Wednesday, 1st November, 2017

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Wednesday, 1st November, 2017

The House met at 1400 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






75. Dr Malama (Kanchibiya) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:

a. when the rehabilitation of the Mpika/Kasama Road, which was in a deplorable condition, would commence;

b. what the time frame for completion of the works was; and

c. what the estimated cost of the project was.

The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Chitotela): Mr Speaker, for purpose of periodic maintenance, the Mpika/Kasama Road has been divided into two lots. The contract for Lot 1, which is 131 km long and starts from Mpika to Chambeshi Section, was awarded to Keren Motors while the contract for Lot 2, which is 86 km long and covers the stretch from Chambeshi to Kasama Section, was awarded to China Geo-Engineering Corporation.

Sir, the works on Lot 1 have stalled because the contractor had demonstrated a lack of seriousness and capacity to complete the project. The ministry has since directed the Road Development Agency (RDA) to consider terminating the contract. On Lot 2, the works are ongoing, with the contractor currently working on the urban roads in Kasama, which are part of the scope of works and are expected to be completed in December, 2017. The completion date for Lot 1 was supposed to be 15th November, 2017, but it now has to be revised because of the stalled works. The completion date for Lot 2, which is making good progress, is 7th January, 2019.

Sir, the estimated cost for the project is K647,103,068.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Malama: Mr Speaker, as we wait for 2019, lives will continue to be lost and people injured on the road. So, the people of Kanchibiya and other users of the road want to know if there will be some interim remedial measures on it drive safely, which is currently not possible because of huge potholes. Will the Government, at least, move in and patch the potholes even as the major works continue until 2019?

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, Lot 1, which is of great concern to this Government, was awarded given to a Zambian contractor because we always want to empower our own citizens, but we have been disappointed. I have been on that stretch. Meanwhile, Lot 2, which is being worked on a Chinese contractor and whose scope includes 10 km of township roads in Kasama, is nearing completion and the contractor has pledged to speed up works further.

Sir, our challenge is on Lot 1, whose contract was awarded towards the end of 2015. When I visited the stretch, very little progress had been recorded. So, the contractor was summoned and cautioned because we could not proceed in that manner.

Mr Speaker, the RDA has been directed to consider terminating the contract but, in the interim, we have also requested the RDA Regional Manager for Muchinga Province to carry out a cost assessment and submit it for possible funding so that we can attended to those areas that have been extensively damaged due to heavy traffic on that section of the road.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, the Mpika/Kasama Road is very important to the Northern region of the country, especially Kasama. For example, exports to the Great Lakes Region through Mpulungu pass through that portion of the road. Unfortunately, it is in a deplorable condition, as it has been mentioned. It has been maintained periodically since 2011. I think will be the third time it will be maintained since 2011. When will we see a full rehabilitation of the road, which links this country to East Africa?

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I agree with the hon. Member of Parliament for Kaputa’s sentiments. That is why we advertised for a periodic maintenance with a view to undertaking a full rehabilitation of the road. However, that will only be done if funds permit.

Mr Speaker, Keren Motors, which was awarded the contract to rehabilitate Lot 1, which was 131 km of the road, quoted for K118 million while China Geo-Engineering Corporation, which was awarded the contract to rehabilitate 89 km of the road quoted for K528 million. So, there was pure desperation on the part of Keren Motors to get the contract by under-quoting when it knew that it had no capacity to do the work. I questioned the RDA how it managed to award such an under-quoted contract. It would take a miracle for any company to rehabilitate even 50 km of road at that cost. I, therefore, appeal to the contractors to quote realistic costs. They should not do it just to get business and, then, fail to deliver because that inconveniences the Government.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, the question has not been answered. Would you like to repeat it, hon. Member for Kaputa?

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, my question was on when the Government plans to undertake full rehabilitation of the road, not periodic maintenance, of which there have been three since 2011, but they have not made any difference because the road is old. 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, as soon as the termination of the current contract is concluded, we will advertise for the rehabilitation of that road.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, the road we are talking about leads to the only port in this country. Therefore, it carries heavy cargo, such as cement, sugar and steel. Owing to the success of some of the public private partnership (PPP) projects that this Government has implemented, is the road not an ideal candidate for installation of a toll gate so that the road is maintained using the proceeds?

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member’s is suggestion good. Once the road is rehabilitated, we will put up toll gates on it.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Mr Speaker, I am concerned about the contractor for Lot 1 because he is the one who was also awarded the contract to work on township roads in Mkushi, but did not deliver and the Government ended up terminating the contract. What punitive measures will the Government take against the contractor, who repeatedly fails the people of Zambia?

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, if a contractor performs poorly, he pushes himself out of business because he will find it difficult to get business in the country because of the poor record.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, how much money will the Government lose if the Road Development Agency (RDA) cancels the contract with Keren Motors?

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, the RDA will invoke all the provisions in the contract so safeguard the interest of the Government. If a contractor fails to perform, he cannot claim damages on a cancelled contract. Further, if Keren Motors was given an advance payment for works he has not performed, the Government will endeavour to recover the money. So, I do not think it will lose anything.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Speaker, the road is now being used by heavy trucks despite being very narrow. Sometimes, vehicles have to give each other chances to pass. Does the scope of works on it include widening it?

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, in the past, we used to make roads that were 3.4 m per carriageway. However, we have now increased the width to between 3.5 and 3.75 m per carriageway.

Sir, the road will have shoulders to allow other road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists, to move freely.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, asphalt technology has failed in Sub-Saharan Africa. At the utmost, the roads last four years. What technology will the Government use for the full rehabilitation of the road? Further, if it will be asphalt technology used, when will the Government introduce new technology for making roads in Zambia more durable?

Mr Chitotela: Sir, the Government will use double-seal because asphalt technology is expensive. There are also indications that many European players in the construction sector are coming up with new technologies. Just last month, we sent a team from the RDA to Portugal to learn the best method of road making. Some people from Australia also visited Her Honour the Vice-President’s Office and taught us that if mixing soil and cement made more durable and cheaper roads than using asphalt. We are, therefore, considering different methods that we can adopt in Zambia to assist the Government to reduce costs without compromising quality.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mecha (Chifunabuli): Sir, the hon. Minister has indicated a maintenance cost of over K600,000. Is that an annual or perennial cost? Further, what is the scope of the maintenance?

Mr Chitotela: Sir, the scope involves pothole patching and construction of the shoulders. As Hon. Simbao noted, the road is narrow. So, it will be widened and shoulders will be built.

Sir, the figure mentioned is not an annual cost. The design capacity is that after rehabilitation, the road will have a life span of, at least, ten years, all things being equal, that is, with all maintenance programmes in place, and the correct weight and density used.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisopa (Mkushi South): Mr Speaker, did the two contractors sub-contract 20 per cent of their works, as required by the law, to the satisfaction of the hon. Minster?

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, on Lot 2, I think the Northern Province Administration can confirm that with China Geo-Engineering Corporation engaged local contractors in the Northern Province and is working very well with them. I think the people of Kasama are very happy because I have been receiving messages of commendation for the work being done on township roads. It is only on Lot 1 where we are having challenges with a Zambian contractor, our brother.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbulakulima (Milenge): Mr Speaker, I join my colleagues in stressing the importance of the road. If I …

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

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chabi: Hear, hear!

Ema Mailoni brothers aba!

Mr Chisopa: Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to raise this point of order and apologise to the hon. Member for Milenge for disturbing his line of thought.

Mr Speaker, on Friday, last week, I asked Her Honour the Vice-President a question on the dispute between Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and the unions. In her response, she indicated that there was a ten-day period in which KCM had declared a dispute with the unions. Is the Government in order to not brief this House on what has been resolved between KCM and the unions after the ten days lapsed?

I need your serious ruling, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: My ruling is that you are free to file in a question that we will forward to Her Honour the Vice-President, and you will get a response.

May the hon. Member for Milenge, please, continue.

Mr Chabi: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, if I heard the hon. Minister right, the Government wants to terminate the periodic maintenance contract. However, the hon. Members from that region have stressed the importance of the road. Since periodic maintenance is totally different from full rehabilitation, why does the Government not tender the contract for the rehabilitation of the road immediately so that people can get benefits from that important infrastructure in good time?

Mr Chitotela: Sir, as I said, as soon as the periodic maintenance contract is terminated, we shall tender the road for full rehabilitation of Lot 1 only because Lot 2 was already tendered for full rehabilitation, hence the contract sum being K528.8 million for only 86 km.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!



The following Bill was read the third time and passed:

The Companies Bill, 2017





VOTE 19 – (Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit – K54,487,820)

(Consideration resumed)

The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Madam Chairperson, the Office of the Vice-President is charged with the responsibility of disaster management and mitigation.

Sir, the mission statement for the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) is:

“To develop, co-ordinate and monitor disaster risk management programmes in order to minimise loss of life, and damage to property and the environment”.

Madam Chairperson, during 2017, the DMMU was allocated K13,636,886 for both personal and non-personal emoluments. That allocation facilitated the implementation of a number of key programmes in line with the unit’s mandate. However, the implementation of the programmes faced a number of challenges given the reduction in the ceiling and mode of funding for the unit. The notable programmes that were implemented include the:

  1. response to the army worm infestation during the 2016/2017 Farming Season;
  2. distribution of 26,000 food baskets to twenty-seven districts in the Southern, Eastern and Western provinces, which were affected by prolonged dry spells during the 2015/2016 Farming Season;
  3. distribution of shelter materials, tents and roofing sheets to a number of communities that were affected by rainstorms during the last rainy season;
  4. provision of food and non-food items to refugees in Nchelenge;
  5. the resettlement of internally-displaced persons and continued provision of relief items to them until they are weaned off;
  6. implementation of response and recovery action plans for various emergencies, such as road traffic and marine accidents;
  7. repair of critical infrastructure, such as schools, bridges, culverts and markets; and
  8. operationalisation of the Disaster Risk Management Framework and Community Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) Facilitation Manual in collaboration with key stakeholders in order to build community resilience to disasters.

Madam Chairperson, the Build Back Better Team has been constituted under my chairmanship to spearhead the rebuilding of gutted and other markets in the country.

Sir, the programmes implemented and activities undertaken ultimately contributed to poverty and vulnerability reduction. In this regard, I take this opportunity to thank all our co-operating partners for supplementing the Government’s efforts in the implementation of programmes.

Madam Chairperson, for 2018, the DMMU has been allocated K54,487,820 for both personal and non-personal emoluments. The allocation will be used to undertake the following activities, among others:

  1. response to various emergencies to mitigate the impact of disasters;
  2. full operationalisation of the National Disaster Relief Trust Fund;
  3. operationalisation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction;
  4. enhancement of office administration to ensure the smooth running of the unit;
  5. operation and maintenance of plant and equipment to ensure timely response to disasters;
  6. dismantling of arrears;
  7. development of international and local partnerships, including public-private partnerships (PPPs) for implementation of the intended programmes; and
  8. strengthening of the monitoring and evaluation system to ensure the prudent utilisation of resources and effective implementation of disaster risk management programmes.

Madam Chairperson, the implementation of the programmes mentioned above will contribute to reduction of poverty and vulnerability in various communities of our country in line with Pillar Two of the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP). My office will enhance co-ordination and collaboration with various strategic stakeholders in attaining its objectives and goals for 2018.

Madam, with that background, I urge hon. Members to support the DMMU budget.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Madam Chairperson, I have listened to Her Honour the Vice-President’s policy statement on the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) budget. She has talked about the rehabilitation of infrastructure like schools and bridges.

Madam Chairperson, the DMMU is critical to the needs of the people of Zambia. Maybe, there is a need to explain what a disaster is. Such things as the burning of markets by whoever is doing it, adversely affect the lives of the people. therefore, they are disasters.

Madam, the DMMU should quickly respond to calamites that befall the people. The unit was under the Office of the Vice-President so that it can attend to the calamities all Zambians face using the power the Vice-President wields. When I say “people”, I mean every Zambian, not Patriotic Front (PF) cadres only.

Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: Currently, the PF Government only prioritises PF cadres and issues instead of the entire country and its issues.

Hon. PF Members: Question!

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: However, this country does not belong only to PF cadres. The DMMU is supposed to benefit every Zambian. When the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government was in power, it responded to every Zambian’s problem. In fact, it was the MMD that upgraded the unit to its current status. However, a disaster befell us when the PF came into power because we have serious problems that require the attention of the Government, but it has turned a blind eye to them.

Madam, I do not think I can support this budget because it is only used for campaigns. Helicopters and disaster relief materials are used as political capital during election campaigns.

Mr Kampyongo: Question!

Mr Muchima: I can only support it if it is used to respond to calamities in all the corners of the country. There should be checks and balances in a democratic nation. We look to those who hold the key to the National Treasury, namely that Government (indicated the Government side). We need schools in Ikeleng’i, Nyakaseya and Kinyaji. We also need bridges. Currently, it is raining heavily and bridges are being washed away. I was there last Friday with the hon. Minister of Health. The Government opened the provincial offices, yet it does not even give the officers fuel to enable them make inspections. In her statement, Her Honour the Vice-President was supposed to tell us how far the Government has gone in addressing these problems that have befallen us. However, there is nothing to talk about, except when there is an election in Milanzi. Then, we shall hear about how all the ministries are going there and how works are being done day and night.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Muchima: That is not the way to use public resources.

Madam, I invite the unit to Ikeleng’i so that I show the officers what a disaster really is. In Sachibondo, a bridge was washed away and a child died about four years ago. I have written personal notes to Her Honour the Vice-President about it and she has responded kindly to assure me that the bridge would be attended to. Her Honour the Vice-President, I am still waiting.

Mr Mutale: For what?

Mr Muchima: For action to be taken using our money in the Ministry of Finance.


Mr Muchima: Madam Chairperson, we need to create a legacy. We need to see how active this Government is. I will not look at its positivity, but at how proactive it is. It needs to cover the country. If the MMD had been pro-active, the PF would not have formed Government. By leaving out others completely, the Government is missing its chances. Even in the Bible, Jesus came for sinners. So, the Government is supposed to help those in the Opposition. That way, it will grow. However, if it remains the way it is, it will not grow. Instead, it will keep shrinking every day.

Madam, the Government should use the DMMU to solve the problems of the people of Zambia. It is a very important unit, but it is not being used wisely. Let me repeat that we need attention and that the money that is appropriated here should not only be used during campaigns for PF activities, but for the people in need across the country.

Madam Chairperson, we should evolve. When we leave a building at a given level, following day, it should be built elsewhere. That is what growth is. However, in PF, there is retardation and dununa reverse. Everything is going in reverse. We are not seeing progress.

Mr Lubinda interjected.

Mr Muchima: Madam Chairperson, I need protection from the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwata Constituency, who is happy because there are no disasters in Kabwata, and he gets what he wants. He cannot be compared with the people of Ikeleng’i. I am saying that we need the DMMU’s potency so it can address the issues affecting the people.

Madam Chairperson, if the PF wants our votes, it should find other ways of saving money, such as abolishing positions like District Commissioners (DCs). The money saved would be used to build bridges. However, there is a contradiction in that the DMMU says one thing and the Government says another. There is total confusion. So, the Government is not addressing what it is supposed to address.

Madam, this Government needs to sit down and put its house in order if it wants our support. This is a very important Vote. So, it needs our support. However, before we can do that, we need Her Honour the Vice-President’s support too. As I support this Vote, I want to say that there is a need for behavioural change. I rest my case.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for this opportunity you have given the people of Kaputa to add their voice to the debate on the work of this important Government department under the Office of the Vice-President.

Madam Chairperson, as I support the Vote for the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), I want to register that the K54 million allocated to it this year falls far short of what I expected. The work that the unit does speaks for itself everywhere one goes.

Madam Chairperson, Her Honour the Vice-President mentioned some of the things that the unit responds to very quickly. Those of us with very fresh minds all recall how the fall army worms, an agricultural pest, invaded this country at the beginning of the last farming season, and the DMMU and the Ministry of Agriculture did a lot of work to contain them. The food security that we are talking about today was a result of that response. Therefore, there is a need to allocate more resources to the unit so that is able to deal with such eventualities.

Madam Chairperson, in Kaputa, we have had a number of disasters, some of which have been flood disasters resulting from heavy rainfall. However, the response we get from the DMMU is comparable to none other. Therefore, when adequate resources are allocated to the department, we will be assured of its response to disasters, and that will give confidence to the victims of disasters. I know, for sure, that our colleagues in the Southern and Western provinces of the country need some relief food when the country does not receive sufficient rainfall and crops are destroyed, and it is the DMMU that goes to their aid by getting relief food from the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and ensuring that even the remotest areas of our country, which are not easily accessible, receive the relief food. Therefore, allocating money to the department will not be a waste.

Madam Chairperson, there is another important sector in which the unit responds to disasters, namely education.

Madam, I am of the view that we overwhelm this department with reports of disasters like blown-off school roofs. I know that when school roofs get blown off, it is a disaster because it happens suddenly. We should not regard all misfortunes that befall the country as disasters when some, such as the blowing off of the roofs of teachers’ houses and hospitals, can be planned and budgeted for under the responsible ministries. The DMMU should be allowed to deal with only the really unforeseen circumstances. I feel that is why we do not get the expected response when we report disasters. All of us know that we face the challenge of the roofs of our schools being blown off not only in rural areas, but also in urban areas. So, the responsible ministry, that is, the Ministry of General Education, should be allocated money to cover such eventualities so that it does not lump everything on the DMMU. I say this because many letters are written about blown off roofs, but very few are responded to, let alone the roofs repaired.

Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, let me say that the support that the DMMU has been giving to refugees or asylum seekers has been marvellous and thank everyone who is involved in the response activities. Not everyone will, but a number of us appreciate what the unit does and we will stand by it. If we had a way of mobilising more resources to give to it, we would do so.

With those few words, I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba (Lubansenshi): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate.

Madam, my first line of thought is to commend the Office of the Vice-President for the work that it is doing. The Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) restores dignity to people. Many times, when we have experienced the burning down of markets, army worm infestations, refugee influxes and other eventualities, we have become helpless and turned to the unit for assistance. This, to me, is a very important unit. So, I call on the planners to increase funding to it so that it can deal with unforeseen calamities. We should change our mindset and take recognise the important function that the unit has by allocating it more money.

Madam, in my view, the operations of the DMMU need to be decentralised further because the Office of the Vice-President is a very important office with many important issues to attend to. Therefore, if we continue to lump everything on it, sooner than later, we will start blaming it for not functioning well. I know that the unit has provincial offices. However, they are toothless because when calamities befall our provinces, we all start writing letters to the Office of the Vice-President requesting for help while time is running out run because there is a lot that needs to be done before the office can get organised and go to the aid of the distressed, and that becomes a problem. Perhaps, we should send the money to the provincial offices. Later, we should also cascade the administration component. I am aware that District Commissioners (DCs) chair committees on disasters. However, all the committees do is make requests that go to the provincial office before being passed on to the headquarters. In the process, time is lost. So, I suggest that, if possible, we create offices at the district level so that we have officers there solely responsible for co-ordinating disaster management and mitigation activities in the  district so that we streamline the process of getting a response from the DMMU when something happens, for instance, in Lubansenshi Constituency. For example, as I speak, one clinic has no roof because it was blown off by strong winds and we are still waiting for a response from the office here, in Lusaka. So, let us we dress down the unit, in terms of money and offices, to the provinces and districts so that we can respond to disasters faster in the future.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkonge (Lukashya): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate. I also thank Her Honour the Vice-President for her policy statement on the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) budget.

Madam Chairperson, I support the budget, but I think it is inadequate. For example the allocation to emergency response is only K17,892,410, meaning that money will be exhausted on the first few disasters we will have due to the size of our country. The provisions for such programmes in the Budget ought to be tangible. 

Madam Chairperson, one of the challenges we face, even as we authorise the Budget, is that the money is not there, yet the figures are in the Yellow Book, and that affects the operations of the DMMU negatively. So, I suggest that we increase the allocation and actually release the money to allow the DMMU to respond to disasters faster.

Madam, I would also like the term ‘disaster’ better defined to include the reaction time because I have noticed that there are ‘popular’ disasters, for lack of a better term, and not-so-popular disasters. When we hear that City or Chisokone markets or the other one in Ndola have been gutted by fire, we are quick to use the word ‘disaster’ and the response is quick. However, when we hear that the Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA) Market has burned down, the first question asked is: Where is TAZARA Market? Then, the hon. Member of Parliament is asked to write to the Unit. Is that what happens when there are disasters at ‘popular’ markets? For example, did the hon. Member of Parliament for the constituency under which City Market falls write a letter seeking the intervention of the DMMU? When City Market burned down, no one sustained injuries and no lives were put at risk, per se. When the roof at TAZARA Market was blown off, some people were injured, but they were not compensated. In my opinion, the blowing off of a roof is a more natural disaster than the gutting of a market by a suspicious fire. Perhaps, if we are made to understand what a disaster is and what responses to expect for the various disasters, we will put less pressure on the DMMU.

Madam, further, perhaps we should also focus more on preparing. I have noted that the budget for the DMMU has components for assessment of disasters. Some of the money could be invested in assessment of potential disasters so that we can position ourselves to better react to them. For example, in Lusaka, we know the areas where cholera is most likely to break out. As much as the DMMU is expected to react to the disaster, it can also invest some time and money in the assessment reports allocation to anticipate the outbreaks and prevent them. I know that there are other departments responsible for such disasters. However, they may not have the necessary resources.

Madam Chairperson, I have taken note of Hon. Muchima’s lamentations on the departure of the Patriotic Front (PF) from the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) way of managing disasters. However, the truth of the matter is that the nature of disasters is such that we have to respond to the situation before us. Perhaps, the only thing we can work on is our response. Sometimes, there are lamentations because some of the disasters seem to be recurrent. So, we have to ask ourselves why we do not prevent them. I stand to be corrected, but I do not take seriously the speculations about the fires having been started by people with malicious intent because I have noticed that the fires have a pattern of occurring during the cold season. So, it seems the fires occur as a result of people wanting to keep warm. Perhaps, we also need to invest in sensitisation programmes. If anyone keeps a fire in a room where there are blankets, the chances of a disaster are high. We also need to improve the fire-fighting capacity at each market that has had fire disasters.

Madam, let me end by reiterating that we need to give the DMMU more money so that it can have a greater capacity to respond to disasters.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Ms Chisangano (Gwembe): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity …

Mr Mutelo interjected.

Ms Chisangano: You are disturbing me.


Ms Chisangano: Madam Chairperson, I also thank Her Honour the Vice-President for the policy statement.

Madam, we all agree that the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) is very important and it is for that reason that it was formed in 1994 to manage the various disasters that we experience throughout the country.

Madam, as the House is already aware, we have had many disasters due to strong winds and heavy rainfall, such as happened in the last rainy season. Sometimes, it is due to poor rainfall, which leads to hunger. We have also had disease outbreaks. In other cases, what is affected is the infrastructure, such as schools, clinics, bridges and roads.

Madam Chairperson, Gwembe has experienced a number of disasters and reports have been submitted to the DMMU in the past. If my memory serves me right, a number of schools were affected and I was told that reports were submitted in 2010 but, to date, nothing has happened. There are a number of schools in a dilapidated state because they were built before Independence, but they have never been renovated. Therefore, when we experience heavy rainfall like we did in the last season, the buildings collapse. To compound matters, we did not receive the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) with which we could have responded to such challenges. Over the past four years, the CDF was only received last month. Therefore, it was very difficult to attend to the schools. At schools like Koma, Nyangwe and Kole, pupils cannot use the classrooms because they fear that the walls or roofs can collapse on them at any time. Instead, the poor children opt to sit outside. Meanwhile, reports were submitted to and support requested from the DMMU. Follow-ups have been made, but we are told that there is no money, that we should wait a little while for the money to be released or that we will be helped in the future and therefore, we should wait for a while because the money will be allocated. So, what are we doing about that? Anyway, we are still waiting.

Madam Chairperson, there are also damaged bridges and deplorable roads in my constituency whose story leaves much to be desired because we get the same story every time we plead for help. Most bridges are very bad because they were washed away during the last rainy season. Just recently two Government vehicles that were carrying drugs to some rural health facility on the outskirts of the constituency were washed away and the drugs lost, as if God was trying to communicate to the Government through the people in the two vehicles. Unfortunately, nothing has been done and another rainy season has set. Therefore, we do not know what will happen because children cannot go to school, especially in January and February when the rainy season is at its peak. The bridges become impassable. Therefore, the only alternative is to stay at home and wait for the waters to recede. Even patients, who are supposed to go to health facilities, including women in labour, cannot access them in January and February. In the end, they opt to use herbs or just stay at home, thereby putting their lives at risk.

Madam, we want to see the DMMU become more active. Since it complains of not having enough money, we would like to see it get adequate resources because we cannot go on like this.

Madam Chairperson, the case of the dilapidated schools in my constituency was even reported to the Ministry of General Education and we were told that the ministry was waiting to be funded by the Government. However, who is the Government, if I may ask? I thought that the DMMU was responsible for such issues and should have, therefore, attended to them.

Madam Chairperson, I support the budget, but would also like to say that the people and their school children in Gwembe are waiting.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Ms Chisangano: Although schools will close soon, they are worried about January, February and March because of heavy rain that falls around that time.

Mr Livune: That is right.

Ms Chisangano: Madam, we do not want to hear that a school has collapsed on pupils. So, again, the people of Gwembe are waiting for help.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: Question!


The Vice-President: Madam Chairperson, I thank the hon. Members who feel strongly about the DMMU, its operations and the need for it to be supported adequately by the National Budget.

Madam, according to our disaster loss database, 307 schools had their roofs blown off or were completely broken down, and 167 roads were damaged and needed to be repaired. Therefore, more than K7 million was required to repair the damage. Further, 170 bridges and culverts were affected, as were health centres and health post. In total, the DMMU needed K77,578,048.48 against the budgeted amount of just over K13 million that was approved by this Parliament in 2016. So, hon. Members can see the disparity. So, it is because of a lack of resources that the unit does not meet some of its obligations and end up looking like it is inefficient or slow in responding to disasters.

Madam Chairperson, I notice that Hon. Muchima is not here, …

Mr Lubinda: He has run away. Typical of him.

The Vice-President: … but I can assure the House that his claim that the DMMU discriminates on political lines is a bit misleading ...

Mr Lubinda: It is totally misleading!

The Vice-President: … because wherever a disaster has occurred, the DMMU has supported the people in need. For example, the unit airlifted relief food to Zambezi West early this year. I do not know whether Zambezi West is in a constituency represented by a PF hon. Member in this House. The unit supported affected families with tents, roofing sheets and relief food in Kafue, Chirundu, Zambezi, Solwezi, Siavonga, Mwandi, Nkeyema, Senanga, Limulunga, Nyimba and Chipata districts, and a few other places. So, the insinuation that the DMMU only attends to responds to disasters in PF-controlled constituencies is wrong.

Madam Chairperson, as regards the recurrent incidence of blown-off roofs of schools, health facilities and houses, I would like to advise our communities to take care of their properties to avoid these manmade calamities. There are times when people just put malata or iron sheets on a house and, instead of securing them properly, merely put bricks on them and think that their houses will withstand the vagaries of weather. So, schools need to be inspected by school building inspectors. Thankfully, infrastructure development is now in the hands of a ministry that will address some of these issues.

Madam, for the benefit of some hon. Members of Parliament who do not know, the DMMU has centralised offices in the districts, and it is good for them to know that there are committees at the district level that take care of disaster issues.

Madam, one hon. Member talked about the flying of helicopters all over the place. Yes, we do airlift relief supplies to areas that are very difficult to reach. Some areas are not accessible due to flooding in the rainy season, such as Zambezi West, Mitete and Nalolo. So, the helicopters do not just fly aimlessly around Zambia, but do so the purpose of supporting our people in need.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 19/01− (Disaster Management and Mitigation UnitHeadquarters – K54,487,820).

Mr Mwene (Mangango): Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 3002, Activity 043 – International Day for DRR – K200,010. To start with, what does the abbreviation ‘DDR’ stand for? Secondly, the allocation has been increased from K30,000 to K200,010, which is a very big increase. What is the justification for that?

The Minister in the Office of the Vice-President (Ms Chalikosa): Madam Chairperson, on Programme 3002, Activity 043 – International Day for DRR – K200,010, as indicated in the policy statement and during the winding up of debate on this Vote, the previous allocations were insignificant compared to the realistic requirements. Therefore, the increase to the Activity is meant to reflect the actual cost estimates of undertaking activities, both at the national and provincial levels, that will involve the community in disaster preparedness.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

The Chairperson: What do the letters ‘DRR’ stand for?

Ms Chalikosa: Madam, ‘DRR’ stands for disaster risk reduction.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Madam Chairperson, first of all, I just want to register my grievance over the actions of the hon. Minister for Housing and Infrastructure Development, who was busy trying to remove me from the list of people to ask a question.

The Chairperson: Order, hon. Mutelo!

Please, ask your question.


Mr Mutelo: Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 3007, Activity 001− Goods and Services in Arrears – K3,000,000. The allocation for the Activity has increased from K200,000 to K3 million. If we have such huge arrears, are we safe? Further, is the allocation enough to dismantle the arrears or do we still owe a lot, and hence the works not being executed even in Mitete?

Ms Chalikosa: Madam Chairperson, on Programme 3007, Activity 001− Goods and Services in Arrears – K3,000,000, the current debt stock for the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) has the propensity to hamper the mounting of quick responses to emergencies. The significant increase is meant to cater for emergencies like the ones we have experienced in the past. So, for the time being, it is a good figure. However, depending on what the emergency is, we may have to tap into the contingency budget.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Vote 19/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 27   – (Public Service Management Division – K47,427,180).

Mrs Wina: Madam Chairperson, the Public Service Management Division (PSMD) is charged with the responsibility of managing the human resource in the Public Service. The mandate of the division is as follows:

  1. Public Service Management;
  2. human resource management and development; and
  3. strategic and performance management systems.

Madam Chairperson, the division undertook the following major programmes and activities during the 2017 financial year:

Public Service Management

Records Management

Madam, the PSMD commenced the computerisation of registries to facilitate timely decision-making and to ensure compliance with established records management systems and procedures.

Terms and Conditions of Service for the Public Service

Madam Chairperson, under Terms and Conditions of Service for the Public Service, the division undertook the following:

  1. continued to interpret and implement the terms and conditions of service for the Public Service;
  2. sensitised Public Service employees on the Code of Ethics for the Public Service, and on the funeral insurance scheme;
  3. facilitated the negotiations for the 2018 improved salaries and conditions of service, resulting in the signing of collective agreements with Public Service unions within the provision of the Public Service Pay Policy, which has outlined principles that guide remunerations. The Government has endeavoured to ensure that the lowest paid employee’s gross salary is based on the cost of the basic food and needs basket; and
  4. provided affordable loans to Public Service workers across the country through the Public Service Micro-Finance Company, which has corrected the imbalance in loan administration.

Human Resource Reforms

Madam, the Division co-ordinated the Programme Implementation Team (PIT) on human resource management reforms for the Civil Service with a view to delegating some human resource management functions to line ministries and provinces. That entailed a review of all human resource policies, systems and procedures.

Human Resource Management and Development

Madam, the division facilitated the recruitment, placement and separation of human resources and continued to co-ordinate the implementation of human resource development activities across the Public Service, including the co-ordination of technical support from various co-operating partners to enhance the human capital development necessary for the attainment of national development programmes.

Strategic and Performance Management Services

Madam Chairperson, in line with the Pay Policy, the division continued to roll out the Performance Management Package (PMP) in ministries and provinces with a view to improving productivity.

Challenges Faced in 2017

Madam, due to the austerity measures in place, the 2016 collective agreements were extended to enable industrial harmony in the Public Service. In this regard, I commend Public Service employees and their unions for the industrial harmony enjoyed.

Impact Assessment

Madam, in discharging its mandate, the division contributed to the effective and efficient delivery of services in the Public Service.

Key Activities for 2018

Madam Chairperson, the 2018 budget for the PSMD is K47,427,180, of which K26,675,040,  representing 56 per cent of the division’s budget, will go to personnel emoluments while K20,752,140, representing 40 per cent, will go to recurrent departmental charges.  

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Madam Chairperson, through the 2018 budget, the PSMD will continue with its mandate of providing strategic policy direction and leadership in the management of human resources in the Public Service. In view of the human resource reforms being implemented, the division will refocus its priorities from transactional human resource activities to strategic activities. In line with the 7NDP, the division will particularly focus on the following areas:

            Public Service Management

Under Public Service management, the division will undertake the following:

  1. intensification of the implementation of human resource reforms by continuing with the building of capacity in ministries and provinces to enable them effectively and efficiently manage delegated human resource functions. In addition, it will commence human resource audits and capacity development; and
  2. facilitation of the upgrading of the Payroll Management and Establishment Control (PMEC) System to provide for the activation of other human resource modules to support the decentralisation of human resource management functions. Further, the division will continue to implement establishment control mechanisms ...


The Chairperson: Order, hon. Members on my right!

Where is the hon. Chief Whip? Is he in the House?


The Chairperson: Hon. Deputy Chief Whip, it is not in order for hon. Members on the right to speak so loudly when Her Honour the Vice-President is on the Floor. It is not acceptable for them to drown out.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Her Honour the Vice-President, you may continue.

The Vice-President:

The division will continue implementing establishment control mechanisms to ensure that personal emoluments expenditure remains within the approved structure and in line with the terms and conditions of service.

Records Management

Madam, the division will continue to implement the Public Service Records Management Policy to improve records management in the Public Service. In this regard, the division will collaborate with the Smart Zambia Institute to implement an electronic records management system in the Public Service.

Terms and Conditions of Service

Madam Chairperson, the division will facilitate the implementation of the 2018 collective agreement for improved salaries and conditions of service for Public Service employees.

Public Service Health Insurance Scheme

Madam, the Government and the Public Service unions have, under the 2018 collective agreement, agreed to operationalise the Public Service Health Insurance Scheme to provide financial protection and reduce household out-of-pocket expenditures on health care. The division will work with the Ministry of Health to operationalise the scheme.

Human Resource Management and Development

Madam, the division will build the capacity of human resource practitioners and other stakeholders on the decentralised transactional human resource development functions.

Strategic and Performance Management Systems

Madam Chairperson, under strategic and performance management systems, the division will undertake the following:

Performance Management

Madam, the division will, in 2018, intensify the rolling out of the performance management package in the entire Public Service to improve performance and correlate individual employee performance to pay. Further, the division will implement the Performance Management Package (PMP) monitoring and evaluation framework in Government ministries and institutions to ensure accountability for performance.

Human Resource Planning

Madam Chairperson, the division will accelerate the implementation of strategic human resource planning in ministries and provinces, and undertake regular head counts to reconcile the number of employees with approved structures so as to effectively control the establishment. Additionally, the division will continue to facilitate the issuance of Treasury authority for ministries and provinces to ensure optimal capacity of the Public Service for improved service delivery.

Overall Impact of the Policy Direction

Madam, it is envisaged that the prioritised programmes, if supported with the requisite resources, will facilitate the attainment of the overarching developmental plans set out in the 7NDP.

Anticipated Challenges in 2018

Madam Chairperson, the Division anticipates adaptation challenges in the implementation of the human resource reforms as ministries and provinces assume more responsibilities through the devolution of human resource functions.

Measures to Mitigate Challenges

Madam, to mitigate the anticipated challenges, the division will intensify efforts aimed at building the capacity of ministries and provinces to execute the delegated functions, regularly monitor the discharge of the functions and provide guidance where necessary.

Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, it is a fact that the success of any nation largely depends on the strategic management and development of its human resource and prudent management of the Public Service as a whole. It is, therefore, important that this august House supports the division’s estimates of expenditure for the proposed programmes in 2018.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: I urge the hon. Members who will take the Floor next to make their debates brief.

Mr Muchima: Madam Chairperson, thank you very much for according me this opportunity to debate the budget for the Public Service Management Division (PSMD). As a former civil servant, I felt it is important for me to add my voice to this important Vote.

Madam, I am prompted to debate this Vote because I want to make a compare the performance of the Public Service over time, from the Independence era to the time we served in the Civil Service, and suggest how the Civil Service is supposed to operate. I also want to predict how the Civil Service will be in ten to twenty years.

Madam, we should emulate what used to happen in the Civil Service of the past, which had integrity and was worth talking about. There was neither tribalism nor political interference in the running of the Public Service. When we wanted to join the Civil Service, we merely applied, were selected on the basis of our qualifications and were posted to any part of the country. The same applied to promotions. One did not need to know anybody to get promoted. However, today, everything is in reserve.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: Madam, Her Honour the Vice-President’s statement on behalf of the division is a good one and, if the division was run in accordance with her words, it would be an institution to admire. Unfortunately, what obtains on the ground is different from the picture she has painted. Today, for an individual to be promoted, they need to know somebody, or be aligned with cadres ...

Mr Mulenga: Question!

Mr Lufuma: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: … or Ministers.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: The whole service has been confused. Even the transfers or postings that are being made on the identity (ID) basis are not working out. When people are deployed to Jimbe, a village in Ikeleng’i, they are transferred back to Lusaka after two days. People just use the positions in the rural areas to employ their relatives, then, they move them to urban areas, leaving vacancies in those places. Meanwhile, on paper, it will show that people have been deployed there. When one goes to the place, one finds no one there because most of those employed were backed by influential politicians or public servants, such as Permanent Secretaries (PSs), Ministers or senior cadres. That should stop.

Madam, we should take stock of employees everywhere in the country. If a person is posted to Jimbe School, but leaves, then, he should be considered to have resigned. The position should become vacant on the institutional establishment and be given to someone else.

Madam, on promotions in the Civil Services, if a person is appointed to a position in an acting capacity, and it is a substantive, not administrative appointment, he or she should be automatically confirmed after acting for six months. However, today, many civil servants have been acting for one to three years without being confirmed. What is happening? Meanwhile, if the person involved is a relation of a Minister, the promotion is accelerated. Let us stop interfering with the management of institutions. When we worked in the Civil Service, we did not have to know anybody to ascend to the positions we held. Today, for one to be promoted, …

Mr Mulenga: Question!

Mr Muchima: Do not disturb me. Ask those who were there.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Muchima: Ask Hon. Prof. Luo. She knows what I am talking about.

Madam, in those days, we only had to invest in hard work to be promoted. Even transfers were only effected when there was a vacancy somewhere. Today, it is a sad story in Zambia because there are many complaints in the offices. People, including those who work in higher offices, are not motivated. They are especially unhappy about political interference. A few brave people are speaking out, but such are often fired, or retired in the national or public interest when they criticise the Government for what the wrongs they see in the management of the Public Service. Who are such decisions killing? It is the future because we will not remain in these positions forever.

The Chairperson: Hon. Member, ‘killing’ is unparliamentary. Withdraw it.

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: Madam Chairperson, I with draw it ...

Mr Syakalima: What are you going to replace it with?

Hon. Members: Slaughtering.

Mr Muchima: ... and replace it with ‘slaughter’. We are slaughtering the future.


Mr Syakalima: That word is even worse.

Mr Muchima: It is worse? Suggest another.


Mr Muchima: We are denying ourselves a better future. The future depends on our management skills.

Madam Chairperson, I was reading something that my friend in South Africa sent to me about a certain country I will not mention where some people wish that Ian Smith could go back because they are suffering. Should we, in Zambia, also wish that the British come back because they ran a functional system?

Madam Chairperson, we have all the systems and educated people we need today, people with masters and doctorates, but they are always put aside because of instructions from politicians. Nobody is saying we should not help our brothers or sisters, but we are going about it the wrong way. We should work in a way that will make people remember us forever, just like we remember the late Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC., may his soul rest in peace. That was one great son of this soil. We need people who work without looking at tribe ...

Mr Ngulube: Cabbage!

Mr Muchima: ... or party, but at quality only.

Madam Chairperson, we need to retrain all civil servants at the National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA). In England, cellular phones are not allowed in government offices because they are a distraction. In Zambia, you can stand on a queue for three hours while the person who is supposed to attend to you chats on the phone. That is a sharp departure from the ethical standards of a good Civil Service. The PSMD needs to correct that, and we must give it the support it needs.

Madam Chairperson, Her Honour the Vice-President’s policy statement should be properly interpreted by the professionals. It should not lead to political interference, which is what worries me. The division is not able to work independently.

Madam Chairperson, we have progressed from the days when people were not educated, yet they were good administrators. Today, people are educated and are supposed to be better administrators, but they are worse. It seems we are missing the point. So, I want Her Honour the Vice-President’s statement to be put into practice.

Madam Chairperson, the other day, we listened to the Secretary to the Cabinet talk about the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP). Both the document and the Secretary to the Cabinet are wonderful, yet things are not working the way they are supposed to, and the reason is that he is not independent because he is interfered with by cadres.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Muchima: If we leave people to use the knowledge they have acquired through education, this country will progress. The officers at the division should go on tours, but they rarely do due to a lack of funds, yet large sums of money are spent by a few people.

Hon. Opposition Member: They are on WhatsApp.

Mr Muchima: They should tour all rural areas and decide how to balance the placement of staff. There should also be an intelligence system to collect information on the motivation levels of civil servants. I can tell you at no price that the motivation levels in the Civil Service are very low. Their spirits, salaries, levels of thinking and imagination are all low.

Mr Ngulube: Question!

Mr Muchima: The Government should only appoint professionals, not cadres who do not know anything, as PSs.

Mr Kampyongo: Aah!

Mr Muchima: “Aah” what? I am telling you what happens in developed countries.

Mr Kampyongo: Where?

Mr Muchima: Madam Chairperson, our colleagues in the Executive may think they are making it, but they are digging their own graves. The things they are doing are so evil that they may not go to heaven.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Madam Chairperson, ...

Mr Chabi: Ema lawyer aba.

Mr Ngulube: ... I will be brief and relevant in adding my voice to those supporting the budget for the Public Service Management Commission (PSMC).

Madam Chairperson, we have heard lamentations about the Civil Service being unprofessional and that Permanent Secretaries (PSs) being are cadres, but I would like to dispute that because the PSs I have interacted with are very professional and educated.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngulube: Madam Chairperson, we have also heard lamentations about the low salaries this Government allegedly pays, but we should not lose sight of the fact that the salaries are agreed upon between the Government and the unions. No one person decides how much to pay civil servants because they are represented by unions. Therefore, we need to be factual, relevant and honest in the way we debate. Otherwise, we will end up deceiving the world.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chabi interjected.


Mr Ngulube: Madam Chairperson, Her Honour the Vice-President said, it is a fact that the strategic management and development of the Public Service is key to development. Currently, there is a dichotomy. For those of my brothers who may not what ‘dichotomy’ means, it is a difficult situation. Currently, District Commissioners (DCs), Mayors and Council Chairpersons are pulling one another in different directions. So, we want the PSMD to help us streamline the roles that various offices play and educate them on their roles in the district. Only the PSMD can resolve these problems. In some places, the DCs are telling the mayors to report to them and vice-versa. If that is not properly handled, Government work will suffer. In some instances, Members of Parliament are said to be below the DCs and Council Chairpersons, ...

Mr Muchima: So you know?

Mr Ngulube: … yet the National Assembly is the third wing of the Government. So, we do not know how a Member of Parliament can be said to be below a Mayor or Council Chairperson. The PSMD and Cabinet Office must sort this out.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngulube: Where I come from, they say “Boma ni Boma”, meaning that one cannot claim to be bigger than they are, yet we, hon. Members of Parliament, form a national body.

Madam Chairperson, there is also an issue to do with protocol. At public events, the DC is recognised first, then, the Mayor followed by the Town Clerk and the man serving the drinks before the Member of Parliament.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Katuta: Now you are talking!


Mr Ngulube: Madam Chairperson, at times, it causes a lot of discomfort. The PS for the Ministry of Local Government issued a circular saying that Members of Parliament are below the Mayors and DCs, but I hear that the Secretary to the Cabinet said something different.

Madam, we demand respect and to know where we are. If we are a national body, then, we are above the DCs. In Russia and China, a Member of Parliament can never be placed below a councillor. It is disrespectful. We, therefore, urge the PSMD to clarify our position and issue the relevant guidelines. I know there are some Members of Parliament who do not know what we are talking about because they do not attend State functions for fear of their leaders.


Mr Ngulube: However, there are those of us who are progressive and want to associate ourselves with development programmes. So, we take keen interest in knowing all these things. If we allow what is happening today to continue, in twenty years it will be a very big problem and this country will be lost.

Madam Chairperson, in concluding my speech, as I always speak under five minutes, as an educated and learned man, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngulube: … I want to say that this is a very progressive judgment …

Sorry, I mean Motion.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngulube: Madam Chairperson, this budget is very progressive and must be supported by all of us in this House. We know that it has become very fashionable for Members of Parliament to just attack the Government when given the Floor. However, we must give credence where it is due. Being Back Benchers does not mean seeing everything that the Government does to be wrong. We should also learn to offer solutions because we cannot always be pointing at the negatives. We will all have the chance to run the ministries one day, and I know that no one will ever change the situation overnight. If some people just wake up and start claiming that they will change this and that when they get into power, they are lying. We all know that the Government runs on systems. So, people must not …

The Chairperson: Order, hon. Member!

Please, withdraw the word “lying”.


The Chairperson: Order, hon. Members!

There is only one Chairperson and I have already asked him to withdraw that word.

Can you withdraw the word, Hon. Ngulube.

Mr Ngulube: Madam Chairperson, I withdraw the word “lying” and replace it with ‘being dishonest’. I do not want to use another expression that will be unparliamentary, such as ‘deceptive’ or ‘economical with the truth’.


Mr Ngulube: Madam Chairperson, I repeat that we should be factual in the way we debate this budget so that we can arrive at the point the nation expects us to be. I do not think that is being in the Opposition means being always negative. We must analyse the policies that the Government is putting in place and, if we find anything wrong with them, we should not only point that out, but also suggest remedies. I think, that is what constructive opposition means.

Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, …


Mr Ngulube: I always conclude three times.


Mr Ngulube: Madam Chairperson, some people who have pointed fingers at the Government are former Ministers. So, we wonder why they did not do what they are talking about when they were in Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngulube: Are they trying to tell us that they are only good at talking? I do not want to point fingers but, somewhere in front of me, are a number of people who are busy pointing fingers at others, yet they held very senior positions in the Government. Therefore, they should all sincere in their criticism and offers solutions.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to support the appropriation for the Public Service Management Division (PSMD).

Madam, human resources are very important, be it in the Government or in private institutions. Even in highly-automated systems, it is the human fingers that push the buttons. Therefore, the importance of human resources cannot be over-emphasised.


The Chairperson: Order, on my left!

Mr Kafwaya: Madam Chairperson, the budget I am supporting today is meant to be used by the PSMD to support the acquisition, development and retention of human resources in the Public Service. Her Honour the Vice-President mentioned a number of critical activities that will be undertaken to ensure that services are provided to Zambians. A Motion was once moved on the Floor of this House, in which it was alleged that some people were being victimised on account of supporting political parties other than the Patriotic Front (PF), and Her Honour the Vice-President talked about the code of ethics, into which we can categorise the issues raised in that Motion. We need to ensure that ethics are upheld in the Public Service. It is the development of human resources in the Public Service that has to be punchy and specific enough to deal with issues that can derail the Government in implementing programmes.

Madam Chairperson, when the Public Service fails to deliver, the public finger will point at the political leadership. However, sometimes, that is unfair because the budget we are debating today has very little to do with political leadership and everything to do with what will be happening in the Public Service, even without the influence of political leadership. So, it is incumbent upon the Public Service to become aware of its responsibility to deliver services as planned and directed by the policy maker, political leadership. When there is corruption In Public Service, people rise against the Government. However, it is important for the public to start distinguishing between problems created by the Public Service and those created by politicians so that we do not always blame the latter. In short, I call upon the country to change the way we look at these issues.

Madam, we have to be objective and sincere in apportioning blame so that solutions can be found. When a problem is political and it is taken to Public Service, the solution will not be found. Equally, when a problem is created by the Civil Service, it should not be politicised. Otherwise, the solution will not be found. The Civil Service must become responsible for what it is supposed to do. As we know, many Governments have come and gone, and many more will come in the future, but the Civil Service will remain. This is why I said that it is important to strengthen the Civil Service so that it is able to respond to challenges that arise in it. These political players will always change. There will be other politicians who will lead this nation, but they will find the same structures and systems. So, if the people of Zambia begin to confuse the two levels of leadership, then, we will have the problem of every leader who will preside over the affairs of the nation being looked at as having been a failure even when it is actually the system below that failed.

Madam Chairperson, I just wanted to urge the PSMD to train its people and have clear objectives so that it can serve the purpose for which taxpayers put money in the Public Service.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Mbangweta (Nkeyema): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to say a few words on this Vote.

Madam, it is a pity that we do not have adequate resources. Otherwise, the Public Service Management Division (PSMD) is one institution on which this country must spend a lot more, …

Ms Tambatamba: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbangweta: … as it administers people who work across the length and breadth of the country. So, if it worked well, and was funded and staffed adequately, it would enhance our lives in a positive sense. Unfortunately, the K20 million that has been allocated to it for recurrent departmental charges is not adequate for what is anticipated to be done.  For example, the planned intensification of human resource reforms and implementation of a performance management system are large-scale projects that cannot be funded using the amounts being suggested in this budget because there will be a need for consultancy services. Otherwise, the division will go back to transactional activities instead of the intended strategic ones.

Madam Chairperson, in 2018, the PSMD will do well to choose one of the many issues it wants to implement and concentrate on it next year, and my proposal is that it starts with the implementation of the performance management system because that has been long outstanding. Further, if implemented, the system will make it easier to see the level of performance in service delivery, and the country would benefit a lot from that. If the division wants to implement all the programmes in 2018, it will not succeed because there is already resistance to some of the programmes, for example, performance management, as people are comfortable with the way they do things. To change the way they work will be very difficult and will require determination. The people leading the change must be comfortable with it, ensure confidence and know what they are doing. A partial explanation of the failure of the performance management system to permeate to where it is supposed to be could be inadequate funds to carry out the activity or the people leading the process do not in a position to do so because it is very difficult.

Madam Chairperson, another issue that concerns me is the one Hon. Ngulube raised.

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbangweta: Madam, the division must not abdicate its responsibilities to the politicians.

Mr Ngulube: Ema leaders aba!

Mr Mbangweta: Let it assist us in defining the roles of the District Commissioners (DCs) and Council Chairpersons in the districts and ensure that the defined roles are respected. The fact that both sides of the House have raised this issue means there is a problem. So, it would help if the powers that be took up the responsibility to resolve the matter so that we do not waste our time on the Floor on issues that should be straightforward.

Madam Chairperson, those are my brief reflections.

Thank you, Madam.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity. My concern is about the politicisation of the Civil Service and its consequences.

Madam, the Public Service Management Division (PSMD) is the manager of the Civil Service.

Mr Muchima: Yes!

Dr Musokotwane: With the understanding that the PSMD is a neutral service, I say that it should not be politicised for reasons that I am will give later.

Mr Muchima: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Madam, unfortunately, the Civil Service is highly politicised in line with the 2015 Patriotic Front (PF) Manifesto, which provides that all senior officers in the Public Service should be members of the PF. So, it is not surprising that the Civil Service has been highly politicised.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Chairperson, here is part of the evidence of the politicisation of the Civil Service: Most Permanent Secretaries (PSs), Deputy Permanent Secretaries (DPSs) and District Commissioners (DCs) are members of PF and campaigned for the party. Further, most DCs had no Civil Service careers prior to their appointments.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. PF Members: Question!

Dr Musokotwane: They have never been clerical or executive officers. So, they do not know the procedures of the Civil Service yet, …

Mr Ngulube: Former Minister!

Dr Musokotwane: … today, they are in charge of the districts. They are all politicians.

Mr Muchima: Shame!

Dr Musokotwane: Let me focus a bit more on the DCs because they are the ones from whom we get the biggest problems. Those people are politicians in the morning, during the day and in the evening. Politicking all they do. Even the people who patronise their offices tend to be chairpersons, chairladies and officials of the PF.

Mr Ngulube: So what?

Dr Musokotwane: You hardly see anyone from the Civil Service in the district go to consult the DC.

Hon. PF Members: Question!

Dr Musokotwane: All the DCs do is patronise PF party officials.

Mr Ngulube: Boma ni Boma.

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Chairperson, DCs also tend to be campaign managers for the PF during general and by-elections.

Hon. PF Members: Question!

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane: During the last elections, those so-called civil servants …

Mr Muchima: In Zambezi.

Dr Musokotwane: … were the ones distributing vitenge, T-shirts and relief maize from the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU).

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Mr Muchima: Relief maize!

Dr Musokotwane: They were distributing relief maize to PF party officials, not to the poor people in the constituencies.

Madam Chairperson, to make matters worse, in the recent by-election in Libonda Ward, in Kalabo District, …

Mr Ngulube: Boma ni Boma!

Dr Musokotwane: … the DCs even had the audacity to address public rallies.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Order, Hon. Dr Musokotwane!

Business was suspended at 1640 hours until 1700 hours.



Dr Musokotwane: Madam Chairperson, before I get back to what I was saying, I remind the House that we are debating the PSMD, which manages civil servants and ensures that they follow regulations of the Civil Service, including the prohibition against active involvement in partisan politics.

Madam, before business was suspended, I was giving examples of how the DCs have become partisan, contrary to the rules of the PSMD that we all know.

Madam Chairperson, during a recent by-election in Libonda Ward, the PF Government sent five DCs to the ward, who hid in the villages and gave out money to voters to entice them to vote for the PF. They also put private number plates on the Government vehicles they were using.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: As they drove around, we tried to photograph them, but they covered their heads with vitenge or blankets …


Dr Musokotwane: … so that they could not be seen.

Mr Livune: Those are the works of Jean the Baptist.

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Chairperson, a DC is Deputy Permanent Secretary. However, we have video clips evidence of one DC addressing a public political meeting.

Mr Muchima: Shame!

Dr Musokotwane: What is sad is that we are confusing the Public Service in a very profound way. When officers are suspected of being sympathetic to a party other than the PF, they are either retired in the national interest …

Mr Muchima: Shame!

Dr Musokotwane: … or sent to very remote places as punishment.

Mr Livune: Look at their heads!

Dr Musokotwane: However, it was not the first time a DPS addressed a public political meeting, contrary to the rules of the Public Service, yet nothing is done about it.

Madam, unfortunately, there are serious consequences to the development of this country when we follow this path. Firstly, we do not expect much development in the rural areas because some DCs who are appointed are mere Grade 7 or 9 dropouts. Few of them reached Grade 12. How can a person with a low level of education supervise professionals, such as the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS), doctors and agriculture specialists in the district, who have diplomas, degrees or masters? We are deceiving ourselves because we may not implement the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) in the absence of qualified co-ordinators of Government development programmes at the district level. Secondly, when there is too much politicisation, civil servants quickly discover the rule of the game, namely that being professional will not get them promoted; that for them to be promoted, they have to patronise the politicians …

Mr Muchima: Shame!

Dr Musokotwane: … and tell them what they want to hear, whether correct or wrong.

Madam, previously, civil servants used to articulate issues very professionally and give advice on the correct route to take. Many do not do that anymore or are restricted from doing so because they support the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD), PF or Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD). We are just shooting ourselves in the feet.

Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, the PSMD officers must be allowed to act professionally. They what is expected of them because they are trained and have been to countries where there are professional and effective civil services.

Mr Muchima: Yes!

Dr Musokotwane: Unfortunately, they behave wrongly because of political pressure. For example, we went to a Police facility to report a DC who was addressing a public political rally in Libonda Ward, but we were told that the police could not act because its officers were handicapped. Therefore, they know the laws, …

Hon. UPND Members: Shame!

Dr Musokotwane: … but we, the politicians, put a lot of pressure on them to do wrong things, and that is what keeps us down.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you for your patience.

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate this very important Vote.

In her policy statement, Her Honour the Vice-President outlined programmes that will be implemented to ensure that the Public Service Management Division (PSMD), that very important unit of the Government, performs its functions smoothly and effectively.

Madam Chairperson, I want to commend the kind of leadership we have seen recently at the PSMD. In its engagement with Public Service unions, it has clearly shown that where there is commitment to a common purpose and open-mindedness, it is easy to succeed or reach a settlement. I am grateful that the PSMD is now looking at the conditions of our Public Service in a broader sense because the conditions of public workers do not just end at the salaries they take home. It is high time the division looked at the needs of the people in the Public Service holistically, and monitored the conditions at places of work, and where workers live. All that will result in workers putting their best into their work, and that is as it should be.

Hon. Opposition Members interjected.

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Chairperson, some people in this Chamber are sick. I do not know how you can help me, but I seek your protection.

The Chairperson: Hon. Member, you are protected.

You may continue.

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Chairperson, as a Government, we are committed to appreciating the input of our workers. It must be understood, however, that bettering the people’s lives is a collective responsibility. As policy makers, we depend on the Public Service, as the engine of our economy. Public Service workers know that when they work and put in their all, the economy grows and, when that happens, certainly, no one will ignore their needs. As a Government, we want to move at the same pace with them so that we improve the lives of many Zambians who look up not only to us, the politicians, but also the policy implementers.

Madam Chairperson, the Government has equally been concerned about the way in which politicians are trying to contaminate the Public Service with partisan politics. That must be discouraged at all costs. The civil servants must outlive us, the political players. That is why we periodically go to the people to refresh our mandate. Therefore, Public Service workers who want to engage with me on partisan lines must understand the risk that is involved in doing so. However, I know that the PSMD is equal to the task. So, we will encourage it to do what is right for the sake of the people of Zambia.

Madam Chairperson, not too long ago, we heard the hon. Minister of Health explain why he had to make certain decisions. No one takes pleasure in seeing people on the street when they should be in active service. However, we will not sit back and allow those who are supposed to deliver services to the people to waste time engaging in partisan politics. For example, why should someone take an ambulance meant to save people’s lives and use it in political activities?

Madam, all the hon. Members on both sides of this House have a collective responsibility to guide the Civil Service to act in accordance with the provisions of the law. If we deceive civil servants that our parties are now coming into Government and that we will promote them if they campaign for us, we will put their jobs at risk. The civil servants who will listen to such deception will certainly find themselves on the street.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: Unfortunately, those who entice the civil servants into doing wrong things cannot even save them. When the PSMD finds out that a particular civil servant is engaging in partisan politics, they do not even need to consult a politician to act. Therefore, there is a need for the PSMD to ensure that the levels of discipline in the Civil Service remain high. I am sure that Her Honour the Vice-President will ensure that the division gets the help it needs and that no pressure is exerted on it by us, the politicians.

Madam Chairperson, let me also comment on our misuse of the word ‘cadre’. When we say we want to have a good cadre of nurses, it appears as if we are talking about vigilantes. So, we must be mindful of the way we use terms like this one.

Madam, tribalism is also trying to raise its ugly head in this country. However, the Civil Service is for all Zambians from the ten provinces. All Zambians deserve to work in the Civil Service. However, they can only be a part of it if they are competent and qualified for the positions they want to hold. No one will place a caveat on the career prospects of anyone who follows the rules. The complaints of victimisation are coming from those who have laundered themselves to the politicians. That is the challenge we are faced with, especially those of us who supervise workers who should be very disciplined in their execution of duties, namely the men and women in uniform. We must be above board, and the Government will rely on the PSMD to weed out the tribalism that wants to show its ugly head in the Public Service and elsewhere.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Chairperson, my dear colleague, Hon. Tutwa Ngulube, had a very valid point when he talked about how the roles of the various offices of the Public Service must be harmonised and people made to understand their roles so that there is no confusion. I think that Her Honour the Vice-President is doing quite a lot in that regard.

Madam Chairperson, someone talked about the District Commissioners (DCs). When the Patriotic Front (PF) formed Government, the office of the DC was already in existence, but we have found it very useful because it is an extension of the Presidency. That is why DCs are appointed by the Head of State to oversee functions in the district. Further, the qualifications prescribed for the position when it was established are the ones still being used to date. It is unfortunate that the hon. Member who raised this issue has walked out because I would have referred him to Hon. Ngulube’s statement about people taking stock of what they did about certain issues when they had the opportunity. Granted, the PF has the opportunity now, but when we say certain things, people have to hold us accountable. The former hon. Minister must know that the same conditions that which were used to appoint DCs during his time in the Government are the same ones being used now.

Mr Chilangwa: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: Madam, when people go through some experiences, it is important for them to not generalise their experience. If, for instance, one had a problem with a DC in Liuwa and wants the matter addressed, it is important to follow the channels. Coming to this House to insinuate that all DCs are cadres …


Mr Kampyongo: … who campaign for the Ruling Party is wrong.

Madam Chairperson, it is also wrong to come here and insinuate that all the Permanent Secretaries (PSs) are not qualified. This is a dignified House. So, when we debate, we should stick to the truth, no matter how mischievous they want to be.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: All the PSs are qualified and competent enough to discharge the mandates of their offices. The hon. Member gave some examples without substantiating his claims by naming specific PSs. However, it is important to be factual and substantiate the allegations we make. The hon. Member should have told us the PSs who are Grade 7 dropouts because it is unfair to categorise all PSs as uneducated. In any case, we come here to ask for development and when hon. Members ask us questions, such as on when a police station in this or that area will be constructed, it is the PSs who give us the information to that we bring back to the House. No one can deal with me in my official capacity without involving my PS.

Mr Muchima: It is our money!

Mr Kampyongo: It is money for Zambians.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, hon. Members on my left!

I gave you the opportunity to debate, and the hon. Minister of Home Affairs is merely responding to the issues that you raised. Give him the opportunity to do so.

Hon. Minister, please, continue.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Madam, the PSMD has the support of the Government in ensuring that discipline is not compromised at any level. Reporting for work late must not be tolerated. As the workers ask the Government to give them good incentives, they must also provide a service commensurate to what they are asking for so that we can deliver to our people the services for which they yearn. That is what I am saying.

Madam, we are aware of the challenges that some sections of our Civil Service face and we are determined to address them. However, we are equally determined to preserve professionalism, commitment and respect for work. Workers must be proud to contribute to the betterment of the nation. Further, the reform programmes that are being implemented must bear fruit.

Madam, civil servants must not play partisan political games. If they want to join politics, they must quit their jobs. Some hon. Members of this House were in the Civil Service, but they left to become politicians. That is how it is done. One cannot eat with both hands. Those who want to be in partisan politics while holding a Government position are risking a lot, including being bruised politically. So, it is best to be neutral and do ones job. That way, no one will touch anyone.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Chalikosa: Madam Chairperson, I thank all the hon. Members who have participated in this debate. Any debate on the Public Service has the propensity to arouse emotions, as was evident in Hon. Muchima’s debate on the outlook of the Civil Service, which was made in a booming and threatening voice.

Hon. Government: Hear, hear!

Ms Chalikosa: At the risk of repeating myself, I would like to reiterate that appointments in the Civil Service are guided by the principle of merit and progression …

Mr Muchima: Question!

Ms Chalikosa: … as enshrined in the Service Commissions Act and the Constitution.

Mr Muchima: Question!

Ms Chalikosa: The Government is committed to the principles and value-based human resource management system. In addition, the Government has established the National School of Government, which will be operationalised next year. The school will be used to orient both old and new civil servants.

Madam, there is no political interference at all in the Civil Service. Promotion is based on performance while transfers take into account the length of stay in the post and one’s skills so as to be better use where most required. In addition, personal development workshops are held so that our Civil Service is up-to-date with current best practices.

Madam, workshops have been held to clarify the job descriptions of District Commissioners (DCs) and Mayors. The DCs are responsible for the functions of the Central Government while Mayors and Council Chairpersons discharge civic duties. Further, this year, the Office of the Secretary to the Cabinet held a number of meetings to sensitise DCs and Town Clerks on their roles in the districts. With regard to protocol during events, there is a standard Government list that is followed by the provincial, district and local government administration. However, the concerns of the hon. Members of Parliament have been noted and will be addressed.

Madam, the PSMD works very closely with all stakeholders in following up on the findings of the Auditor-General in order to address issues bordering on corruption, and erring officers have been disciplined. That trend will continue.

Madam Chairperson, performance management is being strengthened so that performance is linked to pay, training needs and discipline. That goes with the issue of negotiations for pay rise for civil servants. The Treasury has to have the capacity to pay what is demanded by the workers.

Finally, Madam, it is not true that civil servants must be Patriotic Front (PF) members. In fact, civil servants are merely expected to support the policies of the party in Government and that must be distinguished from being a party member. So, I urge all hon. Members, as they debate, to keep this distinction in mind.

With those few words, Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Votes 27/01, 27/02, 27/03, 27/04, 27/05, 27/06, 27/07 ordered to sand part of the Estimates.




The Chairperson: Hon. Members, I have a ruling to make.

Hon. Members, you will recall that on Tuesday, 17th October, 2017, when the House was considering Question for Oral Answer No. 62, and Mr Remember Mutale, hon. Member of Parliament for Chitambo Constituency, was asking a supplementary question, Mr M. Mutelo, hon. Member of Parliament for Mitete Constituency rose on a Point Of Order. His point of order was based on the debate of the hon. Minister of Agriculture, made on Friday, 13th October, 2017, in which she allegedly referred to hon. Members of Parliament who approached the Executive in the corridors asking for assistance on behalf of their constituents as beggars. In my immediate response, I reserved the ruling in order to render an informed decision. The matter has since been studied and I now proceed to render my ruling.

Hon. Members, time and again, Presiding Officers have guided the House that points of order should be raised contemporaneously because they are intended to draw the attention of the Chair to a breach of the rules or procedures of the House. They can, therefore, be raised at virtually any time during the proceedings of the House. That is important because a presiding officer is required to rule on a point of order based on the context in which it is raised.

As the House is well aware, the statement by the hon. Minister of Agriculture on which Hon. Mutelo’s point of order was raised was made on the Floor of the House on Friday, 13th October, 2017, but Hon. Mutelo only raised the point of order on Tuesday, 17th October, 2017. Evidently, he did not comply with the requirement for contemporaneity of the point of order with the conduct complained of.

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: The point of order was raised out of time and should ordinarily be rendered inadmissible.

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: However, hon. Members, I had recourse to the verbatim debate of the hon. Minister of Agriculture on the material day, which shows that, indeed, she uttered the word complained of by the hon. Member for Mitete. Therefore, notwithstanding what I have stated in relation to the need for hon. Members to raise points of order contemporaneously, it was extremely unfortunate that the hon. Minister of Agriculture described hon. Members as beggars when they followed up on matters of this House with the Executive when she knew that hon. Members interact with the Executive on matters of the House in a representative capacity. As such, hon. Ministers are bound to provide satisfactory responses using Parliamentary and civil language.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Hon. Members are in the House to discharge the mandate for which they were elected. Therefore, there is no beggar in the House. In that regard, the hon. Minister of Agriculture was out of order.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: I urge the Front Bench and, indeed, all hon. Members to refrain from the use of unparliamentary language, as it erodes the dignity and integrity of the House, and brings it into disrepute. No Presiding Officer can or will allow any hon. Member of this House to bring it House into disrepute. The rules and procedures of the House are designed to ensure that hon. Members exercise their privilege of free speech, albeit with good sense of judgment and taste, always being courteous in their use of language towards other hon. Members in their debates.

That is my ruling.

Thank you    

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Madam.

The Chairperson: On whom, Hon. Nkombo?

What guidance are you seeking?

Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, I sincerely appreciate your ruling. However, as I do so, I am looking at the provisions on points of order, and I note that Standing Orders provide that a point of order can be raised at any time. However, you are just from guiding that points of order must be raised contemporaneously.

Madam, recently, we have seen a culture of Presiding Officers refusing to allow points of order at certain times because of the pressure of the Business on the Order Paper. The point of guidance I wish to get from you is: At what point can a point of order be raised contemporaneously with a breach in cases when the Chair has guided that no point of order would be entertained for the rest of the business of that day?

Madam, the refusal by the Presiding Officers to grant points of order at certain stages of the Business of the House is a departure from the traditions and norms of the Westminster style of Parliamentary Practice. So, I seek your guidance so that we can settle this matter once and for all. Does your ruling today mean that, from this moment on, the Presiding Officers will not deny hon. Members the opportunity to raise points of order on account of wanting to make progress with the Business of the House, provided the points of order are admissible?

I seek your earnest guidance, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Hon. Member for Mazabuka Central, you have raised a matter of procedure in an extremely unprocedural manner. It is extremely unprocedural for you to stand as you have done and raise a point of order on procedure in a manner that amounts to challenging the ruling I have just made, and I will not permit that. You will get an opportune time during the course of this Meeting of Parliament to raise a point of order in that regard, if you feel that there is any rule of procedure that is being infringed upon. That is the decision of the Chair. I will not comment on the issue you have raised because you have not followed the correct procedure in raising them.


VOTE 13 – (Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs – K149,927,570).

The Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Mr Sichalwe): Madam Chairperson, I am delighted to present to you the 2018 estimates of expenditure for the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs.

Madam, my ministry is responsible for policy formulation and implementation of programmes pertaining to chieftaincy and traditional affairs in the country. It also reviews relevant pieces of legislation to enhance the welfare of institutions of chieftaincy. In 2018, my ministry’s resources will be focused on chiefs and traditional affairs, administration of the House of Chiefs and logistical support services.

2017 Budget Performance

Madam Chairperson, in 2017, the ministry was allocated K130,551,129. The following were the key programmes undertaken using that budget:

Construction of Chiefs’ Palaces

Madam, in order to accord our royal highnesses decent accommodation commensurate with their status in society, in 2014, the ministry embarked on the construction of chiefs’ palaces in phases. In 2017, K6 million was allocated to the continuation of this programme. A number of palaces are at different stages of completion.

House of Chiefs Sessions

Madam Chairperson, the House of Chiefs is mandated by Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 41 of 1998 to hold, at least, two sessions in a year. The institution was allocated K3,651,840 in 2017 and it held one successful session in the second quarter of the year. The second session will be held in the current quarter, starting on 6th November, 2017. Further, K744,800 was allocated for conflict resolution in chiefdoms.

Chiefs’ Welfare

Madam, K1,184,140 was allocated to the administration and management of chiefs’ welfare in the 2017 Budget. The allocation catered for the purchase of kapasos’ uniforms and meeting chiefs’ administrative costs when on official assignments.

The Chairperson: Order, hon. Minister!

What are kapasos?

Mr Sichalwe: Madam Chairperson, kapasos are chiefs’ retainers.

Traditional Ceremonies

Madam Chairperson, there are ninety-six recognised traditional ceremonies to which the ministry provides grants, and administrative and logistical support. In 2017, K1,010,000 was allocated for the programme and the ceremonies were supported accordingly.


Construction of Chiefs’ Palaces

Madam Chairperson, construction of chiefs’ palaces has gained momentum. This was made possible by my ministry’s embarking on full contracts as opposed to the labour-based contract model used in the initial stages of the programme, which slowed progress and proved ineffective, as many people in some chiefdoms were unwilling to provide free labour. The increase in momentum has seen an escalation in the completion of the palaces.

Chief’s Welfare

Madam, to mitigate their royal highnesses’ hardships during times of illness or death, my ministry will now place all chiefs on medical and funeral schemes at a minimal premium deducted from their subsidies.

Traditional Ceremonies

Madam, during the period under review, the ministry supported seventy out of ninety-six recognised traditional ceremonies, representing a 73 per cent success rate.

House of Chiefs Sessions

Madam Chairperson, the House of Chiefs held one session in the first quarter of this year and is expected to hold the second one on 6th November, 2017. During the first session, the House made comments on the Mines Act, among others that were tabled on its Floor by line ministries for consideration.

Conflict Resolution

Madam, it is my ministry’s considered view that involving traditional leaders in the resolution of disputes in chiefdoms is very effective because the chiefs, as traditional leaders, are the custodians of customs and traditions. Therefore, they are better placed to understand and interpret the customs and traditions pertaining to succession disputes in chiefdoms. In this regard, and in order to promote peace and harmony in chiefdoms, the House of Chiefs successfully addressed disputes in the chiefdoms of Tafuna in Mpulungu District and Chilyabufu in Itezhi-tezhi District.


Madam Chairperson, the major challenges that the ministry encountered during the year under review were:

  1. slow progress in completing the construction of chiefs’ palaces occasioned by ineffective labour-based type of contracts that were initially entered into;
  2. the mushrooming of pending conflicts between chiefdoms, most of which could not be concluded because they were before the courts of law and that made it difficult for the ministry to take further action pending the conclusion of the legal processes; and
  3. the mushrooming chieftaincies within chiefdoms, as my ministry has no Constitutional mandate to recognise chiefdoms or otherwise.

2018 Estimates of Expenditure

Madam Chairperson, my ministry’s aggregate budget allocation for 2018 is K149,927,570. This translates into a K19,290,741 or 15 per cent increment on the 2017 allocation, and much of the increment is due to our desire to scale up the construction of chiefs’ palaces.

Madam, with regard to personal emoluments, the allocation for 2018 is K37,941,880, compared with K33,791,867 in 2017, representing a K4,150,013 or 11 per cent upward adjustment. The increase is a result of the creation and operationalisation of the Planning, Research and Information Department, and a few other positions in the ministry. You may wish to note that the implementation of the ministry’s organisational structure is being done in phases. In addition to the amounts mentioned above, I am pleased to inform you that the Treasury has allocated K1,085,300 for the creation of the Accounts Department in the 2018 Budget and to cover personal emoluments in Division I and II. For non-personnel emoluments, the ministry has been allocated K110,900,390, representing a 15 per cent increase on the K96,759,262 allocated in 2017. 

Key Focus Areas for 2018

Construction of Chiefs’ Palaces

Madam Chairperson, in 2018, my ministry will continue the construction of chiefs’ palaces, some of which are expected to be commissioned and handed over to their respective royal highnesses in the course of the year. My Ministry aims to complete the construction of the thirty palaces in the first phase of the programme before commencing the construction of another set of palaces.

Madam, the ministry has noted the challenges that contributed to the delay in completion of palaces in the first phase and has chosen to start entering into full contracts to speed up the rate of completion. To that end, K18,195,610 has been allocated in 2018.

House of Chiefs Sessions

Madam Chairperson, K3,651,840 has been allocated for the House of Chiefs to hold a minimum of two sessions in the year.

Conflict Resolution

Madam Chairperson, to facilitate the resolution of succession, boundary and other disputes in chiefdoms, K744,800 has been allocated in 2018. Further, my ministry has allocated K574,250 for printing of the 1958 map of chiefdom boundaries and topography.

Documentation of Family Trees

Madam Chairperson, in a bid to address challenges of chieftaincy, the ministry will facilitate the documentation of family trees for all the recognised 288 chieftaincies. To that effect, K378,940 has been allocated.

Provincial Council of Chiefs Meetings

Madam Chairperson, to enhance the participation of our traditional leaders in matters of governance and national development, the ministry will promote and facilitate the holding of interactive meetings with chiefs at various levels. In this regard, the ministry has made a provision for Provincial Council of Chiefs Meetings in which their royal highnesses will meet in their respective provinces and deliberate on issues of importance to the chiefdoms, in particular, and the country, in general. To that effect, K1,007,820 has been allocated in the 2018 budget.

Traditional Ceremonies 

Madam Chairperson, traditional ceremonies are a vital platform for interface among Government, chiefs and local communities, as they help people appreciate culture, heritage, exchange of traditional values and sharing of vital historical information. Further, traditional ceremonies provide a forum for the articulation of the development agenda in the respective chiefdoms through speeches. In addition, they serve as a unifying factor for the local communities in the chiefdoms. In this regard, my ministry has allocated K1,011,100 to facilitate the payment of grants towards the hosting of ceremonies, and the facilitation of Government representation. In addition, K6,037,600 has been allocated for documentation of customs and traditions in order to contribute to the preservation of heritage in the country.

Registration of Villages

Madam Chairperson, the registration of villages provides vital statistical information that is of national importance. To that effect, and pursuant to the statutory mandate of the ministry, K590,000 has been allocated in the 2018 Budget to facilitate the printing and distribution of village registers, and supervision of the registration of villages in chiefdoms.

Cross-cutting Issues in Chiefdoms

Madam, my ministry will continue to collaborate with other sector ministries and stakeholders to ensure sustainable development in chiefdoms as it implements multi-sectoral programmes. In that regard, K205,040 has been allocated for the undertaking of activities under water and sanitation in chiefdoms, as well as sensitisation on the fight against child marriages.

Legislation Review

Madam, the ministry is in the process of realigning its current legal framework with the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016. The pieces of legislations to be reviewed and amended include:

  1. the Chiefs Act, Cap 287 of 1965;
  2. the Registration and Development of Villages Act, Cap 289 of the Laws of Zambia;
  3. the Witchcraft Act, Cap 90 of the Laws of Zambia; and
  4. the House of Chiefs Regulations No. 41 of 1998.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichalwe: Madam, to facilitate the development and review of legislation, the ministry has allocated K638,700 in the 2018 Budget.

Madam Chairperson, I wish to conclude by calling upon all the hon. Members of this august House to support the estimates of expenditure for my ministry as presented.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mushimba: Quality!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Thank you, Madam Chairperson, for giving me the opportunity to debate. I also thank the hon. Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs for his policy statement. It was good to see him and his colleague, Hon. Davies Chama, at the Chakwela Makumbi Traditional Ceremony last weekend.

Madam, I share the hon. Minister’s sentiments on the importance of the institution of traditional leadership. I must also hasten to mention that I am in total support of the budget for the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs. Particularly, my interest is in the programmes that we undertake to implement, but end up not implementing them because that can be more divisive than it is unifying. Specifically, I am referring to the construction of chiefs palaces.

Madam, the hon. Minister has indicated that he intends to complete the construction of only thirty palaces in the next fiscal year. However, as he responds, I would like to find out the criteria for selecting the palaces that will be completed so that the chiefs whose palaces will not be completed will not to think that they are being left behind. It is speculated that he normally looks at and listens to the chiefs’ positions on national issues. We have heard that chiefs who try to guide us, politicians, are often considered politically partisan. However, I want to put it clearly to the hon. Minister that only a dead person is truly non-partisan. For as long as someone can feel pain when pinched, they will be partisan, either openly or covertly. That is just to caution the hon. Minister that there will be times when he gets some advice from Their Royal Highnesses. When that happens, he should take the advice as given because those who provide it probably mean well for him. He has stated, traditional ceremonies unify the nation, and I agree with him because that is how it has always been. However, I wonder whether he can reconcile the statement he has just given with the one made by his boss, the Head of State, not so long ago when he was invited to the Chakwela Makumbi Traditional Ceremony, at which he, I and Hon. Davies Chama met. The President is on record declaring that he would no longer attend traditional ceremonies. When I think through that statement, I tend to think, maybe, on behalf of the Head of State, that it was a result of the bitter experiences we went through recently.

Madam, the hon. Member of Parliament for Roan Constituency, Mr Chishimba Kambwili, was prevented from attending the Ukusefya Pang’wena Traditional Ceremony in Kasama despite being Bemba and having all the rights and freedom to be in the inner or outer arena at the ceremony because that is his heritage. We also saw how dramatic it was in Malole where he went, which is far from Roan, Luanshya. It should be in excess of 700 km. There was a poor man who decided to travel to attend his traditional ceremony just to end up being hounded out before he could enter, on account of a perceived threat to his personal safety. The reason for his treatment cannot be left to speculation. It is because of his current standing in his political party.

The Chairperson: Order, hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central!

I am not comfortable with your debating the hon. Member of Parliament for Roan, especially in regard of his political standing.

Mr Nkombo: I withdraw my reference to the hon. Member, Madam.

Madam, a certain hon. Member, …


Mr Nkombo: … and we know who that hon. Member is, went to Malole, …

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: … he was hounded out of the traditional ceremony. That was a dichotomy to what the hon. Minister was reading in his policy statement regarding the unifying effect that traditional ceremonies are supposed have. I think that such events are supposed to be melting pots for all of us politicians to go to, shake hands, hug, if it calls for that, and be united in our diversity.

Madam, we believe that our job is to check what Patriotic Front (PF) is doing and that if the people of Zambia decide the way we wish them to, we will replace our colleagues and they will come to this side. That is the essence of our existence. So, their job is to do the right thing so that they can remain where they are. I think there is no contest to that statement.

Madam, it is at traditional ceremonies that our people should see that even if we argue so much in the Debating Chamber, when we go outside the political arena, we are still able to talk to one another and be united.

Madam Chairperson, another reason I could speculate for the Head of State’s decision to stop attending traditional ceremonies is the bitter experience of the Kuomboka Traditional Ceremony, where events happened whose details the hon. Members know very well. The result of that incident saw us go through 120 days of darkness over the incarceration of someone.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1810 hours until 1830 hours.



Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, when business was suspended, I was saying that there is a contradiction between the hon. Minister’s statement and the statement made by the President. So, as the hon. Minister responds, I would like him to tell me who is wrong between him and the Head of State. I am inclined to agree with the Head of State that, of late, traditional ceremonies have been used by us, politicians, to flex our political muscles, which is wrong. I think the problem is not with the traditional ceremonies, but with us. So, we must now introspect, and realise and agree that the problem is with us.

Madam Chairperson, in Mongu, my party President was arrested for attending a traditional ceremony. Let me give a quick example of what happened because Hon. Davis Chama was in Chongwe last week. When I was there I saw a small police force of about 100 officers, but they managed to maintain order. Correct me if I am wrong. Therefore, one would ask what purpose the 600 police officers who were sent to Mongu served.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: To consume whose oxygen?

They served no purpose.


Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, I put it to my colleagues that it is we, the politicians, who are using State institutions like the police, who end up spoiling those ceremonies. They can, then, argue with me if they want and put their points forward. We can resolve these matters.

Madam Chairperson, the President is right to say that traditional ceremonies have become divisive, but he, too, must join in the introspection. Both the Ruling Party and the Opposition, the two giants in this country, must decide to leave traditional ceremonies out of politicisation.

Madam Chairperson, three weeks ago, the Mukuni Chiefdom held a traditional ceremony at which there was not a single police officer in sight, and it was a beautiful and uneventful ceremony.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Later, Senior Chief Monze held the Lwiindi Ceremony. Before that, I had engaged the hon. Minister of Home Affairs so that we could collaborate with the police to make the ceremony go well. Again, the ceremony was incident-free. I did not see a single police officer apart from the district command in Monze, who assured us that they would detail plain-clothed police officers to help preserve order. That is what happened. In Maala, the Shimunenga Traditional Ceremony was equally held with no incident. 

Madam Chairperson, due to the time limitation, let me move on to the issue of the challenges in the chiefs’ subsidies. No so long ago, the hon. Minister told us that some chiefs were not getting their subsidies because his ministry was facing administrative challenges. We are now approving the Budget and appropriating money. So, I would like Hon. Sichalwe to tell us that the administrative challenges of which he spoke will now be a thing of the past. I want to hear that my chiefs, my fathers, Chiefs Mwanachingwala and Mukuni, will get their dues on a monthly basis. I also want to hear that Chief Hamusonde and all the other chiefs up north who have not been getting their dues will now get them. That way, the ministry will appear to be committed to supporting chiefs in an equitable manner. As things stand, it is being accused of being selective and that is a fact. One chief gave this Government some advice that appeared to adversarial and, now, it has decided to cut off the umbilical code to the chiefs. We will assist the hon. Minister to make sure that he pays our chiefs.

Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister mentioned about health and funeral grants for chiefs. Am I right? Was it health and funeral grants?

Mr Sichalwe: Medical and funeral schemes.

Mr Nkombo: Yes, hon. Minister, you talked about medical and funeral schemes for chiefs.

Madam, if I were the hon. Minister, I would introduce medical insurance rather than medical and funeral schemes because funerals are an end result of what is now an act of God. No one has control over when a funeral decides happen. So, just like many prudent institutions are doing it, the ministry would do well to put chiefs on medical insurance so that they do not have to be at the mercy of the benevolence of the ministry or the hon. Minister of Health and the board that chooses who to take for expert treatment abroad. It is not too late for the hon. Minister to do the right thing. He can change that nomenclature from “medical and funeral scheme” to “medical insurance”. I know that we have many chiefs, but we can still find a workable plan to put them on medical insurance. After all, not all of them will fall ill at exactly the same time.

Madam Chairperson, finally, I encourage the hon. Minister to plead with the Head of State to rescind his decision of taking a sabbatical from attending traditional ceremonies. We need to see more of him at those ceremonies. After all, he is the President.

Ms Kapata: On a point of order, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Nkombo: There are no points of order. That is what the Chairperson said.


Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, I also encourage the hon. Minister to use traditional ceremonies as the silver lining in the dark cloud in making us more united. Therefore, the President should not be discouraged. Rather, he should be more encouraged to attend as many traditional ceremonies as he can so that we meet him there. That way, we will laugh together, and that will be the sign of a maturing democracy. If we can sit together, even amidst our disagreements, that will be a sign of political maturity. So, I think withdrawing is cowardice, and if I had a better term to use, I would have used.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate.

Madam, it is important to recognise chiefs and other traditional leaders as an important institution of governance. The chiefdoms host a number of our national economic assets. So, they need to be respected. In view of that, I think we need to be very serious on matters of chiefdoms and traditional leadership.

Madam Chairperson, before I lose it on protocol, allow me to recognise the traditional leaders next to whom I am seated, Hons. Syakalima, Nkombo and Machila.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: These are senior headmen in their chiefdoms.


Mr Belemu: Madam Chairperson, I have a question for the hon. Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs to which he must respond. In this country, there has been this issue regarding the map of chiefdom boundaries that has not been resolved. Are we following the 1958 map? If we are, has it been validated to take into account what is obtaining on the ground? Alternatively, are we following the 1932 map, the 1905 map or another other map, whenever it may have been drawn? We have had challenges resulting from chiefdom boundary disputes because of those maps.

Madam Chairperson, the ministry has not been open enough to chiefdoms. If we do not confront the issue of boundaries now, it will continue to be a recurrent problem. I do not think that we will resolve the problem in the future if we ignore it now, as more issues will arise from these boundary disputes. Now, there are even problems involving sub-chiefs that have not been resolved. Will we ever recognise sub-chiefs? The Patriotic Front (PF) Government must tell us what its policy is. Will it ever recognise sub-chiefs? Further, which chiefdom boundary map does it recognise? If it is the 1958 one, we have had so many promises since 2011 that the map will be released for everyone to see and resolve the matter of boundaries once and for all. However, we seem to be running away from that issue, which must be resolved by the Government. If the Government does not want to resolve the issue of boundaries now, it should tell us so.

Madam Chairperson, by the way, I am a grandson of a village headman, and in my village, we learnt that there was a boy called Chingwindi. The first time he was sent to buy a needle, he put it in a basket, and the needle dropped through the holes and was lost. The next time, the mother said, when you are sent to buy a needle, pin it on your hat. Chingwindi was next sent to buy cooking oil, which he poured in a hat, then, wore the hat. So, Chingwindi is to …


Mr Belemu: …keep doing the same thing, but in the wrong context all the time.


Mr Belemu: Madam Chairperson, at some point, this country should cease being ba Chingwindi and resolve this problem of chiefdom boundaries in context.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Madam, the second thing …

The Chairperson: Order, hon. Belemu!

What did you just say?

Hon. UPND Members: It is a name.

Mr Belemu: Madam, it was the name of a boy about whom we were told …

You know, those of us who grew up in the village we were told of names like …

Mr Mwiimbu: Given!

Mr Belemu: … ‘Given’ or ‘Chipego’. You know that kind of thing.


Mr Lubinda: On a point of order.

Mr Belemu: There was a boy called Chingwindi.


Mr Belemu: You are not Given to me (pointing at Mr Lubinda).


Mr Belemu: The second matter, Madam Chairperson, is that of …

Hon. UPND Members: PF is Chingwindi!

Mr Belemu: … the cultural assets that the chiefdoms hold. As I move around, I get worried because people go into chiefdoms, research on some phenomena and write books that are misleading on the various cultures and traditions of some chiefdoms, which do not benefit from the money realised by the publishers. For example, so much has been said about the makishi and related cultural assets. If you went to the North-Western Province, for example, you will see that the community has not benefitted from the sale of books on that tradition, and the ministry should help out in that regard. Books are now being written in France and the United Kingdom (UK) about tribes and chiefdoms in Zambia, and the people writing them are making money out of our people. So, we need to see whether it is possible for us to raise the profile of the traditional assets of various groupings and make money out of them.

Madam Chairperson, it is very interesting that the hon. Minister intends to review the Witchcraft Act.

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: From time immemorial, I suppose, witchcraft has been with us because when I was born, I was told about witches and I know how they look.


Mr Belemu: However, Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister should have stated what he intends to review in the Witchcraft Act. What has changed about witchcraft? Is there modern witchcraft? If that is not the case, what is defective in the current Act? I would like to know the part of witchcraft he intends to review. Have we acquired latest knowledge about witchcraft? As far as I know, the farther back one goes into history, the more superior witchcraft was. So, it is not advancing in any way. Rather, it is retarding.


Mr Belemu: Madam Chairperson, let us admit that some of the cultures, tribes and traditions are a result of colonial legacies. Therefore, will we ever review the current chiefdom boundaries or recognise some chiefs and sub-chiefs or not? At what stage will we free ourselves from the colonial legacies? I am aware of disputes in some chiefdoms over the correct path to the chieftaincy, and I think the Patriotic Front (PF) Government must just say whether we will continue with the legacies left behind by the colonial masters so that people can stop having disputes about chiefdom boundaries.

Madam Chairperson, let me talk about chiefs’ palaces.

Madam, I think it was wrong, in the first place, to assume that all public infrastructure would be built through full contracts while chiefs’ palaces should be built by their subjects. That was an anomaly. We should have been realistic enough to see …

Mr Belemu’s microphone malfunctioned.

Mr Belemu: Madam, on a lighter note, I said I knew witches. They are now attacking me.


Mr Belemu: Madam Chairperson, the concept of chiefs’ palaces needs to be looked at very seriously. In doing that, the Government must factor in the cultural context. For example, will we build palaces that will be used by successive chiefs or will we build houses for current chiefs? There are some cultures that discourage chiefs from living in a house in which their predecessors lived. In that regard, I would rather each chief is built a house, which is more beneficial. Otherwise, what is the use of building a house that will not be used by anyone when the chief occupying it passes on?

Madam Chairperson, before I am attacked further, let me conclude by talking about traditional ceremonies.

Madam, the hon. Minister said that out of the over ninety recognised traditional ceremonies, the Government only funded seventy. What is the reason for not supporting all? Will the Government deny accusations of being biased that will be levelled against it when it only supports some ceremonies, but neglects? That is why this allocation, like the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), should be 100 per cent funded, upfront if possible, so that the chiefs can plan their ceremonies around it. In any case, the amount under discussion is too low. It is much less than what I, a Member of Parliament, contribute to various traditional ceremonies across the country. The Government cannot say that it supports a traditional ceremony by giving K3,000 or, as I am being informed, US$200 in hard currencies.

Mr Ndalamei: That money can only buy one cow in Kalabo.

Mr Belemu: Madam Chairperson, I want to submit further that chiefdoms would be very good institutions for decentralisation because they house people and are closer to the communities. So, as we move towards decentralisation, can we factor that aspect in and ensure that chiefs are catered for. As I said earlier, I am from a royal family and, when I was growing up, there used to be Government vehicles, not the Surf vehicles that have been given to chiefs. Those were good vehicles with quality flags on them, not torn ones. The chiefs also had proper houses with running water. What has gone wrong? The Government says it will not increase the number of chiefs. So, why is it failing to cater for a fixed number of chiefs? It is a question of planning and doing the right things. The number of us, headmen, can increase, but that of chiefdoms should remain the same.

Madam Chairperson, my last point is an appeal from the headmen for bicycles that they can use when visiting their subjects.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: How can the headmen struggle to visit their subjects when they are also an important institution of governance?

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate this very important arm of the Government.

Hon. Government Members: Which one?

Mr Mutale: Madam Chairperson, we all know that chiefs play a cardinal role in the governance of this country.

Madam, for a long time, traditional ceremonies have been a unifying factor for this country. As a people, we always looked forward to celebrating traditional ceremonies. Today, they have been politicised and, in some instances, they are being used to settle political scores. So, they are now more of a polarising element in this country. It is the wish of His Excellency the President to attend all traditional ceremonies in the country. However, I support his declaration that he would be reluctant to do so because some traditional leaders have become very political, and it is in that vein that I urge the ministry to revisit the laws that govern the institution of chieftaincy and consider degazetting such chiefs.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: Question!

Mr Mutale: If there is no law that provides for that, one must be enacted as quickly as possible so that chiefs who have become political can come the forum where they belong. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutale: Like Hon. Nkombo said, the President has the right to attend almost all traditional ceremonies. However, it becomes a problem when some politicians pay chiefs to turn traditional ceremonies into racing arenas.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutale: There is no way we can allow a political ceremony to become …


Mr Mwiinga: A political ceremony?

Mr Mutale: … a racing arena for Formula 1. In the incident to which I am referring, some people even hang out of their windows and displayed political symbols. That is not right for this country and, most definitely, not right for the younger generation. As a young politician, I would love to see traditional ceremonies build and bind this nation together like they are meant to do.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutale: Madam, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Morals is there …


Mr Mwiinga: Morals?

Mr Chabi: National Guidance. 

Mr Mutale: I beg your pardon, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance.

Madam Chairperson, I want to talk about morals. The ministry struggles, on a daily basis, to unite this nation because we have lost our values and morals.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutale: Whenever the President comes to this House, he emphasises this point. Even in this Budget, values and morals have been addressed. Hence, we need to respect our traditional values and re-evaluate ourselves.

Madam Chairperson, issues to do with chiefs go hand-in-hand with those to do with chiefs’ retainers. Therefore, when we call chiefs’ subsidies to be bettered, we should also call for their retainers’ to be bettered.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutale: What value do the chiefs to whom we give subsidies adding to this nation? That is the question that begs an answer. Are they there to parade themselves in Chimbokaila?  Is it right for them to defend political leaders who break the laws of this country?

Hon. UPND Members: Yes!

Mr Mutale: My answer is no. They are supposed to guide us away from immorality. Therefore, their position is very important. Is it traditional leaders’ duty to showcase their wealth and vehicles they possess?

Hon. UPND Members: Yes!

Mr Mutale: Madam Chairperson, their role in this country is to guide and unite us. Just because they have amassed a lot of wealth instead of creating wealth for the people they lead, they think that they are also Presidents. I appeal to the hon. Minister to carefully review whether such chiefs deserve Government subsidies.


Mr Mutale: Madam, we are better off giving such subsidies to the needy, such as the suffering and the women of this country.


Mr Mutale: Madam Chairperson, …


Mr Mutale: Madam, I need protection from my neighbour.

The Chairperson: Order, on my left!

Hon. Member, you are protected.   

Mr Mutale: Madam, some traditional leaders in this country are miners and they are protecting their areas from would-be investors. That must not be tolerated. Traditional leaders must have uphold values, show the integrity and be God-fearing.

Madam, the last speaker spoke about witchcraft.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutale: We know that witchcraft exists, and we have heard some traditional leaders boast about sleeping at a graveyard.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutale: This is a country in which we fear God and value Christianity. So, chiefs who glory in witchcraft must be degazetted.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutale: Madam Chairperson, some chiefs dare the Government and, to show that they have amassed a lot of wealth from selling the mukula tree, they are trying to divide this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutale: Madam Chairperson, ...

I am aware.

The Chairperson: Order, hon. Member!

Speak through the Chair.

Mr Mutale: Madam, this country has rules that govern it. Sometimes, some traditional rulers feel that they do not belong to this country and are busy trying to divide this country by crossing boundaries to other people’s areas. There are a number of areas where some chiefs are fighting because of the political parties that are paying them a lot of money.

Ms Mulenga: Come on, Chairman!

Mr Mutale: We know about that scam.

Madam, the hon. Minister should look at all those areas and evaluate them. After he has done that, he should tell us if some chiefs should be paid subsidies for selling themselves out to the politicians. In any case, subsidies are meant for the poor. So, why should we give them vehicles and pay them allowances when they are already benefitting from some politicians? Apart from that, they are also selling land to the politicians and realising a lot of money from that, which they, then, want to use to divide this country.    


Mr Mutale: Madam, in Zambia, we value the virtues that our ancestors left us and we shall always value the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance.

Madam Chairperson, the mentioned documentation of chieftaincy family trees will only be valid if politicians stay away from it. Politicians are spending a lot of money on trying to redefine the traditions of chieftaincies. No wonder, we have many succession wrangles.

Madam Chairperson, in the past, the House of Chiefs used to be a place where national issues could be resolved. Today, most chiefs have political inclinations. So, when they are elected to that House, they go there with politics of divide and rule. However, we still cannot take away from them their position in society and we value their contributions to this country. It is against that background that I urge the ministry to put a lot more money into the proper demarcation of chiefdom boundaries. Otherwise, boundary disputes may lead to tribal disunity.

Madam Chairperson, in some countries, they have dealt with the problems associated with chieftaincy by doing away with chiefs.



Mr Mutale: Tanzania is an example of a country where, due to chiefs being too political, the country decided to do away with them.

Mr Mwale: That’s being irrelevant.


Mr Mutale: Similarly, if some chiefs in Zambia continue to be political, we shall come here and enact a law to degazetted them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutale: Madam Chairperson, time and again, the President has encouraged chiefs to unite us but, whenever …

Hon. Members: Order!

The Chairperson: Hon. Member, you have run out of time.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Madam Chairperson, I thank the hon. Minister for his statement.

Madam, the institution of chieftaincy is very important for fostering unity and development in our land, especially given that chiefs look after people in our rural areas and some urban areas where levels people live in poverty on less than US$2 a day and in absolute poverty on less than  US$1.25. Therefore, it is the responsibility of those who are called to ascend to the throne of chieftaincy to take their positions seriously …

The Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)




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 1913 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 2nd November, 2017.