Friday, 2nd March, 2018

Printer Friendly and PDF

Friday, 2nd March, 2018


The House met at 0900 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]










Mr Speaker: I wish to inform the House that the Executive-Director of the United Nations Programme (UNP) on HIV/AID or (UNAIDS), Mr Michel Sidebe will address hon. Members of Parliament on the Integrated Health Situation Room, a programme that the Zambian Government is currently implementing.


The address will take place on Wednesday, 7th March, 2018. It will start at 1000 hours in the amphitheatre, here at Parliament Buildings. All hon. Members are requested to attend this very important engagement.






The Vice-President (Mrs. Wina): Mr Speaker I rise to give the House an indication of the business it will consider next week.


Sir, on Tuesday, 6th March, 2018, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any.


On Wednesday, 7th March, 2018, the Business of the House will start with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by consideration of Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will deal with presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, the House will consider the Second Readings Stage of the following Bills:


  1. the Rent (Amendment) Bill, No. 1, 2018;


  1. the Subordinate Courts (Amendment ) Bill, No. 2, 2018; and


  1. the Judiciary Administration (Amendment) Bill, No. 3, 2018.


Then, the House will consider the Committee stage of the Public Finance Management Bill, 2017.


Sir, on Friday, 9th March, 2018, the Business of the House will start with the Vice-President’s Question Time. This will be followed by Questions, if there will be any. The House will then deal with presentation of the Government Bills, if there will be any.


I thank you, Sir.







Mr Mutaba (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from Her Honour the Vice-President what the Government’s positions this year are with regards to the two main roads connecting the Western Province? These roads are along; Livingstone/Sesheke, between Kazungula and Mwandi, Lusaka/Mongu, between Kehema and Lutunda.




Mr Speaker: Order!


Let us have some order. The system can only accommodate so much at a time.




The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the two roads in question are very strategic roads.  The Government realises that in order for the Western Province to be connected to the rest of Zambia, as well as outside boundaries through Botswana, the Government has allocated funds for the Livingstone/Sesheke Road and the contractor is already on site. The repair works for the Lusaka/Mongu Road is being considered at the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development. I am positive that the repair works will be undertaken soon before the actual major works are done on the road.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, as a matter of urgency, I would like to find out …




Mr Speaker: Order!


There are too many conversations going on.


Mr Jere: Mr Speaker, as a matter of urgency, I would like to find out from Her Honour the Vice-President when the two bridges, the Libuyu and Sakubita will be constructed. We almost lost a life this morning. I would like to thank the firefighters who …


Mr Speaker: Order!




The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Road Development Agency (RDA) has already sent some engineers to assess the amount of work that needs to be carried out on those two bridges. Hence, it is work in progress.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, in the most recent times, there has been a lot of statements made by the President Edgar Lungu. These have caused a lot of discomfort and consternation in the country. The latest statement made was that the Government is going to exclude tribe, which is a distinct feature of a social grouping, from the National Registration Card (NRC). Knowing very well that tribes are what makes a nation, what does the Vice-President think was going on in the President’s mind when he made this obnoxious statement?




Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Mazabuka Central, maybe help me appreciate the meaning of the word ‘obnoxious’.


Mr Nkombo: Sir, I can do that very clearly because I am a teacher of English and it means very unpleasant.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I think we should take into context where this statement was given. If I remember correctly, the statement was made by the Head of State after visiting the genocide museum in Kigali, Rwanda. Anybody who has visited that museum will never come out the same after seeing the atrocities …




Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Members, can we have silence. We have an option of either continuing with this session or moving on to the next segment. I can do that because it is within my discretion. I can even suspend the proceedings. You should all study the Standing Orders and find out.




Mr Speaker: Let us have some order.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I am amazed at the lack of empathy among some of the hon. Members of Parliament. Genocide is not a laughable matter. What is in that museum in Kigali is beyond the understanding of most of us who feel so touched by losing human life. If this is a laughing matter to others, well, it is their so-called democratic right. They can laugh.


Hon. Government Members: Shame!


The Vice-President: That statement was made by the President after visiting that museum. What is on the display in that museum will make every person who visits it to be moved in real disgust as to what human beings are capable of doing to others. What happened in Rwanda during the 1950s and 1960s was discrimination based on tribe. The colonial masters were telling one tribe to rise against the other. They would make houses and give information on who lived there and their tribe. People were categorised according to their tribe, even in an urban setting. This led to one tribe resenting the other. It came to a situation whereby families were so divided and killing one another. This was because family members were said to have married from the wrong tribe.


Sir, this is the context in which that statement was made. The Head of State is free to make statements of this type. As a result, our nation can debate and reflect on issues of tribe and what happens to a nation when tribe is raised above everything else. I do not see anything wrong in such a pronouncement or statement made by His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, in Kigali, Rwanda after visiting that hollow museum.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mulunda (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, Siavonga now has a population of more than 40,000 people. We have seen the construction of modern hospitals around the country in other districts. The existing hospital in Siavonga was constructed in the early 1970s to cater for a very small population. When will the Government construct a modern hospital in Siavonga District like it has done in the neighbouring districts?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I think it has been explained in the House before that the new districts are being equipped with new hospitals. The reason why the districts were created was because of the distances that people in these areas covered to come to the nearest health centre. That is why, the Government through the Ministry of Health started with construction of district hospitals in all the new districts, but there is also a programme on rehabilitating the old district hospitals so that they attain better status. Siavonga Hospital will not be forgotten in the expansion and rehabilitation of these district hospitals.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, one of the responsibilities of the office of Her Honour the Vice-President of the Republic of Zambia is to oversee the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU). I heard the Vice-President some time back saying that her office was carrying out some statistical analysis on the blown away roofs in schools before taking action. However, what has her office been doing all these years? For instance, the roofs of Kafweku, Chinyaugi and Nyakasiya Schools in Ikeleng’i were blown away three years ago. We have followed the right procedures and informed the Vice-President’s office about this, but nothing has been done. When will the DMMU be present in these places for us to benefit from its budget?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member can inform his electorates that we will be there when funds are made available to the DMMU.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabamba (Kafulafuta): Mr Speaker, the Kapalala Market in Kafulafuta serves many farmers in my constituency. When will the reconstruction of this market commence?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Kapalala Market is one of the three markets that are earmarked for construction. Through our interactions with mining companies, we have gained support from two companies to reconstruct some markets. They will construct a market at Chisokone in Kitwe, a market at Kapalala in Ndola and Soweto Market here in Lusaka. We were waiting on architectural designs. These designs have been received and work on these markets will start as soon as possible.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, Chinese influence is growing in Africa. The majority of projects being done in our country are done by the Chinese people. It is not disputed that African countries are getting loans from China. Does the Government have plans of teaching the Chinese Language in our schools as a way of increasing our interaction with the Chinese investors?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I think hon. Members can recall that in December, 2015, the President of China met all African leaders in the town of Johannesburg in South Africa. The aim of the meeting was to discuss the Chinese investment in Africa and grants that the Chinese Government was going to give to the African countries. Zambia took advantage of this offer and engaged the Chinese Government in investment ventures.


On the prevalence of the Chinese nationals in the African countries, including Zambia, yes, we do acknowledge that the Chinese are prevalent in Africa. However, they are in our countries for business. We have stopped some of the Chinese nationals who were entering our markets, for example, to sell products that Zambians can produce or sell.


As for the language, Zambia is open to learning new languages from other countries for the purposes of interacting with other countries. For example, I would like to see French and Portuguese taught more in schools so that our children can interact with people in other countries. For example, for a Zambian to get a job in the United Nations (UN) they need to have a second language; it can be Chinese, Arabic, French or Portuguese. It is important for the Zambian children to learn other languages including Chinese.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Mwanshingwele (Katuba): Mr Speaker, yesterday, on the Floor of the House, the hon. Minister of Higher Education gave a ministerial statement on the nuclear plant to be built in the country. I expected that statement to come from the hon. Minister of Energy. Why is the Patriotic Front (PF) Government choosing more difficult and toxic options of getting power before fully exploiting hydro-power, biogas and solar power?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, if the hon. Member had listened carefully to the statement delivered to the House by the hon. Minister of Higher Education, she could have picked one or two lessons. The hon. Minister of Higher Education did not talk about building a nuclear reactor or plant. However, she talked about building a centre for research in the nuclear energy for peaceful purposes including the medical and educational purposes. The question does not really address the issue at hand because the nuclear plant, the hon. Member talked about is not being constructed in Zambia.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kintu (Solwezi East): Mr Speaker, the PF has decided that the printing of ballot papers for future elections in Zambia will be done within the country without consulting stakeholders, especially political parties. Who is supposed to announce the printing of ballot papers? Is it a political party like the PF or the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ)?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I think it is high time our colleagues accepted that there is a President in this country ...


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: ... and the President can make statements on issues regarding the governance of this country.


The Government Printers has to be revitalised to enable it to be in a position to bid for the tender to print election materials. The ECZ, at the right time will announce as to who will print the ballot papers after the Government Printers has bid with others to clinch that deal. If the Government Printers will win the bid to print the ballot papers in Zambia, it will do so. We know that by having the ballot papers printed in Zambia, we shall save a lot of money. For those political parties that want to travel to Dubai for shopping, I think their days are numbered ...


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: ... because the printing of ballot papers will be done in the country.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Phiri (Mkaika): Mr Speaker, in Katete and Mkaika, there are some farmers who still have electronic voucher (e-Voucher) cards that have not been loaded with money. When will these cards be loaded with money?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I would have thought that all the farmers who paid their K400 to the banks would have had their e-Voucher cards activated by now. If this is not the case in Katete and Mkaika, the Ministry of Agriculture will look into this matter. We will ensure that officers from the ministry go to Katete and Mkaika to verify these reports so that banks can be engaged to see what can be done.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Mr Speaker, the annual fish ban is usually affected from December to February. The people of Lealui, Mitete, Lukulu and Liuwa in the Western Province are now being told that the annual fish ban has been extended with immediate effect from 1st March, 2018. Could Her Honour the Vice-President categorically state how long the fish ban will last so that I can tell the people in my constituency when exactly they should start fishing and enjoying the fish.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, it is true that the annual fish ban was extended from January to February, 2018, mainly to stop the cholera outbreak. This is because a team that visited Shibuyunji on the Kafue Flats found that a fisherman had died from the outbreak of cholera. Cholera was detected not only in this particular camp, but in other camps, such as; Luapula and Kabwe Flats. Therefore, it was prudent for the Government to take measures to halt the fishing process in these waters, for this period. Since this is a ban which covers the whole country, I would wish to invite the hon. Members of Parliament to convey this message to their electorate so that they understand why the Government had to take this measure to prevent them from contracting cholera. This is a very important matter, we have to save lives and the Government has to take measures to do so.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, it is common knowledge that the Government’s pronouncement of all the contracts awarded to foreign contractors, 20 per cent will be sub-contracted. The indigenous Zambian contractors is not being followed or implemented by these foreign contractors. The contractors are saying this is because the pronouncement has no legal backing. When is the Government going to bring a Bill to this House so that the progressive pronouncement can be made law and thereby help the Government achieve the much needed skills transfer as well as put more money in the pockets of the indigenous Zambian contractors?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, indeed, the Government wants to see the Zambians benefit from these contracts. Additionally, we want Zambian contractors to benefit from these contracts by gaining skills through working with big contracting companies. To this extent, the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development has prepared a Cabinet Memorandum which will be considered by the Cabinet. We are also looking at amending certain pieces of legislation in the National Construction Act to ensure that this becomes law. Not only that, we also want to increase the percentage of works to be sub-contracted to Zambian contractors to perhaps 30 per cent instead of 20 per cent. That way, our Zambian contractors will be empowered as well.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Jamba (Mwembeshi): Mr Speaker, the issue of boundaries for chiefdoms belonging to Chief Shakumbila and Chieftainess Nkomeshya has been a thorny one with people from the two chiefdoms fighting each other. When is the Government going to resolve the boundary dispute between the two chiefdoms?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the chiefdom boundaries are still based on the 1958 maps of Zambia. However, we have had a number of conflicts, ...


Dr Kambwili interjected.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Roan Parliamentary Constituency, could you please stop your running commentaries.


Dr Kambwili rose.


Hon. Government Members: resume your seat.


Mr Speaker: Her Honour the Vice-President, you may continue.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I was saying that the boundary disputes have come to the knowledge of the Government, and as such, the 1958 maps of Zambia are currently being looked at. The latest is that the new boundary maps will be presented to the House of Chiefs for scrutiny and interrogation before the Government can finalise the new boundaries. Therefore, the issue of the boundary dispute between Chief Shakumbila and Chieftainess Nkomeshya is not the only one. There are many such disputes across the country. That is why the Government is taking action.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Dr Chanda (Bwana Mkubwa): Mr Speaker, I have lived and worked in Rwanda and, I understand and agree with the sentiments of the President when he visited the memorial site in Rwanda. However, we have seen a trend in Zambia where people are openly promoting hate speech; be it on social media, in newspapers or political forum. Does the Government intend to bring criminal laws which criminalise hate speech?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, it is these hate speeches that push countries to war and cause conflicts. I hope it will not be too long before this country comes up with laws that address issues of hate speeches and a certain type of language that is used, especially, in the public arena. That way, the people of this country will go back to the ethics and morality that should prevail in the country.


Mr Speaker, I have said this before political players should guard their language because the public out there, particularly the young generation take heed and emulate what the politicians are saying and doing. The youth observe what we do as adults and will assume that they have to insult, castigate and do all sorts of bad things to others so they can make it in politics and be reported on every day. This will not help the country and I hope a law will be put in place to stop this.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, going by the drought which was experienced by almost half of the country. Is Her Honour the Vice-President in a position to tell the nation how the PF Government is going to feed the people of Zambia from May this year until the next harvest in 2018/2019 season?


Mr Speaker: Her Honour the Vice-President, you can respond to the unusually sober question.




The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, ...




Mr Speaker: Order!


The Vice-President: ... rapid assessment is being carried out starting this month by the Ministry of Agriculture’s statistics office and the DMMU to ascertain the impact of climate change and other hazards on the food security of the country. However, it will take a few months to go around the country to sample the crops in the fields and the crops that have been harvested. This is ongoing and we can only give results around May. For now, we have adequate stocks of maize, up to 600,000 metric tonnes, that can feed this country for a number of months before we harvest new crops.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kamondo (Mufumbwe): Mr Speaker, senior citizens in Mufumbwe who retired some years back sent me to speak on their behalf and find out whether the Government has plans to increase the monthly pension salaries that they get so that we can close the gap with those that retired recently.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I think the pension allowances have never remained constant. This is a matter that is being handled by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security as well as the Ministry of Finance. The House will be informed if some changes take place.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Chibanda (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, of late, this country has witnessed a huge increase in the gender based violence (GBV) to an extent where couples are killing each other. Within the last prison sensitivity week, we were told that the highest numbers of inmates in our prisons are there as a result of the GBV. Does the Government intend to revisit the law ...


Mr Ngulube: Eh ma presidential suit aya!


Dr Chibanda: ... and apply the death penalty in extreme to the GBV cases to deter the crime?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the world is moving away from capital punishment and the cases of the extreme GBV only attract long sentences and not death sentences, unless the GBV case resulted in death. Secondly, issues to do the GBV are rarely issues that address our moral standards as a nation in terms of how we treat each other as men and women, couples and parents. Until our country starts to adhere to moral standards, we will continue to experience the GBV. The death sentence is not applicable in the GBV cases as I indicated earlier. The Government has, at the moment, followed the law when it applies to the extreme GBV cases.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, when Baluba Underground Mine was closed, a team of five hon. Ministers was sent to go and engage the owners of the mine and I happened to be one of them. We had a meeting with the ex-miners in Her Honour the Vice-President’s office here at Parliament where both the mines and Her Honour the Vice-President assured the miners who were sent on forced leave that they would be recalled once the mined reopened. Today the mine is about to open and the Chinese have engaged a contractor under the outsourcing mode and have refused to engage the miners who were sent on forced leave. They have advertised and are employing people most of whom are coming from outside Luanshya.


Sir, what is the Government doing, taking into account that they promised they would re-engage these miners? What have the people of Luanshya done? Mopani Mine picked the same miners who they had retrenched once they reopened. What is being done about the suffering miners in Luanshya?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, this issue of ex-miners at Baluba Mine was tackled adequately by a team of ministers that visited Luanshya recently. Some of the ex-miners have not been taken back into employment because they had resigned from the mine. This is a new case that needs further negotiation, but I am told that the hon. Ministers who visited Luanshya Mine had engaged the mining company to consider the reinstatement of these miners who had actually resigned and were given their separation packages.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, the people of Manyinga are worried now because most of the projects in this newly created district have stalled. When Her Honour the Vice-President visited this district, she promised the people that the Government will undertake three major projects. One of the three projects consumed the construction of a modern police station. However, a few days later the contractor abandoned the project with less than 10 per cent works done. With the Presidential pronouncement that only those projects that have 75 per cent and above work done will be completed. Your Honour, Madam Vice-President, your brother Senior Chief Sikufele of Manyinga and Kabompo is asking, will this project resume?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, Manyinga is one of the newly created districts and the Government has made a commitment to build infrastructure in those new districts up to a certain standard. The President has indicated that those buildings that have reached 70 per cent completion point should be completed as phase one. Then we will go backwards to look at the buildings that are at slab level and at different levels of construction. These will be worked on as well. Manyinga is no exception. There are quite a number of infrastructures that are uncompleted in many districts, new districts in particular. The police station and perhaps the Post Office, the District Commissioners Office and Civic Centre will be considered in the next phase. The projects that are at 70, 80 and 90 per cent will be done immediately.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mukumbuta (Senanga): Mr Speaker, one of the Opposition leaders in this country has given President Edgar Chagwa Lungu a period in which to intervene on what could be termed as unacceptable and intolerable dealings by the Top Star. This came as a result of the marriage between the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) and Star Times of China. Among other issues, is the issue of the Migration Policy which is not being followed ...


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Mr Mukumbuta: What is the Government doing? Is the Government considering calling for a stakeholders meeting especially among media houses and Top Star?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the issue that the hon. Member of Parliament for Senanga is raising may need to be looked at further to ensure that the concerns raised are addressed.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kampyongo: Hear, hear!








The Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Mr Sichalwe): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for according me this opportunity to make a Ministerial Statement on the construction of chiefs’ palaces in the country.


Mr Speaker, in 2012, the late President Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, may his soul rest in peace, made a pronouncement that the Government will construct palaces for chiefs. This pronouncement was made due to the fact that some chiefs live in dilapidated structures that do not befit their status as rulers. In this regard, the construction of palaces was thus, aimed at enhancing governance at local level through improved living standards of tradition leaders. Annexed to these palaces structures and museums which will act as depositories for each chiefdom’s historical and traditional legacy.


Mr Speaker, following this pronouncement, my ministry engaged the then Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications to come up with architectural designs of chiefs’ palaces. The designs were presented to the members of the House of Chiefs and approval was given for two designs as follows:


         (a)        high cost for four paramount chiefs; and


         (b)        medium cost for 284 senior and ordinary chiefs.


Sir, hon. Members of this august House may wish to know that the House of Chiefs chose one type of palace for senior and ordinary chiefs because there is historical background as to why some tribes have no senior chief.


Mr Speaker, allow me to also inform this august House that the initial procurement method for the construction of chiefs palaces was labour based where a 30 per cent contribution from the local community was agreed upon, through the provision of river and building sand, crushed stones and water. The idea of implementing labour based projects was to allow the participation of subjects for their respective chiefs and it was envisaged that by doing so the communities were going to own these projects. Accordingly, the sensitisation campaigns were undertaken in all the areas where these projects were going to be implemented. The purpose of sensitisation was to inform the communities and to effectively involve them in the implementation process. However, the community mode of construction did not work as was expected because most communities did not co-operate. This was coupled with the delayed release of budgeted funds which derailed the timely completion of phase one.


Mr Speaker, to this effect, the ministry has since decided to change the project mode of construction from labour based to full contract and has equally written to the Ministry of Finance for timely release of the budgeted funds.


Mrs Fundanga: Hear, hear!


Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, this august House may further wish to know that, the construction of palaces in the country is being implemented in phases. In the first and current phase, the Government is constructing three palaces per province. The first phase has thirty palaces under construction and these are at different stages of completion.


The following is the status of the construction of the thirty palaces:


Province                   Chiefdom                                Current Status of Palace


North Western          Kalilele                                     Roof level

                                 Ikelenge                                   Slab level which is not complete

                                 Kucheka                                  At costing level to consider full contract


Southern                    Choongo                                  Completed in 2016 and it was commissioned

                                                                                 by the President on 7th July, 2016.

                                    Chona                                      Complete but what is remaining is power

                                                                                    and water connection.

                                 Mweenda                                 Roof level.


Northern                   Shimumbi                                 Roofed and plastered, window and

                                                                                 doorframes fitted, 60 per cent supper

                                                                                 structure done.

                                 Chungu                                     Roofed and plastered, windows and

                                                                                 doorframes fitted.

                                 Mumpolokoso                          Not yet commenced as it is pending

                                                                                 resolution of issues in the community.


Muchinga                  Kopa                                       Roof level.

                                 Katyetye                                  Roofed, interior plastering underway.

                                 Kambombo                              Roofed, Interior painting underway.


Eastern                      Mpezeni                                   Completed.

                                 Nyanje                                     Wall plate level, now procuring roofing


                                 Gawa Undi                               Site not yet availed.


Central                      Moono                                     Wall plate level.

                                 Serenje                                     Wall plate level.

                                 Mukuni                                     Wall plate level.


Copperbelt                Shimukunami                            Wall plate level.

                                 Mwinuna                                  Slab level and full contracts have been

                                                                                 signed and materials have taken to the site.

                                 Kambo                                     Timber frame has put awaiting roofing.


Lusaka                      Nkomeshya                              Awaiting connection of electricity; 90 per

                                                                                 cent works done.

                                 Mphanshya                               Almost complete. Fittings and painting are

                                                                                 yet to be done.

                                 Shikabeta                                 Roofed.


Western                    Imwiko                                     Roofed, 70 per cent of work is done.

                                 Kahare                                     Roofed, windows fixed and plastered. Paint

                                                                                 procured and 90 per cent work of work is


                                 Kandala                                   Roof level.


Luapula                     Munkata                                   Main house, office/museum and queen’s

                                                                                 quarter at wall plate level.

                                 Kanyembo                               Main house at wall plate level.

                                 Mununga                                  Main house at wall plate level.


Mr Speaker, the plans to construct other palaces will be implemented in the subsequent phases after the completion of the current phase.


Sir, I therefore, wish to conclude by assuring this August House that the Government, through my ministry remains committed to improving the welfare of their royal highnesses in all the chiefdoms.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement given by the hon. Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs.


Mr P. Phiri (Mkaika): Mr Speaker, I have heard that in the Eastern Province, three palaces have to be constructed. The palace for Chief Mpezeni is complete and the other one for Chief Nyanje is at roof level. As for my chief, the Paramount Chief Kalonga Gawa Undi, the site where the palace is supposed to be constructed is not yet available. Who is supposed to avail this land? It is the chief who has delayed to avail this land or it is the Government? I was thinking that this was supposed to be ready because two years ago, the hon. Minister said in this August House that all the materials for chiefs’ palaces were procured. I am worried that nothing has commenced yet.


Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, indeed, the chief is supposed to provide the Government with a preferred site where the palace can be constructed. In the case of Paramount Chief Kalonga Gawa Undi, the Government has not yet been provided with a site where the palace can be built. I believe that the royal establishments still have issues, which they are still trying to resolve.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, if I heard the hon. Minister correctly, he said that Chieftainess Ikeleng’i’s palace is at slab level. How sure is he? From what I know, it is on foundation level and not a slab level. I know that there was a contractor who ran away from those works. When is another contractor going to be on site to complete the house for the Chieftainess?


Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, Chieftainess Ikeleng’i, a contractor has been procured. This company is known as Rads Engineering and General Supply Limited. We are currently awaiting advance payment to take occupation of site.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kamondo (Mufumbwe): Mr Speaker, I am somehow, disappointed by the hon. Minister’s Ministerial Statement. My findings are that in the North Western Province, very little progress has been made with regards to construction of palaces. What could have caused this?  


Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, I did hint in my statement that the initial mode that we commenced with was labour-based. Most of the communities were not responsive towards the 30 per cent contribution. That could have delayed the commencement of the project.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, under Phase 1, we still have palaces that are still at slab level and land has not been found for other palaces. I get worried because this Government has embarked on Phase 1 at a given point. They need to phase-out of the first Phase in order to start with Phase 2. With the current arrangements, when is Phase 1 going to be completed for the Government to go into Phase 2 and build a palace for Chief Simwatachela?


Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, going forward, with the new mode of construction that the ministry has adopted of full contract, we expect to expedite the completion of Phase 1. We have already written to the Ministry of Finance requesting for payments of the Bill of Quantities (BOQ) that we procured from all the provincial administrations for all the palaces at their current levels. We had written to each and every provincial administration demanding that they give us the BOQ to effect the completion of the palaces from where they are standing. The hon. Member may recall that the budget allocation was increased to K18 million. When the Ministry of Finance gives us the funds that we requested for, we should complete Phase 1 within the course of this year.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, in 2013, some money was put aside from the Liuwa Constituency Development Fund (CDF) for the construction of a palace for Chieftainess Mbwanjikana of Kalabo. The then hon. Minister advised us not to use the CDF because there was money allocated in the Budget for the construction of that palace. We are in 2018 and nothing has happened. In view of the promise that was made by the hon. Minister’s predecessor, who at the time was Prof. Nkandu Luo, would the ministry consider making a special budgetary allocation for the construction of the palace given the delay and commitment that was made?


Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, as I alluded to, the project is being done in phases. In the current phase, we will construct palaces for Chiefs’ Kahare, Kandala and Imwiko. It is the Government’s policy not to start any other projects before completing the old ones. However, if the mentioned chieftainess’ palace is in a deplorable state and would require renovations, we may consider it.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Ms Kucheka (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that His Royal Highness Chief Kucheka is homeless because his house was gutted by fire? How soon is the Government going to complete his house?


Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, I am not aware that Chief Kucheka is homeless. However, I am aware that the Government will consider constructing Chief Kucheka’s Palace. The contractor, Bred Tech Commercial Services, has since been procured and is currently waiting for an advance payment as we await for the funding from the Ministry of Finance. Going forward, a Task Force was constituted to look at the completion of stalled projects and the ministry has lodged in a claim of K2.9 million on Interim Payment Certificates (IPC). As soon as we are paid, I am sure the contractor will go on site. As I alluded to, the Government is really concerned about the welfare of chiefs and it is matter of urgency that we would have to complete Phase I so that we move on to other phases.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mukumbuta (Senanga): Mr Speaker, there is an interesting scenario in Chief Matevo’s Chiefdom in the North-Western Province. There are currently two palaces. One has the main poster while the other one has a flag. Where is the Government going to build a new palace considering that there are two palaces and there is infighting between two people in the Chief Matevo’s Chiefdom?


Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, those are succession wrangles, and as the Government, we will not be involved. They will be sorted out by the Royal Establishment. Thereafter, they will give us a site where they want the palace to be constructed. Going forward, Chief Matevo’s issue is still in court and not until court issues have been disposed off, can we proceed.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, the chiefs whose palaces the Government is building preside over tribes which it is agitating to abolish. In future, when succession takes place, new chiefs may prefer to go and live away from palaces that exist. This may be because of the obvious being there is witchcraft and, in fact, most chiefs do not prefer to succeed and live in the same houses of their predecessors. Going forward, how does the Government hope to make sure that palaces become institutional houses rather than them belonging to substantive chiefs at a given time?


Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, I wish to refer the hon. Member to Article 165 of the Constitution, which he gladly participated in enacting, and it says that a chieftainess shall exist in perpetuity. Going forward, palaces are institutional houses. This is the more reason in my statement I mentioned that the designs of the palaces were submitted to the House of Chiefs, who approved them. Therefore, I guess they considered the aspects that have been brought out by the hon. Member.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Kintu (Solwezi East): Mr Speaker, Senior Chief Kalilele’s Palace has stalled for a long time now and is at the level that the hon. Minister mentioned. Will the Government put up water-borne toilets and, of course, water reticulation in that house?


Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, a contractor for Chief Kalilele’s palace has been procured and he is the WKP Enterprises Limited. At the moment, he is also awaiting the advance payment to move on site. In some of the palaces where there are facilities to connect water supply, they will be connected, but where there will be no water line, boreholes will be supplied to them.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, if I quoted the hon. Minister correctly, he said that the Government cannot construct Chiefs’ palaces throughout the country, which is why he came up with that selective method. There are some Chiefs’ houses at the moment that are almost collapsing, what short measure has the ministry put in place to ensure that the collapsing palaces are protected?


Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, on a point of correction, I do not remember saying that the Government could not construct all the palaces. What I said was that the Government is going to construct all the 288 palaces for the Chiefs, but in a phased manner. Those Chiefs whose palaces are inhabitable, but repairable, we will consider rehabilitating them.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Chisangano (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, what is the total amount of money that is required to complete the construction of these unfinished palaces in phase 1?


Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, what we have budgeted for according to the BOQ that we received from the provincial administrations is K7, 031,000.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has mentioned the palace of Chief Moono and I am reliably informed that the contractor to complete the second phase moved on site two weeks ago. May I find out when these works are likely to be completed?


Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, we have included in our claims from the Ministry of Finance Chief Moono’s palace, so really, it will depend on how quickly she will also move. However, the hon. Member can also take interest being a subject, to follow up the JBD Green Tech Zambia Limited. Whenever he has a challenge, we will come in and help. However, we have incorporated all these claims in the claim that we have submitted to the Ministry of Finance. As I said earlier, we are anticipating to completing this phase within the course of this year.


Thank you, Sir.


Mr A. B. Malama (Nchelenge): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for that statement especially that he was spot-on, on Chieftainess Kanyembo’s palace which is at wall plate. Could he kindly inform the House which contractor is in the new contracting phase you have entered? Who will deal with Chieftainess Kanyembo’s palace and when do we expect him on site?


Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, the contractor for Chieftainess Kanyembo is Munick Investments Limited. He should be coming on site as soon as we have paid him the advance.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, I have been compelled to ask this question following the information supplied by the hon. Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs in respect to the construction of the palace for our Royal Highness Senior Ang’anga Imwiko in Lukulu. I would like to find out from him when his ministry is going to expedite these works and specifically when they will complete this construction to enable our Senior Chief live in an environment and atmosphere that befits his noble status?


Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, Chief Imwiko’s palace stands at 70 per cent works done. It is also amongst the IPCs of K2.9 million that we have lodged as a claim to Ministry of Finance for us to expedite completion of these projects that had seemingly stalled. As soon as the first payment is made, we will certainly go to 100 per cent completion.








206. Mrs Mwansa (Nyimba) asked the Minister of Energy:


  1. whether the Government had any plans to electrify all the Chiefs’ palaces in Nyimba District;


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


  1. if there were no such plans, why.


The Minister of Energy (Mr Nkhuwa): Mr Speaker, the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) has plans to electrify all Chiefs’ palaces in Nyimba District. Hence, all Chiefs’ palaces in Nyimba District would be electrified once funds are made available.


The REA has plans to electrify all Chiefs’ palaces in Nyimba District. The feasibility study of the following Chiefs’ palaces and their surrounding areas was conducted in 2017.


  1. Chief Ndake’s Palace;


  1. Chief Nyalugwe’s Palace;


  1. Chief Mwape’s Palace; and


  1. Chief Luembe’s Palace.


Sir, the estimated cost of electrifying the scope of the mentioned Chiefs’ palaces and their surrounding areas in Nyimba District was estimated at K32, 800,000.00.


The implementation of the actual electrification of the above mentioned Chiefs’ palaces will depend on the availability of funds.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mrs Mwansa: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that this year, 2018, early in January, I saw about five contractors doing survey works in Chief Luembe’s Chiefdom? After that, I have not seen anyone coming. What is the way forward and what was the purpose of that survey by the REA?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, the purpose of the visit was obviously to ascertain the scope of work so that the works could be conducted. We intend to conduct these works this year once we get the funds from Ministry of Finance.


Thank you, Sir.


Mr Sampa (Kasama Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether there is a deliberate policy to roll out in the quest to electrifying all chiefs’ palaces throughout the country.


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, yes, there is a deliberate policy to make sure that we electrify all chiefs’ palaces in the country as we electrify the schools and all the Government properties around.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.








(Debate resumed)


Mrs Fundanga (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, before the House adjourned yesterday, I was saying that my departure point on this issue was to thank the Committee of Health, Community Development and Social Services and their deliberation on the report, which they submitted to this House. However, we have reservations and as I support the Bill, I would like to point out certain things. Unfortunately, I must echo the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security is not in the House because she should have testified that I was working as a United Nations (UN) co-ordinator for the Global Compact, I approached all relevant institutions in terms of supporting insurance for workers.


Sir, this is not something that we should not even argue about. Of course, I respect the view of those who are saying it should have been widely consulted, but I want to say that in our country as I ask all the hon. Ministers and hon. Members of Parliament …




Mrs Fundanga: No! the Hon. Ministers and the hon. Members of Parliament, how many consultations are we going to have before we can pass any Bill?


Dr Kambwili: Question!


Mrs Fundanga: Sir, what we have seen in this country is that most of the Bills are politicised. Please, on the one hand, I would like to beg my colleagues, especially mothers to be passionate and look at things from a motherly perspective.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Fundanga: Sir, my sister on the other hand was talking about a labour office, which is like a pantry, I almost bled. Although I placed the button, I was not given the chance to show my support. Unfortunately, everybody was in support but I was not given the chance to enable me to demonstrate my support.


Mr Speaker, this is the only country, which has not yet implemented this law. I want to talk about one important issue, which is the access to health insurance. This is one of the common norm. I beg all hon. Members not to let the international organisations run our country. I was with them for thirty years and can testify that I have worked for the UN for thirty years.


Mr Speaker, first and foremost, they sent me to school, …




Mrs Fundanga: Secondly, I want to tell my colleagues that …   




Mr Speaker: Order!


Resume your seat


Mrs Fundanga: Okay, thank you very much.




Mr Speaker: Order!


Let us have some order. One of the conventions of the House is not to debate oneself. Do not debate yourself. Debate the Bill.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Fundanga: Mr Speaker, let me not get carried away, what I am trying to say is that people were echoing the theories of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Maybe, this is what drove me to come to that. I would like to tell my colleagues that WHO and the ILO are cardinals in this subject. It is for this reason that at the beginning of my debate, I mentioned that it is a pity the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security is not in the House because I was one person who drove this initiative.


Sir, the point I am trying to make on this issue as I beg hon. Members to understand how good it is and how it will serve our country is first and foremost that if one went to employers, there is no employer who will agree to go for the insurance scheme for workers because most employers are maximisers and all they want is profit. There is no way that they will support us on this issue. As a result, we are going to remain as Zambians. It does not matter who is in power, but as Zambians, we are going to let our people down.


Sir, just across the road, Zimbabwe to be specific, that country has a good policy for workers. It is in records. I lost my maid who had a policy.  I was so worried because I not aware of her policy at the time of her death. The problem we have in Zambia is that we are failing to understand that we are going to help the Zambians by 100 per cent as opposed to the 16 per cent that we currently have. If we go for this scheme, many Zambians are going to benefit.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Fundanga: Unless you do not like Zambians, you will not support this Bill. Let me stress that the people who are opposing this scheme, do not like Zambians.


 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Fundanga: Sir, if my colleagues like Zambia and the people, they are going to support this Bill …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Fundanga: … because this Bill is for the Zambian People.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Fundanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to urge my colleagues to stop comparing the situation in this country with the United States of America (USA), we can reference our neighbouring countries like Zimbabwe.


Sir, I lost my maid, but she had health insurance. I was worried. I did not know that she had insured her life. What I am trying to say is that my colleagues should support this Bill.




Mr Speaker: Order!


Mrs Fundanga: Most people in Zambia are saying that we are …


Mr Speaker: Just pose for a moment, hon. Member for Chilubi.


Let us give the hon. Member for Chilubi an opportunity to debate the Bill.


You may continue hon. Member.


Mrs Fundanga: Sir, I would like to ask my colleagues whether they were consulted before they insured their vehicles.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Fundanga: All of us have insured our vehicles.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Fundanga: Who consulted them? Did it come to Parliament for consultations for us to insure our vehicles? It is only in Zambia, where people respect their vehicles and not their lives.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Fundanga: Sir, their vehicles are insured, but their lives are not insured.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1040 hours until 1100 hours




Mrs Fundanga: Madam Speaker, I would like to begin my debate by floating a question. How many of us have insured our vehicles and yet our lives are not insured? I do not want to be answered, but hon. Members should ask themselves that question in their minds. At the end of the day, we should have a situation whereby our people benefit from a health insurance scheme. We need to ensure that 100 per cent of our people have access to health insurance. Globally, access to quality healthcare and education are human rights issues. Why do we want to remain behind?


Madam Speaker, I have given an example of Zimbabwe before, which is just across the border. Everybody in that country has got access to education because it is a human right. Why do we want to remain behind? The last time we were addressed by His Excellency the President of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu …


Mr Livune: Question!


Mrs Fundanga: … he emphasised that he does not want anyone left behind. In order to ensure that no one remains behind, we want everybody to have access to education and health. These are the fundamental indicators of where the world is going. Our brothers and sisters who were in leadership before us have done a lot of research. Therefore, we do not have to replicate their work. All we need to do is to facilitate the implementation of their findings and ensure that people have access to education and health.


Madam Speaker, if hon. Members of both the Opposition and Ruling Party are really interested in at least improving the lives of the Zambian people, we should not be political all the time. This is not a political issue. This is something that will help millions of Zambians. We recently saw an opposition leader in the USA who went to vote for the Obamacare even in his dying moments from cancer. He said if that was the last thing he was going to do for his country, he would be willing had to do it.


Madam Speaker, I beg hon. Members and members of the public out there to listen to me very carefully.




Mrs Fundanga: I would like to reiterate my earlier statement that this is one of the few countries where, when a person dies in a car accident, the vehicle gets better treatment than the owner. This is because the vehicle is insured and the driver is not insured.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Fundanga: Who brought a Bill to Parliament for insurance of our vehicles and not ourselves? I would like someone to tell me.




Mrs Fundanga: Who passed a Bill in Parliament to say that our vehicles must be insured and not the people who drive the vehicles? No one brought such a Bill, but we just accepted that our vehicles must be insured. In this country, when a person dies in a car accident, he/she is just lifted by ba kaponya and taken to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH), but the vehicle is taken to Toyota Zambia.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Chilubi, what is ba kaponya?


Mrs Fundanga: Ba kaponya are passersby.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




Mrs Fundanga: Even when a hon. Member of Parliament is involved in an accident, their vehicle is dragged by Toyota Zambia to a good workshop because it is comprehensively insured, but the hon. Member is just lifted by passersby and taken to ward G at the UTH or wherever the people who are involved in accidents are taken. I beg hon. Members of Parliament that this is not about politics. As brothers and sisters, let us sit down and think carefully about this.


Madam Speaker, before I resume my seat, there is one thing I want to tell my colleagues. When my brothers and sisters from the North-Western Province on the other side were talking corporate social responsibility of the mines, my heart bled. This is an evil act that I do not like, but something that I have been working with for most of my life. I agree that the North-Western Province has gotten a raw deal regarding corporate social responsibility. However, if this Bill is passed, mines in the North-Western Province will make contributions for the mine employees and their families to have health insurance.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Fundanga: That is what we are talking about in terms of health insurance. A lot of people will have health insurance cover. Let me tell the House something. Let us not pretend as if we are isolated. The world is now a global village and right now, the health insurance is a global norm. What are those opposed to this talking about? They should not use the name of the UN or ILO in vain. These organisations support health insurance. Finally, …


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Fundanga: … let me say the following. If we are able to proudly stand up here and say that we are lawmakers, what laws are we making? How can we make laws to insure our vehicles and houses and not our own lives? What kind of laws are those? Shame on you!


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member for Chilubi will withdraw the phrase ‘shame on you’.


Mr Livune:  We are not drunk. Shame on her who is drunk.


Mrs Fundanga: Sorry, Madam Speaker. I withdraw the phrase ‘shame on you’ and have it replaced with ‘extremely unfortunate’.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, this Bill has been appearing on the Order Paper since Wednesday, we have to conclude it today. Yesterday, I received notes with names of people intending to debate, from the Patriotic Front (PF) and from the United Party for National Development (UPND). Of course, you noted yesterday that I included others who were not on the list. Today, I will allow two more hon. Members from the UPND, and I would like to encourage them to be brief. I will also allow one hon. Member from the PF, who is a hon. Minister in addition to the hon. Minister of Health who moved this Motion. Thereafter, we will conclude.


The hon. Member for Sesheke may take the Floor.


Mr Kufakwandi (Sesheke): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to debate.


 I stand here to say a few words. I want to start by saying that I do not support this Bill because of three reasons. Firstly, there is so much focus on the Sustainable Development Goal No. 3 of the UN. Are we supposed to be focussed on achieving a global target while our own continental targets from the Abuja Declaration, such as the target that African countries should provide 15 per cent of their national budgets towards health care?


The idea of universal insurance to improve access to health care in Africa will depend largely on our capacity as individual countries to improve health infrastructure so that the majority of our people can have easy access to such infrastructure. We do not have that situation in our country. The timing of this Bill is not right. We firstly, have to address the major component of achieving universal access to the health care, and that is the health care infrastructure. How will people in Sesheke be able to access high quality health care facilities under the current situation? It is not possible for them to access that in the next five years or so.


Secondly, this Bill is premised on data which was collected in 2012. The actuarial base of this Bill is the information which was collected in 2012. In the report, your Committee clearly said that data like that should not be more than three years, to be of any use. Why are we sticking to this sort of thing? This information is outdated. It cannot be used as a basis to determine the sustainability of this proposal. The economic situation of 2012 is not the same today. Everybody knows that. The projection that, for example, the economy would be growing at a certain percentage is no longer the same. The current situation is that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is not sufficient to generate employment. For this scheme to survive there has to be continuous growth in employment so that we have people who are able to make contributions towards this national health insurance scheme.


The Government which is implementing austerity measures is now proposing a scheme that will expand public expenditure because it will have to pay for those people who do not work. Where will the money come from? The Government will have to pay the contributions for those people who do not work. That is what the Bill says.


We are not able to build the feeder roads we want now. We should not focus on what we want; we should focus on what we need. I have always made this point on the Floor. What do we need? If you went to Sesheke and asked the people I represent here whether they need a health insurance scheme or a road, what will they say? They will say that they want a road. However, the Government wants to force the health insurance scheme down their throats because they are the Government.  That is not how we should operate.


The current economic challenges we are facing demand that we cut down on public expenditure. This scheme will create a big financial problem for the Government because from the figures available, the people in employment are a few. Only about 15 per cent of people in the country are employed. 


Thirdly, creating a scheme like this needs to be done through consensus. The country must agree. The two of the major stakeholders in this issue are the Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE) and the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU). These organisations have clearly written that they do not support this scheme. The Government is going to force them to participate in this scheme. It is apparent that the consultations which have been referred to by the Government were about a social protection scheme, and the health insurance scheme was a component of the former. These organisations are saying that they do not support the idea of the national health insurance scheme because they had given the Government views on the social protection scheme idea, which had health insurance as a component.


How can we proceed with this scheme when it excludes the views of two major stakeholders? We can proceed only if we want to make a bad Bill. A bad Bill will translate into a bad law, and bad laws are never respected or followed. We have to bear this in mind.


This Bill is like someone who is selling a hare, which he puts in a sack and says what I am selling, is a rabbit. He goes on to say that you can have this rabbit, but I will tell you the price later. There is no such thing. We have to be very clear of what we are committing ourselves to. The people who are supposed to participate in this scheme should be aware from the word go what is expected of them in terms of their contributions. When you look at all the schemes, you will see that they all have one factor in common. They will always clearly state the contribution of the employee and that of the employer. Even the Obamacare health insurance states that 20 per cent will be contributed by the employee, while the remaining 80 percent will be contributed by the employer or the federal Government or the state Government. In our case, we are not telling our people. Instead, we are hiding behind the Bill and saying that somebody will determine its contents at a later day. We cannot have such a situation. We want to know the facts before we enter into this scheme.


Madam Speaker, the other thing that is not clear is that there are a lot of private health insurance schemes already in place. This Bill does not explain how those existing schemes, such as the ones being run by the mines, will be incorporated into this new health scheme. That is not clear. The crucial issue is sustainability. On the basis of the information which is in the Bill, I cannot be convinced that this scheme will be sustainable. This is because the majority of the members who will be expected to join are those who do not work. It follows therefore, that the Government will have to cover those people who are not working. With the current situation in which the country is in, I doubt the Government will be able to cover these people who are not working.


Madam Speaker, another area that I am concerned about is the way the scheme is framed. It is as if the Government had in mind, civil servants. As I have already said, this scheme does not demonstrate how the people in the private sector will be able to participate in it, especially those who are already covered by other schemes.


Madam Speaker, another area of concern is that this Bill is proposed to set up a fund. However, nothing is said about how that fund will grow, since it needs to grow. A fund tied to an insurance scheme like this one will need to have investment to grow its financial base so that we do not reach a point where people are told that their health bills cannot be covered. This aspect is missing. If something does not grow, it will eventually collapse. Therefore, I want to conclude by making two points. Firstly, this consultation process on which we are basing this Bill was done a long time ago. That is why today, we have submissions where the majority of witnesses, if not all, rejected the scheme. Secondly, let us not pass a bad Bill for political expediency and forget the common good of the Zambian people.


I thank you, Madam. 


Ms Subulwa (Sioma): Madam Speaker, thank you for according me an opportunity to make a contribution to the debate on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Before joining politics, I worked for the Ministry of Health. When this Bill was introduced, I was part of the discussions that were held. The objectives of this particular Bill we are discussing today are good. It therefore, disturbs me when I hear people shoot it down. Indeed, concerns were raised by the Committee and those concerns can be looked into. However, this is not a warrant not to support the Bill.


Madam Speaker, may I make mention that everyone here is at risk of falling sick regardless of one’s position and status. We all need access to the healthcare, and we cannot procure it over the counter the way we procure beverages such as fanta and many others. Therefore, the NHIS will benefit the people of Zambia in that health delivery will be enhanced.


Madam Speaker, Sioma Parliamentary Constituency considers this to be a non-partisan Bill. Therefore, we should note that a healthy nation is indeed a productive nation. For fifty years, our people have suffered inadequate health care services. This scheme will address the problems of high mortality rates that we have been faced with while our friends in developed countries have longevity because of good health.


Madam Speaker, without taking up much time, I would like to talk about a few advantages that this particular Bill has. This Bill is going to reduce the number of cases that are referred to hospitals outside the country. That is because only a few privileged people can access health services from outside the country. With the introduction of this particular Bill, a lot of people will benefit from local health services. The poor people will also not be left out.


Madam Speaker, there will also be a reduction on the unnecessary cost of referral cases. The coming of this Bill will result in improved and specialist treatment modalities. We will see availability of medical equipment and specialised practitioners right here in Zambia.


Zambia is strategically placed and has eight neighbours around it. If we have specialised treatment modalities our neighbours will have confidence in Zambia and will come here to receive their healthcare services, which will bring economic development. Those are the issues which we are talking about.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Madam Speaker, the proposed health care system that this particular National Health Insurance Bill is proposing is going to see to it that both the private and public health providers compete effectively which will curb the abuse that exists within the private sector. The Bill itself is an equaliser in the sense that all Zambians will have access to affordable healthcare services.


Madam Speaker, this is a progressive Bill that we should all support regardless of where we are coming from.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: It does not matter whether one comes from Mitete, Kanchibiya, Lumezi, Samfya, Liuwa, Lukulu or Lunte because this Bill will cater for all. The insurance fund that we are going to set up will help us construct health centres where they are needed in the rural areas. In Mitete, for instance, the Government will be in a position to build health centres that are well equipped with health practitioners in place.


Madam Speaker, it is not only Zambia that has proposed this kind of Bill. For example, the current President of South Africa mentioned that they are also going to introduce a similar Bill in their nation. Everyone is going this in route, what are we waiting for?


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Ms Subulwa: Madam Speaker, Rwanda has 96 per cent of its people covered. Botswana, Tanzania and Ghana which are countries that we know well are also implementing such schemes. This is the way we should go as Zambians.


Madam Speaker, I was a part of the process when this whole thing started and I know how good this particular Bill is. The objectives are good and we need to put modalities in place to ensure that we achieve the objectives of this particular National Health Insurance Bill.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Madam Speaker, it is not perfect, but we will get there at some point. We will learn from our friends. How are Rwanda and Botswana doing it? We need to interact with our friends and learn how they are doing things. Mauritius is another country that has successfully implemented such a Bill and they are doing fine. I do not know why we are so scared. Let us not wait until we are rich. Let us implement this because it is for the good of everyone.


Madam Speaker, I know the fears, but once you implement such a Bill, my dear, everything will be ok for the people of Zambia. Who does not want to be healthy? For example, a high cost scheme was introduced at the time I was working for the Ministry of Health and people were told to contribute K30. However, people were not interested because they had so much running on their payslips. It is only after you are hit with a disease that requires you to dip into your pocket that you will know the importance of such insurance or medical scheme.


My dear ...




Ms Subulwa: Madam Speaker, forgive me ...


Hon. Government Members: Aah!


Ms Subulwa: Madam Speaker, the high cost scheme that I referred to was criticised by people, including the unions. One of the unionists who criticised the scheme fell sick and required a huge amount to be attended to in the hospital and that was when they saw the importance of contributing to such a high cost scheme. In like manner, let us not fear this Bill and support it because it is a prerequisite to economic development and it will see our country go to another level.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Resources mobilised in this fund will help us construct centres of excellence different provincial levels, apart from UTH.


Madam Speaker, I know time is not with us and I do not want to take much of it, but I urge my fellow colleagues to support the Bill because it is a good Bill with good objectives. The concerns raised by the Committee can be revisited at a later stage, but for now let us support the Bill.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mbangweta (Nkeyema): Madam Speaker, I am very grateful for this opportunity to give some reflections on this important Bill. In doing so, I want to appreciate the recommendations which your Committee made that the Bill be taken back.


Madam Speaker, I am also aware of what the hon. Minister of Health said yesterday. In his statement he said that it has taken six years of consultation, which included study tours for us to reach this position. Further, he mentioned that this Bill is intended to cover 16 million of our population and the assessments were done in 2008 and 2012.


Madam Speaker, first of all, it is a pity that the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security is not here because from what we were told in this House, part of her mandate for this year is to focus on pension reform and also promote social dialogue. Social dialogue in the context of this proposed Bill means that the three social partners who are; the Government, the Zambia Federation of Employers and the unions must have a common and agreed position. However, we notice under the current arrangement that the two social partners do not agree to this and the Government is not prepared to persuade them as provided for within our Governance structures.


Mr Muchima: Shame!


Mr Mbangweta: On the contrary, the Government through the ministry wants to steamroll them to agree to what is being proposed. Are the unions and employers being unreasonable to resist what is being suggested? I would venture to say they do have an interest. First of all, it is a requirement by law that they ought to be consulted through the tripartite consultative labour council.


What are the stakeholders concerns? Firstly for the employer, it is because you are imposing extra administrative functions on them. Secondly, you are increasing the cost of employment on their part. That is a legitimate concern. Therefore, if you force them, how are they going to react? They will react by reducing the labour force and investors who still want to come to Zambia hear about the added labour costs, they are not likely to come. This will defeat the aspirations of the PF Government who say they want to attract foreign direct investment and encourage employment creation. This is a contradiction of what the PF say.


Madam Speaker, the employees are already over taxed. In this particular arrangement, there are not aware of how much they are supposed to contribute towards the health insurance scheme. The employers are also not aware the amount they should be contributing on behalf of their employees. When these people are resisting, you cannot say that they are being unreasonable. After all, it is their money. It is not the money coming from the Government. This is the more reason that the Government must be serious in listening to their concerns. If there is any point which shows that this Government does not listen and, they do things contrary to what they say, it is this particular Bill. Here is an issue where they are trying to make people and institutions do what they want, without listening to them and yet they would want the support of these institutions at implementation stage. That is not acceptable.


Madam Speaker, from what the hon. Minister said, this scheme is intended to cover 16 million people. Not too long ago, people instructed the PF Government to implement the electronic voucher (e-voucher) system, which was meant to cover 1 million people. Based on their own explanation, only 700,000 people have been covered. The 300,000 people have been left out and we have not been told what is going to happen to those 300,000 people. Can you imagine if they cannot manage 1 million people how are they going to manage 16 million people? They ought to invest time and see how this scheme will work. The most unfortunate and dangerous part is that the hon. Minister wants to bring all powers to himself. He wants to determine the contribution rates, the benefits to be paid and the cap in his office. I heard him say that 20 per cent of the cap is what suggested for administrative costs. Where is the hon. Minister getting that figure from? Those are the issues that need to be discussed. When you bring the social partners together is when you are going to have the benefit of the knowledge and wisdom to implement something which is going to be acceptable. The 20 per cent cap for example, which is not even in the Bill but was mentioned by the hon. Minister is very high and not in the industry standard.


Madam Speaker, the other thing is the power that the hon. Minster wants to give to himself to appoint a board which is basically made up of the Government departments. Out of the eleven board members, only two are coming from the people who are supposed to be beneficiaries, that is, the employer and the employees. Yet the scheme is premised on the fact that these are the people or institutions that are going to manage the scheme. If that board is going to be approved based on the meeting held, which is like a Government departmental meeting. How then can it be a national scheme? A national scheme must be a representative in the context of the key players. The key players are the people we are talking about. The social partners are complaining that when they were consulted before, it was in the context of the main Social Protection Act. Its effect is what the Ministry of Labour and Social Security brought this year to Parliament. Why are they being undermined by a fellow ministry under the same Government? This is where the inconsistency in policy implementation comes in. You cannot make such a big scheme for the whole country without, first of all, putting the technology in place that is happened if you check the record of the e-voucher system. We had indicated in 2016 that at implementation, the e-voucher system will fail because you have not taken into account some assumptions.


Madam Speaker, some of the assumptions were important for we needed communication in all provinces and areas. However, that advice was put aside. What we are seeing now, is the same things we told this Government in 2016, being accepted. It will be the case here. If you want to put a scheme in place, first of all, you have to make sure that the systems out there are functional. This is based on how you contribute to our arrangement. How will a person in Nkeyema contribute when there is no bank, post office and no network? How are those people going to contribute? You come here to make laws when you have not put your house in order. Things do not work out that way. There is no reason why the Ministry of Health should want to champion this when we have an appropriate ministry with appropriate skills to do this. This institution which is being proposed in this Bill is bigger than National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA) by far. To run NAPSA even at the current arrangement of less than a million workers is a big deal. There is no capacity in the ministry. Instead of getting benefits from economies of scale, you want to split and make laws before you have things put in place. That is not how things are done. That is why most of the PF projects and policies always change in the mid stream because they do not want to do things in a proper way.


Mr Kafwaya: Question!


Mr Mbangweta: For once, let us do things properly.


Mr Kafwaya: Question!


Mr Mbangweta: Do not question here, just shut up.


Mr Sikazwe: Question!


Mr Mbangweta: Why are you questioning?


What are you questioning?




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member, I am aware that when you want to question, you question.




Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sichone: Question


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Allow others to also question when they do not agree with you as long as they do it in an orderly manner.


Please, continue.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mbangweta: Madam Speaker, I am guided and I appreciate. However, the point which I have difficulties with is that this colleague of mine (pointing at Mr Kafwaya), has moved from his seat (pointing at the PF benches) to come and question me here. He is upsetting me.




Mr Kafwaya: Question!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: He is not questioning you from his seat?


Hon. Opposition Members: No!


Mr Mbangweta: He is here. Kafwaya is here (pointing at Mr Kafwaya).


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Please resume your seat to question him.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear


Mr Kafwaya proceeded to his seat


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Lunte.




Mr Sikazwe: Well done.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: May the hon. Member for Nkeyema continue.


Mr Mbangweta: Madam Speaker …


Mr Siwale: Question!




Mr Mbangweta: … I am very grateful for the protection.


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Mr Mbangweta: Madam Speaker, what we are saying is that we are not averse to the introduction of universal health. However, if we choose to go through that route, let us do it in a proper manner. You remember when you were doing the Constitution? A lot of people gave advice but it was put aside.


Mr Lusambo: Question!


Mr Mbangweta: Even in this case, it is the only Bill in this sector that is brought to Parliament but the contribution rates are not indicated. The people out there do not know. For NAPSA, the 5 per cent is from the employee and the other 5 per cent from the employer, which makes it 10 per cent. For this one, I have been hearing in the dark corners that it is 2.5 per cent from the employee and 2.5 per cent from the employer making it 5 per cent. People need to know that it ought to be in the Bill. What we need to be discussing here are those rates and what they mean. That is the way to proceed and not to just come and address everything in the world. They want you to approve something you do not know. We cannot give a blank cheque. If our colleagues want a blank cheque, let them have it. We will not be part of that blank cheque.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


The Minister of Higher Education (Prof. Luo): Madam Speaker, I just want to start by informing this august House and through this august House, the nation that a Health Insurance Bill is long overdue in this country.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: Madam Speaker, since we have not had a Health Insurance Bill in the country, we have lost lives that we could have prevented. First of all, I want to start by talking about employment because in Zambia, we believe that employment is having white collar jobs, where people are employed by others. Due to that, we have created a situation in this country where self employment is not celebrated. For somebody to come to this august House and say that there are very few people who are employed, is misleading the nation. I am saying this because we do have people who are self employed and can be part of this particular initiative.


Madam Speaker, in Zambia we believe in negative energies, anything we want to introduce, people will always rise up and start opposing to it. Sometimes, they do so without having adequate research evidence and facts. Yesterday, I heard somebody talk about the Obamacare Insurance Plan. In fact, in the research that was done by the John Hopkins University, at the time the debate of moving away from the Obamacare Insurance Plan was introduced, it was clear in the results that in fact, a departure from the Obamacare Insurance Plan would have led to millions of poor people not accessing health services and might lose their lives. This study is there for everybody to see.


Madam Speaker, since in Zambia, we do not believe in progressing, even when we are doing a good thing, we take ourselves backwards. Let me talk about the history of our health services in the country. In 1991, we realised that we were running this country without the health policy. When the health policy was actually put in place, it was realised that there was no way we could run a health system without looking at how we could contribute to this health care. At that moment, we introduced health reforms.


Madam Speaker, countries that came to learn from us such as Tanzania, carried a Zambian, Dr Nyaiwa, to go and help them initiate the reform that was in this country. Today, the Tanzanian Health Services are much better than ours. Due to negative energies, even the gains that we had achieved through our health reforms and decentralisation in this country, we went backwards.  Time has come for this country to look at things positively so that we are able to move forward.


Madam Speaker, there are two things that a country needs to invest in. The first one being education. When people are educated, they are able to understand issues much better. The second thing we need to invest in is health. What the hon. Minister of Health is trying to do is an attempt to actually look at the alternative to health financing, so that our health systems can improve. This will help us to run a better health service. Fifty-three years after independence, is a long time to continue with the saying that we cannot move forward. Having listened from all the debates that have been in place, from the Opposition, I see that we are protecting our interests. I think we need to stop this thing of protecting our interests. We need to put the country first and protect the interests of our people, especially the poor.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: Madam Speaker, secondly, we are talking about delivery frameworks and action plans and this is how this Bill will be implemented. Above all, we are talking about regulations. I would have expected the hon. Members to say, “Hon. Minister, you are bringing this Health Insurance Bill, have we got a delivery framework? What is your action plan and what regulations have you put in place?”


Madam Speaker, for instance, people were giving examples of health delivery in the rural areas. That always comes in regulations and not in the Bill. When you put a Bill, you are putting principles that you would like to have a Health Insurance Bill. With this Health Insurance Bill, this is what you want to achieve. After that, in the implementation of this particular Bill, then you design a delivery framework of how this will be done. Thereafter, you can do a road map of how you are going to address all the issues. If there are contentious issues that you will need to be addressing, some amendments can be moved. It is retrogressive to just be talking without evidence and measurements.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: Madam Speaker, I want to say to our colleagues here that at the movement, the people who we say are able to pay, when they go to private clinics, sometimes they fail to pay the Bills. Insurance is a contribution that is done slowly. Sometimes, people may not even get sick that particular year but when it comes to them getting into the hospital, they would be treated right away. Our colleagues in Zimbabwe introduced the Health Insurance many years ago. I recall when my children were doing their secondary education in Zimbabwe; we used to pay health insurance for them. When anything happened to them, the children were treated. That is the same we are talking about here. If Zimbabwe has done it, why can we not do it?




Prof. Luo: Madam Speaker, our colleagues in Rwanda are implementing this particular health insurance. Some of us have been to Rwanda to see how this implementation is taking place. If our friends are doing it, why does Zambia always want to be behind? Why are we so retrogressive? We should not be.


Madam Speaker, I want to support this Bill for the simple reason that I see a light at the end of the tunnel. I see a day when we will enter any health institution in this country, be it public or private and we will find the services that we need.


Madam Speaker, if we actually put our positive energies together, this is a country, which should be running what I call, “health tourism” by now. This is a country that is so lucky in this world. It is centrally located and God did not do it for no purpose. We are bordered by eight to nine countries and we could be drawing the health of the countries around us into Zambia. Instead of people going to South Africa for treatment, they would be coming to Zambia for treatment. The problem is that we always want to shoot that what is good to protect our own interests. Currently, the Zambian people are not that stupid. They know. Even when people are debating, …


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order! That word, hon. Minister.


Prof. Luo: Madam Speaker, Zambians are not gullible. Even as we open our mouths and debate, they know those who have come with an agenda and those who have not come with an agenda to this House. They are going to see …


Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.




Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, the rules of this House …




Mr Nkombo: Yes, a point of order can be raised at any time.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Go on with that point of order.


Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, the rules of the House dictate that when one uses an unparliamentarily term, it must be withdrawn. Is the hon. Minister of Higher Education in order to use an unpalatable word without withdrawing it? Should it now be a conversion that we can use the term ‘stupid’ in this House?


I seek your ruling, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: The point of order is sustained. However, I would like to follow up by saying that the hon. Minister did, indeed, replace the word except she did not withdraw it. For the record, could the hon. Minister withdraw the word ‘stupid’ and replace it with another term?


Prof. Luo: Madam Speaker, I withdraw the word and replace it with gullible, but with a proviso that in Bemba there is …


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, a ruling has been made. You have to abide by it and you also know our rules. You have to withdraw the word by mentioning it so that it is recorded that you withdrew it. You can then replace it, if you so wish, if not, you can move on.


Prof. Luo: Madam Speaker, I withdraw the word ‘stupid’ and replace it with gullible.


Hon. UPND Members left the Assembly Chamber.


Prof. Luo: Madam Speaker, as the people walk out of Parliament, …




Prof. Luo: … I want to say that when they are looking at the issue of the health insurance, they should look at it not in isolation, but in partnership with other efforts that the Government is making. The Government has been making an effort to increase the health sector’s budget. People are saying that it is not considering the Abuja Declaration when, in fact, the National Health Insurance Scheme is going to apt the financing of the health sector. It will even go above the 15 per cent that was agreed upon in Abuja.




Prof. Luo: Madam Speaker, as I said there are other efforts being made by the Government of increasing the budget to the education sector. An educated nation is always a healthy nation. Therefore, when we are looking at such Bills, we must look at them in tandem with other efforts. The Government has also invested heavily in infrastructure development and is ensuring that the infrastructure being put in place is supported by equipment. Today, it is not possible to listen to an hon. Member of Parliament talk about institutions that are not up to date because the hon. Minister of Health, through the support of the Ministry of Finance, has in fact been equipping all the institutions that are being constructed at the moment. Hence, our investment in the health sector can be seen from the efforts that we are making.


Madam Speaker, in conclusion, I want to say that when we come and represent the people, we should remove personal interests and prioritise their interests. The National Health Insurance Scheme that the hon. Minister is actually proposing is not new in this country because it was tried and it worked. During the time the health reforms were introduced, a scheme to contribute to the health sector was also introduced and it worked wonderfully. As soon as this Bill is passed, the hon. Minister of Health will make sure that his functionaries put in place regulations that will regulate how the National Health Insurance Scheme will be delivered in rural areas and how the under privileged will access health services. We have social workers in all our health institutions and their role is to take care of the underprivileged in cases where they cannot pay for the services.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to wind up debate on this very important matter. From the outset, I note that we are all unanimous that health insurance is important as a way of innovatively financing our health care.


Madam Speaker, the PF Government under His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has embarked on a transformational agenda to turn this country into a prosperous one. This requires addressing one determinant of productivity and that is, a healthy labour force, which is a function of a healthy citizenry. Therefore, we have made health as a key economic investment and we crafted the Seventh National Development Plan (SNDP) as a blue print for our transformation agenda. Therefore, the National Health Strategic Plan brings out the key issues about this Bill.


Madam Speaker, I will begin responding to what we have been hearing on the Floor of the House and will respond in line with what is in our National Health Strategic Plan. I will begin with the Committee’s report. We need to inculcate integrity in our Committees because the conduct of the Committee on Health is questionable.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, you will withdraw that very serious statement that you have made against the Committee constituted by Hon. Mr Speaker. Do not cast aspersions on the Committees of the House. They are mini Parliaments or Preliminary Committees and should not be attacked in a manner that you are just doing, hon. Minister. Withdraw that statement and proceed with your work. You are winding up debate, please, proceed.


Dr Chilufya: Madam Speaker, I thank you for the counsel.


Hon. UPND Members entered the Assembly Chamber.


Dr Chilufya: Madam Speaker, we appeared before the Committee and what is shocking is that what we presented before it was not taken into consideration in the report that it put on the House, and that is a source of worry. The witnesses who the Committee brought allegedly stated that a consultative process was not undertaken. We countered and did not hear that aspect. I will lay on the Table of the House evidence of the consultative process that has been taking place for more than six years and, this information was presented to the Committee.


Madam Speaker, we started the consultative process in 2012. Before that, other consultations were done in2008. I want to begin with the household survey that was done in 2015, where we consulted 12,000 households. In that household survey, it was established that 96 per cent of the respondents supported the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme in its current form.


I will quote from page 133 of the Zambia Household Health Expenditure and Utilisation Survey, Section 13.21 says:


“In Zambia, 96.5 per cent of respondent households rated the proposed social health insurance scheme as excellent, very good or good, compared with 3.5 per cent of households believing that it is bad”.


Hon. Opposition Member: Are you sure?




Dr Chilufya: Madam Speaker, the next thing I want to emphasise on is the chronology of events, which has again been misrepresented by the Committee. They said that we had high jacked …




Dr Chilufya: … or hived this Bill from another ministry.




Dr Chilufya: Madam Speaker, what is important to note is that we presented a chronology of events to the Committee. It is very clear here that the Social Health Insurance Bill was presented to various stakeholders as a standalone Bill. When it was combined with the social protection, consultations again took place and it was reverted to a standalone Bill. The sequencing there is extremely important.


Madam Speaker, I want to put the records straight on the Floor of this House that, it was not the way it was put by the Committee.





Ms Lubezhi: Aah! It is the Speaker’s Committee.


Dr Chilufya: Thirdly, Madam Speaker …


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, please resume your seat so that I can guide the House.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order on my left! Order!


Hon. Minister, every Committee of Parliament is constituted by the Hon. Mr Speaker …


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: … using the power that you have given him as Speaker of the House. When a Committee sits to hear submissions from stakeholders including you, as Ministers, …


Ms Lubezhi: Yes!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: … it is doing so in the name of Mr Speaker.


Mr Syakalima: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: And so, when the Committee brings a report to the House, it is the Committee appointed by Mr Speaker on your behalf.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, I am actually guiding you and hope that you pay attention to what I am saying, …




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order on my left!


The report of a Committee is part of Parliament coming to the plenary to the bigger House to the main House. Your issue should not be about the integrity of the Members of the Committee.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Your issue, hon. Minister should be about the findings …


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: … and therefore, your duty now hon. Minister, is to correct what the Committee may have received as submissions, which in your view are not correct submissions or the correct position as far as you are concerned of the Bill or the status quo.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: That is your duty now. You have this time to correct the impression and some of the submissions, not just for the benefit of this House, but for the benefit of the entire nation, which must embrace this law that you want to enact.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, do not waste this time use it to do justice to the process that you have embarked on. Please, continue.


Ms Lubezhi: Ema Speaker aya!


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: Madam Speaker, thank you very much.


Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: Referring to the report that says that there was no consultation done, Madam Speaker, I will lay on the Table of the House, the evidence that consultation was done. I have referred to the household survey and furthermore, I will refer to the stakeholders meetings that were held where various stakeholders including Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE) and the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) participated.


Madam Speaker, this is the reason why, if you have been following in the press, there have been press statements from affiliate unions of the ZCTU, backing this Bill 100 per cent. Again, Madam Speaker, I will lay those statements on the Table of the House.


Collective agreements that were signed for 2018, clearly states that various unions who were party to this collective agreement agreed that there shall be a compulsory public service health insurance scheme that shall be operationalised in 2018. Again, I will lay these on the Table of the House.


Madam Speaker, the notion again in the report that all stakeholders were not consulted, is something that we addressed during our submission and we expected that our submission which was backed with evidence could have been respected.


Madam Speaker, we did a study tour to Ghana on the Social Health Insurance Bill, not as part of social protection, but if you look at the people that travelled to Ghana, it included the leadership of the ZCTU. It included people from various stakeholders. Even when we went to Rwanda, we had the leadership of the unions.


Madam Speaker, I want to have it clearly stated that we have continued consulting with various stakeholders. Last week, in Livingstone, the four teacher unions met. They had already issued a statement in support of the Bill, and all the statements are here. However, we still went there to explain and further engage. We have already agreed, that all the concerns that the various stakeholders have, there is room for incorporation and consideration as we continue refining the Bill.


Madam, I also want to emphasise that this position of an open door policy is something we betrayed in our submissions and it is something that is in the public domain. As we speak, consultations are still ongoing and we have never shut our doors.


Madam Speaker, I would make an earnest appeal that we do not trivialise or politicise such an important subject.


Mr Nkombo: Question!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: the Healthcare financing is a health systems issue. The Health care financing is a fundamental variable in any health systems model. And therefore, we must ensure that we innovate to address the financing of the healthcare. We must invest in systems that will sustainably finance healthcare for all Zambians.


Hon. Members may realise that we are signatories of the Universal Health Coverage Agenda and for us to attain universal health coverage, it is important that we address the issue of financing the various infrastructure we need such as; the drugs, human resources and health information systems and this we need to do.


This is because financing from the Treasury is not sustainable. It is important to know that even as we benefit from the various donour laid programmes for our various public health interventions, they will not be there forever. As a country, we must innovate and invest in sustainable systems to finance our own healthcare. Sometimes we take it for granted when we see some medicines and interventions around, not knowing that we cooperate with other partners to finance those medicines and interventions. It is important that we start raising our own resources to finance our own healthcare.


Madam Speaker, I would also like to comment and put the record straight. There was a submission from one of the Members of the Committee that, World Health Organisation (WHO) submitted against this scheme. That is not what we have. WHO’s position is very clear. They go for universal health coverage every citizen must be covered.


Madam Speaker, the issues that have been raised about the benefits package and regulations, are some things that all do not appear within the Bill. They are an addendum to the Bill. It is the work in progress.


However, we have said repeatedly, that we will come up with a Bill that will cover all Zambians. This will not only apply to the people who work, but all Zambians. Those who are healthy, rich, power, and vulnerable, will all need to be covered. That is what we stand for and that is the policy of the PF Government on the universal health coverage


Madam Speaker, we can only succeed in doing this if we manage to find resources for the interventions. We are unanimous with all stakeholders, who have been spoken to and consulted that social health insurance is important for us to attain universal health coverage.


Madam, allow me to thank all those that have debated in support of the Bill. In addition, I would like to thank those who have given suggestions on how to go forward with this Bill. I also want to assure all stakeholders that the consultative process will continue. As we proceed with the Bill …




Dr Chilufya: … as we continue with the Bill, we will certainly consider some of the inputs, which are coming in.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: Madam Speaker, I beg to move that this Bill be supported.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. UPND Members rose.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. UPND Whip, you cannot walk out when the presiding officer is on her feet. You cannot do that. Let me finish my business, then, you can continue with yours after that. Please, resume seats.


Hon. UPND Members resumed their seats.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.


Hon. UPND Members left the Assembly Chamber.


Committed to a committee of the Whole House.


Committee on Friday, 9th March, 2018.








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


Question put and agreed to.



The House adjourned at 1224 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 6th March, 2018.