Wednesday, 15th November, 2017

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Wednesday, 15th November, 2017

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to inform you that the draft Public Parliamentary Handbook for the Twelfth National Assembly is now ready. However, before the final copy can be printed and distributed, you are requested to verify your bio data and submit any corrections, if any, to the Research Department by Friday, 17th November, 2017.

The verification exercise will take place at the main reception at Parliament Buildings from today, Wednesday, 15th to Friday, 17th November, 2017.

I further urge those who wish to have new photos taken for the handbook to avail themselves in the Members’ Pool between 1400 hours and 1700 hours tomorrow, Thursday, 16th November, 2017.

I thank you.




83. Mrs Mwansa (Nyimba) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a)        whether the Government was aware that there were limestone deposits in Nyimba Parliamentary Constituency;

(b)        if so, whether the Government had plans to facilitate the construction of a cement plant in the constituency; and

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

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Yaluma): Mr Speaker, the Government is aware of the presence of limestone deposits in Nyimba Parliamentary Constituency. The composition of the marble in the area varies from almost pure calcite carbonate through dolomite marble to impure marble and dolomitic marble containing silicate minerals. The full basic geological information on limestone deposits in Nyimba is contained in the Geological Mapping Report No. 38, which can be accessed at the Geological Survey Department.

Sir, the Government has plans to facilitate value addition to minerals not only in Nyimba, but countrywide. However, the setting up of a cement plant in Nyimba Constituency is dependent on a number of factors, such as the size of the deposits and whether the carbonate rocks have the ideal chemical composition for cement manufacturing. Currently, exploration for limestone to establish the extent and quality of the resource is ongoing. Therefore, a decision on the establishment of a cement manufacturing plant in the constituency will can only be made after the detailed geological investigations have been concluded.

Mr Speaker, there is no specific plan to establish a cement plant in Nyimba Parliamentary Constituency because the exploration to establish the quantity and quality of the limestone deposits in the area has not yet been concluded.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Mwansa: Mr Speaker, I am aware that there is gold and copper in Nyimba and the people in the constituency would like to know exactly which areas have gold and copper.

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, the principal question is specifically on limestone deposits, but I will give the hon. Member a bonus answer.

Sir, we now know that the Eastern Province is endowed with precious stones, mostly gold, emeralds, aquamarine and tourmaline. Mostly, the minerals have been discovered by the local people using traditional exploration methods, and what has followed is extensive illegal mining in the area. As such, the Government has been apprehensive about the exploitation of gold without the people of Nyimba, Vubwi, Petauke and the Eastern Province, as a whole, benefiting from it. They have allowed foreigners to take the largest chunk of the proceeds. As a result, the Government is losing money because the people mining in the area are not taxed and there are no safety measures put in place by the people doing the illegal mining. Therefore, we are sending people there to conduct thorough explorations and collect adequate data about the presence of the resource in the area.

Sir, yes, copper, yes copper can exist abundantly wherever there is gold and base metal. So, again, we will also send people to explore for it and all the other minerals in the area so that we can to stop their illegal mining.

Mr Speaker, a week ago, I announced that we had suspended all the licences linked to the mining of gold in Vubwi, Nyimba, Petauke, Luano, Rufunsa and other places where the mineral is prevalent until after we clean up the area of illegal mining activities. Then, we will invite those with licences to resubmit them for re-evaluate so that we issue new ones. The Government and the people of Eastern Province need to benefit from the resources in that area.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has very ably indicated that there are no winners in small-scale or artisanal mining because the Government does not get taxes, the small-scale miners sell their minerals at very low prices to unknown markets and the people in the area do not get anything. However, the adverse environmental impacts of the activity are felt by both the Government and the local people. For example, huge holes are left behind that make the land unusable for other purposes. My concern is that if the hon. Minister takes long to send people into those areas, people will continue mining illegally with or without mining licences. So, when will our Government get into those areas and normalise the situation so that the people of Eastern Province can get full benefits from the endowment that God has given them?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, there is some information we can make public and some we cannot. Suffice it for me to say that, as a starting point towards curbing illegal mining, we have suspended exploration licences in the area. Beyond that, we do not want to alert the culprits because many people will be prosecuted over this case. So, we cannot tell them when we will be in the area. However, there is a joint operation being planned. So, something is being done.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mbulakulima (Milenge): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has confirmed that there are limestone deposits in Nyimba, but added that the quantity and quality have not been established. When does he intend to conduct those assessments? Does he not think that it is a good idea to expedite the exercise so that a cement plant can be established in the Eastern Province to supply cheaper cement to the region and Muchinga Province? Currently, the concentration of production of cement on the Copperbelt only serves the North-Western and Luapula provinces.

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, like I said in my response, we are yet to conclude carry out those assessments. As I speak, three companies are undertaking explorations in the area, namely Green Team International (GTI) Resources, Moss Resources (Zambia) Limited and Vikram Investments. As we await the findings, some other people are going in with new exploration licences. So, yes, we would like to accelerate the process so that we see cement production plants come up in those areas to cater for the mentioned regions.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Chiteme (Nkana): Mr Speaker, by the way, I have fitted very well in my new seat.

Sir, is the hon. Minister aware that the gold that has been mentioned by hon. Member of Parliament for Nyimba, Mrs Mwansa, is being illegally exploited by foreigners, especially Tanzanians, in the Eastern Province? If he is, what is his ministry doing to ensure that the minerals are used to empower Zambian small-scale miners instead of enriching foreigners?

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister has already explained what he is doing.

Ms Miti (Vubwi): Mr Speaker, I am glad that the hon. Minister has mentioned Vubwi in his response because the district is one of the areas where there are gold deposits. Unfortunately, he has not mentioned the other measures he is taking to end illegal mining in the area. My concern is that some of the people who come to mine the minerals use our porous borders. So, what is the Government doing to enhance security in border areas?

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, bear in mind what the principal question is on limestone deposits in Nyimba, not the gold deposits on which you are now focusing.

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, as I have already stated, a joint operation is being organised, and the nature of joint operations is that they always include the participation of the security wings, which are responsible for managing things like border security crime prevention.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mutale (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the gold deposits in the Eastern Province were discovered by the local people and that he has suspended the licences in the area so as to curb illegal mining while the Government carries out exploration activities. What mechanisms have been put in place to ensure that the people who discovered the gold, not foreigners, benefit from its exploitation?

Mr Speaker: Despite my guidance?


Mr Speaker: Anyway, hon. Minister, you may have to issue a ministerial statement on gold one day.


Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, indeed.

Sir, I put it on record yesterday in this august House that the Government cared about the people who are not benefitting from the exploitation of resources in their areas this country. I must say that even though the minerals may be under people’s doorsteps, they are still Government assets that cannot be tampered with without licences. So, although Zambians discovered gold in their areas, they will be prosecuted if they mine it without permission. It is the same things with those of us who grew up around wildlife, but would get into trouble if we shot any wildlife crossing the boundary fencing of our houses.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, the cry of all our people, including those in Nyimba, is about maximising their benefits from mineral resources in their areas, and one of the instruments that can be used in that regard is the Africa Mining Vision 2030. When will Zambia domesticate that instrument?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, the Africa Mining Vision 2030 has been adopted by all mining countries in Africa. What we are doing in order for it to work for us is domestication by customising it to meet our needs. It is a powerful initiative that I think is gaining momentum very well. Although it has not yet been entrenched in our mining systems to make Zambians benefit, we have started the process, and that is what matters.

Sir, the initiative was conceived when we felt that Africa had been exploited and that Africans had not benefitted much from their resources. Therefore, we are developing uniform mining regulations and laws across Africa so as to compel all mining investors to comply with the regulations in the countries in which they choose to operate. Currently, compliance is not assured because the investors know that they can move their investments from one country to another in search of weaker regulations and enforcement mechanisms. If, for example, an investor does not want to comply with some Zambian regulations, he can go to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Chad or Niger, where the regulatory framework might be different. So, this very good initiative will work well for African countries endowed with minerals, and we look forward to implementing it so that Zambians and Africans can benefit it.

I thank you, Sir.




The Minister of Finance (Mr Mutati): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now resolve into Committee of Ways and Means to consider the raising of supply.

Sir, I am a bearer of six messages from His Excellency the President recommending that this Motion, which I now lay on the Table, be proceeded with in this House.

Mr Mutati laid the paper on the Table.

Sir, as a result of the Budget that I presented to this August House on Friday 29th September, 2017, it is necessary to introduce the financial measures that I will outline in the Committee.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker, I thank the House for unanimously supporting the Motion.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to.






The Minister of Finance (Mr Mutati): Madam Chairperson, I beg to move that it is expedient to amend the Property Transfer Tax Act so as to:

(a)        introduce a tax on the transfer of intellectual property and on shares transferred outside the Republic;

(b)        provide for a waiver of penalties and interest; and

(c)        provide for matter connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.

Madam Chairperson, the purpose of this Motion is to enable me to introduce legislation to amend the Property Transfer Tax Act so as to introduce changes that I announced in my Budget Speech on 29th September, 2017.

Madam Chairperson, I beg to move.

Question put and agreed to.


Mr Mutati: Madam Chairperson, I beg to move that it is expedient to amend the Value Added Tax Act so as to:

(a)        revise the due date for the submission of the Value Added Tax return from the 16th to 18th of the month;

(b)        provide a due date for the submission of the withholding Value Added Tax return;

(c)        provide penalties for failure to issue a tax invoice by a supplier or to furnish records for inspection; and

(d)        provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.

Madam Chairperson, the purpose of this Motion is to enable me to introduce legislation to amend the Value Added Tax Act so as to introduce changes that I announced in my Budget Speech on 29th September, 2017.

Madam Chairperson, I beg to move.

Question put and agreed to.


Mr Mutati: Madam Chairperson, I beg to move that it is expedient to amend the Skills Development Levy Act so as to revise the classes of persons exempt from payment of the Skills Development Levy.

Madam Chairperson, the purpose of this Motion is to enable me introduce legislation to amend the Skills Development Levy Act so as to introduce changes that I announced in my Budget Speech on 29th September, 2017.

Madam Chairperson, I beg to move.

Question put and agreed to.


Mr Mutati: Madam Chairperson, I beg to move that it is expedient to amend the Customs and Excise Act so as to:

(a)        revise the rates of customs and excise duty payable on certain goods;

(b)        revise the list of goods to be subjected to surtax at importation;

(c)        revise the rates of customs and excise duty payable on used motor vehicles; and

(d)        provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.

Madam Chairperson, the purpose of this Motion is to enable me to introduce legislation to amend the Customs and Excise Act so as to introduce changes that I announced in my Budget Speech on 29th September, 2017.

Madam Chairperson, I beg to move.

Question put and agreed to.


Mr Mutati: Madam Chairperson, I beg to move that it is expedient to amend the Insurance Premium Levy Act so as to exempt reinsurance from the payment of insurance premium levy.

Madam Chairperson, the purpose of this Motion is to enable me to introduce legislation to amend the Insurance Premium Levy Act so as to introduce the changes that I announced in my Budget Speech on 29th September, 2017.

Madam Chairperson, I beg to move.

Question put and agreed to.


Mr Mutati: Madam Chairperson, I beg to move that it is expedient to amend the Income Tax Act so as to:

(a)        revise the definition of Tax Payer Identification Number (TPIN);

(b)        remove the K3,060 annual allowable pension contribution;

(c)        revise the penalties for late submission of a turnover tax return;

(d)        provide for the due date for the submission of the provisional tax returns for a business that  registers after 31st March;

(e)        increase the base tax from K150 per year to K365 per year;

(f)         revise the due date on the payment of withholding tax;

(g)        increase the presumptive tax payable by public passenger service vehicles; and

(h)        provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing, and that a Bill to give effect to this be introduced accordingly.

Madam Chairperson, the purpose of this Motion is to enable me to introduce legislation to amend the Income Tax Act so as to introduce the changes that I announced in my Budget Speech on 29th September, 2017.

Madam Chairperson, I beg to move.

Question put and agreed to.



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Resolutions reported.

Report adopted.

Question put and agreed to and Mr Speaker appointed the hon. Minister of Finance to be a committee of one to bring in the necessary Bills to give effect to the resolutions of the Committee of Ways and Means.





VOTE 25 – (Local Government Service Commission – K10,656,150).

(Consideration resumed)

Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Madam Chairperson, before business was adjourned yesterday, I was saying that while the intention of creating the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) appears noble, the practical experience is that the commission is out of control and causing councils to incur huge expenditures through, among others activities, frequent staff transfers. The councils are paying settling-in allowances every other day. An example is Choma District Council in my constituency which, since 2011, has had not less than five Town Clerks, not less than five Directors of Planning and not less than five Directors of Administration and many other staff changes.

Madam Chairperson, the other problem that has been caused by the LGSC is over-employing staff in wrong positions. There has been no viable fit between the council’s staff requirements, and the number and specialisations of staff sent. For instance, at a time a council is in critical need of a Director of Planning or Director of Works, the commission can send fifteen fire-fighters, the fact that the council has no fire-fighting facility to justify such a large number of fire-fighters notwithstanding. Sometimes, it sends people who are not qualified for the job.

Madam, contrary to reducing the bloated staffing levels in the councils like we tried to do in the 1990s and early 2000s, today, councils have no capacity to pay their staff because of the over-deployments by the LGSC, and there is need, therefore, for the hon. Minister to review that. If the commission has become too big to control and its commissioners are not willing to reform voluntarily, we should, maybe, review the relevant legal provisions. I think that is food for thought for the hon. Minister. If we cannot control it, then, we may have to review the law. What is indisputable is that we need to find a way to control the situation. The argument that the commissioners are appointed by the President is not valid because there are many people who are appointed by the President who are subject to control. Currently, every time a commissioner goes to a particular council, there is more confusion created than problems solved.

Madam Chairperson, with the emphasis being placed on decentralisation, and as we get to know the principles of decentralisation, why can the Government not move some of the functions of the LGSC to the councils, as opposed to a few individuals travelling across the country and making transfers without due consideration of the ability of the councils to pay the workers. Currently, the Local Government Equalisation Fund (LGEF) just goes to salaries because very few councils generate additional revenues. I am worried about the settling-in allowance, which keeps on gobbling a lot of money in councils.

Madam, I ask the hon. Minister to help me understand the application of the law. Some of your colleagues in the Executive appear to be fuelling confusion in the local authorities.  For instance, where did the hon. Minister for the Southern Province get the powers to suspend the Town Clerk for Choma District? The size of his jackets is notwithstanding, does he have the powers to suspend a Town Clerk?


Mr Belemu: Madam Chairperson, if that is not confusion, then, what is it called in your Government? Further, where does that leave the members of staff, who fear that they can be suspended by a person who did not employ them simply because he feels he was appointed by His Excellency the President? Those are that issues that are affecting the local authorities. Even the performance of workers in the local authorities is being disturbed by politicians. I have come across councils that operate under instruction of a District Commissioner (DC). If the human capital in the local authorities is not allowed to function accordingly, we will have a problem.

Madam Chairperson, at some point, we need to undertake a human resource audit of local authorities in terms of the qualifications and numbers of personnel vis-à-vis the establishments for each category of local authority. If someone pressed me, I would say that the commission has become a conduit for nepotism and patronage, contrary to the spirit of the commission.

Madam, in conclusion, I ask the hon. Minister to convince us to allocate money to the commission, which is creating problems in councils and failing to cage very truant Ministers like the hon. Minister for Southern Province.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Hon. Belemu, before you resume your seat, please, withdraw the reference to the hon. Minister for Southern Province as ‘a truant Minister’.

Mr Belemu: Madam Chairperson, I withdraw it and replace it with ‘misguided’.


The Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Members, there is no need for us to get personal in our debates because it reduces the dignity of the House. So, let us avoid that.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity.

Madam, since the inception of the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC), I have not supported it for many reasons. Whilst I appreciated the importance of personnel placement, recruitment, training and many other activities, I see the commission as a stumbling block to the delivery of services by our various councils.

Madam Chairperson, I want to bring to the attention of the House the fact that the councils are supposed to be a Government at the door steps of the citizens. However, the commission is recruiting and placing people in a manner that conflicts with the unity of command in management. There is a difficulty with the allegiance of the chief officers in the various councils, especially in the rural areas. Our belief is that our areas are underdeveloped and that we, therefore, need people who understand the difficulties of our district councils. However, many of the people who are employed by the commission just go for their salaries and allowances because they hardly stay at their stations, yet the areas they have gone to serve are seriously underdeveloped. The councillors, on the other hand, have very limited mandate on the chief officers because they cannot discipline. The officers move at will because they know that their allegiance is to the commission. In the meantime, the areas that they are gone serve remain underdeveloped. So, how do we help the situation?

Madam Chairperson, we want the commission to employ people who will be answerable to the councillors, and appreciate the challenges faced by the councils. We need to harmonise this situation if people are to appreciate the commission.

Madam, how will we live? As I said earlier, local authorities are the Government at the doorsteps because they enable people to get services in their villages without having to move to Lusaka or State House. They see the Government through their councils. Therefore, the councils must respond to the challenges in their jurisdictions through the people deployed by the LGSC.

Madam Chairperson, like we heard from Hon. Belemu, we have a problem in our local authorities. When people are sent to the councils, hardly do they settle down before they are transferred again to some other area. The same thing happens with the top management and, as the people move away, some of them go with the institutional memory of the council. It appears that the commission has paid less attention to prescribing the period people must serve in particular councils before being transferred in order to enable them become useful and be appreciated by the council they have gone to serve. In addition, the burden of paying the settling-in allowances remains that of the local authorities, which are already heavily stressed because the turnover is just too high. So, even if I do not support the commission, and knowing that my vote might not tilt things my way, I urge the commission to appreciate the fact that the people it deploys must be valuable for the situation in the area and they should be allowed to stay in their stations for some reasonable period.

Madam, many of us have worked for institutions before and we were only transferred after serving for a particular time, such as two or three years. People should not always be on the move.

Madam Chairperson, the other important issue is that of the establishments in the councils. How have we graded our councils? For instance, how many employees must the Lusaka City Council (LCC) and Kazungula District Council (KDC) have? I do not see any reason why the commission should continue piling people with so many portfolios in small councils, which are non-profit making.

Madam, for instance, if I may abuse my council, Kazungula, does it really make sense for it to have a Treasurer, Deputy Treasurer, District Accountant and Senior Accountant? It is high time the commission revisited the establishment of the councils. Why should the council in Shiwang’andu have a bloated workforce? What are we doing to the councils? Are we not simply destroying them? How can a small council have a Director of Works with two or three deputies under whom there are senior staff like Senior Inspector of Buildings. Maybe, the councils should only have someone at the directorate level because we have that background. These are small councils that only need maybe the director of works, as was the case in the past. Many councils only had a Director of Works who oversaw all the works with the help of one deputy. Now, people are being piled up in the councils as though they have no establishments to guide the commission on the number of workers to deploy to them. Can the hon. Minister tell us the number of works who must be in a council.

Madam, we also want to start seeing vacancies in councils advertised. In the Kazungula District Council, the people who have been employed with Grade 12 Certificates have names like Mwale, Shasabanda, Chewe and Lubinda. Does it make sense to deploy a Grade 12 from Lusaka to Kazungula? Why are the jobs in the district council not advertised to the local people so that those with Grade 12 Certificates can compete for them? Further, why should fourteen or fifteen fire-fighters be sent from Lusaka to Kazungula? For what are we being taken? Does the Government want us to start beating the people it sends to our areas so that they run back where they belong?

Mr Lubinda interjected.

Ms Lubezhi laughed.

Mr Livune: What is happening is not fair to the people of Kazungula. We should not be abused. There are people with Grade 12 Certificates, diplomas and even degrees in Kazungula who should be provided a level playing field to compete for the jobs in the district. I do not care whether a Chewe, Mulenga or Livune gets employed in Kazungula, as long as it is not someone from Lusaka, Kitwe or Ndola. Otherwise, we will start beating up those who are deployed there.



Mr Livune: Madam, there is unemployment in every part of the country, yet the Ministry of Local Government is busy taking people to Kazungula …

The Chairperson: Order, hon. Livune!

Please, withdraw that threat.

Mr Livune: Madam, I withdraw the statement.

Madam, I just wanted to express my anger, and I hope I have delivered the message that the people in Kazungula also need the jobs in public institutions because there is also a high rate of unemployment there. Where there is a vacancy, the people with the qualifications in the locality should be allowed to compete for the job. Only when there is no one qualified should people from other parts of the country be employed. That is the simple message I am sending out. The many youths with Grade 12 Certificates in Kazungula are not employed because jobs in the area have been taken by people from Kitwe, Ndola and Lusaka. As I said, that is not fair.

Madam Chairperson, let me move on to the issue of training, retraining and bonding in local authorities.

Madam, when an institution trains people, they are bonded for a particular period so that they compensate the institution for the cost of the training. However, it has now become difficult for any council to train anybody because there is no assurance that after being trained, the employee will stay with the council. Usually, the moment a council workers upgrade their qualifications, they leave the local government sector. Therefore, there is no value for money for any council to train workers. While we want our brothers and sisters in councils to be trained, we are also mindful of the responsibility of councils to deliver services to their citizens, and the money that would be used to train a worker who is not even bonded because the commission can move such a worker at will can be used to build a small bridge in a ward, for example. So, the commission should address the matter of how local authority employees should be trained and bonded so that the matter does not become a burden on the local authorities, which are already stressed. 

Madam Chairperson, the ministry and LGSC should help people in the local government sector to clearly understand their ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ so that councils are not abused. Many council workers have a lot to learn because the sector is quite huge. It is important that councils are helped in that regard so that we help to ensure that wards are not deprived of development. We need all the available resources for developing our wards and constituencies in the country.

Madam Chairperson, as I have said, I have never supported the creation of this service commission because I feel that it has created a problem with the unity of command in the local government sector, which has hindered the proper performance of duties. What we care about is service delivery. We want to see councils build bridges in wards and properly demarcate plots for people. Otherwise, we will continue having problems in our wards, and the council workers know that we, the Councillors, cannot do anything to them. Maybe, the hon. Minister suspended somebody because of this reason.

Madam, the commission must prove to me that it is really useful to the local government sector. Otherwise, I do not support the Vote.

I thank you, Madam.


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Madam Chairperson, I think that discussions on the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) must centre on service delivery by local authorities, and all the previous speakers have bemoaned the shortcomings in that regard. The commission is responsible for recruiting staff for local authorities, which are creatures of the law, pursuant to Section 3 of the Local Government Act, Chapter 281 of the Laws of Zambia.

Madam Chairperson, local government is a specialised field, just like the Central Government. The local governments should be the pride of this nation and councils are basically agents of the Central Government in service delivery. If the local authorities are not able to perform, it reflects badly on the Central Government. That is why we are concerned about the low levels of performance in councils.

Hon. Minister, you must accept criticism because he who does not accept criticism is not a leader.

The Chairperson: Order, hon. Member!

Address the Chair, please.


Mr Kabanda: Madam, I am addressing the Chair.

Madam, when we are criticised, we normally perfect our performance. It cannot be business as usual. Therefore, we have to change the way we manage the local authorities. The previous speakers have talked about high turnover of staff in local authorities. Day in and day out, members of staff are being transferred from one council to another. When the workers reach their new stations, their priority is to pay themselves settling-in allowances at the expense of service delivery, and it is not only the principal officers who are at fault in this, but also the other officers like the Directors. They all need to be paid settling-in allowances when transferred. In the meantime, service delivery suffers.

Madam Chairperson, local government requires personnel who are trained in local government administration, secretarial practice, finance and various other skills. However, what we see today is different, yet the officers are supposed to formulate policies. Yes, we say that the Councillors or Ministers formulate policies but, in fact, the converse is true. The policies are formulated by officers, both at the Central Government and local government levels. So, if an institution has few qualified staff, what policies do you expect to see? So, we need to train the officers. The National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA) used to train employees in both the Government and the councils. Why can we not have tailor-made training programmes for this cadre of officers there? People who do not have the relevant skills or quacks, to borrow the word Hon. Lubinda used the other day, should not masquerade as Town Clerks. Only those who can actually perform the duties of a Town Clerk and deliver services to the people we are privileged to serve should be given that responsibility. We are in these privileged positions to provide a service to the people who elected us.

Hon. Opposition Member: ‘Masquerader’

The PF is masquerading.

 Mr Kabanda: Madam Chairperson, the Copperbelt Solid Waste Management Company (COPWASTE) was established by councils on the Copperbelt to provide refuse collection and other related services. However, the company is moribund. Refuse collection is a business that can generate money. When we went to Sweden, we saw how refuse is recycled.


Mr Kabanda: Of course, we are talking about service delivery here. The LGSC cannot stand in the air.  The service station, I mean, commission ...


Mr Kabanda: Madam, the LGSC, like the Public Service Commission (PSC), is in charge of staffing. However, what type of staff is it able to produce? That is the question we want to address. It needs to produce staff who are ...

The Chairperson: Order, hon. Member!

You are looking in the wrong direction. Please, address the Chair.

Mr Kabanda: Madam Chair, when I am speaking, I cannot concentrate if I look on one side only. I am on the Floor. So, please, allow me to speak.


Mr Kabanda: Please, give me an opportunity to speak, Chair.

Madam, we need to produce quality staff who can deliver quality services to our people in the communities because if local authorities fail, the Central Government has failed, too. So, we should not encourage a situation in which service commissions will fail to perform. We have created many service commissions that have not addressed the people’s needs, and I hope that the LGSC will make a difference. Let us think outside the box on how we can perfect this system. Thinking does not cost money. So, let us think and do things differently.

Madam Chairperson, decentralisation means systems that are able to operate at the local level. However, if you train a member of staff here today and transfer him to Chadiza tomorrow, what kind of decentralisation is that? There is neither cohesion nor preservation of institutional memory. We are supposed to pass skills to our subordinates and the next generation. So, the people who are trained in the respective councils should be retained in their councils for some time, at least. As Hon. Livune said, they should be bonded to their councils for, at least, two years so that they can impart the knowledge they acquired to staff below them. We cannot afford to be transferring staff all the time because they will be paying themselves settling-in and other allowance instead of delivering services, and that will defeat the purpose of decentralisation.

Madam Chairperson, I support the allocation to the LGSC.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Samakayi (Mwinilunga): Madam Chairperson, thank you for finally giving me the opportunity to debate the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC).

Madam, from the outset, I adopt the debate by Hon. Belemu and Hon. Livune as my own. Therefore, I will not talk about transfers. Instead, I will address two points, starting with the commission.

Madam Chairperson, the LGSC was re-established at a time we were implementing the National Decentralisation Policy because the power to employ staff for local authorities lay in the Central Government, but needed to be transferred to local government sector. It was thought, then, that there were many problems in local authorities and that the problems would only be sorted out if the LGSC was re-established. I remember that it was said that the commission was a “necessary evil” in the attempt to sort out the problems in the sector. We have now advanced in the implementation of the National Decentralisation Policy, and I believe time has come to review the commission. Does it serve its purpose in our decentralised system or not? I want the hon. Minister to comment on this question as he responds. My view is that since we have transferred power, authority and resources, financial and otherwise, to the local authorities, even the authority to employ staff in the local authorities should be transferred to the representatives of the people at the local level, namely the Councillors. Therefore, in my opinion, the commission has no space in a decentralised Government system. That is my argument. However, if this Government wants to maintain it, I have advice on how to do so.

Madam Chairperson, the commission can only be maintained as a body that will set standards, monitor performance and evaluate the performance of local authorities, in short, as a regulatory body.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Samakayi: It should not exist to employ workers. However, if this Government wants the commission to continue employing, I make another proposition. Standing on the platform of regulation and standards setting, it can employ professionals for the local authorities to ensure that standards are maintained and services provided efficiently. The employment of the other cadre of staff in local governments must be left to the Councillors or the councils.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Samakayi: Madam Chairperson, I have looked at the Service Commission Act, No. 10 of 2016, but it does not speak to the National Decentralisation Policy. Rather, it says that the LGSC will employ council officers and that there will be a committee of members of staff to manage human resources at the local level, which is the complete opposite of what the National Decentralisation Policy says. The Act takes power away from the local governments. For this reason, I call for an immediate revision of the Act, particularly Chapters 33 and 34, which are not in tandem with the National Decentralisation Policy.

Madam, Local Government Service staff have found themselves in the same environment as the entire public sector, that is, one that is permeated by fear and not conducive for professionalism in the conduct of business. The fear stems from the practice of retiring people in the national interest, which is also affecting staff in Local Government Service. What is happening today is that we get instructions from above that are not expected to be question by anyone. Otherwise, the one who questions them is considered an enemy of the Ruling Party and immediately recommended for retirement in the national interest. Let me give the House a very good example. Yesterday, Hon. Mumba was on radio and I totally agreed with what he was saying. It is true that the volume of the Auditor-General’s Report is increasingly going up because the staff who are remaining in the Public Service, including in the local government sector are those in good standing with the party. Therefore, they cannot question any wrongdoings in their institutions and those are the issues being cited by the auditors as either misapplication or misappropriation. The amount money being misapplied or misappropriated also keeps going up.

Madam, I think it is important that the people in LGSC ensure that what is happening in the wider Public Service does not cascade to the Local Government Service. I think they have the power to do so.

Madam Chairperson, let me also talk about the conditions under which the Local Government Service Commissioners operate.

Madam, the members of the commission are men and women who have served the country in various positions, but the conditions under which they operate now leave much to be desired. Senior people share offices, and I think that is not right. The commissioners also seem to not have adequate logistical support. For example, they do not seem to have adequate transport for them to go round and monitor performance in the councils. So, the hon. Minister must look for offices and vehicles for those people because we want to retain the commission to regulate performance and standards in the Local Government Service.

Madam, the last point I want to make is on accountability. Whom do we want to be accountable to Parliament? Is it the councils or the individuals performing particular duties in the councils? I ask this question because there have been instances in which council officers who commit offences like theft are transferred to other councils. By the time the council is audited and anomalies discovered, the ones who are asked to explain are the officers who replaced the transferred culprits. Meanwhile, the culprits are at peace in different councils. Why can such people not be called back to account for the mistakes they made while in the audited council? I think we have gone wrong there. Even here, in this House, on the issue of the procurement of fire tenders, …

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Samakayi: … we saw how ba mwata struggled to explain things done by others.

Hon. Opposition Member: Correct!

Mr Samakayi: The actors …

The Chairperson: Order, Hon. Samakayi!

Who is mwata?

Mr Samakayi: Madam, ba mwata means ‘chief’ in Lunda, and I refer to Hon. Mwale as such.

Hon. Opposition Member: Igwe!


Mr Samakayi: He is Igwe!

The Chairperson: You will refer to him as the hon. Minister of Local Government, not ‘mwata’.

Mr Samakayi: Madam Chairperson, I withdraw that reference.

Mr Livune: Igwe!

Mr Samakayi: Madam, the hon. Minister of Local Government struggled to explain the fire tenders deal. I could see that his face was not coordinating with he was explaining an act he did not commission.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: That is right!

Mr Samakayi: We should have called the person who commissioned that procurement to explain why he or she did it. So, I think we need to change our system of accountability. The one who is responsible for an act, not a predecessor, must be held accountable.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Jere (Livingstone): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on this very important Vote.

Madam Chairperson, the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) was established in 2010 under the Local Government (Amendment) Act No. 6 of 2010. Seven years later, it is pertinent that we examine how it has performed. In that regard, I would like to give a background to the establishment of the commission, as one who was there before its establishment and lived through seven years under it.

Madam Chairperson, between 2001 to 2004, the councils were unable to pay their workers. As a result, they decided to send some officers on voluntary separation and left some non-essential positions vacant. However, when the commission was established, it looked at the vacancies in those very important institutions and started filling them again, leading to the councils falling in the earlier trap of failing to pay salaries to officers, who were being employed day and night. We all know that one of the functions stipulated for the commission when it was established is that of being responsible for recruiting principal officers and handling disciplinary cases. However, eventually, we saw the commission start employing even people in Divisions 3 and 4 when such officers could be recruited directly by the local authorities and supervised by principal officers.

Madam, councils consist of elected members and officers. The officers are advisors to the elected leaders. However, because of employing people without experience of the local authorities, we now have challenges in terms of service delivery, public relations, management of resources and such issues.

Madam Chairperson, the commission has issued many advertisements for recruitment of people with degrees, such as engineers and surveyors. However, it has failed to attract such people because of the poor conditions of service offered. Some take up the positions solely in order to use councils as training grounds and leave when they get jobs in public institutions that take better care of their employees, such as the Road Development Agency (RDA). As a result, councils employ under-qualified people as engineers. It is against that background that we have challenges in Constituency Development Fund (CDF)-funded projects. The people who are supposed to provide advice from the beginning are themselves not knowledgeable. Those are the people who advise members of the community on things like bill of quantities (BoQs) so that the councils can allocate adequate funds to see projects to their completion. However, they make many mistakes because they have limited knowledge in the relevant fields. Therefore, many projects have ended up being white elephants.

Madam Chairperson, in terms of promotions, how does the commission promote people it does not supervise or interact with regularly and whose performance it does not know? Many workers in local authorities are demotivated because some hardworking people see those who know nothing being promoted to positions of director in the departments.

Madam Chairperson, the issue of deployments is another source of contention. For example, instead of looking at where human resources are required, we always deploy workers anyhow because our interest is merely to give them jobs. How does the commission deploy many fire-fighters to local authorities that it knows do not have fire departments? It means it is cadres who are being deployed.

Dr Kambwili: They are having accidents.

Mr Jere: The commission must address these challenges.

Madam Chairperson, there are many disciplinary cases in Livingstone that have been pending for some time now. Further, we have had acting Town Clerks for a year now. When will they be confirmed? To compound matters, our District Commissioner (DC) is also serving in an acting capacity. What is happening? Those people should be confirmed so that they can perform their duties to the fullest.

Madam Chairperson, on decentralisation, I want to concur with Hon. Samakayi that the commission, in its current form, does not help the agenda at all. On the one hand, we are talking about devolving powers to the local level while, on the other, we have a commission that is centralising the functions again. So, it is difficult for councils to supervise some Council Chairpersons and Mayors who have protection from the commission. As a result, service delivery suffers.

Hon. Opposition members: Hear, hear!

Mr Jere: There are also problems attributable to the behaviour of some of the officers who are being transferred from one district to another. The fact is a crocodile will not change into another animal just because you have transferred it from the Kafue River to the Zambezi River. It will still remain a crocodile.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Jere: For example, some officers facing charges in Ndola are transferred to Chipata, and that is expected to solve the problem. How can it? Actually, it merely transfers a problem from Ndola City Council to Chipata City Council. We are supposed to look at cases as they come and sort them out as quickly as possible so that people can be replaced. In dealing with those who are found wanting, let us learn from Col. Panji Kaunda, who led a tribunal from one council to another with police officers who were ready to arrest on-the-spot all those who would be found wanting. Predictably, the exercise was stopped because it stepped on the toes of political power brokers. How I wish it could have continued. 

Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, I must observe that the councils now execute the mandates of all the ministries at the local level. As such, we need to look at their staffing levels and other staff-related challenges. For example, some councils are unable to pay retirement benefits. How can we expect a Director, with his degrees, to go on the street and beg after retiring because the council is unable to pay his or her retirement package? Some retirees are paid K2,000, with which they are unable to pay school fees and rentals. So, let us look at the plight of those workers who are working hard day and night to keep our streets clean and look after people from their birth to their death. It is in the councils that we find information on how many people have been born and how many have died. However, the people who do all that work are so neglected when they retire that you can shed tears when you look at how they live. So, the commission must look into the conditions of service for council workers.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwale: Madam Chairperson, I thank all the hon. Members who debated this very important Vote.

Madam, most of the issues that have been raised by the hon. Members who have debated are common.

Madam, regarding the mandate of the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC), those who debated were of the strong view that the commission should allow the local authorities to recruit their staff because we are now decentralising as a country. However, had my colleagues paid more attention to my statement, I think they would have debated more on other pressing issues and left this one because I stated what we intend to do about it in the future. Let me repeat what I said for the sake of those who debated and everyone else.

Madam Chairperson, I said:

“Madam Chairperson, following the operationalisation of the Service Commissions Act No. 10 of 2016, which, among others things, has provided for delegation of some of the human resource management functions to local authorities, the commission will:

(a)      formation of human resource committees in local authorities and appointment of officers to head the committees;

(b)      conduct capacity building and orientation programmes for committee members to enable them carry out their functions efficiently and effectively;

(c)      focus on strengthening its role as an oversight, regulatory, supervisory and appellate body; 

(d)      ensure industrial harmony and provide the conducive work environment needed to improve service delivery in local authorities; and

(e)      speed up implementation of robust human resource management information system to facilitate timely decision-making”. ​

Madam Chairperson, that is all the commission will do, meaning that the rest of the functions will be discharged by local authorities, as requested by my colleagues. So, their concern is already taken care of.

Madam Chairperson, regarding the concerns raised over transfers, it was very important that the commission dealt with the issue of officers who had overstayed in particular councils. As I said in my statement, familiarity breeds contempt, and that was what was happening in most of the councils. However, I assure my colleagues that the transfers will not continue indefinitely. It has only taken long because, for a long time, we did not have a commission for the sector for some time and many people had kept asking us to establish it so that it could deal with non-performing officers. The commission is there now and it is dealing with the problems in the sector, and overhauling the system. Soon after that, it will not be as active as it currently is, as it will have to give room to all those who would have been transferred or recruited to do their work. So, this is just a reorganisation phase.

Madam, I must say that some of my colleagues have asked me to have their Council Secretaries transferred for alleged incompetence. Others have even gone as far as suggesting the people with whom they wanted us to replace their Council Secretaries, but we had to strike a balance. Now, we are saying that there have been too many transfers. So, we have to find a perfect mix for deploying the best people to the councils, which we want to see perform. I agree that too many transfers take resources away from service delivery. However, going forward, we should have some stability.

Madam Chairperson, Hon. Livune talked about Grade 12 Certificate holders being deployed from other areas to the council in Kazungula at the expense of the residents of the district. In that regard, I must say that the commission only employs workers in Divisions 1 to 3. Those in Divisions 4 going downwards, that is, the cleaners, drivers and clerks, are employed by the councils. For those who are employed by the commission, vacancies are advertised so that the councils get the best from the human resource reservoir throughout the nation. So, it is not likely that Grade 12 Certificate holders are deployed from elsewhere to go to Kazungula ...

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mwale: ... because the positions filled by the commission are high-level ones and require higher qualifications. However, if Hon. Livune has proof on specific cases, we are willing to consider it.

Madam Chairperson, Hon. Samakayi and other debaters talked about staff training. In this regard, I assure the House that the Local Government Service Training Institute in Chalimbana is being overhauled, thanks to a €8 million grant from Germany. In fact, the hon. Member for Serenje referred to this. So, all councillors in the country, once elected, and council employees will be trained at the institute. That I will take this concern, and I think I will explain more on this in the Vote for the Ministry of Local Government.

Madam Chairperson, there was also a claim that we deploy fire-fighters even to councils where there are no fire stations. Yes, sometimes, it necessary to employ fire experts even if the council has no fire station because we still need people who must enforce fire safety regulations and inspect private buildings …

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mwale: … for compliance. Even in the construction of roads, fire experts must certify that the roads are wide enough for a fire engine to use them whenever the council might have one.

Madam, I have heard all the good comments that have been made and the advice given. All will be taken on board.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.



VOTE 25/01 – (Local Government Service CommissionHeadquarters – K10,656,150).

Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 3103, Activity 016 – Local Authorities Salaries and Conditions of Service Negotiations – K120,000. Why has the allocation for mere negotiations been increased so much?

Mr Mwale: Madam Chairperson, on 3103, Activity 016 – Local Authorities Salaries and Conditions of Service Negotiations – K120,000, the amount has been increased due to the increase in the number of participants and other related costs. Therefore, we will deal with more cases next year than we did this year.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

The Chairperson: Hon. Minister, could you explain that again. The hon. Member asked why the allocation has been increased from K40,000 to K120,000.

Mr Mwale: Madam Chairperson, we will have more participants next year than we had this year. The reason is the increase in a number of participants.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Vote 25/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

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

Mr Mwale: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to issue a statement in support of the 2018 budgets for the Ministry of Local Government under Heads 20 and 29.

Madam Chairperson, the theme of the 2018 Budget, “Accelerating fiscal fitness for sustained inclusive growth without living anyone behind”, continues to echo the Government's commitment to fostering development for all. In pursuing development without leaving anyone behind, my ministry will continue to implement its mandate of promoting a decentralised and democratic local government system and facilitating the provision of an efficient and effective delivery of quality infrastructure and social services for long-term sustainable development.

Madam Chairperson, in 2018, my ministry will endeavour to accelerate the implementation of on-going programmes and projects, add value to the principles of good local governance and infrastructure development, and offer quality leadership to local authorities. This will be in line with the third pillar of the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), which is aimed at reducing developmental inequalities and will be implemented with specific programmes relating to infrastructure development and social service provision.

Budget Performance

Madam Chairperson, in 2017, my ministry was allocated K1,164,728,636 and K147,568,510 for Heads 29 and 20, respectively. Of that amount, 77 per cent of the allocation to Head 29 has been released to date, leaving a balance of K268,649,101, while 87 per cent of the allocation to Head 20 has been released to date, leaving K19,488,551 yet to be released.

Madam, the 2017 allocations allowed my ministry undertake a number of planned activities facilitated, and I look forward to more timely releases to allow it to implement even more projects and programmes.

Madam Chairperson, my ministry has five sectors, namely:

physical planning;

(a)    markets and bus stations;

(b)    solid waste management;

(c)    fire and rescue services; and

(d)    local government administration.

Madam Chairperson, these sectors are fundamental to the effective provision of municipal services and to the overall national agenda of sustainable social economic development and poverty alleviation. The sectors are also crucial to the attainment of the national vision of making Zambia a prosperous middle income nation by 2030.

Forward Planning

Madam Chairperson, my ministry has prioritised the development of Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) as required by the Urban Regional Planning Act No. 3 of 2015. The preparation and implementation of the IDPs will foster effective socio-economic planning and improve management of settlements. The IDPs are further expected to reduce developmental inequalities between the urban and rural divide, leading to the attainment of sustainable development. Therefore, my ministry has allocated K1.7 million towards forward planning, as it will expedite broad-based planning.

Urban Development Policy

Madam Chairperson, the development of the National Urbanisation Policy is in progress. The policy is a deliberate government-led process of co-ordinating and rallying various actors to establish a shared vision for the desired growth of cities within twenty to thirty years and beyond. It will also aid the reduction of growth inequalities between urban and rural areas. My ministry has, therefore, allocated K2.3 million towards policy development, research and stakeholder consultations on the policy. My ministry has also been engaging co-operating partners for technical and financial contributions to the development of this policy, which is expected to be concluded by June, 2018.

Rural and Urban Accessibility

Madam Chairperson, a good road network is a pillar of sustainable development, and my ministry retains the portfolio of rural and township roads under all local authorities. It, therefore, continues to receive requests for township and feeder roads, and remains committed to meeting honouring the requests for the betterment of our people. In this regard, it has been working on the rehabilitation of over 780 km of urban roads across the country at a cost of K5.6 billion since 2013. So far, about 350 km have been completed. The ministry has also been working on the rehabilitation and spot improvement of feeder roads, of which over 3,000 km have been worked on since 2013 and about 2 km have been completed. Currently, over 1000 km are being worked on.

Madam Chairperson, in order to improve the socio-economic status of rural and urban communities through road development, especially in the newly created districts, a Budget line of K10 billion is required. The Lusaka City Roads Decongestion Project is another major undertaking by my ministry in collaboration with co-operating partners. The project, which will commence in 2018, is expected to improve access and connectivity by expanding the capacity of existing major roads to between four and six lanes. Dedicated bus lanes, which will be a major feature of the project, will ultimately improve the public transport system. Further, ring roads will be constructed and road safety enhanced in Lusaka City.

Markets and Bus Stations

Madam Chairperson, markets and bus stations are a prerequisite for poverty alleviation among the urban and rural communities in the country. In that regard, my ministry has continued to ensure accessibility to these critical municipal facilities by facilitating the construction of modern markets and bus stations in various districts. To this effect, my ministry is working to establish the Market and Bus Stations Fund and boards in order to enhance investments and management of markets and bus stations. Further, improving markets and bus stations infrastructure is critical for the provision of formal and regulated areas of operation for traders and local transport operators. This, in turn, reduces street vending and other informal activities. The ministry has allocated K18 million in the Budget towards markets and bus stations development.

Fire and Rescue Services

Madam Chairperson, Zambia has had challenges in effectively providing fire services due to insufficient fire infrastructure, equipment and human resources. Currently, only six fire stations are properly designed, but even they are manned by inadequate staff. The recent fire outbreaks experienced in some parts of the country necessitated increased efforts towards the development of efficient and effective fire and rescue services. As the country continues to improve its various infrastructures, it is equally pertinent that consideration is given to the provision of adequate fire and rescue services. In this regard, my ministry will continue with its programme of upgrading the Fire Training Institute in Kabwe and construct eleven fire stations across the country.

Madam Chairperson, my ministry is currently formulating the National Fire Rescue Service Policy to facilitate effective and efficient delivery of fire and rescue services. Additionally, my ministry is in the process of upgrading the Fire Unit in the ministry to the Fire and Rescue Department, and K7.7 million has been provided in the 2018 Budget for fire and rescue services.

National Solid Waste Management Programme

Madam Chairperson, over the years, the management of solid waste has been a challenging issue. Consequently, the country has experienced outbreaks of diseases like cholera and dysentery, and the pollution of water, air and the soil. Further, according to the Central Statistics Office 2012 Report, only about 7 per cent of the urban and rural populations have access to refuse collection and the most common method of disposal is pitting and uncontrolled dumping. These practices have adverse impacts on the health and wellbeing of our citizens. My ministry has, therefore, embarked on various programmes to address the management of solid waste in the country. To begin with, it is developing a Solid Waste Management Policy to provide guidance and facilitate innovation for sustainable solid waste management. It is also constructing solid waste transfer stations and engineered sanitary landfills, and acquiring solid waste management equipment for selected municipalities. A significant project in this regard is the use of landfill waste as a biogas resource. My ministry is, therefore, facilitating a pilot landfill biogas extraction electricity generation project. The project, whose budget is just over US$250,000, will be implemented through the Kitwe City Council and the Copperbelt Waste Management Company (COPWASTE) at the Buchi Dumpsite. The procurement and feasibility studies have been completed and the plant will be commissioned in February, 2018, meaning that we should have electricity generated from biogas by February 2018, which is not that far off.

 Madam Chairperson, although the project is on a small scale and has an electricity production capacity of only 20 to 30 kW, it is a demonstration of what can be achieved and will contribute not only to the minimisation of the energy deficit, but also the cleanliness and health of our environment. It will later be rolled out to other major cities across the country. Approximately K12 million has been provided for solid waste management in the 2018 Budget.

Local Government Management Information System

Madam Chairperson, my ministry is spearheading the development of a roadmap for rolling out smart technologies to local authorities in collaboration with the Smart Zambia Institute and the German Development Co-operation (GTZ). The programme is aimed at transforming local authorities into smart cities and positioning them and their residents to be able to use advanced information and communication technologies (ICTs) effectively and efficiently. The programme, which will include e-payments for services at the local level, is expected to enhance governance and service provision and, in turn, reduce the developmental inequalities currently existing among our people. The ministry has allocated K237 million to this programme in the 2018 Budget.

Local Government Equalisation Fund

Madam Chairperson, the Local Government Equalisation Fund (LGEF), as established by the Local Government Amendment Act No. 12 of 2014, is a Government initiative to share revenue assignments, as prescribed by the intergovernmental fiscal architecture. Under the Local Government Act, Cap 281 of the Laws of Zambia, local authorities are required to apportion 20 per cent of all allocations to capital projects and 80 per cent to recurrent expenditure. The fund has been instrumental in increasing the financial capacity of local authorities, with a number of them being able to facilitate the provision of services and infrastructure.

Madam, my ministry provides budgetary support to all local authorities. In this regard, K1,078,428,000, which is 5 percent of income tax, has been allocated to the LGEF in the 2018 Budget. The allocation has been increased from K887 million, an indication of the Government’s commitment to improving service delivery through the councils.

Madam Chairperson, as we aim to enhance the utilisation of the LGEF, my ministry has taken note of the challenges to be overcome and has learnt many lessons on the utilisation of the fund by local authorities. It will, therefore, strengthen monitoring mechanisms by facilitating regular checks and increased reporting to the local authorities. 

Legislative Planning for Local Governance

National Decentralisation Policy

Madam Chairperson, in enhancing decentralisation service delivery, my ministry is working to establish municipal boards. This entails a further delineation of municipalities into sub-centres for effective service delivery. In addition, my ministry is collaborating with the Ministry of Finance and Cabinet Office to develop and implement the intergovernmental fiscal architecture to enhance sharing of revenue and expenditure assignments between the Central Government and local authorities.

         The Rating Act

My ministry is reviewing the Rating Act, Cap 192 of the Laws of Zambia, which has sections that require streamlining to incorporate modern technologies in line with the current conditions with regard to land valuation. You may wish to note that the current Rating Act was passed in 1999 following the privatisation of the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM). It is envisaged that its revision will reduce processing time of the valuation role and ultimately promote efficiency and assist in broadening the tax base for local authorities, as it will be made more equitable. 

         Outdoor Advertising

Madam Chairperson, the Outdoor Advertising Policy, which is long overdue, is under preparation. This policy is expected to streamline management of outdoor advertising, and enhance its regulation and revenue collection.

         National Alcohol Policy

Madam, my ministry has also embarked on the development of the first ever National Alcohol Policy in collaboration with the Ministry of Health to address the social problem of alcohol abuse that our nation currently has. The policy will provide a framework for developing targeted action plans to curb alcohol abuse, which has the potential to erode family values and retard the economic development of our nation.

Madam Chairperson, I further wish to inform the House that the Government will continue to review and enforce existing laws governing alcohol production, distribution and retailing, and ensure that all alcoholic products are sold through licensed outlets and that all the producers of alcoholic products follow safety and quality standards. To facilitate the implementation of this legal reform, K171,000 has been allocated in the 2018 Budget. 

Local Government Capacity Development

Madam Chairperson, the Local Government Training Institute contributes to the ministry’s mission statement by facilitating human capacity building for local authorities to improve service delivery. Therefore, my ministry is rehabilitating the institute’s infrastructure with financial support from the German Development Bank (KFW), which has provided €8 million. The Government is providing 10 per cent counterpart funding. The scope of the works includes the rehabilitation of the existing buildings and construction of a 200-bed capacity students’ hostel, eleven staff houses, and a new administration block and entrance building that will house business and recreation facilities. The project commenced in November, 2016, and is expected to be completed in May, 2018. Its implementation is currently at 53 per cent. In the 2018 Budget, approximately K5 million has been provided for the project.

Madam Chairperson, in line with the Government’s overall development agenda of creating equal opportunities for all, my ministry has ensured that the allocation of resources in the 2018 Budget is aligned to the 7NDP.

In conclusion, Madam, my ministry takes cognisance of the fiscal challenges that the nation faces and has, therefore, carefully allocated resources to priority programmes and activities that will have immediate impact on the quality of life of the citizens at the local level. Further, priority has been given to the completion of on-going projects in order to expedite development. In this regard, I appeal to this august House to support the ministry’s 2018 budget.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity, on behalf of the people of Kaputa, to support the two budgets for the Ministry of Local Government. I will concentrate my debate on issues around the Ministry of Local Government, particularly on the local authorities.

Madam Chairperson, as we all know, local authorities are the drivers of development in the areas where they are found. Therefore, poor performance or ineffective implementation of projects by local authorities renders Government objectives unattainable. That is why it is important for the Ministry of Local Government to be supported. In fact, if I had my way, I would allocate the bulk of the resources in the Budget to this ministry because it touches on issues that impact the people we serve on a daily basis.

Madam Chairperson, the first issue that I want to look at is that of road infrastructure in rural communities like Kaputa. The hon. Minister ably indicated that roads are very important not only for linking people to their productive areas in agriculture, but also for linking rural communities to markets for their produce. Without good roads in those areas, people will always depend on the Government for subsidies and alms when they are supposed to fend for themselves and contribute to the gross domestic product (GDP). Therefore, we ask the hon. Minister to particularly focus on improving roads in rural areas. Kaputa, like many other local authorities, lacks good road infrastructure. In 2018, we received some funding, but it only covered 10 km of the Luntomfwe/Chonganya Road, a good feeder road that people appreciate for allowing them to get to their farming areas easily, and transport materials and food stuffs like rice to Mununga or Kaputa for sale. Therefore, we want the hon. Minister to do more on rural road infrastructure.


Madam, there are four other roads that we have started, but the contractor abandoned the project many months ago. Those are the rural roads that must be worked on so that the people of Kaputa can appreciate what the ministry does with the funds that we approve in this House.

Madam Chairperson, I would fail my people if I did not mention that there is a lot of inertia in the people who are employed in the local authorities to serve the communities. While my colleagues who debated earlier attributed the non-performance to the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC), I will put the blame squarely on the officers we put in the local authorities. Really, a number of them have a laissez faire attitude to work. The Government has programmes that it wants implemented so that the people can see that their Government is a working one. Unfortunately, those who are supposed to provide services to the people at the local level have not taken their jobs seriously. So, nothing moves.

Madam, the hon. Minister talked about the Local Government Equalisation Fund (LGEF) and the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). Those allocations are approved many months in advance. However, the projects they are supposed to fund take long to implement. Sometimes, small projects with budgets as low as K700,000 take six months to implement, which is discouraging all of us who want to work hard and make people realise that this Government means well.

Madam, we have noticed that most local authorities tend to use the 20 per cent meant for capital projects on ventures that are in their favour. For example, if a local authority runs a guest House, it is likely to target the 20 per cent on improving that guest house so that it can generate revenue. Although that is not a bad idea, we would rather see the 20 per cent go to projects that have a direct impact on the people, such as in water and sanitation, schools and markets. We know that the Council Secretaries and Directors would rather use the money on projects that generate revenue for their councils, and that is logical.

Madam Chairperson, one of the earlier debaters talked about decentralisation in relation to the commission. I would like to consider that from the angle of the local authorities and the workers because they have not embraced the decentralisation policy and the Act. Instead, they have remained way behind despite the Government giving them the mandate to start implementing programmes. I do not know whether they want the His Excellency the President or Her Honour the Vice-President to go and tell them to start implementing. For instance, in Kaputa, we know that the officers in the ministries of Education, Health and Agriculture are supposed to report to the councils, but that is not done and nobody even asks why the heads of department in those institutions do not report to the council. This is another issue into which the hon. Minister should look. The law has given the local authorities the power. So, they must start implementing projects because that is the only way our people will see the services that we so cherish to provide.

Madam, the alienation of land is a very thorny subject and most councils, including mine, spend most of their time talking it. If there is land to be allocated, the councils become very active, probably because of the beneficiation that comes with the activity in terms of sharing plots or giving them to affiliates. However, the interest of the local authorities should be in ensuring that land in their jurisdictions is made affordable to the local people. It is not prudent to sell or give away most of the land to people who do not reside an area. Most often, land is given to people who come from very faraway places like urban centres instead of the local people. That happens because the land is either sold at very exorbitant prices or it is otherwise made almost impossible for the local people to access it. That must be checked.

Madam Chairperson, there is a fund that has been kept idly in the Ministry of Local Government, which is supposed to service the development of local authorities. It might be in the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources, but I know that the implementation is supposed to be done by the local authorities. We do not whether the hon. Minister will be able to tell us whether that fund is still available or its disbursement period has expired. Definitely, we need it, especially for the new districts, but even for the old districts as long as they have developmental programmes and plans. For instance, Kaputa was designed as a small district but, now, with the population growth, we need to expand it by developing other areas, probably about 10 to 15 km outside Kaputa main area, but within Kaputa District. So, we need the fund to be made available so that it can support us in the development of both road infrastructure and the water reticulation system so that, at the end of the day, the people of Kaputa can be served very well.

Madam Chairperson, on markets, I want to submit that the rural districts also need resources to plan for markets and bus stations. For example, our market was probably designed in the 1980s and has become an eyesore because it is too small, and year in and year out, we have been promised that a new market or bus station will be constructed, but that has not been done. Therefore, the people of Kaputa have been sending me to inform the hon. Minister that a modern market and bus station are very important to us too. We would cherish having them.

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

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kambwili (Roan): Madam, thank you for according me this opportunity to support the hon. Minister of Local Government and the Loans and Investment under the Ministry of Local Government. I will base my debate on issues to do with the ministry, starting with the councillors.

Madam Chairperson, we need to look after the councillors well. I tend to be very upset when I hear people say that the K3,000, which is being paid to councillors is enough because they are part-time workers. Any Member of Parliament or resident of an area where there is a Member of Parliament or a Councillor should know that Councillors are not part-time workers because they are involved in many things on a daily basis in their communities. They even go out of their way to bury the dead because poverty levels are very high in communities and people believe that Councillors have enough money to assist them in their social issues.

Madam Chairperson, Councillors suffer more than Mayors in communities. Therefore, I think it unreasonable and unfair to pay the Mayors K24,000 a month and the Councillors, who do the donkey work in the communities, K3,000 per month. I think it is high time that disparity was addressed. The need to pay Councillors better allowances has been a subject of debate for two years but, to date, the issue has not been resolved despite many promises that it would be resolved. That is frustrating. Imagine that you are in a council meeting whose Chairperson gets K24,000 while you get K3,000. How would you feel? I think it is high time we gave a human face to some of these issues. There is a requirement, now, for a civil servant who wants to be a Councillor to, first, resign from the Civil Service. Why would one leave his or her better paying job to work for the community for K3,000? It does not make sense. So, if this matter has not been addressed in the 2018 Budget, the hon. Minister must go back to Hon. Mutati and ask for supplementary funding to pay our Councillors enough money, and we will support the supplementary estimates. By the way, most Councillors in the rural areas are those who drifted from the urban areas because of the requirement for Councillors to have Grade 12 Certificates. In some rural areas, there were no people with Grade 12 Certificates to stand as Councillors. I know of a Councillor in Chisamba called Reagan, who used to live in Lusaka, but went and stood there as a Councillor and is forced to live there for K3,000. So, as we make some of these changes, we must also look at the consequences. My appeal to the hon. Minister is that he increases the allowances for Councillors as quickly as possible.

Madam, service provision by the local authorities has become non-existent. Anybody saying that there are services being provided by the councils is being economical with the truth. The only time we saw councils deliver services was when the late President, Mr Michael Sata, was Minister of Local Government. Today, if you go to Luanshya and pass through the main road in town from the District Commission’s (DC) Office via the roundabout, you will not believe what you will find. Despite the Luanshya Mayor and Town Clerk being there, the road has got potholes all over and nobody bothers about it, ...

Mr Chilangwa: You are the hon. Member of Parliament for Roan.

Dr Kambwili: … and that is not unique to Luanshya, but obtains all over the country. Therefore, the hon. Minister needs to ensure that service delivery is prioritised in councils’ budgets because city roads are the responsibility of local authorities. It is because we do not do scheduled maintenance that the roads are deteriorating. Once we build a road, we forget about it.

Madam, just before the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government lost the elections in 2011, it constructed some roads, some of which, for example, the Industrial Road in Luanshya and Roan/Mpatamatu Road, are not worth talking about. Why should we waste colossal sums of money to make roads that will be damaged only five years later because they are not maintained? Then, there is no reason for spending money on roads. With scheduled maintenance, our roads could not have deteriorated to their present state.

Madam Chairperson, bars have become a nuisance in this country. I remember that when I was a young boy, no parent could send his or her child younger than eighteen years to go and buy beer in a bar, not even chibuku, because immediately you appeared near a bar, the adults would tell you that you were too young to enter. Today, however, four-year olds enter taverns with containers to buy chibuku. I even wonder why we complain about alcohol abuse among children given this scenario. Our children think it normal to drink beer and Grade 7 pupils are now found in bars drinking with their parents. So, can we enforce the law on age limits for people to enter taverns and bars. I think the hon. Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance also needs to come in and tell parents that it is not right for them to send their young children to buy beer. Similarly, when I was young, any adult person in the neighbourhood was your parent in whose presence you could not engage in mischief. Today, children only fear their biological parents. That is where we are losing it. If you are a parent and you find a neighbour’s child in a bar, it is only reasonable that you tell that child to get out of there. Further, due to the human rights that have been brought into our society, somebody who just spanks a child ends up at a police station, and that is why we are losing it.

Madam Chairperson, in the past, bars used to open at a specific time and council inspectors used to go round to ensure that no bar opened too early. Today, bars open as early as 0600 hours and start playing loud music, but the councils do not care. You can even find a council employee drinking in a bar at 0800 hours instead of ensuring that it opens at the designated time. I think the law prescribes that bars are supposed to open after 1100 hours. So, where are the council inspectors when the bars open at 0600 hours? Where are they when the toilets in those bars are allowed to become filthy and stink like nobody’s business? I wonder whether we still have health inspectors in the councils in Zambia when we allow such a situation. If you go to our neighbouring countries and enter a bar, you can even have a meal in the toilet.

Mr Mwale laughed.

Dr Kambwili: It is because we do not have functioning councils in this country that toilets in bars are as dirty as they are. You have to close your nose, mouth and ears for you to go into those toilets.


Dr Kambwili: Why should we allow a situation like this? By the way, you can even find Town Clerks drinking in such bars and using such toilets. So, can we take responsibility and address these small issues. The local government system has gone to sleep.

Madam Chairperson, there is another problem that the hon. Minister needs to sort out, namely the conflict between Town Clerks and Mayors. In most cities and towns, the Town Clerks are failing to operate because they are very scared of the Mayors, especially Ruling Party Mayors, who think they are close to the President, and are threatening the Town Clerks and making wrong decisions in councils. The hon. Minister needs to educate Mayors that the chief executive of a council is the Town Clerk. The Mayor is like a board chairperson. However, what is happening today is that the Mayors directly run the councils and even give instructions to procurement departments. That is not their job. They even sit in tender committee meetings, and that is a recipe for corruption. So, the hon. Minister should tell these Mayors to do their own job. If they do not know what their job is, he should organise a seminar for them because we are compromising the councils’ effectiveness by allowing them to threaten Town Clerks and senior council officials by saying, “The President says ...” So, people are just folding their arms even when it comes to expenditure.

Madam, people have to ask the Mayor on anything they want to do. Even when the Mayor has a trip and money needed for service delivery, they would rather give the money to the Mayor for him to travel. There is also rampant abuse of Mayoral vehicles, especially on the Copperbelt, where most of the Mayors have positions in the Patriotic Front (PF). On Sunday, you can find a Mayor driving to a political meeting in the Mayoral vehicle, wearing the Mayoral chain and carrying a flag on the car. However, those vehicles are for civic functions. Recently, I was surprised to find one Mayor attending the baptism of his children while wearing his Mayoral chain. He went to Church wearing the chain.


Dr Kambwili: I think we ought to be serious. This country is losing a lot of revenue through abuse of authority. The Mayors should stop using their official vehicles and public fuel when going for PF functions. We should not allow that to continue.

Madam Chairperson, land has become the main source of income for councils. As a result, the poor cannot own it. Today, no council allocates land at less than K10,000. However, the majority of civil servants do not get K10,000 per month. Teachers, police officers, doctors, ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Clinical officers.

Dr Kambwili: ... yes, clinical officers, and soldiers get less than K10,000. So, how do councils come up with the price of K10,000 for a plot? Who will afford such plots if civil servants cannot afford them? The whole thing is becoming too much. To get a title deed at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the fee is about K2,700. So, why should councils charge K10,000 for land? No wonder, there is a lot of illegal land allocation. Everybody knows that most civil servants live from hand to mouth. From the pay line, they go to buy food for the whole month and remain with nothing. However, councils advertise plots and tell them to go with bank statements showing that they have over K20,000 in their accounts. Where will civil servants get K20,000? Can we start thinking of the poor? I think, in this country, the rich are becoming very selfish. Councillors, if you are listening, reduce the fees for land so that the poor people who bring us to Parliament and vote for you can also afford to own land in their respective areas.

Madam Chairperson, I had more to say, but time is not with me. Suffice it for me to say that I support the Vote.

I thank you, Madam.

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to support the Vote. My debate will focus on fiscal decentralisation.

Madam, I urge the hon. Minister to fight very hard, with our support, for fiscal decentralisation because I have come to the conclusion that the current system of budgeting across ministries instead of across provinces, districts and constituencies has become dysfunctional.

Madam, I think the best way of talking about what fiscal decentralisation means without complicating matters is to give examples.

Madam, on many occasions in this House, we have complained that we who come from rural constituencies are having difficulties retaining the teachers sent by the Ministry of General Education to our schools because the budget for the salaries of teachers is controlled at the Ministry of General Education Headquarters. Without much ado, they can transfer a teacher from a school in Liuwa to a school in, say, Ndola or Mufulira. However, if there was fiscal decentralisation or, in other words, if we, in Liuwa, controlled the money meant for teachers in Libonda, Salunda or Lukena, even if a teacher decided to go away, we would say, ‘Good bye’, but retain our money and hire another teacher, while the teacher leaving would have to find his or her salary in the new school. That is how fiscal decentralisation is supposed to work. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: The people in local areas control their money. 

Madam, another example I can give is with regard to desks in schools, which are always getting damaged. If the local areas controlled their share of the money, they would immediately place an order for new desks to replace the broken ones. However, currently, the school whose desks have broken down must wait until the Permanent Secretary (PS) in Lusaka decides that some of the money for a given year’s budget must go to buying desks. Then, the PS in Lusaka will order the desks from South Africa, which I am almost certain the local authorities would not do because it would give jobs to South Africans when there are carpenters in every local area who can make desks, strong ones for that matter, because they would be made from local hard wood, not the light wood used in South Africa.

Madam Chairperson, another example is the one we saw in the Ministry of Local Government, namely the fire engines tender. If all the local councils had a share of the money that was used to buy the fire trucks and were told to buy fire trucks, I am sure the people of Kalabo would have advised against the move because they have no water. For a fire truck, which with a capacity of, maybe, ten tonnes to get water, it must go to the Lwanginga River, whose banks have deep sand. So, if the fire truck went there, it would get stuck in the sand and, in other words, become useless. For our region, we would have preferred a fire tender mounted on a Land Rover because a Land Rover can more easily move on sand. I have seen fire tenders like that all over the world, including at London Airport. However, due to centralisation, someone in Lusaka forced on the people machines that are suitable for Lusaka, but whose suitability for places like Kabwe, Chipata or Kapiri Mposhi is very doubtful.

Mr Kakubo: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Madam, these are the problems that come with over-centralised fiscal systems, and the way out is to take bold steps towards fiscal decentralisation, about which we have spoken so much. Therefore, my suggestion is that service ministries like General Education; Health; and Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection only receive budgetary allocation for expenditure linked to programmes at the headquarters, including for going to the constituencies and districts to monitor operations. For programmes like teachers’ welfare, classrooms and teachers houses, the money should be sent directly to the districts, which know better what they need and the flexibility needed to satisfy the needs of their people. They know about blown-off roofs of classroom blocks. The hon. Minister hears hon. Members say interesting things about the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) because the fund comes close to what I am describing.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: No wonder, everyone here says that the CDF must be increased from K1.4 to about K5 million per year.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: If we did that, all the problems we face in the constituencies will be dealt with. For now, I assure the Executive that most of the hon. Members seated here believe that the Budget we are discussing now is about 90 per cent irrelevant to the average hon. Member of Parliament ...

Mr Ndalamei: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane: … to the needs of the people because it has allocated a lot of money for programmes in urban areas, such as for constructing airports that no one needs and over-specified road infrastructure while there are no chalk, teachers and desks in schools.

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Chairperson, another important reason for transferring fiscal functions away from the headquarters is that inequities between rural and urban areas and among provinces are deeply entrenched in the current system of budgeting. For example, from 2011 to date, the high schools that the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) left under construction in the Western Province have been left unattended to and grass is overgrowing them. They are going to waste. Meanwhile, this Patriotic Front (PF) Government is one of the administrations that have had more money to spend than others since Independence. We know this because it has borrowed large sums of money.

Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: So, what happened to that money?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: How come projects have been abandoned in some rural areas we come from? It is because of this centralised budgeting system. In this year’s Budget, the allocation for all the abandoned high schools in the country under the Ministry of General Education is K293 million. However, it has not been specified how much of the K293 million will go to Libonda, Sikongo or Nalikwanda. So, if the hon. Minister of General Education is not sensitive to issues of equity, the whole allocation can go to one province or a few preferred provinces. That, however, would be impossible in a decentralised system, as every province would get its share of the K293 million. Then, all of us would make progress. During the MMD Government, the Minister responsible for general education used to give us a schedule how the allocation for infrastructure development would be spent across provinces. Unfortunately, under this Government, we have not seen that.

Madam Chairperson, if we were to take the route of sharing money, we would very easily see the districts and provinces that are wasteful and where corruption is rampant because where there is no corruption, the money received would, obviously, lead to a lot of progress while where corruption is rife, there would, obviously, be ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: They would buy fire tenders.

Dr Musokotwane: As somebody says, they would buy fire tenders.


Dr Musokotwane: Those with an interest in serving their people would do useful things. Further, today, if there is corruption at a ministry, the whole country suffers because all the money will be wasted at the headquarters. However, if the money was shared across provinces or districts, even if there was corruption at one level, the levels where there is no corruption or inertia will still make progress with the resources they are given.

In conclusion, Madam, I urge the hon. Minister of Local Government to push very hard for fiscal decentralisation. I will be there to support him, and I can assure him that all the hon. Members of Parliament, especially those from the rural areas, will support him.

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: With these few words, Madam Chairperson, I want to thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Thank you, Madam Chairperson, for allowing me to debate. I also thank the hon. Minister for his policy statement.

Madam, I would like to begin my debate by quoting the functions of the Local Government System, as provided for in Part XI of our Constitution. Article 151(2) states:

         “The local government system shall:

(a)      be based on democratically elected councils;

(b)      promote democratic and accountable exercise of power;

(c)      foster national unity;

(d)      ensure that services are provided to sub-structures in an equitable and sustainable manner;

(e)      promote social and economic development;

(f)       promote a clean, safe and healthy environment; and

(g)      encourage the involvement of communities and community organisations in matters of local government.”

Madam Chairperson, I was looking at this document titled “Republic of Zambia, Programme for the Official Opening of the Second Session of the Twelfth National Assembly by His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu”, printed on 15th September, 2017. I want to draw the House’s attention to page 9, which shows the list of the procession for the Mayors on the left and Town Clerks on the right. A slightly sensitive thing that I will say is that twelve Mayors, including our own, came to this House accompanied by their Town Clerks. A quick look at this Programme tells me that contrary to the requirement of the Constitution that appointments carry a national face or character, the hon. Minister of Local Government must know that …

The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1810 hours until 1830 hours.



Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, before business was suspended, I was saying that there is a constitutional provision that demands the portrayal of a national character in appointments. I will lay this document on the Table when I am done for anyone who is interested to see that out of the fourteen Town Clerks who attended the Official Opening of Parliament, one was from the western region, one was from the southern region, two were from the eastern while nine were from the northern region. This, to me, mirrors the composition of Council Secretaries and the people employed in the Local Government Service generally. I think the hon. Minister should look at that. Obviously, this happened in a certain era, but it needs to be attended to now because there are people who are up to the task of running the councils professionally.

Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister referred to the Urban and Regional Planning Act, which came into being after we repealed the Town and Country Planning Act of 1962 or somewhere there about. This Act has been pulverised by the Government, and I was surprised to hear him talk about the Markets and Bus Stations Act because he knows that it is not operational.

Madam Chairperson, on 5th March, 2016, there was an attack on Mr Johabi Mtonga, whose buses were stopped from operating in Chipata by Patriotic Front (PF) people on account of his being a member of another political party. The hon. Minister knows him very well. That is one reason I am saying that his Government has pulverised the Markets and Bus Station Act.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, the hon. Member for Chipata Central and Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development came to this House to promote a fund that promotes youth vendors. That is also a pulverisation of the Markets and Bus Stations Act. The Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) built Nakadoli Market in Kitwe, but the market has become a white elephant because of the things that the hon. Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development is promoting.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: He is promoting expenditure to make youths vendors. Instead of teaching the youths crafts like plumbing and electrical mechanics in Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA) institutions, the Government has decided to pulverise an Act that we enacted to ensure that markets functioned well, the same markets that are supposed to be a source of income for councils. So, if the Government had operationalised the Markets and Bus Station Act, the Local Government Equalisation Fund (LGEF) about which we are talking would not be as much of headache as it currently is. To add insult to injury, during the MMD Government, local authorities were ring-fenced from the execution of court orders against them so that bailiffs could not go and acquire chattels from them.

Madam, giving the councils the LGEF and telling them to spend 20 per cent on capital projects and 80 per cent on emoluments is another reason I think the Government has pulverised the councils. They will not work for as long as we continue with this business-as-usual approach.

Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister must consult the PF Manifesto to see what it says about markets. Some of us read these things even if we are not interested in them. As a result, we know that there is complete variance between what it says and what is happening on the ground because it does not support street vending.

Madam Chairperson, the last page of the annexes to the Constitution of Zambia shows the many functions of Central Government, provincial administrations and the councils. Let me cite a few that I feel could aid the councils in generating income from commissions.

Madam Chairperson, one of the exclusive functions of councils is selling electricity. I am sure the hon. Minister of Energy agrees. Another is motor vehicle licensing. It is the council that should be doing what the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) is doing. Carbon tax should also be collected by the councils. As councils execute these functions, they are supposed to get their fair share of commissions, which would strengthen their revenue base and enable those with no production capacity to still be able economically self-sustaining.

Madam Chairperson, licensing and control of food suppliers and eating places should also be the duty of councils. Fresh food is sold on the streets of Lusaka and we do not regulate it. Then, tomorrow, the Government will say the United Party for National Development (UPND) cannot hold a rally in Kanyama because there is cholera. Where does the cholera come from? Is it not from the things about which I am talking, such as allowing unregulated trade in fresh foods like meat and fish? There should be in designated sections of the market where such are traded.

Madam Chairperson, the Constitution also mandates the councils to regulate the putting up billboards and the display of advertisements in public places. That can be a good money spinner for the local authorities. However, today, what we see is that there are billboards all over the place, but the ones putting them up use agencies. One billboard I saw yesterday was watching one billboard yesterday, written “Bowman Lusambo, …”, and I am just saying what I read, “… Minister for the Copperbelt Province, Welcomes …” and whatever else it said.


Mr Nkombo: I have also seen here, in Lusaka, one about Edgar Lungu.


Mr Nkombo: That is against the law. We all know that the Electoral Act demands that those who put up billboards and other campaign materials during the elections remove them afterwards. So, I challenge all those whose billboards are still on display to pay the councils in arrears so that they can function.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: What is happening is daylight robbery. Why should anyone advertise him or herself free of charge? If those advertisements, especially the political ones, are paid for, I would like to see proof of that. Thereafter, they should be pulled down, starting from tomorrow ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: … because they are the reason we continue reliving the painful experiences of 2016. Take them out!

Madam Chairperson, let me also talk about councils being agents for land alienation. In this regard, I congratulate the hon. Minister for maintaining the suspension of the land agency for Ndola City Council. However, when the hon. Minister goes for a the next Cabinet meeting, he should tell those people who are not really members of the Cabinet, but attend its meetings, that the reasons Ndola City Council and Kabwe Municipal Council are on suspension is that a Secretary-General of the Ruling Party publicly advised Councillors to reserve 200 plots for PF members, ...

Mr Kufakwandi: Yes

Mr Nkombo: … which was against the dictates of the Constitution I just read to the House, which demands equitable distribution of national resources. How, in this world, does the hon. Minister think he can succeed when he drinks tea with the person who is pulverising the laws that he is there to protect? Corruption is rampant in land alienation in PF-controlled councils. I want to see anyone among you (pointing at PF Members) who can stand up and challenge me on that. I see that there is no one, which means I won.


Mr Mwamba: Question!

Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, I am saying all these things in order for us to put our society right. I think I have a duty to remind my colleagues that in the case of land of alienation, I cannot blame any of them (pointing at PF Members). In Tonga, we say, mwana utamvwi, utukanya bazyali, meaning that a naughty child invites insults on his or her parents. These ones you see here (pointing at PF Members), together with their first-born sibling, the Secretary-General who is encouraging wrongdoing, are the parents of the naughty children, namely the councillors, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: … who are selling land arbitrarily. What are these laws for if we, the leaders, are the ones killing them? Sorry, I withdraw the word “killing” and replace it with “disregarding”. So, the PF needs to engage in deep reflection because there is no honour among thieves. If one says that you have …

The Chairperson: Order, Hon. Nkombo!

Withdraw the word “thieves”.

Mr Nkombo: I withdraw it, Madam. I just used it as a metaphor, not to mean they are thieves.

Madam, there is a special place in heaven where God has increased the temperature for …


Mr Nkombo: … those who remain silent in the face of social conflict and dishonour; those who say one thing in the day and another in the night. That special place is called Gehenna.

I thank you, Madam.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Phiri (Kanyama): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving an opportunity to the people of Kanyama to add their voice to the debate on this Vote.

Madam, the Ministry of Local Government is very important in the provision of social amenities in the community.

Madam Chairperson, concerning investments, in the first Government, post-Independence, the local authorities were rich because they had invested in properties like housing units that they leased, and buses. Those were proper investments and councils then, especially the Lusaka City Council (LCC), could not go beyond the payday without paying its workers because it had sources of income. Now, after the housing units were sold, the LCC owns nothing and is, therefore, …

Mr Sing’ombe: They have a fire tender.

Ms Phiri: … a very poor council.

Madam Chairperson, …

Mr Sing’ombe: They have wheelbarrows.

Ms Phiri: … I know that the LCC is overwhelmed because it services seven constituencies. One of the constituencies that contribute a lot to the council’s coffers is Kanyama. However, the work culture at the council is less than desirable. For example, the council engages performance contractors who are not performing and the council does not monitor them, leading to poor service provision by the local authority. The contractors draw funds from the council, but they do not work in the assigned communities. Before the system of contracting companies was started, the council used to employ people to work in the communities. Now, the contractors just deceive the council that they render a service in the communities.

Madam Chairperson, in the past, the LCC used to monitor developments in compounds and townships and would not allow a person to construct a house before the plan is approved. Even when one started building, the council would monitor every stage of construction to ensure the builder followed the approved plan. That was a way of maintaining sanity in the townships. Unfortunately, now, people just build anyhow. The reason we now have unplanned settlements in Kanyama is the failure by the LCC to monitor developments in the compounds. The council has small offices in the communities and collects ground rates through them. However, it does not use the offices to monitor activities in the communities. That said, I thank God because the hardworking Patriotic Front (PF) Government, …

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Phiri: … through the hardworking hon. Minister of Local Government, has promised to establish municipal councils in all the seven constituencies of Lusaka in January, 2018.


Ms Phiri: Madam Chairperson, the PF inherited problems, …

Mr Muchima: From whom?

Ms Phiri: … but it is trying to correct things. When municipal councils are established, they will be able to control the developments in the constituencies and clean the communities.

Madam Chairperson, it is not easy for the LCC to manage seven constituencies with meagre resources. It does not have investments and depend on ground rates because the council houses were sold off and the Government-run bus company, whose buses we saw and used when we were growing up, was closed. We even saw some of the houses, but we found them already sold. Those were investments from which the council might have continued to get revenue. However, the hardworking Government of His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu is restoring sanity in the communities by establishing municipal councils.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Phiri: Therefore, come 2018, Kanyama will be clean and the construction of buildings will be controlled. The hardworking Government has also promised the people of Kanyama that it will upgrade the slums in the community and, thereby, restore sanity there. So, we are very grateful to this Government. However, I urge the councils to reconsider investments.

Hon. UPND Members: Quality!

Ms Phiri: Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, I ask the hardworking hon. Minister to inform the House when we will get the balance of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Thank you, Madam.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Madam Chairperson, allow me to add a word to the debate on Votes 20 and 29 on behalf of the people of Kalabo Central.

Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Local Government has stopped functioning.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: Previously, it used to attend to people’s concerns, and people who drive in Kalabo will be reminded of just how functional the ministry once was when they use a very strong bridge that was constructed by the council. However, that is the only project implemented by the Ministry of Local Government in Kalabo at which someone can point. Apart from that bridge, it is very difficult to see what the Ministry of Local Government has done in that place. I do not know what has happened to the council, but I want to ask the hon. Minister to use some other avenues to foster development and help the people, especially those in Kalabo.

Madam Chairperson, Kalabo has a modern market that was constructed using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). If you go to Yuka, you will find another good market there equally built using the CDF that this Government is mishandling. Our people used to sell vegetables on sacks on the grounds. Today, because of the CDF, which has been put to good use, they have a well-lit market and are able to conduct their businesses until 2000 hours. They are also able to charge their mobile phones in the market. I, therefore, urge the Government to release the CDF, which we have not received for three years now, meaning that there have been no projects in the constituencies during this period.

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!

Even in Kanyama.

Mr Miyutu: Madam Chairperson, the CDF is very important. I know that people who live in Lusaka have good markets, enough schools and staff houses, and good roads and shopping malls. Unfortunately, we do not have those facilities in Kalabo. I was joking with some people who were talking about WhatsApp and I asked them what that was because where I come from, the majority of my people do not know what WhatsApp is. If you went in the village and looked at the mobile phones that the people use, you will know they cannot have the WhatsApp facility and the only time they are is when the owners go to the Boma. Here, in Lusaka, the constituencies have everything and many sources of development finance. So, the CDF is not as useful as it is in the villages.

Madam, K700,000 can only construct a 1 x 2 classroom block and leave very little change, and Kalabo is vast. If you go to the border with Nalolo, then, cross into Liuwa to the border with Lukulu and go west to the border with Sikongo, you will realise that one cannot do much with K700,000? That notwithstanding, I am asking for the remaining K700,000 to be released before the end of December, 2017, as promised by the hon. Minister. So, I am counting down and hoping the day will come when the hon. Minister releases the K700,000 balance.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister talked about decentralisation. Let us not pay lip service to this issue. Instead, let us implement it. When a mother is serving food to husband and her children, she puts for each on their plates. She does not make the mistake of putting all the relish on her husband’s plate because she knows that the children will not eat from their father’s plate. So, the decentralisation should reach Kalabo or Kaputa, an area to which I have been. These places can only be helped by fully-fledged decentralisation, which will give the authority. The hon. Minister knows that in countries where there is full decentralisation, there is no need to ask for authority from the central Government. The local authorities receive and distribute resources according to their budgets and plans. 

Madam Chairperson, the Government purchased rigs for drilling boreholes, one of which was sent to the Western Province. However, because of centralised planning, we were sent a wrong one that could not reach Kalabo because it had no Four Wheel Drive. Had the planning been decentralised, the people of Kalabo and Mongu would have asked for a Four Wheel Drive rig that could have reached Ng’uma, Liuwa and other remote areas. However, I know that some people do not like releasing money to rural areas. Therefore, they will only pay lip service to decentralisation.


Mr Miyutu: However, we want full decentralisation by 2018. It should be seen to bear fruits of development in rural areas. We do not want deceptive decentralisation, which is blockaded by District Commissioners (DCs). For example, the heads of department still report to DCs and dual reporting channels are a sign of confusion amidst decentralisation. I believe that heads of department in the ministries should report to the Council Chairpersons, Mayors, Town Clerks or Council Secretaries. They cannot sit in the council, yet report to the DC. Who is the head?

Madam Chairperson, regarding feeder and township roads, what is the share of Kalabo, Sikongo, Chimbamilonga, to which I have been, and other rural areas of the thousands of kilometres of road works that are expected to be executed? Let us consider at the rural areas. As we upgrade urban roads to bituminous standard, let us, at least, gravel the roads in the outskirts as well. That will be enough for us. Detours are roads created when the main roads are under construction. There is one to Sikongo that was constructed in less than a month.

Madam Chairperson, I usually ask myself what difficulties stop the Government from embarking on the construction of gravel feeder roads. The tools required to work on roads make a unit of six to eight pieces and include tippers, water bowsers, excavators and dampers. Why do we not send a unit to each district to gravel our feeder roads?

 Madam, some people do not know that there are areas in this country where there are no stones, such as Kalabo.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: For example, to construct the Mongu/Kalobo road, the contractor had to get the stones from Kaoma and Mumbwa.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: Further, the ground in Kalabo is not as solid as some contractors may think. Therefore, we need the equipment I have mentioned for the district to gravel the feeder roads.

Madam, I also wonder whether the Government will manage to gravel 3,000 km of the feeder roads, seeing as that kind of distance has not been covered before. Is there any hope of the ministry working on the feeder roads or is it mere rhetoric to placate the people in Kalabo? When I go there, the people always ask when the construction of the feeder roads will commence, but the hon. Minister is the one who is supposed to know the answer.

Madam, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government inherited earth-moving equipment that the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) had procured for the provinces. That equipment used to move from one district to the other and the programme was very good. Unfortunately, it has stalled. So, we do not know when if a kilometre of a feeder road in Kalabo will be graded. Suffice it for me to say that it will be rough for us if the feeder roads will not be worked on.

Madam, finally, the plans in this budget must be ones that will take money to the rural areas for the development of the people so that they can start appreciate staying in those areas and avoid drifting to urban areas.

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

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Samakayi (Mwinilunga): Madam Chairperson, again, I thank you for the opportunity to debate.

Madam, this afternoon, we learnt from the hon. Minister that quite a number of functions have been removed from his portfolio. I believe that one of them is that involving external auditors, which has since been taken to the Auditor-General’s Office.

Madam Chairperson, going through the budget, I notice that the Ministry of Local Government has provided quite huge sums of money to the audit function. So, I ask the hon. Minister to explain why that has been done when he responds to our comments.

Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister has heard hon. Members who have spoken before me bemoan the fact that we are not up to speed in the decentralisation process. Our desire was that to have fully devolved public functions by now, including the fully resourcing the local government sector in terms of human resources and finance.

Madam, there is also the issue of bulk purchasing, which has been a bedrock of corruption in the ministry. There have been issues around the sinking of boreholes, purchasing of hearses and, now, the issue …

The Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)




The Acting Leader of Government Business in the House and Chief Whip (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1913 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 16th November, 2017.