Friday, 13th July, 2018

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Friday, 13th July, 2018


The House met at 0900 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, the House will recall that on Wednesday, 11th July, 2018, when the House was considering the ministerial statement issued by the hon. Minister of Agriculture, Hon. M. Katambo, MP, and Mr C. Nanjuwa, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mumbwa, was asking a question on a point of clarification, Mr J. J. Mwiimbu, the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central and Leader of the Opposition, raised the following point of order:


“Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to rise on a point of privilege.


“I rise to raise this point of order pertaining to Articles 76 and 77 of the Constitution of Zambia, as read with Standing Orders 21 and 22, as provided for under the Constitution of Zambia.


“Sir, I am aware that the last two Wednesdays, every time we reach the time of adjournment, you have been informing the House that you have had no notice of an item for debate and as such,you have been requesting the Leader of Government Business in the House to propose an adjournment. 


“Mr Speaker, on 26th June, 2018, I did deliver a notice to the Office of the Clerk, indicating that I intended to move an item for debate on Wednesday, 27th June, 2018, and it was to urge the Government to offer employment opportunities in the Public Service equitably to deserving Zambians. This notice was duly delivered pursuant to the Standing Orders as provided for under the Constitution of Zambia.


“Sir, today is the third Wednesday. I am aware that this particular Motion has not been tabled. Mr Speaker, you are the custodian of my privileges. Therefore, I stand here to complain that my privileges have been violated. My right to represent the people of Zambia has been violated. My rights have been fettered. I complied with the procedures of the House.


“Mr Speaker, I would like to seek your guidance on whether I offended the Constitution of Zambia and the Standing Orders by seeking to move the Motion for it to be vetoed by those who are supposed to bring it to your attention so that the same is tabled. We have a responsibility to stand up and debate issues that affect members of the public."


In my immediate response, I reserved my ruling to enable me to study the matter. I have since studied the matter and now proceed to render my ruling. 


Hon. Members, I confirm that the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly received the hon. Leader of the Opposition’s notice of an item for debate on the Motion of Adjournment of the House on 26th June, 2018. Upon its receipt, the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly immediately began to process the Motion. Admittedly, there has been an inordinate delay in processing the Motion, but it was nonetheless being processed. There were certain aspects of the Motion that required to be attended to before approval for debate could be granted, and Hon. J. J. Mwiimbu has, in fact, accordingly been advised in that regard. Therefore, the delay in processing the Notice of Motion was not a result of Hon. J. J. Mwiimbu’s violation or offending of the Constitution of Zambia or the Standing Orders.  I assure Hon. J. J. Mwiimbu, Leader of the Opposition, and the House at large that each political grouping and hon. Member of Parliament has the right to full and meaningful participation in and contribution to parliamentary democracy and decision-making. By nature, Parliament is a deliberative body, and debate is key to the performance of its functions.  This is the essence of constitutional democracy. Thus, my office and other Presiding Officers will continue to safeguard the rights and privileges of hon. Members of this august House.




Hon. Members, my second ruling is on thepoint of order raised by Mr G. G.  Nkombo, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central Constituency, against Dr Chilufya, MP, the hon. Minister of Health, on Tuesday, 6th March, 2018.


Hon. Members will recall that on Tuesday, 6th March, 2018, when the House was considering Question for Oral Answer No. 207, and Mr M. Chikote, the hon. Member of Parliament for Luampa Constituency, was speaking, Hon. G. G. Nkombo raised a point of order in which, among other things, he stated as follows:


“Madam Speaker, I have a set of three documents. I also have an excerpt from the Hansard for Friday, 2nd March, 2018, quoting the hon. Minister of Health, my dear brother and friend, Dr Chitalu Chilufya, when he was winding up the acrimonious debate on the National Health Insurance Bill. I will lay these documents on the Table as soon as I am done. I quote:


Dr Chilufya: Referring to the report that says there was no consultation done, Madam Speaker, I will lay on the Table of the House the evidence that consultation was done. I have referred to the household survey and, furthermore, I will refer to the stakeholders’ meetings that were held where various stakeholders, including the Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE) and the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) participated.


Madam Speaker, we went on a study tour to Ghana on the Social Health Insurance Bill, not as part of social protection, but if you look at the people that travelled to Ghana, it included the leadership of the ZCTU. It included people from various stakeholders. Even when we went to Rwanda, we had the leadership of the unions.”


In the point of order, Mr G. G. Nkombo, MP, further made reference to a letter from Mr Cosmas Mukuka, Secretary-General of the ZCTU, to the Chairperson of the Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services, which was copied to hon. Members of Parliament. The letter reads:


“We write to protest over the manner the Hon. Member of Parliament, Dr Chitalu Chilufya, who is also Minister of Health, has been presenting the National Health Insurance Bill to Parliament. Our protest emanates from the fact that Honourable Chilufya has not been very truthful with facts when presenting the Bill.


Contrary to the assertions by the Minister that the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has been consulted during certain stages in processing the Bill, we can confidently state that we have never been approached by the Ministry of Health for the purposes of discussing the Bill. The Ministry of Health has single-handedly driven the process regarding the development of this Bill.


It is equally not true that the ZCTU participated in the study tour to Rwanda over the Bill, organised by the Ministry, as alleged by the hon. Minister whilst debating the Bill in Parliament. At no stage did any ZCTU official participate in such a tour by the ministry.


We are, therefore, appealing to the Committee to investigate this matter to determine the truth. We greatly feel that because of the unfounded pronouncements in Parliament by the hon. Member, Dr Chilufya, the House and the public at large have been grossly misled.


Yours faithfully


Cosmas Mukuka



Mr G.  G. Nkombo, MP, concluded his point of order by stating as follows:


“Madam Speaker, assuming the ZCTU position is correct, is Hon. Dr Chilufya in order to have misled the country, through this House, by uttering what seem to be falsehoods, contrary to Cap. 12 of the Laws of Zambia?”


In her immediate response, the Hon. Madam First Deputy Speaker reserved her ruling to enable her to investigate the matter and peruse the documents that had been laid on the Table of the House. Subsequently, on Wednesday, 13th June, 2018, I referred the matter to the Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services for investigation.


Hon. Members, the point of order raised by Hon. Nkombo raises the issue of hon. Members’ duty to ensure that the information they provide to the House when debating is factual and verifiable. Further, hon. Members are aware that although Section 3 of the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act, Cap. 12 of the Laws of Zambia, guarantees Members freedom of speech and debate in the Assembly, such freedom is subject to the rules of the House in that what is stated in the House should be factual, verifiable and substantiated. In this regard, Order No. 53(1) of the National Assembly of Zambia Standing Orders, 2016, provides as follows:


“A Member shall, in debating any matter, ensure that the information he or she provides to the House is factual and verifiable”.


Additionally, Chapter 3 of the National Assembly Member’s Handbook 2006, on page 13, states as follows:


“Members must not allege specific matters of fact as being true unless they are able to substantiate them.”


Hon. Members, in line with Parliamentary Practice and Procedure, and in accordance with the rules of natural justice, the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly wrote to the hon. Minister of Health, Dr C. Chilufya, requesting him to state his side of the story. In his written response, the hon. Minister indicated that the ZCTU had participated in the consultative process through its affiliate unions and that the unions were expected to report back to the ZCTU. He further stated that the consultative process on the Zambia Social Health Insurance Scheme had begun as early as 2012. He attached to his letter reports evidencing the various consultative processes that the ZCTU and its affiliates had participated in during the conceptualisation stage of the Bill.  These included the following:


  1. the Final Report on the Social Health Insurance Bill, 2013. This was a report on a consultancy done in June, 2013, on the development of the National Health Insurance Bill, 2013. The report lists the ZCTU as one of the stakeholders consulted on the Bill;


  1. the Report on the Social Health Insurance Stakeholders Consultative Meeting held at Sunset Villas from 16th to 18th December, 2013. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the establishment of a social health insurance system in Zambia.  The report showed that the President of the ZCTU was one of the participants at the meeting;


  1. the Report of the Workshop to Review the Social Protection Bill, 2015, held at South Park Resort from 14th to 18th March, 2016. The objective of the workshop was to consider the possibility of combining the National Social Health Insurance law with other social protection laws. The report indicates that the workshop was attended by the Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE), the Civil Servants and Allied Workers Union of Zambia (CSAWUZ) and the Health Workers Union of Zambia (HWUZ), all of which are affiliates of the ZCTU; and


  1. the Report on the Study Tour to Rwanda on Health Insurance Reforms, 18th to 23rd December, 2016. The purpose of the tour was to provide the delegation an opportunity to learn about Rwanda’s health insurance design and how the country was implementing its health insurance reforms. The report indicates that the President of the CSAWUZ was part of the delegation.


Hon. Members, the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly also wrote to Mr Cosmas Mukuka, asking him to clarify, among other issues:


  1. whether the ZCTU had participated in the Ghana study tour on the Bill, as reference was made to Rwanda in the ZCTU’s letter to the National Assembly; and


  1. the procedure concerning participation in consultative meetings, as it was indicated that affiliate unions had participated.


In his written response, Mr Mukuka stated, inter alia, that the ZCTU had not been party to any study tour and that neither had any workers’ representative participated in the tours to Rwanda, Ghana or anywhere else. 


Hon. Members, both Hon. Nkombo and the hon. Minister of Health appeared before the Committee. Hon. Nkombo informed the Committee that he had been compelled to raise the point of order because of the acrimonious nature of the processes that had preceded the enactment of the National Health Insurance Act. He added that since the ZCTU, the largest employee representative body in the country, had written to hon. Members of Parliament stating that it had not been consulted during the process that led to the enactment of the Act, he had raised the point of order as a matter of duty, for the public good and to give an opportunity to the hon. Minister to prove that the ZCTU’s assertion that the hon. Minister had wilfully misled the House and the country at large was wrong.


The hon. Minister of Health submitted to the Committee that the point of order bordered on two issues, namely that the ZCTU was not consulted by the Ministry of Health and that it did not participate in the study tour to Rwanda. He stated that the ZCTU was not truthful and drew the Committee’s attention to the annexures to his letter, which showed that the ZCTU had, in fact, been consulted through its affiliate unions from the time the Bill was conceptualised in 2012.  He further confirmed that the input from the consultative process was taken on board in the drafting of the Bill.


Hon. Members, the Committee also heard from Mr Cosmas Mukuka, who submitted that the only consultation that the ministry had made were in relation to the Health Insurance Scheme, which was part of the collective bargaining process for Public Service workers, not the National Health Insurance Bill, 2017. Mr Mukuka further informed the Committee that the members of the ZCTU only became aware of the Bill when it was already before the National Assembly. He, however, acknowledged the fact that the ZCTU had participated in the consultative processes relating to conceptualisation of the Bill, although he bemoaned the fact that it was not consulted over the Bill’s content.


Hon. Members, after its deliberations, these are the findings of the Committee:


  1. the ZCTU was consulted during the conceptualisation of the National Health Insurance Bill, 2017, from as early as 2012, when the consultative process began, but was not consulted on the contents of the Bill before it was presented to Parliament;


  1. the ZCTU was unaware of the consultative process because some of its affiliate trade unions, which participated in the process, did not share their reports with it. This lack of feedback from the affiliate unions to the ZCTU could not be said to be a failure of the Ministry of Health to consult the ZCTU on the Bill;


  1. the CSAWUZ, which is an affiliate union of the ZCTU, participated in the Social Health Insurance Study Tour to Rwanda; and


  1. the hon. Minister provided sufficient evidence of the ZCTU’s having been consulted during the consultative process that led to the enactment of the National Health Insurance Act No. 2 of 2018.


Hon. Members, in line with the findings highlighted above, the Committee concluded that the hon. Minister of Health did not mislead the House when he stated that the ZCTU had participated in the consultative process on the National Health Insurance Bill.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: In view of the foregoing, the hon. Minister of Health was not out of order.


Thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!








The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that Standing Orders 21, 22(1), if necessary, and 100 be suspended to enable the House to complete all business on the Order Paper and all matters arising therefrom, and that, on such completion, the House  do adjourn sine die.


Sir, this Meeting of the House started on Tuesday, 12th June, 2018. As of today, the House has been sitting for nineteen days. During this period, 465 Questions for Oral Answer and Questions for Written Answer have been considered by the House. The House also considered twenty-three Motions to adopt Committee reports. Further, twenty-three annual reports from the Government and quasi-Government departments were tabled while thirteen ministerial statements explaining Government policies on various issues were presented to the House.


Sir, on a sad note, during this Meeting, the House lost the gallant hon. Member for Kasenengwa and Minister of Gender, Mrs Victoria Kalima. May her soul rest in eternal peace.On a happier note, the House also welcomed the hon. Member for Chilanga, Mrs Maria Langa, following her victory in a by-election.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Livune: Question!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, although the House sat for a relatively short period, it is clear from the above cited statistics that a lot of business has been transacted. Let me congratulate all hon. Members on the job well done and implore them to keep up this spirit of hard work. It is only through hard work that we can bring development and prosperity to our country. In this regard, I pay special tribute to the hon. Members of the Backbench who carried out their oversight functions effectively ...


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: ... by keeping the members of the Executive on their toes. This was demonstrated by the probing nature of questions asked to the Executive, the well-researched Committee reports tabled and the insightful debates that ensued during the Motions to adopt the various reports.


Sir, now that the House is about to conclude the business for which it was convened, it is time to go on recess so that other equally important issues outside the House, especially in the constituencies, are attended to.


Mr Speaker, let me reiterate the call of His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, that as we embark on the campaigns for the mayoral and other local Government elections, all political players should ensure that the campaigns are peaceful and issue-based. I encourage all hon. Members to conduct themselves in a manner that will result in peaceful elections so that the eventual winners will be a product of a fair and peaceful electoral process.


Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: I also urge all hon. Members to take time to visit their respective constituencies to inspect the various development projects being implemented there. As the House may be aware, the Government is committed to promoting the wellbeing of its people by ensuring that various development projects aimed at poverty reduction are implemented and well-executed. Therefore, the hon. Members should undertake on-the-spot inspections during the recess and provide feedback on the progress in the implementation of the various projects to the Government. That is important, as it will assist the Government to achieve its development agenda.


Sir, as I conclude, allow me to express my gratitude to you, the Hon. Madam First Deputy Speaker, and the Hon. Mr Second Deputy Speaker for the efficient and impartial manner in which you presided over the Business of the House. I further commend the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the services they continue to render to the House. In the same vein, let me acknowledge, with gratitude, the important work done by the officers in the Office of the Vice-President, the Parliamentary Liaison Officers and the entire Public Service in facilitating the work of the House.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, let me say a word or two.


This is essentially a procedural Motion to suspend the specified Standing Orders. For that reason, and in keeping with the past practice, I will only allow limited debate.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I thank Her Honour the Vice-President for moving this Motion which, ordinarily, should be non-controversial. Let me also join her in regretting the loss that we, as a House and a country, suffered following the demise of our colleague, the hon. Member for Kasenengwa and Minister of Gender, Mrs Victoria Kalima. May her soul rest in peace.


Mr Speaker, I agree with you that, ordinarily, this Motion should not be controversial. However, on this side of the House, we want to put it clearly that we are against the Motion that Standing Orders 21, 22(1), if necessary, and 100 be suspended to enable the House to complete all Business on the Order Paper and all matters arising therefrom, and that, on such completion, the House  do adjourn sine die. For that, I will give very few reasons. I may take only about five minutes.


Sir, on today’s Order Paper, we have very serious business to consider, including the Supplementary Estimates of Expenditure No. 1 of 2018, which this Assembly is supposed to approve, and it is important for the House to be reminded that the document contains figures. I can challenge all my colleagues that if there is anyone who has gone through those figures and comprehended them adequately enough to be able to meaningfully represent the people who sent them to this House, let him or her say so.


Sir, there are also two very bulky documents we must consider. The first one (holding up a document) is the Report of the Auditor-General on the Review of Operations of the Local Government Authority for the Financial Year Ended 31st December, 2014, 2015 and 2016. This report covers three years and has 234 pages, but was only put in our pigeonholes yesterday. This is not a James Hardly Chase novel that we just read for entertainment, but a report that we read in order to understand the issues contained therein. The Committee spent more than fifteen days collecting views and evidence from witnesses on the operations of councils and the Report of the Auditor-General on the Local Government Authorities. To add insult to injury, the report has an appendix that is 168 pages long. If you do some simple mathematics and add the 234 pages of the report and the 166 pages of the appendix, the answer you will get will tell you that none of these hon. Members seated here has read this report. So, when the time comes for debating the report, we will all look like dimwits who do not like reading. I challenge anyone who has read this report, especially from this side of the House (indicating Opposition hon. Members) to come and debate this report. Speaking for myself, I only saw these documents yesterday in the evening, and we adjourned at 2000 hours. So, it would be prudent for us to suspend the Standing Orders on Tuesday, next week.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, we have a responsibility to legislate, represent the people and exercise oversight over the Government. This report (holding up the Report of the Committee on Local Government Accounts) sits right at the centre of our ability to exercise oversight over the Executive. There may be many anomalies in the operations of the Government as explained by the Auditor-General in these reports. If the phrase ‘rubberstamp’ was not unparliamentary, it would have been the best description of what we may end up being today if we go ahead and suspend the Standing Orders.


Mr Speaker, I appeal to hon. Members to vote against suspending the Standing Orders and looking at the two bulky documents and this one (holding up the Supplementary Estimatesof Expenditure), which is about money. If we vote for this Motion, the House will go into Committee and the consequence of doing that will be debating until 0300 hours or 0600 hours tomorrow morning. Who wants to do that? We have not read these documents, yet we are being persuaded to suspend the Standing Orders and conduct business that is incomplete.


Sir, I promised not to take long. So, I will only ask the hon. Members on your left as well as all those who realise that they were sent by people to come here and do a thorough job to vote against the Motion. That way, we can have the whole of Tuesday to finish this business.


Sir, Her Honour the Vice-President made reference to the Questions for Oral Answer that were brought before this House in this Meeting. If I heard her right, she said there were 465 questions. Let this not be a subject of debate. However, this morning, I counted the Questions for Written Answer and they added up to 407. If you subtract that from 465, you will know the amount of work we did.


Mr Speaker, the Questions for Oral Answer that have been converted into Questions for Written Answer deserved some follow-up questions. In any case, if I, as Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central, ask a question on road infrastructure, say, the Turnpike/Mazabuka Road, and the answer comes to me in written form, yes, the Chair ruled that we can still follow up the replies by engaging the hon. Ministers at their offices, but there may be cases in which hon. Members asked questions that are of national, not just sectional interest. In the face of all these factors, how can we be considered people exercising oversight on the Government? It is now eleven years since I became a Member of Parliament, but this is the first time I am seeing an avalanche of Questions for Written Answer. I call it an avalanche because it is like a tornado of Questions for Written Answer. This diminishes the purpose of oversight. So, I pray that, going forward, we will manage our time better so that we can hold this Executive to account.


Mr Speaker, I agree with Her Honour the Vice-President that we should be visiting our constituencies. We have an obligation to do that because one of our three functions is to represent our constituencies and report back to them, especially those that may not have the privilege of following parliamentary proceedings to know how their representatives conduct themselves in this House. Yes, we will go and report to them. However, I want us to do that on Tuesday, next week. I would like us to adjourn sine die after doing thorough work. Do not forget that the Constitution of this Republic excluded Members of Parliament from being part of the local authorities. Therefore, we need to go to our constituencies with a full understanding of these documents that we are about to gloss over this morning.


Mr Speaker, Her Honour the Vice-President also mentioned that we have to go and explain projects to our constituencies. Lucky are those whose constituencies have any developmental projects to explain. What about us who have nothing to report on?




Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: This is not a laughing matter. I am very serious. Her Honour the Vice-President said we should go to our constituencies. However, for example, if I go to Mazabuka, which is 120 km south of Lusaka, what will I tell my constituents when I get there? I cannot point at anything the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has done there because there is nothing.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: I wish, for my sake and mine alone –


Mr Livune: Go together with her.


Mr Nkombo: I do not even want to go with her. I just want her to simply withdraw this statement because it is sending me to go and do nothing. What will I tell my people when there is no development that the Government has delivered for them.


Sir, we are going to tell the constituencies how the PF has damaged this economy and stopped even the few projects that it had started. The Government keeps saying those projects that are below a certain percentage of completion will be stopped, and we are going to explain the consequences of that to our constituents. I am also going to remind the people that the Government abrogated the contract it signed with China Jiangsu for works on 22 km of townships roads in Mazabuka Central. The contractor did his part and the Government paid 20 per cent, but did not make further payments. So, he demobilised. We will also remind the people how the Government has discontinued the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System. The report that the hon. Minister of Agriculture presented, especially with regard to areas that do not have communication network, amounts to demobilising the e-Voucher System. So, we are going to tell our constituents that the system has failed.


Sir, the heart of this debate is that we, on this side of the House, are saying “No” to the proposed suspension of Standing Orders 20, 21 and 100 in order for us to run through this very important business in a few hours. So, I beg to propose that we vote against this Motion, and I ask anyone who has not been given a chance to debate to second my proposal. Only those who want to go back to their constituencies without dealing with this very important matter can support the Motion currently on the Floor. The local government system is the heart and soul of operations of the Government. So, I beg hon. Members to say “No” for the first time because this is not a partisan matter. Let us suspend the Standing Orders on Tuesday, next week, so that we can do a thorough job.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Question that Standing Orders 21, 22, if necessary, and 100 be suspended to enable the House to complete all business on the Order Paper and all matters arising therefrom and that, on such completion, the House do adjourn sine die put and negatived.






Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, ...




Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Nkombo: … firstly, I offer my sympathies to the people who have lost their merchandise in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Market fire last night. Secondly, I would like to hear from Her Honour the Vice-President whether she has visited that market and, if she has, whether it is any different from the fire that gutted the Soweto Market last year? Further, what comments can she make? Does she know who the perpetrators of the fires are?


The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, before I respond to the question asked by the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central, allow me to mention two very important events.




Mr Speaker: Order!


The Vice-President: Firstly, I wish to congratulate Mr Janny Sikazwe, ...


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Livune: That is the man.


The Vice-President: ... the Zambian referee who officiated at the on-going World Cup in Russia. Mr Sikazwe is an inspiration not only to the soccer fraternity, but also to the entire population of young people because he demonstrated that when you are focused and determined, you can reach the heights that you want to reach in life. Secondly, I congratulate the Government and people of Thailand for rescuing a group of young footballers and their coach who were trapped in a flooded cave for over two weeks. The rescue exercise demonstrated the highest level of human solidarity and kindness, perseverance, resilience and tenacity. I think this has been an episode that Zambians should learn from.


Mr Speaker, I also want to indicate that the acceptance of the proposal of the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central on the Motion I moved earlier today is not an indication of a contest won by the hon. Member. This side of the House considered the Motion and agreed with what the hon. Member said on the Floor.


Sir, getting back to the question on the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Market, which was gutted yesterday, it is too early to predict the outcome of the findings. We will wait for the police and other investigative wings to investigate and ascertain the cause of the fire and damage to the property before we can make statements. However, the Head of State, His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, will visit the market this morning around 0900 hours. So, if by then, the police will have determined the extent of the damage and the cause of the fire, the information will be availed to the public.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Jamba (Mwembeshi): Mr Speaker, is the Government considering reintroducing the Windfall Tax, given the price of copper on the world market?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, this Government has no intention to reintroduce the Windfall Tax.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Mr Speaker, we will do it over and over again. Since we will be going home next week, what message should the hon. Member of Parliament for Lukulu East, the hon. Member for Mangango and I –


Mr Lufuma: Kabompo


Mr Mutelo: Yes, the hon. Member for Kabompo too.


Sir, what message should we carry for our people about the Katunda/Lukulu/Watopa Road?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: I ask this question because we have been asked to go and report on Government projects.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: What will our message be?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I wonder why some hon. Members do not want to go back to their constituencies.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Speaker: Order!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, there is a lot to explain to our electorates about what is happening in the country, including the development projects that are under implementation in our constituencies.


Mr Lufuma: Like which one?


The Vice-President: For example, the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central indicated to the House that there is no single Government project in his constituency, but I can confirm that currently, the Government is spending more than US$31 million in Mazabuka, in the Kafue Basin, on an investment in building resilience to climate-related risks.


Ms Siliya: Yes!


The Vice-President: That intervention is meant to improve the livelihoods of the people. That is why I am saying hon. Members should visit their constituencies to know what is happening on the ground.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: What about my road?


The Vice-President: The programme on climate resilience, Mr Speaker, covers the Barotse and the Kafue basins. The money was accessed from the World Bank by the Zambian Government. That and many other projects are being implemented by the Government in all constituencies.


Sir, for the benefit of the hon. Member for Mitete, there is a lot going on there, including the construction of the District Administration Building. Regarding the road, it is important for him to tell his people that the Government will build it when the funds are released.


Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!


The Vice-President: If the hon. Member doubts the Government’s commitment to the construction of the road, that is unfortunate because the Government has plans and programmes, and this has been explained before. I assure the hon. Member that the road will be built, since the Government has made some assurances to that effect.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo): Mr Speaker, when will Her Honour the Vice-President’s Government initiate dialogue between itself and the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) …


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ndalamei: … on the Barotseland Agreement of 1964?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Ndalamei: Further, will her Government release Mr Afumba Mombotwa and his two colleagues so that they can be part of the dialogue?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs M. Phiri: Question!




Mr Speaker: Order!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the discussions between the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) and the Government of Zambia will take place and when the date is set, the country will be informed.


I thank you, Sir.


Mrs M. Phiri: Hear, hear!


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, works on the Kalabo/Sikongo Road have stalled for more than nine months now and we are worried because we are remaining with less than four months before the next rainy season. Has the project stalled because it was not formally launched by His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu? I would like some clarification.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, it is not right to give the impression that every road has to be commissioned by the President of the country for it to be constructed. There are many roads now under construction that were not commissioned by His Excellency. With regard to the road from Kalabo to Sikongo, I know that the contractor is already on site and that the project has been funded. So, there must be some technical hitches that caused the contractor to slow down the works.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, on behalf of the people of Kazungula, my beloved wife and, indeed, on my own behalf, I would like to sympathise with our colleagues and friends who have lost property at the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Market.


Mr Mung’andu: Question!


Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, when will this Government seriously address the issue of chiefdom boundaries? As I speak to you, my beloved people of Kazungula in Chief Musokotwane’s, Chief Nyawa’s and Chief Sekute’s areas have boundary conflicts. So, I want to find out when this issue will be addressed because I know it actually extends to many parts of this country.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the issue of chiefdom boundary disputes is of great concern to the Government. Now that the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is going full-throttle in addressing issues of land titling, perhaps, in the process, it will also look at the chiefs boundaries because, now, chiefs or their people have realised the value of land and are encroaching on one another’s land. That is contributing to the chiefdom boundary conflicts we have in the country. So, the matter is being addressed. I am equally aware. I know that we are still using the 1958…


Mr Sing’ombe: Eh!


The Vice-President: … Chiefdom Boundary Act, which is not adequate for the current needs of the country.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kamondo (Mufumbwe): Mr Speaker, I would like to confess that Her Honour the Vice-President is looking very immaculate.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamondo: I think it is a very good example.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Mufumbwe, please, resume your seat.


I have provided guidance on this matter before. I do not know whether you were present or not. Do not take these liberties. I want to repeat what I said then. Her Honour the Vice-President occupies the second highest office in the land. Like I said then, there is a need to be cultured over these issues. That is what I want to repeat. We should know where to take liberties. You know the English saying that “undue familiarity −” I will not complete it. It is well-known.


Mr Kamondo rose.


Mr Speaker: I have not finished.




Mr Speaker: This is an august House. So, we should know our boundaries and who to engage in such matters. It was only yesterday when we talked about values and principles. I hope I will not have to repeat myself because I get very embarrassed.


Continue, hon. Member. I expect you to apologise for your remarks.


Mr Kamondo: Mr Speaker, I apologise unreservedly. I do not wish to withdraw the compliment. I just want to withdraw the way I put it. Otherwise, I meant well because we were told to dress very well.


Mr Speaker: You have already been counselled.


Mr Kamondo: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I get your guidance and I withdraw my statement.


Mr Speaker, we appreciate Parliament Television and Parliament Radio. In that regard, the people of Mufumbwe are asking Her Honour the Vice-President when the Government is going to extend coverage to Mufumbwe and other rural constituencies because they would also like to follow the deliberations in Parliament.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the remark that the hon. Member of Parliament for Mufumbwe made clearly shows the trivialisation of the female gender.


Mr Speaker, hon. Members will be informed about the coverage of Parliament Radio so that they know when it will reach our constituencies. When all the logistics are in place, Parliament will inform the hon. Members.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, information filtered through last week to the effect that our Government will send a high-powered delegation to China with a view to renegotiating our country’s debt portfolio with that country. Can Her Honour the Vice-President confirm whether there is such a trip planned. Further, if the trip is planned, will the delegation discuss the possibility of a write-off?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the country is aware that our economic co-operation with China is quite extensive. Chinese banks have extended lines of credit to Zambia for the many projects that are being implemented in the country. With regard to the discussions between the Zambian Government and the Chinese Government, the hon. Minister of Finance will give us an update when the right time has been determined.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwiinga (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform Her Honour the Vice-President that my constituency starts from, probably, just after the Kafue River. In light of her advice to us this morning that we visit our constituencies, I would like her to tell me what report I will give to my people. I ask this because the moment I get into Chikankata, I will be asked about the Chikankata/Mazabuka Road, which starts from Turnpike and goes up to Mazabuka. When will the Government work on that road?


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Chikankata/Mazabuka Road is not the only road in the country that needs repairs.


Mr Michelo: Question!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: That is a fact. There are a number of roads in the country that need the Government’s attention. The Chikankata/Mazabuka Road is part of a very important highway that leads to the Victoria Falls, the country’s flagship tourist destination, and other countries in the region. The Government is aware that there is a need to repair the road as soon as funds have been sourced. However, the hon. Member should inform his people in Chikankata that there are other Government projects that are being implemented in his constituency.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Mwashingwele (Katuba): Mr Speaker, is Her Honour the Vice-President aware that there is a serious shortage of drugs at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH), and the hospital’s pharmacy is just giving prescriptions? If she is, why is that the situation?


The Vice-President:Sir, all I know is that Medical Stores Limited distributes an adequate supply of drugs to health facilities throughout the country. I am not aware of the shortage of drugs at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH). I wish the hon. Minister of Health was here so that we could, at least, know how true this assertion is. That said, we will look into the matter. If, indeed, there is a shortage of drugs at the hospitals in question, definitely, the ministry will be directed to ensure that the sick people in the wards are not disadvantaged.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, the road from Solwezi to Mwinilunga is in a very bad state and has become a death trap. When is the contractor who was working on it going to be paid so that he resumes the works?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the road from Solwezi to Mwinilunga is an important one. In fact, I was very delighted to see, for the first time, a bus on that road. The Government is still committed to completing the road, and a contractor by the name of Inyatsi Construction Limited is already on site. Therefore, as soon as funds are given to the contractor, the works will resume.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Speaker, it was reported that the people of Sinadambwe Area in Siavonga have been ingesting water contaminated with uranium and that they have been facing health problems, such as stomach pains, infertility and difficulty when urinating. On 28th June, 2018, it was reported that the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) had gone and collected water samples for testing. However, on 9th July, 2018, a gentleman by the name of Peter Chanda questioned whether the Government had investigated the problem thus far. What is the Government’s position on this issue?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, indeed, the Government is very concerned about the reports from Siavonga regarding the poisoning of water. We do know that a licence was given to a company, I think, in 2006 for the exploration of uranium in Sinadambwe Area. The mineral was, indeed, discovered and mining activities started in 2010. However, in 2011, the Government was informed that the company could not continue with serious mining activities because the price of uranium had fallen on the international market. The mine was, then, put on care and maintenance. However, the reports from Siavonga are that people are complaining of all sorts of illnesses suspected to emanate from some element from the mine that is suspected to be polluting the water. In that regard, the Government has instructed the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) and the Mines Safety Department to conduct thorough examinations on both the people and the water in the area to determine whether radioactive materials from the uranium mining are contaminating the area. We are awaiting another report because the reports we have received are not very conclusive. The report written by the mining company denied all the issues that the community brought up. Again, the Government has instructed ZEMA and the Mines Safety Department to investigate further and find out how we can help our people if it is true that the area is contaminated.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, the people in Zambezi East living along the mighty Zambezi River are at risk of attacks from deadly crocodiles when they go to draw water from the river. For some time now, we have been getting reports of people being caught by crocodiles. When is the Government going to sink boreholes and install other water reticulation facilities in the area to ensure that those people have access to safe drinking water and are safe from crocodiles?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection has been given the mammoth task of sinking boreholes throughout the country. I am sure Zambezi East will benefit from those facilities. I also encourage the hon. Member to visit the ministry so that he can get first-hand information on the programmes the ministry has for the constituency.


I thank you, Sir.


Princess Kucheka (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, the people of the Western Province are benefitting from climate change programme funds. Could Her Honour the Vice-President explain to the people of Zambezi West and Kasempa why they are not benefitting from those funds.


Ms Tambatamba: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, some of the funds sourced by the Government are area-specific, and there must have been a justification for sourcing the climate change money for the two project sites in the Western Province and the Kafue Basin. Of course, the Government will not forget Zambezi West because it endures similar vagaries of climate change. The ministry responsible for administering the climate change funds will be tasked to undertaken an assessment of possible interventions that can be made in Zambezi West.


Sir, I still encourage hon. Members to visit the offices so that they can engage Government officials on some of these issues. Sometimes, a ministry might not have first-hand information on the issues in the constituencies and the sufferings of the people there. Therefore, the hon. Members need to visit the offices so that they can be informed about Government plans and, in turn, advise the Government on how to go about implementing certain programmes in the constituencies.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Mr Speaker, the Government is on record saying on the Floor of the House that it is not going to embark on new projects until those currently under implementation are completed. Currently, there is a project under implementation in Meanwood Ibex Hill, Phase III, where a contractor is working on roads. That is a private property, but Aviation Industries of China (AVIC) InternationalHolding Corporation is busy working on new roads there. Has the Government gone back on its initial pronouncement that it would wait until all the old projects are completed before initiating new ones? I ask this question because it relates to the Kafue/Mazabuka Road, which we have been talking about for some time now and is one of the old projects.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Member to repeat the question.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, please, repeat your question.


Mr Chaatila: Mr Speaker, AVIC Internationalis working on roads in Meanwood Ibex Hill, Phase III, which is a private property and is not among the old Government road projects. The Government has indicated on the Floor of the House that it would not start any new projects before completing the old ones. So, I would like to find out why AVIC Internationalis working on the new roads in Meanwood Ibex Hill, Phase III, which is a private property, at the expense of the old projects like the Kafue/ Mazabuka Road.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the works in the area the hon. Member is talking about are not a new project, but part of the Lusaka 400 (L400) Project.


Mrs M. Phiri: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: That is Phase II of the L400 Project. The area has some private houses, but it has now become part of the L400 Project.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Sir, of late, the country has seen an increase in chieftaincy succession wrangles, leading to some chiefs being shot while others are being threatened with death. An example in mind is Chief Milambo of the Ushi people, who was recently shot by unknown people. In Serenje, there is a chief who was reported to have been shot at. In Mpulungu What is Government’s position on this? Further, how can the law agencies of law and order stop the problem from continuing?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Government is saddened by the occurrence of chiefdom succession wrangles.


Sir, the Government has engaged our traditional leaders in development activities. From day one in office, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government considered the plight of our chiefs and increased their allowances. It has also engaged our traditional leaders to advise in many areas of national development, thereby elevating the status of traditional rulers. Accordingly, we expect the chiefdoms to be the centres of cultural and artistic activities. So, when we see the succession wrangles continue, there is a need for us to pay attention to them because chiefdoms should help the country to maintain peace, stability and order, and uphold the “One Zambia, One Nation” motto. The spirit of oneness should start form the chiefdoms and spread to the whole country. I do not know what has escalated the disputes and conflicts in our chiefdoms. Perhaps, chieftaincy has proved to be so attractive that everyone wants to be a chief.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kintu (Solwezi East): Mr Speaker, the Solwezi/Kipushi Road is an economic one, as it leads into Lubumbashi. It also leads to a prestigious high school for girls. Now that the rainy season is around the corner, when is Her Honour the Vice-President’s Government going to start the construction of that economic road?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, this Government does not to belong to the Vice-President alone. It belongs to everyone, including the hon. Member for Solwezi East.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: That is why we are all asking from it all these services that we should provide to our people. There are quite a number of roads that have been worked on by the Government since 2011. Indeed, this has been a marathon of development of infrastructure by the PF Government. However, let me inform the hon. Members of this House that there is no Government in the world that can work on all the roads around the country in a short period of time. Even if we had the resources to do so, it would still not be possible.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Therefore, the Government will study all the roads in the country. That is why it introduced the Link Zambia 8,000 Kilometre Road Project to attend to the roads in the various parts of the country inphases. Indeed, the Solwezi/Kipushi Road is greatly significant because it leads to the border with Angola where Zambia could benefit from cross-border trade.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, Chama South has experienced serious human-animal conflicts in which predators have gone to the extent of killing citizens. This, unfortunately, has extended to Shiwang’andu and Chinsali, where stray lions from North Luangwa National Park are attacking livestock. What measures has the Government put in place to ensure that such human-animal conflicts are minimised?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, indeed, Zambia is blessed with many animals in our many game parks around the country. At the same time, it can be a curse if human-animal conflicts are not taken care of. I know that this is an issue and that it is not only prevalent in Chama, but in some other parts of the country as well. This is the reason we are now recruiting young officers. We would like to revamp the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) and have more wildlife personnel to attend to such issues around the country. I know that the problem is worse in Chama. There are now marauding lions in Muchinga Province, especially around the Shiwang’andu area, but wildlife officers are hunting them. I do not know how they are eluding the officers, but the operation is ongoing and we hope that the lions will be tracked down and put down. So, the Government is aware of the issue of human-animal conflict in Chama and other parts of the country, and is doing something about it.


I thank, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 10140 hours until 1100 hours.


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


Ms Chisangano (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, many herds of cattle are dying in Gwembe due to a disease outbreak. What immediate measures is the Government putting in place to control that outbreak, especially since the dip tank construction project of 2014 failed to take off?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, any outbreak of a livestock disease is usually communicated to the whole country, but I have not learnt about the outbreak in Gwembe. However, I am sure the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock will send veterinary officers to check on whether it is a localised disease or, indeed, an outbreak that will affect many parts of the country.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Where is the hon. Member for Siavonga?


Ms Lubezhi: I can ask the question for him, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: He is not here? I am looking for the hon. Member for Siavonga.


The Vice-President’s Question Time expired.










The Minister of Local Government (Mr Mwale): Mr Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for allowing me to issue this statement at such short notice. It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I stand here to inform the House and, through it, the nation about the sad events of last night, in which the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Market was gutted by a fire barely a few hours after Buteko Market in Mufulira on the Copperbelt was also gutted.


Mr Speaker, preliminary investigations have revealed that the fire at COMESA Market started around 1930 hours. However, the cause is still unknown. The Lusaka City Fire Brigade was informed around 2030 hours and mobilised other fire brigades, including the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) and National Airports Corporation (NAC), for reinforcement. Initially, the number of fire tenders was adequate, but the challenge was accessing the source of the fire and the distance between the fire and the fire hydrants for refilling purposes. Consequently, the Zambia National Service (ZNS) and Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) were engaged to create access and reactivate the fire hydrants near the scene, which they did.


Mr Speaker, it is very unfortunate that there was one casualty, a Tanzanian national by the name of Mama Kishala, may her soul rest in peace.


Sir, COMESA Market has 1,500 stalls and accommodates about 2,500 traders every day. So, property and goods worth millions of Kwacha have been destroyed. The precise value of the loss will be established and made known once the investigations are concluded, although preliminary indications are that more than 80 per cent of the stalls were affected.


Mr Speaker, the fire at Buteko Market started at 0100 hours and was contained by 0700 hours by firefighters from Mufulira Municipal Council and Mopani Copper Mines. The cause of the fire is yet to be established.


Mr Speaker, for now, I call upon all the affected traders and the general public to remain calm as my ministry, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the investigative wings conduct investigations.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


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


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, the people of Kaputa join the Government in sympathising with those who have lost their goods in the markets that the hon. Minister has just been talking about.


Sir, if you look at the past, market fires are always an occurrence in this country this time of the year. Further, as the hon. Minister has indicated, the access roads to stalls are a big challenge in almost all the markets in this country. What is the Government doing to improve on that aspect? If the source of a fire is not accessible, it becomes impossible to quench it. Is there anything that we can do to ensure that, going forward, such things do not happen?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, some time back, I issued a ministerial statement on the programmes that the Government was undertaking to modernise our markets. I agree with the hon. Member that has been the state of many markets in the country for a long time. Poor access to market stalls and a general lack of the necessary facilities have always been a problem. However, I announced to this House that we had signed an agreement worth US$200 million with a company known as Sinoma International Engineering Limited for us to reconstruct markets. We have handed over sixteen sites already to the company for it to begin the construction of new markets. Some are in Lusaka while others are in other towns. This is Phase I of the project. In Phase II, we will see more than forty sites being worked on. So, we are definitely doing everything possible to modernise our markets and avoid problems like the ones we have now.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Chibanda (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, I join other hon. Members of Parliament in offering my condolences to the family of the Tanzanian who died in the fire at the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Market. At the same time, I offer my sympathies to the marketeers in Buteko and Soweto markets.


Sir, it is a fact that whether we build new markets countrywide or not, the issue of fires is a reality we will live with as a people. Is the ministry considering insuring all markets countrywide so that there is compensation in the event of a fire?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, we discussed this option with the local authorities. Actually, it must not be an option. Traders must not only consider insuring their property, but also joining a scheme that will help them get back to business should they find themselves in this kind of a situation. There are, obviously, many logistical issues to be dealt with and there could be some resistance, but most local authorities have begun to engage marketeers on this matter. I think that, over time, the situation will change, although people will have to pay a little more in terms of levies and such fees or they will be expected to contribute to the schemes. 


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Chanda (Bwana Mkubwa): Mr Speaker, last year, when Kapalala Market was burnt down in Ndola, I think the hon. Minister visited the site, it was discovered that a charcoal brazier had been the cause of that fire because people were sleeping at the market during the night. Can the hon. Minister confirm whether people sleep at the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Market? For example, was the Tanzanian who died, may her soul rest in peace, sleeping there? Under what circumstances did she die?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I happened to have been at COMESA Market with my colleagues, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, the hon. Minister in the Office of the President, Mr Sikazwe, and the hon. Minister for Lusaka Province, from about 2100 hours to about midnight. We were told that there were no people sleeping in the market. The story of the woman is that she went into the market to try to salvage some of themerchandise from her shop and that as she was running back, she found herself in a cloud of smoke. Then, she ran into one of the stores, which also got engulfed in smoke. She actually died of suffocation. We followed her to the hospital to see how she was because she looked like she had some life in her. However, a doctor told us that a lot of smoke had accumulated in her chest and that it had bulged. She passed on like that. So, really, it is not because she was sleeping there or that other people were sleeping there. However, there were people who thought they could loot the shops and tried to go into the market, but were caught up in the fire or the smoke. So, we had to enhance the presence of the police to make sure that was avoided.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned that –


Mr Mutelo: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to raise a point of order.


Sir, my question to Her Honour the Vice-President was clear. I indicated that, yes, we are going home. I also asked what report we would give over the Katunda/Lukulu/Watopa Road. In her response, she said that I am not willing; that some hon. Members are not willing to go home. Meanwhile, I am willing.




Mr Mutelo: Was she in order to say that I am not willing to go home when I live in the village?


Mr Speaker, your quick ruling.




Mr Speaker: Well, my quick ruling is that I seem to share the suspicion of Her Honour the Vice-President.




Mr Mung’andu:Sir, the hon. Minister has explained that accessibility of many markets in our country has been a major problem when there are outbreaks of fire. He has also said that our working Government is going to modernise the markets. However, it is the opinion of the people of Chama South that this is a long-term solution. Is he considering constructing fire hydrants in the centre of the markets as a short-term measure so that when there is an outbreak of fire, hydrants can be easily accessible close to where the fire has broken out?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, indeed, it is very important to have accessible fire hydrants in markets. Since the City Market and other markets were gutted last year, we have engaged the water and sewerage companies to work with the local authorities to install some fire hydrants, especially near public installations, such as markets. For example, if it was not for one of the fire hydrants located near Duly Motors being reactivated last night, I think the whole market would have been consumed by the fire. Thank God, the hydrant provided the water that was needed.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, we should not dwell unnecessarily long on this subject. We have just been struggling with the issue of time management. So, I will just take the last two questions. Then, we will move on. One question will be from the hon. Member for Msanzala while the last will be from the hon. Member for Livingstone.


Mr Daka (Msanzala): Mr Speaker, out of this question –


Mrs M. Phiri: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mrs M. Phiri: Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to rise on a very serious point of order. In fact, it is a point of procedure.


Mr Speaker, there are rules that guide this House and, from my past experience – I sat here anxiously waiting for Her Honour the Vice-President, who moved the Motion to suspend some Standing Orders, to wind up the debate. However, what has shocked me – I do not know if the rules have changed, since I have just come back – So, I have risen on a very serious point of procedure.


Mr Speaker, I need your guidance. 


Mr Speaker: Well, you are right in saying that, all things being equal, Her Honour the Vice-President should have wound up the debate.


That is my ruling.


Who was on the Floor?




Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Msanzala may take the Floor.


Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, if there were no fire trucks, what would have been the situation in light of the fire that gutted the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Market and the market in Mufulira?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, definitely, it could have been disastrous. I mean, we managed to salvage something because we had quick response from the fire trucks, which reached the scene by 2030 hours. When the fire was reported, they swung into action immediately, and I saw the kind of work that the firemen did. I must congratulate them for what they did. They managed to save more lives and some of the property. So, we are grateful that we have the kind of equipment that could do that both here and at Buteko Market in Mufulira.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, it is gratifying that, this time around, the fires have not been politicised. The hon. Minister of Local Government is on record assuring us and the nation at large that Soweto Market would be reconstructed after it was gutted. How soon will the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Market be reconstructed? I ask this question because, now, both COMESA Market and Soweto Market need to be constructed.


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I assume that the hon. Member for Livingstone is referring to City Market, not Soweto Market, because we have constructed a market there, which is almost operational. However, if he is referring to City Market, we had come up with a plan for its reconstruction and I issued a statement in this House to that effect. However, before we could reconstruct it, there was a cholera epidemic that forced us to remove vendors from the streets and take them to City Market. So, we decided to let the traders remain at City Market until a modern market is constructed on Simon Mwewa Lane. Actually, I announced to the nation that this Government was going to construct a market on Simon Mwewa Lane and that once that was done, we would move people from City Market to there and, then, hand over the site for reconstruction. We are on course, as that is what is happening. So, we have not broken that promise.


I thank you, Sir.








317. Dr Chibanda (Mufulira) asked the Minister of Fisheries and Livestock:


  1. whether the Government is aware of the outbreak of fish disease in some parts of the country;


  1. if so, what the name of the disease is;


  1. what the cause of the disease is;


  1. what the effects on the health of human beings who consume the diseased fish are; and


  1. what measures have been taken to contain the disease.


The Minister of Fisheries and Livestock (Mr Katambo): Mr Speaker, the Government is not aware of any fish disease outbreak in any part of the country. However, there is an emerging infectious disease that has recently been identified in Tilapia on three continents, namely Asia, Africa and South America. The disease is called Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV).


Mr Speaker, since there is no fish disease outbreak in our country, the rest of the questions have fallen off.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV), as the hon. Minister said, has broken out on three continents, one of which is Africa, and some countries, such as Ghana, have banned the importation of Tilapia. I do know that in Zambia, we import a lot of fish from China. Is the Government considering taking steps to prevent the importation of the virus and to protect the Tilapia fish industry in this country?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, yes, Zambia is on high alert. So far, we have undertaken surveillance on water bodies and the results of tests conducted for the virus have been negative. We are also carrying out risk assessments on a case-by-case basis. Further, we are not allowing imports from countries affected by TiLV.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: I will take the last three questions from the hon. Member for Zambezi East, the hon. Member for Senga Hill and the hon. Member for Mufulira.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, what measures has the Government put in place to support staff in the districts in their readiness to contain such disease outbreaks?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, under the Department of Veterinary Services, which is an affiliate of the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) or World Organisation for Animal Health, measures are being considered. For example, there is the surveillance I talked about on all our natural water bodies. Further, our fisheries officers across the country have been tasked to ensure that any mortalities are checked and the results reported.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Speaker, I may not have heard the hon. Minister clearly. What are the presentations of this disease? I ask this so that those who are into fish farming can be on the lookout.


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, as I indicated in my response, I am not able to state the symptoms of the disease, as Zambia has not been affected by it. Therefore, I would just be dealing with an assumption and might not be able to give detailed information on what citizens are supposed to be alerted of concerning the outbreak.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Chibanda (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister able to name the countries in Africa that have been affected by this Tilapia virus?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, I indicated the continents that are affected by the virus. However, the countries that are affected globally are Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Israel, Malaysia, Taiwan, the Philippines and Thailand. Egypt is not our neighbouring country for us to think we could be affected. Therefore, the best assurance I can give is that we are on high alert.


I thank you, Sir.




318. Mr Simbao asked the Minister of Local Government:


  1. whether the Government has any plans to issue title deeds for individual graves;


  1. if not, why;


  1. what the approved depth of a grave is;


  1. whether the digging of graves is monitored by the local authorities to ensure compliance; and


  1. if so, why bad smell emanates from some graves.


The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Mwale): Mr Speaker, currently, there are no plans for issuance of titles for individual graves.


Sir, councils are not mandated to provide title deeds to individual graves.


Mr Speaker, the approved depth for a grave is 1.8 m.


Sir, the digging of graves is monitored by grave digger supervisors employed by local authorities.


Sir, we believe that, in most cases, the bad smell at graveyards comes from the garbage that is dumped there, not necessarily from the graves. In fact, this has proved to be the fact.


Mr Speaker, I have just been reminded that I forgot to answer the last part of Hon. Jere’s question during my ministerial statement. With your indulgence, I will answer it now.


Sir, we will not rebuild COMESA Market because it belongs to COMESA, not to the Government.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to reflect on the fact that many people pay a lot of money for graves. For example, I am aware that some graves at Memorial Park cost as much as K50,000.


Mrs M. Phiri: K120,000.


Mr Simbao: I am told that some graves cost as much as K120,000, which is a huge investment. It is for this reason that I am asking the hon. Minister why it is not possible for the local authorities to issue title deeds for those graves.


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, we would have to do a lot of consultation before we can arrive at such a decision. It is possible, but we can only do it after we are sure as to why it would be important for us to do so. Perhaps, we could investigate whether it is necessary for us to do so and, if it is, what the reason is? Alternatively, we could just allow the status quo.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, knowing very well that land for graves, especially in towns like Lusaka and those on Copperbelt, is becoming a challenge, what plans do the local authorities have, especially of the Lusaka area?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, we have the challenge of finding space for grave sites in Lusaka, and I have addressed this question in this House before. We have engaged the councils in Chibombo, Kafue, Chisamba and Chongwe to help us by making land available for us to designate as grave sites. Perhaps, we may need to ask a certain zone of Lusaka to bury on the western side and another zone to bury on the eastern side. We have a huge challenge when it comes to land in Lusaka and are still searching for a council that will help us.


I thank you, Sir.


Mrs M. Phiri (Nominated): Mr Speaker, having been a councillor in Lusaka before, I am aware that graves are supposed to be 6 ft deep. We appreciate the liberalised economy in this country, which enables us to have private graveyards. However, does the ministry supervise the private grave sites? I found out that Memorial Park, which sells graves at K5,000, digs graves that are only 4 ft deep.


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, we have given the private companies the standards that must be followed. Maybe, what we have not done well is monitoring and supervision, seeing as in this case, there is evidence that some graves have not been dug to a depth of 6 ft. In view of this information, I will speak to the local authority to see to it that they monitor private grave sites on a regular basis.


I thank you, Sir


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, would the Government consider recommending graves that are deeper that 6 ft so as to allow the burying of two people in one grave?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, this is one of the options discussed by the local authority in view of the shortage of land. It happens in South Africa and all over the world. Sometimes, up to four people are buried in one grave. We have not reached a conclusion on it, but the idea was certainly being entertained.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, in view of the position the House has taken on the question of the adjournment of the House, consideration of Supplementary Estimates No. 1 of 2018 and the Report of the Committee on Local Government Accounts, which are listed on today’s Order Paper, will be referred instead to Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, to enable hon. Members to study both documents thoroughly over the weekend and on Monday.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Livune: Long live the Chair.








The Pubic-Private Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2018.


Report adopted


Third Reading on Tuesday, 17th July, 2018.




The following Bill was read a third time and passed:


The Credit Reporting Bill, 2018.








(Debate resumed)


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I have another announcement to make.


Before we resume the debate on the Report of the Parliamentary Reforms and Modernisation Committee, let me reiterate to the House and the public at large that the Parliamentary Reforms and Modernisation Committee is a House-Keeping Committee that deals with in-house matters hinging on the powers, privileges, procedures, practices, organisation and facilities of the Assembly


In this regard, the consideration of the Committee’s report is governed by Order No. 152(8) of the National Assembly of Zambia Standing Orders, 2016, which provides that the debate on the Report of the Parliamentary Reforms and Modernisation Committee shall be held in camera. For this reason, again, I direct that all members of the public and the media withdraw from the House. I further direct that broadcasting of the proceedings on Parliament Radio, Parliament Television and other media be suspended during the debate on this report.


I thank you.


The media and visitors withdrew from the House.


Mr Speaker: Order!


(Debate adjourned)




The House adjourned at 1255 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 17th July, 2018.