Thursday, 21st June, 2018

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Thursday, 21st June, 2018


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, it is with a heavy heart that I stand before this august House to issue this statement on the fatal accident that occurred at Nkana Slag Dump No. 48, commonly known as the “Black Mountain”, in Kitwe on 20th June, 2018, about 0930 hours.


Sir, an undisclosed number of youths are alleged to have been assigned to work at the base of the eastern portion of the slag dump where an excavator was also being operated. The slag dump was allegedly undercut and, consequently, collapsed on the youths and buried seventeen of them alive.


Mr Speaker, a rescue operation overseen by the Mines Safety Department of the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, security officers, the District Administration and the Provincial Administration was immediately initiated. Ten dead bodies and seven injured victims were retrieved from the rubble. The injured were immediately rushed to Kitwe Teaching Hospital (KTH) where they are currently receiving treatment.


Sir, this accident is a result of the failure to comply with conditions of grant of the licence, and safety and operational guidelines given to the company in writing and reiterated at several meetings by the ministry.


Mr Speaker, allow me to give a brief background on how operations at the Black Mountain started. The slag dump, licence No. 7071HQLML, is wholly owned by Nkana Alloy and Smelting Company Limited. The large-scale licence initially belonged to Chambeshi Metals Plc, which had acquired it at the time of privatisation from former Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) Limited assets. When it was sold, the Government of the Republic of Zambia retained 10 per cent shares in Chambeshi Metals through Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH). However, following numerous illegal operations at the site by our youths popularly known as Jerabos, the Government decided, under the Youth Empowerment Programme, to empower the local community in Kitwe, which included the youths, ex-miners and women, by transferring to them its 10 per cent shares through a special purpose vehicle (SPV) company formed and owned by the youths. The SPV is called Chapamo Mineral Processing Company Limited.


Sir, to facilitate the transfer of the 10 per cent shares to Chapamo Mineral Processing Limited, the ministry demarcated approximately 3.293 acres of the slag dump and allocated it to the local community of Kitwe under a Mineral Processing Licence No. 22827HQMPL. The ministry further divided and allocated three cadastral units to ensure conformity with the Flexi Cadastral System on which our licensing system is anchored. It also provided some guidelines, prominent among which was ensuring that safety would not be compromised in the exploitation of the resources.


Sir, let me quickly go through some of the safety measures the Government outlined to the licence holders:


  1. both Nkana Alloy Smelting Company and Chapamo Mineral Processing Company were to operate within the stipulated boundaries of their respective licences which were beaconed by the ministry;


  1. the two licences were completely demarcated and fenced off, but had a shared boundary;


  1. to enhance safety and security during mining operations, as provided for under the mining regulations, a 6 m buffer zone was created, in terms of the fencing, to allow for an unmined area on both sides, thereby creating a distance of 12m between the two companies;


  1. operations at the Black Mountain were only to continue upon approval of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency(ZEMA)and meeting of other mining related prerequisites;


  1. mining operations were to be conducted under the regulation of the Mines Safety Department and all other statutory institutions to avoid unsafe mining practices and ensure that there are no accidents at the mine site;


  1. there were to be restricted access to the mine site with a workers’ register maintained on a daily basis; and


  1. there were to be adequate sanitation facilities for the workers on site and the many people that found themselves within the radius of operations.


Sir, in spite of the foregoing, there have been challenges at the site in terms of execution. Prominent among them have been:


  1. harassment of inspectors by the miners at the site, thereby making it difficult for them to enforce regulations;


  1. Chapamo Group of Companies, which is a consortium of seven companies, is supposed to have produced a register of, at least, seven workers per company who, in addition to the mine safety and security agents, should total not more than 200. This is the number of people who were expected to be found at the site. Contrary to that, there was an influx of a huge number of people who, at times, were not managed despite the presence of the security provided by both the mine and the State. That posed an operational danger;


  1. Chapamo has not yet conducted a full environmental impact assessment, which essentially guides the operation and stipulates the technical aspect of the mining process;


  1. despite the ministry issuing several directives to that effect, Chapamo has not developed a mine plan to guide its operations;


  1. unco-ordinated mining activities or operations resulted into:


  1. split operations rather than one united operation comprising the seven companies. Mining operations are regulated and controlled by a mine manager who is supposed to be holder of a licence. In this regard, the ministry vested all the undertakings at the operation in the holder who, sometimes, failed to co-ordinate the split operations under a united company comprising seven different associations with various interests;


  1. unrestricted access to the site by a large numbers of youth who were often not recorded in the register;


  1. unco-ordinated allocation of machinery in the working areas, thus making production and labour accountability difficult for the mine manager; and


  1. frontline supervisors who were appointed from the seven different groups to oversee the operation under the guidance of the mine manager do not assist the mine manager, thus making supervision, direction and control difficult. The ministry expects all the approved processes to be adhered to without fail.


Sir, the ministry has held meetings as late as seven days ago with the directors of the various companies to reiterate the conditions of grant of the licence we had given them. The licence stipulates clearly the terms of operation. It was noted that the companies complied very poorly with some of the regulations. In these meetings, the ministry directed the companies to:


  1. establish a workers’ register and ensure that each of the seven companies only allowed a minimum of seven workers as was originally agreed to;


  1. establish a security system to limit and control access by youths to the mine site;


  1. conduct an environmental impact assessment for the operation;


  1. ensure that every worker accessing the site has the appropriate personal protective equipment;


  1. establish a quota system for production sharing based on equipment and equity;


  1. ensure that the mine manager is allowed to execute his statutory mandate without interference; and


  1. develop a mine plan and submit it to the ministry for approval.


Mr Speaker, the House may wish to note that the operations at the site started when the ministry gave conditional authority of access to the site for the purpose of conducting the environmental impact assessment and developing a plan. Therefore, in carrying out its operations, Chapamo was compliant with the law. In this regard, and to prevent further accidents on the site, the ministry will not lift the suspension of the operation until:


  1. an environmental impact assessment has been submitted and approved;


  1. a mine plan has been submitted and approved;


  1. a competent and independent mining contract company has been engaged by Chapamo to mine on its behalf;


  1. an acceptable number of workers commensurate with the scope and safety of proposed operations has been submitted to the ministry for approval;


  1. managers and supervisors have gone through safety and first aid training acceptable to the ministry;


  1. statutory log books and registers of employees have been established and approved by the ministry; and


  1. all registered employees are put on an appropriate insurance scheme.


To ensure that there is no unauthorised access to the site, the ministry will work with the Ministry of Home Affairs to provide security. The area will continue to be manned by police officers until all the necessary measures are put in place.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement issued by the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development.


Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, may I place on record my condolences to the bereaved families.


Sir, the hon. Minister has stated that supervisors at the Black Mountain had challenges because they were being harassed, yet he still allowed operations to go ahead. Further, he allowed the operations despite knowing very well that there had been a nearmiss. Why did the hon. Minister not halt the operations then, in his own wisdom?


Mr Musukwa: Sir, despite the challenges we had on the site, which we can refer to as teething problems, we allowed the operations to continue in order to facilitate the undertaking of an environmental impact assessment. As I stated earlier, that was meant to be the basis for continuing operations.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I also wish to convey my condolences to the families of our deceased brothers who were involved in the tragic incident in Kitwe.


Mr Speaker, I heard from the hon. Minister that the ministry allowed the operations on the Black Mountain in order to facilitate the undertaking of an environmental impact assessment (EIA).


Hon. Opposition Member: Uh!


Mr Mwiimbu: Is it the correct procedure to allow operations to start full throttle in order to allow for the undertaking of an EIA? I thought the EIA is undertaken before operations start.


Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!


Mr Mwiimbu: Hon. Minister, is that what transpired? Is that not what has led to this tragic incident?


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I thank Hon. Jack Mwiimbu for the question. I also thank him most sincerely for raising the point of order that allowed me to issue a statement on this matter. I am very grateful that he is concerned.


Sir, I want to state that the Government regrets the accident. I said clearly in my statement, and I will read what I said again for avoidance of doubt so that no one puts words in my mouth. I said that:


“Operations at the Black Mountain were only to continue upon approval of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency(ZEMA)and meeting of other mining related prerequisites.”


In short, when we give a licence, we give conditions of grant of the licence. Among the conditions of grant, a prominent one is that an EIZ is undertaken before full operations.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mwiinga (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, not long ago, the President of the United Party for National Development (UPND), Mr Hakainde Hichilema, had a press briefing concerning the safety of the mines. He advised the Government over safety and security in the mines.


Hon. PF Members: Question!


Mr A. M. Malama: What is your question?


Mr Mwiinga: Mr Kambwili, too, held a press briefing on the same subject.




Mr Mwiinga: Mr Speaker, what I want to find out is –


Princess Kucheka: His is Hon. Dr Kambwili.


Mr Mwiinga: Yes, Hon. Dr Kambwili.


Sir, what I want to find out is why this Government is so reluctant to take advice from the people or other political parties.




Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I know that this is a very emotive issue. I also know that most hon. Members, and countrymen and women are extremely concerned about this state of affairs.


Sir, the Government gives conditions of grant when issuing licences and licence holders are expected to follow the conditions of grant, as I have outlined. So, I do not agree with the hon. Member that this Government is not receptive to advice. I think we are a listening Government that is determined to listen to all stakeholders. In this regard, we have a technical matter that must not be politicised for people to gain …


Dr Malama: Hear, hear!


Mr Musukwa: … cheap political mileage.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Musukwa: We are talking about the loss of the lives of our people and I expect that all of us will show magnanimity and support our people.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, before I ask my question, may I convey my condolences to the families of the deceased ones.


Sir, who is going to compensate the relatives of the people who died yesterday at the Black Mountain in Kitwe?


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, indeed, when an accident of this magnitude happens, people are expected to be looked after and compensated.


I have stated that the people who were involved in this tragic accident, for lack of a better term, since we are dealing with an emotive issue, are called pickers, that is, those who go to the site illegally. They do not fall under the seven companies that were instituted.


Sir, what the Government has done is to provide relief to the mourners and bury our people. I want to also inform this House that Chapamo Group of Companies has taken responsibility for the accident because it happened within the company’s licence area. By law, the company is obliged to take charge of all the undertakings and to see how best the situation can be handled.


Mr Speaker, I would like to further state that the majority shareholder, Nkana Alloy which, to all intents and purposes, is not involved in the 10 per cent transaction, has come on board to help us send our people to their resting place in dignity.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Chali (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, I would like to pass my condolences to the Copperbelt Provincial hon. Minister for this sad loss.


Sir, the hon. Minister’s statement was quite elaborate on the requirements of the Mining and Explosive Regulations in such an environment. My question is: Have the investigations already been completed? If they have, what is the next move?


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, the investigations have not been completed, but are ongoing. In fact, we have suspended operations in order to allow for a forensic audit of what happened at the accident scene.


Mr Speaker, as I have indicated, the Mines and Safety Department of the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development had a well-structured plan of how that resource was to be exploited, including the operators following consistently the safety standards and procedures. In terms of adherence to the statutes in operations, the Mines Safety Department was on site to ensure that. What we are now doing is ensuring that a proper intensive audit of the true cause of this accident is undertaken.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mbangweta (Nkeyema): Mr Speaker, I wish to offer my condolences to the bereaved families.


Sir, the hon. Minister has said that the ministry sets out conditions when licences are given and expects the people who are given the licences to abide by the conditions. In the event that people do not abide by the conditions, like in this case, in which, as the Government is implying, people were stopping inspectors of the Government from visiting the site, who takes responsibility? As a matter of fact, is it possible that citizens can stop the Government from implementing laws, for example, the provision on safety clothing?


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, indeed, I stated that the Mines Safety Department’s first challenge is the enforcement of some of the regulations on the site. This challenge is in respect of illegal miners or scavengers, who invade the site. The Government regulates legal entities, and that is why we gave a licence to Chapamo Group of Companies. If Chapamo disregarded the conditions of the licence, the Government had the mandate to deal with it appropriately.


Sir, people are aware that there have been some blasts at the Black Mountain in the past couple of weeks and, since the Government had not given permission for that process, it halted the licence for Chapamo Group of Companies. So, the Government has the mandate to enforce regulations.


I thank you, Mr Speaker. 


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr C. M. Zulu (Luangeni): Mr Speaker, indeed, it is unfortunate that we lost lives at the Black Mountain. I am told, again, that apart from the accident that has happened, there is also indiscriminate disposal of human waste around that area. What measures has the ministry put in place to make sure that there are sanitation facilities at the Black Mountain?


Mr Musukwa: Sir, the Government has been dealing with a social problem. We are trying to mitigate the challenges of our people in terms of job placements and creation. So, the operation at the Black Mountain drew people from all over Kitwe. In fact, our first assessment is that the number of people who were just standing by the fence, watching the operation and waiting for an opportunity to enter the area, was in excess of 1,700.


Mr Speaker, one of the issues that are supposed to be addressed adequately in the EIA is how to avoid environmental hazards. In this respect, a meeting of stakeholders with the seven companies was called to discuss the issue of sanitation at the site and the temporary measure of providing mobile toilets was adopted.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Zimba (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, let me also pass my condolences to the bereaved families for this tragic loss.


Sir, before the Government gave out its 10 per cent stake, I think anyone was free to mine the slag dump. What criterion was used to award the shares to the people who now own them? I ask this question because the hon. Minister said that there were more people at the site than expected at the time of the accident. So, it is likely that some people were left out in the agreement. Is the Government not considering withdrawing the offer altogether to avoid more tragic losses?


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I would like to state that it is not the Government that organised the small-scale miners to carry out mining activities at the Black Mountain. Those people were mining illegally. However, since we are a Government of laws, we always want to exercise oversight over any operation. So, we engaged the majority shareholder, Nkana Alloy Smelting Company Limited, on how to create a win-win situation and bring together the youths to participate in the exploitation of our mineral resources, thereby partaking in that national cake. So, the company to which the operation was handed over was made by the groups that used to exploit the resources illegally. It is unfortunate that a good intention by the Government, which was meant to create synergies among our people, resulted in this unfortunate accident. However, the people who were involved in the accident were scavengers or people who had entered the site illegally.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, I would also like to pass my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. It is barely four months now since the operations at the Black Mountain in Kitwe commenced. To what extent was the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) involved before the operations commenced?


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I mentioned that there are conditions of grant we attach to the licences we issue. One of them is that the applicant gets approval from ZEMA after undertaking an EIA.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, on behalf of the people of Chama South, I would like to also extend my sincere condolences to the bereaved families.


Sir, from the hon. Minister’s explanation, it is clear that the Mines Safety Department and those charged with the responsibility of ensuring that there is safety in all mining activities did not do a good job. Is he confirming to the people of this country that mining activities were awarded to a group of disorganised people, since he said the site was accessible to anyone who wished to mine it? If so, does he not think the model used was not good for our people? If unauthorised people have access to something, it means there is a problem.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I want to clearly state that there are two issues involved here, namely the seven companies that were legally licensed and the scavengers who happened to be at the fence, watching the exploitation as it went on. Therefore, the hon. Member for Chama South’s assertion that the model we used was not water-tight and that the safety provisions put in place by our officers were not adequate is misplaced.




Mr Musukwa: Sir, Chama South is very far from Kitwe. If the hon. Member lived in Kitwe, he would appreciate the challenge we have. That is why Hon. Jack Mwiimbu, who understands the locus of this undertaking, rose on a point of order to give us the opportunity to make this clarification. The issue we are talking about is of illegal people and legal entities. The ministry instituted water-tight safety regulations in the exploitation of the resource. What is unfortunate is that an accident happened at the mine.


Sir, as you are aware, the Government would not allow an operation that results in an accident. All mining operations are undertaken under fairly stable safety conditions. However, only last week, an accident was recorded at Konkola Copper Mine (KCM). In short, what I am trying to say is that what happened is very unfortunate and we should not use it to champion different agendas.


Thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Mwashingwele (Katuba): Mr Speaker, on behalf of the good people of Katuba, I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the bereaved families on their loss. The youths resorted to dangerous activities due to the harsh economic circumstances. We know that they are not skilled in mining.


Sir, as I listened to the hon. Minister’s statement, I heard him contradict himself. One minute he called the victims illegal miners and in the next, he said that he allowed them to mine. The impression the hon. Minister’s explanation is giving me is that Chapamo Mineral Processing Company Limited sub-contracted other people who were not part of the process. Did the Government allow it to do that or is there something else the Government needs to tell us?


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I have clearly stated that there are seven different companies operating at the Black Mountain. Maybe, one group has 800 workers while the other can have 300 people, and we could not allow all those groups on the mining site because of safety reasons. Therefore, the companies had to have about seven authorised people on the site. Apart from the seven different companies, however, there is a group of scavengers or illegal miners who, because of a failure to observe the law and respect the way in which the resources were structured, periodically invaded the site. Therefore, the people who were involved in the accident fall in the category of scavengers. The licence holder, Chapamo Mineral Processing Company Limited, has merely taken responsibility because the accident happened on its site. If, for instance, someone died at the house of the hon. Member for Katuba, she would be obliged to inform the police and ensure that the body was removed from the house even if the person was a thief.


Sir, I agree with the hon. Member for Katuba that most of the people got involved in the mining activities because of some economic issues. They only wanted to provide for their families from the resources at the Black Mountain.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, on behalf of the humble people of Mumbwa, I want to join my colleagues in extending my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families of the victims of the tragedy.


Sir, in his opening remarks, the hon. Minister indicated that he was issuing the statement with a heavy heart. Also, not too long ago, he assured the nation about the safety of the Black Mountain when there were some signals that it was not safe. Now that an accident has happened at the mine, a cross section of the people is calling for his resignation. Will he resign?


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I maintain that I issued the statement with a heavy heart and that what happened is unfortunate. It should not have happened. The accident was a result of the failure of the illegal miners at the site to respect the provisions of the law.  They failed to comply with the safety provisions at the site. Otherwise, the safety procedures and standards at the site were consistent with the standard mining practice.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. UPND Members: Are you resigning?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, maybe, you should respond to his specific question.


Hon. UPND Members: Yes.


Mr Kambita: Are you resigning?


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, if criminals or illegal miners invade a site like they did at the Black Mountain, surely, that is not a good cause for me to resign. So, I am not resigning.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Musukwa: I will stay on and ensure that the unfortunate occurrence does not happen again by ensuring that people comply with the Mines and Minerals Act.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukumbuta (Senanga Central): Mr Speaker, as I thank the hon. Minister for his timely statement on this grave issue, I am not going to join those who have sent condolences to the bereaved families. Instead, allow me to observe a moment of silence ...




Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukumbuta: … honour of the dead.


Mr Mukumbuta stood in silence for a moment.


Dr Kambwili: Kwalibasana ibange kumwenu, iwe, ayi?




Mr Mukumbuta: May the souls of the deceased rest in peace.




Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukumbuta: Sir, after legalising the activities at the Black Mountain and changing the trademark name of the people involved from Jerabos to small-scale miners, is the hon. Minister’s Government of laws gonna consider coming up with …


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


The word “gonna” is unparliamentary.


Hon. Members: Going to!


Mr Mukumbuta: Is his Government of laws going to consider …


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukumbuta: … establishing a suitable and reliable safety department at the site like those in other mining houses on the Copperbelt Province and in North-Western province? Further, will he take precautionary measures to protect the lives of not only the small-scale miners, but also the precious lives of the people of Wusakile, Ndeke and Nkana West, especially those who live a stone’s throw away from that death trap, the people to whom the hon. Minister and I are indebted?


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I sincerely thank Hon. Mukumbuta. I know that he has very close ties with the people of Kitwe, Wusakile in particular. He and I have shared a platform among our people and I believe very strongly that the passion he has exhibited here is sincere. So, I would like to assure him that the Mines Safety Department will endeavour to enforce robust mine safety standards at the site at all times. In fact, I assure him that when I speak about safety at various mines, including at the Black Mountain, I am given technical information by the technocrats on the ground. The Government will ensure that the safety of the people is prioritised.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Jamba (Mwembeshi): Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, I will try to make some clarifications before I ask the question.


Mr Speaker: I am not very sure what you want to do.




Mr Speaker: However, what I expect you to do is simply ask a question. So, I do not see what else you will do.




Mr Jamba: Sir, what happened at the Black Mountain is what they call a slope failure in mining. There was an undercut …


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member of Parliament for Mwembeshi, you seem to want to preface your question with a lecture.




Mr Speaker: The impression I get is that you want to give advice in the form of a lecture. However, the purpose at this juncture is just to seek clarification on the statement by the hon. Minister. If you are inclined to give detailed technical advice, I am sure the Minister will be ready to hear you out even off the Floor of the House.


Mr Jamba: Mr Speaker, I am not giving him advice, …




Mr Jamba: … but saying that what happened at the Black Mountain was a slope failure. The hon. Minister said that the standard practice of mining was followed. However, there is no standard practice that allows someone to do an undercut whilst there are people mining from the top. So, my question is: What is the name of the mining manager who is competent according to the mining regulations and was responsible for that operation? The mining regulations require that the mining manager resigns or is fired when an accident occurs.


Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I can see that the hon. Member for Mwembeshi is trying to expound a very solid legal perspective of the operation. Yes, the operation is supervised and co-ordinated by a mining manager who is a holder. By law, the mining manager is responsible for any operation. In this regard, when we granted those people the licence for the site, they appointed a qualified mining engineer, who is a holder for the operation. What we are failing to keep in perspective is that the group of people who were involved in this accident is not among those we licensed to mine the site.


Sir, like the hon. Member has stated – and I want to repeat for his sake – I stated, earlier, that there was non-compliance, in terms of co-ordination between the human resource and the equipment. That is why when the excavator was operating, there were scavengers on the ground, which is not a conventional practice in mining.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Siliya: Hear, hear!


Mr Jamba: Who is he?


Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the people of Katombola also convey their heartfelt condolences. This is, indeed, tragic.


Sir, when the hon. Minister gave away the 10 per cent shareholding of the Black Mountain, obviously, there were supposed to be people responsible for the demarcated portions. How, then, did the scavengers or unwanted people …


Dr Kambwili: Hear, hear! Mwaiche wandi!


Mr Livune: … find their way onto private property? Are the licence holders allowing every Jim and Jack to access their sites and trade? Only if there is somebody providing a market to the scavengers can they continue to exist.


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I have said that the mining site has been demarcated into two areas, with 90 per cent owned by Nkana Alloy and 10 per cent by Chapamo Mineral Processing Limited. If the hon. Member followed my statement carefully, he must have heard me say that in accordance with the provisions of the Mines and Minerals Act, there is a 12 m unmined boundary between the two licence holders. It is only supposed to be mined at the conclusion of the operations. Therefore, the two sides have legal owners who are responsible for them. However, as the hon. Member might appreciate, the scavengers who invaded the site were operating around the two portions and, sometimes, there is a challenge in terms of oversight.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, with a heavy heart, I would also like to convey my condolences to the many bereaved families on behalf of the people of Kasempa.


Sir, my question arises from an issue that has already been belaboured by many speakers before me, that is, ensuring that an environmental impact assessment (EIA), in fact, an environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA), is undertaken before a licence is issued. However, a precedent has been set in the country that an operation of that magnitude with many people with artisanal kinds of skills, was allowed without an ESIA at a time the ministry was responsible for that component. The ESIAs are no longer a responsibility of the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, but of the Ministry Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection. I would like to find out how the ministry will ensure that many other mining businesses undertake credible and comprehensive ESIAs and consult members of the public? That way, the public will be involved in decision-making and bring to the fore issues that are likely to arise, such as what we have witnessed.


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, the Government operates as a unit. We synergise across several departments. Really, it does not have to be the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development that makes a follow-up on a particular matter. In fact, in order to provide checks and balances, and oversight over functions, it is good that the function falls under a different ministry. What is critical is to synchronise the processes in order to move forward.


Mr Speaker, I would like to further state that there is a technical aspect to the issue of licensing. What the small-scale miners or Chapamo Group of Companies, so-called Jerabos, have is a processing, not mining, licence.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the statement he has issued to this House.


Sir, I have never seen the hon. Minister in such a low mood. So, I know he is equally affected. However, I would like to find out from him whether there were approved mining procedures on the site, considering that it was a backfill, not a still rock, that collapsed.


Mr Speaker: Order!


I am getting concerned about these questions. Let us try to follow the hon. Minister’s responses because he has been repeating his statements.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: I do not think we are managing time efficiently. What he is simply saying is that there are two situations. On one hand, there are groupings that have been licensed and authorised to carry out mining activities and, on the other, unfortunately, there are also people who are mining or carrying out some other activities illegally. The calamity we are discussing emanates from the latter situation. We seem to be premising our questions wrongly on the idea that the calamity involved the former, hence the hon. Minister repeatedly making the distinction that the Government targeted a particular group, but still has a problem with other illegal participants. So, there is a clear distinction. This is the situation we are looking at. Therefore, we need to be focused in our enquiry.


I must state that, ultimately, as a House, we should be directing ourselves to generating solutions to the problem at hand. My concern, as a Presiding Officer, is that the hon. Minister is repeating himself. Meanwhile, my list is growing.


You may respond to the question, hon. Minister.


Hon. Government: Hear, hear!


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I just want to appreciate the hon. Member for commiserating with us on the tragic accident that has happened to our people.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: We have been on this statement for a while now. So, I will wind up with questions from the hon. Member for Mitete, the hon. Member for Kamfinsa, the hon. Member for Roan, the hon. Member for Mwandi, the hon. Member for Nalikwanda, the hon. Member for Kalabo Central and the hon. Member for Lukulu East; in that order.


Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Mr Speaker, like the hon. Minister said in his statement, indeed, it is with a heavy heart that we debate this topic. I would like to also pass my condolences to the families of the bereaved people.


Sir, the hon. Minister indicated that the victims were assigned to carry out some mining activities and that the accident happened in full view of both the illegal and the legal miners. Now that the victims are dead, they are being referred to as illegal miners, yet they were ‘assigned’. The dead must be turning in the mortuary after hearing the hon. Minister call them illegal miners when their activities were allowed, as they were carried out in full view of the Government.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I maintain that this tragic accident was a result of non-compliance by people who were not supposed to be in the area.


Sir, there are some things which some hon. Members are not aware of. When an operation is undertaken on the Black Mountain, the first element harvested is called chrome. The victims were rushing to get the chrome when they unfortunately lost their lives.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Musonda (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, from the outset, let me start by sending the deceased families and the entire mining fraternity my sincere condolences.


Sir, in his statement, the hon. Minister spoke of a lack of strict access control on the site. We also know that the deceased and injured were illegal miners. Further, even if the ministry has suspended operations, it is most likely that illegal mining will continue. Bearing in mind that the ground at the Black Mountain is very unstable and there is a risk of an accident recurring, what strict access control measures have been put in place to stop the illegal miners from going back to the site and, thereby, prevent a recurrence of what happened yesterday?


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, we had restricted operations to between 0630 hours and 1730 hours, but we had a few challenges in enforcing the rule. So, in order to ensure that people do not stray onto the site, we have officers guarding it twenty-four hours a day. This is also aimed at keeping illegal miners from accessing it.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Dr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, I watched the hon. Minister on television two days ago giving an assurance that all was well, including safety, at the Black Mountain, and he was widely quoted by the daily newspapers. However, listening to him today, I wonder whether there are two different Musukwa or it is the same person. If it is the same person, when did he learn about the shortcomings at the Black Mountain he has elaborated in his statement? He has raised many issues, one of which is that inspectors were threatened. He also mentioned that the area was invaded by scavengers. Obviously, a mining site that is invaded by scavengers cannot be classified as safe. Above all, no environmental assessment report was issued. Is it the same Musukwa I watched on television who is speaking or am I seeing a ghost?




Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Roan!


You have raised important issues but, unfortunately, you also laced the important issues with sarcasm. Therefore, you are making it very difficult for me to allow the hon. Minister to respond. Would you like to withdraw the last part of the question? We know he is not a ghost.  




Dr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, he is Tumbuka and, therefore, my tribal cousin. We know how we joke. However, I withdraw that statement.


Sir, am I seeing the same cousin of mine, Mr Musukwa, or is it a different one from the one I saw two days ago?


Mr Speaker: Do not even call him your cousin. Just say ‘hon. Minister’.


Dr Kambwili: Is it the same hon. Minister, Mr Speaker?


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I thank Hon. Dr Chishimba Kambwili, the Patriotic Front (PF) hon. Member of Parliament for our people in Roan Constituency, ...


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Musukwa: … for his support during this trying moment. Only three or four days ago, he went on record congratulating His Excellency the President and the PF Government on giving the Black Mountain to our youths in Kitwe.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Musukwa: He spoke to me in person and asked me to ensure that safety standards were adhered to. I thank him sincerely for that. 


Mr Speaker, on the safety issues I spoke about two or three days ago in terms of the mine plan and exploitation of natural resources, I am informed by the reports and activities of our technical team on the ground. Hon. Dr Kambwili knows that hon. Ministers do not go to the Black Mountain or other mining sites, but are informed by technocrats. So, what caused this accident is a failure by the people operating in that area to comply with regulations, and a lack of co-ordination between machinery and the human capital on the site. I am aware that Hon. Dr Kambwili knows the operations at the Black Mountain very well. So, I thank him for his support.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mutaba (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, a mining area is supposed to be highly secured. However, the hon. Minister has indicated that inspectors were being harassed. What were the immediate measures taken by the Government to protect the inspectors who went to inspect the mine, and the legal miners at the site?


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, this is an august House. Therefore, the Government is obliged to share accurate information about the situation on the ground with hon. Members and, through them, the nation. It is in that spirit that we shared the information on the harassment our technical teams sometimes faced. I have also stated that the harassment came from the illegal miners, not the legal ones. With the licence holders, there are provisions for us to act. If they do not comply with the conditions of the licence, we have the mandate to cancel the licences and impose sanctions.


Sir, what the Government did to enhance safety was to provide security to ensure that our staff were not hindered in performing their duties.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, my deepest sympathy and condolences go to the families that have lost their loved ones.


Mr Speaker, research evidence indicates that the probability of failure of a waste or slag site hinges on many unpredictable factors and is hard to calculate. Even an environmental impact assessment (EIA) might not conclusively ascertain the safety of such a site. Going forward, does the hon. Minister think surrendering the Black Mountain for continued mining activities will be a good decision?


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I want to ride on the preface of the Professor. I agree with him that accidents at mine sites happen unpredictably, even with all sorts of regulations in place. I would also add that even in mines that have sophisticated safety procedures, accidents still occur.


Mr Speaker, this accident happened on a site of an operation in which the Government, working with stakeholders, had created a platform for the participation of local Zambians in the exploitation of our natural resources. Therefore, the position of the Government is that we need to sustain that platform. In our quest to do that responsibly, we will establish benchmarks for safety standards so that all facilities are safe and good for our people. At no time will the ministry allow a facility or process that is destined to end in a calamity to continue. That is why I stated that I was issuing this statement with a heavy heart. The accident was unpredictable owing to the fact that the parameters, in terms of safety and mine operations, were worked out. I would like to add that the accident happened against the background of the operations at the mine being suspended for three days in order to ensure that all safety hazards, such as overhanging walls, were worked on to ascertain the true safety of our people. Indeed, Sir, the Hon. Professor was right to say accidents are unpredictable, and I am very grateful for his support.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, on behalf of the people of Kalabo and all the youths in this country, I convey my heartfelt condolences to all the bereaved families. I am sure that the souls we have lost were youths.


Mr Speaker, the Government needs to be awakened not by tragedies of this nature, but by minor incidents. In this regard, the hon. Minister has called the lost souls “scavengers”. I feel very bad about that. A scavenger can be an animal that feeds on rubbish. Therefore, I urge the hon. Minister to withdraw the word “scavenger” because those people are no longer alive.


Mr Speaker, not more than ten days ago, part of the mine dump collapsed. Was that signal not enough to awaken the relevant authorities to the danger at the dump site? Bearing in mind that the site in question is a slag dump, not a mine, was that incident, which occurred before the deaths, not a big enough signal for those responsible to put in place appropriate measures to prevent people from scavenging at the site, which has led to the country losing those souls?


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, like I have stated, I have issued this statement with a heavy heart. So, I would not like to engage my colleagues in word gymnastics or vocabulary games or semantics. The word used on the site by our friends in the mining field is ‛pickers’. These are people who stand by the roadside and pick even materials that fall from cargo trucks. The materials picked from the site are popularly known as chrome. Our investigations yesterday revealed that the people supply the materials directly to the final processors.


Sir, I assure the hon. Member that the initiative at the site had a good intention, which was to create a platform for our people to work. You may be interested to note that various political players across the country tried to use the plight of the small-scale miners, formerly called Jerabos, as an excuse for criticising the Government. They said that this Government had not taken care of small-scale miners. So, we decided to help them to institute an organisation that could help them exploit the resource at the site. Our decision was meant to empower our people and it was premised on the idea that the resource at the site must be exploited in a safe and sustainable manner.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, the latter part of the question from the hon. Member for Kalabo Central was about the state of the dumps. His question, specifically, was: Were there not sufficient signals to forecast this calamity?


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, like I stated earlier, there was a blast at the site and, because of that, the Mines Safety Department and the seven companies on the site instituted a programme to ensure that all dangerous overhanging walls were brought down. In this regard, let me refer to the video clip that the hon. Member mentioned. On that day, machinery was taken to the top of the mountain to bring down the walls because we had not authorised any blasting. You will note from the video that was circulating that all the vehicles and people were lined in one area when that was going on. In short, that was a supervised exercise meant to bring down the walls that were a safety hazard.


Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, to me, it is very clear that this accident was a result of a failure of regulation and enforcement, both of which are responsibilities of the Government. I am also aware that what is said on the Floor of this House is generally on record. My question is: Why does the hon. Minister feel that this incident does not warrant his resignation? He stated that the activities of criminals and scavengers cannot make him resign. Is he implying that our young people who perished in pursuit of a genuine livelihood were criminals and scavengers?


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I have just received from my learned colleagues the definition of ‘scavengers’, which I would like to read as follows:


“A person who searches for and collects discarded items.”


I said that this accident was as a result of non-compliance by the people who have been operating on the site.


Mr Speaker, the Government will not shy away from stating that the victims were operating on the site illegally. Our friend, the hon. Doctor, might want us to shy away from that fact, but we will not do that because this is the circumstance in which we have found ourselves. As I have stated, it cannot be the basis for my resignation. This is a time to rebuild from where we have fallen and ensure that the people of Zambia, particularly the people of Kitwe, who voted for the Patriotic Front (PF), benefit from this Government. That will be done by ensuring that Zambians participate in the exploitation of the country’s resources in a safe and well-structured manner.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!








281. Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central) asked the Vice-President:


  1. whether the Government is aware that the crops for the people living along the Kalabo-Sikongo Road, which is under construction, have been destroyed by floods due to the manner in which the road is designed;


  1. if so, whether relief food will be sent to the area; and


  1. whether there are any plans to redesign the road to avert further flooding.


The Minister in the Office of the Vice-President (Ms Chalikosa): Mr Speaker, I also deeply commiserate with the families that have lost their dear ones in different forms of accidents.


Sir, the Government is aware that some maize fields along the Kalabo/Sikongo Road were flooded due to the heavy rainfall experienced during the 2017/2018 Rainy Season. The area in question is in the flood plains and some parts of the flood plain get flooded annually. As to whether the flooding was caused by the design of the road, preliminary investigations by the Road Development Agency (RDA) attribute the destruction of the crops at some sections of the road to drainage system outflows. However, further assessments will be undertaken to ascertain the main cause.


Mr Speaker, the House might wish to note that the Zambia Vulnerability Assessment Committee, which is chaired by the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), recently undertook an in-depth vulnerability and needs assessment on the impact of the 2017/2018 Rainy Season on agriculture, among other sectors, in the fifty-eight districts of the country, Kalabo included. A comprehensive report whose recommendations will soon be availed to the House is currently being finalised. Based on the recommendations, the appropriate interventions, including the provision of relief food to the food-deficit districts, will be implemented.


Sir, there are currently no plans to redesign the road. However, measures to avert flooding downstream, such as the placement of scour checks and diversion of floodwater to the nearest water course, are under consideration.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Miyutu: Sir, some of the answers given by the hon. Minister do not relate to my question. At (a), the question is:


“Whether the Government is aware that the crops for the people living along the Kalabo-Sikongo Road, which is under construction, have been destroyed by floods due to the manner in which the road is designed.”


Sir, I would like to show you some of the pictures I took from the sites I am talking about. There is a place called Kanchumwa, a stream along which people grow crops like sweet potatoes and cassava. This is the most affected place and it is the one I am talking about, not the area that was flooded by heavy rainfall. Now that I have explained, do I repeat the question so that the hon. Minister can give an answer specific to the place called Kanchumwa?


Mr Speaker: I would like to believe that she has followed what you have said. So, I will allow her to respond.


Ms Chalikosa: Mr Speaker, I, too, am a bit lost as to what the hon. Member is talking about because the question clearly asks whether the Government is aware that the crops for the people living on the Kalabo/Sikongo Road, which is under construction, have been destroyed by floods due to the manner in which the road is designed, and I have responded by saying that the Government is aware of that. I have also stated that the area is in the flood plains some of whose parts get flooded annually.


Sir, on whether the flooding was caused by the design of the road, I have stated that preliminary investigations by the RDA, which should answer the question on the road design, attribute the destruction of the crops at some sections of the road to drainage system outflows. That, probably, includes the section the hon. Member is talking about. Therefore, I do not know where I have failed to answer the hon. Member’s question.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, with me are some photographs (held a folder up). These pictures were taken last week on Sunday at around 1000 hours. Unfortunately, the date cannot be seen here, but my camera shows the date, time and place where the photos were taken. I will lay these photographs on the Table.


Sir, the people whose crops have been damaged due to the nature of the road have lodged complaints to the contractor. What I am saying here is on the contractor’s table. It is not a made-up story. As I am speaking, the people do not have enough food to eat. We are in June, which is not the right time for growing sweet potatoes, especially in flooded areas. In June, we grow sweet potatoes ...


Mr Speaker: What is your question?


Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, when will the people whose crops have been damaged and whose reports have been submitted, be compensated so that they see the way forward?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, would you want to qualify where the compensation, in your view, would come from?


Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, the compensation should come from the contractor.


Mr Speaker: Very well. I wanted to clarify your question.


Ms Chalikosa: Mr Speaker, then, perhaps, the question should have been directed at the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development which directly supervises the works, signs agreements in terms of compensation and keeps environmental impact assessment records.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Notice of Motion –


Hon. Members: Aah!


Mr Speaker: Are there some more questions?


Hon. Members: Yes.


Mr Speaker: There were none when I looked in the other direction.


Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Mr Speaker, some time back, I would say I am thankful that I caught your eye, but now, there is a new system.




Mr Mutelo: Sir, by the way –


Mr Speaker: Even with the new system, I still use my eyes.




Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, Her Honour the Vice-President is the Leader of Government Business in the House. So, this question is appropriately targeted and properly asked.


Sir, on one hand, the hon. Minister is saying the flooding is due to nature but, on the other, she is saying that preliminary reports by the Road Development Agency (RDA) indicate that the flooding is due to drainage outflows. Which is the right answer? Is it due to drainage outflows or natural flooding?


Ms Chalikosa: Mr Speaker, the damage to the crops is due to both natural flooding and the drainage outflows.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwene (Mangango): Mr Speaker, since the Government is aware that the flooding situation in Kalabo, which has damaged some crops, is caused by drainage outflows, what measures is it going to put in place to avoid the continuous flooding so that our people do not continuously lose their crops?


Ms Chalikosa: Mr Speaker, the floods were generalised across the flood plains, not restricted to Kalabo, and the RDA is continuing to undertake further assessments. Further, I have said that the agency is also considering measures to avert flooding downstream by placing scour checks to divert flood waters to the nearest water course. That is one of the measures being put in place.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has stated that a comprehensive statement would be issued on the assessment carried out in the fifty-eight districts to determine the damage to crops. When will the report be released? Further, when does the hon. Minister intend to start giving relief food to the affected districts, including Kalabo, seeing as we are almost in July?


Ms Chalikosa: Mr Speaker, the In-depth Vulnerability Assessment Report will be out by the end of June, 2018, and, based on the findings, we will soon after start delivering relief food where it is needed.


Princess Kucheka(Zambezi West): Sir, the hon. Minister is talking about floods and I know that she visited Zambezi West. Is she able to tell us the names of the districts that were affected by the floods?


Mr Speaker: Which floods?




Princess Kucheka: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the Government assessed about twenty districts.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister in the Office of the Vice-President will answer the question, but should bear in mind that we are dealing with Kalabo.




Ms Chalikosa: Thank you, Mr Speaker. You have just answered on my behalf.


This question was specific to Kalabo and it was just by way of giving bonus information that I mentioned the assessments in fifty-eight districts countrywide.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: The last question will be from the hon. Member for Nalikwanda.


Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda):Mr Speaker, listening to the hon. Member for Kalabo Central, one gets the impression that the situation is very grave and requires urgent attention in terms of food relief. In view of the vulnerability and needs assessment of fifty-eight districts and the gravity of the situation in Kalabo, is the hon. Minister in a position to place Kalabo in the high priority category in terms of need for food relief?


Mr Miyutu: Hear, hear!


Ms Chalikosa: Mr Speaker, where people are hungry, people are hungry. Therefore, it is the intention of the DMMU to deliver food relief as and when is it required.


I thank you, Sir.








Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Energy, Water Development and Tourism for the Second Session of the Twelfth National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 8th June, 2018.


Mr Speaker: Is the Motion Seconded?


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.


Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker −


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


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Mbabala! Just a moment.


The hon. Member for Mbabala has begun his debate and I avoid permitting points of order under circumstances of this nature. So, if the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central has a pressing issue, please, let him direct it to the Clerk and it will be brought to my office.


May the hon. Member for Mbabala, please, continue.


Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, in keeping with its terms of reference outlined in Standing Order No. 157(2), your Committee considered the status of water supply and sanitation in Zambia, and examined the 2015 Annual Report of the Energy Regulation Board (ERB). The Committee further reviewed the operations of the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA). During its session, it invited various stakeholders to make both oral and written submissions on the subjects it considered.


Sir, your Committee observes that the Revised National Water Policy of 2010 has mainly provided for aspects of water resource management and has limited focus on water and sanitation. In addition, the policy does not provide detailed policy measures or strategies to drive the water supply and sanitation sector. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to urgently review the policy to take these issues and the recent developments in the sector into account.


Mr Speaker, your Committee observes that most of the infrastructure for water and sanitation services is old and dilapidated. It is important to note that the water that is lost as a result of the dilapidated infrastructure, which is referred to as non-revenue water, is treated at a very high cost and those losses are among the causes of low revenues for most commercial utility companies. Your Committee, therefore, strongly urges the Government to adequately fund the water and sanitation sector to enable it to rehabilitate infrastructure in order to curb the problem of non-revenue water.


Mr Speaker, your Committee is concerned about the huge water and sanitation bills accumulated by public institutions because they are adversely affecting the financial position of water utility companies. Further, your Committee observes that at inception, some of the commercial utility companies inherited huge debts in the form of loans that had been contracted by the Government. For instance, Nkana Water and Sewerage Company (NWSC) has an K84,327,713 loan on its books that has remained unpaid to date. The poor financial position has a negative bearing on the ability of the utility companies to meet their financial obligations, including statutory contributions to the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) and the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA). It also contributes to the failure of the companies to improve service delivery. Therefore, your Committee recommends that public institutions honour their obligations to the utility companies to improve the cash flow of the utilities and enable them to dismantle outstanding statutory obligations and debts to other service providers.


Sir, on inherited loans, your Committee recommends that the Government takes up the loans in order to relieve the affected water utility companies of the financial burden.


Sir, your Committee is concerned about submissions from our co-operating partners on the misappropriation of funds disbursed to the water and sanitation sector for urban projects in Lusaka. Therefore, it recommends that stringent measures be put in place urgently to ensure that resources meant for the improvement of water supply and sanitation are used only for its intended purpose regardless of whether the resources are externally or internally sourced. The Committee further recommends that disciplinary action be taken against all officers involved in the misapplication of the donor funds.


Mr Speaker, another issue of concern are the large number of unplanned settlements and high incidence of encroachments in most urban and peri-urban areas. The unplanned nature of the settlements makes it difficult to put up water and sanitation networks in those areas. The situation is worsened by illegal allocation of land, with no land reserved for construction of water and sanitation infrastructure. Sadly, even the land that is reserved for water catchment to prevent floods has been encroached on, as the case is at Stewart Park near State House. In this regard, your Committee recommends that the Government ensures that there is effective planning and that minimum requirements outlined in the Urban and Regional Planning Act No. 3 of 2015 are met before the opening up of new areas for human settlement.


Mr Speaker, the mandate to provide water and sanitation services is vested in water utility companies through their respective shareholders who, in this case, are the local authorities. These commercial utility companies are supervised by Boards of Directors. However, your Committee notes with concern that of the eleven commercial utility companies in the country, only NWSC and Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) have boards in place. The absence of boards adversely affects the overall strategic direction of the companies and militates against the tenets of good corporate governance. Your Committee observes that the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection has taken over the role of Board Chairperson for all water utility companies without boards. However, there is no such provision in the Companies Act, Chapter 388 of the Laws of Zambia.


In this regard, your Committee recommends that the Government constitutes boards for all utility companies because they are important for the successful operation of the respective institutions and the development of the water supply and the sanitation sector. Your Committee further recommends that the Articles of Association for water utility companies be reviewed to include a clause to limit the period that a utility company should be allowed to operate without a board.


Sir, your Committee observes that there is no regulation of water supply and sanitation services in rural areas. The National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) is confined to regulating the sector in urban and peri-urban areas, a situation that has created a regulatory gap in rural areas. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government expedites the process of approving the National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme (NRWSSP) for the period 2016-2030. The programme is key to increasing access to safe, reliable and convenient quantities of water supply to increase access to proper sanitation.


Mr Speaker, as mandated by Standing Order No. 157(2)(iv), your Committee also reviewed the 2016 Energy Regulation Board (ERB) Report in order to establish whether the institution is being managed in accordance with the relevant Acts of Parliament and if its operations are carried out in accordance with its prescribed mandates.


Sir, your Committee also observes that since the enactment of the Energy Regulation Act, Chapter 436 of the Laws of Zambia in 1995, a number of developments have taken place in the energy sector that call for amendment of the Act. Your Committee further observes that there is no specific legislation to guide the electricity sub-sector. In this regard, your Committee recommends that the Government present the Energy Regulation Act to Parliament for amendment so as to take care of the developments that have taken place in the sector. In addition, legislation to govern the electricity sub-sector should be presented for enactment.


Sir, your Committee observes that there is no conclusive information on the cost of producing electricity in Zambia, and is concerned that the ERB has been approving electricity tariff hikes without clarifying the criterion used to determine tariff cost-reflectivity in Zambia. It, therefore, recommends that the findings of the Cost of Service Study be released as a matter of urgency.


Sir, regarding the review of the operations of the ZRA, your Committee observes that the purported equal ownership of the authority by Zambia and Zimbabwe has not translated into balanced tangible benefits to Zambia. This is demonstrated by the fact that the authority employs more Zimbabweans than Zambians. In addition, the agreement that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) always be a Zimbabwean national because the Head Office is located in Zambia has become retrogressive with passage of time. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that a fifty-fifty employment ratio be attained at the authority. Further, the agreement concerning the position of CEO should be reviewed as a matter of urgency. In this regard, the relevant Acts that created the authority in the two countries should be reviewed.


Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I thank the various stakeholders who made submissions to your Committee. I also thank the members of your Committee for exhibiting a high level of dedication and co-operation during the deliberations. Lastly, your Committee places on record its gratitude to you and the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the support and guidance rendered to the Committee during this session.


Mr Speaker, I beg to move.


Mr Speaker: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?


Mr Mung’andu: Now, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker, in seconding this Motion, which has been ably moved by the Chairperson of your Committee, I will confine myself to issues that have not been highlighted by the mover.


Sir, your Committee observes that the provision of water and sanitation services in rural areas should be the direct responsibility of local authorities. However, the local authorities seem not to have the capacity to discharge this mandate. Furthermore, the state of the water and sanitation infrastructure is poor countrywide and most of the projects that are being undertaken by the Government and its co-operating partners are concentrated in urban areas. Since more than half of our population resides in rural areas, it is important that the Government prioritises the provision of water to the people in the rural areas.


Mr Speaker, if we look at urban water supply, it is clear that infrastructure has been a challenge and the cause of cholera outbreaks. Without discrediting the efforts that are being made by various stakeholders, your Committee is of the view that the failure to encompass the rural and low-income areas might have far-reaching consequences than has been observed in urban areas. Therefore, your Committee urges the Government to expedite the process of operationalising the National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme (NRWSSP).


Mr Speaker, your Committee observes that there is apparent poor co-ordination among the different stakeholders in the provision of water and sanitation services which stifles the growth of the sector and promotes duplication of activities. In this regard, your Committee recommends that in order to foster a well-co-ordinated and integrated system, the Government undertakes a comprehensive review of the Water Supply and Sanitation Act and finalises the development of the Water Supply and Solid Waste Management Policy. Other relevant policies and pieces of legislation should also be reviewed to bring them in line with emerging issues, such as climate change, and foster integrated planning and development to support Zambia’s sustainable development agenda.


Mr Speaker, your Committee was privileged to conduct public hearings on the status of water supply and sanitation in the country in Matero in Lusaka and Chifubu in Ndola. Your Committee learnt that the service provided by the commercial utility companies in these areas fell below the expected standards. Your Committee was also informed that the residents of the two areas experienced erratic water supply. The public also lamented the inconsistencies in the billing system of the two utility companies, whereby some customers were billed even without supply. It is for this reason that the Committee recommends that the Government works out measures to compel commercial utility companies to improve their service delivery.


Sir, in conclusion, I thank you, on behalf of the members of your Committee, for allowing us to serve on your Committee. I further thank the members of your Committee for giving me the opportunity to second this important Motion.


Mr Speaker, I beg to move.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, before we proceed, we have a challenge with the communication system on the left of the first row. The fault has incapacitated our colleagues from catching my attention in the usual fashion. So, they will indicate by rising, and the hon. Member for Chirundu has already caught my eye.



Mr Syakalima (Chirundu): Mr Speaker, let me thank the mover and the seconder of the Motion for this report, which is quite informative, but depressing because most of the issues your Committee has highlighted have been outstanding for quite a long time now, but we seem not to make any progress as a country.


Sir, I have had a cursory look at your report. In fact, I think I have read quite a number of your reports, and they are not impressive at all. I wonder why, every year, we come here, table reports and urge the Government to act, but it does not do anything. It is business as usual. Does this Government want to waste our time or work for the people? I am even failing to find what to say because there is poor this and poor that, dilapidated this and dilapidated that everywhere in the report, and everything that is mentioned is said to be poor. This Government is topping the league table in everything where poor service is concerned. Why does it want to be in a position in which it cannot function? In this report, things like poor governance, poor sanitation, poor water supply and corruption have been mentioned. This Government is leading the league table in doing things poorly.




Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Chirundu!


Can you direct your mind to the report.


Mr Syakalima: That is where I am, Sir. I am actually reading your report. The things I am saying are written in your report.


Sir, my question is: Why do governments, especially this …


Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


Mr Syakalima: Mr Speaker, as I had indicated before business was suspended, the issue of water and sanitation is important. Unfortunately, according to the Committee’s report, we are dismally surviving due to the dismal performance by the Government which, even when urged by the reports of your Committees to do certain things, does not work. I am not quite sure what it thinks about Zambians. After more than fifty years of Independence, the Government is still struggling to give the people clean and adequate water, yet Zambia holds 40 per cent of the water bodies in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region. What does this tell you? Every year, 90 billion cubic litres of underground water remain unutilised and 60 billion cubic litres of rain water go to waste.


Sir, we have adequate water, yet the people do not have water. No wonder, we have the perennial issue of cholera, which has been referred to in the Committee’s report. The hon. Ministers of Health and Local Government recently said that the operation against cholera had finished. However, let us wait for November. We only have a break because we are in the dry season when there is no rainfall. We do not dispose of waste in a proper way and some places are still dirty. Therefore, cholera has gone into incubation and, once the rain starts falling, we will be in trouble again. We must be ashamed because cholera is a disease of dirt. How can we proudly admit that we keep dirt and die of it? This is unacceptable under a Government that says that it is working for the people. If the Eurobond was pumped into water and sanitation, today, we could have been saying something else.


Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: However, no one knows where that money is.


Mr Nkombo: They know.


Mr Syakalima: Mr Speaker, it is quite disheartening to have our colleagues call themselves the Government when the people are starving. This reminds me of the adage that “in the midst of plenty, a fool starves”. We have plenty of water, yet we do not have water. This is irony. Since our colleagues decided to be in the Government, they should ensure that I do not see a similar report next year …




Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: … because I am tired of seeing reports like this one. The Government has been told clearly that what it is doing for the people is wrong.


Sir, I read somewhere about financial mismanagement. How do officers mismanage €3 million meant for urban projects in Lusaka when there is a Government in place? What do you call that? Worse, the money being mismanaged is donor money, not our money. People want to help the Government, yet its officers misappropriate the money they provide. So, when will our people get out of all these problems? Most of the money was used on allowances rather than on projects. What type of people are we?  This means that we are depriving the citizens. No wonder the Americans opted to implement the Millennium Challenge Corporation Project themselves. Had they given us the money, we would have taken it somewhere else. We are known to be dangerous people when given money.


Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!




Mr Syakalima: This is not right. For how long are we going to talk about all these issues? This is why I am saying that I will not accept this type of behaviour from the Government.


Hon. UPND Members: That is right.


Mr Lubinda: As who?


Mr Syakalima: Me.


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Chirundu!


Just continue addressing me.


Mr Syakalima: Mr Speaker, I am not going to accept …




Mr Syakalima: … this type of behaviour from the Government.


Mr Livune: That is right!




Mr Syakalima: We have tolerated it for too long.


Mr Livune: Correct!


Mr Lufuma: Enough is enough!


Mr Syakalima: Sir, water and sanitation is the starting point of everything, and your report has indicated that there is a little the Government is doing in the urban areas, but there is nothing in the rural areas where the majority of our people live.


Sir, the €3 million which I referred to earlier was reimbursed in December, 2016. Who got that money and where did it go?


Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: We have Government Ministers and Permanent Secretaries (PSs) who are supposed to be in charge of public funds. Who got the money and who reimbursed it? Where was it taken? The people in this Government should answer these questions, but they are the culprits. These are some of the issues that the Auditor-General’s Report brings out year in and year out, just like your Committee has done. It is written in the report that the incident dented the image of Zambia and that some of our co-operating partners threatened to withdraw their support. Can you see that?


Mr Livune: Sorry!


Mr Syakalima: This happened at the time there was an outbreak of cholera. Instead of using the money on combating cholera, someone misused it, yet he or she was left to go scot-free.


Mr Mukosa: Question!


Mr Syakalima: Mr Speaker, some people must be held accountable for that money. We are not interested in the fact that the money was reimbursed. We are worried that it was taken in the first place. Like Prof. Lumumba said, we like using words like ‘abuse’ and ‘fraud’, when we should rather just call the vice ‘theft’. If something does not belong to you and is meant for the public –




Mr Syakalima: It is not right!


Mr Speaker, if cholera breaks out again, this year, and the same kind of behaviour is repeated, our colleagues will see what I will do to them.


Mr Lufuma: Yes, we know.


Mr Lufuma: Heads will roll.




Mr Syakalima: Sir, this is a serious issue. It might sound funny, but it is not. People died.


Mr Speaker, if you look at the outbreaks of cholera, you will note how, over the years, the incidence of the disease has been increasing. In 2016, 1,179 cases of cholera were recorded, with thirty-one deaths. Between late 2017 and early 2018, more than seventy people, mostly from Lusaka, died.


Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: Unfortunately, the money that was supposed to help improve water reticulation or replace the obsolete infrastructure was misused and seventy people were sacrificed. Who do our colleagues say killed those people when they were given money to ensure that no one died, but someone within the circles of the Government got it?


Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: Plainly, it is the Government, which is not for the people, that has killed those people.


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Chirundu! Resume your seat.


I know you have an aggressive style of debating, but I think we need to be factual and literal in the use of our language. When you say ‘X’ has killed ‘Y’, literally, …




Mr Speaker: … it sends a different message.


It was only last week, I think, that I urged hon. Members to be civil in their debates. You can still canvass these issues and lose nothing by being civil. There is nothing lost. I know there is a propensity in some people to be as offensive as they can be in their debates.


Hon. Member for Chirundu, continue, please.


Mr Syakalima: Thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: I am actually very civil here, Sir. I am not yet aggressive, but there are certain things to which one is allowed to attach one’s emotions in psychology, and I happen to be a psychologist. It is just my way of emphasising. In any case, I was not directly saying that ‘X’ did this. I meant that, inadvertently, we can conclude.


Mr Speaker, the story still continues. Your report is littered with things like a lack of this, poor that, non-revenue water, solid waste and a lack of multi-sectoral co-ordination and planning, to mention a few. 


Sir, the adoption of the sector-based approach to development, as opposed to an integrated one, hindered the sustainable use of water resources for socio-economic development. There is no co-ordination in the Government. So, what does that tell you? That is why the Government has all these problems. Sometimes, we wonder whether our colleagues hold inter-ministerial meetings where they can co-ordinate on the issue of water and sanitation.


Sir, your Committee has stated in your report that more than fifty years after Independence, we are still called a dirty country. This is unacceptable.


Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: Sir, we cannot be called that when we have all the natural resources in this country. We are a lucky people because God gave us literally everything. Where do we miss the point? I think it is in leadership. Therefore, we need to deal with the leadership issue because it has caused a systems failure.


Hon. Government Member: Question!


Mr Syakalima: All systems of governance are failing.


Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Syakalima: Like I said earlier, Sir, I read a lot. So, I have read most of your Committees’ reports. It is a sad story. Parliament checks all the ministries through Committees, but I can see that there is nothing different in all of your Committees’ reports. This is why I was saying that it is quite depressing. In everything negative, we are topping the league table. There is literally nothing we can point at and say, “At least, there is something good here”. Even in football, we are failing now.




Mr Syakalima: Therefore, I ask the people in this Government to read your Committees’ reports and understand the intricacies of the issues raised therein. Probably, we will get somewhere. We cannot just leave things the way they are and wait for a change of Government. We cannot resign ourselves to that fate. Our colleagues must work because they chose to. As the reports are presented, we shall highlight the issues therein, even though it is extremely painful to realise that the Government does not want to do certain things and misappropriates money it is given. That is unacceptable.


With those few words, Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving the people of Kaputa the opportunity to support the Report of the Committee on Energy, Water Development and Tourism. I will concentrate my brief debate on water and sanitation, and give examples from my constituency which has greatly suffered because of water issues.


Mr Speaker, I thank the mover, the seconder and the entire Committee for a well-presented report and a good review of the water supply and sanitation sector.


Sir, it is well-known that water is life and sanitation is health. Therefore, everyone cherishes water. No wonder your Committee has indicated that good water supply and sanitation services contribute to a reduction in the disease burden. This is the reason I am prompted to indicate that districts like Mpulungu and Nakonde, Kaputa, in 2012  I remember that the current hon. Minister of Higher Education, who was then Minister of Local Government and Housing, Prof. Luo, initiated a process for the people of Kaputa to have what was then the largest investment in water supply. The project was worth K100 billion then and K100 million in the current currency.


Sir, the people of Kaputa were happy because previously, whenever there was a cholera outbreak in this country, Mpulungu and Kaputa were affected by the disease pressures. Therefore, when we received the message that there would be water reticulation in Kaputa, we were very excited. However, as I speak, I am a very disappointed Member of Parliament because, to date, the K100 million worth of investment has not materialised.


Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!


Mr Ng’onga: Sir, I am telling you from the bottom of my heart that the people of Kaputa are disappointed. In fact, most hon. Ministers who go to Kaputa would, probably, not want to drink the water there. They would rather carry bottled water. That is not what we want. The people of Kaputa also want to drink water from the rivers, but it must be purified. They have persevered to this point. I, therefore, hope that the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection will mobilise the resources needed to implement the project. We cannot allow a project to stall from 2012 to 2018. Will we only complete the project in 2021? This is unacceptable, and I am the bearer of a message from the people of Kaputa, who want you to know that in line with your well-written report, they want to see the project on water reticulation completed and handed over to them so that they can also have access to clean and safe drinking water.


Sir, I do not even have to belabour the point on sanitation because the report has already indicated that in most rural areas, water supply and sanitation services are not regulated. I know that is true because the people of Kaputa are in the same situation. So, I urge all those who are entrusted with the responsibility to oversee these functions to understand that the people of Kaputa also need the services.


Sir, I would like to briefly draw your attention to page 22 where your Committee observes the existence of a governance vacuum in the commercial utilities due to the absence of Boards of Directors. It is a fact that there have been no boards to manage the water utilities for many years. I know for sure that this is a concern for hon. Members of Parliament. Therefore, I urge our Government to put the boards in place. I know that the Permanent Secretary (PS) could have done a lot to manage the utilities, but the Government must operationalise the boards. Probably, that will give us an alternative to always talk to the PS when we want to ensure that water and sanitation services are delivered to the people.


Mr Speaker, as I indicated, water is life and sanitation is health.


With those few words, I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Siwanzi (Nakonde): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing the people of Nakonde to add their voice to the debate on the Motion, which has been ably moved. I will concentrate on water and sanitation, and narrow my debate to my constituency.


Sir, I want to agree with the hon. Member who has debated before me that it is saddening to see a project that started in 2012 remain unfinished to date.


Sir, the people of Nakonde have suffered for a long time and have never drunk clear water.


Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!


Mr Siwanzi: This is not to say that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has no political will on this matter.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Siwanzi: The political will is there …


Hon. Opposition Members: Witina!


Mr Siwanzi: … because projects have been initiated. What is lacking is funding for the projects. The project in Nakonde is at 86 per cent completion and the contractor has tested the plant. The only element remaining is the installation of the step-down transformers by the Zambian Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) Limited and the procurement of the chemicals for the purification of water. Therefore, I do not think the Government needs a lot of money to complete it.


Mr Speaker, when one flies over Zambia, what one sees are water bodies. Really, there is no reason we cannot afford to have running water from our taps. Given that people in desert countries do not experience erratic water supply, one wonders what our problem is, but I think it is simply that of prioritisation of our investment areas. We may say that if money was invested in water projects, the Government would not get a return quickly, thereby forcing it to invest the money in projects that provide a quick return in the name of income generation. However, let me put it to the House that if one does not invest in water and sanitation, one will spend on health-related issues, particularly on water-borne diseases, which will be an expense in the health sector. One will be required to buy drugs to treat the sick, as is the case in Nakonde.


Mr Speaker, the water utility companies have been unfair to the people of Nakonde for a long time. For instance, the water supplied is not consumed by many people. Children just play with taps while water is running and, at the end of the month, the bill is delivered. Therefore, I think we should expedite the process of installing pre-paid meters so that people can get value for their money on water bills. Why should I get a bill for water that I cannot drink or use to wash my clothes? If I was to dip white linen in the water supplied in my constituency, it would come out brown. However, I know that this is a working Government that has not failed the people of Zambia before. 




Mr Speaker: Order, on the left!


Mr Siwanzi: As long as there are projects that started after 2011, when we got into power, it is an indication that there is political will. The point is that we need to channel more funds to this sector so that we can sort out the water and sanitation problems that we are facing.


Hon. Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection, Sir, I want to appeal to you.


Mr Mwiinga: Through the Chair, iwe!


Mr Siwanzi: Your colleague, who acted in your position yesterday, ably managed to answer questions on the Floor of the House and we heard that Nakonde only needs K3.5 million for a water project. Hon. Minister, can you fund the project so that –


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


You should address me.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Siwanzi: Mr Speaker, thank you for your guidance.


Sir, I urge the hon. Minister to look into this issue and urgently fund the project. I know that he has requested me to put my request in writing.


Mr Speaker, if you allow me, I will hand over this letter to the hon. Minister.




Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Nakonde!


I suppose you are through with your debate. So, I would like to give you the opportunity to hand over your correspondence so that others also debate.


Mr Siwanzi: Mr Speaker, thank you for that guidance.


Sir, the other issue I want to look at is the bad relationship between the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) and water utility companies in Zambia. An example is what is happening in Muchinga, where ZESCO has put the Chambeshi Water and Sewerage Company (CWSC) on pre-paid metering. As a result, the water utility company is rationing water in my constituency because it cannot pump water for –


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Nakonde!


I just want to be sure. Are you still addressing the report?


Mr Siwanzi: Yes, Mr Speaker. I am addressing the report. Like I said earlier, I am narrowing the issues to my constituency.


Mr Speaker: Is the report on your constituency?


Mr Siwanzi: No, Sir. I am talking about water and sanitation.




Mr Siwanzi: Thank you for the guidance.


Sir, indeed, water is life. So, I urge this Government to quickly fund water projects around the country so that its political will can be seen.


Mr Speaker, with those few words, I thank you.


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on this report. Much has been said regarding water and sanitation.


Sir, indeed, this country is blessed with many water bodies, such as lakes, rivers and streams, yet the majority of its people are still thirsty fifty-four years after Independence because they cannot access clean drinking water.


Mr Speaker, your Committee has mentioned many challenges facing the water supply and sanitation sector, one of which is dilapidated infrastructure. To me, this is due to a lack of planning. If you looked at most peri-urban and rural areas, you would see that they do not have water and sanitation services. Just look at what is happening in cities like Lusaka. People have resorted to using manholes, and that is a health hazard because the manholes are not connected to sewer lines.


Mr Speaker, if we are to plan for the future, we should ensure that any piece of land has amenities like sanitation services, installed water pipes, roads and electricity infrastructure before it is opened up for development. Thereafter, plots can be allocated to people for development. However, what we see is the opposite of that. In countries like Botswana, the authorities really utilise the Land Development Fund (LDF), but here, we have not seen any tangible results from a similar fund.


Mr Speaker, on page 64 of your Committee’s report, it is mentioned that it is important for this country to develop a national tourism master plan. Indeed, many people have, on the Floor of this august House, mentioned that many tourist destinations in this country remain unexploited. This is an area we have, probably, not explored much in order to improve the tourism package in Zambia. We have waterfalls and the source of the Zambezi River, which are tourist attractions we have not really explored.


Mr Speaker, on page 65, your Committee mentions the need to improve the tax regime in the tourism sector. I am on record as having said that because of the many taxes that this Government has imposed on the tourism sector, the bed or room rate is likely to sky-rocket. What we have seen after the introduction of the Bed Levy is that most lodges, hotels and guest houses in Livingstone and many other towns have increased accommodation rates. What this means is that when we are already facing challenges in competing with other countries, such as Zimbabwe, which offer cheaper accommodation, the situation is getting worse and many business houses in the sector have started closing down.


Mr Speaker, still on page 65, your Committee mentions the need to diversify our tourism products. It is further mentioned that this country is rich in traditions and culture which can be promoted internationally so that people know when traditional ceremonies like Nc’wala, Kuomboka and Kulamba Kubwalo will be held. Most tourists to Zambia just attend our traditional ceremonies by chance because we have not advertised them adequately.


Mr Speaker, it is sad that tourism operators in other countries earn money by promoting places in our country. For example, At Oliver Tambo International Airport in South Africa, there is an advertisement saying, “Welcome to the land of the Victoria Falls”, yet the Victoria Falls is in Zambia. So, we need to advertise our places. People should know that the Victoria Falls is in Zambia.


Mr Speaker, on page 67 of the report, the Executive mentions the need to set up tourism one-stop shops. Indeed, an experiment on this idea was done in Livingstone, but the challenge is that the officers who work there do not have decision-making powers. Instead, they have to refer the would-be investors to Lusaka, and because of the bureaucracy or red tape we have, people end up being frustrated. If the Tourism One-Stop Shop is to operate properly, directors need to be sent to Livingstone since it is the Tourist Capital of Zambia. From the time Livingstone was pronounced the Tourist Capital of Zambia, people have not seen the difference. They are still made to travel to Lusaka for all documents.


Sir, still on page 67, your Committee mentions the need for strategies to improve the aviation industry. When the Committee went to Kasama in the Northern Province, I was shocked that the airport there does not have a proper runway. Fifty-four years after Independence, the runway is still made of gravel and is very dusty, yet we know that for people to travel from point A to point B, we need to attract more aircraft that can fly people from Kasama to Livingstone and Lusaka to Kasama. It is a challenge to travel between these areas. The infrastructure at the airport in Kasama is so unattractive that I thought it was an airstrip when I saw it, but was told that it is the airport. Kasama has many tourism destinations, but its airport leaves much to be desired.


Mr Speaker, on page 73, your Committee mentions the improvements to the Maramba Cultural Village. Unfortunately, part of the cultural village was gutted and nothing has been done about it. Therefore, it has been a challenge for people to continue showcasing the many traditional ceremonies we have in this country. In this regard, I appeal to the Government to set aside some money for the rehabilitation of the village.


Mr Speaker, last but not least, I want to comment on what the report has stated on page 76 regarding the Livingstone Bus Terminus.


Sir, Livingstone has been a city for a long time but, to date, it does not have an inter-city bus terminus. In 2012, during the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) meeting in Livingstone, the Government embarked on the construction of the Livingstone Bus Terminus and money was set aside for the project. However, sadly, to date, the facility has not been completed. Buses in Livingstone load and offload people at a place where there are no shelters and toilets, a situation that is a health hazard, and I have talked about this before. Sadly, the Executive’s response to this matter in this report is that it had allocated K14 million to the project. I do not know the year in which the money was allocated. I also do not know whether the K14 million was the total project sum or just an additional amount to complete the project. However, I believe that if the K14 million was meant to complete the project, by now, the structure would have been completed.


Mr Speaker, in the 2018 Budget, about K15 million, if my memory serves me right, was allocated for the completion of markets. There is an uncompleted market in Livingstone called Town Centre Market. All we need is an additional amount of about 25 per cent of what was in the Budget to complete the structure. The problem I have is that each time I have asked about the market, I have been assured that money will be made available “soon”. When will the “soon” become “now”? The people of Livingstone and other tourist destinations in the country want to know what the Government is doing about this issue because they want people to be able to trade in decent places to avoid the cholera outbreaks my colleagues have already mentioned. An outbreak of cholera is a sign of dirt in our surroundings and, if it occurred in a city like Livingstone, many people who may have planned to visit it would cancel their flights. When there were too many mosquitoes in Livingstone, tourists were scared to visit and some of them cancelled their trips.


Mr Speaker, I support the recommendations of the Committee.


With those few words, I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: The next debaters will be the hon. Member for Keembe, hon. Member for Chilanga, hon. Member for Chienge, hon. Member for Katombola and hon. Member for Mitete; in that order.


Ms Kasune (Keembe): Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to add my voice and that of the people of Keembe to the Report of the Committee on Energy, Water Development and Tourism.


Mr Speaker, my colleagues have already stated that it is discouraging to read reports and see the lack of development in the three key sectors. I think it goes without saying that wherever there is water, there will be development and wherever there is no access to portable water, there will be no development. I think that it is important for us to underscore the point that as long as water supply is erratic in our country and it is not prioritised, development will not reach all the corners of Zambia. Reading from your Committee’s report, I can see that there are many policies that have been developed. Unfortunately, most of them are not being implemented while some are working in silos. There is no congruency in the policies that have been put in place and those that have recently been formed. As a result, we have many policies on the shelves that are not implemented on the ground.


Sir, I know that most hon. Members are going to emphasise the issue of water because water is life, as it has already been said. It is also an entry point to development. That is why we may sound repetitive. We are simply trying to underscore the need for those in the Executive to take this issue seriously.


Mr Speaker, data collection is another issue that was raised. We lack the funding needed for us to collect proper data on who is distributing what and where the needs are on the ground so that the distribution is done in a manner that is equitable. Therefore, we will just be throwing our efforts in the air and our country will forever lag behind in the provision of services like water and sanitation. I stand to be corrected, but what I have come to learn is that Zambia is home to more than 40 per cent of the water bodies in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. That is a huge percentage. How can we have so many water bodies in our country, yet have erratic supply in urban areas, let alone, in the rural areas, where there is nothing to talk about? This is a challenge for us. The country needs to learn to invest in data collection and research. However, we should not just end there, but also use that data to actualise the desired deliverables. The same can be said about energy in our country.


Mr Speaker, another issue that I want to talk about is the gap that continues to exist between the urban and peri-urban areas, on the one hand, and the rural areas, on the other. Your Committee’s report raises the issue of water-borne diseases and the misuse or misappropriation of funds. For example, the misappropriation of €3 million has been cited, I think under the Ministry of Local Government. We have come to learn that the funds were later reimbursed. I do not know the right word to use because I do not want to sound unparliamentary, but it boggles my mind that people can misappropriate funds and reimburse them, and we just watch. This is how we seem not to be serious with developing our nation. There is no way a person can misappropriate €3 million and, then, pay it back. Where did the person get the resources to pay back? Who was found wanting when the funds were misappropriated and what measures have been put in place to prevent a recurrence of such a thing? These are the questions that beg answers.


Sir, we know that the cholera epidemic, which has become an annual occurrence according to your Committee’s report, is a result of the contamination of ground water. The question that one may ask the Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Development Planning is: What is being done to ensure that there will not be another outbreak when we get into December or January? If you asked, you would find out that not much is being done in that regard. If anything is being done, the little that is being done is not related to the contaminated underground water. We need to learn, as a country, and especially the members of the Executive, to deal with causes, not symptoms.


Sir, we have been told that, largely, what is causing water-borne diseases is the fact that many of our settlements in urban areas are not well-planned and that their residents resort to using pit latrines or septic tanks, which end up contaminating the ground water. These are issues that can be addressed, but they need a collective effort from the ministries to which I have alluded, as opposed to their working in silos, leading to a situation in which the Ministry of Development Planning might do one thing and the Ministry of Local Government another. The ministry responsible for water and sanitation might do yet another thing, and we will find that there is a lot of duplication of work.


Sir, your Committee’s report also says that there is apathy from the private sector when it comes to investing in water and sanitation. The reason is that the private sector believes that there is a lack of seriousness, for lack of a better term, in terms of what is going to be done for the whole country. The private sector does not feel like its dollars and kwacha will be accounted for. We know that the private investors are all about making money. So, if we are going to invite them to invest, they have to be sure that their money will be utilised in a way that will earn them profits, which is their bottom line. I also think that if we were good stewards of the resources we have, as a country, the private sector would want to invest in such areas because it would see that the resources are being utilised prudently, and in a transparent and accountable manner. Hence, their corporate response would be enhanced.


Mr Speaker, I did not see much on rural constituencies, but it is in line with what we are discussing under water and sanitation. Most constituencies in rural areas still lag far behind. If you looked at some of the amounts of money that are being allocated to water and sanitation, you would see that some constituencies are allocated three boreholes only. What will those three boreholes do in a place like Keembe Constituency, for example, which has a population of over 150,000 people? This just shows that there is not much seriousness attached to issues of water and sanitation. I am sure the situation is the same in other constituencies, especially in the rural ones. We have situations in which pupils have to draw water from nearby villages for use while in school. Sometimes, they carry small tins of water from which they drink and use while in school. Evidently, there is so much that needs to be done in the rural areas.


Mr Speaker, the other issue that I want to raise concerns situations in which the sources of water in rural areas are given to private individuals, leaving ordinary Zambians, especially people in the villages, with no source of water. For example, some people have bought farms that they have fenced off. As a result, people from the neighbouring villages cannot take their cattle to drink from rivers that pass through the farms. I think that this has to be looked into. There is a need for a regulatory body on rural water and sanitation to be put in place. The body can take care of some of the challenges that our people in rural areas are facing. It seems there is no one speaking for the people in rural areas. When we come here and raise these issues, our hope is that the ministry in charge of water and sanitation can work on them. Unfortunately, as some of my colleagues have said, we go through the same process over and over without any tangible action until the issues become mundane. This is heart-breaking to every hon. Member of Parliament, but it is more so to the mothers because they are the ones who go to fetch water and ensure that the family is well taken care of.


Mr Speaker, there is an issue that I thought was very interesting, which started before I was even born, that is, the issue of hydro-electric power in the country. I learnt from your report that the Batoka Gorge Hydro-Electric Power Scheme was started in 1972, which was so long ago that some of us had not yet even seen the sun. However, nothing has been done to develop it because there has been no clearance from the Zambian and Zimbabwean Governments. I know it may not be that long for you, Mr Speaker, but for us –


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


I am not part of the debate. I am just looking at you.




Ms Kasune: I am just trying to emphasise a point in your report, Mr Speaker.


Sir, the report says that had the scheme been actualised, it would have not only made the internal supply stable, but also so resilient that Zambia would have been able to supply itself and other countries. One would think this is common sense, but I guess it is not common in Zambia. As we look at some of the issues we are facing in the area of energy, it is mind-boggling to note that there is a scheme that, if cleared by both countries and implemented well, can benefit Zambia and neighbouring countries. If we do nothing else, can we, at least, implement this scheme so that we can see the country move forward. There are other schemes, but I will not belabour the issues around them.


Mr Speaker, I would like to end on the issue of tourism that Hon. Jere touched on. It is discouraging to find no electricity in some cultural centres where traditional ceremonies take place. Also, although this might be slightly out of topic, it is related to what we are talking about. There are many things that happen when it gets dark because there is no electricity and some young people resort to bad behaviour.


Mr Speaker, through this report, we ask those in the Executive to set its priorities right if they want to see tourism become something worth talking about in the southern region of Zambia. They should ensure that the arenas where our traditional ceremonies take place have electricity, which will encourage not only local tourists, but also those from other countries to enjoy the country’s tourism. Zambia is a rich country with diverse cultures that can be advertised all year round to local and international tourists so that our country can be placed on the map as a destination to travel to.


Sir, apart from the arenas where cultural activities take place, some of our public institutions are not electrified. So, it is important that the hon. Minister of Energy equitably distributes electricity, especially to constituencies in rural areas, for our schools and clinics so that we can prevent some of the cases of maternal and child mortality. There should be no reason for women in Zambia to die because of a lack of electricity or running water while trying to give birth to another life.


With those few words, I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Langa (Chilanga): Mr Speaker, I am ready to make my maiden speech.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Mulenga interjected.


Ms Langa: Mr Speaker, I am most grateful for the opportunity accorded to me to deliver my maiden speech to this distinguished House.


Sir, I am, indeed, humbled by the overwhelming trust and confidence bestowed on me by the electorate of Chilanga Constituency.


Mr Mushimba: Quality!


Ms Langa: Sir, let me be quick to thank the Almighty God for granting the Patriotic Front (PF) victory in the Chilanga Parliamentary By-Election.


Mr Mawere: Quality!


Ms Langa: This is proof that the people of Chilanga have refused and will continue to refuse to be used as pawns for those who want to sow seeds of disharmony. Our people looked with a discerning eye at the real issues on the ground, such as schools, water, roads and hospitals, not regional affiliation.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Ms Langa: Sir, I decree and declare that on 5th June, 2018, the curse of tribalism and regionalism was broken. I pray it will no longer hold our people back from achieving their development goals. God bless us. One Zambia, one nation.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Ms Langa: Sir, I thank the PF and its leadership, from His Excellency President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, to Her Honour the Vice-President, Mrs Inonge Mutukwa Wina, to our Secretary-General, Mr Davis Mwila, the Vice-Secretary, Hon. Mumbi Phiri, various Cabinet Ministers and hon. Members of Parliament. I also thank my campaign team led by Hon. Jean Kapata, Hon. Mwakalombe and His Worship Mr Geoffrey Chumbwe.


I would like also to make –


I would like – 


I would also like –


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Jere: Quality!


Ms Langa: I would also like to thank my family, especially my husband, Mr Alexis Phiri, for supporting and understanding me. Lastly, I thank the party structures, namely the district, constituency and ward officials, and the people of Chilanga, for delivering a resounding victory to the PF.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Mr Mawere: Resounding!


Ms Langa: Mr Speaker, it is a well-known fact that on 5th June, 2018, I was overwhelmingly elected Member of Parliament by the women, men and youth of Chilanga Constituency ...


Mr Mwiinga: Calm down.


Hon. Government Members: Hammer!


Ms Langa: ... who, in their wisdom, wanted a candidate worth their trust ...




Mr Speaker: Order on the left!


Ms Langa: ... in their quest to recover lost time to improve their lives through better and enhanced social services, such as water, health and social facilities, roads and other public infrastructure.


Mr Nanjuwa: Water!


Ms Mutale: Hammer!


Ms Langa: Mr Speaker, in accordance with the universal tenets of democracy, the peoples’ voice is God’s voice. The electorate did not vote blindly, but weighed each one of the parties and their candidates to make an informed decision. They are the final arbiter.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Langa: Sir, my victory is proof that the people of Chilanga have faith in my social contract to lobby for a district hospital and clinics in various wards.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Opposition Members: Water!


Ms Langa: As a mother, I feel for my fellow women. For example, in Mudengwa Ward, women have to walk more than 32 km to access health facilities to give birth to the next leaders.


Ms Mulenga: 100 per cent.


Mr Nanjuwa: 20 per cent.


Mr Langa: Mr Speaker, let me, on behalf of the men and women in uniform, our gallant defence personnel in Nyemba and Mudengwa areas, convey their legitimate request for a secondary school. Currently, their children have to endure long distances to and from school.


Mr Jere: Quality!




Ms Langa: This request is proof that they have faith in my social contract to lobby for more primary and secondary schools in Chilanga Constituency.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Quality!


Ms Langa: Mr Speaker, our people in Chilanga need clean water and sanitation services. The Namalombwe, Linda, Malupili and Mapepe areas are densely populated, and water supply and, especially, sanitation are a serious problem. The people of Chilanga have faith in the ability of this PF Government to address their plight.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1810 hours until 1830 hours.


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


Ms Langa: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was saying that the people of Chilanga have confidence in the ability of the PF to solve their socio-economic problems.


Sir, the people of Chilanga Constituency should benefit more from the strategic Government institutions in their backyard, for instance, the Fisheries Department and Mount Makulu Research Station.


Mr Chisopa: Hear, hear!


Ms Langa: It is well-known that goat rearing has good potential. We can learn the Israeli Kibbutz system and implement it here at home.


Mrs Simukoko: Hear, hear!


Ms Mulenga: Tulemipela pali restocking.


Ms Langa: Goats are −


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Chilanga! Just a minute.


Hon. Members near her, can you, please, exercise self-control.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: You may continue, hon. Member for Chilanga.


Ms Langa: Mr Speaker, goats are on high demand both at home and in Saudi Arabia. A goat scheme can be a quick and effective empowerment tool for economically and socially vulnerable groups.


Mr Speaker, a Kibbutz in Israel is a community settlement that is usually agricultural and organised under collective ownership principles. That same structure can be used to help people living with disabilities in Chilanga, whom the PF promises to not leave behind.


Ms Mulenga: Hear, hear!


Ms Langa: Mr Speaker, my election is the height of people’s developmental dream and desire. Yes, they want me to be the key that will open the door to the PF Government’s developmental strategy room.


Mr Speaker, Chilanga Constituency has lagged behind in infrastructure and road development despite being the home of cement in Zambia. Chilanga has built Zambia from Kariba Dam to the Copperbelt, but it has nothing to show for it.


Mr Mwiinga: Time!


Ms Langa: So, I will work with the ten councillors in the constituency, irrespective of their party affiliations, to lobby for roads and other infrastructure, such as local courts, police stations and posts, markets and bus stations. The voters kept their end of the bargain, and we all know the saying that a good turn deserves another.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Langa: Mr Speaker, my social contract also speaks of the construction of two jubilee markets and other markets for farmers to sell their produce. As stated by my predecessor, Chilanga is mainly a farming community, and I would like to ease access to markets for the farmers there.


Mr Speaker, I will lobby the hon. Minister of Tourism and Arts to revamp Munda Wanga Zoo and Botanical Gardens, and make it a tourist destination again. The giant has been asleep for too long.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Langa: With the right representation, the people of Chilanga are expectant of a new focus and new opportunities for employment. The youths of Chilanga deserve that and depend on us to help them.


Mr Speaker, my maiden speech would not be complete if I did not say a word on nation building. We, Zambians, have happily lived side by side. We are one people, ...


Rev. Sumaili: Yes!


Ms Langa: … thanks to the many social, geographical, cultural and historic factors. We are a strong and united people. In all our languages, there are words of wisdom that underpin and promote the idea of oneness. Many groupings and clans in our motherland have wise sayings that underpin unity in diversity. In English, it is “united we stand, divided we fall”. Yes, we are one people.


Mr Speaker, it does not build to be hostile, disrespectful or quarrelsome. Hence, the Bemba saying “mwikala patalala, mwine apatalalika”.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Mulenga: Ema phrases!


Ms Langa: Nice Bemba ka?


Mr Speaker: Order!


Ms Langa: Sir, our brothers and sisters from the North-Western Province, Copperbelt Province, Luapula Province, Central Province, Eastern Province, Southern Province, Lusaka Province and Muchinga Province have much to offer as well.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Langa: Finally, Mr Speaker, in announcing and asserting my arrival, I came into the House like a substitute in a football match. Yes, just last week, in the first World Cup match, …


Mr Chisopa: Hear! Super sub.


Ms Langa: … in which Russia thrashed Saudi Arabia 5-0, the first substitute, Artem Dzyuba, the name is Russian and I do not know how to pronounce it, scored a goal with one of his first touches of the ball ...




Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Langa: … while another Russian substitute, Denis Cheryshev, became the first ever substitute to score a goal in an opening match of a World Cup tournament …


Ms Langa: … with his first touch …


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chisopa: Ema footballer aba!


Ms Langa: … of the ball in the 71st minute. I am that kind of a substitute for Chilanga Constituency.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Langa: I assure the people of Chilanga that “Mama ni mama” is a campaign promise I intend to keep.


Mr Speaker, I will not forget to also thank my friends, relatives and Hon. Lubinda for their support during the campaigns.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to add the voice of the people of Chienge to this quite important report. Without wasting the time of the House, I would like to share my thoughts after going through this report.


Sir, water is known to be an essential commodity for life, hence the saying that water is life. Reading through the report has given me hope and, at the same time, made me sad. Allow me to start with water reticulation in our country with specific reference to Chienge and, then, Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company (KWSC) in Ndola.


Mr Speaker, Chienge is endowed with many water bodies. We have Kalungwishi River and Lake Mweru in the constituency and the water found there is not salty. The water in the Kalungwishi River is clearer than the one we drink in Ndola. However, I am surprised that the Government has done nothing to help the people of Chienge to have clean and safe drinking water. The water runs just under our nose, but no one seems to be interested in helping our people, especially the mothers who wake up around 0300 hours to go and draw water from Lake Mweru or nearby streams.


Mr Speaker, the negligence that this Government is exhibiting towards the people of Chienge has led to an outbreak of cholera in the constituency, but the Government has not bothered to help the people of that area, who have water bodies just near their homes.


Sir, when Dr Katele Kalumba was Member of Parliament for Chienge, he gave the people a submersible pump to help them have clean water. Unfortunately, that machine is still there, but no one has bothered to put it in the river so that it can start pumping water for the people.


Sir, I would like to remind the Government that the people of Chienge are human beings just like those in urban areas, yet they drink dirty water, which has made them contract many water-borne diseases. Indeed, the Government took some mono pumps there, but put them where the water is salty and poisonous. So, the people in the area keep drinking salty water instead of clean water from Kalungwishi River or Lake Mweru.


Mr Speaker, I blame the Government for the outbreak of cholera in Chienge. We have that problem year in and out due to drinking water from shallow wells. It is only this year when we did not have an outbreak of cholera. I, therefore, urge the Government to take this issue seriously, seeing as the water bodies are not far from where the people are.


Sir, coming to the KWSC, allow me to state that I grew up in Ndola and that ever since I was a child, we have drunk smelly water. My mother still leaves in Ndola and the family still drinks the same smelly water. If water is smelly and coloured, it means it is contaminated. We do not even know how many people have been affected by the dirty water that the people of Ndola have been drinking. When is the Government going to pump in money to help KWSC? I am asking this question because, in this House, we have been talking about improving the infrastructure in this country. Already, the citizens of this country have noticed that there is a lot of investment in road infrastructure, unlike in projects that can improve the lives of the people who gave this Government the mandate to govern the country. If this Government can put up roads and start other projects, what about providing clean water, which is also very important?


Mr Speaker, allow me to lament the poor quality of water the people of Ndola drink because Ndola is my second home. Today, when you boil the water supplied in Ndola, it foams. The water also looks brown. I, therefore, urge this Government to quickly move in and provide clean water for the people in Ndola. In many cases, people die and doctors cannot even know the cause of death. Many people die from unknown diseases, but I think that they die due to drinking unsafe water.  


Sir, the other problem is that of water bills. In Ndola, people receive bills even though supply is erratic. In fact, people can be billed even when they have not had water for three months. I, therefore, urge the Government to take this issue seriously. It should either take over KWSC or pump more money into the company in order to help the people of Ndola to have access to clean water. It is high time the Government found a lasting solution to this problem, which every corner of the country is facing. It has tried to put up some mono pumps in Chienge, but the pumps do not function and most have no capacity to cater for all the people in the villages. For instance, there are villages of 300 people where two mono pumps were installed, but only one is still functional. So, I urge the hon. Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection to take this seriously. The people of Chienge and Ndola, especially in Lubuto, are crying for clean and safe drinking water.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, I rise to support this important Motion that was moved by the hon. Member for Mbabala and seconded by my beloved brother, Hon. Mung’andu. I am going to be as brief as possible because some eloquent speakers have already spoken before me and many salient points have been put across


Mr Speaker, when some of the other hon. Members were debating, I may have been out of the Chamber, but I want to adopt the debates of the hon. Members for Chirundu and Keembe. In addition, I want to emphasise that the issues raised in the Committee’s report should be taken into serious consideration by our colleagues on the other side so that we help the nation together.


Mr Speaker, I want to draw the attention of the House to page 4 of the report where there is this statement:


“Your Committee was informed that the National Water Policy of 2010 was the overarching policy on water resources management in Zambia. This policy was aimed at optimally harnessing water resources for efficient and sustainable utilisation of water resources to enhance economic productivity and reduce poverty. Your Committee was further informed that the principal legislation on water resources management in Zambia was the Water Resources Management Act, No. 21 of 2011.”


My interest is on the issue of governance. I want to remind the House that water utility companies in this country are registered under the Companies Act. However, we have seen a very dangerous trend whereby the Ministry of Local Government and its Permanent Secretary (PS) has not been able to promote good governance in the companies for a long time now. The Southern Water and Sewerage Company (SWSC) has not had a board for over two years now. In any case, it is important that the hon. Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection makes a very serious effort to ensure that neither the PS in his ministry nor the one in the Ministry of Local Government usurps the powers of the boards. The PSs must ensure that the boards are formed to run water utility companies so that good corporate governance is promoted and enhanced. It is true that sometimes people want to retain control over certain things. However, I think it is a source of worry that the SWSC has operated without a board for over two years. The hon. Minister must be worried because the boards would actually help him to solve some issues effectively.


Sir, we, the people from rural communities, want clean water as well. I am aware that in urban areas, the issue of water is important and people cry about the lack of water. It is also a serious issue in the villages because we rely on underground water or boreholes. Therefore, it is important that we are also supplied a fair share of clean water. It would be nice if, for example, 100 or more boreholes were budgeted for in each rural constituency every year so that we reduce the deficit of boreholes in the villages because they are a source of conflict. In fact, this applies to all towns too. We have situations in which some people who live in certain areas of towns wake up as early as 0200 hours to go and fetch water, and that has caused serious problems in both urban and rural areas.


Sir, families have suffered a lot because wives always wake up early to go and look for water. So, when their husbands look for them, they are not in the homes. The husbands just lament. Maybe, at that time, they could have been blessed with another life in the home. However, that cannot be because the Government is failing to provide enough water so that people can be in their homes at the right time and enjoy the benefit the Creator gave us. Therefore, I appeal to the hon. Minister to ensure that he is not held responsible by the Creator for being the one who is promoting –


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Katombola, are you through with your debate? Maybe, I ask another hon. Member to debate.




Mr Livune: No, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Mitete is waiting to debate water issues.


Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, let me move to the issue of the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA). On page 55 of the report, your Committee was informed that the ZRA is a statutory body jointly owned by the Governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe on a fifty-fifty basis. However, the legislation does not promote this principle. For example, the Managing Director (MD) of the authority is consistently from one country. It is important that the hon. Minister revisits this issue so that we can also have a fair share of managing this important institution. The MDs should be appointed from the two countries on a rotational basis because we also have people who are qualified to run the authority. Therefore, I call upon the hon. Minister to quickly look at this issue of inequality.


Sir, the issue of development on both sides of the border also speaks volumes. We are told that the company be owned on a fifty-fifty basis, but there is more development on the other side than on the Zambian side. Getting closer to home, in Kazungula, there is the Batoka Hydro-Electric Power Project. However, there is more development on the Zimbabwean side than on the Zambian side. This is an open secret. The road that branches from the one that goes to Chief Mukuni’s Palace and leads to the project site is bad and not tarred. It is a dusty gravel road.  However, on the other side, there is development. So, we need to deal with these inequalities so that we can quickly attain fifty-fifty ownership even in economic development, and attain the objectives of the authority.


Mr Speaker, today, my interest is on water because water is life. I want to dwell on the livestock sector because animals drink water and we need dams in our areas. Year in and out, we are promised in this House that dams will be constructed. At some point, the Government spent a lot of money on feasibility studies, but we are still waiting for the report of what has been done.


Sir, God made this country in such a way that not all the provinces may need the same number of dams at a particular time. There are regions that need more dams than others. It is only fair that we help one another in that regard, especially where we are trying to promote livestock farming. We need more dams in the Eastern Province, Central Province, Southern Province and Lusaka Province so that we can promote the Ministry of Livestock. Our animals are dying in numbers because of not having adequate water to drink. As a Member of Parliament for Katombola Constituency, I lament this because, at some point, the Government advertised to de-silt the dams in Kazungula. The Musokotwane and Siakasipa dams were advertised. However, the money has grown legs. Wherever it has gone, only God knows.


Sir, in conclusion, I want to inform the Government that we had floods in the Sikaunzwe area of Kazungula just like in Lealui. If we had a serious Government, which we do not, water engineers would have planned Lealui.




Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Livune: This unserious Government should have harvested that water.




Mr Livune: Sir, if you went to Lealui not too long from today, you would be shocked to find dust in that plain. The water will have gone somewhere else.


Ms Mulenga: Question!


Mr Livune: However, those who have been paddling boats there will tell you that there is currently a lot of water.


Mr Speaker, the kind of flooding that is in Lealui is the one we have in the Sikauzwe and the Kasala areas of Kazungula. We need serious planning so that the water can be harvested for economic use. Currently, it is just being wasted while the people in this unserious Government sit there as though they are listening, but they are not.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: Imwa manzi!


Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Mr Speaker, all has been said but, as an African, more so as a Zambian and, getting closer to home, as someone from Barotse and Mitete in particular, I ask this question: In the midst of plenty, why are we thirsty?




Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: Why do our people still have problems with accessing water? What is the problem? Where is the problem?


Mr Speaker, in the Western Province and Mitete, there are a number of rivers, namely Lungwevungu, Kabompo, Lweti, Luanginga, Luambimba, Lutembwe and Washishi. So, why are we thirsty?




Mr Mutelo: Why?


Ms Mulenga: Are you saying “thirst” or “thirsty”?


Ms Mwashingwele: Thirsty!


Mr Mutelo: Sir, there are other water bodies like Lake Bangweulu, and Kafue, Luangwa and Luapula rivers, but we are still talking of water problems. Why? The issue is management, and it is high time we started managing ourselves and our attitude, as Zambians or Africans.


Mr Speaker, I thank our co-operating partners, but where and how do they get the money they give us?


Mr Shabula: Whom are you asking?


Mr Mutelo: Sir, until we are able to manage ourselves, our responsibilities and our resources, we will continue to fail to be responsible people and political parties. We will continue failing our people.


Mr Speaker, may I beg and beg strongly − God favoured this country with an abundance of natural resources. For example, we have the sun, which gives energy twelve hours a day and can provide us with solar energy. Where is the problem? Butata bukai?Bukalu buna kufuminyina kulihi?


Ms Katuta: Meaning?




Mr Nanjuwa: Hanjika, mwata!


Mr Speaker: What are you saying?




Mr Mutelo: It means, “Where is the problem?” Bukalu buna kufuminyina kulihi?


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member of Parliament for Mitete!


Resume your seat. We have very earnest business here, and you know I can stop the debate and move on to the next report. Please, represent your people earnestly. I do not want to curtail your debate because they sent you here. However, I want them to be represented properly.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Where is the problem anyway?




Mr Mutelo: Sir, in the midst of plenty, in Mitete, the Government had planned to drill ninety-five boreholes and it laid documents to that effect on the Table, but not even one borehole has been drilled. Where is the problem?


Mr Speaker, before the elections, the then hon. Minister of Local Government went to Mitete and launched a project for rural water and sanitation in the Western Province. We had workshops for capacity building to that effect, but not a single borehole has been drilled in Mitete. Where is the problem? We are not managing ourselves and our resources well. That is where the problem is.


Sir, thirty-five boreholes were earmarked for rehabilitation, but not even a single one has been rehabilitated. The problem is not with the reports because they are truthful. The witnesses who were invited by the Committee told the truth and gave the right advice.


Sir, as long as we will not manage, firstly, ourselves and, secondly, our resources, we will lament until the day we will have the right people to manage themselves and the resources on behalf of the country.


Thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Government Members: Quality!


The Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection (Dr Wanchinga): Mr Speaker, I would like to start by thanking the mover and seconder of the Report of the Committee on Energy, Water Development and Tourism. I also would like to thank the hon. Members who have ably debated this Motion.


Sir, as a ministry, we have taken note of the various concerns raised, and it is my sincere hope that we will take on board many of the recommendations made by the hon. Members of the House.


Mr Speaker, let me respond to a few points that have been raised by my colleagues. The first concerned the challenges we face in the water and sanitation sub-sector, that is, a lack of inter-ministerial co-ordination.


Sir, there are two main clusters in the co-ordination platforms in the Government. The first cluster consists of the Ministry of Health; the Ministry of Education; the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection; the Ministry of Local Government; and the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU). The collaboration of these institutions was demonstrated during the cholera outbreak. The second cluster consists of the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, the Ministry of Transport and Communication and the Ministry of Tourism and Arts. An example of collaboration in this cluster is that we are working together on the development of hydro-electric power. There are also some proposals from investors and we are working with the Ministry of Energy. We are also bringing on board other ministries, such as Fisheries and Livestock, and Agriculture, because we want to make dam construction a multi-purpose platform for integrated development. For example, if we construct a dam, we will populate it wish fish and use it for irrigation. This is how ministries are working together. So, it is not right to say that there is no co-ordination among sector ministries where the water and sanitation sector is concerned.


Mr Speaker, there was also concern about the performance of boards, and I totally agree that the absence of a board in an institution is a lapse in governance.


Sir, when I took over the ministry, the issue of boards was one of the first things I addressed. As I speak, there is a pile of lists of people who will be appointed to the boards of various water utilities. I am only remaining with the appointment of the boards for Eastern Water and Sewerage Company (EWSC) Limited and Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company (MWSC) Limited because the two have not submitted names. Otherwise, all the other water utility companies, about nine of them, have submitted the nominations to me. Apart from that, I have drafted the letter that will guide the Permanent Secretary (PS) on how to expeditiously constitute and appoint the boards. I have left the draft for my secretary to type. So, we have made tremendous progress on this issue because we recognise the importance of having the boards in place.


Sir, there were also concerns about erratic water supply, and that is an issue we are addressing through water utilities. We have noted that non-revenue water, pilferage, leakages and other issues are contributing to this challenge. So, we have moved in the direction of installing meters. We have also started piloting the installation of meters in Lusaka and on the Copperbelt, and we believe this will promote fairness in billing, on which many concerns have been expressed.


Mr Speaker, the other concern that has been raised is that there has been a lack of planning. Again, this is not entirely correct because the ministry has come up with the National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme (NRWSSP) and the Urban and Peri-Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Programme. If my colleagues cared to come to the ministry, they would be able to learn more about the programmes. We are also updating the various legal frameworks and policies my colleagues referred to, to take on board the issues that have been raised.


Mr Speaker, concerns were raised on the matter of disproportionate representation on the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA), and I agree that is an issue we need to address. The arrangement is that if the Managing Director (MD) is from Zimbabwe, the deputy must be Zambian and vice-versa. If this is not working well, then, we need to seriously look at it.


Sir, there were many comments made about the €3 million that was allegedly misappropriated. I am not quite sure whether ‘misappropriated’ is the right word. I know that, sometimes, controlling officers make mistakes. Just like in the house, one can have money reserved to buy mealie-meal, but have an unexpected tyre puncture. So, one will ask the spouse for some money to mend the tyre. Thereafter, one would get something from somewhere to replace the money used on the tyre so that mealie-meal is still bought. I do not think that is stealing. So, perhaps, it can be called ‘misapplication’. Certainly, it is not stealing. Usually, when this kind of transfer of money occurs and an audit is undertaken before the money has not been replaced, it will come out as if the money has been stolen. However, if, indeed, the money was misappropriated, then, it is regrettable. I state that actual stealing, misapplication and replacement of funds are very common in the management of finances. I am not saying that they are good practices, but that this issue in the report should be examined carefully.


Mr Speaker, I agree that we need to look after our underground water resources. I, therefore, assure my colleagues that Statutory Instruments (SIs) Nos. 18, 19 and 20, which we have just passed are meant to do just that because we know that if we do not regulate underground water, we may run into problems. The ministry also recently decided that it needed to comprehensively map aquifers, which are underground water reservoirs, so that we are able to determine the carrying capacity of any area in terms of the borehole load. It is also important for us to regulate the drilling of boreholes in areas. Therefore, we are really concerned about ground water resources and are taking measures to manage them properly.


Hon. Member: Drink some water!


Dr Wanchinga drank some water.




Dr Wanchinga: Mr Speaker, it was stated that despite having a lot of water in Zambia, we are still thirsty. I agree with that statement. My ministry has taken this issue seriously. We really need to implement programmes to focus on water harvesting. Like one hon. Member said, there is a lot of water during the rainy season, but most of it just ends up in the Indian Ocean. So, we appreciate this observation by your Committee and my hon. Colleagues.


Sir, I have taken note of the challenges of water outlined by the hon. Member for Kaputa, the hon. Member for Nakonde and the hon. Member for Chienge. I will address the issue of the Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company (KWSC) separately.


Mr Speaker, it is true that many of the water and sanitation projects are near completion and that the amounts of money required to complete them are not that much. I have already begun appealing to my colleagues in the Cabinet and, as you know, the President has already directed that projects which are above 80 per cent complete be prioritised in the deployment of resources.


Mr Speaker, I heard the lamentations of my colleague concerning the KWSC Limited in Ndola. Let me just say that there is a very big water supply project being implemented by the company on the Copperbelt. In terms of the dam size, the project will, perhaps, be slightly bigger than Kariba Dam. Houses are already being built for the people who are being resettled in Masaiti. So, the project is going to be a game changer on the Copperbelt, and we hope that it will trigger tourism and many other development programmes on the Copperbelt apart from supplying clean water to Ndola and surrounding areas. Work on the massive project, in terms of preparing the site, has already begun. Just last week, the PS in my ministry returned from China where he had gone to inspect the equipment that will be brought in for the implementation of the project.


Mr Speaker, those are my responses to the few points I thought I should highlight in the report. All in all, I would like to thank my colleagues for bringing out many issues to the attention of the ministry. Theirs has been a valuable contribution. Like I said at the beginning, I will take on board many of the issues raised and see how we can make progress in giving clean water and improving sanitation, which have lagged behind for our people throughout the country.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, I have not heard any view that is opposed to your Committee’s report and the Motion on the Floor. Therefore, I just thank my colleagues for the various submissions that they have made on the Motion. I also just want to say to the hon. Member for Keembe that, regardless of when she was born, 1972 is a very long ago time even for those of us who were born then.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Question put and agreed to.




Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on National Security and Foreign Affairs for the Second Session of the Twelfth National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 18th June, 2018.


Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?


Brig-Gen. Sitwala (Kaoma Central): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.


Dr Malama: Mr Speaker, your Committee considered two topical issues, namely the Operations and Management of the Defence Forces, and Statelessness and the Protection of Stateless Persons in Zambia. Your Committee also received reports from Parliamentary delegations to various regional and international organisations. Since hon. Members have read your Committee’s report, I will only comment on a few salient issues contained therein.


Sir, with regard to the management and operations of the Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force (ZAF) and Zambia National Service (ZNS), apart from receiving submissions from the Defence Chiefs, your Committee also toured selected military cantonments. Allow me to highlight a few issues your Committee encountered.


Your Committee observes with concern that the Defence Forces are not adequately funded and are, consequently, operating below the approved establishment levels due to non-recruitment over a long period of time. The non-recruitment has created a generational-gap, whereby senior officers retire and there are not enough of them left to impart knowledge and skills to the junior officers, and that has caused difficulties in keeping institutional memory in the Defence Forces. Further, the inadequate funding has resulted in the Defence Forces failing to service utility bills and honour various claims of personnel.


Sir, as a result of low manpower levels and inadequate equipment, the Defence Forces are unable to fully participate in United Nations (UN) peace-keeping missions. Your Committee was informed that whereas the Zambian troops are one of the most sought after by the UN due to their exemplary performance and conduct, they cannot be deployed on a large scale due to inadequate requisite modern equipment. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government sets aside sufficient resources for regular recruitments and general modernisation of the Defence Forces in order to maintain institutional memory, raise the strength to the approved establishment and adequately participate in UN missions. Your Committee is of the view that regular recruitment will reduce the numbers required per recruitment and, thereby, minimise the pressure on the resource envelope.


Sir, your Committee found that the water and sanitation infrastructure in military cantonments requires urgent attention. Your Committee, therefore, strongly recommends that the Government creates a special fund to address water and sanitation issues in military cantonments.


Mr Speaker, another matter that your Committee came across is the rampant encroachment on military land, including training areas. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that military cantonments that are not yet fenced off be secured as a matter of urgency and that title deeds be obtained for military land that is not yet on title.


Mr Speaker, your Committee notes that the mandatory retirement age of fifty-five years for military officers has deprived the Defence Forces of highly skilled personnel, such as doctors and pilots, who were trained at a great cost to the country. Upon retirement, the same personnel are hired by other employers, including Government institutions. In this regard, your Committee strongly recommends that the Government considers revising the retirement age upwards, particularly for specialised fields, in order to maximise the benefits to the country from the highly skilled personnel in the Defence Forces.


Mr Speaker, your Committee was informed that the Government intends to turn the Military Training Establishment of Zambia (MILTEZ) into a military university. While this idea is commendable, your Committee observes that the infrastructure at the institution is not befitting the status of a university. Your Committee, therefore, strongly urges the Government to provide adequate funding towards the building and upgrading of appropriate infrastructure to the level of a university.


Mr Speaker, let me make a few comments on the prevalence and extent of statelessness. Your Committee was informed that statelessness is a very obscure subject in Zambia, and notes that statistics on the prevalence of statelessness in Zambia are very scanty, largely because there is no institution specifically charged with the responsibility of looking into the matter. In this regard, your Committee recommends that the Government identifies an institution in the Ministry of Home Affairs to collect and keep disaggregated data on the prevalence and extent of statelessness in the country.


Mr Speaker, your Committee was informed that part of the reason for the lack of information on statelessness is the non-ratification of the 1961 UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness and the non-domestication of the 1954 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons. Your Committee notes that although some of the provisions of the two conventions are partly reflected in the Citizenship of Zambia Act No. 33 of 2016 and the Constitution, Zambia is not yet fully compliant with the UN conventions on this subject. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government ratifies the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness and domesticates both conventions in their entirety.


Mr Speaker, your Committee was informed that there were weaknesses in the legislative framework and administrative practices relating to nationality matters that hinge on statelessness. For example, in its deliberations, your Committee came across a case of one person who had been rendered stateless on account of these weaknesses. It is a sad story that requires the urgent attention of the Government. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government embarks on legal reforms to facilitate the naturalisation of stateless persons in Zambia.


Mr Speaker, with regard to Parliamentary delegations, your Committee observes that there is neither a mechanism for gathering the views of Parliamentarians and the general public on matters that require a national viewpoint before presenting them at international fora nor a platform for passing feedback from international organisations regularly to the general public. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that matters that require a national viewpoint be referred to the relevant Committees, as is the case with Bills, before a delegation travels for meetings. Further, your Committee recommends that a procedure be developed to allow leaders of delegations to international meetings to issue statements on the Floor of the House upon return from their tours of duty. This will help provide feedback to the House and the nation.


Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I thank you for the guidance and support rendered to your Committee during the execution of its programme of work. I also thank all the witnesses who appeared before your Committee for their submissions and for all the logistical support provided during the local tour. I further thank members of your Committee for their co-operation and dedication to duty, without which the work of your Committee could not have been fruitful. Last, but not least, I extend the gratitude of your Committee to the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the services rendered to it throughout its deliberations.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?


Brig-Gen. Sitwala: Now, Sir.


Mr Speaker, in seconding the Motion, allow me to highlight a few more issues in your Committee’s report in addition to those the mover has highlighted. In so doing, I will touch on the Zambia National Service (ZNS) and statelessness as it affects women and girls in our country.


Mr Speaker, as a matter of Government policy, the Airport Farm and other farms under the ZNS have concentrated on the production of maize and wheat, which have proved unprofitable. Your Committee noted that efforts to mechanise the farm are in place and that centre pivots have been provided. However, other machinery, such as seed drills, planters and harvesters are few because of inadequate funding. Consequently, the institution is unable to get involved in value addition. It is, therefore, your Committee’s recommendation that ZNS farms be allowed to diversify into other profitable crops and that they be adequately funded in order for them to procure the necessary equipment and improve productivity.


Mr Speaker, your Committee was also impressed with the ranching being undertaken by ZNS Chisamba, which is meeting the needs of the local animal rearing community by providing heifers and breeders for pigs. However, it was noted that there is no collaboration between the ranching at ZNS Chisamba and other centres and the Government cattle restocking programme. The programme is not being supported and checked by the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock. It is, therefore, your Committee’s recommendation that ZNS Chisamba and other ranching estates be used as breeders for cattle restocking. Further, there should be collaboration between ZNS and the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock. Chisamba and other centres should be enabled to engage in value addition, such as processing meat into sausage and other products, like Fringilla Farms, which is near ZNS Chisamba.


 Mr Speaker, generally, your Committee noted that ZNS is being under-utilised. If properly utilised, it could be used to create jobs for the many jobless youths who have now become lawless due to desperation, like we heard earlier this afternoon. The institution is ready to train the youths, but there is no policy direction and requisite funding from the Government. Your Committee noted that apart from its mandate of food production, ZNS is also involved in operations like guarding border areas and Government installations. Due to low staffing levels, this has resulted in poor service delivery in its core mandates of food production and road construction. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the institution be fully utilised in food production and job creation by enabling it to recruit more staff and concentrate on its core business of food production, youth training and road construction. Like the other two Defence Forces, ZNS should be adequately funded for it to fulfil its mandate.


Mr Speaker, regarding statelessness as it relates to women and girls, whereas there are no laws or policies that directly or explicitly adversely affect the rights of women and girls to statehood and citizenship in Zambia, there are some administrative procedures that are not very conducive to the same. While positive efforts have been made regarding birth registration, administrative procedures involved in the issuance of birth certificates are highly centralised at provincial centres. Your Committee has noted that persons living in remote areas have to travel long distances to health facilities and registration centres to apply for and collect birth certificates.


Sir, the process of acquiring a birth certificate is also very complex and slow. These factors disadvantage vulnerable individuals, who are mostly women and girls, as they may not have the resources and energy to travel long distances to obtain the documents. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the administrative procedures for obtaining birth certificates and other national identity documents be decentralised to the district and, possibly, ward level through health centres. Your Committee also recommends that the mobile issuance of birth certificates, as is the case for issuance of national registration cards (NRCs) during elections, be considered so that this problem can be addressed.


Sir, let me end by thanking the Chairperson of your Committee for the exemplary manner in which he managed the affairs of your Committee both during the long meetings and the tours. I also thank Members of the Committee for their teamwork.


Mr Livune: Question!


Brig-Gen Sitwala: Mr Speaker, I beg to second.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Chonya (Kafue): Mr Speaker, allow me to very briefly debate your Committee’s well-written report in the remaining time.


Sir, I was particularly interested in what is written on page 82 of your report. Your Committee recommends that the Government provides good infrastructure for the men and women in uniform. It also recommends that the Government puts up facilities from which they can operate or some requisite facilities like police cells, good offices and houses. I want to talk about this because I agree with your Committee’s recommendations, given the situation I have described to this House before.


Mr Speaker, during the last rainy season, police officers in Kafue were almost moving out of their police station because the infrastructure there had become so bad that water was seeping out of the ground and flooding the entire office. This made it difficult for the officers to work from those offices. Equally, I mentioned that when suspects are apprehended in Kafue, they have to be taken to Chilanga or transported elsewhere because the main police station does not have holding cells. That is why I agree with the observations of your Committee.


Sir, your Committee’s report also talks about the need to recruit adequate numbers of police officers. This, again, is another matter that this House looked at, particularly when considering the Budget at the beginning of this year. We should continue encouraging the Government to recruit in a very transparent –


The microphones malfunctioned.


Ms Chonya: Ok. I am back.




Ms Chonya: Mr Speaker, recruitment should be based on merit and for people who are interested in the profession. What we have seen of late is that cadres are recruited and we end up with people who are not dedicated to the cause of their duty. When we recruit them on that basis, they will be far from providing a professional service with the fairness and firmness that is required.


Sir, the hon. Member who seconded the Motion touched on the Zambia National Service (ZNS). Indeed, this is one institution one would expect the Government to use to mop up most of our jobless youths from the street and engage them in agriculture or other trades. After all, agriculture is said to be our national priority after copper mining. Therefore, the Government would be helped to achieve that aspiration if it supported the ZNS adequately.


Sir, I am yet to hear the correct position of the Government regarding the status of Lusaka Central Prison, commonly called Chimbokaila. From the streets, we hear that it has been sold. So, it would be good –


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kafue, is that covered in the report?


Ms Chonya: Mr Speaker, I was looking at the Zambia Correctional Service, which has some issues. That is where I have hinged this point. I am merely requesting that the Government clarifies the status of the prison. In the –


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, resume your seat.


Ms Chonya resumed her seat.


Mr Speaker: The purpose for this meeting is to receive reports, which are preceded by a lot of work and investment in time and money. We cannot brush these reports aside and begin generating other themes that will invite the Government to respond. If you have a different concern, we have other mechanisms. For example, you can file in a Question for Oral Answer.




Ms Chonya: Mr Speaker, I have two quick final points to make on the report of your Committee.


Your Committee laments the retirement of military officers at fifty-five, claiming that it is a waste of the human resource trained at a very high cost to the Government. Your Committee recommends that the officers be allowed to serve a little longer. I have a bit of difficulty agreeing with the report on this one because I know that the general feeling of most of the people out there, particularly youths who are looking for an opportunity to serve this country, did not support this idea when it was effected in the Civil Service because they also want these men and women to retire in honour so that they can take up the jobs. However, I note that the report cites, for instance, professionals like doctors and pilots to be considered for extended service. Concerning doctors, I think we may need to harmonise issues because, indeed, a doctor who is not in the military is allowed to serve beyond the age of fifty-five. So, what is the difference with doctors in the military? Maybe, there is a need to consider that.


Finally, Mr Speaker, somewhere in the report, there is an update on the various international engagements and conferences to which you sent your officers to represent this august House. One of the conferences that are reported on is the Commonwealth Women’s Parliament. Of course, that grouping being a women’s thing, you may already guess that it has to do with an organisation or grouping that will promote gender equality in Parliament and beyond, and champion the issues of women in general.


Mr Speaker, I was grateful to be part of the delegation led by Hon. Chungu Bwalya to the 48thConference in Nigeria, where a lot of emphasis was put on the establishment of the Commonwealth Women’s Parliament, which exists in many other Commonwealth Parliaments. I think this is the best practice which, with your able members of staff, you could help facilitate for our Parliament so that our effort to champion the rights and causes of women is more structured. I know that currently, we have the Women’s Caucus, but you will agree with me that the performance of this caucus leaves much to be desired. This could be mainly because of the way it is structured. A systematic arrangement like the Commonwealth Women’s Parliament would help to promote the national, regional and global agenda to place women from all walks of life in the right positions in governance, leadership and the community.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


The Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Malanji): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me time to debate this important report.


Mr Speaker, I would like to confirm that the Committee did an excellent job in executing most of its visits to our missions and bringing out their internal concerns regarding our ministry.


Mr Speaker, the concern of the Committee regarding emoluments in our mission in Angola −


Mr Speaker: Order!


(Debate adjourned)




The House adjourned at 1955 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 22nd June, 2018.