Wednesday, 10th October, 2018

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Wednesday, 10th October, 2018


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












59. Dr Chibanda (Mufulira) (on behalf of Mr Mukosa) (Chinsali)) asked the Minister of General Education:


  1. why over eighty employees at the Ministry of General Education were recently suspended; and


  1. how long the suspensions will remain in force.


The Minister of Local Government (Mr Mwale) (on behalf of the Minister of General Education) (Mr Mabumba)): Mr Speaker, the suspended officers were cited for financial irregularities in the forensic audit conducted by the Office of the Auditor-General on the verifications of responses by the Ministry of General Education on the draft audit report, paragraph 52 of the Auditor-General’s Report for the Year ended 2016. The suspension will remain in force until disciplinary procedures are conducted.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why the Government had to wait for donor insinuations that there was something amiss in the Ministry of General Education for it to publicise and take the action that was taken.


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, actions against erring officers did not wait for donors. Perhaps the hon. Member may have learnt about this after some donors begun to talk about it, but internally within Government circles, there were procedural issues that were ongoing to deal with those who are involved in this matter.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, I have worked in the Government for so many years and I know how the accounts departments work. Before the external auditors from the Auditor-General’s office come in, there are internal controls conducted by internal auditors. My question is: Does the eighty employees on suspension, include internal auditors who could not detect this fraud?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I can confirm that some internal auditors were involved, in that they did not do their work to ensure that they deter these things from happening and they are also on suspension.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister shed light and inform the nation how the financial irregularities at the ministry have impacted on education service delivery.


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, definitely, funds that were meant to advance education in the country were tempered with and that has had an impact to some extent. It may seem to be a small percentage. However small, it is true that there is some impact on education service delivery and the Government is taking corrective measures.


I thank you, Mr. Speaker.


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, peace be with you and the entire House.




Mr Speaker: Order on the right!


Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, peace be with you. We saw in the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare that when there was such a scum, the President took very swift and decisive action by removing the hon. Minister from that ministry. In the case of the Ministry of General Education, we saw that only the permanent secretary was removed. I want to find out from the hon. Minister whether his colleague, the hon. Minister of General Education, is contemplating resigning on moral grounds.




Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I cannot speak for him. The hon. Member will have to personally ask him that question.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Fungulwe (Lufwanyama): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister –


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 pursuant to Article 23 of the Constitution of Zambia, which deals with the issues of discrimination. It is trite law that in this country, by virtue of the Constitution and the provision I have quoted, the Government of the Republic of Zambia by itself or through its agencies should not discriminate against anyone who is a Zambian or resident in Zambia. I have noted that the Times of Zambia newspaper, which is an authority publicly funded by the taxpayer, has been discriminating against Zambians and the majority of Zambian tribes in this country.


Mr Speaker, I have a copy of the Times of Zambia published –




Mr Speaker: Just give me a minute, hon. Member.


The conversations on the right are making my job difficult. I want to concentrate.


You may continue, hon. Member.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I was saying that I have a copy of the Times of Zambia published on Tuesday, 9th October, 2018, Edition No. 18197. On page 2 of this publication, there is an interpretation, I presume, by the Times of Zambia on an article that appeared on the first page of the paper and is replicated on the second page. The headline of the article is: SADC Moots DRC Peace. The article is in Chinese. There has been no such article in Bemba, Tonga, Lozi, Lunda or in any other language of the people who reside in Zambia. We are aware that the official language in this country is English. Why is the Government finding it proper and prudent, in its wisdom, to start interpreting articles appearing in newspapers into Chinese?


Hon. Opposition Members: Chambia! Chambia!


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting in order to remain quiet and not inform us that Chinese is now an official language in this country, ...




Mr Mwiimbu: ... and that we can start speaking Chinese?


Hon. Opposition Members: Chambia!


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, is she in order to discriminate against me and other people in this country in preference to Chinese. Is she in order to abrogate the Constitution of Zambia?


Mr Speaker, I would like to lay the paper on the Table.


Mr Mwiimbu laid the paper on the Table.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! (Members made 'Chinese' sounds)


Mr Speaker: Order!


My ruling is that I need to have recourse to what has been alleged in the point of order, study the same, and thereafter, render a measured ruling on the subject. Therefore, in that regard, I will reserve my ruling.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Fungulwe: Mr Speaker, the suspension of officers in the Ministry of General Education is as a result of financial irregularities. How much is involved in these financial irregularities in the ministry?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the forensic audit that was done by the Auditor-General up to 26th September, 2018, indicated that a total amount of K19.5million was embezzled by members of staff at the ministry.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Mwashingwele (Katuba): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out if the suspended eighty members of staff are only from the ministry headquarters or they are from across the country.


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I need to do a proper verification, but from what I am seeing here, it is mostly members of staff at the ministry headquarters and one of them got transferred to Ndola, to work at the district commissioner’s office. He was at the headquarters when these things were happening.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Mr Speaker, have our co-operating partners pulled out of the Ministry of General Education like they did with the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I can confirm that the Department for International Development (DFID) withheld funding to the ministry just to ensure that we did our work to clean up the systems and ensure that those who were involved in the embezzlement and misappropriation of funds were dealt with accordingly. After all that was done, we could talk about how they could resume giving financial assistance to the ministry.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, there are quite a few education service-oriented projects which are outstanding in Kasempa, Mako Secondary School being one of them. Can the hon. Minister give an example of the nature of services or programmes that have been impacted –


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kasempa, this is a point to clarify. Clarify.


Ms Tambatamba: I would like to find out the kind of educational services that have been impacted by the misuse or misapplication of this money.


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I would need a bit more time to get that information because there are so many accounts with so many programmes, but to be precise, I can find that information and give it to her at an appropriate time. With your indulgence, Mr Speaker, I do not want to speculate.


Mr Speaker: Very well.


Mr Mwale: I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kintu (Solwezi East): Mr Speaker, Africa Confidential has reported that a scam or a scandal that will make the Social Cash Transfer Scheme child’s play, is obtaining in the Ministry of General Education because that is where –


Mr Speaker: What is your question?


Mr Kintu: Mr Speaker, my question is: can the hon. Minister confirm to Africa Confidential because –


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, the opportunity you have been given is for you, as an hon. Member of Parliament for Solwezi East, to ask a question.


Mr Kintu: Yes, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: You are not here to ask questions on behalf of these external actors, whoever they may be. That is not your task.


Mr Kintu: Mr Speaker, thank you for your guidance. Eighty employees in the Ministry of General Education have been suspended whilst in the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare, only the hon. Minister was suspended, what is your –




Mr Speaker: You are on the Floor.


Mr Kintu: Mr Speaker, I think I have been mixed up, thank you so much.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: I do not know who has mixed you up.




Mr Chikote (Luampa): Mr Speaker, bearing in mind that the Ministry of General Education is an important ministry, what measures have you taken to bridge the gap that has been created by the erring officers?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the Government is never short of human resource. Measures have already been undertaken to ensure nothing suffers as a result of having not eighty, but seventy people suspended. I think operations are moving smoothly at the ministry headquarters. Everything is working well. There are some members of staff who have been seconded from other line ministries to make sure that nothing suffers. I can assure you that operations are going on smoothly.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: I will take the last three questions from hon. Member of Parliament for Katombola, hon. Member for Kasenengwa and hon. Member  for Mapatizya Parliamentary Constituency.


Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the Government is known for taking long in dealing with matters of discipline. At the Ministry of General Education, for instance, people have been on suspension for years, but they continue drawing salaries from the Treasury even when they are not doing any work. Could the hon. Minister assure me that the Government will expedite the investigations in this particular case so that the matter can be disposed of in the shortest possible time.


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, that is the wish of the Government. There are laid down procedures and regulations that provide for people to be heard and due processes followed. Things have to be done in accordance with the disciplinary code for handling offences in the Public Service. Therefore, these codes are the ones that prevent these cases from being executed timely. However, the Government really wants to ensure that action is taken against the erring officers so that other officers in this ministry, as well as other ministries can learn a lesson from this.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr S. Banda (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, my first concern is that the Ministry of General Education is one of the key ministries in the country. For it to have eighty officers suspended for alleged financial malpractices is a great concern especially that there are policies and controls in place. I do appreciate the fact that a forensic audit is being undertaken, although it is a reactive measure. What specific pro-active measures has the ministry put in place to deter similar occurrences?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, generally, the Government has taken action to make sure that such things do not happen again, not just in this ministry, but in other ministries too. One of the things that the Government did was to elevate the internal audit unit. The controllers for internal audit were elevated to Permanent Secretary (PS) level. That means controllers of internal audit in other ministries are also elevated to management level. That way, they can sit and be part of management and make sure that some of the corrective measures are undertaken right within the ministries. However, the internal audit is respected within the ministry as it is part of management, so that we do not allow internal auditors to be disregarded. They have the power that they deserve within ministries. Generally, this action has been taken within the Civil Service. However, I am sure that we have to analyse the loopholes that exist even if it means amending the Public Finance Act to ensure that it is watertight. This, now opens up the whole issue of whether or not the Public Finance Act is indeed water-tight or not. Therefore, we have to make sure we seal all the loopholes emanating from what has just happened.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that the Government does not have a shortage of manpower. However, now that these guys have been, ‑


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member, the word ‟guysˮ is unparliamentary.


Mr Miyanda: Mr Speaker, now that these people have been suspended, what measures is the Government putting in place to recover the K19.5 million? Considering that these people are –


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, we will recover the money, where we have to and this is in accordance with the laid down procedures. If it means people being punished by going to jail, that will be done. Maybe, there is no requirement for us to recover the funds, but everything is laid down in the procedures and the Public Finance Act. If we need to recover the money, we will do so. It may be from their benefits or anything that may be outstanding within the ministry that is due to them.


I thank you, Sir.




60. Mr Lufuma asked the Minister of Home Affairs:


  1. whether the Government is aware that some officers who participated in the mobile issuance of national registration cards in  2016, have not been paid for their services to date;


  1. if so, how much is outstanding;


  1. how many officers are affected; and


  1. when the officers will be paid.


The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, before I, –




Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Members on the right, I really do not know what the problem is this afternoon. I do not know whether there is a meeting going on or what. You have an option to step out.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Chase them!


Mr Speaker: You may continue, hon. Minister.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, before I respond to the question by the hon. Member, I would like you to just permit me to pass my sincere condolences to the Shimuzhila family, the University of Zambia (UNZA) community and the hon. Member of Parliament for Namwala Parliamentary Constituency for the regrettable loss of Vespers Shimuzhila, a fourth year student, who passed away on 5th October, 2018. By the same token, I would like to convey Government’s sympathy to the Chongo’s, whose daughter equally suffered spinal injuries on the same day.


Sir, I would like to place on record the fact that Mr Chongo, the father to Everet, was one of our senior officers in the Zambia Police Service. We worked very well with him in the Ministry of Home Affairs. So, we sympathise with him.


Mr Speaker, lastly, as I appeal for calm, I would like to strongly condemn the unruly behaviour of the youths who abused the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting when she attended the funeral. My assurance to the two families is that we shall leave no stone unturned in our quest to get to the bottom of what led to that unfortunate disturbance at the higher learning institution.


Sir, let me now get back to the question asked by the hon. Member for Kabompo. The Government is ware that some of the officers who participated in the mobile issuance of National Registration Cards in 2016, have not yet been paid their allowances. The outstanding amount owed to the officers is K21, 500,000. The total number of officers owed is 1,375. 


The Government is committed to ensuring that officers who took part in the 2016 Mobile Issuance of the national registration card exercise are paid their allowances.


Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, in the 2018 Budget, the Government had made a provision for the dismantling of arrears for mobile registration of National Registration Cards. The officers were owed allowances for three months and, so far, the Government has paid for two months and the remaining one month will be cleared as soon as funds are released from the Treasury.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, 2016 to date is quite a long period. Why has it taken so long for the ministry not to pay the workers?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the question by the hon. Member. You will recall that the exercise was done in two years. We encountered some challenges and, remember, my predecessor, Mr Mwila, brought this matter to this House on a number of occasions. The initial number of officers which was budgeted or planned for would have been cleared by now. However, because of the demand by the ministry to increase the number of officers, we ended up engaging more people than initially planned. Therefore, this is what has led to this delay, but like I have stated, we have provided for the funds in this year’s Budget and very soon, we shall make sure that we clear the outstanding amounts for one month.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the Government is committed to dismantling this one month arrear. He has also said that he has put the outstanding amount of money in the 2019 Budget which will only take-off in 2018. However, we have two months to go before the 2018 Budget is concluded. Is the hon. Minister able to confirm that the payment of the outstanding allowances will not exceed December?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, yes, we will ensure that the outstanding amount is cleared before the fiscal year ends.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, the schedule demonstrates two years which is from 2016 to 2018. According to what the hon. Minister said, there is an outstanding number of only 1,375 officers who have not yet been paid. Did I get you correctly, hon. Minister?


Mr Kampyongo: Yes!


Mr Lufuma: If that is true, why are you treating these poor souls; the poor civil servants who have no money in their pockets, contrary to the pronouncements of the Patriotic Front (PF), in the manner you are doing considering that they offered their services digilently …




Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Lufuma: … diligently? Diligently! Is that okay hon. Minister?


Mr Kampyongo: Yes!


Mr Lufuma: Why are you doing so, hon. Minister? Honestly, it is only a meagre 1,375 officers.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the hon. Member’s follow-up question, but I wish he had this same passion when my predecessor was trying to explain that he could not be in all the areas. However, when the hon. Members needed the services, they overstretched the hon. Minister to make sure that he accommodated what they demanded. We are very concerned, Sir. That is why we factored this fund in the Budget. That is a commitment in itself. I want to assure the hon. Member that we are going to make sure that the outstanding arrears are cleared. We appreciate the services which these citizens had rendered to the people.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order!


I will take the last three questions as follows; hon. member for Mumbwa, hon. member for Kalabo Central, and lastly, hon. Member for Ikeleng’i.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, since the hon. Minister mentioned that the amount which is outstanding is K21.5 million only. Are you able to tell us how much the actual total amount accrued was?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the Question was on the outstanding arrears. I do not see how the issue of what was spent on the entire exercise has come in.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, knowing that officers are in categories or classes, which class of these workers in the 1,375are mostly affected?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, obviously, the categories are different and as you know, when the Department of National Registration is undertaking this exercise of mobile registration of national registration cards, they draw manpower from different departments. To some extent, it also draws manpower from those that are not in the mainstream Civil Service. Therefore, they are in various categories.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, listening to the hon. Minister’s response, he mentioned that due to the demand, the number of officers was increased. I believe this exercise was before the general elections. Did the Government not plan and put some money aside before engaging in this exercise instead of waiting and then start working in reverse?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, yes, indeed. I equally mentioned that there was an initial number which was planned for to undertake this exercise, but the demand –




Mr Kampyongo: Well, it was here in the House. My predecessor came to this House four times at the request of hon. Members, and Hon. Muchima was present in that particular sitting of the House. He knows that very well. We discussed issues of the weather patterns and everything that affects the exercise of the mobile issuance of national registration cards. Therefore, the plan was there, but the hon. Minister was magnanimous enough to accommodate the demands that came forth.


That is why the Government must be commended for creating districts that are closer to the people. Some of the services, which we are talking about, are now closer to the people and as a result it will be easier to plan. Some of the people who were asking why we are creating districts are now coming to ask us for their areas to be turned into districts. This is what we meant.


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Mr Kampyongo: We wanted to do away with the mobile issuance of national registration cards so that it can become routine, where necessary. We plan for these activities. There was nothing like working in reverse, as the hon. Member put it. However, ultimately, like I said, we appreciate the services that the citizens rendered to the Government and we are going to make sure that they are paid.


I thank you, Sir.








(Debate resumed)


Mr Munkonge (Lukashya): Mr Speaker, before business was suspended yesterday, I was about to ask the Zambia Chamber of Mines to give a more detailed representation of the challenges being faced by the mines. Otherwise, they run the risk of being misunderstood. Initially, the Zambia Chamber of Mines was talking about ten points, but it has not availed them to us so that we can appreciate what it is talking about and how an alternative would be of benefit to Zambia. My emphasis was identifying the challenges faced in the implementation of the Budget itself and, as much as possible, how one can, perhaps, suggest ideas.


Sir, our financial markets seem to be very difficult to understand. Currently, the Angolan currency is depreciating faster than the Zambian currency, but this is happening at a time when oil prices are very high. How do we understand that contradiction? When the price of oil is going up, the Angolan currency is not doing as well as the Zambian currency? African countries that are trying to be independent and have stable economies must have an African perspective to solving these challenges.


Mr Speaker, one would assume that erecting a crude oil pipeline into Zambia could solve some of the fuel challenges in terms of stabilising its price. Crude oil could be easier to transport than refined oil. We could have refineries in Zambia, Namibia and other regional countries to stabilise the price, but these discussions are somehow difficult. It is actually impossible at the moment for Zambia to buy oil from Angola. These are the factors that contribute to our economies not being within our own control.


The other aspect I wanted to talk about is the Civil Service. We have put it under a lot of pressure because they are not protected both in terms of remuneration and their offices. This makes it very difficult for some civil servants to do their jobs professionally. It is a situation of the egg before the chicken or the chicken before the egg. We should remunerate the civil servants in such a way that it would be shocking if one committed a crime or practiced corruption. One would ask where the money would come from, but where will the money come from if the Civil Service is not stabilised?


Sir, some of the loopholes in the Civil Service, which enable certain investors to walk the corridors of the Civil Service with impunity, are a hangover from privatisation. The loopholes were created during privatisation in the quest to facilitate the smooth handover of our assets to institutions. However, in the long run, one doubts how much Zambia as a country has benefitted from privatisation.


Mr Speaker, I believe the windfall tax should apply to more than just copper. It should be applied to all minerals such as gold or manganese if the prices of such commodities increase. The Ministry of Finance has put an amount above which the windfall tax will be applied. The same should be done for all the minerals that are in our country because we are not enjoying the benefits.


Sir, some of the heavy duty industries do a lot of damage to infrastructure. I have not been to Solwezi in a long time, but you can see the damage to the bridge that crosses into Solwezi. That damage is not caused by ordinary vehicles, but by the heavy duty vehicles. For them to say they will not pay tax or that they will pay it in a certain way is alarming.


Mr Speaker, another issue is that if you have multinational companies controlling your economy like the way our economy is, – is it possible that the current exchange rate is an outcome of these multinational companies flexing their muscles in our economic environment? That is a question that one would ask. How do we get the statistics to see whether we are being pushed around by institutions that can affect the amount of dollars in our economy? I urge the relevant ministries to, perhaps, have special units to look at the statistics so that we make sure that we are not being bullied into agreeing to things which will not benefit the Zambian people.


Mr Speaker, initially, I was very upset – maybe, upset is too strong a word – I was very concerned by some of the utterances by Professor Lumumba about the Chinese. I thought to myself that instead of chasing him, we should have been better prepared to ask him questions. I would have asked him a simple question. I would not dare challenge him on the academic front, but I would have asked him if his message, as true as it is, is helping Africa go forward. In a quest to be fair, you can sometimes destroy the thing that you are trying to build. Therefore, that would be my main concern. If we do not handle some of these things well – and we claim that the media is such an important component of our day to day lives – it can be exploited to our disadvantage, even though the person involved is actually concerned about us. If we do not handle this issue well, it could be a question of a doctor giving you medicine that does not heal you.


Dr Kambwili interjected.




Mr Munkonge: Mr Speaker, as I conclude, let me say that I do not believe in just the negatives. During the Budget Speech, people tried to disrupt the peaceful non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which were trying to protest outside and the Zambia Police Service acted commendably by apprehending them. On that day, as much as we have the University of Zambia situation hanging over us, the police performed their duties admirably. The protest was conducted and no harm was done to anybody. We should commend them for the way they handled that situation.


On a personal note, I would also like to commend the President of the Republic of Zambia for giving us a boat in Musowa Ward from a personal initiative after his last visit when people complained about how dangerous it was to cross the river. The river has claimed many lives. For some reason, the school and the villages are on opposite sides of the river. We were given a boat, and I thank the President for this act.


I would like to state that acknowledging the existence of these small places shows that as much as it is not possible to help everyone, occasionally, the President is able to help even the lowest of the people. We thank him from Musowa Ward in the Constituency of Lukashya.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Mr Speaker, as I add the voice of the people of Mitete to the debate on the Budget Speech, I would like to quote from paragraph 131, page 20 of the Speech,:


“Sir, since I announced the austerity measures, I have undertaken, with my Government colleagues and under the guidance of His Excellency the President, further consultations on specific measures to reduce planned and existing debt and to reduce debt service obligations over the medium to long term. I will, within the current session, be coming to this House with specific details on the implementation of the austerity measures related to debt.”


Mr Speaker, the austerity measures to be undertaken by the hon. Minister of Finance according to her were announced, maybe, to the Cabinet, but are yet to be announced to the public and to this House. If it is true that there shall be austerity measures taken to reduce on debt and debt service obligations, then, we will be talking of something in Zambia. However, I find it hard to believe this statement because we continue to borrow. Since the hon. Minister is consulting, maybe she might like to take my views. I hope that the austerity measures which shall be announced or brought to this House will include stopping the booking of jets when the President's entourage travels out of the country. There should be no first class bookings or travelling in huge numbers. When national representation is required at seminars, there is no need to go with an entire crowd that includes cadres. If we continue this way, there will be no austerity measures to talk about. 


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister must advise the President to reduce on the number of ministries. Why do we have the Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of General Education? Why can we not just have one ministry called the Ministry of Education? Why do we have the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock? Why can we not just have one ministry called the Ministry of Agriculture? If such austerity measures are introduced, then, we will be speaking for the nation and going in the right direction. Unfortunately, this statement is talking of other things while the implementation part is in a different direction.


Dr Kambwili: In conclusion.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, the borrowing is still going up. The statement says that we have planned to reduce on borrowing so that the debt service obligation is equally reduced. However, as the borrowing is going up, the debt servicing obligation is also growing. We will be servicing our debt. Maybe, by that time, the Patriotic Front (PF) will not be in Government. The hon. Minister is saying medium and long-term. In the long-term, the PF will not be there. It wants to leave this debt service obligation to the people who will take over power from it, the United Party for National Development (UPND). It just wants to leave this burden for the UPND.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. PF Member: Long-term!


Mr Mutelo: It wants to leave the debt problem for the incoming Government of the UPND.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. PF Member: Question!


Mr Mutelo: This is bad. They cannot plan to leave problems for other people. The Movement for Multi-party Democracy left a good economy, but the PF wants to leave this country in problems. It should not be like that.




Dr Kambwili: Finally.


Mr Mutelo: They cannot plan like that. We have a nation and people to serve. If our revenue basket and our resources are harness in a good manner, we will not be borrowing from somewhere else. If we used the brains of university and college graduates properly and also used the resources properly, why would we be going to borrow from other people? Why? What is it that we do not have? Is it the human or natural resources? We have everything. Where is the problem? Our colleagues come to take our diamonds and copper and use our water. Now, they are even taking our land.


Mr Speaker, if it was up to me, we would have given more money to the education sector so that we tap the God given potential. We are all made equal. The day we will go and complain to God, he will just say that you did not use whatever I had given you. You had everything at your disposal. Why did you not make use of your head and the natural resources? The problem is that we are blaming God for our problems. If this is done, we shall reduce the debt and meet our debt service obligation. However, I am just concerned about the statement of medium and long-term measures. The Government should have come up with short-term measures and said that come 2019, it will implement these austerity measures. The prices of commodities are sky rocketing, yet you have declared a wage freeze for three years. Can you not think of the civil servants? You borrow money for a particular purpose, but the implementation part is different.  No wonder the Yellow Book was brought a little bit late and it took this House to urge them to bring it.


Sir, the 2019 Budget might end up being a bounced cheque. Normally, as the hon. Minister of Finance is presenting the Budget Speech, the Yellow Book is there. However, for almost four days, there was no Yellow Book. What the hon. Minister did can be likened to depositing a cheque, knowing very well that there is no money in the account. Why did the Government take so long to bring the Yellow Book? The Budget could be a bounced cheque. Come 2019, there might be no money for implementation, more so that our co-operating partners are pulling away. The hon. Minister said that whatever is being raised will be taken to the Ministry of Home Affairs so that it can buy more tear gas which will kill innocent people, including someone who is sleeping – and she dies just like that. It is sad.


The 2019 Budget will be meaningless to the people of Lukulu and Mitete without the Lukulu/Katunda/Watopa, Mwembezhi and Zambezi roads.




Mr Mutelo: I am saying that as a way of implementing austerity measures, the Ministry of Works and Supply and the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development should have been one ministry. Without the Lukulu/Katunda/Watopa Road, what will this budget mean to us? If Washishi, Chimwemwe and Lupui clinics will not be attended to, what will be the meaning of the 2019 Budget to the people of Mitete? Without a pontoon at Lungwebungu River, what will be the meaning of the Budget? The Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of General Education are implementing the Home Grown School Feeding Programme. This programme is not there in Mitete. Therefore, what will be the meaning of the Budget to the people of Mitete?


On a sad note, three days ago, a Grade 12 pupil from Kapemba Secondary School survived a crocodile attack because of lack of boreholes. However, the Government always states that they are drilling boreholes. Where are they drilling the boreholes because they are no boreholes in Mitete? The young girl who survived the crocodile attack three days ago is hospitalised but, unfortunately, we lost a Grade 2 pupil in Kakulunda in Mitete because a of lack of boreholes. Therefore, like the 2018 Budget, the 2019 Budget will be meaningless if we will not see the delivery of services. Meanwhile, the Government is saying that the medium and long-term measures will reduce the debt. We are leaving problems for our children, and it should not be like that.


Mr Speaker, anyway, the Budget is an estimates. If we cannot implement financial disciplinary measures, we will not see the light of this Budget. We will be talking and planning for nothing. I would have loved to see that more money is allocated to the Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of General Education. In Mitete, teachers are very hard to come by. Considering the poor services, those who are posted there are transferred within two days. Therefore, the pupils are not being attended to, but we come here.


Even if we literally plead for the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), the Patriotic Front (PF) Government always works in reverse. We had no CDF for two years. However, when the money was available, instead of disbursing K1.4 million, they disbursedK700,000 to some constituencies. Since they work in reverse gear, they disbursed K500,000 this year and, mark my words, in 2019, they will disburse K100,000. When planning, they plan for K1.6 million per constituency. However, when it comes to disbursing the CDF, they disbursed K700,000 and K500,000, respectively out of K1.4 million. Come 2019, they will disburse K100,000. What can K100,000 do for a rural constituency? The little monies that go towards infrastructure for health, education and other services, and roads should be shared.


Sir, as I wind up, let the PF Government not leave problems for the UPND when it comes into power after the general elections whether in 2021 or, maybe, even before, looking at how things are going. The writing is on the wall that the PF Government has now failed and is finished.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kambwili: Walaba ati na bena Mutati ba lelanda ifyofine.


Ms Kapata: Awe!


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, with those very few words, I wish to conclude by saying that for all the years that I have been in Parliament, the Katunda/Lukulu/Watopa/Mumbenji Road has not been attended to. Meanwhile, I have been supporting the Budgets. Now I have changed and I am not supporting this Budget.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Mutelo: Maybe, if I do not support the Budget like I have done today, the Government will attend to the road. However, for me, whatever has been put in the Budget and planned for in 2019, ah aah! I am not part of it.


Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Zimba (Chasefu): Mr Speaker …


Dr Kambwili: Iwe, traffic ngayafula kubola.


Mr Zimba: … thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice and comments on the 2019 Budget.


Mr Speaker, I would like to commend the Government especially with the negative comments that we make which affect investor confidence and donor funding in our country.


Mr Speaker, you may be aware that in every successive government, there are positive things to talk about. In the Chiluba Government, people would say, Kaunda was better than Chiluba. When Mr Mwanawasa, SC., came into power, people were saying President Chiluba was better than President Mwanawasa. I will skip the late President Michael Chilufya Sata, may his soul rest in peace. We have people in this House that criticised him day and night.


Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!


Mr Zimba: After he left, today they are saying actually Sata was better. I would like the Zambians to appreciate Presidents …


Mr Chabi: Discuss the Budget.


Mr Sialubalo: Dora Siliya.


Mr Zimba: … during their tenure. Tomorrow, when somebody else comes into power, they will be saying actually His Excellency Mr Edgar Changwa Lungu was better.


Mr Machila: Question!


Mr Zimba: Today, people are busy calling the President names.


Mr Chabi: Budget.


Mr Zimba: That is how exactly it was in Mr Sata’s era. People were saying he was saying this or that and criticising him. We have to learn that there can only be one President at a given time. There can only be one ruling party at any given time.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, are you still debating the Budget Speech?




Mr Zimba: Yes, I am.


Dr Kambwili: Alefwaya bu Minister umwaiche uyu.


Mr Chabi: Debate the Budget.


Mr Zimba: I want to talk about the negative comments that we make that affect donor inflows and investor confidence.  Mr Speaker, we need to learn …


Mr Chabi: Relevancy!




Mr Speaker: Order, order!


Mr Zimba: ... that we may just remain where we are today. We need to be remembered for doing something in our present positions because tomorrow, we may not rule. What are we going to be remembered for? We should learn to love Zambia. Zambia is a Christian nation.


Mr Chabi: Budget iwe!


Mr Zimba: Let us love this country by speaking positively about it so that we can instil investor confidence in our country.


Dr Kambwili: No, landapo pali Budget .Two minutes wapwa.


Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker talking especially about the Budget, I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister of Finance; as we talk about diversification, to try and put agriculture in the mainstream economy.


Are we doing enough to promote agriculture to be the mainstay of the Zambian economy?


Sir, 90 per cent of the farmers are in rural areas. The rural areas depend on the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). However, CDF is never enough. First of all, we do not get the full CDF. Secondly, the K1.4 million allocated for CDF is not enough.


If we have to promote agriculture, Mr Speaker, we need to look at empowering and capacity build rural areas like Chasefu.


Mr Chabi: I thank you.


Mr Zimba: We need to have a deliberate plan, Mr Speaker, where we would deliberately put policies in place that will revamp agriculture in rural areas. We are not doing enough. I would like to see CDF increased to maybe K5 million per constituency. That way, agriculture will become the mainstay of this economy.


Mr Chabi: Five minutes takuli efyo alelanda.


Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, in this year’s Budget, CDF is at K1.4 million. I want to get an assurance from the hon. Minister of Finance that the K1.4 million will be disbursed on time and all of it next year.


Mr Chabi: CDF is K1.6 million.


Mr Zimba: Thank for that correction, CDF is K1.6 million.


Mr Chabi: Sit down.


Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, for two years now we have not received the full CDF. I want to see agriculture being promoted. Let us have capacity building programmes in rural areas.


Mr Chabi: Lekafye.


Ba Speaker tabaleunfwa.


Mr Zimba: In conclusion, Mr Speaker …




Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Zimba: … I would like to say that I support the Budget.


I thank you.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: It looks like we do not have any further debate.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!






The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, I did not know that football was above national issues.




Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: I am extremely disappointed …


Mr Chabi: Ah!


The Vice-President: … that we had to leave Parliament so early in order to attend a soccer match.


Mr Chabi: Who said?


The Vice-President: However, Mr Speaker, this is the wish of the House …


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: … therefore, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1548 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 11th October, 2018.