Friday, 2nd December, 2016

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Friday, 2ndDecember, 2016

 

The House met at 0900 hours

 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

 

NATIONAL ANTHEM

 

PRAYER

 

_______

 

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

 

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

 

Sir, on Tuesday, 6th December, 2016, the Business of the House will commence with Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. That will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following Votes of Expenditure:

 

Vote 17: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 

Vote 04: Ministry of Gender

 

Vote 10: Zambia Police Service Commission

 

Vote 34: Human Rights Commission

 

Vote 13: Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs.

 

On Wednesday, 7th December, 2016, the Business of the House will begin with Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. That will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider Private Member’s Motions, if there will be any. The House will, then, resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following Votes of Expenditure:

 

Vote 68: Ministry of Tourism and Arts

 

Vote 85: Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources

 

Vote 32: Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance

 

Vote 87: Anti-Corruption Commission.

 

Sir, on Thursday, 8th December, 2016, the Business of the House will start with Questions for Orals Answer, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will then resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following Votes of Expenditure:

 

Vote 64: Ministry of Works and Supply

 

Vote 21: Loans and Investments − Ministry of Finance

 

Vote 37: Ministry of Finance

 

Vote 54: Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development

 

Vote 07: Office of the Auditor-General

 

Vote 86: Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock.

 

Mr Speaker, on Friday, 9th December, 2016, the Business of the House will commence with the Vice-President’s Question Time. That will be followed by Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. After that, the House will deal with Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will debate the Motion to suspend Standing Orders 20, 21(1) and 101 to enable the House to sit at 0900 hours each day from Tuesday, 13th December, 2016, until all business before the House is completed and, thereafter, to adjourn sine die. Then, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following Votes:

 

Vote 20: Loans and Investments − Ministry of Local Government

 

Vote 25: Local Government Service Commission

 

Vote 29: Ministry of Local Government

 

Vote 26: Ministry of Information and Broadcasting

 

After that, the House will deal with any business that might be outstanding.

 

Sir, I thank you.

 

_______

 

THE VICE-PRESIDENT’S QUESTION TIME

 

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, people are still standing, but the clock is ticking.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Mr Nkombo: Sir, my question is pursuant to Part II of the Constitution and Article 8, which deal with national values, principles and economic policies, and specifically 8(d), which deals with human dignity, equity, social justice, equality and non-discrimination. I have a letter here written by the Minister of Gender, Hon. Victoria Kalima, informing hon. Members of Parliament in the Southern Province about the provision of equipment, tractors and tillers to chiefdoms. I have looked at the schedule for the whole country, and what I have seen is very sad. In four provinces, namely Luapula, Muchinga, the Eastern and Northern, the Government has allocated sixty-two tractors out of the national total of ninety-two.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Mr Nkombo: To be a bit more specific, in one district, Mpika, six tractors have been allocated, which is equal to the whole allocation for the Southern Province. The six remaining provinces, which are Lusaka, Copperbelt, the Southern, the Western, the North-Western and Central, have only been allocated thirty tractors. Is this the route that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has decided to take; to discriminate parts of the country that did not vote for the Ruling Party in the last general election?

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, this Government does not discriminate in the distribution of resources. The distribution of tractors to chiefdoms was, perhaps, based on the assessment that was made at the time, which was that certain parts of the country are more of maize producers than others.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, at the time of the distribution of health posts, the Southern Province, for example, got the largest share, ...

 

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

 

The Vice-President: ... but no one complained because the facilities were being allocated to our people who needed that service. It was the same with distribution of ambulances because the province has more hospitals than others. So, more ambulances had to be directed to that province.  There was no hon. Member of Parliament who complained about that.

 

Mr Speaker, we should try to look at the bigger picture of our nation, Zambia. When one item is taken to one province, let us not take offence because this is what the people of that area may need at that particular time. I do not believe there is any element of discrimination in the allocation of the tractors. However, I would like to look at the list and understand why the distribution was done in that manner.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Zimba (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, in the rural areas, telecommunication has been very poor. In my constituency, in particular, communication is very expensive because in most parts, our mobile phones automatically go into roaming mode when we make calls. Is there a way the Government can compel telecommunication companies to also service the rural areas as opposed to only servicing urban areas? Is there a deliberate policy that the Government can put in place to compel these ‘guys’ to go into the rural areas ...

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

“Guys” is unparliamentary.

 

Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, I withdraw it.

 

Is there a way the Government can compel telecommunication services providers to reach out to the rural areas where it is extremely expensive to communicate?

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Government is working in partnership with the private sector to provide telecommunication services. However, there are limitations in the way the private sector does business, especially in rural areas. In rural areas, the Government has to take the lead in providing services. From 2013 onwards, the Government distributed communication towers in all parts of Zambia. Unfortunately, some of the towers were short and could only cover a radius of 5 km or 10 km. The Government has embarked on the second phase of the programme. I think by the end of 2019 or thereabouts, every part of Zambia will have communication towers and we will be able to enhance connectivity to our people, especially those living in the rural areas.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Kufakwandi (Sesheke Central): Mr Speaker, I wish to find out from Her Honour the Vice-President whether the extension of the Livingstone/Mulobezi Road to Sesheke, which is in the 2017 Budget, is intended to connect to the Namibian railway system as well as Walvis Bay.

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, there are various corridors that the Government intends to open up in the southern and northern parts of the country. We heard about the Muchinji/Petauke/Serenje Railway. The southern part of the country will also be connected, but I request the hon. Member to file a question for a more comprehensive answer.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Sampa (Kasama Central): Mr Speaker, Her Honour the Vice-President looks very lovely this morning.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, when is the construction of our airport in Kasama going to be completed?

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the programme of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is to revamp aerodromes in all districts in the country when funds are available. The upgrading of the Kasama Airport is ongoing. If the works have stalled, there must be a reason. However, the works will continue and the airport will be available to users very soon.

 

Hon. Member for Kasama Central, thank you very much for the compliment.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

The Vice-President: You should rest assured that the airport will open very soon.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mwiinga (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, how far have investigations into the Government officials who have been cited in corrupt activities in the Auditor-General’s report gone?

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, let me assure the hon. Member that the investigations are ongoing. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is an independent body and the Government has no influence on its operations.

 

Mr Livune: Question!

 

The Vice-President: That is a fact. Hon. Members should know that the cases of corruption cited in the Auditor-General’s report are many and some of them may take long to investigate. As such, it might seem like the ACC is not completing investigations on time. When the investigations are concluded and information is found that some officers abrogated the law, the law will take its course.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Amb. Malanji (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, employment has become very competitive and, as a result, youths are now obliged to get into tertiary institutions of learning. However, when you look at advertisements on television (TV), application fees for most colleges are not less than K150. If a school receives 1,000 applications, it will get K150,000, which is enough to extend a block of the school. Is there any mechanism the Ministry of Higher Education or the Government in general can put in place as the colleges register or renew their statutory obligations?

 

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear! Ema question!

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, Zambia liberalised its economy. As such, the private sector is playing its role. Unfortunately, sometimes, the Government has no power to dictate what the private sector should do, although there are regulations that need to be followed.

 

Sir, charging of registration fees in colleges is a phenomenon that, perhaps, the Ministry of Higher Education needs to look into so that our young people are not disadvantaged by not being able to apply for positions in colleges.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Dr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, the contractor working on the Kitwe/Ndola Dual Carriageway has completely failed to do the job. I raised this issue even when I was in the Government. What is going on? The contractor is now working on the shoulder of the road, meaning that he has completed the works. However, depressions have formed on the road. The depressions cause pooling, which makes it very difficult for motorists to drive during the rainy season. May I know if there is any special reason the contract has not been terminated?

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, that is one of the economic roads that the country cherishes dearly. We cannot let the works on it stall. That is why the hon. Minister went there, last week, to check on progress made on the roads in the area. Money has been released to ensure that the works are completed.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, when presenting the Budget for 2017, the Minister of Finance, Hon. Mutati, indicated that Zambia’s external debt was US$6.7 billion while the domestic debt was K26 billion, representing 35 per cent and 12 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP). The hon. Minister also stated the need to keep the threshold of the debt within the international standard of 20 per cent of the GDP. He also outlined certain bold measures that the Government intended to put in place to restore the economy and make it sustainable. The measures included a reduction of commercial borrowing, which attracts 6 per cent interest rates, and concentrating on concessional borrowing from our partners like China, which attracts 2 per cent interest and has a longer tenure.

 

Sir, how committed is the Patriotic Front (PF) Administration to supporting these bold measures that the hon. Minister of Finance prescribed for this ailing economy and ensuring that the money borrowed from concessional borrowing goes to ....

 

Hon. Government Members: Question!

 

Mr Mweetwa: ... economically viable projects that will generate revenue and help refinance the debt?

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: Can we exercise patience. Do not expect all the questions to be short and simple.

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the 12 per cent ratio of Zambia’s borrowing rate means we have not really reached our ultimate borrowing capacity because we know that we can manage to repay what we have borrowed. The hon. Member is concerned about borrowing for consumption, but I can assure him that all the money that the Government borrowed has gone to good use.

 

Sir, it is the hon. Members of this House who were crying for good roads in their constituencies and well equipped schools with personnel that can impart knowledge to our little ones. That is where that money has gone. The country has also seen unprecedented development in infrastructure like bridges and roads. Where did that development come from? It is from the borrowed money. The money has not been spent on pleasure, but on the development needs of the country.

 

Mr Speaker, as we have seen from the Budget that we are discussing, there are limitations to borrowing and spending. This means that we are meeting our commitment of matching our spending on every project with the resources we have. The country is also yearning for development, but development requires funding. We are focused on prudent spending.

 

Mr Livune: Question!

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr C. M. Zulu (Luangeni): Mr Speaker, when will construction works at the resting place of our beloved departed President, Mr Michael Sata, be completed?

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, work is continuing at the heroes’ grave site, including on the grave of our late President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, may his soul rest in peace. Funds have been allocated towards the completion of the structure.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Chikote (Luampa): Mr Speaker, the people of Luampa would like to know when the Luampa Sub-Station will be completed and connected to the national grid, bearing in mind that the project started in 2005, and it has been observed that the Government has kept changing contractors for the project.

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Luampa Sub-Station is one of those installations that were primarily designed to benefit the rural people. So, the Government is not pleased to see the works take so long to be completed. I can assure the hon. Member of Parliament for Luampa that the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) will be contacted to ensure that the works at the sub-station are completed.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr W. Banda (Milanzi): Mr Speaker, there has been an increase in the number of cases involving wives killing their husbands in the country. What is Her Honour the Vice-President’s advice to the women of this country?

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, at the beginning of last week, you informed this House that week was dedicated to the commemoration of the fighting against gender-based violence (GBV). I wish the hon. Member of Parliament could ask why men are also killing their wives.

 

Mr Speaker, whenever a commits a violent act, such as the beating or killing a spouse, newspapers run very glaring headlines on the incident. However, when a wife is killed, there is inconspicuous coverage of the story, often in the corner of a newspaper.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, no one condones violence. Whether it is perpetrated by a woman or a man, violence is violence. This country should really take the lead in fighting this scourge. We are missing out on a number of issues happening elsewhere in the world. We cannot completely eliminate violent acts, but we can definitely minimise GBV if our people are made to understand that the rights of individuals, women, men and children, should be respected so that conflicts in marriages and families can be minimised. Violence in our homes has sent our children onto the streets and disrupted many developmental programmes, including at the household level. So, it is a curse to the country if we continue to perpetrate this scourge. Hon. Members should spearhead the intensification of the fight against GBV in our communities.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, the people of Lunchinda Ward in Chienge would like to know when the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) will help individuals who were affected by the floods in which three lives were lost. The disaster was reported to the DMMU on 9th November, 2016. However, to date, nothing has been done.

 

The Vice-President:  Mr Speaker, help from the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) might be late, but it will reach the affected people.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Kamondo (Mufumbwe): Mr Speaker, when is the Government going to improve the issuance of payslips for civil servants? In Mufumbwe, civil servants are not able to get their payslips. What could be the problem? Many people are failing to access loans from banks?

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, that sounds like an administrative matter. It would be of benefit to the hon. Member if he approached the ministries concerned to get more information on this why payslips are not given to the workers.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Chiyalika (Lufubu): Mr Speaker, when is the Kabwe/Ngabwe Road going to be tarred? A contract was awarded to Sable Transport and Construction Limited to grade that road. My worry is that during the rainy season, the road will be damaged further.

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the road to which the hon. Member for Lufubu has referred leads to a new district.

 

Mr Livune: It is a social road!

 

The Vice-President: It is an economic road ...

 

Laughter

 

The Vice-President: … that leads to Ngabwe. It is important because any road that leads to an area where Zambians live is important.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, all the new twenty-three districts need roads. So, the construction of roads there is ongoing. We want to ease the movement of our people and their goods by connecting the new districts to the provincial headquarters.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, this country has experienced serious road carnage in the recent past. However, one school of thought argues that the Government’s decision to ban public service vehicles (PSVs) from moving at night is meant to stifle business opportunities for the local people. What is the main reason for the ban? I ask this question so that the people of Chama South are not misinformed.

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Government banned public transport driving in the night primarily to save the lives of Zambians. However, the policy was only implemented from last week. We are yet to see the repercussions of the policy before we can review it. Needless to say, the Government has to make drastic decisions when it comes to preserving the lives of Zambians. However, after a few months, there might be a need to review the decision in light of its impact on the business community. I must state that whatever review made will have to prioritise the preservation of the lives of Zambians.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

_______

 

QUESTIONS FOR ORAL ANSWER

 

SIMWATACHELA RURAL HEALTH CENTRE

 

40.    Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya) asked the Minister of Health:

 

(a)        whether the Government had any plans to upgrade the Simwatachela Rural Health Centre in Mapatizya Parliamentary Constituency to the level of a district hospital;

 

(b)        if so, when the plans would be implemented; and

 

(c)        if there were no such plans, why.

 

The Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, the Simwatachela Rural Health Centre has already been upgraded to a zonal health facility. It cannot be upgraded to the level of a district hospital at the moment because the catchment population is small.

 

Mr Speaker, the focus of the Government is on building first-level hospitals primarily in areas where there are no district hospitals.

 

Mr Speaker, the catchment population of the area is estimated at 22,000. So, technically, there is no justification for constructing a first-level referral hospital there.

 

Mr Speaker, there are no plans to upgrade the hospital because of the reasons I have give above. 

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Miyanda: Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to educate me on the number of people required in an area to justify the construction of a district hospital if 22,000 is not enough.

 

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, you need 80,000 people to justify the construction of a first-level hospital. However, there are exceptions to the rule, as there are other variables considered. In a case where there are fewer people, you need to put up a facility to offer adequate services anchored by surrounding smaller facilities.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister of Health educate the House on what a zonal health centre is.

 

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, a zonal health centre is a facility that receives referrals from smaller health posts and centres. It has a bigger complement of human resources, such as more clinical officers and nurses who are senior in rank. For example, it requires principal or senior clinical officers as opposed to health posts, which may only require a nurse. The difference is really in the human resource, the competences, the capacity and the infrastructure.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, in many instances, people cover distances as long as 40 km to access medical facilities. How does the hon. Minister assess a catchment area to determine the number of people who justify the elevation of a health centre to a first-level hospital?

 

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, every area has an identified catchment population. So, if you look at Simwatachela, for instance, the catchment population is 22,000. The figures are determined in consultation with the Central Statistical Office (CSO). We do not look at, for instance, three or four zones together, as each zone as peculiar. So, when we look at the distances in between facilities, we network them in what is called a referral system such that a population that is 30 km away will be linked to a facility through a referral system. So, people who are 30 km away from a facility will be linked to that facility through a referral system. That is why we place ambulances in strategic places to ensure that people can be referred to the next level of care.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, we have a lot of work ahead of us. Let us have the last question from the hon. Member for Kalabo Central.

 

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has brought up the issue of zonal centres. I would like to learn whether zonal centres can be identified by an ordinary person or they can only be identified by a doctor like him. I have never heard of a zonal centre in the health service where I live. Can he educate me on zonal centres.

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, are you the only one able to identify zonal centres?

 

Laughter

 

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, zonal health facilities can be identified by anybody. It is in the public domain which facility is a zonal and which one is not. So, the hon. Member of Parliament just needs to take interest and engage the District Health Management Team (DHMT) in identifying the classification of the health centres that he has in his catchment and he will be capacity-built. I am also available at tea break to help him.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

NYACHINGWE BORDER POST

 

41. Mrs Phiri (Nyimba) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

 

(a)        when the construction of Nyachingwe Border Post in Nyimba District would commence;

 

(b)        what had caused the delay in commencing the project;

 

(c)        what the cost of the project was; and

 

(d)        what the time frame for the completion of the project was.

 

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, the Government does not have immediate plans to construct a border post at Nyachingwe in Nyimba District. This decision was arrived at after an assessment undertaken on the feasibility of constructing a border post at that point, which revealed that the Mozambican side would not have a corresponding facility as ‘wello’.’

 

Hon. UPND Members: “As ‘wello’”?

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kampyongo: This was coupled with the realisation that there were low levels of commercial activities in the area.

 

Mr Speaker, there has been no delay because the project has not been planned for and costed. Subsequently, it is not possible to determine its time frame.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, I wish to find out from the hon. Minister whether he has studied the number of people who use Nyachingwe Border Crossing to determine if it is  viable or not.

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that follow up question. However, if he had cared to listen to my response, I did indicate that there was a study done. The study was to determine the flow of people from both countries and commercial activities in the area. The hon. Member should also understand that there are issues of reciprocity. It is not a matter on which Zambia can make a unilateral decision. This matter requires bilateral engagements. Both the Mozambican and the Zambian Governments undertook studies and realised that it was not feasible and viable to put up border facilities at the proposed point.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

_______

 

BILL

 

The following Bill was read the third time and passed:

 

The Compensation Fund (No. 2) Bill, 2016

 

_______

 

COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY

 

[THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES in the

Chair]

 

VOTE 19 – (Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit – K13,636,886).

 

(Consideration resumed)

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Chairperson, before we adjourned, yesterday, I was talking about the food shortage in the Western Province.

 

Mr Chairperson, I have had the privilege of serving under Her Honour the Vice-President and was given the chance to oversee the operations of the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU). I travelled extensively in the Western Province and worked with some of the hon. Members like the hon. Member for Kalabo Central, Mr Miyutu, Hon. Ndalamei and the then hon. Member of Parliament for Senanga, who is no longer with us in the House. The time I was supposed to be with my elder brother, Hon. Dr Musokotwane, he was out of the country on some national assignment. This is just to show that the work of the DMMU is non-partisan. The DMMU has done a lot to avert deaths in the Western Province. If you recall, last year’s drought left many people’s fields with stunted maize. It was a very sad situation for the people there.

 

Mr Chairperson, we must understand that the DMMU is there for all citizens regardless of their colour, creed or political affiliation. What is important to note from the debates of my colleague, the Independent hon. Member for Mwembezhi, is that he was not aware that when he visited the DMMU, he would get a response right away. That is the reason people are encouraged to go to the District Disaster Management Committee (DDMC).  Sometimes, the DMMU plays a co-ordinating role by mobilising resources and determining who should lead the disaster relief or recovery efforts. For example, if a bridge is washed away, the DMMU has to engage the Road Development Agency (RDA) and other stakeholders to assess the damage and determine the scope of works required. There would be questions like who should lead the repair works? Should it be the Zambia National Service (ZNS) or should the ZNS do a component of works and the RDA do the rest of the works? The DMMU would answer those questions.

 

Mr Chairperson, there were worries over the allocation to the unit. In her policy statement, Her Honour the Vice-President indicated that the allocation for this year is meant to enable the DMMU to review its operations and manage its activities. When it comes to disaster relief, apart from the Contingency Fund under the Ministry of Finance where the monies are to be drawn, there are also certain circumstances in which he unit will need to get money from line ministries. Let us say a school’s roof has been blown off and the Government had planned to build a school in that area, it can be agreed that, instead of embarking on a new project, the money be used to repair the roof.

 

Mr Chairperson, the reason we insist that people do not go straight to the DMMU Headquarters in Lusaka is that, like what we do with Constituency Development Funds (CDF) projects, we make sure that projects do not collide. The Government could be planning for a school in a particular area and the hon. Member of Parliament is also planning to build a school. It is the same with disasters.

 

Mr Chairperson, I have also had the chance to discuss extensively with my dear colleague from Dundumwezi because the problem of the bridge he was talking about has been there for some time. I asked him at some point to get in touch with the then hon. Minister of Works and Supply, Mr Yamfwa Mukanga, because the bridge, which needs to be planned for, must be worked on for the people of Dundumwezi.

 

Mr Chairperson, I now advise my colleague, to get in touch with Hon. Chitotela because he is the hon. Minister responsible for infrastructure, and he can help in repairing the bridge. It would not help for my colleague to just continue complaining about the bridge. Yes, it could have been one of the reasons the Patriotic Front (PF) did not perform well in his constituency, but has that brought the bridge? The hon. Member is back in the House and the PF is still in the Government, but the bridge is not there. So, it does not help. We can politicise these things here and make our people feel that they are not being assisted, but that will not solve the problem.

 

Mr Chairperson, the responsibility of all of us here is to engage one another. The Opposition should approach us who are in the Executive so that we can do the needful in finding solutions. It is the same thing with food. If you go to your people and tell them that the PF Government will not give them food, you will make them think that the Government does not care and they will hate the Government of the day. Probably, the people will not even vote for the Ruling Party. However, if food is not provided, the problem will still be there. That is why I was insisting that we minimise the politicisation of the unit’s work. We want to serve the people of Zambia, and I would like to inform Her Honour the Vice-President that our people in the Western Province are still in a dire need of relief food. The Southern Province has had unfavourable weather patterns and the people there are also under stress in terms of food requirements. So, it is very important that we work with the committees on the ground. The DMMU has tried to engage non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to reduce the tension in the unit.

 

Mr Chairperson, I heard that invitations for meetings are not extended to the hon. Members of Parliament, but I think they are always submitted through the Constituency Offices. Notices are sent for the meetings. It is the same with the DDMC. As far as I know, notices are sent to the hon. Members. It is also important …

 

Mr Lubinda: They did not come for the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System launch.

 

Mr Kampyongo: … for our colleagues to be appreciative. If I go to Namwala and I invite my colleague, the area hon. Member of Parliament, to a programme under the Ministry of Home Affairs and she comes, that does not take away anything from her being a United Party for National Democracy (UPND) member. Ultimately, her role is to make sure that the people of Namwala get the development they deserve. That is how it is supposed to be.

 

Sir, let us not cast aspersions on, and make allegations that cannot be proved about, the DMMU. I think the unit has tried under difficult circumstances. There was a collective decision in the Cabinet when the hon. Minister of Finance proposed measures to mitigate the challenges faced by the unit. We allocate money to the DMMU but, year in and year out, it spends more than what is allocated. We tried to be realistic and agreed that the Ministry of Finance should plan for it because, in any case, one cannot cost eventualities. So, we thought it prudent that when a disaster occurred, the DMMU must quickly co-ordinate all the stakeholders and assess the disaster, just like it assesses vulnerability in areas where there is hunger, from households to communities.

 

Mr Chairperson, under the District Education Board Secretary’s (DEBS’s) offices, there are technical officers who assess what is needed to mitigate a disaster. However, some schools are poorly constructed and, due to poor workmanship, the roofs of some of them are blown off. So, many have to be worked on. We have to also appeal to the technical supervisors of projects to ensure that contractors do a good job. I heard my brother, Hon. Lubinda, complain that when he was launching the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System, hon. Members did not show up.

 

Mr Lubinda: Yes!

 

Mr Kampyongo: However, when they faced challenges, they came here and asked the Government to address the challenges, yet those are things we can address on the ground. That is why we are appealing to our brothers and sisters on the other side of the House to work with us. We are here to serve the people. We are in the Government and we have an obligation to work with them just as they have an obligation to work with us in order for us to serve the people of this country better.

 

I thank you, Sir.

                                                                         

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!         

 

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, thank you for this opportunity. Listening to the debates yesterday gave me the impression that we were dealing with four issues, namely the distribution of relief food, the definition of disaster, the involvement of hon. Members of Parliament in the District Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) and the capacity of the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) to respond to calamities and emergencies.

 

    Sir, on the issue of relief food distribution, Hon. Dr Musokotwane went to great lengths to describe how the process is not balanced. However, let me assure the hon. Member that the distribution of relief food is based on certain principles and done after in-depth vulnerability and needs assessments by the DMMU and other stakeholders. Beneficiaries are identified and data on beneficiaries collected and kept. This is done based on the principles of impartiality, fairness, neutrality and respect for the dignity of the beneficiaries. So, it is important that this is done not according to political affiliation because we know that the suffering of our people does not look into the political affiliation of an individual. So, the issue of partiality is not there. People in the affected communities experience the same anguish and suffering.

 

Mr Chairperson, on the issue of what constitutes a disaster, perhaps, the definition in the Zambian context requires further interrogation to avert a situation in which we create total dependence on support from the Government. Even in the current season, I have heard of communities that have sold all their maize because the price was very good, and are preparing to request for support from the DMMU. These are issues that the country needs to address.

 

Sir, as regards the involvement of hon. Members of Parliament in the DDMCs, it is important for them to be involved because they will provide leadership and make our people understand that we should not only manage disasters, but also emphasise disaster risk reduction and preparedness. Our communities need to learn to move away from being disaster vulnerable to being disaster resilient. I think time has come for us to prepare for disasters instead of waiting for them and hoping that the DMMU will come to our aid. Hon. Members of Parliament must be seen to be involved in these issues and to sensitise our communities.

 

Mr Chairperson, concerning the capacity of the DMMU to respond to emergencies, time for saving lives and property is critical. However, the unit can only do its part when funds are available to undertake assignments. So, it is only possible for the DMMU to do what it can, given the resource envelope. I am glad to note that hon. Members of Parliament understand the constraints of the DMMU when it does not respond to their requests in time. For that, I thank them and I look forward to their support for this Vote.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

VOTE 19/01 – (Disaster Management and Mitigation UnitHeadquarters – K13,636,886).

 

Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 3146, Activity 001 – Conduct Rapid Assessments – K250,000. The allocation for this Activity has reduced from the previous allocation. This is despite the fact that the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) must be allocated sufficient funds. Why has the allocation been reduced?

 

Ms Chalikosa: Mr Chairperson, Programme 3146, Activity 001 – Conduct Rapid Assessments – K250,000, has been reduced because we receive assistance from the Government’s co-operating partners.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Chairperson, the hon. Members who debated this Vote yesterday lamented the paltry allocation to the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DDMU). I seek clarification on Programme 3145, Activity 002 – Workshops and Seminars – K250,000, Programme 3146, Activity 003 – Facilitation of Settlement of Internally Displaced Persons – K20,000 and Programme 3146, Activity 013 – Relief Distribution – K10,000. Why is the core business of the DMMU given less money than workshops and seminars? This money goes to the members of staff, who are not the primary clientele of the DMMU.

 

Ms Chalikosa: Mr Chairperson, Programme 3145, Activity 002 – Workshops and Seminars – K250,000, on Programme 3146, Activity 003 – Facilitation of Settlement of Internally Displaced Persons – K20,000 and Programme 3146, Activity 013 – Relief Distribution – K10,000, there is a reason the money has been distributed in the manner it has. For instance, money is allocated for the acquisition of relief food and tentage in response to the disasters.

 

Sir, the workshops are necessary because our people need to be sensitised on how to respond to these events. Therefore, an allocation is necessary. The amounts allocated may appear to be low because of the participation, which has been reduced. However, the allocation is necessary.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister has indicated that the money is intended to purchase tentage. In her opinion, does he think that K10,000 is enough to buy the tentage?

 

Ms Chalikosa: Mr Chairperson, the amount is inadequate. However, there is a Contingency Fund that we are supposed to draw from through the Ministry of Finance.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Mr Chairperson, how much is in this magic contingency fund to be able to take care of everything under the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU)?

 

Ms Chalikosa: Mr Chairperson, the contingency fund has not been determined. That means there is no exact figure. However, depending on the significance of the disaster, the Ministry of Finance may be approached and, then, the amount could be determined.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 3146, Activity 013 – Relief Distribution – K10,000. Last week on Friday, the hon. Member for Chama South asked why the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) was not able to distribute relief food. The response was that there was not enough money for fuel. If you look at the 2016 Budget, this activity was allocated K10,000. In 2017, the same amount has been allocated. Bearing in mind the fact that fuel prices have gone up, how does the Government expect to manage this activity with the allocation in 2017?

 

Ms Chalikosa: Mr Chairperson, throughout this Budget, you will notice that allocations are inadequate mainly because the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) is performing the function of co-ordination. Where there are inadequate allocations, we still have the Contingency Fund to draw from.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Ms Mwashingwele (Katuba): Sir, when you look at the gravity of the work of the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), I find it difficult to understand how the allocations are consistent from 2016 to 2017. We are depending on a contingency fund when we have the ability to plan in advance. Do you not think that is poor planning on the part of your office?

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Chalikosa: Mr Chairperson, I think that hon. Members need to realise that the primary responsibility of reacting to disasters lies with the line ministries. The DMMU comes in to co-ordinate the activities depending on the disaster. The other responsibility is to provide funds and further prevent the recurrence of disasters.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Vote 19/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

Vote 03/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

VOTE 08 – (Cabinet OfficeOffice of the President – K203,524,184).

 

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, I am honoured to present the Cabinet Office Budget estimates for 2017.

 

Sir, Cabinet Office is the highest administrative office in the Public Service. It is responsible for co-ordinating the effective implementation of Government policies, systems and procedures, and monitoring and evaluation of the overall performance of the Public Service for the efficient administration of the Government. It operates directly under the Office of the President of the Republic of Zambia.

 

Cabinet Office derives its mandate and functions from Article 176(1) of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016, Cap 1 of the Laws of Zambia. It compromises the following:

 

  1. Office of the Secretary to Cabinet;

 

  1. Administration Division;

 

  1. Management Development Division (MDD);

 

  1. Policy Analysis and Co-ordination Division (PAC);

 

  1. Office of the Former Presidents;

 

  1. Private Sector Development, Industrialisation and Job Creation;

 

  1. E-Government Division (Smart Zambia Institute); and

 

  1. Remuneration Division.

 

Mr Chairperson, Cabinet Office is an apex institution and the policy nerve centre for the Government administration and management. Its responsibilities cut across the Public Service in relation to overseeing the policy formulation and implementation process. In addition, Cabinet Office is responsible for ad hoc commissions and new functions that may not have been allocated to any specific ministry or institution.

 

Mr Chairperson, in order to fulfil its mandate, the following Mission Statement guides Cabinet Office:

 

“To effectively and efficiently co-ordinate and oversee the Government policies and programmes and facilitate the conduct of Cabinet business in order to secure the general efficiency of the Public Service.”

 

Sir, in 2017, Cabinet Office will undertake the following programmes in line with its mission:

 

In General Administration, the major activities that will be undertaken include the following:

 

Public Affairs and Summit Meetings

 

To enable the President perform his Executive functions, Cabinet Office will continue to facilitate local and foreign Presidential travels, and maintain and operate the Presidential Aircraft and motor vehicle fleet. In addition, Cabinet Office will facilitate the country’s hosting of, and participation in, both local and foreign summits and meetings.

 

Support to Offices of the Former Presidents

 

Pursuant to the provisions of the Benefits of Former Presidents (Amendment) Act No. 21 of 1998, Cabinet Office will continue to provide administrative and logistical support to the Offices of the First and Fourth Presidents, as well as support to the families of the Second, Third and Fifth Presidents.

 

State Functions

 

Cabinet Office will continue to facilitate and organise State functions and commemoration of national events in order to enable the President perform his ceremonial duties.

 

Support to Provincial Ministers on Cabinet Business

 

This is a new programme under which Cabinet Office will facilitate the attendance of Cabinet Business by hon. Provincial Ministers.

 

Mr Chairperson, Cabinet Office will provide funding to the Government Communications Department in order to facilitate effective and secure communication between itself and other strategic institutions.

 

Sir, Cabinet Office will continue to facilitate the conduct of Cabinet meetings, and co-ordinate the formulation of public policies and monitor and evaluate their implementation by Government ministries and institutions.

 

Sir, Cabinet Office will continue to institutionalise strategic management in the Public Service. In this regard, comprehensive organisational institutional assessments and organisation development will be undertaken in order to facilitate effective restructuring of ministries and institutions aimed at improving service delivery.

 

Sir, to enhance the existing management systems and accountability of public officials and institutions, Cabinet Office will review and continue to roll out the existing performance management systems and the recently introduced performance-based contracts. This will lead to the extension of the coverage of performance-based contracts to a larger number of employees in the Public Service. The system will be rolled out to all local authorities and statutory bodies.

 

Sir, following Cabinet approval and subsequent launch of the revised Decentralisation Policy aimed at improved service delivery at the local level, Cabinet Office will expedite the devolution of the remaining functions to the local authorities. It will also ensure that all the functions are fully integrated into the local authorities and that human and financial resources are availed to the authorities for effective and efficient service delivery.

 

Further, Cabinet Office will endeavour to build the necessary capacities in local authorities to ensure efficient and transparent management of resources at the local level. As part of the overall Decentralisation Programme, the Government has embarked on the implementation of its Electronic Governance (e-Governance) Programme. The setting up of the One-Stop Pamodzi Service Centre for provision of the Government services is key to the effective delivery of services.

 

Mr Chairperson, in line with the Government’s economic diversification and job creation agenda, Cabinet Office will continue to co-ordinate the development and implementation of key reforms and industrialisation interventions. This will also enhance public service delivery, and increase investments, competitiveness, value addition and formal employment creation. Accordingly, a budgetary provision to this effect has been provided.

 

Mr Chairperson, in order to enhance efficiency across the Public Service, Cabinet Office will co-ordinate the implementation of an e-Government service under the Smart Zambia Programme. To this effect, a budgetary provision for the operationalisation of the e-Government Division (Smart Zambia Institute) has been made. The division will be responsible for the overall co-ordination and implementation of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and e-Government in the public sector in line with His Excellency the President’s vision of a smart Zambia.

 

Sir, the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016, Articles 232 and 264(1) and (2) provide for the establishment of the Emoluments Commission to adjudicate on the recommendations of the relevant authorities or commissions, the emoluments of public officers, chiefs and members of the House of Chiefs.

 

Mr Chairperson, the commission is yet to be set up and operationalised. Therefore, Cabinet Office has made a budgetary provision for the Remuneration Division to administer the function, pending the establishment of the commission.

 

Sir, from the foregoing, it is clear that Cabinet Office plays a pivotal and critical role in the management of the Public Service and overall provision policy direction to the nation. The funds being requested for in the 2017 Estimates of Expenditure will enable it to effectively execute its mandate. I, therefore, request the hon. Members of this august House to support these Estimates.

 

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

 

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank you for this opportunity. I would also like to thank Her Honour the Vice-President for the policy statement on the budget for Cabinet Office.

 

Sir, Cabinet Office is the heart and soul of the Civil Service. We have said, over and over again, that the bulk of the country’s expenditure is above 50 per cent. If I am not mistaken, this money goes into recurrent expenditures and emoluments in the Civil Service.

 

Mr Chairperson, I observed a Head Total increase of K63,443,495 from last year. I recall, a fortnight ago, the hon. Minister of Finance pronouncing austerity measures of the Government. This is a clear departure from – I wish the hon. Minister of Finance was actually listening to the comments that I am making because we are at work.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Chitotela crossed the Floor.

 

Mr Nkombo: I thank you, Hon. Chitotela, for leaving the hon. Minister of Finance alone to do his work.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Chitotela: I was working from there.

 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, I will repeat my point.

 

Sir, about three weeks ago, the hon. Minister of Finance issued a very humbling and succinct statement about the austerity measures that his Government intended to implement. Shortly before I asked the hon. Minister’s colleague to leave him alone, I looked at the Head Total for Cabinet Office, which is the engine, heart and soul of the operations of the Government and observed that a lot of money has gone to this office, with its budget increasing by K63,443,495. I have also seen that there is a migration to the Electronic Government (e-Government) System, which is supposed to invoke efficiencies in the running of the affairs of the Government. When I perused the figures, I did not see where the austerity measures apply. I am sure when we get into the details, the hon. Minister of Finance will help us to see where he has applied the austerity measures because they ought to have been visible here.

 

Sir, when the Patriotic Front (PF) came into power and the hon. Minister of Finance was on our side of the House, there was a Vote that we particularly fought against, that is, the support to the First Lady. This fund was introduced during the PF Government. The current hon. Minister of Finance was then the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry in the departed Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government. The Vote on the Support Services to the First Lady was not there. There was a lot of disquiet when it was introduced. We lamented that there was no money to give to the Office of the First Lady because it was not a Constitutional office. We also argued that the Government could not create a legal framework so that the office could be identified in our statutes, and a funding and expenditure mechanism established for it.

 

Mr Chairperson, five years have now passed and we have seen first ladies turn into politicians, which is not pleasing because no one wants to call the wife of a President names.

 

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Nkombo: Sir, as you know, in politics, it is a convention that we accept mediocrity, whereby people call one another names, sometimes names that do not exist. We have heard names like ‘Dorika’ or ‘Belinda’. We do not want to associate the First Lady with such derogatory names.

 

Mr Chairperson, just like in the context of the women and youth empowerment funds, we saw one District Commissioner (DC) tour the country he stole some money in Petauke, which was, again, used for political expedience and patronage. The hon. Minister of Finance should discourage that. Let us put this fund in a legal framework so that the wife of His Excellency President can even be subject to an audit. In the manner that this fund is put, it is a discretionary fund. It is the exact opposite of austerity, and that is where I am anchoring my argument.

 

Sir, we will go on record saying ‘No’ to the allocation of K1.5 million to the Office of the First Lady because we think it is wasteful and a source for acrimony. It also escalates the Office of the First Lady into active politics. We have seen, in the past, how First Ladies have used the allocation to gain political mileage.

 

Mr Chairperson, I am left with no option, but to think that, maybe, that is why His Excellency the President halved his salary.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Nkombo: Sir, actually, my mind is wondering to that terrain because if his wife is getting K1.5 million …

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 

Let us not personalise issues. Moreover, that is not even a salary.

 

Mr Nkombo: I withdraw that, Sir.

 

Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir.

 

Mr Sing’ombe: Iwe, sit down.

 

Mr Nkombo: I am trying to find the most appropriate terms to use in talking about the K1.5 million allocated to the Office of the First Lady. From inception, we have refused to approve this allocation, but using the numbers that the PF has in this House, our colleagues have managed to retain this expenditure on our books. As I said earlier, this is why I think that the austerity measures that we hear being pronounced, such as the President saying that he will only get half of his pay, only go to confirm that the salary of the President does not sustain him, as I said earlier.

 

The Second Chairperson: Order, hon. Member!

 

I think let us move away from that line of debate.

 

Mr Nkombo: How do I work then?

 

The Second Chairperson: Hon, Member, please sit down.

 

Mr Nkombo resumed his seat.

 

The Second Chairperson: Hon. Members, I think it will not take us anywhere to begin personalising matters in the manner we are doing. Let us try by all means to avoid finger-pointing. I am sure we all know that the President did that to lead by example so that those who can sacrifice would emulate him. So, there is nothing that we can continue talking about concerning that issue. I think, let us avoid that and get back to the main issue under discussion.

 

Mr Nkombo: Sir, the K1.5 million allocated to the Office of the First Lady under State House is what we on this side, are opposing.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Nkombo: We are on record saying that we cannot be used again to – were the word ‘rubberstamp’ not unparliamentary, I would have used it. We cannot be brought here to debate figures that are in black and white, yet be told that we cannot go to some aspects of them. Nonetheless, I will not go there, but I would just like to put it on record that I do not see austerity measures in this Budget.

 

Sir, I urge the hon. Minister of Finance to walk his talk. This book is big (holding up the Yellow Book). We have to delve into this book in the next four or five days. We will see where the austerity measures actually are. What I am saying is that the so-called Office of the First Lady is not even constitutionally recognised. It is a hoax and should, therefore, not be in this Budget. These are public funds and the First Lady is a private person.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Sir, as the previous debater put it, Cabinet Office is a centre for administration and secretariat for the Cabinet. When we talk about having a smart Zambia, we have to start addressing issues from Cabinet Office. We should start with the appointments of public officers, such as the Secretary to the Cabinet, up to the last person in the Civil Service. We have to ensure that public officers are qualified to do the job in order to promote efficiency and effectiveness, and account for efficacy. Therefore, I urge the hon. Minister of Finance to take stock of our public officers if this Budget is to be meaningfully implemented. We have to know whether the current staff establishment in the Civil Service has the number of workers required to do its work properly. We have to ask ourselves whether public workers are rising to the call of duty and adding value to public institutions. My guess is that they are not.

 

Sir, I think in Zambia, we believe in quantity over quality. I can tell you that Cabinet Office is no longer effective. When you write a letter to Cabinet Office, you will be lucky if you get a response. In developed nations, when you make an appointment for 1000 hours, it has to be 1000 hours. When you write a letter to a public institution, whether negative or positive, you will be responded to immediately. That is what we call effectiveness and efficiency.

 

The Second Chairperson: Order!

 

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours.

 

[THE SECOND CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES in the

Chair]

 

Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, before business was suspended, I was talking about taking stock of the Civil Service.

 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, there is no quorum. Let us observe our own rules.

 

The Second Chairperson: Order!

 

Business was suspended from 1101 hours until 1102 hours.

 

Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, I was reminding the hon. Minister of Finance that there should be a re-evaluation of our human resource in the Civil Service. We have to find out whether we have quality and quantity in terms of the workers in public institutions. I further stated that in most cases, we have quantity, but not quality. 

 

Sir, most of the money in our Budget is swallowed by public expenditure. However, do we get value for that money? The answer is no. Therefore, the starting point should be the trimming of our Civil Service so that we make savings. The position of District Commissioner (DC) is supposed to be scrapped off without a second thought because of decentralisation.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Muchima: Some political appointments that are being made are unnecessary. Civil servants should professionally rise in their ranks. However, politicians without qualifications are being sent to superintend over people who are well qualified. As such, we find that there is no value for money in our public workers. We need to take stock because Cabinet Office is the hub of the Public Service. It superintends over the entire Civil Service and advises the Cabinet, which is chaired by the President.

 

Mr Chairperson, there are many issues that have been left hanging. An example is recruitment. I am raising all these issues under the Vote for Cabinet Office because it is the one that is supposed to advise other public sectors and commissions like the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC). The office is supposed to formulate policies that are effective.

 

The Government has trained teachers at a very high cost and, then, left them to rot on the streets. Meanwhile, it had the pleasure to borrow money to host functions like the signing of the Constitution, which it wants to amend. That is the wastage I am talking about. The Government also spends money on church functions. A lot of dununa dancing is being entertained in the Budget, yet teachers –

 

The Second Chairperson: Hon. Member, what does “dununa” mean?

 

Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, it means dancing in reverse.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, this was the title of a common Patriotic Front (PF) song, which they cannot dance to now because there is dununa forward and dununa regret.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Muchima: Sir, I would like us to have a Cabinet Office that is effective. If I write it a letter, I need a response immediately. However, the Cabinet Office of today is politicised. It looks at which party you come from before it can attend to you. I will give you examples. One of them concerns the sale of motor vehicles to former leaders. You need to be a PF member for the Government to sell a vehicle to you. In addition, when it comes to according State funerals to former leaders –

 

Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir.

 

The Second Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Chairperson, thank you for according me this opportunity to raise a point of order. The hon. Member who was on the Floor, who is my very good elder brother, should have, first, declared interest because he has served in the Government before. He has been an hon. Minister and an hon. Deputy Minister. He started debating on matters that concern him without declaring interest, and that worries me. Is he in order to peddle allegations against the Government on the sale of motor vehicles to former Government employees when he has been a beneficiary of this activity throughout his life in the Government?

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kampyongo: Is he in order to debate on those lines?

 

I seek your very serious ruling, Sir.

 

The Deputy Chairperson: My serious ruling is that the hon. Member debating is not in order. The reason is simple. He has not proved that fact.

 

Hon. Member, bear that in mind and continue debating.

 

Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, when I was a Deputy Minister in the PF Government, I had a personal-to-holder vehicle. To date, that vehicle has not been sold to me.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Muchima: So, I have proved that fact. All those people who were in the Government, including the criminals who were dismissed, were offered the opportunity to buy the Government vehicles they had been driving.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 

Hon. Member, withdraw the word “criminals”

 

Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, I withdraw it.

 

Sir, the wrongdoers of Zambia, those found guilty, were given the opportunity to buy Government vehicles.

 

Sir, there is discrimination even in the according of State funerals. State funerals are not being accorded in the manner they are supposed to be. We have seen musicians being accorded State funerals, but leaders like Mr Samuel Mbilishi, who served this nation together with the Winas, were ignored completely. However, those who compose songs like “Dununa Reverse” are recognised. We need a Cabinet Office that can advise the Government to do the correct thing. In the days we had Deputy Ministers, their duty was to advise the Cabinet. The role of the Cabinet is to advise the Government and look at policies. That is why we need to have highly qualified people in Cabinet Office, starting from the districts up to the headquarters. The problem with Cabinet Office is that it is loaded with political cadres, people who do not qualify to be there. If I could influence State House, people like Hon. Kopulande would be in Cabinet Office. We need to have seasoned people there who can advise the Government without malice. We need people like Hon. Kopulande. When he speaks, we listen.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Muchima: Cabinet Office needs to co-ordinate and monitor the activities of the Government. Look at what is happening to the Chingola/Solwezi Road. There are floods on that road. Fertiliser and seed have not been delivered to some areas. Monitoring such things is the job of Cabinet Office. The office should advise Her Honour the Vice-President to talk to the President about these issues. However, today, Cabinet Office is sleeping. People in that office are always listening to cheap politicians on the street and dancing to “Dununa Reverse”. Let us change our mindset.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Muchima: The hon. Minister of Finance should take stock of the money that we are talking about here. We need every ngwee to be accounted for. We need prudent administration of funds, and that requires a proper Cabinet Office. When the Government requests for money, Cabinet Office should question it. If people in that office are shy, we shall help them to question the Government.

 

Sir, let me talk about the performance management system. We have to check where our money is going and the returns we are getting. Can we trust this Government with our money? We have educated people in this country, but what value are we getting out of them? We are not set to run our affairs. That is why Mr Trump said that Africa needed to be re-colonised. He has seen some inadequacies in us.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: In the PF.

 

Mr Muchima: I am proud of the hon. Minister of Finance. I need to see some change. The money he has budgeted here should be used effectively and efficiently. Those who will misappropriate it should be arrested. We have enough capacity in the prisons. Instead of keeping Mwaliteta in prison, let us keep the real criminals there.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, hon. Member!

 

Withdraw the word “criminals”.

 

Mr Muchima: The wrongdoers.

 

Sir, let us implement the Decentralisation Policy. Let us make mayors and Council Chairpersons effective. Currently, there are fights between DCs and Council Chairpersons.

 

Hon. Government Members: Where?

 

Mr Muchima: Everywhere, including in PF strongholds. Let us remove the unwanted chaff in the Public Service in order to remain with an effective governance system. We need this Budget to make a difference in 2017. Her Honour the Vice-President, who is my sister, looks very smart today.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Muchima: She should look at Cabinet Office and evaluate it from top to bottom. This Budget for Cabinet Office is critical because Cabinet Office is the hub for the country. We need a depoliticised Cabinet Office.

 

Mr Chairperson, I support this Budget.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mrs Fundanga (Chilubi): Mr Chairperson, firstly, I would like to say that I support the budget for the First Lady’s Office whole-heartedly. If you will listen very carefully to my debate, you will understand where I come from. I have worked with many first ladies and I was –

 

Interruptions

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 

When Hon. Nkombo was debating, the hon. Members on my right were listening. The hon. Member on the Floor is just trying to respond to what she heard. Let us allow her to debate without interference.

 

Hon. Government Members: Ema Chairperson!

 

Mrs Fundanga: Mr Chairperson, as I was saying, I have personally worked with some of the First Ladies and have come to the realisation that today’s first ladies are not the same as the first ladies of the 1960s who were stay-at-home mothers. This time, however, the first ladies are supposed to be up-to-date with the activities of the nation and the globe. As a result, they are co-opted in global, national, institutional and community activities.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mrs Fundanga: How do you expect to have a formidable president with a very weak and non-supportive first lady?

 

Sir, even at our level, as hon. Members of Parliament, you can see the trend. There are some hon. Members of Parliament with weak wives. The English say that behind every successful man, there is a strong woman.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mrs Fundanga: This should be a woman with capacity, a woman capable of advising, a knowledgeable woman and a woman who is well-versed with the activities of the day.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mrs Fundanga: How can we stop our First Ladies from being capable women when even in our homes, we are striving to have capable women?

 

Mr Mwale: Not vowasha.

 

Mrs Fundanga: Mr Chairperson, we have seen situations where hon. Members of Parliament come from their constituencies and, subsequently, become Ministers, but they are shy to bring their wives to Parliament or take them to public places because they have not invested well in them.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

 

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

 

The Deputy Chairperson: For the sake of time, I will not allow points of order.

 

Interruptions

 

The Deputy Chairperson: There are a number of hon. Members of Parliament with wives. If I know that I have invested a lot in my wife, that statement will not move me. Allow the hon. Member to continue.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

The Deputy Chairperson: However, hon. Member, avoid dragging hon. Members of Parliament into your debate. We do not debate ourselves.

 

Interruptions

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 

Mrs Fundanga: Mr Chairperson, I get back to the reason I rose to support the budget for the First Lady’s Office. It is because of world trends. I was Technical Advisor to one of the First Ladies and we travelled to different countries. We realised that it was very important for the First Lady to be empowered with financial and human resources because the countries that we visited had well-trained and technically equipped staff to assist the first ladies. The First Ladies are not invited simply as First Ladies, but as First Ladies representing Zambia.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mrs Fundanga: When the First Lady goes to attend some of these meetings, it is not in her personal capacity. She is invited because she is representing the country.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Sing’ombe: Question!

 

Mrs Fundanga: As you can see, none of our former First Ladies are invited to international fora anymore. The moment they stops being First Ladies, even invitations stop coming forth

 

Mr Chairperson, we must respect and honour our own because if we do not, we are the ones who are going to be embarrassed, not the First Lady.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mrs Fundanga: When the First Lady moves, she is carrying the flag of Zambia.

 

Sir, the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU), the Commonwealth and all the multilateral institutions have fora for first ladies.

 

Mr Chairperson, I have been guided not to be personal, but there are fora for spouses of other people who have good jobs. Who do you think pays for the air tickets of those spouses? It is the institutions for which the husbands work. Let us look at this as a Zambian thing and support it because the First Lady, Mrs Lungu, is not the last First Lady.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mrs Fundanga: We will have other First Ladies.

 

Mr Chairperson, I would like to commend the people who came up with the budget for the First Lady because whenever the First Lady travelled, people said she used Government resources. However, the Government has decided to be transparent and allocate funds to the First Lady’s Office so that people can know the budget and not ask where she gets the money when she travels.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mrs Fundanga: I believe this is the right way to do things in a transparent manner. We, as a country, should be proud of what we have done.

 

Sir, the allocation of K1.5 million, to me, is nothing.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Oh?

 

Mrs Fundanga: Yes.

 

When the First Ladies travel, they come back with many initiatives, such as those on Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS), the Cervical Cancer Programme or even some of the local activities. She reaches out because her husband’s office is very busy. The President cannot be everywhere simultaneously. So, the First Lady is his partner in the home and at the national level.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Fundanga: Sir, let us support this budget because it is very transparent. It has been brought to the House so we do not have to question where the resources for First Lady’s different activities come from. We all see what the first ladies do. They do not carry out their activities in their backyards. There are always cameras around when the First Lady travel that show what she does whether at home or abroad.

 

Sir, I would like the Opposition hon. Members to know that this is very good because ...

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mrs Fundanga: ... the First Lady represents the country, not herself. We have to be very proud of this initiative.

 

Sir, it hurts me when we start insulting the leaders. I recall that in 1991, there was a tabloid in the country that was insulting our first President. I was very upset and I told my children that I did not know where we were heading to. If that was democracy, then, we did not need it. I did not understand why people were insulting our first President in that manner. That trend has continued to this day, unfortunately. So, I feel that what we are cultivating in this country is very sad and, soon, we will start reaping the fruits. We are going to be very sorry. I feel sorry for my children because I would not like them to grow up in the midst of hatred and jealousy. It is good to criticise, but let us have positive criticism. Even as we sit in this House, let us not forget that we have a culture. All our friends, even in Europe, uphold their cultures on the Floor of the House.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear

 

Mrs Fundanga: Equally, even as we debate, we have a culture to uphold. So, let us uphold it. That can help bring in the element of respect. Sometimes, I wonder if I have to …

 

Mr Nkombo: Tell them!

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Let us listen.

 

Continue, hon. Member.

 

Mrs Fundanga: Mr Chairperson, sometimes, I wonder if some of the words uttered here can be said in our languages. I think they would sound heavy.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mrs Fundanga: The use of a foreign language does not mean that we should forget our traditions. Otherwise, we cannot development. Development has got an element of culture in it. If you went to China, you would be impressed because Chinese development has an element of culture embedded in areas like technology transfer aspect and other aspects. That is why the Chinese have reached the level at which they are. Therefore, this is what we would like to see happen in Zambia. I would like to see a Zambia that carries its culture. When we carry our culture, our President and the First Lady will be respected. We will be proud of our leaders, starting from the chiefs to the religious and political leaders. When we are in this House, our conduct should be of that of leaders. If the people whom we represent see that there is no respect among ourselves, they will also fail to respect us and those leaders we voted for.

 

Mr Chairperson, with those few words, I would like to reiterate my strongly support for the budget for the Office of the First Lady.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Sing’ombe: Question!

 

 

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Chairperson, I will be very brief as I support this important Vote. Her Honour the Vice-President was very categorical when she delivered her policy statement and underscored the importance of Cabinet Office, which is like an engine of every government. Indeed, it is important that as we support this allocation, it is permissible to hon. Members of Parliament to make comments on how they want to see Cabinet Office perform. It is, however, not fair for people to cast aspersions they cannot substantiate. I get surprised, and I am almost tempted to repeat what I had said during my point of order. I do not want to get back that, but it is important that people know how to address concerns. It is not fair for an hon. Member to wait for a Vote for them to complain about why they did not have a chance to buy a vehicle they were entitled to. People must know where to go with such issues. So, we need to be objective as we discuss matters of national governance.

 

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Member who just finished debating has taken much of what I intended say on the Office of the Vice-President. What we have done, as the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, is to opt to be transparent. From the time we attained Independence, the Office of the First Lady has been supported, except the support was not put in a Budget line. People asked and complained about it through this House, asking why there was no line where the Office of the First Lady could draw its support from.

 

Mr Sing’ombe: Question!

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Chairperson, as the Cabinet, we made sure that this line was created. Now, people should know about it. The resources are not enough, but the office is there.  

 

Sir, the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs, who has been attending multilateral meetings, will tell us how important the Office of the First Lady has become. We used to see the former First Lady of the United States of America, Mrs Hilary Clinton, fly in what we can call Air Force Two with State Security. Why should people be retrogressive and think that the First Lady of Zambia should be confined to the kitchen? It is not fair. I know it is due to a lack of knowledge of the importance of the Office of the First Lady. That is why we saw a former First Lady being reduced to a mere candidate for the position of Council Chairperson.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kampyongo: Sir, does it make any sense?

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kampyongo: Why should a first lady risk a political tumble?

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Chairperson, there has been a lot of politicking over the “Dununa Reverse” song. Let me take this opportunity to clear the ‘hair’.

 

Mr Mutelo: To clear the “hair”? It is air!

 

Mr Kampyongo: Whatever!

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kampyongo: Sir, what our artiste meant in that song is that if someone is not relevant to the people, no matter how much they kept shooting, the ball will go backwards. People cannot dance to the song, “Belo yalila ngilingili, baluchelo kufuma, baka suba bengile” because afternoon classes were introduced for poor performers.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Chairperson, I had to create a light moment in the House. We all know that people cannot dance to the “Ngilingili” song.

 

The Deputy Chairperson: What is “ngilingili”?

 

 Mr Kampyongo: Mr Chairperson, ngilingili is the sound of a bell. When children are in school, those who perform well are told to attend morning classes while those who do not are told to attend afternoon classes. So, the song I am talking about is a call to the children who attend morning classes to come out of classes so that those who attend afternoon classes can go in. Now, the afternoon pupils have not come.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Chairperson, with reference to parties, I would like to get into that.

 

Mr Lubinda: The headmaster is Jack Mwiimbu!

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the afternoon pupils are those on the other side (indicated the left).

 

Sir, Her Honour the Vice-President talked about performance-based contracts. I heard my colleagues on the left talk about the performance of civil servants. That is why we have started with the controlling officers, who are now being made to sign performance-based contracts. This will go down to the directors and those who fall under them in the Civil Service. That is what we want to see. People should perform their duties as assigned. This Government is doing everything possible to ensure that we have a functional Civil Service.

 

 Mr Chairperson, this Government has walked its talk on decentralisation. We are trying to make sure that even as we decentralise, there will still be the Central Government and the local government system. That is how it has been. So, we cannot say the District Commissioners (DCs) must go just because of the Decentralisation Policy. Decentralisation is a process that cannot be completed in a day or three. All we need to do is make sure that the officers who do not understand their roles do, and Cabinet Office is doing quite a lot in that regard. It is working with the local government system to make sure that people understand their roles.

 

Sir, we cannot devolve all the portfolio functions to the local level before we build capacity in the local authorities. There is a lot of work that needs to be done first.

 

Mr Nkombo crossed the Floor.

 

Mr Lubinda: Ngilingili ya bwela.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kampyongo: Ngilingili!

 

Laughter

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 

Continue, hon. Minister.

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Chairperson, there was talk about State funerals. We have guidelines that need to be followed in according State funerals. We cannot manage to accord a State funeral to everyone who dies. It does not work like that. If some people want to make changes to the guidelines, that can only be done in this House and through the Office of the Vice-President.

 

Mr Chairperson, State functions are for every Zambian. If one opts not to participate, one has every right not to. No one will pull anyone with a rope around the neck to attend a national day.

 

Hon. PF Member: Come and take some drinks.

 

Mr Kampyongo: You know, there are people who shun State functions, but their non-attendance has become irrelevant. Further, national functions are supposed to be funded from the Treasury and they will continue to be funded by the Treasury. It is just important, therefore, that every citizen sees their relevance. For example, Independence Day is for everyone.

 

Hon. Member: National prayers?

 

Mr Kampyongo: National prayers are equally important. When you are a God-fearing country, you must walk that talk. We, on your right, have been witnesses to answered prayers. When people were busy gallivanting, our President was humbling himself before God.

 

Ms Chalikosa: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kampyongo: The drought is coming to an end.

 

Sir, we have acknowledged God in the Constitution. The first thing in that document is the recognition of God. Now, we have even created a ministry to guide the nation. Islamic States are proud to have such ministries and no one raises questions about them. Here, the problem we have is that too many people claim to be Christians when, in fact, they walk in the path of darkness.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kampyongo: When you opt to walk in the path of darkness, it is always very difficult to see the light.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Chairperson, we are here, on your right, because we prayed and God listened.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kampyongo: Others are still on the seats they have always occupied.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kampyongo: They laughed at us when we went to church and asked why we prayed. Our God is a God of miracles.

 

Ms Chalikosa: Amen!

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Chairperson, Cabinet Office must be given the recognition and support that it needs. Yes, it is not insulated from criticism, but the criticism should be constructive so that the nation can be served to expectations.

 

Mr Speaker, Her Honour the Vice-President has been equal to the task of overseeing the functions of Cabinet Office. We have no doubt in our minds that despite the inadequate resources allocated to most ...

 

Hon. UPND Members: Meagre?

 

Laughter

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, hon. Members on my left!

 

Mr Kampyongo: I am not short of vocabulary, except my mother tongue interference.

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Continue debating, hon. Minister.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Chairperson, we understand our current economic situation. We are stressed, but we have no doubt that Cabinet Office will be able to discharge its portfolio functions with due diligence and commitment despite the inadequate resources allocated to it.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, Cabinet Office is the heart and soul of the Public Service. Every Zambian wants to see an efficient and effective Civil Service, and Cabinet Office is working towards that. 

 

Mr Chairperson, a lot has been said, but I would like to make one very disturbing observation. It is preposterous to insinuate that the President of this country is getting another salary through dubious means or through the First Lady’s Office. This is uncalled for. It is an insult to the Head of State.

 

Mr Chairperson, the issues that were raised regarding recruitment, training, funeral grants, purchase of coffins and State funerals will be addressed in the other commissions when we present the reports to the House for Budget support.

 

Mr Chairperson, I hope that this Budget line will be supported.

 

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

 

VOTE 08/01 – (Cabinet OfficeOffice of the PresidentHeadquarters – K156,898,320).

 

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Mr Chairperson, this year’s Budget has been anchored on the word ‘austerity measures.’ Therefore, we expect that there will be a reduction in discretionary funding. Now, I do not see this in this Yellow Book.

 

Sir, I seek clarification on Programme 3136,  ...

 

The Deputy Chairperson: What page?

 

Mr Lufuma: Mr Chairperson, Page 71.

 

The Deputy Chairperson: You are far ahead of us. We have not yet reached there.

 

Mr Lufuma:  Mr Chairperson, I am so sorry. I withdraw.

 

Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 3001, Activity 01 – Maintenance of Buildings, Grounds, Plant, Equipment and Provision of Utility Services – K737,327. I wish to tag on to what Hon. Lufuma said. Are we really doing what we are saying?

 

The Minister in the Office of the Vice-President (Ms Chalikosa): Mr Chairperson, Programme 3001, Activity 01 – Maintenance of Buildings, Grounds, Plant, Equipment and Provision of Utility Services – K737,327 is meant to cater for the maintenance of the Cabinet Buildings and surroundings as well as plant and equipment. The increase is a result of the planned painting of the Cabinet Office Building and the revamping of the water reticulation system.

 

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

 

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 3001, Activity 008 – Public Affairs and Summit Meetings – K100,000,000. Last year, the allocation was K82, 691,590. What are these public affairs that can gobble K100,000, 000 in the Office of the President?

 

Ms Chalikosa: Mr Chairperson, the allocation is meant to cater for public functions and ceremonies officiated by His Excellency as well as Heads of State meetings and summits. The increase is attributed to the projected rise in the number of activities to be undertaken by the President.

 

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

 

Mr Ng’ambi (Chifubu): Sir, I seek clarification on Programme 3002, Activity 007 – International Trade Fairs – K99,000. The amount has remained static from last year. Are we not focusing on increasing participation in international trade fairs, bearing in mind that the country has experienced growth in that sector?

 

Ms Chalikosa: Mr Chairperson, Programme 3002, Activity 007 – International Trade Fairs – K99,000 is merely meant to facilitate the participation of Cabinet Office at International Trade Fairs.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 3001, Activity 056 – Support Services to the First Lady ‒ K1,500,000. In our debate, we indicated that we have little appreciation for this allocation until it is put in a legal framework. May Her Honour the Vice-President give us details of what sort of activities the First Lady will expend this money on and if there was no balance from last year.

 

Her Honour the Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Chairperson, the Budget, itself, is a legal entity.

 

Mr Lubinda: Yes!

 

Mrs Wina: There is no need to take out a small portion of the Budget to Parliament to make an Act out of it. This is part of the Cabinet Office Budget and it is legally enshrined in that Budget.

 

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Mr Lungwangwa. Oh, Prof. Lungwangwa.

 

Laughter

 

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Chairperson, I was last called mister in 1986 …

 

Hon. Members: Ah!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: … before I received my doctorate. From 2000, I have been Professor.

 

Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!

 

Laughter

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Sir, I seek clarification on Programme 3001, Activity 7 – Support to Provincial Ministers on Parliamentary and Cabinet – K12,412,581. What does this amount entail?

 

Further, on Programme 3004, Activity 003 – NIPA – Nil, why there is no allocation in 2017?

 

Ms Chalikosa: Mr Chairperson, Programme 3001, Activity 7 – Support to Provincial Ministers on Parliamentary and Cabinet – K12,412,581 is a new Activity. The allocation is meant to facilitate the attendance of Cabinet Meetings by Provincial Ministers according to the new Constitution.

 

Sir, Programme 3004, Activity 003 – NIPA – Nil is a grant to National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA). This allocation has been moved to the Office of the Vice-President.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Kopulande (Chembe): Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 3008, Activity 701 – Corruption Prevention – K70,001. There was no such allocation in 2016. I wonder what sort of activities will be undertaken under this Budget line. Could there be a reason to believe or suspect that corruption is creeping into the corridors of Cabinet Office, hence the need to take preventive measures to stop it? Would I not have sufficient reason that this is an activity of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and should have been left there?

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Chalikosa: Mr Chairperson, Programme 3008, Activity 701 – Corruption Prevention – K70,001 is a new activity. The allocation will help facilitate the operations of the Integrity and Corruption Prevention Committee.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Samakayi (Mwinilunga): Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 3001, Activity 033 – Support Services to Second President’s Family – K500,000, Activity 037 – Support Services to the Third President’s Family – K950,000 and Activity 900 – Support Services to the Fifth President’s Family – K950,000. Why are there budgetary differences to these offices?

 

Ms Chalikosa: Mr Chairperson, Activity 033 – Support Services to the Second President’s Family – K500,000 is meant to cater for the support services to the family of the late Second President. The decrease in the allocation is explained by the fact that no provision for payment of house rentals has been made in the 2017 Estimates.

 

Mr Chairperson, Activity 037 – Support Services to the Third President’s Family – K950,000 is meant to cater for support services provided to the family of the late Third President.

 

Mr Chairperson, Activity 900 – Support Services to the Fifth President’s Family – K950,000 is meant to cater for the provision of support services to the family of the late Fifth President.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Vote 08/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

VOTE 08/02 – (Cabinet OfficeOffice of the PresidentRemuneration Division – K1,000,000).

 

Mr Mutelo: Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 3001, Activity 003 – Office Administration – K290,700; Programme 3047, Activity 700 – Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for the Pay Policy – K39,800; Programme 3066, Activity 003 – Publications of Brochures and Pamphlets – K20,000; Programme 3103, Activity 009 – Recruitment and Induction of Staff – K22,800 and Activity 700 – Staffing – K53,667; Programme 3107,  Activity 002 – Fleet Servicing – K 45,000, Activity 006 – Procurement of Fuel and Lubricants – K108,000 and Activity 008 – Motor Vehicle Insurance – K 15,000; and Programme 3112, Activity 700 – Establishment of a Reference Centre – K80,333; Programme 3119, Activity 003 – Strategic Plan Development – K58,750; Programme 9000, Activity 700 – Emoluments Forecasting Model Development – K80,950, Activity 701 – Job Evaluation Operation Manual Development – K37,000 and Activity 702 – Study Tours on the Administration of Emoluments in the Public Service – K148,000. Why have these new programmes been introduced?

 

Ms Chalikosa: Sir, Programme 3001, Activity 003 – Office Administration – K290,700; Programme 3047, Activity 700 – Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for the Pay Policy – K39,800; Programme 3066, Activity 003 – Publications of Brochures and Pamphlets – K20,000; Programme 3103, Activity 009 – Recruitment and Induction of Staff – K22,800 and Activity 700 – Staffing – K53,667; Programme 3107,  Activity 002 – Fleet Servicing – K 45,000, Activity 006 – Procurement of Fuel and Lubricants – K108,000 and Activity 008 – Motor Vehicle Insurance – K 15,000; and Programme 3112, Activity 700 – Establishment of a Reference Centre – K80,333; Programme 3119, Activity 003 – Strategic Plan Development – K58,750; Programme 9000, Activity 700 – Emoluments Forecasting Model Development – K80,950, Activity 701 – Job Evaluation Operation Manual Development – K37,000 and Activity 702 – Study Tours on the Administration of Emoluments in the Public Service – K148,000 were introduced to meant the cost of establishing the Emoluments Commission as required by Articles 232 and 264 of the Constitution of Zambia, Act. No. 2 of 2016. So, the department is in transition.

 

Thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Chairperson, is the hon. Minister telling this House that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government will establish convenient institutions when it has failed to establish them legally according to the Constitution?

 

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, the Emoluments Commission is one of the commissions that is in the Constitution. It is not an ad hoc commission being created by the Government.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister in the Office of the Vice-President said that this is an ad hoc arrangement and I asked her why the Government is creating ad hoc institutions instead of prescribing them as per Constitution.

 

Ms Chalikosa: Mr Chairperson, I did not say it is an ad hoc arrangement. I said it is a department in transition and that the Bill is yet to be presented.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Vote 08/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.        

 

VOTE 08/03 – (Cabinet OfficeOffice of the PresidentCommon Services Accounting Unit – K5,076,670).

 

Mr Mutelo: Sir, I seek clarification on Programme 3009, Activity 009 – Audit of Grant Aid – Nil. Last year, K2,000 was allocated for the Audit of Grant Aid. Is the Government not going to Audit Grant Aid in 2017? If it will not, what is the meaning of that? Is it trying to hide something?

                                                               

Ms Chalikosa: Mr Chairperson, there is no need for the hon. Member to get emotional. This Activity has not been budgeted for because NIPA is funded directly by the Ministry of Finance.

 

Mr Mutelo: Mr Chairperson, why, then, was it budgeted for this year?

 

Ms Chalikosa: Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Finance has taken care of that.

 

Thank you, Sir.

 

Vote 08/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.          

 

Vote 08/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

 

VOTE 08/05 – (Cabinet OfficeOffice of the PresidentPrivt. Sect. Dev. Industrialisation and Job Creation Division – K850,000).

 

Mr Mutelo: Sir, I seek clarification on Programme 3066, Activity 001 – Production of Radio and Television Programmes – Nil, Activity 003 – Publications of Brochures and Pamphlets – Nil, Activity 008 – Publication of Public Relations Materials – Nil and Activity 900 – Information Dissemination – Nil. Why have these Activities not been budgeted for in 2017?

 

Ms Chalikosa: Sir, Programme 3066, Activity 001 – Production of Radio and Television Programmes – Nil, Activity 003 – Publications of Brochures and Pamphlets – Nil, Activity 008 – Publication of Public Relations Materials – Nil and Activity 900 – Information Dissemination – Nil have not been funded in the next Budget because the department has sufficient carry-over materials for 2017.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Vote 08/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

Vote 08/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

VOTE 08/07 - (Cabinet OfficeOffice of the PresidentPolicy Analysis and Co-ordination Department – K2,350,000)

 

Mr Lufuma: Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 3136, Activity 003 – Facilitation of Cabinet and Cabinet Committees – K1,142,283. In 2016, a provision of K142,283 was made in the Budget. For 2017, there is a drastic increase to K1,142,283, representing an 803 per cent increment. What activities have necessitated this sudden increase?

 

Ms Chalikosa: Mr Chairperson, Programme 3136, Activity 003 – Facilitation of Cabinet and Cabinet Committees – K1,142,283 is meant to cater for costs related to the preparation, processing and security of Cabinet and Cabinet Committee documents in readiness for Cabinet Committee meetings and after the meetings. The increase in the allocation, which is at 703 per cent, not 803 per cent, is due to the increased number of activities to be undertaken in 2017.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Prof Lungwangwa: Mr Chairperson, could we be informed as to what activities necessitate such an increase are. Additionally, I seek clarification on Programme 3138, Activity 900 – Consultative Meetings on Policy Matters – K619,802. The allocation to this Activity has been raised from K119,802 in 2016 to K619,802 in 2017. What has necessitated such a high increase of more than 400 per cent?

 

Ms Chalikosa: Sir, Programme 3136, Activity 003 – Facilitation of Cabinet and Cabinet Committees – K1,142, 283 and Programme 3138, Activity 900 – Consultative Meetings on Policy Matters – K619,802 is due to the operationalisation of the e-Cabinet. There are a number of Bills that have to be presented to the Cabinet in light of the operationalisation of the new Constitution. Programme 3138, Activity 900 – Consultative Meetings on Policy Matters – K619,802 will cater for attendance at regional and international consultative meetings on policy matters by Policy Analysis and Co-ordination Department staff to enhance their analytical skills.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Vote 08/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

VOTE 08/08 – (Cabinet OfficeOffice of the PresidentManagement Development Division – K2,000,000)

 

Mr Mutelo: Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 3140, Activity 007 – Job Descriptions Writing/Review – K37,912 and Activity 014 – Job Description/Specification Performance Contracts for Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Departments – K75,000. The allocation to the second Activity has been increased from K25,000 to K75,000. The activity is the same. So, one would think it is a repetition. Why is there such an increment?

 

Ms Chalikosa: Mr Chairperson, Programme 3140, Activity 007 – Job Descriptions Writing/Review – K37,912, is meant to cater for the provision of quality assurance towards the development and review of job descriptions and specifications in ministries, provinces and other spending agencies. The increase is due to the increased number of activities to be undertaken in 2017. Activity 014 – Job Description/Specification Performance Contracts for Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Departments – K75,000 is meant to cater for the development of performance contracts for Permanent Secretaries and heads of grant-aided Government institutions. The increase is due to the increased number of activities to be undertaken in 2017.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Vote 08/08 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

VOTE 08/09 – (Cabinet OfficeOffice of the PresidentMonitoring and Evaluation – Nil)

 

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, that Vote has no allocation because the functions have been taken to the Ministry of National Development and Planning.

 

Vote08/10 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

VOTE 12 – (Office of the Public Protector – K7,221,446).

 

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, on 5th January, 2016, His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, signed the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 16 of 2015 and the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 17 of 2015 into law. That represented a shift in policy by bringing into effect the Office of the Public Protector in place of the Office of the Investigator-General.

 

The Commission for Investigations Act Chapter 39 of the Laws of Zambia, which provided for the functions and secretariat of the Office of the Investigator-General, was repealed and replaced with the Public Protector Act No. 15 of 2016, after enactment of the Public Protector Bill by Parliament in June, 2016. Following these changes to the legal framework, the Office of the Ombudsman in Zambia, which was under the Executive, was transformed into a Parliamentary Ombudsman accountable to Parliament in line with the International Ombudsman Institute Standards.

 

Sir, the Public Protector’s mandate is drawn from Articles 243 to 248 of the Constitution and the Public Protector Act No.15 of 2016. Specifically, the Public Protector’s functions are:

 

  1. to redress grievances of maladministration in public institutions;

 

  1. to advise the Government on the required measures for matters relating to maladministration and abuse of office or authority;

 

  1. to ensure that social justice and fair treatment is given to members of the public by public institutions;

 

  1. investigate an action or decision taken or omitted to be taken by a State institution in the performance of an administrative function;

 

  1. bring an action before court;

 

  1. hear an appeal by a person relating to an action or decision taken or omitted to be taken irrespective of that person; and

 

  1. make a decision on an action to be taken against a public officer or constitutional office holder, which decision shall be implemented by an appropriate authority.

 

The Office of the Public Protector is still in transition. As a result, there are some challenges related to structure and budget, which the Executive is currently addressing.

 

Sir, the 2017 Budget Estimates for the Office of the Public Protector is K7,221,446. These funds will be used to meet the mandate of the office as it continues to redress maladministration in public institutions. I, therefore, urge this august House to support this Budget.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for according me this opportunity to debate the Vote for the Office of Public Protector. First and foremost, I would like to state that this institution is important to the protection of the interest of the public with regard to abuse of office and maladministration in the public sector.

 

We have been hearing of a lot of abuse and maladministration cases in our public institutions in Zambia. Unfortunately, nothing has been done to address this situation by the Office of the Public Protector. I am aware that this is a new institution and I hope that the issues that I will raise will be addressed by it.

 

Sir, currently, there is an acting Public Protector in office because no one has been ratified by Parliament yet. I hope that the Government will ensure that the ratification of the Public Protector is brought to this House. I am, however, aware that someone who has been Administrator-General is now the acting Public Protector.

 

Sir, the institution of Public Protector in Zambia is different from that in South Africa. When the people of Zambia were promulgating a new Constitution, they wanted a Public Protector with powers similar to those of the South African Public Protector. Unfortunately, that has not been provided for by this Parliament.

 

Sir, many civil servants and other public workers have complained to us that they have been victimised, their rights have been abused and, perhaps, transferred without due regard on the suspicion that they support a particular political party. We expect the Public Protector to investigate these complaints from members of the public, civil servants and other public workers so that they can get redress.

 

According to the new law, the Public Protector has powers to prosecute. We hope that the office will prosecute many of those who are in the habit of abusing their powers in the Public Service. We are aware of officers holding very high positions in line ministries, such as the Ministry of Health, and other Government institutions, who have been transferred from institutions at the apex to the lowest level in a rural area. We are also aware of members of staff who have been transferred from central hospitals without any cause. They have been transferred to district hospitals to pave the way for people considered favourable to those in the institution. That is abuse of office. If anybody has done something wrong in an institution, he or she must be charged. However, that is not happening. We are aware of officers in the Zambia Police Service who have been transferred or retired in the national interest just because of how they are perceived. That should not be allowed to continue.

 

Sir, we expect the Public Protector to protect the interest of everyone in the Public Service without discrimination. As indicated earlier by Her Honour the Vice-President, there are challenges the institution is facing because it is in a transitory stage. Once the operationalisation is finalised, we expect the Public Protector to give back confidence in Government institutions to the people who are being abused in the Public Service and security wings simply because they belong to a certain tribe or have a perceived political affiliation.

 

Sir, as the name entails, we expect the Public Protector to be a public protector. It should not be influenced by dununa reverse that we heard about this morning. We heard it in our colleague’s pronouncements. Someone was even dancing dununa reverse on the Floor of this House. We do to expect that to happen in public institutions.

 

Mr M. Tembo: Unless ngelengele?

 

Mr Mwiimbu:  Sir, as somebody was saying, we expect the Pubic Protector to do ngelengele on those who dance publicly to “Dununa Reverse” because that is retrogressive.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Mwiimbu: Order!

 

Hon. Mwiimbu, you had better concentrate on what we are debating.

 

You may continue.

 

Mr M. Tembo: What about ngelengele?

 

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, I am connecting the debates on the Floor of this House to this debate.

 

Sir, we expect the Public Protector, who will have security of tenure when appointed, to ensure there is transparency in the administration of public institutions.

 

Sir, members of the public have been complaining about the services that they are being provided. We expect the Public Protector to ensure that we get value for our money.

 

Sir, yesterday, we heard our colleague, the hon. Member for Liuwa, complain about the provision of relief food in various constituencies. He complained that the exercise was being undertaken on partisan lines. That is maladministration. It is abuse of office. We, therefore, expect that when the Public Protector comes into operation, he or she will investigate the complaint raised on the Floor of the House by the hon. Member for Liuwa.

 

Sir, once the issues we have raised pertaining to abuse of office and maladministration are taken on board by the Public Protector, we will give the office all the support it will need. As for now, I give my unqualified support to the Vote, as I expect the office to rise above board and perform to the satisfaction of all of us.

 

Mr Chairperson, I support the Vote.

 

VOTE – 12/01 – (Office of the Public Protector(formerly Commission for Investigations)– Human Resource and Administration – K7,221,446).

 

Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme –

 

The Deputy Chairperson:  Order!

 

You are not ready.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Syakalima (Chirundu): Mr Chairperson, in supporting the Vote for the Public Protector, I must state from the outset that the amount of money that we have allocated to the institution is not enough if it is to do the job specified in the Constitution and the Act. The amount is not enough given the fact that the Public Protector has to check the abuses and maladministration of this Government. So, the hon. Minister of Finance should realise that there is a mammoth task ahead of us that requires the Public Protector to be given enough money to follow up many of our colleagues –

Laughter

 

Hon. Government Member: And not you.

 

Mr Syakalima: No! Many of them because they need to be trailed.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Syakalima: You are dangerous abusers.

 

Hon. Government Members: Question!

 

Mr Ngulube: Point of order, Sir.

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 

Hon. Member, address the Chair, please.

 

Mr Ngulube: On a point of Order, Sir.

 

Mr Syakalima: When I say ‘you’, I am using the royal ‘we’. So, it is, specifically, ‘these’.

 

Laughter

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 

Let us avoid finger-pointing.

 

Mr Syakalima: I am looking at you, Sir. 

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 

We should always debate through the Chair to avoid problems.

 

Mr Syakalima: When I say ‘you’, I am using the royal ‘we’ because it is not only they who abuse their offices. There are many institutions in this country where people abuse their offices.

 

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Syakalima: That is why I am saying that the amounts the hon. Minister of Finance has allocated to this institution are too little. We must indicate that. I am saying this because many State institutions are dead in this country. I challenge our colleagues to tell me which State institution looks normal.

 

Mr Mung’andu: Parliament!

 

Mr Syakalima: Tell me! Which institution looks normal?

 

Interruptions

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 

It is about us.

 

Hon. Government Members: Parliament!

 

Mr Syakalima: That is your inward evaluation. So, if the answer is Parliament alone, then, we are in trouble. We must be very careful with what we do to State institutions. I am afraid, probably, this is the reason our colleagues are delaying the operationalisation of the office and saying it is still in a transitory phase. They must be afraid of something because they know the behaviour of all State institutions today.

 

Sir, I hope when the Public Protector is helped to do its work, it will not succumb to the control of those in authority because that has damaged our State institutions. I, therefore, expect it to be above board like the Public Protector in South Africa, which even investigated the President of that country. Who can do that in this country? For instance, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) only reacts when it is told that it is not doing anything. When that happens, it starts investigating those who are cited by His Excellency the President. His Excellency should not have to tell it to do its job.

 

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Syakalima: According to what was said, corruption is really in its teeth in this country. So, where are you going to implement this Budget in the midst of very high levels of corruption? Probably, when the Public Protector starts operating, there will be a difference.

 

Mr Chairperson, I am afraid that if the Office of the Public Protector is not going to protect the public, this country is going nowhere. After all, it is nowhere.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Syakalima: Therefore, Her Honour the Vice-President, in conjunction with the hon. Minister of Finance, should find money and ensure that the institution starts work because the budget under this Vote has got no place in this country for now.

 

Sir, all other State institutions do not work because our colleagues on your right have killed them. What used to be the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) and ACC are not worth talking about now. So, we hope that the Public Protector will be able to see the abuses in State institutions and elsewhere. We are now even lacerating the Judiciary.

 

Mr Nkombo laughed.

 

Mr Syakalima: Where are we going? We are almost finishing all the State institutions.

 

Mr Nkombo: By paralysing them.

 

Mr Syakalima: Sometimes, I do not understand what happens in this country. Zambians behave like refugees who hope to be repatriated one day.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Syakalima: That is the behaviour I have seen in us. It is like this world is not our home and we are just passing through, but we are still here.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Syakalima: So, let us behave as people who came to stay in this country, not like refugees hoping to be repatriated one day. Why do we want to kill State institutions? Almost all the State institutions are on their knees today. It is not right.

 

Sir, when this generation is gone, I wonder what we will leave behind. Ours is a corrupt generation. What will we leave for our children if we kill State institutions? In other countries, it does not matter whether there is a president or ministers. State institutions drive themselves and run the State.

 

Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Syakalima: So, let us behave as if we are still Zambians who will continue being Zambian so that based on what we leave behind when this generation is gone, everybody will say that his or her forefathers worked. However, I do not know whether this generation will deserve any praise.

 

Sir, I urge Her Honour the Vice-President to hasten the operationalisation of the Office of the Public Protector so that it can probably fuse in a difference in public institutions. My plea to the hon. Minister of Finance is that this Budget requires somebody checking whoever will implement because there is too much corruption in this country and no one seems to be fighting it. Only two or three weeks ago, the President was saying that he knew there were hon. Ministers and public servants who were corrupt and that he would dismiss them in no time. How many have been dismissed? If any have been dismissed, where? We have not heard anybody being fired. Personally, I have not seen anyone who has been dismissed for corruption. Therefore, the corrupt elements are still there.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Syakalima: This is why we required the Office of the Public Protector to move in.

 

Mr Nkombo: Mulipolipo.

 

Mr Syakalima: I, therefore, wish to tell my friend, the hon. Minister of Finance, that we will require watchdog institutions that will make sure that there is no corruption in the utilisation of all these allocations in the Budget. Corruption alone can kill a country. So, we require this public institution to take up what all the institutions that have been lacerated gave up on. To lacerate is to shred.

 

Sir, I hope I have been listened to as I was saying all these words. Sometimes, our colleagues across must appreciate when people like me exude their knowledge because I am not going to hide anything from them. I will tell them so that, one day, they will recall that I stood and spoke about these issues. They should not be happy with people who are silent. We, in the Opposition, are here to give them advice that is meant to make the wheels of the Government move. Their job is to listen attentively and work after we give them assignments. So, I am sending them back to go and work.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me an opportunity to debate. I have a single line to contribute to this debate.

 

Sir, I am delighted by the views expressed by those who have spoken because they have expressed unequivocal support for the creation of this important portfolio. Let me also thank the Government for expediting the release of resources so that this institution is quickly operationalised.

 

Sir, my contribution is on leadership. The creation of this institution is a demonstration of the leadership we have at hand. Leadership is about making people’s lives better and making the people achieve their aspirations. The creation of this portfolio is going to add value to the leadership, and empower and support people so that they can become positive and objective. We need to promote positivity and objectivity. We also need to base what we do and say on the truth. Let me give an example of what I mean by people being truthful and objective. Yesterday, on the Floor of this House, an officer from State House was criticised for not being in favour or support of  the Judiciary. Hon. Members of Parliament are not the only ones who criticised him. He was also criticised by the general public and the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ). That is alright. His Excellency the President said that nobody is immune from criticism. Even Parliament can be criticised. However, when a political leader called the Constitutional Court Judges thugs, I did not hear any criticism of that. Where was LAZ?  Where were these hon. Members of Parliament?  Where were they?

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, hon. Member!

 

Remember that we do not debate ourselves.

 

Mr Kafwaya: Mr Chairperson, thank you for your guidance.

 

Sir, where was LAZ? It is very important for us to be objective. I hope this office will help to bring about objectivity, ideas, experiences and developments that will be good for this nation.

 

Sir, as I said, my contribution is a single line on leadership. I hope that we are going to have enhanced objective leadership as a result of the creation of this office, which I fully support.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

The Minister of Justice (Mr Lubinda): Sir, to begin with, let me indicate to Hon. Jack Mwiimbu, who has chosen to stay out after he debated, that according to the Constitution of Zambia, the Public Protector in Zambia has more powers than the Public Protector in the Republic of South Africa. I was hoping that my Learned Counsel, Hon. Mwiimbu, would mention that so that Zambians are made aware of what is provided for in their Constitution.

 

Sir, secondly, I would like to agree with both Hon. Jack Mwiimbu and Hon. Syakalima that this institution deserves to be supported and given much more than what has been provided. However, we also ought to recognise the fact that there has been a 30 per cent increase in the allocation to this office. Not many Budget lines have had such an increase. This is an illustration of the fact that this Government is committed to supporting the Office of the Public Protector.

 

Mr Chairperson, the Public Protector’s Office should have been established much earlier. Had that action been taken earlier, I do not think the issues that my colleague spoke about yesterday would have been debated today. The Public Protector does not only exist to investigate the public officers on your right, but also any person who manages public resources, including those who, for instance, decided to buy redundant graders under very suspicious circumstances, as the hon. Minister of Home Affairs told us a few days ago.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: Sir, the Public Protector’s Office must be protected and supported so that even my good friend, the hon. Member for Chirundu, just like the hon. Member for Kabwata, can also be checked by it. It is not only for those of us on right, but also for those on the left. I am happy to hear that my colleagues really want to support this office.

 

Sir, on the laceration of institutions that has been referred to, I agree with my colleague who said we have to be very careful about what we say. I was listening very attentively to the instruction given to us by Hon. Syakalima. We listen very attentively when our colleagues speak because we want to see whether there is consistency between what they say and what they do. As the Minister in charge of justice, when I come to defend my Budget I will reflect a bit more on this matter, but just for now, we must not do one thing, on the one hand, and expect others to do differently, on the other.

 

Mr Chairperson, the Judiciary must be protected by this House. All of us have a responsibility to protect institutions that are established by the Constitution of the land. To demean any institution of governance is not right. Similarly, it is not right to go out and call Judges “thugs under wigs” simply because they have passed a judgement that does not suit one’s interests. That is lacerating institutions of governance, and it must not be tolerated regardless of who does it; be it a member of the Opposition or of the Ruling Party.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: Sir, we may not have commented when the Judges were insulted in that fashion not because we are not capable of answering back or defending the Judiciary, but because we felt at the time, there was no need for any kind of antagonism to be created across the political divide. We expect that amount of humility from members of the Opposition, too, yet at every turn, they think they can be champions of a cause that they, themselves, cannot uphold. I appeal to my colleagues to be realistic in their approach to these matters. The Public Protector is an institution of Governance. We are supporting it because we know that we hold these positions in the interest of Zambians and, more importantly, in trust on behalf of future generations. We want to create institutions that will stand the test of time and permeate society to make sure that we govern ourselves as people who are willing to move forward.

 

Sir, I am disappointed that quiet often, when we talk about administration, we quickly run into tribal issues. I wonder why this tribal issue is becoming such a topical issue in Parliament. We heard about that sickness known as complaining, criticism and jealous (CCJ) that my colleague, the hon. Minister of Higher Education, spoke about. I think we also have another disease of egocentrism, a condition in which people want everything to evolve around them. If anything does not suit them, then it is not good. This is a very serious illness that we must get rid of, as nobody will do it for us.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: We cannot, on every score, speak about tribal issues. Hon. Jack Mwiimbu referred to police officers. Let me just make a brief reflection on something I am sure many people in this country are aware of. Even before Independence, police work was preferred by people from two regions of the country, namely the western and southern regions. It is because of their stand on matters of policing. As a result of that, even today, the majority of the people in the police service hail from either the south or the west of the country.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Lubinda: These are facts that cannot be denied. Therefore, if there are any erring officers, out of the four, chances are that two will be from either the southern or the western parts of the country. If such a person is punished, then, we see hon. Members of Parliament who claim to be national leaders come to reduce the case to a tribal issue.

 

Mr Mwiimbu: No!

 

Mr Lubinda: That is very dangerous, and I hope that the Learned Counsels, such as the Leader of the Opposition, will veer off the path of promoting tribalism in the country.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: How can you explain a situation in which a fugitive former Commissioner of Police –

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Lubinda: No! We have to be realistic. We ought to be nationalists, and I appeal to the people in the Opposition to join all of us in fighting tribalism.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Lubinda: Get out, Jack Mwiimbu!

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 

Please, resume your seat.

 

Hon. UPND Members walked out of the Chamber.

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Those who want to walk out, do so. The Business of the House continues.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Interruptions

 

The Deputy Chairperson: As you walk out, please, maintain silence.

 

Interruptions

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 

Hon. Minister, you may continue, but bear in mind that time is not with us.

 

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, in winding up, I wish to say that I heard my colleagues say that what is good for the goose must be good for the gander. If they are going to raise sentiments on tribal issues, they must allow us also to express our feelings. We are a national party and we want to maintain harmony across beyond tribal lines in this country. I emphasise that he who goes to equity must go with clean hands.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda:  Sir, our colleagues should not complain when we raise these issues because being tribal is not allowed. Where does the Public Protector come in on the issue of tribalism? Let me rest my case by saying that this Government intends to support the Public Protector. The Public Protector of Zambia has much more power than the Public Protector of the Republic of South Africa. Nobody must try to change that fact. People must not always think that it is greener across the fence because on this matter, it is greener in Zambia. The Public Protector of Zambia has more powers than any other in Southern Africa.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson –

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 

(Debate adjourned)

 

HOUSE RESUMED

 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

 

(Progress reported)

 

_______

 

The House adjourned at 1257 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 6th December, 2016.

 

____________