Tuesday, 10th July, 2018

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Tuesday, 10th July, 2018


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












Mr Speaker: I wish to inform the House that the Ministry of General Education will hold a half day symposium with all hon. Members of Parliament on the proposed operational reforms in the education sector. The symposium will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, in the amphitheatre, here at Parliament Buildings, beginning at 0830 hours and will end at 1230 hours. All hon. Members are, therefore, urged to attend this very important engagement.


I thank you.




Mr Speaker: I wish to inform the House that Ms Maria P. Langa, hon. Member for Chilanga Parliamentary Constituency, has been nominated to serve on the Committee on Legal Affairs, Human Rights, National Guidance, Gender Matters and Governance.


I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Livune: I thought she had resigned, Sir.










Mr Speaker: I now order you, Mr Harry Kalaba, MP, to stand behind the Bar of the House. I also instruct the Serjeant-at-Arms to take the Speaker’s Mace and stand behind Mr H. Kalaba, MP.


Mr Harry Kalaba, MP, was escorted to the Bar of the House by the Serjeant-at-Arms.


Mr Speaker: Hon Members, on 19th March, 2018, the Government Chief Whip, Hon. S. Chungu, MP, wrote to Mr H. Kalaba, hon. Member of Parliament for Bahati Parliamentary Constituency, regarding his absence from the House for twelve days from the date that the House commenced the Legislative Meeting on 20th February, 2018. The Government Chief Whip reminded Mr Kalaba, MP, of the need for a Member to seek the permission of either the Speaker or himself if he/she was to be absent from the House. The Government Chief Whip further requested Mr H. Kalaba, MP, to furnish him with reasons his absence from the House should not be referred to the Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services for inquiry.


Mr H. Kalaba, MP, responded to the Government Chief Whip by a letter dated 21st March, 2018. In his response, Mr H. Kalaba, MP, explained that his absence from the House was due to the fact that he had lost eight members of his constituency on Lake Bangweulu and had spent about fifteen days in his constituency mourning with the families of the deceased and assisting with burial arrangements and other logistics.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: He added that he had notified Mr J. Chabi, Member of Parliament …


Mr Chabi: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker:  … for Chipili Parliamentary Constituency of the situation and had requested him to convey the reasons of his absence from the House to the Hon. Government Chief Whip, but regrettably, Mr J. Chabi, MP, had not done this. He concluded his response by stating that his absence from the House was neither deliberate nor intended to undermine the Office of the Government Chief Whip or, indeed, the decorum and etiquette of the House.


The House may wish to know that the Office of the Clerk wrote to Mr J. Chabi, MP, who confirmed that he had, indeed, been asked by Mr H. Kalaba, MP, to communicate his absence and the circumstances leading to it to either the Hon. Mr Speaker or the Government Chief Whip, but had forgotten to do so.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Following receipt of the Government Chief Whip’s letter and Mr H. Kalaba's response, the Office of the Clerk perused the Hon. Members’ Attendance Register and confirmed that at the time the letter was written to Mr H. Kalaba, MP, on 19th March, 2018, he had only attended two out of a total of fourteen Sittings. A further perusal of the Register revealed that Mr H. Kalaba, MP, was also absent on 29th March, 2018, and that even after writing his exculpatory letter, on 21st March, 2018, he was, again, absent from the House on 21st, 27th and 29th March, 2018. In this regard, Mr H. Kalaba, MP, only attended five out of twenty-one sittings during the Legislative Meeting.


Further, the records revealed that even during the current Meeting, Mr H. Kalaba, MP, was absent without leave on 14th and 15th June, 2018, bringing the total number of days he had been absent from the House to eighteen Sittings.


Hon. Members, I accordingly referred the matter to the Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services for its consideration. In line with Parliamentary Practice and Procedure and the rules of natural justice, Mr H. Kalaba, MP, appeared before the Committee. In his submission before the Committee, Mr H. Kalaba, MP, reiterated the fact that his absence from the House was due to the fact that he had been attending funerals in his constituency and that he had attempted to communicate his absence to the Hon. Mr Speaker, through Mr J. Chabi, Member of Parliament for Chipili Parliamentary Constituency.


Mr Chabi: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: With regard to his absence on 14th and 15th June, 2018, Mr H. Kalaba, MP, informed the Committee that on 14th June, 2018, he was attending rehearsals for his graduation ceremony …


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: … which he attended on 15th June, 2018. He added that he had informed the Government Chief Whip that he would be absent on those days. He nonetheless acknowledged that by being absent from the House, without prior permission of either the Hon. Mr Speaker or the Government Chief Whip, he had breached the rules of the House and apologised unreservedly for his omission.


The Committee, upon deliberation on the matter found that the hon. Member’s conduct of being absent from the House for eighteen Sittings without prior permission of either the Hon. Mr Speaker or the Government Chief Whip, was a breach of Standing Order No. 151(3) which provides as follows:


“The Committee shall examine every case where an hon. Member has been absent for any period from the sittings of the House or any Sessional Committee without the permission of the Speaker or the Chief Whip and report whether the absence should be condoned or circumstances of the case justify that the House should, by resolution, either direct the Speaker to reprimand such Member or suspend him or her from the services of the National Assembly for such period as it may determine.”


The Committee in this regard found that Mr H. Kalaba, MP, was in breach of Parliamentary Privileges. The Committee further observed that even on those days that Mr H. Kalaba, MP, had attended the sittings of the House; he merely signed in and left the House shortly after. The Committee found that this conduct was unacceptable as hon. Members of Parliament are expected to be present in the House for the duration of a sitting unless they have prior permission to stay away.


In deciding what punishment to mete out to Mr H. Kalaba, MP, the Committee noted that Standing Order No. 151(3) only provided for two options: one, reprimand and two, suspension. The Committee also took into account the fact that Mr H. Kalaba, MP, had readily admitted that he had breached the rules of the House and, therefore, did not waste its time. Additionally, he had shown remorse for his misconduct. The Committee further took into account its decision in the case of Mr Miles Sampa, former Member of Parliament for Matero Constituency …


Hon. PF Members: And Mayor of Lusaka.


Mr Speaker: … whose facts were similar to the hon. Member’s case.




Mr Speaker: In the Miles Sampa case, following the death of Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, then President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Miles Sampa absented himself from twenty-two sittings of the House …


Hon. Members: Hmm!


Mr Speaker: …without prior permission of either the Hon. Mr Speaker or the Government Chief Whip. When he appeared before the Committee, Mr Sampa attributed his absenteeism to the emotional distress caused by the death of Mr Sata who was not only the Republican President, but also his uncle and mentor. He, however, admitted that it did not absolve him of blame for failing to seek leave of absence from the Sittings of the House. He thus pleaded for the Committee’s leniency and the Committee, in exercising leniency, resolved to reprimand rather than suspend him from the House.


In view of the foregoing considerations, the Committee elected to exercise leniency and resolved that Mr H. Kalaba, MP, should be reprimanded. Thus, in accordance with Standing Order No. 151(3) of the National Assembly of Zambia Standing Orders 2016, I now put the question.


Question that this House do reprimand Mr H Kalaba, MP, for unauthorised absence from the House for eighteen days put and negatived.








The Minister of Local Government (Mr Mwale): Mr Speaker, in line with your directive that I render a brief statement clarifying the involvement of some Members of Parliament in the procurement process of the earth-moving equipment, I would like to state that the background of this matter is well known to this august House as this information has been presented here before. However, allow me to give a brief account of what transpired as per your directive.


Mr Speaker, in 2012, a business representative of the United Kingdom (UK) based company called Techmiya Commercials Limited approached the then Member of Parliament for Chinsali Central Constituency to sell the idea to supply second hand earth-moving equipment which could be bought using Constituency Development Fund (CDF). The former Member of Parliament bought into the idea and shared it with other Members of Parliament in Muchinga.


Sir, consequently, two constituencies, namely Chinsali Central and Shiwang’andu, through Chinsali District Council, procured the equipment which was later delivered. This development excited Members of Parliament from other provinces, the Southern Province included. As a result, a number of Members of Parliament, through their respective local authorities, decided to procure this second hand equipment on the condition which the supplier had set out. One such condition was that all interested constituencies should transfer, at least, 25 per cent of the required total cost as deposit before shipment of the equipment. The balance of 75 per cent was due to be paid upon delivery of the equipment.


Mr Speaker, Munali and Kanyama Constituencies, through Lusaka City Council, joined the two constituencies in Chinsali District then by starting the procurement process with Techmiya Commercials Limited which was done successfully and equipment was delivered.


Mr Speaker, in the case of Chama Town Council in the Eastern Province, both Chama North and Chama South Constituencies had expressed interest to procure the equipment. Therefore, Chama District Council, on behalf of the two constituencies, processed part payment amounting to K400,000 each in favour of Techmiya Commercials Limited.


Mr Speaker, at this stage, some Members of Parliament from the Southern Province also developed interest in procuring the earth-moving equipment from Techmiya Commercials Limited and subsequently, introduced or linked Techmiya Commercials Limited to their respective local authorities. In 2013, these local authorities made payment to Techmiya Commercials Limited amounting to K1,753,826.04 from Choma, Pemba and Mbabala Constituencies. Further, from Kalomo District Council, which at that time covered Kalomo Central, Mapatizya and Dundumwezi Constituencies, a total of K2,424,052 was transferred.


Mr Speaker, after receiving the 25 per cent down payment, Techmiya Commercials Limited delivered all equipment for constituencies in the Southern Province up to Walvis Bay in Namibia. However, Techmiya Commercials Limited could not release the equipment because they were demanding for the final payment which the local authorities did not pay, resulting in demurrage fees accumulating over a period of almost two years. At this stage, the supplier decided to auction the equipment at Walvis Bay. The matter was reported to Zambia Police which has since instituted investigations.


Mr Speaker, with the foregoing, I wish to state that I did not mislead the House in my debate because the matter I touched on is very well known to all Members of Parliament. I was merely explaining that some councils in the Southern Province, in this matter, dealt directly with the supplier with the full knowledge of the Members of Parliament. This fact cannot be denied and, therefore, it cannot be said that I mislead the House. The supplier was introduced to Members of Parliament both on your right and left. The Members of Parliament, in turn, introduced or linked the supplier to their respective local authorities. The issue of concern is that while in other constituencies, the equipment was delivered and paid for, this is not the case with some of the constituencies in the Southern Province.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


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


Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Local Government has indicated in his statement that the supplier actually supplied or delivered the equipment up to Walvis Bay and then the councils could not pay for it. Is he aware that the supplier actually, brought wrong units up to Walvis Bay, hence, the councils’ not accepting to pay for units different from what was actually contained in the contract?


Sir, further, on the Floor of this august House, the Ministry of Local Government is on record as telling this august House and the nation at large that they will go into a Government to Government arrangement with the British Government to ensure that this matter is resolved. It is surprising that the hon. Minister came to this august House on Thursday the previous week and said that the police are still investigating this matter. What is the correct position?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the issue of wrong equipment being delivered to Walvis Bay is a matter that is subject to the investigation that I was referring to. That is why we brought in the police to try to check all the facts of what happened up to the Walvis Bay because there were no members of staff who could have ascertained what kind of equipment was delivered. I am saying so because soon after the supplier delivered the equipment which the councils did not pay for, they auctioned it. 


Sir, it is very possible that the equipment they delivered was not the right one and, therefore, the councils could not proceed to pay. This is a fact that we want to bring out through the investigations. It is true, Mr Speaker, that we said that we were going to engage Interpol to intervene and help us investigate this matter. The matter was reported to the police and they took up the matter with Interpol. There is also a requirement that our police actually, have to travel and work with Interpol in the UK.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Dr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, this issue has taken long, from 2012 to 2018.  Surely, what is the problem that has stopped the police from travelling? Is it due to a lack of resources or we do not have the police who are qualified and do not have passports? Can we be waiting for the police to travel to the United Kingdom (UK) for seven years.


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, on Friday, I admitted that it was a matter of resources and that this time around we were going to push further and see if we could find some resources from elsewhere. We are concerned and want to help our colleagues in the Southern Province to achieve the objective of having the equipment. It is, indeed, a matter of resources.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, I am concerned that the hon. Minister seems to have some incomplete information because Kazungula is missing on his list, yet it was one of the councils that was swindled by the supplier. I want the hon. Minister to state on the Floor of this august House that Techmiya Commercial Limited has no political relationship with the Patriotic Front (PF) Government.


Mr Speaker: Maybe, the hon. Minister has understood the question.


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, we want to deal with this matter objectively. However, such questions bring about issues. If people in the street were to suspect who has a relationship with the supplier, who would they suspect? Those who paid and received the equipment or those who paid and have not received the equipment? They would conclude that it is those who paid and did not receive the equipment. There is no relationship between the supplier and the PF Government. This is why in the PF-run councils, payments were made and the equipment was received …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwale: … because there is no relationship.




Mr Mwale: Therefore, people in the street would conclude that those who paid and did not receive the equipment may have a relationship.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.




Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Zimba (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, my question is a follow-up on the question by the hon. Member for Choma’s question. The hon. Minister said that the equipment stayed at the border for about two years. When the councils were procuring it, did they have a payment plan for it? Is it that the councils were not funded for them to pay for the equipment or was the equipment the wrong equipment as alluded to by the hon. Member of Parliament for Choma Central?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the procurement of the equipment was done directly by the councils and was not supported by the Ministry of Local Government. We were also trying hard to find that kind of information. We thought the police were actually the best to determine the matter because there is the issue of wrong equipment. The supplier and the councils have different stories. Sometimes, the councils and the hon. Members of Parliament may speak the same language, but we thought that the investigation would bring out the truth about the whole matter.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister confirm to me and the nation that Chama South, Chama North and Chasefu were some of those constituencies that were swindled. Chama South and Chama North were then led by the PF hon. Members of Parliament and Chasefu by the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) hon. Member.


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, in the statement, I clearly listed the constituencies that were swindled. I alluded to the fact that the two constituencies in Chama each made a payment of K400,000. Therefore, they are among those that were swindled. However, I am not sure who the hon. Members of Parliament of these constituencies were then or if they were not Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) hon. Members of Parliament.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, were the procurement procedures followed by the local authorities as laid down by the law?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, yes, indeed, they were followed.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister brought out a number of interesting statements. The first one was that the hon. Members of Parliament from the Southern Province introduced Techmiya Commercial Limited to the councils and the second one was that the councils procured the equipment without seeking authority or passing through his ministry. Is he able to substantiate that? If information to the contrary is obtained, what are the consequences?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I have admitted that, initially, the then hon. Member of Parliament for Chinsali introduced the company to many hon. Members of Parliament who developed interest and also introduced it to their respective councils. This is a matter of fact. We have investigated this matter through the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). However, the issue of concern is that of success. Whilst others were successful in paying and receiving the equipment, others were not and this is the matter at hand.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: There was an aspect of whether or not the Ministry of Local Government endorsed the procurement at the material time.


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Projects are endorsed by the hon. Minister. However, he does not state which company the councils should procure from. If a council wants to buy a grader, the hon. Minister will approve of that. However, with regard to which company it will buy it from or when it will do so remains with the procurement entity which, in this case, is the council.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, mine is a rider to Hon. Belemu’s question. The hon. Minister indicated that some of the councils did not go through his ministry. Let me refer to a letter which was written to Kalomo District Council:


P O Box 50027

15101 Ridgeway





6th June, 2012


The Council Secretary

Kalomo District Council





Following your request for authority to utilise the CDF to purchase earth-moving equipment and a grader, the hon. Minister has granted the council the authority to do so.


However, you are also required to seek approval of the cost of the same equipment before final commitment by yourselves.


J. Chulu

Acting Assistant Director LGA

For/Permanent Secretary

Ministry of Local Government and Housing


cc: The Provincial Local Government Officer, Southern Province, Livingstone


Mr Speaker, last week, the hon. Minister indicated on the Floor of this august House that most of the councils from the Southern Province did not follow the procedure by not going through his ministry.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Miyanda: What happens now since I have a letter? Hon. Kampyongo was the then hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing.




Mr Miyanda laid the paper on the Table.


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I thought it was clear when I was responding to the previous questions. I stated that the procurement entity is the council. The hon. Minister gives blanket authority to procure, but does not name the company which the council must procure from. Those nitty-gritties are dealt with by the councils. The hon. Member for Mapatizya is confirming that the letter did not say that the council should go and procure from Techmiya Commercial Limited in the United Kingdom (UK) …


Hon. UPND Members: Aah!


Mr Mwale: … but that the hon. Minister had granted the council authority to procure. Thereafter, the procurement entity decides where to procure from. Therefore, the hon. Member is just supporting the answer that I gave previously.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, in his statement, the hon. Minister said the equipment were second-hand. I would like to know whether councils are allowed to procure second-hand equipment by the Government.


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the Government policy then, allowed councils to procure second-hand equipment, but now it does not. It was as a result of that procurement and many other procurement which led to the Government losing so much money as a result of buying equipment which never worked even though it was delivered. Suffice to say that the Government policy has since changed.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, according to his investigations, I would like to find out what caused the failure by the councils to pay the remaining percentage after paying the 35 per cent. Was it because funds were not released from the Central Government in terms of the Constituency Development Fund CDF) or that they just deliberately did not pay the remaining 65 per cent.


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I felt it is against the rule of this House to be repetitive because the exact question was asked by the hon. Members for Chasefu, but I am going to repeat the answer.


Sir, I want to say that the investigations will tell us because one side of the story is that it is because the supplier brought wrong equipment hence, the councils could not proceed with the final payment. The other side of the story is that they were not able to because they had used the money on other things. There are many stories, but we think only the investigation will be able to bring out the truth because the whole process was carried out by councils, not by the ministry and that is what I said.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: As we progress, please, take into account previous responses so that we avoid repetition. If you are not able to, I will assist you by bypassing your question.


 Mr Chisopa: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: I will help you.


Mr Mwamba (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, interestingly, this is a very attractive statement in the sense that the Government released the money, but the people could not buy the equipment. May I know the directors of this company? Are Zambians involved or it is purely the Europeans called Techmiya?


Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear! Ema question aya!


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, again, I will have to rely on the experience I had when I was a member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). When we were probing this matter, I did not come with that information. I had specific terms of reference to deal with to correct the impression that had been created earlier.


Sir, relying on the experience I have and looking at this matter through PAC, I wish to state that the directors were Zambians, but based in the United Kingdom (UK). They were also getting the equipment from some entity owned by the British in that country. What they said then, was that once the British received the money, they considered it as if it was from the Zambian Government. Therefore, they released the equipment and held on to some equipment regardless of who had made the deposit and treated the whole transaction as one. As a result of that action, it affected the Zambian company, which is based in the UK and, thereafter, we ended up where we are.


Mr Speaker, coming back to the question, Zambians, who are based in England in conjunction with some British citizens own this company.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: I will take the last round of questions as follows: the hon. Member for Mkushi South, the hon. Member for Chembe, the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central, the hon. Member for the hon. Member for Ikeleng’i, the Leader of the Opposition, the hon. Member for Kamfinsa and the last question will be from the hon. Member for Lukulu East.


Mr Chisopa (Mkushi South): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the statement. The hon. Minister has made an indication that the directors of this company are Zambians.  Is he able to share with us the names of the directors and as a bonus …


Mr Speaker: Order!


I only permitted one question. Continue to respond, hon. Minister of Local Government.


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, I could circulate the details.  Like I said, this is a matter which is known to this august House because a report on the matter was submitted which included the details of the owners of the company through PAC. I do not think I have to repeat that but, with your indulgence, I could extract the information and circulate it to the hon. Members.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kopulande (Chembe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that what has constrained the police in Zambian to travel to the United Kingdom (UK) to carry out investigations has been a lack of resources. For the purpose of good order, could he advise this august House how many police officers are expected to travel and what the cost is so that we can get an understanding of the resource requirement?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I do not have that information now. I will benefit from the Ministry of Home Affairs and, thereafter, furnish the hon. Member with the information.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I am sure the hon. Minister now appreciates that this question which came in a form of a point of order was as a result of the manner in which he answered the question from the hon. Member for Serenje. On Thursday, the previous week he had put a political coating on his answers which occasioned the hon. Member of Parliament for Choma Central to seek clarification because the question had a lot of innuendoes. If I heard him right today and as he said, on Thursday, the previous week in certain instances, procedure was not followed and the Ministry of Local Government may not have been involved in giving authority. Maybe, the situation varies from place to place.


Sir, in the case of Mazabuka, firstly, authority was given to procure the second-hand equipment. Secondly, because they went beyond the threshold which the councils could actually deal with in terms of purchase, the ministry advised the council to go to the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) to manage the purchase. Eventually, things fell apart because of the issues he raised. Would he agree with me that the next time this matter comes before the House or anywhere, there is no need to attach a political coating? Today, he has said one would suspect something may have gone wrong for those who received or those who did not receive the equipment because that was his answer. Yet, in his answer, he said that those who received had actually defaulted on payment. This may have occasioned the failure of the supplier to assist the other councils who lost out. Ultimately, it is the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) who lost out.


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, that is timely advice which must be applied to all of us. For instance, this is the second time the hon. Member of Parliament for Kazungula is attaching political connotation to this question. Even the last time, he asked the same question about the relationship between this company and the Patriotic Front (PF) Party. Like I said, I admitted that these are things that occasion such responses. Therefore, we need to remain above board and objective when handling this matter because we want to make sure that we help hon. Members retrieve the equipment. Therefore, this advice should go to all of us. We should be apolitical when we are dealing with national matters such as this one.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, from the explanation given by the hon. Minister, it would look as though locally, the investigations on this matter have not been concluded. Had it not been for the hon. Member for Serenje awakening this issue, it would have remained dead. Could the hon. Minister tell us the total amount involved for all the affected councils in this investigation, since the matter has now come to his attention?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I read out the figures in my statement. I do not know whether I should repeat them or help him by giving him a copy of the statement, but I take note -


Mr Muchima: What is the total?


Mr Mwale: Yes, giving the total means that I have to start adding up all those figures now. However, I also take note that it has been indicated that Kazungula District Council is not on the list I have here. I did read out how much the councils in Chama and Dundumwezi lost as well as for the other councils. Therefore, I think I can circulate my statement so that the hon. Member can add up the figures.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what legal measures, apart from reporting the matter to the police, the Government is taking to recover the money that was spent on the aborted procurement. We have to take into account that this particular contract or contracts were signed before 2012 and there are statutes of limitations. What measures are you taking?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, let me admit that when the Ministry of Local Government learnt about this whole matter, we relied on the police to whom we reported the case to deal with everything. The whole essence of meeting here is to discuss matters like this as it has been raised. I have actually taken interest again and we relied heavily on the police to help us pursue this matter. I am aware that after six years, some cases would become statute barred, as indicated by Hon. Mwiimbu. However, we will surely use all means possible to pursue this matter and not let that company get away with this kind of fraud.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Musonda (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, in his statement, the hon. Minister indicated very clearly that this procurement contract was between the supplier of equipment and councils that were in need of that equipment. I want to take it that his ministry in this case becomes a third party. My question is: Did the councils that were swindled in this procurement contract officially complain to the ministry to intervene so that it could then be officially part of that procurement contract?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, this matter was brought out in the Auditor-General’s report. The ministry had to take responsibility being the supervising entity of all councils. Therefore, we actually had to respond and take up the matter. Whether councils actually applied for us to join the case or not, did not matter because it was overtaken by the fact that the auditors queried our ministry. This is why we joined the matter and reported it to the police.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Lukulu East has consented to be bypassed in favour of the hon. Member for Liuwa and I have acceded to the request.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear! Long live, Sir.


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, as we have heard over and over again, this problem goes back to more than six years ago and the police have done absolutely nothing about it. Most of us suspect that the amount of resource required could have been made available for the police to carry out the investigations, but nothing has happened. From the vibes I am getting from many of the colleagues here, there is suspicion that maybe, there is a cover-up. I think they are just short of saying there is a cover-up. Therefore, my question is -




Mr Speaker: Order on the right!


Dr Musokotwane: Can the hon. Minister commit to a specific date by which the investigations would be conducted and concluded? Can he give us a Government assurance now.


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, it would be very difficult for me to determine the specific date, but what I could do is offer to come back to this august House next time the House is in session. I can even do that in the first week when we reopen Parliament and apprise the House on what we will have done between now and then. That is the least I can do. I may not be able to determine how fast or slow the police will move on the matter, but we will definitely push this matter. I can come and apprise the House in the first week of September, 2018, or whenever we have the next session.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.








312. Mr Lufuma (Kabompo) asked the Minister of Agriculture:


  1. when the 2018/2019 agriculture marketing season will commence;


  1. whether the Government has any plans to announce the floor price for maize and other agriculture produce;


  1. if so, when the floor price will be announced; and


  1. if not, why the Government will not set the floor prices.


The Minister of Agriculture (Mr Katambo): Mr Speaker, the 2018/2019 agricultural marketing season has already commenced. The private sector is already actively involved in the purchase of a variety of crops such as tobacco, cotton, soya beans and maize. However, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) will commence its operations for the 2018/2019 agricultural marketing season at the end of July, 2018. The FRA is still waiting for the maize moisture content to reduce from the current 14.63 per cent to the acceptable level of 12.5 per cent.


Mr Speaker, the Government does not announce any floor price for maize and other agricultural commodities. However, the FRA, being the custodian of the national strategic food reserves, will announce the price at which it will purchase designated commodities, that is, maize, rice and soya beans. The FRA will announce prices as soon as the agency is ready to start the purchasing operations.


Mr Speaker, in a liberalised economy, it is important to point out that there is no such thing as a floor price, as market forces and the cost of production determine the price at which agricultural commodities are bought and sold. As a ministry, we are encouraging buyers to offer attractive prices to our farmers in order to encourage increased production.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the answers he has given pertaining to this very important issue that affects our farmers and the people of Zambia in general. Is the hon. Minister not aware that two years ago, as a result of the delay by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), through the Ministry of Agriculture, to announce the price at which the FRA was going to buy the maize from our people, most of the vulnerable farmers ended up selling the maize at very low prices to outsiders and other businessmen in this county? As a result of that sad scenario, the FRA failed to meet the national reserve requirement. Does the hon. Minister not think that due to that sad scenario and taking into account that there was a failure of crops this year, the Government and FRA will not be able to attain the target of 500,000 metric tonnes which is required to have a strategic reserve? Does he not think that will happen?


Mr Speaker: Before the hon. Minister responds, the consultations on the right are rather loud. Let those who want to consult actively and animatedly go out. You do not have to get my assistance to do that. Just on your own, go out and exhaust your conversations. When you are done, come back, sit quietly and follow the proceedings.    


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: You cannot do both.


The hon. Minister of Agriculture may answer.


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has undertaken measures and is prepared to purchase about 500,000 metric tonnes, as it purchased last season. There are certain measures that have been put in place for the FRA to be ready. It has done recruitment of seasonal personnel, training of seasonal staff and the issue of monitoring of grey moisture content. This is the main issue that usually delays the FRA in announcing the price at which it will buy maize because the moisture content has to be at 12 or 12.5 as recommended. This is because the FRA has to store maize for a period of years unlike private players or millers who purchase maize and directly take it into their mills. Therefore, the FRA is ready. We have carry-over stocks from last season. Last farming season, we produced about 3.6 million metric tonnes so we had a carry-over stock of over 800,000 metric tonnes, plus what we produced this year, which is 2.3 million metric tonnes. We have enough stocks and with what the resource envelope has, we will be able to purchase the required amounts of maize.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr W. Banda (Milanzi): Mr Speaker, what is the number of satellite depots that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) is going to operate this year?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) will still maintain the number of satellite depots that were indicated in the last marketing season and so, it will have about 796 satellite depots. However, let me indicate that this will be subject to revision on a case by case basis depending on the production levels in various parts of our country.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just indicated that the Government does not announce the floor price, meaning, therefore, that the Government has no jurisdiction to determine the price of maize. However, during the Chilanga by-election, His Excellency the President is on record stating that the Government will ensure that this year, farmers are offered a better price for the maize. How is he going to do it if the Government has no jurisdiction in the determination of the price of maize? Was it just a political statement to woe the voters or is there a mechanism in which you are going to ensure that the price is attractive?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, let me indicate that it is not the floor price, as I said in my answer to the question from Hon. Lufuma, but the price at which the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) will purchase. The price that the FRA sets is not the floor price, but the price at which it will buy the crop. Let me explain that a floor price would require that no player on the market buys below that price. Of course, when President Lungu, pronounced that, at least, farmers are supposed to be given a better price, the FRA, based on the resource envelope is taking that into account to see that it buys at a better price. However, like I mentioned, it is not the case here in Zambia to fix the floor price because we have a liberalised agricultural marketing system. It is worth noting that prices of maize are different. Farmers are encouraged to bargain with traders in order to get a satisfactory price. The ministry engages other representatives such as the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) and other farmer organisations to compare production costs. The FRA is looking into this, and once it concludes its modalities, it will be able to announce the price at which it will buy a 50 kg bag of maize in its various satellite depots.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: I am told that the hon. Member for Kabompo is failing to log in.


Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, the Government has an obligation, whether you like it or not, because it is the biggest buyer in this market. According to the Constitution of Zambia –


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kabompo, this is time for questions. I know you want to long-windedly preface – maybe I have been too liberal with everybody, but just get to the question.


Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, okay, thank you very much. Given the Constitution of Zambia, the Government are under obligation to enter the market and because of that, farmers are anxiously waiting so that they can weigh the price from the private sector vis-a-vis the price from the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). We know you are not setting the floor price, but what is your price, so that as a farmer, I can be prepared to sell to the private sector or to the FRA? What is your price, as the FRA?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, I have already indicated that the Government does not announce the price at which it will purchase a 50 kg of white maize and that it is the mandate of the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), which falls under the ambit of the Ministry of Agriculture. Once they finish doing their calculations, they will be able to announce the price at which they will be buying a 50 kg bag of maize in their various satellite depots dotted across the country.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, what other crops are designated to be purchased by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) in this season, if there are any, outside the maize?


Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister has come to respond in relation to a particular crop, which is maize. I think it is only fair that we restrict him to this particular crop because that is what he prepared to respond to.


The hon. Member for Kalabo Central may ask his question.


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, the number of depots that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) will be involved in, according to the hon. Minister, is about 796. However, he has also indicated that it is subject to change depending on production levels of crops. Hon. Minister, when, in particular, are we going to know which depots will be operational and which ones will not continue? I am asking this because in the Western Province, we are anticipating a high production of rice this year. Therefore, when will the investigations concerning production be complete so that we know which depots will be introduced if they will not be there and which ones will continue?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, I indicated that the FRA will start purchasing rice, soya beans and maize by the end of July. I also indicated that there will be 799 satellite depots from where FRA will be purchasing these crops. However, this will be done on a case by case basis depending on the production levels in various parts of the country. The need for additional satellite depots in various parts of the country other than the ones that we maintained from the last marketing season will depend on the levels of production.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, since the Government, through the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) is delaying to set the floor price for maize, is the hon. Minister able to tell the nation whether or not farmers are free to export their crop?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, the FRA is not delaying in announcing or setting the floor price for maize. I indicated that the FRA buys maize in satellite depots. It stores maize for over three years and above. Therefore, it is different from the millers and other players who buy maize and start processing it. Once the moisture content levels reach about 12.5 per cent, the FRA will commence buying maize for the National Strategic Food Reserves. Therefore, the commencement of the maize purchasing exercise will be at the end of July.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: I will take the last questions from the hon. Member of Parliament for Moomba, the hon. Member for Senanga Central, the hon. Member for Siavonga, the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central, the hon. Member for Kafue, the hon. Member for Lufwanyama and the hon. Member for Mumbwa Parliamentary Constituency.


Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Mr Speaker, it is a known fact that the moisture content for maize is bound to reduce with the passage of time. What is so difficult about the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) announcing the floor price of maize in April, for instance, and indicating that it will start buying the maize when the moisture content is at 12.5 per cent? Doing that will give the farmers an option of either holding on to their maize until the moisture content reaches the level that is acceptable to the FRA or selling it to the private players. Why is it difficult for the FRA to do that?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, I indicated that these are modalities that the FRA takes into account because it has to see and announce the floor price when it is certain that the moisture content is at 12 per cent or 12.5 per cent. Also the FRA cannot announce the price at which it will be buying maize in that particular marketing season before that, because it has to take into account what it has in the resource envelope. It also has to take into account the amount of maize which it will buy. In this case, I indicated that it would buy 500,000 metric tonnes. These are just modalities that are put in place every year and this is how the FRA operates. It cannot be schemed that by April, the agency should announce the price at which it will be buying maize. I indicated that this is a liberalised agriculture marketing system. Farmers will be able to sell and they are encouraged to bargain with traders in order to sell at satisfactory prices.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mukumbuta (Senanga Central): Mr Speaker, in a mixed market economy like Zambia, do you not think that it is important that the Government sets the floor price for maize so that the local of demand and supply does not determine the price of our staple food?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, I humbly indicated that the Government does not set the floor price for maize. What I said was that the FRA indicates the price at which it buys a 50 kg bag of white maize.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mulunda (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, year in and year out, farmers have been complaining about having challenges when accessing agriculture inputs. Is the hon. Minister in a position to assure this nation that the 2018/2019 Farming Season will be different from the previous years?


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, you have emphasised that in a liberalised economy like ours, the market forces must always play a part. Now that we have a clear distortion in the price of maize arising from the dual system of the subsidised Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and those who buy commercially at the point of planting, the Government is delaying to get the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to give an indicative floor price, which is absolutely necessary in order to protect the farmer. When do you think the FRA will give us this floor price?


Sir, if you allow me, I want to add that the hon. Minister did not answer a very important question, which came from one hon. Colleague on whether or not the Government has allowed people to export maize so that those who do will not be satisfied with what the local market is offering can export the maize and maximise on the profits.


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, I indicated that as a ministry, we are encouraging buyers to offer attractive prices to the farmers in order to encourage increased production. Let me also indicate that the Stocks Committee looks at the stock levels that the country has and makes recommendations whether or not we can allow the farmers or different stakeholders to export maize to various countries. It is important and worth noting that food security in the country is key. Therefore, we can only allow exports when we know that the country has excess maize. For now, we are not allowing maize exports and there is no issuance of permits for the same. I also said that the FRA will, by end of July, come up with the floor price. Rest assured that a few days from now, farmers will know how much the FRA will be buying a 50 kg bag of white maize for.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Chonya (Kafue): Mr Speaker, if I got the hon. Minister right, he talked about the Government planning to purchase some 500,000 metric tonnes of maize through the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). For some years now, the FRA has been buying this same amount of maize. Does this amount suffice for our requirements, as a nation? The population is growing and so, I would expect this figure to keep increasing.


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, I indicated that there is a balance when doing this. We have a carry-over stock of over 800,000 metric tonnes of maize which will supplement the country’s stocks. That is why in its calculations; the FRA is targeting to buy 500,000 metric tonnes of maize. I also said that as a country, last season, we produced about 3.6 million metric tonnes of maize. This season, there has been a slight reduction in maize production. However, with a carry-over stock of 800,000 metric tonnes, we are able to sustain ourselves. Therefore, the calculations are based on what we have as a carry-over and what we need to sustain ourselves.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Mulenga: Hear, hear!


Mr Fungulwe (Lufwanyama): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that statement. The hon. Minister has indicated that the Government does not announce the floor price for maize. As one of the stakeholders in this matter, does the hon. Minister have an idea of whether or not the price will definitely increase, remain static or be reduced?


Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister has repeatedly said that this matter is being investigated. There are people who are working out, presumably, permutations and so forth and that before the end of the month, they will indicate the position. I do not see why we should continue flogging a dead horse.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, as the hon. Minister may be aware, other players who have already entered into the market like some buyers in Mumbwa are offering exploitative prices to the famers that are as low as K30 to K40 per 50 kg bag. Since the Government is not going to set a floor price, what other measures is it putting in place to help the farmers ensure they are not exploited by these unscrupulous businessmen and realise the actual value for their products?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, our seasonal staff that the agency trains and our agriculture extension staff will be deployed in all these satellite depots. They will talk to the farmers, encourage them not to rush to sell their maize to briefcase businessmen or middlemen, but wait to sell their maize at a good price. It is always said that farming is a business, so farmers need to generate income and profit from their produce. Farmers need to hold on to the products and then bargain and sell for better prices.


Sir, I have indicated already that the FRA would come up with its price at which it would buy in its satellite depots.


I thank you, Sir.




313.  Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central) asked the Minister of Higher Education:


  1. what the ratings of the following universities at the African and global levels are:


  1. University of Zambia;


  1. Copperbelt University;


  1. Kwame Nkrumah University;


  1. Mulungushi University; and


  1. Chalimbana University;


  1. what the ratings were in the last 5 years; and


  1. what factors could be attributed to the change in ratings at (b), if any.


The Minister of Higher Education (Prof. Luo): Mr Speaker, the question that has been posed to the hon. Minister of Higher Education is why the construction works at Katima Mulilo Trades Training Institute in Sesheke Parliamentary Constituency had stalled for a long time considering that –


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister of Higher Education, we are dealing with Question Number 313.


Prof. Luo: Sorry, Mr Speaker.




Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, in 2015, the University of Zambia (UNZA) was rated 57th in Africa and 3,492nd world over. In 2016, UNZA was 55th in Africa and 2,630th in the world. In 2017, UNZA was 60th in Africa and 2,598th the world over.


Sir, the Copperbelt University (CBU) was rated 265th in Africa and 8,615th in the world in 2015. In 2016, CBU was 239th in Africa and 8,174th world over. In 2017, CBU was 190th in Africa and 5,462nd the world over.


Mr Speaker, the university rankings for the UNZA and the CBU were based on data from Web metric. The ranking for 2018 will be done in July, 2018. It should be noted that there are many ranking agencies in the world which use various criteria ranging from visibility to apparent impact.


Sir, Kwame Nkrumah University was recently established and is in the early stages of operationalisation, therefore, the institution has not yet been ranked.


Mr Speaker, Mulungushi University is also relatively new and has not yet been included among the ranking systems. The ministry will take keen interest in the matter and ensure that the necessary processes are done to make it start being ranked.


Chalimbana University is also in the process of being operationalised, therefore, the institution has not yet been ranked.


Sir, the only data available for UNZA and the CBU is from 2015, to 2017. The ranking is based on research output and the impact of the research through citation and industry uptake. For example, at the UNZA, the laboratory was used to research on the Ebola Virus.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, the ranking for the University of Zambia (UNZA) has dropped significantly in Africa as the hon. Minister has read out to the nation. We also notice that in the last two years, between 2015 and 2017, the university was involved in a lot of rioting which led to closures by the hon. Minister. Would the hon. Minister attribute the poor performance of the university in the rankings to the long closures that we have witnessed in the last two years?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I am not sure that the hon. Member for Kabwe Central has his facts right. In fact, in the last two years, we have not closed the university except when there was a cholera outbreak. It was explained in this august House that this was due to public health measures as enforced by the Ministry of Health. I would like to request that the hon. Member of Parliament goes back to his facts to check that the Ministry of Higher Education in fact made an announcement that it did not intend to close the university during this time, but instead deal with the culprits that organise and are involved in riots.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Mwashingwele (Katuba): Mr Speaker, if I heard the hon. Minister correctly, she said the records only go back as far as 2015. I thought the University of Zambia has been ranked even as far back as the 70s and 80s. Could she, please, clarify that.


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I said that rankings are done by different agencies. The ministry started following the rankings of this agency as of 2015 and that is what I stated. When ranking, you look out for impact and academic excellence. In this case, one of the important factors of academia is actually teaching and research. That is the agency that we are following because universities are for issues of academia and research.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mukumbuta: Mr Speaker, I am worried with the gap in ranking between the University of Zambia (UNZA) and the Copperbelt University (CBU). In Africa, UNZA is ranked 57th while the CBU is 265th. In the world, UNZA is 3,000th and the CBU is 8,000th. Hon. Minister, what do you think should be done with the CBU to narrow the gap?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, in fact, if you do a very quick analysis of the figures that I have presented to you, there has been a lot of improvement on the rating of the Copperbelt University (CBU). In fact, the CBU has been improving. You can see that the ranking, in the world, rose from about 8,000 to about 5,000. If you look at Africa, you will see that for the CBU, the rating went up down from 265 to 190. That clearly shows that there is improvement at the CBU. I think in my own statements in this august House, I have actually said that the CBU’s performance is much better than the University of Zambia’s (UNZA). I have actually made that statement on the Floor of this august House.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: My worry is UNZA. Remember that UNZA was established much earlier than the CBU. Really, by now, UNZA should be performing much better.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Member’s second question was what can be done? I think in many statements, I have said that we are trying to re-energise UNZA and many other universities to firstly play their role of quality teaching, secondly, research, thirdly, innovation and fourthly, participation in technology and also linking to industry.


What has happened in Zambia, Mr Speaker, is very sad. Due to the introduction of the private sector, the members of staff in universities have stopped research, because of moonlighting. Therefore, when they report for duty at eight o’clock to teach, they teach from eight to nine, between nine and ten they are criss-crossing the country to Open University to go and teach. Next, they are on their way to the University of Lusaka (UNILUS) to go and teach. This is why I announced recently …




Ms Chonya: Survival!


Prof. Luo: … that from now onwards, every university to function as a private university, would have to put at the entrance of its university, pictures and qualifications of the full time staff and these must constitute 75 per cent. That is our policy statement under the Ministry of Higher Education.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: That way, our staff in public universities will pay attention to their work. They will also participate in research and take a lot of time in looking at innovation and so on. In fact, I will tell you this, which ought to be and that is another thing we are addressing. To become a professor in a university, you must be a first author of so many publications. You must also contribute to books. Somewhat, there was a relaxation, even if I am the last author, as long as I can list the research activities, which could have been done by a student, I can be made a professor. Therefore, these are some of the things we are addressing to ensure that this comes to an end and our universities become universities once again.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: The other important thing that you may wish to know in our institutions of higher learning is the fact that the number of lecturers that have Master’s Degrees must be smaller than the number of lecturers with Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Professors. Therefore, if we do an analysis of lecturers at UNZA or the CBU, the majority have Master’s Degrees. I have said to our Loans Board that from now onwards, when we get scholarships for PhDs and Master’s Degrees and post-Doctoral, they will not be advertised in the newspaper. This is because when you advertise in newspapers anybody applies. When they get qualifications they go back, let us say, if they are from Barclays Bank, they will go back there. From now onwards, whatever scholarships we have for post graduate training will be distributed through the institutions so that UNZA and the other universities like the CBU, Mulungushi and so on can start building its stock of qualified Master’s Degree and PhD and post-doctoral. Those are the measures that we have taken. When we shall launch our policy document soon, these will be the measures that will be in the institutions.


Furthermore, Mr Speaker, I have said that I will not close any university because of riots. The closures have contributed to the fabric of our universities. However, we shall punish every student ...


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: … found in riots, organising or attending a meeting to plan a riot.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: We will take very stern measures.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: We need our universities to be cerebrated as centres of intelligentsia. They are not centres for political activities.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: Let me take this opportunity to warn everybody who is organising riots …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: … that be ready to have your cronies that organise riots to be removed from institutions of higher learning.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: You know Sir, I am confused.


I would like to imagine in my head how big this picture frame will be that will have all the pictures of 3,000 lecturers of a university in order to curb moonlighting. Moonlighting, hon. Minister Prof. Luo, in this country has been associated, by and large, with survival, because the cost of living has become so high. Hon. Minister, you attributed the fall in the quality of education to lecturers moving from university to university to teach and make an extra amount of money. Hon. Minister, what about attitude? How much has the attitude of the players in the education sector contributed to the quality of education, especially tertiary education and the universities that are under consideration, as well as the attitudes of students, lecturers, in this case, the University of Zambia Students Union (UNZASU) or the University of Zambia Lecturers and Researchers Union (UNZALARU) and the Government. How much has attitude contributed to the drop or the stagnation of the quality of education in this country? How? Unlock my mind. Can the University of Zambia which is ranked 3,000th be worse off than the Copperbelt University that is ranked at 8,000th ? Maybe, I need to up my game in terms of academics to understand this dichotomy. The hon. Minister reminded me of the hon. Minister of Home Affairs with this warning business. I am warning.




Mr Nkombo: You will be warning, but we want to improve.


Mr Lubinda: Wapya. Baisa!


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, it reminds me of an article I read entitled, “Politicians hate us, ‘UNZALARU.” The content of that article was that UNZALARU would like to partner with the press because the University of Zambia (UNZA) has been known for negativity. Therefore, it will improve the image when working with the press. It mentioned that it would have been the ones to deal with issues such as a witchcraft school at UNZA. The second thing was about the Veterinary School which had won an award. When I read this article, I reminded myself of the role of an academician.


Sir, an academician does not publish in a newspaper. An academician writes journals and books. First of all, I would have loved to see them do that and then ensure that they work and talk about other issues of public interest. With regard to attitude, yes, indeed, it is an issue, but not the attitude of the Minister versus the lecturers. Here, we are talking about our attitude of forgetting what the core business of an academician is and how an academician interacts with the public.


Mr Speaker, the second point is that it is assumed that the only way you can lead an institution is to have a union. Let me put this in context. UNZA has a students’ union of an executive committee of twelve people versus over 25,000 students. Many a time, when anything happens at UNZA, the union does not even know. This is why we have decided to structure and be current as a country with the leadership systems that other higher learning institutions are using, that have made them better places. Our students are very busy and have finished drafting the constitution and sooner than later, we are going to implement a better system of leadership in our institutions of higher learning that will be representative of everybody. This will not only be twelve people against over 25,000 students.


Sir, in relation to the pictures, I would like the hon. Member of Parliament to know that universities are made of faculties, schools and departments. Therefore, the pictures will reflect the departments, schools and administration. This is coming because we want the institutions of higher learning to be what they are supposed to be. They are not places for political activities. They are places where you find a critical mass of intelligentia that is supposed to contribute to the development of the country. The hon. Leader of the Opposition better not be give questions to people. He may as well just ask and I will answer him


I thank you, Mr Speaker.




Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister of Higher Education, the Leader of the Opposition, as I see, is not involved in the activities you are alleging.




Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that the University of Zambia (UNZA) was rated sixtieth in Africa in 2017. Which university was rated first in Africa in the same year?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, unfortunately, I do not have the data, but I could bring it to this august House in the interest of those who may want to know.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Chonya: Mr Speaker, I wish I could ask two questions, but since it is not allowed, I will only ask one. Among the factors highlighted by the hon. Minister which determine the ranking of the universities is aspect of the quality of teaching and research taking place in a university. How well supported is this aspect of quality teaching by way of up to date research materials and books for the students in the university? Otherwise, I like the hon. Minister’s emphasis on discouraging political activities at the university, but I was going to ask her if she was going to disband that Patriotic Front (PF) branch there.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: You can ignore the latter comment …




Mr Speaker: …and answer the first part which talks about availability of materials in the universities to enhance the teaching.


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I want to answer this question in the following manner. There is a big distinction between primary, secondary and university teaching. Even as people get appointments to the university, they are actually told that one of the assignments is to develop −




Mr Speaker: Order on the right! Your colleague is struggling. She is almost giving up.




Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, in our appointment letters that we receive as officers in universities, there is always a sentence, especially if you are appointed at a higher level, that you are expected to teach, research, innovate and build whichever school or department you are in. The implication is that when you get into an institution of higher learning, as you research and build your research protocol, you are supposed to attract some materials that aid in teaching. As you innovate in your proposal for the innovation, you are supposed to attract materials that aid in teaching. The Government’s role is to support and to create a conducive environment and give catalytic funds to ensure that happens. That is the way I would like to answer that question.


Mr Speaker, again, I am emphasising that we want to re-engineer our institutions of higher learning so that we start taking steps back and start working in our institutions as we used to do it at UNZA and the Copperbelt University (CBU) in the past. We cannot be going down and down as if we do not visit other countries to see what they do. Having stated that, I want to state that the UNZA and many other universities receive a grant from the Ministry of Higher Education. The Ministry of Higher Education has been supportive even in terms of ensuring that each student has access to a tablet that is already loaded with books since there are no enough books,. The ministry has been in the forefront of ensuring that students have access to such things.


Sir, we have been renovating some of the places in our institutions of higher learning to make them conducive for the students. I visited Mukuba University over the weekend to ensure that the learning environment of the students is properly renovated. Even where laboratories were missing, they shall be reconstructed so that students have access to these facilities. I am very confident that the systems that we have put in place through the leadership of His Excellency the President of this Republic, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, are working …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: … and in the next few years, the universities will be totally different from what hon. Members have known them to be.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, bear in mind that we are dealing with Question 313.


Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, academic ranking systems all over the world from a policy point of view help in guiding policy on universities. Could the hon. Minister shade light on how the academic ranking system that the ministry is following is assisting it in terms of policy direction in the area of research, especially concerning its funding in the public universities?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, it is just telepathy that in fact, this morning, we were going through that aspect as we were preparing the budget for 2019. In terms of policy, in the policy document on science and technology and overall policy in education, we have firstly identified research as priority. Therefore, as we prepare the budget, we will ensure that we support financial activities in research. Secondly, in the new dispensation, as a way of rekindling research, there will be people recruited in the institutions of higher learning purely as researchers only and they will progress. Like we have lecturers of grades 3, 2 and I, we will also have those kinds of people. That way, they will ignite and ensure that those who have lost interest in research are back on track.


 Furthermore, we want to get back to strict criteria for promotion. Nobody shall be raised from Grade 3 lecturer to Grade 2 if he/she does not have publications where there are first offers. These will not be publications in journals that are not known, but those that are known and read by many people. Thirdly, for anybody to become a professor he/she must have a minimum of twenty publications as first offers and that is what we are doing. That way, we are going to encourage people to do research because they will know that it will be very difficult to ask questions. I hope the hon. Member for Nalikwanda is not passing a question to the next person.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.




Mr Chaatila: Mr Speaker, my question has been covered by Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa.


Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Mr Speaker, it is gratifying to listen to the ratings of the universities. If we take the UNZA of 1966, 1967 and 1970s or that which you went to, Sir, and how it was doing –


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Mitete, …




Mr Speaker: … do not drag the Speaker into your question.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, we now have a student population of about 25,000. Since some of the lecturers are trotting from one university to another, the ministry wants to come up with a policy to restrict that. Meanwhile, many schools are being upgraded and this means that we shall have many pupils with the O level qualification. When this policy is effected, where will most of the pupils go since the hon. Minister said that there will be a need for the lecturers to put their photographs at the entrance of the universities? By the way, if the same photographs are found at different universities, will the policy allow this or not?


Mr Speaker: That does not qualify as a supplementary question.


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, like the previous speaker has indicated, in the late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, there were fewer universities. However, in the recent times, there are about forty universities in the country. At a time when we had fewer universities, the standards were governed by the councils. We now have so many universities which are having an interface with the ministry, yet we know that in other sectors, there are many services that are governed or managed through bureaus of standard and councils. These provide oversight over quality control. Is the hon. Minister of Higher Education thinking of setting up such a mechanism which will ensure that they bank all the technical support or expertise that will supervise the many universities to ensure that we provide a standard and maintain the quality and ratings that we will be proud of?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, all the public universities have university councils whose role is to preside over the affairs of the universities and so UNZA has its own council. Over and above that, there is the Higher Education Authority that oversees the overall activities of the universities and other institutions. The private universities do not interface with the Ministry of Higher Education because they are set up privately. Therefore, I just want to correct the impression that I supervise the private universities. I do not. It is now a requirement in the amended Act for a private university to be accredited not only by subjects, but also by the presence of a council and senate. Some of the institutions do not even have a senate because they do not have full-time staff. The senate is drawn from the members of staff in a particular institution. This is an attempt to bring quality to education.


Sir, the fact that we have many people graduating will not compromise the quality of university education. A university is a university and it must remain as such. We cannot bring mediocrity. We also need to ensure that an institution has infrastructure befitting a university. Some of you who might have driven out of Lusaka might have seen a poster of a university at Zani Muone. That is totally unacceptable. We cannot have such kind of infrastructure as a university. In Zambia, we settle for less and think that even a house can become a university. That will not happen. Therefore, there will be a serious crackdown and we will ensure there is only infrastructure befitting a university and an institution has staff befitting to teach in a university. This is why I have been handing back some of the staff to where they should teach and not teaching in the university.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, the figures are staggering. We are so low in terms of ranking. Since the University of Zambian (UNZA) was established in 1965 and opened to the public on the 12th July, 1966, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Higher Education what has been the highest ranking so that we can put it into context.


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, unfortunately, I do not have the figures. However, I could check and get back to the House to indicate what has been our highest ranking of the university. That was not the question which was posed to me, but I could go and conduct some research and bring the information.


Sir, anybody would be worried about the type of ranking we have as a country. This is why it is important for us to work collectively and stop the kind of activities which are bringing the institutions down. We should instead be interested to build those institutions for the sake of our children and our children’s children. What is happening is that everybody or immediately somebody forms a political party, he/she starts looking for university students. We need to stop that and ensure that the institution remains a place for learning because all that affects the ranking of the university.


Mr Speaker, let me take advantage of that and say to the nation that the …




Mr Speaker: Order on my left.


Prof. Luo: Sir, let me take advantage of the question about ranking to also say to the nation that university education is a luxury. It is a luxury and people should not think that just anybody can get into the university, because even the recruitment of students ˗ actually, they introduced what is called a parallel system. These are students who would have not performed well, but were recruited to be university students. Thus another measure I have taken is to stop admissions of what is called parallel students into university.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, the responses given by the hon. Minister of Higher Education could be satisfying. However, my concern is the rating in relation to the provision of resources to the institution.


Sir, during one of the tours of your Committee, we visited the Copperbelt University (CBU) and had interaction with the management there. They cited a number of problems which the institution was facing. Most of the problems related to financial resources. I believe that in any institution, financial resources are cardinal for the facilitation of proper service delivery because it is the same resource, which would help in the provision of the required infrastructure at the institution. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how adequately these institutions are funded. Apart from the funding issue, I would like to know how often the institutions receive finances to enable them to put up the required infrastructure. In order to enhance the teaching and to enable them yield better and high ranking level of the university? The country can only enjoy the good rating, which can be made possible by the financial releases to the institutions.


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, in my first response, I mentioned that there is a big difference between running a secondary school and a primary school as compared to a university. A university does not depend only on resources from the Government. A university depends on its resources from the critical mass, the intelligentsia that is there through its activities. With research, the institution attracts money.


Sir, for instance, if we count the number of lecturers and professors, who are at the University of Zambia, for example, they should be attracting adequate money to that institution to make it run. The number of PhD holders, who are supervising students, should attract enough money. Unfortunately, over the years ˗ and because of the statement, which was made earlier that the economy is biting, academic life is academic life. One cannot stop his/her academic activities and start moonlighting and continue calling themselves an academic. One may as well resign and go to do something else because there is something which is expected of you at institutions of higher learning.


Sir, when I was in the Department of Pathology and Microbiology, I even built laboratories at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH). That is how much money I attracted into my department.


Ms Mulenga: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: … as a departmental head. I did not only build at the UTH, but also built buildings around the country from the money I attracted.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: Sir, as a department, my budget line was not less than US$4 million. This is where we want to take the University of Zambia, where the lecturers will know what their mandate is. If we did all that, the University of Zambia would even be offering scholarships to students because this is what is happening in other universities. As far as I am concerned, that is the legacy I would like to leave in the Ministry of Higher Education.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: The last question will come from the hon. Member for Kabwe Central.


Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, I will be brief. What is the hon. Minister’s message to the public universities? We know that Kwame Nkrumah, Chalimbana and Mulungushi have been around for some time now. What is her message to these universities as regards the ranking? We are saying so in line with the conditions of service. Is the Government willing to improve the lecturers’ conditions of service so that the rankings can be enhanced?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, the ranking of a university has nothing to do with the conditions of service.


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Prof. Luo: It has a lot to do with your own activities as an academic and your contribution to the knowledge of the country. It is all about that.


Mr Speaker, I would like to talk about the message I would like to give. First of all, I would like to ask all the institutions to go and visit Mukuba University to see the way it has transformed in the short period.


Mr Simukoko: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: They should go and see the learning environment for the students and how the sleeping arrangement has been enhanced in such a short period. I would like people to go and visit Kwame Nkrumah University to see the quality of the critical mass, which will be delivering service to the students. I would also like them to visit Chalimbana University, where, for the first time, we have created other areas which have never been thought about in Zambia. Today, we have created a School of Music and a Film Institute. Therefore, as we recruit staff, those who want to explore their potential in these areas where they have not explored their potential before will have that opportunity. I would like to say to the staff of the universities that they are critical to the ranking of the universities. Therefore, they should not remove themselves. It is their performance which will help us to get better ranking in our institutions of higher learning.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!








Mr Daka (Msanzala): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Parastatal Bodies on the Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of Parastatal Bodies and Other Statutory Institutions for the Financial Years ended 31st December, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, laid on the Table of the House on Thursday, 5th July, 2018.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.




Mr Daka: Madam Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Parastatal Bodies on the Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of Parastatal Bodies and other Statutory Institutions for the Financial Years ended 31st December, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, laid on the Table of the House on Thursday, 5th July, 2018.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?


Ms Mwashingwele (Katuba): Madam Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.


Mr Daka: Madam Speaker, in line with its terms of reference, your Committee considered the Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of Parastatal Bodies and other Statutory Institutions for the Financial Years ended 31st December, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.


Madam Speaker, it is imperative to note that the audit process carried out by the Office of the Auditor-General is not meant to harass the controlling officers of the ministries and institutions that are cited in the Report of the Auditor-General, but rather to enhance the parliamentary oversight function on behalf of the Zambian people by holding the Executive accountable in the way public funds appropriated by this august House are spent.


Madam Speaker, the House may wish to note that twenty parastatal bodies and statutory institutions were captured in the audit report which was considered by your Committee. These institutions are spread over many economic and social sub-sectors, including water utilities, commercial, economic and welfare and they work under the supervision of different sector ministries and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).


Madam Speaker, some of these parastatal bodies provide essential goods and services. There is, therefore, a great need for them to be effective and efficient in their operations. In addition, being public institutions, it is also important to ensure transparency and accountability in their operations. Having said this, I will now highlight a few issues that are contained in your Committee’s report.


Madam Speaker, I wish to state that it is disheartening that parastatal bodies continue to fail to produce audited financial statements as required by their own articles of association. It is also disappointing that this irregularity keeps recurring among certain institutions. The main culprits in this regard include the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC), Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ), Luapula Water and Sewerage Company and Kwame Nkrumah University.


Madam Speaker, in line with good corporate governance, it is important that officials who are given the authority and responsibility to run public entities clearly convey actions taken and also state whether the actions fall within the law. The only way to achieve this is through the timely production of financial statements and annual reports. This way, hon. Members of Parliament and, indeed, other stakeholders can ascertain the financial position and performance of these institutions and such documentation also facilitates audits.


In view of the foregoing, your Committee urges the Secretary to the Treasury to take punitive measures against controlling and chief executive officers who fail to prepare financial statements, considering that this issue has continued to recur.


Madam Speaker, another issue of concern pertaining to good corporate governance is the failure to ensure separation of the roles of the stakeholders in order to avoid conflict of interest in the day-to-day running of organisations. For instance, the roles of board members and those of executive officers must be separated to enhance the oversight role of the board over the management of the company.


In addition to the failure to separate the roles of the stakeholders, in some cases, there are no boards of directors in place and decisions are made by management without approval of the board. Regrettably, this weakness is clearly evident in key institutions, including Indeni Petroleum, Public Service Pensions Fund and Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board and indeed various water utility companies. Your Committee was informed that the process of installing new boards is cumbersome. Further, the process is under the control of the appointing authority, who, in many cases, takes longer than necessary to constitute boards.


Madam Speaker, in view of the foregoing, your Committee strongly urges the Government to ensure that effective boards are always in place in all parastatal bodies and that roles of various players are clearly segregated in order to ensure that the principles of good corporate governance are upheld. Your Committee further urges the Government to consider revising the process of appointing board members in order to reduce the time lag for constituting boards. Your Committee emphasises that the Secretary to the Treasury must ensure that no organisation operates without an effective board.


Madam Speaker, your Committee is concerned over the poor financial performance in most of these institutions. Financial performance simply means the level of performance of a business over a specific period of time expressed in terms of overall profits and losses during that time. It should be noted that evaluating the financial performance of a business allows decision makers to make objective judgments regarding the results of business strategies and activities. Your Committee, however, observes that most utility companies were recording losses due to high non-revenue water on account of dilapidated infrastructure. Further, the Local Authorities Superannuation Fund (LASF) was operating with huge liabilities of about K182 million in 2014, K287 million in 2015, K345 million in 2016 and the net liability had worsened by 90 per cent between 2014 and 2016.


Madam Speaker, your Committee is seriously concerned that Ndola Lime Company is one of the companies operating with huge losses. The company is highly indebted and recorded losses of K22 million in 2012, K13 million in 2013 and K86 million in 2015. This situation calls for an urgent intervention by the shareholders. Lastly, your Committee observes with concern, the poor liquidity situation at LASF. It is of the view that if this situation is left unchecked, it will defeat the purpose for which the institution was created.


Madam Speaker, you may wish to be reminded that LASF is a statutory pension scheme created by the Local Authorities Superannuation Fund Act, Cap 284 of the Laws of Zambia. It is guaranteed by the Government. Following the enactment of the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) Act, on 1st February, 2000, the LASF scheme was closed to new entrants resulting into a reduction in members and declining income in terms of pension contributions. Conversely, the number of pensioners has been growing and this has put considerable pressure on the lump sum and pension annuity obligations. Therefore, this has posed a challenge on the financial capacity of the fund because it depends on membership contributions. Your Committee urges the Government to address the inability of pension funds to pay pension obligations arising from the declining number of contributing members and the mismatch between contributions from members and benefits payable.


Madam Speaker, let me conclude by thanking you and the Office of the Clerk for the guidance you rendered to your Committee during the session. Let me also thank the Secretary to the Treasury and all the controlling officers, including their representatives who appeared before your Committee, for their co-operation. The deliberations of your Committee could not have been ably concluded without the assistance of the Office of the Auditor-General.


Madam Speaker, last but not in any way least, let me place on record, my gratitude to the members of the Committee for the professionalism and tenacity they displayed in carrying out their duties without which your Committee’s work could not have resulted in the report I am presenting today.


Madam Speaker, I beg to move.


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


Ms Mwashingwele: Now, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker, in seconding the Motion that has been ably moved by the Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. Peter Daka, Member of Parliament for  Msanzala, I shall only comment on a few issues that were not covered in his speech.


Madam Speaker, let me begin with two recurring problems in these parastatal bodies. Over the years, the issues of inadequately supported payments and missing vouchers have continued being an issue of contention. Your Committee is of the view that the failure associated with the missing documents is a deliberate move by officers in an attempt to conceal information from the auditors. It is of great concern as to where these documents would come from which were not availed during the time of audit. It is further astonishing to hear the controlling officers supervising these various parastatal bodies complain of staff levels or a lack of capacity as the reason payments were not supported or why the documents were missing. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the controlling officers institute stern disciplinary action to deal with the erring officers for causing such serious omissions in order to deter other officers. Your Committee is of the view that the punishments for such irregularities must be stiffened, like suspension and expulsion in order to deter officers from perpetuating the vice. Additionally, the controlling officers are urged to ensure that internal control systems are strengthened in parastatal bodies to curb the recurrence of these irregularities.


Madam Speaker, another issue that your Committee dealt with is the non-remittance of statutory contributions like the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) contributions by most institutions. Your Committee notes that the financial challenges currently facing most parastatal bodies and other statutory institutions are resulting in the failure to remit statutory obligations. Nevertheless, statutory contributions are mandatory and must be remitted without delay. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to develop a payment plan with the defaulting institutions in order to reduce the debt to acceptable levels.


Madam Speaker, another issue your Committee dealt with is the failure by these public entities to secure their properties with title deeds. Some of the culprits in this area are: Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company, Workers Compensation Fund Control Board, Zambia Cargo Logistics Limited, National Heritage Conservation Commission and Food Reserve Agency. Let me be quick to mention that the Lands Act No. 29 of 1995, requires that institutions or individuals owning land should possess title deeds as proof of ownership.


It is of great concern, therefore, that these institutions did not possess title deeds for some of their properties during the period under review. Your Committee considers this a very serious omission and urges the controlling officers to ensure that this matter is resolved without any further delay in order to reduce issues of encroachment on their land and unnecessary conflicts and litigation.


Madam Speaker, another issue which called the attention of your Committee is the failure to adhere to the contract terms for most construction works. This problem was prominent on the Judiciary which had engaged a number of contractors to build local courts as most contracts lacked the pre-requisite documents such as performance bonds, failure to provide performance security against contracts and delay in completing construction works and, in worse scenarios, abandoning of projects.


Your Committee strongly urges the Secretary to the Treasury to ensure that controlling officers make sure that proper due diligence and strict adherence to contract provisions are upheld so that public resources are not wasted.


Madam Speaker, in conclusion, allow me to join the mover of the Motion in thanking you for according us the opportunity to serve on this important Committee. I also wish to thank the members of your Committee for affording me the opportunity to second the Motion.


Madam Speaker, I beg to second.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Madam Speaker, thank you very much. I also want to thank the mover and the seconder of this Motion.


Madam Speaker, assuming that the other hon. Members read this report, ...


Mr Livune: On a point of order, Madam.


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


Mr Livune: Madam Speaker, I am grateful to you for allowing me to raise this point of order which I consider very important. Standing Order No. 30(1) of our rules states that:


“A question shall be asked to a Minister or the Vice-President and shall only relate to public affairs with which the Minister or the Vice-President is officially connected.”


Madam Speaker, I want to ask the House to look at Standing Order No. 30 (7) with me, which states that:


“A member who asks an oral question shall be entitled to ask two supplementary questions.”


Madam Speaker, from Wednesday, 4th July, the Order Papers have been having a chain of Questions for Written Answer. On Wednesday, there were twenty. On Thursday, 5th July, there were twenty-five and on Friday, 6th July, there were thirty. Today, 10th July, there are forty.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Livune: Madam Speaker, is this House in order to continue loading these questions which must be brought on the Floor so that hon. Ministers can answer and then those who ask the questions can be given an opportunity to ask two follow-up questions to seek clarifications? Furthermore, the rest of the hon. Members can also ask follow-up questions because most of the questions are of a national nature. People want to get clarifications and clear positions. Are we in order to bring these questions in such a manner that hon. Members are unable to interrogate the Executive wing of Government?


Madam Speaker, I seek your ruling.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: The ruling of the Chair is that as hon. Members are aware, last week, the Hon. Mr Speaker explained that there was an administrative process that had been taken to deal with the questions because we had a lot of Questions for Oral Answer. That notwithstanding, it was assumed that the Secretariat, the Office of the Clerk, would communicate with the hon. Members of Parliament who had lodged Questions for Oral Answer and that together, the Office of the Clerk and the hon. Members would come up with the best way of dealing with those questions. Now that this point of order has been raised, clearly, maybe, that interaction has not taken place. For that reason, my ruling is that I will investigate and ensure that the Office of the Clerk comes up with a position in terms of interaction with the hon. Members of Parliament to deal with the questions that have not been asked. I will follow up this matter and then come back to the House with the position of presiding officers, regarding this very important point of order. Indeed, these questions provide an opportunity for hon. Members of Parliament to ask follow-up questions for the benefit of the people whom you represent.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: That is my ruling. I will certainly follow up.


Mr Muchima: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, let me take advantage of my being on the Floor and welcome Her Honour the Vice-President and the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs. My debate will, by and large, centre on the functions of the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.


Madam Speaker, it has been argued many times that running a business is synonymous with running the affairs of a country. There are people who think that running a Government is child’s play. The mover of this Motion, Hon. Peter Daka, lamented the lack of corporate governance in many of these statutory and parastatal bodies. He specifically lamented the lack of corporate governance, specifically the lack of management boards. These are boards that provide oversight on the functions of management. Therein lies a very big gap. If you look at this report, you will see a sample of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and parastatal bodies covered under it. This report is two times the size of an ordinary report of your Committee, with every page saying one and the same thing.


For example, on Page 3, it seems like the Committee was just cutting and pasting its observations and situations on most of these parastatal bodies. I will give you an example under the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC), which reads:


“Your previous Committee observed that the failure to produce financial statements at the Commission can be attributed to poor performance by management.”


Madam Speaker, under the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA), your report states that:


“Your previous Committee observes that the failure to produce financial statements by the Commission was attributed to poor performance by management.”


Madam Speaker, these are two different organisations, but they have the same comments. As if this was not enough, on page 4, regarding the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), your report states that:


“Your previous Committee observes that the failure to produce audited financial statements did not reflect well on the board and management of the agency.”


Madam Speaker, all the comments are negative. As regards Luapula Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC), your report states that:


“Your previous Committee found the company’s failure to pay its auditors unacceptable.”


As the seconder was moving her report, she stated that part of the problem is that documents go missing. How, under the sun, can you conduct an audit trail in the midst of missing documents? By the way, Madam Speaker, documents have no feet to walk. Documents are not mobile. They are carried normally in briefcases or files. This means that there is a very bad system and bad people within the system. These people who operate these statutory organisations and State owned enterprises – if the word ‘thief’ was not unparliamentary, I would have easily said the –


Madam First Deputy Speaker: You know it is, hon. Member, so do not use it.




Mr Nkombo: I shall not endeavour. If it was, I would use it over and over again. We have these types of people that I am failing to describe because of parliamentary language restrictions in these organisations.


Madam Speaker, like business as usual, the Committee Chairperson comes and reads this, the seconder also reads it and then we pack these reports and go home waiting for next year to hear the same thing. There is a need for a change of mindset.


I said, running a Government is the same as running a business. A few of us here who run small and big businesses will understand that corporate governance is one of the ingredients for a business to be successful, so that even you who is a so-called owner can have some controls of some kind. In a country situation, the President is the Chief Executive. For instance, my niece the hon. Minister of Finance, is like the accountant of the company called Zambia and these ministries are departments of the company. If we cannot audit small organisations like Zambia Institute of Mass Communication (ZAMCOM) and the FRA – year in and year out, we pour money into the FRA, yet it is supposed to be self-sustaining.


Madam Speaker, somebody is saying ‘how?’ So, I will explain. I said running a business is the same as running a country. I am shocked that someone is murmuring ‘how?’ The FRA buys maize, this is not a secret. Half the time it will export maize. The import, export parity price differs from year to year. In fact, in the case of export, it earns more money than when they subsidises millers locally. That is a fact and someone is asking me ‘how?’


At the time the FRA was established, it was not meant to gobble all this money that it is gobbling every year while the Government is failing to audit it. Look at what the Committee had to say on statutory payments. Is it not a wonder that if we were to audit these individuals who run these institutions at a personal level and ask them how they managed to build the houses they live in, they would fail to answer. The Inland Revenue Authority in the United States of America used that system as a way to catch people who get things that they would not ordinarily get unless they steal. You know the name given to those who steal, but I will not use it.


Madam Speaker, the ZRA has the power to come to Mr Nkombo and ask him to show them how he bought his house. It is within the law. How come the ZRA is now lamenting? NAPSA is lamenting that these statutory bodies are not paying their contributions to them, yet those who run these outfits are stinking rich.


Mr Mulenga: Stinking?


Mr Nkombo: Yes.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Stinking?


Mr Nkombo: Stinking rich is a –


Mr Livune: Bayanda kuhuba.


Mr Nkombo: Bayanda kuhuba ehe. They want to be rich.




Mr Nkombo: It is a metaphor, Madam. It does not mean a stench. When someone is stinking rich, it means he/she has the kind of wealth which scares poverty. That is the kind of wealth that these people who run these -


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Just withdraw the word ‘stinking’ and proceed. You are doing well so far.


Mr Nkombo: I withdraw the word ‘stinking’ and replace it with filthy rich. However, among these people, there are people who cannot explain the amounts of money they have in the banks. We are told there are some offshore accounts in Mauritius. Even when they have them here, they cannot account for them. They have no businesses, but they are rich. How is that dichotomy that a person who reports from eight to five to hang a jack is richer than the person who is toiling every day? Therein lies the problem. We must now remove the corporate veil of these people who run these institutions and check them.


Madam Speaker, do you know what President Magufuli, the President of Tanzania, did just now? As a result of the fact that he put austerity measures – I am now coming to my brother–in-law, the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs, who just undertook a huge trip to Istanbul to see an inauguration of President Erdoğan.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Nkombo: I was watching Theresa May addressing her Parliament on television yesterday in England. It takes a two-and-a-half hour flight from Heathrow Airport to Atatürk International Airport in Instabul, but Theresa May did not go, but these went (pointing at hon. Ministers).


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!




Madam First Deputy Speaker: That is not -


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


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, take your seat, you are protected. Hon. Member on the Floor, the Motion clearly is about parastatal bodies. It is not about the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs going to Istanbul. Focus on the Motion.


Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, I value your guidance.


I said running a country is the same as running a business. I gave an explanation of how a company structure has a managing director, a general manager, an operations manager and a finance manager, whom I equated to the hon. Minister of Finance. There would also be cost centres in the same organisation such as the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which do not actually generate money –


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


Mr Nkombo: These are the people who run these parastatal bodies. It is one Government, mind you. I have bundled them under one.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, please take your seat.


Mr Livune interjected.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: You know points of order just consume valuable time.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I have already ruled the hon. Member out of order and I have actually asked him to focus on the Motion and he is trying very hard to do that. I will just remind him. We have a Motion, hon. Member for Mazabuka, so that you do not attract these interruptions from the right.


Mr Nkombo: Fantastic.


Madam Speaker, I was talking about austerity measures even in these same statutory organisations and State owned enterprises. Charity begins at home. If I, as a parent of my three children, am lavish in the manner in which I live my life, the chances are that when my first born son is left with the kitty, he will also be lavish. Therein lies the connection. We cannot be complaining about missing documents when we know who the custodian of these documents is supposed to be. That is what the seconder was talking about. Why is it that the whip has not cracked on these people who make documents go missing so that auditing becomes impossible? This report is lamenting the lack of audits and misapplication of funds.


Madam Speaker, I will now demonstrate to you. There are two things which I picked out under Tanzania Zambia Mafuta Pipeline (TAZAMA). The report tells us that TAZAMA does not have a back-up information system. This is the same TAZAMA which is the lifeblood of this country. It brings oil for us to keep moving from point A to point B.


I also know that in the past, we have made laws here which are very bad and do not promote corporate governance. An example given is Tanzania Zambia Mafuta (TAZAMA) itself and the local councils. We have made a law that you cannot execute an order against these people if, for instance, they owe me money and I go to court and I win. I just end up at just winning. There is nothing that they can do. That is promotion of terrible bad corporate governance. We need to repeal this law that protects councils so that if they are found wanting by a court of competent jurisdiction, they are dealt with the way Gary Nkombo will. If I lost a law case, they can come and send bailiffs to me. There is no way corporate governance can improve in the face of such bad laws. I am sure you all agree with me, dear colleagues, that you can go to court to sue TAZAMA, it is an exercise in futility even if you win the case because you cannot execute the order. They will just put you on the queue. In the meantime, they will continue misbehaving.


Madam Speaker, how come the Committee is lamenting that these companies are failing to meet statutory payments like to the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) and Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA). These companies employ many people, not so? Now, I want to give you what I think is a sad story of how this Government can go for a private company if it is in default and wind it down to zero like the way it did The Post newspaper. Here is a situation - This report speaks volumes that all these companies in the report are in breach. They do not contribute to the ZRA and to NAPSA. Therefore, when these people who work for them retire, in case of NAPSA or Local Authorities Superannuation Fund (LASF) and water utilities who are cited in this report, are we just going to end up at talking? Ya, things are bad, tafilibwino in Zambia and then keep quiet? No! We have to move a step towards correcting these ills. We have to. It is our responsibility.


Madam Speaker, in my last five minutes, I want to deal with the issue of theft in black and white. The RDA − Kalikuli ka page? Eh! Here is what the report says, that there are expenditures that are illegal. This is in a case where there are boards in place and board members are gifting themselves with allowances that they are not supposed to get. Some cases are talking of money in the tune of K163,000. It is here in the report. I think that the Road Development Agency (RDA) belongs to the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development. Why it is difficult to say to this person who got the money, bwana, you got money which you should not have taken, bring it back or take him to the police. We know that the police okay, have kid gloves where the PF is concerned …


Mr Mwamba: Question!


Mr Nkombo: …because most of these people− I am not even shy to say, in fact, not most, all who run these institutions are cronies of the PF.


Hon. PF Members: Question!


Mr Nkombo: If you recall, Madam Speaker, I can bet my last dollar here. All these people who run these companies without mentioning their names, maybe professional quite okay, but they have been indoctrinated by the poison of the PF.


Mr Chiteme: That is what the people voted for.


Mr Nkombo: There is a greenhorn who is talking about how people voted.


Ms Kapata: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.




Mr Nkombo: I am simply saying, it is not an insult to be a greenhorn.


Ms Kapata: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.




Mr Nkombo: The point I am driving is that these people, because the PF has no capacity …


Ms Kapata: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister …


Mr Nkombo: They have demonstrated that they cannot appoint boards. That is what this report is saying.




Mr Nkombo: You cannot appoint boards and then you want to make a point of order.




Mr Nkombo: It is simple to appoint a board because it is just names and character. We can give you a chance to make a point of order now, but you will fail to even make a sensible point of order.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Address the Chair.




Mr Nkombo: At least, I am making sense in what I am saying.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Address the Chair, hon. Member for Mazabuka Central.


Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker appointing a board just requires identification of a person with special qualities to run your institution. That is what it requires, not point of order, point of order. What for?


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




Ms Kapata: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.


Mr Nkombo: To impress who?




Mr Nkombo: This is what we came for here.




Mr Nkombo: This is clearly what we came for.


Mr Lubinda: You are being sarcastic.


Ms Kapata: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.


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


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Mazabuka Central resume your seat.


Hon. Ministers, I will not accept indiscipline from you.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: This House is a House of order.


Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: When I do not give you an opportunity to raise a point of order, you cannot continue to stand.


Mr Nkombo: Look at the them.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: You cannot. Let us have order in the House.


Allow me to listen to the debate so that I can do my job.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, in the House on both sides.


The hon. Member for Mazabuka Central will continue with his debate.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: When the time comes for responding, I want them to dissect this report.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member, it is not for you to say what the hon. Ministers must say when their time comes.


Just debate the report.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Just continue with your debate.


Mr Nkombo: I want to make a quotation on page 63 of the appendix to this report. This page reveals an act of theft. It says:


“Your previous Committee further observed with concern that in the absence of a board, it was not possible to have an expenditure on the category of board allowances and hence, found the payment of K68,800 made to the Permanent Secretary and Chairperson of the Board, highly irregular.”


Dismantle this when you come to respond. This is not me who wrote it, it is the Committee.


Princess Kucheka: Yes!


Mr Nkombo: Here without mentioning the names, the Permanent Secretary and the board Chairperson got the money. It is not Gary Nkombo speaking, it is Gary Nkombo reading what is written in here. Then, somebody must stand up and start protecting these people ...




Mr Nkombo: ...who are depleting the country’s resources. Anyone reasonable should actually be quiet and listen to me make a fool of myself, if I am not making sense to you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: That is the bottom line. If you just wowowo, you will not hear how I want to make a fool of myself.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Mazabuka Central …




Madam First Deputy Speaker: … we have always guided that there must be mutual respect and use of civil language in the House. You are not doing that right now and I am trying to restrain myself from curtailing your debate.


Please, continue with your debate bearing in mind my counsel.


Mr Nkombo: It is painful to read the following, on page 63 of the appendix to your report, bullet 16.2, irregular investment of K3 million, this is the old K3 billion. Your previous Committee urged the controlling officer to ensure that management was sternly cautioned for failure to adhere to the Public Finance Act No.15 of 2004. Is it on or right to just say, you sternly warn them after spending K3 million? It is not enough. It is settling for little. We can circumvent all these things if we simply work together. None of us in this august House is a victim or a culprit of this report, but those people running parastatal bodies, whom these people (pointing at the Frontbench) appoint. If I am being less courteous, I can only say, I am sorry, but it is my job to bring out these things that are contained in this report.


Princess Kucheka: Yes!


Mr Nkombo: Maybe, it is my style of delivery. I can only apologise to my colleagues, but the point is that there are people who steal.


Ms Kapata: But you always walk away.


Princess Kucheka: Stop disturbing him.


Mr Nkombo: Walking away, as a matter of fact, is a right of any hon. Member of Parliament.




Mr Nkombo: Even now, once I finish delivering, if I want to use the bathroom, I will go and use the bathroom and come back.


Mr Muchima: Yes!


Mr Nkombo: However, I will not be regulated by someone who says each time I speak, I walk away. These are my legs.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Nkombo: I thank you.




Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Madam Speaker, I would like to thank you for this opportunity. I wish to support the report. In doing so, allow me to make a few comments and observations.


First of all, I do realise, Madam Speaker, that when we are debating in this House, people out there look at us as hon. Members who must use language befitting of hon. Members of Parliament.




Mr Ngulube: Madam Speaker, I also take note that from your counsel, it is apparent that there is no need for acrimony if what we are going to debate is a report.


Dr Malama: Correct!


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Let me also state that in as much as we want to provide checks and balances to the Executive, we can only do so with mutual respect and with a view of bettering this nation.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Madam Speaker, there is a report before us, which we believe is very specific.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: And I am hoping that you will show something different by debating the report.


Mr Ngulube: Very true, Madam Speaker, As I always do., I promise you that my debate will be three minutes.


Madam Speaker, first of all, I want to state that it is worrying that parastatal bodies have continued to perform poorly in terms of finances and remittance of dividends. I, therefore, want to urge the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry or the Minister responsible for these parastatals bodies to take stern action against these defaulters. When one is given a public institution to run on behalf of everybody else, it is not in order that those people can just declare losses or run down the institution at the expense of the public.


Madam Speaker, I am aware that the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) now has been given the responsibility to superintend all these parastatal bodies, but we also have concerns about the IDC itself. It appears the IDC does not have much control to know what is happening in these parastatals bodies. If the IDC was to be serious, it would be very difficult for people to steal. I apologise for using the word, “steal” because it is unparliamentary. It would be very difficult for people to siphon or run down State institutions.


Madam Speaker, in conclusion, …


Hon. Members: Aah!




Mr Ngulube: …I also want to say −




Mr Ngulube: Madam Speaker, I said that I would speak in three minutes. I know that my brothers are worried that I can only debate in three minutes. Yes, I have driven the point home and fortunately, for us learned men, we do not talk too much.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Madam Speaker, in conclusion, I want to say that unfortunately, even the local authorities have joined the queue of parastatal bodies. I am right now speaking on behalf of my people in Kabwe Central. Workers at Kabwe Municipal Council have not been paid for three months while money is being given by the Ministry of Local Government. This mismanagement of public institutions requires serious attention from the Executive. Unless we begin to crack the whip, institutions such as the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) would not wake up. Institutions such as the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) should be strengthened so that we can all run this economy knowing that it belongs to all of us.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me an opportunity to debate your report on the Floor of the House on behalf of the wonderful people of Lupososhi Constituency.


Madam Speaker, the report brings out pertinent issues. There are a number of things that need to be attended to. Zambia as a country depends on a number of sources of revenue such as the domestic revenue. The domestic revenue includes tax revenue, non-tax revenue, loans and dividends. We also consider foreign revenue from the grants and loans. The parastatal bodies are a key ingredient for the non-tax revenue and dividends. This particular source of revenue calls for seriousness in the running of the parastatal bodies. These are quasi-Government institutions and, therefore, it is also true that there is a very thin line between how the Executive and the parastatal bodies are controlled.


Madam Speaker, I also do not subscribe to the notion that running a business is synonymous to running the Government. The two are completely different because of the objectives and motives that the two are formed. The Government is primarily concerned with the provision of goods and services. The motive of business is not only to grow the wealth for its shareholders, but also to make profit. The Government makes no profit, whatsoever. It looks at a number of aspects that require revenue from different sources.


However, the parastatal bodies that are now grouped under the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) umbrella are characterised with wastage, abuse, fraud, under productivity and inefficiency. It is those areas that we need to worry about as the Government. It is such things that we need to address as a Republic, so that we can bring efficiency into the operations of the parastatal bodies. Yes, governance can bring about efficiency in ensuring that we allow the parastatal bodies to also make some money so that they can declare dividends. The dividends will also go towards budget financing.


Madam Speaker, in corporate governance, there is what is called divorce of control from ownership. Those who own it may not control it and those who control it may not own it. Therefore, it is always important to provide a helicopter view by those who are not controlling to ensure that what they own is being managed properly, efficiently and economically. According to what has been picked by your Committee with regard to the parastatal bodies, there are a number of concerns that we need to look at. There are also issues that the hon. Minister of Finance and the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry need to take into consideration. 


Madam Speaker, for example, Indeni Petroleum Refinery Limited has K51 million unpaid for invoices. There is also K19 million which has not been paid as compensation. At Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company, there is K150 million uncollected debt. At Ndola Lime Company, there is K4 million that was spent on a chimney which has never worked. If all this money was brought in and netted in or utilised properly, it would have been very easy for us to service the external debts. The question is: “Why is it that these parastatal bodies are failing to collect the money that is due to them?” I think that is what we need to dwell on and be able to see what we need to do to enable these particular parastatal bodies to perform well.


Madam Speaker, the other aspect that perhaps, begs an answer and something that we need to worry about is the fact that about K8.8 million was spent in excess board meetings. In a period of four years, forty board meetings were held. On average, we are talking of four meetings per month and that may translate in one meeting per week. That kind of expenditure is not only worrying, but it also means that there is an area of inefficiency in those who are governing the parastatal bodies. Therefore, we need to look at this and see why we would allow a company or a quasi-Government institution to go beyond the stipulated number of board meetings and spend excessively on that particular front.


Madam Speaker, there is a concern that the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) made a loss of K59.8 million. This makes one wonder why it is making such a loss. The only answer is what I said in my preamble. Perhaps, it provides more of a service than making profit. Therefore, there is a difference between running a business and the Government because we need to extend the coverage area. We do not make money where we expect to make some. Nevertheless, the people of Zambia would have gotten the service and would be enjoying that particular service. Therefore, something needs to be done quickly, so that parastatal bodies can run efficiently and can also provide quality service in the process.


Like I said, parastatal bodies are a source of revenue. They can help the country service the debt. We can also use them, especially with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) setting standards for other organisations to follow because it is being looked at and led by the Government. However, we also need to look at the issue of innovation within the parastatal bodies. Are they being innovative in order for them to compete with other like-minded organisations? Are we evaluating the parastatal bodies so that we can use them as a benchmark? If not, can we not look at our neighbouring countries and benchmark with those that have managed to run the parastatal bodies efficiently? We can copy from them and there is nothing wrong with copying. That way, we will be able to run efficient parastatal bodies.


Madam Speaker, I am glad that the Public Finance Management Act of 2017, has been actualised. I am drawing strength from this particular Act because it has certain provisions which are very progressive. In other words, it will no longer be business as usual and it will not take so many years to discipline a person who mismanages funds or is found wanting. This particular Act has certain provisions that will be able to deal with the erring officers.


However, let me be quick to mention that this particular Act alone, and I have said this before on the Floor of the House, may not achieve its objectives if we do not look at the disciplinary code within the Civil Service and what it takes for a case to be disposed of. It is one thing to charge and suspend somebody and perhaps even start disciplinary procedures. However, if that person continues being on the payroll, the effects of the punishment that are intended are not felt. Therefore, we need to harmonise this particular law with the policies, terms and conditions of service, and the disciplinary code so that we can come up with something tangible and be able to put it on the table.


Madam Speaker, with these few contributions, I thank you.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Madam Speaker, I thank you and would like to thank the mover and the seconder of this Motion.


 It is the responsibility of every Government to provide the much-needed services to its citizenry. These services are: health, education, security, and so on and so forth. However, in order for the Government to provide the much-needed services to the people, it will need resources, hence the establishment of parastatal bodies that should raise revenue on its behalf. As I read the report, it was shocking to note that most of the parastatal bodies do not have Board of Directors. One of the functions of the Board of Directors is to hire Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) on merit. The Board of Directors comprises people with vast experience and given an opportunity to oversee a parastatal body, it would not make losses as indicated in the report. Instead, it would make profit.


Madam Speaker, we all know that the role of CEOs is to, indeed, assess the overall direction and strategies of the business. That being the case, they would also ensure that in the spirit of team work, they gather a team that has the know-how and motivate it and ensure that the end result is achieved. It is shocking that what is in the report does not reflect what we see on the doors of the parastatal bodies in terms of their mission statements and visions which are very good. However, we have realised that their mission statements are fake because year in and year out, they make losses.


On page 24 of the Committee’s report, the Committee observes that there was misapplication of funds and wasteful expenditure of resources. We all know that we are quick in allocating funds for workshops with regard to looking into expanding the water network in our cities in order to ensure that water utility companies provide the much-needed water to the citizens every day. We heard in this august House that the people in Nakonde are drinking water that is coloured. If there was a board, it would have been taken to task for failing to provide clean drinking water to the people of Nakonde.


Madam Speaker, it is true that local authorities are shareholders to most utility companies. Sadly, instead of paying dividends to local authorities, they disconnect water in markets and other public places run by the councils. However, they are major shareholders to most utility companies and contribute greatly in terms of capital and most of the infrastructure of these companies was put up and funded by them. Therefore, we thought they would improve them, but instead, they have become worse.


I referred to the issue of employment and that a company can only make a profit when workers are employed on merit. However, we have seen a lot of interference. Parastatal bodies are overloaded with workers and they take more than they can take. As a result, they spend on wages and salaries year in and year out and fail to implement ─


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1810 hours until 1830 hours.




Mr Jere: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was highlighting the failures by some parastatal bodies to remit statutory contributions. Among those failures is remitting statutory contributions to the Local Authorities Superannuation Fund LASF, National Pension and Scheme Authority (NAPSA) and the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA).


Mr Speaker, we all know that the failure by the parastatal bodies to remit contributions to LASF affects the workers who have diligently served this country for many years such as that they end up being destitute in our communities.


Sir, the other issue of great importance is on page 130 of your Committee’s report with regard to parastatal bodies failing to acquire title deeds. We all know that a lot of land encroachments in the country are perpetuated by the Patriotic Front (PF) cadres. Therefore, we would like to advise the parastatal bodies to acquire the title deeds so that they can secure the public properties.


Sir, on page 130, item two of your Committee’s reports says:


“The following seven properties’ certificates of title deeds went missing and the process of obtaining duplicate certificate of title deeds was in the process.”


This is the inertia we highlighted earlier on. They are perpetuated by the people charged with the responsibilities to run the parastatal bodies. How can important documents like the title deeds go missing in a big institution which is supposed to look after these vital documents? 


Mr Speaker, it is not only one document, which went missing, but several of them, as indicated on that page. On item four on the same page, your report says:


“For Stand No. 680 for a double-storey building, in Chingola ˗ management was in the process of upgrading the title from a fourteen-year under lease to a full lease.”


Sir, this is shocking in the sense that a parastatal body, which is a wing of the Government, would acquire a title deed on a fourteen-year lease whereas the Government is quick to give a ninety-nine year lease to a foreigner who comes into this country. Where is the security of tenure when Zambians, parastatal bodies inclusive are only allowed to obtain a fourteen-year lease land tenure?


Mr Speaker, it is high time these people were made to work …


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Jere: … to enable them to do the right thing instead of wasting resources.


Sir, the analysis of the outstanding issues from 2009 to 2016, is evident on page 167, that most of them with an exception of the Zambia Wildlife Authority, (ZAWA) have above 70 per cent to 100 of outstanding issues. What are these issues all about?


Mr Speaker, your Committee was informed that out of 924 issues raised by the Auditor-General’s Report on the Financial Statements of Parastatal Bodies in 2014, only 273 were closed upon audit verification while 651 were still outstanding. What does this mean? These are public resources, that people who are charged with the responsibility to collect the funds must account for. Surprisingly, the number of unresolved issues stands out at 70 per cent to 100 per cent, which is a source of worry. In other words, this is as a result of employing people based on wako ni wako or ww.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Jere:  Mr Speaker, if we have to move forward, we should ensure that the people who are employed are capable of performing to enable the country to raise the much-needed resources for the services needed in every corner of this country.


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


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Before, I call upon the next speaker to take the Floor, I will take one hon. Member from my left and this is the hon. Member for Ikeleng’i.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Thereafter, I will move to my right.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, I would like to …


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Before you continue, hon. Member, Hon. Tutwa Ngulube did well on time keeping. If only you can also try to serve time to enable a number of hon. Members to debate. 


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for according me this opportunity to look at some of the issues raised by your Committee report. Your Committee has raised critical issues, which affect our economy.


Sir, to start with, we are looking at the Auditor-General’s report on the parastatal bodies. The Auditor-General’s report is important and therefore, we should take it seriously as we debate because what has been disclosed is the truth.


Mr Speaker, the purpose of the Government’s coming up with the parastatal bodies was for various reasons. One of them was for profit making. The other one was to provide a public good, which could not be provided by the private institutions. This was done in order to protect the welfare of the people of Zambia.


Sir, on one occasion, I was impressed when the then hon. Minister of Finance, Hon. Mutati, came to this august House and told the nation, through the Budget Speech, that he was going to carry out a review of few parastatal bodies. He mentioned that those that were not doing well would be phased out. Surprisingly, we have not seen any parastatal body which is going in that direction. Most of the parastatal organisations are loss-making. Why are we keeping them?


Currently, the Government has limited resources, but on top of that, it is carrying the burden of looking after parastatal organisations. What is the secrecy behind keeping parastatal companies that are running at a loss? Since time immemorial to date, parastatal companies in Zambia have been making serious losses. The best thing to do is to scrap them off. If parastatal companies are failing to deliver, whom do we blame? It is the Government that is failing to run them. Market failures happen when a Government fails to intervene.


Mr Speaker, what Hon. Mutati said some time back should have been taken seriously. Some of these parastatal bodies should be removed completely out of our books. I am talking about institutions like the Times of Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail and Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC). These are parastatal bodies which we know for sure have no future and one of the reasons is political interference. Secondly, it is the failure to recapitalise them.


The major reason, however, is the appointment of board members. The appointment of board members leaves much to be desired. When it comes to the appointment of board members for parastatal bodies, it is a matter of quantity over quality. It is the political supporters of the Ruling Party that are appointed to these boards. These are the people serving on these boards. Fifty-four years after Independence, we cannot find quality board members for public institutions. You will find the same people on the boards of directors for the Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO), Indeni Petroleum and so on and so forth, yet the country has so many qualified people.


Mr Mubika: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: The Executive looks at people’s political alignments when making these appointments. That is what is killing this country. Let us look at the qualities of the board members when making these appointments.


Mr Speaker, another issue is the power of the hon. Minister in making these appointments. Whoever comes into office dismisses board members of public institutions and then brings in his or her own people. That is not correct. In my view, the list of board members should even be brought to Parliament for us to scrutinise it because they are going to serve the interests of the nation, not of the Ruling Party.


Prof. Luo: Ikala panshi.


Mr Mubika: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, it is a shame to hear that the Citizen’s Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) failed to provide financial statements. The Director-General and most people working at the CEEC are qualified. Why are they failing to produce financial statements? How then do we measure their performance and know whether the institution is growing or not? The CEEC is on record as having followed up clients who fail to own up in paying back loans. The commission has even gone to grab such client’s property, and yet it is failing to own up to the Zambian people. What a shame.


We are keeping institutions which are failing because they are run by failures. In fact, it is the Government itself that is a failure because it is failing to superintend over these institutions. I am happy that Hon. Daka, who is the Chairperson of this Committee, has brought up these issues. Indeni Petroleum is a very important corporation. Therefore, how can it fail to provide financial statements? Where are the issues of corporate governance?


Mr Mubika: Do you have an answer to that?


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, these institutions are meant to provide services to the Zambian people. If they are not able to provide the services, the best way is for them to be shut down completely. We need to review their operations. I heard somebody saying that parastatal bodies were a source of revenue. Yes, in countries where there is financial prudence, but not in Zambia.


Mr Speaker, an example is the Zambia State Insurance Corporation (ZSIC). Some people who were working for ZSIC have gone on to form their own companies which are doing much better than ZSIC. That is why you should question. What is wrong where there is a Government hand? There should be something wrong. Anything to do with the Government faces losses, but the same individuals who were working for public institutions go on to form their own companies and do well. When they become private companies, former parastatal bodies start making profits. The board members appointed to public institutions serve their own personal interests and not the ideals of the institution.


Mr Speaker, failure to prepare financial statements is a serious matter that needs serious action by the Government, but this Government does not do anything at all. One could suspect that there is a motive in protecting officials serving in such institutions. The chief executives officers of these institutions are supposed to be dismissed immediately and then you review their operations.


Mr Speaker, we can do without parastatal bodies. Look at what happened with the United Bus Company of Zambia (UBZ). When the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) came into power, it dealt with the issue of public transport and dissolved the UBZ. Today, we do not miss the UBZ. In fact, people used to wait at the stations for buses when the Government was running the UBZ, but today, it is the buses that are waiting for the people. The private sector is running public transport effectively. Moreover, the Government is even able to collect more taxes than running these institutions.


Mr Speaker, what we fail is to have stewardship or ownership of public institutions where we are working. The biggest problem, however, is that there is a lot of political interference. We are using public institutions as tools to siphon money to run our activities as political parties.


Sir, failure to remit statutory obligations to the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) and Local Authorities Superannuation Fund (LASF) is a serious matter which should be addressed by the hon. Minister of Finance.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mubika: You can even sweat.


Mr Muchima: In other countries, people are punished for such things. We do not know when or if these funds are remitted to these institutions. Why is this component of funds not going to these institutions or is it a deliberate move? Is it business as usual that these institutions are not funded with impunity? Just as Hon. Nkombo said, good management should ensure that this issue of protecting institutions when they are not doing very well comes to an end.


Mr Nkombo: Yes, tell them.


Mr Muchima: If bailiffs can be sent …


Mr Nkombo handed Mr Muchima a serviette.


Mr Muchima: I have a handkerchief.




Mr Muchima: If bailiffs can be sent to my company as an individual, why can we not send bailiffs to the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company or TAZAMA Pipelines Limited? Why is the Government protecting such companies?


Mr Nkombo: Where is the corporate governance?


Mr Muchima: Where is the corporate governance for sure?


Mr Nkombo: Yanjila manje.


Mr Muchima: The Ruling Party is protecting these companies because its supporters are working there. Those appointed are nephews and political supporters of those on your right.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: We need to see a change. We need only those parastatal bodies that add value to the revenue of this country. If parastatal bodies are not performing, the hon. Minister of Finance should, tomorrow, come and tell us that these institutions will be scraped off. We do not need them or they should let us know when they will start performing.


Give these institutions to private hands and you will see how they will turn them into profit-making institutions. I have given an example of the United Bus Company (UBZ). The Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO), which used to make money, today, it is even failing to pay for the electricity it has consumed from other countries like Mozambique. We have become a shame to other institutions.




Mr Muchima: Pension institutions are supposed to be institutions that invest, but the problem is, at the moment, they are incapacitated. They are unable to perform effectively. Why can the hon. Minister of Finance not review the problems they are facing? We cannot be moving with the same problem year in, year out, from one hon. Minister of Finance to another. However, I believe the hon. Minister, having come from the corporate world which makes profits through and through, will review this issue of parastatal bodies. These parastatal bodies are not doing anything at all. You are just counting the numbers. They are not providing anything to our economy.


Mr Speaker, I promised to be very brief ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: ... very, very brief. I want to re-emphasise the point of appointment of board members.  We want the appointment of board members to be ratified by Parliament.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: We want to look at their qualifications and know their background because these are the ones who are causing problems in these institutions. Look at every institution. I am surprised that most of the parastatal bodies are not performing, but you are busy trying to create even new ones. We have not been told how the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) is doing today. We need to hear from you, hon. Minister of Finance, how the parastatal bodies will be turned around. We want to hear today, for the first time, that these parastatal bodies are going to change. I know you have no money to recapitalise institutions like the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC), Times of Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail, you name them.


Mr Nkombo: Ezima.


Mr Muchima: All of them. He is telling me “Ezima.Ezima means “All of them” in Lunda.


Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Unless I am going to be told that there is another structure that is coming in. Okay, the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) is most welcome, but do not use politics to bring business. Nothing will work out. You need to look at those who are capable. Those who are capable are found in Zambia, but the problem is, you are only looking into your own house, as Patriotic Front (PF). That is where the problem is.


Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: It is like incest. Nobody fears.


Mr Nkombo: Like what?


Mr Muchima: Incest. You cannot marry within your own house.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: You cannot do business within your own party. Business should be for every Zambian. Do the crossbreed.


Mr Livune: Chiteme with Jean, ooh.


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I am mindful about time. I want to conclude by saying that parastatal bodies in Zambia are a total failure. I support the Committee. They have done a great job. Continue, Committee ...




Mr Muchima: You are disturbing me. Just come and mop my face.




Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Address the Chair, hon. Member. We have business at hand.


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I attract some young ladies from that side.


With these few words, I support the report.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: We will have the hon. Member for Lukashya, and the last one will be the hon. Member for Chama South. Then, we will move to the hon. Ministers.


Mr Munkonge (Lukashya): Mr Speaker, thank you. I would like to say that I support the Motion which has been ably presented by the Chairperson.


Mr Speaker, I would also like to acknowledge that the Auditor-General works in very difficult circumstances. I think it is not possible to look at the issue of parastatal bodies without taking into consideration their inherited problems. Therefore, these inherited problems, in some instances, date back to the United National Independence Party (UNIP) era. Some of the figures that are being thrown around are cumulative. They are figures which are – you get your K8 billion, but it is arising from 1980, and then now, it looks like a very large figure, even though you are taking into consideration that it has accumulated over thirty years to get to that figure. However, that is not where the solution lies. Why I would personally hesitate to offload and get rid of all these parastatal bodies without a comprehensive study of them is, it becomes very embarrassing where you give away a multi-million dollar investment for nothing and a few months later, because of good management, that investment is now a billion dollar investment. We have examples in the mining sector where we have had – because of public opinion, people say “Sell it. It is a liability” and so, it was sold cheaply. The following day, people are complaining “How did you sell off this asset so cheaply?” Some of these assets, take for example, the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia, a multi-million dollar investment, which was not run down by the Patriotic Front (PF). It was done way before. Therefore, to dispose of it as if you are disposing of a car - I think we really have to be very, very careful how we handle these discussions. We may be giving away some of our assets cheaply if we do not consider issues carefully.


Mr Speaker, I have noticed that one of the problems with this issue of audits usually, from the Auditor-General’s point of view, is manpower from the company that is supposed to carry out the audit. It usually lacks resources. Therefore, the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) would be given whatever amount it would have in its budget, but the funding would not allow it to be able to conduct the audit. So, my proposal on the issue of audits is that perhaps, the funds for the audit should not be part of the company’s budget, but be a budget under the Auditor-General or even the Secretary to the Treasury. This way, the Secretary to the Treasury, who has a pool of money can go to a private company, or even facilitate the Auditor-General’s auditing of a company rather than to ask a company which is underfunded or whose profit margin cannot afford to cover audit fees to pay for the audit. It will fail and as history will tell, that is usually the case. When you talk to these chief executive officers, you will find that they are not running away from the audits. They do not have the capacity to conduct it. They are even short-staffed in accounts, a department which we all agree is important, but somehow, it has the least number of people.


Mr Speaker, I also want to touch on the issue of the board of directors. Clearly, it is a shortcoming, but it is not an impossible shortcoming. I think what we need to do is simplify the procedure of appointing boards without necessarily affecting the quality of the people and this can be done by simply having the necessary guidelines of what constitutes a potential board member, which everybody will be expected to follow. On the issue of mismanagement, even with the best systems in place, it will still exist if a person has no personal ethics. For example, those people who have committed crimes, should be taken to the police and ensure that the law takes its course without necessarily getting rid of the entity in which they abused their authority. That entity may still be  viable.


Mr Speaker, I now move to another issue which I have been looking at. I think that if the responsibility of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to salvage some of these companies has to be taken seriously, then it needs to have more teeth to bite, which may inevitably end in some of them being offloaded. It also needs more financing so that if we have to cut off those making losses, we cut them off now and leave those that can survive. I get shocked when I hear that Ndola Lime Company is making losses. The companies that surround Ndola Lime such as Zambezi Portland Cement, Lafarge Cement and Dangote Cement Zambia are making money. Therefore, what we need to apply ourselves to is the aspect of where we are going wrong with these entities. Often times, it is not a political issue, but one or two individuals who may fall under the category of being greedy and are serving their personal agenda.


I do not know if the word greedy is parliamentary.


Hon. Government Member: It is parliamentary.


Mr Munkonge: He is saying it is parliamentary. Thank you.


Such people must be punished by facing the full extent of the law so that we discourage other people from doing the same. This is because there are people out there with good ideas which we should be following. Some of these things can be easily sorted out if people in key positions can be punished for their wrongdoings and the entities saved. Some of these entities are definitely in a position to contribute to development. In the event that they cannot contribute, they can be offloaded at a better price to an entity that is showing a healthy existence. Therefore, I would hesitate to just throw out everything. I agree with the Committee that challenges are there. However, these challenges, especially the historical ones, should be separated from the current operational challenges so that we can see the true picture which can be used to salvage the company. I will try to stick to my brother’s time of debating. I have doubled that and debated for seven minutes. Nonetheless, I support the Committee’s recommendations. I feel that as patriotic Zambians, we should find ways of saving these entities so that we can leave some gifts for the future generation.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to debate your Committee’s report. I will try to debate within five minutes. In supporting your Committee’s report, I want to say that it is clear that parastatal bodies are not doing well financially. I know that the reasons could be many. However, being Government entities, parastatal bodies have a responsibility to provide services to the citizens of this country as highlighted in your report. The parastatal bodies do not necessarily operate as profitable businesses. They are not there to make a profit and that could be one of the reasons for the financial problems they are facing. However, I want to highlight the importance of bringing these parastatal bodies into the concept of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).


Mr Speaker, the IDC is a well-thought-out idea whose actualisation we are looking forward to. The reason is very simple. Others have argued on the Floor of this august House that the composition of the IDC Board is undesirable. I think that such an argument is far from reality. I remember how one hon. Member of this august House referred to the fact that His Excellency the President, is the Board Chairman of the IDC. If that was true, how would he report to hon. Members of Parliament? I think that is a serious lack of understanding. Just because the Articles of Association clearly state that the Office of the President is the Chairperson of the Board does not mean that His Excellency President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, or whichever President assumes office is the one who will sit on the board. It is the office. All these problems that have been highlighted in this report will be solved if that office takes care of all the technicalities which have been observed here. In terms of discipline, reporting, expertise, all these things will be addressed through the IDC.


Mr Speaker, I will also briefly talk about what your Committee’s report has highlighted with regard to the operations of the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). It is shocking that an hon. Member filed in a question to ask the Government when it will announce the floor price for maize. I say so because your Committee’s report talks about the role that the private sector played in this exercise. Your report says:


“In the year 2016, the private sector participated in the marketing of maize. Participation in the marketing of maize was very high due to the very high regional export market.”


Your Committee has cited an example where the Government was buying a 50 kg bag of maize at K85 while the private sector was buying the same commodity at a price higher than this. Therefore, as Parliamentarians, we should educate and inform our farmers that the price of maize is determined by the forces of demand and supply. Who sets this price? It is the buyers and producers, and not the Government. The Government buys for strategic reserves. Last year, we were told that the FRA had planned to purchase 500,000 metric tonnes of maize. When the FRA reaches that ceiling, it stops buying maize. Therefore, to insinuate that the Government should set the floor price for maize is far from the facts.


Mr Speaker, as Parliamentarians, we should also be aware that the Government, through a programme called Musika Development Initiative, has an institution called the Zambian Commodity Exchange (ZAMACE). Hon. Members of Parliament for Kalomo Central Parliamentary Constituency, Bweengwa Parliamentary Constituency and many other hon. Members of Parliament from the Southern Province are aware that farmers are encouraged to hold on to their maize through this ZAMACE Programme. They are told to wait until the maize prices appreciate. Who causes the prices to appreciate? It is the forces of demand and supply. Therefore, to push the Government or ask a question on the Floor of the House encouraging the Government to set the floor price for maize is not the way to go.


Mr Speaker, there is also the issue of subsidies. If you look at the value chain of maize, you will see that these have been benefitting the millers. The Government will buy a 50 kg bag of maize at K85 while millers buy the same bag from the FRA at K60. Who then benefits from this? Is it our poor peasant farmers or the millers? I am sure that is the reason we have seen certain initiatives being put in place.


Mr Speaker, lastly, I promised to debate within five minutes. The viability of parastatal bodies is dependent on their interaction with other international parastatal bodies. This can be achieved in so many ways, one of which is that the Head of State travels. I heard our very good teacher of English, Hon. Gary Nkombo, Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central, misrepresenting facts.


Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kafwaya: Tell him!


Mr Mung’andu: Sir, when a President travels, just like he did when he went to Turkey –




Mr Livune interjected.


Hon. Government Member: Iwe, Livune.


Mr Mung’andu: It is not only Turkey. I will stick to the issue of parastatal bodies.


Sir, when the President travels to England, for example, he meets so many officials of parastatal bodies.


Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!




Mr Mung’andu: Your hon. Members on the left will die on the left because they do not know ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member, just debate the Motion because we want to conclude. Let us avoid attracting points of order.




Mr Mung’andu: Mr Speaker, I need your protection.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: You are protected.


Mr Mung’andu: They are not using parliamentary language. Instead of saying ‘question’, they are passing running commentaries.


Mr Speaker, the event that the President attended attracted more than twenty Heads of State from Africa.


Mr Livune: Bo Lubinda.


Mr Lubinda: There is no ‘Bo Lubinda’ there is Hon. Lubinda here.


Mr Mung’andu: Turkey is the sixth biggest economy in Europe, in case your hon. Members on your left do not know.


Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!


Mr Mung’andu: It is actually fifteenth in the world. Which other platform will the Head of State seize ...


Hon. Opposition Members: Parastatals!


Mr Mung’andu: ... where twenty Heads of State will meet and interact to propel the development of this country? Mind you, some of these trips are taken on an invitation. The sixth economy in Europe invites your Head and State and you expect him to stay back?


Mr Speaker, I can guarantee your hon. Members on the left that come 2021, they will remain on the left because they do not know how the Government is run.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Hon Member: Bauze. Nanga Kafue?


Mr Kafwaya: You will remain on the left questioning.


Mr Mung’andu: In 2021 or 2022, I will come and tell them that they are still on the left.


Mr Speaker, I promised to speak for less than five minutes, therefore, with these few remarks, I support your report.


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Minister of Finance (Mrs Mwanakatwe): Mr Speaker, I want to thank you for according my ministry and me this opportunity to issue a statement on the Report of your Committee on Parastatal Bodies and other Statutory Institutions for the Financial Years Ended December 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.


Sir, first and foremost, allow me to thank the Committee for the work done in coming up with such a report which has highlighted the performance of the parastatal bodies. I take note of the recommendations by the Committee on Parastatal Bodies. My ministry will follow up and attend to the recommendations.


I want to focus on three or four issues that have been widely debated here. The first one is that of punishment that should be meted out to erring officials.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: It was only recently that this august House passed the Public Finance Management Act No. 1 of 2018. I think it was very clear to all of us that any chief executive officer of a parastatal body or controlling officer in a Government institution can be taken to jail. I said last time that even I can be taken to jail.


Mr Lubinda: Even an MP.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: You, as hon. Members of Parliament, can also be taken to jail. The issue is more in the implementation of the Act No.1 of 2018, that we have put in place.


Sir, in the new Companies Act, it is a criminal offence for a board member, meaning a director, or a head of a parastatal organisation to run the company into financial doldrums. I have no doubt in my mind that we have an Act in place that will ensure that these erring parastatal chiefs, their officers, erring civil servants, right up to the Secretary to the Treasury, who is the overseer of this area, will be punished. This punishment will be meted out to those officials who are holding responsibility over public funds.


We have done a situational analysis on the parastatal sector. We started with six. We know what their strengths and weaknesses are and we believe that is going to inform us as to what sort of rescue package we need to put in place for each of these if they can be rescued. If not, we will not hesitate to shut them down.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Correct!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, secondly, I want to speak about the performance monitoring of parastatal bodies. I have talked about the situational analysis that we have made, but we also have performance contracts for all the State owned enterprises. Each chief executive officer and each parastatal body has a contract which is monitored by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). We have put key performance indicators that will allow us to make a decision as to whether they are performing or not.


I think we need to realise that the IDC is a very young company that is learning, putting systems in place and ensuring that it is capacitated to be able to supervise. I say supervise because its role is supervisory. It does not roll up its sleeves and start doing the jobs of these companies. They supervise, restructure the companies in need and ensure that they can bring in the resource through this huge balance sheet that is being created by the thirty old parastatal bodies coming together. The coming together of these parastatal bodies has strengthened the balance sheet of the IDC and that is what it is using to raise money to be able to support these parastatal organisations.


Mr Speaker, with that performance, I want to say, tuletasha limo limo nge fintu fileenda fye bwino bwino.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo interjected.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Meaning?


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Meaning they should say thank you and give us a pat on the back when things are going well.


In 2015, there was only one parastatal body paying dividend to the Treasury, but today, in 2018, seven parastatal companies are paying dividend to the Government. Even the Tanzania Zambia Mafuta Pipeline (TAZAMA) has given K6 million to Zambia and K3 million to Tanzania after more than 50 years of operation. Muletasha. Muletupelako ka pat behind ayi?


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: Livune, is Sartunia paying?


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member on the Floor, what is the meaning of muletasha?


Mrs Mwanakatwe: We should be saying thank you and job well done to the Patriotic Front.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: The number of State-owned enterprises receiving direct or indirect Treasury support in the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) portfolio has dropped to only two. This is by the end of 2017. Both are being removed from the portfolio because they do not deserve commercial purpose anymore. That is how serious we are to ensure that we only have a performing portfolio contributing positively to the Treasury.


I want to talk about boards …


Mr Muchima: Yes.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: …therefore, I would like to share with the House and the nation at large, what we have done to ensure professionalism at board level. One, we have standardised the number of boards to only seven. Those huge boards are not there anymore. We are now emphasising on quality, skill and the mix of that skill. Secondly, each of the State owned enterprises’ board now only has one representation from the Government. All other members are drawn from the private sector. Thirdly, the chairperson of each board is elected by the members of the board rather than being appointed by the IDC. The Chief Executive officer (CEO) is now an executive member of the board to enhance accountability and assign liability for decisions that they take. That is how serious we are. These boards will be taken to task. They will then report to IDC. The IDC will report to the main board which is chaired by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, and the Chairman of the Board of the IDC.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, there is further emphasis on ensuring that each board has members with the requisite skills such as legal, finance and Human Resource (HR). Again, in an effort to ensure that there is the right mix in the board, this is how we have structured the IDC. Hon. Ministers are not appointing board members or CEOs anymore. All this is done through the IDC by appointing the board which then appoints the CEO.


Mr Speaker, continuing with performance, we are changing the way we structure these parastatal companies. For example, those that are profit making, I get the feeling that in the House, they believe that every single parastatal body is loss making, no. The Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO) is profit making. This is why we are able to do a successful listing of this company. This is with a view of inducing private equity and raising capital for the expansion of the company. I am proud to say that it was a successful listing.


Mr Speaker, we have introduced private equity in INDENI Petroleum refinery to finance the upgrading and expansion of the refinery and bring it in line with international standards and securing its strategic role of this country.


Mr Speaker, the parastatal landscape is changing. We have the new and the old parastatal companies. In the old, we have a lot of work to do in terms of ensuring that we change the mindset and bring about contribution to the coffers. In the new, we are ensuring that the IDC has a stake. If it takes on a larger stake, we would encourage it to go down to a minority stake because we have seen that where there is private sector participation, companies make money. That is the stance we have taken from the new balance sheet of the IDC to ensure that we can bring about the private equity that we require to make these companies sustainable. Therefore, we want to ensure that ultimately, these State owned enterprises are listed on the stock exchange as a capital raising mechanism.


Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I wish to state that the IDC is a young institution which has had to put in place its own systems, policies and procedures whilst immediately taking on the responsibility of overseeing a large portfolio of underperforming enterprises. I think it needs great support from this august House as it grows and tries to turn around the companies which I believe this august House is going to give its huge support.


With those few words, I want to thank you, Mr Speaker and your Committee, for the work well done. We have taken the issues which have been raised seriously. I, particularly, want to thank Hon. C. Bwalya, Member of Parliament for Lupososhi, for making a point that is absolutely critical. We should be benchmarking our State owned enterprises with other countries and we should not be shy to do that.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Members of Parliament who have debated this report. These include the hon. Members of Parliament for Mazabuka Central, Lupososhi, Kabwe Central, Livingstone, Ikeleng’i, Lukashya, Chama South, the seconder and last, but not least, the hon. Minister of Finance.


Mr Speaker, I beg to move.


Question put and agree to. 




(Debate resumed)


Mr Sampa (Kasama Central): Mr Speaker, before the House adjourned on Friday, 6th July, 2018, I was stating that the President, in his address on the progress made in the application of national values and principles emphasised on morals and ethics. That is how a morally upright leader must address the nation. He must be a role model and a God-fearing person. I am glad that in your report, the Members raised the issues of morals among our citizenry that have greatly deteriorated.


This issue has brought a lot of concern and even the President in his address to Parliament challenged us, as leaders, and the nation to practice clean politics. However, the second in command of one small political party has left a lot of assault cases in my constituency due to bad habits …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sampa: … and he cannot be tamed by this small political party. Some of us who have a great following of young leaders or youths struggle to try to empower them and to teach them good morals. However, some leaders feel that since they have hefty heads or bodies, they are more intelligent than others when, in actual fact, what comes out of their heads leaves much to be desired.


Mr Kampyongo: Hear, hear! They are fat for nothing.


Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, some leaders do not even qualify to be called role models of our modern society. One knows how the parents of a certain family are by the children’s behaviour. Children are a true reflection of whether the parents are God fearing and were brought up with good morals or not. That is being exhibited in some small political parties, but our great leader has always preached peace, love and harmony in our country.


The Referendum which I keep re-emphasising and coming back to has robbed us of a lot of issues that affect the people. If it had passed with a yes vote, it would have amended the Bill of Rights and repealed and replaced Article 79, which dictates the process of future amendments. The Bill of Rights included the amendment of civil and political rights and the addition of economic, social, cultural and environmental rights and special rights. All these failed because of certain people with a glutton type of mentality. There is no way today, certain hon. Members of Parliament can address issues of human rights when they were championing the campaign against the Referendum.


Mr Speaker, it is very sad that we even have leaders discussing issues of morals when they are advocates of immorality in this context.


Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, …


Mr Chama: What are you questioning?


Mr Sampa: … I urge some small political parties to apologise to the great people of this country, Zambia, for denying them that right.


With these very few words, I wish to support the Committee’s report.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, I hope we can share the remaining time.


The Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance (Rev. Sumaili): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to give support to the Report of your Committee on Legal Affairs, Human Rights, National Guidance, Gender Matters and Governance.


Mr Speaker, the report focused on the Address by His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, on the progress made in the Application of National Values and Principles tabled in the House on 27th June, 2018.


Mr Speaker, as acknowledged by your Committee, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance has vigorously embarked on a number of programmes in order to inculcate these values and principles in individualised Zambians, the public sector, private sector and families.


Sir, it is the knowledge and the application of these values which will bring transformation through the mindset and attitude change. The ministry has put in place a five-year strategic plan accompanied by a robust implementation and monitoring plans to expedite the actualisation of these values, principles and ethics. A multi-sectoral and integrated approach is being used whereby these values and principles are being mainstreamed in all Government ministries. A Committee of Permanent Secretaries (PSs) meets regularly to review the process and progress.


Mr Speaker, the ministry has embarked on a national awareness campaign using community interactive and participatory strategies. A weekly television programme and the use of community radio stations are being used. With regard to the actualisation of values and principles as enshrined in Part II of the Constitution and Article 8 of the Constitution, Zambia has a responsibility to ensure that the citizens take the responsibility of ensuring that the values and principles are actualised, including hon. Members of Parliament and political parties inclusive.


Sir, the people of Zambia want to see their leaders lead by example. Therefore, all political parties should practice intra-party democracy and respect their constitutions as well as the Republican Constitution. They should also respect other fellow leaders.


Sir, it is expected that the leaders should not scatter people, but bring them together in the spirit of national unity …


Mr Chisopa: Hear, hear!


Rev. Sumaili: … and that of One Zambia, One Nation.


Mr Speaker, it is disheartening to hear a leader using insulting and abusive language on public media. Such leaders lose respect from the public. The actualisation of these values, principles and ethics need not be overemphasised. If there is an absence of these values in society, then, the society is an empty society, it is a community where there is no respect for the laws of the land. It will be a society where there will be no respect and regard for human dignity, no respect for integrity and it will be a society with no respect for work ethics.


Sir, the Government led by His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, is committed to ensuring that the shared values become a way of life.


Sir, with these few words, I want to support the report.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to also debate the Motion ably moved by the hon. Member of Parliament for Livingstone. This Motion is as a result of the Address delivered to this august House by the His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, on 16th March, 2018, pursuant to Articles 89 and 86 of the Republican Constitution. This Address was basically for His Excellency the President to share with the nation on matters related to the principles and values as set out in the Constitution.


Mr Speaker, I am stating this to correct the impression one of the hon. Members of Parliament on your left who said that the Address by His Excellency the President should have been done in church. It means that the hon. Member probably did not understand what he was talking about.


Mr Speaker, on page 10, the report of your Committee is talking about democracy and constitutionalism. It also talks about the enhancement of democracy. The report cites the Public Order Act, which has been a subject of debate for some time. I want to state that the Government, through the Ministry of Justice, has been trying to look at the best ways of implementing this particular Act. As it is now, however, it is the only law that we have to balance the tension that exists between order and freedom because we need both.


Mr Speaker, in a society where there is only order, you can only expect a totalitarian status. On the other hand, in a nation where there is only freedom and no order, you can only expect anarchy. Therefore, this piece of legislation brings about balance because we need order just as we do freedom. As we say, there is no absolute freedom. Every freedom is subjective.


Mr Speaker, on our part, we shall continue implementing this law fairly, firmly and to the expectations of the Zambian people. What we have witnessed when it comes to this law is that some people want to ignore the advice of the Zambia Police Service. For example, during the time of elections, straightforward requirements are set out. All participating political parties must prepare their schedules of activities and submit them to the Zambia Police Service. The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) will bring all the stakeholders together to agree on harmonising the schedules so that everybody can have their freedom of gathering.


Mr Speaker, democracy is also about respecting decisions of the people. What we have seen in this country leaves much to be desired when it comes to respecting choices of the people. For example, when the people of Shiwang’andu say, “We have had enough of you” I, as the hon. Member of Parliament, should just say, “Yes, indeed, my time is up” so that others can come and take over the mantle where I would have left off because these jobs we have are given by the people.


The immorality we have seen and the lack of principles in some leaders is the lack of principle to appreciate that the people of Zambia, for example, have not accepted me. Where you contest – contestation is about the winner and the loser.


Hon Government Members: Yes!


Mr Kampyongo: Even in sports like boxing, when people are competing, they will give a profile. They will say, for instance, that Given Lubinda, in six bouts, has won five,


Mr Lubinda: No. Six.


Mr Kampyongo: Oh! Six fights. Four technical knockouts and the competitor ...


Mr Lubinda: Gary Nkombo.




Mr Nkombo interjected.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Order!


Mr Kampyongo: Then, they will put the competitor on one hand and say that in ten fights, he won zero and draws, zero. Then, you will know that with this competitor, when the opponents enter the ring, they will be clobbered.


We have had competitors at the top most ...




Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member on my left.


Mr Kampyongo: We were listening quietly.


Mr Nkombo: Why are you using my name?


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members on my left, let us listen.


Mr Kampyongo: We were listening quietly.


Mr Lubinda: Yes!


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member on the Floor, concentrate on your debate.


Mr Kampyongo: What I am saying is that we need to have people who are principled and morally upright because if you contest with different competitors, five times and you are always the only one complaining that the technical knockout was not good –




Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, what I am tasked to say is not a joke because you see, the more –

Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, let us allow one person who has been given a chance to debate.


Mr Bulaya: The arrogance!


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Order!


Mr Bulaya: The arrogance!


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Can you walk out, hon. Member.


Mr Bulaya left the Assembly Chamber.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!  Shame, shame!


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member, continue and I expect total order in the House.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, thank you.


Mr Speaker, the issue I am trying to raise is fundamental and it is very important because, as we contest, desperation starts building up and it is that desperation which erodes the principles and morals in human beings and it becomes very dangerous. Those who cannot accept that leadership is about morality and being principled must understand from that point. I will raise this now because we have passed the elections that we had. We have lost two hon. Members of Parliament.


We recently lost one to death. The other one is in correctional services and regrettably so, after being convicted for a capital offence of murder. How can you describe a leadership which wants to replace this comrade, this hon. Member of Parliament with another cleared murder suspect, ...




Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lubinda: What morality is there?


Mr Kampyongo: ... who was jointly charged with this individual.


Mr Nkombo rose.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Minister. Hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central Parliamentary Constituency. Take your seat.


Mr Nkombo resumed his seat.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, let us avoid debating issues which we cannot explain properly. Instead, let us concentrate on the Motion, which we are looking at. Hon. Minister, move away from those issues and concentrate on issues that are in the report.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, thank you for the guidance. Let me now move to the issue of tolerance. Certain decisions that we make as leaders can be contested by people, who are free to do so. I have two hon. councillors in Chilanga who are being punished. They were democratically elected. The two are councillor Mulubisha and councillor Monde. The only crime they have committed, for which they are being pursued like criminals is that they stood on their morals and said they could not be part of a decision which seemed immoral. These two gentlemen are now being pursued like criminals by the party which sponsored them.


Ms Mulenga: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, these are things we should debate because they border on national governance, ...


Mr Lubinda: And morality.


Mr Kampyongo: ... and morality. These people deserve to be protected.


Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Members on my left. Let us listen.


Mr Kampyongo: Sir, we are grateful to the people of Chilanga Parliamentary Constituency for listening to us when we told them that we had an upright person they could call honourable.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lubinda: In the name of Maria Langa.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, we salute the people of Chilanga Parliamentary Constituency and we are grateful to them. We know that the hon. Member of Parliament will not fail them because we will make sure that she stands on solid moral ground in serving the people there.


Ms Langa indicated assent.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lubinda: Not cilingalinga. Tell them.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, those who do not appreciate these moral values will continue being punished by the people of Zambia.


Mr Lubinda: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: Sir, they can dupe themselves in small cocoons. That is because they do not mind and they can be whipped by people. You can even see the campaigns that are currently going on. People do not understand how the council is run. How can you get a person to go and run a council whose composition is Patriotic Front (PF) and you want to say I will come and work. Who will you make decisions with in such a council?


Ms Mulenga: Shame!


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President of the Republic of this country, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, −


Hon. Opposition Members interjected.


Mr Kampyongo: You can laugh, and you will continue to be there like my young colleague said.


Mr Lubinda: No, in 2021, they will not even be there. They will be watching from the gallery.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, as emphasised – and we were listening to the debates by our hon. Colleagues on your left. As they say, call others to equity with very clean hands and not a situation where as election chairman, you are imposing a candidate with questionable morality on people.


Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!


Ms Mulenga: Shame!


Mr Lubinda: Go on.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, let me take this opportunity to clear some innuendos which have been made concerning my beautiful constituency, Shiwang’andu. One hon. Member was trying to debate the same-one sided story which people have listened to. I have repeatedly said that the people of Shiwang’andu are lovely and peace loving. To those who do not know, ...


Hon. UPND Member: Yes, you are right. It is you.


Hon. Government Member: Tomfwile; mwebe.


Mr Lubinda: Murder suspect.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, ...




Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Order!


(Debate adjourned)




The House adjourned at 1955 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 11th July, 2018.