SC., and others have done. When accused of engaging in corruption, the normal thing to do in a society that is balanced is to step aside to allow for investigations. If found innocent, you will surely bounce back.


Mr Syakalima: In Zambia?


Mr Nkombo: That is how they can help the Director-General of that institution.


Mr Speaker, corruption is immaterial and can only be seen through the unexplained affluence about which people are talking. We hear of people buying Autobiography Range Rovers, mansions and jets when their salaries are K16,000.


Mr Speaker, the President should help this gentleman by telling him to check public projects, such as road projects and the procurement of the fire tenders. Surprisingly, when the President said, in New York, that an inquiry should be opened, it was same people who sat in the tendering committee who were involved. How can someone mark his own examination? 


Mr Speaker, we need to collectively support the Director-General of the ACC. However, to do that, we must start by being true to ourselves and live by the mantra, “Do unto others as you want them to do unto you”. It is retrogressive, barbaric and primitive to have people from the same party accuse each other of being more corrupt, yet the ACC is just watching. It is like a Pinocchio Show.


Sir, I think that we should help one another by being true to ourselves. Once we do that, we can be true to our colleagues and vice versa. The job of the …


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


Mr Nkombo: The point of order is misplaced because the Speaker has said that there will be no more points of order. The hon. Member is just eating into my time.




Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Members!


Can you resume your seats.


I know that we are coming to the end of this very long sitting. I stated earlier in the day when the hon. Member for Katombola rose on a point of order that I would not grant any point of order. Many of you were present. So, I do not want to repeat myself.


Conclude, hon. Member.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I think I have driven the point home and I am sure those who have ears have heard. I just wanted to anchor my debate on Hon. Makebi Zulu’s contribution. Over a drink, we will talk about the Road Development Agency Act and he will see that the bread at RDA is also no longer in the oven. It has been taken away. So, it becomes difficult to exercise oversight on these people because they broke the law by moving offices where they ought not to be. That will also make the job of the ACC extremely difficult.


Sir, I thank you for giving me this very rare opportunity to talk to my colleagues, some of whom I like and some of whom I …




Mr Nkombo: I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


I do not think we should dwell on that.




Mr Speaker: There are no foes in a democratic dispensation like this one.


The Minister of Justice (Mr Lubinda): Mr Speaker, let me start by thanking your Committee for the thorough manner in which it scrutinised the nominations of Mrs Cecilia Nsenduluka Mbewe as Clerk of the National Assembly and Mr Kapetwa Zacharia Phiri as Director-General of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). I am particularly, delighted to see that your Committee clarified the misunderstanding that was almost created regarding the appointment of Madam Mbewe. Indeed, the Parliamentary Service Commission Act No. 12 of 2016 has not commenced because the commencement order has not yet been published through a statutory instrument (SI), and it is quite clear that the drafters of our Constitution were aware that such circumstances may occur from time to time for various reasons. That is the reason there are Sections 6 and 21 of Act No. 1 of 2016, and I am glad that many people referred to them. 


Sir, I just want to say that there is no delay in publishing the SI to commence the Parliamentary Service Commission Act because there is no time frame provided in which that legislation should be effected. There are many reasons for holding back the issuance of a commencement order. However, I do not think that is debate for today. It can be reserved for an appropriate time.


Mr Speaker, the clarification made by your Committee is a clear illustration of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government’s commitment to governing in accordance with the Constitution and the laws of this country. We will endeavour to keep within the dictates of sacrosanct law of the land.


Mr Speaker, I agree entirely with all those who have congratulated Madam Mbewe on her appointment, which she really deserves.


Sir, Mrs Mbewe and her long Parliamentary service career should not be down-played by anybody because she has actually served the National Assembly longer than even her predecessor. I heard one of the contributors say that she was tutored by her predecessor. In fact, Mrs Mbewe joined Parliament earlier than Mrs Mwinga. Therefore, she ought to be duly regarded in that light.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I would also like to echo the sentiments of Hon. Dr Kambwili and others hon. Members of Parliament on the demeanour of Mrs Mbewe. On fears about her being compromised by the mere fact of having been appointed by the President instead of the Parliamentary Service Commission, to borrow the words of the hon. Minister for Eastern Province, those who care to read would have read the Constitution. The important thing is not necessarily how a person is appointed, but the security of tenure of the office to which one is appointed. According to Article 84(5) of the Constitution, the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly enjoys security of tenure. For the office holder to be removed, this House ought to do what we are doing today and a two-thirds majority attained in favour of the Motion. That should give us the confidence that Mrs Mbewe will enjoy security of tenure and will not look anywhere else except inside here, in the National Assembly.


Mr Speaker, I agree entirely with Hon. Douglas Syakalima, and I thought I should just make reference to that Article so that he can read it when he has the time and see that it is this Parliament that has authority over how long someone can occupy the Office of Clerk of the National Assembly.


Sir, some people said that Mrs Mbewe should foster change. Yes, she is the principal public servant of the National Assembly. However, it will be folly of us, hon. Members of Parliament gathered in this august Assembly, to resign our responsibilities to a functionary of this institution. Mrs Mbewe will only execute tasks assigned to her by us.


Sir, Mrs Mbewe has been applauded for being very open-minded and supportive. However, I would like to inform my dear colleagues that much as she is open-minded and supportive, she will not write Motions or Bills for hon. Members of Parliament to present to the House. They will have to do it for themselves. If they do not, they should not blame her.


Sir, on enhancement of the work of this institution, we owe it to society to do it. Mrs Mbewe is a tool that we ought to utilise.


Sir, those who have been in this House as long as Hon. Gary Nkombo will know that there are people in this House who did not only lament corruption, but took action to fight it. That brings me to the appointment of Mr Kapetwa Zachariah Phiri.


Mr Speaker, Mr Phiri is, indeed, a young man of thirty-nine, but I do not think that is half of Hon. Gary Nkombo’s age. That said, he has been lauded as a man of integrity who is also very experienced by those who have interacted with him. I am sure that the members of the seemingly almost defunct African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption (APNAC) at this Parliament will testify to the fact that he is a committed champion of the fight against corruption. So, rather than condemn or threaten him, I think that we ought to encourage him.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lubinda: He is young, but willing to learn and take the fight against corruption to higher heights.


Sir, Hon. Ngulube wondered whether the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) needs permission of the President to investigate an hon. Minister and referred to the late President Michael Sata’s statement on the matter. That statement must be understood in the context that the ACC investigates whoever needs to be investigated. However, at the point that it thinks it has sufficient information and the person ought to be asked to resign, it should report to the appointing authority so that the person is relieved of his or her position so that any chances of interfering with the investigations are avoided. That is the only extent to which the Head of State gets involved. Otherwise, the ACC is free to investing any person in Zambia or even outside as long the corrupt practices affect the jurisdiction of Zambia. Hon. Ngulube also complained about the lack of information from the ACC. Being a champion in the fight against corruption and having led Parliamentarians for more than ten years in the fight against corruption, I want to attest to the fact that if there is any institution that produces reports timely, it is the ACC. I encourage all hon. Members of Parliament to take keen interest in reading the annual and quarterly reports.


Sir, the fact that the ACC has a low success rate in its prosecutions does not mean that it is inert because there can be many reasons for that, including, like Hon. Gary Nkombo alluded, investigations that are based on frivolous reports. Naturally, the judges will not find any merit in the prosecution and will acquit the suspects. 


Mr Speaker, I also agree with Hon. Dr Kambwili that the ACC should carry out investigations expeditiously. There are many cases that have been brought reported to it that have taken too long to be concluded, but there are also various reasons for that. However, I appeal to Mr Phiri and the ACC to make an effort to work at the appropriate pace at all times so that people do not lose confidence in them.


Mr Speaker, the President lamented, and was quoted on radio, the fact that the ACC had told him of people who needed to be relieved of their positions because they were facing corruption charges but, after he took the recommended action, he is made to wait long for the conclusion of investigations. The President is the first to acknowledge that the ACC could benefit from capacity building in that regard.


Mr Speaker, like others have said, it is folly for us, the crafters of the laws, to sit here and lament the ineffectiveness, ineptness, inefficiency and other undesirable attributes of public institutions because they are our creations. Without blowing my own trumpet, I recall, a number of years ago, my attempt to amend the Ant-Corruption Commission Act, the Judicial Code of Conduct Act and the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct Act in this Parliament. The reason I did so was that I felt the law was too weak to enhance the fight against corruption. I challenge Hon. Nkombo that, instead of lamenting, can he, please, take time to look at the relevant laws and, where he finds weaknesses, consult Madam Mbewe on how to initiate amendments so that we can fight corruption together.


Mr Livune: Question!


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lubinda: We should not only blame others. In this House, we are collectively duty-bound to the people of Zambia. It is not a them-against-us affair. It is us against corruption. Let us join hands and fight this corruption.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lubinda: Sir, it is not right to assume that those in the Government are the only ones who have the power to sponsor laws because the Constitution and the Standing Orders clearly provide that any member of the public can propose a Private Member’s Bill. Further everyone here has the right to present a Bill or an amendment to any existing law to enhance the fight against corruption. It is no use claiming to be the coach of a football team, but only coach from the terraces, not the football pitch. We are now on the football pitch, all of us. So, let us play the game together and win the fight against corruption. This is our responsibility.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, yes, I agree that the ACC must watch hon. Ministers. The commission must watch those who have power. People without power will rarely engage in abuse of office. It is us gathered here who have power. Therefore, we must be the number one targets of the ACC. That does not exclude hon. Members of Parliament.


Mr Speaker, you may recall that, a few years ago, there was a vexing debate about the irregular procurement of graders. Who were involved? It was not hon. Ministers, and I would like Mr Phiri to conclude that investigation. To date the people of Zambia have not been told where that money went.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lubinda: Mr Phiri really has a difficult task ahead of him. He should investigate all those who deserve to be investigated. In addition, there has been all this talk about this one and that one being corrupt. The commission does not have to wait for reports to be submitted to it. There are people who continuously accuse others of corruption, and I challenge Mr Phiri and the ACC to subpoena those who have the appetite for condemning and accusing others of corruption to make reports on oath because the ACC Act is very clear. Those who accuse others of corruption without sufficient evidence must also be brought to book.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lubinda: It is of no use for us to continue accusing one another of corruption without willing to pursue the matters before law enforcement agencies. This young man, Mr Phiri, has been nominated and will be ratified by this House, and I thank everybody for agreeing to ratify him as ACC Director-General. That institution is ours together, but it can only be as efficacious as we make it. We cannot possibly blame the baker when we are not fuelling the oven. We need to give the oven energy. Similarly, if we do not give the ACC sufficient latitude and information it requires to arrest corruption, we should not condemn it for not fighting corruption. Please, let us go and report so that it might prosecute.


Sir, it is a pity that Hon. Gary Nkombo has decided to move away from his seat, as I was hoping to clarify one matter he raised.


Sir, the tendency to constantly demonise the Head of State and make him appear as though he does not know what he is doing …


Hon. Member: Gary Nkombo is here.


Mr Lubinda: Let him go in front of me.




Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lubinda: Sir, that is not fair. Hon. Gary Nkombo said that the President abrogated the law because he moved the Road Development Agency (RDA). Which law did he abrogate?


Mr Mwale: Waona!


Mr Nkombo waved a document.


Mr Lubinda: Now, he is showing me an Act, probably the Road Development Agency Act.


Sir, I would like to remind him that the supreme law of the land, the Constitution, …


Mr Mwale: Hear, hear!


Mr Lubinda: I urge him to ask Hon. Jack Mwiimbu if he remembers what he contributed at the National Constitutional Conference (NCC)…


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Ema example, aya!


Mr Lubinda: Sir, Hon. Mwiimbu will tell Hon. Nkombo that Article 92(d) gives authority to the Head of State …


Mr Mwale: Mwanvera ka!


Mr Lubinda: … to do what he has done with RDA and the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Unit.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lubinda: In case Hon. Jack Mwiimbu has forgotten, I have the law before me. So, I would like to read it to him.




Mr Lubinda: Sir, I will not waste time on the preliminary issues. I will go straight to the crux of the matter. “Executive functions of the President”.




Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Lubinda: Sir, Article 92 of the Constitution states that:


‘The President shall perform with dignity, leadership and integrity the acts that are necessary and expedient for or reasonably incidental to the exercise of the executive authority”.


Article 92(d) says:


“Establish, merge and dissolve Government ministries, ...”


Sir, the law also allows the President to ratify or accede to international agreements and treaties.


Mr Mwale: Mwamvera!


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lubinda: That is provided for at Article 92 and, …




Mr Lubinda: …using that power, …




Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Lubinda: ... the President can …




Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Lubinda: … merge and dissolve ministries.




Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Lubinda: That is the power the Head of State used.




Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Lubinda: Sir, I would like to remind Hon. Jack Mwiimbu to just look at the Constitution and …




Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Lubinda: ... see what is provided for at Article 92, where the President has the power to merge or dissolve ministries in consultation with Parliament.




Mr Lubinda: The President has that power.




Mr Lubinda: Therefore, whether Hon. Gary Nkombo likes it or not, the President is in line with the provisions of the Constitution of the land.




Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Lubinda: Sir, let me end by thanking your Committee and Parliament for ratifying …




Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Lubinda: … these very well-deserving citizens to the office of Clerk of the National Assembly and Director-General of the ACC.


I thank you, Sir.




Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Msanzala, wind up debate.


Mr Ngulube: Ema veteran, aba!


Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, my task is simply to thank all the hon. Members who have contributed to this debate on the Motion.


Mr Speaker, this is an honourable House and we must be reminded that when we make allegations, they are indelible regardless of whether the victim is in this House or not. When he or she inputs her name in a search engine, he or she will find the allegations linked to his or her name.


Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Motion be …


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Daka: I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Speaker: Order!


Question put and agreed to.






(Debate resumed)


Ms Kasune (Keembe): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to debate the Budget Address by the hon. Minister of Finance, Mr Felix C. Mutati, under the theme “Accelerating Fiscal Fitness for Sustained Growth without Leaving Anyone Behind.”


Mr Speaker, today being Teachers’ Day, I am really keen to debate. I just returned from my constituency, where I saw the educational needs of our children. I really felt that I should raise some issues on the hon. Minister’s speech.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister touched on an issue that is very close to the hearts of many of us, that is, the following lyrics in our National Anthem:


“One land and one nation is our cry”.


Sir, that line, which we have all sung several times from the time we were very young to this day, is very meaningful. However, the allocation of funds in the education sector leaves much to be desired. Among the people I represent, there are still children who walk more than 15 km to schools that, in most cases, have no basic infrastructure. Pupils sit on stones. This is 2017 and we are talking of not leaving anyone behind. If we are to do that, we have to fund education adequately. However, on page 29, I can see that the sector has been allocated about 16.5 per cent of the Budget. How will we attain the national development goals that we have set for ourselves and develop our human capacity if we continue at the rate we are going? It is important for us to put the basics in place before we can cross the bridge and, for me, nothing beats education in that regard. Education is said to be the best equaliser between the rich and the poor. Alas! We continue to slight the sector in Our Budget. So, we will continue having challenges.


Sir, just this week, we were privileged to be educated on the plight of children, especially girls with disabilities, in the area of education. So, as we go into the details of the Budget, I hope we will ensure that more resources are allocated to girls and boys with disabilities. For example, Chibombo Day School in Keembe Constituency is not a very big school. However, I want to report that out of its pupil population, twenty-eight girls fell pregnant, two got married and six just dropped out of school this year.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: For those who dropped out, we can only speculate that, most likely, they also fell pregnant. That takes the total of girls who dropped out of the school to thirty-six. The main cause of the large number of school girls falling pregnant is that most of them leave their homes to rent houses in the villages where they have no parental care and are, therefore, susceptible to engaging in many vices. They especially fall victim to being lured into sexual relationships by the young and old men around them. So, how can we talk about not leaving anyone behind if we do not make a concerted effort to create opportunities for all children to get an education? I feel that the hon. Minister of Finance has to focus more on education. Many of us are here today because we were privileged to have had an education. However, the hon. Minister of General Education will not do much if he is not given the resources he needs.


Mr Speaker, let me also talk about the area of road infrastructure.


Sir, the President talked about the need to diversify the economy in his speeches for the last two years. However, Keembe is only 50 km away from Lusaka, the Capital City, yet the construction of the Landless Corner/Mumbwa Road has stalled for years. I would have loved the hon. Minister of Finance to tell us when such projects will be completed. We cannot start new projects without completing the pending ones first. So, I appeal to the hon. Minister to complete that project, which only requires less than 50 km to be worked on for it to connect to Mumbwa Road. Further, having lived in Keembe and being someone who comes from Keembe, I appreciate planned construction of the Lusaka/Ndola Dual Carriageway. Yes, we will all benefit from it. However, the Mazabuka Road should have also been worked on.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: The President talked about diversifying into tourism. I used the Mazabuka Road two weeks ago noticed that it has become a death trap. We cannot talk about encouraging tourism, yet undermine the incentives that the local people can bring to the table. Our people also deserve to see their country. The airport projects, such as the Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport Project, are commendable. However, we also need to work on the roads. Zambia is a very beautiful country and, indeed, “One land and one nation is our cry”, but there is a lot of misuse in this country. Until we put our act together, become transparent and accountable in the use of our resources, and implement the Budget strictly, we will forever lag behind.


Sir, deliberately, I am wearing the mushanana, the nation dress for Rwanda, ...


Mr Livune: Mushanana!


Ms Kasune: ... because when I visited that country with the Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services visited last year, I was very amazed at the development that had been achieved there despite the country’s having gone through a horrible genocide. The fact is that they are very serious with implementation in that country.


Mr Speaker, the speeches will come and go but, as long as there is no effective implementation of programmes and policies, Zambia will forever lag behind. The country has many natural resources and a manageable population. I hope the hon. Minister of Finance and his colleagues in the Executive will implement their pronouncements.


Sir, if I am not mistaken, both our internal and external debt are at approximately 47 per cent of our gross domestic product (GDP). That is very high, yet we continue borrowing, which is, in itself, not a problem. The problem is our reasons for borrowing. Many times, the country borrows for things that cannot easily be accounted for. We should borrow for capital projects. That way, we will be borrowing smartly. Currently, our borrowing is used for consumption and, in many cases, on liabilities instead of building our asset base or other capital projects. Zambia benefited from the Jubilee 2000 Debt Cancellation and I was one of those who advocated for debt cancellation in the Diaspora.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: We were very excited to meet people like Bono of the U2, the then United Nations (UN) Secretary-General and many other influential people. However, what we have achieved after the debt was cancelled leaves much to be desired.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: We have gone back in reverse gear.


Sir, this is our country and we all need to put our heads together to develop it. I hope the members of the Executive take our criticism positively because we are all struggling to build this one land that we call home. No one is better than the other. We, including the people in rural areas who have been neglected for far too long, are all equal.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: We have to remind ourselves that we are only stewards, not the owners, of the resources of Zambia. It is very easy to get comfortable and think that we own the resources of this country.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, spoke to this House about how he had employed 7,400 workers in the health sector. As somebody who is conversant with the sector, I was excited about that and I looked forward to the fulfilment of his pledge to employ more this year. Unfortunately, I was disappointed to hear in the Budget Speech that only 1,000 health workers will be employed this year.


Sir, Zambia’s health worker/population ratio is still very high. If you go into a rural area, you will find that, in some clinics, there is one nurse to attend to 2,000 patients. So, employing only 1,000 workers in addition to the 7,400 is a drop in the bucket.


Sir, health care is the foundation and fabric of our nation, and the saying that a healthy nation is a wealthy nation has been thrown around. So, I would like to know if, by any chance, the hon. Minister of Health is the one who told the hon. Minister of Finance that he only needed 1,000 new health workers. I ask because the 1,000 new health workers can be swallowed up by my constituency, Keembe, alone. How, then, do we justify employing such a small number for the entire country? I hope that the hon. Minister of Finance will look seriously into that. Last year, the Budgetary allocation to the health sector was about 8.5 per cent. For 2018, it is about 9.5 per cent, which translates into an insignificant increase. That is because when the Government employed the 7,400 workers last year, it almost brought the percentage of the health sector to about 9.4 per cent. In reality, however, the increase is not much. So, will we achieve the universal health care coverage that we are trying to achieve?


Sir, the other thing that I want to talk about in the Ministry of Health is the issue of its model or slogan that prevention, control and treatment to be the key of our country. When you look at the allocation to the health sector, you will see that drugs and medical supplies are the most well-funded while the allocation to infrastructure and prevention is little. I think that that is where the gaps are. We tend to do a lot of things in silos. We may say that we are doing things in tandem but, actuality, there are many gaps. Therefore, if the Ministry of Health has prioritised prevention and control over treatment, then, the Budget must show that. However, that is not the case with this Budget.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: Mr Speaker, many of us know that Keembe is one of the most vibrant agricultural areas. However, there is a cry around the constituency that, last year, they sold a 50 kg bag at K120 but, this year, they are selling it at K48. So, they say that, as long as they will not be helped to market their produce by the Government, they will have no motivation to continue farming.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: How can we talk about diversifying our economy under such circumstances? If the farmers in Keembe are complaining, then, you had better believe that we need to do a better job. We need to go back to the drawing board and review our support to our farmers.


Sir, the hon. Minister for Central Province, Hon. Mushanga, alluded to the piggery project in Keembe Constituency, which is actually doing very well. So, he and the hon. Minister of Fisheries and Livestock must be commended for that. However, in the project to export goats to the Middle East, opportunities have not been created for local Zambians and, especially, the electorate in Keembe Constituency to participate. How will people sell goats in the Middle East when the Government has not created a proper mechanism for them to trade and improve their lives? They cannot contact someone in the Middle East or even in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which is closer to our country.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: Mr Speaker, if we really want to promote growth, it is important for us to prioritise the road sector, and I do not say that with reference to the roads in the urban areas only. Good roads are not only helpful to the farmers and business people, but will also save the lives of mothers, who still have to walk several kilometres to the nearest health posts. Currently, the rates of maternal and child deaths in Keembe are very high because sometimes mothers cannot afford to be transferred to Liteta or Kabwe hospitals. Sometimes, they give birth on the way as they are transported in carts or as they wait for some transport to come by.


Sir, about per cent of Zambia’s population lives in rural areas.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: So, if the hon. Minister of Finance wants to live up to the theme of his Budget, we have to prioritise the people in the rural areas. I know that he was once a Member of Parliament for a rural constituency.


Mr Livune: That is right.


Ms Kasune: If he visited Lunte today, he would not require much thinking to realise that the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) for rural constituencies has to be increased because ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: ... that is the only money to which the people in our constituencies have access. However, as things stand right, the situation regarding the fund is chaotic. For instance, a Member of Parliament can start a structure and leave it at slab level, another one comes in and raise it to roof level and, probably roofs it before leaving office for another to finish off the windows and other fittings. What are we doing as a country?


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: Sir, I think we should ask ourselves serious questions if we are to make Zambia a better place. If we are to live up to the theme that the hon. Minister has articulated very well, we will have to prioritise health and education, and really think about how to increase the CDF for rural constituencies, which are severely deprived of basic infrastructure. There are no roads and there is no electricity there. Luckily, the allocation to rural electrification has been increased. So, I hope the hon. Minister of Energy will electrify our schools …


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: … because we cannot continue to teach computer lessons without electricity. How will we charge laptops, if at all there are any?


Sir, Zambia depends on us, and we have the capacity and everything we need to better the country. It is only on implementation that we are supposed to assess ourselves, and that is why monitoring and evaluation is critical.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chibanda (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this great opportunity, on behalf of Mufulira Central, to debate this well-spelt out Budget presented …


Mr Livune: Question!


Dr Chibanda: … to this august House …


Mr Livune: Question!


Dr Chibanda: … by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Hon. Felix Mutati.


Mr Speaker, my elder brother, Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa, referred to the hon. Minister of Finance as the cream of the cream. I will opt to use the term Chancellor of the Exchequer because it is synonymous with “Minister of Finance”.








Mr Speaker, it is gratifying to note that the Chancellor of the Exchequer started his great presentation to the House and the nation by recalling the important message that had been given to the House by His Excellency the President …


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Mufulira!


For consistency in our Hansard, I would rather you refer to the hon. Minister of Finance by his designated portfolio, namely ‘the hon. Minister of Finance’.


Dr Chanda: Iyaba pa regi!


Dr Chibanda: Much obliged, Mr Speaker. I will use the name that is on his national registration card (NRC), which is “hon. Minister of Finance”.




Dr Chibanda: Mr Speaker, in his preamble, the hon. Minister of Finance quoted His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s message to the nation and this House when he officially opened Parliament on 15th September, 2017. The hon. Minister started by asking us, hon. Members of Parliament and Zambians, to engage in introspection on who we are, as a people. He also quoted the “One land and one nation is our cry” lyrics from our own National Anthem. Therefore, with that in mind, as we consider the 2018 Budget, we should realise one thing: We are all Zambians and we all have a duty to develop this country.


Mr Speaker, the people of Mufulira have noted that the total value of the 2018 Budget will be K71.6 billion, which is an immense increase on the Budget for 2017. I hail from a mining province and a district that hosts one of the biggest mining houses in this country. Therefore, let me debate the mining sector first.


Mr Speaker, it is important and gratifying that the hon. Minister stated that the Government would provide contiguity of policies in the mining sector. He was also quick to mention that as the nation diversifies, the Government would still provide an enabling environment for the mining sector to grow.


Sir, the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, recently went on record proclaiming that time had come for the country to reform its mining sector. That was at a time there was an impasse over electricity tariffs between the Copper Energy Corporation (CEC) and Mopani Copper Mines (MCM). As residents of Mufulira, we were delighted by that pronouncement because we knew that, of late, Zambians and the people who live where copper is extracted have not benefitted as compared from the mining sector as they did during the days of the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM). It is with this in mind that we eagerly await the formation of the reforms committee that the President said would comprise of hon. Ministers and other stakeholders. As stakeholders, we have many contributions to make to that committee.


Mr Speaker, the taxes from the mining sector leave much to be desired.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Dr Chibanda: It is with this in mind …


Mr Speaker: Order!


(Debate adjourned)




The House adjourned at 1955 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 6th October, 2017.