Tuesday, 17th October, 2017

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Tuesday, 17th October, 2017


The House met at 1430 hours










Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish, on behalf of the National Assembly, to apologise for the technological problem that we have just had. It is, maybe, a reminder that we should practice to sing …




Madam First Deputy Speaker: … the National Anthem without the microphones.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: We have actually done very well.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I am told that the system has now been sorted out.








Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, I have three announcements to make. The first one is that I wish to inform the House that the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) will hold a symposium for hon. Members of Parliament on the Rural Electrification Programme on Thursday 26th October, 2017, between 0830 hours and 1230 hours in the Amphitheatre, here at Parliament Buildings. The Ministry of Energy is formulating a 7,000 km grid extension programme for rural areas in Zambia.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: The implementation of this project is expected to benefit rural households, schools, health facilities, business ventures and chiefs’ palaces under the Rural Electrification Programme. Further, in collaboration with the Zambia Information Technology Communications Authority (ZICTA), the programme will deliver the much required information communication technology (ICT) infrastructure in rural schools. It is in this vein that REA wishes to solicit the participation of hon. Members of Parliament, as key stakeholders, in the fulfillment of the objectives of the national assignment.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, the attendance of the symposium will be on voluntary basis.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Question!




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, the next announcement is that I have authorised Vision Care Appasamy Eye Hospital to conduct a free eye screening exercise for interested hon. Members of Parliament and staff of the National Assembly. The exercise includes the following:


  1. high blood pressure monitoring;


  1. weight checking;


  1.  cornea scar;


  1. pterygum screening;


  1. ophthalmic counselling;


  1. cataract screening; and


  1. refractive error.


The screening exercise will run from today, Tuesday, 17th October, 2017, to Friday, 20th October, 2017, in Committee Room One, here at Parliament Buildings. All interested hon. Members are urged to visit the medical practitioners at their convenient time between 0900 hours and 1600 hours each day.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, the third and last announcement is that I have permitted the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development to hold an awareness meeting with all hon. Members of Parliament on the implementation of two major youth empowerment programmes, which will be rolled out in all the ten provinces of Zambia. These empowerment programmes are on youth in ICT and community sport. The meeting will take place on Thursday, 19th October, 2017, at 1000 hours in the Amphitheatre, here at Parliament Buildings.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: All hon. Members are requested to attend this important meeting, whose attendance is on voluntary basis.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Members!








The Minister of General Education (Dr Wanchinga): Madam Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me an opportunity to update the House on the assault of a pupil at Chengelo School in Mkushi District of the Central Province.


Madam Speaker, you may recall that on Thursday, 12th October, 2017, Hon. Garry Nkombo, Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central Parliamentary Constituency, rose on a point of order and I quote:


“Madam Speaker, last week, there was a trending story on social media and in most private newspapers about a certain school. I could be wrong, but the Daily Mail and the Times of Zambia, which are Government newspapers, did not carry this story. If they did, then, I apologise to these media houses. There is a school in the Central Province called Chengelo Primary and Secondary School. I want to declare interest because all my three children went to this school many years ago. I said that my point of order, which concerns a matter of pupils bullying each other to a point of brutalisation, could damage the image of this country. What makes this case particularly worse is that the victim of this brutalisation is Caucasian, meaning he is white. This pupil was allegedly brutally assaulted by two Zambian boys who are also pupils at the same school. As you know, social media has no boundaries. I received phone calls from friends of mine from far and wide. They called from Canada and Japan to tell me that they have heard about the violence in this country and that it has now escalated to schools. Is the hon. Minister of General Education in order to sit so comfortably here and not inform this House about the facts relating to that assault and what remedial measures his ministry has taken in order for us to reclaim, if at all we can, our standing on the world states. What is circulating out there is that we are a racist and violent group. Is he in order to keep quiet in the way he is seated without coming to inform this House on the state of affairs.”


In her ruling, Madam Speaker guided that:


“While the Government will not be expected to comment on every news item, I will request the hon. Minister of General Education to shade some light on this particular matter through a statement, indicating the Government’s position.”


Madam Speaker, from the onset, my ministry wishes to place on record that the delay in updating the House on this unfortunate incident was due to the ministry’s desire to complete its investigations. Following media reports, which were circulating on the alleged assault of a pupil at Chengelo School, the Ministry of General Education immediately dispatched a team of senior officers from headquarters, together with some officers from the province as well as from the district offices in Mkushi. Media reports alleged that a pupil was assaulted by a fellow pupil in a dormitory. This unfortunate incident was even captured on video. This team was tasked to carry out an investigation in order to verify the authenticity of the media report.


Madam Speaker, you may also recall that soon after this incident, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs made a statement that touched on this issue. I am also aware that his office did dispatch officers to this said school to be able to carry out a thorough investigation on their side so as to identify the criminal aspects of this action by the pupils.


Madam Speaker, on the part of the Ministry of General Education, these investigations by the team that was dispatched to this school were thoroughly undertaken and the ministry revealed that the assault incident of a Form 4 pupil by fellow Form 4 pupils at the school did actually take place. The incident happened on Friday, 6th October, 2017, at about 2130 hours when all the pupils had gone to bed and the lights were off. The incident came to the attention of the school authorities the following morning when the house parent became suspicious of the movements of pupils who were even forming small groups around the dormitory where this incident had occurred.


The house parent reported the matter to the deputy head teacher who also immediately reported the matter to the head teacher. It was at this point that the house parent received a video clip of the incident from one of the pupils.


Madam Speaker, in line with the disciplinary procedures of the school, the head teacher immediately summoned the three pupils involved in the assault case, who were all established as being Form 4 pupils. This led to the three pupils being detained at the administration block for questioning and allowed them to explain in writing what had transpired on the fateful night.


Madam Speaker, from the report that the ministry has received, the incident happened in the presence of four pupils, which included a monitor in his room. The most unfortunate part of all this was that the pupils in the room did not intervene to stop the fight. Instead, they took videos, which they later circulated to their friends in the other dormitories.


Madam Speaker, from the statements collected, the exact reason for the fight was not states, except that the victim was said to have been irritating the assailants by the manner in which he was responding to them. They thought that he was too cheeky in answering their questions, hence that precipitated the decision on the part of the accused boys to beat up their friend.


Madam Speaker, upon obtaining the statements from all the concerned parties, the parents to the three pupils were summoned. In their submissions, the parents to the victim indicated that they would not press police charges on the assaulters at the time, but that they would wait to see what kind of action the school administration would take in handling the case. In line with the school’s disciplinary procedures, authorities proceeded to suspend the two pupils involved pending the board’s decision on the matter.


Madam Speaker, on Sunday, 8th October, 2017, there was a board meeting to discuss the issue. The board passed a decision that the two pupils involved in the assault case be expelled from the school with immediate effect. These pupils have been dully expelled.


Madam Speaker, I wish to also inform the House that parents of all the pupils who were just watching when their friend was being assaulted were equally summoned to the school on Thursday, 12th October, 2017, to discuss the matter with them. This was to facilitate some kind of counselling for the children. A report on the outcome of this meeting between the parents of children who had witnessed the assault and the school administration is being awaited by the ministry.

Madam Speaker, I would like to state that from the time this incident was reported and established to be true, the ministry allowed the school to follow the laid down disciplinary procedures.


Madam, Government policy regarding the behaviour of pupils in schools is strict and does not condone any form of violent behaviour. Learner behaviour is regulated by the standards and evaluation guidelines which have been provided to all schools, whether Government or private. Therefore, acts of bullying, mockery or any inhumane treatment are strictly prohibited.


Madam Speaker, the Government will not sit idly and allow such destructive behaviour to take root in our education system or any education institution. To this effect, the Government has taken a number of measures, particularly for this incident. It is important to note that in the ministry’s interaction with the school, the school administration expressed regret that such an incident took place at the school which is founded on strong Christian principles. For this particular regrettable incident, the ministry has directed the following:


  1. the school authority to continue sensitising the pupils on the need to report all incidents of bullying, mockery and any form of abusive behaviour to the relevant authorities within the school;


  1. the school to enhance security measures and guarantee the security of pupils at the school;


  1. the school to establish a guidance and counselling office to specifically deal with psycho-social and other behavioural related issues among learners, as was the case in all Government schools which have now created these positions;


  1. that the school ensures that school house parents carry out random checks in the hostels after lights have been switched off; and


  1. the school strengthens the functions of the board and the student representative council so that learners have clear governance and authority structures within the school. This is to enhance reporting mechanisms for aggrieved students on any matter that any learner may wish to report on.


Madam Speaker, on the national scale, I have since directed all provincial educational officers (PEOs) and district educational board secretaries (DEBS) to closely monitor all education institutions under my ministry to ensure that they adhere to rules and regulations which govern the conduct of pupils in all schools.


In concluding, allow me to state that my ministry remains committed to ensuring a safe learning environment for all our learners, both in private and public schools. I also wish to take this opportunity to thank the Chengelo School Management for actively pursuing this matter.


Madam Speaker, it is my sincere hope that such unfortunate incidents will not recur at the school or any other education institution under my ministry. Zambia, as a country, embraces the principles of Christian values and, as such, no local or international media should misrepresent facts as they occurred on that material day.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement given by the hon. Minister of General Education.


Dr Chanda (Bwana Mkubwa): Madam Speaker, I did not have the privilege of attending an international school like Chengelo. I attended a public school where such cases are very common.


Madam, I would, therefore, like to find out from the hon. Minister how often his ministry gets reports of assaults in public schools, which are so many countrywide. If it does, why do we not see the same zeal being exhibited? 


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, there is a wise saying by an old man that those who criticise and ask hard questions should make them soft and tender in case they have to eat them.




Mr Ngulube: Ema proverb aya!


Dr Wanchinga: The issue of violence in schools, especially mockery, has been there since the beginning of secondary education. The ministry rose to this challenge by banning all kinds of activities in schools that I spelt out in my statement.


Madam Speaker, if instances are not formally reported to my ministry, it becomes very difficult to investigate. This is why the establishment of the guidance and counselling offices in all schools will play an important role in indentifying these cases and creating mechanisms for counselling our children. The ministry can only react to situations which have been reported.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Madam Speaker, this case has dented the reputation of Zambia out there. It is unfortunate that a fight amongst pupils has drawn the attention of the outside world, ...


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Muchima: … and Zambia has been labelled racist.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Muchima: Hon. Minister, what measures, other than merely expelling these pupils from school, has the Government put in place to inform the world that the Zambian Government is apologetic and not racist and that this incident was a normal thing that happens amongst pupils?


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, this is a good question.


Mr Muchima: Very good!


Dr Wanchinga: I would like to just assure the international community that Zambia is a Christian nation that upholds very important religious values. It is a peaceful nation and this case should be looked at as an isolated incident. We should look at this incident the same way we looked at the violence which occurred in Namwala after Independence …


Mr Livune: Question!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




Dr Wanchinga: … as an isolated incident.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Hon. Minister, the question is very specific.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Are you done answering it?


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, there are parallels in terms of the damage that incident cost in the eyes of the international community. As far as I am concerned, it is logical to draw these parallels so that whether we are dealing with a school situation or a political situation, we need to uphold the highest standards of behaviour and uphold the values of this nation, as a peaceful nation.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Wanchinga: Madam, this is the assurance that I can give our colleagues both locally and in the international community.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Madam Speaker, indeed, it is a sad situation that Zambia can now be in the international media regarding the child who was assaulted.


Madam, children learn a lot from what adults do. Policemen have been beaten up, but no action has been taken. Members of the Opposition have been beaten up, but still no action has been taken …


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


The statement was on bullying at Chengelo School.


Dr Musokotwane: Yes, Madam Speaker.


Madam, does the hon. Minister not think that the children who committed the offence learnt from society at large, including the Government’s action, that someone can actually bully or beat up another without any consequences?


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, I will not buy into that extrapolation.


Like I said, when I went for my Form One in 1963, …


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Dr Wanchinga: … I was mocked. This behaviour has continued in schools. So, if we say that we have learnt from our elders, then, it means that this has been the cumulative effect of historical of incidents, such as the Namwala incident, …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Wanchinga: … during colonialism. This may be what has created that mindset in our children because it was believed that if a new pupil came to a school, he/she would have to be mocked a little to make them a little jacked up. It also occurs in the military.


Madam Speaker, when I went for my National Service in Kafue in 1974 after graduating from the University of Zambia, we were also mocked. Therefore, this kind of behaviour is somehow a little embedded in our psyche. The ministry has since risen to this challenge that this kind of mindset be corrected. It is for this reason that the Government has now put in place laws to ban mockery and all kinds of activities of that nature in schools. The origin of this kind of behaviour is something that we have to study. Certainly, we cannot say that it started two, three or five years ago. It has been there for a long time.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Ngulube: Tubombeko zoona.


Madam Speaker, I appreciate the hon. Minister’s explanation regarding the bullying at Chengelo School. However, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what the Government’s position is on the issue of schools where bullying has not been reported. The hon. Minister has also mentioned that the Government will set up guidance and counselling departments in schools where students or pupils can learn some values. I would like to find out from him the Government’s position as regards rural schools where there is no social media or anybody to take a photo or a video of an act of violence or mockery as it happens?


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, that is also another good question.


Madam, certainly, there is no social media in the rural areas to the level it exists in urban areas. Of course, we should not forget that even in rural areas there are teachers or pupils with cellular phones, who can still capture this kind of incident. On the scale of abundance, we can say that the opportunities to have those kinds of cases reported to the public media are slightly lower in rural areas than it is in the urban areas.


Madam Speaker, the response of the ministry to this challenge is to establish guidance and counselling offices. We have made this an integral part of the education system. It is not something that is supposed to be ad hoc. We expect that every school will have a department of guidance and counselling whether it be in urban or rural areas. The department will be tasked with the responsibility of bringing children together, counselling and reconciling them from time to time according to our national values and adherence to the guidance, which has been given to all schools concerning this matter.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Madam Speaker, my usual tradition is to thank each hon. Minister whenever a statement such as the one is issued. However, today, I am having difficulties in doing that. Actually, I am a in a state of shock that, maybe, at tea break, I will try to counsel the hon. Minister.


Hon. Government Members: Aah!


Mr Nkombo: Madam, I am shocked that the hon. Minister could draw a parallel between an altercation, which amounted to brutalisation among children, with violence, which is associated with politics, as he attempted to draw Namwala into his answer.  I am sure the hon. Minister knows that charity begins at home. So, I am totally disappointed with Hon. Denis Wanchinga.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Could the hon. Member, please, ask a question.


Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, in his response to my point of order, he indicated that it was believed that the victim of this brutilisation appeared to have been cheeky and that may have been the reason he got brutilised. I would like to find out whether his officials got statements from those who have been expelled to exactly establish what drove those two boys to brutilise someone who, in his own words, appeared to be cheeky. Those were his words. Since when has cheekiness deserved such a beating?


Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central bemoaned my drawing the parallel between Namwala and the Chengelo incident.


I did so benevolently because, in his point of order, his concern was on the perception of the international community. In his own words, he had been told by his friends that violence has now escalated to the schools. It escalated from where?


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Wanchinga: If violence has escalated to the schools, it means it started from somewhere else and one starting point could be Namwala.




Dr Wanchinga: Secondly, Madam Speaker, the issue of cheekiness was the reason which was given for that particular child being beaten. I personally read the statements which were written by the assailants and they said that they beat up this boy because he was cheeky. That is in black and white. Perhaps, there was something else both the assailants and victim could not disclose because they thought that it could bring about some other punishment. However, unless the police’s findings were different, our investigations, as a ministry, based on the reports the children involved gave to the people who were conducting investigations were that the child in question was beaten up because he was cheeky.


Thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Madam Speaker, the video of a pupil being beaten up at Chengelo School was captured by a fellow pupil in the dormitory and posted on social media. We are aware that in public schools, pupils are not allowed to be in possession of cellular phones. Those caught with them are punished heavily. Now, in light of this revelation at Chengelo School, does the ministry have any intention of relaxing that rule so that pupils can be allowed to capture events, as they happen in order to expose them?


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, first of all, Chengelo is a private school. Therefore, it may have rules concerning cellular phones slightly different from what we have in public schools. However, the ministry does not think that the fact that there was an unfortunate incident captured and circulated on social media should provide good reason to relax our guidelines. That is food for thought, but for the time being, I think we will stick to our regulations that children should not be in possession of cellular phones in schools.


Thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Chisopa (Mkushi South): Madam Speaker, for avoidance of doubt, besides interviewing the three boys, did the ministry officials, who went to the school, try to interview the girl who was been appearing on social media regarding this incident? It looks like she has been linked to the cause of the incident. Further, the hon. Minister talked about the issue of …


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


One question, hon. Member.


Mr Chisopa: Yes, Madam Speaker, I am just trying to connect this to the question. The hon. Minister talked about the issue of counselling. He said the school has been advised to come up with a guidance and counselling institution. Is that programme also being undertaken by the Government in public schools, especially in boarding secondary schools?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister of General Education, are you aware that there was a girl involved and, if so, was that girl interviewed?


Mr Mwale: She is very beautiful!




Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, I have heard about some references to a girl being involved. However, in the letters which were written by the accused and the boy who was beaten up, none of them made reference in their reports to a girl being involved. I have heard many things that have come up in the media. For instance, one of the boys has been reported to have a history of violence. It is alleged that he has actually been suspended and expelled before on issues of violence. I also know that people have been speculating about the stability or instability of the families that some of these children come from. However, we cannot bring those issues or hearsays into our discussion. Therefore, I had to confine myself to the things which were contained in the report that I received.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Ngulube: Eba mayo aba.


Mrs Fundanga (Chilubi): Madam Speaker, I would like to …


Ms Lubezhi: On a point of order, Madam.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Ms Lubezhi: Madam Speaker, my apologies to the hon. Member who was about to ask a question. I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Minister of General Education in order to refer to cases which are before the courts of law? I expected him, as an old man, to have wisdom and to know that …


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


You will withdraw that reference to the hon. Minister of General Education as an old man.




Ms Lubezhi: Madam Speaker, I withdraw the reference of ‘an old man’ to the young man, the hon. Minister of General Education.




Ms Lubezhi: He should know very well that matters that are before the courts of law, like the issues in Namwala, are not supposed to be referred to because he can be cited for contempt. Is he, therefore, in order to refer to issues pertaining to Namwala Constituency?


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: The ruling of the Chair is that the doctrine of subjudice is meant or intended to allow the courts to carry out their work without interference from anyone. Therefore, commenting on matters that are before the courts to the extent that they can be influenced is not allowed.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: However, in this case, I did not hear the hon. Minister mention a particular matter. He merely referred to an incident that happened in Namwala. In that regard, therefore, the hon. Minister of General Education is in order.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Fundanga: Madam Speaker, this incident can be termed as a blessing in disguise, sad as it is. We should not pretend that bullying does not exist in this country and portray this one incident as an isolated case as if it is not happening in the entire country. In most private primary and secondary schools, including schools like Banani International Secondary School, children are not allowed to carry cellular phones.


There are so many schools where children are not allowed to carry cellular phones. Bullying has been there since time immemorial, as the hon. Minister of General Education mentioned. We even know some of the names the older students used to call us ...


Hon. Members: Question!


Mrs Fundanga: Madam Speaker, this trend has been going on for a long time, and we have not done anything about it. As law makers, let us unite instead of being divided.


Hon. Members: Question!


Mrs Fundanga: Madam, the question I am trying to ask is: What deliberate measures will the hon. Minister of General Education put in place to prevent this from happening in future? Will there be consideration given to having a deliberate desk in the ministry to monitor bullying in schools so that it can come to an end?


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, the counselling and guidance units, which will be established at every school, will be mandated with the responsibility of ensuring that bullying is curbed in all schools.


I thank you, Madam.


Mrs Chonya (Kafue): Madam Speaker, when this incident happened, I think the obvious punishment we all thought of for those boys was expulsion, but the father of the brutalised boy brought a different dimension to how the whole issue was to be handled, based on a very rare and genuine kind of Christianity such as the one we are trying to promote through tomorrow’s prayers.


Madam, I am wondering whether the hon. Minister is giving consideration to the appeal that the parent to the brutalised boy made, which was that, maybe, the boys who bullied his son need to be sat together with their parents, and the matter discussed so that they can have the opportunity to reform instead of transferring the problematic children from one school to another. We heard that, actually, one of those boys had already been expelled from a different school over a similar matter. Is the ministry or maybe Chengelo School giving consideration to the approach of how to deal with this matter, as proposed by the father of the brutalised child?


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, I read the story that the father to the victim approached the school administration and said that on the basis of his Christian values, he would like the case to be withdrawn and the children pardoned so that they can continue to learn at the school. That is good thinking. However, it is also important to set a good precedent because if an incident of that magnitude is allowed to occur and no punitive measures are taken to send a strong message to the children, we will set a sad precedent. If it happens again, somebody will turn around and say “But you allowed the child of that person to remain in school, why are you expelling my child?” We may set a trend which may work against the values of the school itself. So, it is not a very good thing, but I appreciate what the parent of the victim was trying to do.


I thank you, Madam.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Madam Speaker, I have noted the catalogue of advice and instructions the hon. Minister has given to the Provincial Education Officers (PEOS) as well as the District Education Board Secretaries (DEBS). However, will the hon. Minister include to the list the requirement of full disclosure on the conduct of pupils who are on transfer from one school to another? The hon. Minister mentioned that one of the assailants, who has been disciplined, was transferred from one school to Chengelo School, a school that has been renowned for good conduct.


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, I think that is a useful thought. Usually, when a child is being transferred from one school to another, there is a school report which is given concerning the behaviour of the child, in addition to the academic report. So, if a head teacher chooses to hide information concerning a particular child on transfer, then, he or she is not helping the school where that child is being transferred to. So, it is important to ensure that full disclosure is given so that wherever that child may go, he or she can have access to counselling facilities in that particular school. I think full dislosure is a good idea.


I thank you, Madam.








62. Mr Mutale (Chitambo) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development when the construction of the outstanding projects at the following primary schools in Chitambo District would commence:


  1. 1 x 3 classroom block at Fisange;


  1. 1 x 2 classroom block at Chipata;


  1. 1 x 3 classroom block at Mukando;


  1. 1 x 3 classroom block, a single ventilated improved pit latrine (VIP) and a staff house at Kafinda; and


  1. a double VIP latrine, a single VIP latrine and a staff house at Yoram Mwanje.


The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Chitotela) The construction of the outstanding projects at the primary schools in Chitambo District mentioned in the question above will commence when funds are made available by the Treasury. These outstanding projects are even appearing in this year’s Budget.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Mutale: Madam Speaker, the infrastructure at the schools named in this question appeared in the 2010 Infrastructure Development Plan, and I am happy that the hon. Minister has said that said ...


Mr Mutelo: On a point of order, Madam.


Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Mutelo: Madam Speaker, I am totally sorry for interrupting the hon. Member’s question.


Madam Speaker, Article 90 of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act, 2016 says:


“The Executive authority derives from the people of Zambia and shall be exercised in a manner compatible with the principles of social justice and for the people’s well-being and benefit.”


Madam Speaker, was the hon. Minister of Agriculture in order …


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Could the hon. Member speak up a bit. I can hardly hear you.


Mr Mutelo: Was the hon. Minister of Agriculture in order to refer to hon. Members of Parliament as beggars, allow me to quote:


“If Members of Parliament want to develop their constituencies, then, they should know that the game of politics is about negotiations. One cannot, that is a Member of Parliament, on one hand, come here and start shouting against Members of the Executive, but in the corridors, beg for the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) for their constituencies.”


Mr Mutelo: Madam Speaker, was she in order to say that we, as Members of Parliament, are beggars and that we beg for the well-being of the Zambians in the corridors? When we go to public offices to see the public servants, does it mean that now the public offices have turned into corridors or if we are here, this House referred to as another corridor? We meet and interact with them in the public offices and in this House. Was she in order to make that reference since corridors and corruption are inseparable? I would not want to make reference to the phase, “ I am watching your lips.” I seek your serious ruling.




Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member of Parliament for Mitete has raised a point of order making reference to the provision of the Constitution and in particular, Article 90, which refers to the Principles of Executive Authority. He has also made reference to the debate of last week by the hon. Minister of Agriculture, in which debate, according to the hon. Member of Parliament for Mitete, the hon. Minister referred to hon. Members of Parliament as beggars.


In order for me to make a fair ruling on that matter, I will have to read the verbatim report to ascertain whether the hon. Minister, indeed, referred to the hon. Members of Parliament asking for assistance for their constituencies as beggars. Once I have conducted that investigation, I will be able to make the ruling.


In the meantime, I would request that the hon. Member of Parliament for Mitete lays the document he was making reference to on the Table to the House. That is my ruling.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo laid the paper on the Table.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member of Parliament for Chitambo may continue with his supplementary question.


Mr Mutale: Madam Speaker, before I was interrupted by that point of order, I was saying that the pronouncements, which actually excited the people of Chitambo being a rural area, were made in 2010. May I find out from the hon. Minister what caused the delay in implementing the said infrastructure.


Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, a lot could have caused the delay in the implementation of this project. I could speculate that funds were not released by the Treasury.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.






63. Mr Samakayi (Mwinilunga) asked the Minister of Health:

  1. whether the Government had any plans to upgrade the Ntambu Health Facility in Mwinilunga District to a First Level Hospital;


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


  1. when doctors would be deployed to the facility; and


  1. if there were no such plans, why.

The Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Madam Speaker, the Government does not have any immediate plans to upgrade Ntambu Health Centre in Mwinilunga District to a First Level Hospital.


Madam, we will not deploy doctors to Ntambu Health Centre because a health centre in the current setup will not have medical doctors, but clinical officers, midwives and environmental health technologists.


Madam, the current establishment for Ntambu Heath Centre does not provide for doctors like I said. The House may wish to note that we post staff according to the level of accreditation of a facility and according to the availability of Treasury authority for funded vacancies.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Madam Speaker, I expected the hon. Minister to speak from an informed position. As he has answered that question, has he had a chance to visit Ntambu Health Facility we are talking about for him to deny the people of Ntambu the required staff such as doctors? Does he have a clear picture of Ntambu Health Facility?


Dr Chilufya: Madam Speaker, the level of accreditation of Ntambu Health Facility is not that of a hospital. It is classified as a zonal health centre. Therefore, it is not a First Level Hospital and does not qualify to have medical doctors in the current arrangement.


Madam, I would also like the hon. Member of Parliament to distinguish between the two zonal health centre and first level hospital. I am not talking about whether the infrastructure at the moment is adequate to warrant upgrade to First Level Hospital, but I am talking of its current level of accreditation and the staff that are commensurate to work there.


So, the simple answer is that we are fully aware of the facilities that are at Ntambu, the structures and the human resource that is there. However, for now we have not yet upgraded Ntambu and we have no immediate plans to do that until we do some certain background work.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Samakayi: Madam Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister the background work he is yet to do because I thought, from the layman’s point of view, that Ntambu Health Facility has all the facilities that are required for a First Level Hospital. He is there constructing clinics, yet there is a hospital that is already constructed with all the facilities in place. What is that background work that he is doing to enable him to plan or accredit the health facility to a First Level Hospital? The people of Mwinilunga would want to know.


Dr Chilufya: Madam Speaker, it takes more than just a pronouncement to upgrade a facility. First of all, the population must be adequate to warrant such a service, otherwise, a facility becomes part of a referral system to the next facility. Therefore, one of the criteria we use is population. The second criterion we use is the distance to the next hospital. The third criterion we use is equipment availability and infrastructure. Fourthly and critically, we look at the Budget.


Madam Speaker, in other words, when a facility is upgraded, it needs more human resource, a higher grant and higher operational costs. Therefore, you need to plan for any upgrade. A facility may look adequate in terms of infrastructure, but there is some work to be done in our planning departments to ensure that all the other variables match before we upgrade.


Madam Speaker, looking at the resource basket that we have, there are no immediate plans to upgrade it to a First Level Hospital. However, for the benefit of the hon. Member of Parliament, the challenges that we have noted are things that we are discussing with co-operating partners. If those are tweaked, there may be a possibility within the Multi-Tier Framework (MTF) period to upgrade it and put matching resources at Ntambu.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Madam Speaker, ...


Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Madam.


Madam First Deputy Speaker:  A point of order is raised.


Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, thank you very much. I will be very brief. My point of order is on her Honour the Vice-President, who is leader of Government Business in the House, and by extension, the hon. Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance.


Madam Speaker, I would like to quote from the Constitution before I make my point of order. In the preamble, the Constitution reads:


“We the people of Zambia: Acknowledge the supremacy of God Almighty; Declare the Republic a Christian Nation while upholding a person’s right to freedom of conscience, belief or religion.”


Madam Speaker, in my right hand, I have the entire statement that the hon. Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance delivered to this House regarding tomorrow’s event of national prayers, reconciliation and ...


Mr Livune: And Sins!


Mr Nkombo: Yes.


Madam Speaker, in my left hand, I have a letter in form of an internal memorandum from the Town Clerk of Kitwe City Council to all heads of department and employees dated 11th October, 2017. This statement from the hon. Minister was issued the next day, which was the 12th October, 2017.


Madam Speaker, this letter from this Town Clerk, Eng. B. L. Luanga, reads as follows:


“This serves to inform you all that this year’s National Day of Prayers and Fasting will be held in Kitwe on Wednesday 18th October, 2017, at Nkana Stadium starting at 08:00 hours. The Republican President, His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, will attend this important national event here in Kitwe.”


The following passage is the bedrock of my point of order. It reads:


“Therefore, all employees are required to be in attendance without fail. Take note that a roll call will be conducted at the stadium to check who will not be in attendance and those found wanting will be dealt with accordingly.”


Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, it was clear during this statement that many questions arose which prompted some of us to make declarations that for this year, and this year alone, we would like to be excused from these national prayers because there is a pending dialogue, ...


Hon. Government Member: They are Masons!


Mr Nkombo: ... which may result into this national reconciliation being conducted. Therefore, we could not put the cart before the horse.


Madam Speaker, this provision of free conscious and respecting beliefs by other religious believers is in the Constitution. I pray that your ruling will request Her Honour the Vice-President to come back to this House before end of business today because the national day of prayers is tomorrow, in a few hours time.


Hon. Government Members: Aah!


Mr Nkombo: This should be done so that this country can stand and shine once again because the freedom of conscious, worship and assembly is respected.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: That document by Eng. Luanga is mischievous and must be disregarded. Only those who are convinced that they must go to pray should attend while others can pray in their solitude.


Madam Speaker, with your indulgence, I will lay these documents on the Table for Her Honour the Vice-President, my mother, to read through and hopefully come back with a statement before close of business today.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo laid the paper on the Table.


Mr Chitotela: Waliwa, iwe.


Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, is Hon. Chitotela in order to say I am backslidden Christian by raising ...


Madam First Deputy Speaker: How many points of order are you making, hon. Member? Please, take your seat.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Firstly, I have questions about the authenticity of the document referred to by the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central. Secondly and most importantly, the document referred to states very clearly ‘internal memorandum’. As a result of it being an internal document, I am not in a position to make a ruling because that was internal communication from senior officers to junior officers of the respective council.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: That is the ruling. I have no ruling to make because the document was, obviously, not officially obtained.


Mr Kampyongo: You stole!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I cannot, therefore, compel the Government to make its position clear on this matter.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I have, therefore, no ruling to make.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lihefu: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for giving another doctor to Loloma Mission Hospital.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, on my left! Please, allow the hon. Member for Manyinga to ask his question.


Mr Lihefu: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister of Health for sending another doctor to Loloma Mission Hospital, …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lihefu: … which is currently, acting as a district hospital.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lihefu: Madam Speaker, since the population in Ntambu is less than that in Manyinga, will the Government construct a district hospital in Manyinga District where the population is higher?


Dr Chilufya: Madam Speaker, that compliment deserves a Government assurance that there is consideration of such a possibility. We know that Manyinga is a new district and the policy of the Government is to build hospital facilities in all the new districts. It is certainly in the plans of the Government to build a new facility within the current Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Madam Speaker, one of the conditions for accrediting a doctor to Ntambu is population. The hon. Minister said that the population in Ntambu is too low for the Government to send a doctor there. Therefore, what is the expected catchment area Ntambu should attain to have the privilege of having a doctor accredited to it?


Dr Chilufya: Madam Speaker, if you look at the current basic health care package, we talk about 3,500 people accessing a health post and beyond, 5,000 to 10,000 people accessing a health centre. About 50,000 people access a hospital. We are building a new hospital in Mwinilunga. This is part of the referral network and other health facilities will feed into it. I must emphasise that it does not necessarily mean that the people who are in places which are lowly populated will not access doctors.


Madam Speaker, we have mentorship and technical support programmes where doctors and senior officers, who are resident in the district hospitals, do go round to attend to cases. The other way is that if capacity is limited for the staff we have at that particular facility, they are able to refer to the next level. So, we have a system that allows us to have patients access doctors. The only reason we do not have doctors at every level of care is the limited number of doctors that we have. As the numbers improve, we will get doctors to even much lower levels. In the past, we only had doctors in provincial hospitals. Now, we have doctors even in district hospitals and I think we are getting there.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kasonso (Solwezi West): Madam Speaker, the hospital in Ntambu catchment area is now very wide. In fact, it incorporates Kalumbila Mine. Also, when we compare it to Mwinilunga General Hospital, it has better facilities. Previously, doctors to this hospital under discussion were provided by the missionaries. Does the hon. Minister not think that the Government should reconsider the position and send a doctor there?


Dr Chilufya: Madam Speaker, we have a very good working relationship with mission-run-facilities. We sign memoranda of understand as we post staff. We even send some resources for operational costs. We do send staff to all these other facilities, including Ntambu. Mwinilunga has an old facility and that is the reason we have embarked on the construction of a modern hospital, which is advanced. The reason we have not upgraded Ntambu yet is simply because we have no fiscal space for it. Ntambu will certainly be upgraded at an appropriate time when we have fiscal space to accommodate expanded human resource and also extended operations.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.








(Debate resumed)


Mr Kasonso (Solwezi West): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this privilege to continue with the debate which I started last Friday, 13th October, 2017. Before I go into detail of my policy debate, I just want to put my thanks to the hon. Minister of Finance on record for providing strong leadership in ensuring that the Solwezi/Chingola Road comes to completion.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasonso:  Madam Speaker, however, using the hon. Minister’s Budget theme for this year, “Accelerating Fiscal Fitness for Sustained Inclusive Growth without Leaving Anyone Behind,” I must state that in the past five years of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, the North-Western Province has been left behind.


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Mr Kasonso: Madam Speaker, therefore, in order for this theme to be appreciated by the people of the North-Western Province, this Government needs to do a little more. That way, we will be able to catch up. Having said that, let me describe the policy statement by the hon. Minister of Finance. If I had an opportunity of translating this Budget into a drawing, it would look like a cartoon with very a big head, stomach and tiny legs, ...




Mr Kasonso: …which would make it impossible for it to walk about.




Mr Nkombo: I can imagine that cartoon already.


Mr Kasonso: Madam Speaker, why am I drawing this cartoon in this way? Almost over 35 per cent of this year’s Budget will go towards debt servicing; close to 50 per cent will go towards personal emoluments; and 20 per cent will go towards programmes or projects. The big head of the cartoon I referred to, the debt, is not fixed. In fact, it is growing through interest rates and further borrowing. The big stomach of this cartoon is composed of our Civil Service, which largely will be idle. Twenty per cent, which will go toward projects – in fact, I must qualify further that it is not even 20 per cent, but less than that because within it is misuse, misapplication, inertia and outright theft making it 10 per cent on average going towards programmes. Here, we have 50 per cent towards personal emoluments for civil servants ...


Mr Ngulube: Bushe ni monuments nangu emoluments?




Mr Kosonso: ... and 20 per cent for supervising and implementing programmes.


Madam Speaker, this is not the right way to manage an economy. If I was the Managing Director and this Budget was presented to me, as the owner of the company, I would not have approved it ...


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasonso: ... because there is no way it can make my company survive. In fact, these figures indicate that my company is insolvent. 


Madam Speaker, let me address the issue of industrialisation in Pillar One, which is a cousin to what we are trying to do − diversifying our economy − on page 10 of the hon. Minister’s speech. What I have read here is too mild. The ambition is too small. We require big ambition. Of course, we also require radical thinking and radical policy measures ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Kasonso: ... for this country to make meaningful development and later on grow the economy and create jobs for our people.


The hon. Minister talked about Kafue Iron and Steel, Kalumbila, Chembe Multi-facility and Economic Zone. What we require are radical policy measures which entail that the ministry must sit down with certain companies. For example, we should have sat with the Zambia Metal Fabricating Company (ZAMEFA), which is a manufacturing company, and asked its management about the serious challenges the company faces and what serious incentives we can give it. ZAMEFA was incorporated in this country in 1969. It should be the biggest company in Luanshya ...


Mr Nkombo: The whole Southern African Development Community (SADC) region!


Mr  Kasonso: ... because it is the only one which adds value to our copper.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasonso: I have noted some titbits of policy in terms of raw materials where you are given tax credits and so on, but this is not sufficient. We need to go further than that. What huge incentives are we giving to Kafue Steel and certain selected manufacturers in order to provide sufficient jobs for our people and grow the economy?


Madam Speaker, let us talk about the economic zones. In my constituency, there is Kalumbila Mine, First Quantum Mine (FQM), which has offered the Government US$100 million to set up an economic zone. To date, this matter has not been resolved largely due to the lack of title. Surely, we can do better. FQM has even offered to go further by marketing this zone so that we do not operate it the way we are operating Chambeshi or Lusaka South. So, what is the issue? Let us sit down quickly and resolve this issue.


Madam Speaker, I should also mention that there is a project called Kabompo Hydro Power in the North-Western Province, which has stalled on account of the failure of the Ministry of Energy sitting down with the promoters of this project to arrive at acceptable tariffs.  This project will open up tourism because there will be a small dam there. Why are we procrastinating?


Madam Speaker, let me go further on to tourism, which is close to my heart. The issue of one single licence in the tourism sector is close to ten years. I know that we cannot debate ourselves, but I remember camping at Kafue Gorge where Government officials from various sectors met, deliberated and provided sufficient information to the Cabinet on the matter. Here we are and it is still in this booklet not implemented. This shows that we are not serious.


Madam Speaker, in 2009, the Government of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) identified Kasaba Bay as one of the most attractive products to spur tourism in this country.


Mr Chansa: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasonso: To date, nothing has been done to realise the dream. The vision at that time was to make Kasaba Bay the Cape Town of Zambia. Now, in this speech booklet, the Government is talking about measures of starting another project, through the airport, on the Copperbelt which cannot be compared with Kasaba Bay.


Mr Chansa: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasonso: Kasaba Bay has Lake Tanganyika with blue water throughout the year.


Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasonso: It is the second deepest lake in the world from the one in Russia. At that time, the Government, through the Surveyor-General, had moved in to ensure that plots were demarcated. The reason Lunzuwa Power Station was upgraded was primarily to ensure that the power generated went to resolve the challenge of power at Kasaba Bay and works on the airport were started.


Madam, the Government of the MMD wanted it this product so badly because it is so attractive. It houses Nsumbu National Park.


Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasonso: It has beautiful bays.


Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasonso: From Ndole Bay, you come into Cape Kachesi round into Nkamba and into Kasaba Bay. Why is the Government procrastinating? If the Government has no money, the hon. Minister should, please, reconsider these huge amounts of money that are to be spent on the starting of the Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe Airport.


Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasonso: Madam, this is the product for which the Government should be able to borrow money from the World Bank because it will grow the tourism sector.


Mr Nkombo: You will make a name for yourself.


Mr Kasonso: Madam Speaker, I also want to talk about the Ministry of Lands. We need new a land policy which is progressive. Look at the land policy in Uganda. In Uganda, the owners of this land in Lusaka, like Chief who? ... Can I be assisted?


Mr Nkombo: Nkhomesha


Mr Kasonso: Nkhomesha.


Mr Nkombo: … and Mungule.


Mr Kasonso: … Mungule, would be paid by everybody who builds a structure on this land, including the Government. That is what is obtaining in Uganda. Here in Zambia, in fact, the chiefs I have mentioned might be among the poorest chiefs, yet the entire Zambian Government is built on their land. So, we need a new land policy so that we can interrogate it. We need to have a radical policy on land.


Madam, before, I go somewhere else, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry need to look at the players in the national economy. Who are the principle players sector by sector? It is not indigenous Zambians. So, how can we reduce poverty if we are not active players in the mining sector in which we have got sufficient competences? In agriculture, apart from the peasant farmers who grow a bit of maize, I do not see many Zambian commercial farmers. In trading, it is about big companies from outside Zambia. Which other economic sector can we think about?


Mr Chikote: Zero!


Mr Kasonso: In almost all the sectors of our economy, it is foreigners who are big players. It is high time Zambians took charge. Let us improve the playing field for the local people to ensure that the wealth we are creating remains here in the country to help fight and tackle issues of poverty.


Madam Speaker, this budget is about talk. There is an issue of the money that has to be borrowed from the World Bank, US$200 has been indicated in the Budget. Hopefully, this money be distributed equitably, and will the North-Western Province be one of the beneficiaries, for it is now contributing 8.2 per cent to the  gross domestic product (GDP) outside, of course, the Copperbelt which is at 29.5 per cent ...


Dr Chibanda: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasonso: … the Lusaka Province at 27.4 per cent, the Southern Province at 9.6 per cent, the North-Western Province, as I have already mentioned, at 8.2 per cent, Central Province at 7.2 per cent …


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasonso: … the Eastern Province at 5.4 per cent, the Northern Province at 4 per cent, Muchinga Province at 3.2 per cent, the Western Province at 2.9 per cent and Luapula province at 2.8 per cent.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasonso: There is no way, and the people of the North-Western Province will not accept, that some or the feeder roads are not even identified and assisted.


Finally, Madam Speaker, as the first among equals, please, the hon. Minister of Finance should always find time to refine what the Cabinet decides because of his position. He can tell His Excellency the President that, “What was decided was incorrect. Therefore, let us do it this way.” The hon. Ministers’ role is about being pragmatic. It is less about politics, but about national interest.


Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, hon. Ministers will start responding, after the second break. We, therefore, have very few hours before that. I would urge hon. Members who are going to debate to be considerate and not exhaust the entire twenty minutes. I have a long list here of Ikeleng’i, Kalabo, Kamfinsa, Chifubu, Chinsali, Kanyama and Sesheke and I note the hon. Leader of the Opposition also wishes to debate. I would, as I have said, urge hon. Members to be considerate of others.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Madam Speaker, I thank you, for according me the opportunity to debate the Budget Speech that was presented to this House by the hon. Minister of Finance. I commiserate with the hon. Minister of Finance, taking into account the circumstances that he finds himself in and the difficulties he has pertaining to the management of finances in this country.


Madam Speaker, as I proceed with make my debate, I would like to make reference to two Articles of the Constitution, that is, Article 63 and 198. As I interrogate the Budget Speech, I would like to quote the provisions under Article 63 (2) which reads:


         “The National Assembly shall oversee the performance of the Executive functions by


(a)     ensuring equity in the distribution of national resources amongst the people of Zambia;


(b)     appropriating funds for expenditure by State organs, State institutions provincial administration, local authorities and other bodies;


(c)     scrutinising public expenditure, including defence, constitutional and special expenditure;


(d)     approving public debt before it is contracted; and


(e)     approving international agreements and treaties.”


Madam Speaker, Article 198 reads:


         “The guiding principles of public finance include the following:


(a)     transparency and accountability in the development or formulation of macro-economic frameworks, socio-economic plans and the Budget;


(b)     promotion of a public finance system that ensures that –


  1. the burden of taxation is shared fairly;


  1. revenue raised nationally is shared equitably among the different levels of Government; and


  1. expenditure promotes the equitable development of the country;”



Madam Speaker, as I indicated, I will anchor my debate on these two provisions of the Constitution. As I speak this afternoon, I am a very disappointed Member of Parliament and …


Ms Lubezhi: Even me!


Mr Mwiimbu: … I am ashamed to be associated with the governance of this country.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam, as leaders, we have failed to prudently govern the people of this country and to manage the affairs of this country fairly and in the interest of the Zambians.


Madam Speaker, in this Session of Parliament, we will consider the Budget of the country and share the resources which are supposed to benefit the people of this country. Alas! What is happening currently is unprecedented and is a disgrace to this country. Of late, we have witnessed a catalogue of corruption allegations.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, this House, which is mandated to scrutinise the expenditures of this country, has failed to live to the expectations of the people of Zambia. When an issue arises, the Parliament of Zambia, which is endowed with the powers under Article 63, as I read earlier, should be able to rise above board and stand up on behalf of the Zambian people and ensure that it investigates those corruption allegations. Unfortunately, as Members of the House and representatives of the people, we are silent.


Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, we cannot move with our heads up out there. The people of Zambia think that we are conniving with those who are involved in corruption.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: As leaders in this House, we have the responsibility, under the Constitution, to help our people. So, why would we fail them deliberately? The best way of resolving issues of corruption allegations is to constitute a select Parliamentary committee to ensure that an investigation is done. That is the only way to rest issues of corruption. If we do not do that, we are aiding and abating corruption in this country. I do not want to be part of the arbiters of corruption.


Ms Lubezhi: Even me!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, as leaders who have been endowed with authority by the people of Zambia, we have a responsibility to rise above board. There are allegations pertaining to the purchase of fire tenders, …


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: … the issue of the contract of the road from Ndola to Lusaka, digital migration, the contraction of the management of the traffic system in this country and …


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: … the contracting in the oil industry. Why should we close our ears, as leaders of this country, and pretend that all is well?


Madam Speaker, as Zambians and leaders, we have a responsibility of ensuring that we are seen to be above board.


Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, we are being insulted by members of the public. They are saying that hon. Members of Parliament are entitled to only two terms, one in this House, and the other in prison because of what is happening.


Hon. PF Members: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: Why should we allow such a situation to happen? This is the only time in the history of this country where we are sinking our heads in the sand when there are issues that members of the public are raising. Where is the prudence …


Mr Nkombo: They brutalise them.


Mr Mwiimbu: … in the management of national affairs? We are budgeting and the Budget is small. I am aware that those who are brutalising our finances are sharpening their teeth out there. They know that the Budget we will pass is for those who will steal our money.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Leader of the Opposition, you may have noted that I was consulting the Clerk of the National Assembly of Zambia. I have a difficulty in allowing you to debate in the manner that you are debating. This is because I am aware that you are one of those who petitioned the hon. Mr Speaker to constitute a Committee that, according to the petition, should have investigated three issues. I am also aware that the Hon. Mr Speaker, through the Clerk of the National Assembly, responded and you have received the correspondence.


You made reference to the powers that you have, as hon. Members of Parliament, through this House. If you are not satisfied with the response by the hon. Mr Speaker, you still have the power to ensure that you strengthen or amend the laws to give you more power if you feel it is not enough. I will, therefore, not allow you, hon. Leader of the Opposition, to continuously make reference to the matter that you petitioned the Hon. Mr Speaker about. Please, stay away from that route that you have taken because you know that the matter has been dealt with. The hon. Mr Speaker has written to you, as one of the petitioners.


You may continue.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, as regards your guidance, I was not responding to the hon. Mr Speaker’s letter or unless you want me to respond to it now.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: I was responding to His Excellency the President’s statement in the newspaper.


Mr Ngulube: On a point of order, Madam.


Mr Mwiimbu: He is the one who talked about the issues that I am raising. I am not raising the issues that …


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I have already guided on that matter. Stay away from that route that you have taken. Hon. Member for Kabwe Central, you will not raise a point of order because in this segment, there will be no points of order.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!




Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I am not a proud Member of Parliament because we have failed to ensure that the expenditure we pass in this House are protected by it. I am a very sad Member of Parliament because as we pass this Budget, there is no oversight role on the part of Parliament to ensure that those who embezzle money and are corrupt are brought to book.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I am so disappointed because in this country, the corrupt are being showered with praise. They move with their heads high because they know that corruption in this country is blessed.


Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I am not a proud Member of Parliament because I know that as we approve the Budget, some people are sharpening their teeth. We know them and that they will embezzle the money.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, these people know that there is nothing we will do about it, and it is a shame. According to my colleague, the hon. Member of Parliament for Solwezi West, we have a very limited Budget of 10 per cent allocated to projects. I stand to be corrected, but according to my assessment, we may only have 2 per cent of the Budget. The other money will go in other people’s pockets. We know these people, but we cannot punish them because we have no authority to do so here.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, we are aware that my dear colleague has been to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to look for US$1.2 billion to finance the operations of this country. At the same time, we have another US$1.2 billion, which is being acquired dubiously, to finance other projects through the pockets of other people.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, is it prudent for us to sit in this House, on behalf of Zambians, when we know that what we are doing is not correct? It is not correct. We should stand up and defend the issues and moral upbringing of our people by ensuring that correct things are done.


Madam Speaker, we are being told that the operations at the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) will be handed over to a private company. We know what will happen. The people of Zambia will pay heavily for that dubious contract. The people of Zambia are the ones who will finance it. The Government of the Republic of Zambia will not benefit from that venture.


Mr Nkombo: Shame!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, why should we allow contracts that are not in the interest of Zambians? Why should we allow expenditures towards the fire tenders when we know that an ordinary fire tender, which is suitable for the Zambian situation, will cost us less than US$300,000, yet we will pay US$1million per fire tender. Why will we buy sub-standard fire tenders or wheel barrows? Why should we do that? We are behaving as if we are a rich nation. We are very cruel leaders who are not fit to hold positions in this country.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, our students are failing to get their bursaries at the University of Zambia (UNZA). Our workers have been going without salary increments in certain areas, yet we are approving financing which is not in our interest.


Madam Speaker, people who have retired from employment are dying before getting their dues, yet the Government finds money to pay contractors who are enriching themselves at the expense of Zambians. The Government has been telling us that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) will only require to buy 500 000 metric tonnes of maize. However, it wants to spend another US$79 million to build silos. It wants to do this for the pockets of individuals. As Zambians as well as leaders, are we not ashamed?


Ms Lubezhi: We are.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, we know that the country has no money. There are no drugs in hospitals, yet the Government is doing certain things simply because certain individuals will benefit. Why is it doing that? Our people in the Southern Province, when travelling from Mazabuka to Kafue are doing so on a hell run. Many people are dying on that road, but nothing is being done about it. The money that the Government is spending on these mischievous contracts would have gone a long way in rehabilitating that particular road.


Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, why should we do things that way? This is the only Session of Parliament of which I am not proud. In the past, I used to be proud of being a Member of this House. This is because we used to know how to control expenditure. I know that my colleague is working under very difficult conditions.


Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, most of these dubious contracts are not in his ministry. They are in other ministries and he has no control.


Mr Nkombo: If he wants to control the Government’s expenditure, he will be removed from his position.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, if he decides to control that expenditure, he will be removed from his position. That is why there have been demonstrations and people calling for his removal.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, they know that he is putting stringent measures in place.  Let me leave that issue.




Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, today, as we are seated in this House, the price of fuel has gone up.


Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, that entails that the cost of living in this country will go up. The misery that we are inflicting on our people will increase. What is the reasoning behind all that? We are being told that the Kwacha is performing well against currencies such as the United States dollar and that the fuel prices on the international market are going down. So, then, why is the Government increasing the price of fuel? Last year, my colleague, in his policy statement, came to this House to inform us about how the Government would no longer be involved in the importation of fuel. We were told that with effect from March, last year, the Government would not be involved in transactions of fuel for the country. However, I have no doubt in my mind that he was overruled. That is because it is in the contraction of fuel where there is corruption. Why should we continue allowing Grand Larceny in this country? Posterity will judge us harshly. I am beseeching all my hon. colleagues to search their souls. They are representing the people who voted for them. The PF Government was voted for on the premise that it was a pro-poor party. It was voted for on the premise that it would lower taxes.


Mr Muchima: And fight corruption.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, unfortunately, the taxes are going up, the cost of living is going up, corruption levels have escalated, ...


Mr Nkombo: Crime.


Mr Mwiimbu: ... crime levels have gone up, lawlessness has also increased.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, we are the leaders of this country. There are no other leaders apart from us.


Mr Muchima: We are the national team.


Mr Mwiimbu: We should stand up and address the issues that affect our people.


Mr Nkombo: The Nkumbulas and the Kapwepwes of yester years.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, if we do not do that, posterity will judge us harshly. Elections are near and the Government will be held accountable for the things it is doing. It may think that the corruption that other people are engaged in is hidden. There is nothing that can be hidden in this world. The people of Zambia will know wherever the Government may hide the money. They even know the banks and account numbers. One day, the Government will be held accountable.


Hon. UPBND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, unfortunately, for the Government, there is no statute of limitation in criminal cases. It does not matter how long it takes, the long arm of the law will catch up with the Government.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, the Government should bear that in mind. As I sit, I want to reiterate that posterity will judge this Government harshly.


I thank you, Madam.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the 2018 Budget. I really sympathise with the hon. Minister of Finance. I have observed that in Zambia, we cherish theories and fame, year in and year out.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.




Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, before the health break, I was saying that the 2018 Budget looks good on paper. However, in reality, it is the same song. I sympathised with the hon. Minister, who does not want to leave anyone behind.


Mr Speaker, we are very comfortable with saying that we do not want to leave anyone behind. However, we need to look at our history. How many budgets have been presented thus far? What have we achieved to date? When we look at the 2016 and 2017 Budgets, I would say that it is the usual song. The Zambian people have not, in most cases, benefited from the budgets that have been presented here.


Mr Speaker, I would like to begin with the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).


 Mr Kasonso: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Sir, the CFD is crucial. It goes to the hearts of all the people countrywide. 


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: The problem that we have is the notion that the CDF goes into a Member of Parliament’s pocket. To the contrary, this is the money that touches every corner of the country. What have we been seeing? If I borrow the words of the hon. Minister that we should not spend what we do not have. I also want to emphasise that we should not promise that which we cannot fulfil.   


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: The hon. Minister of Finance has promised, time and again, through his speeches, to avail the CDF. To the contrary, it has not been released. Some constituencies have gone for three to four years without the CDF. At the moment, the CDF is being given in piecemeal, yet this is money that will attend to small grey areas in rural areas. This fund is, however, given very little attention. When we plead in this House that the CDF be increased, we are thought to be illogical.


Mr Speaker, the CDF, which goes to the people of Zambia, is a baby of Parliament. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government says that it is pro-poor. However, when we ask for the release of the CDF, it is reluctant. Instead, it is busy procuring fire tenders.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hmmm!


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, the PF Government is busy doing things that are completely outside the Budget. I want a credible budget. When you budget for K70 million, people in rural should, at least, have a feel of it. The truth is that we do not have a feel of the Budget. It is just noise in the air.




Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, Ikeleng’i, a district that has been in existence for seven years now has schools with roof tops that have been blown off for years. I have even stopped talking about the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) because there is nothing that is happening.


Mr Speaker, I heard about the launch of Jimbe Road, a critical road that connects Zambia to Angola, about three years ago. There was a lot of enthusiasm to have this road worked on. To date, there is nothing. At the moment, it is raining in the area and vehicles are getting stuck. Where are the Government’s priorities?


Sir, people in Ikeleng’i are still drawing water from the river. The area has high poverty levels, yet I am being told that there is growth and stability. According to the Budget, there is a contradiction.


Mr Speaker, I have travelled to most corners of Zambia and have not seen the development that is being talked about. Yes, we can cherish the stability, but let us not do it at the expense of the people, who are dying of hunger. People cannot afford a meal per day.


Madam, I expected this Budget address to concentrate on reducing poverty levels in villages. I expected it to address the teacher/pupil ratio. We have so many graduate teachers roaming the streets. We have so many nurses sitting idly. These are the areas on which money is supposed to be spent .


Sir, even today, we are talking about posting. It has become a problem in the ministries because it is the principle that we apply to the Budget. We are not being sincere. All that the hon. Minister finance is doing is bringing a formula for people to hear. He does not mean it. He is supposed to budget for that which he can actualise. This, however, is not the fact. I sympathise with the hon. Minister. I listen to him and his credible ideas. He is a very good speaker. However, who will implement these ideas? Tomorrow, we will hear about the creation of a district in some area, for political expediency, leaving out areas that deserve to be districts.  There are areas which are vast, but because of political interference and failure to distinguish politics from economics, we are not developing them.


Sir, discipline should start from ministry technocrats, who are drivers. Hon. Ministers are just conduits who are being used to make pronouncements that cannot even be actualised. We need a test of the hon. Minister of Finance’s hypothesis to ascertain whether this Budget will yield the desired results. He speaks very well.


Madam Speaker, hon. Members are not begging for too much because what we need is for the Government to increase the CDF. We cannot grant money to line ministries, yet receive nothing. Budgets give hope to the people.


Mr Speaker, I once one hon. Colleague from the Government side say that the North-Western Province has been connected to the national grid. That is poor history because Ikeleng’i is not connected to the national grid. Where did he get that information from? I would like to challenge him to see for himself. I would also want to challenge other hon. Ministers to visit Ikeleng’i and see for themselves what is transpiring there.


Madam, there are so many issues that we can talk about.  For instance, there are issues to do with the appointment to boards and their efficiency. There has been talk about efficiency in most meetings. We used to have appropriation in aid before, but it is now being appropriated by the Ministry of Finance. This is causing a lot of injury because the ministry and the boards are becoming ineffective. The Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) collects a lot of money, but when you go there to execute a Government programme, it fails to do so because we are told that it does not have money. When we go to the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) to inquire on anything, you find the same thing.




Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, I have been hopping to see the face of hon. Minister of Finance. Let me position myself properly so that I can now look at his face. The hon. Minister should not leave his officers behind so that his views can be practical. We need things that can add value to the nation. Do not look at political affiliations because the Ministry of Finance is a critical ministry to all hon. Members in this House.


Madam, there are issues to do with energy. We have a lot of waters in this country, but the problem is that the policies are poor. The numbers being talked about are the same numbers that were talked about under the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), under the leadership of the late President, Dr Mwanawasa, SC. We saw the economy grow from strength to strength. What has changed? What has happened? The same numbers are still being talked, but today are living in abject poverty that you cannot even imagine.


Madam Speaker, I travel and I know what I am talking about, especially as it relates to the North-Western Province. It is for this reason that the people from that province cannot give their vote to the PF because there is nothing it does for them ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: … yet it gets money from there.


Mr Ng’onga: Question!


Mr Muchima: Madam, there are few credible hon. Ministers such as the hon. Minister of Health, whom I can refer to. We want hon. Ministers who are upright. I want to appeal to him to support the health sector and ensure that he takes care of all areas. I expect the Budget to address the issues that are in the villages. The best formula that can be used is to ask the people in the villages their priorities and what they would want the Government to do for them. This can be done through their local councils and then those issues can come before the Floor of the House for discussion. The flow of information should not be from top to bottom, but bottom to top.


Madam Speaker, the Government evokes excitement in people during Budget presentation because people expect a lot, yet there is nothing that people benefit from it. Day in and day out, we talk about these things because we want the mindset of our hon. Ministers to change. We do not talk just for the sake of it. We need policies that will benefit all Zambians to be put in place.


Madam, it is very annoying to see that pupils are being chased away from school because they cannot afford to pay for school fees, yet the Government is buying the fire tenders worth US$42 million. Where did that money come from? When we talk about corruption, some people are even questioning us. We ask about that money because it belongs to all of us in this House. It is not only for a few individuals, but for all of us. So, we have the right to query. Who gave the Government the authority to buy the fire tenders at the expense of giving us the CDF? I need my CDF in arrears. The amount of one fire tender would have given us the money we need in our rural constituencies.


Hon. Government Members: Drink Water!


Mr Muchima: If you want me to drink water, I will not drink it.




Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, I correctly heard the hon. Minister talk about the Intermarket Banking Corporation. Does he even know what has happened? Before he even puts the structure in place, the recruitment process has already started. Ten people were sent through the back door without him knowing what is happening. This is the corruption we are talking about. They are already sending their relatives even before the consultation process, which we were talking about, begins. I would like appeal to the hon. Minister to intervene. Otherwise, the money will, again, go to waste.


Madam Speaker, I now want to talk about the communication towers. These towers are everywhere, but they are not connected. These are the issues that this Budget is supposed to address. We are not supposed to beg for communication towers.


Madam, on the feeder roads, they are very critical to the development of any nation, especially the famous Dundumwezi, Ikeleng’i, Chama, including Kazungula and Luena.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Madam, we have heard that the Government has contracted enough United States (US) Dollars, yet the money does not reach the intended purposes. Is it because of a lack of transport to take it where it is supposed to be used? Maybe, the Government does not want us to know where the money goes. We would like to know where and how the money is used. When we hear that US$200 million is coming for feeder roads, it turns out to be a story afterwards because the money does not reach Ikeleng’i. As I speak now, the road between Solwezi and Ikeleng’i is completely finished, yet it leads to Kalumbila Mine, from where the Government gets its taxes.


Madam Speaker, this Government talked about the Pineapple Cannery in the North-Western Province. The other time, I asked the hon. Minister, where the Government’s hand was in as far as the cannery is concerned. She brought in issues of private partners, instead of being bold because this is an area where can now create production because we are lacking the capacity to produce. We are very luck that we have huge pieces of land, we have enough water and labour is there to carry out the activities, but we are failing to co-ordinate ourselves. We are used to being servants of the masters.


Madam, the problem we have is that when the British left, they went away with our authority. All we want is always to be employed. We are not just putting the money where it supposed to be. It amazes me when we cannot afford to get the CDF, yet people are busy buying houses, building mansions and buying vehicles. When we want to investigate, others even get annoyed.




Mr Muchima: Why should they get annoyed when some of us have been investigated before and we did not get annoyed?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Madam, these are the issues. We need to track where our money is going. Personally, I would want to see a credible Government that can trail where the money goes because it is easy. Instead, of doing that, there is creation of unnecessary bureaucracy.


Madam Speaker, I am told that the agro-programme that has been created is not receiving enough attention. This is because the Government has not covered it or given it a back-up. There will be serious shortage of agro-inputs because people might not have the resources to meet the requirements.


Madam Speaker, you might have seen that the so-called tenders are only given to the same people. A critical example is that of the distribution of solar mills, which are supposed to be distributed throughout the country. In Ikeleng’I, we have received four, which are supposed to be given to the registered co-operatives without consideration of colour or tribe. After two days, I was told that some PF cadres grabbed the mills because they want to change their ownership into their names. That is corruption because the money which was used to buy those mills did not come from the PF, but the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ). Every Zambian is supposed to benefit from them.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Sir, it is surprising that cadres have been in the forefront. Whichever leadership is doing this shall be charged for the abuse of authority. One of the prisons should cage such those who champion such behaviour.


Mr Lufuma: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Madam, I would like to appeal to my brother, the hon. Minister for the North-Western Province, should ensure to control the abuse of resources because that is his area.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance needs to avail money to the Ministry of Health to complete the construction of the 650 health centres countrywide. In Ikeleng’i, not even one clinic has been finished. I want the hon. Minister to look behind him and there after watch my lips. There is Hon. Kapita behind him. He should help Hon. Kapita to work in the North-Western Province, otherwise he will not deliver anything there.




Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, when the PF was campaigning for Hon. Ngimbu, there were promises of a bridge being constructed across the Zambezi River. Only a few weeks ago, a vehicle belonging to the Ministry of General Education plunged into the Zambezi River because there is no bridge. These are the promises which I am saying should be fulfilled. Let us not follow formulas. Let us be critical in analysing what is required of us.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance comes from Lunte, which is a village like my village Ntambu in Ikeleng’i. The situation in the rural areas in this country is the same. The hon. Minister of Finance and his colleagues in the Executive and even Permanent Secretaries should take a deliberate tour around the country, other than flying to America to engage the International Monetary Fund (IMF). We need the hon. Minister to see what is happening in the villages. That way, we shall appreciate him. We need to move together in terms of development. We have been left behind for a long time.


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


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, I want to add a few words to the debate on the 2018 Budget Address, which was presented by the hon. Minister of Finance on 29th September, 2017.


Mr Speaker, I will start my remarks by commenting on education. Although I was not there, I have heard from those who were there that education in the colonial days was very expensive. It was only affordable to a small section of the community. It was mostly those who had herds of cattle who could manage to send their children to school. 


Mr Speaker, I am sure the Government is aware of the situation in the rural areas. In his Budget Speech, the hon. Minister indicated that the money which has been provided for should cater for free education for children in Grade 1 to 7. I know it is normal for mankind to say something, but fail to do it. It seems free education only exists on paper. If it is being implemented, then, maybe it is only in urban areas.


Mr Speaker, many children in Kalabo are failing to access education because there is no funding to schools. The schools are failing to acquire the learning materials such as the chalk which is used to write on the board. Schools are depending on the parents who fall in the category of very poor people. So, where do such people get the money to pay to the school to enable it to buy the chalk that teachers can use to teach the pupils? As a result, the pupils fail to go to school because the parents have failed to pay.


Mr Speaker, therefore, when we are saying that the Government is providing free and compulsory education, we should have seen this matched with the resources to enable children to acquire that free education. I attended a meeting at Kalabo Basic School for the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), which was held to try to prepare for the next term. The people who attended that meeting asked from where they were to raise the money to buy chalk to be used. This is a common trend in the whole of that district. From one school to another, teachers have to get money from their pockets to just acquire chalk.


Mr Speaker, when making allocations for the 2018 Budget, the hon. Minister should have taken into account international agreements that Zambia is party to. For instance, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Education and Training states that member states should allocate 20 per cent of the national budget towards education. However, the allocation towards education in the 2018 National Budget is below 20 per cent.


Mr Speaker, even if we allocated 20 per cent of our Budget towards education, I am sure we cannot manage to provide free and compulsory education in Kalabo and other rural areas. If compulsory and free education is not provided, what will happen to the children in rural areas is that they will grow up as uneducated people and their future will be bleak.  In the end, we will import skilled labour because the rural areas will have failed to provide their own labour.


Mr Speaker, some Government programmes just look good on paper, but they do not reach the masses, especially in rural areas. How many times are the roads tarred in Lusaka? If you go out to Cairo Road and other roads which connect to the compounds, you will see how many times the roads are tarred. You, therefore, wonder how many times the feeder roads in the rural areas have been attended to. In 2015, I went with colleagues to Kaputa.


Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!


Mr Miyutu: We almost failed to reach our destination because the culvert was washed away. The Zambia National Service (ZNS) was called to attend to that culvert by putting sandbags. Surely, fifty-three years after Independence and we are still relying on sandbags. You can imagine that. How can we have pride and happiness when we are using sandbags?


Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!


Mr Livune: Kaputa!


Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, it is very easy for the Government to plan for urban areas, yet very difficult to plan for rural areas. That is why you find the level of urbanisation is very high. People now have to move away from the rural areas where there are no Government services. They have to go to the urban areas in search of these services. As a result, there is congestion and over population in urban areas.


Mr Syakalima: And cholera.


Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, I would have desired that when the Government plans, it strictly focuses on improving life in rural areas so that people do not migrate to urban areas. The rural urban drift will not help us. It is one of the causes of congestion in compounds in towns.


Mr Speaker, let me talk about safe drinking water. If we were to trace the money released from the Ministry of Finance meant for the provision of more than a thousand boreholes, we would find that it will not reach Kalabo, Sikongo or any rural area. Instead, it will be used to improve water systems in urban areas. Just look at how much work is being done to improve water systems in urban areas. I am sure rural households do not need as much water as those in urban areas. Most houses in rural areas do not have much use for water. Water is mainly fetched for cleaning, drinking and food preparation unlike in urban areas were water has to reach a home.


Sir, I raised a question here concerning dams. I wanted to know why the Western Province has not been provided with dams. The answer I got was that dams cannot be constructed because of the sandy terrain in the province. When there is inefficiency, people come up with such excuses.


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Mr Miyutu: We need dams in the Western Province because we also run out of water. Not every place in the Western Province has rivers. I have a ward which borders Nalolo, Shang’ombo and Sikongo. There is no river in that ward, but it is the ward which has the largest number of cattle. During the dry season, last year, the situation became very critical. Farmers had to fetch water in buckets. They had to dig very deep wells to get water to give to the animals, and those are the same animals which are feeding the people of Kalabo and the Western Province as a whole.


Sir, I do not believe that we cannot erect a dam in that area because of the sand. All we need is to put our knowledge together on how we can prevent water from sipping down. The Government just does not want to spend money on constructing dams because it does not feel the impact of losing animals. It is us who lose animals, as they die due to the lack of water, who feel the impact. Those animals are the custodians of our livelihoods in the Western Province. We heavily depend on cattle. The monies which are allocated in the Budget should reach the villages in the Western Province so that their wealth can be protected.


Mr Speaker, it is not easy to live without health facilities. Health is very important. We still need a number of clinics in the Western Province. People walk very long distances to get to health facilities. For instance, the distance from Ng’uma to Lilambo is about 25 km and there is no clinic in between these two areas. So, people from Lilambo have to walk to either Ng’uma or Sihole to access medical services. So, there is a need to increase the budgetary allocation to health so that more health facilities can be built and the distances people have to cover to reach them can be reduced.


Sir, another critical point on this issue is labour. Kalabo District has very few clinical officers. The Social Cash Transfer programme, which gives assistance to the aged and those who are chronically ill, requires the people who are ill to be assessed by either a doctor or a clinical officer, before they can be approved as beneficiaries. There is only one clinical officer in Lukona. Apart from Lukona, there is no other medical centre which has a clinical officer. It is 95 km from Ng’uma to the Boma. So, people have to walk 95 km to the Boma for them to access the assessment by a doctor or clinical officer to allow them to access the Social Cash Transfer programme from the Government. Look at the 95 km distance. People cover this distance not by driving, but walking. I am requesting the Government to deploy more doctors or clinical officers to be widely spread in the health posts to help people in the rural areas access improved health services.


Mr Speaker, there is a saying which other people use. I will use it because others use it. It says, “Do not bite the finger that feeds you.” If you went to Kalabo Boma, you would find people trading in a lit market. That market which is helping those people was constructed using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). Let us imagine that there was no CDF. Those people in Kalabo would still be laying their tomatoes on the ground. However, they have stopped using the ground to sell their tomatoes, vegetables and fish because of the market which was built by the CDF. Maybe, people who live in urban areas do not realise the importance of the CDF. To us who live in rural areas, that CDF is very important.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Miyutu: The people in the Government who have been given the mandate to lead this country must realise the importance of the CDF. When it functions in a constituency, the name which is praised is that of the party in power. So, where does the fear to provide CDF come from? Why not release the CDF so that it can work and then have your name showered with praises? When a structure is constructed, people will say it has been done as a result of the CDF.


Sir, we have very old schools made out of poles and mud. Schools like Mitwi only have one permanent structure, and another one called Litoma looks like a product of war. This is because money is allocated to develop infrastructure, but it is not released. Also, the money allocated is very insignificant to make bring about meaningful change. We have been approving the CDF in this House. For the last three consecutive years, 2015, 2017 and 2017, I have participated in the approval of the CDF, through the Budget in this House, but Kalabo has not received any coin of it. What is compensating for my effort of approving the money?


Mr Livune: Masholi.


Mr Miyutu: Imagine travelling from Kalabo to here to approve the Budget, but never having it service you. How would you feel? So, as we approve Budget, I urge the Government to release the CDF, especially for the rural constituencies ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Miyutu: ... because that is where the CDF is really required. It is the same money which is building teachers’ houses. One of the reasons teachers shun rural areas is a lack of accommodation. However, if the CDF was released, and was sufficient, we would use it to construct teachers’ houses. Eventually, teachers would agree to come to rural areas and the shortage of teachers there would be reduced.


Mr Speaker, on the issue of the introduction of information and communication technology (ICT) programme in schools, I would like to urge the Government to seriously review this programme, especially in rural areas where it has become a thorn in the flesh. Pupils do not have computers. So, I am earnestly urging the Government to ensure that computers are procured and distributed to pupils in rural areas so that they also become part of this ICT knowledgeable group and not remain behind.


Sir, earlier on, the hon. Minister stated that the ICT programme would be compulsory depending on the availability of facilities at a school. In my opinion, that is not a very good way of answering and running education. Everybody needs the same type of education. It means that the children in rural areas will not manage to compete with those in urban areas because those in urban areas have one advantage over them. Therefore, for the sake of equality, let us try to ensure that children in rural areas are also catered for.


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


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, I will allow a female hon. Member of Parliament to debate …


Dr Chibanda: Why?


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: … for the purpose of gender balancing.


Mrs Simukoko: Hear, hear!


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Also looking at political representation, I will call upon an Independent Member of Parliament to debate.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Hammer, hammer!


Ms Subulwa (Sioma): I thank you, Mr Speaker, for according me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the 2018 Budget, and also for considering the gender aspect. Not only that, but also choosing the youngest female Member of Parliament in Parliament to debate.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Government Members: Question!




Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker,  …




Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Order!


Allow the young female hon. Member of Parliament to debate.




Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Order!


Continue hon. Member of Parliament for Sioma.


Ms Subulwa: Thank you, Mr Speaker. First of all, I would just like to note a few things from the 2017 Budget. We have noted that the monetary policies have seen inflation levels reduce from a double digit to a single digit. This is commendable, as it would lower the cost of borrowing.




Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Sir, in the 2017 Budget, I also noted that there has been stabilisation of the foreign exchange rate, which is a good thing. We have also seen that the economy has been put back on the path to recovery.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, looking at the 2018 Budget, it is the first time in history that we have had a Budget that is explicitly linked to the Medium-Term Plan.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Sir, if we look at the President’s Speech, the Budget Speech and the Medium-Term document, they all speak the same language. In my view, that is a sure commitment by the Government. Therefore, I would be quick to say that the 2018 Budget is structurally good. It looks into the future.


Mr Speaker, there are also other commitments that the Government has put forward and so, we need to appreciate these measures and initiatives it has put in place. We need to support them for us to see the actual fruits of the 2018 Budget.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, I would like to commend the hon. Minister of Finance for coming to this House and boldly telling us about the debt status of the country.


Mrs Simukoko: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: I believe even at individual level, it is difficult for certain people to come out in the open to tell others how much debt they have. However, for an hon. Minister of Finance to come to this House to tell us about the debt status, personally, I would say that he took a bold step and we are headed somewhere.


Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!


Ms Subulwa: Sir, in his Budget Speech, he also talked about the reduction on expenditure from K11 billion to about K7.2 billion. That is a good step.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: He further talked about the revenue increment to about K6.1 billion as compared to the K800 million in 2017. Therefore, we should support initiatives that will help us this country increase its revenue.


Mr Ngulube: Yes!


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, allow me to cite an example of the K2.00 increment on cement. As a country, we have had a steady cement production from 2007 to 2016 of averagely 15 per cent. In my view, this is good and we are anticipating about K70 million which can be channeled to infrastructure development or something else. However, what we should talk about are the modes of administration of this money that we will collect. Where will we take it?


Mr Speaker, I would like to urge our able Government to stick to the pronouncements it makes.


Hon. Opposition Member: Yes!


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, I would also want to mention one issue, which is the transfer from a cash society to one which uses electronic means to transact. This is a plus. As country, we have been talking about how we will formalise the informal sector. For me, this is one method we can formalise the informal sector. So, it should be supported by everyone.


Sir, I would not want to bore you with a lot of things, but I want to mention to you that Government has committed itself to only borrow money for economically productive projects. Since we talked about the shift from borrowing externally to borrowing domestically, I believe this is a welcome move, but I would urge the Government not to overdo it. It should not overshadow the private credit capital. So, we should also be very careful with that. However, it is a good move and we, the people of Sioma, support it fully.


Mr Chabi: Bamilalika!


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, on the issue of stock credit, I would like also mention that we need to reduce on the stock credit. We need to slow down on contractual of new projects or new debt and we will see that certain things that people are talking about will be addressed.


Mr Speaker, I would also want to make a recommendation to that Government that even as we look at the so-called the Public Procurement Act, there are certain things that we need to ensure are also added there to enhance the process.


Mr Ngulube: Hammer!


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, we can come up with benchmark prices, appraisals of projects so that we see if they are viable and will add value to the nation. There are so many issues that we would want to talk about and if they are adhered to by the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, it would definitely take a crane to remove it out of Government.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Jere: Question!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, I would like to make a request that …


Mr Ngulube: Water! Drink water!


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, I need to be protected.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: You are protected.


Hon. Government Members: Hammer, hammer!


Ms Subulwa: Kindly allow me to debate freely.


Mr Speaker, in as much as we are talking about these developmental issues and diversification and not leaving anyone behind, I would request the Government to consider constructing a road for the people of Sioma that will connect Sioma to Namibia. In Sioma, there is potential in tourism and agriculture.


Sir, Namibia, our neighbour, does not grow vegetables or tomatoes. Therefore, if a road was put up in Sioma, the people there would be in a position to grow and export tomatoes to Namibia. That is one way in which we can improve the livelihood of ordinary people, that old man and woman, in Sioma. It will also enable Sioma to contribute to the gross domestic product (GDP).


Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, under diversification, we have identified agriculture as an area that we can look at. We must, therefore, ensure that we construct roads that will help our people access markets and realise revenue. Our cry, as Sioma, is for a road that will connect us to Sinjembela via Dihehe into Namibia.


Mr Ngulube: Tarred road!


Ms Subulwa: Sir, I would also like to appreciate one thing. People have talked about how pronouncements are made, but implementation is not done. However, I was in Sioma the other month with one hon. Minister who made certain pronouncements about hospitals that were supposed to be constructed. I thought it was a joke but, at the moment, there are people on the ground conducting a survey and that for me is commendable. I believe the Government when it says no one will be left behind. Indeed, no one will be left behind.


Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Sioma is on board and I encourage each one of us to support the initiatives and measures that are being put in place to ensure that our economy is fixed.


Mr Speaker, my question to hon. Members on the left and the right is: Are we ready to learn from history?


Mr Ngulube: Back Bencher!


Ms Subulwa: Are we ready to learn from history in order to fix our economy?


Mr Ngulube: Yes!


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, if we are, then, let us get on board. Do not be left out of the train or the plane. The time to make changes is now. The moment that we change our mindsets as individuals is the moment that we will get somewhere. However, we will not get anywhere for as long as we want to continue with capitalising on negativity.


Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Sir, having said that, I support the Budget and I hope we will collectively fix the economy.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Ema debaters!


The Minister for Central Province (Mr Mushanga): Mr Speaker, ...


Mr Miyutu: Stand up!




Mr Mushanga: ... when you called on me to stand to contribute to the debate, somebody shouted “stand up,” even though I am already standing up. I want to remind that hon. Member of Parliament that these are very important heights. We have had people of such height become presidents of this country.




Mr K. Tembo: Ema Chiluba!


Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Mushanga: Sir, from the onset, I am greatly humbled for the opportunity to make my contribution to the debate on the 2018 Budget on behalf of the good people of the Central Province and the people of Bwacha Parliamentary Constituency, who I cherish with humility and courtesy as I continue to represent them in this august House.


Mr Speaker, the people of the Central Province have sent me to come to testify of the goodness of the 2018 National Budget that was presented by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Mutati, on Friday 29th September, 2017.


Sir, we, in the Central Province having reflected on the 2018 Budget, have seen a connection between the 2018 Budget and the 2017 Budget, which we are just about to conclude. The 2017 Budget was premised on massive infrastructure development in all corners of this country ...


Mr Nkombo: Question!


Mr Mushanga: ... and hon. Members of Parliament gathered here today are able to testify to that. Hon. Nkombo is saying “question,” but the people of Mazabuka retained him in this august House because he had projects to point at.


Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Mushanga: Mr Speaker, the Central Province has benefitted from the 2017 National Budget.


Mr Ngulube: Hammer!


Mr Livune: What hammering?


Mr Mushanga: The 2018 Budget whose theme is “Accelerating Fiscal Fitness for Sustained Inclusive Growth without Leaving Anyone Behind” is confirmation that His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, is truly a servant of the people of this country.


Mr Livune: Question!


Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Mushanga: Sir, allow me to demonstrate that there is a connection between the 2017 and 2018 Budgets.


Hon. Government Member: Balangishe!


Mr Mushanga: Mr Speaker, allocations in the 2017 Budget initiated a number of projects and programmes in the infrastructure sector. Some of these projects have been completed while some have not. His Excellency the President and his Government have provided resources in the 2018 Budget to complete these projects which were not completed in the 2017 Fiscal Year with specific focus on the five pillars contained in the launched Seventh National Development Plan (7th NDP).


Sir, the Central Province will benefit from the funds provided for in the 2018 National Budget. The funds will see those schools and health infrastructure not completed in the Central Province completed. Roads that are being worked on in the Central Province like Chibombo, Landless Corner and Mumbwa Road will be completed. In Mkushi, the contractor will get back on site to finish the township roads. Kabwe, Mpunde, Mukubwe and Ngabwe roads, connecting the Copperbelt, have also been included to the national road sector work plan for 2018. Road works in Kabwe District will also be sped up.


Mr Speaker, newly-created districts in the province like Luano, Ngabwe and Chitambo will be connected to the national grid by the Government, through the Rural Electrification Authority (REA). All these funds have been provided for in the 2018 National Budget.


Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Mushanga: Sir, major road works in the Central Province, apart from the Lusaka/Ndola Dual Carriageway, the Kabwe, Mpula, Masansa, Luano and Mkushi roads, will be financed by the 2018 National Budget. If this is not an organised way of doing things, then, I do not know what is.


Mr Speaker, in the 2018 Budget, US$ 200 million has been secured by the Government of the Republic of Zambia from the World Bank. This is meant to upgrade, rehabilitate and maintain feeder roads to enhance the connectivity of rural areas to markets. Central Province is one of the beneficiaries. This is all about changing the lives of our people, especially in places such as Chitambo, Luano, Ngabwe, Itezhi-tezhi, Mumbwa, Chisamba, Chibombo, Kapiri Mposhi, Mkushi, Serenje and part of Kabwe.


Mr Speaker, the 2018 Budget will meet the dreams of many of our people and I have no doubt in my mind, as a representative of the people of Central Province, that no one will be left behind. In Central Province, we mean serious business and not the usual way of doing things. This is intended to change the lives of our people whom we serve.


Sir, in Central Province, we will concentrate on finishing the on-going projects before starting new ones, as guided by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu. Nevertheless, where need arises, new projects will be started. That is the guidance from His Excellency the President and from the National Treasury, through the hon. Minister of Finance.


Mr Speaker, the Social Cash Transfer scheme will be introduced in the districts where it has not been introduced in Central Province because of the budgetary increment towards it in the 2018 Budget.


Sir, before I conclude, allow me to quote from the book entitled, “Up and Out of Poverty.” This book, I will not lay on the Table, …




Mr Mushanga: … has ideas by the President of the People’s Republic of China. It states:  


“We must develop industry using local resources, but we also should not blindly oppose starting new projects. As long as they have good benefits from the investments and loans and as long as the products can be sold well on the market, we should also consider developing the processing industry with non-local resources.”


Mr Speaker, we will derive a lot of benefits from the much-talked about Lusaka/Ndola Dual Carriage Way, as Central Province in particular and the entire country as a whole which is member state of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region, because the largest part of the road will pass through this province. Already, just the expansion of the road network from Heroes Stadium to somewhere after Kabangwe Police Checkpoint by Avic Contractor has come with many benfits, such as the smooth flow of traffic. 


Sir, the themes of both speeches by our President, His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, and that presented by the hon. Minister of Finance, the 2018 Budget Address, under the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, talk about not leaving anyone behind.


Mr Speaker, on 18th October, 2017, the people of Central Province will join the rest of the country to commemorate this year’s National Day of Prayer, Fasting and Reconciliation under the theme, “Repentance, Promoting Peace and Reconciliation and Consolidating National Unity in Diversity.”


Mr Speaker, the people of Central Province are very much ready to take part in these prayers as they are meant to enhance repentance, promotion of peace and reconciliation and consolidation of national unity. The people of Central Province have seen that this Government is a working one and it is delivering upon its pronouncements. It is with this reflection that the people of Central Province support the Budget Estimates for the period 1st January, 2018 to 31st December, 2018.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Before you take your seat, the document you quoted from must be laid on the Table.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mushanga laid the paper on the Table.


The Minister of General Education (Dr Wanchinga): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me an opportunity to share some thoughts on the Budget Speech by the hon. Minister of Finance as well as to respond to a number of issues that have been raised by my colleagues in the House.


Mr Speaker, according to me, the purpose of the Budget Speech as opposed to the Budget itself is to give the good policy direction for the mobilisation of resources for the year in question, in this case, 2018. Secondly, it is to give estimates of income and expenditure and to outline sectoral priorities to be addressed in the coming year. Thirdly, it is to give the context to the proposed income and expenditure by giving an analysis of prevailing economic conditions and to make some assumptions on the pre-conditions for a successful implementation of the Budget.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance ably achieved these objectives in his Budget Speech. It was not the purpose of the speech to indicate, for example, how many schools should be built or desks or computers to be procured and distributed. It was not the purpose of the speech to indicate how many transformers will be installed countrywide, how many kilometers of township roads should be tarred or how many beneficiaries will be put on the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) programme in each district.


Mr Speaker, hon. Members of Parliament, particularly those on the left, spent a lot of time on these issues. I have tried to group the issues raised in a number of clusters. The first cluster concerns the issues that relate to the completion of school infrastructure, construction of new schools as well as the repair of infrastructure which has been damaged over the years. Indeed, we have heard strong voices, for instance, from Hon. Dr Malama, Hon. Misheck Mutelo, Hon. Siawanzi and Hon. Simbao on these issues.


Mr Speaker, the second cluster of issues raised is related to the need for additional infrastructure and facilities within the schools. The centre stage was on desks, bicycles for children, computers …


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1810 hours until 1830 hours.




Dr Wanchinga: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was addressing the second cluster of issues which were raised by hon. Members of Parliament. They included the lack of desks; need for bicycles for children; need to optimise information and communication technology (ICT) facilities in schools and the need to increase opportunities for enrolment of our children in our schools. They were highlighted by the hon. Members for Katuba, Kalomo Central, Luampa and Kalabo Central.


Mr Speaker, the third cluster of issues related to the need to safeguard the welfare of the girl child in schools. It was said that there is a need to have boarding houses for girls so that we reduce the opportunities currently available to them of renting huts in villages, a situation which has led to early marriages and child abuse.


Mr Speaker, the fourth cluster related to teachers’ houses. A number of speakers highlighted the need to provide adequate accommodation for teachers.


Sir, the fifth cluster related to the need to ensure quality education and to match general education to skills development programmes in the country.  A case was made that it was necessary to effectively link secondary education to skills development which, in turn, should be tied to the general labour market requirements.


Sir, the sixth cluster related to unity in the nation. It was argued that if there was disunity in the nation, it had the potential to create inequality in the distribution of resources, including opportunities for our children to access education.


 Mr Speaker, it was also argued that in the absence of adequate facilities for ICT, it was difficult to claim that Zambia was on the right path for a Smart Zambia platform.


Mr Speaker, the 2018 Budget has endeavoured to address all these concerns. In particular, the budget for school infrastructure has been reasonably increased. So, many of the unfinished infrastructure, which hon. Members of parliament have bemoaned, will be completed. Similarly, many of the structures with blown off roofs and collapsed facilities will be attended to, especially, if the releases, as anticipated, will be forthcoming. A sum of K740 million has been allocated for this purpose. Of this amount, about K560.1 million will be for the completion of the fifty-three secondary schools scattered countrywide, which have not been completed. The rest will go towards the construction of the early childhood learning centres and a few primary schools. A separate amount of K60 million has been set aside for the procurement of secondary school desks, as this has been a very thorny issue in our schools. A sum of K5 million has been earmarked for the implementation of the two tier system which is the window through which we hope to link effectively secondary education to skills training and strengthening ICT skills in other schools.


Mr Speaker, programmes such as school feeding, which were referred to by one hon. Member as giving porridge to our children, has been proved to be of a lot of value in the service delivery in our education system. It has improved school attendance and the cognitive development of our children, which eventually will become an important component in the promotion of the agriculture industry. The school feeding programme will eventually be anchored on the teaching of agricultural science in schools, as a compulsory subject, and this will go a long way in stimulating the local agricultural economy in various areas where the programmes will be implemented.


Mr Speaker, the Budget has also proposed to spend a total of K144.7 million on bursaries for orphans and vulnerable children of which K43.9 million will be for orphans and K25.3 million will be spent on science centres.


Mr Speaker, the issue of science education is very important and is receiving a lot of attention in the Ministry of General Education. The House may recall that at some point in the past, I announced that we are transforming the National Science Centre in Kabulonga into a Centre of Excellence for the teaching of science and mathematics education in schools. These science centres will be linked to the National Science Centre which is being transformed as the Centre of Excellence. This programme will be complemented by the “Keeping Girls in Schools Programme”, a programme generally known as “Girls Education, Women Empowerment and Livelihoods (GEWEL)” anchored among three ministries – General Education, Gender and Community Development and Social Welfare.


Mr Speaker, these measures are meant to reduce inequalities and ensure that no one is left behind. The 220 basics schools, which have been transformed into fully-fledged secondary schools, will also receive attention and equal resources will be distributed to ensure that they function as fully-fledged secondary schools by providing them with necessary facilities such as computer, science and domestic laboratories so that we enhance the value of these institutions in the provinces. You can tell from the way these facilities have been distributed that the intention of the Government is not to leave anyone behind.


Mr Speaker, the ministry’s budget in 2018, of K9.6 billion has increased by about 4.3 per cent, from the K9.7 billion in 2016. It is our sincere hope that the measures that the Government has taken in 2017, that is, the removal of subsidies will improve the cash flow to the Treasury, which will translate into the effective and timely release of funds to the Ministry of General Education to enable it to attend to various needs.


Mr Speaker, the Member for Dundumwezi, Hon. Edgar Sing’ombe, raised issues of examination and school fees over which children are being sent away from schools. Once again, let me clarify that the policy of the Ministry of General Education is that primary school education is free. However, this does mean that, for the purpose of improving service delivery in the schools, school boards cannot ask for contributions from parents to enhance service delivery. The Ministry of General Education has set limits in which these increases can be made. Therefore, it is our hope that with these guidelines given, the concerns raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Dundumwezi are being addressed.


Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for the opportunity that has been given to me to make some responses as well as contribute to the debate on the good and inspiring Budget Speech by the hon. Minister of Finance.


Mr Speaker, I submit and thank you.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Nkhuwa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to support the Budget Speech delivered to this august House by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Felix Mutati, on Friday, 29th September, 2017.


Mr Speaker, as you may be aware, the Ministry of Works and Supply is the custodian of all buildings, locally and in missions abroad. As such, it is supposed to be the richest ministry in the Government of the Republic of Zambia. Some of the buildings have remained in a deplorable state. Some have never seen a coat of paint neither have they had windows nor leaking roofs repaired, as such, my ministry has a lot of work to do and requires substantial amounts of money to ensure that these buildings are in habitable and safe condition have to be undertaken. We, therefore, welcome the proposal by the hon. Minister of Finance to set up an Infrastructure Development Fund in 2018. It is our expectation that this fund will also be used to rehabilitate and maintain Government buildings located in all provinces and in countries outside Zambia.


Mr Speaker, in an effort to contribute to economic diversification and job creation through the growth of the tourism and agriculture sectors, my ministry will support the rehabilitation and maintenance of Government infrastructure in heritage sites and farming blocks. This is in line and in order to attract both local and international tourists to these areas and ensure that farmers have easy access to quality public services by ensuring that their offices and residences, which are owned by the Government, are maintained.


In addition, Sir, my ministry will contribute to enhancing human development by maintaining and rehabilitating health facilities and schools. You may be aware that a lot of schools and hospitals are in very bad shape. So, I need a huge budget, but I know that the cake is small. So, we can only share it equally. Like His Excellency President said in his speech, we shall share the cake “without leaving anybody behind.” So, as much as I am asking for some money from the Ministry of Finance, I am also mindful that there are a lot of ministries and spending agencies that need to share the same cake. As I ask, I will ensure that I am reasonable about it.


Further, Sir, we intend to engage with the private sector to re-develop selected Government buildings using the public-private partnership (PPP) mode. In the past, we, as a ministry, have gone round and inspected buildings, hospitals and schools and have come up with a Bill of Quantity (BOQ) so that we prepare to repair the buildings in future. Some of the buildings are beyond human usage. Such buildings, we will condemn so that they a brought down and the sites handed over to my colleague in infrastructure development to have new buildings erected.


Mr Speaker, in reference to the Budget Speech, the hon. Minister referred to the continuation of major constructions in the road sector, development of railway lines, development of main airports and upgrading of telecommunication networks. You will agree with me that all these infrastructure development activities will require preventive maintenance services after they are handed over to the users. My ministry will endeavour to provide these services.


Mr Speaker, allow me to implore my fellow Cabinet Ministers to treat with a sense of urgency the rehabilitation and maintenance of infrastructure in individual ministries going forward. They say, “a stitch in time, serves nine.” So, the ministry welcomes the proposal to raise the fees and charges collected by various Government institutions. As you may be aware, my ministry is one of the Government institutions collecting none tax revenues from twelve revenue sources, namely, renewal of Certificate of Competency, Registration Fees, proceeds of sale of Government vehicles, misuse of Government vehicles − if somebody is misusing a vehicle, we charge them and these are none revenue fees − damage to Government property and survey fees.


Mr Speaker, you may be aware that my ministry has a Survey Department. We carryout quantity surveying. We are able to give value of property at a fee, but we normally offer this service to the Government. In some cases when we have Court Orders, we are compelled to carryout quantity surveying, but still do it at a fee. We rent out Government properties, printing supplies through Government Printers. We print for the private sector as well as for other Government institutions. We also sell flowers, for those of you, hon. Members who love flowers. We also sell office equipment and offer maintenance services, including pontoon service charges.


In this case, Mr Speaker, the proposal to increase the fees is most welcome so that we can generate more funds. That way, we will increase the funds in the coffers of the country and improve the living standards of our people.


Sir, lastly, allow me to reiterate because I know I said this earlier, we need to pay attention to repairing our properties. They are in a deplorable state and, in some cases, it is as a result of misuse. People have an ‘I do not care attitude’ and think that because the properties are not owned by anyone they can be misused. However, a Government house or vehicle that a Government officer uses is the property of the Government. So, we must ensure that we take care of these properties. When we do that, the repair costs and even the fuel bills will come down. We direct that money saved towards needy areas such as the repair of medical and school equipment. On my ministry’s priority list, will we, firstly, repair hospital and school infrastructure and then later housing infrastructure.


Mr Speaker, with these few words, I would like to thank you once again for giving me this opportunity.


Thank you, Sir.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Chitotela): Mr Speaker, I am delighted to be given an opportunity to contribute to the debate on the 2018 Budget Speech delivered by Hon. Felix C. Mutati, Member of Parliament and Minister of Finance, under the theme, “Accelerating Fiscal Fitness for Sustained Inclusive Growth, without Leaving Anyone Behind.”


Sir, without any hesitation, I wish to extend my thanks and appreciation to the hon. Minister and his team for presenting a Budget that has given hope to individual citizens and businesses. I am glad to note that the Budget is firmly anchored on the Patriotic Front (PF) pro-poor vision to promote a sustainable economic pathway that will result in happiness and prosperity for our people.


Mr Speaker, as I join other hon. Members of Parliament, who have debated before me on the subject matter, I wish to reiterate that the 2018 Budget is, indeed, progressive and inspiring, as it articulates the country’s transformative development agenda. This agenda is transformative in that it is meant to address the key socio-economic challenges our country is faced with by offering economic and social policy initiatives as well as institutional and legislative reforms that will provide a conducive environment for the implementation of developmental initiatives.  I will not dwell on the negativities, as other people did because we need to throw the fruits of kindness and love to those who throw stones at us. That way, we can transform them and they can start seeing the positive things that the PF Government …


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chitotela: … is doing for the people of Zambia.


Mr Muchima: Question!


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chitotela: Sir, the policy initiatives outlined in the hon. Minister’s speech are well aligned to the Seventh National Development Plan (7THNDP) as they covered all the five pillars of the plan, namely economic diversification and job creation, poverty and vulnerability reduction, reducing development inequalities, enhancing human development and creating a conducive governance environment for a diversified and inclusive economy.


Mr Speaker, as the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development, I will focus my contribution on the speech on the issues that relate to the mandate of my ministry. In this regard, my debate will cover the pillars of economic diversification and job creation, and reducing development inequalities to which the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development will contribute significantly.


Sir, I could not agree more with the hon. Minister of Finance when he said that economic development follows infrastructure development. This is because infrastructure is a crucial foundation to a nation’s development. The famous economist, Dr Vijayendra Rao, said that:


“The link between infrastructure and development is not a once for all affair. It is continuous process and progress in development which has to be preceded, accompanied and followed by progress in infrastructure if we are to fulfil our declared objectives of a self accelerating process of economic development.”


Many people agree with this proclamation, as it is evidence that the availability of adequate and efficient infrastructure not only promotes rapid industralisation, but also improves the quality of life of people. This is because infrastructure encompasses the whole spectrum of vital services such as transportation, power generation and transmission, telecommunications, postal facilities and urban development. Therefore, adequate infrastructure facilitates are an absolute necessity for rapid and sustainable economic growth.


Mr Speaker, conscious of these facts, the PF Government has invested considerably in expanding and modernising the infrastructure base of the country for the benefit of its people in line with the party manifesto. Our main thrust since 2011 has been in infrastructure development through the following:


  1. road construction and rehabilitation;


  1. construction of universities, colleges, trade training institutions and secondary schools in all the ten provinces of our country;


  1. construction of office blocks, post offices, police stations and staff houses in the newly-created districts;


  1. construction, upgrading and rehabilitation of health facilitates;


  1. rehabilitation and construction of railway infrastructure; and


  1. construction and modernisation of airports and aerodromes around the country.


Mr Speaker, in line with the Budget Speech, the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development will prioritise the completion of ongoing projects before embarking on the new ones. Specifically, my ministry will focus on key programmes during the 2018 financial year.


Sir, improving the road infrastructure Mr Speaker, I wish to specifically highlight some of the road projects that will be implemented under the 2018 Annual Road Sector Work Plan as follows:


  1. upgrading of the Kabwe to Piccadilly Circus, including the Mpula/Masansa Road, construction of the Kabwe/Ngabwe Road and maintenance of the Kabwe/Kapiri Mposhi Road in the Central Province;


  1. upgrading of the Kitwe/Chingola Dual Carriage Way, the rehabilitation of the 400 km of the Copperbelt urban roads and the rehabilitation of the feeder roads in the Copperbelt Province;


  1. rehabilitation of the Nacala Corridor from Mtenguleni/Mwami Border, upgrading of the Chipata/Chadiza/Katete/Vubwi Road, including Chipata/Feni Road, and the Petauke/Chilongozi Road in the Eastern Province;


  1. upgrading of Mansa/Matanda, Nchelenge/Chienge/Kaputa/Lunchinda and the Kawambwa/Kala Marine Barracks/Mulwe roads in Luapula Province;


  1. upgrading of the Lusaka/Kapiri Mposhi/Ndola Dual Carriage Way and the Katoba/Chiawa Road and construction of the Lilayi Road Project in Lusaka Province;


  1. rehabilitation of the Great-North Road from Chinsali/Isoka/Nakonde, upgrading of the Nakonde/Kanyala/Sansamwenje  and the Isoka/Muyombe/Chama/Lundazi roads in Muchinga Province;


  1. upgrading of the Luwingu/Chilubi Islands Road, the Mporokoso/Kaputa via Mutundu Gate and the Lunte/Zachariah and Mukunsa/Kaputa roads;


  1. upgrading of the Solwezi/Kipushi, the Manyinga/Mwinilunga and 5km urban roads in Manyinga and the Mwinilunga/Jimbe roads, including the 6km urban roads in the North-Western Province;


  1. maintenance of the Livingstone/Sesheke Road, rehabilitation of the Kafue/Mazabuka/Monze, including the Mazabuka by-pass, and the Monze/Kazungula, which we intend to turn into a dual carriage way in the Southern Province; and


  1. upgrading of the Kalabo/Sikongo/Angola Border, the Kalabo/Kalongola/Sitoti/Matebele and the Katunda/Lukulu/Watopa roads in the Western Province.


Mr Speaker, in addition, the Government, in collaboration with the World Bank, will commence the implementation of the Rural Road Connectivity Project which will involve upgrading, rehabilitation and maintenance of about 4,300 km of feeder roads in Zambia. I must state that we have even constituted a team, which has been sent to Canada to learn best practices. Come next year, we will implement the rehabilitation of the 4,300 km of the feeder roads in six provinces as well as the four provinces that will be funded by the Government. That way, we will cover all the ten provinces.


Mr Speaker, the second component of the project will support institutional strengthening in the road sector while the third component will support the contingency emergency response to allow for rapid re-allocation of project proceeds in the event of a natural or man-made disaster or crisis that has or is likely to immediately have an adverse economic or social impact.


Sir, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central Parliamentary Constituency has been raising the issue of the Kafue/Mazabuka Road. I, therefore, wanted him to listen and know that we are a Government that does not leave anybody behind. The hon. Member should tell the people of Mazabuka that the PF Government is upgrading the Mazabuka Road plus a 10km by-pass in Mazabuka. This will not end in Mazabuka, but will go up to Monze, and this is planned for 2018. I want to assure the House that this project will be implemented because it has been budgeted for. I hope that the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central Parliamentary Constituency, who is also the Leader of the Opposition will agree with me that this project should not just end in Mazabuka, but that go all the way to Monze.


Mr Mwiimbu: Yes.




Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, it is the Patriotic Front (PF) Government’s firm belief that the project will not only help to promote productivity in the priority sectors, but will also contribute to the reduction of the developmental inequalities between the urban and rural areas.


Mr Speaker, in an effort to improve the railway transportation system and reduce the pressure on the road network, the Government intends to embark on the Greenfield Railway Infrastructure Project, which includes the Chipata/Petauke/Serenje, the Nseluka/Mpulungu and Chingola/Solwezi/Jimbe Railway Lines.


Mr Speaker, in the Aviation Industry, the Government will continue the expansion and modernisation of the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, which is expected to be completed in December, 2018, six months before schedule. This will include the Presidential pavilion, fire rescue station, apron for special planes, new terminal building, hotel, new air traffic control tower, new warehousing facilities, cargo and apron terminals and the taxiway extension. Further, the constructing of the international airport in Ndola will be advanced. The Government will also finalise plans to upgrade the airport in Solwezi, Kasaba Bay, Mbala and Chipata to increase traffic and support economic diversification, job creation and industrialisation for the benefit of our people in Zambia.


Mr Speaker, as regards road tolling, as indicated by the hon. Minister of Finance and many other distinguished citizens, the National Road Tolling Programme has proven to be successful in raising revenue for road maintenance and rehabilitation. This is very critical in respect to sustainable road financing and acceleration of fiscal fitness in the medium and long term. To this end, my ministry has continued launching tolling sites across the country. Just in September, this year, 2017, we commenced inland road tolling at Chembe in Luapula Province, Kalense on the Kasama/Luwingu Road and Keteshi on the Kasama/Mbala Road in the Northern Province.


Mr Speaker, in addition booth and boom types of toll stations are under construction in Solwezi/Mutanda, Kapiri Mposhi/Mkushi, Katete/Chipata, Nyimba/Petauke, Serenje/Mpika roads and the Livingstone weigh bridges and are likely to come on stream in 2018. Beyond 2018, we will continue to operationalise more tolling sites across the country.


Sir, in an effort to continue the fiscal fitness and improving Budget credibility, the ministry has embarked on a good number of selected infrastructure development projects for implementation and the public private partnership (PPP) and Contractor Facilitated Initiative (CFI) as a way of easing the pressure on the National Treasury. We believe that we are one of the key sectors that should correctly interpret and practically implement the theme of this year’s Budget Speech to the fullest. I also wish to commend my counterpart, the hon. Minister of Finance, for the good announcement in the setting up of the Infrastructure Development Fund in 2018 to further diversify resources of financing for infrastructure development in the country.


Mr Speaker, for us to continue to contribute to economic diversification and reduction f development inequalities for improved standards of living of the Zambian people, as espoused in the Seventh National Development Plan (7th NDP), we continue our ambitious programme of constructing infrastructure in newly-created districts in order to accelerate rural development and ease the delivery of services to the people in line with the Decentralisation Policy.


Sir, particular focus will continue to be on the construction of education and health facilities, office blocks, post offices, police stations and staff houses. In addition, my ministry is cognisant of the huge disparities that exist between planned and unplanned settlements within urban areas in terms of accessing social services such as housing.

will remain key to the Government’s developmental agenda in 2018 in order to continue facilitating growth and productivity in the priority sectors of agriculture, mining, manufacturing and tourism. To this effect, the ministry will undertake road projects such as the Link Zambia 8,000 km Road Project, the Lusaka 400 km (L400) Road Project Phases I and II, meant to improve urban roads in Lusaka, and the Copperbelt 400 km Road Project (C400) Phases I and II, also meant to improve urban roads on the Copperbelt. In this regard, the ministry will continue to prioritise urban and rural housing development and upgrading of informal settlements in cities and peri-urban areas.


Mr Speaker, we take the theme of the 2018 Budget Address very seriously. In this regard, our plan, in 2018, is to focus on overseeing the implementation and completion of all the on-going projects that we have started.


Mr Speaker, in concluding my contribution to the debate, allow me to take this opportunity to assure my fellow Zambians of the Government’s determination to provide the nation with quality and cost-effective infrastructure. We will, therefore, see to it that we deliver according to the expectations of the Zambian people, who gave us the mandate to govern them.


Mr Speaker, I appeal for support from all stakeholders, as we implement these programmes. I know that it will not be an easy journey as we embark on the development agenda. Critics will rise, but ours will be to develop.


Sir, I want to reiterate that where there is honey, there will always be bees. You must understand that if you are approaching a place where there is honey, bees will always follow. So, we need to remain steadfast. As my father used to say, “icongo ca ba bombwe, tachilesha insofu ukunwa amenshi,” meaning, when frogs make noise, it does not stop an elephant from drinking water.


I thank you, Sir


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, I am grateful for this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion of Supply and to also respond to the many concerns that colleagues from both the left and the right raised in their debates.


Mr Speaker, it is also an honour to start debating on the note of icongo ca ba bombwe.



Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister of Finance for eloquently presenting his Budget Address. From the outset, I would like to state that this is a healthy Budget.


Mr Speaker, I will focus on key fundamentals. As I use the term “fundamentals”, I want to use this opportunity to remind the hon. Minister of Finance that the correct pronunciation of this word is fundamental and not “foondamental.”




Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Continue, hon. Minister.


 Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance presented his Budget Address based on the theme, “Accelerating Fiscal Fitness for Sustainable Inclusive Growth without Leaving Anyone Behind.”


Sir, sustainable development is inextricably linked to a healthy population. One fundamental aspect of productivity is just a healthy population. So, to have sustained development, you must ensure that you invest in the health of the people.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: This is why I applauded the hon. Minister of Finance for beginning with health, as he spoke about human development. 


Mr Speaker, in line with the National Health Strategic Plan, as informed by the party manifesto, the hon. Minister of Finance highlighted key issues and I would like to begin with the first statement that he made on innovative healthcare financing. This is a zipped statement which I would like to unzip today.


Sir, I would like to unbundle the statement ‘innovative healthcare financing’. It is critical to begin with this because for us to meet the aspirations of our people to attain universal health coverage, we must raise the necessary resources to finance interventions across the continuum of care.

Therefore, Sir, we must ensure that our people access preventive, periodic and palliative services. Therefore, for us to attain universal health coverage, we must address the aspect of financing for health care. This is the beginning point.


Mr Speaker, in moving on with innovative health care financing, it is important to note that to finance health care worldwide, we need to create specific revenue streams. In this Budget, the hon. Minister of Finance has created new revenue streams to finance health care. Firstly, he spoke about the introduction of the social health insurance. That is a game changer because with the social health insurance, we will move the insurance cover from 4 per cent to 100 per cent insurance cover. This means that those who will be able to pay, coupled with what the Government will put there, will be able to subsidise the others who cannot pay. This is the pro-poor position that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has taken. The social health insurance will commence in 2018 and I will present a Bill on that. So, it is commendable that the hon. Minister of Finance has created the new revenue stream.


Furthermore, Sir, under innovative health care financing, the hon. Minister of Finance also referred to that fact that there are some practices that are unhealthy. Therefore, the trade-off should be to get a bit of revenue from those practices so that we can channel that to health care. He also spoke about increasing taxes on alcohol and tobacco.


Sir, increasing taxes on alcohol and tobacco simply means that we will deter some people from drinking. We will also earn some resources from those revenue streams and push it towards health care financing, which is commendable.


Mr Speaker, under the innovative health care financing, there is also what we call sin taxes, which we impose on the sugary drinks and the junk food. Taxing the sin of alcohol, the sin drinking, the sin of eating junk food and the sin sweetened fruits creates revenue that is used to finance health care.


Sir, under the innovative health care financing, we are creating revenue streams and by so doing, we will reduce the burden on the fiscus in 2018. I, therefore, want o commend the hon. Minister of Finance for emphasising that, in 2018, we will see a shift towards the innovative health care financing.


Mr Speaker, public infrastructure in the Ministry of Health that has been used for human capital development, that is, the University Teaching Hospital and many other surrounding hospitals have been used for training purposes. We have partnered well with the private sector and this sector has been placing it students for practicum in our public institutions.


Sir, in 2018, students who are placed in our public institutions will be able to pay economic fees and these resources will be used to finance the health care. We have also set up a new medical School, the Levy Mwanawasa School of Medicine, which is informed by the pronouncement by the Head of State that Levy Mwanawasa Hospital be upgraded to Levy Mwanawasa University Teaching Hospital and that the adjacent school of medicine or training centre be annexed. We will be able to raise resources through human capital development programmes at that international training centre.


Mr Speaker, the Cancer Diseases Hospital, which trains human resources from the region and beyond, raises money for the health sector. Again, that is innovative health care financing.


Sir, I am emphasising on this because for us to attain the universal health coverage, we must find the money because funding health care from the routine revenue is not sustainable. This is why it is important to note that the PF Government, under His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, in alignment with his PF Manifesto and development plan has been innovative in creating innovative health care financing strategies.                             

Mr Speaker, having belaboured that point, I now move on to the next fundamental component of our heath systems that the hon. Minister of Finance spoke about, which is infrastructure. For us to create access to health services for the people of this country, we need to create infrastructure for primary and tertiary level healthcare services. This includes investment in health posts and first level hospitals. To complete the national network, we need then to create tertiary institutions.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance mentioned that there will be completion of primary healthcare infrastructure that we begun building. That is applauded. The 650 health posts will be completed because we will appropriate resources. Under primary healthcare, again, we will build 108 zonal health facilities that will be equitably distributed. We will build three more district hospitals in one line and under the Intensive Outpatient Programme (IOP), we will complete the existing infrastructure. Thirty-five hospitals are under construction. We will complete all infrastructure that is under construction.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance also mentioned that we will embark on new projects that are financed in a particular manner. Today, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia was breaking ground to signal commencement of the construction of the first specialist hospital in Lusaka that shall focus on cardiac, renal, neurosurgical and orthopedic services. That is a game changer and a milestone. That is only the first specialised hospital that we are building.


Mr Speaker, in 2018, under various financing arrangements, we will see such specialist hospitals built. One will be built in Kasama and another one in Kitwe. We will see cancer diseases hospitals built outside Lusaka.  One will be in Mpika and another in Kitwe. We will see a specialist hospital built in Chipata. We will complete general hospitals that are in other provinces. In Mongu, the first purpose built hospital will be completed within the next one month and shall be commissioned. The outpatient department of this hospital is opening by Independence Day, as promised to the people of Mongu.


Mr Speaker, Lukulu has one of the best hospitals this country has ever seen. The first phase is complete and functional. The second phase is at an advanced stage. We are seeing hospitals being constructed in Limulunga and Nalolo. Mulobezi has one of the best hospitals in this country.


Mr Speaker, to demonstrate equity, we have also built modern facilities in the Southern Province. Gwembe has the best facility. Namwala, Kalomo and Kazungula all have been credited with the best First Level Hospitals.


Mr Speaker, I want to applaud the hon. Minister of Finance for emphasising, in his Budget presentation, the need for us to build infrastructure to create access to health services for our people. For this infrastructure that we are talking about being built, we need hands to provide services. The hon. Minister of Finance emphasised that we will recruit 1,000 health workers in addition to the 8,000 plus health workers we recruited this year. That is a very good statement of intent. I heard the plea from my colleagues on your left on the need for more human resource in their constituencies. I want to assure the House that, as we create new revenue streams, I am very confident the hon. Minister of Finance will be flexible to increase those numbers so that we can match our investment in infrastructure with human resources.


Mr Speaker, the drug budget has been increased to K1.2 billion. This is unprecedented. That is more than a 50 per cent increment. That budget line not only includes drugs for curative services, but also chemicals that will help us attain vector control, therefore, prevent malaria, dengue fever, chikunkunya and yellow fever.

Sir, investing in vector control is a significant investment in the health of our people. So, that K1.2 billion is a critical investment as it talks to our need for vector control and curative services.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance spoke about the need for us to be consistent in our messages focusing on wellness. We will invest in wellness. His Excellency the President of this country launched the Wellness Week and emphasised the need for us to invest in health promotion in disease prevention as the most impactful way of investing in the health of our people. We have seen that there is a significant increase in the figures appropriated or proposed for appropriation for health promotion and disease prevention in this Budget.


Mr Speaker, let me turn to the debates of my colleagues on the left and right. Riding on the scholarly preamble of the hon. Minister of General Education on his approach to cluster these sentiments expressed by our colleagues, let me say that my colleagues spoke about infrastructure, human resource and service delivery. I listened carefully to their debates and read the Hansard when I was not in Parliament. I want to assure the hon. Members of Parliament that the information they gave representing the needs of their people will inform our crafting of the infrastructure operational plan, human capital development plan and our service delivery plan. So, I commend all hon. Members of Parliament who represented their constituents well and spoke about the needs in health care. All that shall be used as information in our crafting of our infrastructure operational plan.


Mr Speaker, as I conclude, let me say that the hon. Minister of Finance’s speech resonates very well with the aspirations we have laid out in the Patriotic Front (PF) Manifesto, which is pro-poor. We have seen its resonance with the Seventh National Development Plan (7thNDP), which focuses on an integrated approach meant to leave no one behind.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: We have seen that Universal Health Coverage 2030 is a dream that shall be achieved because just in the next one year, the targets as set out in our National Health Strategic Plan will be achieved. This is commendable and I thank the hon. Minister of Finance for supporting investment in the health of the people of this country so that we can have a work force that will drive the fiscal fitness agenda.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!




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


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1929 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 19th October, 2017.