Tuesday, 14th November, 2017

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Tuesday, 14th November, 2017


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to inform the House that in the absence of Her Honour the Vice-President, who is attending to other Government business, the Chief Whip, Hon. Richard Musukwa, MP, has been appointed Acting Leader of Government Business in the House from today, Tuesday, 14th November, 2017, until further notice.


I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!








82. Mr Lufuma (Kabompo) asked the Minister of Health:


  1. why the Government was about to procure fifty ambulances at an exorbitant price of US$288,000 each;


  1. whether the Government was aware that the same type of ambulances can be procured from Toyota Zambia at a total cost of US$74,000 each; and


  1. if so, whether the procurement process would be halted to save taxpayers’ money.


The Minister of Heath (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, the Government is not about to procure fifty ambulances at an exorbitant price of US$288,000 each. The House may wish to note that in September, 2015, the Government, through the Ministry of Health, entered into a contract with Savenda Limited to supply and deliver purpose-built ambulances for mobile and emergency health services, train health workers and support maintenance for the ambulances. These services were targeted at maternity, sudden non-communicable disease events, such as cardiac and trauma, arising from road traffic accidents and other sudden catastrophic medical and surgical conditions. The total cost is US$11,520,355, broken down as follows:


  1. supply and delivery of fifty purpose-built Mercedes Benz high-roofed ambulances mounted with modernised emergency and mobile medical equipment at the unit price of US$143,110, bringing the total price to US$7,155,500;


  1. five years service and provision of service parts for ambulances, inclusive of both mobile platform and the medical equipment at US$3,649,305; and


  1. training of twenty mechanics, fifty drivers and 100 medical staff at a cost of US$715,550.


Mr Speaker, the House may wish to note further that in March, 2015, an open international competitive tender was floated, which attracted thirteen responses. The due process was followed after the bids were opened, including the Ministry of Health institutional ministerial procurement committee approvals, due diligence and technical and financial evaluations. Upon completion of the due process, the submission was made, as prescribed by law, to the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) for approval. After this lengthy due process, Savenda Limited was awarded the contract to supply the total package at a cost of US$11,520,355. It is important to mention that Toyota Zambia did not participate in this tender.


Mr Speaker, as I stated earlier, this was an international competitive tender with very clear specifications in which thirteen companies participated, of which Toyota Zambia was not one of them. The Government is not aware that the same ambulances, including other services which were included in the specifications, are available at Toyota Zambia at that quoted price of US$74,000.


Sir, the procurement process may not be halted at this stage, as the contract was entered into in 2015 and the Government has made payments towards this procurement. An initial 10 per cent was made in 2015 and was followed by a further 15 per cent of the cost in 2016. Subsequent payments will be made as resources are made available.


In the meantime, preparation and the various conversions required on the units have commenced, and they are all still overseas. At an appropriate time, the Government will send a technical team to perform pre-shipment inspection to assure value for money of the final product.


Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Health remains committed to providing effective and high quality health services and looks forward to improving its mobile and emergency health services to the people of Zambia because every life counts.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government seems to have this propensity to purchase very highly sophisticated and highly priced equipment, as has been seen with the fire tenders, which is still topical. The fire trucks were deemed as highly sophisticated and state-of-the-art, but when delivered, they fell short of that description.


Does the hon. Minister seriously think that spending US$11,520,355 on such equipment is value for money? In his opinion, what is a priority between providing 650 rural health posts, which can cater for more people, vis-à-vis buying fifty highly sophisticated ambulances which will most likely be used in urban areas?


Mr Speaker: Just a reminder to hon. Members: One question per hon. Member of Parliament.


Hon. Minister of Health, you may answer.


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, I seek your indulgence to answer one question, but if you permit, I will answer both.


Sir, creating infrastructure for people to access health services through construction of health posts and creating purpose-built vehicles that will also deliver health services in areas where infrastructure is lacking are matters of equal importance.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        


Mr Speaker, we are comparing different things. It is important for the Government to plant health posts so that people can access health services. It is also important to note that ambulances play a totally different role. An ambulance could be described as a facility on wheels, and the level of sophistication will differ depending on the purpose. So, it is important to note that the Government will prioritise both the construction of static infrastructure and procurement of ambulances that are health services delivery vans on wheels.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, ...


Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Dr Kambwili: Naisa boi.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Roan, what did you say?


Dr Kambwili: I said “I am coming, my friend.”


Mr Speaker: Well, I allowed the point of order. There was no need for you to say that.


Let me say that because of the nature of the question, this is the only point of order I will allow.


Continue, Hon. Mwiimbu.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order pursuant to Standing Order No. 31(1) of our Standing Orders.


Sir, you may not be aware that recently, Zambia has witnessed a number of deaths arising from the trampling of tourists and other members of the public by elephants in our tourist areas. Last week, two tourists were trampled in Livingstone and died a very painful death. As if that was not enough, one of the security guards within Livingstone was also trampled by an elephant and he died. 


In the last three years or so, we have witnessed a number of people killed by elephants in Zambia. There are reports circulating in the international media that tourists are no longer safe in Zambia as a result of these killings happening in tourist areas.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I am aware that the Government of the Republic of Zambia is prioritising tourism as a source of income. The point of order I am making is: Arising from the statements that are being floated in the international media, what measures is the Government of the Republic of Zambia putting in place to assure tourists and other Zambians that they are safe to be found in these tourist areas in order for us to enhance our tourism potential in the country?


Is the hon. Minister of Tourism and Arts in order to remain mute, considering that this is a very important issue that affects the security of people who visit our tourist destinations and the reputation of Zambia as a whole, as a tourist destination? Is he in order to remain mute and not assure the nation and the world that Zambia is still a safe tourist destination?


I have noticed that there are so many reports in the media about this issue, but I will lay two Government newspapers which carried the story pertaining to the killing of the two tourists from Europe.


Mr Mwiimbu laid the two newspapers on the Table.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!



Mr Speaker: Order!


Let me repeat what I have previously said, and I hope I do not have to repeat this over and over and over again.




Mr Speaker: We are pressed for time. If you look at the number of Heads we have covered, there are fewer than the ones we are yet to complete virtually in less than a month. I have previously indicated, in terms of the right being accountable to the left, that the only facility I will allow is through questions of urgent nature. I think if you have noticed, we have been very strict in the manner in which we are processing these questions.


Most of the questions that we are putting on the order of proceedings are of an urgent nature, including the one we are considering just now. Therefore, in a word, I will not allow accountability, in that sense, through ministerial statements. So, if you have a matter of a very urgent nature, simply file in a question following Order 31 of our Standing Orders. I can assure you, I will process it with dispatch.


May the hon. Member of Parliament for Roan continue, please.


Dr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, before I was interrupted by that point of order, I was trying to remind the hon. Minister that when the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) bought the mobile hospitals, the Patriotic Front (PF) and United Party for National Development (UPND) condemned the procurement on the Floor of this House, and said it was a waste of money. I will forgive the hon. Minister because by then, he was in the MMD and supported the procurement and, maybe, that is why he is even supporting this current procurement.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, mobile hospitals have become a white elephant. Therefore, why would a reasonable Government, during a time that it is in dire straits in terms of finances, go back to make the same mistake that the MMD made by buying very exorbitant things that have now turned into white elephants? Are these guys serious?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member of Parliament for Roan, may you withdraw the word “guys”.


Dr Kambwili: Sir, I am sorry. I withdraw the word “guys”. Is the Government serious about serving the people of Zambia or there are other interests that it is prioritising in the procurement of such things in Zambia?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, I thank my senior colleague and Member of Parliament for Roan on the PF ticket, Hon. Dr Chishimba Kambwili, who is my elder brother.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: Sir, I just want to remind my elder brother that he was Cabinet Minister at the time of this procurement and a spokes person for the Government.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: Therefore, he was supposed to have asked himself that question in 2015 in the spirit of being contemporaneous in addressing issues. I am actually shocked to hear that question coming from him asking us whether we are serious, yet that question should be part of the introspection that he should have indulged in at that particular time.


Nonetheless, Mr Speaker, I just want to emphasise that the mobile hospitals that were procured under the MMD Government have saved lives and continue to save lives. Today, as we speak, we have mobilised mobile hospitals to Nchelenge where we have 6,000 plus refugees.


Mr Mushanga: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: Through these mobile facilities, Mr Speaker, we are able to conduct operations and provide health services to asylum seekers.


Mr Speaker, Zambia is a global citizen and it has an obligation to look after asylum seekers in line with international practice. The hon. Member of Parliament for Roan was privileged to serve as Minister of Foreign Affairs and so, he knows our obligation.


Sir, mobile hospitals are hospitals on wheels and can be deployed where there is a need. Where there is inadequate infrastructure to provide health services, we do mobilise these mobile facilities and each province today, has these facilities. These are six-wheel-drive vehicles whose full set has seven pieces. It has a theatre, imaging or x-ray, pharmacy and power supply. Therefore, an ambulance or mobile hospital could just be as sophisticated or even more sophisticated than a facility that is static.


Mr Speaker, I also want to emphasise here that the conversion of a vehicle to an ambulance happens at a cost. The construction of a purpose-built ambulance happens at a cost and all these are done as specified technically in a bid. So, there is no rocket science about a tender being advertised, defining specifications that will allow a health worker to stand upright and provide certain health services, or that will allow a health worker access to sophisticated equipment within the ambulance to support life in transit. This is extremely important.


Sir, I will end by just giving an example of how useful these facilities on wheels are. In a very unfortunate incident some months back, there was a road accident in Mwense in which my elder, Hon. Dr Kambwili, was involved. I sent an ambulance …


Mr Mwale: Aah!




Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, you will do well not to make reference to hon. Members.




Mr Speaker: Continue, please.




Hon. Government Members: Hammer! Hammer!


Mr Speaker: Of course, you can refer to the incident.


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, there was an accident in Mwense in which a brother to one of our colleagues in Parliament here was involved. We responded at jet-speed and sent an advance life support ambulance with trained paramedics and we found the patient unconscious. We started resuscitating that patient in the ambulance. We resuscitated that brother of ours …




Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: … and took him on life support to Mansa General Hospital. It is one of the cases we have documented as success stories and a matter that has even attracted promotions …




Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: … for the people who were involved.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, that patient was shifted to Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and remained comatose and we resuscitated that patient for more than a week.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mmm! How is he now?


Dr Chilufya: Very much alive.




Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: Sir, the patient is fit.




Dr Chilufya: We had to stabilise the patient and thereafter, evacuated him again, on an advanced life support ambulance. Without that advanced life support ambulance, we would have lost the patient without doubt.


Mr Speaker, let us not politicise health care. An ambulance is required at all times. For instance, one could have a heart attack on a mini-bus and a call on a toll free line can be made for an ambulance. The ambulance will come with paramedics who are trained and have defibrillators to kick-start, crank that heart, put the patient on oxygen and transfer him/her to the hospital and save a life. This is the only way we can reduce mortality from sudden events such as cardiac attacks and the only way we can protect women who could have bled profusely in remote areas and require to be shifted to the next facility.


Sir, ambulances save lives and we have evidence that many lives in this country have been saved through them. Every life counts and we will continue to invest in static and mobile infrastructure.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: On a point order, Mr Speaker!


Hon. Government Members: Aah!




Mr Speaker: Hon. Members on the right, especially the Front Bench, ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: ... I expect you to support your colleague by maintaining silence.


 Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, ...


Dr Kambwili: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Roan, I announced earlier on, even before this issue arose, that I am not allowing points order and once the Speaker rules, that ruling should be respected without exception. A ruling is a ruling.


Mr Jere: Mr Speaker, to my knowledge, an ambulance should not only move on selected roads because no one decides when to get sick. However, we have noticed that the few Mercedes Benz ambulances that we have find it challenging to reach people in our townships and those who stay distances away from the main roads. The reason for this is that these Benz ambulances are not 4x4 vehicles. What factors were considered when procuring fifty ambulances of the same type when the Government knows that some of our roads are impassable?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the specifications in this tender are very clear and they are that a vehicle should be a 4x4 and have a high roof. The first point of correction is that the specifications in the tender were for a 4x4 base vehicle with a high roof to allow people to operate with sufficient room.


Sir, secondly, the fifty ambulances are not the only ambulances that were procured. We still have ambulances that are working in various parts of the country. The ambulances were designed to even go to hard-to-reach areas and that is why the specifications were not necessarily Mercedes Benz, but a 4x4 with a high roof. Whichever people responded had to choose which base vehicle could best match the specifications, including versatility and ability to reach remote areas. I assure the hon. Member that we have assembled a highly technically competent team that will do the pre-shipment inspection and ensure that there is value for money for these vehicles before they are certified for shipment to Zambia.


I thank you, Sir.


Mrs Chonya (Kafue): Mr Speaker, first of all, I am disappointed with the hon. Minister, who I hold in high esteem, because today, he seems to be justifying the waste of public resources.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kafue, ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: ... this is an occasion for you to seek clarification and not to make comments, judgements and cast aspersions. You know that very well. If you have no question, why not pass onto your colleagues who have questions?


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Chonya: Mr Speaker, thank you for your guidance.


Sir, I took note of the fact that the hon. Minister said our local supplier of Land Cruisers, Toyota Zambia, which, perhaps, would have given us a cheaper source, did not respond to the bid. I want to find out whether there was no room, in this procurement process, to reconsider the supplier so that we could have had selective bidding in order to save the resources that were spent on procuring these ambulances? To me, these ambulances seem to belong to the same family as the fire tenders.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, for a former Permanent Secretary (PS), I am very disappointed.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, let us restrict ourselves to the business. We are now drawing in personalities. The fact that she went that route is not justification for you to go that route as well.


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, all controlling officers understand the law that governs procurement and how rigid it is. If there are defects in the law, we belong to this august House and can bring proposals on how to rectify it, but we cannot propose things that we know are not possible within the procurement law.


Sir, this tender was by open international competitive process and those who felt they could meet the specifications, as advertised, applied. We do not have to go into the market and pull people by the neck to bid. If we did so, they would tell us that they do not have the high roof vehicles, they do not have connections to a company that supplies medical equipment to transform a base vehicle into an ambulance or that they do not have capacity or interest to train paramedics.


Mr Speaker, the procurement law is rigid and provides for various forms of procurement. This particular procurement was by open international competitive tender. Therefore, there was no room for rigging. I must emphasise that the bidder that was awarded this tender was not even the most expensive. There were international participants who quoted much more. There were bids of US$12.5 million and others clustered around US$11.5 million while others were just below that. However, as you know, the procurement process is defined in such a way that there is technical evaluation before you even reach the price and the technocrats who did the valuation have clearly indicated that due process was followed.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Chisangano (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that his ministry will procure fifty ambulances. In this country, we have a number of hospitals that do not have ambulances at all, including Gwembe District Hospital. Which hospitals or health facilities will be recipients of these ambulances?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, by the powers vested in me, as Minister of Health, by His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, I will give an ambulance …


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: … to Gwembe District Hospital. The distribution will be determined at the time that the vehicles will be in. We are aware that in Munyumbwe, where there is a new facility that this Government has built, there is a need for us to improve transportation. So, certainly, the hospital in Munyumbwe will have an ambulance to service that whole area.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Kufakwandi (Sesheke): Mr Speaker, from what the hon. Minister has explained, it appears to me that these particular ambulances are specially built for Zambia. What I am getting from the hon. Minister is that Mercedes-Benz has never built or supplied these ambulances to any other country. If these are standard ambulances, which we see all over the world being used for emergencies such as accidents and traumas, can the hon. Minister give us a comparative price of our ambulances and those that could have been supplied, if any, anywhere else in the world so that we can fully appreciate that they are within the acceptable range of prices. 


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, allow me to explain that the process of building an ambulance has stages. The cost of the base vehicle determines the overall cost. If the base vehicle must meet certain specifications in terms of height, versatility and chassis, that will also be a variable that will determine how it is picked. So, from the word go, the base vehicle of an ambulance will determine the cost. If it is a Toyota, electric vehicle or a Ford, the prices will differ. The hon. Member may be aware that vehicles differ in pricing widely. The price of a small Mercedes-Benz is much more expensive than even a big 4 x 4 vehicle in another category. The best vehicle is extremely important to consider.


Secondly, Sir, the cost of converting the base vehicle to an ambulance is yet another professional area. There are people who are specialised in doing that and this attracts its own cost. Thirdly, determining the level of sophistication of an ambulance, that is, whether it will be basic life support or basic maternity support, be it intermediate or advanced, will inform what kind of medical equipment shall be placed in it. There are ambulances that have more sophisticated equipment than some of our district hospitals. This is to a point where it is possible to keep a patient longer in some of our advanced life support ambulances just to access some of the facilities therein. In these ambulances, patients can be resuscitated before they actually get into the ward that may not have an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Therefore, the medical equipment and the level of sophistication is informed by what that ambulance will particularly do.


Sir, the comparison that should be made is between ambulances which are in the same category. We should have the same prescription of base vehicles in terms of the care we want to give and the amount of equipment we want to put in the ambulances. There are ambulances that cost US$350,000 because they are very advanced, robust and equipped life support ambulances. Such an ambulance is a hospital on wheels.


Mr Speaker, we have embarked on a robust transformational agenda where we want to provide access to health services for all Zambians. There will be Zambians who will need advanced and basic life support. In our quest to attain universal health access, we will need to invest in various infrastructure and equipment to ensure that we save every life. So, I must emphasise that there is justification in investing in intermediate, basic and advanced life support ambulances because any of these can save a life at any time. Therefore, the issue of cost is basically not to deter us from investing in equipment that will serve our people.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, we are all aware that Savenda Management Services is not a manufacturer of any vehicle nor is it a manufacturer of any medical equipment. The hon. Minister should also be aware that Savenda Management Services is one of the companies that is regularly cited in the Auditor-General’s Report for failure to oblige to the conditionalities of tendering. What motivated the Ministry of Health to pick on Savenda Management Services, taking into account what I have said, and that this particular manufacturer will be a middleman, as it will engage other manufacturers of medical equipment and vehicles, which will be used to assemble and produce the requisite ambulances?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, this tender was advertised and people participated according to their strengths. There is also a provision in the procurement law to get the manufacturer’s authorisation to participate in a tender. It is important to note that any business entity is at liberty to participate in a tender. If it is not the actual manufacturer, it must obtain and include, like I said, within the tender document, the manufacturer’s authorisation. As a matter of fact, before the award is finally given, in some tenders, it is written, “subject to some inspection of the manufacturer that is cited.”


Mr Speaker, I just want to console the hon. Member of Parliament that the provision of the tender was such that the manufacturer’s authorisation could suffice, but we are conscious of the fact that this company may not be a manufacturer.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: And the aspect about the previous performance?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, I may not be privy to the specific issues that Savenda may have been cited for. Given time, I would investigate and come up with that information. However, there are conditions that are clearly laid out in the tender process and I am confident that if previous performance or being in good standing with the Government were factors that were included in the conditions and these matters were brought to the fore, I am sure that they would have been considered. 


Mr Speaker, I am at sea over what Savenda may have done over the years and I would request for time to investigate that.


I thank you, Sir.  


Mr Mbangweta (Nkeyema): Mr Speaker, for the record, I do not think there anybody who is against the purchase of ambulances, but it is the package that …


Mr Speaker: Sorry, hon. Member, I did not get the first part of your question.


Mr Mbangweta: Mr Speaker, I was saying, for the record, I do not think that there is anybody who is against the purchase of the ambulances.


Mr Speaker: Okay.


Mr Mbangweta: What we have concerns about is the package, given the financial difficulties this country is undergoing. For example, if I heard the hon. Minister correctly, he has said that once everything is put together, he intends to send a team to inspect the items before they are shipped. Surely, would it not have been much easier to allow the items to come here and then, maybe, the hon. Minister asks the representatives from the company from which the items are being bought to do the assessment from here so that you cut on the cost of these items.


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the hon. Member of Parliament’s preamble. He acknowledges the importance of investing in ambulances and does express concern about the packaging.


Mr Speaker, I want to assure the hon. Member of Parliament that pre-shipment is part of the procurement process and it is in the law. So, it is beyond us to question it. There is a need to ensure that there is value for money by assembling a competent team to look at the first products and give clearance for continued production. That is extremely important and it is also a process of ensuring that we realise value for money.


Sir, we cannot run away from the fact that life is expensive and, therefore, we need to invest in a package that will protect lives. It is important to note that by buying an ambulance only, we are not saying the ambulance will last forever. It is important that at inception, we invest in a service and maintenance package. If these vehicles that are being brought in are of a unique nature, it is usually important that we have service parts for the medical equipment and the vehicle itself so that we can have durability and value for money.


Mr Speaker, training of health workers, which is part of the package, is meant to translate this investment into benefit for the citizens. Otherwise, the ambulances would be white elephants. It is important that we train paramedics, engineers and drivers that will use the ambulances. So, training, servicing and maintenance are important components of the package. It is just important to note, hon. Member of Parliament, that the specifications and the type of the base vehicle, probably, led to the cost that the ambulances were being bought at.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Mwashingwele (Katuba): Mr Speaker, if I heard the hon. Minister clearly, he said that the vehicle that is the base for the ambulance is a Mercedes Benz. I am sure that all of us in this House know that it is one of the most expensive vehicles. Is it possible that the hon. Minister would be able to bring to the House, maybe, five of the people that submitted tenders so that we compare prices? If you look at the total cost, that is K11.5 billion in the unrebased currency, and that is a lot of money.


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, with your permission, I would bring the names at an opportune time. It is a very simple thing to do. I am aware that there were bids at US$12.5 million, US$11.6 million, another one at US$11 million and a whole range of other lower bidders. With the permission of Mr Speaker, I would put those documents to the House at an appropriate time.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister, who is or the owners of Savenda Company.


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, I will offer a lift to my colleague so that we go to Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) to find out the owners of Savenda.


Mr Speaker, I am not privy to that information. If that information is required, I would research with PACRA and the relevant bodies to find out the owners of Savenda.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kintu (Solwezi East): Mr Speaker, I have been reliably informed that Mercedes Benz, as compared to our Toyota land cruisers, in terms of suspension, falls short of the requirement because it cannot stand our terrain. Can the hon. Minister confirm that he compared the suspension for Mercedes Benz and that of land cruisers?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, it is really an engineering question.




Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, there are specifications that are put in a tender. Honestly, there are specifications on what kind of chassis or whether the vehicle should be two or four wheels, high or mid roof and all these other technical specifications. It is not really for us to compare Toyota and Mercedes Benz here. The best is to just say, these are the specifications that have been laid on the table by the technical teams and people will respond if they are able to meet those technical specifications. I do not have the capacity, in this House, to compare the engineering strength of tie rod ends on a Toyota to those on a Mercedes Benz. I think that will be beyond the scope of this discussion.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Amb. Malanji (Kwacha) Mr Speaker, the question at hand is the comparison of two vehicles, the Mercedes Benz and a Toyota Land Cruiser, which is supposedly an ambulance. Of course, when we look at our terrain, even way back in the 1970s, you will remember the Germany micro buses that were so popular as ambulances, the Volkswagens. The indication in the comparison is that the Mercedes Benz has, of course, advanced by vibration dampers to accommodate excellent comfort of the passengers inside. Not only that, it has an advanced centrifugal mechanism. Information on social media, in the past one month, has been that the Government had procured Toyota Land Cruisers as ambulances, hence some bloggers bringing in quotations from Toyota Zambia. Therefore, does the Ministry of Health have a Public Relations (PR) Department, which is  open to every citizen of Zambia so that they can seek information on the exact technical details as per the specifications of the motor vehicle to reduce on this fire fighting that is happening in Parliament?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for that question. He actually brings out some technical details that differentiate the Mercedes Benz, which is the base vehicle in the procurement process, and the Toyota Land Cruiser. I want to assure him that we maintain an open door policy. Therefore, citizens are free to engage us, through our Public Relations Department, to get specific details on this procurement, and this is a more decent route to follow other than to peddle distortions.


Sir, an ambulance is not a Toyota vehicle fitted with a bed. It is a medical facility on wheels and its level of sophistication is determined by what its intended use. Therefore, comparing the cost of a Toyota Land Cruiser to that of an ambulance is comparing two totally different things. It is important to note that any base vehicle can be used as an ambulance, depending on the specifications. So, let us not mislead the public by comparing the cost of a Land Cruiser to that of a converted purpose-built equipped ambulance with a service package with parts for five years and a training package. They are two different vehicles altogether and it is also important to note that the cost of a base vehicle being a Mercedes Benz and that of another vehicle will be totally different.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.









VOTE 10 – (Zambia Police Service Commission – K8,358,450).


(Consideration resumed)


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Madam Chairperson, in supporting this Vote, and not wanting to sound condescending, I would like to categorically state that the Zambia Police Service Commission is important to the Zambia Police Service and Immigration Department. It is not another power base for providing operational directives to the Zambia Police Service which, in previous times, has brought about controversy. However, it is a key institution, on behalf of the Presidency, in charge of human resource issues such as promotions and transfers in the Zambia Police Service and Immigration Department. Previously, the Zambia Correctional Service was part of the Zambia Police Service and the commission was in charge of the human resources jointly. In supporting this Vote, I hope the Government will be able to appoint substantive officers in the Zambia Police Service Commission so that the heavy responsibilities it carries on its shoulders are unbundled because it now also has to cater for the Zambia Correctional Service, as a separate entity.


Madam Chairperson, some officers have served this country diligently and some have stayed at their stations for a considerable length of time, yet without recognition in rank. I hope the Zambia Police Command will recognise those who have served, and are deserving, are not left in lower positions until retirement.


Madam Chairperson, the other issue I would like to talk about is the establishment of the Zambia Police Service Commission. I hope that the Government will operationalise its establishment because it does not have office space and operates from the Old Bank of Zambia (BoZ) Building, which has since been reclaimed by BoZ. Therefore, as I support this Vote, I hope it will be given office space from which it can operate and assist the Government to develop a professional, motivated, competent and loyal police service that will serve the people and also an Immigration Department that will be able to protect our borders and realm from untoward people who may illegally enter this country and take advantage of our stable environment and destroy the economic lifeline of our nation.


Madam Chairperson, in previous times, the Zambia Police Service Commission has lacked logistical support, including transport. This means that it has not been able to reach out to the officers at the Zambia Correctional Service, Zambia Police Service and Immigration Department.


Madam Chairperson, our officers are in far-flung areas requiring the attention of the commission. When the commission is poorly mobilised because of inadequate transport, it will be unable to reach those areas.


Madam Chairperson, I just wanted to add my voice in supporting this Vote. With those observations, I thank you.


Thank you, Madam.


Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me an opportunity to support the Budget line for the Zambia Police Service Commission. This Commission is a creation of an Act of Parliament and is also provided for in the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia.


Madam Chairperson, the Police Service Commission is very critical in the operations of the Zambia Police Service because it is charged with the responsibility of looking into the welfare of our men and women in uniform. This commission requires adequate funding and equipment, especially that the Department of Immigration is within the mandate of the Zambia Police Service Commission.


Madam Chairperson, the Immigration Department needs modern equipment to enable it to screen those entering and leaving the country. There is quite a lot of development within the technology sector around the world. We, therefore, need to be in tandem with the global village if we are to remain relevant and abreast with issues of terrorism, cross border crimes as well as human trafficking. The department needs to have well-qualified personnel. The Zambia Police Service Commission should ensure that it looks into the issue of training, and which training will give a technical know-how to our men and women in uniform.


Madam Chairperson, as regards their mandate in terms of promotions, retirements and discipline, just as Hon. Dr Malama, whose debate I want to take as mine has stated, it is important that this commission travels regularly to visit the various police stations and places of work to acquaint itself with the difficulties that the officers are facing. Therefore, the commission implements the 2018 Budget, my expectation is to see the various issues that have been outstanding for a long time, such as discipline and promotions, being disposed of very quickly.


Madam Chairperson, it is time that the commission paid attention to people who have been working in the service for a long time, yet have remained corporals since their recruitment so that they are not de-motivated or start looking to work elsewhere.


Madam Chairperson, let me talk a little about retirement. This is the responsibility of the Zambia Police Service Commission since it takes care of staff welfare. There have been lamentations as regards the provisions of the law. If this House keeps lamenting over issues over which it has power, then, other people will not have anywhere to run because the power to make laws is vested in us.


Madam Chairperson, the law provides for retirement after reaching statutory retirement age. It also provides for retirement, depending on the issues obtaining such as medical reasons or the failure by somebody to continue working. There are other provisions that have to do with public interest. These requirements must also be accepted by the Zambian society because they are a mode of retiring an individual. More often than not, when the Zambia Police Service Commission is applying itself to what is provided in the law, there is a tendency for people to cry foul. However, the provision to retire an individual in national interest or public interest is law. We must respect this. If there is an issue around that area and we, as law makers, are not happy, we ought to bring that to the fore so that the law can be amended.


Madam Chairperson, it is this commission that is responsible for ensuring that the men and women in uniform remain non-partisan. The commission has the mandate to discipline whoever becomes partisan. That is what we, as a House, have allowed them. There are certain police officers who openly align themselves to politics. It is only right that this commission rises to the occasion and applies the law by bringing to the fore or cautioning specific officers by ensuring that they work within the provisions of the law so that they can render a service to the people of Zambia.


Madam Chairperson, the disciplinary charges within the Zambia Police Service take long to be acted upon. Therefore, these cases do not act as deterrents. I can only appeal to the Police Service Commission that the earlier it disposes of cases the better because it will deter would-be offenders from doing what their colleagues may have done. This will also help in cleaning up indiscipline and bringing sanity to the police service.


Madam Chairperson, these are the issues I wanted to raise for and on behalf of the people of Lupososhoi Parliamentary Constituency as regard the Zambia Police Service Commission Vote.


I thank you, Madam.


Ms Kasune (Keembe): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to add the voice of not only myself, as Member of Parliament, but that of the people of Keembe Parliamentary Constituency the Vote on the Zambia Police Service Commission. I am a daughter of a former police person and my late husband also served in the Zambia Police Service.


Dr Malama: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: Madam Chairperson, could I just begin by saying that many of us, as Zambians, do appreciate the work that the police do in our country. We do know that the peace and stability in our country really relies on them. However, in supporting the budget line that has been allocated to the Zambia Police Commission, there are a few issues that I want to raise. In particular, I want to talk about the men and women serving in rural areas.


Madam Chairperson, one of the areas that I feel needs to be given much attention is the Victim Support Unit (VSU). This is an area whose establishment was well-intended, yet in many ways, has not been well-funded. I will use Keembe Parliamentary Constituency as an example. The men and women in uniform in Keembe are working under a timber structure unless this has changed over the last few months. These are very committed people and they receive so many cases in a day, and not to talk of months. However, they are really lacking space where to work from, transportation and communication devices in the form of laptops and radios. One really feels for them.

Madam Chairperson, the other challenge is that victims who report perpetrators, who in most cases are family members, have no safe houses. I believe that the lack of safe houses will deter victims from reporting abuse and encourage the perpetrators to continue. The perpetrators know that their victims will come back home because there is almost no protection at all for them. So, the VSU needs to be capacitated in terms of resources allocated.


Madam Chairperson, I also want to comment on the non-completion of police stations whose construction started under this commission. Keembe Constituency has a beautiful police station whose works have stalled for a number of years now. I want to believe that Keembe is not the only area where a police station is lacking.


Madam Chairperson, there is also a need for expansion of police stations. For example, the Keembe Farm Institute is really staggering because of the lack of accommodation …


The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Kasune, were you in the House when the Vote for the Zambia Police Service was debated?


Ms Kasune: That was my understanding.


The Deputy Chairperson: Okay, but we are now looking at the Vote for the Zambia Police Service Commission.


Ms Kasune: I stand to be corrected, Madam Chairperson (resuming her seat).


The Deputy Chairperson: No, continue. However, I hope that you know the difference between the two.


Ms Kasune: Yes, I do, Madam Chairperson. The commission is the one that employs officers.


The Deputy Chairperson: Yes.


Ms Kasune: Okay, then, I will touch on those points.


Madam Chairperson, again, I will use Keembe Constituency as an example although I believe what happens there is replicated in many rural constituencies. The constituency has inadequate staff. As a result, there is no police presence in many areas. Officers who have to man many places are very few and this has added to continued criminal activity.


Madam Chairperson, many of our men and women in uniform have stayed on the same level of their education and they need motivation. They can only feel motivated by in and outside service training.  The commission also needs to look into rural training places as a motivational factor. I stand to be corrected, but many training facilities are in urban areas and this can be quite de-motivating to people in rural areas. I am sure that most of the issues were looked at under the Vote for the Zambia Police Service. 


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to add a voice on behalf of the people of Dundumwezi on the Vote for the Zambia Police Service Commission. My debate will be on one aspect.


Madam Chairperson, the Zambia Police Service Commission also looks into the affairs of the Immigration Department, which has a lot of frustrated officers. Last week, I wrote to the hon. Minister of Home Affairs on some of the frustrations that have gripped this department. One of these frustrations is the issue of establishment.


Currently, Madam Chairperson, the Immigration Department has a small establishment manning a lot of foreigners who are coming in and going out of this country. How I wish that the Zambia Police Service Commission could increase the establishment of the Immigration Department so that it can match the current scenario of the huge number of foreigners in the country.


Madam Chairperson, I want to take the Copperbelt Province as an example. The department in the province is manned by an assistant chief immigration officer. This position is deputised by a senior immigration officer, leaving the position of principle immigration officer vacant. In this scenario, the question I would ask is: Why leave such positions vacant when competent officers are there? There is a huge gap between assistant chief immigration officer and senior immigration officer. This is very frustrating for officers who thought that they would excel to the next position.


Madam Chairperson, with regards to the same issue of promotions on the Copperbelt Province, the person who is running operations is an immigration officer, which is a rank and not a title. Within the same office, you will find two senior immigration officers. The question is: How can an immigration officer, who is a junior person, command a senior immigration officer? In the military, this is not possible. These are some of the frustrations that I want the Zambia Police Service Commission to look into. Can we fill up all the vacancies so the Immigration Department can be effective?


Madam Chairperson, still on promotions, I would like to give an example of three or four immigration stations in this country. Let us take Chirundu Border Post for example.  This station is run by a senior immigration officer. The same goes for the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) and the Nakonde Border Post. Kasumbalesa Border Post, however, which ranks second highest with regards to revenue collection, is run by an immigration officer. These are some of the frustrations that officers are going through and I think that this commission should look into it urgently.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister will agree with me that the Act states that those who are sent into Foreign Service go for a specific period of three years, if I am not mistaken. However, the group that is in Foreign Service now has stayed there close to five years. The question that officers are asking is: What is so special about this group for it to go beyond its mandate? Why not recall the group, then, send another group of officers to also motivate them? These are the few points that I wanted to bring to the attention of the Government so that the Immigration Department is motivated.


Madam Chairperson, transport is another issue, but let me end at immigration attachés who are sent outside the country. Sometimes, people from other departments are seconded into to the Foreign Service. However, a number of officers have been frustrated. The Immigration Department previously had more security with regard to public revenue collection points, but now it has another mandate. The revenue target for the department last year was K260 million. However, it only managed to collect slightly above K198 million because of some of the frustrations that I have pointed out. The establishment of the Immigration Department should be expanded so that officers fill up the vacancies.


Madam Chairperson, I, however, just want to re-emphasise what Her Honour the Vice-President made reference to. This is a very important commission, whose functions are basically to deal with cases relating to staff promotion, confirmation, acting appointment, transfer, retirement, discipline, secondment, reinstatement, resignation, compensation and contracts. So, its role is just to look at the welfare of officers.


Madam, I know that my colleagues have been trying to debate the substantive police service, but what is key for this commission is to ensure that our officers are motivated at all levels. Therefore, our part is to make the work of the commission easier by doing exactly what I stated in my policy statement.


Madam, one of the issues we are dealing with is to ensure that the in-service training is enhanced for our officers. I know that my brother, Hon. Chungu Bwalya, referred to corporals. We do not have corporals in the Zambia Police or Immigration Department. However, we do have constables as a starting rank in the Zambia Police Service. So, we want to ensure that in-service training becomes mandatory to ensure that we also introduce what we are calling promotional examinations. These examinations will avail each officer at all levels equal opportunity to excel in the service. This will now feed into the programme of the Zambia Police Service Commission so that it is able to take stock of the officers’ progression at all levels.


Madam Chairperson, we also want to see to it that the commission has a computerised system so that as lean as it is, it is still able to monitor the activities of officers in areas that could be very difficult for it to access. I appreciate the fact that my dear colleague, who debated earlier, served in the Immigration Department. Indeed, I agree that we have had challenges in terms of structures and officers’ progression in the service. That is the reason the Government deemed it fit to move the Immigration Department away from the Public Service Management Division (PSMD). Under the PSMD, immigration officers were treated as ordinary civil servants. So, it was very difficult to provide for their special needs.


Madam Chairperson, indeed, immigrations officers form the first line of defense for the country. So, the very fact that they have now been moved to this service commission means that there will now be a chance to ensure that we put the correct establishments in place and categorise the officers so that they can know how to progress. This will also ensure that the right officers to be given the responsibility to man certain facilities, like the entry point that the hon. Member talked about, are categorised and classified according to the stations where they are assigned to serve. So, this in itself gives hope to the officers under the Immigration Department.


Madam Chairperson, we also want to ensure that the officers’ welfare is taken care of this time around. Like I said, hon. Members must commend us and I thought my dear colleague would commend me over accommodation for officers in the Immigration Department. The welfare of staff is not just the ranks and uniforms that they put on, but also where they stay. The hon. Member was in the service and he can attest to the fact that from the time he joined up to the time he left, there was no house constructed and referred to as accommodation for immigration officers. However, that is changing because we are now also providing accommodation befitting the officers in service.


Madam, lastly, I just want to say that this commission deserves to be supported. Yes, the resources allocated to it might not be adequate now, but I am happy that hon. Members of Parliament are seeing the importance of the role of this commission. So, we should strive as much as we can to ensure that we capacitate this commission to deal with the human resource issues of the Zambia Police Service and Immigration Department, under the Ministry of Home Affairs.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


The Minister in the Office of the Vice-President (Ms Chalikosa): Madam Chairperson, I thank all the hon. Members who have debated the Vote for the Zambia Police Service Commission, whose primary role is to implement human resources reform programmes.


Madam, Hon. Gary Nkombo expressed concern on issues around regionalism, nepotism and familiarity during officers’ recruitment. The Zambia Police Service Commission engages the recruits to the police service after they graduate from training camps. The short listing and training is conducted by the Zambia Police Service and not by the commission.


Madam Chairperson, on the issue of professionalism and discipline, the Zambia Police Service Commission has engaged the Secretary to the Zambia Police Integrity Committee, who conducts lectures and talks to officers during the tours of the provinces. The commission does discipline erring officers in accordance with the laid-down terms and conditions of service and regulations. As regards equipping the police service with officer accommodation, logistical support and equipment, those issues are being looked into. It is an on-going process in the promotion of the police service to have effective and efficient service delivery.


Madam Chairperson, the commission works closely with the office of the Inspector-General of Police in determining the identification numbers of the people who are deserving of promotion and equally those who are going to be transferred or whatever movement is necessary. That is done with the assistance of the Inspector-General of Police.


Madam, on the Victim Support Unit (VSU), the commission has been inspecting new and upcoming infrastructure, which is in phases. All districts will have upgraded police posts and stations. The districts which do not have VSUs will be put on the development agenda in future. Otherwise, it is the wish of the Zambia Police Service Commission to ensure that all districts have the infrastructure that is required.


Madam Chairperson, it is the mandate of the Zambia Police Service, under the Ministry of Home Affairs, to recommend officers to undergo continuous training. The commission processes the recommendations and issues the directives. The issue of improvement of transport, communication and infrastructure, as I said, is an on-going agenda.


Madam, the Immigration Department was recently transferred to the Zambia Police Service Commission in 2016 and early 2017. In March, this year, the commission conducted an audit of the human resources practices in the Immigration Department and a report to that effect was done. So, most of the issues to do with vacancies and promotions in this department will be rectified in 2018.


Madam Chairperson, on the concerns relating to the Foreign Service, most of the officers who have been sent to Foreign Service have served a single term. Again, as earlier stated, the movement of the Immigration Department from the Public Service Management Division (PSMD) to the Zambia Police Service Commission will allow for better scrutiny of the personnel to be sent into Foreign Service and those who remain.


Madam, I already stated that you may have noticed that there is an upward adjustment to the budget allocation for the commission, which will particularly address the filling up of vacancies. With those few remarks, once again, I thank all the hon. Members who are in support of this Vote.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Vote 10/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE – 14 (Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development – K44,871,210).


The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Yaluma): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak on the Estimates of Expenditure for my Ministry for the 2018 Fiscal Year. Let me take this opportunity to congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance for the well-presented development-oriented Budget.


Madam, the 2018 Budget is particularly significant because it is fully aligned with the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) 2017-2021, launched in July, 2017. The 7NDP is the first ever national development plan to adopt an integrated approach to national development planning. The mining sector is one of the key contributors to economic diversification and job creation.


In this regard, Madam Chairperson, the basis for the 2018 Estimates for my ministry is the 7NDP. My ministry will contribute to achieving economic diversification and job creation through diversification within the mining sector and from mining to other economic sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and tourism. Implementation of some programmes to achieve this has already started. These key programmes include the following:


  1. Review of Legal and Regulatory Framework for Petroleum Sector


The review of the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act ...




The Chairperson: Order, on my left!


Mr Yaluma: ... of 2008 to create a conducive environment and attract investment in the sector continued in 2017. Consultative workshops were conducted and instructions submitted to the Ministry of Justice. The review of the Act is expected to be concluded by the second quarter of 2018. The review is aimed at addressing the weaknesses in the current law, key among them being:


  1. the lack of clear production and sharing mechanism;


  1. undefined terms for Government participation in the sector; and


  1. the lack of clear fiscal framework for the petroleum sector.


Once these matters are addressed through the enactment of the revised Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act, Zambia is expected to attract more investments in the petroleum and exploration sector, thus, contributing to job creation and other attendant benefits;


  1. Provision of Geological Information


          Madam, geology is the backbone and guarantor of continued existence of the mining industry. Provision of geological information is one of the key mandates of the ministry. To date, about 60 per cent of the country has been geologically and structurally mapped. The ministry continued with the programme of mapping the remaining unmapped parts of the country. The areas of focus in 2017 continued to be the Northern, Luapula and Muchinga provinces. The aim is to generate basic geological information that can be used to attract investment in the areas;


  1. Petroleum Exploration


          Madam, three exploration companies completed their environmental project briefs in 2017 and commenced exploration works. The Government is working towards building the capacity of the Ministry to manage the sector. So far, a Hydrocarbon Unit, under the Geological Survey Department, has been established for this purpose;


  1. Promotion of Small Scale Mining


Madam Chairperson, in a quest to promote small-scale mining, the ministry, through the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Development Minerals Project, supported by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), conducted trainings in the following thematic areas:


  1. mine management;


  1. environment;


  1. health and safety;


  1. conflict management and human rights; and


  1. entrepreneurship.


These trainings were aimed at building the capacity of small-scale miners in various aspects. More than forty small-scale miners were trained as trainers to train others. The ministry also provided technical services to the small-scale miners to support their operations. This programme will be scaled up in 2018, as the Government’s focus is on promoting diversification from copper to other minerals such as gemstones and industrial minerals while the majority of the players are Zambian small-scale miners; and


  1. Mine Environmental Inspections


Madam, the Government continued to undertake proactive monitoring of the environment in the mines. The monitoring included regular inspections, approval and certification of equipment and machinery and review of the environmental impact assessments submitted by mining companies. 


Mining, by nature, generates substantial amounts of waste, some of it toxic, which can result in serious environmental liabilities if left unchecked. Such liabilities have the potential to rob the country of accrued economic benefits. Therefore, the Government will continue to closely monitor mining operations, both large and small-scale to mitigate their impact on the environment.


Madam Chairperson, the overall performance of the mining sector in 2017 continued to be positive, as evidenced by the increase in mineral production. Copper production at 510,856 tonnes during January, 2017 to August, 2017, was 0.42 per cent more than the 508,718 tonnes recorded during the corresponding period in 2016. Total annual copper production in 2017 is projected to slightly increase to 778,379 tonnes from 770,587 tonnes in 2016.


Madam Chairperson, the continued increase in copper production is attributed to the recovery of copper prices. The copper price in 2017 is projected to average US$5,827 per tonne compared to US$4,868 per tonne in 2016. The current price is US$6,823 per tonne. The improvement in power supply also contributed to the steady growth in copper production in 2017. Copper production increased by 73 per cent in the first half of 2017 compared to 2016. The recently established thermal power plant at Maamba Collieries Limited played a key role in stimulating production of coal by providing a steady market for the commodity.



Madam Chairperson, with regard to gemstones, there was a decline in production of amethyst and aquamarine in the first half of 2017 compared to 2016. On the other hand, emerald production more than doubled during the same period from 17,270 kg to 44,698 kg.


Overall, Madam Chairperson, the performance of the mining sector was positive. The Government will continue to provide a conducive environment to attract more investments in the mining sector, especially in exploitation of nontraditional minerals, such as industrial minerals and gemstones, which remain unexploited.


Madam Chairperson, as I mentioned earlier, the basis for the 2018 Budget Estimates for my ministry is the 7NDP. The total budget allocation for 2018 is K44,871,210 compared to K43.6 million in 2017. These funds will be used for implementation of the following priority programmes:

  1. geological evaluation of gemstones and industrial minerals;


  1. geological and structural mapping of Northern and Muchinga provinces;


  1. development of small-scale mining sector;


  1. petroleum exploration; and


  1. enhancing monitoring mechanism for mineral production and exports.

Madam Chairperson, my ministry will also implement measures to address the challenges of illegal gold mining that is taking place in Petauke, Vubwi, Luano, Rufunsa and other places. The activities have been undertaken illegally by Zambians who have involved foreigners.


Madam Chairperson, I wish to inform the House that the Government will soon come up with mechanisms to address this challenge so that there is sanity in the affected areas and to ensure that economic benefits are realised for the local communities and economy at large.


Madam Chairperson, I am confident that the mining sector is on the right track. The favourable investment climate that Zambia boasts of, coupled with competitive commodity prices, will drive the growth of the mining sector. The Government is committed to ensuring that the growth not only contributes to the creation of more jobs in the mining and related sectors, but also drives the diversification agenda by generating adequate resources for investment in the agriculture, tourism and manufacturing sectors.


Mr Kampyongo: Hear, hear!


Mr Yaluma: Madam, a growing mining industry requires a well-resourced ministry to provide effective regulatory oversight. I wish to state that my ministry’s budget is reflective of national priorities contained in the 7NDP, which seeks to accelerate development efforts towards the Vision 2030, without leaving anyone behind.


Madam Chairperson, I, therefore, call upon this august House to approve the 2018 Estimates of Expenditure for my ministry.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Ms Mulenga: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: Hon. Members, I have a total number of ten names appearing on the screen and if you all had to debate for fifteen minutes, we would need 150 minutes just for this Head. Obviously, we will not do much work if we take that route.


Ms Mulenga: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: Therefore, I would like to seek your co-operation, hon. Members. We can allow many hon. Members to debate, provided they are conscious of time and they finish their debate within eight minutes.


Ms Mulenga: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: That way, we will allow many more people because I would like to close this debate by 1730 hours after business is suspended. When we come back at 1700 hours after the suspension of business, we must finish the Head for the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development by 1730hrs.


Due to the importance of this ministry, I would like as many hon. Members as possible to debate. However, bear in mind that if only two or three hon. Members would have debated by 1730 hours, we will still close. Nevertheless, if you are considerate, more hon. Members can debate.


Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Thank you, Madam Chairperson, for according me this opportunity to debate the Vote for the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development.


Madam Chairperson, as I debate this particular Head, I would like to take cognisance of the importance of the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development with regard to the economy of the Republic of Zambia.


As I debate this particular Vote, Madam ‘Chairman’, I would like the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, …


Prof. Luo: Madam Chairperson!


Mr Mwiimbu: … through Hon. Prof. Nkandu Luo …




Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, …


Prof. Luo: Thank you!


Mr Mwiimbu: … I would like the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development to be very categorical on the processes that the Government of the Republic of Zambia invoked as regards to the privatisation of the mines in Zambia.


Madam, I am cognisant of the debates that are going on in the country and the effect on the investors in this country. I am privy to the fact that the Government of the Republic of Zambia, after the elections of 1991, resolved, pursuant to the advice and agitation by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, to privatise the mines in Zambia. As a result of that advice by the IMF and World Bank, the Government of the Republic of Zambia resolved, through a Cabinet meeting in which even husbands of Members of the Executive, who are in this House, participated in the privatisation of the mines at the time.


Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, when that decision was made, the Government of the Republic of Zambia decided to appoint Rothschild and Sons, a reputable law firm to be an adviser to the Government. Another reputable financial firm by the name of Clifford Chance was to be the financial adviser to the Government. The Government went ahead to privatise the mines. As a result of the decisions that were made by the Government at the time, a number of Zambian organisations and companies were engaged on behalf of the Government to assist it sell the mines.


Madam Chairperson, I want to make it very clear that the individual, who is being mentioned on the Floor of this House and outside, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, never sold any mine on behalf of the Government of this country.


Mr Chibanda: Question!


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: Hon. Leader of the Opposition, you have enough experience to know that when you start mentioning names of people who are unable to come here to defend themselves, there will be a reaction. That person’s name will be mentioned and you will be the first one to complain.


Mr Kampyongo: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: Please, desist from that.


Mr Chiteme: Boot licker!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, it is a fact that hon. Members on your right have mentioned the name of Mr Hakainde Hichilema on the Floor of this House.


Hon. Government Members: Yes!


Mr Mwiimbu: It is only my colleagues and I who can defend him on the Floor of this House.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: Not in that manner, hon. Leader of the Opposition. If you continue to mention the name of that individual, I am afraid I will have to stop you from debating because the rules are very clear. He is not one of us and cannot defend himself. Therefore, we cannot expose him to that kind of debate. As I have said, there will be a reaction from the Government. You will expose him in such a manner that he will not be able to defend himself.


Please, continue with your debate in the manner you know you should debate.


Mr Mwiimbu: Thank you for the guidance, Madam Chairperson, but the truth of the matter is that when an individual is mentioned on the Floor of the House, the Presiding Officers must be seen to protect that individual.


Hon. Government Members: No!


Mr Mwiimbu: He was being mentioned by the Members on your right.


The Chairperson: Order!


I have just done that. I have just protected that individual by guiding you against mentioning his name.


Business was suspended from 1630 hours until 1700 hours.





The Chairperson: I have received submissions about the time allocated to the Vote and have reconsidered by earlier position. We will debate Head 14 up to 18 00hours. At 18 00hours, we have to close and go to individual items.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, I have heeded your advice and I hope that no one on your right or left will mention the name that I had mentioned earlier on.


Dr Chanda: Which one?


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, as debate, I would like to quote from our Standing Orders. Standing Order 53(1) states:


“A Member shall, in debating any matter, ensure that the information he or she provides to the House is factual and verifiable.”


I want whoever responds to my debate to take note of this particular provision of our Standing Orders.


Madam Chairperson, following your advice, I will not mention the name of any individual, but would like to state that the Government of the Republic of Zambia, pursuant to the advice of the World Bank and the IMF, decided to privatise the mines. It was a result of the resolution of the Government that the mines were sold to various companies in the world. I would like to agree with the hon. Minister of Finance, who came to this House to mention that the mines were sold by the Government of the Republic of Zambia, taking into account that at the time the mines were losing US$1 million per day, and that they were not sold by individuals.


Madam Chairperson, it is fallacious and pedestrian to suggest that an individual sold the mines. I would like to give an example.


Hon. Government Member: HH!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, you are the head of this institution. If you find that the Chamber or the Parliament of the Republic of Zambia has been sold by an individual, it, therefore, follows that the sale is illegal. However, there has never been any illegality pertaining to the transactions between the mining companies and the Government of the Republic of Zambia because the mines were sold by the Government.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, if it is still the contention of my colleagues on your right to suggest that individuals and not the Government sold the mines, my assertion is that those who were in the Government at the time were so incompetent and unprofessional to allow mines to be sold by an individual.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, the subsequent Governments of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) and Patriotic Front (PF) are also so unprofessional and incompetent that they are not supposed to the lead the Government because they cannot allow Government property to be sold by an individual.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chitotela: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson,  if the mines were sold by an individual, why has no one gone to the Zambia Police Service to ask it to question this individual over why he sold Government assets without its authority? It is because they know that what they are saying is incorrect, imprudent and should not be accepted in this country.


Madam Chairperson, I recall Her Honour the Vice-President saying that hate speech in this country is dividing this nation, although it is such statements that are dividing the nation. Why should people talk about the sale of mines by an individual when they know it is not true while wanting to have peace and stability in the nation? That is not right.


Mr Chiteme interjected.


Mr Mwiimbu: Further, ...


Dr Chibanda interjected.


Mr Mwiimbu: ... we have noted, with concern, that there are some politicians who are using yellow journalists in this country to peddle lies and falsehoods pertaining ...


The Chairperson: Hon. Leader of Opposition, I think you are a bit too emotional. Please, be mindful of your language and try not to listen to those running commentaries. Address the Chair. I will deal with the running commentaries. Please, focus as usual.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, I am referring to yellow journalism outside. We have noted, with concern, certain media houses that peddle falsehoods that are misleading the people of this country and hurting the investors in this country. That is what I was referring to.


Madam Chairperson, we have also heard comments on tax havens and how people are taking money to safe havens. However, my colleagues on your right should realise that they are the ones who gave the mining houses twenty-five year tax holidays. The mines were not paying taxes for twenty-five years. Is that not a tax holiday?


Madam Chairperson, why did the countries from which these investors came not arrest them? Why is this Government inviting investors to come and invest here where they are not taxed? Why it is that whenever the Government wants to invite investors, it gives them tax concessions? Are those not tax holidays?


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, why would the Government want to punish an individual, who is financially prudent, just because he or she is a Zambian? Why would the Government want to punish somebody who has worked hard, forgetting Zambians whom it knows have built mansions in Dubai? We know where their accounts are. Why is the Government not punishing them?


Mr Syakalima: But no business!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, these individuals are not doing any business, but because of corruption, they are taking the money to the tax haven in Dubai. Why is the Government not talking about that? We know them.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Even as I look at them, I know some of them.


The Chairperson: But you are looking at the Chair.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Yes, I am looking at the Chair.




Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, I even know some of the streets where those buildings are in Dubai.


Hon. Government Members: Where?


Mr Mwiimbu: In Dubai. We know them. Those are the ones who should be called to account. Why should the Government punish Zambians, assuming there is something that is illegally done by Zambians? If another country is offering good investment environment for Zambians, why should the Government punish Zambians for investing in those countries? We know that most of them are investing in South Africa and Dubai. That is where they go every month.


The Chairperson: Are you still debating the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development?




Mr Mwiimbu: I am debating the Vote on the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development on tax holidays.




Mr Mwiimbu: That is the Vote I am debating.


Mr Mwale: Question!




The Chairperson: Order, on my right!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, the point I am making is that Zambia is also a tax haven. We have allowed companies not to pay taxes here. I am aware of certain companies that have been given diplomatic immunity so that they do not pay taxes here. It is a fact. When the Government exempts companies from paying taxes, is that not a tax haven? That is exactly what is happening. The Government is taxing Zambians, but giving foreigners tax havens in this country. Why should the Government rise now to condemn other countries that are inviting investors to invest there? There is a Financial Provisions Act Insurance, which was passed by the then Minister of Finance, which allowed insurance companies to invest abroad where they would get better returns. We can produce the Act here, which was passed by this House, allowing insurance companies to invest in the tax havens.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: That has been allowed. Why should we target individuals when we, law makers, pass laws in this House that allow tax havens? That should not be the case.


Madam Chairperson, the mines in this country have suffered financially and economically because of poor policies. We keep on changing the tax laws in this country and as a result, countries where there is stable taxation, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where there is a war, are even better than us here. We used to be number three in the world, but we are no longer on that position. How can a country that is ravaged by war and has so many of its citizens seeking refuge Zambia be better than us? This is as a result of poor management of the mining sector. I appeal to the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development to ensure that all these issues dealing with the mines are addressed so that, once again, Zambia can become one of the mining giants in the world.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Chairperson, thank you for allowing me to support this Vote on the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development.


Madam Chairperson, we have been independent for fifty-three years. The mines, which we have in Zambia, drew the attention of the colonial masters because they saw the potential which Zambia had. In the end, they left us very poor. The colonial masters have continued colonising us even economically. I wonder why we should continue being poor.


Madam Chairperson, why should places such as the Copperbelt Province be poor? Why should the North-Western Province have poor road infrastructure? We must be able to empower one another as Zambians in one way or another, but the only problem is that we are our own enemies. You will find that all contracts in these mines are given to foreigners meaning that these investors use us to get money and take it to their countries. They manage to do that because our policies are very weak. Why is the Government favouring those countries which colonised us?


Madam Chairperson, we should be very proud of the rich Zambian people. It is unbelievable to find a country with so many minerals such as gemstones and copper still very poor. I am surprised that we can even pronounce provinces, such as the North-Western, Luapula and Western as poor. It sounds like a joke. The hon. Minister was young when all these mines came up. He found them in place when he became an hon. Minister but the question is: “What has he done to improve them?”


Madam, under this ministry, there should have been an allocation for aid. I think this allocation can make this ministry effective, just like my colleague was talking about the Immigration Department, which is suffering so much, yet it collects so much revenue. We need Zambians who can own these mines, but the problem is that the local people are not given a chance to do that.  Those who come to invest here do not pick money from their pockets. They come to invest and that is where money comes from. I think it is the responsibility of the Government to take care of that.


Madam Chairperson, let me come to the issue of contracts that the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development and the Ministry of Finance sign. If someone owns a house, that house appreciates its value every year. The mines depreciate our land. In the contracts which are signed, there are provisions which state the value of the activities in the mines. Now, what do we do with the money which we get from those mines? Where is the policy which states where that money should be put so that we invest it to cover what has happened on the Copperbelt, Lumwana and Kalumbila? Where is that money? Why has this Government not changed the laws?  That is the money which should benefit the people of Zambia. That is the money we should put in our Treasury, but the problem is that we have allowed ourselves to be used because the investors are coming up with their own conditions. How can someone be invaded in his own home when he has weapons? Why would he not stand and defend himself? I sympathise with the poor Zambians. Why is this Government attacking potential rich people, who can compete with other capital ventures? This is unfortunate.


We need many people like you there (pointing at the Executive) to invest abroad so that there is income that comes to Zambia, but you have gone on campaigns attacking a person who has earned his money honestly. There are people who are earning money dubiously. Those are the people we should attack. We should not attack those who have earned their money through hard work.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Nobody stops you from earning money through hard work.


Mr Mwiimbu: Aiming?


Mr Muchima: Earning. To earn.


Madam Chairperson, we want to see a paradigm shift in the North-Western Province.


Mr Ng’onga: Question!


Mr Muchima: I cannot cook food, deny my own children and feed foreigners. We need to invest in the North-Western Province in foreigners …


Hon. Members: Ah!


Mr Muchima: ... Oh, locals. There is exploration for oil. How can Angola with which we share a border have oil while we, on the Zambian side, do not have? We have so much copper in the North-Western Province at Kalumbila and other mines, but look at the road and school infrastructure. Why can the Government not come up with a policy to appropriate money towards the infrastructure there so that it goes back into the North-Western Province? From whom should we yield money? We should look at the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development proudly. You worked there my friend (pointing at Mr Yaluma) when you were still young, under the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO). Go back to the North-Western Province. We need you there. The Jimbe Road wants money from the mines. Kalumbila is also on the same road which is in a poor state. Do not hide under taxes that are coming into the main revenue. We need to benefit as a province. The province needs to benefit out of that money. What have we done? We are housing big investors in the North-Western Province, but gaining very little from that. At least, the Copperbelt has gained something over time although the roads have serious potholes. Even if other people boasting about working hard …


Dr Chibanda: Which Copperbelt?


Mr Muchima: Well, in Chingola. Tour those roads in Chingola. Go in the compounds in Kitwe. You only become active during elections. During campaign time, we shall see a lot of contractors coming here and there. The time to work is now. Hon. Yaluma, the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, should go to the North-Western Province. We want him there if he is to have value. Otherwise, we want those mines. We want to also participate in mining. Give us licences so that investors can come while we also empower ourselves. We cannot remain poor all these years. One day, people come in shorts, and the next, they are building. All this infrastructure you are seeing here, like Manda Hill, Arcades and what have you, is not owned by Zambians, yet we are proud to be used. Let us use our money to develop this country. Why should copper go out of this country in its raw form? The Government is trying to restrict Mukula. Why can it not restrict copper?


Mr Sing’ombe: Eh!


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Restrict copper. Let our copper or uranium not go anywhere. We have emeralds. Let us see a shift in our thinking. Let us leave a legacy. (Pointing at Mr Yaluma) You are not a cheap hon. Minister. You are an electrical engineer, who has worked in reputable organisations and should know how to plough back where it is deserved. Let us change if we are to be recognised, especially in the North-Western Province. That is why we want to vote for only a Government that supported that province. For we are powerful and can even stand on our own. That place can stand on its own, for it has got wealth. It has water, rivers and minerals. We do not need you.




Mr Muchima: We need money to go to the North-Western Province. Otherwise, Mushala was correct to go into the bush ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: … because of such attitudes.


The Chairperson: Hon. Muchima, …


Mr Mwamba: Question!


The Chairperson: … please, withdraw that.


Mr Muchima: I withdraw it for the purpose of unity, but we want our money from the mines …


Hon. Government Members: Withdraw!


Dr Malama: On a point of order, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Muchima: I have withdrawn.


Mr A. B. Malama: Why are you bringing confusion?


Mr Muchima: We want the hon. Minister of Finance to review this.


Madam, I do not want to continue talking.


Mr A. B. Malama: This is not Zimbabwe.


Mr Muchima: We want development in the North-Western Province. We want to review the policy of the mines so that Zambians can benefit.


Mr Chiteme: On a point of order.


Mr Muchima: I thank you.




Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chiteme remained standing.




The Chairperson: Hon. Members on my right that is misconduct.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: I do not know why you are standing. I have not given you the Floor. Why are you standing?


Mr Chiteme: I am standing on a point of order.


Mr Mwiimbu: On whom?




Mr C. Zulu (Luangeni): Madam Chairperson, firstly, I would like to salute the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development for a well-done budget. Congratulations, hon. Minister.


Ms Mulenga: Hear, hear!


Mr C. Zulu: Madam Chairperson, I am aware that the hon. Minister has implemented mapping for the past five years. This mapping has increased from the time we went into office as the Patriotic Front(PF) from 45 per cent to 61 per cent.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr C. Zulu: This mapping will enable investors to make informed decisions. So, I congratulate the hon. Minister.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr C. Zulu: Madam Chairperson, I am aware that African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States and European Union have also started supporting small-scale miners. Of course, small-scale miners have been crying over not being funded. The Government has put in place measures to ensure that they are supported. That is a good move by the hon. Minister.


Madam, talking about the environment, we have been mining for so many years and this has had a very negative impact on our environment. It is good that the hon. Minister is putting in place measures to ensure that we curb environmental degradation. That is the way to go.


Madam Chairperson, coal production has gone up to 73 per cent. It is also very positive in that the ministry will support the energy sector, where I was sometime back. We were together with the hon. Minister if he remembers. My concern is on the out sourcing of labour at Konkola Copper Mines (KCM). I think let us sit down with KCM to find a win-win situation. People of the Copperbelt are anxious. Let us find a way of resolving this issue at KCM.


On, illegal mining, Madam Chairperson, in the Eastern Province, particularly in Vubwi, Petauke …


Mrs Miti: Hear, hear!


Mr C. Zulu: … and, of course, other parts of the province, I know the hon. Minister suspended two or three licences in Petauke and Vubwi, although I stand to be corrected. I think it is important for the hon. Minister to not only announce suspension of licences, but also ensure that this is implemented. Otherwise, hon. Minister, the budget is supported. I urge the hon. Minister of Finance to ensure that he sends money to these ministries in good time. Sometimes, instead of sending money in January, the Ministry of Finance ends up sending it in November or December towards the end of the year. So, I urge the hon. Minister of Finance to ensure that this money is sent to the ministries in good time.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: Very well done.


Let us emulate that way of debating. It is very good use of time.


Mr Chiteme (Nkana): Madam Chairperson, I just want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the Vote on the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development. Unlike some other greedy hon. Members, I will not take so much time.


Madam Chairperson, I want to discuss the privatisation of the mines. Many people have come on the Floor of the House to debate individuals. The Vote that we are debating is mines and not particular individuals.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chiteme: Madam Chairperson, the mines were privatised in the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government. Privatisation was done through certain individuals, who today have amassed a lot of money …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chiteme: … to the extent that they are hiding some of the money in tax havens, as it was mentioned in the Paradise Papers.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Chiteme: However, you find individuals who have been sent to defend an individual.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chiteme: Madam Chairperson, the mines being core to this economy needed to be protected from people who have come in the name of rich men and have gained from the privatisation of the mines. How can somebody stand on the Floor of this House and say that the mines were not privatised by an individual? Of course, the mines were not privatised by an individual. The mines were privatised through that particular individual who claims to be a billionaire in this country.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chiteme: Madam Chairperson, people are mentioning criminals, lulya abantu balebomba ati niba popwe.




The Chairperson: Hon. Chiteme, please, sit down.


Mr Chiteme resumed his seat.




The Chairperson: Order, in the House! Order, hon. Members!


Hon. Chiteme, you were in the House when the Leader of the Opposition was debating and you heard my guidance. Likewise, if you do not move away from that route you are beginning to take, I will curtail your debate. We are debating the budget line for the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development. Can you, please, debate that. Without being provocative, debate Vote 14.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chibanda: Hammer, hammer!


Mr Chiteme: Madam Chairperson, I do not recall mentioning any individual in my debate, but I will heed your guidance.


Madam Chairperson, I hail from the Copperbelt where most of the mining activities take place. As stated by one hon. Member of Parliament, the people on the Copperbelt have suffered immensely. Some roads on the Copperbelt have potholes, yet that is where the heart of this country is.


Hon. UPND Members: Question! Where?


Mr Chiteme: Madam Chairperson, the responsibility to dispose of the mines was given to certain individuals, whom I will not name. However, they mismanaged the process and it was more of a personal and not a national pact and it is disheartening for someone to defend …


The Chairperson: Hon. Member, I have already guided you.


Hon. Government Members: Hammer, hammer!


Mr Chiteme: Madam Chairperson, we have huge mines on the Copperbelt and North-Western provinces and we should benefit from them. However, they are run by people who want to rule this country. It will be disheartening if I do not respond …


The Chairperson: The hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development will respond on behalf of the Government.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: Hon. Chiteme, I know that you are a new Member of the House.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: There will be times when you will not like what you will hear, but you need to develop the capacity …


Mr Livune: That is right!


The Chairperson: … to still listen. Also, respond using the language and rules of the House.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: It will not be right for you to provoke anyone in the House by way of debate. Please, continue, you still have the Floor.


Mr Sikazwe: Ema Chair!


Mr Chiteme: Thank you, Madam Chairperson, I heed your advice.


Madam Chairperson, the mining policies have affected the development of this country in many ways. For example, one policy states that we need a shibukombe, I mean a middle man to sell electricity to the mines.


Hon. UPND Members: Meaning!


Mr Chiteme: I meant middle man.


The Chairperson: Order, on the left!


You may continue, Hon. Chiteme. Do not be derailed.


Mr Chiteme: I need your protection, Madam Chairperson.


The Chairperson: You are protected.




Mr Chiteme: Madam Chairperson, most miners lost employment due to the issues that I have raised. We had a vibrant mining sector, but some people benefited from our mining resources and there is a need to consider the tax implications in the mines.


Madam Chairperson, when we conduct the value audit, we see that we have players in the mines that have come from South Africa. Companies such as Red path Mining Ltd, Group R Holdings Ltd and Murray and Roberts Holdings Ltd have come into the mining sector and are charging the Government three times more than a Zambian contractor would charge them. This Government is fighting for contractors like Modlmans …




Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Madam.


The Chairperson: Please, sit down!


Mr Chiteme: … that mines at an effective cost. Alas, some mining companies charge exorbitant costs so that they can pay less tax. I appeal to the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development to resolve the issues that directly affect the people of Zambia, particularly the miners on the Copperbelt and North-Western provinces. We can only actualise Zambianisation when the Zambian people undertake the work that the foreigners do.


Madam Chairperson, ...


Hon. UPND Members: I thank you! Hear, hear!


Mr Chiteme: … my debate will not be inconclusive if I do not talk about Konkola Copper Mine (KCM). It has not paid the contractors and suppliers for the past six months, yet it is supposed to pay them after ninety days. In this regard, the people go through a lot of hardships and the Government should intervene. However, only certain individuals benefitted from the privatisation of the mines.


Hon. Government Members: Hammer, hammer!




Mr Chiteme: Madam Chairperson, I need your protection.


The Chairperson: Order, on my left!


You are making it very difficult for me to protect you because you keep sliding back. You have very valuable time to deliver points on behalf of the people of Nkana.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: Please, continue.


Mr Chiteme: Madam Chairperson, I stood to debate on behalf of the miners who work hard for the benefit of the residents on the Copperbelt …




Mr Chiteme: … and since I promised not to take too much time, I thank you.


I thank you, Madam.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: Hon. Kambwili, please, promise to emulate Hon. Charles Zulu.


Dr Kambwili (Roan): Madam Chairperson, thank you for me giving me this opportunity to support the budget for the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development.


Madam Chairperson, as I support the budget, I want to air out a few things that I think are pertinent to the development of this country and, of course, for the people of Zambia to benefit from the mineral resources. It must be noted that God put copper under the soil of Zambia so its people can benefit from it and not only foreign investors.

Madam Chairperson, we are now seeing investors benefitting more from copper than the Zambian people. This must be brought to a stop. Why is it that Zambian copper miners are the lowest paid in the whole world? It is unacceptable that out of all the copper producing countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which is well-known for grappling with wars, miners in that country are better paid compared to their Zambian counterparts. Today, most of the technocrats in the Zambian mining industry are rushing to be employed in the DRC because the salaries there are better than in Zambia. In South Africa, the lowest miner is paid about R12,000, which translates to about K11, 200, yet the lowest paid miner in Zambia gets K1,100. Hon. Minister of Mines and Mineral Development, why should we allow this situation to continue? This is the same copper that is mined all over the world. The lowest paid miner in Chile gets about US$2,500, translating to about K25,000. Why should we allow our miners in Zambia to be paid such low salaries, yet most of the investors in Zambia are the people who have invested in other copper mining countries? This is unacceptable.


Madam Chairperson, only a caring Government can help its people get better salaries from the mining industry. As a country, we are not getting anything from these mining activities in terms of taxes. From the profits being made by the investors, we are only getting a small percentage. So, the only way we can get a return, as people of Zambia, is by appealing to these mining companies to start paying the people who are working for the mines well. Unfortunately, every time there is a strike in the mining industry, the Government sides with investors and threatens to fire workers if they do not go back to work.


Madam Chairperson, much as we need the investors, we must learn to balance the equation. We need to realise that this copper was put in the Zambian soils for Zambians to benefit from it. I am, therefore, urging my friend and dear brother, Hon. Yaluma, to take up this issue and ensure that the Zambian miners are paid reasonably. The conditions are worse off at the Chinese-run mines. The Chinese pay their workers peanuts. Some people who go underground are paid K700 and the Government is watching. This must be resolved as quickly as possible.


Madam Chairperson, the issue of Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) is now becoming a pain in the thigh. Why should we allow KCM to play with the minds of the people of Zambia? Why should we allow it to dictate terms in our country? I think that we have given KCM too much latitude. For me, it should have been chased out of this country a long time ago.


Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, KCM is not adding any value to our country. It is owing our suppliers and contractors K2.8 billion. I know that the hon. Minister has gone there several times and the company keeps promising to inject US$1 billion in the operations, but that money is never seen. The company will say that to the hon. Minister when he visits, but two weeks later, the situation remains the same. Why are we allowing KCM to play with our miners? Why are we allowing it to mess up our economy with impunity?


The Chairperson: Order!


Hon. Dr Kambwili, the word ‘mess’ up is unparliamentary!


Dr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, why are we allowing KCM to make a distortion and cause disturbance in our economy while the Government watches? This outsourcing that my dear brother, the hon. Minister of Mines and Mineral Development, and the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security attempted to resolve over the weekend is not new to KCM. Like I have said, KCM is broke. It does not have the money to run the business. I know that the Government knows that the problems surrounding KCM are due to the fact that it is broke. It is not broke because it is not able to raise money, but by design. Just two months ago, we heard that the owner of KCM, Mr Agarwal, bought shares in Anglo America Corporation worth US$2.8 billion. This information is there on the internet. Therefore, if he can buy shares in Anglo American Corporation worth that much, why is he failing to recapitalise the operations at KCM?


Madam Chairperson, this outsourcing has been done before. There were companies like U&M Mining Zambia Limited and Moolmans, which were given the Nchanga Open Pit (NOP). What happened? KCM failed to pay and this resulted in NOP’s failure to pay the workers, suppliers and contractors. Further, there was Mechanised Mining Solution (MMS), an offshore underground at Nchanga Mine. Similarly, KCM failed to pay it and it too started failing to pay the workers and ended up in court. There was a company called FS Smith, which was also outsourced by KCM and the same thing that happened to the others happened and this matter is in court. Why should the Government, after all this experience, support KCM by sending two hon. Ministers to convince the miners to accept the outsourcing, which we all know has failed in the past?


Madam Chairperson, this is what makes people become suspicious. Is it because people balilya impukumyamatobo or what?




Hon. Government Member: Meaning?


Dr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, have the people been given cake or utushimbi in terms of bribes? Is that why they are failing to act? The Government will make people to start making allegations against it even when it is not necessary. So, could the Government do the right thing over KCM? I am sick and tired of the behaviour of KCM. If it has failed to run the mine, the Government must look for other investors. There is no way it can outsource all its operations and the Government supports that. The outsourcing that was done for Moolmans and other companies that I mentioned was basically the workforce. What KCM is doing now is to bring in all these companies while it has nothing to do with the operations. These companies will have to mine and semi process the copper to concentrate and then sell the concentrate to KCM for it to produce the cathode. The danger is that we will make Chingola and Chililabobwe a battle for industrial unrest. Why do I say so? What will happen is that these outsourced companies will put in their money, produce the copper, supply to KCM, but will not pay. As long as KCM does not pay, these companies will, in turn, not pay their workers and suppliers. Hon. Minister, please, go back to Chingola tomorrow and stop that nonsense, for lack of a better term.


Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: Dr Kambwili, you know that that word is unparliamentary and so, you will withdraw that.


Dr Kambwili: Madam Chairperson, I withdraw it. The Government must stop that issue at KCM because it is not taking us anywhere. I am sure that just after two or three months of allowing that outsourcing, these issues at KCM will still come back. I think that it is only reasonable that the Government stands with its people, who in this case are the miners. Asking the hon. Minister to go to Chingola with his colleague in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to ask the miners to accept this outsourcing is very bad advice. I wish the Government stood with the workers to force KCM to invest money into operations so that they can continue working for it instead of being seconded to companies when we know that they will not be paid for the work done. This is not good. Kansanshi Copper Mine used to supply concentrates to KCM, but it stopped. Lumwana Mine used to give concentrates to KCM and it also stopped.

Madam Chairperson, what will make KCM pay these outsourced open-pit and underground Chinese mining companies? By the way, we know the Chinese. They know mpukunya matobo very well. I, therefore, think that we should run away from this idea …


 The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Dr. Kambwili, please, withdraw the reference to the Chinese.


Dr Kambwili: Why?


The Chairperson: Because you have no evidence of whatever …


Dr Kambwili: I can lay the evidence on the Table.


The Chairperson: When you are able to lay it on the Table, then, you can discuss it. As of now, I do not think that you have the evidence.


You may continue.


Dr Kambwili: I find it difficult to withdraw.




Dr Kambwili: I find it difficult to withdraw because I am telling the truth. I know the Chinese.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: I find it very difficult because I have not committed any …


The Chairperson: Alright, in that case, please, translate mpukunya matobo.


Dr Kambwili: Mpukunya matobo is being given very sweet cake.


The Chairperson: How do you relate that to the Chinese?


Dr Kambwili: After being given the sweet cake, one is compromised. Instead of supporting Zambians, he or she supports the Chinese. This is what I meant.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: So, your reference is that the Chinese have given cake to someone?


Dr Kambwili: I live in Luanshya where the Chinese are running the mine. The Luanshya- Baluba Mine was closed on the pretext that copper price was low. Today, the copper price, give or take, is US$7,000 per tonne, but the mine is still closed. This is what the Chinese can do when they give mpukunya matobo. This is what I meant.




The Chairperson: Hon. Dr. Kambwili, please, sit down. I want you and I to agree on something here.


Mr Nkombo: Mpukunya matobo!


The Chairperson: You have no evidence that the Chinese gave anybody kulya matobo




The Chairperson: … for any particular project. Just agree with me that you have no evidence and proceed. Please.


Dr Kambwili: In that case I cannot continue.


I thank you.


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on this vote, whose budget I support.


Madam Chairperson, starting point is that I am miserable and sad about the structure of the Vote in the sense that out of K44,871,210, only K10,278,760 has gone to the core business of the ministry. To give less than 25 per cent to the core business is worrisome because we all know what is happening in the sector. There is a lot that is yet to be done in this sector in terms of enforcement and regulation in order to provide for the benefits that everyone is speaking about.


Madam Chairperson, I want to relate this to what is happening in Kasempa, where there is a very nascent mining activity taking place.




The Chairperson: Order, on my right!


You may continue.


Ms Tambatamba: Many potential investors, the majority of whom are Chinese, have mushroomed in Kasempa. Most of the ground has been taken up by these investors who could one day make some Greenfield investors, if well-regulated. However, in situations where we have small amounts of money or budgets that are as low as what has been provided for the core business compared to what is provided for the administrative cost, it is very worrisome.


Therefore, there is a need for attention to be given to some areas in the core business, including mine safety, geology, mines development, planning and information and mining cadastre because this is what creates the mines of tomorrow.  We need to pay attention to the big mines that we have in this country.


Madam Chairperson, we were recently told that the Government, in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), is promoting synergies between different sectors. This becomes very important for the mining sector with respect to how it can contribute to growth. With enough resources, the mining sector can focus on mining minerals that can contribute to sectors like agriculture.


Since we want to diversify, mining can help us do so effectively in agriculture. For instance, exploration of minerals such as sulphur or phosphorus can contribute to growing the agriculture sector. I want to urge the hon. Minister to start paying more attention to the diversification objective by collaborating with sectors like agriculture where lime, for example, can help us to consolidate the diversification of our economy. 


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Tambatamba: Madam Chairperson, the next aspect that I would like to draw your attention to is capacities of the sector. Within the mining sector, we have Zambian experts and expatriates. They are being admitted to the sector based on the fact that we do not have enough capacity or skills to sustainably run the mining sector.


Madam Chairperson, when I look at the budget, I do not see enough resources being allocated to capacity building for those who need to acquire the technical skills or expertise to eventually become managers of tomorrow. Zambia ran the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM). Today, however, it looks like we are not acknowledging that we have the expertise that we need to run it. Now, we have to bring in expatriates. Where is the money? Where are the resources for capacity building of this sector?


Madam Chairperson, for those who are coming in with technical expertise, there is the social-cultural aspect that contributes to consolidating responsible mining. I am talking about the license to operate corporate-social responsibility. Many of our colleagues from outside do not have corporate-social responsibility in their countries. When they come here and we make the demands of what we need, as impact benefits for our people, who are the host communities, they have very little understanding. They too need to be given the capacity. Therefore, we are talking about training on either side.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Tambatamba: It is not only Zambians who need technical expertise. Expatriates have to be trained too on the social-cultural aspect and the corporate-social responsibility because it will consolidate responsible mining in our country. So, we need more resources allocated to this sector.


Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, I would like to talk about the intergenerational value of our natural resources because the current resource, whether it is land or what is hidden underneath the soil, minerals do not belong only to those who are still alive, but to those who were there before us. It also belongs to the many that are yet to come. So, how we will reserve the value for them?


Madam, many years ago when I was seven years, I toured quite a few exploration camps at which my grandfather worked as a cook. One of those places, which I explored, was Lumwana. At that time, the asset looked like it benefited the people then, yet those who have benefited from that resource are the people who are here today, the children who were born in the 1980s, 1990s and the 2000s. We know that those who were governing the sector ensured that there was responsible political management of these resources. At the moment, we are seeing the unaccountable conservation or the banking of the resource that we saw in the post Independence era.


Madam Chairperson, presently, we are seeing many so-called investors, especially the Chinese, coming with very little experience. They are extracting and taking our resources without putting back or giving back to the communities. All they are leaving behind are deep holes, which will eventually become health hazards to these communities. These are investors who know very little about the environmental management. They leave behind polluted bio-diversity assets, which no one will benefit from. Again, this is a capacity building and a resourcing issue, which the ministry should look into.


I thank you, Madam, Chairperson.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasonso (Solwezi West): Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to just add a few words in support of the budget for the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development. Before I go into the details in trying to highlight my support for this Vote, I want to say that the ministry under consideration is very important.


Madam, as you know, this ministry is a major supplier of our foreign exchange, which is at 70 per cent, because as a nation, we have failed to diversify our economy. Chile, which is the world’s number one producer of copper, only contributes 6 per cent to the foreign exchange of that country.


Madam Chairperson, I just want to say a few things to the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development. Currently, his ministry is not providing strong leadership to ensure that various policies come through and to also maintain the required stability in the mines. There are too many challenges, which are still outstanding in the sector.


Madam, in my constituency, there are two large mines, that is, Lumwana and Kalumbila mines. We have not yet resolved the problem of the land on which Kalumbila Mine is operating from. This simply means that the mine has no title deed, yet, this is after five years of its operation.  Obviously, the hon. Minister needs to lead the process together with other crosscutting ministries like the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Commerce, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Local Government in order to resolve this issue because keeping quiet and looking the other way will not help us, as a nation.


Madam Chairperson, this is also important because we need to carry out industrialisation. Largely, this will made through this ministry. The issue of the economic zone at Kalumbila Mine is still unresolved, five years down the line. However, I understand that Kalumbila is ready to begin setting up the economic zone on the 2,000 ha of land, which has been allocated to it. On the other hand, it is a bit slow in carrying out that because the Government is insisting that the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) becomes a shareholder in the economic zone, yet this was a private initiative. Again, we need the leadership of the hon. Minister to ensure that we resolve this matter. Currently, there are seventy-four companies both locally and foreign, which are lined up to invest in this economic zone. Therefore, it is very important that we address this matter.


Madam, the issue of land is also connected to my traditional leader, Senior Chief Musele, who is insisting that he wants to own 40 per cent of the shares in Kalumbila Mine. It is important for the Government to listen to him as well as the mines. We need to sit them down and resolve these issues quickly.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasonso: Madam, the other challenge, which I would want to bring to the attention of the hon. Minister is that of corporate-social responsibility. I know that the mines in the North-Western Province have already invested close to US$8 billion. However, the local people strongly feel that they are not befitting from their presence.


Madam, for instance, in 1896, George Grey was just walking around and found the local people mining, making primitive tools and other things from Kansanshi Mine as a local mine then. In fact, they were trading copper with the Arabs. Kansanshi Mine belongs to the local people or simply the people of Zambia. Therefore, it was not discovered through geologist exploration, but by the local people. The area in which Kansanshi Mine operates from is just 15 km away from Chief Kapijimpanga, but when you look at that state of the road, it leaves much to be desired.


Madam, I would like to challenge the hon. Minister to undertake a tour to Solwezi West to specifically have a look at the palace of Chief Kapijimpanga. It is a sorry sight to say the least. Senior Chief Musele is also only 9 km from Kalumbila Mine, but the state of the road, leaves much to be preferred. Senior Chief Mukumbi is about 28 km from away from Lumwana Mine, but the condition of the road in this chiefdom is also pathetic. Certainly, the mining industry in the North-Western Province needs to do a little more for the local people.


Madam, the other matter is that of Jarabos on the old Copperbelt. In Chile, there is a purpose vehicle, which assists such people as well as the small-scale industry. Already, we have the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which is a parastatal company. I am of the opinion that the ministry should have channeled the black mountain to the IDC. The IDC should, then, have a better arrangement incorporating the needs of our boys, the Jarabos.


Madam, apart from that, there are other challenges, which the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development needs to pay attention to. We need strategic policies to come through, especially on how this ministry will lengthen the shelf life of the mines, not only on the Copperbelt, but also in the North-Western Province by ensuring that serious exploration starts taking place in the old Copperbelt as well as in the North-Western Province.


Madam Chairperson, the other challenge, which I want to bring to the attention of the hon. Minister regarding the mining industry is, obviously, the issue of the mineral royalties.  The mineral royalties are currently at 6 per cent and this is what is being paid to the Government.


Madam, in the Mining Development Act, there was an issue of …  


The Chairperson: Order!


Business was suspended from 1810 hours until 1830 hours





Mr Kasonso: Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me an opportunity to continue debating the budget for the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development. Before business was suspended, I was talking about the Mines and Minerals Act. I was saying that the ministry needs to review this Act to ensure that the mineral royalty tax that the Government is receiving from the mines, which is at 6 per cent, is shared with the communities in areas where the mine industries are operating.


Madam, on the other hand, all the social amenities in my constituency are overstretched because of the presence of the mines. This includes the schools, health centres and prisons. At Kisasa Primary School, there are more than 200 pupils in one classroom. The situation is equally the same at Manyama Primary school. Solwezi Central Prison is equally overcrowded.


Madam, I am of the opinion that when it comes to matters of environmental protection, the ministry should not just look at pollution. As a matter of urgency, perhaps, the hon. Minister can consider using resources such as the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), which is fuelled by monies collected from mining projects, to try and see how the Ministry of General Education, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Home Affairs can be assisted in addressing the social disasters that are obtaining at Manyama near Lumwana Mine and Kisasa near Kalumbila Mine, where the Zambian people are living in crowded arrangements.


Madam Chairperson, we also need policies that will not only protect our mineral resources now, but also in future. These assets are not just for this generation, but for future generations as well. We must find a way to protect the copper underground.


In conclusion, Madam, I wish to urge the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development to pay attention to the issue of electricity tariffs in the mining sector. The Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) is insisting that the mines now pay a certain tariff, but the matter has not yet been resolved. Again, this ministry should take a lead in ensuring that it resolves all these outstanding challenges. As I said earlier, the challenges are many and, therefore, we need the hon. Minister’s personal leadership in ensuring that these problems are addressed.


Madam Chairperson, those were my serious comments which I wanted the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development to consider, as I support the Vote for the ministry.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Yaluma: Madam Chairperson, I really thank all the people who have debated this subject. I would like to say that I have taken note of whatever has been said regarding the budget for my ministry. However, I would like to comment on some of the statements which were made by some hon. Members of this august House.


Madam, regarding Hon. Jack Mwiimbu’s comments, I will not dwell much on the privatisation that he talked. We are all very much aware why the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ), at that time, decided to privatise the mining industry. All I can say is that the Zambian mining industry was not performing well at that time. As Hon. Mwiimbu himself highlighted from the hon. Minister of Finance’s statement, the mines were making a loss of US$1 million per day. So, it was not a joke. This also meant that we were losing a lot of revenue intended for our coffers at that time.


Therefore, Madam Chairperson, it did not need to take a rocket scientist to arrive at the decision to go ahead to privatise the mines. For instance, in the 1970s when our mining industry reached its highest peak of production, it was churning out close to 750,000 tonnes of copper per annum. However, when production started dropping, it reached as low as 250,000 tonnes per annum.


In such a situation, Madam, if you cannot make sound or right decisions on how you will run a company, then, you will miss the boat. Since the mining industry was not performing well, the GRZ, at the time, just did the right thing to privatise the mines. Moreover, immediately after privatisation, the mines came back to life. In private hands, they started operating well and production immediately started going up. To date, mining production is still going up. What this tells us is that there was something wrong with the way the mines were operating in public hands. We have already reached and surpassed the 750,000 tonnes per annum mark, which we had reached in the 1970s.


Basically, madam, because of the poor performance of the mining industry, the Government could not get any proceeds from it to satisfy its operations. The proceeds from the mining industry, which were going into our coffers were highly negligible. Therefore, the Government had to privatise the mines.


Madam Chairperson, on tax holidays, let me say that the 1995 Mines and Minerals Act provided for development agreements, and these are the agreements we started entering into with the mine companies that were coming into the country. The agreements included stabilisation clauses. The stabilisation clauses did not exclude mines from paying taxes. They gave mining companies some leeway or breather not to pay taxes before they could start performing well. They would only start paying taxes after raising profits. 


Madam, the Government stopped charging tax rates. These stabilisation clauses varied from company to company. The Government allowed mines not to pay taxes depending on how they negotiated, and on the projection of the performance or viability of their mines, since they were new investors. We allowed the mines not to pay taxes for some time to let them gather some momentum. They would start paying taxes later at the time agreed.


Madam Chairperson, this has been stopped. The Mines and Minerals Development Act of 2008 stopped us from entering into these development agreements. The Government no longer gives stabilisation periods for any mining company.


Madam Chairperson, Hon. Muchima talked a lot, but there is not much to write home about. However, I will try to address ...


The Chairperson: No, hon. Minister. You cannot say that. He debated.


Mr Yaluma: That is what I mean. He debated ...


The Chairperson: And there was a lot to write home about. Please, respond.


Mr Yaluma: I will write them home.


Madam Chairperson, he talked about Zambia being poor to date despite having been involved in mining for a long time. I think we need to do more to ensure that Zambians benefit from mining. The hon. Minister of Finance and I are on record talking about that.


Madam Chairperson, if you go back to look at the Mining Policy of 1995, which was replaced by the Mining Policy of 2015, you will see that in the 2015 document, we have shown more commitment, as a Government, to ensuring that Zambians participate in mining not only through employment, but also as owners of some sort. The Government is supporting participation of Zambians in the mining sector. The Mines and Minerals Development Act reserves artisanal and small-scale licences for Zambian companies meaning that Zambians have secured majority shares. So, if a Zambian has not secured majority shares in a company, it will be very difficult for the Government of Zambia to assist in financing that company.


Madam Chairperson, we need to ensure that Zambians take part in small-scale artisanal mining and get majority shares. If a Zambian puts together a solid business proposal, tries to get equity and has the competence required to participate in a large-scale mining venture with a foreign investor, the Government can support him or her.


Madam Chairperson, I thank Hon. C. M. Zulu for the kind words. He is very aware of what is going on in the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development. I really appreciate that.


Madam, Hon. Chiteme talked about the Government supporting Zambian companies in the mining sector. We will endeavour to ensure that Zambian companies are supported, including your company, Hon. Chiteme, and Mwamona Engineering, equally. We will protect your interests and ring-fence your profits so that you can prosper and do better for the future.


Madam Chairperson, on Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), I would like to put on record that this is not a matter to play with. The Government is highly concerned about the developments at KCM. The Government is not sleeping to ensure that things are turned around for the better of the workers at KCM. The Government’s commitment to supporting the mining workers across the country, at KCM included, is its number one priority. Nothing will derail the continued employment of employees in the mines. As a Government, we will do everything possible to ensure that miners in the mines continue to work. We are ensuring that those miners working for KCM or whoever still remain KCM employees.


Madam Chairperson, nobody will be seconded anywhere else and erased on the list of KCM employees. The workers will sign individual contracts, and this will be witnessed by the Government. At the end of the day, if any employee opts to go, he or she can go, but will still remain under KCM. That will be signed in an agreement. The Government is not being negligent in the way it is handling the issue of KCM.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to let this august House and the public at large know that this is a responsible Government and it will never do anything stupid as to let its people go on the streets.


The Chairperson: Hon. Minister, withdraw the word ‘Stupid’.


Mr Yaluma: I withdraw. It is a very bad word. I do not know how it came out of my mouth, Madam Chairperson.


The Chairperson: Just withdraw it.


Mr Yaluma: I withdraw it.


The Chairperson: You withdraw the word?


Mr Yaluma: ‘Stupid’.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: Continue, please.


Mr Yaluma: KCM owed the workers a lot of monies as of November, last year. We went there several times until we compelled KCM to pay Christmas bonuses to the employees as well as pay the contractors whatever was owed to them. As I speak, out of the US$1 billion which was committed by the Chairperson of Vedanta Resources when he came to Zambia, US$250 million has been paid and that money has been expended on paying the contractors and suppliers who were owed money. We have taken very close interest in this matter and I will go back to KCM next week to take stock of who benefitted from that US$250 million which was put forward by the Chairperson of Vedanta Resources.

Madam Chairperson, I will start from the bottom comments of Hon. Kasonso, who talked about the mining environment. We really must take full responsibility in taking care of the environment because a lot of damage has been done to our environment. From the time the mining industry came into Zambia a long time close to eighty to 100 years ago, those people who came with licences to mine at the beginning, including the traditional mines which opened on the Copperbelt, did a lot of damage to the environment. This is something we cannot allow to continue living with.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Member talked about Environment Protection Fund. I wish to inform this House that we are now compelling upcoming investors in the country to contribute towards this fund, before they do anything on the ground. They will have to sign up for contributing to the fund and we are asking them to contribute in cash. The other huge amount we are advising them to get a guarantee from their banks so that in an event of them running out of the country without reinstating the environment, we take that money and put into reinstate the environment. Coincidently, if we can get hold of them, they will be prosecuted at the same time.


Therefore, Madam Chairperson, we are being highly proactive so that we do not end up with what has happened in Kabwe or Mufulira. Kabwe mining area has lead poisoning while Mufulira has contaminated water and soils with sulphur dioxide.


Madam Chairperson, if one went to Kankoyo today, he or she can see that the roofing sheets of the houses are totally damaged. The pipes from where water runs are finished. If they plant any vegetables in the soil, it will never grow. Therefore, these funds have been given to the Republic of Zambia to remediate these effects are they are being spent in Kabwe and Mufulira. These funds are in the tune of US $60 million. So, we are very much active to that effect.


Madam Chairperson, with regards to Kalumbila Mines, when I was Minister of Lands then later moved to the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, I sat on a committee with my colleagues in the Ministry of Lands, Ministry of Local Government and other stakeholders to rectify the issue. We made a lot of progress. There were a lot of things that we managed to fight for to ensure that the mine started operating. For instance, there was an injunction on the construction of a dam. It took a long time to resolve this issue. So, we went in and reasoned with the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) on the need for the mine to go ahead with the construction of the dam and let them do whatever was outstanding even though they did not have serious purifications. However, we went ahead and allowed it.


So, I have been informed by my Colleague, the hon. Minister of Local Government, that they have managed to address Chief Musele’s issue. Very soon, they will be issued with a title deed. So, it will not take a month or two before they are issued with title deeds.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to debate at length the submission made by Hon. Tambatamba, but I wish to inform her that Chifupa Mine’s issue is in court. We have been talking behind the curtains, and so, I will talk to her behind the curtain because that case is still in court.


Finally, Madam, I would like to appreciate the hon. Member’s comments. We, as the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, will take ownership of all the comments made. We would like to ensure that we run these mines for the good and benefit of all Zambians. We need everyone’s comments not only in this august House, but also when we are out there for tea or come to our offices. We need to put mining in Zambia in a better place. All hon. Members of Parliament, wherever they are coming from where there is mining, need to ensure that people live in a very good environment devoid of all these other issues and also that the larger part of Zambia benefit from the mining in north-west Mwinilunga where Hon. Muchima comes from and also Mr Siwale in Mafinga. They will benefit from the proceeds of making that road between Muyombe and …


Therefore, please, help us make this country a better country to live in.


Thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: Just to correct the record the hon. Minister will meet Hon. Tambatamba in his office and not behind any curtains.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Yaluma: Hon. Tambatamba, she knows where she finds me always. We will meet there.




Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Votes 14/01, 14/02, 14/03, 14/04, 14/07, 14/11, 14/12 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Chairperson, I am honoured to present the SMART Zambia Institute E-Government Division Budget Estimates for 2018.


Madam Chairperson, as you are aware, SMART Zambia Institute is an electronic Government division under the Office of the President, which derives its mandate and functions from Government Gazette No. 863 of 18th November, 2016. It is responsible for co-ordinating and effective implementation of electronic Government services for improved service delivery.


Madam Chairperson, in fulfilling its mandate, SMART Zambia Institute is guided by the following mission statement:


“To provide efficient, relevant and transparent electronic services to the citizenry using affordable and available information and communication technologies for the attainment of a SMART Zambia.”


Madam Chairperson, in line with this mission statement, and guided by the aspirations of the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), especially developmental outcome No. 8, which states, “enhanced information and communication technology,” SMART Zambia Institute will continue to focus on the use of information and communication technology (ICT) as a catalyst for socio-economic development by promoting competitiveness as well as being an enabler of good governance. In line with this focus, the division will facilitate the provision of standardised electronic services to improve public service delivery.


Madam Speaker, in 2018, some of the major programmes that SMART Zambia Institute will continue include the following:


Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure


Under this programme, the major activities that will be undertaken are:


  1. network infrastructure development and management: This programme is aimed at improving network connectivity through expansion of shared broadband infrastructure in order to provide cost-effective services and improve Government digital connectedness. To this end, SMART Zambia Institute will continue facilitating for unified internet services for Public Service organisations. The division will ensure the maintenance and operation of the Government area network for improved communication and collaboration; and


  1. provision of National Data Services: SMART Zambia Institute will continue providing data centre services to the ministries, provinces and other spending agencies for provision of Government to citizens, Government to businesses and Government to Government electronic services. In addition, the Zambia National Data Centre limited shall provide distributed cloud computing data services to the private sector.


System development and support 


Under this programme, the major activities that will be undertaken are:


  1. Systems development: this programme is aimed at facilitating the application of electronic means in the delivery of goods and services in key sectors of the Public Service such as agriculture, tourism, health, education, energy, finance and local government. The division will reduce the cost of software licences and external support through in-house built SMART Zambia systems developers software systems; and


  1. Integration of information systems and applications: The various information systems in the Government will be integrated for a more effective and efficient electronic services delivery using multiple channels, including enabling electronic payment services.


E-Government Standards and Projects Co-ordination


This programme is aimed at promoting cost-effective operations in the Government to eliminate waste and abuse of public resources through standardised deployment of ICT systems and effective project co-ordination across Government ministries and spending agencies.


Capacity building and enhancing capabilities


The programme seeks to address the skills gap in the current system and Public Service employees. The division will continue to modify working procedures and co-ordination mechanisms and change value systems and attitudes through change of management and adoption in a way that meets the demands and prerequisites of the SMART Zambia E-Government Programme.


Service Management and Technical Support


This programme is aimed at providing technical and service desk support services in order to ensure availability of ICT systems and electronic services.


Enhancement of Security and Trust


The focus of the programme is to ensure all Government ICT facilities, systems and applications are safe, secure and protected in line with international standards and industry best practice, thereby enhancing confidence in the use of electronic services.


Madam Chairperson, I am pleased to report that in 2017, SMART Zambia Institute scored a number of successes, especially in areas such as ICT infrastructure management, systems development, which included electronic pay slips, Electronic Cabinet System, fertiliser Input Support Programme (FISP) e-Voucher system and development of standards and guidelines for E-Government.


Mr Livune: Question!


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Chairperson, in accordance with the aspirations of the SMART Zambia Transformational Agenda and the 7NDP, SMART Zambia enhanced Government online services for citizens and businesses to reduce Government service delivery costs.


Madam Chairperson, the total 2018 budgetary allocation to SMART Zambia Institute, E-Government Division, stands at K76.2 million of which K8.7 million has been allocated to personal emoluments while K67.5 million is earmarked for non-personal emoluments.   


Madam Chairperson, the Government and members of the general public expect the SMART Zambia Institute to lead on the realisation of the SMART Zambia vision through the use of ICT for Public Service in the delivery of quality services. SMART Zambia Institute plays a catalyst role to enable priority sectors in the 7NDP attain their goals and at the same time have core implementation programmes through shared platforms and services. The funds being requested for in the 2018 Estimates of Expenditure will, therefore, be necessary to enable SMART Zambia Institute to effectively execute its mandate and attain its vision of transforming the Public Service and improve service delivery.


Madam Chairperson, I, therefore, request hon. Members of this august House to support these Estimates.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Livune: Question!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Madam Chairperson, thank you for this opportunity to debate. I also want to thank Her Honour the Vice-President for the policy statement.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to begin by saying that this institute is new. We have heard about ‘smart this and smart that’ before. When the hon. Minister was delivering her speech, you could have heard a pen drop because we were all trying to understand what it is she is talking about. I think it is a new institute whose support should be based on the understanding of the value it brings to the country. 


Madam Chairperson, I doubt if there is any conviction within the hon. Minister to repeat what she said. If I were to challenge her right now to put her script down and repeat what she said, not word for word, but to make logical sense of what she was reading, I can bet my bottom Kwacha that she would have a struggle because I was struggling to find out exactly what it is we are trying to achieve under this institute.


Madam, for a long time, at least, for those of us who have been here long enough, we have been talking about getting to a paperless Parliament. This is part of the movement towards Electronic Government (e-Government). This means that if I want a copy of the Constitution, I can just go online and find it. By the way, as leaders, we are the cream of this country.


Therefore, Madam Chairperson, in her winding up of debate on this Vote, I want the hon. Minister to tell me how this SMART Zambia Institute will benefit ordinary Zambians. With all these colossal sums of money, of which about 50 per cent is going to emoluments, I want her to tell me how this will benefit a child at a fishing camp in Shimungalu in Mazabuka Constituency. She must tell me what benefit there is or is this what was meant when the Patriotic Front (PF) said it would create jobs? The Government has, indeed, created jobs for a few people in this institute but overall, can the hon. Minister convince me that we can actually run before we start to crawl.


Madam, there are countries, such as President Kagame’s country, that have excelled with computers. Rwanda has excelled because at primary school or even pre-school level, the Government has ensured that a child understands how to work with a computer. Right in here, you are obviously a witness to the challenges that we have been having with the gadgets in this House. We have been having problems to just vote when there is a division. Now, if we have these problem, what about a child in Shakapinga in Mazabuka? How will such a child benefit from this institute?


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister made reference to the Electronic-Voucher (e-Voucher) system. How in this world can she make an example of a failed system? I would like Her Honour the Vice-President to know that the e-Voucher system is a disaster in this country. It is surprising that the hon. Minister made that reference when the e-Voucher system was disastrous even in the thirty-nine districts that the project was piloted. Rolling out a project to the whole country when it failed in the pilot stage is what is meant by burying your head in the sand like an ostrich.


Madam, we will see what will happen regarding the e-Voucher system this year. The rains have come and, therefore, tulabona. We will see whether the e-Voucher system will be perfected, when it failed in thirty-nine districts in the pilot stage. How will the Government manage to do this for the whole country with the countless districts that have been created? It is a fact that there are some farmers under the e-Voucher system who fail to use the cards, which look like Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards.


Therefore, Madam, why should the Government invest money in the Smart Zambia Institute, when it has failed to send an ATM card to Ndola, which is a manual process? For instance, instead of sending e-Voucher cards meant for farmers in Ndola to Ndola, they have been sent to Chipata. In my view, we are not ready. I have no doubt in my mind that we can obviously try to computerise our systems, but we should not start climbing a tree from the leaves because we will fall and hurt ourselves. This Vote will just benefit a few people who will run this institute.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister spoke about procurement in the Public Service. The biggest problem that we have been grappling with in this regard is the accusation of corruption. There have been glaring accusations of corruption in the Patriotic Front (PF) Government and those who control the use of public funds. Since we are moving towards a paperless governance, we will now have electronic-corruption (e-corruption) so much so that we will not even see the tender documents. Those who want to supply things will just supply via e-mail and it will be paperless corruption.


Mr Mung’andu: Question!


Mr Nkombo: You can even hear from the questioning that it is running at 33 rates per minute because even the hon. Member shouting ‘question’ does not understand what I am taking about.




Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, in supporting whatever the PF is doing with this Smart Zambia Institute, I want to say that it is only prudent that we put our money where our mouths are. Therefore, why spend K76 million on this institute?


Madam Chairperson, last week, I moved a Motion to pay retirees who are being paid posthumously or not paid at all. I think the money being allocated to this institute can go a long way in settling that matter. When I was debating that Motion, I asked why we cannot, at least, speak one language in prioritising the needs of our country. You cannot abandon people who have helped this country grow to where it is and start going the smart way. People are dying of hunger, yet this Government wants to put K76 million, of which about K56 million is for personal emoluments, if I heard the hon. Minister correctly, for a trial run. There are people who have not been paid for two years, not even a monthly allowance of K62, and then the PF Government wants to take us down this path. What is smart about keeping our people hungry?


As a matter of fact, Madam, I have changed my mind. I am not supporting this Vote. I have thought about the retirees and how money is being pilfered. I have read the Auditor-General’s Report on how money is lost through the police. To make things worse, the Ministry of Health is buying expensive ambulances and the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development is trying to put up roads that are unaffordable. Now there is even a story about the purchase of wheelbarrows. With all these things happening, the Government now brings something that many hon. Members do not even understand. What is the Smart Zambia Institute? Who will be the principal of that institute? What immediate value will it bring to our ailing economy?


Madam Chairperson, I would be happy, as a matter of fact, if this money went to the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) to help youths around this country. Money is just being splashed all over. The other day, the hon. Minister of Youths, Sport and Child Development was changing the nomenclature of the Youth Empowerment Fund. There was even talk about a street venders’ programme or something like that. There was money to be pumped in that programme until we protested that the Government cannot do that. The programme was then changed to one for youth empowerment. It is better that the money for the Smart Zambia Institute goes towards helping the youths of this country.


Madam Chairperson, there is a woman who was once the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare in this country. She did a fantastic job in trying to clear street venders. I am sure you know what I am trying to say. I would rather we go back to what Hon. Chishimba Kambwili tried to do when he was hon. Minister of Youths, Sport and Child Development. Street children were taken to the Zambia National Service (ZNS) camps to teach them skills on farming. If we used this money for this purpose, society will ultimately benefit much more, instead of spending money on this hypothetical institute. I mean, let us just be honest with each other. Why should we say we are smart when people are dying of hunger?

Madam Chairperson, if we drive now to just across here, under 500 metres, at Manda Hill, you will see what I am talking about. What this lady (pointing at the Chairperson) had managed to do was to remove street children from the streets. Now we have a time bomb. The street children smoke jenkem. They need to be rehabilitated. Those people from the northern side of our country will say, “Imiti ikula empanga.” Those children on the streets are the ones they are referring to. Put the money where the mouth is. Unless it is my intellect that I am now questioning, I did not understand this Smart Zambia Institute.


Madam Chairperson, there are areas of need in this country. Go to University Teaching Hospital (UTH) now and see how people are sleeping like sardines.


Hon. PF Members: Question!


Mr Nkombo: UTH is not far from here.




Mr Nkombo: There will be people who will get medical attention in preferential hospitals. I am talking about the real situation. Go to UTH and see for yourself in the children wards.


Mr Kampyongo: When were you there?


Mr Nkombo: I was there myself. Buy mattresses for those kids so that they do not sleep on the floor instead of taking us down this trend of Smart Institute. Buy Anti-Retroviral drugs that are not expired to save people.


Madam Chairperson, I am not supporting this Vote. I am even going home.


I thank you, Madam.




Ms Mwashingwele (Katuba): Madam Chairperson, thank you very much for this opportunity to debate this Vote. I would want to actually take Hon. Nkombo’s submission as my own, but I want to state clearly that firstly, I do not even understand what this Vote is all about.


Madam, when you talk about an institute, there are certain specifications that will be expected of it. It is true that it is new for we are hearing of it for the first time. When you look at the budget line from the hon. Minister’s presentation, she actually spoke about pay slips, electronic voucher system (e-voucher) and everything else under the information communication and technology (ICT). I would want to argue that if you are talking about pay slips, having worked for the ministry myself, they are better handled by respective ministries. You need to decentralise the issuance of pay slips. Some people, such as teachers, where I belonged, have gone for six months without seeing a pay slip, but are drawing a salary because of the issue of everything being put under one umbrella. So, it is usually people in the Public Service who suffer the consequences of innovations that we bring without really understanding them, especially those in the rural areas. I am talking about, maybe, places like Kaoma, Kanchibiya, Kaputa, and Shang’ombo there.


Madam Chairperson, this Smart Zambia is very good theoretically, but practically, believe you me, it may not be to the benefit of our people. We are actually running before we walk. ICT is a cross-cutting issue. When we teach children, we are urging that computers be taught from Grade 1 or baby class all the way up to university so that the people are able to utilise computers at every step of their life. We do not need a Smart Zambia. Everyone must be smart from baby class.


Hon. PF Members: Question!


Ms Mwashingwele: Madam Chairperson, when we say technology is helping all of us, to create an institute now, in a very hypothetical manner, really defeats our purpose. Putting K76.2 million to that Smart Zambia Institute before we even understand what it is all about is wasting resources. Imagine if I, as a Parliamentarian, do not understand the institute very well, believe you me, the people in Katuba will not understand it …


Mrs Mulyata: Yes!


Ms Mwashingwele: … because I have to go and explain it to them. However, if I, the recipient of Smart Zambia Institute, cannot even explain it to myself, how do I go to tell the people that I represent in Katuba about it? There is something about this Smart Zambia which is not gluing with education. Education is the starting point. Unless something that we are bringing on board represents the children that we are actually trying to teach, it does not make a lot sense at this level.


Madam Chairperson, I would want to ask the hon. Minister to educate us further, as parliamentarians, before we can put such a huge amount to this Vote. If you look at the money that is put on it, it is seen to be higher than some provincial budgets. How can such a brand new institution or institute beat our provincial budgets? Something is not right.


Mrs Mulyata: That is right.


Ms Mwashingwele: Madam Chairperson, we are talking about the electronic voucher (e-voucher), which has not worked, not because it is not a good programme, but because the people who we are targeting it have no technological capacity.


Mrs Mulyata: Sense.


Hon. Opposition Members: hear, hear!


Ms Mwashingwele: So, this is one way that we are actually saying you may feel that we do not want to support the budget, hon. Minister, because of our lack of understanding. There has not been a lot of time to educate us on this Smart Zambia Institute.


Mr Nkombo: Yes!


Mrs Mulyata: Hear, hear!


Ms Mwashingwele: Madam Chairperson, I would want to ask the hon. Minister to incorporate Smart Zambia into the school system. I would have supported it 100 per cent, but to put it as stand-alone is like talking about the human immuno-deficiency virus/acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), which is cross-cutting thing. When we talk about gender, it is a cross cutting problem. It cannot stand-alone. It must be embedded in all the ministries so that it is able to actualise what is being talked about. For now, it is just a hypothesis. It does not really carry so much meaning or understanding because the sectors the hon. Minister spoke about, like the e-voucher, has got agriculture. Agriculture will handle the e-voucher system. If you talk about pay slips, every ministry should be able to handle its own. Then, we will be talking about efficiency. So, if this is one way we will lose our money, personally, I am saying, we are so constrained as a country. The Ministry of Local Government is only giving us half of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). Maybe, this money should be channeled back to the constituencies through the CDF as we try to think of a way of understanding …


Mrs Mulyata: Sense.


Hon. PF Members: Question!


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Mwashingwele: … because K76.2 million will actually give us full CDF.


With those comments, Madam Chairperson, thank you very much.


I thank you, Madam.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Madam Chairperson, I think that in supporting this budget, it is anticipated that the Smart Zambia Institute will be a think tank for the Government to ensure that there is efficiency and effectiveness in delivery of services.


Mr P. Phiri: Yes!


Mr Kabanda: Madam Chairperson, we all know that the Public Service is the biggest employer in this country and most of the money that is intended for service delivery is being channeled towards payment of salaries. Some of the people who are on Government payroll are either retired or have died, but are still getting a salary and somebody is withdrawing from the Automated Teller Machine (ATM). We hope to see that there will be an arrest of this financial hemorrhage.


Madam Chairperson we need to clean up our data base to see to it that only genuine and deserving public servants access these salaries. We hope that the introduction of electronic pay slips, for instance, will make it possible to reduce pilferages of Government resources. In the teaching service, there are teachers who are counted to be physically in Serenje, in places like Appeal and Lupiya, but they are living in Livingstone and drawing money from the ATM while not rendering a service in Serenje.


Therefore, Madam Chairperson, we should ensure that we do things differently and manage our resources prudently. We are here to provide leadership and we should be able to save resources. People must be paid according to the hours they work for. In this regard, let us introduce an electronic system that should establish the hours an individual stays in the office. When he or she leaves the office, the system should be able to detect that and at the end of the month, one should be paid for the hours he or she worked for and we hope this can be implemented.


Madam Chairperson, one wonders what happened to the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) in this country. This was a perfect and credible system, but it was destroyed because it would monitor financial hemorrhages.


Madam Chairperson, we should also introduce an electronic system that should detect a reduction in the workforce. We know that some people who do not work for any ministry are on Government payroll. Therefore, we should ensure that the money that is saved due to the creation of the Smart Zambia Institute is directed towards financing the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). That way, they will be supported and will go pass the incubation stage and grow the economy.


Madam Chairperson, during the last farming season, some farmers supplied maize to the Government, but have not yet been paid. Yesterday, I was told that only ten farmers are being paid every day, yet the rains have set in. When will they access the farming inputs if the Government only pays ten of them daily? It is envisaged that with the introduction of the Smart Zambia Institute, such problems will be a thing of the past.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabanda: Madam Chairperson, money should be spent on activities that benefit the majority of the Zambians. What is our relevance if we are not able to serve the people whom we are privileged to serve? Also, what is the point of speaking on their behalf?




Mr Kabanda: Leadership entails understanding and addressing problems faced by subjects.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabanda: Madam Chairperson, therefore, the Smart Zambia Institute should address the problems …


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabanda: … which the people are facing and ensure that the farmers are paid on time and that is the more reason I support its budget.


Thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank the few hon. Members of Parliament who debated this Vote.


Madam Chairperson, Hon. Gary Nkombo asked why the Smart Zambia Institute was created. I am sure his smart phone has whatsapp and he is able to communicate with his family and friends, and other people all over the world. In this regard, the Smart Zambia Institute will make it easy for people to access information using electronic devices and will ensure that there is interconnectivity in all the ministries. This means that the Government will save paper by distributing e-pay slips, which will be accessed through cellular phones. The electronic system will be able to trace the movement of files and this way, they will not go missing like they used to previously. Also, we will no longer pay ghost workers and farmers because it will closely follow each person captured in the system.


Madam Chairperson, therefore, the Government intends to be smart and will strive to ensure that the children are computer literate so that as they grow, they can be integrated in the world and embark on their career paths. That said, I request the House to approve the budget estimate for the Smart Zambia Institute so that the Government can invest in infrastructure and buy computers for all the ministries, and district and province offices so that there is interconnectivity.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Vote 39/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


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


The Minister of Local Government (Mr Mwale): Madam Chairperson, I wish to thank you for this opportunity to deliver the policy statement in support of the 2018 Budget for the Local Government Service Commission. The statement is in two parts. Part one highlights the performance of the commission in 2017 while part two outlines the focus for 2018.


Performance of the Local Government Service Commission in 2017


Madam Chairperson, despite the inadequate budgetary allocation for the 2017 Fiscal Year, I wish to thank the Treasury for the 100 per cent release which enabled the commission to achieve considerable success in the following areas:

  1. Recruitment and Placement of Staff


Madam Chairperson, in order to ensure efficient and effective functioning of the local authority, the Commission managed to recruit well qualified, skilled and competent staff to fill vacancies in the following key areas of council operations:


  1. engineering;


  1. planning;


  1. finance and audit;


  1. procurement; and


  1. public health.


Furthermore, the Commission embarked on a rigorous exercise to re-align and place staff in appropriate positions according to their qualifications and competencies in order to maximise their potential and capacity for service delivery. The Commission continued to ensure equitable distribution of skilled and qualified staff from areas of surplus to areas of deficit such as most unattractive rural and remote local authorities by way of transfers and promotions. Through transfers and promotions, the Commission has been able to mitigate against vices that arise from familiarity, lethargy and compromise in respect of employees who have overstayed in some local authorities. As you are aware, familiarity breeds contempt, and the Commission will continue to re-align and re-orgainse the staff of local government service in order to fulfil its mandate in the local government system.


  1. Technical Support to Local Authorities


          Madam Chairperson, the Commission has managed to conduct technical support visits to all local authorities in Luapula, the Copperbelt, Lusaka, the Central and the Western Provinces to deal with outstanding human resource matters and provide on-spot capacity to the town clerks and council secretaries as well as chief officers. In this regard, a total of 1424 cases were processed. Further, during the visit to the provinces and districts, the Commission managed to interact with the provincial and district administration leadership, mayors and council chairpersons to ensure harmony and co-existence as well as appreciate and respecting the different roles and mandates the various stakeholders play in delivering services and development to our people.


Madam Chairperson, through such interactions, the commission was able to resolve conflicts which otherwise would have led to industrial unrest and loss of productivity, inculcate a sense of patriotism and discipline in the staff and adherence to the Code of Ethics for the Public Service as well as ensuring professionalism and excellence in the execution of duties. Staff were also advised to shy away from being involved in active partisan politics at the expense of service delivery, but to be loyal and support programmes of the Government of the day, sensitise heads of departments from the involved sectors about local government service and prepare them for effective integration into local authorities, provide a platform for enhancing communication inclusive decision-making between the commission, local authorities and other stakeholders.


Madam Chairperson, on staff discipline, the commission is key in ensuring that the local government service is above reproach and able to deliver services to the expectations of the Central Government, in particular, and to the people of Zambia in general. In this regard, the commission has not shied away from taking timely, decisive, corrective and punitive disciplinary measures against erring employees. In the drive to ensure a disciplined and loyal workforce, there will be no sacred cows and no stone shall remain unturned because it is only a loyal, competent and disciplined non-partisan professional workforce which can translate and implement the development agenda of the nation.


Policy Focus for 2018


Madam Chairperson, let me now turn to the commission’s policy focus for 2018. I fully support the policy pronouncements contained in the 2018 Budget Address by the hon. Minister of Finance, in line with five pillars of the Seventh National development Plan (7NDP). The commission intends to prioritise its operations and focus on the following key activities:


  1. Staff Recruitment and Placement


Madam Chairperson, one of the challenges that hinder the local authorities from delivering quality and timely services are inadequate, qualified and competent staff. In this regard, the Commission will, in 2018, continue to attract, recruit and retain skilled, competent and well qualified staff into the local government service. The Commission will ensure equitable distribution of human resource with appropriate skill mix to all local authorities, implementations and strengthening the enforcement of the bonding scheme for all staff on both council and self-sponsorship, improvement in the conditions of service to attract and promote retention of qualified staff even in rural and remote local authorities, strengthen collaboration amongst the key training providers to ensure adequate production of graduates tailored to meet specific needs of local authorities.


(b)     Human Resource Reforms and Re-organisation


Madam Chairperson, following the operationalisation of the Service Commissions Act No. 10 of 2016 which, among others, has provided for delegation of some of the human resource management functions to local authorities, the commission will embark on formation of human resource committees in local authorities and appointment of responsible officers to head the committees, conduct capacity building and orientation programmes for committee members to enable them to carry out their functions efficiently and effectively, focus on strengthening its role of an oversight regulatory supervisory appellate body, and ensure industrial harmony as well as provide conducive work environment needed to improve service delivery by local authorities. The commission will speed up implementation of robust human resource management information system to facilitate timely decision-making;


(c)     Technical Support to Local Authorities


Madam Chairperson, the commission will continue to offer technical support visits to local authorities to deal with human resource matters and provide a conducive work environment, which will, in turn, improve productivity and service delivery to the people of Zambia, thereby contributing to national development;


(d)     Capacity Building


Madam Chairperson, following the transfer of staff from devolved sectors to local authorities, the commission will focus on ensuring that staff from devolved sectors is orientated and capacity built to appreciate and understand the local government administration for quick integration, hence contributing effectively to realising the benefits of decentralisation; 


The commission will continue to collaborate closely with Chalimbana Local Government Training Institute and other training institutes to provide training relevance to the needs of local authorities. Further, cognisance of the strategic policy direction by His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa, President of the Republic of Zambia, for a smart Zambia, the commission will encourage local government staff to pursue tailor-made programmes on-line. This will enable the staff to acquire necessary training and skills while at the same time not creating artificial shortage due to absence arising from study leave. This is one of the benefits of Smart Zambia.


Further, the commission will strengthen the leadership and management capacities of managers and supervisors in all local authorities for improved performance and productivity, including governance issues and strengthen performance management for improved productivity and quality of work of the local government service workforce. In this regard, consistency in monitoring of staff behaviours will be key to success. Measures for regular coaching, mentorship and in-service training will be put in place.


Initiatives for rewarding performance, such as performance-based incentives and notch increment, will be encouraged. The dissemination and sensitisation enforcement of the code of ethics and conduct, the disciplinary code and revised terms of conditions of service will be undertaken to improve productivity and performance in all the local authorities. Strengthened planning of in-service training, according to the specific needs of each local authority and in-service training both in short and long-term and in-house training is necessary to ensure that staff is adequately trained, have to up-to-date competencies for providing quality services and are prepared for career progression and succession.


(e)     Staff and Skills Audit


Madam Chairperson, the commission will continue with the staff and skills audit exercise to cover all management and key staff of local authorities. This will ensure that the right people with the right qualifications are placed in the right jobs to enhance service delivery.


          (f) Monitoring and Evaluation


The commission will strengthen its monitoring and evaluation (M&E) role of the human resource management function to ensure efficient and effective operations of local authorities. The continuous monitoring and evaluation exercise will provide the commission with information to institute appropriate strategies and measures to address identified gaps and weaknesses.


Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, it goes without argument that human resource is the most important single factor of production. Therefore, the role of the commission vis-a-vis the efficient and effective functioning of the local authorities cannot be over emphasised in as far as human resource management is concerned.


Madam, the Local Government Service is as a result of decentralisation, which is now by far the largest commission, hence critical to the successful implementation of the decentralised governance system. In this regard, the commission will continue to relentlessly support and strengthen the local authorities in delivering quality services to the people, through the provision of disciplined qualified, competent and skilled professional staff. I, therefore, wish to implore hon. Members of this august House to support the Local Government Service Commission 2018 Budget. This will enable the commission to address the human resource challenges in our local authorities, hence contribute positively to the successful implementation of the Decentralisation Policy and the delivery of quality services to all the people in all the constituencies across the breadth and length of our beautiful country, Zambia.


I thank you, Madam, Chairperson.


Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Madam Chairperson, I am most grateful for the opportunity to debate the Vote on the Floor of the House.


The Chief Whip interjected.


The Chairperson: Order!


Can we have some order, Chief Whip.


You may continue, hon. Member.


Mr Belemu: In the first instance, I am made to believe that if it is true that one fire tender was bought at US$1 million, then, allow me to offer my sympathies to all employees of the Local Government Service Commission on the Copperbelt for the mishap.


Madam, I was employed in the local Government sector in early 2000 when I was relatively young. At that particular time, our arguments were that the human resource personnel that we had in the local government was a bit comprised because it allowed each council to employ its own staff. Our arguments, then, were that probably councillors were not competent people to work in the local authorities or councils.


Madam, I was one of the early advocates for the creation of a centralised system or a commission that would employ and manage human resource of local authorities because we understood the discrepancies and weaknesses that the system then had. Upon refreshing now and when I look at the performance of the Local Government Service Commission, I have arrived at a conclusion that we were wrong that the system that existed then, was weaker vis-a-vis to what is obtaining right now.


Madam Chairperson, since the creation of the Local Government Service Commission, we seem to have created a dragon or a monster that is continuously demanding for eggs from us and the public which, unfortunately, we are not able to produce. What is the basis of my argument?


Madam, firstly, as of today, the Local Government Service Commission has become a hindrance as opposed to be a facilitator that would give credibility, enhance the capacity and the levels of performance in the local government sector. The number of flaws that we have seen since the creation of the commission in terms of human resources currently cannot be compared to what was there or obtaining before in terms of employment levels, capacity of human resource, disciplinary levels or the performance or councils.


Madam Chairperson, as things stand today, the Local Government Commission is responsible for the over employment in the local government. At that particular time, we were grappling with levels of sustainability with the local Government authorities. Currently, we are grappling with the over employment, which was inherited from the United National Independence Party (UNIP) era. Therefore, we need to find a solution to enable the local government to sustain itself.


Madam Chairperson, presently, there is no single council in this Republic that can sustain itself on count of the various employment levels and transfers that the Local Government Service Commission has instituted in the local government.


Madam, for instance, from 2011 when I became area Member of Parliament, my local council in Choma District …


The Chairperson: Order! 


(Debate adjourned)






[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


(Progress reported)




The House adjourned at 1958 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 15th November, 2017.