Tuesday, 19th June, 2018

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Tuesday, 19th June, 2018


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, the House will recall that on Thursday, 22nd March, 2018, when the hon. Member of Parliament for Choma Central, Mr C. Mweetwa, MP, was debating the Report on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources on the Report of the Auditor-General on Sustainable Forest Management, the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Hon. D. Siliya, MP, raised a point of order in which she stated, inter alia, as follows:


“Madam Speaker, is the speaker on the Floor in order to refer to this side of the House as people who do not think, and then continue with his untruths by claiming that the Natural Resources Development College (NRDC) has been sold? If the hon. Member of Parliament who is on the Floor continues to speak like that, there is no way we cannot be incensed. You have continued to guide him while he is on the Floor. We have waited patiently to hear the advice that he is promising to give us, but he keeps veering. Seriously, there must have been something in the tea that my dear friend took.


Is the hon. Member in order to say that this side of the House does not think and qualify the ‘not thinking’ with untruths such as the NRDC being sold without giving evidence? Is he in order, Madam Speaker?”


Hon. Members, in her immediate reaction to the point of order, the First Deputy Speaker, who was in the Chair at the time, reserved the ruling to enable her to peruse the verbatim record and ascertain whether what was alleged to have been said was actually said.

Hon. Members, the matter has been studied and I will now render the ruling on the point of order. In order to ascertain whether the hon. Member of Parliament for Choma Central made the statements alleged by the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting, I had recourse to the verbatim record of Hon. Mweetwa’s debate. The relevant portion of the debate is as follows:


“Madam Speaker, thank you very much for giving me an opportunity to add the voice of the good people of Choma and that of the United Party for National Development (UPND) to this very important Motion on the Floor of the House …


“I read your Committee’s report, and its findings made very sad reading. In fact, I ended up concluding that this report is a damning indictment and a living testament to the lack of leadership in this sector. It is as if we do not have a minister or a ministry in office to administer this sector.


“Hon. Members should read page 7 of your Committee’s report before they start murmuring. There is no supervision of forest harvesting. Supervision has to do with leadership. If there is no supervision, there is no leadership. If there is leadership, it is bad leadership …


“Madam Speaker, in this country, there is the issue of the illegal harvesting of the mukula tree ... This is an asset given to this country by God, and whose value, at the moment, is more than that of the many minerals that we have in this country. However, we have a leadership that cannot see this tree as an asset that should contribute to the economy of this country for the benefit of present and future generations.


“A ban on the export of mukula was announced while trucks laden with it are being impounded every day. Not too long ago, some Patriotic Front (PF) cadres impounded trucks carrying mukula timber in Shimabala because they were fed up with their leaders stealing while they are not benefitting ...”


“Madam Speaker, for the UPND, the mukula tree is a beautiful discovery. The Chinese are making gun butts and dashboards for expensive vehicles in China from mukula ... We do not want to criticise the PF Government and not help them with some advice because they need a lot of advice. Look at them. They need advice. We cannot continue to have a leadership in place which is wasteful. The country has discovered what I can call gold because the mukula tree is gold. Then, a fictitious ban is put on the export of mukula while it is being exported illegally.


“Instead of the police impounding the trucks loaded with mukula timber, they were impounded by the PF cadres who were aware of their manoeuvres. We are aware that the police have been told to leave trucks laden with mukula timber alone because that is where the funds that are used to sponsor youths to commit acts of violence are generated from ...


“We, the UPND, see the mukula tree as a precious asset. It is a diamond if you like. So, why should the Chinese export products of mukula when they have no mukula?


“Madam Speaker, this is happening because we have a leadership that does not think properly. It has no proper priorities. Look at what is happening in this country ...


“Madam Speaker, one hon. Minister once said in this House that Zambia has been turned into a construction site. She is here and she remembers those words. If you try to find out who the owners of the construction taking place are, you will find that they are foreigners. Can you go to China today and get a 1 m x 1 m piece of land and be given a title deed the same way our land is being auctioned? You sell NRDC, you sell this, you auction that– We are auctioning a country that does not belong to us.”


Hon. Members, from the foregoing extract of the hon. Member for Choma Central’s debate, the following is apparent:


  1. the hon. Member for Choma Central Parliamentary Constituency said that the Executive had sold land belonging to the NRDC; and


  1. the hon. Member for Choma Central Parliamentary Constituency said that the leadership does not think properly.


In view of the foregoing, in as far as the point of order relates to the hon. Member alleging that the Executive had sold NRDC land, the hon. Member was out of order.


As regards the allegation that the hon. Member of Parliament for Choma Central Constituency said that the hon. Members of the Executive do not think, it is clear from the verbatim record that he did not state that hon. Members on the right side of the House do not think. Rather, he said:


         “We have a leadership that does not think properly.”


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: The manner in which hon. Members debate in the House is governed by rules. Paragraph 32 of Chapter 5 of the National Assembly Members’ Handbook 2006, states:


“Members should not use words containing insinuations and offensive and unparliamentary expressions.”


Hon. Members, clearly, the statements by the hon. Member of Parliament for Choma Central Parliamentary Constituency that the leadership does not think properly and that the Executive had sold land belonging to the Natural Resources Development College, NRDC, were offensive to the Executive. Therefore, the hon. Member was out of order.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Let me once again remind hon. Members to refrain from being emotional and offensive in their debates. They should instead, use civil language.


I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!








The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, I am grateful to you for according me the opportunity to issue a ministerial statement ...


Mr Speaker: Order on the left!


Mr Kampyongo: ... on the rising number of gangs in some parts of the country. Allow me to also comment on the firing range in the Chalala area of Lusaka District, and the alleged shooting of a student at Lusaka Apex Medical University.


Sir, the Government is extremely concerned with the rising number of criminal gangs and crime in some parts of the country, especially on the Copperbelt Province in general, and Kitwe, in particular. Criminal gangs have largely been formed by young people aged between nineteen and thirty-four years. In the last few months, gangs have been attacking innocent citizens, injuring them and stealing their personal belongings such as handbags, money and cell phones. To contain the situation, the Zambia Police Service has put in place a number of measures including the following:


  1. established a taskforce to deal with the rising number of gangs and criminal activities in Kitwe;


  1. intensified motorised and foot patrols; and


  1. started public sensitisation programmes, especially through Radio Ichengelo, on the dangers of criminal gangs, importance of reporting crimes to the police and encouraging members of the public to identify and report to the police, youths involved in criminal activities and suppliers of illicit drugs in their communities.  Members of the public have also been encouraged to form and participate in crime-prevention committees and associations within their communities.


Sir, the public sensitisation programmes have been very successful in fighting crime in the communities. Their success is evident from the support of the stakeholders, including the media. Radio Ichengelo, for example, has since offered the Zambia Police Service one hour free airtime per week for the public sensitisation programmes on crime and crime prevention.


Mr Speaker, the measures taken by the police to arrest the crime wave in Kitwe have so far resulted in the apprehending of sixty-six people for various gang-related offences ranging from aggravated robberies, two abductions, unlawful wounding causing grievous bodily harm and conduct likely to cause the breach of peace. There are also sixteen gang-related cases before the courts of law in Kitwe. About twelve of these are in subordinate courts, while four cases are in the High Court. The robust response to gang crimes by the police has resulted in a drastic reduction in gang-related crimes in Kitwe. Community sensitisation coupled with vigorous police patrols have helped reduce drastically, gang-related crimes.


Mr Speaker, given the success of the public sensitisation  programmes in helping to curb gang-related crimes, allow me to appeal to members of the public to stay calm because the Zambia Police Service is working hard to rid our communities of all criminal activities and to bring to book all the perpetrators.


Members of the public should support the Zambia Police Service by reporting any suspicious persons and activities to them. In the same vein, members of the public should, at all times, desist from taking the law into their own hands. Instead, they should exercise maximum restraint and allow the law enforcement officers to do their work professionally.


Sir, allow me to take this opportunity to commend the Zambia Police Service Command for the successful operations that have resulted in the arrest of some perpetrators of these crimes. The operations have also helped restore public security. Overall, the security situation in the country remains stable. Members of the public should, therefore, continue going about their business normally.


Mr Speaker, I must also appeal to parents, the church leadership and school authorities to offer guidance to young people and help them desist from engaging in criminal activities. We must all work together and encourage young people to focus on their education and acquisition of life skills for them to be productive and law-abiding citizens of this great country.


Sir, allow me to now comment on the firing range in the Chalala area of Lusaka District and the alleged shooting of a student at the Kasama Road Campus of the Apex Medical University. Preliminary investigations show that the undeveloped land opposite the Kasama Road Campus of the Lusaka Apex Medical University is used as a firing range by the Zambia Army. On the basis of the location, where the student is said to have been standing at the time of the alleged shooting, it is possible that the said student could have been shot and caught by a stray bullet from the range.


Mr Speaker, investigations into the matter are still ongoing. Until the facts are established, it would be irresponsible and premature to draw any conclusions. We must, therefore, guard against speculation and misinformation. In the absence of a conclusive report on the alleged shooting, it is difficult to suggest what should be done to avoid similar incidents in the future.


Sir, the Zambia Police Service has, nevertheless, engaged the Zambia Army on the possibility of relocating the firing range to a less densely populated area. The Government regrets the death of the student at the Lusaka Apex University.


I thank you, Sir.


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


Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to seek clarification from the Minister responsible for Home Affairs. The presentation or, indeed, the statement, has not provided the reasons for the rise in these criminal gangs. I would have expected, at least, some indication as to what could be responsible for this rise. If it is unbearable levels of youth unemployment, one would have expected these same gangs to be on the rise in other parts of the country such as Lusaka. Why are we now seeing a rise of these criminal gangs on the Copperbelt, in particular, Kitwe and Chingola?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the question by the hon. Member. There are many factors that can be attributed to this issue. Indeed, it would be easier to use a lack of employment as the reason, but some of these youths are supposed to be in school. I do not know how someone aged 15 or 17 years old would claim that the lack of employment is the reason for belonging to a criminal gang. That is why I am saying that we have noticed a breakdown in family systems. This is something all of us need to acknowledge. As leaders, we must start addressing some of these challenges. That is why we are calling upon all the stakeholders, including the Church and all of us here to try to instill family values in our children. That way, our children will have proper guidance. There are a number of factors that can be attributed to the rise in criminal gangs. However, nothing justifies the formation of gangs by youths who start attacking innocent citizens.


Sir, in developed countries, it is common to find these gangs. Our role, through the Zambia Police Service, is to make sure that these gangs are busted and made to face the law. After that, we shall keep them where they are supposed to be. We have facilities where we keep young offenders. That is what I can say on that.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to raise a question relating to the rise of organised crime in the country. With your permission, I would like to preface my question by stating that we have, on several occasions, raised the question of organised crime on the Floor of this House. We have been advising the Government and the leadership of political parties to ensure that they do not use the youths to perpetrate violence. As a result of the usage of the youths, who are being allowed to carry guns, pangas and other weapons, they tend to think that they will be glorified if they start such gangs. They observe the way they are being treated. I am aware that on the Copperbelt Province, there are certain gangs that are being glorified by the leadership. These gangs are being appreciated.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, what is the hon. Minister of Home Affairs going to do to ensure that there is no selective application of justice in this country? What will he do to ensure that there are no organised crime syndicates that have the preserve of seclusion and protection by his Government? I want the hon. Minister to be very categorical in his answer to my question.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central Parliamentary Constituency who is also the Leader of the Opposition for his follow-up question.


Mr Nkombo: He has just returned from Kenya.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I must state that as leaders, we need to debate mattes such as this one with a sober approach.


Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu is on record as having been magnanimous in petitioning the Ruling Party and the Opposition to provide sober leadership to our youth because violence begets violence.


Mr Lubinda: Panga for panga


Mr Kampyongo: Sir, we are talking about our children. Who would be happy to see children being maimed? If you cannot subject your own child to such, why should it be done to someone else’s child?


Mr Speaker, we need our colleagues to reiterate the call by the President. The issue of panga for panga is retrogressive.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lubinda: Where did it come from?




Mr Kampyongo: The vice-president of our dear colleagues here –


Mr Speaker: Order!


Just continue. Do not respond.


Mr Kampyongo: A vice-president, who is one of the senior most people in a party –




Mr Speaker: Order!


When the question was asked, there was silence, but now that the hon. Minister wants to respond, you want to interfere.


Mr Lubinda: That is how they are.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, we expect the same magnanimity expressed by His Excellency the President to be reciprocated by our colleagues on your left. I was citing an example of what a senior leader said because what we say as leaders is taken by our followers religiously. What does it imply when a senior leader stands on a podium and says, ‘panga for panga’?


Mr Lubinda: Blow for blow.


Mr Kampyongo: Sir, our position is very clear.


Sir, the hon. Member talked about the Copperbelt Province. What happened on the Copperbelt Province is the reason the Government deemed it fit to make sure that the people who were involved in illegal mining activities were provided with an environment that would allow them to start operating legitimately as law-abiding citizens. That action was meant to make them realise that they were not above the law. It is also why we took a lot of time to turn their groupings into legitimate co-operatives. That is what a responsible Government does. We do not just act on the symptoms, but also make sure that we put in place preventative measures. What we did made it possible for us to create opportunities for the youth to engage in meaningful activities which will contribute to their wellbeing.


Sir, we do not apply the law selectively. We do not spare certain youths when they do wrong. The reason I announced the number of people who have been apprehended is to show that there will be no sacred cows when it comes to people who break the law.


Sir, all of us in this august House should take heed of this counsel. If I coexist and drink tea with the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central, why should it be difficult for our followers to do the same? The same coexistence that we enjoy in Parliament should be extended to our followers. We sleep in the same apartments and greet each other when we meet. Why should a fellow hon. Member of Parliament threaten another with assassination because of political differences during an election campaign? That should not be encouraged.


Hon. Government Members: Which one?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, Hon. Michelo is on record as having threatened the hon. Minister of Justice with violence.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, you know the convention. We do not debate ourselves.


Mr Kampyongo: Thank you for that guidance.


Mr Speaker: We can discuss the issues without reference to any individuals.




Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, in a nutshell, let us strengthen the coexistence that we enjoy.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: Sir, if we encourage our followers to play soccer together like we do, then this nation will continue to be a beacon of peace. It is the responsibility of all of us to continue providing leadership. We have to help our youths to understand that you cannot force people to vote for you. You just have to provide them with information. It is all about the message, which you sell to the people.


I thank you, Sir.




Mr Speaker: There is no need for agitation. You can indicate if you want to intervene. That is why you all have got equipment in front of you. I am not in a hurry. 


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, what measures has the hon. Minister put in place, through the Zambia Police Service, to protect not only the people of the Copperbelt Province, but also the people of Lusaka? There are similar groups of young men attacking our people in the areas around the Zambia Army Range, Chalala and New Kasama. What programme has been put in place to patrol these areas in order to preserve peace and protect peoples’ lives as well as property?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the police are putting in place measures such as intensified motorised and foot patrols in areas where hotspots have been identified. I am aware of the Mtendere area where a group of youths calling themselves Fluffy Boys operate. We are also monitoring Chibolya very closely. The Zambia Police Service have had challenges in terms of logistical support. However, the Government is working on getting a fleet of vehicles to assist the police logistically across the country.


Sir, further, we are also trying to equip police officers with modern equipment which will help them react to some of these crimes effectively. We are also making sure that they go for mandatory in-service training so that they keep sharpening their policing skills from time to time. The hon. Member might have seen the Inspector-General of the Zambia Police Service go in front of his troops to make sure that they are keep up to speed.


Sir, we are also grappling with numbers in terms of the police to population ratio. We are pleased that this year the hon. Minister of Finance has done something, which will help us to beef up the number of police officers by recruiting more than 1,000 officers so that our people can be policed effectively.


We are also calling for the communities to be proactive in community policing. Crime is being committed within the communities where people live and sometimes, they even know who the perpetrators could be. So, it is important that communities themselves are proactive in making sure that their communities are safe by collaborating with the Zambia Police Service through sharing information or forming small community policing groups which can react to some of the petty crimes.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr C. M. Zulu (Luangeni): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the hon. Minister that he has a huge task on his shoulders.


Sir, the measures that the hon. Minister has put in place to curb the crime are dealing with the end product of a problem which has not been established. The hon. Minister is simply saying the police will be on the ground and that we must tell parents to talk to their children. Riding on the question from the hon. Member for Lukulu West, I want to find out what the hon. Minister is doing to make sure that he establishes the root cause of this problem that we have. I am told that some parents and police officers are beneficiaries of this same crime. I know in Kwacha, one police officer was identified as having been involved with a gang member. So, what is the hon. Minister doing to establish the root cause of this problem?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, there is a linkage between illicit substances that are found in certain communities and the rising number of crimes. If you looked at the ages of the perpetrators, you would notice that there are those which can easily be influenced by some of these illicit substances found on the market. That is why we are working with the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) to make sure that we curtail the supply of the illicit drugs on the market. Normally, when you find some of these ‘characters’, they are usually under the influence of some substances.


Sir, secondly, as already mentioned, there is a social problem which needs to be addressed. That is why I am calling for concerted efforts. I agree that the Zambia Police Service is dealing with the symptoms. This is why I am insisting that we need to start addressing the problem from the family setup. As we engage our communities as leaders, we need to ask ourselves, what role we can play in making sure that our youths are made to realise that it does not pay to engage in criminal activities. We should work to ensure that our youths are productive and law abiding. Otherwise, they will end up in facilities like Katombola where we keep young offenders.


Sir, I agree with my hon. Colleague that we have a social problem which requires concerted efforts. That is why I am calling upon the Church and all of us here, to play our role by ensuring that we bring down this crime rate. The police officers will continue executing their mandate of making sure that they pounce on the perpetrators for the law does not look at age. However, the ultimate solution lies in all of us realising that we are all affected. Anyone can be a victim of crime. It is the same with violence. If you are a promoter of violence, you might end up as a victim one day. So, let us be proactive in the fight against crime. I appeal to my dear colleague to devise practical programmes in his constituency which will keep our youths busy.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Jamba (Mwembeshi): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the statement. When one jerabo died in Kitwe, one hon. Minister went to officiate at the funeral. The youths who saw the hon. Minister officiating at that funeral thought that the jerabo’s way of life was the way to go. The hon. Ministers are actually applauding theft.


Oh! Sorry, Sir, that is unparliamentary.


Sir, what happened showed that hon. Ministers can applaud people who break the law. That jerabo was applauded by one former hon. Minister. In my constituency, we have a dump site where copper slug is deposited. In Nampundwe, there is a group of youths which is calling itself a gang. The members of this group are claiming that they should behave the way jerabos behave in Kitwe by owning the dump site. Is this hon. Minister telling me that this idea of rewarding thieves like jerabos will not lead to the spread of this culture?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the follow-up question by my dear hon. Member for Mwembeshi.


Mr Speaker, at the expense of repeating myself, I will say that the youths who were trying to find a living illegitimately in huge numbers, who you call jerabos or whatever you want, are citizens. We found it prudent to make them start doing their business legitimately. We did that because the situation was a ticking time bomb. We are not talking about small numbers. What is now happening in Kitwe has trickle-down effects. When you go where the youths are operating from, you will find a lot of activities which many people are benefitting from. There are ordinary marketers that are selling merchandise to the workers. We have found a meaningful solution to a social problem. We cannot keep calling them jerabos. They are now small-scale miners …


Mr C. M. Zulu: Yes!


Mr Kampyongo: … who are licensed to mine. They are operating legally. If my dear hon. Colleague has challenges in his constituency, he should not hesitate to share the necessary information with us so that we can panel beat that emerging group of youths to make them understand that, through the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, they can be taught how to become small-scale miners rather than using force or illegal means because we are not going to spare them. They might not even mine, but end up in correctional facilities. So, with the right information, we can straighten these youths up.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Siwale (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for that statement. The police are doing their level best to prevent crime in our communities, but there is a growing concern that the neighbourhood watch members are suspects. I do not know how the neighbourhood watch members are appointed to serve alongside the police. It has been discovered that the people who perpetuate crime and solicit bribes from those who commit crimes are members of the neighbourhood watch. How are neighbourhood watch members appointed? Maybe, they have outlived their usefulness. Could the ministry do something so that we have clean people helping the police to serve the country properly.


  Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, we encourage community policing. Neighbourhood watch groups have been one way of encouraging community policing complementing the work of the Zambia Police Service. The people who volunteer to provide security in our communities are always scrutinised. That is why we ensure that these people have fixed abode. By this, I mean people who have traceable references and are credible in their communities. We have to make sure that much as we want to work with these people, we also do not involve people who are criminally minded, who would want to hide behind community policing to perpetrate crime.


Sir, the Zambia Police Service has a process through which it identifies these people. Those who are found to be undesirable are automatically weeded out because we only want to work with people who are honest and credible. We hear the hon. Member’s call. If he has specific concerns on particular community policing groups, he can share them with us so that the Zambia Police Service can normalise the situation, where need arises.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: I am now taking the last round of questions as follows: Hon. Member for Ikeleng’i, hon. Member for Katuba, hon. Member for Manyinga, hon. Member for Mumbwa, hon. Member for Chienge, hon. Member for Kabompo and I will close with the hon. Member for Nalikwanda.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, in this country, organised crime is on the rise, especially amongst the youths. The hon. Minister has praised the police for doing so much in their operations, but I am taken aback because the same police service has not come up with arrests in Shiwang’andu, where a helicopter was stoned by the youths. What is the police doing in Shantumbu, where we have heard that taxis are being used to abduct innocent women? Where is the credit that the hon. Minister is giving to the police coming from? When talking, the hon. Minister is leaving out cases that happen, especially during the election campaigns, where so much crime is committed and nothing is done about it. When is this ministry going to be proactive and remove this organised crime from our communities?


Mr Speaker: Order! Let me provide guidance.


The hon. Minister of Home Affairs has issued a ministerial statement. This time is for clarifications on the statement that he has issued. If we start picking isolated incidents, which are historical in character and start probing them in this session, then, we will be misguided.


Ms Mwashingwele (Katuba): Mr Speaker, I wish to commend the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, especially for recognising the essence of the family. I would want the social issues which the hon. Minister is talking about referred to as socio-economic issues. I am sure the hon. Minister is aware that there are a lot of guns in the hands of families in this country. The guns are sophisticated ones for that matter. What is the ministry doing to disarm these families? Is this ministry going to give these families amnesty so that they are able to surrender the arms and ammunitions which are in different parts of the country?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, indeed, the hon. Member’s concern is equally ours too. The issue of firearms that are finding themselves in wrong hands has always been our concern in this country. Amnesty is one of the measures that we have used before. We shall continue to use it in order to allow people who could be in possession of unlicensed firearms to hand them over to the Zambia Police Service. I want to assure the hon. Member that very soon, the Zambia Police Service, which is responsible for the control of the possession of arms and ammunition, will conduct audits on how many, for example, licensed firearms are available as we offer amnesty to people who could be in possession of unlicensed firearms. After that, there will be operations that will be designed. We also have been gathering intelligence information in areas where we suspect to have people with unlicensed firearms. We will depend on members of the community to avail us as much information as possible. Yes, the amnesty is one of the measures that we have used before and shall continue using to allow those who could be in possession of unlicensed firearms to hand them over to the police.


Mr Speaker, we also want to ensure that as people are applying for the licence to own firearms, they are made to understand what it takes to have firearms at all times. This is important. In the recent past, we have seen people using firearms on their family members. This is one of our concerns. We have become a bit strict in the way we regulate the possession of firearms because we have to safeguard the lives of our people. We will make sure that only those whom we feel deserve to own firearms are given licences.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, there are some rural constituencies which are experiencing criminal cases which the police have been failing to reach because of transport challenges. What measure has the ministry put in place to ensure that transport is made available to police stations, countrywide?


Mr Speaker: That question is unrelated to the statement.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I seek clarification on the shooting incident involving a student from Apex University. Initially, it was reported that when the post-mortem was conducted, the firearm which was used had not been identified. I want to find out if the police have finally indentified the firearm which was used to shoot the student at Apex University.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, like I stated earlier, this matter is under investigations. When the investigations are concluded, we shall be able to give proper details on all the matters related to this alleged shooting, including the ones about the firearm that could have been used. For now, I will leave it at that stage until the matter is conclusively investigated.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, I know that you have given guidance concerning follow-up questions on the ministerial statement. The hon. Minister talked about the panga for panga culture and the rise of gangsterism. Let me bring to the attention of the hon. Minister the reason we are having gangsters in our country. Lawlessness is being created by youths who have a certain political affiliation. Some of them feel they are above the law. They can do anything without getting arrested. I will give an example of what happened in Chienge. The District Chairman’s bad conduct was captured on video. However, the police are still waiting for instructions from Mansa to arrest him. It has come to my attention that the people of Chienge and other places are saying that they will start defending themselves because they are not being protected by the police. A certain group of youths are in possession of guns. These youths are not being disarmed. I also want to refer to an incident involving police officers who went to the home of an hon. Member of Parliament carrying pistols whilst drunk. What has the ministry done about these already reported incidents involving culprits who have been identified as Patriotic Front (PF) cadres, who are in possession of weapons?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, let me state that finger-pointing is not a solution. If the hon. Member of Parliament for Chienge is referring to specific incidents, there are channels that should be followed to report them. The Zambia Police Service is not selective in dealing with culprits.




Mr Speaker: Order!


Please, continue, hon. Minister.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I want to make sure that my response is followed.


Mr Speaker, I am saying that if the hon. Member of Parliament for Chienge has specific concerns, there are channels that can be followed to ensure that they are addressed. There is no segregation. No professional police officer can say that he/she cannot deal with a specific matter because of the person involved. An offence is an offence regardless of who is involved in it. That is how the police work. Therefore, if there are specific challenges, there are other channels that can be used to address them. Chienge is under district and provincial commands. These channels can ensure that a complaint of that nature is addressed.


Sir, this brings me to the issue that was raised by one hon. Member of Parliament concerning the police being involved in some criminal activities. Although police officers wear uniforms, they are also human beings just like all of us. When some police officers are cited in criminal activities, they are dealt with just like any other citizen because being law enforcers does not make them above the law.


Mr Lubinda: The Mbabala case.


Mr Kampyongo: Sir, police officers are also subjected to the same laws that we, as citizens, are subjected to. Recently, the hon. Minister of Justice informed this august House on the action that we took to deal with police officers who were found wanting for mishandling a citizen who lost his life in their custody ─


Mr Lubinda: That is how magnanimous we are.


Mr Kampyongo: That is how magnanimous we are. There is no segregation in the enforcement of the law. When there are specific challenges, there are channels to follow in order to get them addressed. Finger-pointing is certainly not a solution. As leaders, we need to be responsible in dealing with certain matters.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the critical statement on the rising crime in Zambia. In order for the Government to solve this problem, we should look at the core cause of the rising criminal activities, especially on the Copperbelt. The hon. Member for Luangeni asked a question which did not get a plausible answer from the hon. Minister. I would like to volunteer an answer. The drastic decline of the economy is part, if not the core, cause of the rising criminal activities on the Copperbelt Province and countrywide. Given that scenario, what is the Government affirmatively doing to ensure that the youths who constitute 65 per cent of the entire population in the country are engaged in economic activities so as to mitigate the rising criminal activities not only on the Copperbelt, but also countrywide? What positive steps is the Government taking in this regard?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, this responsible Government is doing a lot to ensure that the youths are not left behind in the development of this country. There are a number of tertiary institutions that have been created to ensure that those who want to acquire skills take that path. In fact, a number of schools are still being built. This is one way of ensuring that education becomes a ladder for the youths to become meaningful citizens. There are also a number of universities that are being built across the country. Since the population has grown, we know that the two old universities cannot absorb the number of pupils from our secondary schools. Therefore, the Government is responding to the challenges faced by the youths.


Sir, the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development is equally putting in place interventions in the form of youth empowerment programmes which youths should take advantage of. The Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare equally has social safety net programmes in place. Therefore, the Government is not sitting back because it knows that prevention is better than cure. This is the reason we have engaged stakeholders such as the mining houses to see if they can allow the huge number of youths on the Copperbelt Province to directly benefit from their mining activities. As Minister of Home Affairs and leader of the youths in the Patriotic Front (PF), I am chairing the Ministers’ Committee that is trying to find solutions to the problems faced by the youths because we know that the offshoots affect all of us. Therefore, as the Government, we are not sitting back, but are trying by all means to ensure that we provide solutions.


Mr Speaker, even in developed countries there is crime. That is why they have police services. If there was no crime in countries with big economies, they could have done away with the police. It does not matter the size of the economy. Crime will always be there. That is why developed and poor countries have law enforcement agencies to make sure that they deal with these crimes.


Mr Speaker, the trends of crime change from time to time. Therefore, we shall continue playing our part as the Government to ensure that our youths are brought up in a meaningful and productive way.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, allow me to give a brief preamble to my question.


Sir, the hon. Minister’s statement indicates very clearly that we have entered a very dangerous zone as a country. It is a zone which has been the genesis of the challenges to peace and security in many African countries. We are now there. Clearly, I sympathise with the hon. Minister and Government for the efforts which are being made to address crime.


Sir, coming to my specific point of clarification, I wish to inform the hon. Minister that the challenge of unlicensed guns is not along the line of rail like on the Copperbelt Province only. Since the beginning of this year, Mongu has been experiencing a similar problem whereby a gang of boys calling themselves ‘Dark City Boys’ has been terrorising and beating up people in the district. If the hon. Minister is aware of this, has he taken any measures to address the challenge of the ‘Dark City Boys’, who have been terrorising the people of Mongu since the beginning of this year? I am sure the people of Mongu would like to hear from him.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I appreciate that interesting follow-up question from Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa.


Sir, there was a gang which wanted to spring up in the Western Province, in Mongu, in particular. I can confidently assure the hon. Member, the people of Mongu and, indeed, the people of Zambia that this group was firmly dealt with. Thus, it does not exist.


Mr Speaker, in addition, I wish to advise hon. Members that whenever opportunities are being floated before our people, we must encourage the youths to jump on them. For example, in the Western Province, there is the Cashew Nut Programme which is well-funded. This is one way of absorbing the youths into productive ventures. Therefore, the hon. Member of Parliament for Nalikwanda and others must not just sit back.


Sir, we must only politick to a certain level because some problems affect all of us. They should not only be addressed by the Government, but also the hon. Members of Parliament who also represent the people. Thus, when it comes to some programmes, let us break the political barriers so that Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa can engage the ministry that is bringing that meaningful programme to the Western Province and ensure that all youths who need to benefit from it are a part of it.


Sir, the Western Province is endowed with water bodies and so, why can we not let our youths access programmes, through the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, so that they engage in productive activities to keep them away from wrongdoing? Let us break down the political barriers at some point and serve our people better. This is the only way we can guarantee peace.


Sir, to put the crime picture clearer, we have yet not reached that danger zone yet in which we cannot deal with the situation. I wish to assure the House that we are still firmly in control. I do not think that there will be any crime that will go unattended to.


Mr Speaker, I have heard some hon. Members talk about young Africans risking their lives crossing oceans. This is not happening to us here.


Sir, there is a lot that we can do by working together collectively in order to address the plight of our youths who are the leaders of today, tomorrow and the future.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.








279. Ms Chonya (Kafue) asked the Minister of Information and Broadcasting:


  1. what the cost of the broadcasting rights for all the matches at the on-going Russia 2018 Football World Cup Tournament is;


  1. whether the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) has acquired the rights to broadcast the matches;


  1. if not, why ZNBC rejected the offer from Kwese TV to broadcast the matches using the feed from Kwese TV which has the rights;


  1. why TopStar suspended the signal for Kwese TV Free Sport Channel which is broadcasting live the matches in other countries; and


  1. whether the handling of signal management by TopStar does not disadvantage other service providers.


The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Ms Siliya): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) has different categories for World Cup broadcasting rights. A public broadcaster such as the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) would have to pay about US $750,000 to acquire broadcasting rights for all the sixty-four matches. The ZNBC did not acquire the rights to broadcast the on-going FIFA Russia 2018 World Cup matches.


Sir, the ZNBC did not reject the offer by Kwese TV to broadcast the matches, but rather could not agree on the terms of the offer. The cost charged by Kwese TV of  $100,000 was for only thirty-two of the sixty-four live matches. Besides, Kwese TV demanded a 50 per cent share of the revenue from all the advertisements during the matches.


Mr Speaker, Kwese TV was originally carried on the TopStar network before the analogue switch off which occurred on 1st October 2017. This change meant that the two parties needed to sign a service level agreement and to agree on the commercial terms for the carriage of the channel. As you might be aware, this affected all other channels and not just those of Kwese TV. Since the cutoff of the analogue signal on 1st October, 2017, eighteen local channels and twenty-eight foreign channels have since been put on the platform. Kwese TV, Catholic National Television and Kenmark Broadcasting Network channels have not yet been put on the platform.


Sir, lastly, as regards whether the handling of signal management by TopStar does not disadvantage other service providers, the matter has been discussed many times by the ministry, the Attorney-General, the Zambia Information Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA), the Information Broadcasting Authority (IBA) and the Government. We have since instructed the IBA to revise its legislation so that the perception that TopStar could be taking advantage of the fact that it is handling the signal is cleared. Since then, ZICTA has issued another signal distribution licence which will give an opportunity for content providers to choose whether they want to be on TopStar or GOtv.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Dr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, if my recollection is correct, the digital migration law does not allow one entity to be a signal carrier and, at the same time, a content provider. Why is the Government allowing TopStar to abrogate the law with impunity?


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, we have made that observation. We have since had meetings with the Attorney-General, ZICTA and IBA on this matter. Since then, the IBA has written to TopStar to ensure that all the content providers which meet the laid-down conditions are put on the platform. At the same time, it is the duty of ZICTA, which gives the frequencies, to ensure that the situation is normalised. A decision was made that one can only be either a signal distributor or content carrier.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, we all acknowledge the fact that soccer in this country creates a feel-good factor among the millions of Zambians. Clearly, those who cannot afford to pay television have been denied the chance to watch the 2018 Football World Cup by the fact that the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation Limited (ZNBC) understandably did not apply for broadcasting rights because the cost was US$750,000, which was beyond its reach. However, from what I have gathered, Kwese TV offered the ZNBC the broadcasting rights for US$100,000, which is a fraction of the actual cost. One would have thought that was an opportunity for the ZNBC to negotiate or even agree to pay the fee which Kwese TV asked for. The private sector would have helped the ZNBC to meet the U S $100,000 cost. Why did the ZNBC not take up the offer by Kwese TV to pay US$100,000 for the 2018 Football World Cup broadcasting rights?


Dr Kambwili: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Roan, …


Dr Kambwili: Yes, Sir.


Mr Speaker: … if you would like to follow-up on your earlier question, the best is to ask an hon. Member from your party to help you.


Dr Kambwili: I am on my own.




Mr Speaker: My records do not indicate that you are a sole Member of a political party. I do not know of such a political party. I only know of the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) as the party which has a single hon. Member.


Ms Katuta: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: There is no other party other than the FDD which is in such a situation. We cannot have a point of order on a response. The hon. Member will just have to follow it up somehow with a question. I can guess where he is coming from.


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, the ZNBC is part of the special purpose vehicle called TopStar. The fact that TopStar is actually broadcasting football on its platform means that the ZNBC is actually involved in the process. At this point, Zambians are not failing to watch football.


Sir, what we should focus on with regard to the Question we are considering is the important point on whether one entity should be both a signal carrier and content provider. I have verified the fact that we have done something about that observation. Actually, the IBA has been asked to normalise the situation so that we can follow our rules that a signal carrier cannot be a content provider. At the same time, those who meet the laid-down requirements should be given space on the platform of a signal carrier. We have had protests from Kwese TV, Catholic National Television and Kenmark Broadcasting Network. Since then, the IBA has written to Topstar to ensure that it does not deny any broadcasters which meet the required specifications space on its platform.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, I know that TopStar has also brought a bit of sanity in terms of the content and picture. However, on behalf of the people of Lupososhi, I would like to find out what the nature of the relationship between TopStar and ZNBC is because the perception out there is that if TopStar is showing a football match, then ZNBC should also be in a position to televise it.


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, indeed, TopStar was created as a special purpose vehicle with 40 per cent shares belonging to ZNBC and 60 per cent to Star Times of China. The aim of the special purpose vehicle was to help the country to migrate from the analogue to digital broadcasting system.


Sir, based on the reasons which I alluded to earlier, I would like to believe that since the ZNBC is part of TopStar, it did not want to be a signal and content carrier on the same platform. We know that, at the moment, the TopStar platform also has some rights for showing football. This is what is creating a debate involving entities which are in the same business. TopStar as a platform, which is supposed to be a signal carrier, is carrying content for which other competitors are expected to pay carriage fees. We have conceded that we have noticed the source of the debate. The ministry, Attorney-General, IBA and ZICTA have agreed that the situation must be normalised. Among the issues to be normalised is firstly, the perception that TopStar is using its position to prevent those it perceives to be in competition with it from being on its platform. Secondly, according to our decision as the Government, TopStar can only either be a signal carrier or content provider. In the current situation, TopStar, as an entity of ZNBC and Star Times of China, is both being a signal and content carrier. These are the issues we are trying to address.


Sir, based on the advice from the Attorney-General, the IBA has since written to TopStar on its being perceived to be preventing competitors from being on its platform. At the same time, we have asked the IBA to harmonise its legislation so that we can deal with all the lacunas surrounding the issue of whether a signal carrier can also carry content.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Chonya (Kafue): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. Minister for the responses she has provided. I note that she is indicating that the offer from Kwese TV was not necessarily free. My concern is arising from what the Chief Executive of Econet, which owns Kwese TV, is quoted as having said. He is reported to have said that the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) rejected the offer by his firm to give it free broadcasting rights for the 2018 Football World Cup. Since I will be making a follow-up on this issue because the Econet Chief Executive seems to be standing on firm ground, I would like to know whether the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting will come back to this House to apologise for telling us a different story from what I will find out just like the way the hon. Minister of Justice did last time.       


Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, maybe let me give some clarity. There is Kwese Free Sports which broadcasts football on a free-to-air basis. This channel is not on the TopStar platform, although the owners wish that it was on it.  The Kwese Free Sports channel is different from the Kwese TV bouquet. So we are talking about two things here. Kwese TV is the entity which offered ZNBC licensing at US$100,000 for only thirty-two games. The Kwese Free Sports channel was originally on the TopStar platform and on 1st of October, 2017 when the analogue was switched off, it went off it with other channels. Since then, eighteen local channels have been put back on the platform.


Since TopStar is acting both as a signal distributor and content provider, because it also has rights to broadcast football, there is a perception that Kwese TV and others like the Catholic Television Network and Kenmark Broadcasting Network channels have been denied a place on the platform. They have since protested to the ministry, IBA and ZICTA. We had a meeting with them in order to provide clarity on this matter. Since then, the IBA has written to TopStar to rectify the situation by allowing these networks on the platform if they have met the minimum specifications.


The Government is the one that decided that one can only be a content or signal provider. In this case, however, TopStar seems to be both a signal and content provider. Therefore, we have asked the IBA to harmonise the situation because as the Government, we have to follow our own decisions. So, the message is clear to us. We want to address the situation quickly. As I have said, the IBA has since written to TopStar to ensure that channels, such as those belonging to Kwese TV, Catholic National Television and Kenmark Broadcasting Network, which meet the requirements are allowed on their platform.


I thank you, Sir.








Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Budget Committee for the Second Session of the Twelfth National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 11th June, 2018.


Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?


Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.


Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, in line with its terms of reference as set out in the Standing Orders, your Committee undertook a study on two issues of national importance; that is, domestic resource mobilisation and the National Budget and growing inequality in Zambia. Your Committee’s findings are highlighted in your Committee’s report. It is my sincere hope that hon. Members of Parliament have taken time to read the report. I will, therefore, only highlight some of the pertinent issues arising from the study.


Mr Speaker, as I begin my speech, let me point out that the Government has, over the years, continued to pronounce the importance of domestic resource mobilisation. This pronouncement was made again by the hon. Minister of Finance during the 2018 Budget Address. The hon. Minister stated that domestic resource mobilisation will be enhanced and subsidies will gradually be reduced. Therefore, I need not stress the importance of domestic resource mobilisation. However, in order for this honourable House to appreciate why the Committee undertook this study, I will address some of the reasons it is imperative for Zambia to upscale the mobilisation of domestic resources.


Sir, increased domestic resource mobilisation is a powerful tool for achieving the country’s development agenda. It strengthens the Government’s ability to provide social public goods and alleviate poverty. In addition, it allows for increased policy space and greater policy ownership, leading to a better matching of capital investments and development strategies to domestic needs. If efficiently managed, it is potentially the biggest source of long-term financing for sustainable development. Resources raised domestically are not tied to the stringent conditionalities associated with external financing. Therefore, the country is not exposed to the volatility or unpredictability that is sometimes associated with external funding.


However, Mr Speaker, in spite of the recognition of the pivotal role of domestic resource mobilisation, the country continues to face a whole range of challenges in improving its domestic revenue performance. The tax base comprises the few people in the formal sector who bear the tax burden. The informal sector continues to grow and remains largely untaxed. Unfortunately, foreign investors have been given incentives that are unfavourable to the country’s revenue mobilisation efforts, further increasing the tax burden on the few taxpaying individuals and hampering domestic resource mobilisation efforts.


Sir, it is disheartening to note that in spite of the realisation that the country’s resources are limited and have to be prudently shared among many competing national needs, one of the largest challenges is the national debt. Your Committee is extremely concerned that not enough is being done to reign over the country’s mounting debt. While noting the development of a debt management strategy, your Committee observes that progress towards dismantling the country’s mounting debt has been very slow. On the contrary, there continues to be excessive Government spending. Further, efforts to reduce Government expenditure are not immediately evident to your Committee. As I have already stated, the tax burden in our country is borne by a very small segment of the population and it is the Government’s responsibility to ensure that pronouncements on fiscal consolidation measures take root in the nation.


Mr Speaker, allow me to turn to a matter that has been a thorn on the side of your Committee for a while now. This is the legislating of the budget process in our country. The Government has repeatedly stated that it is prioritising the implementation of the public finance management reforms through enacting appropriate legislation. However, only one of the three promised pieces of legislation, that is, the Public Finance Management Act, 2018, has been enacted. Your Committee, therefore, earnestly implores the Government to inform the nation, through this honourable House, what the status is of the revision of the Loans and Guarantees (Authorisation) Act, Cap. 366 of the Laws of Zambia and also the status of the Planning and Budgeting Bill as envisaged in the Republican Constitution.


Mr Speaker, your Committee had the opportunity to visit a number of institutions charged with the responsibility of mobilising resources on behalf of the Government in the Central Province, Northern Province and Muchinga Province. A prominent feature in all the institutions visited was the cry for improved work tools and how the officers in these institutions have to work under very difficult circumstances in order to carry out their duties. For example, the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) office in Nakonde collects the highest revenue for this agency. In 2017, the Nakonde office of RTSA collected over K800 million. This is in spite of having insufficient imprest and staff, and only one motor vehicle for operations and enforcement. The agency is located in a rented building with insufficient office space and inadequate furniture. This pattern is replicated in most stations visited by your Committee, and I have no doubt that this situation is prevailing all over the country. This situation is most undesirable and unacceptable. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to match its call for improved domestic resource mobilisation with sufficient and appropriate working tools for revenue collection institutions as this will go a long way in improving the results.


Sir, another issue that caused your Committee great concern during its deliberations relates to the concession agreement that was signed between RTSA and Intelligent Mobility Solutions (IMS). The agreement is intended to enable the IMS to provide advanced road traffic management solutions and services in the transport sector for seventeen years. As this august House is aware, the hon. Minister of Transport and Communication issued a ministerial statement on Tuesday, 21st November, 2017, informing the House of the finalisation of the concession agreement. However, it came to the attention of your Committee during its deliberations that the concession agreement has since been withdrawn because certain clauses are being renegotiated. This withdrawal raised a number of questions for your Committee, including how the Government could enter into an agreement that was not properly negotiated. It is your Committee’s earnest hope that the hon. Minister will clarify the matter to the House as a matter of urgency.


Mr Speaker, as I conclude, I wish to state that your Committee received very enthusiastic submissions throughout its deliberations at Parliament Buildings and during the local tours. It is evident from these submissions that all the stakeholders agree on the need to upscale domestic resource mobilisation efforts and to ensure that the growing inequality in the country is addressed as a matter of urgency.


Mr Speaker, in conclusion, your Committee wishes to express its gratitude to you for the guidance rendered to it during the session. Your Committee is also indebted to the stakeholders who appeared before it for their co-operation and input in its deliberations. Your Committee also extends its appreciation to the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the services rendered to it during the session.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


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


Mr Chaatila: Now, Sir.


Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion urging the House to adopt the Report of the Budget Committee for the Second Session of the Twelfth National Assembly.


Sir, in seconding this very important Motion, I wish to thank the Chairperson for ably moving the Motion and for guiding your Committee’s deliberations during the session.


Mr Speaker, I will begin by reminding this august House about the theme of the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), which is “Accelerating Development Efforts Towards the Vision 2030, Without Leaving Anyone Behind” and the theme of the 2018 National Budget, which is “Accelerating Fiscal Fitness for Sustained, Inclusive Growth Without Leaving Anyone Behind.”  


Sir, in order to find out whether the Government was keeping these themes, your Committee interrogated two issues that have already been pointed out by the able mover of the Motion, that is, domestic resource mobilisation, and the National Budget and growing inequality in Zambia.


Mr Speaker, between 2004 and 2014, the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) averaged 7.4 per cent, pointing to the direction that the economy more than doubled in size during this period. With such positive growth, the question that begs an answer is: Why do poverty rates remain stubbornly high? The answer is, in part, linked to the increasing inequality resulting from the fact that the growth that occurred over that ten-year period was not inclusive, but exclusive as it did not reach the poorest households. It benefitted the already well-off Zambians. This is a departure from the theme of both the 7NDP and the 2018 National Budget because evidently, most Zambians were left behind.


Sir, the gini coefficient is a measure of income inequality. The African average is approximately 0.43. Zambia’s gini coefficient is much higher than the African average. It increased from 0.60 in 2006 to 0.65 in 2010, and to 0.69 in 2015. This gini coefficient placed Zambia in the category of the most unequal countries in the world. The 0.69 gini coefficient for Zambia reflects the country’s inability to distribute its economic growth fairly across the population.


Mr Speaker, one of the major hindrances to achieving equality in Zambia is the high cost of borrowing. Access to finance is an important tool for reducing inequality. However, despite the central bank’s intervention to reduce the policy rate and the statutory reserve ratio, in the face of the prevailing inflation rate in the country, the interest rates remain high. The interventions made by the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) should have enabled banks to have sufficient credit lending space for the private sector. However, the response from the banks has been very slow and the cost of money is still very high.


  Sir, allow me, on behalf of your Committee, to end by expressing my gratitude to you for the guidance rendered during its deliberations. Your Committee is also grateful to the witnesses who appeared before it for their co-operation and input into its deliberations. I also extend your Committee’s appreciation to the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the services rendered to it during the session.


Sir, I beg to second.


Dr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to support your Committee’s report. In doing so, I wish to raise a few issues which I feel are pertinent to the budgeting process. If ignored, these issues will have a telling effect on our economy.


Sir, I wish to state from the outset that any economic growth without trickle -down effects to the ordinary person on the street is theoretical and useless. The whole essence of economic growth is to improve living standards as well as to provide the much-needed jobs in the economy so that people have disposable income.


Mr Speaker, in the last ten to fifteen years, this country has recorded very good economic growth, in terms of figures. When the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) was in power, we saw the economy grow by 6 to 8 per cent. However, when it came to job creation, the numbers were always in the negative.


Sir, when you traverse the Copperbelt, where mining companies used to employ in excess of 60,000 miners, you will notice that the number of people being employed has reduced tremendously. I remember that Luanshya Mine alone used to employ about 16,000 miners. Today, Luanshya Mine has less than 1,600 employees. Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) used to employ in excess of about 30,000 employees. Today, the KCM employees are just about 6,000. Similarly, Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) used to employ in excess of 30,000 for both the Mufulira and Nkana operations. Today, the mine has a total of about 4,000 employees. Therefore, the question I ask is: Why should there be these flowery figures when, in actual fact, the employment levels are going down?


Sir, the situation is the same in the agriculture sector. The numbers of those in employment have gone down. For instance, Mpongwe Development Farm used to employ in excess of about 20,000 workers when it was under the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC). Today, it is in the private hands of Zambeef and is employing just about 11,000 people. One wonders why we should even celebrate economic growth when its effects are not trickling down to the people at the bottom. That is why poverty levels in the country keep growing.


Mr Speaker, in the olden times, civil servants were celebrated because they enjoyed good living conditions. Today, when you visit a home of an ordinary civil servant such as a nurse or a teacher, you will shed tears because they cannot afford to have three meals a day. That is because their disposable income has reduced. I tend to wonder what people mean when they say that the country has kept on recording economic growth. On the Copperbelt, we used to have first and second class trading areas. Today, when you go to the second class trading areas in almost all the towns, you will see that they are virtually closed. You can count the number of shops that are still operating. If you go to Kitwe Main Bus Station (KMB) area and Luanshya’s second class trading area, you will find that the story is the same. If you go to Mwaiseni in Chingola, you will find very few shops operating. Almost all the buildings have become white elephants, yet we are busy giving figures and saying that we are growing the economy by 4 per cent. Who are you growing the economy for? Where is the money that this growth is generating going?


Sir, I think that we should change the way we do things. We are more of a theoretical Government than we are a practical one. If we do not change the way we do things, our people will continue wallowing in poverty. I think it is not too late for us to change the way we do things.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: Sir, I am extremely disappointed with the issue raised in your Committee’s report regarding the deal between the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) and Lamise Trading Limited. Let me state that I have been against this concession and as such, at one press conference, I made a mistake by making reference to a concession between RTSA and Lamasat International Ltd. I want to apologise for my misrepresentation of facts as the concession is actually between RTSA and Lamise Trading Limited. This concession is not good for the people of Zambia. However, the Government has insisted otherwise and has since gone ahead with it. Governance is about working for the people. Therefore, when the citizens say they do not want a particular thing, it is only reasonable that the Government listens. Why is the Government arrogant over this issue? We all know that the increase in the number of vehicles on our roads translates into RTSA’s increased income. Why then, should we invite a third party to come and have a share of our income?


Mr Speaker, the Government is saying that the concession is for seventeen years because Lamise Trading Limited is going to operate a system that will enable the Government to track vehicles easily. In this computer age, a system that we introduce today will be obsolete seventeen years down the line. That is because Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is dynamic. A long time ago, it would take Toyota almost thirty years before making another model of a Toyota Corolla. That is not the case anymore as we now have different models of Toyota vehicles manufactured every year. Therefore, what makes the Government think that the system that will be giving our income to foreigners will still be important and useful seventeen years from now?


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, we are just sharing money with the investors when we can simply invest it into RTSA. Why can we not just develop our own system for RTSA as Zambians? We can put in place a system which can be managed by Zambians, who can make an income out of it. This idea of bringing foreigners to run everything in our country must come to an end. Are we not ashamed of ourselves? Do we honestly think that that system will be something worth talking about seventeen years from now? Those investors will just collect the money and leave. By then, that system will be giving us problems which we will never sort out, as is the case in South Africa. Let us learn best practices from our neighbours so that we do the right thing for the people of Zambia. This idea of doing things with the aim of getting commissions for ourselves must come to an end.


Sir, we must look at the bigger picture and think of the country. What we are being told about the RTSA deal is similar to what is being said about the buildings which the Government wants to give away. The Government is telling us that a lot of people have expressed interest in investing in Jacaranda Primary School, and what is that hostel –




Dr Kambwili: The Government is saying the investors will put up modern infrastructure, yet it is giving investors concessions for twenty-five years. Are the hon. Government Members sure that a structure that is erected today will still be modern in twenty-five years time? By then, we shall be looking at other modern buildings. Let us think about this situation so that we can maximise on the collection of money and  run this country on behalf of the people of Zambia in a better way.


Mr Speaker, I am disappointed that despite the new Constitution having been enacted two years ago, certain things have not been done. This Constitution has a provision for a Loans and Guarantees (Authorisation) Act which empowers Parliament to approve loans before they are contracted by the Government.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: However, the Government has deliberately decided not to bring this Act to Parliament so that it can continue borrowing without being checked.


Mr Mwiinga: Shame!


Dr Kambwili: When the Constitution was enacted, our external debt was at US$5.6 billion. Today, the external debt, as reported by the hon. Minister of Finance last week, is at about US$9 billion. This means that the Government has borrowed in excess of US$4 billion outside the law. From 4th January, 2015, when the His Excellency the President signed the new Constitution in law, the Government was required to bring the Act to Parliament. It could have been given a grace period of six months. Unfortunately, despite our continuing to sing about it, up to now, the Government has still not brought that piece of legislation to the House. By and large, we should blame Zambians for this situation. Zambians have become very docile in as far as the issues affecting this country are concerned. Why should we allow a situation where an important piece of legislation such as the Loans and Guarantees (Authorisation) Bill is not brought to Parliament? Why should we, in effect, allow the Government to borrow an extra US$4 billion outside the law on our behalf?


Mr Speaker, the Government may trick the people only up to a certain extent. The tricks will not always work. The people will rise against the Government one day.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: We must be serious. The legislation in question has not been brought to the House for close to three years. The Government is very quick to bring certain pieces of legislation which are not even important such as the Cyber Security Bill which it says will be brought to the House during this meeting. Why is it that they cannot bring important legislation like the Loans and Guarantees (Authorisation) Bill to Parliament? Why is it rushing to gag people who want to express themselves on social media simply because they, more often than not, are critical of the Government?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: Sir, the Government needs to realise that it has been unfair to the people of Zambia by borrowing US$4 billion outside the law. There is no justification whatsoever for continuing to borrow outside the law. When the Government wants to borrow, it should come to the House so that we analyse and critic what it wants to do with the money. We cannot continue to have a situation whereby the President goes to Shang’ombo, where he sees a road which needs to be done and, then comes back to direct the hon. Minister of Finance to contract a loan. What kind of Government is that? Chipante pante.


Mr Speaker: Chipante pante means what?


Dr Kambwili: Going any direction.




Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: Can the Loans and Guarantees (Authorisation) Bill be brought to this Parliament so that we can enact it into law. That way, both sides of the House can share in the blame when loans are contracted. In any case, we are only helping the Government.


Sir, at the moment, all the borrowing is being blamed on the Government. If the Executive had brought this piece of legislation to Parliament, not even I would stand up to talk about the debt because the Government could say we borrowed the money together. However, for now, hon. Opposition Members are free from blame. It is only the Government to blame.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: So, please, Margaret ...


Hon. Government Members: Aah!


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Roan, can you withdraw that address.


Dr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I did not finish. I was saying, please, Margaret Hon. –




Mr Speaker: You must begin with honourable.




Dr Kambwili: So, my dear sister –


Mr Speaker: She is not your dear sister. Please, address her properly.


Dr Kambwili: Hon. Minister of Finance, ...


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: ... can you, please, bring the Bill to Parliament.


Sir, further, why has the Planning and Budgeting Act taken so long to be enacted? We are very quick to put in place things provided for in the Constitution if they favour us. The Minister of National Development and Planning is already in office because the Government wants more ministers, but the Planning and Budgeting Act is not there up to now. Let us be ashamed of ourselves.


Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!


Dr Kambwili: We expected that the moment the Ministry of National Development and Planning was separated from the Ministry of Finance, the enactment of the Planning and Budgeting Act would follow.


The Planning and Budgeting Act gives parliamentarians the chance to wholly participate in the budgeting process. To say Parliament fully participates in the budgeting process is an understatement. We do not fully participate in the process. For lack of a better term, we just rubberstamp the Budget. The figures are already prepared –


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: The word ‘rubberstamp’, hon. Member for Roan.


Dr Kambwili: I withdraw the word, Mr Speaker. We are just being used. The figures are already prepared and only brought to the House. When the Budget comes to the House and we ask them to make adjustments, the hon. Government Members declare a division and defeat the Opposition because they have the numbers.


Hon. Government Members: We!


Hon. Opposition Member: You are part of them.


Dr Kambwili: We have numbers in brackets.




Dr Kambwili: By and large, we should be serious in the way we do things. Let us bring the Planning and Budgeting Act to Parliament for enactment so that hon. Members from both the Opposition and the Ruling Party can participate in coming up with a Budget that will stand the test of time.


Mr Speaker, finally, let me talk about the performance of the Budget. In all the three terms I have been in this House, I do not remember any year when the Budget has performed above 80 per cent. It is a shame. Why should we even continue budgeting when the Budget is performing below 60 per cent?


Hon. Opposition Member: Even 40 per cent.


Dr Kambwili:  For arguments sake, it is like making a budget of K80 million, and only K50 million is released.


Hon. Government Member: Ninshi na mwesha.


Dr Kambwili: We must have Budget integrity by bringing the Act to Parliament so that the hon. Minister of Finance ...


Mr Bwalya: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Lupososhi, I will allow you later.


Dr Kambwili: ... can come to this House to inform us about the Budget’s performance. We must know about the impediments that have led to some of the projects not being supported.


Mr Speaker, we are almost in the seventh month, as June is almost gone, but only half of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) for last year has been given to some constituencies while the other ones have not even received anything yet. This is before we even talk about the CDF for 2018. If by July, the Government has not cleared the CDF for last year, when is it going to clear the CDF for this year?


There is a provision in the Planning and Budgeting Act for us to take the Government on for failing to raise enough money to support the Budget. We need the Government to start moving in the right direction because we are getting tired of coming here to earn allowances without contributing anything meaningful. Some of us believe in targets. I ask myself what I have do for the people every day. Doing something for the people is what makes me happy.


Mr Speaker, I hope I have not been controversial. I just wanted to give advice based on facts.


With these few words I support the report of the Committee.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Lupososhi.


Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, I know that you have guided on a number of occasions that we need to raise these points of order contemporaneously so that they can be dealt with appropriately. I was enjoying the debate by the hon. Member of Parliament for Roan as he was raising a number of pertinent issues. However, there are one or two specific things that caught my attention.


Sir, is the hon. Member in order to state that this Parliament does not take part in the budgeting process? The people out there are listening to what is being said. I know for a fact that we pass an Appropriation Bill after debating the Budget in this House. Is the hon. Member in order to paint the picture that we do not participate in the budget process of this country in the absence of the Planning and Budgeting Act?


Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


Mr Speaker: When business was suspended, the House was considering the Motion moved by the hon. Member for Mbala that this House do adopt the Report of the Budget Committee for the Second Session of the Twelfth National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on 11th June, 2018, and the hon. Member for Lupososhi had just completed raising a point of order. I will now proceed to render my ruling.


I have repeatedly stated that points of order should not be used as a platform for debate. In the first place, I was quite reluctant to allow the point of order because of its interruptive effect. If points of order, in the fashion that the hon. Member for Lupososhi raised, are allowed or  encouraged, the risk is that the debate, firstly, would be constantly interrupted and secondly, points of order will be used to contribute or, in fact, debate. We have also repeatedly counselled that if you want to challenge particular viewpoints, wait for an opportunity to debate. Of course, the spirit in which I understood the debate by the hon. Member for Roan is that, generally, the budgeting process, as it stands to date, is ineffectual. I think that is the manner in which I understood the debate. Of course, it goes without saying that in every year, we end up with an Appropriation Act, anyway.


The Appropriation Act is a product of the processes that we are engaged in. However, the issue that has been a subject of debate is that the Executive has promised the enactment of new pieces of legislation that will make the budget process a lot more effectual. However, the bottom line is, let us not use points of order to debate.


Normally, I would not allow points of order when we are at this point of our business because it tends to disrupt the debates.


That is my ruling.


Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, I would like to support the report of your Committee which I consider to be excellent.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, before I raise one or two issues which I think are very critical points, I would like to say that the setting up of this Committee was an extremely important move. This is my twelfth year in this House. This is my third term. I do not think we have had an opportunity, as hon. Members of Parliament, to seriously interrogate how our budget system is managed. I think setting up this Committee is a move in the right direction in line with our vision as Parliament, to be a model legislature in democracy and good governance. I hope that our colleagues who are in the Executive will take our debates more seriously and make follow-ups.


Mr Speaker, this report is very close to our hearts. I read it very carefully. Your Committee raised very pertinent issues which affect how we are managing ourselves and the general impact we are making on our development endeavours. First of all, I will just cite one example. The report of your Committee is saying that we are not doing enough or are not serious in collecting revenue. For example, the Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RTSA) has only one vehicle at the Nakonde station which is given to the station manager. It is also understaffed when it is our ‘milking cow’ in terms of our revenue collection. According to the report, in 2017, the Nakonde RTSA Office collected K800 million. The office has collected as much as US$2.5 and K3 million per month, but we are not supporting it adequately. The office only gets a merger sum of K20,000 per month. That amount of money is not even guaranteed.


Mr Speaker, our colleagues in the Executive must seriously address such an anomaly in our revenue collection challenge. We are definitely not doing enough to challenge ourselves in terms of how best we can collect revenue to meet our development needs. It is good that such kind of facts are coming out, in order, I think, for us to challenge our colleagues who are in the Executive to reflect very seriously on such issues. There are many other examples which one can point to which are standing out in the report.


Mr Speaker, the second issue I would like to address emanating from the report is the whole challenge of how unequal our country is between the urban and rural areas. Your Committee’s report brings out very clearly, for example, that –




Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the report of your Committee states that the gini coefficient in this country stood at 0.69 in 2015. The gini coefficiency is the measure of income or wealth inequality in an economy. Clearly, 0.69 is very high in terms of income disparity between those who have the income and those who do not have it. The worst affected in this income disparity are the rural areas, where we have very high poverty levels. This is what the report is saying and we not getting on top of that. It is true that in some of the rural areas, individuals living there cannot afford to raise K200 per year. That is a fact. That is how bad it is. The report says that we have an economy that is highly unequal and at the same time, has high poverty levels. The rural areas are the worst hit.


Mr Speaker, politics, in context can be looked at as a struggle for power. Of course, power is about who prevails over the resources of the country. This is about who gets what resources, when, how much and how. In our case in this country, as the report of your Committee points out, because the urban population is highly vocal, it has more power and is very visible. Thus, the urban population gets the highest share of the Budget. It gets the highest share of the cake. Since the rural areas are not vocal and not close to the corridors of power, they do not get a fair share of the resources.


Sir, your Committee’s report states very clearly that in the rural areas, we are not paying serious attention, for example, to infrastructure development. We are not paying serious attention to the development of feeder roads and the provision of social amenities. As a result, we are increasingly, having this rural urban-gap and inequality widening. In short, what your Committee’s report is telling us is that we do not have a rural development strategy as a country. Yes, we have ministries such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, but if you looked at matters in an aggregate manner, you would notice that we do not have a rural development strategy in this country. I think those of us who are hon. Members of Parliament from the rural must take this report very seriously. We must debate the issues which have been raised in the report vigorously because they are close to our hearts. They are close to the predicaments which the people in the rural areas are facing.


Mr Speaker, what this report says is that we should have a rural development strategy. We should focus on developing the infrastructure in the rural areas to stimulate agriculture productivity and also, other rural-based production activities. I think we have not done much in that direction. This report is also saying that we must, in line with the rural development strategy, see how best we can promote the marketing of rural products so that the people there will be motivated to produce more. We should be able to focus more on searching for agro-based manufacturing industries in the rural areas, which can add value to the products that our people in the countryside are producing. We should focus on research and training in those areas which are critical to productivity in the rural areas.


Sir, once we are able to do these things, we should be able to see the countryside becoming more productive. We should be able to see the countryside contributing to wealth and job creation and ultimately, reducing the inequality that prevails in our country. I think this is an opportunity for us to interrogate these issues, which are also in line with the values we were debating, the ones to do with equity. Clearly, our colleagues from the Executive have a challenge here. We hope that the issues being raised in this report will be taken very seriously.


Mr Speaker, I could have gone on to say many more things, but I think I have already shown that the report has touched my heart as a representative of the people of Nalikwanda, which is a rural constituency.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to allow the humble people of Chama South to contribute to the debate on the report of your Committee. In my debate, I will look at three aspects of this report. From the outset, I have to mention that I am in total support of the report of your Committee. The report has looked at domestic resource mobilisation.


According to the Committee’s report, domestic resource mobilisation is very important because it brings about the ownership not only of the policies that the Government is formulating, but also entails the deviation from the conditionalities that the external financers put in the process of our development. As highlighted in the report, it is clear that the support to domestic resource mobilisation is hampered by so many challenges. I will give an example of the one-stop border facility in Nakonde. We have been told that our colleagues on the Tanzanian side have actually put up infrastructure while on our side, we are still looking for land for a holding bay since trucks take days, if not weeks, to be cleared. The delays are further exacerbated by the failure of the system as highlighted in the report. How do we then expect to generate the much-needed domestic resources if we do not address such challenges as a country? Let us not forget that the ability for us to generate our own resources is dependent on the growth of our economy through medium and micro-enterprises.


Mr Speaker, this leads me to the issue of tax administration which has been highlighted in the report. Are we hurting ourselves through tax administration? Our motto as the governing party emphasises more money in people’s pockets through lower taxes. However, I want all of us to interrogate our tax administration system. Do we have a hurtful tax system or one that favours us to grow? Economists have highlighted that higher taxes in Third world countries are like an individual who stands in a bucket and wants to lift himself. We cannot get out of poverty through high taxes. Whereas we are talking about value addition, before one sets up a company in this country, he/she is required to pay so many fees in addition to licence fees. These are things which affect us thereby reducing our domestic resource mobilisation base. I would like to give an example. The Chinese products that are flooding our markets are not only killing our small scale and micro enterprises, but the source of our domestic revenue.


The Committee further highlighted the issue of illicit financial outflows. It is so saddening that, as a people, we have not come up with laws against illicit financial outflows. Instead, we are busy finger-pointing. The Committee’s report has specifically referred to the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC). We have made this institution appear as though it is a non-governmental organisation (NGO), yet my simple research shows that it is a creation of this Parliament. Its mode of operations and reporting is clearly spelt out. The Committee’s report has looked at amounts of money which should ordinarily be in this country. In an earlier debate, I mentioned that the ability to reduce the interest rate in the financial sector is dependent on how much money the financial institutions are holding. It is the simple law of demand and supply at play. The higher the demand, the lower the price. If financial institutions do not have enough money, they will ask for higher interest rates. This will be an impediment for the medium and micro enterprises to borrow and will, in turn, affect domestic resource mobilisation. We will end up milking the few people in formal employment.


Broadening the tax base is one option, while growing it is another. I believe we should be focusing on a tax regime that favours growing the tax base. The tax incentives in our country favour the foreigners more than ourselves. For example, if we put tax exemptions on agro input equipment, would the importation of the equipment favour the ordinary citizens? I want all of us to answer that question. If said we are zero-rating hammer mills and peanut butter producing machines, would we ensure that we code and follow the importers to ensure that the benefit is passed on to the small-scale producers? Yesterday, I was watching a story on the news about someone in Livingstone who has been surviving on making peanut butter. The person has even been able to send his children to school. Have we ensured that the benefits which I am talking about are passed on to such people? Most of the importers collude and maintain the prices to the point of defeating the purpose the Government is coming up with such incentives.


Mr Speaker, it would not be fair if I did not comment on borrowing. From my understanding, the hon. Member for Roan, in his debate, highlighted that borrowing is not the right thing. If I was to take an inventory of our credit accumulation, I would discover that all of us in this House have borrowed.




Mr Mung’andu: What I am trying to say is that there is no country in the world that has not borrowed including our country Zambia.


Mr Speaker, I will delve into history as I debate this point. In the past, we accumulated enough reserves at the Central Bank such that the exchange rate at some point was US$1 to K3. Did this translate into benefits in terms of the economic wellbeing of our people? The answer is no. It is for this reason that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has decided to borrow money to improve the wellbeing of the people. I would like to inform hon. Members that development is a process. For instance, you and I might not see the benefits of the Ndola/Kitwe or Lusaka/Copperbelt Dual carriageways while others may do so. We may also not see the benefit of the construction of the Ndola International Airport or the construction of the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport here in Lusaka, but others might see it. It is through the resources that the Government is mobilising both locally and internationally through credit facilities that the people of Chama South will, for the first time, be able to see a road from Chama Boma to Maphamba. The same will apply to many other constituencies in Muchinga Province, Eastern Province, Copperbelt Province, Luapula Province, Southern Province, Western Province and North-Western Province, where our people, for the first time, will see feeder roads. The people might take three to ten years to actualise the benefits of these facilities.


Therefore, it is not right for someone to come here and claim that the Government is over borrowing or borrowing illegally. That is far from the truth. I suppose that even the hon. Member who said this, if I had to check, I may find that he also has debt. So, what is wrong for the country to be in debt?


Mr Speaker, on the same topic, I must thank His Excellency the President for having given a directive that the credit lines that have not been disbursed must be cancelled. Further, he has ordered the halting of the financing of projects that are less than 80 per cent complete. Doing this will give us a clear picture of the credit status of our country. This is because some of the figures that are standing in our books are about money which has not been disbursed while some are guarantees. These are things which are not explained well to our people out there.


Sir, in my conclusion, I wish to talk about the budgeting process. On this issue, I agree with what the hon. Member of Parliament for Roan said.




Mr Mung’andu: Sir, I was in a process of moving a Motion concerning the budgeting process, but the hon. Minister of Finance whispered to me saying that she will soon be bringing a Bill on the same matter to the Floor of this House. Hence, I withdrew the bringing of the Motion to this House.


My request to the hon. Minister of Finance is that she should ensure that we, as the people’s representatives, do not just see this voluminous Yellow Book in this House with figures we did not participate in putting together. We want to interrogate the Budget before it is brought here through the Committees.


Mr Jamba: Hear, hear!


Mr Mung’andu: That is the only way we can have an input in the budgeting process. If anything, when we talk about all these financial challenges we have been facing, they are stemming from the budget making process which is taken by technocrats and the Executive.


Sometimes, we even have situations whereby while we are in the process of passing a budget, we find amendments coming through. It is for this reason that I would be doing injustice to the people of Chama South if I left this Parliament without having participated in the putting in place of legislation that will let this august House scrutinise the Budget before it is approved. We are requesting that we work on the budgeting process through Committees.


For example, if the budget is on health, let it be presented to a Committee that deals with health. This is because the hon. Members know better about the needs of the people. This will assist us to remind the budget-making team to include purchases of things like ambulances. The same will apply to safe motherhood programmes. If we are not comfortable with a particular allocation, it will be taken back to the planners until it is perfected. Only then, should we come here and pass it.


I do not want to use an unparliamentary word …


Mr Speaker: I will not allow you.




Mr Mung’andu: Thank you, Mr Speaker.


Sir, as I support this Motion, I would like to urge all the hon. Members to put the interests of the future generations before their own.


With these few remarks, Mr Speaker, I support the report.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: The hon. Member of Parliament for Kaputa will be followed by the hon. Members of Parliament for Bwana Mkubwa, Luangeni and Monze Central. The hon. Member of Parliament for Liuwa will close.


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): I thank you, Mr Speaker for giving me this opportunity to add the voice of the people of Kaputa to this important debate.


Sir, allow me to echo the debates of my hon. Colleagues who have supported this report by indicating that the mover, seconder and also the Committee did a thorough job. I wish to encourage everyone of us in this House to read this particular report so that we can see how we can contribute to the addressing of issues to do with domestic resource mobilisation and the National Budget vis-à-vis the growing inequalities in Zambia.


Mr Speaker, my debate will focus firstly on domestic resource mobilisation as it relates to some of the key drivers mentioned in the report. Secondly, I will also briefly look at the Budget and how it can support the agriculture sector in terms resource mobilisation.


Sir, according to your Committee’s report, the World Bank sees domestic resource mobilisation as the increase in the flow of taxes and incomes into the Government coffers. The report goes further to indicate that it can also be viewed as the process through which a country raises and spends its own funds to provide services to its citizens.


When I went through this report, Mr Speaker, I was convinced that if we implemented many of the recommendations that have been highlighted by your Committee, there would be no need whatsoever for Zambia to even depend on external funding for its own programmes. There are enough resources within our country. If everybody that has been entrusted with the responsibility to raise our domestic resources played their part, we would do without external borrowing. I am pretty convinced of that. The report has also highlighted the challenges why we fail to raise adequate domestic revenue.


Mr Speaker, your Committee indicated that between 2011 and 2017, the average growth rate of 4.5 per cent was contributed to mainly by five economic drivers, namely the wholesale and retail trade, construction, manufacturing and agriculture sectors.


Sir, I am interested in highlighting the fact that the agriculture sector is still being reorganised as an economic driver, which can help us raise our domestic resources. Within the report, when your Committee looked at the reasons behind the inequalities in this country, issues to do with agriculture stood out. Further, your report has stated that if adequate resources were allocated to the agriculture sector which probably supports the largest proportion of the Zambian population, we would see it not only contributing to economic growth or poverty reduction, but also becoming an engine to resource mobilisation thereby, reducing the inequalities in this country. It is these inequalities which prompted me to look at the issues which have hindered this country from fully realising the potential of the agriculture sector.


Sir, we should not expect different results to come out of our actions when we keep doing things the same way, year in, year out. That will not happen. As leaders, we need to take bold steps. We need to start questioning the way we do some of the things.


Mr Speaker, empirical data on the agriculture sector is available at the ministry and also from the research community. Providing more resources to the research sector within the agriculture sector would see us move much faster than providing the subsidies which we continue to offer. We must start interrogating whether the subsides we give to farmers through the e-Voucher System are helping the country. We need to know whether such measures will move our farmers from where they are to where they should be. Unless, we interrogate such matters, we probably may not see the agriculture sector moving forward. Yes, we can continue providing the resources which we give to the farmers, but still not improve the situation. If there is a need, that sort of funding should be taken to the social sector. It should be allocated to the Social Cash Transfer Scheme so that we can help a bigger number of people to enter the agriculture sector which remains as an important economic sector going forward.


Sir, the other area, which can help develop the sector, would be improving the extension services. The delivery of extension services can be made better in a way that moves the sector forward by the allocation of more resources. My other colleagues have indicated that there is a need to improve the road infrastructure vis-as-vis the rural feeder roads. Again, this amplifies the fact that as long as some areas are inaccessible, the inputs will not get to the farmers and the products will not get out to the market. In this case, when the products get to the market, they will sell for very high prices. If farmers are not able to get a good return on their investment, this particular sector will contribute less to our domestic resources mobilisation. Apart from that, the agriculture sector will contribute less to reducing the inequalities and poverty despite its being an economic sector. 


Sir, particular investments within the agriculture sector should be supported by deliberate decisions. Politicians must guard against just doing things for the sake of appeasing small-scale farmers in order for them to grow. We must make bold decisions today so that the sector moves forward by remaining viable.


Mr Speaker, we know for sure that the agriculture sector is supposed to be private sector-driven. That stands in black and white. If farmers grow the crops, the borders must be open so that they can be able to access external markets. If we do that, we will increase the market size. The farmers who have the capacity to export their crops will gain more and will, in turn, invest more. If we stifle the market, the agriculture sector will not contribute as much as we want it to contribute to the development of the country.


Sir, since we are now in June, farmers, especially those who grow crops like maize, soya and beans would probably love to access some external markets if they are available. Even as I speak now, there is no policy pronouncement on whether the borders are still open or closed. This simply means that the farmers do not know whether to plant, how much they should plant and if they did, where they are going to sell their crops? They also do not know whether the internal market is sufficient.


Mr Speaker, if we are to see this sector becoming an engine, which can improve our growth projections and contribute to our economy as it has been indicated in this report, then we must work on improving it.


Sir, further, your Committee looked at the Budget as a way of sharing the resources we have within our nation through our budget process.  Probably, one of the issues which caught my attention is the one to do with the credibility of the budget. For the last four to five years I have been a Member of Parliament, we have sat and appropriated the Budget. The figures look flamboyant and good, but when it comes to the funds which are released, it is a different story. It does not matter whether it is in the ministries, provinces or even at our parliamentary levels. You would find that the funds which are released are lower than what was appropriated. Definitely, this raises the issue of budget credibility.


Mr Speaker, for me, who is not an economist or a budget analyst, I would love to see that even as we prepare the budget futures, we do it in a realistic manner based on what has happened in the past. At the end of the year, when we analyse our Budget, we must be able to see that we are within, maybe, 90 per cent or even more to the actual Budget figures we projected in terms of expenditure. Otherwise, what we do will remain a mockery.


Sir, we are supposed to have received K1. 4 million of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) last year and K1.6 million this year. Despite this being June, we have not received anything. If there will be something, we will probably receive K700,000. This raises the sort of budget credibility which I am talking about. Unless we can interrogate this particular issues and frankly so, we will probably be shooting in the dark.


Mr Speaker, the other issue I looked at which, again, caught my attention from the good report is the one related to the findings of your Committee when it visited the Mpulungu Harbour. For us, who come from the northern part of the country, Mpulungu is only a port, which we have for the transit of goods from Zambia into the neighbouring countries like Burundi, Tanzania and Rwanda. It is the only port which is used for receiving goods from the other countries into Zambia in the northern part. Your Committee was clear and emphatic on certain areas, but here, it fell short of telling us exactly what must be done. They were more polite than they needed to be. However, the report still said that, if this port was managed properly, it could be a conduit for the country to raise its domestic resources. Apart from that, it can also help to uplift the country’s face into the export market. Unfortunately, the management at the port spends about 70 per cent of what it raises on its operations. Whether it is in a private or Government sector, spending 70 per cent of what is generated on operations cannot sustain any particular institution’s future survival unless, it is assisted somehow.


Therefore, I want to urge those who are involved in supervising the management of this particular harbour to bring it to account. If the management is found wanting, something must be done. There are reports that the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) mobilises a lot of resources, but its expenditure is not even 2 per cent of what the agency generates. Therefore, why should another public institution be allowed to spend 70 per cent of what it generates? It means that the nation is supporting such an institution as a charity. Therefore, my argument is that those who are involved in overseeing the operations of this institution should ensure that they bring its management to account.


Mr Speaker, as I wind up, I just want to compare the resource mobilisation from border towns like Nakonde, Mpulungu and Mbala with what the people of Kaputa can contribute to the National Treasury. I think what is generated in these places is not far from what we would contribute as the people of Kaputa because we are also a border town.  Kaputa is on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Therefore, we can trade with our colleagues in the DRC.


Sir, unfortunately, we probably contribute nothing to the National Treasury. The reason for this is very clear. We do not have a road that gets into Kaputa from Kasama via Nsumbu. We can also have a road from Nchelenge via Mununga into Kaputa or from Nchelenge to Chienge into Kaputa and, then, into the DRC. However, all these routes are not there. We are always going to the Government like beggars asking for one of these roads to be constructed. I think we are tired of doing that.


Mr Speaker, as the people of Kaputa, we also want to contribute to the National Treasury because we know that we have resources. We know we are in a border area where we can trade with our colleagues and collect domestic revenues that can be reflected in the Budget of this country. The people of Kaputa can contribute to the Treasury just like those in Nakonde, Mbala or Mpulungu. What we are basically asking for as the people of Kaputa is to have one of the three roads constructed so that we can also see our resources becoming part of the National Budget.


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


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chanda (Bwana Mkubwa): Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to offer support to the great work that your Committee did. I think I will be very brief. I do not want to belabour the important points that many of my colleagues have raised. I just want to say that I think that your Committee brought out very important issues that we are facing as a country. I think the debt issue was well discussed in the report. The Committee brought out the fact that expenditure is actually outstripping revenue very clearly. We all know that the Budget deficit has consistently been way above the set target.


Mr Speaker, I think the focus should be on how we can do more with the limited resources that we have. How can we generate more resources? I think that is called efficiency. So, in short, what I am saying is that we need to have a return on investment. For any investment that we make, we should ask how it is contributing to domestic resource mobilisation. Is it generating something?


Mr Speaker, I will give a very typical example of Ndola Town where I come from. I was born and bred in Ndola, but polished elsewhere. So, I, at least, know Ndola in and out. There is a project that is going on in Ndola called the Poly-Technologies Road Project. This project is being implemented by the Ministry of Local Government through the city council. While the Central Government is doing its best to take projects to the districts, where we seem to have a problem is at district level, the so-called city planners do not know how to plan.


The way the Poly-Technologies Road Project was allocated in Ndola is actually funny. The process was not given the seriousness it deserves. When I asked why 80 per cent of the Poly-Technologies Road Project was taken to an already developed part of Ndola where there is no return on investment, I was told that it is because the city planners wanted to decongest Ndola. Having been born and bred in Ndola, my question is: What traffic is there to decongest in Ndola at the expense of development? Strangely, the Chiwala/Chilanga Road, which is the industrial road in Ndola, has been left out of this project.


Mr Speaker, being a medical doctor, probably I can make what I am talking about simple for people to understand. If the industrial ‘heart’ of Ndola is in Bwana Mkubwa, then its iota, which is the biggest artery in the body, is the Chiwala/Chilanga Road. That is the road that goes to all the major companies in Ndola like Ndola Lime Company, Zambezi Portland Cement, Dangote Cement Plc and Neelkanth Lime Limited. All the major companies in Ndola are on this road, which is just 4.5 km long, yet, the city planners, in their wisdom, left out this road under the Poly-Technologies Road Project.


Mr Speaker, fortunately, I have engaged closely with the hon. Minister of Local Government, who understands this situation. He is my traditional cousin, but a very intelligent and hardworking man.


Mr Livune: Question!


Dr Chanda: Question yourself.




Dr Chanda: The hon. Member saying ‘question’ has a very good –


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Bwana Mkubwa, you are going out of bounds.


Dr Chanda: He is a good friend of mine, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Well, you may be good friends, but still out of bounds.




Dr Chanda: So, I was saying that the hardworking hon. Minister of Local Government and I seem to share an understanding of what a return on investment is. What I shared with the hon. Minister of Local Government is that every day over, 200 heavy duty trucks use the 4.5km Chiwala/Chilanga Road. Since it is a dusty road, residents in that area keep getting sick. It is an environmental and health hazard. In fact, over the weekend, I received a text message from one of the residents who claimed that we had already killed them, but should not kill their children. As a leader, it makes me feel like a murderer.


Mr Speaker, as I said, over 200 trucks use that road every day. If we put up a township tollgate there for the council, simple mathematics shows that if every truck pays K20, the council can realise K4,000 every day. Every month, it can raise K120,000. After one year, the amount would be K1.4 million to K1.5 million. This would go a long way in solving the liquidity problem that the Ndola City Council has. We have had situations whereby council workers are not paid for months. So, that is the kind of thinking that we need to have. Whatever we are doing, what is the return on investment? You do not need to do a Master’s in Business Administration to understand that. I think it is all about doing more with less. We need to be more efficient. That is what we should emphasise.


Mr Speaker, in conclusion, let me just touch on one issue which I have always belaboured in this House. This is the issue of imports which your Committee talked about very clearly in the report. We have a problem because our country has basically been turned into a dumping ground for imports. We should not shy away from calling out our friends like South Africa and telling them that we have a huge trade imbalance. If you have a trade volume with South Africa of US$3 billion annually and, then that country is benefiting in excess of US$2 billion, that is not a fair trade deal. We believe in free trade which must be fair. So, we need to address that imbalance.


Mr Speaker, I wish to use this opportunity to reiterate my call that we need a national trade policy brought to Parliament as soon as possible. That trade policy has to be aggressive and protectionist in nature because if we do not do that, then, we will kill our industries. Aliko Dangote, the richest black man on earth, said, “If you continue with imports, you are exporting jobs and importing poverty.” What we are doing is making it possible for good paying jobs for farming, manufacturing among others to remain in South Africa. What we are getting as Zambians are salaula or second hand jobs in places like Shoprite Supermarket. Our people are getting menial jobs with low salaries. So, we need to reorient our thinking on trade. Let us protect our industries. That is the infant industry theory. I invite everyone to come to Bwana Mkubwa Constituency to see the industrial heart of Ndola.


Mr Speaker, when I was in Grade 12, I read a book entitled World Politics from 1945 to 1985. That book projected that by 2,000, Ndola would be one of the biggest industrial cities in Africa. Sadly, today, if you go there, you will notice that the industries have gone under. I thank His Excellency the President who was there two months ago to open a company called Global Industries. We need more of such initiatives. This company is in soya beans processing. We need to figure out what other sectors we need to revive.


Mr Speaker, it should not take listeriosis for us to ban some products from South Africa. We should just look at the capacity which we have to manufacture what we need. It is just about simple economics. If we protect our economy and manufacture our own products, then we will create more jobs and expand the tax base, both at individual and company levels. The Government will then get more revenue. These guys who have just come in here to give us second hand or salaula jobs –


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member, the word ‘guys’ is unparliamentary.


Dr Chanda: Mr Speaker, the so-called investors who bring second hand jobs are not adding much value to the economy because, like I said, we have exported jobs and imported poverty.


Mr Speaker, in conclusion, as a country, we need to return to the business of thinking of return on investment. Let us do more with less.


Look at the Israelites. They believe that when you find something that is working very well, it is not enough to congratulate yourself. Always question how it can be done better. That is called chutzpah in Israel. They have a questioning culture. Let us question and add value to things. That way we will get the maximum benefit out of every opportunity we get.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr C. M. Zulu (Luangeni): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate. I appreciate it. I would also like to commend the mover, Hon. Simfukwe and the seconder of the Motion.


Mr Speaker, it was a good idea to come up with a Committee like that. It is a new idea. We can only move forward as a country by coming up with new ideas and implementing them immediately. So, I commend this decision to come up with two new Committees. 


Sir, I will just say a few things on the mobilisation of local resources. This country is capable of raising its own resources. We have all it takes to raise our own resources. We have enough water. As things are, 40 per cent of the water in the region is in Zambia. We have the mukula tree. We have minerals in this country. We have minerals in Petauke and Vubwi. Minerals are not on the Copperbelt only. We can also benefit from the agriculture sector which the hon. Member for Kaputa talked about. Look at our tourism sector. The World Cup is taking place now, and Zimbabwe is advertising its country during the broadcasts of the soccer matches. It has taken advantage of this activity. This is what we fail to do as a country. 


Mr Speaker, we can raise enough resources to solve our problems. I agree with Hon. Ng’onga that we can raise money internally. We do not even need external debt. I was talking to someone who works for an organisation that I will not mention. I met him in Chipata. He said that he had been working for the organisation for about seventeen years. He said that the people who give us money have no interest in our country. They have no heart for Zambia. When they give us the money, they bring their own experts into the country. They use the consultants to send back the money to their countries. When the project is over, they start asking for their money back, which has already gone back to their countries because they bring their own experts and equipment. So, I believe that if we put our heads together, as a country, we can change things. 


Sir, let us not focus on the interests of our political parties. If the Opposition hon. Members say something, let us get sense out of it. Equally, if the hon. Members from the Executive here say something, let us agree to it if it is for the good of our country. Let us unite. Let us put our heads together to build our country. We waste a lot of time and energy politicising everything. As we are politicising, foreigners are coming into the country and stealing our gold. They keep slaughtering our animals in the game parks. They are wiping them out completely, while we are busy politicising things.  One day, we will wake up and ask ourselves: What were we fighting for? 


Sir, I believe that the best way forward is to come up with new ideas, like Parliament has done. Let us implement these new ideas. Let us not be scared of implementing new programmes. At one time, I was a Deputy Minister. The challenge I had was with the implementation of projects. I travelled all over the world with technocrats, but when we came back, we did not implement what we had learnt. I would ask the technocrats to implement what we had learnt. I would say: Guys –


Mr Speaker, sorry for using the word ‘guys’.


I would say: Gentlemen, let us implement what we learnt.


However, they used to dilly-dally and run around, until I left the ministry with nothing having been done.


Sir, this country is a very rich country. Look at Israel. Sometimes, I think that if all of us Zambians were taken to Israel, and then the Israelites were brought here, this country would develop. Why would it develop? It is because of their attitude towards work. I interviewed one lady in Israel. I said to her: How come you are managing to prosper when you do not have copper, water, mukula or gold? She said that it is because of their attitude towards work. They are workaholics. They believe that even going to bed to sleep is a sheer waste of time. We are different. From here, we are all going to sleep or watch football, and that is it.




Mr C. M. Zulu: Mr Speaker, I believe that as a country, we are capable of mobilising our own resources internally. All we need is to unite and make sure that those people who are sneaking into the country – I am sorry to have used the word ‘sneaking’. We must get rid of those people who are coming into the country, stealing our gold in Petauke and Vubwi. The same people are slaughtering our animals. Those are our enemies, and not those who are from the United Party for National Development (UPND) or Patriotic Front (PF). We have mobilised our own children, boys and girls, to start cutting each other’s throats for no good reason. Who are the culprits in this situation? It is us, the politicians. 


Mr Speaker, I believe we are capable of mobilising our own resources to improve the economy of this country.


With those very few words, I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to render my support to the report of your Committee on the budgeting process in this country.


Mr Speaker, as I endeavour to debate, I would like to support the views that have been expressed by my colleague, the hon. Member of Parliament for Roan and others who have discussed the ineffectiveness of the Committee system in the Parliament of Zambia, vis-à-vis, the budgeting process. 


Mr Speaker, it is trite to state that we, as parliamentarians, have failed the people of Zambia. I stand to confirm without fear of any contradiction that we were one of the first countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, if not the whole of Africa, to have mooted the idea of a National Planning and Budget Act. The National Planning and Budget Act was put together. However, we have failed to actualise it. Other parliaments came to this Parliament to benchmark their parliaments and went back to their various jurisdictions to enact the Act. If you visited those parliaments, you would be ashamed to compare what is happening there to what is happening here. You would start admiring what is happening in those jurisdictions. I can safely mention those jurisdictions here. They are: Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Ghana, where I have learnt many good things.


Mr Speaker, the Committee system is very strong and viable in the countries which I have mentioned.


Hon. Government Members: Where?


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, in the jurisdictions I have mentioned, the budget is not presented to the House without being considered by the Committees. The Committees of parliament have the power to scrutinise and amend the budget. Once the budget is presented to parliament and approved, the Committees have the power to make follow-ups. They call upon the hon. Minister and his officials to account on how they spent the money that was approved by parliament. That is what we have been lamenting, and have failed to do in this House. I agree with those who have said that we do not fully participate in the budgeting process in this country. That is a fact. That is why in the Constitution of Zambia, there is requirement that we pass a law that regulates –


Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1810 hours until 1830 hours.


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was about to refer to the provisions of the Constitution pertaining to the Budget. I was about to state that upon the enactment of the new Constitution, pursuant to Article 205, there is a requirement that this House passes a National Planning and Budget Act which we have made various attempts to put in place.


Sir, I am making a plea to the hon. Minister of Finance and our colleagues in Government to ensure that they comply with the constitutional provision of making available, to this House, the National Planning and Budget Act for the good of the country and everyone.


Mr Speaker, I also want to tag on to the issue raised by my colleague, the hon. Member of Parliament for Roan Parliamentary Constituency pertaining to debt contraction. You are aware that the current Constitution of Zambia has a provision which urges the Executive to report to Parliament the loans that it has contracted as well as their usage. That has not been done. I do not know whether it is deliberate or it is because the Executive is not aware of the provision.


Hon. Opposition Member: They are not aware.


Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, I cannot comment on that. All I can say is that what the Government has done is a disservice to the country. It is incumbent upon the Government to honour that provision of the Constitution. It brought the new Constitution to this House for enactment and so, it must ensure that it abides by its provisions.


Mr Speaker, I am also aware that my colleagues on your right have the propensity of ignoring the contents of the Constitution. At this point in time, as I debate the issues related to the Committee system, I would like to refer to the provision that is supposed to regulate Parliament. You are aware that according to Article 218 of the Constitution of Zambia, this Parliament is supposed to have a Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC). The PSC is not just for the purposes of managing staff affairs, but it is also intended to ensure the efficient management of Parliament as well as to enhance its oversight role over the Executive. Without the PSC, our hands, as hon. Members of Parliament, are tied. Our colleagues on your right keep taking advantage of the current parliamentary system. They have made this Parliament moribund.


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Monze Central Parliamentary Constituency.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I withdraw that word.


Mr Speaker: Well, I am not concerned only with that word, but also the entire subject and its connection to the report at hand. That is where I have a more paramount difficulty. I know you are making a point that Parliament has to perform an oversight function. A cursory examination of the terms of reference and the content of the report under discussion will show you that the issues in it do not seem to accommodate the subject that you are pursuing. That is the difficulty I have. I am going through the report as I speak to you, and I am failing to see any connection between what you are debating and the contents of this report.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I am marrying Article 218 (d) with what is contained in the report of the Budget Committee on Page 33 under the subheading: “None or Insufficient Release of Funding to Planned Programmes.” Under this sub-heading, there is a lamentation by the stakeholders that there is no follow-up on the money which is released for expenditure. That is the connection that I am making. The weak Committee system, which is a result of the failure to put in place the PSC, has made us fail to perform our role of overseeing the Executive properly. That is the link that I was making. I am through with that.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Speaker: No. There is no link. I am reading the same paragraph and there is no link whatsoever. I know the subject you want to pursue is close to your heart, but this is not its place.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I was connecting issues and expressing an opinion, but I am through with that. With regard to the none or insufficient release of funding to planned programmes, stakeholders informed your Committee that presenting a National Budget was one thing, but ensuring that the funds were disbursed was another. I am saying that the parliamentary and the Committee systems in this Parliament are very weak. If we were given the authorisation to ensure that each Committee that oversees a particular ministry is given the mandate to follow up on authorised expenditure, we would not have been lamenting.


We are here lamenting, as hon. Members of Parliament, our failures. The duty of parliamentarians is not to lament. We have been lamenting for too long. We have kept on pleading for certain measures to be put in place. There are times when some of my colleagues do not want to debate because they think that they are wasting time. They debate the same issues year in and year out making the same recommendations. We are pleading with the hon. Minister of Finance to ensure that the measures that are being recommended by your Committee are implemented for the good of all of us.


Mr Speaker, as others have indicated, if we are part and parcel of the budgeting process, we would not have been making the comments we make because we would have been addressing issues collectively.


The other issue that has arisen out of this report is that of debt contraction. I recall that a number of us, including the former Minister of Finance, had been advising the Government –


Hon. Government Members: Who?


Mr Mwiimbu: The former Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr Musokotwane, has been advising the Government on the dangers of over borrowing. We have now noted that they have agreed with us that they have over borrowed and have no capacity to pay back the money. That is why they want to renegotiate the payment of these loans. We have diverted the money that is supposed to go towards developmental projects in this country as a result of the high repayments towards the debt we have incurred.


Mr Speaker, we must be prudent in the way we borrow. What has led to the problem we have found ourselves in is that most of the debts have been incurred outside the authority of the hon. Minister of Finance. A number of hon. Government Ministers have been contracting debts without the knowledge of the hon. Minister of Finance. The hon. Minister of Finance becomes aware of the debts after they have already been contracted. We are aware of what has been happening.


Hon. Government Members: Aah!


Mr Mwiimbu: Are they contradicting their own President who has directed that such things should not be happening? His Excellency President Lungu has issued a statement saying that no hon. Minister should sign for a loan on behalf of the Government from now on. Is that not what he said? Are they now telling us that the statement was misleading?


Sir, all I am saying is that when we advise the Government, it must analyse and learn from what we say because we are speaking on behalf of the people.


Prof Luo interjected.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, that is why we have also been advising that we do not want a school of witchcraft, but somebody is insisting that we need it.




Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Monze Central, I have lost you.


Mr Lubinda: What has that got to do with the Budget?


Prof Luo: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: I am dealing with this situation. Take your seat.


Prof Luo resumed her seat.


Mr Speaker: I lost you when you were talking about witchcraft. What were you talking about?


Mr Mwiimbu: I was responding to somebody who was making running comments.


Mr Speaker: No, that is a problem.


Mr Mwiimbu: Anyway, she has heard.




Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, the current debt levels have affected the operations of the Government. The financial situation of the country is in dire straits. The Government of the Republic of Zambia is failing to meet some of the obligations it has internally because of its failure to be prudent. All we are asking is for the Government to be prudent. We are asking that the hon. Minister of Finance follows religiously what she has just told the nation otherwise we shall be in trouble. There is no money.


Ms Kapata: Are you sure?


Mr Mwiimbu: Yes, I am sure.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Monze Central, please, just focus on your debate. You are easily distracted.




Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!


Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, I am saying that the debt crisis has affected the operations of the Government. You have heard hon. Members of this House lamenting that the Government has failed to honour its assurances pertaining to the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) because there is no money. The money is not there.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: If the money is there, we urge the hon. Minister of Finance to release the CDF by Friday ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: ... because we are looking forward to servicing our constituencies. Our constituents have been asking us when we shall get the CDF. The CDF is the only money which is disbursed in a manner that is not discriminatory. It is the money we use to provide services in our constituencies. That is why we need it. We cannot get it because there is no money. If the money is, indeed, there, then the Executive should release it.


Mr Speaker, we have been assured on several occasions that the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has been above target in terms of revenue collection. If it has been working above target, where has the money been going? Why is the Ministry of Finance failing to finance the ministries? Some ministries were last financed around April or May because there is no money.


Hon. Opposition Member: Hammer!


Mr Mwiimbu: We urge the Government to be prudent. For the first time, even the operations of this House were affected because there was no money. Your Committees’ reports were being produced under very difficult circumstances because there was no money for the first time in the history of this Parliament.


Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: I earnestly appeal to the hon. Minister of Finance to ensure that there is financial prudence.


Sir, finally, I know we have been talking about growing together and not leaving anyone behind, but the Southern Province strongly believes it has been left behind.


Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: Those who will drive to the funeral of our late brother will see that the road between Kafue and Mazabuka is in a deplorable state. I know that most hon. Members will fly there because they fear using that road.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: We need an assurance. That is an economic road. There is no other road that is more important than that road in this country. That is one of the major routes through which imports are brought into the country. We want that road to be worked on. I know that pronouncements have been made, but there has not been any budgetary allocation. Since the people of the Southern Province, and Zambia as a whole depend on that road, we need an assurance that it will be rehabilitated. The road from Livingstone to Sesheke is in a deplorable state. That is the road that leads to Walvis Bay. It is one of our international routes for exports and imports. We want that road to be worked on.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ng’onga: Question!


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, I want to thank you for this opportunity to make some remarks on the report that has been presented. Before I do that, since this is the first time I am debating since last week, I want to pass my condolences to the late ‘Vic’ Kalima who was together with me in the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD). Since various statements have already been made about her, I will not go into detail talking about her. At this time, I also want to express my sadness regarding the demise of the late old man, Daniel Munkombwe, who passed away a few days ago. No doubt he was one of the key pillars of politics in this country from the time of Independence. I am also very convinced that he was a great nationalist because he served in so many governments. On many occasions, he did not belong to parties of persons that belong to his constituency, but rather went to formations led by people from other provinces. That is why, for me, he was a nationalist. I am also convinced that in 2016, when he decided that he was going to support the United Party for National Development (UPND), he was doing so not because of his provincial affiliation, but as a result of having been convinced that for him the UPND was the best party to support at the time.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, let me just share some advice which the late Munkombwe gave me at one time. He asked me to observe what happened in the Assembly Chamber. He told me that if anyone stood up to debate and there was silence, then the people were expecting to hear good remarks. He further told me that if people continued chatting when you stood up to debate, then you had to know that the House had decided that your debate was not worth listening to. That is what he shared with me.


Sir, as we continue debating in the next three or five years, maybe, some of us may decide to judge ourselves against those remarks.


Mr Speaker, as I now return to the topic on the Floor which is domestic resource mobilisation, let me say that I think Hon. C. M. Zulu summed the discussion up in terms of what we mean by domestic resource mobilisation. We are talking about the taxes that are gathered by tax authorities. That is an aspect of domestic resource mobilisation. We are talking about the fees and fines that we pay in court, at the police and other public institutions. Such resources are all aspects of domestic resource mobilisation. Domestic borrowing is also an aspect of domestic resource mobilisation. Lastly, the returns which the Government makes from its investments whether it is in companies or financial assets, are also aspects of domestic resource mobilisation.


Given the time constraints, I am just going to make comments on two aspects of resource mobilisation. I will focus on taxes and returns from investments. Let me start with taxes. Let me join my colleague, the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central, in saying that the announcement that the hon. Minister of Finance made earlier this week is the way to go. From 2012 to 2017, we have consistently heard messages that the Government was going to be prudent in the management of resources by not spending more than the budgeted for resources. All types of assurances were made which are like the one the hon. Minister of Finance made recently. So, although the pronouncements are in line with what we expect to happen, we can only congratulate the Government if it walks the talk. I know it will not be an easy journey because the boss and some hon. Ministers are going to put pressure on the hon. Minister of Finance. I know this because I sat where the hon. Minister of Finance is sitting. Her performance will really depend on her ability to do these things she has said she will do. If she does what she has promised to do, I will be the first one to congratulate her.


Sir, what is the connection between what I am talking about in terms of debt contraction and the taxes. Where is the connection? Here is the connection. Zambians today are overburdened with taxes. We are crushing under the weight of taxes. For the first time in the history of this country, if you want to dig a borehole because the local authorities cannot give you water, what happens? You are told to pay something for drilling your borehole. It might not be a tax, but you still spend money by paying a certain fee. This is happening for the first time.


Mr Speaker, today, we are told that villagers, the unemployed and every citizen from seventeen up to seventy-years-old, must pay health insurance every month. You may say it is an insurance premium when, in the actual fact, it will have an economic effect on the citizens. It will mean less money in the pockets of the citizens just like what happens with taxation.


Mr Speaker, in real terms, if you take a hundred kwacha, what it bought in 2011 and what it can buy today is less. In other words, we are saying that income, in real terms, has declined. On the other side, the taxes, in real terms, for an individual have gone up. What do I mean? A few years ago, every individual had a tax exemption of up to K2,000 per month. That amount of money was enough to buy a certain basket of goods and services. The cost of that basket in real terms has gone up. Now, you can buy less goods and services in K2,000. So, it follows that taxes in real terms have gone up. By taxes going up, I mean the fees and levies. This is what I mean by saying that Zambians are crushing under the burden of taxes. This is happening because the money that we pay in taxes rather than being spent on the Zambians, most of it is taken out of the country to service the debts, whether in China, Europe or India. This money just passes through the books of the Ministry of Finance and goes to service debts. This is why there is this desperation of, “Where do we get money from?” This is why we have to pay taxes on boreholes and medicines.


Mr Speaker, in certain cases, this is why we are failing to give certain services to our people. Even if the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) was not released, this Government would continue taxing the citizens. The economic logic is exactly the same. This is what I mean by saying that we are crushing under the burden of taxes. Therefore, the hon. Minister of Finance should be bold. She should make sure she implements the things she said she is going to do because this is how she is going to lighten the burden of taxation on the citizens. That is my message as far as taxation is concerned. I am not talking about who must be taxed. Where this Government should collect taxes, I think, is a story for another day. For now, we must look at the broad picture of what needs to be done.


Sir, I said I was going to discuss two aspects of resource mobilisation, which are taxes and public investments. If we have dividends coming from the Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO), Zambia Railways Limited and Zambia State Insurance Company (ZISC), they would be aspects of domestic resource mobilisation because the earnings go into the national kitty which is what the Government can spend.


Mr Speaker, the issue I want to talk about is that some public investments affect domestic resource mobilisation negatively. In other words, the public sector, which is the Government can have investments, but instead of getting dividends at the end of the year, the same units are going to the hon. Minister of Finance to ask for money to spend on salaries and other things. Instead of mobilising domestic resources from them, this Government is wasting resources on them.


Sir, I need to caution the Patriotic Front (PF) Government on some of the grandiose projects which I hear it talking about. I have heard about the project of constructing a railway line from Serenje to Chipata. If the hon. Minister does that, she is just going to add on to the expenditure that we already have in this country every month. I can assure her that every month, people will come to the Ministry of Finance to look for money to pay salaries. It will not work. For a railway line to make money, it must carry things going in and out of the country. We might get to transport a few goods outside the country. With some arm twisting, we can get copper here and there, but not a full load because there are truckers which are competing with us. In fact, we already have the Zambia Railways Limited and Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA).


Mr Speaker, most of Zambia’s imports come from South Africa. Tell me which trader is going to load things on a ship in South Africa to take to Mozambique and from there to Chipata via Serenje up to Lusaka by rail? Which trader is going to do that? They will simply ignore us. The bottom line is that this railway line, from the word go, is going to be a white elephant. That is why every month, they will be coming to the Ministry of Finance to look for money to pay  salaries. I wish to urge the hon. Minister to keep away from such adventures. Such adventures are not even good for the people of that area where the railway line is supposed to pass. If they are talking about constructing a railway line from Serenje to Chipata, I would even say that a road is better because trucks, cars, motorcycles and buses can use it. People can also walk on the road. So, a road would be much more useful. A railway line does not make sense because it will lose money for this country.


Mr Speaker, the other investment which I hear being talked about is the introduction of the Zambia Airways. I get amazed that we seem to be a country that wants to make obvious mistakes. If this Government goes ahead with the introduction of Zambia Airways, I can assure it that every month, instead of its getting a dividend, it will be picking money from its pockets to pay salaries to Zambia Airways employees. That is not domestic resource mobilisation. It is domestic resource demobilisation. I urge the Government not to attempt that project because currently, it is even struggling to pay salaries to the Public Service workers. We know that. The Government cannot even find money for the CDF and so many other things. So, why does it want to create new problems?


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lubinda: Bauzeni, Madam!


The Minister of Finance (Mrs Mwanakatwe): Mr Speaker, I want to thank all my fellow Members of Parliament who have spoken on this Report of the Budget Committee. It is a very good report. As I went through it, I noticed that the areas that were being brought out are pertinent. I would like to start by talking about the reforms which the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has been putting in place. It is the first time, since Independence that a Government has decided to go cost reflective on electricity tariffs. That is the boldness with which we act. We went cost reflective last year and pegged the electricity tariffs at 10.35 cents per kilowatt hour (KWh). We then saw investment beginning to come to the power sector, which was moribund for many years since Independence. Today, we have, at least, thirty-four companies that want to come into the hydro-power, solar and renewable energy sectors because this Government has been bold enough to decide to go cost reflective.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, this is a Government that has decided to, again, bring in the private sector investment in the fuel sector. We have said that, at least, 20 per cent of all the 750,000 cubic litres of fuel is going to go to the private sector in Zambia. We have said that 50 per cent of all the haulage of fuel coming into Zambia is going to go to Zambians. That is being bold.




Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, last year, this Government spent K1 million on the e-Voucher System. Nobody has done that before, but us.


 Mr Livune: Question!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: For the first time, the Public Finance Management Bill was passed in this Parliament. I have not heard anyone praise us for that because that was a bold move.


Ms Kapata: Can you imagine.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: As a Minister, I can be taken to jail if I misuse people’s funds. Equally, if any public officer misuses people’s funds, he/she can go to jail. That is the law which we passed in this Parliament.


Mr Speaker, we have revamped the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Act to make it stronger. Where we do not have to spend money as a Government, we can use the PPP, but can still earn revenue from the asset.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, the Government will bring a Credit Reporting Bill to this Parliament which will provide for the provision of information about what is happening in that important area. Much has been said about the Planning and Budgeting Bill. I am happy to inform the House that only last week, the Cabinet was debating this Bill. The hon. Ministers around the Cabinet table loved it. They just want it to be more refined. We shall come and present it to this House after it is refined. 


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, I want to talk a little bit more about resource mobilisation and not the demobilisation which the hon. Member for Liuwa referred to. As stated earlier by somebody on your left, 70 per cent of this country’s revenue is sourced or mobilised locally. How can it be demobilisation when 70 per cent of what we spend in the Budget is sourced locally? We will further broaden the tax base. Two weeks ago, the President directed my colleague, the hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources and I to ensure that we get better value from the mukula tree in order to continue mobilising domestic resources. We will begin a land titling system through which 300,000 title deeds are going to be issued on a yearly basis starting this year. This is resource mobilisation. We are looking more at non-tax revenues. We want to ensure that an individual is not continuously overburdened with taxes. The broadening of the tax base is absolutely critical.


Mr Lubinda: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, we have been putting up tollgates. That is broadening the tax base. We will tax our minerals, especially those that we have not been taxing in the past. This will help to broaden the tax base. In so doing, I believe we will tackle an issue that has been raised in this House that is very dear to our hearts as the PF. This is the inequality that exists in terms of resources and how we share them. We have been creating more districts and constructing more roads …




Mrs Mwanakatwe: … to ensure that we get to the rural poor. We want to get to a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that is a lot bigger so that we can make the gini coefficient a better sounding figure. We want to be more inclusive. This is why we are talking about not leaving anyone behind. Not even those in Choma …




Hon. Government Members: Monze.


Mr Lubinda: And particularly Monze.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: … and particularly Monze.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, I want to talk about debt sustainability and its management. Last week, His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, released important correspondence because we want to manage our debt properly. We want a debt management strategy that is going to take us into the future safely. This is why we have been taking proactive measures. We will make sure that we stick to these measures because nobody imposed them on us. We are being told that we have no capacity to pay for anything and in the same breath, Hon. Jack Mwiimbu is asking for a road in Choma. I failed to understand what he was saying.


Hon. Government Members: Monze.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Monze, sorry. Hon. Jack Mwiimbu said that we have no capacity to pay back the loans and that we are allowing hon. Ministers to sign for them. This does not happen and is not allowed legally.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lubinda: Never.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Only the Minister of Finance can sign for a loan. Therefore, I do not understand why somebody can say that.


Mr Mwiimbu: Question!


Mr Speaker: Please, continue, hon. Minister.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, ministries initiate projects which they bring to the Ministry of Finance so that it can source for funding. When the funding is found, it is the Minister of Finance or somebody who has power of attorney who signs for the loan.


Ms Siliya: He has never been in Government.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: I am being told to release money by Friday for the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). Since we are in Government, we know when to release money. We do not release by orders.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: We are in charge.


Mr Kampyongo: Hear, hear! In charge.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) is above target, especially with the collection of the value added tax (VAT), but not in terms of non-tax collections. When you amalgamate the two, non-tax and tax collections, they are above target. I would be happy to share with you the figures for the ZRA.


Concerning Nakonde One Stop Border Post, I just want to correct my colleague on the right side of the House who said that we have not put infrastructure in place whereas on the Tanzanian side, they have done so. It is actually the other way around. Tanzania is the one that is slow in putting up infrastructure. On our side, we are ready with the one stop border post infrastructure.


Mr Speaker, I have already talked about the budgeting process. We have already started talking to people in the country. We want to ensure that the process is inclusive. We need to start from the bottom in the districts. The people from all the provinces must take part in the budgeting process.


 The agriculture sector is truly diversifying. There are many investments going into the farming blocks. People are growing other crops such as cassava and soya beans. I totally agree with the concern that was raised by an hon. Member on the left side of the House that we need to do a lot more in the agriculture sector. I liked Hon. C. M. Zulu’s contribution that we tend to politicise everything despite having so much wealth in the country. Let us come up with new ideas. We should not be afraid to implement them.  Zambia is rich. To be honest, if we harnessed the whole potential that we have, we can get very far.


Mr Speaker, as regards the operations of State-owned enterprises, reference was made to the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO). One of the directives that the President has given is for us to ensure that the State-owned enterprises which are making losses begin to make profits. If they cannot be profit making, then we can find ways of bringing in private sector participation. With these few remarks, I would like to end by saying that I appreciate the report of the Budget Committee. There are a few recommendations that we will work on. We will give more responses to the House where further clarification is required.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank all the hon. Members who have debated this Motion. In particular, I want to thank the hon. Members of Parliament for Roan, Nalikwanda, Chama South, Kaputa, Bwana Mkubwa, Luangeni, Leader of the Opposition and the hon. Member of Parliament for Liuwa.


Sir, I also want to thank the Executive represented by the hon. Minister of Finance for very candid responses.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Question put and agreed to.




Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources 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?


Mrs Mazoka (Pemba): Yes, Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.


Mr Ng’onga: Sir, based on its terms of reference, your Committee considered the topical issues set out below:


  1. Livestock production and stocking in Zambia; and


  1. Land management in Zambia.


Your Committee invited various stakeholders to present oral and written submissions which assisted it to come up with the observations and recommendations contained in the report. It is my hope that hon. Members have had a chance to read your Committee’s report as I will only highlight a few pertinent issues.


Mr Speaker, as this House may be aware, the livestock sector is relatively under exploited, although recognised as an increasingly important part of the agriculture economy. It plays important economic and social roles in the livelihoods of many Zambians, particularly smallholder farmers. This sector has the potential to contribute to wealth creation and poverty reduction. The Government has also identified it as a sector that has great potential to drive the diversification agenda in the agriculture sector. However, a number of challenges have been observed which have hindered the growth of the livestock sub-sector. That is what prompted your Committee to undertake this study.


Sir, your Committee was informed that the Government has endeavoured to promote growth in the livestock and fisheries sub-sectors by embarking on promoting livestock stocking and restocking programmes, livestock production and disease control services. Your Committee observes that despite these efforts, there is currently no policy framework to properly guide the livestock sub-sector. Your Committee recommends that the Government puts in place a livestock development policy that outlines the roles, the vision and focus of various stakeholders in order to contribute to increased production and productivity of the livestock sub-sector.


Mr Speaker, your Committee notes that the livestock sub-sector is governed by a number of pieces of legislation that have continued to shape livestock production trends and, to some extent, affect policy direction. Your Committee is, however, concerned that in spite of having all these statutes in place, the enforcement of the laws is still a challenge. For example, despite the enactment of the Animal Health Act, 2010, the necessary regulations which are key in addressing some of the animal health challenges have not been promulgated.


Further, your Committee sadly notes that livestock production extension services in the country are inadequate and in some cases nonexistent. Your Committee, therefore, strongly urges the Government to prioritise the provision of livestock production extension services rather than just concentrating on the agricultural extension services.


Mr Speaker, your Committee also notes that most of the interventions in disease control and prevention employed by the Government have been influenced by the classification of diseases, as diseases of national economic importance. Your Committee strongly recommends that there be a balance in the interventions and surveillance even for those diseases that are not classified as diseases of national economic importance such as corridor disease as these also inflict the highest mortality rate on livestock.


Sir, your Committee had the privilege of having an on-the-spot check of the goat breeding centre at Luchembe in Kanchibiya District.


Dr Malama: Hear, hear!


Mr Ng’onga: Sir, your Committee was greatly disappointed with the pace at which the infrastructure was being constructed, financed and stocked. Your Committee also noted that staff at the centre had not been paid their salaries for up to fifteen months. Your Committee strongly recommends that the salary arrears be cleared, construction works on the centre be completed expeditiously and it be stocked with goats with the utmost urgency.


Mr Speaker, your Committee also looked at land management issues in Zambia. It notes that it has taken an inordinately long time to conclude the National Land Policy. Operating without a policy has resulted in a number of challenges in the administration of land. In this regard, your Committee strongly urges the Government to expedite the completion of the National Land Policy.


Sir, your Committee sadly notes that the current national discourse on land issues largely focuses on the lack of transparency in land allocation and administration under both customary and statutory tenure systems, which affects all stakeholders from subsistence farmers to large investors. Your Committee, therefore, strongly urges the Government to ensure that the various players involved in land allocation and land use control, work as a term to ensure the proper utilisation of the available land.


Sir, in conclusion, allow me to thank the witnesses, who appeared before your Committee for the information that they submitted to your Committee, which enabled it to successfully undertake its enquiries.


Finally, your Committee wishes to record its indebtedness to you, Mr Speaker, and to the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the guidance provided to it during the deliberations.


Sir, I beg to move.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


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


Mrs Mazoka: Now, Sir.


Mr Speaker, in seconding the Motion to adopt the Report of the Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources, allow me first to thank the Chairperson for having ably moved the Motion.


Sir, aside from what the Chairperson has amplified, allow me to elaborate on some of the issues, which I feel need to be highlighted.


Mr Speaker, one pertinent issue that was brought to your Committee’s attention is the lack of title for land belonging to Government institutions. Your Committee is concerned that land belonging to almost all learning institutions such as the colleges of agriculture, Natural  Resources Development College (NRDC), Palabana Dairy Training Institute and many other schools is not secured on title. This has left institutional land susceptible to encroachment by neighbouring communities and unscrupulous individuals. This has led to these institutions having no land for expansion purposes.


Sir, your Committee strongly urges the Government to expeditiously secure on title all the land belonging to the learning institutions to ensure that land, which has been dubiously acquired from these institutions or given away, is reverted to them.


Dr Kalila: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mazoka: Mr Speaker, allow me also to state that your Committee is disappointed that the National Titling Programme and the land audit have taken too long to complete. Your Committee requests the Government to urgently complete these two programmes within a specified time frame. Your Committee also recommends that in order for the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to expedite the conducting of the land audit, it may be necessary to change the design of the title deed and give the people a specified period within which to get the new ones in the same manner the Zambian passports were changed. In this manner, data would be collected on who owns which land.


Your Committee also notes that although the processes and procedures in land acquisition and land use control measures are clearly defined, they are generally overlooked by those entrusted with the responsibility of managing the land. Your Committee strongly recommends that the Government ensures that the procedures and processes are adhered to by the various stakeholders. Your Committee further recommends that strong punitive measures be meted out against erring individuals entrusted with the responsibility of managing the land involved in any such illegalities. 


Sir, finally, I wish to place on record my sincere thanks to your Committee for working as a team during its deliberations as this helped it make informed recommendations, which are in the best interest of the people of Zambia.


Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.


Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate your Committee’s Report on Agricultures, Lands and Natural Resources.


Sir, I just want to look at one aspect which is livestock. I would like to state that livestock is a very important aspect that can help this county earn a lot of revenue. The report states that there are about 2 million cattle in Zambia. I, therefore, want to believe that more than half of this number is under the commercial farmers. The Government has not done a lot to ensure that small-scale breeders can manage their livestock well. I will cite a few examples.


Sir, on Sunday, this week, I happened to be at a traditional ceremony called Samu lya Moomba in Monze. At this ceremony, farmers bring their animals for a competition. What I saw was encouraging. However, I want to state that if we have to encourage small-scale farmers in the livestock sub-sector, there are certain aspects that the Government should take into account.


Sir, first and foremost, you would find that there is no adequate water in most areas, where the animals are found. For animals to increase in number, water is very important, especially that we all know that water is life. In most cases, the animals cover long distances for them to go and drink water. This is not good because you would find that, maybe, in a day, animals are forced to walk two to 10 or 15 km to go and drink water. By the time they come back, the animals would be so tired that they can hardly graze. Secondly, when the hon. Minister comes to respond to some of the concerns by hon. Members, I want her to talk about why the ministry has not put in place a deliberate programme to teach our farmers how to grow pasture. 


Sir, when you go around the country and come across farms owned by white people, you will notice that most of their livestock look healthy because of the supplements which they are fed. If small-scale farmers start growing pasture, their animals would be sold at a higher price. Currently, small scale-farmers sell their animals at an average of about K3,000 which are sold by a white farmer at K6,000 and above.

Mr Speaker, at one time, I was at one farm where one animal was being sold at K45,000. A small-scale farmer cannot raise an animal that can be sold at that amount. This is because, first of all, small-scale farmers do not have enough water for their animals. Secondly, they do not have the right skills which can enable them to feed their animals properly. Further, the Government does not have a deliberate policy to reduce the cost of fencing wire, for example, in rural areas. Most of the farmers in rural areas use what is called communal grazing, which is not good for areas like the Southern Province where there are a number of diseases like foot and mouth, denkete and so on and so forth.


Mr Speaker: Meaning what?


Mr Sing’ombe: It is an animal disease, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: What language is that?


Mr Sing’ombe: In English, it is corridor disease.


Mr Speaker, the only way that we can reduce the spread of such diseases is by ensuring that animals are quarantined. Communal grazing is not good for rural farmers. You hardly hear of white farmers or those along the line of rail who have fenced their farms complaining about animal diseases. The only farmers whose cattle suffer from these diseases are those who practice communal grazing. Even dipping practices in rural areas are not very good. The veterinary officers in rural areas are also not very helpful.


Mr Speaker, in rural areas, the only way most farmers know how to castrate animals, for example, is by using a burdizzo. However, there is a new practice of just using a rubber. The burdizzos are very expensive. One would cost about K2,000. There are very few farmers in rural areas who can manage to buy a burdizzo to castrate their animals.


Further, veterinary officers are not teaching the farmers about new technologies in rural areas for dehorning animals. Farmers are still using hot iron bars to dehorn their animals. In this era, there are very easy ways of dehorning animals. You can use simple technology such as a dehorning stick. When a calf may just be about two weeks old, you just rub the dehorning stick for the horns to come out. Such technology has not reached our rural areas.


Sir, I want to ask the hon. Minister to ensure that the activities of veterinary officers are monitored by all means. There is a place called Chilala in Dundumwezi where animals are depleting at a very fast rate because of corridor disease, but veterinary officers are there. Rural farmers do not want veterinary officers to give them medicine. What they require is for the veterinary officers to just diagnose the medicine which the farmers need to administer.


Mr Speaker, in short, what I am saying is that most of the rural farmers still use the old methods of breeding cattle, which are not very good. As such, there is still a lot of inbreeding. Most farmers do not know how to actually use artificial insemination which is cheaper. In most cases, they look for bulls which are very expensive. I just indicated that at the moment, an ordinary bull may fetch K10,000. Rural farmers cannot manage such an amount. So, we want the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock to actually scale up in terms of helping rural farmers.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Ms Mwashingwele (Katuba): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the Report of your Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources. I will specifically look at land management in Zambia.


Sir, the Committee has rightly observed that Zambia has a dual tenure regime for land administration. That is, State land under the administration of the Government, and customary land administered by traditional leaders. I will start by talking about the land that is owned by the Government. I will look at the case studies involving the Ndola City Council and Kabwe Municipal Council. It has been observed that record keeping in the councils is a serious challenge. Even the numbering of the land is a problem. I would not be far from the truth to argue that this problem is common across the country. If numbering land is a problem in the municipalities or districts, it technically means that even at national level, this is a problem. So, titling our land across the country may be very complicated as a result of that. If we cannot number land at city or district level, how do we expect to do it at national level?


Mr Speaker, the findings from the report tell us that the technocrats we have in the councils are not doing the right thing for this country. The Committee has rightly observed that land, throughout the world, is a major resource. In our country, it is what helps us to develop.  Unfortunately, it is also an issue that brings conflict. There is too much conflict about land in this country. We ask questions concerning land in this House, but never get clear answers. A very poor man and a very rich man are almost at the same level if they possess a piece of land, regardless of its size. We have all realised that having money in the pocket is not as good as having your own piece of land. I want the hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, if she will debate on this report, to explain what the teething challenges are, especially in the municipalities and city councils.


Look at the Ndola City Council, literally every member in the planning and legal departments was moved from the council or fired. Some of them were fired because of issuing papers for plots. The report actually says that the money was deposited into an account in a particular bank for the plots for the council. It would be interesting to know which bank that was. Who accessed the money from this account? If it was the council, it means that the individuals in question had the blessing to sell the land from somebody. There is no way a council can issue papers for plots without the knowledge of the mayor or council chairperson. There is no way the council would have gone behind the back of the senior people in the council to allocate land. Something is seriously wrong, especially in the cities. Is it because we are politicising the allocation of land and not following the rules and regulations? Is it because we have no policy? Is it because the cadres have become more powerful than the people who are supposed to do the right thing? We need answers to these questions.


Mr Speaker, having said that on the Government land, allow me to look at traditional land. Traditional land is governed by headsmen, indunas and chiefs, in that order. It has been stated in the report that there are no clear records on traditional land. There is no symbiotic approach to dealing with land owned by the Government and traditional rulers. Each sector was accusing the other of actually giving out large pieces of land without the other knowing. There is no proper reporting system for land administration. Arguably, it is being said that at some point, the traditional rulers had ninety per cent of the land. Practically speaking, the process of titling land has already started. Sometimes, even the traditional rulers may not be very knowledgeable about the consequences of how our land is being treated.


Mr Speaker, allow me to specifically refer to one issue concerning traditional land that was continuously reported on by both the private and public media. There was an issue about land in Namwala whereby 600 people are said to have been displaced by the leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND) Mr Hakainde Hichilema. I have been expecting a report regarding this matter because there is no way the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources can allow that to happen. That report should have come to this House. Somebody who is vying for the highest office of this land, –


Mr Speaker: Order!


Ms Mwashingwele resumed her seat.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Katuba Parliamentary Constituency, what this amounts to is that you are debating that particular individual and the issues surrounding the land in question. I do not think it would be appropriate for me to allow that kind of debate. I think that we should focus on issues. You should address the issues the way you were doing earlier on. Continue in that manner. We are very slow to allowing the debating of individuals because if injury is caused in the process, for instance, it places the Speaker in a very difficult situation. Firstly, the proceedings are privileged, meaning that those who get injured have no recourse before the courts of law. Therefore, sometimes, it does get very complicated. That is the reason we discourage, if not prohibit, bringing in individuals in the debates in that fashion.


Please, you may continue.


Ms Mwashingwele: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your guidance. Allow me to rephrase what I said by stating that if there are people who have been displaced, we need to know about them without mentioning names. Therefore, it would be prudent if such information was brought to us so that we know how to handle it, especially by the ministry responsible for land. Traditional land has a lot of dimensions. You find that land is allocated for communal grazing. Where there are wells and dams, there is also communal drinking of water for animals. You will also find situations where land is allocated for communal farming. So, when issues pertaining to traditional land come up in public domain, it would be good for this august House to be fully informed so that hon. Members know how to handle such situations.


Mr Speaker, on Page 30, your Committee’s report states that:


“Your Committee was also informed that the current national discourse on land issues largely focused on the lack of transparency in land allocation and administration under both customary and statutory tenure systems, which affected all stakeholders from subsistence farmers to large investors. “


Sir, why do we not have transparency? What causes the lack of information? We say that information is power. Therefore, this could be the reason the National Land Policy is failing to go through. The major stakeholders like traditional rulers are not well informed. The National Land Policy may be a good cause. However, if it is not well articulated, then administering it will remain a challenge. The challenge could be the lack of its being translated into local languages because some traditional rulers are not well versed in our official language. Has translation been done so that a chief in Kasempa, Solwezi, Shang’ombo, in the Eastern Province and Chieftainess Mungule, among others, can fully understand what is being talked about in the National Land Policy? These are the things that, –


Mr Speaker: Order!


(Debate adjourned)




The House adjourned at 1955 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 20th June, 2018.