Thursday, 30th November, 2017

Printer Friendly and PDF

Thursday, 30th November, 2017


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












92. Mr Mbulakulima (Milenge) asked the Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection:


  1. whether the Government had any plans to sink boreholes in Milenge District;


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


  1. how many boreholes were earmarked for sinking;


  1. at which places the boreholes would be sunk; and


  1. If there were no such plans, why.


The Minister of Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection (Mr Kaziya): Mr Speaker, the Government through the Ministry has plans to sink boreholes in Milenge District.


Sir, the Government plans to complete sinking boreholes in Milenge District by 31st December, 2017. The total number of boreholes to be sunk is forty. The boreholes will be drilled in the following locations:


Chiwila, Mumase, Kafwanka, Kampaki, Spuni, Mpundu Pilias, Mboshi, Chibengele, Makafi, Katwa, Ndeye, Chungwe, Soloti, Kasangashi, Mwansa Bantu, Yatema, Nyeleti, East 7, Chibende Primary School, Chibende Secondary School, Katuta, Kapesa, Chapabuku, Twalubuka, Foloko, Makololo, Mapulanga, Mushibwe, Kapwenge, Loti, Chimbotwa, Kanono, Scheme B, Changwe Lungo Primary, Changwe Lungo Rural Health Centre, Kalaushi, Changwe Lungo Village, Mumbotuta Primary School and Kabuka.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister almost made me the envy of this House when he mentioned forty boreholes. The House was going to be very impressed. However, he has said that these boreholes will be done by 31st December, 2017. Is the hon. Minister in a position to tell me how many boreholes the Government has sunk so far and how many are yet to be sunk. This is in view of the fact that December is not far from now. Further, my records indicate that other than those that were sunk by Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA), there are no boreholes which were sunk by the ministry.


Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that question. I want to assure him that the Government is equal to the task and that it will sink these boreholes before 31st December, 2017. However, I cannot state how many have been sunk, except to say that some boreholes have been sunk. If the hon. Member is interested in knowing how many boreholes the Government has sunk, I can avail him the list which is in my office.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kamondo (Mufumbwe): Mr Speaker, the idea to sink boreholes in Milenge is well thought out. Is the hon. Minister going to avail all the hon. Members of Parliament information concerning how many constituencies are going to benefit from this programme? If not, could the hon. Minister tell us the number of boreholes that will be sank countrywide. This way, hon. Members will stop asking the same questions.

Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that question. I have a list of constituencies where boreholes have been sunk. I will circulate this list to hon. Members of Parliament.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kopulande (Chembe): Mr Speaker, I have an interest in Milenge Constituency because that is located next to mine. We used to be one constituency at one time. As a matter of principle, the hon. Minister has announced specific locations in Milenge where boreholes shall be sunk, but the hon. Member of Parliament for Milenge does not know of them. Is this indicative of a disconnection between the Executive and the elected representatives of the people? How can this be cured because these matters of development affect the hon. Members that have been elected by the people in those constituencies to represent them?


Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, hon. Members of Parliament should take interest in what we are doing as a ministry in their constituencies. We have delivered some of these boreholes and they must take interest by coming to our offices to get information. If they feel there is a disconnect it is the not the Government to blame.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, I am aware that Milenge is a newly created district. However, how many constituencies are there in Milenge District for them to be rewarded with forty boreholes that should be done within one month?


Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker I have stated that some of the boreholes have already been sunk and the assurance that I am giving the hon. Member for Milenge is that we are very practical in the way we do things. We have assured him that we shall sink the forty boreholes by 31st of December, 2017.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Chonya (Kafue): Mr Speaker, the last time we had a discussion on borehole there was a concern over the cost per unit of each borehole. Was this revisited by the ministry and is the ministry open to having service providers that are cheaper than the ones that they had quoted last time?


Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, if Hon. Chonya is interested in the figures per unit she can make a follow-up and we will provide that information at the office.


I thank you.




Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, I remember this was a long drawn out discussion. You have no general indication whether there has been a review downward or otherwise?


Mr Kaziya: There has been a review on the cost of boreholes. The ministry is charging standard prices for boreholes when compared to our competitors. A lot of people prefer using our competitors although they are deceiving them by not providing the casing up to the depths of the boreholes. If hon. Members are interested in finding out how much a borehole costs, we can provide that information.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, almost all rural constituencies would like to benefit from these boreholes just like Milenge. However, the road infrastructure for Milenge and Kaputa is amongst the worst, to be frank. Does the hon. Minister believe in his heart that he will be able to pass through Milenge during the month of December in order to finish these boreholes?


Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, we have done a fairly good job, more especially in Luapula Province. Most of the districts have been provided with these boreholes and I can assure the hon. Member that we have allocated forty boreholes per district.


I thank you.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, the question and concern is about accessibility to these areas given the season we have entered into, the rain season.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, thank you for that guidance. We had to take our rigs to these areas in order for us to provide these boreholes. Access to these areas is possible because we were able to take our rigs to the rural areas of Milenge.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, in his answer, the hon. Minister said that they are competing fairly in terms of pricing with what he called his competitors in the market. I want to bring to his attention that at the provincial headquarters in Choma, for instance, Choma Council wanted to have boreholes drilled and they were given a quotation of K38,000 per borehole while United Drilling Company, which is within Choma, was charging less than K20,000 for a similar job. The rigs that the hon. Minister has stationed in these provincial centres have not been working for two years because they are expensive. What is the hon. Minister’s comment?


Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, our competitors are only offering casing up to a certain depth.


Hon. Opposition Members: No!


Mr Kaziya: This is a fact. When you compare what we are providing you will notice that we are providing casing up to the final depth. When you add the remaining depth of the casing it will amount to what we are offering.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Daka (Msanzala): Mr Speaker, I want to thank the hon. Minister for stating that he would finish sinking all the boreholes in Milenge before the 31st of December, 2017. Is the hon. Minister aware that sinking boreholes during the rainy season is the wrong way of doing things because they will give false water levels? The month time you can sink a borehole is in October. Can the hon. Minister confirm that these are false boreholes which will end drying up during the dry season.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, we are fully aware of the water levels in most of these areas because we have done mappings and we know how deep we can go in sinking these boreholes.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, I want to thank you for this rear opportunity. In my preamble I mentioned that the hon. Minister almost made me the envy of this House.


Mrs Miti: Why?


Mr Mbulakulima: If what he has said could be right, following the question from the hon. Member for Chembe, the hon. Minister has said that the hon. Members of Parliament must be proactive and know what is happening in their constituencies indicating that this Member of Parliament is not on the ground. Knowing that he is making a Government Assurance on the Floor of this august House, I want to find out if the hon. Minister has been to Milenge District or constituency? Places like Changwelungu, Mumanse, Kampaki are not accessible.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mbulakulima: Is the hon. Minister in a position to confirm that he has been there and what he is saying here will be done. You know this Member of Parliament, if he gets another…


Mr Speaker: I am sure you are through with your question hon. Member.

Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for that question. The staff has established very well where they are going to sink these boreholes.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kaziya: For them to assure me that they are going to sink these boreholes before 31st December, 2017, I think they know what they are saying.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, the hon. Member’s…




Mr Speaker: …concern is whether, personally you are satisfied that this particular area is accessible now.


Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, I should admit that I have not been to Milenge, in the first place.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kaziya: I am relying on the information coming from my technocrats assuring me that these areas are accessible and they are going to provide these forty boreholes to Milenge.


I thank you, Sir.










The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Mrs Mulenga): Mr Speaker, I beg to present a Bill entitled, The Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2017. The object of the Bill is to amend the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation Act in order to:


(a)        repeal provisions relating to the imposition and collection of the Television Levy and appointment of Television Levy Inspectors under this Act;


(b)        delete definitions, provisions relating to the imposition and collection of the Television Levy; and


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


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on Media, Information and Communication Technologies. The Committee is required to submit its Report on the Bill to the House by Friday, 8th December, 2017.


Hon. Members, who wish to make submissions on the Bill are free to do so within the programme of work of the Committee.




Mrs Mulenga: Mr Speaker, I beg to present a Bill entitled, The Independent Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2017. The object of the Bill is to amend the Independent Broadcasting Authority Act in order to:


         (a)        provide for the charging and collection of Television Levy; and

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


Mr Speaker, I thank you.











Clauses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 ordered to stand part of the Bill.


Title agreed to.




Clauses 1, 2, 3 and 4 ordered to stand part of the Bill.


Title agreed to.




Clauses 1 and 2 ordered to stand part of the Bill.


Title agreed to.




Clauses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 ordered to stand part of the Bill.


Title agreed to.



Clauses 1 and 2 ordered to stand part of the Bill.


Title agreed to.


THE INCOME TAX (Amendment) BILL, 2017


Clauses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 ordered to stand part of the Bill.


CLAUSE 16 – (Amendment of Ninth Schedule)


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Madam Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 16, on page 9


  1. in lines 11 to 23


the deletion of clause 16; and


  1. by the renumbering of clause 17 as clause 16.


Mr Mutati: Madam Chairperson, I stand object to the amendment and also to provide further clarification on the proposal on the Table. The presumptive tax is fixed by an absolute figure and not a rate. This has not been changed since 2004 and it is over thirteen years. If we take into account the inflation factor in the last fourteen years, it has been over 250 per cent. So, the increment of 50 per cent is much lower, even if we try to protect it against the erosion of inflation.  In the actual fact, over the years, there has been no increment.


Madam Chairperson, let me just put into perspective what the increment translates. For a minibus which has less than twelve seats, the daily rate that is going to be paid for that bus is only K2.06. That is the presumptive tax. For a sixty-four seater bus, the daily rate is only K32. Surely, this will not disturb the travelling public. If we spread K32, it will translate to a person paying K0.50, which neither here nor there.  For a twelve seater bus, there is an extra amount of K0.40. All we are saying is that we are conscious of the cost of living. We are also aware of the fact that we need to protect the erosion of the tax, which is not even at the full rate. This is because the erosion has been over 240 per cent and we have only increased by 50 per cent.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister of Finance is saying that the increment is neither here or there. If that is his argument, then, there is no need for this increment.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: However, the fact of the matter is that public transporters are being lumbered with a lot of taxes and they are being transferred to the passengers. When I was debating this particular Motion, I mentioned that those in urban areas and along the line of rail are charged toll fees for each trip. Apart from that, they are charged carbon tax, insurance, road tax, Value Added Tax (VAT), when they buy spare parts for their vehicles, and for routing. As a result of these various charges, the cost of doing business is high. For them to break even, they are transferring these costs to the ordinary citizen.


Madam Chairperson, multitudes of people walk from Mandevu to Town because they cannot afford public transport. Even productivity in most companies and organisations is low because by the time they get to their work places, they are tired. Civil servants are suffering the same fate. Most of them reach their work places after 0900 hours and for them to get home before it gets dark, knock off at 1530 hours. For this reason, they spend less time in the offices.


Madam Chairperson, according to the hon. Minister of Finance, the Income Tax is not serving any purpose and he can do away with it. Further, the hon. Minister of Transport and Communication has introduced other charges and there will no revenue loss on the part of the Government. In this regard, the hon. Minister of Finance will even have excess finances. We did not object to other increments in terms of taxation, but he should agree with us and let this amendment pass for the benefit of the people who cannot afford public transportation. I urge all hon. Members of this august House to support the amendment.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Madam Chairperson, thank you for allowing me to briefly comment on the amendment being proposed by Hon. Jack Mwiimbu of Monze Central.


Madam Chairperson, the operators were consulted with regard to the adjustment of the presumptive tax and the threshold which the hon. Minister of Finance is proposing was agreed upon.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chabi: Question!




Mr Kampyongo: Madam Chairperson, I seek your protection.


The Chairperson: Order, hon. Members! Only one person has been given the Floor to debate.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Chairperson, we come to this House to debate based on facts, not assumptions and hearsay. I was saying that before the hon. Minister of Finance came up with the proposed measure, stakeholders were consulted and, therefore, it is not correct for one to come here and claim to represent the people. In every country, people walk to different places. Even in Europe where the transport system is perfect, multitudes of people walk back and forth to work or other places. Therefore, as a responsible Government, we want to ensure that the people are looked after. The hon. Minister of Finance has been very considerate and we shall continue to be a pro-poor Government.


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Chairperson, the passengers also need other amenities such as health and education and every day people ask for projects to be done in their constituencies, therefore, we need the money.




Mr Kampyongo: Madam Chairperson, people should not come here and pretend as if they are the only ones who care for the poor people.


Mr Mwiimbu: Aah!


Mr Kampyongo: Therefore, I support the proposed measure by the hon. Minister of Finance so that we can serve our people better.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Bwalya(Lupososhi): Madam Chairperson, in this country, we need to broaden the tax base so that we can possibly bring in more people in the tax net. This call has been as a result of the fact that the Government needs to function and also needs to find means of collecting more revenue. Therefore, unless and until it collects revenue from the various stakeholders, it will be very difficult for the people in Lupososhi Constituency to have a road that they are crying for. A number of people and stakeholders have been complaining that the employees in this country are over burdened with tax.


Mr Chabi: Hear, hear!


Mr Bwalya: In this regard, the hon. Minister of Finance is trying as much as possible not to overburden the Zambians. Therefore, we have to broaden the tax base and get revenue from both the informal and formal sectors not in the tax net.


This is exactly what we are trying to do in this country. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government is trying to make sure that we collect revenue even from those areas that have been avoiding tax. Although our colleagues may think that this not a caring method of doing things, it is because at the end of the day, we need the money to construct communications towers in any of our constituencies.


Madam Chairperson, in any case, we have been told not to borrow anyhow. Therefore, if we cannot borrow, the only measure that remains is for us as a country to raise as much local revenue as possible. This is one of the ways that we are trying to raise revenue locally. From those who are investing in our country, we have to plead with them and tell them that they need to contribute towards the development of this country.


Mr Lufuma: Fire tenders!


Mr Bwalya: Therefore, raising the presumptive tax is one method that the PF Government is trying to raise revenue locally so that we can reduce the dependence on borrowing and donor funds. Moreover, it is not always that those that make pledges towards budget financing will honour their pledges. If we want to be part and parcel of the development of our own country, we just have to agree on ensuring that we broaden the tax base by collecting presumptive and other taxes.


The hon. Minister of Finance needs to look even further because the informal sector is quite broad and there are many players in the sector that are still avoiding tax. We need to look further and look at other means to bring in as much local income as possible. Therefore, I will support that we continue with this particular presumptive tax as opposed to amending the Bill.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


The Chairperson: Let me guide the House. A matter like this does not require long winding interventions, debate and justifications. You simply stand for or against the proposed amendments by the hon. Minister and very briefly give the reason why you are opposing or supporting so that many people can debate.  Let us be businesslike.


Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity. From the word go, I want to state that I do not support the amendment by the hon. Minister regarding presumptive tax. Let me give grounds why I am not supporting it. The registration number for my buses in Lusaka is LSK 8082. Therefore, I am speaking from experience.



Mr Jamba: Madam Chairperson, I am declaring interest. Increasing the presumptive tax for public service buses is adding tax upon tax. A bus that operates between town centre and Chelston uses fuel. Have we not already put a tax on fuel? There are also other costs like road tax. This is not about trying to broaden the tax base, but milking a cow that is already milked. If the hon. Minister of Finance wants to know those that are not paying tax, he should inquire from us so that we can go behind closed doors and tell him to enable him broaden the tax base.


I, therefore, reiterate that I do not agree with the idea of increasing the presumptive tax on public service buses. It is my humble appeal that this proposal is removed from the Bill so that we work properly as bus operators. This idea will make it difficult for us to recoup the money spent on buying the buses. We will see a lot of bus operators going out of business. Is that what we are trying to do? Do we want the bus drivers that we have employed to be on the streets? So many people depend on the public service bus sector and, therefore, increasing the tax will lead to us failing to run the buses. I do not agree with the hon. Minister and I beg that his amendment be removed.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.




The Chairperson: Let me explain. The hon. Minister of Finance is proposing amendments to the Income Tax Act. One of his proposals is an amendment of the Ninth Schedule, which refers to presumptive tax. He wishes to increase the presumptive tax. I put the question as to whether the House was going to allow the hon. Minister to amend this Ninth Schedule, which deals with the presumptive tax.


Before the amendment could be agreed to, the hon. Leader of Opposition moved another amendment proposing that the amendment by the hon. Minister should not be allowed and, therefore, saying that clause 16 must not be there. Instead, what is reading as clause 17 should read as clause 16. Therefore, what you are doing now is stating whether you agree with the hon. Minister on the proposed amendment, increasing the presumptive tax, or you do not agree, after which obviously we will go to a vote.


The Minister for Luapula Province (Mr Chilangwa): Madam Chairperson, I stand to support the amendment to the presumptive tax as outlined by the hon. Minister of Finance. My reasons are very clear and few. I believe that we should not always be in the campaign mood of playing to the gallery. We should rise above that level as hon. Members of Parliament. Time to play to the gallery is long gone. It is about time we came together as hon. Members of this august House to ensure that we expand the tax base and continue funding the Budget in this country.




Mr Chilangwa: Madam Chairperson, this country will not develop with borrowed money. The economy of this country will not go to the next level if keep borrowing. The proposed increase to the presumptive tax is a K2 on a twelve seater bus and a K64 for bigger buses. Therefore, why should one come and play to the gallery and say that this measure is going to put them out of business. That can only happen if you are ready out of business. You should not be in the transport business if you cannot afford to pay K2 on a twelve seater bus on a daily basis. Then you are in the wrong business.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chilangwa: We need to continue building roads and good infrastructure.


Mr Livune: Which roads?


Mr Chilangwa: Have you seen, Madam Chairperson?


The Chairperson: Just address the Chair and ignore the heckling.


Mr Chilangwa: With improved road infrastructure in this country, the wear and tear on vehicles will reduce. In areas where the road infrastructure is in bad condition, the running cost for bus operators is so high. I have been in that business. I am not talking about owning a Toyota Hiace, but having a real business in the bus sector. I know what I am talking about. With bad road infrastructure, you cannot run a viable business.


Madam Chairperson, I want to appeal to all hon. Members sitting here to look to the future for the sake of our children. Let us make money from our own means so that we are able to build this country for the future. It is taxes that will make it possible for us to have the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and complete projects like the Bottom road and roads in Dundumwezi and Katunda. Therefore, we need this money.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili (Roan): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity.


Madam Chairperson, I want the people on the right to reflect on whether indeed, they are running the Patriotic Front (PF) that we founded with President Michael Sata.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: Because the PF we founded, one of it’s ...


Mr Lusambo interjected.


Dr Kambwili: Madam, can you tell this Bowman Lusambo to behave?


The Chairperson: Hon. Dr. Kambwili, please take your seat.




The Chairperson: Order in the House!



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


This is not good conduct.


Can the hon. Minister of the Copperbelt Province go back to his seat?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lusambo stood from where he was seated on the left, and tried to cross the Floor.


The Chairperson: No, go round. Do not cross the Floor! Order, Order!


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: Go back to your seat in silence.


Mr Lusambo went to the right and sat on a different seat.


The Chairperson: Go back to your seat. I know where your seat is, hon. Minister.


The Chairperson: Order!


Hon. Members, let us go back to business.


Hon. Dr Kambwili may continue.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, thank you.


I was saying that I want my colleagues on the right to reflect about the intention of forming the Patriotic Front (PF) and getting into the Government. One of the intentions was lower taxes and putting more money in the pockets of the poor. Now, the question we should ask ourselves today is: Who uses public transport? Some of the people here can stand and say that they support this tax because they have Government vehicles. They have vehicle loans from Parliament and fuel allowance which they are given. Therefore, they do not feel the pinch. I, I – Hon. Mutati, ...


The Chairperson: Hon. Dr Kambwili, you are debating against or for. Therefore, justify, without necessarily drawing your colleagues into the debate, why you wish to have the amendment supported or not.


Dr Kambwili: Ya, bwafya.


Anyway, what I was saying is that people must reflect. They should not forget the basis on which PF was formed. If indeed, the Government needs money to run the social services, why did they buy a fire engine at US$1 million, when they could have bought the same fire engine at US$250,000?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: First Quantum Minerals (FQM) just bought a fire engine which is far much better than the fire engines the Government bought. The FQM here in Zambia bought it at US$250,000 and it was all over social media. After they bought expensive fire engines, they bought expensive ambulances. There is an ambulance for US$74,000 at Toyota Zambia, but the Government bought ambulances at US$288,000 each, which works out to be K2.9 million each. Then they want to transfer these costs to the poor people. Why not introduce a tax on Toyota GX vehicles that are driven by hon. Ministers, and leave the poor people alone? You cannot come and stand here and say, “I support this increase, what is K2?” People feed on K2 in my constituency. People come to my home and say, “Just give me K2, I can buy a pakata, a small packet of mealie meal, and I can buy chibwabwa and have a meal.” Because you get more than K2 per day, you want to come and demonise the poor and say, “What is K2?”


Mr Chilangwa: It is for the transporters, iwe naiwe!


Dr Kambwili: Excuse me!

The Chairperson: Order!


Dr Kambwili: Be serious. Do not destroy PF by bringing unnecessary taxes. The PF belongs to the people, the poor people. Hon. Minister, this amendment is in bad faith. Just withdraw it. Tapa ba nsoni. Just withdraw it.


Hon. Members: Meaning what?


Mrs Chonya: Your conscience.


Dr Kambwili: Your conscience must tell you that this is bad. K2 may be negligible to you, but it is a lot of money for the poor. I am sure people like – who can I look at there.


Dr Kambwili looked at the right.


The Chairperson: No one!




Dr Kambwili: I wanted to check the original PF Members. They will not even stand to defend the increase of taxes because our song has always been: Lower taxes, lower taxes, and lower taxes. This increase is in bad faith. This is a Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD)/PF Government. This tax must not be allowed.


I thank you, Madam.


Mrs Chonya (Kafue): Madam Chairperson, I want to adopt part of Dr Kambwili’s debate as my own in as far as he appealed that we give some relief to the people of Zambia who are already burdened by many taxes.


I am also speaking from experience as a former proprietor of a vehicle with the registration number LSK 1236. I have practical experience of how the transport sector operates. It is for this reason that I appeal to the hon. Minister of Finance not to proceed with his intention to revise upwards the presumptive tax on public passenger service vehicles. I am aware of the many demands that this sector is faced with. At the end of the day, the operator really remains with nothing to talk about.


When I drive on the roads of Lusaka or Kafue, a lot of youths, bus drivers and even conductors still ask for jobs from me. If the transport industry was profitable, they would not be looking for something else to do. Therefore, when the hon. Minister said he consulted the stakeholders, I do not know where these stakeholders came from. Certainly, he did not consult the bus drivers and other transport operators of Kafue because I know their stance and their experiences.


Madam Chairperson, I will not sing the tired song of toll fees, which are already a tax to our people who move on the roads. My colleague, another proprietor of a vehicle, talked about the fuel levy which is levied on the transport industry. Therefore, more taxes for this industry are not justified. Also, police officers are always looking for an opportunity to grab something from public passenger service vehicles that move on the roads. There are also many other licensing costs that have to be met in order to operate a public passenger service vehicle.


Madam Chairperson, in my brief contribution, I appeal to the hon. Minister to look at how we can prioritise our expenditure in this country. Indeed, we need money to support our Budget, but I believe that the money we have is sufficient to take us a long way if only we utilise our resources prudently on priority areas.


Madam Speaker, I want to abide by your directive that we must get to the point in contributing to this debate.


I thank you, Madam.


Hon. Government Members called for a division.


Question that clause16, on page 9, in lines 11 to 23, be amended by the deletion of clause 16; and by the renumbering of clause 17 as clause 16 put and the House voted.


Ayes – (53)


Mr Belemu


Mr Bulaya


Mr Chaatila

Mr Chabi


Mr Chikote


Ms Chisangano


Ms Chonya


Mr Fungulwe


Mr Hamusonde


Dr Imakando


Mr Imbuwa


Mr Jamba


Mr Jere


Dr Kalila


Mr Kamboni


Dr Kambwili


Mr Kamondo


Mr Kasonso


Ms Kasune


Ms Katuta


Mr Kintu


Ms Kucheka


Mr Kufakwandi


Mr Kundoti


Mr Lihefu


Ms Lubezhi


Mr Lufuma


Mr Lumayi


Mr Machila


Mr Mandumbwa


Mr Mbangweta


Mr Michelo


Mr S. Miti


Mr Miyanda


Mr Miyutu


Mr Muchima


Mr Mukumbata


Mr Mulunda


Mr S. Mulusa


Ms Mulyata


Mr Mutaba


Mr Mutelo


Ms Mwashingwele


Mr Mwene


Mr Mwiimbu


Mr Mwiinga


Mr Nanjuwa


Mr Samakayi


Mr Shabula


Mr Sialubalo


Mr Sing’ombe


Mr Syakalima


Ms Tambatamba


Noes - (71)


Mr W. Banda


Mr Bwalya


Mr Chali


Ms Chalikosa


Mr Chama


Dr Chanda


Mr Chansa


Mr Chilangwa


Mr Chispoa


Mr Chitotela


Mr Chiyalika


Mr Chungu


Mr Daka


Dr Hamukale


Ms Kabanshi


Mr Kabamba


Mr Kafwaya


Mr Kampyongo


Ms Kapata


Mr Kapita


Mr Kasandwe


Mr Katambo


Mr Kaziya


Dr Kopulande


Mr Kunda


Mr Lusambo


Mr Mabumba


Mr A. Malama


Dr M. Malama


Mr M. Malama


Amb. Malanji


Mr Mbulakulima


Ms Miti


Mr Mubukwanu


Mr Mukosa


Ms Mulenga


Mr Mung’andu


Mr Mushanga


Mr Mushimba


Mr Musonda


Mr Musukwa


Mr Mutale


Mr Mutati


Mr Mwakalombe


Mr Mwamba


Mrs Mwanakatwe


Mrs Mwape


Mr Mwewa


Mr Mwila


Mr Ng`ambi


Mr Ng`onga


Mr Ngulube


Mr Nkhuwa


Mrs O. Phiri


Mr P. Phiri


Mr Sampa


Mr Sichalwe


Mr Sichone


Mr Sikazwe


Ms Siliya


Mr Simbao


Mr Simfukwe


Mrs Simukoko


Mr Siwale


Mr Siwanzi


Ms Subulwa


Rev Sumaili


Mr L. Tembo


Mr M. Tembo


Mr S. Tembo


Dr Wanchinga


Mr Yaluma


Mr M. Zulu


Question that clause 16 be amended put and negated.


Clause 16 ordered to stand part of the Bill.






[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


The flowing Bills were reported to the House as having passed through the Committee without amendments:


The Property Transfer Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017


The Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017


The Skills Development Levy (Amendment) Bill, 2017


The Customs and Excise (Amendment) Bill, 2017


Insurance Premium Levy (Amendment) Bill, 2017


Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017


Third Readings on Friday, 1st December, 2017.









VOTE 80 – (Ministry of General Education – K9,577,288,885)


(Consideration resumed)


The Minister of General Education (Dr Wanchinga): Madam Chairperson, at the time debate was adjourned; I had just finished summarizing some of the major drivers for some of the proposals in the budget for the Ministry of General Education for 2018. Notably, I was highlighting some of the concerns which had been raised in the House and which have been captured in the budget. I had also just finished outlining the various structures of the ministry which support its mandate.


Lessons from the 2017 Budget


Madam Chairperson, the key lessons drawn from the 2017 Budget are that the budget was not adequately responsive to the various pressing needs of the ministry especially the completion of the construction of various school infrastructure, repair of damaged school infrastructure and the meeting of operational needs at the lower levels of the structures in terms of service delivery. This is at provincial and district levels. However, significant progress was made in advancing the Early Childhood Education Programmes, primary and secondary sectors and also in the areas of policy and teaching material development. We also made significant progress in rolling out the newly revised curriculum and in the implementation of programmes such as keeping girls in school and skills training.


Madam Chairperson, in terms of improving educational content, teacher competencies and improving learning outcomes, the ministry made a lot of progress through engagements with various co-operating partners, notably, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Iris Aid, Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA), the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Bank (WB) and other bilateral and multilateral partners.


Madam Chairperson, in 2017, the ministry budgetary allocation was K9.2 billion of which K8.9 billion was Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) and K292 million was from co-operating partners. A total of K7.7 billion was for personnel emoluments and K110 million was for the late recruitment of teachers for 2017. There was only about K1.4 billion which was left for non-emolument expenditure.


         Summary of the 2018 Budget Estimates


Madam Chairperson, the total estimates of expenditure for my ministry for the 2018 Budget for which I seek the approval of the House, is K9.6 billion. It is important to note that the Ministry of General Education’s budget has increased from K9.2 billion in 2017, to K9.6 billion in 2018, representing an increase of about 4.3 per cent. Although there is this increase, the actual budgetary increases are only for grants which stand at about K433 million and have moved to K530 million. We have also seen an increase in infrastructure expenditure from K638 million to 740 million.


Madam Chairperson, there is a budget reduction for Recurrent Departmental charges which have dropped from K302 million to K188 million which represents a reduction of about 37 per cent.


Madam Chairperson, the breakdown of the 2018 Estimates are as follows; Early Childhood Education will receive about K115.4 million or 1.2 per cent for the provision of school infrastructure grants, but at primary school level, we have allocated K602 million or 65 per cent. It is important to note, that this is the category where most of the teachers are. At secondary level we allocated K3.2 billion or 23.9 per cent in order to ensure smooth operations in all secondary schools and for the completion of outstanding school infrastructure in various places around the country. This will include building about 1,166 to 1,272 housing units for the fifty-three secondary schools which we expect to complete in 2018. The youth and adult literacy programme has been allocated K1.2 billion while the programme for the management and support services has been allocated K942 million or 9.8 per cent. This particular programme is where grants for institutions such as the Examinations Council of Zambia, administration funds for the provincial and district offices and funds for the recruitment of teachers in 2018, are seated.


Madam Chairperson, the House will note that the variations in the sub-heads between 2017 and 2018 budgets are due to a number of factors such as shifts in the areas of focus, the availability of alternative funding for some of the line items, or due to budgetary constraints or in some cases, or due to some significant progress made under the 2017 budget.


         Sub-sector activities for the coming year 2018


         Programme 1: Early Childhood Education


Madam Chairperson, the major output for this subsector in the 2018 Budget, is to increase the number of classrooms. This will in turn enhance access to quality, equitable and inclusive education by early childhood school learners. It is also expected that the proportion of children that enter Grade 1 having early childhood education experience will increase. To this effect, a sum of K115 million has been set aside for this programme, out which about K100 million has been set aside for infrastructure which will contain about 240 early childhood learning classrooms. These will be scattered across the ten provinces. That will be about K25 million per province. These structures will be aligned at existing primary schools. A sum of K2.4 million will go towards general operations while an amount of about K12.8 million will go to the provision of grants to the Early Childhood Education (ECE) centres for their smooth operations.

Madam Chairperson, in order to continue increasing access to and quality of primary education, an amount of K6.2 billion has been allocated in the 2018 Budget. Of this total, about K5.9 billion is meant for salaries and wages and other emoluments. Furthermore, a total sum of about K143 million has also been allocated for primary school grants while about K3 million has been allocated to support community schools.


Madam Chairperson, as you are aware, community schools are now considered a very important integral part of our educational system. A sum of K39.5 million will go to the feeding programme in various schools. The ministry has also allocated K20 million for infrastructure development under the primary education subsector, especially and particularly, for the rehabilitation of classrooms and the unforeseen calamities such as we see during the rainy season, like blown off roofs and collapsing walls. 


Madam Chairperson, in the area of secondary education, the ministry will focus on the implementation of to two tier system which offers the learners the opportunity to follow an academic or vocational career so that when they are able to leave their educational system, they will have some skills that our children will fall back on. The secondary schools are collaborating with the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training (TEVET) institutions very well and the pupils are able to take vocational examinations while they are still in school. This is offering skills and opportunities to the children by giving them opportunities to fall back on when they leave the school system.


Madam Chairperson, with regard to infrastructure development, the ministry had targeted to complete the construction of 115 new secondary schools countrywide in 2017 …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Wanchinga: …but it was only able to complete about sixty-two secondary schools. It is the intention of this Budget that the remaining fifty-three secondary schools will be completed in 2018. To this effect, an amount of K2.2 billion has been allocated to secondary educational sector and it is broken down as follows:


Madam Chairperson, K560 million will go towards the construction of the remaining fifty-three secondary schools and the procurement of assorted school equipment for science laboratories, wood and metal workshops. The amount will also go the building of the teachers’ housing units which I referred to, which will ultimately amount to K1,272 and this will give us twenty-two to twenty-four housing units per school. A sum of K1.4 billion will go to salaries and other emoluments. A sum of K60 million will go to the procurement of school furniture to ensure that the newly completed classrooms are made operational.


Madam Chairperson, I mentioned in my preliminary remarks that the issue school desks for instance, is an area we want to tackle very effectively and we hope that the Budget which we have allocated will enable us implement a programme where the desks will be manufactured in provincial and district centres. We feel that this is a very important transition from the way we were doing things and we hope that K60 million will provide seed money required to roll-out this new programme.


Madam Chairperson, a sum of K38.1 million will be disbursed as grants for secondary school operations. A sum of K43.9 million has been set aside as bursary support for orphans and vulnerable children. A sum of K8 million has been allocated for continuing professional development for our teachers because we believe that this is a very important component to ensure that teachers continue to upgrade their skills in order to catch up with modern trends required to improve learning outcomes. A sum of K5 million has been allocated to the implementation of a two tier system on vocational and Information Communications Technology (ICT) skills development in schools.


Madam Chairperson, a sum of K75.5 million has been allocated to the jewel programme of keeping girls in schools. K25.2 million has been allocated to the National Science Centre. This centre is a very important institution in the service delivery system of the Ministry of General Education because we are trying to focus on strengthening the teaching of science and mathematics. We are actually transforming this centre into a directorate from being a simple unit within the Ministry of General Education.


Madam Chairperson, in 2018, the focus will be to ensure that there is youth and adult literacy education expanded through the establishment of ten youth and adult literacy centres in each province. These will increase access to our youths and adults through this literacy education. The programme has been allocated to a total K1.2 million for these activities in 2018.


Madam Chairperson, the other major programme is management and support services. This programme will ensure that human resource, logistics and other support services are provided which will lead to the efficient and effective delivery of our educational services. In view of the above,  a sum of K942 million has been allocated towards the management and support services programme, out of which, K727 million is meant for salaries and other personal emoluments. A sum of K105 million has been reserved for goods and services. K106 million is meant for the transfers, subsidies and other payments out of which, K61.1 million has been allocated for the administration and marking of examinations under the Examinations Council of Zambia (ECZ).


Madam Chairperson, as you may be aware, this is a very important activity and we have attached a lot of importance. In 2018, we will try to ensure that this institution conducts the examinations smoothly by allocating adequate amounts of money. We have also noticed that we need to take some measures to mitigate some of the challenges that we have been facing in the implementation of our Budgets. In the long term, the ministry will continue to construct appropriate infrastructure at all levels of the education sector. The ministry will continue to develop teaching and learning materials that are locally produced. It will also continue with the procurement of materials that cannot be sourced locally. The ministry will also endeavour to increase the absorption capacity of new teachers in the Ministry of General Education at all levels. We shall also ensure that vehicles and other support services are given to the provinces and districts. The ministry will increase the recruitment of teachers to ensure that most of our areas are adequately serviced with teachers in various subjects.


Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, I wish to commend the hon. Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament, Hon. Felix Mutati, for presenting a responsive and progressive budget for 2018 under difficult global economic conditions. It is my sincere hope that given the measures that the Government is taking in stabilising the economy, the ministry will in 2018, see better and timely releases to its budget and will do its best to promote efficiency and accountability in the implementation of the various activities under the 2018 Budget.


Madam Chairperson, the House may wish to know that with the introduction of the Treasury Single Account System where all transactions will be done online, accountability and transparency in the ministry’s operations will be greatly enhanced. The second measure taken to enhance accountability is through the proposed restructuring of the ministry which has resulted in the beefing up of accounting staff particularly at provincial and district centres. We are moving away from a situation where we only had one auditor who was responsible for auditing provincial and district offices and all the schools in that particular province. Therefore, we will see enhanced capacity in the promotion of accountability values within the ministry.

Madam Chairperson, I now wish to call upon all hon. Members of this august House to support the 2018 Budget for the Ministry of General Education as presented.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Ms Mwashingwele (Katuba): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to add a voice to the Ministry of General Education's budget allocation for 2018. I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the information and I totally support the budget although I have a few observations.


Madam Chairperson, first and foremost, we need to understand that education is a human right. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government through its manifesto assured us that education will be free at all levels. However, the Ministry of Finance has not done justice to the Ministry of General Education’s allocation especially that it has also taken on early childhood education targeting children aged between three and thirteen. Of the total population, 60 per cent of the children fall into that category.


Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of General Education’s budget has dropped by 4.4 per cent. Last year, it was at 16.5 per cent and in 2018, it is at 16.1 per cent. In 2014, it was at 20.2 per cent and we anticipate that in 2018, it would get to 22 per cent, but it is at 16.1 per cent. For this reason, I feel the Ministry of Finance is not doing the people of this country a favour to educate the children, yet according to the theme, they do not want to leave anyone behind.


Madam Chairperson, I want to simplify what the hon. Minister of General Education said so that the people of Katuba can understand. As of next year, each child in primacy school has been allocated K36.


Mr Livune: Aah!


Ms Mwashingwele:When my grandmother was selling groundnuts to raise money to send me to school, she would make more than that.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mwashingwele: What is any person going to do with K36 for the whole year for a child in primary school? In support of free education, the budget translates to K8.01. What free education would someone get from K8? It is not even enough for me to buy fritters that would satisfy me. Therefore, how do you educate a child at that point? With regard to secondary education, the Ministry of General Education has been given K46.40 to educate a secondary school child. With all due respect, if I were Minister of Finance, I would resign on that premise to protest the education budget.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Mwashingwele: Madam Chairperson, more than 80 per cent of the budget has gone towards personnel emoluments and this is not the core-business of education. Its core-business is teaching and learning and this has gotten less than 3 per cent. Therefore, we are not putting the money where it really matters. The professors, doctors and lawyers seated in the House all passed through the hands of a teacher. Therefore, it is because of quality education that people are creative and innovative, but considering the budget line for the Ministry of General Education, we are denying the children such an opportunity. We signed protocols to ensure that we educate the children, but we are not fulfilling this.


Madam Chairperson, let me give examples of nations that have succeeded in the education sector. Rwanda is on the eastern part of the African continent and it survived a major genocide. However, most of its people opt to go for public education rather than private education because it has been heavily funded. Today in Africa, Rwanda is a pride when it comes to education.


Madam Chairperson, Zambia is a peaceful nation and it has maintained this peace for fifty-three and this is not a joke. The literacy levels around the 1970s were very good. However, today, they have fallen below the acceptable standards. Infrastructure is not building up in correlation with the population and as a nation, we are not setting priorities. We should not compromise the education sector because whatever we want to do in this country is hinged on quality education for our children and grandchildren. Unfortunately, our priorities seem to be misplaced. We seem to love things that do not matter. If I closed my eyes and spent US$1 million on infrastructure in Luampa, …


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Mwashingwele:… there would be a tremendous change. Similarly, if I spent US$1 million on education in Kanchibiya, it would be a shining example. When we talk about the education sector, the hon. Minister of Finance tells us there is no money. However, when it comes to other issues, the money is found. Sometimes the hon. Minister should say when something is not right. He appreciated the money that has been allocated to the ministry.I tend to feel sorry for him because he knows that it is not right. We are not doing the right thing to our nation.


Madam Chairperson, the recruitment of teachers across the country has been scandalous and one wonders why this is so. How can a teacher who graduated in June, 2017, be recruited in 2018, yet one who graduated in 2012, is languishing in the streets?


Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!


Ms Mwashingwele: How can we allow that to happen? What is the human resource department in the ministry doing about this situation? This means the technocrats in this ministry are taking us for granted. My term in Parliament is five years and, therefore, my job has a time limit. Technocrats should not take us for granted. Our jobs are at stake because the people that we assign tasks are not doing the right thing. People are questioning us as representatives and law makers. How is our inspection and supervision of the people that we have assigned the task to recruit teachers? It means something is not right. We can argue according to subject and provincial demands.


For example, one rural province has been given 554 teachers, two years down the line, believe me, half of those teachers will be in Lusaka eating ice cream, but we keep on saying we are sending teachers to rural areas. People are using the establishment in the rural areas as a stepping stone and then come back to Lusaka. Look at the schools in Katuba, which is just nearby. The furthest school is maybe 60 km from here. If the hon. Minister went there, he would find that for an establishment of twenty teachers, there are only three teachers for Grades 1 to 9. I do not know what miracles those teachers to teach children. When I was a teacher, it was not possible. Some schools even have just one teacher. When teachers go to get their salaries, they go for two weeks and the school is left unmanned or with untrained teachers.


Therefore, what quality of education is the hon. Minister talking about? How is the Government going to achieve the concept of not leaving anyone behind if such level of irresponsibility is among teachers? The inspection and supervision has become extremely low, if it is even there, I do not know. There is no one to inspect what the teachers are doing. Look at the resources in the schools. Ten children have to share one textbook. What results are we expecting from such a situation? Children sit on the floor in classrooms. Are we expecting to achieve anything from these children?


Madam Chairperson, education in Zambia today is a sorry sight. I wish we could go back to the 1960s or 1970s. Those that managed to get an education then will be able to attest to the fact that what is happening in our country today is a mockery of education.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutale: Question!


Ms Mwashingwele: Why has it become so? This situation is because of the amount of resources that the education sector receives. I know that the hon. Minister can only give what his ministry has. Therefore, I do not blame him. However, we can ask the Ministry of Finance to understand that the education sector is the tap root of our livelihood.


Madam Chairperson, let us look at Zimbabwe, which is just next door. Our neighbours have seen serious political trauma, but they have held on to their literacy levels. They still beat us today in terms of education levels, although we are a peace loving country. I am ashamed to say that, but I have to say it on the Floor of this House. Zimbabweans are proudly saying they have a literacy level of over 90 per cent of the population. What is it that they are doing that we cannot do? There is a lot of political will in Zimbabwe and a lot of understanding that education is the prime mover of any society. Are we moving in that direction?


The hon. Minister is given so little resources and then the technocrats even find time to pilfer from these little resources. Look at the last Auditor-General’s report. Approximately 101 pages of that report are talking about the education sector and how much resource has been taken away. I think it is high time as law makers we came up with a fast track way of dealing with civil servants that steal from our people. It is becoming too much and they are going scot-free.


The Chairperson: Order!


Hon. Member, I have to disturb your very good debate because the word ‘steal’ is unparliamentary. Please, withdraw it.


Ms Mwashingwele: Madam Chairperson, I beg your pardon. I will replace that word with ‘pilfering’ or ‘taking away what does not belong to you’.




Ms Mwashingwele: I thank you for your guidance. How does one person give themselves more than K2.5 million of public resources? If I understand the Government system very well, there should be more than one signatory for public funds. Therefore, where are the senior members of staff who sign, for that money to be taken away by one person? It means it is a syndicate of people.


However, just because the cheque appears in Patricia Mwashingwele’s name, I become the only culprit. I want us to go to the root cause. Who are the senior members of staff in ministries, especially the Ministry of General Education, that aid people to take away what does not belong to them? They are taking away funds that belong to children in Kanchibiya, Kaoma, Gwembe, Katuba, Keembe or Luampa. Who helps them do that? There must be somebody. There is a face that is hiding from that reality. There has been a lot of money taken away and I think we need to find a way of recovering it. We are talking about K1.6 million being irregular expenditure and K170 million plus misapplied. This implies that it was meant for something else, but it goes elsewhere.


Madam Chairperson, we visited a skills training centre this year or last year in Solwezi. We found computers that I last saw when I was doing my Grade 12 in 1985. They cannot even support internet connectivity, but they are being used at a skills centre. What type of education are we trying to give? Computers are so dynamic and computer development has moved mountains. We are talking about having Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at every school. What are we trying to achieve by sending outdated equipment to schools?


Madam Chairperson, I am just sinking in regret. Even when I am supporting the budget for this ministry, I wish we could do better. I wish we could give the hon. Minister US$42 million or more to support this budget. Then I would argue that public resources are being put to good use. The vision is clear, but the resources are not being made available. I am not going to accept that we are a poor country. We are not poor, but just too lavish. We are spending money where it is not meant to be spent. The money is in some people’s pockets. For instance, where is the money we raised from the Eurobonds? It is in some people’s pockets.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Mwashingwele: If that money could be put into infrastructure development or educating a child, we will be a better nation. Therefore, I am supporting the hon. Minister of General Education, but with a lot of heartache and feeling sorry for him. I do not see how he is going to manage with K36.1 for a child at primary school and K46 for a secondary school child. Unless we get serious with the services that we are providing in this country, it is as good as not doing anything all.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate on this Head. I will try to say a few words within the shortest possible time. I am only going to talk about policy matters.


Madam, education is a vehicle for social change. You will agree with me that a society which is educated is well informed and people make good decisions. The Government is supposed to monitor and evaluate the policies which it implements.

Dr Kambwili crossed the Floor.


Hon. Members: Order! Order!


Dr Kambwili: Shut up!




Mr Jamba: I will dwell on policy implementation, monitoring and evaluation. If time allows me, I will also talk about policy reporting. Policies in the education system in Zambia have evolved to produce graduates and technocrats for this country. However, there are a few things I want to highlight which are impediments to implementation of our policies so that we become a better state. I will start with talking about the policy on early childhood education. This is a good policy which we are …


The Chairperson: Order!


Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.





Mr Jamba: Madam Chairperson, I was saying that the policies that the hon. Minister wants to implement so that our country becomes better, are supposed to be implemented, monitored and evaluated. In fact, the last point is that they are supposed to be reported.


Madam Chairperson, I want to give an example of the early childhood education policy, which the Ministry of General Education has introduced. I stand to be corrected, but I do not think there is a college or university where the Government trains people to take up the role of educating children in early childhood. Three quarters of the people who are teaching the children are people who do not have good grades. When someone who does not have good grades is asked, “Unga chite chani? They say, “Ninga chite che teaching.” Then you let such people teach the children. People who have not done well in school say that they can only study education as though teaching is a low career for people who are not qualified to study other courses. However, we need qualified people to train our children.


I want the hon. Minister of General Education to work with the hon. Minister of Higher Education to create a college specifically for training people to teach early childhood education. The Ministry of General Education has a policy for early childhood education, but who are the people implementing this policy? They are getting people who are trained in primary education to teach children in early childhood. This policy will fail because people who are supposed to implement this policy are not there.


Madam Chairperson, private schools keep children for two years in early childhood classes, before they start Grade 1. However, children in Government schools do not spend this amount of time. Therefore, children in Government schools and private schools are not competing at the same level. Grade 1 children in Government schools are far behind those who attend private schools in terms of learning. Therefore, we need to improve this situation so that the Government schools can become competitive.


Madam Chairperson, I stand to be corrected, but I heard that the licence required to run an early childhood education facility is given by the Ministry of Local Government. People who work in the Ministry of Local Government are not educators. Therefore, I do not know how they supervise these facilities. If they offer the licence, what do they do after that? I think the Ministry of General Education should be the one to offer the licence because they are the educators and can monitor what is being taught in these facilities. The hon. Minister of General Education should respond to this issue. I want to know how this issue is being tackled by the Ministry of General Education and the Ministry of Local Government.


Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of General Education needs funding. Funds should be taken especially to rural areas like Mwembezhi. I have not seen any infrastructure for early childhood education built for the children there. The money which the Ministry of General Education has been given is too little. We must take this budget seriously by allocating more money so that infrastructure for early childhood education can be built.


Madam Chairperson, let me also make the point that agriculture should be made a compulsory subject in all schools from Grade 1 to Grade 12. If this policy is already there, how are we going to implement it so that it can bear fruit in this country? What has the Government done to ensure that agriculture is studied from primary school to secondary school? From my little knowledge, which I got somewhere, I know that there is a writer, G. Owen, from Zimbabwe who wrote books about agriculture, which we are using in our secondary schools. We are also using the book, K.C.S.E Golden Tips Agriculture, written by someone from East Africa. I would love to see a book on agriculture written by a Zambian in order to make progress with this policy to teach agriculture in Zambian schools. This is your policy, hon. Minister of General Education, therefore, you cannot depend on books written by Zimbabweans or Kenyans. How can you monitor your policy using other people’s materials?


For the Ministry of General Education to develop the teaching of agriculture in primary schools, they need to buy ox-drawn ploughs for schools so that pupils can learn agriculture practically because agriculture is not only theoretical, but practical.


The Government is spending money on building some big infrastructure. Infrastructure is important, but if we invest money in education, ten years down the line, this country is going to be a different country. Therefore, the Ministry of General Education needs to buy teaching materials and build laboratories for pupils to learn agriculture properly.


Madam Chairperson, let me now come to another policy, which the Government is trying to implement, and that is the Science and Business Policy. This is where somebody was who wants to do business courses should start when in primary school and then continue with the same courses in secondary school. That way, they can continue in that line while others go into the world of science.


Madam Chairperson, if we are not careful, we are going to have problems. Already the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development is in problems because even winding drivers, who we once had in Zambia are no more. We do not have tutors in the mines because people are shunning science related courses. Instead, they are pursuing business courses. If anything, I would not employ an accountant at my farm. Why should I employ an accountant when I am just a young business person?


Madam Chairperson, if these policies are not monitored properly, we are going to end up with a country which does not even have plumbers. This is because people are running into business. The Government should, therefore, put a policy in place which will encourage people to pursue science related courses. There should be a policy that offers sponsorship to all those pursuing science related courses. That is because there are too many people pursuing business courses in this country and we cannot continue this way. The Government introduced computer lessons in schools because of us being in an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) age. I bought computers for my constituency. Unfortunately, when I took them to a school, I was told that the school has no electricity. That is another hustle. Therefore, if we are going to put in place policies such as the teaching of computers lessons in schools, the Government must work with the Ministry of Energy and ensure that the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) electrifies these schools. That way, the children will become computer literate.


Madam Chairperson, let me tell you that if a person is writing an examination in computer lessons, they would rather be the last to take that exam. That is because we have situations where a school only has ten computers. During exams, pupils go in to write their exams in groups of tens and after they have written, they are released while more pupils await their turn to enter the exam room and write the exam. However, those who go in to write first will spread the word and tell their friends what questions are in the exam. As a result, that does not level the playing ground. Therefore, to make sure that we achieve this goal of making the children computer literate¸ the Government must ensure that all schools are equipped with computers, including the rural schools. It is important that the Government looks at its policies and see how it is going to implement them.


Madam Chairperson, let me now talk about monitoring and reporting. You will agree with me that the reports that we get are those indicating how many children have passed, those who have failed and the number of those who did not sit for the exam. The question then is what next after that report is presented to the relevant authorities and announced on television? The ideal situation should be where inspectors go on the ground and report to the authorities on the happenings in schools. Then we will not be saying bamene bacita malpractice bali bangati? That is not our interest.


Hon. Members: Meaning?


Mr Jamba: Madam Chairperson, meaning those who use examination leakages to pass their examinations. What I am saying is that schools must be well equipped with all the necessary tools and equipment so that even as the teachers teach, they will be doing so in line with the Government policy.


Madam Chairperson, let me talk about the retirement age of sixty-five years. Some people do not move with time and so, you find that a person is a headmaster even when they have reached retirement age. At that age, what can a person do? When people bring in new ideas, the one who is sixty-five years is usually too adamant to embrace change. Let us bring in new ideas and teachers so that those who have reached the retirement age can retire. That way, we will be moving with time.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: Hon. Members, I have received lists from the Chief Whip and the Leader of the Opposition. Those lists contain names of the people that they wish to debate the Vote on General Education. On the Patriotic Front (PF) list, there is Mr Kopulande, Mr Mwamba, Mr Kasandwe and Mr Chanda Mutale. From the United Party for National Development (UPND), the names on the list are those of Ms Mwashingwele, Mr Kamboni, Mr Lufuma and Mr Mutelo. If these hon. Members are going to be considerate and save some time, we will be able to include other hon. Members. I will, of course, deal with the other groupings, including the issue of gender and hon. Independent Members. Therefore, my appeal to the hon. Members is to be considerate. You should save some time so that we can include other hon. Members to debate this particular Vote and end by 1900 hours. I am sure we can do that with cooperation and consideration.


Dr Kopulande (Chembe): Madam Chairperson, ...


Dr Kambwili: On a point of order, Madam.


The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.


Dr Kopulande, please take your seat. Let me give Dr Kambwili a chance to ask a question, which I think is arising from the fact that I have just announced a list of people who are going to debate. Is that the issue Dr Kambwili?


Dr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, yes.


The Chairperson: What is your point of order?


Dr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, I am beginning to get worried at the way business is being conducted in this House. Is there a provision in the Standing Orders for political parties to give names of people they want to debate to the Chairperson? Some of us are not in good standing with our political parties. That means, therefore, that our parties will never include us on the list of those they wish to debate. This august House has these machines which allow hon. Members who want to debate to indicate. Therefore, where is this coming from? Are you trying to prevent other people from debating? Should this Parliament be about the Patriotic Front (PF) and United Party for National Development (UPND) only? Should the other groupings be considered only if there is time left? I think that that is not the way to do things. Could we just go back to the way things are supposed to be done, and that is by following the list of the hon. Members who have indicated or have intentions to speak. That is the fair way of doing things. Otherwise, we might stop coming to Parliament because what is the point of coming here when we will not be allowed to debate? We come here to debate. I would rather go home than to sit here and not debate. How is Roan Parliamentary Constituency going to be represented if I am not given an opportunity to speak? I spoke to the Chief Whip the other day and he promised to include me on the list of those who would be given chance to debate, but that has not happened since he started submitting names of those to debate. Therefore, how do you expect us to debate?


The Chairperson: Hon. Members, I will use this opportunity to clarify the idea behind the list of people being asked to debate. Thank you Dr Kambwili for raising that question. The question is why we should have a list of only PF and UPND Members. That is because they have the majority Members of Parliament. For that reason, we have been consulting with them through the Leader of the Opposition and the Chief Whip to indicate which of their members would like to debate. We have agreed that they will each allow four members to debate on certain Votes. They are merely suggesting. The other hon. Members, including you, Dr Kambwili, have been allowed to debate even in spite of this consultation that we have had with UPND and PF. The chairperson still has the power to allow hon. Members, outside that list to debate. For your own information, there have been times when the Chair has not allowed all the suggested hon. Members to debate. The Chairperson has instead, gone outside that list allowing other hon. Members to debate. If you remember, you will recall that yesterday, I allowed all the women to debate the Vote on Water and Sanitation because I understand that this is a very important subject for the female Members of Parliament. I went outside the suggested list by the Leader of Opposition and the Chief Whip.


Therefore, for your comfort Hon. Kambwili, you have been allowed to debate even in spite of the lists. We understand your position as presiding officers and most of the times when you indicate we allow you to debate. Do not feel that this House is going to focus on the fact that you are not in good standing with your party or that there are issues.


For the presiding officers, every hon. Member of Parliament has a right to debate in this House. In fact, as far as possible, presiding officers do not look at the parties, but look at the hon. Members who come into this House representing their people. The reason we have been consulting and asking for lists is because you will agree that the UPND have a lot of Members and if all of them were allowed to debate we would not be able to pass this Budget before the end of the year. Therefore, other groupings such as the Independents, the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) and yourself included have that special attention from the presiding officers.


I would like to believe that this has made this particular issue clearer to hon. Members and everybody feels that they have a right to represent their people. With that said, we will now proceed.


Mr Kopulande: Madam Chairperson, I wish to thank you most sincerely for giving me an opportunity to debate this very important subject in support of the Budget for the Ministry of General Education for the year 2018.


Madam Chairperson, today I stand before you in this House with the title of Doctor.


Mr Livune: That is right!

Mr Kopulande: I mentioned to you on Tuesday that I just returned from the United States and I was accosted by my colleagues for not having said what I was doing there. I went to graduate with a Doctor of Philosophy in Management.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Doctor!


Mr Kopulande: This is in addition to the Master of Philosophy in Management Studies that I already hold from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kopulande: This is also in addition to the specialised course that I have from Georgetown University as a Pew Economic Freedom Fellow with a specialisation in Transitional Economics and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Zambia with distinction.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kopulande: Madam Chairperson, today I can stand amongst people of opulence and people that have backgrounds of wealth when I come from a background of parents that never saw the inside of a classroom.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kopulande: This background of mine makes me proud and makes me see the importance of education. Although my parents never saw the inside of a classroom, they were visionary enough to look forward and invest in the education of all eleven of their children.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kopulande: Madam Chairperson, as I speak to you, from their grandchildren, most of whom are university graduates, one of them is listening from the United Kingdom where he has just qualified with a second Masters Degree in Civil Engineering. The point that I am making is that education makes all the difference and brings up any person from any background to contribute to national development.


Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!


Mr Kopulande: Madam Chairperson, in the early 80s, the World Bank carried out a study and one of their conclusions was that there was a direct correlation between investment in education and the levels of development of a country. These were their findings in South East Asia, particularly in relation to investment at the level of higher education.


Madam Chairperson, this visionary Government of the Patriotic Front (PF) ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr A. B. Malama: Bwekeshapo!


Mr Kopulande: ... understands the importance of education. Allow me to quote the 7th National Development Plan crafted by this Government which, in relation to education, states on page 99 that:


“Improved education and skills development are instrumental in creating societies that are better able to respond to the social and economic development challenges they face. The availability of a skilled workforce is necessary to support the transition of all economic sectors towards highly productive activities, raise labour productivity, attract investment into the country, reduce poverty and build resilience in the economy. Issues of lifelong learning, continuing professional development and knowledge production, alongside innovation, are key to building the capabilities of individuals and society as a whole in achieving gender equity.”


Madam Chairperson, this is indeed visionary and because of the importance that President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, puts on the value of education, he appointed an accomplished educationalist, in Dr Wanchinga, to head this ministry.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kopulande: This is a Government that understand where it wants to take this country.


Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Kopulande: ... and we can only do so with a knowledgeable population because only a knowledge population can contribute effectively to the development of the country and, therefore, promote good governance. Without an education, the people will not know their rights. Without an education the people will not be able to question their Government. Without an education the people will not be able to hold their Government to account. Without an education the people will not be able to make their own proposals as to the needs of their communities so that the Government can respond with appropriate investment to lift their well-being.


Madam Chairperson, today as we debate this issue, we need to appreciate that we have challenges in educational infrastructure. We have challenges especially in rural areas with regard to girl child education. Allow me to demonstrate, according to the World Bank Country Profile on Education, the percentage of children of primary school age that were out of school as of 2014 and 2014, is barley three years ago, but I do not think the numbers have changed substantially so I will rely on them.


In rural areas, 18 per cent of the children who are supposed to be in primary school are not, while it is 7 per cent in urban areas. In the rural areas children that are supposed to be in secondary school are not there to the tune of 30 per cent and 24 per cent in urban areas.


Therefore, Madam Chairperson, we have a problem especially at the level of secondary school, where 26 per cent of girl children that are supposed to be in secondary are not. At primary school 18 per cent are not in school.


Mr Chiteme: Why?


Dr Kopulande: Madam Chairperson, these statistics buttress my argument in my Maiden Speech where I highlighted the challenge of sanitation in rural schools.

Madam Chairperson, the visionary PF Government responded…


Mr Livune: Question!


Dr Kopulande: …in the budget, that the Government will provide free sanitary pads to the girl child. While this is the case, I must bring to the attention of this august House that some clever private business persons have jumped on the bandwagon and started mobilising funds from the public. Basically, they are being unaccountable and not being responsible for those funds. Therefore, the general public is advised to be extremely careful as to who is supporting this initiative. Some have seen it as an opportunity, these opportunists want to make a buck out of every situation or suffering of a rural girl child, people who have no background in philanthropic work or persuasions are taking advantage of the poor girl child. May I warn the public that a private limited company is not called to do charity mobilisation. That is not their core. When you see them as private limited companies raising money for this cause, you know they have a profit motive. Be careful not to fall prey to that.


Madam Chairperson, we have challenges in the Ministry of General Education although education is important for the socialisation of the children, we question as to where the people that we have given responsibilities to bring up the children are correctly orientated and whether they have the right dispositions. The Auditor-General’s Report for this year indicates an amount of K3.5 million having been misappropriated by three officers. I am hearing that we will recover this money, no! Do not recover this money, let the law visit these criminals.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kopulande: Recovering money is not enough because then you keep them in the job and taking money from their salaries after they have already stolen from the children, no, Madam Chairperson. We have to deal with this. The Ministry of General Education has had a very serious scandal in unqualified teachers being on their payroll and teaching the children. These must be dealt with. We have had the scourge of examination leakages; this is a demonstration of lack of integrity amongst the people to whom we have handed the children to educate.


Madam Chairperson, let me take this opportunity to observe that our country is getting fragmented along tribal lines. In the previous dispensations, under Dr Kenneth Kaunda, we had school children being sent all over the country, from one part of the country to another.


Mrs Chonya: Hear, hear!


Dr Kopulande: I was at Mwense; we had fellow students from Western, Southern Province and many more. That taught us to…


Mr Nkhuwa: Even Eastern Province.


Dr Kopulande: …unite and be one and seen as one Zambia one nation. I suggest hon. Minister that you go back to this policy. Start sending children to other provinces where their parents are not there so that they can learn to appreciate other people. Start sending teachers across the country without limiting them to where they have been born and brought up that way we will use education to build one Zambia one nation.


Madam Chairperson, let us introduce in the curriculum, of early childhood education, a subject of patriotism to the nation. Only then shall we stop people going all over the world to discredit their own country while they seek to rule this country.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kopulande: Patriotism is an essential ingredient to the development of the country and it must be taught from early childhood. Hon. Minister, I submit that you consider these practical measures that I am proposing so that we can change our country.


Dr Kopulande’s time lapsed.


Mr Mulusa: With these few words, I thank you.


Dr Kopulande: I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Members: Ema doctor!


Ms Subulwa (Sioma): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me an opportunity to contribute to the education sector.


Madam Chairperson, education is the best…


The Chairperson: Order, on my right.


Ms Subulwa: Thank you Madam Chairperson, education is the best gift that a Government can give to its people.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Education is also key in overcoming poverty in a sustainable way.


Madam Chairperson, education is vehicle that narrows the gap between the rich and the poor. I would say education is a right of every Zambian. That said, I would like to share the difficulties that the people of Sioma are facing. Early childhood education helps the ordinary people, the poor or even the rich to be well integrated into the mainstream of the education sector.


Madam Chairperson, investment in primary and secondary education is something that we are looking forward to. I am glad to hear from the hon. Minister himself that the budget is not adequate. I will start with education infrastructure in Sioma. I would like to thank the Government for putting up a secondary school in Namgweshi. That is a plus to the Government and we are grateful.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: However, we have a request to make. Mutomena Secondary School in Sioma was upgraded from a primary to a secondary school with the same structure and number of teachers. We only have three teachers at that school. It is a worry to us. I have off course, visited and written to the Ministry of General Education to request them to help us with teachers.


Madam Chairperson, as I am talking, at Mutomena High School, roofs were blown off in 2015. I had a discussion with the Permanent Secretary (PS) under the Ministry of General Education to try and see how best they can assist in this issue. I have noticed that the cost of putting up the blown roof is not even much. I feel there is need for the Government to rehabilitate and extend Mutomena High School. If that is done, it will address the serious issues that the pupils are facing in that area. 


Madam Chairperson, Mutomena High School was upgraded for so that the people in Sinjembe, Dihehe and Mwazi, who are at the border can access secondary education there. The challenge that the pupils are facing is that when they go to Mutomena High School, they have to rent accommodation because there are no boarding facilities there. In most cases, you will find that the so-called blessers or cursers take advantage of the young girls. These young girls end up getting pregnant and are sent back to their homes.  In this regard, we experience low levels of enrollment at Mutomena High School.


Madam Chairperson, if we have to address the issues of Early Child Marriages, then we have to look in those angles. The only solution is to extend Mutomena High School and turn it into a boarding school. We do not need too much. We just need a 1 x 2 classroom block for the female dormitories and another one for the male dormitories so that we can address these issues. I do not think the ministry needs a lot of money to do this. I know the Budget for the Ministry of General Education is inadequate.


Madam Chairperson, we are already in the rainy season and the people of Sinjembela will be cut off from the rest of Sioma. We also need to consider this issue so that we assist the people of that area. As I have already stated, we need a boarding facility in that area. I am a girl child and I am concerned about the high levels of early marriages that are happening in Sioma. This is actually a serious concern. The people of Sinjembela need help.


Madam Chairperson, the people of Sioma have hope in the Patriotic Front (PF) Government. We know that Government will do something to address the issues that I am raising.

Hon. UPND Members: Question!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Madam Chairperson, I know a lot of people will question me, but I can tell them that I am sure of what I am talking about. I have seen what the PF Government is doing. So far, so good.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Madam Chairperson, in this country, we have developed a tendency of having a blame game. This blame game is not supposed to exist where one can see the benefits. Ichintu chintu umwene.


Hon. Government members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: As Zambians, we should learn to commend when something good is done.


Madam Chairperson, I also want to highlight the issue of desks. This Government needs to ensure that the schools have desks. In most of the schools, the children sit on the floor. I, therefore, urge the ministry to consider buying desks for the pupils.


Madam Chairperson, in this regard, I would like to request that I take a trip with the hon. Minister of General Education to Sioma. I can sacrifice to drive him up to Dihehe so that he can understand the problems that I am talking about.




Ms Subulwa: Madam Chairperson, I know the hon. Minister is going to work on that. The PF Government is very responsible.


Madam Chairperson, the other issue I would like to put across is the one concerning the Information Communications Technology (ICT).




The Chairperson: Order, hon. Members on my right. I really do not see why there is so much excitement about the hon. Member for Sioma inviting the hon. Minister of General Education, …




The Chairperson: …just the two of them, to go to Sioma. It is obvious that the hon. Minister will take that invitation very seriously.




The Chairperson: The hon. Member for Sioma will continue.


Ms Subulwa: Madam Chairperson, I would also want to appeal of Minister of General Education to consider giving the people of Sioma solar panels through the Ministry of Energy. I am making this request because I know that the construction of a hydro-power station in that area will take a bit of time. 


Madam Chairperson, the people of Sioma are grateful to this Government for sending twenty-four teachers there. However, I think we still need more teachers because those ones are not enough to address the issues. We would want the hon. Ministry to consider recruiting our own, who we trained in Sioma using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). If they recruit them, we will be very grateful. There was a programme where we were supporting the vulnerable and they have now graduated from various colleges. We would appeal to the ministry to consider recruiting them. When this is done, we will be most grateful.


Madam Chairperson, we also appreciate what the Government is doing by providing sanitary pads to the schools in rural areas. They should continue doing so. 




Ms Subulwa: If it is not happening in your areas, in Sioma, it is happening.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Madam Chairperson, I would, therefore, like to applaud the Government for giving us CDF. This money will enable us complete certain projects in Sioma. The projects are Nangweshi, Lipaneno and Mwanzi Basic Schools will be concluded. Our only plea to the hon. Minister is that he should ensure that Mutomena and Sinjembela High Schools are rehabilitated and extended to boarding facilities. 


Madam Chairperson, education is vital for economic take-off. If the hon. Minister addresses those issues, he will answer our prayers. We are so hopeful and we know that this Government is going to deliver. This Government, so far, is the hope of Sioma. They have given us hope and they should not disappoint us. I, therefore, support the Budget for this ministry.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Katuta (Chienge): Madam Chairperson, first of all, let me state that I would like to support the policy statement on the Ministry of General Education. However, I would like to just lament on how education in this country has been neglected.


Mr Kafwaya: Question!


Ms Katuta: You can only question if you have a fake degree or Grade 12 certificate.




Ms Katuta: Madam Chairperson, in this country, we have noticed that even some teachers who have gone through some scrutiny when applying for jobs have fake Grade 12 Certificates, diplomas and degrees.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Katuta: Madam Chairperson, some hon. Members are saying, “Question” because they want their passports to be revolved instead of being revoked.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!




Ms Katuta: Madam Chairperson, I seek your protection.


The Chairperson: You have the Chair’s protection. Please continue.


Ms Katuta: Thank you, Madam Chairperson.


We have seen a lot happening in the Ministry of General Education or should I say education in general. I would like to borrow the words by Hon. Kopulande when he referred to what used to happen in the time of President Kaunda.


I was educated under the Kaunda era and my late father was a headmaster. When he spoke English, you would think it is a white man from England and he had a good handwriting. Today, a child in Grade 2 cannot even read or spell words correctly …


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Katuta:… because in this country, they keep on changing the syllabus. Each year, the syllabus is changed and there is no stability. It is high time the Government revisited the curriculum. Children in Grades 1 to 4 should be taught in a local language so that they can understand. For example, the word spoon can be explained to them in Nyanja or Bemba so that they can understand. They can also have a local accent, but we encourage them to have a certain accent when they speak English.


Ms Kalima: But they are supposed to speak English like the British.


Ms Siliya laughed.


Ms Katuta: Madam Chairperson, I cannot believe the hon. Minister can even pass that comment at the expense of what is happening in rural areas. Pupils cannot read because they do not have reading books or e-learning services. Therefore, it is unfortunate that the hon. Minister can even laugh at that comment.


Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!


Ms Katuta: What kind of leadership is that?


The Chairperson: You have lost …


Ms Katuta:I am talking about what is affecting the children.


Hon. UPND Members: Yes!


Ms Katuta: My children were educated abroad, but I am speaking on behalf of the children in this country and somebody is making fun of what I am saying.


Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!


Ms Katuta: We should be serious. When we lose objectivity of being hon. Members of Parliament, this is what happens.


The Chairperson: Hon. Member for Chienge, we are debating the Ministry of General Education. I do not know why you have decided to debate a Minister, you cannot do that.




The Chairperson: Is there anyone passing comments and disturbing her debate?


Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!


The Chairperson: Please, refrain from that.




The Chairperson: Hon. Member for Chienge, continue debating and ignore the running commentaries. Focus on your debate.


Ms Katuta: Madam Chairperson, I am still talking about the quality of education in our country. At Maamba Collieries Limited (MCL), an engineer from the University of Zambia (UNZA) was replaced by someone who could not get a job in India because of the quality of education. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) or South Africa, a child is able to decide whether to be an electrical engineer or musician. In Zambia, there is no career guidance and children only pick a career when they go to university. Therefore, we can have specific teachers for career guidance so that they can help the children.


Madam Chairperson, in this country, we encourage children to excel in science and mathematics. However, if some of them do not excel in these subjects, they can be artists. We can also encourage them to be musicians and designers, but we only encourage them to be engineers or doctors.  Therefore, the education curriculum should be revisited so that we help the children. However, the syllabus is changed every year and when will it be stable? Soccer academies should not be under the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development, but in schools. We should have physical education teachers who can train the children. That way, some of them can be gym trainers after they complete Grade 12. Not all of them can go to the university or college and others are naturally talented and these are some of the things that this ministry should take seriously.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister talked about the completion of fifty-three schools. I do not know if this includes secondary schools because Kalungwishi Secondary School was abandoned three years ago. If it had been completed, it should have catered for children in Luapula and Northern Provinces and particularly those in Kaputa and Nsama. However, no-one is even talking about it. This has deprived the pupils in Chienge and they have to travel about 30 km to go to the nearest secondary school and as a result, a number of them especially girls drop out of school. These schools also do not have boarding facilities. Therefore, the girls are abused by men or get pregnant. That is why there is a high rate of teenage pregnancies in places like Chienge. The ministry should look into such issues.


Madam Chairperson, the technocrats who make the budget should undertake tours. They should not rely on the information they are given by those who sit in the offices, but should physically go and check what is on the ground. That way, they will be able to budget accordingly. You cannot allocate a certain amount to a particular item, yet you do not even know what is on the ground. In some classrooms, there are about eighty pupils. Furthermore, at some primary schools, the pupils have to wait for the others to leave the classrooms before they can go in and a teacher who teaches Grades 3 and 4 pupils also teaches Grade 9 pupils. We are crying for teachers in Chienge, but each time there is a recruitment exercise, those who graduated years back are left out. However, a student at Mufulira Teachers Training College was employed. What is going on?


Madam Chairperson, development starts with education, and you cannot separate the two. The construction of some dormitories and laboratories at Kasama Girls Secondary School was funded by the World Bank. In this regard, the Ministry of Finance can approach them so that they can fund the construction of laboratories in some schools in Chienge. Most of them are not examination centres because they do not have laboratories. Where will these schools get the money to put up these facilities when the ministry itself has not provided? Pupils from Lupiah Secondary School went to write the examinations at Mpondi Secondary School because the school does not have facilities. The ministry should step up because education is the source of development. Therefore, I urge the hon. Members of Parliament especially those in the rural areas to fight for children’s rights and people should not joke about this.


We have been given the mandate to come here and speak on behalf of our constituencies on what is happening regarding education, for instance.


Madam Chairperson, I have a few more words to speak. The Ministry of General Education should seriously come up with a policy of employing teachers within the locality, especially for the rural areas. This is because these people will not think of running to go and live in town. We have received a lot of teachers in Chiengi from the last recruitment, but these teachers are coming from town. There are Bandas and Halwindis, and there is nothing wrong with that, but what about the local people? When local people are employed, they will start putting up structures that will lead to development of the area. Therefore, all these people we have received will leave. Our children will again be complaining that they do not have teachers.

I plead with the Ministry of General Education to come up with a policy that will ensure that recruitment at least starts with the locals. When the local people apply for jobs, why should you leave them out and bring somebody from Lusaka who will not even stay there? In Chiengi, we are ready to chase those who are not going to stay there. If we see that they have not reported for work, the people of Chiengi are going to ask them to leave. We need people who can take their jobs seriously.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Madam Chairperson, allow me to speak on behalf of the people of Kalomo Central and without any segregation, the country at large. As a country, when we take education as consumption, then we have a problem. Education should be taken as an investment. When you take it as an investment, then you will receive fruits. From 1964, when we become an independent state, the level, quality and standard of education has been going down every day and men in suits are watching without any remedy. Is our education system under the Patriotic Front (PF) Government better than it was six years ago? The answer is no.


Madam Chairperson, since we are looking at the 2018 Budget, let me give a synopsis analysis of the budget of the Ministry of General Education. First of all, it has already been mentioned here that 89 per cent of the money that is given to the Ministry of General Education goes to salaries. I would like the hon. Minister to pay particular attention to the department of planning in the Ministry of General Education. It gets a colossal sum of money for salaries. We do not need that and it could be changed. Part of that money could be used for other things. I would like the hon. Minister to take a look at that and make some necessary changes. I am not saying we do not need any planning. What I am saying is that the money this department is using is too much on comparative basis. Money is never enough, but the little that you get can be used properly.


Madam Chairperson, the second point I would like to mention is on the way the budget is done under the Ministry of General Education. The breakdown does not go to the bottom. This makes it very difficult to have any accountability. It simply ends on stating that eighty schools are going to be built. Where these eighty schools are going to be is not mentioned. We want a budget that will go up to the end so that people can know that a laboratory is going to be built at Kalomo High School, for instance. If it is not done, then we can ask why. The budget allocations should not end like that in general terms. I think those who do the budget know better. A different system was used before, but now we have changed to a worse one, which does not promote any transparency and accountability. My demand as a Zambian is that at least that should be changed.


Madam Chairperson, the other point I would like the hon. Minister to know is that education also revolves around the quality of educators or what is called the baskets of knowledge. These are the people who impart knowledge. The Ministry of General Education has, however, come up with new policy on teachers. According to a circular that was given out, teachers that upgraded their qualifications from a diploma to a degree, for example, would not automatically be promoted. The circular further states that promotions would only be there when there are openings. That policy has been in effect since 2013. Although some teachers are being upgraded, this is still abuse of the law because everyone that upgrades their qualifications is supposed to be promoted.


Madam Chairperson, I request the hon. Minister to revise that circular because if teachers are discouraged from adding on their knowledge, then what kind of country are we going to have? This will only add to the problems we already have in the education sector. In fact, it is not only wrong, but illegal. As a diploma holder, if I study up to degree level, I must be scaled up accordingly. It is illegal to stop teachers from studying because of not promoting them. If things do not change, I encourage teachers to take the Government to court so that they can get what is due to them.


Mr Mutale: Question!


Mr Kamboni: Madam Chairperson, the decisions and policies of the PF Government are not taking into consideration the future of our young ones. The Zambia National Education Coalition (ZANEC) released a report after looking at this year’s Budget and I will quote from page 3 of that report:


“Being in the era of Sustainable Development Goals, we expected to see a national budget committed to the Sustainable Development Goals, place the education and skills sector as a priority. We were looking forward to a national budget that responds to the needs of the majority poor Zambians, one that draws its policy provisions and actual figures from the national planning and Vision 2030.”


Madam Chairperson, I am just from talking about planning. Do we see any planning in what we are doing? The answer is no. The Ministry of National Development and Planning is probably living in isolation.


Madam Chairperson, as I continue, I would like to concentrate on Kalomo Central, where I am the hon. Member of Parliament, before I talk about others places. After the bridge in Nalubumba collapsed, the constituency has been cut in two parts. When it rains, just within thirty days we are going to have more than 3,000 pupils not going to school because they will have no bridge to cross on and the river will be full. The Government has failed to repair this bridge that needs only gravel and those pupils are going to suffer. It is not only the pupils in Nalubumba that will suffer, in Munkolo as well because there is no bridge and when it rains, pupils will stay for one to two weeks without going to school.


Madam Chairperson, there are many other areas where there are problems. For instance, the roof was blown off at Mabuyu Primary School. Therefore, children will be learning in the rain. The roof was also blown off at Liyala Primary School and the pupils there will also be learning in the rain. We should take the learning of our children very serious. When disasters come, we must be able to respond. As a country we are more than fifty years old.


Madam Chairperson, let me now talk about examination leakages. Examinations in the education sector are shamelessly being leaked. It is actually official. There are schools that will open the examination papers before the due date. I do not know what has happened to the Examination Council of Zambia (ECZ). We have had situations whereby the whole centre is banned because of leakages. If examination papers are flown to the centre, the leakages will go by bus. What is the hon. Minister doing about it? This situation has been a source of concern.


Madam Chairperson, may I now inform the hon. Minister that the syllabus is outdated. We have been caught up by technology. Some examination leakages are sent on WhatsApp. When people are writing an examination, kids can send answers on WhatsApp and they will be all over the country in seconds. Therefore, we need to change the syllabus. We need to do what are called outcome based examinations. You can write outcome based examinations without leakage problems.


We need to have a revolution. How come our education system does not produce writers? We produce copper, but we do not have people who can produce a transformer? Why is that so? Why continue with the same type of education? We need people that are innovative to change the type of education we have in this country. For you to do that, you need to be very well organised. This where the Zambian people miss the United Party for National Development (UPND) government and Hakainde Hichilema, also known as HH.


Hon UNPD Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: The UPND would do exceptionally well in this area. In the PF Government, somebody who is a doctor is not a Minister because they have no respect for education.




Mr A. B. Malama: On a point of order, Madam.



Mr Kamboni: Madam Chairperson, Zambia is ranked the third hungriest country in the world and every person in this country should be worried with such statistics. This is true because when a church was distributing food, we lost about five people because of people scrambling to receive food. When you have such a country, it is very important to address problems such as joblessness, poverty and disease. These should be taken very serious and education can remove all of them. I already said that countries like Singapore …


The Chairperson: Order!


Business was suspended from 1810 hours until 1830 hours.





Mr Kamboni: Madam Chairperson, the Government started building some schools and then abandoned them. That is a waste of money. Some schools that were built up to window level have been abandoned. Nothing further has been done. I will give you one example; Sinazongwe Day School was very well-structured. It has nice buildings, but it has been completely abandoned for more than four years. In economics or budgeting, that is wasting money because the Government spent money there, but the building is not being used. Pupils are supposed to go to that school. When is the Government going to complete it? My advice is that the Government must complete that school because money has been locked there. We can do something about it.


Madam Chairperson, there are 800,000 pupils out of school because there are no school places. Every ngwee that we give to a ministry must be used for what it is supposed to be used for. The Auditor-General’s report has revealed that some people misappropriated funds. Why have the people who misapplied funds not been fired? The Patriotic Front (PF) Government fired and retired some medical doctors and other people because they were protecting their interests. However, those who have stolen money which was not theirs have been left in the Government. I withdraw the word “stolen.” The Government can suspend or fire these people on mere allegations.


When a teacher is suspected of going out with a pupil, a headmaster can take action. He can suspend that teacher or even expel them from the school. Therefore, why have these people who have been named in the Auditor-General’s report not been expelled? I think the Government has not expelled them because the hon. Ministers who worked illegally during election time have not paid back the money they were during that time, even after the court ordered them to pay. Even after the court has said they should pay back the money, they are being told not to pay by some people. How can such people discipline other people? Once you are part of a problem, you cannot discipline your juniors. This is why we have these problems. I am wondering how those hon. Ministers who stayed in office and got paid during the elections dispense their duties. If a worker takes money that is not theirs, how can the hon. Minister charge that worker when they themselves are culprits? I would like the hon. Minister of Finance to charge those people who have stolen money because children are suffering. Therefore, any little money that has been given in the budget should go to them.


Madam Chairperson, let me also comment on how much the PF Government gives each primary school pupil. It gives each primary school pupil K36 which in most cases, does not reach the pupil. Let me compare Zambia to another country just near to us, Botswana for instance. The Government of Botswana gives each primary school pupil K1,500, but we are giving below K100 and then we say we are doing very well.


The strength of any building is the foundation. If we do not make primary school education solid, then we have no education system. In my time, you knew that a particular boy or girl in Grade 1 would go up to university. Why? It is because the previous Government invested in education. I am therefore, suggesting that we should not leave community schools to the community alone. The Government of Botswana got the idea of community schools from us and has done far much better than us. The community schools in Zambia are handling so many children. Yet, the Government is doing nothing to help them. They have only given K3 million for all community schools in the whole country. It is not fair. I think it is high time the Government took charge of community schools 100 per cent because those children who are there are Zambian citizens and their parents pay tax like everybody else. We need to remember the poor in the decisions we make.


Madam Chairperson, we have tried to use copper to develop, but that has failed. Those who live on top of copper are poor because of our policies. In Botswana, for every diamond they sell, the Government gets 85 cents. In Zambia, for US$1 we get from the copper we sell, we get less than 15 cents, the rest goes to foreigners. We have said that we should shift to agriculture to make money, but there is no road map for that. Yet, there is the Ministry of National Development and Planning. It is all done at random, haphazardly or chipante pante.


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Mr Kamboni: We can turn around this economy and make it knowledge-based. We should move towards making this happen. We should invest in education so that employment and other things can be achieved. The Ministry of General Education is the answer to all these things. I am sure that when the United Party for National Development (UPND) comes to power, we shall turn Zambia’s economy into a knowledge-based one. We will turn it from depending only on copper. We shall change that by investing a lot in education.


Mrs Chonya: Aleisa, aleisa!


Mr Kamboni: Madam Chairperson, let me come to the Auditor-General’s report. I think we need to punish people who take money that is not theirs. They actually need capital punishment. The PF Government has left them free. When we come in power, as UPND, we shall follow these people and make sure they pay back the money.


I thank you, Madam.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwamba (Lubansenshi): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate the budget for the Ministry of General Education.


Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of General Education is the largest employer in this country. It is a very important Ministry. That is where all of us came from. Therefore, we should support the budget.


I stand here to support the budget. I listened to the hon. Minister’s policy statement. I was impressed and will continue to be so for one, two or more reasons. I followed the pronouncements the hon. Minister made. I think they are excellent pronouncements.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister has hinted that the Government is going to decentralise the recruitment of teachers. That is good, and I give the Government a tick. I have also been following the policies that the Ministry of General Education has been making. One of the policies has to do with the upgrading of primary schools to secondary schools. That, to me, is very impressive and encouraging. We should encourage that. By the way, the Government of His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, is the only Government that I can see coming up with policies which are pro-poor and clearly aimed at addressing the plight of the poor. That is what they are. Further, turning primary schools into secondary is trying to create access to people who have never been to school. That is what the Government should do. It should take education closer to its people. That is a good policy which deserves to be supported.


Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwamba: Madam Chairperson, in his statement, the hon. Minister said that the recruitment of teachers will be taken to districts and provinces. That is what all of us Zambians need. The people in Lubansenshi Parliamentary Constituency who have sent me here want their children to be recruited as teachers from there by their District Education Board Secretary (DEBS). They also want to see them start teaching from there.


Madam Chairperson, before I go to another point, I want to say that just like the President, the hon. Minister is being let down by civil servants. Recently, the hon. Minister stood in this august House and made a pronouncement on the recruitment of teachers. In my view, a pronouncement is a directive which should not be questioned, but it should be followed and implemented to the letter. However, the hon. minister mentioned that the teachers would be recruited from the provincial centres, which of course, was done. From the district, the recruitment moved to provincial centres. Districts recruited young men and women who have trained as teachers. They moved from the provincial centre and convened in Kabwe. However, the civil servants turned the tables and changed things. The names that were submitted from the districts were not adopted. For instance, from my constituency, there are only two names appearing, yet more names were submitted. The hon. Minister was not there. The civil servants had to dictate and make decisions to that effect yet the hon. Minister had made a pronouncement earlier which should have been followed to the latter. That is a policy.


Madam Chairperson, the President stood on the Floor of this august House and delivered a speech where he made several pronouncements. Looking at the Speech he delivered to this august House, it is clear that he recognised the lopsidedness of development. He realised that the urban areas were more developed than the rural areas. Therefore, in his Speech, the President gave a directive saying he wanted to see change in this kind of arrangement so that the rural areas can get developed as well, ...


Mr Ngulube: Water?


Mr Mwamba: Even that too. There is a lot of water in the towns, but that is not the case in villages. The schools that we are in towns are sparkling, but if you go to Lubansenshi Parliamentary Constituency, you will see that the schools there are not sparkling. This is why the President said we can have this picture that is in urban areas and take it to the rural areas so that people in those areas also feel good. After all, a lot of people in rural areas put the PF Government into office. This Government was formed by the people in rural areas and, therefore, it is only fair that they too benefit from the policies which the Government is formulating. I am very happy that the Government has formulated a policy which allows girls who fall pregnant whilst in school to get back into school after giving birth. May I appeal to the Government to also sponsor these girls when they go back to school. They are already vulnerable and the Government’s job or the Ministry of General Education is to ensure that they are supported and help them get into school and also see to it that they complete school. Getting the girls back into school is one thing, but retaining them is another thing.


Madam Chairperson, let me also talk about access. You and I have the figures showing how many children have access to education. These figures indicate that 800,000 children are out of school, meaning they have no access to education. Meanwhile the Ministry of General Education is here and its job is to ensure that pupils of that nature are taken to school. They must have an opportunity to walk into a classroom and start learning. It is the responsibility of the Ministry of General Education to ensure that it provides access to education. There are 800,000 children who are out of school because we have limited places in the countryside. Therefore, many have no opportunity to move or walk into a school because there are very few schools. I am happy to thank the Government, Ministry of General Education in particular, for putting in place a policy to ensure that each school is located 5 km apart. What this entails is that if I am walking from one school to the other, the distance between the two schools must just be 5 km. The people are happy about that.


Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of General Education needs to ensure that it puts this into practice. It must build more schools. Let us help the Government by building more schools so that more pupils get into schools.


In his policy statement, the hon. minister also talked about quality. Quality comes with better schools, more teachers and inspectors. The inspectors are standard officers and their job is to inspect schools. Unfortunately, the ministry only has vehicles at the ministry headquarters. These vehicles are so many that there is not enough parking space. When you go to the Provincial Education Office (PEO), you will find a few vehicles. The DEBS monitors the quality in schools, but when you go to their offices, you will see that they do not have transport. This is what has contributed to the falling standards of education.


I am, therefore, appealing to the hon. Minister of General Education to ensure that it shares the little money allocated to it with these important offices. For instance, this year, the ministry can buy two vehicles for two districts and the following year, it can do the same. One vehicle can be for the standards officer and the other for the administrator, who is the DEBS. That way, the ministry will be making progress. This K9.6 billion is quite a substantial amount and it can do something if it is properly planned for. I have seen that a large amount of it is going to emoluments, but we also need to plan for the remaining amount. Just as my brother said, the planning department must ensure that each year, two or three vehicles are bought for a district or two.


However, if wait to have enough money before we buy vehicles for teachers then we will not manage. Money will never be sufficient. What is important is for us to realise that there is problem here and we should handle it slowly with the little resources that we have so that we achieve our goals.


Madam Chairperson, lastly I want to praise the hon. Minister. The ministry was working as one sector. I am happy that the hon. Minister has desegregated this ministry. He has broken this ministry into these sub-sectors and it is going to help in managing and running it. I thank the hon. Minister, but he should help us in the areas where we need to improve in Luwingu District, especially Lupososhi and Lubansenshi. We want good schools in that area.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwamba: Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, the hon. Minister has increased secondary schools by upgrading primary schools, but we have not upgraded the teachers who are going to teach there and we have not upgraded the schools where they are going. There are degree holders and diploma holders who are teaching in these schools, but we are not paying them according to their qualifications. I appeal to the hon. Minister to quickly look at this and ensure that the statuses of these schools are improved and that way we will become a smart Zambia.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Madam Chairperson, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this discussion on general education.


Madam Chairperson, from the onset I support this very important vote. We know that the type and quality of education that the nation pursues determines the general direction of economic growth and economic development in that particular country. We have seen this in other countries. For example, South Korea, with whom we were more or less at the same level at birth, places emphasis on quality education and right now they are amongst the best in the world in terms of economic development and all other areas of human endeavour, including happiness, as Professor Lungwangwa can attest.


Madam Chairperson, the basic thing that we need to look at in terms of education is investment in quality education in order to produce man power that is of high quality. This is because man power or human resource is what goes into the production of the various sectors in our economy in order to produce growth. However, in order to do that, I have a matrix which essentially looks at various factors. I have four factors in mind.


Madam Chairperson, there is one arm which looks at the quality and adequacy of the teaching staff because without this you might as well forget about producing a high quality graduate. In the middle we have infrastructure. We need quality infrastructure in adequate quantities in relation to the quality and environment in the schools. All these are important ingredients to producing quality graduates. We also need to develop materials and curriculum to be in tune with the industry which in turn contributes to the general economic development of the country.


Madam Chairperson, the fourth arm in this matrix is the quality of the pupil. The quality of the pupil is very important. If you get a pupil that has been devastated by malnutrition and has been stunted, bearing in mind that we have 40 per cent stunting in this country, you are not going to produce the quality graduates that we expect. We need quality graduates in order to spur economic development in the country.

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Lufuma: Madam Chairperson, having established the four arms of endeavour in the education sector I would like to talk about them individually. I will begin with the teaching staff.


Madam Chairperson, it is very important that the quality and adequacy of the teaching staff is established in this Budget. From what has been presented by the hon. Minister of General Education, this area leaves much to be desired. For instance, if you do not take care of the teaching staff, do not expect them to give out quality education. In the rural areas there is a huge shortage of teachers. The attrition rate, according to statistics that I have been given, is about 10,000 per year. However, the recruitment, even in the Budget that has been given to us, is limited to not more than 3,000 per year. That means we are going to have a shortage of 7,000 teachers and over five years we will have a backlog of 35,000 teachers. If these 35,000 teachers are not recruited and taken to the rural areas, you will not have quality graduates.


Madam Chairperson, in my constituency right now, there are about fifteen schools with only one or two teachers and these teachers are teaching grade 1 to grade 9 classes. How can they manage? They cannot manage and the result, as you can see, is that the quality of the students that we produce right now is very poor compared to the quality that used to be produced immediately after independence.


Madam Chairperson, the teachers that have been posted to my constituency are staying there because there is some incentive in the form of the hardship allowance. I am just coming from the constituency and these teachers are saying that the hardship allowance will end in December. Therefore, starting January, there will be no hardship allowance for these poor teachers who have given up their time to be in the rural areas. They are losing at lot in the sense that their families are not able to move with modern times. That which was given before is going to be taken away. I ask the hon. Minister to reconsider keeping the hardship allowance that is given to teachers going to the rural areas because it will be to the detriment of the education system in this country.


In terms of infrastructure, Madam Chairperson, there is K100 million which is said to have been allocated to the construction of only two classroom blocks per constituency. I have made a calculation because for each classroom block you would expect to spend about K350,000 and in K100 million you are only able to get two classroom blocks per constituency. Now, the situation in terms of infrastructure in the rural areas is deplorable because a lot of the children right now only go to schools that are dug and pole. This cannot be accepted fifty-three years after independence. Therefore, it is important that the Government comes up with a strategy to ensure that we do not only finish the outstanding or ongoing programmes of building that are existing, but we should immediately embark upon building new structures so that we accommodate more of the children. As it stands right now about 700,000 school going children are not in school. They are not in school primarily because there are no facilities and that the facilities that might exist are far apart, maybe ten to fifteen kilometres away. Due to these distances a lot of the children are not able to go to school.


Madam Chairperson, in terms of bridging the gap of infrastructure, a lot of people in the rural areas have realised that education is key and have, therefore, embarked on having community schools. Now, community schools are not receiving the attention they deserve. The community volunteer teachers are not being paid anything at all. I would like to implore upon the hon. Minister to think about this situation because a lot of community schools do not have teachers. In the end you have a school block which has no teacher at all. That is detrimental to the education system particularly in rural areas. Apart from that, it is important to ensure that these volunteer teachers are put on a programme so that they can look forward not only to teaching, but after two to three years going for training and be incorporated as permanent teachers in the education system.


Madam Chairperson, it is important to ensure that the Government should gradually take over all these community schools so that they are put into the Government system. Therefore, we would expect the best out of these community schools which will eventually incorporate the children into the mainstream learning process. The fourth arm which I want to quickly go through is the quality of the pupil. As you heard, Zambia is the third hungriest country in this world. Now, with 40 per cent stunted children that we have in Zambia there has to something has to be done about this situation.


Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!


Mr Lufuma: The money allocated to the school feeding programme that the ministry is introducing is not enough. It is important that you increase this allocation…


Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!


Mr Lufuma: …so that the poor children who come running from home hungry and therefore, cannot be in class and learn, should be fed. It has worked in other countries and I think if we are serious enough, it will be able to work. If all these four arms that I have mentioned are working in unison, we expect then that we will produce a quality graduate. A quality graduate will input into the manpower situation. As soon as you input into the manpower situation, you expect economic growth from. As you grow economically, there will be less poverty because more and more people will be employed. As you grow economically, the hunger situation will improve because more and more people will be employed.


Madam Chairperson, it is important that we change the statistics where a K36 is given to run primary schools, where on earth can you run a primary school on that amount. A K46 is given to a secondary school. Where on earth can you run a secondary school on K46? It is important for the Ministry of Finance as well as the Government as a whole, to raise enough funds, in order to put into the education sector and grow it to such an extent that it becomes education for development because we are not poor


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


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasandwe (Bangweulu): Madam Chairperson…


Mr Ngulube: But I love the moustache.


Mr Kasandwe: I will begin by saying that I support the budget line for the Ministry of General Education bearing in mind that it is not inadequate to really implement all the programmes that the hon. Minister outlined. I will also say that most of the concerns have been raised by hon. Members that have debated so far and the challenges put on the table are the same ones we are facing in Bangweulu Constituency. I just want to highlight a few issues so that we can save a bit of time.


Madam Chairperson, one of the issues that I would like to raise is the rate of retention of teachers in rural areas. Immediately teachers are deployed, they make a commitment that they will work anywhere they will be posted. Immediately they are put on the payroll, they begin to migrate from rural into urban areas. Therefore, hon. Minister you need to look into that issue. The other point I want to raise is the maintenance of education infrastructure. In most cases, the ministry is talking about building more schools, but as a country we are doing poorly in terms of maintaining the schools that we already have.


Madam Chairperson, the other point I want to raise is the business of free and compulsory education. I do not know if it the Government’s policy that primary education is compulsory. If it is compulsory, hon. Minister, you need to put mechanisms in place that all school going children are in school. I can give an example of my constituency, where most of the children are found in fishing camps. So, if it is indeed a Government policy that education is compulsory, the ministry should begin looking into modalities on how we can compel our children to be in school.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: It is possible hon. Members to make your points in a very short time.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving this opportunity to speak on behalf of the people of Chitambo on the budgetary allocation to the Ministry of General Education. I want to put it on record that I fully support the budgetary allocation to this ministry because it has illustrated the President’s vision.


Madam Chairperson, today, as I stand here, I am a very happy person because this ministry has transformed the teaching service in this country. I say this because even in this House, we have some hon. Members of Parliament who were in the diasparo …




Hon. UPND Members: Diaspora!


Mr Mutale: …for teacher training. They opted to go out to do their teacher training outside Zambia because of the bad policies and incentives which were obtaining then. Today, these people are back and they are lecturing and some of them are Members of Parliament.


Madam Chairperson, the Government of the Republic of Zambia, through the President of this country, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has done a lot to this ministry. Currently, teachers can freely participate in the management of this country. They have been allowed to belong to the unions of their choice. Through this, they have managed to negotiate for better emoluments. This has also enabled them to freely speak to the Government.

Madam Chairperson, the Government has also introduced incentives such as flexible loans for teachers. That is why today, most of the teachers, both in rural and urban areas have bought vehicles. Our teachers are managing their households very well.


Madam Chairperson, let me also mention that in 2015, when we were campaigning as the Patriotic Front (PF,) many people were saying that President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, did not have a vision. I am a happy person because Hon. Kopulande today showed us the 7th NDP. This has illustrated to this House the vision of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutale: Madam Chairperson, today, this ministry is rising to higher levels and abiding to the instructions that came from President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, of not leaving anyone behind. The President has ensured that all community schools today are primary schools. There have been increased levels of teachers’ enrollment and deployment. We have also witnessed infrastructure development. There has been the construction of schools in the different parts of this country, including those areas that did not vote for the PF.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutale: Madam Chairperson, the teachers in rural areas can boast because they are paid rural hardship allowances. Some people can rise on the Floor of the House and debate against this ministry because they have decided to close their eyes because they have misused the education in this country. We have seen people being taken to school and after achieving their education and become economists, they start siphoning the wealth that the people of Zambia depend on. Today, these people are managing the Tuntemba parties such as the United National Development Party (UPND) and they want to show that they are more learned than others. 




The Chairperson: Order!


Mr Mutale: Madam Chairperson, I also want to mention that …


The Chairperson: Order! Did you just say Tuntemba parties and mentioned UPND? Did you do that? You know, you are not supposed to do that. Withdraw that statement.


Mr Mutale: Madam Chairperson, I withdraw that statement. I will replace it by saying that UPND is a party that is run by an economist who siphoned the money of the Zambian people through privatisation.




The Chairperson: Order! Hon. Mutale, if you were not a new Member of Parliament, I was going to curtail your debate. I am going to guide you one last time that you should not make reference to other people’s political parties in such a manner. You should focus on the Head that is before the House, which is the Ministry of General Education. Hon. Member, continue with the debate, but please heed my counsel.


Mr Mutale: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for that counsel. In this House, reference has been made to this Government on several occasions and I was just trying to show that this Government is doing a lot through this ministry. Former President Kaunda laboured to educate most of the leaders who we have in this nation. My prayer is that these leaders would have reciprocated ...




Mr Mutale: …the education that they got from the previous Governments. Today, instead of supporting this ministry by providing leadership and ideas, some people have continued to lament that this ministry is doing nothing. These are the leaders who have benefited a lot from the Ministry of Education for free, but today, they are boasting about the money which they siphoned through privatisation. We shall not sit idle. We shall encourage this ministry to continue with the good policies that it has embarked on of bringing back all the teachers to this country.


For this reason, there are teachers now in community schools in rural areas. However, I urge the Government to invest in infrastructure development so that the teachers who have been sent to the rural areas can also have houses.


Madam Chairperson, the learned in this country should tell us what they feel about the Ministry of General Education unlike them boasting about how educated they are and how much wealth they have. They should explain certain things to this nation so that we can also learn from them. They are educated because of the education system. However, for them to say that what happened in Zimbabwe can also happen here does not show how educated they are.




Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutale: Madam Chairperson, for them to suggest that they can use witchcraft to get into power does not show how educated they are and does not bring them to the level of being economists. However, I support the budget for the ministry.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.




Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Madam Chairperson, thank you. Indeed, I totally agree that education is very important.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: To educate is to give intellectual, moral and social instructions to someone …


Mr Ngulube: Ema seven spirits aya!




Mr Mutelo: … and we need to do that in Zambia. However, the Examination Council of Zambia has a problem of leakages while the Electoral Commission of Zambia has the problem of rigging.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: When the foundation is not firm, it creates a problem. Therefore, we need to put the Examination Council of Zambia in order and to give them intellectual, moral and social instructions. If we do not do that, the results will show.




Mr Mutelo: Those who read the slate, bene ba bala sifela and Jelita and Mulenga, and did the ‘can you remember’ …




Mr Mutelo: … exercises are far much better than those who cannot remember.




Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: Madam Chairperson, K154 has been allocated towards the completion of universities, secondary and primary schools or ongoing projects. In 2010, the Movement Multi-party for Democracy (MMD) Government started the construction of some schools in Serenje, Kalabo, Mitete and Mpulungu. However, most of them have stalled and only three are being worked on.


Mr Sing’ombe: Are you going to remember?


Mr Mutelo: Madam Chairperson, when the foundation is not strong, then whatever is built on top is unstable. I am glad the hon. Minister of General Education is a doctor and he was taught by teachers. However, they are different from those who teach the children today and the current education system leaves much to be desired.


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Mr Michelo: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: Madam Chairperson, in the past, people went to Government schools rather than community or private schools. Today, it is the other way round. The orphans and disadvantaged go to community schools.


Madam Chairperson, if power had to go off, it would be dark. However, if they turned the lights on, …




Mr Mutelo: … we would sit here until 2400 or 0100 hours. The people in Rufunsa, Mafinga and Mitete have knowledge and the lighting is education.


We have real professors and not fake professors who come via examination leakages.


Mr Musonda interjected.



Mr Mutelo: The people being mentioned are real professors. However, it is true we have real and pure professors coming all the way from Nakanya. The problem is that we keep on changing the education system in Zambia. The United National Independence Party (UNIP) Government had its own education system. When the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) came to power, it diluted the system a bit. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government has now over diluted the whole situation.




Mr Mutelo: If we are not careful, we will lose the ‘taste’ in education. At the rate that we are going under PF, we will lose out very hard.


Madam Chairperson, if at all we will have desks sent to schools in Mitete in 2018, we say thank you very much. If it is just another talking show, however, things will remain the same. If the infrastructure which is tabled when the ministry’s budget is completed, then will we will be getting somewhere. If not, then the PF will continue over diluting the education system. Three schools in Mitete have been upgraded, but pupils will still have to travel to one examination centre. I think we all know what it means to travel long distances to go and write examinations. Moreover, the ministry wants to examine pupils in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) when there are no computers. The people of Mitete are clever and totally bright and are able to compete with those who have computers.




Mr Sing’ombe: Hammer!


Mr Mutelo: The day we are given computers, we will even beat those who have always had computers, laptops and phones. If the Government is not going to give us computers in schools, we say thank you very much. Since God has given wisdom to each and every human being, we will find our own way. It is possible and all shall be well.


Mr Sing’ombe: Like ya Katele Kalumba!



Mr Mutelo:  Madam Chairperson, have the teachers who were put on a fast track programme graduated this year? Where are they? Has the ministry recruited those who completed in 2017?


Mr Sing’ombe: They have not graduated yet!


Mr Mutelo: Have they been given employment? Aah!




Mr Mutelo: Madam Chairperson, there are also teachers who have upgraded their skills, but they are not being promoted. People with the same qualifications are in different salary scales, but they are teaching at one school. One teacher is motivated, while another is de-motivated. This is the diluting of the system that I am talking about.


Madam Chairperson, we have a lot of challenges which we need to address. I am trying to include myself, but because I am not part of those who are over diluting the system, allow me to say that the colleagues on your right should put their heads together and see to it that things work out in the right way. The outside world used to come to Zambia to learn. Some of the people who are presidents or have been presidents in other countries got educated here in Zambia. Are foreigners still coming to learn in Zambia today? It is us here who are now sending our people to the people who came to learn from us.


Madam Chairperson, thank you very much. Hon. Minister and your team, let us put our house in order.




The Chairperson: The hon. Minister of General Education will wind up debate in five minutes so that we can deal with this Head. You will agree hon. Members that we have debated at length.


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker …


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear! Ema safari suit aya!




Dr Wanchinga: I would like to thank the various hon. Members of the House who debated the estimates of expenditure for the Ministry of General Education. We have taken a keen interest in the issues raised. Many of these are very valuable contributions. I have grouped the contributions in seven clusters. We had the first cluster which had Hon. Mwashingwele, Hon. Given Katuta, Hon. Komboni, Hon. Lufuma and Hon. Michelo. These hon. Members highlighted the issues of the quality of education. This is an area where a number of useful suggestions have come up. We will be able to address some of these issues in our ministerial statements. We will incorporate some of them in our policies and our operational programmes as we implement the 2018 budget.


Madam Chairperson, the second cluster of issues raised was on policies. Hon Jamba, Hon. Kopulande, Hon. Katuta, Hon. Komboni, Hon. Mwamba …




Hon. Members: Komboni?


The Chairperson: He is Hon. Kamboni and not Hon. Komboni.


Dr Wanchinga: Yes, Hon. Kamboni.




Dr Wanchinga: They raised a lot of useful policy issues which ranged from early childhood education, agriculture education, science education and the need to strengthen the monitoring of our education system to patriotism. These are issues we are addressing and I think at an appropriate time, I will report on them during the normal business of the House.


Madam Chairperson, on the issue of the Government taking on community schools, the Government has already done that and I will inform the House on how we are integrating community education into the formal national education system.


Madam, Chairperson, the hon. Member for Sioma said that it is necessary for the Government to do on-the-spot check on some infrastructure in the Ministry of General Education. Certainly, I was humbled by the request. We have a programme of visiting various constituencies. I think we will visit even the constituencies for those hon. Members who have not made a specific request to be visited.


I noted a number of challenges the hon. Members referred to in terms of the operations of the Ministry of General Education relating to the audit process. I mentioned some of the measures we are putting in place to address that and at some appropriate time, I think the House will be informed about this.


Madam Chairperson, the issues of examination leakages, need for planning within the Ministry and teacher recruitment were raised. These are important issues and I will clarify them in due course. I have also taken note of the issues that were raised on the importance of having adequate infrastructure in the nation.


I have also noted some of the compliments which have been given to the Government of the Patriotic Front (PF), particularly some of the leadership elements that His Excellency, the President has shown in ensuring that he brings the nation together and ensuring that our education system takes centre stage in promoting national unity and national development.


I thank you, Madam.


VOTE 8055/01 – (Ministry of General EducationEarly Childhood Education – K115,397,558).


The Minister of Finance (Mr Mutati): Madam Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment on Head 8055/01 – Ministry of General Education – Early Childhood Education Programme 5501, Early Childhood Education, Economic Classification 3, Transfers, Subsidies and Other Payments, by the insertion immediately after Item 001 Early Childhood School Grant, of 002 School Feeding Programme for Early Childhood Education K1,000,000.


Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Madam Chairperson, we were given an amendment to this Vote which shows K100.


The Chairperson: The amendment has passed, Hon. Mutelo.


Mr Mutelo: The total of the figures in this amendment is not correct.


Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.


Vote 80/55/01, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 80/55/02 – (Ministry of General EducationPrimary Education - K6,225,937,320).


Mr Mutati: Madam Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment on Head 80/55/02 – Ministry of General Education – Primary Education Programme 5502, Primary Education, Activity 006 Infrastructure Development, by the deletion of K100,000,000 and the substitution therefor of K20,000,000.


Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.


Vote 80/5502, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 80/5503 – (Ministry of General EducationSecondary Education – K2,292,161,783).


Mr Mutati: Madam Chairperson, I beg to move the following amendments:


Programme 5503, Secondary Education, Activity 001 Secondary Education Provision, by the deletion of K1,678,606,565 and the substitution therefor of K1,708,606,565; and


Programme 5503, Secondary Education, Activity 008 Infrastructure Development, by the deletion of K510,060,456 and the substitution therefor of K560,060,456.


Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.


Vote 80/5503, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


Vote 80/5505 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 80/5508 – (Ministry of General EducationManagement and Support Services – K942,590,539).


Mr Mutati: Madam Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment on Head 80/5508 – Ministry of General Education – Management and Support Services Under Programme 5508 Management and Support Services, Output Indicator 3, Number of Schools Gazetted, by the deletion of the 2017 Actual number of Schools gazetted of 200 and the substitution therefor of 2,696.


Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.


Vote 80/5508, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 89 – (Ministry of Agriculture – K4,701,301,090).


The Minister of Agriculture (Ms Siliya): Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Agriculture derives its mandate from the Government Gazette notice No. 6526 of 2016, as follows:


  1. agriculture credit;


  1. agriculture development;


  1. agriculture marketing policy, research and specialist services;


  1. training agriculture policy;


  1. extension services;
  2. field services;


  1. food security;


  1. irrigation development; and


  1. seeds standards and grades.


Madam Chairperson, the overall objective of the agriculture sector in the 7th NDP is to create a diversified and export oriented agriculture sector. The economic diversification programme that the Government has embarked on is bearing fruit in the agriculture sector. This is evidenced by an increase in the production of crops besides maize such as soya beans, rice and groundnuts.


Madam Chairperson, in order to strengthen the delivery of extension services, the ministry procured 258 motor bikes and twenty-nine motor vehicles for agriculture extension and research officers. The ministry also facilitated the public release of eighteen new crop varieties namely maize, wheat, pigeon peas, cotton, tobacco and Irish potatoes. In addition, the ministry facilitated the production of 110,794 metric tonnes of seed for various crops. The ministry developed nine new crop varieties for maize, beans and cassava in 2017. These varieties will be released in 2018.


Madam Chairperson, I am pleased to report that Zambia was successfully accredited to the sorghum and maize seed schemes under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This now means that Zambian maize and sorghum seeds can be traded world-wide thereby opening up more opportunities for the Zambian private sector.


Madam Chairperson, under irrigation development, the ministry cleared 552 hectares and 297 hectares of land for the construction of irrigation schemes in Rufunsa and Gwembe district. In addition to this, works are on-going to clear and level 2066 hectares and 513 hectares of land for irrigation schemes in Serenje and Sinazongwe Districts. Further, under the World Bank supported facility, construction works for the irrigation scheme and dam in Mombozi have reached 42 per cent. At Lisutu Irrigation Scheme, 25 per cent works have been done while at Lusakashi works have reached 10 per cent.

Madam Chairperson, as at 30th November, 2017, a total of K2.5 billion was paid to various suppliers of goods and services under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). A balance of K1.1 billion still remains to be paid in arrears in the ministry.


Madam Chairperson, in the 2018 Budget allocation, the Ministry of Agriculture has been allocated K4.7 billion out of which K1.27 billion is supported by various development partners for key programmes such as crop diversification, irrigation development, agri-business and value addition. The areas of priority are as follows:


Crop Diversification.


Madam Chairperson, FISP remains a key programme in promoting agriculture diversification. In 2018, all districts will implement FISP using the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) platform targeting one million commercially viable beneficiaries. A total of K1.785 billion has been allocated to this programme. To support the crop diversification agenda, the ministry has allocated K172.8 million for dissemination of good agricultural practices, research and seed development.


Madam Chairperson, to strengthen agriculture extension service delivery and information dissemination, the ministry allocated K32.9 million to develop an e-extension platform and procure motor bikes and vehicles. The ministry will also employ up to 500 extension officers in 2018.




Madam Chairperson, the Government has made a provision of K575.9 million in the 2018 Budget for irrigation development with support from development partners. Further, K71.9 million has been allocated to, ...


The Chairperson: Order!


(Debate adjourned)






[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


(Progress reported)




The House adjourned at 1957 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 1st December, 2017.