Wednesday, 22nd November, 2017

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Tuesday, 22nd November, 2017

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Finance (Mr Mutati): Mr Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for according me this opportunity to brief the House on the Government’s discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This statement is in response the point of order raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Chienge, and the need for the Government to keep the nation informed about the discussions. Let me begin by putting our engagement with the fund in perspective

Mr Speaker, in March, 2017, the Cabinet approved the idea of the Government’s engagement with the IMF on the possibility of getting an extended credit facility (ECF). The engagement, which was on the basis of the Economic Stabilisation and Growth Programme (ESGP), was aimed at leveraging international support towards the attainment of the Government’s key objectives of restoring fiscal fitness and debt sustainability, addressing external sector vulnerabilities, job creation, and ensuring sustained inclusive growth and development.

Mr Speaker, this engagement does not mean that the IMF is here to bail out Zambia, as Her Honour the Vice-President rightly pointed out following the point of order. We have, as a nation, defined the ESGP required to move the economy forward and the IMF is being engaged to provide the balance of payment (BoP) support and independent policy assessment.

Sir, significant progress has, so far, been made in the implementation of policy and structural reforms under the ESGP, which the IMF has acknowledged and commended the Government on. The reforms are in such areas as agriculture, energy and financial management. The main outstanding issues under discussion are:

(a)  the need to take measures to slow down the pace of debt accumulation and return Zambia’s debt risk from high to low; and

(b)  the scaling up of fiscal consolidation measures, particularly expenditure restraint.

Sir, both aspects are part of our key reform measures and are clearly outlined in the ESGS. What the IMF has asked for is that the measures be accelerated.

Mr Speaker, on November 6, 2017, the Cabinet discussed these issues and gave clear policy directions that included the following:

(a)  that the country developed a new financing profile that would reduce the debt distress from high to moderate over the medium term, and ensure that debt remained sustainable thereafter;

(b)  reprioritisation of projects to concentrate on on-going projects;

(c)  re-scoping of projects for them to be implemented in stages to ensure fiscal sustainability. An example is the implementation of the Lusaka/Ndola Dual Carriageway; and

(d)  acceleration of the implementation of revenue mobilisation measures like automation, appointment to tax agents, establishment of single windows at border posts, land titling and tolling.

Mr Speaker, in addition, the Cabinet resolved that:

(a)  new non-concessionary borrowing would be suspended;

(b)  no commercial contracts that required debt financing would be signed without Treasury Authority; and

(c)  tender and legal approvals would not be given where funds would not be available.

Sir, our task, as a nation, is to ensure that we borrow within our capacity to pay and to re-focus expenditure while enhancing domestic resource mobilisation. Of critical importance is the need to focus on completing on-going projects. With these measures in place, the Government has continued to engage the IMF, with the latest engagement being the recent visit by the Director of the African Department, the New Mission Chief and the Executive Director for Zambia. During the visit, the mission met His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, and Her Honour the Vice-President, Mrs Inonge M. Wina.

Sir, as a member of the IMF, we must utilise a key mandate of the IMF, namely the provision of BoP support to members experiencing problems as has been the case with Zambia since 2015.

Mr Speaker, in addition to the provision of BoP support, the IMF is a catalyst to accessing budget support and other flows from multilateral and bilateral co-operating partners. Further, the programme will enhance flows from private sector investors and reduce the negative sentiments on the investment climate in the country because many investors mainly rely on the IMF for the assessment of the country’s investment climate.

Sir, I assure the nation that the Government is resolved to having an IMF-supported programme and to updating citizens on the developments on a regular basis.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Livune: Question!

Ms Mulenga: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, you are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement issued by the hon. Minister of Finance.

Dr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, it has been speculated that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is not ready to help Zambia because the hon. Minister misled it on our debt position by saying that our debt burden was US$8 billion when, in fact, it was US$12 billion. Is that true?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member might recall that under Article IV, the IMF made a public statement and included the level of debt with a figure that was consistent with the one I provided. So, I did not mislead it.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, the economy is stressed by the debt burden. When will the Government stop borrowing?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, we borrow within our ability to pay back. Once our debt burden becomes unsustainable, we shall suspend borrowing.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, the statement that the hon. Minister has presented to the House is informative and the nation has been updated. That said, there is a perception that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) dictates conditions and terms to countries that need its help before helping them. Are, we, as a country, being dictated to by the IMF?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the IMF has come a long way from when it used to impose its will on member countries to now when it negotiates conditions with them. In the case of Zambia, our basis of engagement is the ESGP, which we crafted with the reforms and policy directions that we intend to implement. I have referred to some of the reforms in agriculture and energy, including the removal of subsidies, which is aimed at enhancing fiscal fitness in the economy. We did not need the IMF to tell us that we needed to enhance the fitness of our economy.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kufakwandi (Sesheke): Mr Speaker, given the unresolved issues between the Government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in the hon. Minister’s estimation, when will the discussions be concluded? I ask this question because a delay in reaching an agreement will negatively affect the implementation of the 2018 Budget.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, indeed, the financing structure for 2018 includes support from bilateral and multilateral partners and, as I indicated earlier, most of those partners are heavily influenced by the views of the IMF. Therefore, we are very keen to expedite the conclusion of the discussions. In that regard, before the end of this year, we will have a staff mission that will validate the information that has been prepared. After the validation, we can, then, have a timetable for the conclusion of the discussion.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, was very wise in signing the amended Constitution which, through the Loans and Guarantees Act, provides for Parliamentary approval of intentions to borrow before loans are contracted by the Ministry of Finance. Further, in the 2018 Budget Speech, the hon. Minister clearly stated that he present a Bill to amend the Loans and Guarantees Act during this Meeting. Is he on course to doing so before the House adjourns?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, part of the ESGP involves legal reforms. In this regard, we are looking at not only the Loans and Guarantees Act, but also the Public Finance Management Act and the Budget and Planning Bill. We are committed to presenting these three critical Bills, which will anchor the 2018 Budget, to this House before it adjourns sine die.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, in the event that the Government fails to secure the bailout, what will be the ramifications to the country?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, in the first place, we do not seek a bailout. Further, in the programme on which we have engaged the IMF, failure is not an option. So, we will succeed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbangweta (Nkeyema): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the update he has given on the bailout by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). At least, it will go a long way in calming the nerves of the people in the country. However, while he has worked day and night to see this programme succeed, not too long ago, his colleagues were pulling the rug from under his feet by saying that the Government did not need the bailout. I am intrigued to hear the hon. Minister confirm that we need this bailout. My question is: What has changed now?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, there were no rugs under my feet to be pulled because the Cabinet is united on this issue. Like I had promised earlier, on 6th November, 2017, the Cabinet sat and collectively agreed on the direction we must take on this issue, including the engagement with the IMF.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, this statement is long overdue. The hon. Minister must note that the Committee on National Economy, Trade and Labour Matters, and the Budget Committee have also been engaging with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and that the two Committees are given periodic reports on the various stages of the negotiations.

Sir, on 24th February, 2017, the hon. Minister issued a statement to effect that he was hopeful that he would have concluded this package by June, 2017. I am using the word ‘package’ because he has refused to call it a bailout. he also stated that he would need about K1.3 billion for the 2017 or 2018 Budget. I am not sure to which of the Budgets he referred. Further, not too long ago, the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Lungu, during his invocation of the threatened state of emergency, clearly and publicly stated that if the IMF left, it would not change our economic position. He was responding to a question from a journalist.

Mr Speaker, seeing as these negotiations have resulted from excessive borrowing, which has now made us a risky country, in whose court is the ball? Whose job is it to make this deal work? According to the information that we got from the IMF, the ball is in the hon. Minister’s court.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, we have been engaging with the IMF since March, 2017. Towards the end of June, 2017, we made a submission based on the ESGP and the reforms on which the programme is anchored, and the IMF went into a validation and assessment period for the period from June to August, 2017. That assessment showed that the level of debt was elevated. So, it was difficult to conclude the programme as originally envisaged for presentation to the Board of the IMF in September, 2017. Therefore, the only option was for the Fund to undertake an Article 4 Assessment, which is purely an assessment of the performance of an economy. In that assessment, we were asked to explain how we would bring down the level of debt from high risk to moderate, and what fiscal consolidation measures we were putting in place, including expenditure restraints. Therefore, the ball is squarely in our court because we are the ones who have to take measures to control the levels of debt and expenditure, and accelerate domestic revenue mobilisation. Whether we succeed or fail with the IMF programme, we will still need to put the economy on the path to stability and growth because we owe it to the people of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister promised this House that he would create 100,000 decent jobs in 2017. Was the fulfilment of that promise dependent on the successful conclusion of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stabilisation package? Further, how are we fairing with regard to that promise?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, one of our challenges is that of having a clear statistical basis for monitoring jobs creation, particularly the ability to secure critical information from the various companies. Currently, there is no law that compels companies to give us information on job statistics. For that reason, the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security will present a Bill to this House that is meant to assist us to get information on employment statistics from companies so that we report actual, not perceptual, information.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just mentioned debt sustainability as one of the conditions for the successful conclusion of the negotiations for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme. What medium and long-term measures has he put in place in that regard? I ask this question because the measures will be good not only for the relationship with the IMF, but also for the nation in the long term.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, let me clarify that the issue of debt sustainability is not a requirement of the IMF programme, but our initiative. Whatever we borrow must be within our ability to pay back. That is clearly our responsibility, as a nation.

Sir, as regards the short-term measures, I have referred to the decision made by the Cabinet to suspend non-concessionary borrowing so that we contain the debt profile. That was a giant step.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mukosa (Chinsali): Mr Speaker, what is the country’s current standing in terms of the total for both domestic and external debts?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, when presenting the Budget that we are debating now, I stated that the total debt of the country was US$12.45 billion.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Fungulwe (Lufwanyama): Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Nkeyema asked a question in reference to some hon. Ministers, who had said they would not mind the International Monitory Fund (IMF)’s pulling out of these negotiations. In his reply, the hon. Minister said the Cabinet had approved this programme. Were the hon. Ministers who had underplayed the importance of this programme present in the Cabinet meeting that approved the programme?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, one of the principles of His Excellency President Lungu’s Cabinet is to not indulge in rumour-mongering.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, as the hon. Minister of Finance mentioned, Zambia is currently still in the high-risk debt category. Are there any other governance issues that were raised in the negotiations that we are struggling to clear before this loan is unlocked?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, indeed, there are many issues that we will continue to grapple with. For example, I already referred to some such issues as fiscal consolidation, expenditure restraints, and the amendment of the Loans and Guarantees (Authorisation) and the Public Finance Acts, including introducing in the Acts chapters that will prescribe stiffer penalties for financial misconduct. Those steps are very important. Therefore, we have to take them.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 Mr Chali (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just mentioned that our debt stock was US$12.45 billion. How much of the Eurobond debt have we liquidated? Further, has that debt had any effect on the current negotiations with the International Monitory Fund (IMF)? Is it one of the reasons the IMF is not giving us the funding?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the Eurobond will only be due for repayment in a few years from now. For now, part of our strategy is to stabilise economic growth first and, then, use that as a platform for refinancing the Eurobond. Otherwise, with an unstable economy, the refinancing of the Eurobond will be a challenge.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister of Finance comment on the assertions that among the sticky points on which the ministry and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have failed to comprise are the increasingly unsustainable debt that resulted from the commercial loans the Government acquired mainly from the Chinese, and the poor governance and human rights record of the Patriotic Front (PF) Administration. Further, when seated there …

Hon. Government Members: Question!

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

You know very well that you are only entitled to asking one question.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Justice just informed me that on 13th November, 2017, the Human Rights Commission (HRC) Council had commended Zambia. That is an independent assessment and the council will issue a statement on the commendation.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister!

There was reference to the aspect of the rising commercial debt.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, commercial loans are contracted from not only China, but also from others lenders, including Western countries. Further, we have admitted that we are where we are partly because of the impact of that debt. It is for this reason that we have decided to restrict ourselves to concessional borrowing.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kasonso (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the statement. However, to what extent will the failure of this programme, if it came to that, affect the 2018 National Budget? I ask this because if the negotiations do not succeed, the Government will be forced to find other sources of financing to support imports and other payments. There are also some components in the Budget for that will rely on borrowing, such as the World Bank loans for feeder roads and other projects.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, there are a number of risks that we need to take care of, among them the threat to Budget support in 2018, as some of the commitments by our bilateral partners may not be honoured, which would create a critical stress on the economy. In that scenario, we would have to cut from somewhere, and maintaining the stability of the economy would be a big challenge. For that reason, we have to face the risk, work hard and do the right thing.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!




87. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)  whether the Government had any plans to procure additional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines for the University Teaching Hospital (UTH); and

(b)  if so, how many machines were earmarked for procurement.

The Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, yes, the Government has plans to procure additional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines for the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in order to improve clinical outcomes in disease management.

Sir, the Government intends to procure two MRI machines, one for women and newly-born children, and another for the Children’s University Teaching Hospital.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.  

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, we all know that MRI machines are very important. Why does the ministry not provide them to hospitals like those in the Western Province? It seems they are only available in Lusaka. So, the people of the Western Province have to travel to Lusaka to be scanned with the machines. Further, the procedure is very expensive. Why does the Government not provide it to people from rural areas free of charge?

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, we are implementing a modernisation programme in which we are equipping and re-equipping our provincial hospitals in a phased manner. Not too long ago, even the UTH did not have an MRI machine. So, we started with it, as it is a tertiary institution. Next, we will equip all the provincial hospitals in phases. Of course, this will depend on the availability of resources. Suffice it for me to assure the hon. Member that part of our modernisation programme will involve the provision of MRI machines to all the provincial hospitals.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.





VOTE 33 – (Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry – K504,201,990).

(Consideration resumed)

Mr Mecha (Chifunabuli): Madam Chairperson, seeing as I do not have much time to conclude, I will just proceed with my recommendations.

Madam, my recommendation are that the ministry:

(a)  undertakes training assessments for both staff and co-operatives under different categories;

(b)  expedites the finalisation of the Co-operative Development Strategy;

(c)  finalises or revises the Co-operative Societies Act of 1998, which is outdated; and

(d)  works collaboratively with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to develop a job tracker that will help us avoid situations the one we are experiencing, in which re we are failing to determine the number of jobs created in a given period.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Dr Chanda (Bwana Mkubwa): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to support the Vote for the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, which is a very important to the trade policy of this country.

Madam, from the outset, I want to say that trade is one of the key shapers of global politics today. Every country is becoming very conservative on trade. A typical example is the United States of America (USA) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), an agreement among the USA, Mexico and Canada. I am giving this preamble so that we know what the ministry should be doing to enhance the trade policy of this country.

Madam, further, while we have trading partners in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the rest of the international community, I think it is not enough for the ministry to concentrate its advocacy on free trade. I think we should advocate for free and fair trade. Let me give examples of the trade balances we have with two of our major trading partners, China and South Africa.

Madam, Zambia’s trade balance with South Africa is about US$3.8 billion per annum, of which I think South Africa benefits so much more than Zambia. I think over US$2 billion of this trade balance is in favour of South Africa. In fact, when His Excellency the President of South Africa, Mr Jacob Zuma, came to Zambia, our President, Mr Edgar Lungu, raised concerns in this regard and asked South Africa to take measures to address the imbalance. Similarly, in respect of Zambia’s trade partnership with China, although we have a trade surplus, about 95 per cent of the trade is in copper ore and related minerals. We hardly export any finished products to China. So, we need to be serious and take measures to ensure that our trade policy benefits this country.

Madam Chairperson, in order to appreciate the imbalance in our trade partnership with South Africa, you just need to go to any shopping mall in this country and see that almost everything is on the shelves is from South Africa. I walked into Pick n Pay at Manda Hill Mall and found that everything, roll by roll, was made in South Africa. Just yesterday, I was surprised when someone sent me a picture showing toothpicks made in China being sold on the Zambian market. If we import toothpicks from China and biscuits from South Africa, then, we have a long way to go in addressing trade imbalances. However, we are hopeful that our very capable hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry will sort that out.

Madam Chairperson, we need to make our economy export-oriented. To quote Mr Aliko Dangote, the richest black person in the world:

“If you continue with imports, you are actually importing poverty and exporting jobs.”

Madam, what Mr Dangote means is that as long as you specialise in imports, you will remain poor while creating jobs for people in other countries. A typical example is when we export unfinished copper products to a country like China which, then, creates copper refineries and smelters that employ people in China and cause the Chinese manufacturing industry to grow. The Chinese add value to our raw materials and, then, send them back for our consumption here. So, I think we need to know where we can take advantage of the value chains.

Madam Chairperson, His Excellency the President of Zambia, when opening the current Session of Parliament, said:

“Government will continue to place emphasis on an export orientated economy. Government will develop a national trade policy.”

Madam, I think the policy direction our Government has taken is very good, but we call for more aggressive action in the promotion of an export-oriented economy. I also urge our capable hon. Minister to ensure that we promote local products like other countries are doing. For example, the Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi, said that, in India, ‘FDI’ now stands for ‘first develop India’, not ‘foreign direct investment’. So, India is aggressively implementing a “Made in India” campaign. Just a few weeks ago, I also saw the Minister responsible for commerce in Nigeria launch a very aggressive “Made in Nigeria, Buy Nigerian” campaign. Therefore, I urge our Government to aggressively launch a ‘Made in Zambia, Buy Zambian’ campaign. The only time I get to hear of the ‘made in Zambia’ or ‘buy Zambian’ sentiment is when I listen to radio advertisements for products like Boom Washing Powder by Trade Kings Zambia Limited. However, it is not enough for a company like Trade Kings Zambia Limited to take the lead in the trade policy of our country. The impetus should start from the highest levels of the Government. It does not matter whether it will be the President or hon. Ministers spearheading the campaign as long as it is seen to be a Government campaign.

Madam, in the USA, when President Trump came to power, the first thing he did was to stop his country from joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) because he thought it would not benefit America, but everyone else involved. Equally, NAFTA benefitted Mexico and Canada more. Therefore, the US decided to review its participation in it. So, when President Trump talks about putting America first and making America great again, he is looking at America’s interest. Therefore, before assenting to trade policies, the hon. Minister should, first, ask: What is Zambia’s interest? What are we protecting? Otherwise, if we continue importing toothpicks from China when we have a lot of timber in Zambia, we will do a disservice to the country’s interest. I hear that, now, some of our beautiful women prefer foreign hair, such as Brazilian, Chilean and Peruvian hair.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chanda: I even heard of someone selling Nigerian hair, of all types of hair, surely. So, the preference for everything foreign, whether hair or toothpicks, shows that, probably, we have not been very aggressive in protecting the national interest in our trade policy. I think His Excellency the President has called for the development of a national trade policy. That should be done so that we clearly define our interests in this regard.

Madam Chairperson, as I do not want to take a lot of time, let me conclude ...

Mr M. K. Tembo: Congo dust.


Dr Chanda: I did not say that.


Dr Chanda: Someone is saying Congo Dust is better than Zambian Dust, but those are not my words.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chanda: Madam Chairperson, in our trade policy, we should harness the potential of the SADC regional market, which is very important market for our goods and services, as its population is 277 million people, its gross domestic product (GDP) is US$471 billion and its trade is worth US$354 billion. That is why I commend the Patriotic Front (PF) Government for the massive road projects that it is implementing, such as the Link 8,000 Kilometre Road Project (Link Zambia 8000), because they will facilitate the quick movement of goods and services, and enable us to tap into the regional market.

With those few words, I support the Vote.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Hon. Members, I do not know what Congo Dust is, ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: … and it seems even the Clerks-at-the-Table do not know what it is.  Perhaps, Hon. Dr Chanda can explain it or we will expunge it from the record.

Dr Chanda: Madam Chairperson, Congo Dust, like any other dust, is used for the face.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Chanda: So, if in Congo, you put it on the face.

I thank you, Madam.

The Chairperson: I am surprised that powder for the face can generate so much interest and laughter in the House.


Mr Munkonge (Lukashya): Madam Chairperson, thank you very much. It is very difficult to speak after a speech ending on such note, but I will attempt to do so anyway.

Madam Chairperson, I thank the hon. Minister for her statement, and I would like to adopt Hon. Dr Chanda’s debate as my own. As much as I understand what the hon. Minister presented as actions to help the business environment, I feel that we need to put Zambians at the centre of investment incentives so that if anybody wants to do business in Zambia, the only possibility should be through partnership with a Zambian. I am aware of countries where foreigners cannot own more than 51 per cent of a company. I think we should also adopt that policy and be strict about the qualification for a company to be registered as Zambian-owned at the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA). Otherwise, it makes it hard for us, Zambians, to partake in the big business cake. Currently, I think have been partaking in the crumbs while others have been eating the cake.

Madam, I think we need to have a more creative approach to protecting Zambians. If possible, we should have legislation to help Zambians who may not have recourse to expert legal aid to be protected by the law as opposed to letting them negotiate alone with multinational corporations (MNCs), which are very difficult to handle without expert legal advice.

Madam, the other point I would like to make is that we seem to have unfair trade practices that make it very difficult for Zambian companies to compete with foreign ones. In some countries, indigenous businesses are protected. So, if a Zambian business that is not supported by the Zambian Government tries to compete for a contract, let us say in the road sector, with a foreign company that is supported by it’s the government in the country of its incorporation, how can the Zambian company win? It means Zambians will not participate in big business in Zambia or the world, and that could explain there is a poor flow of cash in Zambia. If the big-money contracts are being given to foreigners, it means the money is being externalised. I know we have made attempts to empower Zambians by coming up with the policy that 20 per cent of all Government-funded road contracts should be given to Zambian contractors, and we have managed to make that look like a good thing. However, we should strive to give Zambians 50 per cent or more of the contracts to keep that revenue in Zambia. I think that is a very important aspect.

Madam, the environment looks as if it is designed to benefit foreigners instead of Zambians. I heard about FDI being taken to stand for “First Develop India”. Equally, it is high time we protected Zambians. The ministry should come up with ways of providing incentives for Zambians to participate adequately in business. Otherwise, we cannot compete with the MCNs. Even the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can be incentivised to benefit from partnerships with the MCNs if the right policies are put in place. That would help them become big businesses faster.

Madam Chairperson, let me also talk about giving incentives to Zambians living abroad to encourage them to bring back money to this country. The passing of the legislation allowing for dual citizenship is a good way of doing that. However, I also note that while in the grand scheme of things, some countries get away with being called tax havens, when we try to do it here, issues of money laundering arise all of a sudden. Here, in this country, we watch out for money laundering. However, encourage the ministry to find ways of making Zambia a tax haven because that status often attracts cheap money into a country. The people who invest in tax havens generally tend to not look for high interest returns on their money because they are more secure in the business environment.

Madam, I urge all of us to champion legislation that will allow our children and grandchildren to participate in bigger business ventures in the country, as that is, perhaps, the best gift we could leave for them, and we have an obligation to do it. With the technological advances being made, there is a possibility that, in the future, there will be a substitute for copper and, if that happened, either the mineral would become valueless or its price would fall drastically from the levels we currently enjoy. We must, therefore, come up with creative and proactive measures to shield ourselves from the effects of such eventualities. We could, for example, look to agriculture, particularly the growing of bio fuel plants, which are not harmful to the hydro environment. Further, agriculture is best suited for creation of youth employment.

Madam Chairperson, perhaps, we should also put in place laws that will encourage youths’ participation in certain activities. For example, we can restrict participation in certain economic activities to youths. Even international corporations coming into the country should be made to partner with the youths, who must not have to be graduates of the University of Zambia (UNZA). After all, most of our youths cannot attain the necessary higher education due to the current economic limitations.

Madam, I support the Vote and encourage the hon. Minister to think outside the box for the good of the future of this country.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Chali (Nchanga): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving the people of Nchanga Constituency the opportunity to voice their support to the Vote for the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry. I will manage my time properly by dwelling on three issues, namely funding of the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC), the promotion and development of co-operatives, and the levelling of the playing ground for local and foreign companies in trading.

Madam Chairperson, CEEC, from the Headquarters in Ndola, covered the Copperbelt Province on a promotion, and it excited our people who had plans of developing their businesses with funding from the commission. Unfortunately, nothing has materialised, and the reason has been given is that the CEEC has not been funded adequately. Unfortunately, when I look at the money that has been allocated in the 2018 Budget, I do not see anything to give me hope that our people will benefit from CEEC funding. As regards the co-operatives, their future looks bleak because in the 2018 Budget, the allocations for their promotion and development has dropped to K217,000, from K600,000 in the 2017 Budget. If you went to countries like Kenya, you would see that its economy is basically run through co-operatives and tourism. So, if we fail to allocate enough money to develop our co-operatives, how will we manage the diversification programme that we want to intensify? Diversifying from mining to agriculture is supposed to be a tool to grow the country’s economy, but that can be done only by developing agriculture-based co-operatives.

Madam Chairperson, the main form of trade on the Copperbelt is the supply of goods and services to the mines and the businesses on the province have service contracts with the mines. However, the playing field is not level because locals businesses have to compete with foreign companies that have come on board. Further, the foreign companies are the ones that manufacture the products and users, the mines, are promoting the use of original equipment manufacturer (OEM).That automatically pushes local companies out of business because, as we all know, we are not yet a manufacturing country. We are more of a consumer than a manufacturing country. So, if we do not level the playing field between the foreign and local companies, we will push our local companies out of business, and that is a fact that can be proven from the current mine owners. While we know that the mines are in private hands, we cannot allow their business practices to continue favouring foreign companies at the expense of local companies. In this regard, I can give the example of Chinese companies, whose products are cheaper because the manufacturers have access to loans at very low rates, while a small and medium enterprise (SME) in Zambia will be lucky to get a loan from our banks at less than 30 per cent interest. Therefore, we are not providing a level playing field for our local companies.

Madam Speaker, getting back to the issue of the promotion of co-operatives, I wonder what an annual allocation of K12,000 can do for a district like Chingola. Granted, the allocation has been increased from K6,000 in 2017 to K12,000 in 2018, but to what extent can that help the officers in going round to develop and support co-operatives? To me, it is discouraging that the Government has not provided adequate support to co-operatives in next year’s Budget. That notwithstanding, I support this Vote.

I thank you, Madam.

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

Madam, this Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry is responsible for administering trade policies and regulating commercial, trade and industry activities. That being the case, it is supposed to see to it that the sector in Zambia is performing and improving, and that there is socio-economic development. Indeed, this is a time that the ministry has to check if there is growth in the economy.

Madam Chairperson, the major economic sectors of Zambia are mining, agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and services. For now, I want to dwell on manufacturing and the services.

Madam Chairperson, Zambia has brilliant and gallant young men and women who spend most of their time innovating and on value addition. However, little or nothing is being done to promote the hardworking young men and women. For example, there is a young man who was demonstrating the mechanics of a car security system. If helped, he can start a company and employ other youths, who are languishing on the streets as vendors. We also know what happened to the Sondashi Formula. Dr Sondashi was struggling to patent his formula here in Zambia, but we hear that it is being marketed in South Africa, meaning it is South Africa that will benefit from a Zambian innovation.

Madam Chairperson, people spend a lot of time, money and energy in coming up with innovations. However, because of a lack of support to innovation here, people from elsewhere come and buy the innovations, and improve and patent them, meaning that the innovators, who should benefit from their innovations for life, end up losing out by selling them off cheaply. Our young people are willing to move away from the obsession with white-collar jobs and become self reliant. However, it is very difficult for someone to start a business because of unfavourable policies, such as those of our lending institutions. It is not easy for someone to borrow from the banks because they require collateral, which some people do not have. As a result, many end up sitting on their visions. So, we want policies that are supportive of entrepreneurship and trade to be put in place by the Government.

Madam Chairperson, the CEEC is supposed to empower women and youths. However, one has to pay large sums of money to consultants for them to come up with a proposal that can compete with those submitted by those with money. Therefore, the commission is supposed to deliberately set aside a fraction of the money for empowerment of youths, many of whom are graduating, year after year, while others do not make it to university, but got good grades in school or know a trade they are willing use and venture into business. All they need is support, but that is almost nonexistent.

Madam Chairperson, to register a company in Zambia, there is a document that one must get from the CEEC that shows the extent to which the company will Zambian-owned, if at all. I think that those who award contracts should also refer to that document so that they prioritise Zambian-owned companies. However, for now, that document is meaningless because even foreigners can acquire it. Year in and year out, Zambians keep renewing that document but, year in and year out, they continue to lose out on contracts. Foreigners can come register a company today and be given a huge contract without due diligence being undertaken on the part of those offering the contract and, at the end of the day, Zambians will only receive 20 per cent of the contract, to which the previous speaker referred. However, that is not enough for us to have the much-needed resources in this country, since the foreign contractors borrow money from the Bank of China and, when paid for works, externalise their earnings. As a result, even when the Government spends money on huge projects, the impact is not felt.

Madam Chairperson, we are seeing Zambia being indirectly re-colonised fifty-three years after its Independence, because the people who are coming into the country carry their own work force. Because they bring money into this country, they think that they can do as they please, including giving to foreigners jobs that Zambians can do, such as digging trenches, supervising drivers, distributing diesel, and putting road signs and markings. You will find more Chinese nationals at a construction site than those registered with the Ministry of Foreigner Affairs. These are some of the issues that we should deal with. Foreigners who want to invest in Zambia should partner with the locals like it is done in Botswana so that locals can have part ownership of companies and look into the welfare of their brothers and sisters employed by the companies, not the way workers are abuse currently. Some foreigners come to this country, get documents from, say, the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) and start making blocks. That kind of work is supposed to be done by the locals.

Madam Chairperson, the people who were doing fine in metal fabrication last year are not doing so well this year because of the abnormal increase in electricity tariffs. For example, the people in Kalingalinga are unable to do their welding. So, they have closed their businesses and gone onto the street. Year in and year out, the Government keeps promising to create jobs instead of taking measures to support entrepreneurs. There are people who can make better doors than those made in China. If we promoted such people, we would buy doors made locally. Only last week, I was impressed to find somebody who makes tiles in Zambia using local materials, including bottles. Such are the people to whom we must give special consideration when they apply for funding.

Madam Chairperson, nowadays, the youths, who are supposed to look after their retired parents, instead stress them because they have become perpetual dependants due to the Government’s failure to not plan for them. The population is growing, and we need to start planning how Zambia will be five or ten years from now. At the end of the day, if we do not plan in practical terms beside the planning documents with which we come up, such as the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), we will have more dependants than expected, yet the youths are supposed to be the most productive age group. As you know, the Zambian population is made up of mainly young people, yet they are being frustrated in some many areas. For example, in the transport sector, getting a driving licence is expensive, yet the youths, if empowered with such documents, can be employed and look after their families. So, we need to help them to become productive so that this country can become like Dubai or South Africa, which is what it is today because of the manufacturing industry. Here, we cannot manufacture even a needle despite having all the needed raw materials. We take copper to South Africa for somebody to make a bolt and nut to be sold back to us at exorbitant prices.

Madam Chairperson, I support this Vote.

I thank, Madam.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate this very important ministry.

Madam, if the Ministry of Finance is looking for growth in this economy, this is the ministry that is supposed to create it. However, the problem in this country is that we are not organised or pragmatic enough to stimulate the growth about which we talk, and the reason is simply that we have brought cheap politics into economics. For example, the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) created the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) to empower our people, but the institution has been politicised and run away from the business … 

Mr Nkombo: Its core business.

Mr Muchima: … the core business of lending and helping. If Zambia the country struggling so much that it cannot even borrow from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), what about an individual? However, what is happening is that, if you are in the Opposition and you borrowed money from the CEEC, then, you know that you are in trouble. You will not be allowed to renegotiate, recapitalise or show anyone your papers.

Mr Bwalya: Question!

Mr Muchima: Instead, you will be harassed and your property worth, say, K40 million grabbed to recover K100,000 when you have difficulties in paying. That is how much the CEEC has lost direction in its operations. I have a lot of respect for the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry because she is a business lady who has held high positions in the corporate world. So, she should help us to do things differently in this country.

Madam, the CEEC requires reorientation so that it stops looking at the political or ethnic affiliations of citizens before lending them money for growth. The Chinese help their citizens everywhere they go instead of harassing them. When you see the Chinese make blocks, they are using money borrowed from the Bank of China. The CEEC, on the other hand, has now become a monster that harasses Zambians instead of helping them.

Mr Belemu: Hanjika!

Mr Muchima: The few of our people who have created employment are being harassed. Today, there is no business. When I try to run a business, I am harassed because I am in the Opposition.

Mr Mulenga: Speak into the microphone.

Mr Muchima: Those who harass me forget that I am creating employment. I employ more than 100 workers who would join those on the streets if my I was arrested. What is the aim of the Government in harassing me? In banking, when a loan is not performing well, the bank tries to help its client pay. Your country, Zambia, is failing to pay its debts yet, today, we have …

Mr Chisopa: Point of order, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Muchima: ... an institution that has…

Mr Mutale: Pepe Kalle.

Mr Muchima: … become an enemy of its own society.

Mr Chisopa: Point of order, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Muchima: How do we create growth?

Hon. Minister, let us put Zambia first like President Trump puts America first. When it comes to business, let us look at things from a business, not political, perspective. The problem is that this Patriotic Front (PF) Government has politicised everything. It is evil.

Hon. Government Members: Question!


The Chairperson: Order, Hon. Muchima!

Mr Muchima: Hon. Minister, …

The Chairperson: Please, withdraw the reference to the Patriotic Front (PF) as evil. Further, try to avoid pointing at the hon. Minister.

Mr Muchima: Madam, let me look at …

The Chairperson: Yes, face the Chair and withdraw the reference.

Mr Muchima: ... the Chairlady, ...

The Chairperson: Yes…

Mr Muchima: ... whom I know very well.

Hon. Government Members: Withdraw!

Mr Muchima: Madam Chairlady, through you, …

The Chairperson: Order, hon. Member!

Withdraw first.


Mr Muchima: Oh! Madam Chairperson, I withdraw.

I am sorry. It was a slip of the tongue.


The Chairperson: All right. You can proceed.

Mr Muchima: Madam Chairperson, let me face your direction.

Hon. Government Members: Withdraw first!

The Chairperson: He has withdrawn.

Mr Muchima: I have withdrawn it.

Hon. Government Members: Okay.

Mr Muchima: Madam Chairperson, what I am saying is that the PF Government is not kind to its own people.

Mr Chabi: Stop dancing.

Mr Muchima: The Government is very cruel ...

Mr Bwalya: Question!

Mr Muchima: ... because it is harassing Zambians who are in business and are in Opposition. If the Government has failed to manage the harsh economic situation, as the hon. Minister of Finance has admitted, …

Mr Bwalya: Where?

Mr Muchima: … what about the person who borrows a little money to go into business, but is starved of business by the Government? Some are not even paid back after lending the Government money and, then, the next thing they see are the bailiffs sent to them without a care. The CEEC is too rough and inconsiderate.

Mr Chabi: Pay back.

Mr Muchima: Madam Chairperson, I do not owe the Government anything. I am above that kind of life. I am speaking on behalf of people in the villages who borrowed money to buy canters but, because of a lack of business, they are having difficulties paying back. Instead of sympathising with them and restructuring their business, the CEEC is harassing them. That is what I am calling evil and cruel. We should change the way loans are followed up and help to grow this economy by multiplying the number of participants. With our current attitude, this economy cannot grow.

Madam Chairperson, the ministry has a research department or section that is supposed to look at the products being made in the country, starting with Kalingalinga, Mtendere and all the compounds around.

Mr Sing’ombe: Garden!

Mr Muchima: Yes, Garden Park, too.

Madam, our people produce good products, but they have no means of improving the quality. Those Grade 12 dropouts who have personal initiatives, but the Government has to go in and lift them up. It is very easy to so. The Government can mobilise through their leaders, and help them with finance, equipment and technical expertise. Then, they would produce better products. Once, I was in Uganda and saw good locally-made furniture. We equally do not need to import furniture from China when the Chinese buy use our timber to make the furniture. We can make beds, cupboards and everything in Zambia. The problem is we are not organised and want money that goes straight into our pockets instead of money that can grow this economy. Fortunately or unfortunately, no one will be on earth forever. One time or another, we will all leave these things behind.

Madam, we need a very responsible Government that can look facilitate the growth we intend to achieve. In order that effort, the ministry will need help from the Ministry of Finance, and the hon. Minister will need to tour the districts and provinces to identify areas that have potential to grow this country’s economy. One such area is not very far from where I come from. There is a cannery in Ikeleng’i at which the United National Independence Party (UNIP) Government produced pineapple juice and the company even competed with the Coca-Cola. Had we continued with the cannery, the quality of its products would have been of a very high standard by now. Those are the things about which we should be talking. I wonder why we allow imported goods to compete with our local products. We should revamp the cannery so that we start producing pineapple juice and chunks, mango juice and tomato paste in Ikeleng’i. The fact that the area is an Opposition stronghold does not mean the area should be neglected, as doing that will kill the economy of this country. So, we need to develop that province for this country’s economy to grow instead of giving loans to cadres when we know they will fail to pay back. Let us invest in things that will add value to the economy of this country.

Madam Chairperson, in the Western Province, there is unbounded potential for cashew nut production. Unfortunately, we are only good at talking and politicking in this country. God has given us abundant water, good land and everything, yet we import things like bananas, mangoes, mango juice and chickens from South Africa. We even wait for the Chinese people to come and make blocks for us. If the Chinese can find a market for their block-making businesses in Zambia, what is so difficult about us finding a market for our products in China, America or Namibia? Why is it so easy for others to find a market in this country? Our trade practices are always in the favour of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) because our country is sleeping. 

Madam Chairperson, the officers in the ministry travel out of the country every month. What do they go to do in other countries? I heard about the goats deal about which the hon. Minister of Fisheries and Livestock talked. In that regard, I urge him to start sensitising people on the need to rear goats for exports instead of just talking about the deal on the Floor of this House. Let us be pragmatic and move forward as a country. This country has enough manpower. All we need is organisation, which can only be facilitated by the Government. Unfortunately, currently, nothing is happening because the Government is sleeping. In the MMD Government, we had different ideas, and I think it is time we changed this Government so that the next Government can add value to the economy of this country. 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: Madam, India depends on small-scale producers. We also need to improve on our small-scale products. The hon. Minister and I are both business people. So, I am sure she knows what I am talking about. She should convince her colleagues in the Cabinet to adopt different methods so that we can see change. She should not follow the daily politics. Otherwise, she will fail to add value to the economy of this country. We need the people in places like Garden Park to improve the quality of their products and services, and the hon. Minister should report to us on how her ministry sensitises people on product quality improvement.  

Madam, the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare had removed youths from the streets. We also need the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry to sweep vendors from the streets by improving the standard of their goods. That way, we will be able to buy good products from the street and employment will be created in the country. We have the opportunity to do what is required, but the problem is that we have gone to sleep and prefer foreign products to local ones. The foreigners have seen that there is a market in Zambia because we believe only in selling raw materials. No wonder, we, too, are categorised as raw materials; we are merely products that can be used.

Madam Chairperson, I think the CEEC should be investigated because it is not doing any good to the Zambians. We created it for a reason. Unfortunately, it has now taken a different direction to its original mandate. It is like a hunter who sees an animal but, instead of shooting at it, shoots in a different direction. Such a farmer will never kill any animal.

Madam, it was announced in this House that solar hammer mills would be distributed to all the districts. Unfortunately, when they were bought, the hungry PF cadres grabbed them, especially in Opposition-controlled constituencies. That is being evil. Those mills were meant for women clubs in the constituencies but, in Ikeleng’i, they were grabbed by PF cadres. The PF has money that it should use to buy mills and distribute to its cadres. It should not use money that the Government has borrowed. This Government should learn a lesson from Zimbabwe, where things have changed.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: Madam Chairperson, people should not think that what happened in Zimbabwe cannot happen here. Therefore, we need to do the right things. Whatever is bought using public money should benefit all Zambians. We should not condone segregation in this country. Let us do things correctly and let every Zambian benefit from public resources. This Government took over from a well-organised MMD Government, but it has introduced changanya, and now it is not achieving anything. The economy is not growing. No wonder, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) does not want to give money to this Government.

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

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

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

Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister said that one of the Government’s intentions next year is to develop a trade and industrialisation policy. For the Patriotic Front (PF), which has controlled the Executive Branch of the Government since 2011 to start talking about coming up with a trade and industrialisation policy in 2018 is disheartening. Every year, it has told us that it would promote trade and investment, and that industrialisation is one of the key components of its engagement with our partners. How has it been doing these things without a policy? Surely, a Government cannot wait for six to seven years for it to come up with a policy, and I am sure, now, the hon. Minister will agree with the people who say that this Government had no plan for governing this country, let alone promoting international trade.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Madam Chairperson, one of the very first and basic things that any Government does is to come up with policies. I am sure the hon. Minister knows that investment responds to environmental stimuli, which is partly shaped by the legal and policy framework. So, how has this Government been promoting investment? No wonder, this country is struggling to attract investors. No sane investor wants to invest in an environment that does not have definitive policies. I think that is why there have been many policy inconsistencies in this country. If you listen to the policy stipulations in the sectors and sub-sectors under the ministry, you will realise that they do not correlate. For example, the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government categorised roads as either for tourism or economic purposes. Yesterday, we approved the budget for the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development. However, on the catalogue of roads to be worked on, the economic roads should have been prioritised to enhance commerce. One road that I think would promote commerce and trade is the one that leads to Walvis Bay in Namibia, yet it has not been prioritised highly enough. On the other hand, there are no activities between Lusaka and Ndola that can enhance commerce and trade, yet a dual carriageway is being constructed between the two cities.

Mr Kampyongo: Question!

Mr Belemu: Therefore, there is little correlation of activities among sectors, yet the Government says it wants to promote trade and commerce.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Madam Chairperson, the degree of inconsistency must be lowered. Otherwise, all the good plans will not amount to anything. The pronouncements being made in other sectors and sub-sectors must correspond with those being made under the commerce, trade and industry sector.

Madam Chairperson, we have been told that corruption is a perception measured by an index. However, trade and investment is affected by perceptions on corruption whether real or not. What, therefore, has the Government done to prove to the investors and would-be investors that the perceived existence of corruption is not real? Governments need to come up with initiatives to prove or disprove the existence of corruption. In this country, we are always told to report cases of corruption, yet the Auditor-General’s Report clearly indicates cases of abuse and members of the public have raised concerns on some of the procurements, …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: … for example, of ambulances, fire tenders and dredgers. Eventually, these rumours affect how a country is perceived in terms of its being an investment destination. So, they need to be dispelled. When it is the Government that wants to attract investment, the onus to report corrupt people should not be left on me. Were I the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, I would be very interested whenever there was an indication of corruption in the country because that ultimately affects trade, industry and commerce. Therefore, it is not logical to ask the Opposition to provide evidence of corruption. During the MMD Government, the perception of corruption was restricted to institutions like the police and local authorities. The trouble, now, is that the scourge is perceived among those in the policy-making bracket. Therefore, we need to be aggressive in fighting to change the perception.

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: Madam Chairperson, I want to adopt Hon. Muchima’s debate on the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC), as I am of the view that the CEEC of 2008 and the one we have today are two very different entities. The current one has taken a completely different trajectory. When we were establishing the commission, we borrowed heavily from the Black Economic Empowerment Commission (BEEC) of South Africa. However, while the South African programme has produced some very successful citizen-owned businesses, the Zambian initiative has not helped to create a single successful business. As we all know, the CEEC was created to lift people out of poverty and create industries in which others could be employed.

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: However, a dairy farmer who is given two animals will not be lifted out of poverty. Neither will he or she eventually employ others. 

Mr Sing’ombe: Without a bull.

Mr Belemu: Madam, when an institution becomes irrelevant and meaningless, we should not be shy to do away with it. Therefore, we need to review the Citizens Economic Empowerment Act and suspend the CEEC’s operations or merge it with an existing institution under the Ministry of Trade, Commerce and Industry. People cannot be lifted out of poverty after being given K10,000 or 20,000 to buy a brick making-machine. That is not economic empowerment, but enslavement, as the hours one would spend working around K10,000 are not worth it.

Madam Chairperson, let me talk about the multi-facility economic zones (MFEZs). If you drove to the Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zone (LS-MFEZ), what you would find there is a bush …

Mr Sing’ombe: So many rats.

Mr Belemu: … and many small animals there, including rats. The place has become a hideout for people who engage in illicit and criminal activities. When will the MFEZs start working in this country? We are about to appropriate money to them, but they are not working. The only sure mandate that any Government has is five years yet, between 2011 and 2016, the PF did not do much on the MFEZs other than what the MMD Government had begun. I can account for my whereabouts in the last five years, namely going to police stations and courts, and campaigning against the PF when able to.


Mr Michelo: Hammer, hammer!

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: The ministry has very good plans, such as the clusters and MFEZs, but there is nothing on the ground. The ministry should be able to account for the things it does and does not do. While the MMD Government did some things, under the PF, nothing has happened in terms of commerce, trade and industry. Some people go on trips to promote investments that we do not even see.

Mr Sing’ombe: We only see bottles of beer.

Mr Belemu: Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, how will the CEEC empower citizens if it does not come up with sector codes like it should have done? How will the ministry empower citizens when even sub-contracting, for example, in manufacturing and construction, is a problem? There is a policy on sub-contracting, but the sub-contractors are not being paid by the main contractors. Therefore, the ministry needs to do more to translate what it says into reality. It should not only make good-sounding statements using good semantics and vocabulary.

Madam, I thank you.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Is Hon. Chaatila here? He is not here.

Dr Kambwili indicated.


Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Hon. Kamboni, please, debate.

Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Thank you, Madam Chairperson, for giving me this opportunity to debate the budget for the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry.

Madam, from the outset, I want to say that the purpose of every government is to make profit using natural resources for the benefit of the citizens. A government does not create employment, but creates a business environment that enables businessmen and women to do business and, in return, create employment in the country.

Madam, the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry said that we are on the right path to economic recovery and that the business environment is conducive, but I do not agree with her. In fact, the environment in Zambia is so hostile to business that getting into business seems to be the toughest thing one can do in Zambia. For instance, a business person who owns a truck and buys salt from Botswana and ferries it all the way to Kasumbalesa has to pay road tolls and other taxes. Just one truck would pay K3,000 in road tolls alone from Livingstone to Kasumbalesa and back. Besides the road tolls, the truck would have to be registered with the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA), for which the owner would be charged road tax for both the truck and the trailer, and other related taxes that may add up to K4,000. Then, he has to buy fuel, which is very expensive, say, for K3,000. How much profit can such a person make? Many business people I knew have quit.

Madam, the other factor making the business environment very hostile in Zambia is the cost of electricity, which is too high. Those who run guest houses spend about K500 on electricity per week or K2,000 per month. Water rates are equally very high. So, how do we expect citizens to go into business and create employment? I would have thought that the ministry would have made life easier for a Zambian business person.

Madam Chairperson, the other thing …


The Chairperson: Order, hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting!

I know that you have to get information wherever you are.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: However, please, try to do so in a manner that does not disturb the order of the House.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Hon. Kamboni, please, continue.

Mr Kamboni: Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

The hon. Minister also said that one of her ministry’s targets is to promote local businessmen and women. However, the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) only gives incentives to investors with a US$500,000 capital threshold, and that automatically disqualifies most Zambians and promotes foreign businesses, which can afford that level of capital investment.

Mr Mbangweta: Hear, hear!

Mr Kamboni: Madam, the hon. Minister should also seriously look at the cost of finance. Why are bank interest rates in Zambia at between 26 and 42 per cent when the same banks charge 9 or 10 per cent interest just across the border in Botswana? That is the reason a person who has just completed his degree at the University of Zambia (UNZA) cannot start a business, and the ministry has not done anything to resolve this problem and encourage Zambians to go into business.

Madam, the ministry can create many employment opportunities, and reduce the high unemployment levels and other challenges that the Government is facing. My suggestion to the hon. Minister is that we should be smart and well-organised. Some investors come here and form companies that are 100 per cent foreign-owned and make our people to push wheelbarrows, and we call that employment. In countries like Botswana, foreigners cannot own more than 51 per cent of the businesses they start. They have to sell, at least, 49 per cent to citizens. So, the hon. Minister should come up with proper strategies for making Zambians benefit from all ventures that foreigners set up instead of merely pushing wheelbarrows in those companies. That is where we have missed it. After all, it is our resources that are being exploited. If such a policy existed and were effectively implemented, especially in the mines, many Zambians would be rich today. Currently, unfortunately, there are no rules to govern investors. Investors can come into this country and do anything they want.

Madam, why should we allow a foreign investor to come here to make bricks when Zambians can do that? In Botswana, that cannot happen because some businesses are reserved for locals. For example, one cannot go there and run a bar or running mini bus, or start making blocks. Here, in Zambia, a foreigner can come to sell airtime, grow cabbage or keep chickens and we have no problems with that. I think it is high time that we got more organised, categorised businesses and reserved some for the locals.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kamboni: This is a very serious issue.

Madam, Zambia is a rich country, and I thought we were lucky to have a lady with a rich background and wide exposure head this ministry because I thought she would make it the engine for job creation and making enriching Zambians. However, to date, nothing has happened. The ministry has just been like any other that is full of frustrations and no motivating stories to tell.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kamboni: Madam Chairperson, all people enter this country through our borders. Therefore, we need to do something about this country’s borders. For example, the system of administration at our borders is militaristic and bureaucratic. So, it takes too long to clear a truck. Let me talk about Kazungula and Katima Mulilo borders, which I know very well. On the Botswana and Namibian sides, the officers clear trucks way faster than the officers on the Zambian side. On the Zambian side, at their best, the officers clear about thirty-eight trucks a day. The process is very slow and tedious, but nobody has ever looked at it. Those who wish to drive across the border are treated like they are committing a crime and it takes not less than one hour for them to be cleared. They will be made to fill one paper after another and go to one desk after another. That is not how things should be because the efficiency of the border clearance system reflects a lot on the country. When investors come for the first to invest in our country, the first problem they face is at the border. First of all, agents are either disorganised or they rip one off and nobody will do anything about it. The whole scenario is bad. So, the hon. Minister, with all her knowledge, must do something to simplify the process of clearing goods so that we can make more money for the country. Even the process of clearing someone to drive across the border must be simplified. Additionally, the attitude of the workers must be improved. The toilets at our border facilities must also be improved. People pay a lot of money there, yet the toilet facilities they use are so bad that they are barely usable. At Kazungula Border, the surroundings are very dirty, yet investors are supposed to pass through there.

Madam Chairperson, the other area that should be looked at is the lengthy process of registering a business. In Rwanda, a person can register and start operating a company in one hour. How long does it take here? Here, there the drawback of a duplication of licences. For example, I pay road tax, road fitness and road tolls, which are all road levies. Why can we not have only one tax per category? The road tax and road fitness for a simple car like a Toyota Hilux is around K1,000 yet, just across the border in Botswana, the road tax is about P70, which is equivalent to K60. So, we urge the Government to lower the cost of doing business so that Zambians can invest more. By overtaxing Zambians, the Government is taking money away from them. So, they will not invest. For business people to make money and help the economy flourish, they are supposed have money to invest. So, the Government cannot run the economy by taking away money from the people through taxes.

Madam Chairperson, Kalomo was the first Capital City of Zambia and is the biggest district in the country, yet it does not have offices for the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA). Therefore, one has to spend K200 to go to another district to pay tax or get road fitness discs worth k30. Why is that the case? No wonder, Zambians do not fully comply with tax laws. To make matters worse, the RTSA system is down most of the time. In Rwanda, especially Kigali, the systems are never down because the country invested in stable supply of electricity before introducing the systems. Further, the system used by the ZRA to collect taxes is too complicated for business people, most of whom did not go to school. Why is the authority complicating things? I suggest that the two institutions undertake benchmarking tours to Rwanda, where they will be told that there are 160,000 motorcycles used by officers to collect taxes in a very simple that enables even those who have not been to school to easily collect tax. So, a lot of tax revenue is collected. Our complicated system, on the other hand, makes the Government to collect less revenue. So, the ministry should look at this issue.

Madam, let me now talk about our local people. Naturally, Zambians are talented. If you go to Kalingalinga, you will people who make wall fence gates. Unfortunately, they do not have capital, and we should take their plight seriously. Tenders should not only be awarded to cadres. If someone says he or she is a business person, look at his or her business plan. The person who built Manda Hill, just near Parliament, did not have a lot of money. What he had was a very good business idea and, when a pension scheme read his business proposal, it lent him some money. That is how the mall was built. The same is done for young people in Botswana, where I worked for fifteen years. While there, I got to know of a young man who had come up with a good business plan, but did not even have a bicycle. He took that plan to some people who later lent him money and he built Kgale View Mall. Unfortunately, we do not have that in this country. All we have is a CEEC that has completely failed the people of Zambia because all does is pay its employees. It is there in Choma in the Southern Province, but it is not doing anything.

Madam Chairperson, in Kalomo District, of the people who are very rich, less than eleven had benefitted from the commission. Of those who benefitted, the largest amount they got was about K15,000. So, we need to be serious about these things because they are the ones that will change the course of the country and make it shine with other countries. Unfortunately, we are tackling them from a business-as-usual approach. In this country, there are people who are doing so well economically that they are able to investment in other countries. However, instead of promoting them so that our children can learn from them, we want to pull them down. Why are we like that?

Mr Kambwili: Hear, hear!

Mr Kamboni: Madam, in conclusion, I strongly appeal to the hon. Minister to look at the duplication of licenses and the interest rates, which are too high. The electricity tariffs are also so high that people have resorted to using charcoal, and that is causing deforestation. In the end, the country’s rain pattern will change. So, the Government must lower electricity tariffs. The road toll must also be adjusted because they are too high. There is no way somebody can pay K3,000 for a truck from Livingstone to Kasumbalesa. Even I have been robbed a lot of the money I could have been giving to the poor in my constituency. 

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mwanakatwe: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to wind up the debate.

Madam, let me reiterate that this economy is on the path to recovery because we are making the environment conducive for business. That is why, this year, the World Bank elevated the country by thirteen notches, from ninety-eighth to eighty-fifth, out of 190 countries on the ease of doing business index, and only a country that is on the path of economic and regulatory reform can achieve that ranking.

Madam, I thank everybody who has debated today, starting with Hon. Mecha, the Member for Chifunabuli, who has debated very well, and was very forward-looking. He talked about undertaking needs assessments and, as I stated, that will be done. He also talked about co-operatives development, but I have already said that we will look at that in 2018. The hon. Member also talked about the need to review the Co-operatives Act, and I assure the House that this Government will do that. Hon. Mecha’s final concern was on the tracking of jobs created in the country. As we move towards the 100,000 jobs per annum target, I assure him that we are doing that.

Madam, Hon. Dr Chanda, the Member for Bwana Mkubwa, talked about the trade imbalances between China and Zambia, and South Africa and China. I thank him for pointing that out and I agree with him. That is why hon. Members will see us have a lot more bilateral talks with our co-operating partners and neighbouring countries like South Africa. In fact, in the past two weeks, we met with our South African colleagues on the same issue.

Madam, a lot has been said about putting Zambia first.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mwanakatwe: Indeed, just like Mr Donald Trump has said he will put America first, we want to put Zambia first. It is for this reason that we designated last week a manufacturers’ week, during which we had an exhibition of Zambian products, all of which were labelled “Proudly Zambian”. I wish my hon. Colleagues had gone to the exhibition and urge them to take an interest in such things so that they can see how the local manufacturing sector is increasingly taking the centre stage every month. In fact, we have patented and trademarked the ‘Proudly Zambian’ log in my ministry so that any producer of goods in Zambia can display it on the packaging. We want to harness the potential of regional, continental and global trade.

Madam, Mr Munkonge, the hon. Member for Lukashya talked about partnerships between foreign and Zambian investors, and empowerment of Zambians to participate in the economy. The Government is doing that, no wonder, last week, we decided, for the first time, to stipulate in the tender clause that in the haulage of the 750 m3 of petrol fuel, 50 per cent of the contract must be awarded to Zambians. We further said that 20 per cent of the procurement contract will be awarded to Zambians. Therefore, I encourage Zambian businesses to take advantage of these incentives. There are forty-three bidders and two lots of the contract, of which Lot 2 is strictly for Zambians.

Madam, we are serious about reservation schemes. That is why some economic areas have been reserved for Zambians. Further, localisation of businesses is really what this Government is all about. When we say a Chinese should not sell live birds at Soweto Market, we mean just that. If we find any flouting the policy, we will take them to jail. This is a continuous effort by ministry …

The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from1640 hours until 1700 hours.         



Mrs Mwanakatwe: Madam Chairperson, before business was suspended, I had talked about Zambia being on the path to economic recovery. For me, the fact that our gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast has been revised from 3.8 per cent to 4.3 per cent in this year alone is evidence of this Government’s confidence that we are on the path to recovery. The rate of inflation is still in single digits and the kwacha is not doing too badly on the exchange market.

Madam, Hon. Belemu’s asserted that a multi-facility economic zone (MFEZ) is very quiet, and that it is overgrown by bushes and infested by animals. However, just between 2016 and 2017, Zambian Breweries Plc set up a malting plant there while British American Tobacco (BAT) Zambia, Zambian Fertilisers Limited, Pharmanova Zambia Limited and Roland Imperial Tobacco Company Limited have also moved there. Further, two power plants generating 100 MW of solar energy each have been set up there. Therefore, I do not think the facility has gone to sleep. In fact, it is on the rise. In this regard, the country will see us establish more MFEZs in Kalumbila and Chembe. In fact, our plan is to establish, at least, one MFEZ in every province of this country. That is why the Government is trying establish industrial yards, for which the closure for bids was only two weeks ago. In 2017, we are establishing seven industrial yards in seven provinces. Again, our aim is to establish, at least, one industrial yard per province. The yards are for Zambian-owned light manufacturing industries. We want to ensure that Zambians are well-established, with proper infrastructure.

Madam Chairperson, there was a plea for us to make Zambia a tax haven so that we can attract the money that is in other tax havens. I will discuss that possibility with the hon. Minister of Finance. Another suggestion raised was on how to encourage Zambians who earn money in the Diaspora to invest it back home. In that regard, Hon. Members would be pleased to know that the Diaspora Policy has been finalised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and one of the things it addresses is how people in the Diaspora can invest in the country, our lovely Zambia.

Madam Chairperson, there was also a call for us to do a lot more to encourage youths to be innovate. Again, the House will be pleased to know that this is now firmly entrenched in the intellectual property law that was passed by this House. We also continue to hold sensitisation workshops around the country to ensure that innovations can be captured and innovative youths supported. 

Madam, I think there were concerns raised on the Citizens Economic Empowerment Fund (CEEF), and the House will be pleased to know that the money allocated in my ministry’s budget is only meant for operations of the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC). The 2018 allocation to the fund is actually K42 million. Yes, we could do more, and that is why we work with co-operating partners. I am sure you heard about my signing for a US$40 million funding agreement for agribusiness with the World Bank. That is especially meant to support agribusinesses run by locals. I also announced a US$30 million loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB). That is also meant to ensure that we have more money than what the Government has set aside for our private sector support, and women and youth empowerment. The House may be pleased to note that 40 per cent of all our monies for the CEEF goes to women, 40 per cent goes to youths and 20 per cent goes to everybody else.

Madam Chairperson, Hon. Kamboni pleaded with us to ensure a smoother clearing of goods at our borders. We will roll out one-stop border posts across the country. Next week, I am going to Livingstone to sign an agreement for the actualisation of the Livingstone One-Stop Border Post with my Zimbabwean counterpart. We have set up a one-stop border post in Nakonde and we will do the same at Kasumbalesa and Mwami border posts. All this is meant to facilitate the flow easier flow of goods and people in and out of this land-locked country.

Madam Chairperson, one hon. Member talked the need to decentralise the ministry. That is entrenched in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP). We are taking a multi-sectoral and collaborative approach to everything that the ministries. In the case of my ministry, it is working with nearly all the other ministries. Our statutory bodies work with, for instance, the councils and the Ministry of Agriculture. So, we do not look at things in isolation or working like silos. That is why you will see a lot more streamlining of the process of setting up businesses. We want to enhance efficiency in the Government.

Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, the main concern I am taking from this debate is about inadequate participation of citizens in business, and I stand here very happy that we are already addressing the issue vigorously. Nevertheless, perhaps, we need to incentivise citizens’ participation in the national and global economies so that we can see a few Zambian millionaires in the next five years, like Nigeria has the Dangotes of this world. I would like to see. To be honest, it can be done because I see a cadre of business people that are coming up now that are keen to ensure that they do become very strong in this economy.

Madam, I thank everybody in the House and solicit the support of all hon. Members for this budget.

Mr Muchima interjected.

Mrs Mwanakatwe: Madam, ‘Mr Ikeleng’i' is looking at me and asking why I have not responded to his debate. The reason is that he was very political, especially in his sentiments on the CEEC. I do not think the commission is political. In fact, it is working very well and has given out quite a lot of money to citizens to empower them, about 92 per cent of whom are in the rural areas.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 33/01 – (Ministry of Commerce, Trade and IndustryHeadquarters – K239,779,660).

Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 1003, Activity 175 – National Kaizen Programme – K40,000.

The Chairperson: Order, hon. Member!

Can you mention the Programme again.

Mr Mutelo: Programme 1003, Madam.

The Chairperson: Yes, it is capacity building.

Mr Mutelo: Activity 175.

The Chairperson: There is no 175.

Mr Mutelo: It is at the bottom of page 457, and it is also titled “Capacity Building”.

The Chairperson: Yes.

Mr Mutelo: Are we now on the same page?


The Chairperson: Yes, we are on the same page.

The hon. Minister may answer.

Mrs Mwanakatwe: Madam Chairperson, if I understood the hon. Member’s question well, he wants to know what Programme 1003, Activity 175 – National Kaizen Programme – K40,000 is, and my answer is that it is a programme that has been implemented in my ministry and will now be implemented in the private sector. “Kaizen’ is a Japanese word that denotes continuous product or service quality improvement. My ministry runs the programme.

I thank you, Madam.

Vote 33/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Votes 33/02, 33/04, 33/05, 33/06, 33/10, 33/16, 33/17, 33/18, 33/19, 33/20, 33/21, 33/22, 33/23, 33/24 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 33/25 – (Ministry of Commerce, Trade and IndustryWestern ProvinceDistrict Agriculture Co-ordinating Office – K960,000).

Mr Mutelo: Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on page 497, Unit 18, Programme 1001 ‒ General Administration ‒ K12,000 and Programme 1048 ‒ Co-operative Promotion and Development ‒ K48,000. Why has Mitete, a new district, been allocated the same amount as the other districts in the Western Province, which are already doing far much better?

Mrs Mwanakatwe: Madam Chairperson, on Unit 18, Programme 1001 ‒ General Administration ‒ K12,000 and Programme 1048 ‒ Co-operative Promotion and Development ‒ K48,000, the decision to allocate Mitete the same amount as the other districts was made in the spirit of equity, as we know that districts are manned in exactly the same manner.

I thank you, Madam.

Vote 33/25 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Votes 33/26, 33/27, 33/28, 33/29, 33/30, 33/31, 33/32, 33/33, 33/34, 33/35, 33/36, 33/37 and 33/38 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 76 – (Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development – K185,738,970).

The Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development (Mr Mawere): Madam, I am grateful to you for giving me this opportunity to present to this august House the policy statement in support of the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development’s 2018 budget.

Madam Chairperson, my ministry is in charge of youth, sport and child development. Its mission is:

“To effectively promote, co-ordinate and monitor youth, sport and child development in order to contribute to sustainable socio-economic development for the benefit of the people of Zambia”.

Madam, the ministry upholds the following core values and virtues in serving its clients:

(a)  accountability;

(b)  transparency;

(c)  hard work;

(d)  goal-oriented;

(e)  fair play;

(f)  client focus;

(g)  unity of purpose; and

(h)  team work.

Madam, in 2017, my ministry was allocated K59,412,320, of which K12,060,988 was meant for personal emoluments while K47,351,331 was for recurrent departmental charges (RDCs). As at 30th September, 2017, K69,108,960.84, including supplementary funding and grants, had been disbursed to my ministry.

Madam Chairperson, in 2018, my ministry has been allocated K185,738,970, of which K15,675,390 will go to personal emoluments, K170,063,580 is for RDCs. In line with the Government policy of dismantling arrears owed to suppliers of goods and services, K40,450,000 has been allocated for that purpose. To continue the implementation of the Action Plan for Youth Empowerment and Employment (APYEE), K48,194,730 has been allocated. Further, K50 million has been allocated for support to the Senior National Football Team. The balance of K31,418,850 will be used for other RDCs.

Madam Chairperson, the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) advocates for an integrated multi-sectoral approach to harness multi-sectoral synergies. In this regard, the implementation of my ministry’s programmes in 2018 will be guided by the four pillars in the 7NDP that are directly linked to its core mandate, namely:

(a)  economic diversification and job creation;

(b)  poverty and vulnerability reduction;

(c)  reducing developmental inequalities; and

(d)  enhancing human development.

In this regard, Madam, the ministry will continue implementing the projects and programmes below.

Youth Development

Madam Chairperson, to ensure youth participation in the development programme of the country, my ministry will continue spearheading and co-ordinating the implementation of the youth policy and the APYEE. Emphasis will be on the promotion of entrepreneurship, skills development and mainstreaming of youths in all developmental programmes through a multi-sectoral approach. In this regard, the ministry has allocated K48, 194,730 towards APYEE. Further, the ministry, in collaboration with the relevant stakeholders, will continue implementing quick-win projects and programmes in the short and long terms to contribute to the developmental outcomes of the 7NDP. 

Madam, under youth entrepreneurship, my ministry has made strides in a number of projects among which are the Youth Street Vendors Empowerment Scheme, in which, so far, K9 million has been disbursed to 4,892 youths countrywide. Further, in 2017, the Government procured 100 tricycles worth K4,930,000, which were distributed on a loan basis to 100 youth co-operatives under the Motorised Cargo Tricycle Scheme. The ministry has also continued to implement the Bus Drivers Empowerment Scheme, in which twenty-five buses have been procured and 175 youth have benefitted.

Madam, in order to ensure the full participation of youths in the Smart Zambia Campaign, the ministry will, starting this year and in 2018, establish youth information and communications technology (ICT) business centres.

Madam, the ministry launched the Community Sports Programme in 2016. The programme is aimed at promoting citizen participation in sport and physical fitness activities and engaging youths in productive activities, thereby keeping them away from vices. Further, by the end of this year, the ministry will have established 583 community safe spaces while, in 2018, the target is 300 additional safe spaces in various parts of the country.

Madam Chairperson, in the area of skills development, priority will be given to the completion of the ongoing projects, namely the establishment of the Chililabombwe, Mwange, Kafue, Luanshya and Kalabo youth resource centres (YRC s) and upgrading of the Chiyota, Kwilimuna and Chama YRCs. In 2017, my ministry and the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA) benefited from the Support to the Science and Technology Education Project (SSTEP), which provided K2,040,000 for financing skills training. Through this project, 1,082 young people received skills and entrepreneurship training.

Madam, in 2018, my ministry will strengthen its collaboration with TEVATA in the training of youth in vocational and life skills, among them general agriculture, entrepreneurship, carpentry, tailoring and food production. The ministry will also continue implementing the Graduate Internship Programme (GIP) in collaboration with such stakeholders as the Ministry of Higher Education, the Zambia Federation of Employers (ZCE) and the hospitality industry.

Madam Chairperson, in collaboration with various stakeholders, the ministry has been working on the establishment of youth development centres (YDC) where young people will be given the opportunity to participate in agriculture and other economic activities. Currently, the project is being piloted at Mwange Youth Development Centre in Mporokoso District, Northern Province. Preparations for the rolling out of the programme to other provinces are underway. In 2018, more resources will be dedicated to the opening up of more centres in the provinces. In this regard, under the 2018 Budget, K1,800,000 has been earmarked for the development of the Mufumbwe/Kasempa Youth Development Centre in the North-Western Province, where most preliminary works have been executed, among them land capability survey, irrigation survey, local area plan and the environmental impact assessment (EIA).

Madam Chairperson, sport and physical activity are vital to the enhancement of personal wellbeing and productivity of citizens, and the two are important to national unity, economic growth and development. To this end, the ministry runs the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) as a centre of excellence for building talent pathways and supporting sports persons to achieve their full potential, and sustain high performance and excellence at on the regional and international levels. In addition, in 2018, my ministry will ensure the continued training and advancement of coaches through the Sport, Education and Accreditation System (SEAS). In 2017, through bilateral arrangements with China, nine coaches were trained in sport events management, sports facility management, and anti-doping, medicine and rehabilitation. These measures are aimed at ensuring improved quality of sport talent and will be strengthened by the Podium Performance Programme. The ministry will continue to promote anti-doping through various awareness programmes in order to ensure that there is fair play in sport in the country. Sports persons will continue to be educated on the dangers of doping in sport and how doping affects the development of the country.

Madam, I am tempted to bring anti-doping machines to this august House because I have seen many potential clients, judging by the way some hon. Members debate.


Mr Mawere: Madam, the ministry will also ensure that sports infrastructure is safe and secure, as per international standards, to encourage participation of all Zambians, including children, women, the elderly and the disabled.

Madam Chairperson, child development is key to the sustainable development of any nation. In this regard, my ministry developed the National Child Policy in 2015 and the National Plan of Action to ensure that children’s rights to survival, development, protection and participation are respected. In collaboration with various stakeholders, my ministry will also facilitate the enactment of the Child Code Act in order to harmonise all legislation pertaining to children and domesticate all international conventions and treaties to which Zambia is party. In 2018, the ministry will also strengthen its role in co-ordinating interventions in the area of child development by partners like line ministries, civil society organisations (CSOs) and the private sector in child survival programmes, such as nutrition, immunisation, sensitisation on parenting skills, and provision of early childhood learning and recreation centres.

Madam Chairperson, in 2017, my ministry removed 3,000 children from the streets and reintegrated them with their families in order to ensure their protection from all forms of abuse and neglect resulting from streetism, early pregnancies and defilements. This programme is complex. Therefore, it should not start and end with removing children from the street and reintegrating them into their families. It needs an integrated and multi-sectoral approach that addresses the root cause of streetism among children. Therefore, in 2018, my ministry has allocated K1,999,990 to the rehabilitation and reintegration of street children, and K217,880 to the campaign against child marriages.

Madam Chairperson, the implementation of the mentioned programmes will not be devoid of challenges. Inadequate infrastructure, equipment and human resource for child, youth and sports development programmes has been our major challenge. In that regard, the ministry will continue to mobilise resource and exploit other avenues, such as public private partnership (PPPs). The ministry will also partner with key line ministries, as guided by the 7NDP.

Madam Chairperson, my ministry will continue to engage the Ministry of Finance and Public Service Management Division (PSMD) on the implementation of a new structure, which will strengthen the human capital needs for effective and efficient service delivery.

Madam Chairperson, due to high levels of youth unemployment and under-employment in the country, and relatively low participation in sports, streetism and child marriages remain rampant. In this regard, in 2018, my ministry will continue to focus on the implementation of the APYEE to lower the levels of unemployment and under-employment among the youth.

Madam, in line with the President’s directive that we do not leave anyone behind, my ministry, in collaboration with other stakeholders, will enforce legislation and implement policies that will enable children to not only survive, but also thrive. In order to encourage participation in various sports, the ministry will promote grassroots sports development and physical fitness programmes in collaboration with the ministries of General Education and Health, and other stakeholders.

Madam Chairperson, on Friday, I will give the kit for community sports to all Parliamentarians to encourage them and the people they superintend over in the constituencies to continue to actively participate in sporting activities.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Tambatamba: Bwekeshapo!


Mr Mawere: Madam Chairperson, on Friday, my ministry will come here, in this august House, to distribute sports equipment to our Parliamentarians to encourage physical fitness among our people.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Mawere: In conclusion…

The Chairperson: Order, hon. Minister!

I just want to guide you that you cannot distribute the kit to hon. Members in the House. However, you are welcome to do it outside.


Mr Mawere: Thank you, for that correction, Madam.


Mr Mawere: Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, I urge all hon. Members of this august House to support the 2018 estimates of expenditure for my ministry so that the ministry can accelerate the implementation of youth, sport and child development programmes. The children and youths are unique, and adequate investment in them is the only way to safeguard the present and the future of Zambia.

I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Madam Chairperson, thank the hon. Minister for his policy statement. However, after dissecting his speech, I have not seen much on what his ministry intends to do about dilapidated infrastructure countrywide. In my constituency, Kabwe Central, if you came to see the type of football pitches we play on and you do not have a strong heart like mine, maybe, you would shed tears. There are a number of people who want to participate in various sports activities, not just football, but we do not have the appropriate facilities. I do not know if there is a single tennis or volleyball court, or sports swimming pool in Central Province. I think the ministry has grown now and this is the best time for it to start looking at the areas where we have inadequacies.

Madam, we are all aware that other sporting activities have not seen the kind of support that football has received. Recently, I undertook to sponsor a youth tournament. So, if the hon. Minister will give us the football kit he has promised, it will help us spread the benefits by donating to our electorates.

Dr Chibanda: Aah! Donate futi? It is meant for you.

Mr Ngulube: Madam Chairperson, regarding the other youth development programmes the hon. Minister has mentioned, there have been many squabbles. For example, we have heard that some buses that were meant for the youths in Central Province, Kabwe, in particular, ended up in another province, and there were fights when people tried to retrieve them. Further, as much as we want to appreciate the initiative of providing buses as a means of empowerment, we think the number of beneficiaries is too small. If the resources were spread out, more youths would have benefitted. To make matters worse, some of the donated buses have started breaking down and our friends in the public transport business will tell you that it is not easy to run some of those buses, especially the Higer type, due to their high maintenance and repair costs. So, the hon. Minister should consider spreading the resources instead of concentrating them on one activity. For example, he should have bought mini buses, even the Hiace type, and given one to each district instead of one or two big buses for a whole province like Central Province, which has more than five districts. Otherwise, the programme is a recipe for greed and selfishness.

Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister also referred to skills training. Recently, I visited Kabwe Skills Training Centre and found that the people there live as if they do not have a Government. If the ministry was to send officers even to just go and see how dilapidated that institution has become, the resources that I believe the ministry is not applying correctly might be put to good use. The centre is doing a very good job of training our youths in catering and food preparation, mechanics, electrical engineering and other entrepreneurial skills, but the roofs of some of the structures have collapsed and the students are only being taught the theory of baking cakes because there is no oven or four plate cooker. I do not think, in this day and age, we should allow such standards. So, I invite the hon. Minister to visit the centre and support it because it is actually doing more than what we expect of it. If the ministry could connect the centre to donors or organisations that deal in youth activities, it would do the people of Kabwe a great favour. I also know that the ministry has many workers and Directors who do not bother to visit such centres. We just see them when they park at Hungry Lion to buy food on their way to Lusaka. Why do they not deliberately decide to inspect projects in towns through which they pass?

Madam Chairperson, we have been going to the ministry’s offices in Kabwe to find out what programmes it is implementing. Sometimes, we are just told that there was some money that was being given to vendors through the Post Office and that only fifteen people benefited. How can a Government department implement a programme to benefit only fifteen people out of an estimated youth population of 300,000? Can we show the people that the ministry is still relevant. Currently, the only time people think about the ministry is in connection with football. When it comes to youth skills training, the ministry is deemed one of the most side-lined, or maybe, it is side-lining itself. We want to see an improvement in the implementation of Youth Development Centres (YDCs). In my honest opinion, it is pointless to construct new youth skills training centres when we cannot sustain the existing ones. So, we should complete the current projects. 

Madam Chairperson, my constituency has many recreational facilities that were left behind by the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM). However, they are being run down. Were the ministry serious, it would do better than it is doing currently. Let us improve the way we implement these programmes. The Constituency Offices have now become like they belong to the ministry because that is where people run to when they want to know about programmes from which they can benefit. However, the ministry staff on the ground do not involve Members of Parliament and Councillors. So, there is no co-ordination between the programmes of the Government and those of the Constituency Offices, and that is what is causing us to fail to achieve the intended results.

Madam Chairperson, I thank the hon. Minister for highlighting what the Government intends to do. In that regard, I invite either him, the Permanent Secretary (PS) or a Director to visit the Kabwe Skills Training Centre before the end of 2017 and tell us how the Government proposes to improve the institution. The students there cannot continue learning in classes with leaking roofs and putting buckets to collect the dripping water. When the buckets fill, they spill the water and re-place them. I do not think the hon. Minister wants people to live like that.


Mr Ngulube: Madam Chairperson, for those who are shouting behind, I am not talking about the Patriotic Front (PF), but about the Government because that institution was built in the First Republic. It was not built by the PF Government.

Madam Chairperson, finally, …


Mr Ngulube:  Madam Chairperson, I do not want to conclude three times today. I have gone into ten minutes already, which is unusual, but I am sure it is because I am upset by what is happening at the Kabwe Skills Training Centre.

Madam Chairperson, let me speak for myself, my neighbours here and all the progressive hon. Members of the Opposition.

Mr S. Mulusa: Aah!

Mr Ngulube: Madam Chairperson, when the hon. Minister has programmes in our constituencies, he should not by-pass our offices because it is not beneficial for the Ministers to run programmes without our involvement. If the hon. Minister goes to a constituency for only thirty minutes and drives back to Lusaka, or visits the constituency in the night and leave before morning, the people will not know the good works of his ministry. On the other hand, if he or she involves the Member of Parliament, councillors and the people in the area he or she visits, many people will appreciate what the Government is doing. I am opening up to the hon. Minister that whenever he has a programme in my constituency, even if I am not there, he should involve my office. I can even assign somebody to witness what the hardworking Government of the PF is doing for the youths. I remember, last time, when the hon. Minister issued a statement on some programme in this House, hon. Members were up in arms against him because they were hearing about the programme when it was already under implementation.

Madam, the hon. Minister also talked about the disbursement of loans through Post Offices. My question is: If somebody has no money and wants the Government to give him a small loan, why should he or she be asked to buy forms? That is abusing them. Asking them to pay K250 to access a K500 loan is as good as telling them that their loan is K250. They are told to go to court and commission their forms where they are told to pay K100, and get passport-size at K80. What kind of empowerment is that, which squeezes blood out of a stone? If applicants must fill loan forms, but they do not have the money, the ministry should inform us so that we can help them to photocopy the forms. We can also organise photographers to take passport-size photos so that the people can see that the development being taken to them is for the youths. Believe me, there are people cannot manage a K20 in a day. How can such a person be told to pay K50 for passport-size photos? What is the ministry trying to do to the people? Is it not sending them away?

Madam Chairperson, my invitation to the hon. Minister or any of his senior officers to see what is happening in Kabwe still stands. If they do not come, I will definitely come and pick them from Lusaka using my transport.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Madam Chairperson, I support the budget for the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development. I adopt Hon. Ngulube’s debate.

Madam Chairperson, Zambia is known as a youthful nation because the majority of its people are youths. Therefore, the ministry should play a major role in helping the youths of this country, and its huge responsibility should be recognised.

Madam, the youths complain of such challenges as unemployment, yet the Government’s handling of the problem does not seem to bear any fruits.

Madam Chairperson, when your Committee on Youth and Sport visited Nairobi, it was impressed to see how the government there was empowering the youths in that country.

Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: The level at which the Government of Kenya was implementing youth co-operatives is very high and the performance of the co-operatives, including in loan repayments, is above 95 per cent. I wish the situation was the same here. In Zambia, I think we have a problem. We are very good at proposing activities, but poor at implementing. There are programmes like the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and Youth Empowerment Fund (YEF) in other countries, which copied those ideas from us. However, those countries are performing better than us.

Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: Madam Chairperson, in the Budget, the Kalabo District Resource Centre has been allocated K34,590. In 2017, it the activity was allocated K30,000. However, despite living in Kalabo, I do not know where the resource centre to which the money is allocated is. There is nothing. Therefore, I request to be taken to the Kalabo District Resource Centre …

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: … so that I can know where it is located. In my view, a resource centre is a completed structure. Calling a project that stalled at the slab level a resource centre is using faulty descriptive language because those who have not been to Kalabo will think there is a resource centre there. The truth is that there is not even at slab there. All one can find there are trenches, and Hon. Kampyongo knows that.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: If the hon. Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development is not aware, he can consult the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, who has been to the site. In fact, I think he is aware of what I am talking about. However, if he wants to dispute it, that is up to him.

Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister talked about sports. Even in the rural areas, the youths play football using improvised footballs. In case the ministry is not aware, that is one activity that can really engage the youths. Last time, I attended a meeting in the Parliament Auditorium to which the hon. Minister brought heaps of brochures with more than thirty pages each. The cost of printing such brochures can buy balls for all the constituencies. During the meeting, the Permanent Secretary (PS) said that the ministry would revisit the contents of the brochures, meaning that the money that had been spent on printing them did not benefit the people of Kalabo.

Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister must take sports seriously. He once talked about community sport, but it was not implemented in Kalabo. Maybe, the programme is on its way to Kalabo, but has not yet reached even the Nalusanga Check Point. Today, he talked about grassroots sports. We play around with terminologies in Zambia. What is the grassroots sports to which he referred? Let us be practical. I was just telling someone that the blood flowing in the veins of the people in the rural areas is the same as that flowing in those in the urban areas. There is no difference. Therefore, the ministry must know that the youths in the deep rural areas of Kalabo are the same as those in Lusaka. They, too, must be catered for.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: Therefore, community sport should be implemented in the rural areas first and all the requisites should be provided. The hon. Minister once stated that every constituency would be given footballs. Where are those footballs?

Mr Ngulube: Where are the balls?


Mr Miyutu: Madam Chairperson, every activity has retirement. Therefore, the ministry must prepare sports men and women to contribute positively to the development of sports in their communities when they retire. That is how sports will benefit our communities and be appreciated by the people. When sports men and women are not recognised, people will not have the desire to participate in sporting activities.

Madam Chairperson, regarding the construction of stadia, we should not only hear of the Heroes and Levy Mwanawasa national stadia in Lusaka and Ndola, respectively. Such facilities must be constructed across the country.

Mr Muchima: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: That is what will add value to the promotion of sports and business, as clubs will be started in the communities and they will host other clubs for tournaments, thereby creating demand for accommodation facilities. That is how the flow of sporting activities and of money go in tandem and how money can reach remote areas. The Government has a responsibility to take money to the people in the rural areas by all the possible means so that those people there can uplift themselves. The hon. Minister stated that the Government would construct stadia in Livingstone and Mongu. However, to date, that has not been done. Nevertheless, we await the construction of those stadia so that they can, one day, host Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) and national games. So, I urge the hon. Minister to look into that.

Madam Chairperson, like Hon. Ngulube said, hon. Members of Parliament, whether from the Opposition or Ruling Party, are major stakeholders in all programmes implemented in their constituencies. Therefore, for sporting activities to be successful, the Members of Parliament must be involved. Unfortunately, the people in the Executive do not realise that when the programmes are successfully implemented in the constituencies, credit will go to the Government, not the Members of Parliament. Therefore, for the sake of the people, the Government should work with all the Members of Parliament, who are the link between the Government and the people. We often find ourselves answering questions from the people in our communities that should ideally be answered by Hon. Mawere. In this regard, we should not be side-lined.

Madam Chairperson, with those words, I thank you.

Amb. Malanji (Kwacha): Madam Chairperson, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to debate the Vote on the Floor.

Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister’s submission was quiet lucid and to the point. However, we have to ask ourselves why juvenile delinquency is increasing in the communities. We should also ask ourselves whether we are delivering to expectations so that our youth can appreciate the ministry.

Madam Chairperson, at the expense of being monotonous, I will echo the hon. Member for Kabwe Central’s sentiments.

The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1810 hours until 1830 hours.



The Chairperson: Hon. Members, I am pleased that the House formed the quorum in good time. This is very commendable.

Amb. Malanji: Madam Chairperson, when business was suspended, I was saying that we have to ask ourselves why there is a high rate of juvenile delinquency in our communities.

Madam, when some of us were growing up, there was less juvenile delinquency. Any free afternoon, one checked around the neighbourhood and asked, “Jack Mwiimbu aile kwisa?”, and the answer was, “Naya ku olofeya”.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Amb. Malanji: If one asked in the neighbourhood, “Where has Jack Mwiimbu gone?”, the answer was, “He has gone to the Welfare facilities”. That was because under the Municipality Act, there was a provision that each section should have recreational facilities. Unfortunately, that is not the case today. I speak as someone who comes from a constituency that has more than 71,000 registered voters or adults. If you multiply that number by an average of ten, the total will be staggering. However, the whole constituency has no recreational facilities. Therefore, it is cardinal that the ministry must do is implementing capacity building programmes. Otherwise, we will spend days and years talking without getting the expected results.

Madam, over the years, I have seen hon. ministers of Youth, Sport and Child Development lobby the corporate houses to support a specific sports discipline, especially when there have been deficits in budgets for hosting tournament to come. That practice should not continue. Let us not be proactive, not reactive like firefighters. My thinking is that it would be profitable for the ministry to set up a task force to spearhead the development of the sports infrastructure that we need in the country. I know that the sports catchment area is usually along the railway line from Chililabombwe to Livingstone. However, as you may all know, the privatisation exercise we had in Zambia was nothing, but mere asset stripping. Companies bought other companies, including the recreational facilities of the bought companies. I think the onus is on the ministry to see what it can do to get back those facilities. Seeing as the facilities were bought for a song and they are not well maintained, it should be very easy for the Government to negotiate their repossession.

Madam, we boast of Livingstone being a tourist town. However, if a tourist in Livingstone wanted to play golf, he or she would have to get another visa and cross over into Victoria Falls Town in Zimbabwe. The reason is that, under the Municipality Act, the town had a golf course owned by the council, but a business person bought it and, then, neglected to maintain it. So, it has been dormant for the past five or six years, if I am not mistaken.

Madam Chairperson, in Chililabombwe, there are premises that were used for recreational activities like squash, tennis and bowling. However, if one went there now, one would not find a simple machine for sanding the squash court or cutting the tennis court.

Mr Malama: Nga Luanshya, ba mudala?


Amb. Malanji: As a result, sportsmen and women do not rise from those towns. The facilities are not there.

Mr Malama: Landeni po kaili!

Amb. Malanji: Madam, if the ministry can set up a task force that would bring the corporate world on board, we may produce sportsmen and women from those areas. The Matetes of this world arose in an era when the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) sponsored all the sporting facilities. Those days, most parastatal companies were obliged to honour their corporate social responsibility. Today, it is difficult to lobby corporate bodies for sponsorship of very important events in their community. If one got K1,000 from them, then, one is lucky, yet Zambians are very good at being expectant. We want results and to see Zambia qualify to the World Cup, yet we do not ask ourselves what our input is. Like they say in the computing field, if you input junk, you get junk out. At the rate we are going with regard to sports, I would say that we are merely operating under the screensaver. The whole computer is in standby mode.


Amb. Malanji: Madam, tangible co-operation between the ministries of Youth, Sport and Child Development, and General Education could be in promoting inter-schools sports competitions. Once, we used to have inter-schools sports activities through which talent was identified. Today, it is very difficult to do that because there is no cost-sharing between the two ministries, which would have made the programme very easy for the ministry to harness some of the programmes.

Madam, at the end of the day, we have to see where the budgets we come here to approve go. Not long ago, one of our teams was going to one of the Francophone countries, it could be Congo Brazzaville, and the tournament was starting the following day, but the players were still here and only went for the sake of trying to fulfil the programme to avoid penalties. The trip was a mere academic exercise. Can we not implement these programmes with a vision to get results out of them?

Madam Chairperson, on youth empowerment programmes, I would like to agree with the hon. Member for Kabwe Central that there is no co-ordination between hon. Member of Parliament and the youths, and the systems the ministry is using to empower them.

Madam Chairperson, the hon. Member of Parliament is the only member of the three wings of the Government who has a direct mandate from the people. In this regard, I assure the House that if we start involving the Constituency Offices regularly, we will the desired results. It is not right for an area Member of Parliament to go to the constituency and hear from the grapevine that there was some funding from the ministry, like is happening now.

Madam, in conclusion, I advise the hon. Minister that if we do not embark on the programmes I have talked about, it will be difficult to achieve the desired results even if the Government gets a scientist from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)   to carry undertake an audit and justify the expenditure.

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

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sampa (Kasama Central): Madam Chairperson, I to thank you for giving me this opportunity to project my voice on this debate as I represent the wonderful people of Kasama Central.

Madam, I thank the hon. Minister for his policy statement to this august House. However, I have a serious concern with regard to the children who live on the streets. This problem will be a time bomb if the Government does not attend to it. Since I come from a rural constituency, I used to think I would never see street children there but, in the past three years, their number has been increasing, and that is worrisome. Further, as I drive around the City of Lusaka or on my way from Kasama, I see that the number of street children is increasing in all the major towns through which I pass. The Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development is the key to handling the issue, which are at the tip of our nose.

Madam, if you look at the majority of the population of our country, …

Mr Chisopa: On a point of order, Madam.

The Chairperson: Order, hon. Member for Kasama Central!

The hon. Member for Mkushi South is emphatic in his indication of desire to raise a point of order.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: I am granting him the point of order on condition that it must be urgent and on an issue that affects the people of his constituency.

Dr Kambwili: Kanshi yapasa!


The Chairperson: Let us hear it.

Mr Chisopa: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for allowing me to raise this point of order, which is on a matter that affects the people of Zambia in Luano, Mkushi South Constituency and the entire country.

Madam Chairperson, in July, 2017, the implementation of the electronic voucher (e-Voucher) system commenced and the beneficiaries of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) started registering. Today, however, no single farmer in my constituency has received seed or fertiliser.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Chisopa: I had to ask the farmers in the constituency to use the maize they harvested, which is not chemically treated, as seed.

Madam, is the hon. Minister of Finance, who is seated comfortably there, and his counterpart in the Ministry of Agriculture in order to sit here when our people have not received seed or fertiliser, yet the rainy season has already started.

I need your serious ruling, Madam.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Order!

My serious ruling is that the hon. Member for Mkushi South has, indeed, raised a very important point of order. I, therefore, encourage him to go to the Legal and Journals Department to file in a Question of an Urgent Nature, which will be answered by the hon. Minister of Agriculture and provide an opportunity for other hon. Members to ask questions.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisopa left the Assembly Chamber.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sampa: Madam Chairperson, before I was interrupted, I was saying that the majority of our population are the young people. So, if we do not put serious measures in place to handle streetism, all of us in this House will be judged harshly by posterity. What measures are being taken to address the alarming plight of the children on the streets? I know that those children come from families, and there should be tough laws to deal with people who fail to take care of children under their charge because that is a very serious issue.

Madam, I know that, ten years ago, there was an attempt to remove children from the streets and give those who were old enough various life skills and tools to fend for themselves at Zambia National Service (ZNS) Camps. Today, there is an empowerment programme in which the Government has bought the so-called buses. Yes, that is a good idea, but the amount of money spent on those buses is too much. In fact, the cost of one bus would cater for over 1000 thousand young people. So, the ministry needs to refocus its strategy on real issues and empower the young people. I see that the able Directors who were there when the programme to which I referred was initiated are still in the ministry and I am sure they recall what they did then. I remember that the number of street children, at least, reduced.

Madam, the young people are the vanguard of our nation. So, if we leave them unguided and unguarded, anything can happen to them. Therefore, I urge the ministry to take serious measures to ensure that we really focus on the issues that really matter and channel resources to them so that we arrest this situation.

Madam Chairperson, I think we need to set up recreational facilities in the rural areas to contribute positively to this great nation. In the sports fraternities, yes, the ministry has supported soccer. However, what about other sports disciplines? Whenever it is time for soccer, there is always money for sponsorship. Are the other sports not equally important? Do they not also instil discipline in our youths and keep them away from engaging in social vices? I think we need to turn the coin and look at facilities for other sports as well. In this regard, I urge the ministry to look consider putting up recreational facilities in all the ten provinces. I know it is not possible to build stadia because they are capital projects and involve colossal amounts of money. However, simple recreational facilities are not that expensive to put up and maintain. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome HIV/AIDS pandemic has not spared our youths because they have nothing positive to do and, therefore, engage in illicit and unprotected sex. After all, they have the energy to run around and do things.

Mr Musukwa: We will bury them.

Mr Sampa: Madam, sex has become a game to the youths. Therefore, as leaders, I think we should not hide from this fact. Instead, we should confront these issues and educate the youths about them. For that to happen, like earlier speakers have said, this ministry needs to engage us, the area hon. Members of Parliament because we are the ones who are in direct contact with the young people and the rest of our community, and we know those who are most affected. So, we know whom to engage with. We are readily available to collaborate with the ministry and give it all the information it might need about our constituencies. Some very important information is just gathering dust on the shelves of our Constituency Offices.

Madam Chairperson, the ministry should also adopt the principle of equality in its programming. It should not look at the youths in the rural settings differently from the way it looks at the youths in the urban areas because both groups of youths are accounted for in the statistics of this country. So, they should all be able to benefit from all public facilities and programmes. For example, the implementation of the Youth Empowerment Fund (YEF), to be honest, leaves much to be desired. Most of the proposals our youths submit to the Youth Department at the ministry are not processed. Therefore, the youths are not accessing the fund, except those who are well-known to the officers in the department’s offices. I think that it is high time we looked for a better way of receiving and processing the applications. The ministry should engage hon. Members of Parliament in that endeavour and in assessing applications. Mind you, the hon. Members of Parliament know the applicants better.

Mr Sing’ombe: Hammer!

Mr Sampa: The ministry should also partner with other stakeholders like the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare, which has offices in almost all the districts, and information that the ministry needs.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kambwili (Roan): Madam Chairperson, I just want to support the Vote for the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development.

Madam, I thank and commend the hon. Minister and his staff because most of the programmes I left in the ministry are now bearing fruit.  For instance the Community Sports Programme and the establishment of safe spaces are being implemented. However, I am worried about the pace at which the ministry is constructing youth resource centres (YRCs) which, in Kalabo, Roan and Chililabombwe, started in 2012. Unfortunately, to date, not much has been done, especially with respect to the ones in Kalabo and Roan. I know that the one in Chililabombwe is almost complete, if not already complete. In fact, I remember that before I left the ministry, we had recommended that the two contracts be terminated, but that has not been done. So, I urge the hon. Minister and his staff to quicken the construction of those facilities.

Madam Chairperson, let me also comment on the provision of buses to the youths, which I think the hon. Minister needs to revisit because it is a scandal, as far as I am concerned, as the repayment target that the youths have been given by the supplier of the buses is too high. In fact, it is more that what they make in a month, which means that all the money they make goes towards repayments and drivers’ salaries. The operators of the buses, that is, the youths, are not getting anything at all. Meanwhile, the buses are already showing signs of wearing out, meaning that by the time the loans are completely repaid, the buses would no longer be road-worthy. Therefore, the only beneficiary from the programme will be the supplier of the buses. So, I urge the hon. Minister and his able Permanent Secretary (PS), Mrs Agnes Musunga, to urgently organise a meeting for with the youth groups involved in the scheme. Speaking for Luanshya District, the youths there have not benefited from the project, yet they are the ones who work as conductors. I am even sure that they pilfer from their daily cashing in order for them to survive because they are not on a salary and do not get any dividends. So, this issue should be resolved quickly so that the youths can benefit from the busses that we meant to empower them. Otherwise, the hon. Minister is doing well.

Madam Chairperson, although I support the Vote, I think that the money allocated is too little. The ministry needs more money. I can say that with authority because I have been in that ministry. Hon. Sampa said that it should sponsor other types of sports. However, how can it when the money it is given, year in and year out, is this little? The hon. Minister has just told us how the Government has allocated K180 million to the ministry yet, for the Zambia National Football Team to go on one trip, it needs in excess of US$250,000. So, there is nothing much the ministry can do with K180 million. Hon. Mutati, please, help the ministry. In fact, the time I was leaving the ministry, its budget was K137 million. I am, therefore, surprised that, two years later, the allocation has only been increased to K180 million despite the realignment of the Department of Child Development to the ministry.

Madam, for the ministry to achieve anything, the Government needs to up its game by allocating more money to it.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mrs Chonya (Kafue): Madam Chairperson, I thank my colleagues who have debated this Budget line, especially those on your right. I think that they were quite elaborate and candid in highlighting the challenges being faced by our youths. I thought that, maybe, things were better in their constituencies, being members of the Ruling Party, but it appears that we are all facing the same challenges in our constituencies. Therefore, I will just add a few thoughts to theirs, starting with the area of child development.

Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development said something on early childhood education in this ministry. I am not sure if the Government is decided on which ministry will be responsible for early childhood education because the ministries of General Education and Local Government also claim the function.

Madam, the statistics I have show that there are 96,000 Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) teachers countrywide, of which the number of early childhood teachers is only less than 2,000, meaning that there is a huge deficit in this sub-sector. I, therefore, call on the Government to pay more attention to it because this is where the matrix of child development begins.

Madam Chairperson, we cannot talk about the youth without talking about the employment and training opportunities available to them. In this regard, I am reminded of that statement issued by the University of Zambia (UNZA) Public Relations Officer at during the time students were complaining about the high fees. The officer said that the university was not meant for the poor. I was saddened to hear that. As a country where many people live below the poverty datum line, our financing strategy for higher education, I thought, would take into account the fact that most of the students come from families that are not able to support their education.

Madam Chairperson, my hon. Colleagues have already talked about the stalled construction of youth resource centres (YRC), and I am glad that the hon. Minister knows that Kafue is one of the affected areas. The constituency it has a very big (YRC), but it has remained incomplete for a long time. I support the calls for the centres to be completed because they will give our youths something to do. Further, we should not forget other youth centres like Simango in Kazungula District. We should also establishment YRCs in special areas like the Chiawa Zone of Kafue, which is on the outskirts of the district. Chirundu District equally does not have a YRC, meaning that all the youths in that area have nowhere to go to acquire skills to support themselves.

Madam Chairperson, currently, the Government seems to be inconsistent when it comes to the prioritisation of programmes to implement. At one point, it was very fashionable for this ministry to talk about the construction of stadia. I am not sure how many have actually been constructed, but it is a song that has gone to die. That has remained a challenge, as has investment in sports disciplines other than soccer.

Madam Chairperson, at one point, there was talk of reintroduction of the system of taking youths to Zambia National Service (ZNS) training camps for them to be imparted with livelihood skills, after which they would be resettled in farming blocks and supported to engage in agriculture or supported in other kinds of productive ventures. We should not lose sight of that idea, especially given that it is difficult for them to get meaningful jobs. We need to introduce them to agriculture as an alternative way of earning a living. In that regard, the relevant ministry should pay serious attention to the issues in the agricultural sector. We should not have situations like what prompted my colleague to raise a point of order, that is, we are right in the middle of the farming season, yet seeds and other inputs have not yet been distributed to the farmers.

Madam Chairperson, the technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA) is a very important institution in youth skills training. However, it appears that many people who interact with it find it difficult to pay its affiliation fees, which they consider very exorbitant. Two days ago, I interacted with a youth organisation from Kafue that has a very good concept of maintaining computer hardware. That small organisation was asked to pay about K9,000 to affiliate with TEVETA and be able to offer TEVETA-certified training to other youths, and that was too much money for them to raise.

Madam Chairperson, I have also not heard the hon. Minister say much about youth programmes targeting the girl child. Much of what he talked about, such as the tricycles and buses, seem to be to be focused on male youths because very few female youths would engage in those kinds of activities.

Madam, we also want to see equity in the distribution of programmes among the various beneficiaries. When saw the tricycles in another country I recently, I prayed that they would never come on our Zambian roads. Little did I know that they were already here. Anyway, for some reason, the tricycles seem to be kept away from the public eye, and we wonder who is benefitting from them because we have not seen them in other parts of the country.

Madam Chairperson, I know that the issue of employment is a difficult one, but I think it is also one that needs the Government to make a concerted effort towards industrialisation. Somebody in this House said that if the Government was as vigorous in attracting people to establish industries in the country as it is in inviting people to build malls, it would have gone a long way in helping our youths to get decent employment instead of vending on the streets. As our colleague reminded us, street vending is an illegal activity, yet the hon. Minister has still come back to tell us about promoting it. I think we are supposed to find a better way of supporting our youth.

Madam Chairperson, I agree that we need to support entrepreneurship activities ...

The Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)




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

Question put and agreed to.

The House adjourned at 1915 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 23rd November, 2017.