Thursday, 16th November, 2017

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Thursday, 16th November, 2017


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












Mr Speaker: Hon Members, I have a short ruling to render.


Hon. Members will recall that on Thursday, 9th November, 2017, when the Committee of Supply was considering Head 26 – Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Mr A. Mumba, Member of Parliament for Kantanshi Parliamentary Constituency was debating, Mr G. G. Nkombo, Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central, raised a Point of Order. In the Point of Order, Mr Nkombo, MP, asked whether the Hon Chief Whip, Hon. Richard Musukwa MP, was in order to accost Mr E. Musonda, MP, hon. Member for Kamfinsa Parliamentary Constituency for abstaining from the voting in a division on the Motion Mr G. G. Nkombo, MP, moved in the House on Wednesday, 8th November, 2017, urging the Government to expedite the payment of terminals benefits to all former Government employees who retired prior to 5th January, 2016.


Hon. Members, the House will also recall that earlier in the proceedings on that day, I had provided counsel on the same matter raised by Mr Nkombo, MP, when it was raised in a Point of Order by the hon. Member for Kamfinsa, himself.

Hon. Members, I wish to inform the House that on Friday, 10th November, 2017, I received a letter from Mr G. G. Nkombo, MP, in which he withdrew his Point of Order. I have accepted Mr Nkombo's request to withdraw the Point of Order. Accordingly, there shall be no Ruling on the Point of Order and the matter is, therefore, closed.


I thank you.








84. Mr M. Tembo (Sinda) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


  1. when the construction of Sinda Day Secondary School would be completed; and


  1. what the cause of the delay in completing the project was.


The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Chitotela): Mr Speaker, the construction of Sinda Day Secondary School was supposed to be completed in 2015. However, this has not been achieved because the ministry has not been receiving funding as projected and the honouring of the Interim Payment Certificate by the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) who is the client.


So far, all the structures have been roofed and the contractor is working on completing the ten teachers’ houses which is likely to lead to the partial opening of Sinda Day Secondary School in January next year. That will see us enrolling grades eights and tens in January, 2018. With availability of funds, the school is expected to be completed and handed over to the Government by the end of 2018.


Sir, what has caused the delay in the completion of the school is due to the financial constraints.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.









VOTE 20 – (Loans and InvestmentsMinistry of Local Government – K47,016,650) and VOTE 29 – (Ministry of Local Government – K1,397,206,290).


(Consideration resumed)


Mr Samakayi (Mwinilunga): Madam Chairperson, before my debate was terminated yesterday, I was debating the issue of bulk purchasing in the Ministry of Local Government, which has been associated with corruption. The Ministry of Local Government does not consult the councils when buying in bulk and the only reason this is being done is corruption. Some examples include the issue of boreholes, hearses and now fire tenders.


Madam Chairperson, the Local Government is a mirror of the Central Government in terms of service and development delivery. A malfunctioning Local Government is a direct reflection of a malfunctioning Central Government in terms of service and development delivery. When you compare the functions that have been given to the Local Government, even before the devolved functions, there is a huge gap between the mandates that have been given to Local Government and the revenue sources that are seeded to them to use to carry out those functions. This issue has been ongoing.


Madam Chairperson, the Local Government Association of Zambia has asked the Government on many occasions to try and narrow the gap between the functions and financing of Local Government. Proposals have been forwarded to the Government and the Local Government Association of Zambia has been asking for 10 per cent of the total Budget, but the Central Government has never responded positively. As if that is not enough, the Local Government Association of Zambia has, over time, proposed sources of revenue that should help them yield sufficient resources to be able to carry out the mandates that have been given. An example is the fuel levy in 1996.


Madam Chairperson, the procedure is that the Central Government has to approve the proposals by the Local Government. However, once the Central Government sees these proposals, they pounce on them and use them to make that own revenue. Sometime between 2000 and 2005, the mineral levy was proposed by Kalulushi Council and the Central Government pounced on it and it became part of that revenue. This year, the issue of the cement levy is a proposal that came from the Local Government Association of Zambia. As you have seen, as per pronouncement of the hon. Minister of Finance, the Central Government has grabbed this proposal and is using it for its own revenue. The Central Government is stifling the Local Government Service in this country.


Madam Chairperson, the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia has identified motor vehicle licences, excise duty on electricity and tollgates as revenue that should be moved to the councils. We would want to see this being implemented with dispatch. These resources should go to the Local Government.


Madam Chairperson, the President, in one of his addresses to this august House, said that any ministry or hon. Minister that will refuse to devolve either functions or sources of revenue to local authorities will be dealt with. We, as the peoples’ representatives, will monitor to ensure that the directive by the President is followed. We want a Local Government that is properly funded and given resources to it enable it manage itself and yield sufficient revenue so that concils can carry out the mandates that they have been given.


Madam Chairperson, we are grappling with the issue of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). We have heard many comments from hon. Members that CDF is not enough.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Samakayi: We are proposing that 5 per cent of the resources that are coming from the fuel levy, mineral levy and income tax, should be added and given to the Local Government. I do not think that is asking for too much.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Samakayi: I would also want to remind the hon. Minister of Local Government and the hon. Minister of Finance, because they work hand in hand when it comes to financial issues in relation to Local Government, that the Personal Levy Act of 1996, has remained unrevised for many years.


The highest amount that an individual pays as personal levy is K15. Whether someone is getting K5,000 or K100,000, a payment to the Ministry of Local Government in terms of personal levy is K15. I do not think that we are serious with funding the Ministry of Local Government. I think the hon. Minister needs to look at this Act and revise it so that sufficient resources are given to the Ministry of Local Government.


Madam Chairperson, sometime this year, the hon. Minister talked about creating a fund marketeers in markets and bus stations. He said that the marketeers will be paying K1 per month. That is a very good proposal which can give us sufficient resources to build markets for the people countrywide. I am not seeing the thrust which the minister came with when he came to give a ministerial statement in this House. I urge him to act on this with the same thrust he had when he came to tell us about the creation of this fund in this House.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister talked about the Rating Act. The Rating Act also requires revision. Members have bemoaned the fact that fiscal decentralisation is not taking place. Giving grants to the Ministry of Local Government is good, but I think we need to give the ministry enough funds that they can manage on their own because that is what the decentralisation policy entails. That is what it means by transferring resources to the Ministry of Local Government and not just grants. I think that a well-functioning Ministry of Local Government will be dependent on the sources of revenue that are given to them to execute the mandate that they have been given.


Madam Chairperson, we will be following these issues up so that a national decentralisation policy is entirely implemented. 


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Mrs Katuta (Chienge): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for allowing the voice of the people of Chienge to debate this policy statement presented by the Minister of Local Government. This ministry is quite important in the country because it takes care of the Zambians. This ministry enables the local people to be in touch with the Government through the councils. However, there are so many concerns which I feel this ministry should work on in order to deliver services to the people of Chienge and Zambia at large.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to talk about building inspectors. This ministry has not done much in the inspection of buildings. I wonder why forty-two fire tenders were procured when most of the buildings do not even have fire certificates in Zambia. These buildings do not even have fire extinguishers. A lot of buildings are being gutted in Zambia because the buildings are not supposed to be there. For example, there is one building somewhere at arcades which does not befit to be in that area. I do not even know who certified that building. That building is a hazard, but the construction is still going on. I, therefore, wonder what the Ministry of Local Government doing through these councils.


Madam Chairperson, I would also like to talk about the markets. Most of the markets have been gutted because the councils are not doing much to ensure that they check on the things that lead to fires which we have experienced in this country. In areas such as Chienge, the market looks like a chicken run. How do we expect people to trade in such a building? Some locations of these markets deprive the marketeers from doing business. The marketeers want to be in these markets, but the markets are very far from where the people are. If they situate a market far away from the main road where the people are, how do they expect to have no street vendors? This is why we have these illegal street vendors in this country.


Madam Speaker, I think the Ministry of Local Government has been promoting this problem because of where they normally locate the markets. A market is supposed to be situated where there is a proper traffic flow of people. You will find that the small shops which are supposed to be situated at the back of the markets are in front of the markets. This makes the poor marketeers fail to sell their goods. I, therefore, urge the Ministry of Local Government to look at the issue of markets.


Madam Chairperson, let me also talk about the design of the markets. In Chienge, I will repeat what I said, the market there looks like a chicken run. Chisokone Market in Kitwe has a different structure. Why is the Ministry of Local Government not coming up with a standard market structure? Whether the population of an area is small or big, the markets should be of the standard structure. How can we have the Soweto Market looking different from other markets when all Zambians are paying tax in this country? Why should some markets have poor structures that are not even habitable to trade in? It is about time this ministry looked into the issue of standardising these buildings.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to talk about the bus stations. The minister has talked about bringing in some board of management to run these stations. How is that going to be done in areas like Chienge?


Bus stations do not have shade shelter and the rainy season has begun. How do you expect somebody to run such a station without a shelter? There are call boys who collect money from the poor transporters in the name of managing bus stations. The Ministry of Local Government should take this matter of bus stations into consideration knowing very well that the ministry is not just for Lusaka City, but for all cities in Zambia. We need structures that are similar to what we have in urban areas. The ministry must bring in teams to manage bus stations.


Madam Chairperson, the water and sanitation in the markets that have been built, like in Chienge, have no toilets and there is no water. Why do you put up a market which does not have water and expect not to have outbreak of diseases. The Ministry of Local Government should get serious about the issue of toilets and water in markets.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to talk about the creation of municipalities. We are looking forward to the creation of these municipalities. It makes it easier to manage places like Lusaka, therefore, It is cardinal that the hon. Minister looks into this issue so that come January, 2018, there will be a municipality in Lubuto, in Ndola, where my mother lives. The queues at the civic centre should be a thing of the past.


Madam, I would like to talk about the issue of health inspectors. If you go into some shops, I do not know if I am allowed to mention the names of shops. One day, I was in Shoprite and I saw cockroaches. Where are the health inspectors? They are being paid tax payers money. In other countries, if a health inspector or customer reports that they saw a cockroach or food which is off, that shop will be closed down, or charged or penalised for not adhering to health rules while running the business. These are the issues which should also be taken in consideration.


Madam Chairperson, the other thing is that most of these buildings do not have fire certificates, but there are building inspectors. What is happening to the Ministry of Local Government?


Madam, I would also want to ask the hon. Minister of Local Government to tell the nation how the Local Government Superannuation Fund is being used. What is happening? Most the retirees have not been paid. Where is the money going to? Why are the councils failing to remit the money to this fund? I have a lot to say but looking at the time, I would just like to say this Ministry of Local Government should work with the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development to stop street vending. Most of our towns are so filthy, in the name of protecting cadres. This must be stopped because all what these people need, like I said earlier, are markets where they can sell from. Now, when you go to these markets, even Soweto Market itself, the toilets are far away from where the traders are. That is a health hazard. I expect Soweto Market to be closed down. If those markets were being run by an individual by now they would have closed for not adhering to health standards.


Madam Chairperson, I urge the ministry to seriously look into the matters that I have highlighted here. We are here to talk about issues that affect our nation. These are matters that are affecting the nation. Most of the time cholera breaks out at Soweto market. The hon. Minister of Local Government must look into the issue of health standards at that market. Our mothers there need to trade in a healthy environment. It is now a season for mangoes. If you go to Soweto Market, there are no dumping areas for rubbish. The mangoes will be all over on the ground to step on. This is unacceptable especially in a country where money has been used to buy expensive fire tenders. That is the money that can be used to put up dumping sites for perishables that have not sold out.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Madam Chairperson, in supporting the budgetary proposal for the Ministry of Local Government, allow me to make a few comments, firstly, on the department of administration which is tasked to monitor service delivery in local authorities. This department is expected to monitor, for example, how councils in Zambia are managing solid waste. How they are sorting out storm drains, drainage works like silting, repair of access roads and patching of potholes and improvement of sanitation in the public markets, but the budgetary allocation to this department is K61,000 covering the whole country. Now, if you divide K61,000 by ten provinces, you get about K6,000 for this important department to monitor service delivery in local authorities in the country.


Madam, if you go further and divide this K6,000, for example, on the Copperbelt, with ten districts, you get about K600 per district. This probably explains why the local authorities are not being monitored because the money is just too little. Kitwe District has five constituencies. This money is translating to about K52 per year per constituency. How do you monitor service delivery with this small budget? I hope the hon. Minister will make serious improvement in the 2019 Budget so that the councils can be monitored in terms of service delivery. Although we are debating, this is very difficult for us to make variations to some of these budgetary allocations. If there was a chance, I was going to propose that the amount that has been proposed as budget support to the office of the Permanent Secretary be varied because in next year’s budget, there is about K300,000 just as budget support to one office. These monies can maybe be sent to departments like this one of administration which directly monitors service provision of the local authorities in the country.


Madam Chairperson, the consequences of not monitoring service provision in our local authorities result in situations like in Kitwe, Chimwemwe Constituency, where Constituency Development Fund (CDF) monies were not put to good use. The 2013 CDF for Chimwemwe Constituency was given to one contractor to put up solar powered boreholes. Up to now, that contractor has not handed over anything to the council or to the constituency. We made presentations to the Kitwe City Council, but that money has not been recovered because the contractor cannot be found. These are the consequences of not funding the department that is supposed to follow-up and ensure that monies are being put to go use and services are being delivered to the people.


Madam Chairperson, I would not be surprised, for example, to find that when you walk into some of these offices, you find officers, on whatsApp because with this budget provision, they cannot move into councils and monitor service delivery physically. The best they can do is to just go on facebook or whatsApp, where they will be following up things. Like where a council unblocks drainage and it is posted on whatsApp, the technocrat gets that whatsApp post and makes a report to the hon. Minister.


Mr Mwale laughed.


Mr Mwila: They could do that because there is no money for them to go out and check that physically.

Madam Chairperson, one of the debaters yesterday stated that Nakadoli Market is a white elephant and I partly agree with him. I am the Member of Parliament for Chimwemwe Constituency and Nakadoli Market is my constituency. The marketeers presented their complaints to the Mayor and Town Clerk of Kitwe, but have not yet received any response. The rentals at Nakadoli Market are too high. Some market stands are pegged at K900 and most of the marketeers cannot afford that. Furthermore, marketeers were allowed to occupy stalls in 2010, but in 2013, some of them were kicked out of the shops and new tenants moved in.  However, the previous marketeers left rental arrears which the council refused to write off and they were heaped onto the new tenants which they did not incur. Therefore, the Permanent Secretary should move in and address the marketeers’ complaints. Why should they pay electricity bill which was left by the contractor who built New Nakadoli Market?


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwila: ZESCO has refused to write it off and it has also been heaped it onto the new occupants of New Nakadoli Market. The marketeers complained that it was an unfair way of doing things, but nothing has happened to date. The market is in total darkness after 1800 hours because of the unpaid electricity bill and that is why new the tenants have not occupied the shops. In this regard, it is being referred to as a white elephant because the marketeers’ concerns are not being addressed. That said, I hope that the hon. Minister will help the markeeters at New Nakadoli Market sort out this issue.


Madam Chairperson, I would also like to comment on the Department of Physical Planning in the Ministry of Local Government. I propose that a circular must be issued to the councils throughout the country in order to share the resolutions relating to physical planning in the local authorities. For example, it would not augur well for me to lobby funds from the hon. Minister of Higher Education to extend Nsenga Primary School and only to find that the council has created market stalls in the middle of its football pitch. Hon. Members of Parliament do not sit in council chambers, but we should be aware of the physical planning in our constituencies.


In this regard, commercial stands have been erected at Ganaton Primary School and the extension cannot be done. The Ministry of Lands and National Resources also erected commercial stands at the frontage of Ganaton Maternity Wing and the clinic cannot be extended because the population is increasing in Zambia? Therefore, we should be made aware of such things so that we can make our input. Kitwe residents proposed that a Government clinic should be constructed near the Kitwe City Council (KCC) Market in Kawama Ward. I lobbied for funds from the Ministry of Health and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) even agreed to fund the project only to hear that market stalls will be constructed on the proposed site. Therefore, let us sort out such issues in the interest of the people who elected us.


Madam Chairperson, with regard the orientation progamme for councilors, the hon. Minister should seriously look at this issue so that they can understand why they are in charge of local authorities. This is because some of them are in the forefront and incite the local authority to close shops occupied by the people who elected them, yet they are supposed to speak on their behalf. This progamme should also be extended to the Mayors. Not too long ago, …


The Chairperson: Hon. Member, could you raise your voice or are you only interested in having the hon. Minister listen to you?


Mr Mwale: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwila: Okay, I will raise my voice.


The Chairperson: Do that for the benefit of the House.


Mr Mwila: How I wish that remainder came earlier. However, all I am saying is that the orientation programme should be extended to the Mayors and they should be told to lock their offices when they decide to take a nap during lunch break. One named Mayor was captured on WhatsApp taking a nap and it went on social media. Thereafter, people said that he is not active in his duties and that is the reason his officers cannot collect refuse in the city and some foreigners put sliding gates on a gazetted road in Emmasdale. Therefore, I call upon the hon. Minister to extend the orientation programme to the Mayors so that they can deliver the much needed services to the people.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Madam Chairperson, I listened attentively to the hon. Minister’s policy statement yesterday regarding the state of the local authorities and how the ministry intends to improve service delivery and he also discussed the issue of planning in local authorities.


Madam Chairperson, in as much as I support the Budget for the Ministry of Local Government, am lamenting about the state of our cities. I wonder what our planners are doing because in most cases, buildings are being put up on service lines. Congestion in the cities is another thing. No one would want to go into the Central Business District (CBD) especially during peak hours because of the congestion that is inherent in the cities. I would love to see a situation where our cities are decongested, including the streets where the vendors are trading from.


Madam Chairperson, what legacy are we going to leave if we can allow people to trade indiscriminately? I think that we need to find a way of taking the traders to markets unlike a situation where they are following customers on the streets. Let customers follow the traders in designated areas.


Madam Chairperson, let me now talk about roads. We need to have some overhead roads so that the vehicles that have no business in the town centre can cross over and probably land into Chilanga or Kafue and then proceed to wherever they want to go, or vice versa. They could land into Katuba and find their way to the Copperbelt. Maybe the dual carriage way will help solve the problem that we are currently faced with.


Madam Chairperson, with regard to commercial ventures, I would like to say that some councils have invested part of the 20 per cent Local Government Equalisation Fund (LGEF) into guest houses. I do not know if the hon. Minister has taken trouble to look at the trading account and profit and loss accounts for these ventures. Most of these commercial ventures are known to be loss making. We have been running council guest houses since time immemorial, and most times, these council guest houses are just used by councillors who do not even declare any dividends to the local authorities. Therefore, to suggest that part of the 20 per cent should be invested in these commercial ventures, which are loss making, is not a good thing because the communities will not be able to get a service. The communities in Teta area in Serenje will not be able to get a bridge because their money is locked up in a venture which will not even pay dividends.


Madam Chairperson, I would like the hon. Minister to revisit this kind of investment. This is because every business can either give you a profit or a loss. When money meant for projects is invested in a commercial venture like a council guest house, it is not known whether that money will be gotten back or not. Therefore, this is one area that we need to visit because even the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), which we are receiving, appears to have more impact on our communities than the LGEF. That is the more reason a larger portion of the LGEF should go to CDF. People are seeing benefits from CDF than from the other fund.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabanda: Madam Chairperson, some of these decisions that we are making today will have a negative impact in future. I will cite an example of the 1992 retirement of officers who had actually clocked twenty-two years. The impact is being felt now by most of the local authorities. For example, the impact of selling council houses is still being felt to date. Therefore, some of these decisions should be revisited.


Madam Chairperson, let me now talk about the Rating Act. Rates, like tithes in the church and the other monies that we pay, were being paid by effluent people. Those were the ones paying rates, ...


Mr Nkombo: Effluent?


Mr Belemu: Effluent is a waste.


Mr Kabanda: Madam Chairperson, affluent people, ...




Mr Kabanda: ... who were paying rates. These were well to do people. Therefore, even to stand as a councillor, one needed to own property in the area where they were seeking election. They were not getting anybody impecunious to stand as a councillor. The Rating Amendment Act should be revisited as well to enable councils raise enough revenue. However, at the moment, most local authorities are failing to raise or to collect revenues from properties. For example, Lusaka has witnessed unprecedented development in recent years. One, therefore, wonders whether the Lusaka City Council (LCC) could even have financial difficulties considering the building which are in Lusaka today. I do not know why the council has not been able to collect rates which have been outstanding for most rate payers. This inertia by most councils should be accompanied by sanctions on erring officers.


Madam Chairperson, let me now talk about township roads, which are now the mandate of the Ministry of Local Government. Madam, (while looking at Hon. Mwale) allow me to look to my left so that I can see the hon. Minister properly. Township roads have been eroded. For instance, the Serenje township roads, which were done by a contractor two rainy seasons ago, are almost eroded. That is a cost on the part of the contractor who will come back and start correcting what was done before. He will incur a lot of expenses and probably pass over those costs to the Government. Therefore, we need to explore mechanisms of funding the township roads so that we do not leave these projects on ice for a long time.


Madam Chairperson, on local authorities exploring other avenues of raising revenue, my colleague Councillor Samakayi, ...




Hon. Opposition Members: Councillor!


Mr Kabanda: ... Hon. Samakayi had discussed the issue of raising revenue for local authorities. I think that local authorities need to broaden their revenue bases. In the past, electricity was one area of raising revenue for local authorities. Why do we not pass on the agency of selling power to local authorities? My colleague here, from Mazabuka Central Parliamentary Constituency had also talked about it, ...




Mr Kabanda: Therefore, let us see if we can broaden the revenue bases for the local authorities instead of investing money in council guest houses that do not declare dividend.


Madam Chairperson, the Local Authorities Superannuation Fund (LASF) is one pension scheme which has not performed well. Other pension schemes such as the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) and the Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board are doing better than LASF. Hon. Minister, you should revisit this institution to see why it is not able to perform? You even have the option of changing management to see whether the institution can perform to the expectation of the retirees and the country at large.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabanda: I do not know about the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) employees, but most retirees under LASF have not been paid their dues.


 Madam Chairperson, in most towns, markets are in a deplorable state.  Hon. Minister, it is gratifying to learn that you are considering building markets in most of the districts. I hope that the management of these markets will be in safe hands. We do not want a situation where irresponsible boards are allowed to run these markets. We will need to run them prudently so that we can raise resources to clean and maintain them.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Mr Mwale: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to respond to debates of hon. Members who debated on the two Votes. I would like to start by thanking hon. Members for showing a lot of interest in local government. As expected, there was so much interest and, a good number of hon. Members debated in support of the Votes and I am grateful.


Hon. Ng’onga talked about roads. I hope that my response to his debate will cover everyone’s concern about roads. The ministry seriously wants to take care of all urban and rural roads in the country.  I stated that 5,000 kilometres of road will be done. At the moment, 3,000 kilometres is being worked. Out of the 3,000 kilometres, 2,000 kilometres was completed while 1,000 kilometres is yet to be completed. 


Going forward, we will come up with a master plan. Unfortunately, we still have not received submissions from a number of councils. We had hoped to distribute the master plan for 2018, 2019 and 2020, in this Session. Perhaps, we will just go ahead and produce what we have and give those that have not yet submitted a deadline in which to do so. May be this will help. We are serious about coming up with a master plan for 2018, 2019, and 2020, so that we do not leave things to chance.


Madam Chairperson, Hon. Ng’onga also talked about inertia by council workers. This is an issue that many other hon. Members raised in their debates. Indeed, he is right and I have no reason to defend those workers that sit in offices and do nothing.


Going forward, I talked about how we will partner with the Smart Zambia Institute to make sure that we bring technology that will us help to deliver services in the Ministry of Local Government. One of the technologies will be able show which officers sit and do nothing. With this technology, we will be able to tell whether or not someone is in the office or whether or not they are attending to their business.


I know that for an institution like the National Assembly of Zambia, every staff has an Identification Card (ID). Officers that report for work, those that do not and those that leave the premises are known because of Information Communication Technology (ICT). This is the way we want to go also.


At the moment, we have 110 councils and before the end of next year, the number may get to 117. To monitor all these councils, we will require proper monitoring systems and we cannot use human resource to do that. The Smart Zambia Institute will provide us with the necessary technologies to check all our workers. I agree with you when you say that there is so much inertia in most of the councils and we will make sure that we deal with it so that we only retain workers that are serious. This response was also to Hon. Mwila’s comment.


Madam Chairperson, the Equalisation Fund was prominent amongst hon. Members’ debates. Hon. Ng’onga bemoaned the fact that most of the money from the fund goes to projects that councils assume will bring revenue in return. Hon. Kabanda also talked about this. This should not be the case. The Equalisation Fund is meant for capital projects. What we would like is to empower hon. Members of Parliament to discuss projects in council meetings and make proposals of projects that they would like to carry out in their constituencies and respective districts.


Madam Chairperson, in 2018, the allocation for the Equalisation Fund, has been increased. In addition, there are other revenue measures that are being undertaken in order to have a bit more money. We want to make sure that councils have more money which hon. Members of Parliament and councils themselves can use. We want to see bridges, boreholes and roads being done using the Equalisation fund. It should not only be used to build council motels. 


Ms Mulenga: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwale: The ministry has empowered you to sit in council meetings and propose projects. The circular that we issued to you gives you enough powers to do that. However, if you are still having difficulties, let the ministry know.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwale: Hon. Ng’onga further talked about markets. I hope that other hon. Members of Parliament who need markets in their constituencies will come forward. Let us not leave it to chance and just talk about these issues on the Floor of this august House. If you have a need, put it in writing. We have a very ambition programme to build markets and bus stations countrywide. I am sure that you have seen the beautiful market that has been built in Itezhi-tezhi. We want to make sure that almost all districts have this kind of market. This is why we came up with the initiative of the Bus Station and Market Fund. We want to levy marketeers and those using bus stations.


The Bus Station and Market Fund works in the same way as the tollgates under the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA). Money that is realised from tollgates is re-invested in the road sector. We want money from the markets to be ring-fenced and re-invested back into the markets.


Madam Chairperson, since we made this announcement, there has been so much interest from financing institutions. The last institution offered US$200 million to build the markets using this fund as guarantee. These institutions know that they can recoup this money from this fund in the next fifteen or twenty years. 


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwale: Right now, there is a contractor with US$205 million. He is ready to construct using this fund as a guarantee and all he needs is for us to show him where we want the markets built.  In fact, this is the same contractor who built the Itezhi-tezhi Market. When we get this money, we should be able to pay back in seventeen or twenty years’ time because we would have accumulated the money spent. This fund has, therefore, stimulated some interest out there.


Madam, first of all, let me say that Dr Kambwili has so much sympathy for the councilors, which is very good. All of us see the need to give the councilors good monies in return for the kind of work they are doing. If anything, all of us would want to see that the councilors continue to do the good works they are doing in the constituencies. However, I beg to differ with Dr Kambwili’s reference that councilors are not part-time. I want to say that what renders them to be part-time workers is the legal provision in our Constitution and our statute. They are part-time workers because they are allowed to work elsewhere. For instance, we have a number of councilors, who work for the mines. There are some councilors, who are Government workers all over the country.


Madam, I was surprised that maybe, somebody informed Hon. Kambwili that councilors are not allowed to work for the Government. They are actually allowed to work anywhere. If there is any councilor, who is supposed to be working in the Public Service, but was made to resign because he/she became a councilor, please let us know. As far as this Government is concerned, councilors are part-time workers and they can work elsewhere and still continue to perform their civic duties. As such, they cannot be on the pay roll.




Mr Mwale: Madam, yes, I am very sure of what I am talking about. For the benefit of the House, let me quote from Section 17 of the Local Government Elections Act:


“A person shall not be not be qualified for election as a councilor if he is under any law in force in Zambia are judged or declared to be unsound mind or is an officer of an employee of a council.”


Madam, it is only those, who work for the council that are exempted from standing as councilors. Otherwise, any other individual can continue to serve as councilor. In fact, during the last term of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, we had two teachers in Solwezi, who were working as teachers, but also served as councilors. Nobody ever raised any issue and as such, they were not expelled from their service as teachers. Accordingly, this makes them to be part-time. Therefore, what they get is just an allowance. They are not entitled for a full-time pay like the mayors because the mayors are not allowed to work anywhere else as their job is full-time. This is a distinction between the two. However, I take note of hon. Members’ concern for the Government to revise the allowances upwards, but they will not get the same pay, which is entitled to a full-time employee.


Madam Chairperson, allow me to correct Hon. Kambwili’s attribution that councilors have been asking for an increment, but they never received it. I want to say that His Excellency, the Republican President, the hon. Minister of Finance, Hon. Mutati, and I, sat and increased the allowance from K700 to K3,000 in February, this year. At the moment, this money comes from the Treasury, but next year, the money will start coming from the councils. Therefore, we have listened to the councilor’s cries and to that effect, their allowances have since been adjusted upwards.


Madam, all of us are waiting for the Emoluments Commission to make a determination on our dues. Whether it will come into being or not, but at least, the Constitution says that there shall be an Emoluments Commission, which will determine our entitlement. At the moment, we are just carrying out stop gap measures to fill in the gap, otherwise the Emoluments Commission is supposed to deal with that.


Madam Chairperson, let me also respond to the issue of the bars. I listened and I agree with Hon. Kambwili’s sentiments. The Government is concerned with the way some bars are operating because some of them are not following the regulations. Nevertheless, I want to say that an alcohol policy is in place and we are working together to make sure that it becomes operational. We will ensure that we follow through and ensure that bars that allow under age people stopped from operating.


I would, however, like to ask for cooperation from the citizens in this country. It is true that many other countries, it is the citizens, who raise the red flag when they see children entering bars or areas designated for them. It is up to us to work together because if we leave this task to the council, we will not achieve the intended purpose because the council police are few and the establishment of the council police will also not increase over night because of the financial challenges that councils face. Therefore, we must employ and act as council police. We must cooperate and report the bars and night clubs that allow underage children.


Madam, Hon. Dr Musokotwane, Hon. Kambwili and all those who talked about decentralisation were all speaking the language of the Government. The issue that was espoused by Hon. Dr Musokotwane, Inter-governmental Fiscal Architecture, is exactly what we would like to see happen in the country. I want to assure the House that there is so much commitment by the Government by ensuring that we bring down the resources to the districts. This will ensure prudence and transparence in the management of resources so that the people on the ground become the bosses of their own resources. They will decide where they would want to see development and check how their money is being used. It is for this reasons that we are legislating for the Ward Development Committees because they will drive the development agenda from the bottom to everyone and, therefore, resources will get down to the grassroots.


Madam, let me assure hon. Members that starting January, 2018, the resources, which are meant for development and services will go to the provinces. This has been assured by the hon. Minister of Finance. If hon. Members can have time to check through the Yellow Book, they would find that for the first time, we are starting with the provinces. Therefore, we are going to roll out to the districts maybe, in 2019 or 2020. Starting 1st January, 2018, the resources will start going to the provinces except the funds that belong to the Ministry of Heath, but all the funds for other ministries will go the provinces. From there, they will be able to use it accordingly. Suffice to say that this is being done gradually because we cannot overload the district before we check their capacity to handle this.


Madam, I would like to assure hon. Members that they are speaking the same language with the Government. As I mention in my policy statement, I am so grateful for the support that the Government has received from hon. Members.


Madam, Hon. Dr Musokotwane said that the CDF should be increased upwards. I want to say that this is a listening Government and we hear you, hon. Member because I know what this money does to a common person out there. Let me say that the hon. Minister of Finance and this listening Government …


Mr Kambwili: Question!


Mr Mwale: … this listening Government …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwale: … and the hon. Minister of Finance have agreed that yes, we may not jump to the K2 million or the K3 million that Hon. Dr Musokotwane and other hon. Members talked about, but at least, we have listened. I am sure if hon. Members check in the Supplementary Votes and Proceedings, they will see that there is an amendment that is being proposed to move the current CDF from K216,400 to K249,600, which means that the CDF will increase by K200,000 per constituency. This has come about as a result of the hon. Member’s concerns. At least, we can say hear, hear to that effect.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwale:  Madam Chairperson, Hon. Nkombo raised an issue of unfairness in the way we invite town clerks and mayors from certain provinces to the Official Opening of Parliament. Let me say that going forward, we will be inviting different names each year. This means that if the same names of those, who were invited the previous year appear when others were not, it will certainly change. The ministry will be rotating the invited guest in that respect. Let me also say that there is no segregation in the way the ministry deals with development.


Madam, most hon. Members talked about the issue of the PF cadres controlling bus stations and markets. Like I mentioned in this House last time, the introduction of the board will soon be completed. Therefore, I will be announcing the members of the board that we have selected to manage our markets like the Lusaka City Market, Inter-City Bus Terminus and Kulima Tower Bus Station in the next two or more months.

We are putting boards in place that will be managing markets and bus stations, so that all of us are comfortable that they are going to handle issues in a professional manner. In the next two weeks or so, I should be able to announce that we have finished the process of selecting and vetting all those who will be on these boards.


Madam Chairperson, Hon. Kambwili talked about outdoor advertising. I mentioned in my statement that we are coming up with a policy on this matter. All those problems that we have encountered concerning billboards are as a result of lack of a policy. When the policy is place, we will be able to see change and Lusaka, for instance, getting the value it should be getting from the billboards. We have a lot of billboards around cities and towns, but there is so little that goes to the councils that give the permits for the billboards to be put up. Therefore, a policy is coming in that regard.


Madam, the hon. Member for Kanyama thanked the Government for the introduction of municipalities within Lusaka. In fact, if you looked through the newspapers at the moment, we have advertised for those that are interested to apply to construct the mini-civic centres in all the seven constituencies of Lusaka. These adverts are currently running in the newspapers. Once the contractors are selected in the next one month or so, we will start constructing the mini-civic centres.


Kabwata for example, will have its own civic centre that will deal with the local government issues in the constituency. The reason we cannot even control the issues of noise pollution in the bars and markets is because there is a population explosion within Lusaka. Therefore, it cannot be managed by one civic centre. The Lusaka Civic Centre was put in place when the population was 100,000 people. Now Lusaka has more than 2 million people and the number could possibly go all the way to 4 million people.


Mr Lubinda: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwale: Therefore, one civic centre cannot deal with the issues of Chazanga, Mazyopa, Magobo and all other areas around the city. When we have the mini-civic centres, for example, Matero Constituency will be running its own affairs and make sure that if there are twenty bars that have paid liquor licences, there should only be twenty bars operating in the area. At the moment, there will be twenty bars that will pay for liquor licences, but there will be 1,000 bars operating illegally and selling illicit stuff. This will be a thing of the past and Lusaka will be very well managed. Therefore, I thank the hon. Member so much for acknowledging the Government’s efforts in this regard.


Madam Chairperson, on Hon. Samakayi’s remarks relating to the Auditor-General, can I just clarify that the Constitution has now allowed the office of the Auditor-General to audit councils. We think it is better for us to have an external auditor to audit the Local Government Equalisation Fund (LGEF) and other funds that come from the central Government, which should be able to translate into proper development. We know that the office of the Auditor-General cannot be doubted and it is good that it is coming on board. However, this is not to say that we have shifted the internal audit control now that we have the office of the Auditor-General. The internal controls remain. We will be able to use that for decision making, but the Auditor-General comes in as an external auditor to help us.


Madam Chairperson, I have heard the debate of Hon. Katuta. We want to thank her for remarks and we will be able to look into the issue of the market in question. There is one thing that she talked about concerning the Local Authorities Superannuation Fund (LASF) and Hon. Kabanda also discussed this matter. Indeed, I can say and confirm that at the moment LASF is insolvent. It cannot even function in that state. However, let me say that the pension reforms that we have instituted, which Hon. Mutati and the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security are spearheading, have taken into account what we should do to LASF. I cannot just come out in the open to say what has been proposed, but we are very confident that the proposals that have come up with will be able to resuscitate LASF, so that it can make meaningful contributions to the local government sector.


Madam, I am sure hon. Members know the history to this situation. When we brought in the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA), we stopped people from contributing to LASF. They had a choice between NAPSA or LASF and most of them begun to contribute to NAPSA and left LASF. At the moment, LASF has about 11,000 retirees to support, those who are on the waiting list to be paid, and maybe only 2,000 new contributors. You cannot have 2,000 contributors supporting 11,000 retirees. It has to be the other way round. Therefore, this situation was created at the time that NAPSA came into existence and we could have dealt with this matter at that very time. However, this capable Government is attending to this matter as we undertake the reforms.


Mrs Katuta: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwale: Madam Chairperson, we also heard the concerns about building inspectors. Let me inform the House that the new Urban and Regional Planning Act allows the ministry to employ more building inspectors. Councils can employ part time and full time inspectors that can attend to buildings. It is true that the reason people build on drainages and not even in straight lines, such that houses in the same area look in different directions is because we have not religiously followed building inspection in this country and as a result we cannot come up with residences that look like the ones in South Africa or Windhoek.


Madam, what happens in other countries is that when a foundation for house is done, somebody goes to verify that the house is in a straight line with other houses. If it is, the project will be allowed to go on. When it is finished, the owner has to be given an occupancy certificate as proof that the house is ready for occupation because it is not hazardous. This is what we aspire to do as local government and we have put that in the Urban and Regional Planning Act.


Madam Chairperson, as I wind down, let me just inform Hon. Kabanda that there is a new project to decongest Lusaka. I think the President may soon be launching this project, maybe in the next one month or so. This project will see the highways that the hon. Member was talking about, such as new flyover bridges in Lusaka and new lanes being created by expanding four lane roads to six lanes. For example, Kasangula road will have four lanes. Lusaka will now become a different city, so that we can make it easy for people to move within Lusaka and do business, as opposed to taking two to three hours to just move from Chelston to town.


Dr Kambwili: Balya again!


Mr Mwale: Madam Chairperson, this is something that we are doing and there is no kulya. This is a project that should benefit all of us.


Madam Chairperson, finally, let me say that we agree with all those that talked about what councils can do to raise funds. We know that this has been enshrined in the Constitution, but we are going to do things gradually. We need to build capacities in the councils. It is true that right now, it is stated in the Constitution that councils have to be involved in the distribution of electricity, for example.


When a council opens up a new residential area, it must put up the powers lines and entire electricity network and associated infrastructure. Thereafter, the council only has to buy power in bulk from the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) to distribute to the people in that area. When people buy that electricity, the council can make a profit.


Therefore, the councils will be able to do all those things that are mentioned in the Constitution, including building tollgates and so on and so forth, but we cannot roll out those things at once. There has to be a systematic manner in which we will do things. We will also attend to the issue of the Nakadoli Market. It is good that Hon. Mwila brought that to my attention. We will go back to the ministry and discuss the matter. Therefore, I thank everyone for the support they have given to this very important ministry.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


VOTE 20/02 – (Loans and InvestmentsMinistry of Local Government – Planning and Information – K765,300).


The Minister of Finance (Mr Mutati): Madam Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment by the insertion of a new Unit immediately after Unit 1, 02 National Rating Programme, Programme 3024 Updating of Valuation Rolls, Activity 001 Preparation of Valuation Rolls, K1,500,000.


Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.


Vote 20/02, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


Vote  20/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 20/06 – (Loans and InvestmentsLocal GovernmentHousing and Infrastructure Development – K40,703,490).


The Minister of Finance (Mr Mutati): Madam Chairperson, I beg to move the following amendment:


  1. Under 03, Markets and  Bus Stations Unit, Programme 5011 Infrastructure Development, Activity 339 Construction, Rehabilitation and Consultancy Services for Markets and Bus Stations, by the deletion of K17,822,620 and the substitution thereof of K16,822,620; and


  1. Under 05, Fire Services Unit, Programme 5054 Fire Safety and Services, Activity 051 Construction of Fire Stations, Procurement of Fire Tenders and Fire Rescue Equipment, by the deletion of K4,024,820 and the substitution thereof of K3,524,820.


Mr Mwiimbu stood up.


The Chairperson: Mr Mwiimbu, are you objecting to the amendment or you have a clarification to make?


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Madam Chairperson, before the hon. Minister and the House agree to the amendment, I want a clarification on 20/06 Infrastructure Development, Programme 5011. The issue I will raise will affect the Head.


The Chairperson: Infrastructure Development, Programme 5011. You want a clarification? Go ahead.


Mr Mwiimbu: I have noted that the hon. Minister has provided K17,882,620 pertaining to the construction of bus stations and markets throughout the country. I would like him to tell us where he is going to construct the markets in this country and why he is constructing the markets taking into account that he has failed to move street vendors to occupy the markets as is the case in Nakadoli and other places where markets are empty and people are trading in the streets.




The Chairperson: Hon. Members, if we pay attention to our own procedures, we will not be confused. He is asking and wants a clarification from the hon. Minister. If he is not happy with the clarification, he can even ask that you vote. If the clarification is made to him and he is satisfied with that clarification, we can then move on and ensure that as a House, we approve the Head.


The hon. Minister may provide clarification.


Mr Mwale: Madam Chairperson, this Vote is mostly going to be used to finish the projects of constructing markets, such as the one in Livingstone and a few others.


I thank you, Madam.


Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.


Vote 20/06, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5054, Activity 051 - Construction of Fire Stations, Procurement of Fire Tenders and Fire Rescue Equipment – K 4,024,820. How many fire tenders are you going to buy considering that the current price, according to you, for one fire tender is US$1 million, and how many fire stations are you going to construct, taking into account that you are also buying fire tenders at a cost of US$1 million?


Mr Mwale: Madam Chairperson we are constructing fire stations, one in Makeni, one in Chilenje and another one in Chelston and this fund is meant to complete those projects.


Mr Lubinda: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, he has not answered the question fully. He has talked about construction of fire stations out of this same money. Can he tell us how many fire tenders he is going to buy considering that one fire tender, according to him and the Government is US$1 million.


Mr Mwale: Madam Chairperson, as I said, this is a budget line that will cater for everything, that is, fire and rescue services, fire stations and even equipment such as those that unlock cars when one is involved in an accident. However, we intend to use this whole budget line on fire stations. If there will be need for fire tenders, maybe we will come back for supplementary funding.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Mutelo: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on the same Programme. Maybe the hon. Minister could follow me closely on Programme 5054, Activity 051 – Construction of Fire Stations, Procurement of Fire Tenders and Fire Rescue Equipment – K4,024,820. This is where the clarification is needed because it says procurement of fire tenders and he is not answering to that. Is he still going to procure the same fire tenders like the ones we are talking about now or these are different ones? Please, clarify.


Mr Kambwili: Mwaiche nao ni bad boy!


Mr Mwale: Madam Chairperson, this particular budget line existed in 2017 and continues to exist as it is. In 2017, we used it to procure fire tenders and next year, we are going to use this same Vote or budget line. However, it does not mean that all the things mentioned under this activity will have to be purchased. This is how this budget line is structured. It is structured to meet that area because …




Mr Mwale: … it is related. This year, we used this budget line to procure fire tenders and next year, we are finishing constructing the incomplete fire stations.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Kambwili: Ule cenjela fye ukwasuka!


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Thank you, Madam Chairperson, I am not here to bother the hon. Minister, but I am here to get clarification from him. I understand that this budget we are analysing now is for 2018, and we are not carrying forward without reasoning. Therefore, the hon. Minister should be aware that we dealing with exactly the 2018 Budget and only 2018, meaning that everything in this Yellow Book is for 2018 and not 2017. So, if they knew that they were not going to buy fire tenders, why did they include this activity on this programme as one of the items to be procured?




Mr Kambwili: Iwe mwaiche, landa fye ati twalilufyanya!




Mr Miyutu: Madam Chairperson, I would like to seek guidance from the hon. Minister …




The Chairperson: Order!


Order in the House! Let us listen to Mr Miyutu.


Mr Miyutu: I would like to seek guidance from the hon. Minister that we amend this statement.


The Chairperson: What is the question?


Mr Miyutu: Madam Chairperson, my clarification is on Programme 5054, Activity 051 – Construction of Fire Stations, Procurement of Fire Tenders and Fire Rescue Equipment – K4,024,820. If the hon. Minister is not sure that they are not going buy the fire tenders because of the price then the activity of procurement of fire tenders should be removed so that we remain with the exact activity which will be conducted.


Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!


Mr Mwale: Madam Chairperson, I am sorry I hope I am not being unparliamentary, I think Hon. Miyutu has been in this House long enough to understand …


The Chairperson: Just answer the question.




Mr Mwale: I apologise.


However, the hon. Member needs to understand that in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), budget lines are structured the same throughout a particular three-year period. All other entries will remain the same, but what will be changing will be the amounts depending on what we want to achieve. Therefore, even though we are not buying fire tenders, this entry shall remain because it is an MTEF of a three-year period. Even in 2019, it will remain as such. This is how the budget has been structured through and through.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Chonya: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5056, Activity 018 – Development of Solid Waste Management Strategy – K1,100,00. We allocated K1,100,000 last year and this year the same amount has again been allocated. I wanted to know how far we went last year in developing this strategy that we still want to do at a similar cost.


Mr Mwale: Madam Chairperson, this year we had a symposium and started preliminary works which cost that much and we think that the remaining works will cost the same next year.


Thank you, Madam.


Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister mentioned that in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), budget lines are structured in a three-year period. Therefore, everything will just be coming the way figures are recorded. I just wanted to bring to the attention of the hon. Minister that if there is a year where hon. Members of Parliament have failed to lift this Yellow Book it is this year.




Mr Sing’ombe: Why has it grown very big since the budget lines are the same last year and next year? I want the hon. Minister to clarify.

The Chairperson: Perhaps the Minister who should clarify that at another point is the Minister of Finance and not the Minister of Local Government.


Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.


Vote 20/06, as amended, stands part of the Estimates.


VOTE 20/07 – (Loans and InvestmentsMinistry of Local GovernmentLoans and Investment Local Government Evaluation Department – Nil)


The Chairperson: Hon. Minister of Local Government, the department total is missing. Can you explain what has happened to Head 20/07?


Mr Mwale: Madam Chairperson, the whole department total is missing because this function has been moved to another ministry due to the realignment of ministries. Therefore, everything else is missing including the department total.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Vote 20/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 29/01 – (Ministry of Local GovernmentHuman Resource and Administration – K53,846,960)


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5001, Activity 048 – Insurance – Nil. This year, there was no allocation, but for next year, there is an allocation of K375,000 for insurance. Does it mean that these vehicles or buildings were not insured this year?


Mr Mwale: Madam Chairperson, yes there is new equipment and vehicles we have acquired that need to be insured next year.

Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5002, Activity 024 – Shows and Exhibits – Nil. In 2017, there was a budgetary provision of K100,000, but in the 2018 Budget, there is nothing. I want to find out what has happened to this activity.


Mr Mwale: Madam Chairperson, Programme 5002, Activity 024 – Show and Exhibits – nil, this have moved to Activity 111 under the same programme.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


The Chairperson: Activity 111 under the same programme? Are you sure? Did you get the question?


Mr Mwale: Madam Chairperson, yes I did. His question was why there is no allocation for Activity 024 – Show and Exhibits. If you go down the same programme you will see Activity 111 – Zambia Agriculture and Commercial Show which had nothing last year, but has something this year. This is where the money has moved to.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Miyanda: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5007, Activity 001 – Suppliers of Goods and Services – K40,700,00. The allocation for 2017 is K100,000, but the 2018 allocation jumps to K40,700,000. What has necessitated this huge increment?


Mr Mwale: Madam Chairperson, Programme 5007, Activity 001 – Suppliers of Goods and Services – K40,700,00, the debt had grown for those that were providing goods and services. I am sure you know that we have new districts. There is always an increase in the need of services that have to be given and so we accumulated more debt.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Miyutu: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5011, Activity 353 – Construction of Trade Fair Stand – K72,620. Why is the ministry constructing a trade fair stand in 2018, whilst it has been in existence for many years? Does this mean that they have existed without a trade fair stand?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwale: Madam Chairperson, Programme 5011, Activity 353 – Construction of Trade Fair Stand – K72,620, there is a possibility that we have been renting, I will need to clarify that. However, we are constructing because we never had one.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Vote 29/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


Vote 29/02, 29/03 and 29/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 29/05 – (Ministry of Local Government – Local Government Administration Department – K1,323,919,130)


Mr Mutati: Madam Chairperson, I beg to move the following amendment under 04, Local Government Finance and Audit Unit, Programme 5004 Grants to Institutions – Capital, Activity 002 Constituency Development Fund, by the deletion of K218,400,000 and the substitution thereof of 249,600,000.


Amendment agreed to.


Vote 29/05, amended accordingly.


Mr Jere: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5001, Activity 194 – Support to Provincial Local Government Offices – nil. There is no allocation for 2018. Does this mean that we have done away with provincial local government office?


Mr Mwale: Madam Chairperson, Programme 5001, Activity 194 – Support to Provincial Local Government Offices – nil, this speaks to the decentralisation. This money has gone to the provinces and it will be paid from there.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Nanjuwa: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5003, Activity 158 – Support on the Establishment of the Equalisation Fund – K686,340. There was K42,583 allocated in 2017 and K686,340 in 2018. What has caused this increase?


Mr Mwale: Madam Chairperson, Programme 5003, Activity 158 – Support on the Establishment of the Equalisation Fund – K686,340, this is responding to the issue that hon. Members raised about lack of supervision on how the equalisation fund is being used. This has been increased to allow supervision of the use of the fund.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!




Mr Mwene (Mangango): Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5030, Activity 164 – Facilitate formation and Strengthening of Ward Development Committees – K53,840. The allocation for 2018, has dropped even though the ward development committees still have a lot of challenges. What has caused this drop?


Mr Mwale: Madam Chairperson, Programme 5030, Activity 164 – Facilitate formation and Strengthening of Ward Development Committees – K53,840, the amount has reduced because we are forming these ward development committees in phases. Some were already formed and the remainder of the work is smaller than what has already been done.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


The Chairperson: Mr Fungulwa.


Mr Nkombo: Fungulwe!


The Chairperson: Fungulwe.


Mr Fungulwe (Lufwanyama): Madam Chairperson, my correct name is Fungulwe.


Mr Nkombo: He is a chief also.




Mr Fungulwe: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5004, Activity 002 – Constituency Development Fund – K218,400,000. There is no change between the allocation for 2017 and 2018. Is the Constituency Development Fund for 2017, going to be disbursed to the constituencies before the end of the year? Secondly, I heard the hon. Minister talking about an increase in CDF in 2018. However, the figures in the Budget for 2017 and 2018, are the same ...


The Chairperson: Mr Fundungulwe, you were listening. The Minister of Finance has just moved an amendment affecting this very provision.


Mr Mulunda (Siavonga): Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 5003, Activity 153 – Local Government Management Information System – K237,020. I have noticed that in 2017, we only had K54,000. Why do we have that huge increment?


Mr Mwale: Madam Chairperson, this is a new activity. It will enable the department in the ministry to create an information data bank for all local authorities.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 5000, Activity 001 – Salaries Division 1 - K1,024,650. In 2017, there was K1,121,904. Activity 002 – Salaries Division II – K58,680 and in 2017, there was K115,620. Activity 003 – Salaries Division III – K119,800 and in 2017, there was K159,082. Why do we have reductions on these activities?


Mr Mwale: Madam Chairperson, this is due to realignment of ministries. Some functions have been given to the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure and the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection. That is why manpower and salaries have been reduced.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mrs Mwashingwele (Katuba): Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 5004, Activity 158 – Support on the Establishment of the Equalisation Fund – K686,340. In 2017, it was K42,583. I am wondering because that fund is already active because we have Programme 5005, Activity 345 – Local Government Equalisation Fund – K1,078,428,000. In 2017, this was K887,848,785. Why do we still have the Support on the Establishment of the Equalisation Fund which is close to a million?


Mr Mwale: Madam Chairperson, on Programme 5004, as the hon. Member can see, falls under the Local Government Finance and Audit Unit. As I said, we want to be monitoring the use of this fund and supervise those who use this fund. That is why there is an increment there.


Madam Chairperson, we have the Local Government Equalisation Fund is under Programme 5005. As you can see, there is K1,078,428,000. This is the fund that we are giving as grants to the councils. That is the difference between these two activities.


I thank you, Madam.


Mrs Chonya (Kafue): Madam Chairperson, my question was the same as the one which was asked by Hon. Fungulwe. I have taken note of the amendment.


Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.


Vote 29/05, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


Votes 29/06 and 29/13 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


VOTE 32 – (Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance – K24,069,650).


The Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance (Rev. Sumaili): Madam Chairperson, I wish to thank you for this opportunity to stand before this august House and give a policy statement on the 2018 Budget for the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance.


Madam Chairperson, my ministry is committed to contributing to the creation of a conducive governance environment for a diversified and inclusive economy. This will be done through inculcating national values, principles and Christian ethos into all aspects of state affairs while taking an all encompassing approach to engaging religious organisations in the development agenda of the country. The specific objectives of promoting the national values and principles are to define as follows:


  1. to define and underscore the actions, behaviours and interactions of Zambians as one nation and one people in pursuit of the values enshrined in the Republican Constitution and National Development Plans;


  1. to inspire the Zambian citizenry towards economic prosperity that entrenches and strengthens national unity informed spiritual, ethical and cultural values;


  1. to help in building a just democratic ethical moral, cohesive and integrated nation;


  1. to promote and strengthen the country’s democratic governance, human dignity, equity, social justice and inclusiveness that promotes unity of purpose among citizens;


  1. to promote the integrity of the family as a foundation of impacting national values; and


  1. to promote public consciousness on sustainable development.


Madam Chairperson, the promotion of national values and principles is of paramount importance for our country. General observations in Zambia indicate presence of negative traits such as moral decay, lack of cohesion, lack of patriotism, poor work culture, poor time management, lack of integrity and general complacence and laxity that are detrimental to achieving rapid progress in development.


Madam Chairperson, the negative traits need to be confronted and corrected while building on the positive traits of our culture to ensure realisation of the desired national development. In addition, the 7th NDP underscores that Zambia needs an attitude and behavioural change tailored towards transforming the national development pathways among a cross section of its leaders and people. This entails a paradigm shift that focuses on addressing negative cultural attitudes while enhancing the positive traits.


Madam Chairperson, my ministry is mandated to promote national values and principles and actualise the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation for social transformation and sustainable development. The Constitution demands that these values and principles be upheld in the interpretation of the Constitution, enactment and interpretation of the laws and in the development and implementation of the state policies. To implement this mandate, the ministry has a Budget of K24,069,650 for 2018, compared to …


The Chairperson: Order!


Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.





The Chairperson: Before the hon. Minister continues with her debate, I would like to give counsel to the Executive. This is your budget.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: As Chairperson of the Committee of the Whole House, I want to express my dissatisfaction.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: You are beginning to collapse the column. As Executive, I would like to see the two benches full.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Katuta: Tell them.


The Chairperson: We need to be serious about this very important national assignment.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Chonya: Serve the nation.


The Chairperson: May the hon. Minister continue with her debate.


Rev. Sumaili: Madam Chairperson, allow me to highlight the performance and achievements of my ministry in 2017, before presenting the 2018 ministerial priorities. In order to promote national values and principles, my ministry in 2017, developed a number of information, education, and communication materials which will be used in the sensitisation of citizens. Further, the ministry has conducted a number of radio and television programmes, focusing on popularising the national values and how they can be internalised at all levels.


Madam Chairperson, my ministry had an opportunity to sensitise the citizens on the values and principles during the Ministry of National Development and Planning, national tour, aimed at sensitising citizens on the 7th NDP. The need for mindset change as a first and core step to creating awareness and commitment from citizens is critical to the successful implementation of the plan and social transformation.


Madam Chairperson…


The Chairperson: Order in the House especially on my left.


Mr Mutale: Hear, hear!


Rev. Sumaili: Madam Chairperson, the ministry has also been engaging a number of stakeholders on how to partner with them in the promotion of national values and principles. The stakeholders met so far include civil society representatives, religious leaders, private sector representatives, the media, artists and musicians, higher education training institutions like the University of Zambia. Traditional leaders are also key stakeholders in reaching the grassroots. An address was made to the House of Chiefs this year and the interface was fruitful.


Madam Chairperson, in order to promote national unity, Christian ethos and actualisation of Zambia as a Christian nation, the ministry has facilitated the formation of dialogue platforms for churches and other religious organisations. The ministry also managed to facilitate the state-church dialogue where key issues that needed to be addressed were identified and are being attended to by both parties. The importance of dialogue among different stakeholders who may have various interests and opinions on national issues cannot be over emphasised. This was also echoed by civic, religious and traditional leaders during the ministry’s familiarisation tours across the country. This is important if the nation is to attain accelerated economic growth without leaving anyone behind. The church with the support of the ministry spearheaded the observance of the National Day of Prayer in all the ten provinces in the country. The National Prayers graced by his Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, were held in Kitwe at Nkana Stadium. It is the aspiration of the ministry to create and support a culture of prayer in our nation. Lunch hour prayer fellowships are taking place at many working places, both public and private including our three arms of Government.


Madam Chairperson, my ministry has been working with other Government ministries in implementing and tracking progress on the Presidential pronouncements and directives issued during the address by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, on the application of national values and principles delivered to the Second Meeting of the First Session of the Twelfth National Assembly. In doing so, the ministry has facilitated a creation of Inter-ministerial Committee on promoting and implementing national values and principles. This committee will also facilitate the preparation and validation of the Second Presidential Report to Parliament on the application of the national values and principles as required by the Republican Constitution under Article 9, Section 2.


Madam Chairperson, I wish to inform this august House that the ministry has developed its 2017-2021 Strategic Plan and is at validation stage and will later be approved by the Cabinet. It will guide the operations of the ministry. In addition, the development of the Self Regulatory Framework for churches and other religions, by the ministry in collaboration with the Church and other religious mother bodies, has reached an advanced stage. It will provide for regulation of churches and other religious bodies by their mother bodies. These mother bodies have the capacity to regulate themselves. This process has so far managed to promote unity and interdenominational dialogue among religious groups.


Madam Chairperson, the ministry is also working with the Ministry of Justice to develop legal frameworks which should give birth to an Act of Parliament. The development of the ministry’s Strategic Plan and Self Regulatory and Legal Frameworks is meant to build a firm foundation for the implementation of the ministry’s mandate.


Madam Chairperson, as the ministry was laying the foundation in 2017, it went through some teething issues. These include the following:


  1. inadequate motorised transport to support operations;


  1. lack of office equipment; and


  1. inadequate office accommodation.


However, these challenges are actively being addressed.


Madam Chairperson, allow me to highlight priorities for the 2018 Budget. In preparing its 2018 Budget, the ministry carefully considered its mandate, the need to contribute to the creation of a conducive governance environment for a diversified and inclusive economy, and the highlighted challenges.


Madam Chairperson, in 2018, the main priorities of the ministry are as follows:

  1. formulate policies on national values and principles, and on Christian and religious matters;


  1. develop training manuals and other information, education and communication materials for the inculcation of national values and principles, and Christian ethos;


  1. develop a communication and advocacy strategy;


  1. promote national values and principles through nationwide campaigns;


  1. promote the Church-State dialogue and interdenominational dialogue;


  1. conduct a baseline survey on knowledge and application of national values and principles;


  1. map cultural norms and values;


  1. develop guidelines for mainstreaming national values and principles;


  1. identify and preserve Christian and religious sites;


  1. support the operations of provincial offices; and


  1. develop a monitoring and evaluation framework to track progress on the application of national values and operationalisation of Zambia as a Christian nation.


Madam Chairperson, the ministry has prioritised the development of policies on national values and principles, and Christian matters. These tools will enhance the ministry’s operations by providing clarity on policy to the ministry and stakeholders. The ministry has allocated K420,060 for the formulation of these policies in 2018.

Madam Chairperson, in 2018, the ministry has prioritized the sensitisation and inculcation of national values and principles. This is aimed at promoting national unity, good governance and patriotism, accountability and integrity, among others, at both individual and corporate levels. The value of patriotism can be demonstrated in various ways such as meeting our obligations, for instance, paying taxes, loving our nation, not talking ill about our own country, buying and supporting locally produced products, investing in our own country, not stealing or squandering our resources and not being used as an agent of corruption and destruction.


To this end, the ministry will develop a standardised training manual for inculcation of national values and principles in both public and private sectors through strategies such as promotional manuals and materials, induction programmes, code of ethics and conduct, campaigns, advertisement and publications, performing arts, drama, music festivals and the media.


Madam Chairperson, the ministry will also work closely with the Ministry of General Education and other stakeholders to inculcate national values and principles in our children and the public at large. Inculcating moral behaviour in the youth is one of our major assignments for 2018. In this regard, we are targeting the family and planning programmes with the Church and the Ministry of Youth and Sport.


Madam Chairperson, the ministry will also extend the inculcation of national values and principles, and good morals to our citizens under incarceration especially the juveniles. The need for this became evident during the ministry’s visits to correctional facilities across the country at the invitation of the Ministry of Justice in conjunction with the Ministry of Home Affairs. The reforming of character and personalities begins with embracing positive values. The ministry has allocated K2,295,670 for the promotion of national values and principles in 2018, compared to K390,000 in 2017.


Madam Chairperson, the ministry has also prioritised the operationalisation of dialogue platforms for the State, the Church and other religious groups. In addition to these dialogue platforms, the ministry intends to facilitate the holding of an indaba for the State, Church and other religious groups. These platforms will facilitate effective dialogue, mutual understanding and co-existence in diversity. These activities have been allocated K292,680 in 2018 compared to K200,000 in 2017.


Madam Chairperson, the ministry will also work with the National Heritage Conservation Commission under the Ministry of Tourism and Arts to identify and preserve Christian knowledge and religious sites with the objective of highlighting the country’s Christian heritage. The ministry has allocated K210,000 for this activity in 2018, compared to K100,000 in 2017.


Madam Chairperson, to ensure that evidence for programming and tracking progress is provided, the ministry will undertake a baseline survey on national values and principles. It will also, in collaboration with the House of Chiefs, map cultural values and norms that are pro-development so that they can be promoted for national development and has allocated K556,300 for these activities.


Madam Chairperson, in 2018, the provincial units will be fully operational. They will help in coordinating and implementing the mandate of the ministry in provinces. The ministry has budgeted for K600,000 to support provincial units in 2018, as compared to K200,000 in 2017. The ministry has also provided K196,550 for monitoring and evaluation activities. This will enhance policy programme and accountability.


Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, I urge all the hon. Members to support the ministry’s Budget estimates. National values and principles are essential in cultivating and fostering of national unity and integration by developing upright citizens committed to national development. They will enhance a strong sense of nationhood founded on Christian and cultural values. This is essential in the creation of a conducive governance environment for a diversified and inclusive economy. Enhancing national values, principles and ethics needs concerted efforts across all sections of society and from all of us.


I thank you, Madam.


Hon. UPND Member: Amen!


Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Madam Chairperson, thank you for this opportunity to debate the Vote for the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance. I know that there are two main departments in this new ministry, which departments are religious affairs and national guidance. Although I am an ardent Christian, and a very well grounded man of the cross in the United Church of Zambia (UCZ), ...




Ms Katuta: MCF!


Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Simfukwe: ... as a member of the Men’s Christian Fellowship (MCF), I have a soft spot for the religious affairs department. However, for today, I wish to focus on the national guidance part of this very important ministry.


Madam Chairperson, I know that being a new ministry, it is still going through a learning curve of structuring. Therefore, my observation that there is a lot more bias towards church related activities could be as a result of the learning curve. As we go along, I know that the ministry will expand more on the national guidance aspect.


Madam Chairperson, having grown up in the United National Independence Party (UNIP) era, the era of one Zambia one nation and the era of the Ministry of National Guidance when I was a university student, I must confess that this is probably one of the most important ministries for the soul of this country, especially the national guidance aspect. It was, therefore, saddening to see that even at this early stage, it could only marshal or be allowed to budget for K24 million. I think that it is highly inadequate, especially when you see that almost 60 per cent of this allocation will go towards human resources while Christian affairs will get K2 million and another K3 million for national guidance. I am of the view that in future this ministry should be allocated more money because it deserves more than what has been allocated to it.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to see this ministry anchor most of its future work on national values. I think that it is already doing a lot of work in that area. However, the importance must outgrow the emphasis on church related activities. I think that, indeed, national values shape and influence the way we govern ourselves. Values are key to how a country looks after its people. For example, let us look at the issue of patriotism, which is a very important value. Later on, I will list it as one of the constitutional items under Part 2 of the Constitution.


Madam Chairperson, patriotism must become an important issue in the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance. How patriotic are we, as a country? What is patriotism? How many people in our country understand patriotism? I know that patriotism is a word that is widely used, but I think that sometimes, we do not find enough time to tell our children or even our neighbours what patriotism means. We need to find time, through this ministry, to inculcate a sense of patriotism. I know that it is confused with nationalism. However, experts and those who are well vested in these issues say that patriotism must never be confused with nationalism. Patriotism is basically being proud of your country for the good things it is doing. One has to be proud of his or her country because of what it stands for. However, nationalism is where one is proud of their country no matter what it is doing. It is where, one remains happy with their country even if it is persecuting certain people. Therefore, I would like us to spend a bit of time, through the ministry, to inculcate these values of patriotism as stipulated in the Constitution.


Madam Chairperson, I think that there is one element that we have not picked up as a country. There are two words which we use interchangeably. We will, therefore, depend on this ministry to educate the nation regarding the same. The two words are nation and state. This is the ministry that will help us understand these two words. Definitely we are a state, but many people argue that we are hardly a nation. They say that even as a nation, we are still working progress. These are issues that the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance has to help us with. There are people who argue that when our colonial masters handed over this country to our forefathers, they actually handed over a state and instructed them that they had a job to create a nation. That is what we learn from books. We were told that actually, a nation can exist even without a country. Before the Jews created Israel, they were a nation. They were all over the world, but they were a Jewish nation. Then they created a state, which is Israel. Now, they have both and they are a nation state. We had a state in 1964, but the colonial masters told former President Kaunda and his colleagues to create a nation.


Madam Chairperson, I think you have noticed that in the early years, President Kaunda and his team had heavy work of creating a nation. You do recall the one Zambia one nation slogan, which we probably did not understand when we were young. That was the job President Kaunda and his friends were left with. This ministry has to help us continue doing that. We need to continue the journey of creating a nation of Zambia because we are not even halfway done with this job.


Madam Chairperson, we used to have songs, I know that it is unparliamentary to sing the Tiyende Pamodzi, titoloke Zambezi song in the House.


Mr Simfukwe sings Tiyende Pamodzi.


The Chairperson: Order!


No, Mr Simfukwe, of course you cannot sing that song.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Ema patriots aya!


Mr Simfukwe: I knew that you were going to help me sing. Tiyende pamodzi ndi mtima umodzi meaning let us all match together with one heart. That song meant something to our forefathers.


Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Simfukwe: The responsibility to make sure that we continue to match as one nation lies with the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs.

Unfortunately, the journey to create a strong nation of Zambia is being undermined by a growing ugly specter of tribalism. Tribalism is growing in this country and threatening the job that our forefathers started. This ministry must help us to heal these tribal problems.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simfukwe: This ministry must go back to where our forefathers left off. When Mwalimu Simfukwe graduates from university he should be assigned to Mongu. We need to go back to that. 


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simfukwe: When Mulenga gets his Diploma in teaching, he should be sent to Solwezi.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simfukwe: Dr Kaunda and his team knew what they were doing. This ministry must help us to re-organise ourselves because we are losing it.


I heard someone say that people should be encouraged to go and work from where they come from. I do not think that this is how our forefathers saw it. Let us not encourage people to be town clerks in their home towns. Let us swap them because we have a job to do in order to create a nation.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simfukwe: Madam Chairperson, I was happy to learn from the hon. Minister that her ministry is emphasising on national values. This is very important because national values are standards and we have to set standards for ourselves as a country.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simfukwe: These standards are very important. We could have honesty as a standard. We need to be an honest nation. This is a standard. It is a national value. I was very happy to learn that generosity, peace and justice are values that are mentioned in our Constitution.  However, we also have personal, political and institutional values. What values do we want as Zambians? It is very good to learn that the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious affairs is embarking on a survey to determine national values.


Hon. Minister, let this survey be as independent as possible. We now have an opportunity to know what values Zambians want because they will be able to say them out. Values must not be imposed on Zambians. Zambians must determine their own values. I am quite sure that if this survey is properly conducted, we will know how Zambians want to be governed. This is a very important exercise and I hope that it has been allocated adequate resources. The priorities of this country will be determined through this survey.


As I conclude, I am happy that the President, His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, assented to a Constitution that includes values in part II and we must thank him for this.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simfukwe: When the President assented to the amended Constitution, he assented to Part II also which refers to values that this country should uphold. We need to thank him for that. Part II of the Constitution mentions morality and ethics. It is a constitutional requirement that when one works in the Government he or she must observe morality and ethics. The Constitution demands that we must be a democracy that practices constitutionalism. This is a national value for Zambia which the Constitution has placed.


Patriotism and national unity are enshrined in the Constitution. Therefore, those who intend to create disunity in the country are acting against the Constitution because it is a standard that has been put in the Constitution.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simfukwe: One issue that touches my heart is equity.


Mr Kambwili interjected.




Mr Simfukwe: Madam Chairperson, I need your protection.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simfukwe: Madam Chairperson, equity is sharing equally and taking care of every Zambian in the country. This is a requirement in the Constitution.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simfukwe: If you see a Zambian living in poverty you should know that it is against the Constitution.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simfukwe: Those in Government offices who have the responsibility of making sure that there is no poverty need to know that it is a constitutional requirement for every Zambian to enjoy the fruits of this country.


Madam Chairperson, human rights and non-discrimination are requirements of the Constitution. I am, therefore, very grateful that the ministry, even in its infancy, has already identified the need for a survey on national values in the country.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simfukwe: We look forward to the survey to see how it will define our needs.

In conclusion, as the ministry prepares its programmes, they should ask whether or not our values in corporate, political and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are acceptable. Inquire on whether or not our levels of patriotism in the country are acceptable. This is what the ministry should be asking. Ask whether or not we are guarding our national unity. For instance, do we have equity in this country?


Hon. Opposition Members: No!


Mr Simfukwe: Is there dignity in this country?


Hon. Opposition Members: No!


Mr Simfukwe: Do we have social justice?


Hon. Opposition Members: No!


Mr Simfukwe: These are questions that will be answered by the people and programmed by this ministry.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simfukwe: I, therefore, declare this ministry is probably the most important.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to debate this Vote. This is probably for me the most difficult Vote to debate because there is a tendency or temptation to think that one is debating for or against Christianity or debating individuals that are in this ministry, but to the contrary.

Madam Chairperson, allow me to debate as an institution of the state, divorced from my beliefs. I am a Christian, yes, and I have an interest in Christianity, but I want to look at this Vote purely from a governance point of view. As records will show, I have been very reluctant to debate this particular ministry, in whichever form it has come to the Floor of this House, because I wanted to have a clear idea or understanding of how it would operate in this country.


Madam Chairperson, I have had an experience with it so please allow me to say a few things that relate to this ministry, religion in general and governance. The debate of the kind of relationship that ought to exist between the state and the Church or religious organisations has been long standing. I want to put it to the hon. Minister today that she has to continue to justify the existence of this ministry, going by what we have experienced in the last one year or so.


Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: In raising my argument, I would like to quote Justice Harry Blackmun (1992) in similar circumstances in the United States of America (USA). I do not agree with the general circumstances, but I think that what he said was correct and, I quote:


“A Government cannot be premised on the belief that all persons are created equal when it asserts that God prefers some. When a Government arrogates to itself a role in religious affairs, it abandons its obligation as a guarantor of democracy.”


Madam Chairperson, for the last one year that this ministry has been in existence, there have been many attempts by the ministry and the Government in general to use religious arguments to disadvantage citizens and exclude others in what they perceive to be the correct norms.


Madam, we have witnessed attempts by this ministry to turn itself into a high priest or a ministry of a high priest, with the intention of wanting to define the doctrine of what ought to be the correct doctrine and heresy in this country. As a result, we have seen certain pastors or men of God from certain sectors being excluded, while others have been included in the activities of this ministry.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: Madam, there have been even attempts not to allow men, who are viewed by this ministry not to be of sound doctrine to enter or leave this country as the case maybe.


Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: Madam Chairperson, when an institution of a state begins to behave like that, it is no longer guaranteeing the rights of the citizens. In short, we are guaranteed the rights as citizens to choose, belong or not to belong to a religious group.


Madam Chairperson, the second observation is that when the National Day of Prayer, Reconciliation and Fasting has been called, we see politicians presiding over prayers. Yes, with due respect to some of them, who are Christians, but it is extent to which the Government has interfered with prayers. The pronouncements of some of the prayer sessions, organisation and the way there are funded by the ministry has been worrying.


Madam, it does not mean if someone does not go to particular stadia and sit there, then one is not a Christian and, therefore, that particular individual does not believe in prayers. What has been happening is that it would appear that those who do not go and meet at a particular place have been branded non-Christians and this is worrying.


Madam, at times religious arguments have been used to scare citizens into cohesion and belonging to the people, who are called the chosen ones. Let us not forget history. Whenever there is a failed circular or governance system, people will resort to spiritualism to scare or coerce citizens. This is precisely what was happening in Russia. This is what has been happening in so many countries, which we know. This includes countries like Italy and Germany, where the chosen race or this race and the religion are against the other or favoured. The Jews are against this or the Catholics are against the other. This ministry must not be used to exclude some citizens on the account of the religious beliefs of some kind, which some of our citizens may not believe in.

Madam, I am a Christian and I have my own doctrine. I have my own beliefs, but it will be incorrect to believe that when I argue with this ministry or those who consider themselves holy then, I am a sinner and I am not worth of being a leader in this country. I feel that is not a correct argument.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: The ministry is using spiritualism to indoctrinate people as much as witchcraft does.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: Madam Chairperson, it is my submission that the state must move away from the Church and guarantee citizens the freedoms and rights to choose whether to belong or not to belong to a particular religious grouping or the other. When I go to pray, I must go with my conscious as I have done from the time that I was conscious enough to go to Church.




Mr Belemu:  Madam, let us also not mislead ourselves to believe that the reasons people are now flocking to false prophets is because they have turned to spiritualism. Some of things are happening because of the failing of circular institutions. There are people that would go to a religious grouping to look for food because the Ministry of Agriculture has not put policies that will make people have enough food.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: Madam, there are people that would go to religious groupings in the belief that they will make money because the circular system has failed to provide employment. I can assure the House that if the Government worked hard to provide employment today, sufficient food security or all the security that people need, the Churches will be partially disabled and we would know who the real Christians are.


Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: Madam Chairperson, we need to see to it that the ministries function as institutions of state. Then, we are going to know who the true Christian is than to hide under the collar. I have been a politician now for a while. Therefore, I know that those who fear to lose elections, flock to Churches during campaigns, but us, who do not fear to lose elections, go to Church as often as we are available.




Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: Madam, I am being sincere because I do not go to Church every Sunday, but at least, I am sincere enough to say I must not go and offer tithe or offerings because there is an election coming in one or two weeks.




Mr Belemu: I have been to by-elections, where people turn into Christians overnight.




Mr Belemu: Madam, lately, we have seen some people become Muslims because they think that there is oil money somewhere else, no!




Mr Belemu: Madam, as we pass this vote, I would like the hon. Minister to help us once more to justify its existence vis-à-vis our democratic institutions and the state based on our experiences. Unfortunately, the ministry has been quiet at a point when we needed it to speak, …


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: … but it has spoken at a point when we needed it to be quiet. We have had citizens, whose rights have been abused in this country and citizens who have been maimed. There have also been times when some of us have been stopped from praying. There have been instances when people wanted to gather at the Cathedral, but somebody comes and tells you cannot pray and this is a policeman for that matter, but the ministry has been quiet. Going forward, the hon. Minister should help us, Christians to continue to practice our Christian faith by guaranteeing our rights.


Madam, I must to mention that it has been difficult for some of us to attend Church crusades for the last one year the ministry has been in existence. When one enters a constituency, one is already viewed as an enemy of the state and the police will be following that particular individual even if they do not believe in the doctrine. This simply means that one is being denied to the right to assemble.


Madam Chairperson, some of us used to have overnight prayer meetings, but when the threatened state of emergence was declared, they simply told us that no one could pray in those circumstances.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: Madam, I will invite some of the hon. Members to my over night prayer meetings …



Mr Belemu: … for their spiritual benefit.




Mr Belemu: Madam, the point, which I want to make this evening, is that while we may not disagree with the general principles as set out by the hon. Minister, we are worried about its operations especially that this is an institution of the state.


Madam, for instance, the day the hon. Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance, whom I have respect on her religious conduct and belief will go on leave, it may be given to another hon. Minister, whom I do not want to mention, but I have an idea of who can act in that ministry. I can assure the House that it will be subject to abuse because it has been given power equal to a Church or its co-representative.


Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: This is an institution of Government and therefore, it must be treated at as such. The Government must stop using this ministry to scare us. Offending this ministry does not mean that I have offended God.


Mr Lufuma: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: Madam, when we were young, we were told that there are things that you cannot ask such as; who is the father or the mother of God. Stop using this ministry to scare us into believing that once someone says something against the Government, that particular individual has sinned.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.  


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! 


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank you for according me this opportunity to add voice to this head.

Madam, indeed, for a long period of time, the Church has contributed to the development of this country. This is in terms of education, health, agriculture, skills training and entrepreneurship. In addition, the spiritual transformation is also as a result of the Church.


Madam Chairperson, the contributions by the Church has made it possible for us to eradicate poverty in some areas. Most of us in this august House, who went to mission schools, observed that the Church was not bias in the sense that they even allowed Zambian of Indian origin to also learn in these schools although they were Hindus or Muslims.    


Madam Chairperson, I want to totally agree with the hon. Minister’s statement on national values and principles, which are enshrined in Article 2 of the Constitution of Zambia. I thought that this ministry would have a helicopter or an eagle’s eye view regarding this matter in order to ensure that there is harmony in the country. When I was coming here last Tuesday, the people of Livingstone sent me to thank the church, more especially the Catholic Church and particularly the bishop of Lusaka, Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu.




Ms Lubezhi: Order!


Mr Jere: Madam Chairperson, the people of Livingstone wanted to thank Archbishop Mpundu for the simple reason that he was able to stand in the gap to condemn the wrongdoing and vices perpetuated by the Patriotic Front (PF) Government.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Jere: Madam Chairperson, allow me to quote his own words. He said:


“The Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops has strongly condemned the arrest and treason charge slapped on opposition leader, Sir Hakainde Hichilema.”




Mr Jere: Madam Chairperson, it is very clear that the man was innocent. He was arrested merely because of his popularity and …


The Chairperson: Order!


Mr Jere, you may not go there and even as you are embarking on that route, you know that I will stop you. Please come back to the subject of debate, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance.


Mr Jere: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for that guidance. The morals and values …


Dr Malama: On a point of order, Madam.


The Chairperson: Order!


I am sure that the House is aware that we have to adjourn sine die sometime early in December, 2017. We have a lot of business to deal with before that time. In order for us to do that, we must use the time efficiently. Therefore, I will be very reluctant to allow points of order. We need to move and allow as many people as possible to debate. We must ensure that we do a good job. Therefore, I will not allow points of order, as I said last time, unless it is a matter of life and death. Otherwise, really, there will be no points of order during this period when the House is in Committee of Supply. Mr Jere, you were on the Floor …


Mr Livune: We do not want to go, Madam!


The Chairperson: I hear some hon. Members saying they do not want to go.


Mr Livune: Yes, that is right!




The Chairperson: The people who sent you here want to see you in the constituencies. Therefore, you have to go at some point. You want to take refuge in this House …


Hon. UPND Members: Yes!


The Chairperson: … from those who elected you? Mr Jere, please continue.


Mr Jere: Madam Chairperson, when I quickly went through Part II, Article 8 and 9 of our Constitution, I summarised it in four parts. These four parts are the promotion of national unity, social justice, integrity and patriotism and lastly, good morals.


Madam Chairperson, it goes without saying that divided we fall and united we stand. In this country, it is clear that we are divided in so many ways. Therefore, we need the intervention of good men of God so that those that are hardcore sinners can also reform, repent and start doing the right thing. There is moral decay in this country. We are leaving the youths every day and night to be drinking beer …


Mr Lubinda: Yes, like Belemu!


Mr Jere: … and abusing them during elections as stone throwers. At the end of the day, we tell them that they are the future leaders. What is it that we are doing to ensure that these youths grow up to be good leaders? We are doing nothing.


Madam Chairperson, when the Government talks about not leaving anyone behind, we want it to mean it and walk the talk. However, what is happening now is that a lot of young people are being retired in national interest based on names. Some non-performing workers have been allowed to continue working and those who do not even deserve to be promoted have been promoted.


Madam Chairperson, we cannot be said to be united as a country. It is wrong for us to be divided on tribal lines. Even Jesus Christ himself did not look at who was a Jew, Samaritan or Pharisee. He treated every person the same way. There are so many examples that we can give about what he did. For instance, when Jesus, who was a Jew, met a Samarian woman at a well, he asked her for water. When she hesitated, he offered her the gift of the living water. These are the examples we want this Government to follow.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Jere: We want it to practice what it preaches.


Mr Lubinda: Tell Jack Mwiimbu!


Mr Jere: Madam Chairperson, regarding social justice, my colleague, Hon. Belemu, talked about wealth distribution in this country. The recent purchase of fire tenders, were a shear waste of public resources. One of the fire tenders, which were purchased at US$1 million each, flipped over and is now damaged beyond repair. This means that we have lost US$1 million. That money could have been channeled towards the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to tackle the many challenges and problems that we face in rural areas.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Jere: Madam Chairperson, as if that is not enough, hon. Ministers have been officiating at various events and giving tractors in constituencies that are held by PF Members of Parliament and not in those held by Opposition MPs. What is it that they have done? It is the same with the Youth Empowerment Fund. Under this fund, we see a lot of money being given out to marketers and buses to certain youths in particular areas of this country. This money has never been given out in areas where people feel at liberty to choose whichever leader they want.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Jere: Madam Chairperson, to the PF, it is an offence to vote for the opposition and now people are paying a price by not receiving anything from the Government. We all know that Southern and Eastern Provinces are the food baskets of this country.


Ms Kasanda: What about Central Province?


Mr Jere: Why should a tractor be given to an area where the people just do fishing and not farming? That is misplacement of resources.




Mr Jere: Madam Chairperson, integrity, which the hon. Minister talked about, is very important. What is integrity? We want those in public offices to be honest, unselfish and honourable. However, when you look at what is pertaining at the moment, this is not the case. We always preach that Zambia is a Christian nation.


In addition to that, we now have a Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance, but the people are unrighteous. Every day and night, the Government talks about reconciliation.  How do you reconcile when the other party is carrying a gun and bible? 




Mr Jere: Would you go closer to such a person?  How do you trust him?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Jere: I doubt whether the Government hon. Members even open the Bible to read any verse because every now and then, they order the police to use tear gas even when they are not supposed to use it. Even in stadiums, where people go to relax, they use it. Football is crosscutting. It knows no party or tribe, but when you go to the stadium, you will find the police have used tear gas. When you go to church, the house of God, you will find they have sprayed tear gas.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Jere: Now, these are the people who want to use the Bible by saying, “Let us reconcile.”  We cannot reconcile. First of all, let them repent. Let them confess the many sins they have committed from the time they cheated the Zambian people in 2011, to date. They got power on pretence and indeed, this will haunt them forever and ever.


Madam Chairperson, as I conclude, I want to talk about the heart, and passion. When the people in the Government want to make decisions, they should listen to their hearts although it is on the left side of their body, it is always right.


A lot of people are suffering. We saw what happened at the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC). People died there because of hunger. This is in Lusaka. What about in remote areas? What is happening there? People are surviving on one meal. We heard on the news that Makululu in Kabwe is one of the poorest compounds in Africa.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Jere: What does that mean?


Some people are having one meal per day and probably have a timetable for meals. Why can the Government not have a passion for such people?


Madam Chairperson, I really thank you ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Jere: ... for giving me this opportunity.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Zimba (Chasefu): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to say a few words on this very important Ministry.


First of all, I would like to anonymously support the budget of this Ministry ...


Hon. Members: Anonymously?


Mr Zimba: Yeah.


Hon. Members: Unanimously!


Mr Zimba: Unanimous, sorry.


Hon. Minister, I believe that for His Excellency, the President, to come up with this Ministry, there must been the hand of God involved. I do not think that he just woke up and decided to create this Ministry. For you to be chosen as the hon. Minister of this Ministry, I think you know the language I am speaking. The hand of God must have been there.


Hon. Opposition Members: Address the Chair.


Mr Zimba: From the debates that have gone on so far, in this House, you have seen that there is too much controversy about this Ministry. You have a very huge task to prove to this Parliament and the people at large that this Ministry is not partisan and not political. It all lies in your hands. I know you are capable because God chose you to be there.


We have a challenge in this country. This country is divided, hon. Minister. You can hear from the debates that it is divided. We have people with brains on both sides of the House. If we put our brains together, this country would move forward. When the Opposition is trying to give advice to the Government, there is always sarcasism involved.


Hon. Members: Sarcasm!


Mr Zimba: Sarcasism involved.


Hon. Members: Sarcasm!


Mr Zimba: Sarcasm involved. Equally, when the Government is responding, there is sarcasm involved. At the end of the day, the country misses an opportunity to move forward. We all profess that we love this country and the people, and want them to unite and move as one. However, what we show them is totally different.


When you go to Parliament Motel right now or go to the restaurant when we are having tea, you will find groups. We are divided. We do not interact. How can we as leaders tell our people to unite if we cannot unite in this House?  We do not interact. We have a problem. Believe me. As the hon. Member for Mbala said earlier, the President, Edgar Chagwa Lungu, made a bold decision to sign that Constitution. That Constitution is not perfect. We have issues that are unresolved because of that Constitution. What we can do in this august House is to debate the problems in that Constitution. We need to move forward.


In every election, they will always be people who oppose the results of the election, but the country needs to move forward. We need to heal and unite. We profess to be a Christian nation, but what we portray out there is not in line with values of a Christian nation. Today, I saw  a story in one of the tabloids from Zimbabwe in which people were saying that yes, the military has taken over the Government, but the international community should still go to Zimbabwe because it is business as usual in Zimbabwe. However, what Zambians do is go out there and tarnish the image of Zambia, but we profess to love it. It is not right. We have a chance to change that Constitution here and move forward. Elections have passed and we should move forward. Suppose the Opposition, came into power tomorrow, would they like it if we behaved the way they behave?


Hon. Government Members: Tell them!

Mr Zimba: I think we have a chance, hon. Members of Parliament, to change the course of this country. Let us profess love, unity and oneness. We only have one Zambia to run to. We do not want to end up like Zimbabwe, Kenya or Congo. Let us put our differences aside. There is no way you can say that everything the ruling party does is wrong. There should be some point where we agree.


Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Zimba: There should be a point where we can agree and build on that point.


Dr Kambwili: Question!


Mr Zimba: Let us seek reconciliation.


Hon. Minister, you have a task. You have to rise beyond partisan politics.


The Chairperson: Mr Zimba, I am afraid you are looking the wrong direction ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: ... and not debating through the Chair.


Please continue.


Mr Zimba: Madam Chairperson, thank you for your guidance.               


Hon. Minister, ...




Mr Zimba: Madam Chairperson, I would love to see this House united. We can have differences, but there is a way we can sort out those differences. I hear very excellent ideas coming from your left. I hear very excellent suggestions about how we can move this country forward. However, they are put in a sarcastic way. We need to move forward. I believe we can unite and this Ministry has an opportunity to build this country. We can build this country.


Madam Chairperson, we have too many churches mushrooming right now. We have churches where pastors have become rich at the expense of the poor. What are you doing as a Ministry? The people are being robbed in broad daylight. What is this Ministry doing? The hon. Minister needs to outline the role of this Ministry.


The Chairperson: Order!


Business was suspended from 1810 hours until 1830 hours.





Mr Zimba: Madam Chairperson, when business was suspended, I was talking about the mushrooming of so many churches such that pastors are getting rich at the expense of the poor. It is for this reason that I want the Minister to give a clear definition of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance and what it does in such circumstances. What is their role?


I feel that there is need for the hon. Minister to have a hand in what these men of God are doing. This is because it has become common to see men of God opening up churches today and tomorrow they become rich through exploiting people. Churches are being opened up anywhere such that some churches do not even have toilet facilities. This is because people are in it just to make the money. Therefore, I want to know what the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance would do in circumstances without infringing on the rights of the congregants as regards to their belief in God.


Madam, in conclusion, once again, I would like to remind the hon. Members of this august House that we have areas of common interest, and so, I would want the Opposition to table what they would want to happen or what they want to see. This is a Zambia that we both love as a House. Therefore, we need to come to a consensus and move forward. I would also like the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance to champion this cause of uniting these groups. There is a lot of division and I would really love to see the ministry coming in strongly to bring the parties together. Why is there such animosity and hatred being exhibited?


We love this country and so do the people outside the House, but what are we doing to show that love to the people out there so that they can also unite. We have brains in this Parliament, Madam Chairperson and I am sure we can find some common interest. Each one of us should ask what we are doing to improve the welfare of this country. It should start with us because it is only us who are going to make a difference.


I would want to interact with everybody that when we meet at the National Assembly Motel. Nobody should tell that this person belongs to United Party for National Development (UPND) or that one belongs to Patriotic Front (PF) or whatever party. We are supposed to be one. What we do in Parliament reflects on what happens outside. If we preach love in here it will be reciprocated to the people out there.


For instance, if we have difference due to having a flawed Constitution, then we can build on that so that we avoid the differences we had in the last elections.


Ms Katuta: Hear, hear!


Mr Zimba: The amendment of the Constitution was a good thing even though it was done in haste, but we have an opportunity now, to address the lacunas so that we do not face the same challenges in next elections. I am sure we can build on that.


Therefore, I want us to preach love and I want to see the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance preaching and showing that love and I want to see it in this Parliament. It has to start from here before it goes out there.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Jamba (Mwembeshi): Thank you, Madam Chairperson, for giving me time to debate on this Head. I have been silent all this time because I was selective on which Heads I am going to debate on.


Madam Chairperson, from the outset, I want to say that I am sad because at the beginning of this Session of Parliament, when we approved the creation of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance, I expected this ministry to change the way we pray by including the name of Jesus in our prayer. This should have been the first thing for this ministry to do.




Ms Katuta: Hear, hear!


Mr Jamba: This is because one of the first principles of Christianity is to always start a prayer with the name of Jesus Christ.


Ms Katuta: Hear, hear!


Mr Jamba: Zambia was declared a …




Mr Daka: Bishop Jamba!


Mr Jamba: … Christian nation and this is even enshrined in the Constitution, which this august House adopted. This august House is held in high esteem by members of the public, who watch us on television. As such, this House must lead by example by starting the prayer before the proceedings of the House with the name of Jesus Christ and not anybody else …




Mr Jamba: … or just saying this is our prayer.


Hon. Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Jamba: I hope the hon. Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance sees that this is already a lacuna …




Mr Jamba: … in our Constitution.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer! Hammer!


Mr Jamba: We cannot continue inculcating Christian values in the nation without mentioning the name of Jesus Christ. Therefore, …


Mr Zimba: Amen! Amen!


Mr Jamba: Alright!




Mr Jamba: Madam Chairperson, there must be a clear interpretation of the duties of the people in this ministry. There is so much talk about national values, ethics and patriotism.

The greatest fear a person should have in life is not the fear of failure because everyone is bound to fail in one way or another. The greatest fear should be succeeding in the wrong way. As Zambians, if we claim to be practicing Christianity and want to be seen to be patriotic, then we must be seen to be practicing what we preach.


Madam Chairperson, patriotism in this country does not work the way it should work. If patriotism is practiced by hon. Members on your right hand side, then it is patriotism. However, if patriotism is practiced by a hon. Member on your left hand side, only his or her colleagues will identify him or her as being patriotic. The hon. Minister must look at this issue seriously. She must also lead by example. For example, if the UPND brings in a motion which she thinks is good and will benefit the people, I want to see her vote with the Opposition, in order to see that she is being patriotic. In return, if the United Party of National Development (UPND) Members have seen that the Patriotic Front (PF) has brought in a genuine motion, they must vote with them if they want to be seen as being patriotic.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kambwili: Apo pena walanda bwino!




Mr Jamba: We, as independent people have seen that even though we are talking about patriotism, there is no patriotism in the way we are doing things. To be patriotic in this country, we need to be above party lines. If we can go above party lines and practice patriotism, then we will be moving in the right direction.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr A. B. Malama: Kalikwata amano.


Mr Jamba: Madam Chairperson, let me talk about equity. One of my friends took me to his constituency in – Mung’andu, what is your constituency?


Hon. Members: Chama South!


Mr Jamba: People are suffering. Therefore, the hon. Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance should see to it that she prays with those who are sharing the national cake before the cake is shared. She should tell them that the national cake should also go to Chama South. How can people live in an area where there is no water and someone – let me not go that way.




Mr Jamba: What I am saying is that it must show that we are all equal in Zambia. Equity must be practiced.


Madam Chairperson, through you, let me inform the hon. Minister of Finance about some of the things which are happening. I would like the hon. Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance to pray with the hon. Minister of Finance.




Mr Jamba: I went to a clinic in Mwembezhi Constituency, which is my area. When I got to this clinic, I found out that it has no water. Can hon. Members who are female imagine going to a labour ward and finding that women going into labour when there is no water? After they give birth they are told take their chitenges and wash them at home because there is no water. Is that what we call equity in a Christian nation? The God which the hon. Minister preaches about is looking down from heaven. Our God is a God of justice and those who do not practice justice should never enter the doors of a church to start worshiping.


Ms Kasune: Hear, hear!


Mr Jamba: Madam Chairperson, if the hon. Minister is going to bring relevance to this ministry – let me quote some book which we are not supposed to quote in this House although we say we are a Christian nation.




The Chairperson: No, you cannot. What book are you quoting from?




Mr Jamba: Madam Chairperson, before you enter the house of the Lord to pray, you should go out and reconcile with your brother. I urge the hon. Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance to go to these two erring parties –I am non-partisan because, as you can see, I am independent – ...




Mr Kambita: You are UPND by default!


Mr Jamba: ... and tell them that they must go and settle their scores if they want to worship God. After that, the hon. Minister should hold their hands and take them into church after they have reconciled so that their prayers can be heard.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Jamba: If the hon. Minister wants to promote this ministry without reconciliation, our prayers as a country will not be reaching heaven.


Mr A. B. Malama: Which heaven?


Mr Jamba: Madam Chairperson, let me tell you why some people are sceptical about this ministry. Do you know that this ministry is mostly inculcated by the Pentecostal and Evangelical denominations? The traditional churches like the Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) and the United Church of Zambia (UCZ) have been relegated to the rear. I want the hon. Minister to bring all these churches together so that they stand and support her. When the current crop of religious ministers speaks, we tend to think that they are speaking on partisan lines, when in fact they may have a word from God.


Madam Chairperson, let me remind you of one story. There was a king who called a prophet to tell him the outcome of a war he was about to fight. When the prophet told him that he would lose the battle, the king accused the prophet of always talking against him. He then called another prophet to tell him what he wanted to hear. The hon. Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance should take all ministers of the Lord as ministers of the Lord. There should not be sacred ones who always want to say good things.


Mr Micheelo: Northmead Assembly of God!


Mr Jamba: Madam Chairperson, we are all Zambians. I personally love President Edgar Lungu because he is a human being. If anything, people should give him proper advice from God instead of giving him false information like a prophet who wants to be loved by the President.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: Read the bible mwaice wandi!



Dr Kambwili: Walaba mwaice?


Mr Jamba: Nshilabile. Leka mpwishe.



Mr Jamba: Madam Chairperson, let me move away from the church perspective and talk about national guidance. The hon. Minister together with the Ministry of General Education should introduce these values as a subject to be studied starting from grade 1. However, there are no structures at the bottom and it is going to be very difficult to introduce national values. The hon. Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance should work with the Ministry of General Education and the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development to achieve her vision.


Ms Chonya: And the churches!


Mr Jamba: Madam Chairperson, there are people in this country who are promoting disunity.




Mr Jamba: Time is finishing.


Madam Chairperson, this idea of always talking about disunity can be compared to a pastor who goes on a pulpit and starts preaching about the devil all the time. He, in essence, will be promoting the devil. We should stop talking about tribal remarks. We are all Zambians and the hon. Minister should inculcate this in the minds of people. This should not just be preached from one side. If the UPND are saying something tangible about tribalism the hon. Minister should look into it and see if there is any merit in what they are saying. The hon. Minister should listen to opposing views and share them with her side. As we are talking, His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, may not know that this is what is happening because there may be someone who is answering on his behalf. The hon. Minister has the right to unite both sides.

Madam Chairperson, one Zambia one nation.


I thank you.


Mr Kambita: Bishop!


Mr Mwiinga: Mwawona manje?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lubinda: Madam, naise tikambeko please.


Ms Chisangano (Gwembe): Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance is very important simply because Zambia is a Christian nation. A Christian nation has Christian values and principles. In fact, we are also supposed to follow the Ten Commandments that are given in the Bible. However, what we see today is a spiritually sick country. I say this because values and commandments are not followed. We see a lot of strange things happening in our country. For example, we hear of couples killing each other every day. Wives are killing husbands and husbands are killing wives. These are things that we hear in a Christian nation.


We have been hearing of people killing innocent citizens. Last year, we experienced lot of killings where men were targeted. We also saw pictures of victims whose sexual organs were cut off in this Christian nation. We have also seen leaders who have been entrusted with the national resources mismanaging them when the poor Zambians are suffering out there. There are a lot of scandals that have been going on in this country.


Madam Chairperson, corruption was actually confirmed by President Edgar Lungu, when he said that there is corruption amongst his ministers. In this country, we have a lot of resources that are supposed to be used to improve the living standards of the poor Zambians, but unfortunately, these resources are being used by a few individuals.


Madam Chairperson, we are seeing a lot of teenage pregnancies in this country. There was a recent study which was done which indicated that more than 14,000 young girls were pregnant. What is happening to our society? There are a lot of bad activities happening in this country such as excessive beer drinking and tobacco abuse amongst the adults and youths. In fact, people find more comfort in drinking beer than God. We are experiencing all sorts of strange things such as sex parties happening in this country. Where is the church and the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance? This ministry must curb these bad activities which are happening out there.


Madam Chairperson, we have also heard of the Patriotic Front (PF) cadres who have been beating people at grave sites. It is really shameful to see such in a Christian nation. I support the Budget for this ministry, but I want the hon. Minister to look into the matters which I have raised. The hon. Minister has a big task of working on the PF cadres. The way these cadres conduct themselves is unbecoming. It is as if they are more powerful than the President himself. They feel that they are untouchable. They should know that they live with people who are their brothers and sisters. I, therefore, urge the hon. Minister to design a programme for these cadres so that they are sensitised on how to live in peace. When the hon. Minister has manages the PF cadres, she can now work on the cadres from other political parties so that there is peace in the country.


Madam Chairperson, it is very important that in schools, religious education is strengthened. It should be made compulsory. Since this is a Christian nation, we want our children to learn more about God in schools. I, therefore, urge the hon. Minister to make the religious education compulsory just like the Muslims do with their religion. Muslims believe so much in their Quran.


Madam Chairperson, there are issues that arise during and after elections in this country. I, therefore, urge the hon. Minister to work on the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) and the Zambia Police. The hon. Minister should make sure that the ministries start their days with prayers just like we do in this Chamber. When we come here, the Speaker begins our sessions with a prayer. This should also be introduced in the ministries. If that is done, they will not be touched by the devil. I am saying so because during elections, I think the devil becomes very strong and tempts them with a lot of things.


Madam Chairperson, most of the people tempt them with money so that they do unacceptable things. They should learn to hold those offices in high esteem. The same applies to the Zambia Police Service. The Zambia Police Service is supposed to protect the people of Zambia instead of killing them. We all know that corruption is so rampant in the Zambia Police Service. I have noticed that the Zambia Police Service is different from the Zambia Army. In the Zambia Army, they have the Chaplain and a choir. They also hold prayer sessions. I think the army in Zimbabwe has been having prayers and that is why God is now using them.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Chisangano: Madam Chairperson, what I am saying is that the other ministries should take a leaf from what the Zambia Army is doing.




Ms Chisangano: Madam Chairperson, I want to urge the minister to work with the Cabinet ministers because the Cabinet ministers are the ones who are entrusted with the Government resources. They should account for these resources. They should fear God as they work. They should put God first so that we can see them as clean people. We do not want to hear more and more scandals happening every day. We are tired and the people out there have lost trust in them. I, therefore, urge the hon. Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance to work on the Cabinet Ministers so that people can trust them.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Chisangano: Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, I want to urge the minister to work through the structures that are in the ministry. I have noticed that most of the activities are at national level. We want these activities to start from the constituencies, districts and provinces so that people can change the way they do things. This way, we will all move at the same pace as a Christian nation. There are a lot of churches in this country, but the people who attend these church services are the ones whose behaviour is something else.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.




Mr Shabula (Itezhi-tezhi): Chongo iwe!


Madam Chairperson, my contribution will be very short because the brothers and sisters who have debated have brought out the issues that are very important and dear to my heart. In the Constitution of Zambia, Amendment Act No. 2, of 2016, Zambia has been declared a Christian nation while upholding a person’s rights to freedom of conscience, belief and religion.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to state that as a nation, we have failed on this part. There is no co-existence as citizens of this country. Whilst we have a belief that we have One Zambia One Nation, and understand that each one of us will have a different belief, the problem is that we do not accept other people’s conscience and beliefs. As a result, whoever does not agree with certain things is looked at as an enemy. I think this will not help. Looking at the origin of the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation, I think I need to give respect to the late President because he had a vision of this country. He wanted to put this nation into the hands of God, but I have a problem with a second declaration of 18th October as a day of prayer. This is not new to us. Those who read the Bible will understand that there are other leaders who declared days of prayer in this country. The reason why they did this was that they wanted to manipulate the people using the word of God …




Mr Shabula: ... and to be seen to be aligned to God. Since Zambia is a Christian nation, it means that most of the people will follow the declaration. If you go to the bible, I am not preaching, but giving an example, you will find a story of a man called Saul. Saul abandoned his work as a national leader and decided to take up the work of a priest. He wanted to do that work of a priest, but the Lord told him that he will not do it and there was a punishment. It was not only Saul. You read another book called the book of Daniel…


The Chairperson: No, no!

Mr Shabula: You will find…




The Chairperson: You now need to go back to the debate.


Mr Shabula: Thank you, Madam.


You will find another man called Daniel and his friends. They also had a problem of this nature, where a leader declared a day of prayer. Now, 18th October is a day of prayer, it is for fasting, reconciliation and for…


Hon. Members: Prayer


Mr Shabula: Yes, fasting, reconciliation and prayer.


Mr Mutale: Former pastor iwe.


Mr Shabula: Now, when you talk of reconciliation, what are you talking about? Let us do a bit of English. When you say re, you mean go back to the original place, to the summit, the apex, where you belong.


Mr Kakubo: Hear, hear!


Mr Shabula: Now, what we must understand is that when we say reconciliation, we are talking about two groups of people warring, fighting and quarrelling. These people are divided and so they want to begin to work together and pull in one direction. For them to do this, they must agree that they need to work together.


Mr Bwalya: Ehe!


Mr Shabula: Now, in your case, it is a declaration for all to come and be in that place and do this and that. Now, people will start preaching, this one ni mbalala sha kusashila, prrrra taattatatatata, all those things.




Mr Shabula: Therefore, the issue is that there is no reconciliation. Reconciliation means somebody will sit there and I sit here then ask what the problem is. Do we have a problem? How did it start? How are we going to end it? How are we going to go about? What are we going to do? The person who is right is the person who will go to a person who is wrong and talk to that person and show them they are wrong. In the end these two will be able to forgive each other and agree to work together. That is reconciliation.


Madam Chairperson, the question is, has this happened in the last two days of national prayer in the last two years that we have observed the day of prayer?


Hon. Opposition Members: No!


Mr Shabula: No!


We saw people who were even doing press ups during the prayers.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Shabula: So that the spirit of the Lord can… I do not know whether it is fire for fire.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!



Mr Shabula: That is what was happening.


The spirit of reconciliation is not all about press ups.


Ms Mwashingwele: Hear, hear!


Mr Shabula: The spirit of reconciliation is not about intimidation. The spirit of reconciliation is for the right person to go to the one who is wrong because he is in the right mind. For me, I expected those who declared this day of prayer to come and approach those who they think are in the wrong so that they can begin to work together or else this is just an academic exercise. It is just nambili pambili. There is nothing that is happening. Next year we shall have another day of prayer. It is just a programme.


Madam Chairperson, the other issue that I would like us to understand is that there is a group of brothers, pastors who call themselves, pastors of Lungu.


Mr Livune: Oh!


Mr Shabula: Pastors of Lungu! Or is it Christians of Lungu. Christians of Lungu!



Mr Shabula: Which Lungu?




Mr Shabula: Are you telling me that God has started sharing his glory with people here on earth.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Shabula: There is only one leader, one king, on supreme saviour and that is God. We are all His people.


Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!


Mr Shabula: If those people want to support President Lungu, they should not call themselves Christians. This is because if somebody is called a Christian, the word Christian, comes from the word Christ. Christian means somebody who is like Christ.


Ms Mwashingwele: Yes, Reverend.


Mr Shabula: Now, if these people who are not like Christ want to be like Lungu, ...




Mr Shabula: ...the question is, where is God? Where do they put him?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Shabula: Where is God? The issue here is that God is not in the picture. Therefore, these friends of Lungu, I am not sure which Lungu because they say, friends of Lungu. The issue here is that it is not right.

The other issue, Madam Chairperson, is the building of the national temple or house of prayer. It is not the first time. What is happening here is just a replica of the things that are contained in the book which you stopped me from mentioning. That book whether we want it or not, one day, we shall vote here to agree that it should be mentioned.


Mr Kambita: Hammer!


Mr Shabula: In the past there were other people that declared that a house of prayer should be built. This was, again, in the same book, they were trying to build, but that house was not built because they failed to complete it for people never supported it.


Madam Chairperson, mark my words, even if the Government has money, this house of prayer will not be completed…


Ms Mwashingwele: Amen


Mr Shabula: … because it is not serving God. This house of prayer is serving a special group of people who are part of the building plan. The second part is that of those calling themselves as brothers of whatever it is. We must understand that we are all God’s people.


Madam Chairperson, the other issue is of tribalism in a Christian nation. Those who talk about tribalism all the time are the ones who are tribalists, because they are the ones who know, see and practice it. It will not be right for us to talk about tribes. You see what we do is that we want to show that we do not practice tribalism and yet we are in it. The issue here is that the hon. Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs must see to it that we do not allow this tribalism to take place in our country. I do not agree that this ministry should be called Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs because none of us here is able to guide, we all have weaknesses.


Mr Kampyongo: Ah!


Mr Shabula: All I can say here is that it should be called national ethics…


Mr Kampyongo: His church is bogus


Mr Shabula: …and religious affairs. It must be national ethics. We have a problem. The other issue that we must understand is the registration of these churches. The people who register these churches do not have proper documentation. They are not well qualified. Most of the doctrine that they have creates problems. They have taken people into the bush to pray for them. When they got to the bush other issues happened.




Dr Kambwili: Which issues?


Mr Shabula: Is that Christianity? Is that what we are going to do? The other issue that we have here is in our families. There is too much fighting in our families and we have not sat down to find out what is the root cause of these people fighting, quarrelling and killing each other. All we are doing is advising them to report to the police. The police are not an answer. There must be a root cause which the ministry should ascertain. The issue is that people are living in very serious poverty, are stressed and hungry, while we sit here. This causes stress and because of that, people fight and quarrel and do all sorts of things. The issue here is that there is poverty created by poor policies. These poor policies must be looked into so that our people are able to feed themselves.


Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance who the Church is.


Hon. Government Members: You!


Mr Shabula: That is why things will not happen because you are saying ‘you’.




Mr Shabula: Madam Chairperson, we must understand who is referred to as the Church and what is expected of them. If we are going to bundle everyone as the Church, there will be problems. This is because we call those who work with as the Church and that is wrong. Until we begin to understand who the Church is, problems will continue. God bless us.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mulenga (Ndola Central): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me an opportunity to debate Head 32, Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance.


Madam Chairperson, before I started school, there were few churches and pastors in Zambia, particularly in Ndola. We now have many pastors and churches and despite that, we are living in sin. Therefore, in order to solve this problem in Zambia, we need the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance. I am not ashamed to be Christian and it is important for us to have this ministry in this nation so that it can correct the wrong things done by pastors.


Madam Chairperson, before I left Ndola in 2000, there were few Pentecostal churches and I would go to one of them led by a certain pastor. When I came to Lusaka in 2001, I continued going to that church because it had a branch in Lusaka and the pastor was Hon. Belemu.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Pastor!


Mr Kampyongo: He mentioned that he was a pastor.




The Chairperson: Please continue with your debate.


Ms Mulenga: Hear, hear!


Mr Mulenga: Thank you Madam Chairperson for your protection.


Mr Kambita: On a point of order, Madam.


The Chairperson: Please, resume your seat, I have not given you the Floor.


Mr Lubinda: Kala ansi!


The Chairperson: Please, continue Mr Mulenga.


Mr Mulenga: Madam Chairperson, I would like to ask why we had many pastors in Zambia and today my question has been answered. This is because some pastors are called by God and many of them have called themselves.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lubinda: Like Belemu!


Mr Mulenga:Also, some evangelists are called by God and others have called themselves.


Mr Kampyongo: Livune!


Mr Lubinda: Like Lubezhi.


Mr Mulenga: Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance needs to monitor the churches which are mushrooming. It is important to protect the people of Zambia as one debater said many go to prophets and prophetess because the ministries are not being run correctly. I do not know if we will give that answer to God on Judgment Day when we account for the things that we did on earth. However, one will not be saved because a Minister wronged. I will not be saved because my …


The Chairperson: Please, do not preach in this House.




The Chairperson: Leave that for another place and debate the Head.


Mr Mulenga: Thank you Madam Chairperson for your counsel.


Mr Kambita sat next to Mr Mulenga.


Mr Mulenga: Madam Chairperson, Mr Kambita is making noise and he is disturbing me. I need you protection. He also stood on a point of order.


The Chairperson:Mr Kambita, please, resume your seat.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kambita resumed his seat.


The Chairperson: Continue, Mr Mulenga.


Mr Mulenga: Thank you Madam Chairperson for your protection and good guidance.


Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance oversees the moral values which reflect on the character of an individual and families. Last year, I read an article in the Zambia Daily Mail newspaper printed on 8th November, 2016, and it stated that in Lusaka only, during a period of nine months, the local court had granted 8,500 divorces. Furthermore, between August 2016 and August 2017, it had granted 28,000 divorces.

Mr Kambita: Talk about ‘stealing’ of the results.


Mr Mulenga: Madam Chairperson, when a family breaks, a society also breaks and to avoid this, we need the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance. Someone wants me to talk about ‘stealing’. It is very important …


The Chairperson: I am sure you know that ‘stealing’ is unparliamentary.

Mr Mulenga: I withdraw it Madam Chairperson. I replace it with untruthfulness.


Madam Chairperson, those who aspire for high offices must be of good standing. If you are given a responsibility to privatise companies, you have to be of good standing.


Ms Mulenga: Hear, hear!


Mr Mulenga: You should sell those companies on behalf of the Zambian people and not enrich yourself.


Hon. UPND Members: Question!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Mulenga: Hammer, hammer!


Mr Mulenga: Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance is in-charge of ethics and they sharp the individual behaviour within the society. If no-one privatised some companies to enrich himself, why are some people being defensive? This is fact.


Mr Kambita: We will review your girlfriends.


Mr Mulenga: Madam Chairperson, we are living in a society where the liquidity is low in the economy. People work hard to contribute to the pension fund and how does one ‘steal’ their money.


The Chairperson: I have already guided that ‘stealing’ is unparliamentary.




Mr Mulenga: Madam Chairperson, I withdraw it and replace it with swindle. People worked hard, but are now suffering because the money they thought was being kept in safe hands has been taken.


Mr Michelo: Fire tenders!


Mr Kambita: Fire tenders!


Mr Mulenga: Madam Chairperson, that is how an MP from the village behaves.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: Order!


Mr Mulenga, I am very interested in your debate, but I think that you are misleading yourself.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: You need to focus on the debate and avoid listening to running commentaries so that you do not lose track. Please continue. I am listening to you, and I am sure many other hon. Members are doing the same.


Ms Mulenga: I am also listening.


Mr Mulenga: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for your good counsel. I will not be distracted, instead,...


The Chairperson: Just remain focused.


Mr Mulenga: ... I will concentrate on my debate. It is very important to be a man of good standing in society. As a leader, it is very important to be of good character because everyone looks up to you and draws their strength from what you do. It is also important to be of good standing when you aspire for high office in this land.


Madam Chairperson, one hon. Member talked about the National Day of Prayer. I know that it is unparliamentary to quote from the bible, but I want to say that a mango tree produces a mango fruit. There is no way a mango tree can produce a banana. A Christian is called to pray. It is through prayer that one has intimacy with God. It is also a time when one seeks God and God speaks to them. It is very important for this nation to come together and pray because we know our creator. We shall know them by their fruits.


Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Mulenga: Madam Chairperson, if one neglects the day of prayer, we will know where they belong. We will also know where they go. The bible tells us that the children of Israel prayed because prayer is important. Therefore, you wonder why one would shun this important day. One can only shun this day if they belong to the free masons. If you are a Christian why then would you shun the day of prayer? It is non-controversial, just as this ministry we are debating is non-controversial.


Madam Chairperson, the Government is trying to allow good pastors, who are preaching the principles of the bible to remain in this nation and continue preaching according to the bible, and not misleading the people of Zambia. There have been a lot of defilement cases with some pastors being perpetrators. There are a lot of drunkards who are masquerading as pastors. Once in this House, someone stood and told this august House that he was still a minister of God. However, if we go the bar, we will find that person drinking beer.




Mr Mulenga: Madam Chairperson, we want good pastors in this nation.



Mr Mulenga: Madam Chairperson, we need pastors of good standing for this nation to remain sound.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Katuta (Chiengi): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice and that of the people of Chiengi Parliamentary Constituency to this very important ministry, which is dear to my heart.


Madam Chairperson, this ministry is very important and I should say thumbs up to the Government for having created it. This is a ministry which should anchor all the religions of this country. It should also provide religious guidance. I would like to see this ministry become pro-active because it is the ministry we look up to for national guidance. A lot has been happening in our country. Zambia became a multi-party country in 1991, but what is happening today is not what one would expect in a multi-party state. I am proud to have been a party to the introduction of multi-partism. Things must be done to the benefit of people in the country. People must be free to express themselves without any form of intimidation. I expect people in this country to affiliate with a political party of their choice. People must also be free to belong to any religion they wish to belong to. Late President, Fredrick Chiluba declared Zambia as a Christian nation. May his soul rest in peace. Since that declaration was made, miracles have happenned in this country. Although we are surrounded by eight countries, we have never, and we will never run to any country on ground of civil unrest because this country has been dedicated to God.


Madam Chairperson, during the United National Independence Party (UNIP) days, there was what was called Mulungushi. Although Zambia was dedicated to God, it was not known which God it was dedicated to hence the name Mulungu nshi? The name was questioning which God the country had been dedicated to. Under the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) leadership, the Government declared that Zambia was dedicated to the God we worship. We know that God has done so much for us. This country remained united despite not having a President for a whole month. In other countries, this could have led to the army taking over. However, this did not happen here because the grace of God was upon this country.


Madam Chairperson, I want to say that this is a ministry which needs a lot of support and freedom to operate. You will agree with me that this country needs proper guidance because of what is happening right now. The guidance should be about bringing the two main political parties of this country together. Like others have already mentioned, we cannot be Christians when we fail to reconcile. Before you go to the altar, you must make peace with your brother. After making peace with your brother, then you can pray and offer your gift to God. What is going to happen now if we do not reconcile? No wonder things are like this. The book that we are not allowed to quote from this august House is very clear and it states that there can only be God’s blessings when there is unity. That is what it says in the book of Psalms. However, because there is no unity, we now have high inflation, diseases that we do not even understand, disasters like army worms and many other things. Unless two agree, they cannot walk together. This country needs to come together and show unity and love.  The Government may have declared this National Day of prayer, fasting and reconciliation, but as long as it does not reflect its purpose, its declaration will be in vain. The book that I talked about earlier, which we are not allowed to quote from, is very clear and it states that before you fast, you must make peace with your brother. If you do not make peace, then do not go before the altar. It is high time this country looked at this prayer and fasting from that perspective. These activities should be organised by this ministry we are debating. People are shunning this day because the events are being organised by the Government when it should be done by this particular ministry. I believe that this is the ministry that should have a group of people to pray for this country. You do not call for national prayer just for a day. If we claim to be Christians, then this has to be a continuous thing. I have also noticed an escalation in shi ng’angas or witch doctors who are advertising their services in a Christian nation.


These are some of the things that we should fight. We should not fight outspoken priests like Father Telesphore Mpundu. Let us fight people who come with placards. Let us fight fake prophets who claim that they can turn water into paraffin or send airtime to people’s phones. These are the people that we should stop.

This ministry needs a lot of support and motivation. If this ministry does not step up, this country might just go downhill. Things will not move the way we want them to. I have noticed that the budget has a department of Christian affairs and no other religion. This is so because we declared this country a Christian nation and we should be proud. 


Try and take Christianity to Saudi Arabia and see if it will be tolerated. In this country, however, we tolerate anything and yet we have declared it a Christian nation. As much as we uphold the right of worship for other religions, we must be grounded in the fact that we are a Christian nation. This is the only way that we can promote our morals.


At the moment, gays are holding secret meetings. Where is the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs? We need this ministry to stand up and speak against such immorality. The hon. Minister should come to this august House and say that we will not tolerate homosexuality. It may be a human right, but not in a Christian nation. We read in newspapers about gays having secret indabas in Livingstone. This ministry should speak. We should not have to hear it from the press. When this ministry hears anything that is contrary to the faith and morals of this country, it must stand up and condemn.


Madam Chairperson, I would also like to talk about public procurements. This ministry and the Office of the Public Protector are the two institutions that should question such purchases when people raise concerns. This is the right thing to do in a Christian nation. We cannot run away from the fact that we are a Christian nation unless we removed this statement from the preamble of the Constitution.  If we remove it, then this ministry can just be for national guidance on other issues. However, we have declared it and received this pronouncement.


Sometime back, there was a man who used to say that Zambia shall be saved and people laughed at him. However, it came to pass because someone else declared this country a Christian nation. Whether we like it or not, our children and our children’s children will be affected if we do not go by the rules of Christianity. 


Mr Kambwili interjected.



Ms Katuta: Madam Chairperson, this ministry should also condemn those who advocate for regulation of registration of Churches.


Rev Sumaili: Self-regulation.


Ms Katuta: Sorry, what?


The Deputy Chairperson: No, you cannot engage her that way.


Ms Katuta: There are people who are advocating for self-regulation of churches. I did not get that clearly. I am sorry. However, I would like to say that in a Christian nation, God will regulate the Churches.


One complaint that churches have is that there are certain individual reverends and pastors who seem to be more of pastors or reverends than others. We want things to balance. There is so much disunity. How are we going to receive healing? We may work hard, but the same book that we are not allowed to mention here says that if we do not work according to God’s will, it is all in vain. We need this ministry to be given a special group of intercessors who will be praying everyday and not just on 18th October.


With these few words, I support this ministry’s budget. However, I want this ministry to be vocal and to be heard. Those that are coming from outside with funny agendas …

Mr Kambita: Like Bushiri!


Ms Katuta: …or ideas that they can put money in people’s accounts when they themselves do not have any should be guarded against.


Once upon a time, it was about feeding the 12,000. Now, it is the other way round. The 12,000 are feeding an individual who buys a plane then turns around and starts boasting and insulting the Zambians. This must come to an end. This ministry should be vocal. We will support it and fight for our faith because like I said I cannot go to Saudi Arabia or any Islamic nation and start preaching the gospel and expect them to listen to me. They simply cannot allow it. Even in this country, we need this ministry to intervene. 


Lastly, I would to talk about national guidance. This is one ministry which should give guidance to all ministries. The Ministry of Gender is vocal in cases where women are being killed. This is why I said that we need a group of intercessors who will look at what is happening in the country or why it is happening.


A number of ministries have been mentioned in the report of the Auditor-General as having misappropriated or misapplied funds. This is the ministry that should intervene because this cannot go on. If today, the ministries are mentioned in the report for misapplication misappropriation of funds and nothing happens, the practice will not stop. In the book that we are not allowed to mention here, people used to be punished for wrong doing.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Rev. Sumaili: Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank all the hon. Members who have contributed so effectively to this debate.  I appreciate every contribution that has been made. In the interest of time, I will address the issues raised, collectively.


Madam Chairperson, let me begin by saying this is an anchor ministry. It is a ministry that cuts across party lines.


Mr Livune: Question!


Rev. Sumaili: Absolutely.


It is a ministry that touches every Government ministry. It is a ministry that touches both the public and private sector. It is a ministry that touches all the three arms of Government. I want to thank the President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, …


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Rev. Sumaili: …for initiating this ministry.


Firstly, let me say that Zambia has taken the value of democratic constitutionalism as a pathway to development. We are under a democratic dispensation; therefore, we need to respect the rule of law. The Constitution, which is the Supreme law of the land, talks about the will of the people. Therefore, whatever is enshrined in there is the will of the people.


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Rev. Sumaili: If, as leaders we question the will of the people, then whom are we leading?


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Rev. Sumaili: In the preamble of the Constitution, we begin by saying that ‘we the people, acknowledge God Almighty as Supreme. God is above everything else.


Mr Kambita: Which God?




Rev. Sumaili: God takes pre-eminence in everything.  In our governance system, God is there. Therefore, if we declare ourselves a Christian nation in the Constitution and respect that, as lawmakers, we have to actualise that which we have declared. It is through this ministry that we are actualising the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation. This is the will of the people, but we uphold the right of worship by other religions.

Madam, again, Part II, Sections 8 and 9 of Constitution talks about the values. A country, which has no values is bankrupt, empty and has no future. We have given ourselves values as a nation. Therefore, these values should be actualised and operationalised. Even the 7th NDP is anchored on these values.


Madam, before we talk about empowering the youth, which is our desire and aspirations across party lines, we want to lift our youths because they are the future of this country. Even before we begin to empower them materially, we have to give them values.


Madam, I am glad the concern on our families has been raised. There is need to have Jesus as a centre of our families. The reason we are having all these issues is because we do not place Jesus at the centre of our homes.  Therefore, we need to have order in our homes and this can be achieved by holding on to the values that we have given ourselves, the human dignity and integrity. It is about going back to our cultural values. It is also about respecting our Christian values, as a Christian nation.


Mr Kambwili: Hear, hear!


Rev. Sumaili: Madam Chairperson, as leaders, who have been chosen by the people, we have a responsibility to demonstrate that as a people, we respect cultural values, Christian values and the values that are in the Constitution. Let us love one another without hypocrisy. I have observed that when we are in the House, we genuinely love one another, but somehow, and maybe because of the political influence, we begin to speak negatively. It should not be like that.


Madam, Chairperson, there was a time when I was on a radio programme, but the people who were phoning in said it very clearly that they were tired of the infighting, finger pointing and the use of bad language. From that experience, I realised that people are tired because they want us, as leaders to demonstrate unity. If we love Zambia, we have to be patriotic. If we love the people of Zambia, we have to show unity. For someone to stand and offer to represent the people, it is because that person loves them. Unless, someone just came to this House for his/her own benefit. Therefore, if we love the people of Zambia, let us demonstrate love and unity. Building of the National unity has to start from this House.


Madam, let me say something about the state and the Church.


Madam Chairperson, the state has its own role to play just like the Church has its own role. The Government is not there to control or regulate the Church, but can provide oversight and advice. We believe that the Church is mature enough to stand on its own. The Church is a mother. We should always remember that God is supreme and therefore, we should respect the Church. It is for this reason that in the programmes, we are putting in place self-regulation. All the Church mother bodies like the Catholic Church, The Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ), Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA) have representatives and they are working together. Therefore, it is not only the Pentecostal.


Madam Chairperson, in the interest of time, let me end here. I have heard all the submissions which hon. Members have rendered to us and I believe that we shall incorporate them in our programming. God bless you all.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Votes 32/01, 32/02, 32/03, 32/04 and 32/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 34 – (Human Rights Commission – K13,809,290).


The Minister in the Office of the Vice-President (Ms Chalikosa): Madam Chairperson, I rise to present the policy statement and justification for the estimates of expenditure for the Human Rights Commission (HRC) for 2018 amounting to K13, 809,290. The HRC is an independent institution established under Article 230 of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016. The commission derives its mandate of protection and promotion of human rights from the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016 and Human Rights Commission Act, Chapter 48 of the laws of Zambia.


The vision of the HRC is “A society that respects and upholds human rights for all persons in Zambia”. Its mandate is to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all people in Zambia through advocacy, investigations and appropriate redress for human rights violation and monitoring of compliance with human rights standards and obligations.


Madam Chairperson, in 2017, the commission continued to execute its mandate of protection and promotion of human rights. In rising to the challenge of human rights violations and abuses, the commission responded, using its complaints handling procedures and its monitoring and research reports, not only to hold the Government accountable, but also to raise awareness about human rights. A total of 960 complaints were received, with labour and employment rights complaints constituting the greater majority of cases. Other complaints received related to police brutality, unlawful and over detention, delayed justice, extrajudicial killings, and maladministration of justice, human trafficking and child neglect. Out of the 960 complaints received and processed, the commission was able to finalise 87 per cent of them.


While it commended the Government efforts being made in improving the state of places of detention for the most part, the Commission noted that the majority of places of detention fell way below the minimum required standard and were found to be unfit for human confinement. Issues of overcrowding, poor sanitation and restricted diet continued in the facilities concerned. The monitoring of places of detention extended to health facilities such as Chainama Hills Hospital, Ndola Central Hospital and Livingstone General Hospital with particular focus on persons with mental impairment.


Madam Chairperson, in working towards entrenching a culture of respect for human rights, the Commission carried out countrywide sensitisation and training and education programmes. In addition to this, the Commission engaged various stakeholders in an effort directed towards the enhancement of human rights. Specific areas of focus included: empowering vulnerable groups including persons with disabilities, internally displaced persons, women and children, monitoring the application of the Public Order Act, including making submissions to the Ministry of Justice regarding reforms, and established a pilot toll free line, 8181 to increase access to the Human Rights Commission.


The Commission continued to lend its voice and position on various national matters of concern including: opposition of the reintroduction of corporal punishment, guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, provided advice on the importance of adhering to international principles on HIV counselling and testing, condemnation of sporadic killing of elderly persons on accusation of witchcraft, commended the Government on the move to establish market and bus stop boards, condemnation of indecent harassment of female police officers, killing of police officers and the need for protective gear, expressed concern on animosity between the ruling party and the Opposition party, United Party for National Development (UPND), condemnation of deaths in police custody and police brutality, commended the Government for demonstrating leadership on  the matter of asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), condemnation of intimidation of the Law Association of Zambia by a clandestine group, condemnation of biased application of the Public Order Act, manner of arrest of Opposition political party members, and applauded Government engagement of investors on business and human rights on the Copperbelt.


Madam Chairperson, in ensuring fulfilment of international instruments, the Constitution and other legislation, the Commission participated at different levels. Significant was the submission of an independent report to the United Nations (UN) on Zambia’s universal periodic review slated for 13th November, 2017, submission to Parliament of a Refugee Bill, submission to the Ministry of Justice on Constitutional amendments and the Public Order Act, and handing over of an Anti-torture Bill to the Ministry of Justice in fulfilling the domestication of the United Nations Convention Against Torture.


In strengthening the Commission’s efficiency and effectiveness, the Commission focused on continued training and capacity building in human rights standards, review of the training, transport and grievance code policies, and development and finalisation of the 2017-2021 strategic plan.


The challenges continued to be; inadequate funding to enable the Commission proactively respond to receipt of complaints, lack of presence in four of the ten provinces and where present, operating with skeleton staff, making accessibility and visibility of the Commission difficult, and limitation of mandate as regards only going as far as making recommendations.


Madam Chairperson, in 2018, the Commission will continue to be guided by the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016, the Human Rights Commission Act Chapter 48 of the Laws of Zambia, the 7thNDP and the UN Paris Principles, which guide the work of national human rights institutions globally.


The specific strategic objectives and strategies of the Commission are as follows: enhancing the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms through investigations, referral and redress of complaints. The key priorities are: amendment of the Human Rights Commission Act to align it to the Constitution ...


The Chairperson: Order!



(Debate adjourned)






[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


(Progress reported)




The House adjourned at 1958 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 17th November, 2017.