Wednesday, 19th September, 2018

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Wednesday, 19th September, 2018


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












The Minister of Finance (Mrs Mwanakatwe): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for giving me this opportunity to brief the House on the country’s debt situation.


Sir, let me commence my address this afternoon by sharing with the hon. Members the status of Zambia’s debt stock as at the end of June, 2018, which was the last reporting quarter. The stock of external debt was at US$9.37 billion, which represents 34.7 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and was below the internationally agreed threshold of 40 per cent.


Mr Speaker, the stock of domestic debt in the form of Government securities was K51.86 billion which represents 19.2 per cent of the gross domestic product. Kindly note that there is no threshold defined internationally for domestic debt. However, the threshold for the combination of domestic and external debt is 56 per cent of the GDP. Against this threshold, Zambia’s combined debt ratio was 53.9 per cent of the GDP. The stock of arrears stood at K13.9 billion or 5.1 per cent of the GDP and the total of guarantees was US$1.2 billion or 4.4 per cent of the GDP.

Mr Speaker, I would like to assure the House and the nation at large that the Government takes seriously issues of debt sustainability. As a practical step towards ensuring that we are sustainable, the Government conducts annual debt sustainability analysis (DSA) exercises to gauge the carrying capacity as it relates to economic parameters, such as the GDP growth, reserves and debt servicing capacity. The DSA gives us an indication of the level of debt that is desirable to ensure that growth is not impaired and the drive towards poverty reduction remains unabated.


Sir, the last such exercise was undertaken by the Government in the first quarter of this year. Upon the outcome of the DSA, the Government announced a number of austerity measures to mitigate against the perceived risks associated with the debt going forward. The measures will address these risks and ensure continued sustainability through fiscal consolidation. I would like to assure hon. Members that the Government has not defaulted on any of its external commitments and does not intend to do so.


Mr Speaker, we are cognisant to the serious repercussions of any default on the economy and on any other borrowing we have made through the cross default clauses contained in financing agreements. It is our undertaking that we abide by the provisions in our loan agreements by ensuring that we do not abrogate the provisions of our Constitution that ranks borrowing as a priority constitutional call on our revenue.


Sir, the past few days have seen high levels of public interest regarding the purported ceding of some strategic assets owned by the Republic of Zambia to foreign creditors. Let me take this opportunity to inform the House and the nation that the Government has not pledged any public asset as collateral on any borrowing which it has undertaken. Let me emphasise that the Government has not pledged any public asset as collateral on any borrowing which it has undertaken.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, loans are secured in several ways. The first way of securing a loan is through Government guarantees for the borrowing related to projects in parastatals and quasi Government institutions. Secondly, loans are secured through insurance by the Government itself, parastatals and quasi Government institutions, where applicable. There is no security for direct borrowing, as the law does not provide for such. Thus, contemplation that the Government has pledged the assets of the nation as collateral are totally ungrounded. Further, the Government has not defaulted on any of its loans that warrant any basic security to be called upon, as I have just highlighted


Mr Speaker, as a shareholding Minister in State-owned enterprises (SOEs), under the powers vested in me by Cap. 349 of the Laws of Zambia, the Ministry of Finance Incorporation Act and in my capacity as Minister in charge of loan contraction and debt servicing, as stipulated in the Loans And Guarantees Authorisation Act and the Public Finance Act, I wish to emphasise that there has been no debt default by the Republic of Zambia on debt obligations to the Chinese Government or to any other lenders.


Sir, let me take this opportunity to go through the SOEs one by one. The loan for the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) is still being disbursed by the lenders. In this regard, we have not yet started repaying the loan because the new airport terminal is still under construction.


Mr Speaker, let me turn to the loans for the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO). Its loans from Chinese lenders relate to the extension project for the Kariba North Bank Power Station and the Kafue Gorge Lower Power Station Construction Project that are independent of ZESCO. The latter only has shareholding interests through a separate special purpose establishment.


Sir, the loan repayment for the Kariba North Bank Extension Project is duly on course, whilst the loan repayment for the Kafue Gorge Lower Project has not commenced because the station is still under construction.


Mr Speaker, as regards the Digital Migration Programme (DMP) for the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC), a loan was obtained from China to ensure that it was implemented in the country. The Government is on course with the servicing of that debt. The ZNBC was never offered as collateral for the loan. Let me repeat that. The ZNBC was never offered as collateral for the loan. Instead, ZNBC and Star Times of China created an independent special purpose vehicle called Top Star to implement the DMP.


Mr Speaker, for all the other loans that have been contracted from the Chinese Government, the security is in the form of insurance taken from Sinosure. For loans contracted by SOEs, insurance from Sinosure and guarantees from the Government are in place. The debt servicing for those that are due is on course. In view of this, it is clear that no collateral in the form of public assets has been provided for borrowing and none of the sovereign guarantees have been called upon by the creditors. Therefore, the takeover of any asset by another Government is neither practical nor feasible.


Mr Speaker, through you, the nation is informed that there has never been any discussion related to a debt/stock asset swap between the Zambian Government and any of its creditors, China inclusive.


Mr Speaker, let me now address the issues related to the refinancing of the Eurobond that have equally raised interest. The Government has a full view of the handling of the bonds and is committed to the repayment of its liabilities. We are, therefore, cognisant of the need for a structured redemption plan that will ensure transparency and smooth processes for handling the redemption of the Eurobond.


Mr Speaker, in this regard, the Government has defined a Eurobond Redemption Strategy (ERS) that will establish an optimal plan for redeeming the bonds. Once approved by the Cabinet, the strategy will be made public.


Sir, the strategy gives an array of options that involve debt buy backs and refinancing. I must point out that refinancing is a standard market practice. It is not peculiar to Zambia, and is consistent with the need for the country to have an instrument on the international capital markets that can be used to signal risk for the private sector.


Mr Speaker, as we undertake these assets and liability management processes, we are cognisant of the need for the country to maintain a stable macroeconomic environment, credible debt data, fiscal sustainability and a favourable credit rating. This is what will ensure the achievement of lower interest costs and longer maturities for the bonds. The measures I announced in July, 2018 are meant to ensure that we continue to achieve these objectives. May I also emphasise that the first bond is only due four years from now, in 2022.


Mr Speaker, may I emphasise that any refinancing exercise will follow best market practices, and will involve the consultation of bond holders, with the investors getting full value for their investments.


Mr Speaker, I would like to further inform this august House that the Ministry of Finance has now set a standard to make reports on debt figures public on a quarterly basis. This is meant to keep citizens and other interested stakeholders abreast of the developments on this topical issue that has attracted so much attention and interest.


Mr Speaker, the quarterly reports are also meant to reassure and give those that are inclined towards scepticism an opportunity to benefit from facts that would satisfy their doubts and, thereby, forestalling speculation.


Mr Speaker, let me conclude by mentioning that in order to address anticipated misconceptions about Zambia’s external debt position, the Ministry of Finance has embarked on strengthening its reporting and communication policies to ensure that information on public debt is availed to the public in a timely and credible manner.


Mr Speaker, I will periodically brief the House on issues regarding debt sustainability.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


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


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, let me thank the hon. Minister for her statement. With your permission, before I pose my question, I would like to tender my sincere condolences to the people of Mangango on the loss of our hon. Member of Parliament, Mr Naluwa Mwene. May his soul rest in peace. 


Mr Speaker, some of us equate what the hon. Minister just delivered today to an action of sweeping dirt under the carpet, but in public, like at a market.


Hon. PF Members: Question!


Mr Nkombo: The hon. Minister has spoken about the refinancing of the Eurobond which, when Hon. Dr Musokotwane was Minister of Finance, was ─ I stand to be corrected ─ only US$500 million. When the hon. Minister’s party came into power, it moved up to US$750 million and, then, they got an extra Eurobond.


I would like to know from the hon. Minister whether the refinancing exercise which is being worked on which, in simple terms, is like selling a loan to buy time, was part of the original plan.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, refinancing is an only an option that we are considering. We are not saying that we are going to refinance the bond. The situation is different at any given time because the economy is dynamic. You may actually refinance with a Eurobond. It is important to remember that we have a bond holder out there who has invested money in Zambia. Even as you think of refinancing the debt, you have to give the bond holder value for money. As you do that, where will be your yield? You have to ensure that the yield is such that it will bring confidence to the investor community.

Mr Speaker, this is why I implore the citizenry and ourselves to be mindful of the statements that we make because the yield on the bond goes up for no reason other than just perception. If we want to refinance the debt, the external market has to have confidence in us. If we are yielding at 16 per cent, we cannot attract cheaper money. In fact, the better term for refinancing is liability management. The reason for it is to ensure that you have a debt that is sustainable over time to the point where the cost comes down. This way, the tenure can potentially be extended.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, let me take this opportunity to thank the hon. Minister for the good statement. This is how it should be because it prevents speculation and lies.


Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to clarify the strategies which have been put in place to ensure that domestic debt is attended to. I ask because the dismantling of domestic debt is what brings liquidity in the economy as opposed to external debt where money is externalised to foreign countries. What measures have been put in place to dismantle domestic debt?


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament has touched on something that is dear to my heart. Internal debt dismantling is at the fore of this Government’s strategy to ensure that it continuously puts money back into the economy.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Speaker: Let us have some order.


May the hon. Minister of Finance, please, continue.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, in order to ensure that we can continuously −


Mrs O. P. Phiri entered the Assembly Chamber.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Speaker: Continue, hon. Minister of Finance.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, I sense a lot of happiness regarding the entrant.


Internal debt dismantling is very important.




Mr Speaker: Order!


Let us have some order. We have break time for those activities.




Mr Speaker: We have some serious business under way.


Continue, hon. Minister of Finance.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, I was saying that local debt is actually one that is exercising our minds at the moment and we are dismantling it. That is why we have said that we shall ensure that we complete all the projects that are, at least, 80 per cent complete. We have paid more than K2 billion worth of debt arrears in that area. In all the other sectors, we will try to ensure that we are up to date. On a monthly basis, we try to put something in place to dismantle the debt. Yes, it is K13 billion in arrears which I would like to see the back of.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Kintu (Solwezi East): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister tell the nation how much debt we owed China as at June, 2018.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, on the total debt that I shared with the House, the US$9.37 billion dollars, Chinese debt is between 26 and 30 per cent of that.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mwiinga: Amount!


Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for her statement.


Sir, if you give me a little latitude, I would like to congratulate our …


Mr Chiteme: The new Minister!


Mr Kafwaya: … new Member of Parliament, Mr Sensio Banda …


Ms Mumbi Phiri: Hear, hear!


Mr Kafwaya: … and also pass my condolences to the people of Mangango on the loss of their hon. Member of Parliament.


Mr Speaker, my question is a rider to the one which was raised by the hon. Member for Chama South. Is the hon. Minister of Finance looking to dismantle the debt with priority lenders in the local economy so as to boost the liquidity in the nation?

Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, indeed, we are really prioritising local debt dismantling. This is how we are spending the money that we have. Like I said earlier on, at least, K2 billion has been paid towards local arrears in the past two months. We are also looking at supporting defaulters who have had bad loans with banks. We are looking at putting a programme in place that can support those that have defaulted.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to confirm to the nation and to this House that by refinancing the Eurobond, Zambia, as a country, made a mistake by taking on this bond.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for Mwembezhi for that question. I can confirm to this nation and to the House that the Government made a very good decision by taking on the bond programme. The steps that the Government took of getting three bonds which are expiring in three different tranches, with the first one in 2022, the next one in 2024 and the last one between 2025 and 2027, were very important for this country. Every person in here is benefitting from the Eurobond.


Mr Mwiinga: Question!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: You have seen the road network expansion that is partially financed from the Eurobond money. You have seen how we have put up infrastructure across the country. Every person in the country is benefitting from the Eurobond.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: So, I can confirm to the nation that refinancing the Eurobond was not a mistake, but a very good idea. I want to take my hat off to those that decided to go the Eurobond way.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity to ask a question. Before I do so, allow me to congratulate the new Minister, Hon. Olipa Phiri, …


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ng’onga: … Mwansa. We will support her.


Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister of Finance categorically inform the House and the nation whether the daily media reports that Zambia has mortgaged three companies, namely Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC), Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) and Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) to the Chinese lenders as a result of loan defaults are true. Can the hon. Minister tell the nation whether this has taken place or not. We would like to know.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kaputa, the hon. Minister was very categorical about that issue. Thus, we should not spend our time like this.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, debt contraction is one thing, …


Mr Speaker: Order on the left.


Mr Bwalya: … while debt sustainability is another. What measures has the Government put in place to ensure that the country is sustainable in terms of debt? Can the measures taken forestall any debt default as the hon. Minister embarks on disseminating information regarding debt in this country.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, debt sustainability and contraction are two different things. This is why we carry out a debt sustainability assessment every year. We had one this quarter which confirmed the figures that we are contracting to ensure that we are sustainably contracting debt. In terms of the actual measures that we have taken which I announced, we have reviewed our borrowing. We have said that we are going to postpone some of the loans that are not priority. We are going to ensure that projects with high impact and are 80 per cent complete are completed. We are also going to review the issuance of guarantees and letters of credit.


Mr Speaker, the exercise has been carried out to detail. We contract loans only when it is necessary to do so. Yes, we are not saying we are not going to contract any loans, but that we will only contract the ones which have high impact and are of a social nature.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, prudent debt contraction …




Mr Speaker: Order on the left!


Dr Kalila: … entails that there is transparency, full disclosure and some form of oversight to avoid the kind of situation that we are dealing with today. Issues of austerity measures and delayed payments can precisely be avoided if there is some prudence with the way we contract debt. Could the hon. Minister confirm whether the statement that the Government is opposed to the ratification of debt contraction by this House is attributed to the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting is true.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, I do not understand the request that this House oversees the contraction of debt. I have come to this Parliament with a budget and so have previous hon. Ministers of Finance. All the budget ceilings are agreed upon by this House. If there is a supplementary budget to be submitted, this House approves it. We also have a very able Cabinet that approves all the loans before they are contracted. Therefore, I think there is transparency and prudence in the manner we have contracted debt because collectively as hon. Cabinet Ministers, we scrutinise every single loan that comes to fruition.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Dr Chibanda (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to ask the hon. Minister a question. However, before I do that, let me join my colleagues in congratulating Hon. Olipa Phiri on her appointment as Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chibanda: Mr Speaker, as the hon. Minister was giving her statement, I quickly carried out a research and found out that …




Mr Speaker: Order on the right!


Dr Chibanda: … the United States of America (USA) owes China US$1.18 trillion and that at no time has China taken over the USA. In Africa, Kenya owes China ─


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Mufulira, we are currently is seeking clarification on the statement by the hon. Minister of Finance. Go ahead and seek clarification.


Dr Chibanda: Noted, Mr Speaker.


Sir, at no time is Zambia going to be sold to China. What, then, is our external debt ceiling in terms of loans?

Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, the ceilings are a moving target. They depend very much on what the gross domestic product (GDP) is at any given time in an economy. This is why I shared the ceilings with the House so that hon. Members can see where we should end at this particular moment.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kasonso (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the statement. However, could she confirm that the level of debt in this country is in distress because of a number of reasons. We will be lucky to achieve 20 per cent performance of the 2018 National Budget. Two weeks ago, the hon. Minister confirmed that the Government had spent US$350 million to service external debt. Going around my constituency, teachers –


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Solwezi West, I suppose you have asked your question. Is that not so?


Mr Kasonso: Well, I have asked it, but I wanted to justify –


Mr Speaker: No. There is no provision for debate.


Mr Kasonso: Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, let me confirm to this House and to the nation that the Government is not in debt distress.


Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Sir, it is paying its debts as and when they fall due. Yes, the debt has gone up. Therefore, all of us have to work harder. We have to increase the revenue base to ensure that we satisfy the demands of our people. This is a big country with a lot of needs, whether it is schools, roads, clinics or hospitals. Everyone is demanding for this infrastructure from the Treasury. Therefore, we have to keep growing the economy so that we can meet the increased demand for infrastructure. There is no debt distress. There is a lot of pressure from the citizenry and hon. Members of Parliament for us to spend more in the constituencies. Therefore, I have to ensure that the revenue grows by growing the economy. For now, we are paying our debts as and when the obligations are due.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Let me remind hon. Members that there is no Motion here for debate. There is nothing of that sort. You just need to seek clarification if there is anything to clarify. If you have nothing to clarify, there is even no need to rise. People have even researched. You just need to seek clarification. That is so. If the statement is clear, we can move on to our next segment of the business. You just need to clarify and not to debate. Clarification means you want something that is not clear in your mind to be cleared.


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for that direction. I would like to thank the hon. Minister of Finance for coming to Parliament to give us a breakdown of what we perceive as a debt crisis which the Patriotic Front (PF) obviously does not perceive as such. Obtaining a concessionary loan is preferred and most advisable as compared to obtaining a commercial loan. The reasons are simple and straightforward. It has a longer term in terms of repayment and, obviously, the interest rate is much lower. We had the possibility of obtaining a concessionary loan of K1.3 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Why does that initiative continue to elude us? What are the reasons? Could the hon. Minister, please, clarify.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, the two types of loans in our debt portfolio are concessional as well as commercial. We get concessional loans from China, the World Bank and other European bilateral sources. So, we do get cheaper funding from there. The envelope for that is not as big as that for commercial loans. However, we do try to push for concessional loans as much as possible. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is one such institution where we try to get concessional money. We do have US$600 million IMF money which is concessional. In fact, it is at zero rate. We want to increase on that. This is what we are discussing with the IMF. I know they are coming here in the last week of October so we can continue with our discussions.


In continuing our discussions, I am pleading with you concerning the statements you make. This is because the statements you make, make the country seem like it is a high risk. As such, our route to get concessional loans is a lot more difficult. This is why I am encouraging all of us to start sending positive statements to the world because it is easier to get concessional loans when a country is perceived to be a low risk.


Sir, I want to assure hon. Members that we will continue to pursue the programme with the IMF. I am leaving in the middle of October for the IMF. I know that one of the things we are going to be talking about is exactly what the hon. Member mentioned.


Thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: I will take the last questions as follows: Hon. Members of Parliament for Liuwa, followed by Nkeyema, Lufwanyama, Kabwe Central, Chienge, Milenge and I will close with the Leader of the Opposition.


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, all Government expenditure, whether it is for debt servicing, salaries or running costs comes from the same Treasury pot. Therefore, debt sustainability must mean that we are not only able to pay our debts, but also to pay other obligations that we have. We are aware that salaries of council staff are in arrears for four months. We know that some people get paid their salaries way after the time they are supposed to get them. We are also aware that ministries are underfunded and that the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) has not been released, yet we are in the third quarter of the year.


Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane: Sir, is it not the case that we are only debt sustainable because the hon. Minister of Finance is suppressing other important expenses in the country?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane: If the hon. Minister was to pay salaries on time, release the CDF, or fund ministries correctly, then, she is going to fail to service the debt and we will be in arrears.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, I am glad that the Member of Parliament for Liuwa, Hon. Dr Musokotwane …


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: … has been a Finance Minister before who knows that the Treasury is the one that is in charge of all expenditure. Being in charge of all expenditure, you know that you have to juggle what is in the pot. Even in your house, sometimes, you eat meat, chicken or lumanda, …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: … depending on the amount of money that you have. However, this does not mean that you will be shielded away from your obligations. You know your obligations, but you might want to defer them by one or two months. However, you still know that you are going to pay all of them. That is why I am saying that our debts are sustainable. We are very much on top of the expenditure and revenues that are coming in.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sing’ombe: Lumanda!


Mr Mbangweta (Nkeyema): Mr Speaker, following up on Hon. Dr Musokotwane’s question, I would like to also ask mine.


Mr Ngulube: What is the question?


Mr Mbangweta: You will hear the question.


Sir, 30 per cent of our current Budget goes to debt servicing and 50 per cent to emoluments, while the gross domestic product (GDP) is growing at 4 per cent. Can we say that our debt is sustainable. Maybe, the hon. Minister might wish to demonstrate how that works out.


Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, our debt level is sustainable. I am saying that for the fifth time. As the Government, we know what we are doing. We need to expand the revenue envelope to ensure that we can cater for the huge demands coming from all of us. So, that ratio leaves us with 20 per cent. It is our duty to ensure that that ratio is more comfortable.


Sir, I would like to assure hon. Members that in terms of external and internal debt, we are meeting our obligations. The hon. Members have seen my Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) which shows the areas we are looking at in ensuring that we can grow the revenue base.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Fungulwe (Lufwanyama): Mr Speaker, I am aware that the Government has put in place austerity measures for debt sustainability. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Finance whether the salary increment for civil servants for 2019 is one of the measures.


Mr Speaker: Is one of the measures for what?


Mr Fungulwe: ‘Hostility’ measures.




Mrs Mwanakatwe: If I heard the hon. Member of Parliament for Lufwanyama, Hon. Fungulwe, correctly, I think his question was: Is one of the measures in the 2019 Budget going to impact salaries? Is that the question?


Mr Speaker: Let me give him an opportunity to state his question perhaps clearly. I was also at a loss. Hon. Member, what is your question?


Mr Fungulwe: My question is: Is the salary increment for civil servants one of the austerity measures?


Mr Speaker: You know the difficulty you are presenting here is that you are saying increment …




Hon. Opposition Members: Salary increase! Wage freeze!




Mr Speaker: Just paraphrase your question.


Mr Fungulwe: Mr Speaker, maybe, what I should say is: Is the wage freeze one of the austerity measures?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the hon. Member of Parliament for Lufwanyama that the wage freeze is not part of the measures. The civil servants are represented by a union which we will soon be going into negotiations with. The wage freeze is not part of austerity measures.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, allow me also to congratulate Hon. Olipa Phiri on her well-deserved appointment as Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare.


Ms Katuta: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Sir, I am glad today, and I think the people of Kabwe are rejoicing that the hon. Minister of Finance has cleared a lot of wrong perceptions that were created specifically to embarrass this country. It is good that our critics are now ashamed that the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) has not been sold.




Mr Speaker: What is your question, Hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwe Central?


Mr Ngulube: My question, Mr Speaker is: Are our critics not supposed to be ashamed of, as Zambians, peddling lies …


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Mr Ngulube: … that this country has been sold to the Chinese?




Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, that question is an important one because any Zambian peddling lies about Zambia should be ashamed.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Minister of Finance, could you substitute the word ‘lies’.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for the guidance. However, I would like to state that any well-meaning Zambian peddling falsehoods should really be ashamed because we only have one Zambia.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Sir, we cannot even imagine what peace costs. The peace, which we enjoy, is a fantastic asset. So, why would anyone want to start making the country look like it is on fire?


Mr Speaker, my honest plea to any well-meaning Zambia is to safeguard what we have. We have excellent investment prospects supported by the peace which we continue to enjoy. Let us not put this country on fire unnecessarily. Let us stop sending falsehoods out there. This is my plea to this House.


I thank you, Sir. 


Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for clearing the air about what has been said about our country. We came up with the Supplementary Budget and there was a Sinking Fund. I would like to find out from her how far the ministry has gone with the work on the Sinking Account. I would like to find out how far we have gone with the payment of the Eurobond. Is the country going to pay back the money by 2022 seeing as we are only paying the interest at the moment?


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, that is a very important question by the hon. Member for Chienge on how we are going to be able to pay the first bond in 2022.


Sir, we have started working on the Sinking Fund. We hope that we can continue to put some money aside for the Sinking Fund in the coming years. As I said earlier on, we are also looking at other ways of managing the liability such as refinancing which includes extending the bond further or to reissue it for a longer tenure. So, we are going to look at all the options. However, we shall also be mindful of the fact that we have a bond holder. Actually, the bond belongs to investors. So, one cannot just go to the bond holder and say: “Bring back my bond.”  Instead, you have to nurture the relationship and be able to come to a meeting of minds to agree if the bond must be refinanced.


Mr Speaker, the monies for refinancing the bond are available on the market, but we have to remember that it is held by investors who are 90 per cent in the United Kingdom (UK) and in the United States of America (USA). So, that is the process we are going to continue to look at.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mbulakulima (Milenge): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has clearly stated in her statement that there has been no debt default regarding any external lenders. However, I would like to be the devil’s advocate. Suppose there was, what impact does she think this would have on other loans as a result of cross default provisions?


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, when cross default arises, for instance, it means that a holder of the Eurobond will call back their money. That is why it is important not to default. So, cross default provisions are there. When a country defaults on one bond, other lenders will come to the fore and say: “Give us our money.” Therefore, we have not had any lenders come to us to ask for their money because we have not defaulted at all and we do not want to do that.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: The last question will be from the Leader of Opposition.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, in response to the question which was raised by the hon. Member for Lukulu East, the hon. Minister of Finance has indicated that there is able leadership in Cabinet which is able to discuss the loans which are incurred by the Government of the Republic of Zambia. She has also indicated that all that is required is for them to inform Parliament through the Budget or Supplementary Budget.


Sir, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Finance whether she is aware that there is a constitutional provision, under Article 207 of the Constitution of Zambia, which, with your permission, Sir, I would like to bring to her attention for it appears she is not aware.


Mr Speaker, for ease of reference, I would like to quote what the Constitution of Zambia says. Article 207 (1) says:


         “The Government may, as prescribed:


  1. raise a loan or grant on behalf of itself, a State organ, State institution or other institution;


  1. guarantee a loan on behalf of a State organ, State institution or other institution or;


  1. enter into an agreement to give a loan or grant out of the Consolidated Fund, other public fund or public account.


(2)        Legislation enacted under clause (1) shall provide –


  1. for the category, nature and other terms and conditions of a loan, grant or guarantee, that will require the approval by the National Assembly before the loan, grant or guarantee is executed; and ...ˮ


Sir, now that she has been made aware, why has her Government decided, with impunity, not to allow this House to participate in the process of debt contraction? Why has the Government abrogated the Constitutional provision of the Republic of Zambia with impunity?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, if I was not aware of Section 207 (1) as hon. Minister of Finance, I would be very worried


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Nevertheless, I wonder whether the Leader of the Opposition is aware that to enact what he is talking about in the Constitution, the legislation, which is the Loans and Guarantee (Amendment) Act, has to come to this House, …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Mwanakatwe: … but it has not come to this House.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.













16. Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:


  1. whether the Government is aware of the death of Evaristo Chileshe who died in

Mungwi District on 9th September, 2018;


  1. if so, whether a postmortem was conducted to ascertain the cause of his death;


  1. what the results of the postmortem were;


  1. whether any investigations have been instituted to find out who caused the death

                        of the deceased; and


  1. what the findings of the investigations are.


The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, the Government is aware of the death of Mr Evaristo Chileshe who died in Mungwi District on 9th September, 2018. The circumstances are that the deceased was employed as a security guard by a Chinese company called Jilin Power Transmission and Substation Company. The company was contracted to do some construction works at N’gwena Main Area in Chief Chitimukulu’s area in Mungwi District.


On the material day, it was discovered that some roofing sheets went missing on site. The two Chinese, who are currently in detention, interviewed the deceased Mr Evaristo Chileshe and, in the process, it would appear they beat him up and he became unconscious. The caretaker at the site, Mr Sebastian Musonda, took him to Chitimukulu Rural Health Centre, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.


Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that a post-mortem was conducted and the deceased was put to rest on 13th September, 2018. The post-mortem report, together with the docket, has since been submitted to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for further instruction.


Sir, investigations have been instituted and two suspects, who are male Chinese nationals, namely Mr Yangen Yuan, aged thirty-two years and holder of passport No. G5657299, and Mr Zhao Guo Dong, aged forty-two years and holder of passport No. E43761806, have been arrested and detained at Kasama Police Station. They will appear in court soon. The investigations in the matter have continued.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.




Mr Speaker: Order on the right!


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, at the age of thirty-two and forty-two, the Chinese nationals who caused the death of Mr Evaristo Chileshe are very young individuals,. Under what specialisation did they obtain the permits to come and work in this country?


Mr Speaker: I am looking at the question on the Order Paper and cannot see any connection with the follow-up question by Hon. Nkombo. Well, just in case the hon. Minister has this information at hand, he can answer the question.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, obviously, the suspects were given work permits in accordance with the Immigration Act No. 10 which stipulates how foreign nationals should apply for work permits. Like you have stated, I do not see how this question is related to this matter because, as I have explained, for anyone who commits a crime of a capital nature, it does not matter what status the person is in the country, the law is applied without looking at the status, nationality, colour or creed of person.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr. Speaker …


Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order on Her Honour the Vice-President. I am doing so because I cannot raise a point of order on the President of the Republic of Zambia. Since she is the Leader of Government Business in this House, I am raising this particular point of order on Her Honour the Vice-President.


Mr Speaker, on Friday, 14th September, 2018, the President of the Republic of Zambia came to this House and made a very emphatic statement pertaining to poverty and vulnerability reduction. For ease of reference, I would like to quote what the President said in that statement as follows:


“Mr Speaker, –”




Mr Speaker: Order!


Just give me a minute, hon. Member for Monze Central, the Backbenchers on the right, you are in a very animated conversation there. The door is open.


Hon. Member for Monze Central, Continue.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr. Speaker, allow me to repeat what I said. The President said:


“Mr Speaker, the Social Cash Transfer Programme has proved to be effective in contributing to poverty reduction as well as income redistribution, especially in the rural communities where poverty is very high. The programme is being scaled up to reach a total of 700,000 beneficiary households countrywide by the end of this year. Currently, 632,020 households are benefiting.”


Mr Speaker, the credence of the statement by the President on the Floor of this House is now in question. What has transpired between the time the President delivered this speech on the Floor of this House and today shows that what was stated in his speech is not correct.




Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, the President was misled by the Executive on your right. The Social Cash Transfer Scheme is funded by donors, and they have withdrawn the funding. The Government provides a very small portion of funds to this programme. As a result of the withdrawal of the funding by the donors, our members in the constituencies who are supposed to benefit from this programme are unable to get funds. As a result of the debt contraction by the Government, the Government has no money to replace the funds which the donors were providing.


Mr Speaker, considering the importance of this particular matter, the interest of the nation and  those who are vulnerable in the various constituencies of this country and, arising from the statement that was made by the Special Assistant to the President that as a result of the withdrawal and what has happened at the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare, the North-Western Province, Western Province, Luapula Province, Northern Province and other provinces have not had their share of the Social Cash Transfer Scheme. In other words, we have not met our obligations.


Mr Speaker, the point of order is: Is Her Honour the Vice- President in order to remain quiet over a very sensitive issue that affects the plight of the vulnerable in our communities? Is she in order not to come and give a very comprehensive statement about replacing the money that has been taken away so that people in the rural areas are covered by the Government, as it has the responsibility to do so?


Mr Speaker, I note that you did mention that there should be a question.


Hon. Government Members: Ah!


Mr Mwiimbu: However, I would like you to tell us whether the issue should come as a point of order or a question, when Her Honour the Vice-President is in the House to speak on behalf of the President.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: My ruling is a very simple one. Part of the broad function of the colleagues on the left is to hold the ones on the right to account.


Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!


Mr Speaker: That is their function. So, if there is any issue you would like to hold the right to account, we have very well-established mechanisms readily available to you. Issues are processed, as you can see even from the Order Paper today, with dispatch. We do not delay. So, just file a question. We will pass it on and the Government will respond as part of the on-going accounting process. As long as the House is sitting, at any moment, you have the right to seek an explanation on anything. My task is simple. I just pass on the questions, and they answer. That is how the governance process goes on.


As usual, I have lost track.




Dr Musokotwane: I was on the Floor.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Liuwa may continue.


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, this week, a clip circulated on social media showing a labour commissioner meeting a number of Chinese nationals. In the midst of the conversation with the labour commissioner, one of the Chinese walked out, showing total disregard for his authority. Do you think that the events that happened in Mungwi and the one that I have just described indicate that there are certain sections of the community that feel that they are above the law and can do anything they want because they are untouchable? Is that your feeling, hon. Minister?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I am not privy to that social media issue. We, as the Government, do not act on speculation generated on social media. However, I want to make it clear that we have been a host to so many Chinese nationals who have been law abiding. There are a number of law abiding Chinese nationals engaged in various sectors. Therefore, those Chinese who will commit crimes will be dealt with within the laws provided, just like many citizens of this country who commit crime. That is why these two suspects have been arrested, and will be prosecuted. They may end up in our correctional facilities. At the moment, we have a number of different nationals in our correctional facilities. When someone commits a crime, it does not matter who they are, the law still applies to them. The law applies to everyone, including hon. Members of Parliament. We have had people here commit crimes and they have been prosecuted. The Hon. Mr Speaker has done the needful. So, there is no one who is above the law. If lawmakers are not above the law, then no one is. The suspects will be dealt with within the provisions of the law.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, the hon.  Minister is aware that all foreigners who come to this country are supposed to be permit holders. I want to know whether these suspects were self-employed or were working for a company. If they were not self-employed, what is the status of their company as at today?


Mr Speaker: I have a problem with that question. Look at the principal question. It relates to a very specific incident. A supplementary question must relate to the main question.


The hon. Member for Kanchibiya may take the Floor.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, not too long ago, there were xenophobic attacks in a country in this region. There is a political party in this country that is encouraging xenophobic tendencies after what has happened. What strategies is the Government putting in place to protect particularly the race that we are talking about?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, let us go back to the basics. You see, when we have a question like this one, and the hon. Minister has responded, whatever questions that follow must relate to the specific question. It is not an opportunity to bring sundry questions as long as they have the remotest connection to the main question. That is not the purpose. The hon. Minister prepared a specific response. He is not available to answer sundry questions. If you have other questions, file them in to be put on the Order Paper. It is as simple as that. The hon. Minister has made his statement very clear that there is nobody who is above the law. The law is blind to race etcetera. That is his position.  Maybe, we should move on to the next question.




17. Mr D. Mumba (Chama North) asked the Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development:


  1. when the construction of the Chama Youth Skills Training Centre in Chama North Parliamentary Constituency will be completed;


  1. what has caused the delay in completing the works;


  1. what the time frame for the completion of the outstanding works is; and


  1. when the centre is expected to be opened to the public.


The Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development (Mr Mawere): Mr Speaker, the hon. Member may wish to note that the Government, through the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development, is committed to the provision of vocational and life skills to the youth for their livelihoods. In this regard, the ministry, in 2013, commenced the construction works for the expansion of the Chama Youth Resource Centre in Muchinga Province. The construction works will be completed when all the needed funds are made available.


Sir, the completion of the expansion works at the Chama Youth Resource Centre has delayed due to the non-availability of all the needed resources. The time frame for the completion of outstanding works is dependent on the availability of the needed funds. The centre will definitely be opened once the construction is complete.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, I am privileged to be one of the people who come from Chama. I am also glad to announce that I had my secondary education there. From the answer that the hon. Minister has given, there is nothing to show that the project will kick off. The hon. Minister has not said anything that the people of Chama can actually pick. He has not stated whether the project will be completed in 2021 or 2030. Could the hon. Minister be specific and state whether or not the project will ever take off.


Mr Mawere: Mr Speaker, the Chama Youth Resource Centre does exist. What we are doing, as a ministry, is to expand it. The expansion of the centre has already commenced. The contractor is already on site. What has delayed the completion of the project is the Government paying the interim payment certificates which are ready. Therefore, once these funds are made available to us, the contractor will complete the works. The assertion that there is nothing to show that this project will take off is not true. I have been there physically and have seen structures which are coming up there.


  Mr Speaker, I thank you.


  Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister in a position to tell this House how much is needed to complete the expansion project. The hon. Minister has said that the project needs more money from the Treasury and that the money was not forthcoming. The people of Chama District would like to know the amount of money which is outstanding. The outstanding amount could just be about K1 million or K2 million, yet the hon. Minister is saying his ministry is waiting for funding. We really need our youths not to be left behind, as His Excellency the President told this august House in his speech.


Mr Mawere: Mr Speaker, in terms of the outstanding amount, I may not have the precise figure. However, I know that the amount is quite colossal because the expansion project for the centre is at slab level. I may not be in a position to give the actual figures, but I can say that I am aware that the outstanding amount is quite colossal. It is definitely our desire, as a ministry and as the Government, to ensure that youth resource centres are constructed in all districts. Chama is one such district where we want to make sure that the works at the centre are completed. The expansion project is in the first phase. Therefore, we will not move to the next stage before the first one is completed. I want to assure the people of Chama that the project is in its first phase and that they will definitely benefit from the expansion project and new works which we shall embark on.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, I believe the project was budgeted for. If that is the case, why has it not been completed within the budgeted amount? I would also like to know how much was allocated to this project.


Mr Mawere: Mr Speaker, indeed, as a ministry, we prepared the budget and it was approved by this House. However, the budget and the actual release of funds may be at variance. That is the situation that we found ourselves in. However, as the Government, we definitely remain committed to completing all the outstanding works, and this will be done once the funds are made available to the ministry.


I thank you, Sir.




18. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Finance:


  1. when terminal benefits for the former Zambia Co-operative Federation employees will be paid;


  1. how much money, in total, was owed to the former employees as of February, 2018; and


  1. what has caused the delay in paying the terminal benefits.


The Minister of Finance (Mrs Mwanakatwe): Mr Speaker, the records with the Government show that all former employees of the Zambia Co-operative Federation (ZCF) were paid their terminal benefits. Therefore, there is no single former employee who is owed money by the federation. The President, in his wisdom, decided to prioritise the work of the co-operatives. In so doing, he made sure that co-operatives were given K15 billion. Some of that money was for operations and the rest was for paying terminal benefits. This was done between 2014 and 2016.


Sir, as of February, 2018, there were no former employees of the ZCF who were owed money. A total of K11 billion was paid out to former employees of the ZCF during the period 2014 to 2016. The delay was because of the fact that the co-operative business was dying. Therefore, this was an ailing institution until such a time when the Government re-prioritised and funded it.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Mr Speaker, I find the answer to part (a) of the Question surprising because I happen to have constituents in Kabompo who claim that they have not been paid ever since they retired. How is it that there is no record whatsoever from the Zambia Co-operative Federation (ZCF) showing that these people are still owed money? If possible, could the hon. Minister summon the president of the company to give the hon. Minister an affirmative answer on this issue.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, if there are any former employees who have not been paid their terminal benefits as a result of an omission on our part, then, I implore the hon. Member to bring them to us. I am happy to summon the person in charge at the ZCF. I would be grateful if the hon. Member could furnish me with the necessary details.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, I am very surprised because former workers are still coming to us, complaining that they have not been given their money. Is it possible for the hon. Minister to come up with proof so that we know that she has paid them?


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, yes, I am quite happy to bring the proof that we have paid the former employees of the ZCF. We paid off a total of fifty former employees.


I thank you, Sir.




19.    Mr Mbulakulima (Milenge) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


  1. when the tarring of Kasanga/Milenge Road will commence; and


  1. what immediate measures have been taken to stop further deterioration of the road.


The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Chitotela): Mr Speaker, the tarring of Kasanga/Milenge Road will commence after the on-going infrastructure projects have been completed. Currently, the Government’s focus is on ensuring that all on-going projects are completed before embarking on new ones in order to rationalise expenditure, unless under special circumstances.


Sir, the road project was expected to be implemented under the 2018 Road Sector Annual Work Plan using the contractor facilitated initiative (CFI) model of financing. Various proposals were received from prospective contractors, but could not be processed due to:


  1. the Government’s decision to complete on-going projects before embarking on new ones; and


  1. the need for the Government to keep debt contraction within sustainable levels.


Mr Speaker, in the interim, the Road Development Agency (RDA) is undertaking works on the road under the force account. The scope of the works include the following:


  1. road formation;


  1. gravelling of the entire section which is 74 km;


  1. installation of the culverts; and


  1. construction of concrete landing bay at Kapalala.


So far, K550,000 out of the K3.1 million budget has been received and disbursed to the Luapula Provincial Administration for the implementation of the project. The installation of six lines of culverts has been completed. Works on the projects have slowed down because we are waiting for the release of financing from the Treasury.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has mentioned that the Road Development Agency (RDA) is on site. The contractor is not there and has only erected the culverts, which were started two years ago. This has made it very difficult for people to use the road during the rainy season. We were promised K500,000 last October. We are almost in October again without receiving those funds. Since there is neither equipment nor human beings on site, how did the contractor inform the hon. Minister that the road is being worked on? Is the hon. Minister in a position to make a follow-up for the sake of the people of Milenge because there is nobody on site?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I agree with the hon. Member. I will check during the tea break because K550,000 was released. I need to confirm why the contractor is not on site. If money was diverted, then, I need to find out which project it went to because K550,000 was specifically released for the Milenge/Kasanga Road Project whose budget is K3.1 million. I will confirm if the contractor is truly not on site.


Thank you, Sir.




20.    Mr Lufuma asked the Minister of Higher Education what the progress on the construction of the university colleges in the following districts is:


  1. Kabompo in North-Western Province;


  1. Nalolo in Western Province; and


  1. Katete in Eastern Province.


The Minister of Higher Education (Prof. Lou): Mr Speaker, the ministry has made notable progress on the construction of the three university colleges in Kabompo District, Nalolo District and Katete District. The tender processes have advanced, with the evaluations to choose the consultant that will design the university colleges concluded in May, 2018. The report has been submitted to the funder for a no objection before the contracts for the designing can be awarded. Once the no objection is received, the ministry will award the contract for designing of the works and will allocate a maximum period of three months to the consultant to complete the designs. Thereafter, the tender for the construction will be floated to choose the contractors that will construct the institutions. If the no objection is received within the month of September, construction is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2019.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned two designs. She said the Government contracted a firm to do the designs, which took three months which have since been submitted to the funders for a no objection. She also said that the ministry will contract a firm to work on the designs which will also be given three months. Are there two design works for the same universities? Could I have clarity on that.


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, obviously, the hon. Member of Parliament did not pay attention to what I was saying. I want to preface my response by saying that when you are going to build a particular institution, you can either advertise for the same contractors to design and build or you can advertise for the design and later for the building.


Mr Speaker, in this case, we have advertised for the designs of the three colleges. After the designs are done and we have no objection, we will then advertise for the contractors that will build the institutions. This is because the construction of universities is a specialised area. The experience that we had in the past is that where we used the same contractor to design and build, there were certain flaws in terms of the requirements.


Mr Speaker, the requirements of these particular colleges are very specific. They are for mathematics and science. Therefore, I do not want to see a repeat of what happened in the past where an institution was designed and the most important part of the institution, which is the laboratory was left out. In order to be clear, once the designs are done, we will critique them to ensure that they have all the facilities that are required for colleges of mathematics and science.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Phiri (Mkaika): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out why the commencement of the projects has taken so long. I remember that the pronouncements to construct them were made long before 2014. Why has it taken so long to start the construction of the universities?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, when the pronouncements were made, the next thing that was required was the raising of resources for the construction of the institutions. Of course, this has its own challenges. However, the good news is that we are now on course and will be on time.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, the time is ticking away and the prices of commodities will not remain the same. Could the hon. Minister clarify whether or not there will be adjustments and, if so, how much is the total cost of the construction of the universities?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, while I appreciate the question that has been raised about the cost, I want to say that we have advertised for works according to the money that we have. I expect people to cut the dress according to the cloth that we have.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, the custodian of the construction of Government infrastructure is the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development. We have been told here that the entire infrastructure, which is at 80 per cent completion level, has to be completed and that there will be no commencement of works for new infrastructure. So, how does the progress towards the construction of the new institutions stand against the policy position of the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, the works depend on the resources that are available. The hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development is talking about the projects that were started using Government resources. Therefore, we are cutting our dresses according to the cloth that we have. So, there will be programmes that will continue in relation to the source of the resources.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.




21. Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


(a)        when the construction of Kalabo Trades School in Kalabo District will resume;


(b)        why the project has stalled; and


(c)        what the time frame for the completion of the project is.


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalabo Central, Mr Chinga Miyutu,  is asking the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development when the construction of the Kalabo Trades School ...


Hon. Member: Chinga Miyutu!


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, I am a bit concerned about how you have addressed ...




Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, Hon. Chinga Miyutu.




Mr Speaker: You know, the convention is just to say, “The hon. Member for Kalabo Central”.


Mr Chitotela: Obliged, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker, our response to the question by the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalabo Central is that the construction of the Kalabo Trades Training School will resume once the contractual issues, which have been raised by the contractor, have been resolved. This follows the request by the contractor for the evaluation of the contract to accommodate the price increase.


Mr Speaker, the construction of the Kalabo Trades Training Institute commenced towards the end of 2011. The delay in the completion of the project has been due to the issues raised by the contractor and funding constraints which have lead to the contractor requesting for the evaluation of the contract to cater for price increases.


Sir, the time frame for the completion of the remaining works for the Kalabo Trades Training Institute is six months. Further, the total cost of the project was K16,147,103.40. The project has reached an advanced stage of about 85 per cent and we are targeting to complete it in line with our new criterion, but we have challenges. So far, we have paid out K15,318,355.23 for the project, but the contractor has raised the issue of price adjustment due to the passage of time. We have passed on this concern to the Office of the Attorney-General for possible consideration of the adjustment. The name of the contractor is T and H Eminence Company (Z) Limited.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, the construction of the trades school should have reached completion stage. The 15 per cent completion works remaining are little. Does the hon. Minister realise that the state of the structure is deteriorating and taking away from the 15 per cent that should have been remaining? What is the hon. Minister doing in view of the deterioration of the structure?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, yes, I agree with the concern of the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalabo Central. The project has reached an advanced stage and is above 85 per cent complete. However, the contractor has raised concerns in terms of the price adjustment. In the law of contract, it is important that we listen to the contractor. He made a submission and our staff negotiated with him. Since it involves contract adjustments, we need to seek a legal opinion. We have submitted to the Ministry of Justice through the Office of the Attorney-General. Once we get the legal opinion, we would want to speed up the process because the project is above 85 per cent. It is among the projects that we are targeting to finish. Once everything is in place, the project will be completed by the end of December so that next year, we can start looking at other projects. What we can assure you, hon. Member and the people of Kalabo, is that we will push the Office of the Attorney-General to make sure that our request is considered so that we get the necessary approvals.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.




22. Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa) asked the Minister of Health:


(a)        when the construction of Kaputa District Hospital will commence;


(b)        what the total bed space capacity of the Hospital will be;


(c)        what the total cost of the project is; and

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


The Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, the construction of the Kaputa District Hospital is included in the Medium-Term Framework for 2019-2021 and earmarked to commence in the first quarter of 2019.


Mr Speaker, the bed capacity of such a hospital ranges between 120 and 200 beds. We are targeting 150 beds for Kaputa.


Mr Speaker, the total cost of the project shall be known upon completion of the procurement processes. The average period of construction for such a hospital is informed by the procurement processes.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has informed the House that the construction of the hospital will commence in 2019 in a place where there is no road. Is he liaising with his counterpart in the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development to ensure that the road is worked on for easy transportation of building materials to Kaputa?


Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, as the Government, we plan development in a coherent manner. As we plan for development, we look at services like health, education and road infrastructure. All these are important tenets of any development programme. So, for Kaputa, yes, we have planned for the construction of the hospital and, at the same time, there are plans to construct the road between Kaputa and Chienge. The plans are underway.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!




23. Ms Chisangano (Gwembe) asked the Minister of Transport and Communication:


(a)        what the progress on the procurement of a passenger vessel to ease transport problems for people living along Lake Kariba in Gwembe Parliamentary Constituency is; and


(b)        what has caused the delay in procuring the vessel.


The Minister of Transport and Communication (Mr Mushimba): Mr Speaker, the Government, through my ministry embarked on the procurement of passenger vessels in a programme that was phased to accommodate people living along water bodies countrywide.


Mr Speaker, the phasing was prioritised in such a way that the people with the most need because they have no other means of transportation would receive the vessels first. In this regard, the Government plans to procure a passenger vessel to ease transportation problems for people living along Lake Kariba in Gwembe Parliamentary Constituency as soon as the funds are made available.


Additionally, Mr Speaker, in the same programme which we have phased, we have delivered a twenty-four passenger vessel, which was originally scheduled to go to Mongu but, because of the completion of the Mongu/Kalabo Road, the need for the vessel was reduced. With the consultation of the good people of Mongu, we allowed the vessel to be moved to Kariba. However, before it could reach Kariba, there was another urgent need for the vessel in Samfya. So, the vessel was diverted to Samfya. The two 120 seater passenger vessels we had placed an order for have arrived. They are actually passing through Lusaka. One is going to Samfya and the other is going to Nchelenge.


Mr A. C. Malama: Hear, hear!

Mr Mushimba: The need for that twenty-four passenger vessel in Samfya would be taken up by the 120 passenger water bus which is on the way there.


Mr Speaker, as a ministry, we are thinking that the twenty-four passenger vessel will be taken to Siavonga on Lake Kariba so that it can help ease the transportation challenges of people living in that area.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Chisangano: Mr Speaker, I would like to know how soon the vessel is going to be taken to Gwembe. Last week on Saturday, 15th September, 2018, two lives were lost in the same area where twenty-five children died on 24th October, 2014. So, the people would like to know when exactly the vessel is likely to be given to Gwembe.


Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for the follow-up question. I understand the challenge and the need for this vessel. Like I said, we take into account a lot of factors when assigning, prioritising and moving the vessels due to the limited number that we have.


In fact, Sir, as we deliver the 120 passenger water bus to Samfya in the near future, maybe in the next two weeks or so, the thinking was that the twenty-four seater vessel will then leave Samfya for Lake Kariba immediately. However, there is another need that has come up. As a country, we are commemorating the end of the First World War in the Northern Province. There is a need for a vessel at Mpulungu to temporarily support the activities that are going to take place during the commemoration of the end of the First World War. I am told the last bullet of the war was fired somewhere in Mbala. We are hitting the 100 year mark after that event and want to celebrate it with a lot of pomp. So, there is a request that the twenty-four passenger vessel be temporarily used at Mpulungu to support this activity which is taking place in November. As soon as the commemoration is finished, the vessel will be transported to Kariba. So, we think, maybe, by December, the vessel could be on Lake Kariba in Siavonga.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.




24. Mr Mbulakulima asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


(a)        whether the Government has any plans to construct police posts in the following areas in Milenge District:


(i)         Lungo Mukuta;


(ii)        Kafwanka;


(iii)       Mumbotuta; and


(iv)       Kabange; and


(b)        if there are no such plans, what measures the Government is taking to prevent the escalation of crime in the areas.


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, the Government has no immediate plans to construct police posts in Lungo Mukuta, Kafwanka, Mumbotuta and Kabange. Consideration of new infrastructure projects will be made after all on-going projects ─ I think this question is similar to the one that was asked yesterday ─ are completed in Milenge. I have been to some of the mentioned areas where there is a need for police stations. We need to rationalise the way we allocate our resources. Once we finish the old projects, we will sit down with the local authorities, including the hon. Member of Parliament for Milenge, to see which areas in Milenge can be considered next in terms of infrastructure?


Sir, the Government is working with the members of the community in these areas in sensitisation efforts and engaging them to create community crime prevention units (CCPUs) which should collaborate with police officers to do policing work to prevent the escalation of crime in the mentioned areas.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the hon. Minister's new arrangement. How I wish it could be in line with what Hon. Prof. Luo said that life cannot come to a standstill because of new infrastructure. I am aware that the hon. Minister has been to Kafwanka, Mumbotuta and Kabange. However, he has not been to Lungo Mukuta which we always talk about. It is over 200 km from the provincial headquarters. There is no road to get there. One can only go there using a motor cycle or bicycle. In his heart of hearts, does the hon. Minister think that it is prudent that we have to wait for all the infrastructure projects to be completed when the construction of a police post is a small project? Is the hon. Minister not in a position to reconsider his current position and facilitate for the construction of one police post in Lungo Mukuta?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I sympathise with the hon. Member of Parliament for Milenge. I want to assure him that some projects in Milenge are among the ones that we prioritised funding for so that we can quickly complete them. The geographical formation for Milenge District is quite complicated. It borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sakanya, Ndola and parts of the Central Province and Luapula Province.


Sir, our people live in selected areas. That is the more reason, as a ministry, we hope to complete some of the projects that we have embarked on in Milenge District by the end of the year. However, next year, we will sit down with the authorities, including the area hon. Member of Parliament, to select one or two areas in critical need of infrastructure. I agree with what the hon. Member of Parliament for Milenge said. I want to assure him that we will superintend over the staff to ensure that the projects that we have embarked on in the district are completed by December, 2018. Come 2019, we should be able to consider one or two areas where we can put up police posts.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.




25. Mr Kamondo (Mufumbwe) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:


  1. whether the Government has any plans to construct a police station and houses for police officers in Mufumbwe District;


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


  1. if there are no such plans, why.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I hope the hon. Member of Parliament for Mufumbwe followed the explanation that was given by the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development.


Sir, the Government has plans of constructing a police station and houses for police officers in Mufumbwe District. We are aware that land for the construction of the police station and staff houses has already been secured through Mufumbwe District Council. However, the construction of the police station and houses will only commence, as the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development has guided, after the infrastructure projects currently being implemented are completed and funds for the project are secured.


Mr Speaker, as indicated in part (a) of the Question, the Government has plans of constructing a police station in Mufumbwe.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mrs Chonya (Kafue): Mr Speaker, it is good to hear that the Ministry of Home Affairs has plans to put up infrastructure. Are the plans incorporated in some kind of operational plan so that the rest of us who want to know about our respective constituencies may have easy access to that information?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, as a ministry, we would like to provide police services close to the people. However, infrastructure development plans are now the responsibility of the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development. Therefore, the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development will share the plans with us when it has the necessary resources. We will sit down and prioritise areas that will be developed. That is how we will work. The Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development is at the centre of the country’s infrastructure development.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, it is good to hear that there is supposed to be co-ordination between the line ministries which provide certain services and the main ministry which provides housing and infrastructure. Given the fact that the Ministry of Home Affairs has several infrastructure development  programmes that it has to execute in various districts, does it have a master plan which feeds into that for the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development so that the programmes are co-ordinated and everybody is brought to speed as to when certain activities will happen? For example, when will a police station and houses be constructed in Kabompo? Since 1947, there has been nothing. Therefore, I would like to know whether the ministry has a master plan.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, yes indeed, the ministry has a very ambitious master plan. That is why for the first time in the history of this country, we have been able to put up new police stations in some areas. When I was Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President, I went to Mwandi where I found officers operating under a tree and ten people seated on a rim. Today, there is a modern police station in the area. We have put up a number of houses for our men and women ─


Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I had just started responding to the question by the hon. Member for Kabompo who wanted to know whether the ministry had an infrastructure development plan in place. I had started explaining that indeed, the ministry has had a very ambitious infrastructure development plan. We developed the plan after realising that the nation had not done much in terms of infrastructure development for institutions such as the Zambia Police Service, the Zambia Correctional Service, Department of Immigration, Drug Enforcement Commission and many other departments under the Ministry of Home Affairs. I have just cited these departments because they provide the necessary services across the nation.


Sir, hon. Members may have seen some of the works the ministry is carrying out for the first time ever in the history of this country. For the first time from the time we attained Independence, the ministry is now able to open new correctional facilities. Officers are being accommodated in modern housing infrastructure and, at least, dignity is slowly returning to their professions. Therefore, we are going to fit the ambitious infrastructure development plan into the one belonging to the Ministry Housing and Infrastructure Development.


Sir, we still have projects under the Ministry of Home Affairs at construction level. When hon. Members move around, especially in Kabwe, they will be able to see the houses which the ministry has started constructing for the Zambia Police Service.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: Sir, apart from that, the ministry is also carrying out other construction projects in phases. So, that is the plan we intend to feed into the integrated plan for the Ministry Housing and Infrastructure Development. We are committed to doing just that. It might have taken too long in some areas. However, it might not certainly happen that we are immediately going to carry out infrastructure development in all the districts at the same time. It is for this reason that we would like to appeal to our people, through hon. Members of Parliament ,to come on board as well. I know that we are working with a number of hon. Members of Parliament.


Mr Speaker, Hon. Prof. Luo and my ministry will be conducting the groundbreaking ceremony in Mtendere where the constituency is applying some funding from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). One structure is just about to finish in Kalingalinga. This is the kind of partnership the Government is looking for because the ministry is doing everything possible to ensure that hon. Colleagues also come on board to supplement the efforts of the Government. At the same time, we would like to appeal to our people to avoid doing what the people of Mufumbwe did where the situation is worse in the sense that the infrastructure was brought down by the local people.


Sir, currently, we have to make sure that we take temporary measures for our officers to work in a dignified facility.  People ran amok and destroyed the structure which was there, but now they want a facility to be constructed for them. Therefore, it is important that hon. Members inculcate a sense of responsibility in our people to appreciate Public infrastructure.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, when one child goes astray, it does not mean that every child should be condemned.


Sir, Mufumbwe is one of the longest existing districts in the North-Western Province which used to be called Chizera. Considering the situation, which the hon. Minister has just talked about of the officers still operating under a tent in light of the rainfall pattern, is there a need to punish everyone because of the few individuals who ran amok? The presence of the Zambia Police Service is necessary to keep law and order. Is the ministry not considering the situation in Mufumbwe as a matter of urgency which needs to be fed in infrastructure development plans so it gets budgetary consideration?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I would like to appreciate the hon. Member of Parliament for Ikeleng’i for the follow-up question.


Sir, if the hon. Member got my response correctly, I did not condemn anyone. I was just saying that as leaders, we must inculcate a sense of responsibility in our people to enable them to appreciate public infrastructure. Accordingly, even when there are emotions or tempers flaring, the people need to restrain themselves from damaging public property. That is what I was not condemning.


Mr Speaker, I am aware about the situation under which our officers are operating in Mufumbwe. Commissioner Namachila for the North-Western Province Division of the Zambia Police Service is working around the clock to try and see what can be done.


Sir, I know that there are some prefabricated materials which are already on site. I also know that some excavation has been carried out. It is for this reason that I am inviting hon. Members to reason with us so that we can find a way forward regarding the mobilisation of the community in putting up the infrastructure. The infrastructure is needed so that officers can operate in a conducive environment. So, I am with you, hon. Members. We need to provide leadership.


Mr Speaker, we are very much aware about the situation in Mufumbwe. We will continue discussing this matter with the area hon. Member of Parliament to see how he could supplement the efforts of the Commissioner for the North-Western Province of the Zambia Police Service in putting in place the new infrastructure, considering that some of the materials are already there.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Kamondo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister was actually here in November last year when the police post in Mufumbwe was gutted. He promised the people of Mufumbwe that a contractor would move on site to construct a new police post. I would also like to make him aware that Mufumbwe has never benefitted from the construction of an actual police facility. Mufumbwe District was actually established in 1978, which is forty years ago, but no police post has ever been constructed there. The one, which was gutted, was a house for the Buildings Department that police officers were using as a police post. At the moment, police officers operate under very difficult conditions under a mango tree. Does the hon. Minister not think this is a matter of urgency? After what he has said, can I go to his office immediately so that we actually start talking about this issue?


Mr Speaker: You mean now?




Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the passion that my dear colleague attached to this issue. Certainly, I cannot invite him to my office immediately. We will have to work on that. However, he has confirmed the earlier statement I made that we have had infrastructure deficits across the country under the Ministry of Home Affairs over a large number of years.


Sir, Mufumbwe was created as a district many years ago. This is a matter that we should recognise and appreciate. Back then, the situation was different from the way we are planning for districts now. When we declare a place a district, there is, at least, infrastructure that needs to be put in place in order for it to be operationalised. I am speaking from a well-informed position. Mufumbwe was established way back before Shiwang’andu was a district. However, Shiwang’andu was of course planned for and we have got these facilities, just like many other new districts.


Sir, all I am saying is that we are committed to infrastructure development. I know that the situation in his constituency is quite desperate which we need to brainstorm over. I was just giving an example of how we have been struggling to put up something in Mtendere where we had rundown infrastructure. After the hon. Member of Parliament for Munali Constituency went around, we sat down together to talk. She mobilised some resources from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and a few stakeholders also came on board. So, we are going to do the same for Mufumbwe.


Mr Speaker, I agree that I gave him the assurance the hon. Member earlier mentioned. However, we heard that the hon. Minister of Finance was very clear when she spoke of our economy being dynamic. When resources start flowing, the situation will not be the same. All things being equal, we should have been on the ground working on the new infrastructure but, of course, we have faced some challenges. This is why the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development told all of us to scale-down on new projects so that we ensure that all those projects that are above 80 per cent are completed. We can mobilise resources thereafter so that when we start new projects, they do not stall along the way. We should be able to start projects and get them running until completion. So, it is the Government’s policy that affected the assurance that I gave the hon. Member.


Nonetheless, like I have assured the hon. Member, we shall sit down together to see how Government expenditure can be supplemented in the North-Western Province in order to put up infrastructure suitable for officers to operate in.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Mr Speaker, we have some houses in Serenje which are at roof level. Recently, a contractor from AVIC International Company moved into Serenje to construct another fifty-four housing units. So, may the hon. Minister assure the people of Serenje Central …




Mr Kabanda: … when the housing units will be completed. Of course, I want to commend the hon. Minister for the massive housing infrastructure development which is being undertaken, particularly for police officers.


Mr Speaker: You know, for some of these issues, you can talk to the hon. Minister even just over a cup of tea. We cannot deal with that issue under Question No. 25. We are talking about Mufumbwe here.








(Debate resumed)


Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I wanted to say that now that the Vision 2030 has been resurrected, it is time …


Mrs Kabanshi entered the Assembly Chamber.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Lungwangwa: … to remind our colleagues in the Executive that when the Patriotic Front (PF) came into power in 2011, there were a number of programmes in place. We had programmes for rural electrification under the Rural Electrification Authority (REA), infrastructure development for national airports, water and sanitation, …




Prof. Lungwangwa: … and many other programmes. We also had the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and a rural roads programme. We even had a programme, which started many years ago in 1996, through the policy on science and technology. Of course, we had the Social Cash Transfer Scheme, which was very credibly executed. Therefore, our colleagues in the Executive should have systematically managed these programmes because they could have assisted in launching the country towards the attainment of the Vision 2030. The misfortune, however, has been that these programmes have been managed with a lot of politics. For example, the Social Cash Transfer Scheme has been politicised. People have been told that if they do not vote for the Ruling Party, they are not going to benefit from this scheme. That is wrong and is against the national values in our amended Constitution of 2016. So, the advice to our colleagues is that they should do things more systematically for the good of the country.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Sir, I would like to welcome the new hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare and also acknowledge the immediate past hon. Minister for the same ministry who just came in.


Sir, I will make quick comments on the President’s Speech which was delivered on the 14th of September, 2018. I made some quick comparisons between the speech that the President delivered a year ago, and the one he delivered this year. One thing I picked that is critical, was the disconnection between the two speeches. In 2017, the theme of the President’s Speech had to do with not leaving anyone behind. The theme for the President’s Speech this year has to do with working together to achieve the Vision 2030, which is only in twelve years’ time. I am sure those who are lucky will still be among the living. However, I am worried in the sense that a very meaningful segment of the President’s Speech on page 23 now appears to be untrue. This is the one to do with the Social Cash Transfer Scheme, and the donors withdrawing their aid to this country. So, one can ask oneself the question: What else is untrue in this particular speech?


Sir, I suspect that there is an issue which seemed to have agitated the President. I am sure everyone saw that the President was a little agitated when he spoke about his friendship with the people of the Republic of China. What I picked clearly from the debates that followed the President’s Speech is that there seems to be the thinking that the time of Chairman Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, is exactly the same as the time of Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping or whatever his name is. I think we should agree that the ruling party in China called the Communist Party of China (CPC) may have to revisit the nomenclature which is attached to the name of the country because to me, it is no longer a communist country. There lies the difference between the China of the past and the present day one. This point is for those who argued that the Chinese helped us to build the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA). China did that because it was a communist country at that time. Their philosophy then was communism. Today, we have the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) International. We should know that AVIC International and China Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic and Technical Co-operation are parastatal companies in China operating outside Chinese soil. They bring their people to get employed in this country, and then you come and say we have a bilateral understanding which is based on mutual respect. Give me just two names of Zambians who have gone to work in Guangzhou or Beijing so that we can qualify what the President said that we have a mutual relationship. I put it to you that there is nothing mutual about the relationship the President spoke about. It is a one-sided relationship.


Sir, the difference with this Chinese funding, as I understand it from where I stand, is that when they give you money, they give you the condition that you employ their people, which is a bit different from how our colleagues, say in Rwanda, do things with other countries. There is a mutual relationship between Rwanda and Germany because the company Volkswagen has established a plant in Rwanda and has employed Rwandese. Tell me now how we can boast in Zambia about having a mutual relationship with China? I repeat, the President appeared agitated when he said that we cannot tell the Government who to be friends with as if the country belongs to him alone. It is clear in my mind that that agitation the President showed had some connotation. There was something that was bothering him. If the relationship with China was mutual, I am sure he would have had a better disposition. He would have been calm or relaxed. I have never seen the President so agitated ...


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Nkombo: ... about emphasising a friendship which is lopsided. It reminded me of an artist who I thought was just a common Kaonde musician called Keith Mlevu. Keith Mlevu sang a song called ‘butungwa’. In that song called ‘ubutungwa’, ...


Ms Mulenga: Ubutungwa!


Mr Nkombo: Whatever.




Mr Nkombo: In that song, Keith Mlevu gave a warning that we buteko, which means the Government, must be careful with ba mwisa, who are visitors who come with a lot of money. He sung we buteko uchenjele pali ba mwisa nga baisa ne impiya ishingi bala onaula icalo. This is how I see the Chinese.


Mr Speaker: You have to translate that.


Mr Nkombo: I am about to translate it. I am experienced enough. I am about to translate what I have just said. It says: The Government must be careful with visitors because if the country is sold, it is going to be destroyed. That is what it means.


Sir, we have people who are voiceless in this country. The people who are trading in the streets to try and make a living are running battles with the police everyday at 1800 hours. I have experienced police running battles with the boys who are trying to make a living from selling a belt, tomatoes and other things. Why have the vendors run away from the marketplaces to sell tomatoes in the streets? It is because the best friend of the Patriotic Front (PF), the ‘Chinaman’, has taken over Soweto Market. He is selling tomatoes.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: It is because the best friend of the PF, the ‘Chinaman’, is the one selling broiler chickens at Soweto Market. The market space for the ordinary Zambian who runs a small outfit of hundred chickens has been closed out of the trading space because the Chinaman has now come with his technology of making a day old chick ripe for eating after four weeks. What I knew as I was growing up is that a broiler chicken takes at least six weeks to be ready to be put on a dinner table. The mutual friends of the PF and President Edgar Lungu have come with new technology which enables a day old chick to be ready for consumption in three weeks. I do not know whether they inoculate them for them to be ready in that space of time. There are far reaching implications of this situation. Why has there been a high prevalence of cancer, for instance? It is because of the things that we eat. We have chickens whose growth is enhanced through the use of oil from rubber in certain parts of the world. I am sure you were there in this Parliament, Mr Speaker, when I brought a dressed chicken here to complain about this issue. I brought a dressed chicken from Game Stores here to try and tell the PF, which does not listen, not to allow the ‘Chinaman’ to take over Soweto Market as well as the selling of chickens to Game Stores and Shoprite. Then, we say that we have sovereignty, and that we are proud and free. The answer is that we are not.


Sir, the speech did not inspire any confidence in me, at least. 


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Nkombo: It did not give me any hope.


Mr Speaker: Give me a minute, hon. Member for Mazabuka Central. I think I counselled the House yesterday. I do not have to repeat myself. There is no need to be agitated. You will respond at an appropriate juncture.


Continue, hon. Member.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, the agitation is synonymous with the way the President conducted himself that day –


Mr Speaker: No, just continue with your debate.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, the President is being let down by the people on your right hand side. After having been independent for almost fifty-four years, Zambia should have taken off. Here we are, with a President who was given a document to read, and there was no intelligence to tell him that in the Social Cash Transfer Scheme, things are wrong. No one was there to tell him. So, my message to the President is that one cannot hang around with chickens and expect to soar like an eagle. For as long as the chickens you are with – It is an adage.




Mr Nkombo: If you continue to hang around with chickens, you will never fly like an eagle.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: There is an adage that goes: “Show me your friend, I will tell you your character.” This country is not going to fly with the attitude of people not wanting to listen. So, now, whose call is it?


Sir, the President also said that he was happy that there was a boy who was now an entrepreneur, who did not need a job. I saw a sad video of a student from the University of Zambia (UNZA), which is under 1 km from here, torching his certificate and saying in Bemba, “Nala chi ocha fye ici because tachakwata incito.”  What that means is: “I will just burn this paper because it has not paid me any dividends.” After it finished with the issue of the tax on boreholes, the PF Government came up with tax on the internet. Now, it has turned its arsenals on former university students by saying that they must pay back the money that the Government used to educate them. The former student wondered why he was expected to pay the money back when they had not given him a job. I am very sure in my mind that this may be the same boy whom the President was referring to when he said that there is a boy who is an entrepreneur who is now working for himself. What that means is that he does not need a certificate because he has already broken through. What does that tell you about the value of education in this country? It is the duty of any Government to create jobs. The President said in one instance that 1000 jobs were created and, then, in another 6,000 jobs in a population of 16 million people. You do the mathematics and tell me what the percentage for passing or failing is. It is less than 1 per cent. This is the PF for you. What you see is what you get.


Mr Speaker, the Zambians were listening to the President’s Speech. They told me that there is too much maladministration of public affairs in the PF. Today, I am not ashamed to say that the hon. Minister of Finance came with a statement about the country’s indebtedness. When I sit and think, I find it difficult to believe her statement. My perception is anchored around what the President said. Hon. Mwiimbu raised a point of order that Her Honour the Vice-President must help us to harmonise the statement made by the President on the status quo that has caused Ireland, the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (SIDA) and the British Government to withdraw support to Zambia.


Sir, do not forget that the donors withdrew their support based on the statement that the President made. The President said that all was alright. If I was the President and the people who are providing part of the funding withdrew their support, I would be extremely worried. Therefore, many of his statements from page 1 of the speech, which the President was reading in a very agitated manner, all the way to page 50 need a forensic check. We must do this word for word and establish whether what the President said is true. That is not nice because what a Head of State says must be respected. It is supposed to be stately. Now, barely three days after he delivers a speech to this House, we are greeted with screaming headlines, not only on social media but also on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BCC) outlets. The headlines are stating how this one has withdrawn and how this one has retreated. You, therefore, start thinking to yourself and saying nichani apa? What is this? What is happening?




Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, we will debate this speech based on the literal context in which the President delivered it. This policy statement should feed into the Budget which the same hon. Minister is going to bring to this House in a few days’ time. How are we going to believe her when she starts giving us figures about the Social Cash Transfer Scheme? The Social Cash Transfer Scheme provides social security to citizens who are less privileged. We are going to ask questions such as how much money has been put in the Food Security Pack (FSP). The President spoke about the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System. He also spoke about the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). It is a defective system. There is no contest with the fact that the way the Government has been running the FISP is wrong. You cannot embark on a journey to Livingstone and say nizapitila pa Chisamba. You are on a wrong trajectory.




Mr Nkombo: Sir, to go to Livingstone, you must first see the Shimabala Tollgate and Kafue. Then, you will know that you are on the right track. You cannot hang around chickens and expect to soar like an eagle. As a matter of fact, the Zambians are tired of the PF. They are extremely tired. They are tired of these by-elections which the PF has been causing which, in my view, would have circumvented many unfortunate things that have happened to us as a nation, including the loss of our colleague, who used to sit here (pointing at late Hon. Mwene’s empty seat). These are unnecessary by-elections. Read my lips. This is what I am talking about. These are unnecessary by-elections caused by people who are taking money from where we do not know, to pay people like it is Timbuktu. The money is being used to pay individuals to change their allegiance, and in the process, we had an unnecessary funeral. The death of our colleague will not be in vain. Someone is going to pay the price.


Mr Speaker, I just want to offer some advice to my friends here. They should stop buying people. People cannot be for sale. I am sure that the President probably does not know about this buying thing, but my mother, Her Honour the Vice-President is here. We met during a by-election in Mabili Ward in Luena in Mongu where we beat the living daylight out of the PF in an election to teach them a lesson.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, could you, please, draw the nexus between the President’s Speech and what you are debating now.


Mr Nkombo: Sir, I will draw the nexus. I will do my best in a very short time. All these things that I am talking about stem from expenditure which defines how our economy is running. I am talking about unnecessary by-elections which are part of governance. The President spoke about how well the PF is governing us. That is what he said, and so, that is the connection I am making. However, we beat the living daylight out of the PF in Mabili, its home ground. We beat the living daylight out of Mufumbwe where the PF caused a death. The Zambian people have advised me to tell the PF that time for it to leave is near.


Ms Kapata: Yaba!


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: Sir, the Zambian people, –




Mr Nkombo: Excuse me. The Zambian people have also advised me to tell the PF, ...




Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Nkombo: ... that when the time to leave comes, it should not forget to go. I will repeat what I have said for the benefit of those who have not heard. The Zambians are tired and fed up of the PF.


Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: They have advised me to tell the PF that it must leave. It will leave through a ballot.


Ms Kapata: Chilanga!


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, the message is that when the time comes for the PF to leave, it should not forget to go because everything that goes up must inevitably come down.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: Sir, there is still time for the PF to redeem itself.




Mr Speaker: Order on the right!


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I would not say that the PF Members as a group are totally bad people. There may be a few, ...


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, do not go into debating individuals. We do not debate individuals.


Mr Nkombo: Sir, there may be a few who may not be advising the President correctly. That is why I said that there is no way under the sun that you can be playing with chickens every day, then, tomorrow, you think you can soar like an eagle. This country deserves better than the PF.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: Sir, this is a settled agreement. I am not a prophet. However, I am simply saying from my political spectacles, that the PF has been told that it can fool people sometimes, but not all the time. Its day of reckoning will come. Thinking that just because you get along with President Xi JinPing and you won by 50 per cent plus, you can now just force the other 49.9 per cent to say we are going a particular direction is casualising a nation. The day of reckoning is soon.


Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to advise my colleagues, including my mother, ...


Mr Speaker: Order!


Here, she is Her Honour the Vice-President.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nkombo: ... Her Honour the Vice-President. The PF should stop these by-elections. Lets us look at developing this country. It can be developed even without declaring Zambia Timbuktu. It can be developed even without declaring Zambia Ing’ombe Ilede, where people bought people. The PF has removed the dignity in human beings by offering them small amounts of money which finishes overnight. In Tonga, we say, ahula mabi which means that he who has not picked from the little that I have said will never pick anything. Epo mpelele. This is where I end. I am sure someone has heard.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to analyse the President’s Speech.


Sir, from the outset, I have noticed that Zambia is developing a culture of being academic. We make speeches, but we do not face reality. The President’s Speech touched on a number of very critical issues. Theoretically, it was a very good speech but, practically, the people of the North-Western Province and of Ikeleng’i have nothing to talk about in this speech.


Mr Mwamba: Ah, iwe!


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, in previous speeches, we heard about road infrastructure that connects other provinces like the Western Province to the North-Western Province. These have continued to feature in speeches.


Sir, on page 3, we find the title of the speech, which is “Working Together to Achieve Vision 2030”. Vision 2030 was the design of the late President Mwanawasa. May his soul rest in peace. From the time it was released, every President’s Speech and Budget Speech was supposed to buy into the Vision 2030. Whatever we said and did was supposed to be in line with the Vision 2030. President Mwanawasa was transparent and accountable and, indeed, the economy was moving towards the achievement of the Vision 2030.


Mr Speaker, I got attracted when I heard the President talking about us having to work together to achieve Vision 2030, but is that the truth on the ground? There is a lot of division in this country. We have seen arrests of people who belong to the Opposition. We have seen people being removed from the Civil Service because they come from the North-Western Province and Western Province.




Mr Muchima: These are issues that are dividing this country. This country needs unity. These are the issues which the speech is supposed to be addressing.




Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, you are addressing me.




Mr Muchima: The President’s Speech is supposed to be accounting for issues that are affecting the people of Zambia.


Sir, the other day, I was listening to the Prime Minister of Israel talking about how they recycle water and even account for the water that goes to each plant. I expected the President’s Speech to account for the life of every Zambian citizen. Does each citizen have food on their table? Is there infrastructure in place? That is what is supposed to be done, but the Government is not doing that. The Government has made lots of promises and launched certain programmes which are only active during campaigns.


Mr Speaker, when Her Honour the Vice-President visited the North-Western Province, I heard her say that hon. Members of Parliament do not even know her office. However, when you call some of the hon. Ministers here –


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, just be mindful about our rules on debating ourselves. We are not allowed to do certain things.


Mr Muchima: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Much obliged.


Sir, I am saying that we need to be accountable, transparent and responsible. We should mean every statement we make. There are several promises that are made and people who are bought off during campaigns when this country needs every ngwee for the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). I do not know where the Patriotic Front (PF) is getting its money. I have not heard of a mine owned by the PF. The PF was a very poor party in the Opposition, but from nowhere it has become the richest.




Mr Muchima: Even a ward chairman can go around promising to give people K50,000 for favours while here in Parliament the Government cannot release the CDF which is enshrined in the Constitution. Where are they getting the money to induce by-elections?


Mr Mbangweta: What a shame!


Mr Muchima: They should be responsible. We need money for schools. I need money for Jimbe Road, which the Government launched a long time ago but, to date, nothing is happening.


Mr Mwamba interjected.


Mr Muchima: I need a cannery in the province.


Sir, the North-Western Province should be one of the top priorities of this speech because that is where the money is coming from.


Hon. Government Members: Question! 


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: However, the North-Western Province is missing from this speech. That is where all the great mines are. The Government must be grateful and give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.


Mr Kambita: Very poor province.


Mr Muchima: The Government must be mindful. This speech should address the poverty levels of people in the rural areas. On one side, the Ministry of Finance has no money while on the other hand the Government is lavishly inducing by-elections. They move with handbags of money, buying people mealie-meal everywhere and even corrupting some chiefs. The President talked about corruption, yet we see policemen campaigning for the PF when they are supposed to be responsible for the protection of every citizen. This is why corruption in this country cannot be fought.


Sir, yesterday, I listened to debates on China. My colleague from the other side was talking about the railway line. Indeed, we have had good relations with China from time immemorial, especially for some of us who have been on earth for some time. Former President Kaunda had a good bilateral relationship with China. He kept the Chinese in the sitting room, but this Government has allowed the Chinese to enter the bedroom.


Mr Speaker, I was at the airport the other day where I saw more Chinese coming in than those going out. I have not heard of a burial of a Chinese here. Do they not die? I have not seen them at any hospital. Where are they going? What is happening?




Mr Muchima: We need a census. We need to know where all the Chinese who are coming into Zambia are. We must be careful with what is happening in this country.


Mr Speaker, President Kaunda brought in the Chinese to work on the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) railway line, but they did not take up positions for the Zambians. There was integrity. The Zambians still maintained their good place but, today, if you go in the market, you will find the Chinese.


Mr Sing’ombe: Na police uniform.




Hon. Opposition Members: Taxi drivers.


Mr Muchima: They are even taxi drivers. You find the Chinese in every corner. The way they are treating our people is what is even annoying us more. We cannot get money from them and, then, become beggars. I would rather we remain poor and let them keep their money. Zambia is for Zambians. The Zambians should be proud even when they are poor.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: We should not sell this country because of poverty levels. Never!


Hon. Opposition Member: We can solve our own problems.


  Mr Muchima: We can solve our own problems.


Sir, we went to school without shoes, yet here we are in Parliament. We can manage to live without the Chinese.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: They are our friends, but there should be integrity in the way they deal with this country.


Mr Speaker, a Chinese person does not go to an automated teller machine (ATM). If they have cheap money, then, let them open banks with lower interest rates. The President was talking about interest rates. Zambia has very high interest rates. That is why they are bringing in money and buying bonds because they are getting money out of Zambia at the expense of the Zambians. Meanwhile, in the North-western Province and Ikeleng’i –


Mr Speaker, I am lucky that there are a few ministries where I can walk into and be attended to. However, in most ministries, it is impossible to be attended to. Permanent Secretaries (PSs) have become very arrogant and political. They have become cadres. Some police officers have equally become cadres. These are the issues which the President is supposed to be addressing.


Mr Speaker, we need unity in this country. Let us leave the policeman alone to look at law and order. Leave the teacher alone to teach. Each person in his own heart has a preferred political party, but these people have divided them. When you are a Hamazoka Hakuti, you are automatically believed to belong to the United Party for National Development (UPND). You have to lose your job. There is intimidation every day.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. PF Members: Question!


Mr Muchima: If you do not do certain things, then, you are fired. They are intimidating civil servants. They cannot even work freely. Wait for 2021. They will see. They will turn against them. Be careful and manage the people in accordance with their professions. Let us separate politics from governance. Let good corporate governance be the way. Politics are for us in here. Leave the offices to be run in a professional manner. We should not have a situation whereby when Muchima from the Opposition calls on an office, people are afraid to talk to him because they are threatened with dismissal. This is not good governance at all.


Mr Speaker, the 2030 Vision of President Mwanawasa, may his soul rest in peace, meant something else, and we would have been somewhere else today had we followed it critically.


Mr Speaker, how could the CDF be an under-the-table issue?




Mr Muchima: You are giving some people without others knowing.


Hon. UPND Members: Yes!


Mr Muchima: Some hon. Members of Parliament received the full disbursement of the CDF for last year. Again, there are just some who have been given, yet we, on this side, have not heard anything. This is Government money. There is a need for transparency.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Yes, we know that they want to seal off the mouths of certain people. When the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) was in Government, it used to give the CDF to everyone, including those who were in the Patriotic Front (PF).


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: Everything was shared equally that time but, today, everything is done under-the-table. This is the corruption that we are talking about. They have to be open. This money is not meant for them. It is meant for all of us. It is taxpayers’ money. Let us wake up and recognise ourselves. Let us govern ourselves in a good manner. They are making a white man laugh at the fact that a black person cannot manage his own affairs.


Mr Sing’ombe: Consult Hon. Mwale.


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I like the way that Parliament operates. If all offices operated like Parliament where there is no colour or tribe, there would have been very good governance.


The PF took the MMD out of office because it thought it was doing less service to the people, but it is doing more damage to the people of Zambia. It must change its culture. It must change its attitude. It is there to provide a good service.


Mr Speaker, I wanted the President’s Speech to focus on reality. We needed it to have an impact. We need more visits. We should not only see our Vice-President during the campaigns, No. We need her now so that she can see the bridges that have been washed away, the classrooms and the teachers.


Mr Speaker, the President talked about recruitments. We want all the teachers that have been trained to be recruited. Give the very hardworking hon. Minister of General Education money to recruit all the teachers. Give the Ministry of Health money to recruit all the nurses. This is what we want to hear.


The Ikeleng’i Road must be completed.


Mr Speaker, they should stop this system of their cadres inducing our cardres every day. We have neither the time nor the money. This is not democracy. They should appreciate who has won and live with it. They are busy offering jobs. Why can they not give the jobs to anybody else or to the graduates who are on the streets instead of inducing a ka councillor in Ikeleng’i by promising to send him/her to a foreign mission and what have you? What a shame!


Hon. UPND Members: Shame!


Mr Muchima: You have no money to give us here, but you have money to induce a councillor. You should start with me. I will give you my demands.




Mr Muchima: You will see if you can manage me. I will chew your money and run away.




Mr Muchima: You will not manage me. I am a tough man.




Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, now you are debating yourselves.




Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, let us move from one step to another. Let us build on what was already built. We moved from the era of the United National Independence Party (UNIP). There was a limitation in the scope of doing things. We came to the MMD era and, at least, benefited something. The PF was expected to be a more polished Government. We should have been very proud people as we walked in this country. It was going to be difficult even to challenge them, but they are leaving a lot of holes.


 Mr Speaker, even if they are boasting in the speech that they are doing this and that, I will tell them that there is a lot of misery. Lusaka is gone. The Copperbelt is gone. People are not happy with them at all. They are becoming richer and richer whilst the poor are becoming poorer.


Mr Speaker, we want reality. We need to take account of the speeches that have been made here and realign them with the Vision 2030. What have they achieved? What have they brought to the people of Zambia? What are the expectations of the people of Zambia? We must take account.


Mr Speaker, I was in Chadiza and Lundazi. Some backbenchers talk about massive development, but I was there and I have seen what is happening. I was in Mpika and I saw water which was being shared between animals and the people. Is that what people want? You express pride here about the road infrastructure and what not. Is that what people want? Can you educate a person using the road. Come on!




Muchima: Let us be serious. You have your children abroad, but a poor person in the village in Siavonga ...


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, do not debate your colleagues.


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I withdraw. This mouth is –




Mr Muchima: Let me control it.




Mr Speaker: Maybe, you are done.


Mr Muchima: No, Sir. Let me just say one more thing. Bane – 


Mr Speaker: No, you cannot use that language again.


Mr Muchima: I am sorry, Sir, I withdraw what I said. We beg the colleagues in the PF to get back to the drawing table. The people of Zambia need governance that can be appreciated. We need the little resources through the CDF. We need the people to be accountable. Anybody who tampers with Government resources should be arrested.


Mr Speaker, they should also apply the law equally. During their tenure of office, we have seen more UPND members being arrested. When a member of the UPND goes and lodges a complaint at a police station, no action is taken.


Hon. UPND Member: Only Ngulube!


Mr Muchima: However, when a member of the PF reports anybody or anything, there is serious action and the police are on it. This is not the governance that we need in this country. In the past, illiteracy levels were high but, this time, we have moved a step. Let us move in the direction that shall be appreciated and accepted by the people of Zambia.


Mr Speaker, I should thank you very much for being kind enough to allow me to beg my colleagues to be upright.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me this rare opportunity to debate the President’s Speech. In line with our rules, I will be very relevant and brief.


Mr Speaker, I have heard the debates by my brothers who have already tackled some of the issues, but I just want to simplify a few points. The first one is that let us not demonise China because the hon. Minister of Finance has clarified the issues relating to China. Those who had an opportunity to debate have clarified our issues.


Mr Speaker, there is no country in this world that is like China. China has helped Zambia in many ways. The President stated in his speech that we will continue with our relationship with China, and all those who are against it should pick their battles and take them elsewhere.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Currently, if you drive around Lusaka, you will see all these beautiful tarred roads. We cannot take this away from China. You can see all the infrastructure that is coming up. It is important to give accolades. Let us give credit where it is due. Propaganda will not develop this country. No matter how much the international media demonises Zambia we, as the Zambians should not be seen to be in the forefront of propagating hate speech against our own country. If you have evidence, for example, that this country has been sold, bring the evidence to the table. Do not just stand up and claim that Zambia, the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) and Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) have been sold. Let us be objective. Let us also make sure that we are factual in our debate for we are scaring away investors.


Mr Mwiinga: Let them go!


Mr Ngulube: I wish to quote what the President stated which is:


“We shall choose our own friends on our own terms and that does not mean appeasing anyone with unjustified enmity with others.”


Mrs Simukoko: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: It is very true that if there is anything that we should do right now, it is to thank the President for that stance. The whole world is rushing to China. There is no country that is like China at the moment. You can travel throughout Europe, you will never see a country like China. The Chinese are here to develop Zambia. We can slow them down by giving them our laws and telling them not to bring labourers, but use our own labour. They can still do it.


Mr Speaker, allow me to …


Hon. Opposition Members: Finally!


Mr Ngulube: … speak about the Social Cash Transfer Scheme. I am aware that some people are celebrating that the funding has been withdrawn.


Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!


Mr Ngulube: It is on the Floor of this House that some people were dancing.




Mr Ngulube: Let us be factual. The withdrawal of donor support for the Social Cash Transfer Scheme should be everybody’s funeral. All of us in this House must actually be sorry that this has happened.




Mr Ngulube: We will not allow …


Mr Speaker: Order on the left.


Mr Ngulube: … people to celebrate the withdrawal of the funding for the Social Cash Transfer Scheme.

Hon PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Let those who are celebrating know that the electorate out there are waiting.


Mr Jamba: For what?


Mr Ngulube: When you go for campaigns, you make promises and when you come to this Chamber, −




Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kabwe Central, kindly resume your seat.




Mr Speaker: Hon. Members on the left ...




Mr Speaker: ... there is no need for this kind of conduct.


Let him say what he has to say.


You want him to change his opinion?




Dr Malama: Alelanda, mulemukanya.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kabwe Central, you may continue with your debate.


Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, the President, in his speech, also referred to the fact that:


“Clean and safe drinking water is an essential part of human development. Hence, we have targeted to increase access to clean and safe drinking water from the current 65 per cent to 85 per cent ...”


Mr Speaker, allow me to speak on behalf of the people of Kabwe Central now. Those of us who are serviced by Lukanga Water and Sewerage would love to see more Government support to this company. In line with the President’s directive, we are pleading with you, hon. Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection – I do not know whether you are listening sir, but I assume you are.




Mr Ngulube: If you are listening, Sir, visit Lukanga Water and Sewerage Company and see to it that the company is given the necessary support. Ninety per cent of the people in Kabwe today cannot accessing water because the company is failing to repair a pump.


Hon. UPND Members: Ah!


Mr Ngulube: Let us implement these policies. The Government has given a pronouncement and the President has spoken. So, hon. Minister, this needs your attention.


Mr Michelo: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Let us call a spade a spade. I am also aware …


Mr Chabi: Hammer them!


Mr Ngulube: … that some prophets of doom…


Mrs Simukoko: Yes!


Mr Ngulube: … have been castigating the Government for each and everything that it does.


Mr Michelo: Question!


Mr Ngulube: It is the same people who are crying that they want the Monze/Mazabuka Road or Mazabuka/Kafue Road to be done, yet they do not want Chinese support. I want to find out how we are going to work on the roads without any donor funding? The Opposition is accusing the Government of being broke, yet it wants it to deliver a road. So, can we be positive in our approach. This is because you only want to see Government support when it suits you.


Mrs Simukoko: Yes!


Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, this House must raise its levels of debate.


Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: We must never allow the propaganda I have seen on international media to be called facts brought to this House and people claiming that is what has happened. I want to speak on behalf of my colleagues on Mr Speaker’s right hand side that we will not allow any propaganda to tarnish the image of this country.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: I also want to speak on my own behalf.




Mr Ngulube: Those of us who are going to debate the President’s Speech …




Mr Ngulube: … must make sure that we debate the content and also things on the ground.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Nowhere in the world has any Government sold itself or its assets because it owes another country. So, let us correct the impression that Zambia and the airport have been sold. How can Kenneth Kaunda International Airport be sold?


Mr Michelo: Why not?


Mr Ngulube: It is not possible that a building that is still under construction can be sold. So, for those who do not read, let us research and come to this House to add value. We are not here to entertain ourselves. Whatever we do in this House should be serious business.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: For those who are thinking that rumour mongering and hate speech would develop this country, I want to state, as I conclude, that no matter how many rumours you develop, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government will continue rendering development to the people.


Mr Lusambo: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: The PF Government will continue winning elections.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: The PF Government will continue being the people’s favourite.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiinga talking.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kabwe Central, just wait.


Hon. Mwiinga, you are Hon. Mwiinga is it not?




Mr Ngulube: They do not even know you.




Mr Speaker: Just watch yourself.


Mr Mwale: Azionele!


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kabwe Central, conclude your debate.


Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, in my conclusion, I want to repeat myself by stating that the PF Government is providing practical solutions to the people of Zambia. In its manifesto, the PF has ensured that it gives the people practical solutions. That is why it will continue being the people’s favourite. The PF will continue winning each and every election that comes. To our brothers who always see the negative in what the Government does, we want to say that from now on, let us rise and become one House. Let us build this country by being very positive about what we say about it. Let us also say the truth and never mislead this nation using this House as a platform.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to debate the speech of the President. I think this speech is not adding up.


Hon UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: Having gone through this speech, I was reminded of what happened when I was a boy of about twelve or thirteen years old and was living in what is now Chirundu Parliamentary Constituency. There came a witch finder called Sansakuwa.




Mr Belemu: What I recall from that incident is that he would sing and dance to a song called sombo malilo.


Mr Sing’ombe: Ehe!


Mr Belemu: As he did so, he would be telling his audience about the impending bad news. That is the bad situation that was about to occur. Having gone through this speech, Sir, I can say that it looks like sombo malilo for PF.




Mr Belemu: A party that came into power on the platform that within ninety days it was going to transform this nation. From nowhere, it has now turned round to start talking about 2030.




Mr Belemu: 2030 is twelve years from now or more. In the meantime, whatever they are doing is not leading us to 2030 −


Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1810 hours to 1840 hours.


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was saying that the President’s Speech is very strange because there are issues that are not adding up which I will be elucidating as I proceed with my debate.


Sir, I began by saying that it is very strange for a party that came into power on the platform of transforming this nation in ninety days to turn round and talk about 2030 which is twelve years from now. If that is going to be possible, what they are doing today and tomorrow should be correlating and should be leading us somehow to 2030. Their plans, activities and programmes must be saying so. As we speak today, there is no relationship with what they are doing, yet they are telling us that in 2030, there will be a glorious land somewhere in Zambia. For example, not too long ago, we were talking about the debt situation and we were told that some of the payments are due around 2022. That in itself should tell you that there is a problem on the road to 2030. How are we going to get to 2030 if, as my colleagues have debated, the small businesses have been taken over by the Chinese?  Land and factors of production are going into the hands of the Chinese. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government came into power on the platform of more money in people’s pockets and lower taxes. What is the connection between 2030, which they are talking about, the ninety days and where we are today? Looking at the tax component on its own, be it at household, individual or corporate level, there is no relationship.


Mr Kampyongo: Aah!


Mr Belemu: There is no relationship because the Government has burdened the Zambians with taxes. You cannot say ‘Aah!’ when the taxes are increasing, yet you had said there would be more money in people’s pockets and lower taxes.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Mbabala, …


Mr Belemu: Yes, Sir.


Mr Speaker: … do not engage the people across.


Mr Belemu: There is a list of taxes, fees and other chargeable costs on citizens and companies, including small-scale enterprises. Let us see if there is a relationship between these charges and having a glorious land in Zambia in 2030. As the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central said, when one is going to Livingstone, it must look like that is where he is going. As things stand today, there is no indication that we are going to the land which will be glorious that they are talking about today.


Mr Speaker, what the President said in paragraph 120 is even more disappointing. He seems to be telling us that the Zambians will have good water, education and agriculture, but only in 2030. They will have good health facilities but, in the meantime, they must get sick and die. However, in 2030, they will be alive. How will this happen when people are dying? He is telling us that there will be employment and, in the meantime everyone who is not employed today must wait for 2030. That is a contradiction. That is why I am saying that in the President’s Speech there is something that is not adding up. If one had a child today, that child will be 12 years in 2030. He/she will need medical care and other things and, probably, by that time he/she will be in school. If these facilities are not there today, how sure are we that what they are talking about is adding up with what they are doing on the ground?


Sir, let me talk about the sectors. For the sake of context, I will recite exactly what the President said in paragraph 49:


“In the tourism sector, Zambia has the potential to be a tourism hub in the region and beyond. It is in this regard that the Government has put priority on creating an enabling environment for tourism sector growth. In 2017, the sector grew by 6.1 per cent compared to 1.2 per cent in 2016.”


Mr Speaker, what is it that the President is talking about here which grew? What does he mean when he said the sector grew? Is it the international arrivals which grew? We all know that international arrivals include the cross border traders at Mukambo and elsewhere. Is he talking about domestic tourism? We know that in Zambia, we do not have the capacity to measure domestic tourism. Is it the levels of investment? However, are we able to measure the committed investment in the sector on the ground? Therefore, what did the President measure which made him believe that the sector had grown? We all know that in Zambia, as of today, there is no tool which can measure the growth of tourism. It is a fact. So, what was the President measuring which made him believe that there was 6.2 per cent growth? That is why I am saying that there is a problem and things are not adding up. When one says a sector has grown, what are they talking about? One cannot say a child has grown when its tummy bulges or its head grows. That is malnutrition and not growth. The tourism sector has not grown. It is shrinking. If they counted the cross border traders at Mukambo, Sakanya and other border posts as international tourists, they are feeding the country with falsehoods. There is no growth. They should give us the formula they used to calculate the growth of tourism. They will not find it anywhere not even at the Bank of Zambia (BoZ). It is not there. It does not exist.


Mr Livune: Hear, hear! Give us.


Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, paragraph 50 talks about the growth of medical tourism. Is the Government sure that medical tourism has grown in this country? Which facility do people from abroad go to in Zambia to constitute medical tourism?


Mr Nkombo: Mums clinic.


Mr Belemu: India can claim to have medical tourists because people go there for transplants and various ailments. Which hospital in Zambia do tourists come to for purposes of treatment? Maybe, witch-finders and traditional medicine, but even then how did they know?




Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, these products do not exist and the President said they are the reason for growth in tourism. That is why I said that things are not adding up. It was stated that the Government has put priority on creating an enabling environment, but various charges were introduced in 2016/2017. Looking at the various charges on a tourism product, at the end of the day one realises that this is actually discouraging and destroying tourism. There is even a new levy that was introduced on top of the training levy that already exists under education and other regular charges. The councils have also increased charges on products. So, in essence, the Government has shrunk the sector.


Mr Speaker, the Government should not forget about the extended fish ban in places like Lower Zambezi, Siavonga and Chirundu, which heavily rely on income flows from people who go there for fishing competitions. That business was destroyed and is no longer there. At the same time, they are saying some sectors have grown. What has been growing? It is good His Excellency the President acknowledged the declaration of the South Luangwa National Park as an international sustainable wildlife park. This is only one park. Is the Government checking on what is happening in the other parks?


Sir, within its policies, the Government has allowed investment away from tourism in the national parks. We have running battles in the Lower Zambezi National Park where the Government has allowed a mining company to go and mine there. As we speak today, there are running battles in the Sichifulo Game Management Area, where the Government has allowed people to settle. That has destroyed the product. All they are doing now is to celebrate the recognition of the South Luangwa National Park. What has the Government done in the last five to seven years which has demonstrated that it wants to create a conducive environment for investment in the sector? To the contrary, what the Government has done is the opposite because it is destroying the sector. It is only correct to say that there is something which is not adding up somewhere. We might be telling ourselves half truths and consoling each other that things are alright when they are not.


Mr Speaker, let me make a quick reference to the energy sector. We are saying that we want to be a net exporter of electricity. His Excellency the President mentioned in his speech that Zambia should be an exporter of electricity. If you look at his statistics, you will find out that only 31 per cent of the Zambians have access to electricity. So, how can a country become a net exporter when 31 per cent of its citizens are the only ones who have access to electricity while 69 do not? How are we going to export electricity? As we speak today, people are ‘crying’ for the Rural Electrification Programme (REP). Most schools do not have electricity. Even the schools, which are situated near the National Grid do not have access to electricity. Let me put matters into context here. A small unit producing 1 to 2 MW like the one in Shiwang’andu can be manufactured and commissioned in the range of US$1 to 2 million.


Sir, the money, which was spent on each fire tender that you see, would have been used to put up small hydropower stations in places, which have waterfalls like the whole of Luapula Province going into the North-Western Province, where there is water.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: Sir, small units like the one at Shiwang’andu could have been put up out of the cost of each one of the fire tenders which keep falling every day. The Government could light up small districts like Pemba with US$100,000 by using solar. That can be done. What is the situation today? The country cannot be a net exporter of electricity if the people along the grid do not even have electricity. We would have wanted to hear the correct mix. We could continue relying on hydropower when it is also possible to go solar in certain areas, especially that these days there is talk about wind-driven electricity. There is also the possibility of smaller units, which can light up districts using the old models such as thermal electricity. It is a pity that what we heard is not adding up to what we expected. This is why I am saying that there is a problem with the speech because it is sombo malilo.




Mr Speaker: Meaning what?


Mr Belemu: Sir, like I said, sombo malilo is the song which Sansakuwa used to sing back then before telling the people bad news. This is bad news. There is no good report here. These are bad tidings from the Patriotic Front (PF).




Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, they have even included petroleum mining in this speech, yet we all know that there is no such mining in Zambia. Where is it? What is the status of petroleum prospecting? Where are we mining petroleum?


Mr Sing’ombe: Sombo malilo!


Mr Belemu: Sir, we are still waiting for the cheaper petroleum products from Saudi Arabia. We do not know if the products are stuck somewhere.


Sir, my friends have emphasised infrastructure development which is taking place in selected areas. His Excellency the President said that the whole country will be catered for. Does Mbabala Parliamentary Constituency constitute the whole country? Is it part of the Barotseland? Maybe, we must declare ourselves independent if infrastructure development is taking place in the whole country when we cannot see it in Mbabala.


Mr Speaker, the Pemba/Mapanza Road Project almost reached the tendering stage. However, there is nothing going on for the past 5 to six years regarding the project. All the bridges in the area have been swept away as well as infrastructure for schools.


Mr Speaker, I have been saying in this House that if we were not honest enough to attract missionaries, there would have been no secondary school in Mbabala. The missionaries trusted us because we are honest people who do not abuse public resources.


Hon Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: We are not like others. We are different.




Mr Belemu: Sir, let me now turn to the e-Voucher System and agriculture. If it was in the days of Moses, what is happening would have attracted somebody to be stoned to death ...




 Mr Belemu: … in respect to the e-Voucher System. As we speak today, there are famers, who never got anything despite paying their contribution. So, what do they call that? A poor person raises a K400 but, at the end of the farming season, he/she is not given anything. What have they done to the poor person? I think we need the Robin Hood approach of starting to support poor people so that the rich can be disadvantaged. What we keep seeing is rich people always putting themselves at an advantage.


Sir, even when His Excellency the President is giving statistics that the Government’s success rate was at 80 per cent, are we aware that the remaining 20 per cent is for human beings  who have been ‘killed’? If a farmer cannot grow produce for a season or two consecutively and is part of the 20 per cent – Just imagine the number of coffins which would be carried if twenty hon. Members were killed.




Mr Belemu: So, these are farmers who are being destroyed. We are also told that the business for pigs grew by 84 per cent, poultry 33 per cent, and goats – where is that?




Mr Belemu: Sir, I do not want to talk about pigs very much because I am about to join the Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA). There are also … 


Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: … other animals.


Mr Speaker, we all know that there has never been a livestock census in this country. In which areas was the census conducted for us to be given percentages of growth? When talking about the sub-sector, maybe, it could have been that the number of pigs increased from 100 to 160, then, it was concluded that there was growth. What are the absolute figures if, indeed, a census was conducted? There is no one who can give us the absolute figures here. We pray that one day, somebody will come and give the complete figures.


Mr Speaker, may I conclude by saying that those in Government should listen to us because we are giving brotherly and friendly advice. This country is for us all. No single person should come to tell us that he can choose who the country can befriend.  We are not talking about personal friends here.


Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: I also have personal friends whom no one has a choice over. However, when I choose to make friends for the family, constituency or the country, I must be selective and should consult those who are affected by the friendship. We do not care about what happens in the privacy of that friendship. However, when public resources begin to change hands, I think that it is not correct to insist that other people should have no say on the friendship. This is our country. We must be involved in choosing who should be a friend of Zambia. It should not just be one, two, three or four individuals sitting in a corner, saying that a particular individual will be a friend to the country because he has got eyes like this.


Mr Belemu touched his eyes.




Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, I am ending on a very sad note. I come from a family with big eyes, Thus, I have a phobia for small eyes.


Mr Belemu touched his eyes again.




Mr Belemu: Sir, why can this Government not do something about the funds which are being withdrawn or withheld by donors to redeem this country? The money for the Social Cash Transfer Scheme is not the only funding which been withdrawn by the donors. I can give the details of another fund, which has been withdrawn. The German Government withdrew funds amounting to €3 million for water and sanitation from the Ministry of Local Government on account of poor accountability.


Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: Can you imagine what we would discover if we had to take stock of what is happening in other sectors. Did we need the donors to speak before we could take measures in order for us to put somebody on the bench? We are calling for a complete overhaul. There is a need for prosecution and a complete return of all the monies sourced from donors or locally which have been abused in this country.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.  


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!                   


Dr M. Malama: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I said it yesterday and I do not know whether I should be saying it every single day until next week that I will not allow points of order during this segment.




Mr Speaker: That is my position. Let us have some order. Every single year, at least that I have been here, these debates are emotive. They are characteristically emotive and, if I allow points of order, nobody will debate here. You know it very well, especially those of you who have been here long. You cannot debate at all because you will be interjecting each other. Each time somebody says something which is unpleasant, you, you will stop his/her debate. In the end, you will be limiting your own freedom of expression.


So, if you have any burning issue, you can even communicate to the Clerks-at-the-Table. I have told you that you can communicate that way. Your message will reach me but, certainly, I will not allow any points of order on the Floor.




Mr Speaker: Even if the House is on fire, there will be no points of order. If there is something pressing, however, the Clerks are here. They will help me. They can tell me that there is a fire outside, so we need to quench it or vacate, otherwise we will perish in here. Then, I will adjourn.




Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, may I begin by paying tribute to the late Hon. Mwene. I have had a lot of difficulties to accept his death due to a by-election that was not necessary. I strongly believe that if we did not have that by-election, maybe, my colleague and friend could have been here.


Mr Speaker, leadership demands integrity, a high moral code, good qualities, honesty and transparency. A society that is led by a group of leaders who have no vision perishes. This is exactly the situation Zambia is in now.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mung’andu: Question!


Mr Kamboni: I know other people do not want to hear a lot of information. However, they are going to hear it because we are very concerned about what is going on in the country. Currently, there is a very uncomfortable silence from the public, and that includes myself.


Mr Speaker, in the President’s Speech, there is talk of works at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) going on very well and about to finish. Percentages on how much work has been done were even highlighted. The Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) was also mentioned in the speech.


Mr Speaker, what surprises me is one thing, which is our national debt. It has been reported several times that our debt repayment programme is on course and all is well. In other words, we are not under stress and are doing fine. However, what should we think of a situation, whereby we are getting a loan to pay back another loan? What kind of economics is that? This is a sign that something is not right, but here we are not being told that something is wrong. You cannot pay a loan by getting another loan, like what has happened with this Government.




Mr Kamboni: Yes, the Government has borrowed to repay another loan. This means that those people who are insinuating that we are not fulfilling our debt obligations are right. If we have to borrow to pay another loan instead of using revenue collected from our taxes, then, something is seriously wrong. This is why people outside our country are very concerned and are saying that there are secret talks that are going on for the takeover of certain public institutions that are cardinal to this country, since we have failed to fulfill our debt requirements.


Mr Speaker, there are some hon. Members of Parliament right here who even said that it is alright to borrow senselessly. Some speakers yesterday were saying, “If I need roads, you should borrow and borrow at whatever expense. It does not matter.” This is not an attitude of good leadership. A good leader makes sure that the distribution of resources for the country is well planned so that they reach each and every individual, unlike the level of carelessness we have seen.


Mr Speaker, at the moment, how can we say that the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) is ours when 60 per cent shareholding belongs to foreigners?


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Kamboni: Even if you do not want to hear it, you are doing it. I am going to say it because we do not like it as citizens.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Kalomo Central, you do not debate that way. Those issues you are trying to manage are my business and not yours. I do not know how you will do it but, if you want to take over the control of the House, then, I will allow you to stop debate and see if you can manage the House instead.


Mr Kamboni: Mr Speaker, your guidance is well thought out. Even if they are denying it, it is true that 60 per cent shareholding of ZNBC is now owned by the Chinese and the Zambians only own 40 per cent of the company. Let us look at how this shareholding structure came about. What quality improvement did ZNBC get by giving up 60 per cent of the company’s shares to these people? There is nothing which has improved. The fact is if you have a house and somebody else owns 60 per cent of it, it is no longer your house. Therefore, ZNBC is now officially supposed to be called the Chinese Broadcasting Service because the Chinese are the majority shareholders.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni: This is a very sensitive sector. The new government that is coming in 2021 will have a lot of difficulties because the national broadcaster is a very important institution that should be guarded jealously by those who own it. A foreigner cannot go to China and own 60 per cent of the national broadcasting service. It is not possible, but in Zambia it has happened. In this regard, when some people say that we are failing to meet our debt obligations, they are right. There seem to be secret talks happening somewhere. When the Government got the loans from the Chinese, the public was not involved. This is unlike what happens with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). When we want to get a loan from the IMF, meetings are held between the IMF, our technocrats and other stakeholders to reach an agreeable conclusion for all parties involved. We are all briefed on what is going on.


Mr Speaker, with the Chinese loans, we just hear about them after the loans have been contracted. We do not know the truth. What we are told here is contradicting. What is said here must be true because this House deserves to be respected. For instance, someone will tell us here that fire tenders were insured for K250,000 each. The next day, the same person will come back to say that it was actually K1 million for each fire tender. What am I supposed to take from that? A cheap excuse when these people are challenged about such contradictions is to say that they have to go back and check the records.


Sir, it is such things that make the Zambians not to trust what is being said in here. This is because what comes out later is different. As somebody said, you cannot hide a pregnancy for forever. We will see that pregnancy grow very soon. We are very uncomfortable with the situation in the country and the message we are getting from the President’s Speech is not reassuring. I want to state that the KKIA should not be sold.




Mr Kamboni: I have not said it has been sold. It should not be sold or taken over by anybody. This airport is a very precious national asset. For security reasons, Zambia needs that airport. It must be 100 per cent owned by the Zambian people. There are issues which have not been mentioned in the President’s Speech such as the Natural Resources Development College (NRDC) being sold.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Kamboni: The Chimbokaila Prison has also been sold, but we have not been told about that in the speech.


Sir, we need to know what has happened to these properties because Government properties do not belong to the leadership of the Patriotic Front (PF). The PF found these properties, and one day, they will go away. Therefore, we all need to know the truth. The NRDC has been sold. We have not been briefed on what will happen further. These are the issues I expected to hear from the President’s Speech.


Mr Speaker, on the friendship with China, I do not think that when you are a leader, you should maintain a friendship at the expense of the country, your citizens not getting employment or selling Government properties. That is not friendship. The Chinese have not come here for friendship. There is no free lunch. The Chinese have come here to make money and, indeed, they are doing that. We need to check them. They have come here strictly for business. They are running the mines. Now, they have taken over ZNBC. We are hearing rumours which will become true at some point. Maybe the KKIA and ZESCO will be affected if we fail to pay the loan obligation. My question to the PF is: When are they going to stop borrowing? I have asked this question before and I have never gotten an answer. This borrowing has reached a level where we are selling  strategic institutions of the Government.


Mr Speaker, the people in my district, Kalomo District, expected to hear something which is not in this speech. Over 40,000 people in Dundumwezi were told to leave their homes because of a forest, which does not exist. I have been to Bilili, and there is no forest there. I have been to Kanda Nzhovu, and there is no forest there. I have been to Menda Abila, and there is no forest there. However, people were given letters to vacate their homes. I think they are supposed to leave within thirty days. What can stop me from thinking that the Government wants to remove my people from their areas so that they can put the Chinese there? This is their style. They sold the NRDC and moved the people so that they can put the Chinese there. They sold Chimbokaila Prison, and moved the Zambians to Mwembeshi. What can stop me from thinking that the people of Dundumwezi are being told to vacate their land so that the Chinese can come in? You see, the PF was welcome in Dundumwezi. The President and many other officers went there to see the people. Little did the people know that by going there, the President had other issues in mind. Now, we have more than 40,000 people being told to leave their land for no reason. These are people who have been there for fifty years. Zambians are now becoming slaves in their own country because of the bad policies of the PF.


Mr Speaker, the Social Cash Transfer Scheme is in this speech. Even if others have talked about it, I will still talk about it. We are in a very painful situation. People who steal from orphans and widows –


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, substitute the word “steal”.


Mr Kamboni: Mr Speaker, sorry.


Mr Speaker, those who misappropriate funds meant for widows, orphans and poor people are very bad people. They do not deserve to be in leadership in any country. In this speech, there was no mention of such people. We were told that the Social Cash Transfer Scheme was doing very well. As an hon. Member of Parliament, I was asked by my people when they would get their pay. Those who are supposed to get the little money they live on have not been paid for the past three months but then, we were told in the speech that everything is rosy. What am I supposed to believe? As a president of a country, your speech must highlight challenges to which you must provide solutions. You need to give direction and hope to the nation. However, when you simply praise yourself on things that are not correct, you confuse the citizens. They will wonder what kind of leadership they have. This is why somebody said that the Zambians are now fed up. I am sure the PF is an expired Government.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr M. K. Tembo: On a point of order, Sir.


Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!


Mr Kamboni: Mr Speaker, when you learn English, you learn four qualities. You learn among other things how to read, comprehend and listen. When you are not able to listen, then, you are disabled.


Sir, let me now talk about the Social Cash Transfer Scheme. The donors have withdrawn their aid to Zambia because of corruption, which the Government was denying. As I speak, the kwacha has lost value. It is now trading at K11 to US$1 from K10. This is because of the donors’ decision to withdraw funding. The news is all over. It is in the United Kingdom and the whole world knows about this. Other countries are also following suit. What surprises me is that we have a consortium of donors who were giving support to the education sector. The ministry responsible for education misappropriated funds and, in March this year, the donors withdrew their support to the sector. However, no one was punished for the wrong. The donors shifted from the Ministry of Education and went to the Social Cash Transfer Scheme. They were hoping that their money would be utilised properly. Again, money meant for the Social Cash Transfer Scheme has been misappropriated under the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare. Money has been misappropriated and it had to take the President to fire somebody. He is not the one who should be saying that certain people should be fired. When you have a situation, whereby the President issues directives such as this one, then, you know that the system is rotten. I say so because if that was not the case, the system should be able to arrest all those who break the law. This is why I am saying that what is lacking in Zambia is investment in human resources so the country can be guided.


Sir, if I had to describe the President’s Speech, I would say it is stranger than fiction. I once read a book titled “Stranger than Fiction”. The speech is not a true reflection of what is happening in Zambia. We now want to have a situation where people who misappropriate public funds are not only fired from their jobs but are also taken to court. It is not enough to just demote someone. They must all go to court and account for their deeds. The donors should not come back until all the heads roll. We want all those who misappropriated funds from the Ministry of Education to be punished. That is when people will learn. Unfortunately, we have a situation, whereby all people are equal, but others are more equal than others. That is what we have in this country.


Mr Speaker, on page 18, paragraph 64, of the President’s Speech, he said that:


“The favourable policies of Government are facilitating private sector investment in the country.”


Sir, I would like to meet the person who advised the President on this issue. This is not right. At the moment, the most difficult thing to do in Zambia is to conduct a business. How can a business person survive when there are a lot of tax obligations? We have a Government that came into power on the premise of people paying lower taxes. What have we seen now? We have tollgates everywhere. If there is no tollgate, then, the police become tollgates. You have to pay all kinds of taxes. When you want to use the internet, you pay some form of tax. When you buy data bundles, you must pay tax. The Government has now introduced a 30 ngwee tax on internet calls. This means people are being taxed double. The taxes in this country are too many. What I have noticed is that under the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, people have constantly lost jobs. The PF has not created any jobs and every businessman is complaining. Some are relocating and going to invest elsewhere. Therefore, it is not correct to say that the PF has brought favourable policies. The PF has brought in very rough policies which have taken every coin from every Zambian, leaving people wallowing in poverty.


Mr Speaker, let me now talk about agriculture. Under the livestock sector, the Government has said the number of animals has increased. We have had animals such as cattle dying throughout the country. In my constituency alone, so many animals have died from diseases. The Government has done nothing to remedy the situation. In other countries, when animals like cattle begin to die, everyone gets involved in making sure that a cure for that particular disease is found. Therefore, it is not correct to say that the population of cows has gone up. Instead, the opposite is the truth.


Mr Speaker, the President also talked about diversifying this economy from mining to agriculture. How can you diversify the economy when the price of maize is being put, ...


Mr Speaker: Order!




The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1910 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 20th September, 2018.