Thursday, 28th June, 2018

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Thursday, 28th June, 2018


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I have received communication to the effect that in the absence of Her Honour the Vice-President, who is attending to other Government Business, the Chief Whip, Hon. Steven Chungu, MP, has been appointed Acting Leader of Government Business in the House from today, Thursday, 28th June, 2018, until further notice.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Speaker: Hon Members, as you are aware, the Public Address System in the Chamber has microphones with adjustable stems. Unfortunately, a number of the stems got damaged due to unnecessary frequent handling and adjustment of the microphones by some hon. Members while debating. The damaged microphones been replaced at a high cost. Therefore, in order to avoid damage to the microphone stems, hon. Members are advised to avoid fiddling with their microphones while debating.


I thank you.








286. Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


  1. why drainage works along Lufunsa Road in Chimwemwe Parliamentary Constituency have stalled;


  1. who the contractor for the project is;


  1. when the works will resume;


  1. what the total cost of the project is;


  1. how much money has been paid to the contractor so far; and


  1. what the time frame for the completion of the project is.


The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Chitotela): Mr Speaker, the drainage system works along Lufunsa Road in Chimwemwe Parliamentary Constituency have stalled because the contract for the rehabilitation of approximately 20.2 km urban roads in Kitwe District under which the works were being executed was terminated on mutual agreement due to a lack of funds to continue with the project.


Sir, the contractor was China Geo Engineering Corporation.


Sir, the works will only resume when funds are secured for the project.


The cost for the entire project was K146 million, of which the contractor was paid K120 million.


Mr Speaker, the time frame for the completion of the project was twelve months.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, would the ministry consider giving the contract to China Hainan, a Chinese Company that is already in the constituency working on selected roads under the Copperbelt 400 (C400) Programme? It has been eight years since the contract was terminated.


Mr Chitotela: Sir, I must clarify that the contract was under the project called Formula 1. Currently, Chimwemwe is one of the many constituencies on the Copperbelt that are benefitting from the Copperbelt 400 (C400) and the Zambian Urban Roads Programmes. For example, there is a contractor working in Garnerton Ward in the constituency.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.




Mr Speaker: Order on the right!




287. Mr Mwene (Mangango) asked the Minister of Health:


  1. whether the Government has any plans to upgrade Mwanambuyu and Shibanga Rural Health Centres in Mangango Parliamentary Constituency to zonal referral health centres;


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


  1. if there are no such plans, why.


The Chief Whip and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Chungu) (on behalf of the Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya)): Mr Speaker, the Government has no plans to upgrade Mwanambuyu and Shibanga rural health centres to zonal referral health centres. The House may wish to note that in 2017, the Ministry of Health upgraded Shibanga Health Post to a health centre serving a catchment population of 4,339 people.


Sir, there are no plans to upgrade the health facilities because they both serve areas whose populations and locations do not meet the criteria for establishment of zonal facilities.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mwene (Mangango): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the Provincial Administration has proposed the upgrading of the two facilities to zonal referral centres?


Mr Chungu: Mr Speaker, the ministry has no plans to upgrade the two rural health centres.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr A. B. Malama: Ema Ministers aba!






288. Ms Chisangano (Gwembe) asked the Minister of General Education:


  1. what the criteria used to determine the payment of rural hardship allowance and rural remote hardship allowance to teachers are; and


  1. why some teaches working in remote schools in Gwembe Parliamentary Constituency, such as Kole, are paid rural hardship allowance instead of rural remote hardship allowance.


The Minister of General Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, the payment of rural hardship and rural remote hardship allowances to teachers are specified in the Public Service Management Division (PSMD) Circular No. B of 2008, which classifies a rural station as a station that is between 0 km and 15 km, and 20 km and 70 km from the nearest district, depending on the categorisation of the district on a scale ranging from A to D. A remote station is one that is over 70 km from the nearest district. Those are the two principles that guide the determination of who gets which allowance.


Sir, teachers serving in Kole around Gwembe, which is classified as a remote district, are eligible to get rural remote hardship allowance. Therefore, the ministry will rectify the situation through the Office of the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) for Gwembe.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, I noticed that there is no properly co-ordinated way for the payment of the rural hardship and rural remote hardship allowances. This is especially the case when teachers are transferred because there are no returns sent to the districts update the records. Does the ministry have a system in place that can help teachers track their payments? It has now become a trend for the Government to pay the allowances as and when it so wishes.


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, yes, there is a tracking system because transfers are effected by the ministry. Therefore, we know where a particular teacher has been transferred to.


Sir, on behalf of the ministry that I have been given an opportunity to manage, I admit that for some time, we have had issues of teachers who were transferred from one school to another carrying the pay point identities to their next station. That is the biggest challenge. The other challenge is that of administrative lapses like the situation in Gwembe where teachers who work in Kole, which might be more than 70 km from the nearest town, are given rural hardships allowances. Going forward, we are trying to ensure that when teachers are transferred, they do not go with the pay point identities. When teachers are transferred from rural areas to urban areas with their pay point identities, they continue getting the rural hardship allowance in an urban area, which should not be the case.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Chisangano: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the good answer. At least, we see some light at the end of the tunnel.


Sir, teachers have been getting the wrong allowance for quite some time. So, they are not motivated in their work. Could he inform the House exactly when the situation will be normalised.


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, in terms of the time frame, I do not want to risk giving an inappropriate answer. However, in my response to part (b) of the Question, I said that the ministry is already engaging DEBS for Gwembe to begin the process of rectifying the matter. So, I would like to inform my hon. Colleagues and the teachers in  Kole that we are committed to resolving this matter.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker:  I will take the last questions from the hon. Member for Mapatizya, the hon. Member for Chama South, the hon. Member for Bangweulu and the hon. Member for Luampa.


Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, what is the difference in the allowance between teachers who are somewhere between 20 km and 50 km, and those who are farther than 70 km?


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, teachers in stations that are classified as rural stations are entitled to 20 per cent of their basic salaries while those in locations classified as remote are entitled to 25 per cent of their basic salaries.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to clarify on the teachers who are posted in rural areas, not only in Gwembe, but also in schools in other parts of the country …


Mr Mung’andu touched his microphone.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, I have just made an announcement urging hon. Members to desist from unnecessarily handling the microphones. I know it is now habitual for some of you to support yourselves on the stems of the microphones. Please, desist.




Mr Speaker: I do not know what comfort you derive from holding the microphone, but it is now costing us dearly.


You may continue.


Mr Mung’andu held the microphone.


Mr Speaker: You are still holding the microphone.




Mr Speaker: Try speaking from a step back.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mung’andu: Mr Speaker, there are teachers who work in rural areas, not only in Gwembe, but also in other areas like Chama South, who have moved to urban areas, but still get the rural hardship allowance while the teachers in the rural areas do not. When will the ministry normalise the situation? 


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, as part of our payroll management, we are trying to ensure that all our teachers are on the correct grades and receiving the allowances that are applicable to them. So, we plan to hold a meeting aimed at resolving the issue of teachers who have continued to get the rural or rural remote hardship allowances after being transferred to urban areas where the allowances are not applicable. So, I sympathise with my colleagues whose teachers have been transferred to urban areas where they have continued to receive the two allowances. Suffice it for me to say that the matter is receiving our attention.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kasandwe (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, the number of teachers who have moved from rural areas and have continued to receive the hardship allowance is increasing. Does the ministry have plans to attach the allowances to schools so that when a teacher leaves, the allowance remains with the school? The same applies to the Payroll Management and Establishment Control (PMEC) numbers. People are employed and go to the rural areas just to get on the Government payroll. Immediately afterwards, they leave the rural schools.


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, like I said, going forward, teachers will not be transferred with the Payroll Management and Establishment Control (PMEC) Identification (ID) Number. Once we stop that, a teacher who is transferred will leave the conditions she had at the school and start getting the conditions applicable to teachers at the new school.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Chikote (Luampa): Mr Speaker, how regularly will the ministry update the system in a year in order to keep the correct information on our teachers in the rural areas?


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the payroll accounts for about 80 per cent of our total budget in the ministry. So, we now have a monthly audit of our payroll to establish what is actually happening in all the ten provinces of the Republic of Zambia. So, I assure my hon. Colleagues that we will be able to avoid these mistakes when a teacher has been transferred because we will have timely information.


I thank you, Sir.




289. Mrs Mulyata (Rufunsa) asked the Minister of Health:


  1. when the construction of health posts at the following sites in Rufunsa Parliamentary Constituency will commence:


  1. Itope;


  1. Chamulimba;


  1. Mweshangombe;


  1. Kamwesha; and


  1. Shimunguwo;


  1. what has caused the delay in commencing the projects; and


  1. what the time frame, on average, for the completion of each project is.


Mr Chungu (on behalf of Dr Chilufya): Sir, there are no immediate plans to construct health posts at Itope, Chamulimba, Mweshangombe, Kamwesha and Shimunguwo in Rufunsa Constituency. However, the House may wish to note that the construction of the health post at Chamulimba was commenced under the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), and works are at lintel level.


Mr Speaker, as there are no plans to construct health posts in the five areas, parts (b) and (c) of the Question are not applicable.


I thank you, Sir.


Mrs Mulyata: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the generator at the only hospital, the mission hospital, which caters for all the people in the mentioned areas, has broken down? Additionally, the hospital has no X-ray machine and the construction of the mortuary has stalled. So, there is absolutely nothing there. If he is aware, wat is he doing about the situation?


Mr Chungu: Mr Speaker, that information has not been brought to the attention of the ministry. When it is, the problems will be attended to.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kambita: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Health aware that where the construction of health posts was planned to be sited, no such construction has actually taken off? If he is aware, could he inform this august House why the projects are not taking off despite the promises we got on the Floor of this House, especially in the previous Meeting.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister of Health has been tasked to respond to questions relating to Rufunsa Constituency.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, this pro-poor Patriotic Front (PF) Government ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Dr Malama: … considers the people of Rufunsa very important, especially given the fact that in the mentioned areas, many of our people, the poor people, need health services. How is it that there are no immediate plans to construct rural health centres?


Mr Speaker: Order!


To which areas are you referring?




Dr Malama: In Rufunsa (Spoke away from the microphone).


Mr Speaker: Come on record, hon. Member for Kanchibiya. We are making the Hansard here.


Dr Malama: Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify the record.


Sir, the areas, namely Itope, Chamulimba, Mweshangombe, Kamwesha and Shimunguwo, are looking to their pro-poor Government to take health centres within 5 km of their residences. How is it that there are no immediate plans to construct rural health centres in the mentioned areas?


Mr Chungu: Mr Speaker, the project to construct 650 health posts is ongoing and, as you are aware, the Government will not implement any new project until all the projects that are at or above 80 per cent to completion are completed.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: I will take questions from the hon. Member for Mumbwa and the hon. Member for Kasempa. I have also taken note of the hon. Member for Mitete.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, going by the hon. Minister’s response that there are no immediate plans of building health posts in Rufunsa Constituency, what interventions is the Government making for the people of Rufunsa in the meantime in light of the fact that the only hospital in the area is not functional?


Mr Chungu: Mr Speaker, the Government has mobile hospitals. In emergency situations, the mobile hospitals are sent to areas in need of medical services.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Sir, I was worried because I thought you might skip me. Thank you for recognising me.


Sir, are the health posts referred to among the 650 that are supposed to be built? How sure is he that not even one is among the 650?


Mr Chungu: Mr Speaker, the two health posts allocated to Rufunsa as part of the 650 were built and completed.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, Rufunsa is very close to the Central Business District (CBD) of Lusaka and the people of Rufunsa voted for both the right and the left. I am aware that of the eight wards in Rufunsa, four voted for the right while the other four voted for the left. Why, then, are the people of Rufunsa still being ignored when there are some health facilities being built as far away as 1,000 km away from Lusaka’s CBD?


Mr Chungu: Mr Speaker, the people of Rufunsa have not been ignored, as this Government has taken development to all parts of Zambia. In fact, the Government does not look at the voting patterns in taking development to the various parts of this country.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!








Ms Subulwa (Sioma): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Budget Committee on the Review of the First Quarter Performance of the 2018 Budget for Selected Ministries and Provinces for the Second Session of the Twelfth National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 25th June, 2018.


Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?


Mrs Mulyata (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, your Committee undertook a review of the performance of the Budget in the first quarter of 2018 for the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Ministry of Tourism and Art, Ministry of Higher Education, Central Province, Copperbelt Province, the Eastern Province and Muchinga Province.


Sir, since your Committee’s findings are contained in its report, I will only highlight some of the notable issues arising from the study.


Sir, the review provided your Committee an opportunity to inquire into and report on matters related to co-ordination, control and monitoring of the National Budget. It also gave your Committee an opportunity to gain insights into some of the challenges faced by ministries and provinces in the execution of the Budget. In addition, your Committee had the chance to ascertain the extent to which the first quarter performance of the 2018 Budget was consistent with national aspirations, as articulated in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP).


Mr Speaker, in the first quarter of 2018, an execution rate of 23 per cent was achieved for both revenue mobilisation and expenditure against a target of 24 per cent. Tax revenues were 9 per cent higher than planned because of higher-than-expected collections in Value-Added Tax (VAT). Although tax revenue, as a whole, performed quite well and surpassed the anticipated amounts for the quarter, there was mixed performance from individual revenue sources. Most of the taxes were below target except for VAT and Corporate Income Tax for mining companies, a departure from previous years in which Income Tax was the major contributor to tax revenue. However, it is worth noting that the target for Corporate Income Tax in the mining sector was very low for the quarter.


Sir, a major concern to your Committee is the country’s tax structure and the high burden placed on individual taxpayers. For example, Pay As You Earn (PAYE) has, for many years, been the major contributor to the country’s income tax revenue. In sharp contrast to that, the big corporations enjoy generous tax exemptions and, as a result, continue to declare losses or low taxable profits. The contribution from the mining sector, which is supposed to be the cash cow for the country, is even more distressing. For example, the way mineral royalty bands are set up means that the Government can only collect a maximum of 6 per cent when the price of copper is above US$6,000 per tonne. In addition, mineral royalty is not treated as a final tax because it is deductable for tax purposes. The mining companies claim it later as an expense, making it merely an advance to the Government.


Mr Speaker, your Committee is of the view that the Government should consider undertaking another review of the mining tax regime. This view was shared by key stakeholders, who informed your Committee that the current mining tax regime does not make it possible for the sector to make a significant contribution to the country’s revenue. Your Committee, however, wishes to caution the Government that in reviewing the mining tax regime, due care must be exercised to ensure that the sector does not experience the uncertainty witnessed in the past. Your Committee recommends further that the Government considers making the first 3 per cent mineral royalty non-deductible.


Sir, the issue of the rising debt stock is of great concern to your Committee. Zambia’s debt grew from US$6.9 billion in 2016 to US$8.7 billion in 2017, and the rising debt has led to increased spending on interest payments, which is exerting significant pressure on the Budget. Your Committee is concerned that if no immediate corrective measures are put in place, the debt burden might not only be unsustainable, but might also lead to the crowding out of other critical spending, such as capital expenditure and spending on social protection programmes.


Mr Speaker, your Committee takes note of the measures being implemented by the Government aimed at attaining fiscal consolidation, such as the austerity measures recently announced by the hon. Minister of Finance, and is hopeful that the Government will strictly abide by the measures. With regard to the sovereign bonds, popularly known as the Eurobonds, which were issued by Zambia, one of the Government strategies for repayment is through the setting up of a Sinking Fund. However, there appears to be no clear information regarding the status of the Sinking Fund. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government provides clear information on the status of the Sinking Fund and that disbursements into the fund be increased and remitted consistently so as to ensure that adequate resources are available for the repayments when the sovereign bonds mature and the dates fall due.


Mr Speaker, your Committee is very concerned that the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS), which is the Government’s main financial transaction processing system, was not functional through most of the first quarter of 2018. Having failed in January, 2018, it was only restored in May, 2018. According to the ministries and provinces that appeared before your Committee, the system failure negatively affected the already poor release of funds from the Treasury and, consequently, the implementation of programmes and projects.


Sir, IFMIS was set up to support the Government’s business processes by ensuring accountability and transparency, and consequently, enhancing public service delivery. In essence, this means that for the period that it was down, the purpose for which the system was set up was not served. Your Committee, therefore, strongly recommends that the problem that caused the breakdown of the system be thoroughly investigated and resolved and that the system be fully restored. Such a serious problem should not be allowed to recur and the officers responsible for the breakdown of the system should face stern disciplinary action.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Sir, your Committee is concerned that in this modern era, data limitations can constrain the analysis of economic performance. In this regard, your Committee was informed that a lack of the data needed for the assessment of the performance of implementing agencies was a major challenge, meaning that numerous targets or outputs could not be assessed. For example, of the 500 targets that the Ministry of National Development Planning wanted to assess, 335 could not be assessed due to a lack of data for the period under review. This is unacceptable, as it hampers effective monitoring and accurate measurement of performance. As a matter of urgency, data collection systems and capacities should be established and strengthened in the Government in order to ensure accurate and timely reporting and measurement of performance.


In conclusion, Sir, I extend your Committee’s gratitude to you, and to the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the services rendered during your Committee’s deliberations.


Mr Speaker, I beg to move.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


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


Mrs Mulyata: Now, Sir.


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


Mr Speaker, in order to more effectively analyse the performance of the Budget, your Committee reviewed the performance of the Budget in relation to the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP). As the honourable House is aware, national development plans are medium-term in nature, covering a period of five years, and are implemented through the National Budget from year to year. Therefore, in order to effectively implement a national development plan, adequate funds need to be appropriated through the National Budget and released to implementing agencies of the Government in a timely manner. It, therefore, raises great concern to learn that Budgetary releases to ministries, provinces and other spending agencies were largely inadequate and untimely. The poor fiscal position in the Treasury is likely to adversely affect the implementation of some programmes in the 7NDP. However, with effective prioritisation, core programmes can be implemented so as to support the realisation of the objectives of the 7NDP and move our country forward.


Mr Speaker, the Government continues to talk about the need to decentralise its functions, and a major highlight of the 2018 Budget is the de-concentration of budgeting in the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock to the provinces. In this regard, all the provinces that were reviewed by your Committee pointed out many positive effects the move had in the first quarter. It is, therefore, your Committee’s recommendation that the Government speeds up the implementation of fiscal decentralisation and devolution of the functions of all ministries from the Central Government to the local authorities to facilitate the effective and efficient deployment of resources at local government level.


Sir, your Committee has no doubt that the Government will take into consideration the recommendations of your Committee.


Sir, in conclusion, I thank the Chairperson and all the members of your Committee for the unity they exhibited during the deliberations, which resulted in very important recommendations. I also thank the witnesses who appeared before your Committee for their co-operation and input into the deliberations.


Mr Speaker, I beg to second.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to debate the Motion on the Floor. In doing so, let me also thank Parliament for making it possible for the House to finally have a Committee that analyses the Budget. At least, this will give us an opportunity to know the Budget’s performance in every year.


Mr Speaker, I really do not understand how a government can give itself a target of only 24 per cent Budget performance in the first year and achieve only 23 per cent, yet still call itself a government.




Dr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, a percentage is out of 100. How can a government be happy to give itself a target of 24 per cent and only achieves 23 per cent? This is cause for shame. Obviously, this shows that there is absolutely no reason we should even budget. By giving itself a target of 24 per cent, this Government is giving us the impression that it has already failed.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: Why would the Government not give itself, at least, a target above the average, which is 50 per cent? How can people sit in a Cabinet meeting and say, “Gentlemen, for the first quarter, our performance should be 24 per cent.”? Please, can we be serious. How can the Frontbench target a 24 per cent performance? Anyway, they knew that they were failures.




Dr Kambwili: They knew that a target of 50 per cent was going to be an insult because, out of 24 per cent, …


Mr Chilangwa: On a point of order, Sir.




Mr Speaker: Order!


Dr Kambwili: … they only achieved 23 per cent. Awe, really, this is not being serious. Hon. Davies Chama, my friend, this is not the way we used to operate with Mr Sata. Things are getting out of hand.




Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Roan!


Do not single out the hon. Minister of Defence.


Dr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I am sorry. He is my good friend and, yesterday, he was telling me that I used to get a commission from the Chinese.




Dr Kambwili: So, you can see that we joke with each other. However, what I am talking about is a very serious matter.


Sir, the Government’s setting of a 24 per cent target for itself and failure to achieve even that low target is a very serious failure. Fili uko tuleya. Only the future will tell. I think if I belonged to a Government that pegged its targets at half of half and failed to meet that target, I would resign.


Mr Chitotela: A quarter!


Dr Kambwili: Yes, a quarter, yet you are even happy? You resign Chitotela, iwe naiwe.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Roan!


Dr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, he is disturbing me.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, I am speaking. Resume your seat.


Let us have some order, otherwise I will exercise the power I rarely use to curtail the debate. There is no way an hon. Member can stop midstream of an utterance and start addressing another hon. Member. You cannot do that. You see, I made a point yesterday. If you debate in earnest, we will not have all these disruptions. Look, Rule 32 of the Handbook says:


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


What I have noticed is that some hon. Members find it extremely difficult to debate without being offensive. It is a modus operandi to be offensive.




Mr Speaker: Yes, the dictionary is available, and it says ‘offensive’ means “Causing someone to feel resentful, upset or annoyed”. So, when you start a debate, you set out to cause annoyance and upset people. That is the primary objective, and we reach this point where I have to intervene. You can debate these issues factually, objectively and dispassionately. It is possible. However, if you have difficulties, I will exercise my managerial powers accordingly, and one of them, as I have already pointed out, is simply to curtail the debate. If your objective is to cause offence and you cannot debate without causing offence, the rules will not allow you.




Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: Anyway, let me not be offensive by saying, “Well done for achieving 23 per cent out of 24 per cent”. I hope I am not being offensive.


Mr Speaker: You may be sarcastic instead, which abrogates another rule.


Dr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, kanshi, how are we going to debate? These are facts. This Government has achieved 24 per cent.


Mr Speaker: Resume your seat, Hon. Dr Kambwili.


I am not restraining anybody from debating facts. I am restraining debates that are offensive and sarcastic. You can debate the facts. I am not restraining you.




Dr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, it is sad to learn that mining is the backbone of this economy, yet we are failing to maximise the collection of tax revenues from the sector. I do not know which word I can use because I may be offensive. I think it is a failure on the part of the Government to have privatised the mines it was running. When the mines were being run by the Government, they gave their profits to the Government and the people of Zambia. However, we decided to privatise them in order for us to get income through taxes. So, to be told that the contribution of the mining taxes to the Treasury is minimal is a serious sign of failure. If we cannot maximise the benefits from the backbone of our economy, where are we going to maximise them? This is why we are ending up with debt. We can maximise the benefits from copper in order to develop this country, but we are failing to tax the mining companies appropriately. We are failing to tax them for the benefit of the people of Zambia, yet we are very good at contracting debt from China.


Sir, there are Chinese companies in Zambia that are mining our copper and going to develop China while we go to borrow from the Chinese. Instead of making use of our copper in order to improve the affairs of this country, we let foreign investors come and mine our copper and take it for nothing at all. We are even failing to get taxes from the mining industries and our policy on mining taxation has been very inconsistent. The last time the mining taxation policy was changed, we were assured that it would be the last change we would see and that the taxation regime would be the best ever introduced in the mining sector. However, we are back to square one and calling for a change of the mining tax regime. This is the success of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government.




Mr Michelo: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: Sir, investors have the choice to either invest in Zambia or not. As far as I am concerned, there is no investor who is going to invest in a country where the tax regime changes on a daily basis like a person changes shirts. We cannot do that because it is never done. We really need to be serious as a country. We cannot be changing the mining tax regime every after one or two years. Then, we should just accept that there is a failure of leadership. I hope now that Hon. Mwanakatwe is at the helm of the Ministry of Finance, we will get something better for the people of Zambia. It is a total failure for us to talk of changing the tax regime in the mining industry just after two years just because we have failed to tax the mining companies. We are failing the people of Zambia who elect us to lead them and improve their lives.


Mr Speaker, copper is a finishing asset. We are supposed to maximise our revenue from it now. However, we will only think of doing so when there is no more copper. There used to be copper in Ndola, but Ndola is no longer a copper-producing town. Bwana Mkubwa Mine was closed. There also used to be a lot of copper in Luanshya and about 16,000 people were employed there. Today, the mines there only employ about 1,800 people. Where I come from, they say, “Amano yalubuli yesa ngamwalwa”, meaning one only thinks about better fighting strategies when the fight has ended. This is not the way we should live. It is high time we checked ourselves and became serious about these things. There is no way we can have a report today that suggests that we review the tax regime in the mining industry when we changed it just two years ago and were told that the 6 per cent royalty tax was the best. We were also told that the Government would maximise on the 35 per cent corporate tax in the mining sector. People have called for the introduction of the Windfall Tax. In my view, and this has been my view since I was in the Opposition, the Windfall Tax is the best means of taxing …


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: … the mining companies. When copper prices drop, our revenue should also drop. When it rises, our revenue should equally rise. We are coming out of a time when the copper price dropped to less than US$3,000 per tonne and we were struggling. Today, the price is over US$6,000 per tonne, but we are still failing to maximise the benefits from the mining companies. Anyway, the people of Zambia are very good people because they continue voting for failures. Well done.




Dr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, the issue of debt must worry all of us. When we were saying there was too much borrowing, some people would say it was sustainable. Today, we are accepting that it is not sustainable. Out of our Budget for 2018, the people of Zambia have provided K9 billion for debt servicing. Do you know what K9 billion can do in the social sector? What pains me more is that most of the debt has gone towards the construction of roads.  However, the roads we are constructing have a life span of four years only because we are using the hot mix asphalt technology. After four years, the roads just fold up and, ...


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear! Sure!


Dr Kambwili: … once that happens, the only option is to rip off the surface and put a new surface. This means that, every after four years, we have to borrow money to rebuild the roads. Posterity will judge us very harshly for this. I have proposed several times on the Floor of this House that we suspend all the road construction until we identify a technology that will give us roads that will stand the test of time. Some of the roads that President Kenneth Kaunda and his humble Cabinet built are still in existence today.




Dr Kambwili: However, the asphalt roads from China have to be rebuilt every four years.


Sir, in 2011, when President Sata and I came into Government, we built township roads in my constituency. My colleague, Hon. Chungu, will attest to what I am saying. The Industrial Road in Luanshya is as bad as it was before we renovated it, yet we say that we are spending the money we are borrowing prudently and that the future generation will applaud us for creating infrastructure. When it will be time to repay the loans, there will be no roads to talk about. I hope those who are in the forefront of the building of these roads will live long enough to walk with the aid of walking sticks while seeing the damage they have done.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!




Dr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, the way we are behaving today is as if we do not care about the consequences of our behaviour because we will not be there when the debts are due for repayment. If we were careful and leaders who truly want to leave a lasting legacy, the construction of asphalt roads would have been stopped because it is not taking us anywhere. Three years ago, when we came into office, we worked on the Kabwe/Lusaka Road. However, after the police station on the outskirts of Kabwe as one comes to Chibombo, the road is already in a very bad condition despite a lot of money having been spent on it.  In my language, we say, “Ukwali insoke takwafwile bantu”, meaning to be forewarned is to be forearmed. When people talk, they do not just talk for the sake of it. So, let us guard jealously the few resources we have in this country. This I-do-not-care attitude of people just concentrating on getting a commission and building themselves houses without caring about who will pay the debt should come to an end. I will continue talking about the asphalt roads and hope that God gives me a long life so that 100 years from now, I can remind the people about the things I am talking about now. Can we spend money prudently.


Mr Mushimba: Eyo mulefwaya ama years.


Dr Kambwili: Sir, we are contracting too much debt to spend on the roads even though we know beyond reasonable doubt that they will not last simply for the purposes of sonta epo wabomba during election campaigns. That means “Point at where you have worked”. Our colleagues will tell the people about the roads they have built although they know the roads will not last longer than four years. That is unfair to the people of Zambia.


It is very unfair. I think insoni ebuntu.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: People must have a sense of shame.


The way we conduct our politics these days, Mr Speaker, is worrisome. Even when we know that something is not right, we go ahead with it just to appease someone. How Zambia, a country with a small economy –




Mr Speaker: Order on the right!


Dr Kambwili: Sir, in 2016, our debt was US$6.9 billion. By December, 2017, it had risen to US$8.7 billion. Within twelve months, we had borrowed between US$2 billion and US$3 billion.


Mr Speaker, let us not think that the people of Zambia –


Commercial break. Sorry, Mr Speaker.


Dr Kambwili drank some water.




Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Just call it a health break!




Dr Kambwili: Thank you, Mr Speaker.


Sir, what I am saying is that we look at the people of Zambia as being so shallow-minded that we can tell them something today and do the opposite tomorrow.


Just in this House, the hon. Minister of Finance told us that the Government had introduced austerity measures and that all projects below 80 per cent completion would not be funded, as the Government wanted to concentrate on those that were at or above 80 per cent. We were also told that all debt in the pipeline would not be contracted. However, three days later, after the PF won the by-election in Chilanga, the hon. Minister of Health was in that constituency at a ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of three health posts. Surely, do we think before we do things or do we make pronouncements just for the sake of making people think we are leaders?


Mr Jere: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: How can our colleagues do such a thing? After telling us that the on-going projects, some of them being at 30 per cent or 40 per cent to completion, would not be funded because the Government wanted to prioritise projects that were at or above 80 per cent, our colleagues have initiated a project at 0 per cent. The same hon. Minister and the same Government, but so many inconsistencies. Awe, chilempesha amano. I am really getting confused.




Dr Kambwili: Sir, I think I have warned our colleagues enough. Those who have ears, let them hear. Those who do not, they should continue with business as usual.


Mr Speaker, I support the Motion.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, when we look into the future, one of the things we hope to see is hope. Having been in this House for a long time, I would like to say that this report, having been presented in the manner that it has been presented by my sister, the hon. Member of Parliament for Sioma, arouses uncomfortable feelings in me because I do not see hope in the solutions that have been outlined in it.


Mr Speaker, I have been alive for just over half a century. I have also read widely, yet I know not of any country that has developed itself from taxes only. If there are any who know of such a country, I beg them to tell me about it so that I can change the way I am thinking.


Sir, I am demotivated by this report, especially the part where the mover indicated that we must think about changing the tax regime in the mining sector. That was the least I expected the Committee to recommend, since there are other more innovative and sure ways in which budgets can be supported, one of which is enhanced value addition to our natural resource endowment.


Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: The mover talked about the mines.


Mr Speaker, my dear brother and friend, the hon. Member for Roan, talked about asphalt roads. We have seen that those roads do not last because they are over-burdened by the copper that is transported from the Copperbelt to Walvis Bay, and onwards to other countries where it creates jobs. There is also the issue of transfer pricing, which is not new in this country. You may recall that we have grappled with it for a long time. Once, there even was a scandal that needed forensic checks at Mopani Mines, which was declaring losses when the opposite was true, and therein lies the problem. Telling me that we need to change the tax regime and work around percentages is missing the point. It will not work. The Government has to create jobs for citizens.


Sir, I heard lamentations from the people on Copperbelt of many sub-contractors being excluded from economic activities. We also have the problem in Mazabuka. That exclusion, alone, drops the tax revenue base. Yesterday, we learnt that bolts and nuts are now manufactured in South Africa and brought into this country. What happens to a company like United Machining Works in Chingola? What happens to the people who were employed by that company? This report must help us to reflect on the way we are doing things.


Sir, when we were considering the Budget, we heard about the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), which is the grand five-year plan. There is also the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). However, I have not heard this Committee relate the Budget whose implementation it was analysing to the MTEF. Maybe, some of you heard it. There has to be a connection between the National Budget, the MTEF and the 7NDP. Even as we go down to look at the quarterly and biannual reports, it makes sense that the dots are connected and relate to one another.


Mr Speaker, I will quickly refer to page 42 of your report, where the Committee says “part of the measures that we need to take is to control debt management”. How do we start dealing with the tail end when the problem is actually at the front end? The problem is debt contraction, not debt management. The Government does not follow the rules of debt contraction. I even suspect that some loans the Government has contracted are not known to us. I suspect that the K12.5 billion is a superfluous figure. Once Zambians wake up to the realisation that there is no full disclosure on how their resources are being applied, they will remove the Patriotic Front (PF) from office and when we get into office, God willing, we will find that the debt our colleagues have been declaring is not the actual figure. Then, trouble will start and the jails will be full.




Mr Nkombo:  Sir, the contraction of debt has taken a criminal aspect, with people who are not supposed to contract debt putting …


Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: … their dirty ink on a piece of paper …


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: … and contracting debt on behalf of the Zambian child who is not even born yet. That is totally unfair.


Sir, the people on your right are answerable to us, and they must agree that is the status quo. As long as one is on the other side of the House, one must agree to be criticised constructively.


Sir, I heard a toddler refer to me using some derogatory term and my heart was broken. How could he call me “thick”? We are trying to build a society.


Mr Speaker: I have lost the thread of your debate, hon. Member for Mazabuka Central. I do not know whether you are referring to matters in the House or outside, …


Hon. UPND Members: Within.


Mr Speaker: … or we have begun debating –

Mr Nkombo: Sir, it was said on the Floor of the House and it is in the Hansard. Maybe, you missed it, but I was listening on the radio because I had to go to the clinic for some medical attention. The young hon. Minister called me ‘thick’, but people will –


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Mazabuka Central!


Please, resume your seat.




Mr Speaker: You are the Whip for your party and a very senior hon. Member of the House. Therefore, if you have a grievance, you know what recourse to take. You cannot address a grievance in the manner you are proposing to do.


 Mr Nkombo rose.


 Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


I am not done. You rightly indicated that the Hansard speaks for us. However, for the time being, as Speaker, I have allowed you to debate the report. That is all I have permitted you to do. One of the rules of debate is relevance, which simply means that we must confine ourselves to the issue at hand when debating. This is not an occasion to digress and redress other issues. I am sure you agree with me.


 You may continue.


 Mr Nkombo: Thank you very much, Sir.


Mr Speaker, my job, which I was given by the people of Mazabuka Central, is to speak on their behalf, and I will speak earnestly. Really, my point was that I must not be ridiculed, especially when I provide some solutions. It is up to the Executive to take or leave the solutions we propose. The choice is rightly our colleagues’.


Sir, the cost of money in this country is also a big source of problems. This is why we cannot grow our gross domestic product (GDP) in order to support a 100 per cent Budget performance. In the past five years – I have done my own analysis – the year-end Budget performance has been 50 per cent. Two years ago, it was at 22 per cent or somewhere thereabouts, especially in the Northern Province. Why is this the case? Why should the Budget run at half-mast as if there is national mourning every day?




 Mr Nkombo: The problem is that of unplanned expenditure, which is pervasive in the PF Government. I heard His Excellency the President talk about austerity measures last week. My opinion is that it is too late for the heroes. We have been singing the austerity song and debating issues of budget ceilings for a very long time now. We have also been discussing our colleagues’ insatiable desire to run a populist Government, which makes them do things outside the Budget. Therein the mover of this Motion must locate the problem. There is too much unplanned expenditure despite the fact that our money comes from the same taxes.


Sir, it baffles me that people can equate erecting toll gates with development when that is just another burden placed on Zambians, the same people to whom this Budget we are monitoring must make a difference. We want to know whether the national cake is being taken down to the ordinary Zambian whose interests and aspirations we all seek to represent here.


Mr Speaker, another problem is grand corruption. I expected that the mover of this Motion would highlight that in the report. Corruption erodes society. If you looked at the Auditor-General’s Report, you would find that year in and year out, all there is are embezzlement, unexplained expenditure and theft. Our job is to just talk. So, who is stealing? This is why I said the jails will be full. Mark my words. Whether we will be there or not, we will pass on the message that whoever –


Sir, in a poor and debt-laden country like Zambia, how is it possible that a person can have nothing but, just three years later, be a multi-millionaire? When we come here, we know one another in terms of our net worth and values.




Mr Nkombo: Someone has to explain to me which taxes the individuals who have been named in the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) Report have paid. The FIC was established by this House to track some people down …


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: … and it is doing that, but some people want to start a fight and fire people they employed. Every one of us is endowed with the gift of a sense of shame, what we call kugunwa in Tonga. All one needs to do is trigger it and say, “This is a bit too much”.




Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, how can someone come here as a pauper and, suddenly, be a rich man? Someone has to explain this to me. First of all, he has no business. These are the things on which the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) should focus instead of boasting about collecting too much revenue, like my sister, the hon. Member for Sioma, read from the report. The ZRA should be going through our accounts and asking people to produce the tax returns for their money and to explain how they earned their money. That way, we will find the problem. We will catch the culprits and jail them.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: Sir, there are many people in this country who have unexplained money, especially among us, the leaders. We must open up ourselves to the ZRA. It should not follow those in the Opposition because it will find nothing apart from the minimum bank balance.




Mr Nkombo: How can a person who does not do any business and has never worked, someone who was, maybe, a street child or car dealer on Katondo Street, suddenly be a multi-millionaire. How can that be? These are the issues we need to speak about candidly and bite the bullet. Human beings come and go, but institutions remain.


Mr Speaker, another problem we have is the issue of tax holidays on investment. The Committee touched on it a bit. I am sure the hon. Minister of Finance knows that is crowding out the local operators. She knows that indigenous Zambian business people are suffocated because they cannot get access to affordable money from the banks while the foreigners who are given tax holidays get cheap financing where they come from, come here to crowd out our people from business and, then, externalise their profits back to their countries. Then, our colleagues come and say, “We are a working Government”. Working for whom? The Committee says, “The Budget is not performing”. Of course, it cannot perform. The Zambian Budget is smaller than that of Oxford University or Harvard University. Here we are, grappling with issues when the solutions are within our reach.  


Mr Speaker, the Government has been delinquent in the way it spends monies. The issue of appeasing people – the issue is, I mean, suddenly, where do these crumbs of money that are scaring poverty going to – Yesterday, just as an example, I saw our party chairperson in Ndola’s Kabushi Constituency saying “Me, these PF, they came to get me. They gave me money to come and announce that I have resigned from the UPND, but it was just for money. I am back to my home”.




Mr Nkombo: It was on television.


So, the PF is getting a taste of its own Don’t Kubeba medicine, and I encourage Zambians to get money from the PF, since the Budget is not performing well.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Can you translate the expression you employed earlier.


Mr Nkombo: Don’t Kubeba is like Mosi. It is an adage of the PF that talks about deceiving others.


Sir, I appeal to the good people of Zambia – As a man lives, so shall he die. He who lives by the sword must die by the sword. Zambians should get money from the PF where it is in abundance despite the Budget performing at 24 per cent. All who cannot afford a loaf of bread should just pretend to sell their souls to the PF. They should get the money because it is supposed to be spent on them in a much more straightforward manner. Here, in Lusaka, I want Zambians to –


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Mazabuka Central!




Mr Speaker: Please, resume your seat. You are supposed to debate the Government, not a political party. If you are talking about performance of the Budget, it is managed by the Executive Branch of the Government, not a political party.


Mr Nkombo: Sir, I have failed to find the dichotomy. However, thank you for your guidance. I will leave that subject alone and simply say that the K9.8 billion that Hon. Dr Kambwili said has gone to debt servicing is just the beginning of the gnashing of teeth; of excruciating pain for Zambians. However, I am trying to make the point that as people gnash their teeth, they should not forget that there is a source of money, an outbreak of cash, especially now.




Mr Nkombo: We have just come out of an outbreak of cholera, which we managed to contain, but money was misappropriated during the exercise to contain it. We know it. That is the money Zambians should get. There is an outbreak somewhere; Kanyama, Chawama, Mandevu, Matero, Lusaka Central and Munali, take your pick. There is an outbreak of cash.


Ms Kapata: We are winning.




Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Mazabuka Central, even assuming your information is factual, surely, this is not the platform to announce that relief.




Mr Nkombo: Sir, I withdraw that. However, the people of this country should sala amano, meaning they should use their initiative now. There is an outbreak.


Mr Sing’ombe: Of money.


Mr Nkombo: Of cash. The Budget is not performing well, but there is cash on the loose. They, too, should get loose and forget about their morals. They should just collect ...




Mr Nkombo: ... because that money is supposed to get to them under social programmes.


Mr Sing’ombe: Sebana wikute.


Mr Nkombo: Some are saying “Sebana wikute.”


Sir, for this one month, I urge Zambians to just sebana like some of the people who are running for the Lusaka Mayoral Office.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Interpret the phrase you used for the record. 


Mr Nkombo: Sir, “sebana wikute”, in Tonga, is sampuka ukute.




Mr Nkombo: In English, it means, forget the embarrassment and do whatever it takes to fill your belly. Sampuka utyeni? Ukute.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for allowing me this opportunity to also share my views on the review of the performance of the 2018 Budget in selected ministries.


Mr Speaker, Zambia is blessed with natural resources, and is supposed to be a rich country. However, upon going through this report, you will realise that the country’s problem is that of people who hold jobs in which they have no capacity to deliver. No one is supposed to be poor in Zambia, but we lack the relevant human resource. Essentially, that is what this report is saying on the implementation of the Budget.


Mr Speaker, the Budget is a statement of how you plan to use your money. If you fail on the planning, you are not going to achieve anything. Getting back to our natural resources I talked about, for US$1 of our copper we sell, 5₵ remains in this country while 95₵ is taken away by foreigners. In Botswana, for every US$1 they sell their diamond, 85₵ remains in the country while 15₵ is what goes out. The ratio is the same in Australia. The question is: Who is the owner of the minerals we have? In Tonga, we say, “Ikabwa ka mwami akabwa kabwanyina nkamwi”.


Mr Kamboni: It means that when you sit on minerals and riches, you must also smell minerals and riches. However, in Zambia, it is different. In the abundance of all these natural resources, the people in the country are poor. The question is: Who is planning for these issues for the country? Look at the tax regime. How much money do we get from the minerals? People have talked about the windfall tax, but no one is there to listen. Surely, in a good country like this one, how can we, the owners of the minerals, get only 5₵ while 95₵ goes outside the country? How can it be so when there are men in jackets who are supposed to help Zambians benefit? The purpose of the Government is to make profit for the benefit of the citizens. However, in our country, the purpose of our Government is totally different.


Mr Speaker, let me dwell on page 3 of your Committee’s report, where it addresses the high cost of credit, widening fiscal deficit and structural challenges in the financial sector associated with high non-performing loans.


Sir, some Cabinet Ministers have said here that the environment for doing business in this country is very conducive. How can it be very conducive when the cost of borrowing is high? How can we say things are very well when there are deficits throughout? Like my hon. Colleague has said, the Government set itself a target of 24 per cent for both revenue mobilisation and expenditure, and an execution rate of 23 per cent was achieved. That is too low for any government.


Sir, on loans, on page 7, your Committee’s report says that:


“In terms of expenditure by category during the quarter, the largest component of the releases went to personal emoluments, debt payments and grants, which together accounted for 79.0 per cent of the releases”.


Mr Speaker, when the Government got the first Eurobond, our colleagues celebrated and made headlines in the newspapers. There was even one hon. Member who senselessly said we had to get loans until we could get no more. Now, look at the effects on us. The Government is failing to operate properly because of the debts we accumulated. Most of the money coming from taxes being paid by our people is going towards the payment of interest on the debt. We are only paying interest, yet we are struggling to survive. Further, Government institutions are now polarised because most of the money being collected is going to debt servicing. Unfortunately, it is not the people who got the loans who are paying the interest. In fact, the people who got loans do not pay any tax at all. It is the poor people in Shimabala, Shang'ombo, Sinazeze and Chifusa who are paying for the mistakes. The people who contracted the expensive loans carelessly were employed by Zambians to make the lives of citizens better. However, what have we got in return? It is now the poor people, including me, who did not contract any loan, who are paying back.


Sir, our children and grandchildren will remain with the burden of paying for the mistakes being made here yet, just one hour from now, there will be people supporting wrong things. It is a very sad state of affairs in Zambia. Zimbabweans and South Africans are repairing their countries while Zambians continue destroying theirs. That is the path that some people cheer and vote for. As someone who is able to read, I read through your Committee’s report. So, to avoid speaking out of context, I will quote your report on page 8. It reads:


“In particular, debt repayment increased from 19 per cent of total releases in 2017 to 32 per cent in 2018.”


Sir, this is an 80 per cent increase on what we were paying last year, and it is very difficult to manage things when they can increase like this. This is unacceptable. We cannot run a government like that. If our colleagues were running a shop, it would have closed down. If this country were a car, it would be on bricks. This Government has collapsed the economy of Zambia, and we must acknowledge that. That is why Cabinet Office is being run without money and our local trips were cut short. We did not have money.


Hon. Government Member: Question!


Mr Kamboni: What are you questioning?




Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Kalomo Central Constituency!


Please, resume your seat.


I am sure you are aware that interjections are part of our culture. Therefore, just concentrate on your debate. I am sure, by now, you have noticed that I have never ruled anybody out of order for questioning another’s debate.


Hon. Opposition Member: You question when it is necessary.


Mr Speaker: It is pointless for you to veer off your debate.


You may continue.


Mr Kamboni: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your counsel. However, the things that are causing us problems really affect us seriously. So, we expect seriousness from all the stakeholders.


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Kalomo Central!


I do appreciate the fact that you may be a new hon. Member, but learn.


You may continue.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: Mr Speaker, in this Budget, you find that in some cases, money is not released as planned or it is released late. It is in only about 2 per cent of the Budget that money has been released according to plan. How does one run a Government and a country of more than 12 million people like that? This is a clear testimony of failure. This is why we are told to always aim high in life. A colleague wondered how someone can aim to achieve 24 per cent, end up achieving 23 per cent and, then, call himself or herself a leader. It is unacceptable for the Government to target a 24 per cent Budget performance and achieve an execution rate of 23 per cent.


Sir, on page 15, your Committee’s report states that:


“Implementation of certain programmes was negatively affected due to delayed funding.”


Sir, ‘negatively’ connotes bad results. Are we here to give Zambian citizens bad results?


Hon. UPND Members: No.


Mr Kamboni: Mr Speaker, once the release of money is delayed, the prices of goods and services go up. If you plan to spend K150 to go to Kitwe from Lusaka, but delay the trip, the fares may go up to K200. This is why the Government must be efficient. Let us not develop a culture of thinking that it is okay to delay disbursements or to not fund planned programmes. This is why when questions are asked on serious issues, no answers are given. There is no planning at all. One of the problems is that our Budget is not followed. People can come from nowhere and implement programmes that have not been budgeted for while the programmes in the Budget are not implemented and when questions are asked, the Government does not want to answer them properly. The Budget has to be respected if we are to achieve results. Doing things randomly has cost the country a lot.


Mr Speaker, for example, in the Ministry of Higher Education, when we went round the country, we discovered that the laboratories in some learning institutions were not operational. At institutions like the Copperbelt University (CBU), even just taps from which to draw water are not there.


Sir, we set up the Skills Development Fund and agreed that companies should pay a skills development levy so that the Ministry of Higher Education can build laboratories. That way, the students in the learning institutions can learn science well. We said that the money would all go to the Ministry of Higher Education. However, of the K278 million collected, only K70 million was given to the ministry. Where did the rest of the money go? This is what I mean when I say there is a lack of seriousness in the way we do things. That money should have gone to benefit the Zambians who pay it. It could have been used to build laboratories and equip citizens with skills in science so that the country can move a step ahead. Unfortunately, it did not go to its intended beneficiaries and, when we asked why, we were told that the money had gone to debt servicing. These are the consequences of debts. Unfortunately, the people who got us into this debt will not be there when we begin paying back. Currently, we are just paying back the interest.


Mr Speaker, your Committee’s report states that:


“The tax regime in this Budget is very unfairly done. Foreign countries are given tax exemptions. The Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) has put in about US$500,000 for tax rebates, which Zambians cannot achieve. Only foreigners who come with capital of US$500,000 as start-up are exempted from paying tax. Zambians are taxed for everything while mining companies are given tax exemptions”.


Sir, this is what I am trying to say: Foreign direct investors come with huge capital and are also given tax exemptions while Zambians are taxed for everything. How do you run a country like that? This country is for Zambians and the policies we put in place must benefit Zambians. Why are the mines given tax exemptions? Why do they have their own electricity tariff rate, which is lower than what Zambians pay? Why do we get only 5₵ of every US$1 worth of mineral we sell while foreigners get 95₵? The answer is that in the night, those who are in league with the foreign investors sit and make arrangements that benefit their families at the expense of the rest of the country. Truly, any good Zambian cannot make deals that give Zambians 5₵ of every US$1 worth of minerals sold by the country while foreigners get 95₵. Why is electricity made unaffordable for Zambians while the mines, which make huge profits are given a cheaper rate? What are we here for? Are we here to lead foreigners or Zambians?


Mr Speaker, you cannot run an economy by over-taxing the people. Why are we increasing taxes? It is because when we pay the interest on loans, the money goes outside the country. Every month, colossal sums of money leave the country. So, there is no money in circulation. One can start a business, but people have no money to buy anything. This is a very sad story for the country. 


Sir, where does all the money collected through taxes like road tolls go? The fuel sold in Zambia is the most expensive in the region. In Botswana, it sells at half the price in Zambia. We give the mines low rates while our people have to endure paying road tolls, Road Tax, Land Rates, Owners Rates, higher Customs Duty and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) at 37.5 per cent, which is the highest in Africa. Actually, Zambia has the highest PAYE rate in the whole world. I have not heard a country that has a PAYE rate higher than 37.5 per cent. This means that K37.5 of every K100 I work for goes to the Government, and that is more than what we are taxing the mines. What have Zambians done to this Government to have to suffer such consequences while the people who are taking our wealth away everyday pay very little? Why should anyone come and support such policies? This makes me a very sad citizen of this country.


Mr Speaker, I emphasise that you cannot run a country by simply taxing people. What we are supposed to do is make the environment of doing business very friendly so that Zambians can do business. Currently, the environment for doing business in the country is very hostile because electricity is too expensive.


Ms Kapata: Question!


Mr Kamboni: If one starts making bread for sale using electricity, it will be at a loss. No doubt about it. Additionally, the cost of fuel is too high, ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: … and fuel is a factor in anything you do in business.


Hon. PF Members: Question!


Mr Kamboni: When you add the Road Tax and road tolls to the cost, it leaves Zambians with no money to do anything.


Mr Speaker, I think we need to take the governance of this country very seriously. Most of our leaders, I think including – they need some workshop of some kind. We cannot continue on this path. Let us be in the Government to serve Zambian citizens. Let us realise that we are there to deliver services to Zambians and that the best way of remaining in power is not through manipulation and violence, but through delivering to the people. The other things that our colleagues do are temporary. Our colleagues may say, “The people are happy and we are doing very well”, but let them wait for the last time. Come 2021, they will not be in power.


Sir, I implore all hon. Ministers to take the plight of Zambians very seriously. I warned them when I first came to this House that if they did not sort out the country’s economic problems, they would pack and leave. That will happen very soon.


Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I know that you are all entitled to debate for twenty minutes. However, if we all exhaust the allocated time, it will not be possible for us to conclude our business. We have targets and budgets within which we have to operate. Let us be prudent even in our debates because they also cost money. Many of the points being raised have been made already. If we replayed what has been said so far, we would find it to be repetitive. I am sure there is a very strong desire to be heard every day. However, we have to have limits.


I will now take two debates, one from the right and another from the left. The hon. Member for Lupososhi will be followed by the hon. Member for Mbabala. Thereafter, we will move on to the second Motion.




Mr Jamba: What about us, the Independents?


Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing the wonderful people of Lupososhi Constituency to add their voice to the debate on this good Motion. I must state that I support the report of your Committee. In doing so, I want to touch on a number of issues that were raised, starting with the 24 per cent Budget performance target.


Sir, it must be noted that the Budget is 100 per cent in its preparation and appropriation. However, if you divide 100 per cent by four quarters, you will get 25 per cent per quarter. This report is on one quarter, …


Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!


Mr Bwalya: … meaning that the measure is on 25 per cent.


Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwewa: Correct!


Mr Bwalya: We should measure the performance of the Patriotic Front (PF) in the first quarter of 2018. Therefore, it must be commended for achieving a 24 per cent Budget performance, as per the report presented to this House, ...


Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!


Mr Bwalya: … because it is like achieving 100 per cent in that quarter. So, there is nothing really regrettable about the report and I do not agree with those who have said that we have under-performed. The Budget performance figures in your Committee’s report indicate that we are within what was planned. So, I am very happy and I think there is good planning because it takes a good planner to miss the target by 1 per cent.


Hon. Government Members: Yes!


Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, I also want to state that the first quarter of 2018 saw a number of good things happen in this country.


Sir, we need to mention that every government must perform within the planned expenditure. The Government must also not be risk-averse, that is, fear to make decisions or construct things that may not last in perpetuity. Nothing lasts forever. Here we are. If the first President of the Republic, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, did not make bold decisions to construct certain infrastructure that is no longer existent today, we would not be where we are. The truth is that ten to twenty years down the line, some of the infrastructure we are constructing now might not be as good as it is today. That is just the way nature is, and that is how we plan. We would want to plan for something that will last until Jesus comes, but that is not the way life is.


Mr Speaker, the revenue side of the Budget is rarely given the serious attention it deserves, yet it has been very sticky. Many a times, we talk about the expenditure side of the Budget. So, I think the hon. Minister of Finance needs to pay particular attention to revenue collection in this country.


Sir, your report also talks about our inability to make certain decisions because of not having statistics. Statistics are a very important component in planning. So, we must pay serious attention to the collection of credible, verifiable and current statistics in order for us to be able to plan properly, and implement the Budget effectively and efficiently. I am very sad that we are not able to collect statistics so many years after Independence. We know that the authority on statistics is the Central Statistical Office (CSO), but the Bank of Zambia (BoZ), the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) and other institutions must harmonise the statistics they collect. In fact, some of the institutions I have mentioned have better mechanisms for collecting statistics that can be used not only for analysis, but also for planning for the future utilisation of the Budget. This is an area the hon. Minister needs to look at very seriously.


Mr Speaker, there was an amnesty extended to taxpayers to encourage them to pay what they owed. I think there is a need for a report on the performance of that amnesty. Did it really encourage both the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and large companies to be tax compliant? It is one thing to extend an amnesty and another to collect what is intended to be collected. Most importantly, we need to see if it is contributing to the sustainability and promotion of SMEs.


Sir, on tax revenue, which has also been mentioned, why can we not make the royalty tax a final tax instead of a deductable one?  In some countries, royalty tax is final, not deductable or allowable. So, as we look at the issues of taxation, it is also important to make use of institutions that were created by this Parliament. For example, where is the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA) on taxation? Are we consulting enough, as a Government? Are we bringing ZICA, an institution mandated to advise the Government by the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants Act, on board to advise us? So, I urge the hon. Minister of Finance to use such institutions to help us look at certain areas, especially where taxation is concerned. We need to get our act right like other countries in the global village have done.


Mr Speaker, on the Value Added Tax (VAT), it looks like there is something about it that is not working. There used to be a division in the ZRA that was specifically responsible for VAT, but it was amalgamated with other sections into what is now called the Domestic Taxes Division. However, I think there is still a need for a stand-alone division specifically responsible for VAT. I recall that when the division still existed independently, VAT was effectively administered and we were able to collect adequate revenue from this tax. The report has talked about Pay As You Earn (PAYE) being one of the major contributors of our revenues and I understand that. However, it is rarely a cost on companies. It only becomes a cost when a particular company fails to remit what it has collected on behalf of the Government, and that is a cost on an individual employee. Then, a company will pay interest for not remitting that particular tax it collected on behalf of the Government. Therefore, it is wrong, to some extent, to lump it and say that the mining companies are contributing so much.


Sir, the Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (IFMIS) is a very good programme and, as the Committee states, it was meant to do things effectively. However, if it breaks down in January and is only restored in May, that should be a cause for concern. Any information technology (IT) programme is dynamic. So, we need to take precautionary measures and ensure that the programme is updated as often as possible within the supply contract. In this age and era, we need to be very careful, especially if the programme holds massive amounts of information for the country. In this regard, the failure of the system should be investigated because we need to get to the bottom of how it could break down and cause so much inconvenience to both the ministries and spending agencies. I want to believe it also affected the private sector because the private sector also gets payments from the Government for the services provided.


Mr Speaker, while we agree that borrowing might not be so good, as country, our emphasis should be on getting value for money. Who does not borrow, anyway? All countries do. It is just a question of minding how we spend the borrowed money and insisting on quality so that we get value for money.


Sir, on behalf of the wonderful people of Lupososhi, I commend the United Party for National Development (UPND) hon. Members of Parliament on the manner in which they are popularising Bemba idioms.


Mr Kampyongo: Hear, hear! Bafundeko!


Mr Bwalya: They should continue doing that so that the language can go round. That is exactly what Paramount Chief Chitimukulu told us.


Mr Nkombo: Ubomba mwibala!




Mr Kampyongo: Bafundeko bakalusa aba.


Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, finally, the report of your Committee gives us the hope that now that this Parliament will be analysing Budget performance on a quarterly basis, at least, we will be able to make comments on it and collectively act on the recommendations so as to enhance the wellbeing of Zambians.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker –


Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.




Mr Belemu: Madam Speaker, when business was suspended, I had just started debating.


Madam, I did not realise that five years can be such a long time. Concerning the national debt, specifically the Eurobonds, some of us advised the Government not to take that route, and to explore cheaper sources of funding. At that time, there was a lot of excitement on the Patriotic Front (PF) side. Our colleagues jumped up and down and boasted about Zambia attracting a lot of interest in Eurobonds. We argued that the Eurobonds were expensive and asked whether there were plans for their utilisation in place. However, people were too excited to take us seriously.


Madam, the writing is now on the wall. Our colleagues have been in the wilderness eating grass for seven years because the debt they have accumulated is no longer sustainable. As Zambians, we have been told to go along with the eating of grass in the wilderness with our colleagues, yet this is a self-imposed problem. In my constituency, Mbabala, of the money that has been borrowed over the years, not a single coin was spent there.


Mr Ng’onga: Question!


Mr Belemu: Madam Speaker, the then hon. Minister of Finance told us that a Sinking Fund to save money for repaying the loans would be established. To date, however, as indicated in the report, there is no clear position regarding the Sinking Fund. Was it created? If it was, what amount has been accumulated? If I recall well, at some point there was an allocation to the Sinking Fund in the Budget. Some of us still argue that is not even the way to go until certain conditions are first met in the economy. The idea of a Sinking Fund presupposes that there will be social, political and fiscal discipline, and a surplus to be saved. Otherwise, what does one put in the Sinking Fund?


Madam, it is common knowledge that when one asks about when a particular project will be implemented, one is told, “As soon or whenever money will be made available”. Therefore, at what stage will the Sinking Fund, assuming it was established, be effective? At what stage are we sure that there will be a Sinking Fund if institutions of governance like the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) can be threatened left, right and centre for exposing certain weaknesses? The creation of the Sinking Fund presupposes that when weaknesses and elicit flows of money are identified, they are sealed. It presupposes that there is good governance, which is not there.


Ms Katuta: Hear, hear!


Mr Livune: The Government must resign.


Mr Belemu: Madam, what is worse and very painful to a number of us is that some of the money was borrowed without prior thinking about where it would be applied. There was no planning. Today, if one asked anyone where the Eurobond went, the stories vary. Even the parastatal companies or institutions that are said to have received the money are not sure.


Madam, let me also talk about national development planning versus the National Budget. Even things that ought to be straightforward – If we are to embark on a path of national planning, it is only logical that the Budget be attuned with other planning documents. For example, the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) should be correlated with the Budget, sector plans, policies and laws. As Committee reports have been presented on the Floor of this House, we have heard that there are no policies in many economic sectors, for example, in the livestock sector. The 7NDP, firstly, does not correlate with the annual Budget. Secondly, the policies are not aligned with what the Government wants to achieve, yet our colleagues still want to believe that they are planning correctly. This is a very serious problem.


The third aspect is on fiscal decentralisation and taking money to the districts or closer to areas where it is needed. Arguments have been made, but some of them are not valid. For example, the Government has been saying that councils have no capacity. In the first place, whose responsibility was it to create those capacities at that level? When I joined the Local Government Service in the 1990s, we were told the same story that councils had no capacity. Some of us have since retired and moved on, yet there is still no capacity. At what stage do our colleagues think that there will be capacity? People keep moving and leaving. That capacity must be created deliberately and it is very easy to create it. Our worry is that institutions at the Central Government are being enhanced, contrary to the spirit and intent of decentralisation. For example, we have been arguing about where the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) should be administered from. The Government wants a Central Government ministry to approve minute projects that cost K20,000 in Simaumbi Ward, for example, which is in a corner of my constituency, yet the hon. Minister of Finance will never set foot there.




Mr Belemu: They want to micro-manage the CDF and heap all the financial responsibilities and spending on the Central Government on the pretext that there is no capacity in the local authorities.


If the Government wants to decentralise, they must be serious about it. It must devolve because capacity is easy to create. If it thinks the capacity is in the people in the Central Government, then, it should take the officers in the Central Government down to the local level to perform the same roles they are performing at Central Government level and also take the staff from the local governments to perform functions at district or provincial levels. So, the excuses about a lack of capacity are worrying.


Madam Speaker, we have read in the report that data for assessing the performance of the implementing agencies is not there. This poses a very serious challenge to the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of National Development and Planning. The question is: Against what targets was the budgeting done? Against which indicators will the performance be measured? I thought that a budget is an annual extraction of what is contained in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP). So, are the indicators in the 7NDP invalid? The Government has no capacity to collect data, yet it has an institution dedicated to that function, the Central Statistical Office (CSO). We know now that each ministry has a planning department, yet people still have problems collecting data for monitoring the implementation of the Budget. What are they monitoring, then?




Mr Belemu: Madam Speaker, it is imperative that things that people claim they want to achieve via a budget are taken seriously and provided for in a correct framework. So far, we are talking in abstracts. There is no way of monitoring the Budget because there is no data. Also, there are either no policies or the policies are inadequate. The people who are supposed to spend money do not know and those who are said to have received the Eurobond do not know that they received it, yet Zambians are called upon to start paying for it.


Madam Speaker, there was reference made to diversifying the economy. My suggestion to this Government is that, if it is not committed to something, it should remove some of these vocabularies from our language when we are talking about national planning, for example, diversification. What evidence does the Government have that there is a commitment to diversification apart from verbal or written pronouncements? If we are diversifying and prioritising a sector, what are we doing in that sector? So far, if we picked the prioritised sectors or sub-sectors and looked at a basic factor like its legal and policy frameworks, and budget, we would see that they do not reflect the prioritisation of the sector or sub-sector. Therefore, we are not just talking for the sake of it. We are talking about the lives of people who are dependent on this spending.


Madam Speaker, it would be interesting if we could, one day, undertake a national audit on diversification to find out whether we are moving forward or backwards or we are stagnant. Countries that have decided to diversify have put certain measures in place. For example, if industrialisation is the driver, how many of the other ministries are aware that this is the way we are going to diversify the economy? Yes, countries have succeeded in diversifying via industrialisation and industrial policy. However, in our case, we have heard about the industrial policy, but there is no correct reference until it is time to budget again.


Madam Speaker, when hon. Ministers, including those heading economic ministries like Agriculture, and Tourism and Art, and the manufacturing sector, have issued statements and responded to questions, there has been no reference to industrialisation the whole year. Then, during budgeting, we say, “We are developing an industrial policy and we want to diversify”. That sounds good in English, yes, and it feels good to those who are saying it. However, to those who are experiencing it, it is a painful process. No rocket science is required to save Zambia’s economy. Just seal the loopholes, wasteful expenditures and all those routes by which money finds its way out of the economy, such as corruption, abuse and other vices. The Government should also pick those areas that it thinks are priorities, fund them and capacitate them so that they begin to perform.


Madam Speaker, there was also reference to the Eurobonds having been used on the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System, yet that programme is a total disaster. Today, if my colleagues went to my constituency and talked about the e-Voucher Programme, they would be lucky if they did not get lynched.


Mr Mushimba: Why have they not lynched you?


Mr Belemu: They cannot lynch me because I am truthful and intelligent. I told them the truth that this is one of the failures of the Patriotic Front (PF).




Mr Mutale: Question!


Mr Belemu: One day, let us go together and I will tell them, “These are the PF, the people who brought the e-Voucher”. We will see, then, if you will come back with your trousers on, but I am sure they will be torn into pieces.




Mrs M. Phiri: Question!


Mr Belemu: The e-Voucher is a total disaster that is making farmers suffer. To date, there are farmers whose e-Vouchers have not been activated and others who have not accessed inputs for the last season, yet the Government claims to have pumped the money it borrowed into the programme and is compelling everyone to start paying back. Our colleagues must go in the wilderness alone and eat grass. They should exclude us from their ...




Mr Syakalima: Seven years of eating grass!


Mr Belemu: … self-inflicted problems. Instead, they should tell us how they want this country to come out of the problems they have created.


Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: They should not tell us about the half-baked measures of citizens having to pay more taxes.


Mr Kakubo: They must resign!


Mr Belemu: How can we pay more taxes to fund them? If they cannot govern, they must go and start raising chickens or rearing pigs if they are not Seventh-Day Adventists (SDAs).




Hon. Opposition Member: They should just go where they came from.


Mr Belemu: The problems that Zambia is going through are purely a result of the PF’s lack of leadership.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: We are going to balance the debate by allowing one Independent hon. Member and, for the sake of gender balance, one female hon. Member. In that regard, I will allow the hon. Member for Mwembezhi and, then, the hon. Member for Kasempa.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Opposition Members: Long live the Chair!


Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Thank you, Madam Speaker. In fact, I was about to raise a point of order on – but now I really thank you.


Hon. Government Members: On what, iwe?




Mr Jamba: Madam Speaker, let me add my voice to this debate. I will not dwell on things that are very clear.


Madam, pronouncements have been made on how, in this quarter, the Government has achieved 23 per cent in executing the Budget we approved in this House. That is interesting because our colleagues partly met the target, which is good. However, the important question is: When we mobilised the funds, did we spend them according to the Budget we approved in this House? Your Committee states that the allocation of funds to various projects was not efficient, which means that the money collected in the first quarter and the projects that were supposed to be implemented in that quarter do not tally. The issue here is that we must be consistent. When we approve a Budget here, maybe, for the first quarter, we must see the projects that were meant for the first quarter go as far as 23 per cent in execution within the 25 per cent of the quarter. Then, we can say that we are working. In my understanding, the Government is saying that the maximum performance rate it could achieve in the quarter was 25 per cent and that it managed to achieve 23 per cent, which is about 80 per cent of the target. So, I give it kudos. However, did it manage to fund 23 per cent of the possible 25 per cent of the projects budgeted for? The issue here is that we need correlation.


Madam, when the Budget is approved, the Government must follow it in terms of expenditure. So, I wonder when the hon. Minister of Finance will present the Budget Bill before the House so that we can scrutinise the measures in our Committees. What I have seen is that when we approve the Budget, the Executive goes into a laissez-faire mode and spends the money whichever way it wants. We want to see a situation in which the Government is accountable to the House that approves the Budget. Currently, I see a situation in which the Government is trying to use hon. Members as a rubber stamp in the sense that we just approve the Budget while the Executive uses the money anyhow.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Mwembezhi!


The term “rubber stamp” is unparliamentary. Please, withdraw it.


Mr Jamba: Madam Speaker, I withdraw ‘rubber stamp’ and replace it with ‘cosmetic’. I supposed that is better English. I am talking about a group of people being used to approve what someone wants to do. So, we do not want the hon. Minister to be cosmetic. We want her to follow the expenditure guidelines laid out in the Budget.  That way, she can tell us how the 23 per cent revenue collected in the first quarter was used so that we will be able to move together.


Madam, on national planning and development, the report indicates that sometimes, there is no data to work with. If that is the case, where did the hon. Minister of Finance get the data she claims to have when the people who are supposed to plan do not have it? The Central Statistical Office (CSO) is part of the planning apparatus, but it does not have the data. How does one plan without data? Planning is important if the Government is to budget properly and use the Budget appropriately.


Madam, let me lament the mismanagement of the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS). Surely, how can one allow an essential system to be down from January to May?  How does one let the technocrats with their Master’s degrees just sit around doing nothing while the system is paralysed? It is common to hear of systems being down in the Government, including in the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, where Hon. Kapata is the Minister. If one went there today, one would find that the system is not working. What type of technocrats are there who always say that the system is down when hon. Ministers are in problems?


Ms Kapata: On a point of order, Madam.




Madam First Deputy Speaker:  Order, hon. Minister!


Please, resume your seat.


Mr Jamba: Hon. Minister, I am protecting you. So, please, allow me to protect you.




Mr Jamba: Madam, how can the Government allow the technocrats to be seated doing nothing from January to May while the system is down? When Hon. Kapata comes to the House, we shall point fingers at her and say that she is not doing her job because the system has been down. So, how does one allow such a thing to go on for a long time? This looks like a common phenomenon in the Government. I challenge anyone to go to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources tomorrow and see if they will find that the system running.


Ms Kapata: It is not down.


Mr Jamba: We need to keep the systems working so that the Government can run properly and provide any information that might be required for public use. That way, work will flow systematically and performance will improve in the country.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Jamba: Madam Speaker, the mining companies are saying that if the price of copper hits US$6,000 per tonne, they are supposed to pay a certain percentage as tax to the Government. We do not have to take that route because the minerals are ours. We should put stringent measures in place because when we get tax from them, they write to the Ministry of Finance and the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) at the end of the year claiming for tax rebates. So, it is like they are giving us a salary advance that they, later, claim back. Why should we let such things continue? If the so-called investors are not willing to give us a good deal, let us revert to the old system. There are miners who can still mine our minerals instead of letting people get our money and give us a small percentage as mineral royalty and, at the end of the year, they reclaim the money from the ZRA. What type of arrangement is that? How much money are the investors leaving in this country? Are we just talking about the small amount that a mine pays a Zambian? No! To run a good Government, we need to collect a lot of revenue. We cannot afford this idea of collecting a little money where we are supposed to collect a lot and, then, we give the little we collect back.


Madam Speaker, although there is still more time, I will end here.


I thank you, Madam.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Madam Speaker, I just want to lend a little support to the report on behalf of the people of Kasempa, and on behalf of the wonderful and hardworking women of Zambia, who bear the brunt of the economic hardships in the country.


Madam, the Budget does not really trickle down or is not decentralised. To run a successful business, one must employ the funnel principle in spending. In this case, the revenue side or top of the funnel should be broadened while the outlet at the bottom or expenditure part should be narrowed through the prevention of spillages, among other strategies. This principle will ensure that the resources the Government is collecting from the many poor Zambians go to the areas where it will generate a profit.


Madam, reading this report and the concerns raised by your Committee …


Mr Bwalya crossed the Floor.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, order, hon. Member for Lupososhi!


You should know that you cannot cross the Floor between the debater and the Chair. This guidance applies to all hon. Members. The Floor between the Chair and the person debating must never be crossed. That is the tradition of this House.


You may continue, hon. Member for Kasempa.


Ms Tambatamba:  Madam, on page 25, item number 10.1 of the report, your Committee raises two concerns about the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS). The first concern is that some big-spending Government institutions like State House; Office of the President, Special Division; Zambia Army; Zambia Air Force (ZAF) and Zambia National Service (ZNS) are not yet on the system. The second concern is that the system broke down in January, 2018, and was only restored in May, 2018. So, even those who are on the system were not using it during that time. How does one achieve fiscal consolidation if an essential system is allowed to be down for four months and many big-spending institutions are not on the system?


Madam, when the system was put in place, one of the purposes was for it to enhance accountability, transparency and many other principles of good management of financial resources in the execution of fiduciary duties. How can we ask the ZRA to broaden the tax base and get more money from the citizens when we are not managing the spending of resources? This situation is like an imperfect funnel because it is broad at the top where revenue is collected, and equally broad at the bottom, where we are supposed manage the resources and ensure they go to the right areas. The resources are spilling all over. If anything, they are spoiling and bleeding. How, then, will we ensure fiscal management that will help us deliver services to the many women of Zambia who are grappling with problems of accessing water and hospitals where they have to become nurses and look after patients who are supposed to be cared for by a good health system? How can we ensure that this is put in place according to the tenets of a funnel?


Madam, those responsible for managing the Budget must ensure that the funnel principle is applied, among other strategies, by ensuring that IFMIS is well-managed. For example, when it breaks down, we cannot afford to let it remain in that state for four months and spend anyhow when we spent a lot of money to set it up.


I thank you, Madam.


The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mutati): Madam, I want to start by commending the Committee that has tabled this report for acknowledging, on page 2, that the performance of the Budget in the first quarter is consistent with the planned expenditure, as evidenced by the fact that out of the planned target of 24 per cent, 23 per cent was achieved. That represents a 95.8 per cent performance.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutati: The Committee has further affirmed that the Government collected 9 per cent more revenue than what was budgeted for, and that the performance of the Value-Added Tax (VAT) and company income tax in the mining sector performed above expectations. The Committee also affirmed that while the planned expenditure for the first quarter was K16.5 billion, what ended up being spent was only K15.5 billion. These two statistics show fiscal consolidation. So, the summary of what the Committee has reported is not only Budget consistence, but also a Budget performance that is on target at 95.8 per cent.


Madam, the Committee has also indicated that the economic fundamentals for the first quarter were all right. Firstly, the rate of inflation remained in single digits. Secondly, the exchange rate averaged K9.7 per US$1. Thirdly, the Committee has indicated in this report that due to the actions taken by the Central Bank, in terms of the policy rate and the statutory reserve ratio, the cost of money, albeit still a little high, at 24. 2 per cent, was lower than it was in the last quarter of 2017. This is a journey to improvement.


Madam Speaker, we, as a Government, acknowledge that managing the economy is difficult and often challenging. The resources we are able to mobilise will always be fewer than what is required to meet the expectations of the people. So, the task is strive for fiscal consolidation as you enhance revenue. This was achieved in the first quarter, as indicated by the good performance. On the journey to fiscal consolidation, the hon. Minister of Finance instituted some measures, including keeping to the correct path of debt sustainability. The measures also include continuing to not have subsidies in the Budget and limiting the recruitment of workers. The issue is not so much that we have debt. Rather, it is that she needs to keep the economy or debt on a sustainable path, and that is a continuous process of implementing measures to ensure that the 95.8 per cent performance achieved in the first quarter is also achieved in the other quarters of the year. That is why we commend the Committee for bringing out the issues that underpinned the performance of the Government whilst acknowledging that the task is difficult.


Madam, we acknowledge that the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) broke down, but we did not fail in fiscal consolidation, and that is what is important about the report. The Committee has confirmed that we are consistent and on target. The drama that is characterising the issues on the economy is only important for purposes of politicking in Parliament. However, we have to get back to what is normal and real, which is performance by numbers.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutati: Let us get back to the report and understand what those numbers actually say so that we know how we have performed. As my colleague said, figures do not lie. So, as our colleagues debate, they must refer to the fundamentals, which are the figures in the report, and tell us where we are off course. The report says we are not on course, and that is what is fundamental. 


Madam Speaker, I think the Committee has done a good job. It has confirmed that many things are difficult, but the performance is above minimum.


I thank you, Madam.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Chitotela): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Works and Supply has nailed the debate on this Motion. The problem is that we love politicking more than reading what is contained in your Committee’s report.


Madam Speaker, your Committee has clearly indicated that the Zambian economy has been growing by between 4 per cent and 7 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), which is exceptional. If we checked on the continent, we would see that the GDP growth rate of some countries in the region is 1.3 per cent per annum. We, therefore, need to pat ourselves on the back and say that this Government knows what it wants to achieve.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, your Committee performed its duty very well.


Madam, on page 18 of the report, your Committee states that the revenue target for Nakonde in the first quarter of 2018 was K141 million, but K178 million was collected. Therefore, we performed above the target by 26.2 per cent. Surely, if that means the economy is not performing, then, what do our colleagues want us to achieve? The Committee has clearly stated that the Budget’s performance is measured quarterly, which means that a quarterly target is 25 per cent, as the hon. Member for Lupososhi has said. I expected my colleagues who debated to ask how the 23 per cent was achieved in the first quarter against the target of 25 per cent. Obviously, that is a clear indication that the leadership of President Lungu is performing and taking the economy of this country to the next level.


Madam Speaker, one hon. Member said the roads that have been constructed in Luanshya are of hot mix asphalt. We need to come here with facts. The fact is that some people were interested in being sub-contractors in Luanshya. The technology used on roads there was spray and chip. How does one use the spray and chip technology to make roads in Luanshya, which has one of the highest traffic volumes in Zambia, and expect the road to last more than four years? That is why the leadership of President Lungu has said that the wrong things that were done in the past will no longer be tolerated.


Madam Speaker, we are making roads with a design capacity of a minimum of twenty years. We cannot have the hot mix asphalt roads that get damaged in four years. We saw some companies interfere with contractors who were constructing township roads in Luanshya. The contractors were given wrong specifications. One cannot use the spray and chip technique and expect the road to last long. Not every black surface you see is hot mix asphalt because there are three different specifications. There is the spray and chip, which is suitable where there is the lowest traffic volume. Then, there is the double seal road and the asphalt road, which is the first grade. The roads we are building are asphalt ones, and our colleagues will see the difference between the roads that are being constructed under the leadership of President Lungu and those that were constructed by people with peculiar interest. The problem is that those who speak loudly think that we are also doing what they were doing when that is not the case. We are here to serve the people. That is the difference between us and them. We will not give Zambians sub-standard infrastructure. We will give them quality infrastructure, which is value for money.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, our friends may be thinking that we are making shortcuts the way they used to, but we are doing things differently. The roads will be there even after 100 years and our colleagues will confess that, indeed, the Chingola/Solwezi Road was designed with a twenty-year life design capacity. That road will stand in contrast to the Formula One roads we saw, a number of which were built in haste because, as Hon. Chama said yesterday, people wanted to get kickbacks. Four years later, it is evident that the roads were poorly constructed and that the standard was low. Engineering specifications in the construction sector are very important.


Madam Speaker, I was worried when I heard one hon. Member say that we want to grow the economy and that we must not invest in infrastructure. Surely, even a Grade 7 pupil who learns Commerce understands how the economy is grown. One does not need to be an economist to know that was wrong. The basic principles of economics are transport, warehousing, insurance, banking, advertising and communication (TWIBAC). One cannot have trade and grow the economy without transport. That can only happen in a dream. That is why we must discard some of the honorary Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in Zambia.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chitotela: Madam, people need to start understanding things that grow the economy. We need to understand the things that will make Zambia grow its economy and become a middle income country by 2030, which is a target we have set for ourselves. That is why Paramount Chief Mpezeni told the President when he was in the Eastern Province that, “Baba, tengani tonje mufake mumatu, which means, “Sir, get cotton wool and plug it in your ears”. People are jealous of the President because he is performing. It is obvious that where there is goodness, jealousy will be there. That is why Zambians are saying, “Continue giving us development, bearing in mind that there is a future generation to take care of. We are not irresponsible people who will just go on a borrowing spree and leave the future generation in a debt trap after failing to take care of what we are doing. We cannot talk about the borrowing that happened in the past. I engaged some diplomats from some countries who have been criticising the Government’s borrowing and told some of them that borrowing from the Chinese is not being reckless. If we talk about the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA), we are able to see the new terminal building. That is not reckless borrowing. We can also talk about the construction of township roads, which was done using borrowed money. Here, in Lusaka, we are able to point at township roads that have been constructed. Is that reckless borrowing?


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, we are constructing the Kafue Gorge Lower Power Station. That is one project we can point at. That power station will be generating in excess of 700 MW of power. Is that reckless borrowing? If one wants to invite the private sector to go and invest in Shangombo, the first things they will look for are communication, transportation, education, health and power. If I have to set up a plant in Shangombo, will I be able to connect my equipment and machinery to power? Is there transport to enable us transport our goods to the market after production?


Madam Speaker, the Committee did a very good job. However, people who choose to politick did not even read the report. They were just being political when they said there is no money in the economy and other things. Let them read what is in the report. That way, their debate will be full of substance.


Madam, your Committee’s report wonders how we will reduce inequality and bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. That is what we, the Patriotic Front (PF), are doing. We have realised that for benefits to trickle down to the people in Chitotela Village, they must have access to electricity, and be able to transport their goods and services. We must also be able to provide a market for them. (While facing the hon. Opposition Backbenchers) The transporters of fertiliser must be able to have the inputs in good time.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Minister! I am worried that you are giving me your back when the opposite should be the case.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: You may continue.


Mr Chitotela faced the Chair.


Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, the farmers in Muyombe must have access to the markets. Also, their agricultural inputs must be able to reach them in good time. Even those in Gwembe must be able to access inputs. In case of an ailment, they must be able to rush to the hospital to be treated. Even the investors must be guaranteed of quality education. That is the only way we will get out of poverty, as a nation. Today, Zambia is seen as a shining example in the region. Every week, we receive delegations from across the region that come to learn how we are managing the economy. The tolling programme in Zambia has been a success. 


Ms Kasune: Okay.


Mr Chitotela: That is a fact. I think we will be inviting the media so that you can see how much Zambia is held in high esteem and how we are managing the economy. However, if somebody is jealous and wants to get that which you have, they will say anything so that they distract you. However, we are not distractible because we know what Zambians want.


Madam, the hon. Minister of Finance and her predecessor did a very good job. As a result, we are on the right trajectory to getting Zambia to the next level of development so that our children and grandchildren will come and say, indeed, they elected a simple and quiet giant, President Lungu, who transformed the economy of this country.


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chitotela: He has a team of men and women who understand economics and ...


Mr Livune: Where?


Mr Chitotela: … are doing the right things for the good of this country.


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Mr Chitotela: We want to assure Zambians that we will not fail or disappoint them. However, we understand that some of our friends who served with us had peculiar and special interests. Even today, they are still crying. In everything, they wanted, firstly, to benefit, and they think that, maybe, the way they did things is how their friends are doing. No. We are here to serve Zambians, not personal interests.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Member: Ma elders.


The Minister of Finance (Mrs Mwanakatwe): Madam Speaker, I sincerely thank you for giving me this opportunity to comment on some of the concerns raised in the report of the Budget Committee. I really thank the Committee for this brilliant report.


Madam Speaker, let me start by assuring the nation that the economy is in safe hands. It is robust. When you look at the macro indicators, our 4.1 per cent gross domestic product (GDP) growth is the best in Sub-Saharan Africa.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Our single-digit inflation rate is one of the best performing. Further, if you look at the exchange rate and how it has been stable over a long time, it is clear that this economy is heading in the right direction.


Madam Speaker, this Government will never fail to pay its external debt. There is worry about the Eurobonds. However, every six months, there is a bullet for us to pay, and we pay. We pay interest on all external debt when it is due.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Madam Speaker, when we say fiscal consolidation, we mean just that. We ensure that the fiscal consolidation is in line with what the macro is doing. We are bold in the decisions that we make. When our President, the National President, His Excellency …


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: … Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: … says that fiscal consolidation must continue, the macro must continue to be on a positive trajectory and the economy must grow. That is exactly what we are going to do. We are going to stick to that instruction because it is holding the economy together. When we say that we are going to consolidate fiscally, we mean we are not going to spend foolishly. We have not done that before and we will not do it going forward.


Mr Jere: Foolishly?


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Social spending cannot stop and economic roads will continue to be built because that is what the economy needs. So, when an hon. Member stands here and says there is no money for anything, that is not true. We are spending prudently. We are watching our debt and re-profiling it by looking for cheaper debt. We are taking a holistic view to ensure that the economy grows and diversifies.


Madam Speaker, diversification is showing already. When we say mining is the biggest contributor to the GDP, it is not true because the sector contributes only 3.1 per cent while agriculture contributes 15 per cent and construction contributes 20 per cent. That is diversification. In the first quarter of 2018, alone, cement, as a product, grew by 26 per cent. That is a sign of the economy growing and we are very confident that it will continue to grow.


Madam Speaker, there was concern about the mining sector and the mining tax regime. We are not shy of making very determined and serious decisions. Where we think that something is wrong, we will do the right thing. So, we will keep reviewing the mining tax regime and ensure that it is in line with what the country needs to see.


Madam, the Mineral Royalty Tax progresses. When the price of copper is between US$4,000 and US$4,500, the tax is at 4 per cent. Between US$4,500 and US$6,000, the tax is at 5 per cent. If the price is beyond US$6,000, it is at 6 per cent. So, we are taking part in the windfall. When there is a windfall, the tax is 6 per cent. So, I remind the hon. Member who did not read this report to go back and read it instead of debating, as we say in Ghanaian, ‘bibiara keke’, meaning debating in a manner that does not go to the root of the report or information and not being able to give the nation valid information. Bibiara keke.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr A. M. Malama: Ema Ghanaians aba!




Mrs Mwanakatwe: There is a concern in the report regarding fiscal decentralisation. In my ministry, there is an inter-governmental Fiscal Relations Unit that has been formed. The unit will focus on designing an effective inter-governmental fiscal architecture framework for decentralisation.


Madam, on out-put based budgeting (OBB), I am pleased to say that it has been rolled out in the Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of General Education and Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare. All the ministries have been trained, and we believe that going into the 2019 Budget, they will start using (OBB) as they look at their expenditure and revenue for the future.


Madam Speaker, the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) crashed at the Ministry of Finance in January, 2018. However, within three to four months, we had re-inputted the information going back ten years. I believe that people should appreciate that because the data was manually inputted and the system is now working, with every single ministry back on it. We also now have a backup. So, should anything happen to the main system again, the chances of losing data are very remote.


The issue of data collection is a genuine concern, and my ministry will prioritise and support every institution that plays a role in providing statistics, particularly the Central Statistical Office (CSO).


Madam Speaker, let me reaffirm that there are some measures that the President has instituted to ensure that this economy grows, and it must grow. We will ensure that it grows by, at least, 4 per cent. We will also remain in single-digit inflation and will ensure that the tax regime and exchange rates are stable.


Madam, every State-owned enterprise is being reviewed to ensure that those that are loss-making are set aside. Currently, there are seven companies that pay dividends to the Government. Two or three years ago, only two companies did. So, we are looking at everything.


We are looking at broadening the tax base and ensuring that the revenue base grows because the demands from society are continuously increasing. The demands from hon. Members of Parliament for social services are increasing. So, we have no choice, but to raise more and more money, especially domestically. Therefore, you will see us look at things like how we can make more money from the mukula tree and other minerals found in Zambia. As they are exported, we want to levy an export tax on them. You will see us get more involved in value addition in the mining sector, especially value addition to gold.


Madam Speaker, I think we are on firm ground and on our way to ensuring that this economy grows. Once again, I want to thank you and the Committee for a job well done.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Madam Speaker, I thank the seconder of the Motion, and the hon. Members and hon. Ministers who have supported your report.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Question put and agreed to.








The Information and Communication Technology Association of Zambia Bill, 2018


Report adopted.


Third Reading on Friday, 29th June, 2018.






(Debate resumed)


Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Madam Speaker, when business was suspended yesterday, I had just defined non-communicable diseases and explained that they are very important globally at the moment on account of the many deaths that they continued to cause among citizens, and that Zambia was no exception. I also gave examples of non-communicable diseases for my colleagues to have a better understanding of them.


Madam, non-communicable diseases are diseases like diabetes, hypertension, stroke, cancers, trauma (accidents and other forms of injuries), chronic lung diseases like asthma and mental diseases. In 2014, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that in Zambia, non-communicable diseases accounted for 23 per cent of all deaths, 80 per cent of which were due to the four main ones. It was also disturbing to learn that the non-communicable diseases were increasingly affecting the younger population, unlike in the past when they mostly affected the elderly. Sadly, the diseases appeared to be more prevalent in the reproductive age group of thirty to sixty years, thereby contributing significantly to premature deaths in Zambia. This means that in Zambia, an adult is more than ever before likely to die from a non-communicable disease. I am aware that in this House, many of us are grappling with non-communicable diseases. Therefore, it is very important that the work of this Committee informs the Executive on how the country can tackle these diseases.


Madam Speaker, reports suggest that factors associated with or responsible for non-communicable diseases include smoking, obesity, alcohol, unhealthy diet, a lack of physical activity and traffic accidents, which also cause major risk factors for non-communicable diseases. Further, your Committee observed that despite the establishment of the Health Promotion Department in the Ministry of Health, most patients continue to seek medical attention when it is too late due to a lack of information or for fear of being stigmatised. Your Committee recommends that the Government undertakes a more rigorous sensitisation campaign with messages encouraging people to be screened for non-communicable diseases prior to any symptoms, and to sensitise the public so as to avoid self-stigmatisation. Further, your Committee urges the District Health Management Teams (DHMTs) to they embark on sensitisation and screening in public places, such as schools, markets, bus stations and churches.


Madam, your Committee is concerned that the National Strategic Health Plan (NSHP) for Non-Communicable Diseases under the Ministry of Health, which was for the period 2013 to 2016 and has, therefore, expired, placed more emphasis on health promotion and was under-utilised, as it apparently focused more on curative rather preventive efforts. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to expedite the development of a new strategic plan on non-communicable diseases that should underscore the importance of prevention rather than of cure and ensure that the focus is on all the non-communicable diseases, not just on the four main ones, namely cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers and trauma.


Madam Speaker, on Social Cash Transfer (SCT), your Committee observed that the targeting method used to select eligible households by a selected team of community members and leaders is unreliable because risks of selection bias are inevitable and may, therefore, undermine the programme’s effectiveness. Your Committee, therefore, strongly recommends that the Government reveals the targeting methods with a view to finding one that is acceptable and cost-effective to reduce overhead costs and allay the fears of bias. Further, your Committee recommends that the selection model follows the bottom-up approach, which allows residents to vet themselves, as they know one another’s economic status very well. Your Committee is concerned about the failure by the SCT programme to graduate deserving beneficiaries despite improvements in their livelihoods, resilience and well-being, thereby defeating the essence of this very good programme. Your Committee recommends that the Government urgently establishes a coherent graduation criterion in order to allow more beneficiaries to be considered for selection. Your Committee is also of the view that this would work well if the SCT was made conditional.


In conclusion, I thank you for the guidance provided to your Committee during the session. I also thank all the stakeholders who appeared before your Committee. Lastly, I thank the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the support they rendered to your Committee throughout the session.


Madam Speaker, I beg to move.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?


Mr L. N. Tembo (Kaumbwe): Now, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1810 hours until 1830 hours.




Mr L. N. Tembo: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I had just started seconding the Motion, which has been clearly moved by the mover. I will now focus on issues that the Chairperson of your Committee has not covered in his debate. Let me start with delayed funding to the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) programme.


Madam, delayed funding leads to disruptions in the implementation of the SCT programme. For instance, your Committee noted with concern during its local tour that payments to beneficiaries were four months behind schedule, thereby making planning difficult. The Committee further observes that the amount transferred is K90, which is too little to have a meaningful impact on the livelihoods of the beneficiaries. In light of the above, your Committee recommends that the Government puts in place measures to ensure regularity and predictability of transfers, as this should be a key feature of the programme and would accord an opportunity to the beneficiaries to adequately plan and make an investment. Your Committee also urges the Government to consider increasing the amount by indexing it to inflation or doubling monthly transfers for a meaningful impact to be realised.


Another matter that I would like to bring to the attention of the Executive is the absence of a legal framework to guide the smooth implementation of the programme. Your Committee is concerned that the right to social protection is not legally guaranteed. Therefore, there are gaps in adherence to minimum standards. In order to address this issue, the Government needs to expedite the enactment of the necessary legislation, such as the Social Protection Bill. It is your Committee’s considered view that if the programme was backed by a legal framework, its continuity would be guaranteed by successive Governments. The proposed piece of legislation would also ensure that minimum standards are met during the implementation of the programme.


Sir, as regards non-communicable diseases, your Committee observes that the psychiatry departments of some health institutions visited by your Committee did not have the necessary drugs. Therefore, the drugs had to be sourced from Chainama Hills Hospital in Lusaka. In view of this, your Committee recommends that drugs for mental patients be prioritised just like those for other non-communicable diseases.


Another issue of concern is that the existing pieces of legislation, including by-laws on alcohol, such as operating hours of bars, noise pollution and age of consumers, are not being enforced.  Your Committee urges the Government to urgently revise the existing pieces of legislation to complement the existing by-laws so as to regulate the production and consumption of alcohol.


The Committee is also worried about the hazards of cigarette smoking in public and the pollution of the air by exhaust fumes from motor vehicles, which have continued with little or no control. In this vein, your Committee recommends that the Government puts in place strong legislation on the control of public smoking. In addition, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Transport and Communication, should put in place measures or formulate laws to ban vehicles that emit dangerous exhaust fumes that can cause lung cancer.


Lastly, Mr Speaker, I thank the Chairperson of the Committee for the able manner in which he presided over the affairs of your Committee during its deliberations and during the session in general. Allow me to also thank the members of your Committee for according the voice of the youths an opportunity to second this important Motion.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr L. N. Tembo: I also join the Chairperson of the Committee in thanking you for affording us the chance to serve on this very important Committee.


Mr Speaker, I beg to second.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Ema youth aba!


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, I thank you ─


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Kaputa, before you go any further, we have to conclude this report. Therefore, it is important that you only bring out new points so that you can give chance to others, otherwise, we may not conclude the debate.


Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, I will endeavour to be very brief as I support the report of your Committee. Let me straight away give my thoughts on the second topic, which was on progress in the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) programme in Zambia.


Sir, the SCT programme is one of the social protection mechanisms that the Government has used to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor and bring inequality to bearable levels. It is a very important programme. In Kaputa, we started benefitting from the programme as early as 2007, and we have seen progress in some of our communities, especially among households headed by women, the elderly and the vulnerable. I will come back to this point later in my debate.


Mr Speaker, the other important result of the SCT programme in communities is a reduction of hunger and food insecurity. Some of the beneficiaries have been able to use the small amounts to grow food crops. Some women or households that have no other form of support or income have been able to pay their children’s school fees using the little money provided. Above all, they have been able to improve the nutritional status of their households and communities. Therefore, we may not be able to reduce the high poverty levels in this country, but we can see that the Government’s support for the programme was well-intended, as it is of great benefit to the communities where it is being implemented. I, therefore, propose that this programme targets every vulnerable person in Zambia. We have many people in our communities who are disabled, elderly and otherwise vulnerable who may not have any support. If the Government could increase the number of beneficiaries and the transfer amount, the people of Zambia would be very grateful.


Mr Speaker, in the implementation of the SCT programme, we have noticed some challenges in the targeting, and I agree with your Committee on this score. In most cases, the numbers allocated to the districts or communities are decided from offices. People seated here, in Lusaka, tell us in Kaputa, for instance, that they are probably coming to recruit a number as small as 200 or 300 households. Immediately, that poses a challenge of deciding where to start from, especially when 200 households can be supplied by one community. Even if we asked village headmen to identify those who are vulnerable, the element of bias comes in and the headman can choose his family members at the expense of more vulnerable and more deserving people. That is what I have observed with this programme. Therefore, I suggest that a bottom-up approach be adopted. The Government should allow people in the districts and communities to provide the data on vulnerability because the data is there. The offices in the urban centres can, then, allocate the numbers to the districts.


Mr Speaker, the other issue is the sustainability of this particular programme. We know from the report that the programme was initially supported heavily by our co-operating partners, but the Government has been trying to make its contribution. However, the figures are still not good enough. Basically, we are saying that we, as a Government, must take 100 per cent ownership of the programme and ensure that it is budgeted for. Only then will we know that there will be sustainability in this programme going forward.


Mr Speaker, I also support your Committee’s recommendation that we create a legal framework to anchor the programme. Currently, the financing of the programme is at the mercy of the Treasury. When we have challenges in the Treasury, the programme will be impacted negatively and very heavily, yet it is an important programme that helps the vulnerable. If it was legislated, however, we would be very sure that its funding would be prioritised even when there are challenges.


Sir, there are many other challenges in the SCT programme, but I support the report and put on record the people of Kaputa’s happiness with it. Their only request is that the transfer amounts be increased because the K90 they currently get might not buy even a bag of mealie meal, unless they are lucky. If we increased the amount to somewhere around K400 to K500 per household, it would go a long way in helping the vulnerable in our society.


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


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity given to me to add one or two contributions in support of your report. I will specifically debate the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) Programme.


Sir, the SCT Programme is welcome because it has, to some level, improved the livelihood of some people in our various places, especially the remote rural areas, where people have no access to employment or proper economic activities that can help them earn money to sustain their livelihood. However, there is a difference that creates some weaknesses and disadvantages in the way the programme was started and the way it is run. I believe that the essence of the programme was to bridge the gap between the haves and the have-nots, and if we looked at the location of the have-nots and the vulnerable, we would see that it is in the villages far away from the township areas. When the programme started, the money used to be taken to the doorstep of the beneficiaries, which was good and welcome. However, now, the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare works in conjunction with Zambia Postal Services (ZAMPOST). It is not bad, intrinsically, that ZAMPOST is handling the delivery of money. However, what I observed in Kalabo is that when the officers travel to the various places, they do not give notice. So, they catch the people unaware and, when they find that some people are not present, their money is taken back to the Boma.


Sir, if one went to the post office at the Boma, you might think that the people you would see there are pensioners getting their monthly dues. However, after looking at their ages, you would notice the aged and the disabled among them, and they would have walked from their villages, sometimes 60 km away, to the post office because the officers did not deliver the money to them. So, they have to walk distances like the one from Mitwi Ward, which borders Shangombo, to Kalabo Boma, some 130 km away, just to get a K90 multiplied by two, which is K180. For this reason, I request the Government to encourage ZAMPOST to come up with a way of informing people of its cash deliveries so that they can be available to receive their money and avoid walking long distances to access it. Since regions are different, there are also some places that are not reachable during the rainy season. Therefore, officers find it difficult to deliver money to beneficiaries.


Sir, when the programme started, the ministry procured twin-engine out boats, and we had one in Kalabo. So, during the rainy season, especially when the area was flooded, the department was able to deliver the money anywhere because it could use 4 x 4 vehicles on road and the boat on water. ZAMPOST, on the other hand, has to hire or book a boat to reach some flooded places. So, I suggest to the Executive that the beneficiaries can be paid in advance for the months during which their areas are unreachable. We all know that the areas get flooded around October or November. So, the ministry can pay the beneficiaries four or five months in advance.


Mr Speaker, during tours of my constituency, I have found some officers delivering money without being escorted by security personnel. Usually, I get a negative feeling about that. Sometime back, when teachers still got their salaries over the counter, there was an incident in which all the money was stolen at gunpoint. I, therefore, encourage the Government to ensure that ZAMPOST officers are accompanied by security personnel when going to deliver money, since we have enough police officers to execute such important tasks so that the money does not fail to reach its intended beneficiaries.


Sir, this is a very good Motion on a very good activity. Everything is good. Therefore, we have to ensure that the mission is accomplished by reaching its intended beneficiaries.


Mr Speaker, I do not want to bore the House. So, let me just say that there is a place called Libilingomba in Kalabo, which is not accessible even by boat because rivers do not reach there. It can only be accessible by using a chopper. This is another challenge to the SCT Programme in my constituency.


Mr Speaker, with those few words, I thank.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: I will give the Floor to the hon. Member for Lubansenshi on my right and the hon. Member for Mitete on my left. Thereafter, we will move to the hon. Ministers.


Mr Mwamba (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate.


Sir, I read the report and looked at its thematic areas. Then, I decided to debate on health. I may not be an expert, but I have something to say about it.


Sir, when one reads the report, one realises that it has reviewed important information about the health of a person. Little did I know that non-communicable diseases were very dangerous and that they can easily take away a person’s loved ones. As I was reading, I got scared because of the way we acquire non-communicable diseases. There is so little information that the people in the villages do not know anything about the diseases. That is why, sometimes, they attribute such diseases to witchcraft. I am saying this because I would like to ask the Government to do a lot of sensitisation in the rural areas. We are well off because we are in towns and we easily access information. Above all, most people in towns are literate. So, they read, watch television, listen to the radio and get public information disseminated by experts. However, when one looks at the people in the villages, one sees a sorry sight because all the things are rare.


Sir, the Government is doing a commendable job in towns. We have hospitals in Lusaka, such as the Cancer Diseases Hospital, which is able to detect ailments like cancer early so that chances of successful treatment are high. Unfortunately, where we are, in the villages, that is a non-starter because the facilities are not there. So, the Government is doing well.


Mr Speaker, if you will allow me, I would like to say that, perhaps, this is the first Government to attach importance to problems associated with non-communicable diseases because it built the first hospital for cancer. Initially, we could not even confirm cancer cases. Instead, we just suspected.


Sir, we are happy that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government realised the need to put a lot of money in the building of hospitals like the Cancer Diseases Hospital in Lusaka. My plea to the hon. Minister of General Education is that the programme be cascaded. Let us build the hospitals closer to the people in the rural areas. We know the Government has already started doing so. There are hospitals in some provincial headquarters that are able to detect cancer and start treatment. Only when they have severe cases do they refer to hospitals in the big cities.


Mr Speaker, we want the Government to realise that it is not only in the provincial centres like Lusaka or Ndola where one finds many people, as there are also many people in rural areas like Lubansenshi Constituency. We have more people there whose problems must be detected early and treated. If the Government does not have the money to quickly put up infrastructure of that nature in rural areas, we should train experts and send them to the clinics in the rural areas to attend to the people. We know that the Government already has clinics in our areas. So, the experts, when placed there, will be able to diagnose such diseases so that they can be managed and treated.


Mr Speaker, I did not know that in 2014, 23 per cent of the deaths in Zambia were from non-communicable diseases. Two years later, the death toll from non-communicable diseases rose by about 10 per cent to 33 per cent. This rate of growth is dangerous for the country. So, I appeal to the hon. Minister of Finance to ensure that more attention is paid to the Ministry of Health as we allocate resources because whatever we do here is only possible because we are healthy. We would not be sitting here if we were unwell. 


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwamba: I am able to sit here and articulate issues in the manner I am doing because I am healthy. So, we need treatment to start at the grassroots. So, let us give more money to these areas. I also request the Government to give more money to the Ministry of General Education. The two ministries are too important to be let down.


Mr Speaker, I think I will end here.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Mr Speaker, I will equally do justice to our time, since the hon. Member who has just finished debating has talked about non-communicable diseases, and two others earlier debated on the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) Programme. I will just add a bit on the non-communicable diseases.


Mr Speaker, all we used to know or all we know in Zambia and low and middle-income countries are infectious diseases that you can say, “I am infected with”. What we have learned from the report is that non-communicable diseases are totally new. This calls for sensitisation. If people will not be sensitised, they will die. Truly, these diseases kill.


Mr Speaker, thank you for the workshop yesterday in which we learned that tobacco is a major killer. One can put together a Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome HIV/AIDS-related disease and two other diseases, but they will not be comparable to tobacco in terms of the number of people they kill, yet tobacco is chewed by women. It is put under the tongue and God knows where else because of the ...




Mr Mutelo: ... nicotine it contains. So, hon. Minister, let us not shy away from giving the information to the people.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, in rural places, when you talk of non-communicable diseases, you talk of the new department at the University of Zambia (UNZA), intangibles, and what comes next are Karavinas. When someone collapses due to undetected hypertension, in a village, they would talk about the intangibles.




Mr Mutelo: That is witchcraft. Then, Karavinas come in. So, justice should be done by sensitising us. The non-communicable diseases were diseases of apa mwamba, those from the Western world. ‘Apa mwamba’ means the upper class or those who live well; those who have breakfast, lunch and supper. Now, they affect even those who just have one meal a day.




Mr Mutelo: That is how dangerous these things are.


Mr Speaker, in supporting the Motion, I would like to say, let us do justice to life. The most important capital under the sun is human capital. You lose human capital, you lose it all. So, the hon. Minister should help us take care of our human capital’s health. When the nearest clinic to a person is 150 km away, would he or she say, “Let me go there for screening.”? In the village, it is only during commemorations like on World Malaria Day that screening for a disease commonly known as BP (hypertension) will be carried out. The rest are unheard of. So, let us up our game, hon. Minister, in the fight against non-communicable diseases. 


Mr Speaker, justice has already been done to the issue of the SCT Programme. However, I must add that the selection of beneficiaries leaves much to be desired. How does one ask a disabled person to walk more than 100 km to be certified by medical personnel when that person’s fellow villagers are able to say that he or she is blind or disabled?


Mr Speaker, in supporting your report, allow me to end there.


I thank you, Sir.


The Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare (Ms Kabanshi): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for allowing me to debate.


Sir, from the outset, let me thank the Chairperson of the Committee and the seconder of the Motion for presenting this wonderful report. The issues it brought out are very pertinent.


Mr Speaker, I have noted all the issues raised by the hon. Member for Kaputa, Mr Ng’onga; Hon. Listed Tembo; and Hon. Miyutu, and we are going to work on them because they are very important.


Mr Speaker, your Committee is concerned about the delayed disbursement of funds to programmes, which leads to disruptions in implementation. The ministry appreciates the Committee’s concern and assures the House that it will engage the Ministry of Finance so that we can catch up on the payments or cash transfers. Further, your Committee raised the issue of the insufficiency of the amount transferred to beneficiaries and the suggestion that it be raised to, at least, K100. My ministry noted that the amount is, indeed, too little. However, the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) Programme is not only benefitting the individual beneficiaries, but also the local economies in the communities where it is implemented. So, when you add up all the money the Government is taking into the communities, you will realise that the programme is not only improving the wellbeing of the beneficiaries, but also supporting the growth of small businesses in the communities.


Mr Speaker, your Committee is also concerned that there is no law that guarantees the right to social protection and that there are, therefore, gaps in adherence to minimum standards in the implementation of the SCT Programme. I would like to assure the House that the ministry is working on a Bill that will guarantee social protection for the people of Zambia.


Sir, your Committee also expressed concern over the huge demand for the SCT Programme, which is resulting in an over-reliance on the programme to the exclusion of other social protection programmes, such as the Public Welfare Assistance Scheme, Food Security Pack (FSP) Programme and the Women Empowerment Fund (WEF). Following the launch of the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) by His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the ministry has been working on an integrated framework of basic social protection programmes aimed at improving coherence, programme linkages and referrals in order to maximise resources and cut on programming gaps. The framework promotes complementarity among all the programmes so that the households can be empowered based on their needs rather than reliance. An example is the Keeping Girls in School, a programme in which we target households that receive SCTs.


Mr Speaker, we have taken note of your Committee’s observation that the community-based targeting done by volunteers and officers from my ministry is unreliable. We will endeavour to review the targeting process. However, we wish to inform the Committee that the selection criteria that the ministry uses are robust and include community participation and awareness raising among potential beneficiaries who, then, register with the officers.


The other concern that was raised by the Committee was the failure by the beneficiaries to graduate from the programme despite evident improvement in their livelihood, resilience and wellbeing. The ministry has taken note of that and wishes to inform the Committee that it will pilot a Single Window Service System in six districts, starting with Mambwe. This year, we will target female-headed households under the SCT Programme. The households will also be given empowerment grants so that, after three years, they can be reassessed and graduated. Before they are given the grants, the beneficiaries will be trained and provided with information on savings. That way, when they graduate, they will be able to pay the K400 farmer contribution to the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).


Sir, your Committee is disappointed that the Government has not fully sensitised the masses on the selection process. We took note of that concern. As a Government, we will work on it. The ministry is improving its communication strategy so as to make it more effective as we go into the community for sensitisation.


Sir, the other concern of your Committee is that the beneficiaries did not know the amount to which they are entitled. That is because of the illiteracy levels in the communities. In that regard, as we implement social protection programmes, we also impart functional literacy, which helps the beneficiaries to learn how to read, write and understand the figures.


Mr Speaker, the last issue that was brought up by your Committee is a complaint by some of the stakeholders that their complaints take too long to be attended to. I assure the Committee and the House that we are working on a faster procedure for dealing with all the issues being raised in our programme.


Sir, let me thank all the hon. Members who supported the report and assure the hon. Member for Mitete, who complained about a lack of accessibility. He also complained about the post office. As a Government, we are trying to build capacity in the post office. Our co-operating partners are very committed to doing that. As a Government, we do not want to leave anyone behind.


I submit, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking the Committee for its report on non-communicable diseases and the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) Programme. I thank the Chairperson of the Committee for ably presenting the report and the seconder for ably supporting it.


Sir, non-communicable diseases are a very pertinent concern in the health sector. So, I am happy that the Committee chose to study them.


Sir, the Committee is concerned that little is being done to protect the public against non-communicable diseases and that economic gains are being eroded by the diseases.


Mr Speaker, in responding to the report, I would like to begin by talking about the National Health Strategic Plan (NHSP), in which it is said clearly that we are embarking on a transformational agenda that looks to make health systems robust and resilient in order for all Zambians to access health services. We have also made it very clear that we will focus on primary health care and that integrated community-based approaches will be the core of this endeavour. We have also made it very clear that we have transitioned from the passive waiting for patients in hospitals and placed public health teams in communities to engage with members of the public while they are still well and empower them with information so that they can make decisions that will protect them from ill health, including from non-communicable diseases. We have also clearly said that in our quest to deliver health services to our people, we will focus on wellness and health promotion.


Mr Speaker, the statement in the NHSP 2017-2021 that there is a paradigm shift in the entry point into the health sector from the hospital-based cure to the household and community is loaded. I will elaborate as I speak about non-communicable diseases.


Mr Speaker, the Committee correctly and clearly picks out the risk factors for non-communicable diseases as tobacco smoking, alcohol abuse, physical inactivity and poor diet. So, the Ministry of Health is crafting appropriate messages and delivering them to the public using various media platforms and congregate settings to empower people with information so that they can have healthier diets, be physically active, consume alcohol responsibly and abandon smoking. This is the reason we created a directorate that would be responsible for crafting those messages. The directorate also talks about the environment and social determinants. As a Government, we are going to adopt a multi-sectoral approach to health because we do not believe that the health sector alone can manage to ensure that everybody is healthy. Rather, we believe that all sectors have a role to play in this endeavour. This is why the Government has adopted the Health in All Policy, which entails all sectors taking part in ensuring that the community is healthy.


Mr Speaker, the Ministry of General Education is helping to promote good health. Through the National Alcohol Policy, there is also sensitisation on the harmful effects of alcohol in schools. Through the measured dissemination of information on sexuality through the Comprehensive Sexuality Education Programme, the Ministry of General Education is empowering our children to avoid contracting Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS). Similarly, the importance of physical activity and good nutrition is being emphasised in our education sector.


Mr Speaker, other sectors, such local government, are also on board now and ensuring that as roads are built, walking tracks are provided for people to jog or walk on. In its push towards crop diversification, the agriculture sector talks about good nutrition, thereby contributing to the fight against non-communicable diseases. The role of the directorate I mentioned earlier is to coherently co-ordinate all the sectors in managing the social determinants and commerce of health so that our people are kept safe from non-communicable diseases. So, firstly, we have adopted the Health in All policy. Secondly, we created a department in the ministry dedicated to crafting messages and engaging with all sectors. Thirdly, we have shifted from the curative-biased hospital-based services to community-based interventions that include health promotion. We are focusing on wellness. As we have said repeatedly, we will be the Ministry of Health, not of treatment. That is why we are prioritising health promotion and disease prevention over curative, rehabilitative and palliative services.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, one very important factor in our quest to fight non-communicable diseases is the political will we see in Zambia today under the presidency of His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, …


Mr Livune: Question!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: … which is unprecedented.


Mr Speaker, the President has openly …


Ms Kapata: Ukumyanga pa tarmac.


Dr Chilufya: … said that health is a key economic investment and that he would invest in the health of the people. He has been walking the talk ever since.


Mr Speaker, President Lungu is a champion of the fight against non-communicable diseases. One, President Lungu encourages everybody in a practical sense to engage in physical exercises. He has been seen on various media platforms demonstrating how it is done. That is the political will we need. The importance of physical activity is demonstrated by the President practically, as he exercises on a daily basis. As a result, most Zambians are now indoctrinated and run every morning. This is because of the political will, encouragement and advocacy.


Mr Speaker, President Lungu has scored another first by introducing the National Health Week during which we focus on wellness, physical exercises, good nutrition and many other health-promoting activities. This is the reason we have seen many Zambians respond to the messages. The political will and advocacy of President Lungu is paying dividends.


Mr Speaker, I also want to emphasise that the Ministry of Health has engaged various stakeholders. We have had meetings with the Church mother bodies, all religious leaders in the country, traditional leaders and other stakeholders like the Ministry of General Education just to help us disseminate information. We will, in July, 2018, hold indabas with all the key stakeholders to disseminate information effectively. For the hon. Members of Parliament, we are seeking permission from your Office to facilitate a workshop on non-communicable diseases in the coming month as part of the NHSP. We would like hon. Members to be our advocates against non-communicable diseases in their communities.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, again, to demonstrate its political will to combat non-communicable diseases, the Government has passed the National Alcohol Policy, which is another first by the Patriotic Front Government under His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu. The policy has far-reaching implications and brings many stakeholders into the fight against alcohol abuse. Furthermore, Zambia is domesticating the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), meaning that Zambia is taking practical steps to protect people from the harmful effects of tobacco. This is important to the fight against non-communicable diseases.


Mr Speaker, I urge hon. Members of Parliament to be advocates against non-communicable diseases. We must be at the forefront of preaching good nutrition. I also urge that we change our diet, even here, at Parliament, to healthier foods.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, I also urge that we, the hon. Members of Parliament, drive less. Instead, we should walk and cycle more so that we can encourage the public to engage in physical exercises. I also urge female hon. Members of Parliament to participate in changing the curriculum for our alangizi, the women who counsel young women before they get married. Many women who counsel young ladies before they get married encourage the feeding of a man so that he gets fat and they call that looking after a man well. They also say that the way to a man’s heart is through the stomach. Consequently, newly-wed women over-feed their husbands and, in so doing, make them obese, diabetic and hypertensive. So, we need to review the curriculum for alangizi, and our parliamentarians need to participate in that. Ukwenda ubwikele or “walking while seated”, which is a euphemism for driving and not engaging in physical exercises, is leading to many people having non-communicable diseases.


Mr Speaker, I will reserve the rest of the information for the workshop if you will give us the opportunity to hold it. For now, I just want to thank the Committee for bringing out such an important subject. I assure the House and the nation that the subject is ably tackled in the National Health Strategic Plan (NHSP) and that we are firmly on track to combating non-communicable diseases. One of our legacy goals in the NHSP is that we will reduce the incidence of premature deaths from non-communicable diseases.


Sir, it must go on record that President Edgar Chagwa Lungu is a champion of the fight against non-communicable diseases and has practically demonstrated the importance of physical activity. Oftentimes, he has spoken about the dangers of all the risk factors. With his demonstration of that political will, Zambia is firmly on track to reducing the incidence of non-communicable diseases.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Members most sincerely for supporting your report. I believe that your Committee has generated sufficient debate and interest. We have also converted some of our hon. Colleagues who did not believe that non-communicable diseases kill or did not even know that non-communicable diseases are very costly to treat and run a very long course. In fact, some people did not know that non-communicable diseases are the reason we have to evacuate some of our citizens out of the country at a high cost, that they are the reason we need dialysis machines and Intensive Care Units (ICUs), and that, in fact, they are a major cost on the health sector.  However, at the root of the problem are risk factors that are modifiable and avoidable. I, therefore, urge all hon. Members, as the hon. Minister has said, to take interest in this issue, particularly the male hon. Members, because we realise that male health still lags behind maternal health. They should go for screening for prostate cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.


Mr Speaker, I extend my sincere condolences, though belated, to the Zambia Medical Association (ZMA) and to the hon. Minister on the loss of four doctors in the last three to four weeks, primarily due to non-communicable diseases. If these diseases can affect us, the doctors, what about the other hon. Members seated in this House? I concur with the hon. Minister that we can do a lot to our diet here. I am one of those who have been concerned that every two hours, hon. Members go down to feed on sugar, water and a lot of carbohydrates. I think that is detrimental to health and I know, for sure, that the number of diabetics is increasing in this House. I also know that we can do something about that.


Mr Speaker, this morning, I visited our pharmacy, the biggest section in our clinic, which is fast moving drugs for those on anti-diabetes and anti-hypertension. This problem is real. In fact, in September, 2018, it will be considered at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the highest organ of the United Nations (UN), by our colleagues, the hon. Ministers and the Heads of State.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


You are debating again.


Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I thank the six hon. Members who have contributed to the debate on your report. We hope that all of us will, from today, be advocates of the fight against non-communicable diseases and that we will continue spreading this message.


I thank, Sir.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Question put and agreed to.




The Chief Whip and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Chungu): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1936 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 29th June, 2018.








285. Dr Chibanda (Mufulira) asked the Vice-President:


  1. when the report of the Gabon plane crash will be released to the public;


  1. why it has taken long to release the report;


  1. whether families of the players and officials who died in the plane crash have been compensated;


  1. if so, who compensated the families; and


  1. if the families have not been compensated, why.


The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, the Report on the Gabon Plane Crash Disaster of 1993 is in the custody of the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ). However, it is still a classified document that will only be released to the general public when it is declassified.


The release of the report has taken long because the document is classified, as stated already.


Sir, all the families of the players and officials who died in the disaster have been compensated. The total compensation amount is  K29 million in the un-rebased currency. The families were compensated by the Government of the Republic of Zambia through the Ministry of Justice.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.