Tuesday, 30th June, 2020

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Tuesday, 30th June, 2020


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]











Mr Speaker: I wish to inform the House that I have authorised Medland Hospital to come and conduct free medical consultation and free screening for cervical and prostate cancer as a way of commemorating the International Day of Parliamentarism which falls today on 30th June, 2020.


Hon. Members, you may wish to note that Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are emerging global concerns that require early diagnosis in order to increase the chances for successful treatment. To that end, I urge all hon. Members of Parliament to take advantage of the free screening exercise which will run from today, Tuesday, 30th June to 3rd July, 2020, from 0900 to 1600 hours, here, at Parliament Buildings.


I thank you.








Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, you will recall that on Wednesday, 4th December, 2019, when the House was considering Question for Oral Answer No. 64 and Hon. M. Subulwa, Member of Parliament for Sioma Parliamentary Constituency, was asking a follow-up question, Hon. M. Mutelo, Member of Parliament for Mitete Parliamentary Constituency, raised a point of order. An excerpt of the point of order is in the following terms:


“Madam, way back on Tuesday, 24th September, 2019, I contributed to the debate which was on the Floor of this House and the following day, on 25th September, 2019, the Anti-Corruption Commission officials called and sent text messages wanting to meet with me. Being a national representative of the people, I agreed. On the same day around 1900 hours to 2000 hours, they found me right in the Parliament Motel Restaurant. I welcomed them and said, ῾I am here.’ Then they started questioning me, concerning my debate for the previous day and yet this is totally against the laws that we have set for ourselves. The Constitution of Zambia in Article 76(1) and (2) states that:


῾(1)      A Member of Parliament has freedom of speech to debate in the National Assembly and that freedom shall not be ousted or questioned in a court or tribunal.


῾(2)      A Member of Parliament shall have the powers, privileges and immunities, as prescribed.’


“Section 3 of Cap 12 of the Laws of Zambia says:


῾There shall be freedom of speech and debate in the Assembly. Such freedom of speech and debate shall not be liable to be questioned in any court or place outside the Assembly.’


“Were the two ACC officers in order to come and question me over matters that were debated in this House?”


In my immediate response, I reserved the ruling.


Hon. Members, the point of order by Hon. M. Mutelo raises the issue of breach of parliamentary privilege and contempt of the House vis-a-vis a person harassing an hon. Member of Parliament for a statement he made on the Floor of the House, and thereby infringing on the hon. Member’s freedom of speech and debate in the House.


Hon. Members, I referred the matter to the Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services for its consideration. In line with parliamentary practice and procedure, and in accordance with the rules of natural justice, the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly of Zambia wrote to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), as well as the officials who were alleged to have met Hon. Mutelo. The office further sought a report on the matter from the Chief Parliamentary Security Officer and Sergeant-at-Arms. In addition, the office wrote to Hon. Njamba, who was allegedly with Hon. Mutelo, MP, when the ACC officers met him. All the witnesses made written submissions.


The Committee subsequently met and deliberated on the matter. During its deliberations, the Committee had recourse to the written submissions of all the witnesses. Further, Hon. Mutelo and all the witnesses except Hon. M. Njamba, who was unavailable, appeared before the Committee to augment their written submissions.


Hon. Members, after considering the submissions from the relevant witnesses, the Committee established that the matter concerned two institutions that both enjoyed immunity as prescribed in the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act Chapter 12 of the Laws of Zambia, and the Anti-Corruption Commission Act No. 3 of 2012. In view of this, the Committee recommended that the issue be resolved administratively.


Hon. Members, I applied my mind to this matter and I have endorsed the Committee’s recommendation that the matter be handled administratively. I wish to, further, inform the House that the Committee met both parties and concluded the matter, as pointed out above. Therefore, this matter is, for all intents and purposes, closed.


I thank you.






Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Legal Affairs, Human Rights, National Guidance, Gender Matters and Governance for the Fourth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on 11th June, 2020.


Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.


Mr Jere: Mr Speaker, the Committee considered the topic: The African Peer Review Mechanism: The Case Study for Zambia. Below are a few salient issues which were encountered by the Committee.


Sir, Zambia became the second country in Africa to undergo a targeted review in two synthetic areas, namely: the contribution of tourism and mineral resources to the economy of Zambia in November 2019.


Mr Speaker, the Committee is concerned that a number of governance challenges highlighted in the First Country Review Report, such as high levels of corruption, violation of human rights in workplaces such as the mines, high poverty and unemployment levels and poor state of feeder roads are still prevalent today. Therefore, the Committee urges the Government to facilitate Zambia’s second peer review under the base review in the shortest possible time. This will help to assess the progress made in addressing the governance challenges highlighted in the First Country Review Report.


Sir, another finding of the Committee is that hon. Members of Parliament, the private sector, and the general public, have limited access to information on the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). In particular, hon. Members of Parliament have experienced difficulties in fulfilling one of their key roles of assessing and validating the short, medium and long-term goals of the National Programme of Action (NPoA). Therefore, the Committee recommends that the Executive puts in place a robust information and communication strategy involving the participation of all stakeholders to raise awareness on the APRM’s mandate and activities, especially its commitment to Agenda 2063 and the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Mr Speaker, in the same vein, the Committee is concerned that the APRM has inadequate structures at the district and provincial levels. In particular, the Committee is concerned about the implementation of the NPoA which is largely dependent on desk officers at the district, provincial and national levels. In this regard, the Committee urges the Executive to take deliberate measures to build capacity among desk officers as they are the drivers of the planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting processes of the APRM activities and programmes in various Government ministries, institutions and agencies.


Sir, the Committee further observed, with great concern, that the implementation of the APRM process in Zambia has been negatively affected by inadequate budgetary allocations in the last seven years. You may wish to note that while the budgetary allocation for the APRM in 2013 was K3.8 million, in the 2020 Budget, it is only K80,000. It is the Committee’s considered view, therefore, that the Executive should adequately fund the APRM activities and its secretariat to revitalise its agenda so that it can carry out its mandate effectively.


Sir, I beg to move.


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


Mr Nanjuwa: Now, Mr Speaker.


Sir, I thank you very much for allowing me to second the Motion and complement the mover, who has highlighted many salient matters as raised by your Committee. I want to raise a few more points, in addition.


Mr Speaker, the first point that I want to raise is the delay in the implementation of the National Programme of Action (NPoA). It is very important that a programme of action is put in place. However, despite the potential of the programme to bring about change, the process of putting it in place has not garnered enough momentum. Therefore, we have realised that this is more to do with the declining role of the national governing council and also probably the loss of interest in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) by the country than anything else.


Sir, in this regard, the Committee is of the view that if this programme is integrated with other national programmes like the Seventh National Development Programme (7NDP), United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the National Budget, it can be effective.


Mr Speaker, the other point that I want to raise is communication. Information about the APRM is very important. However, this is not highlighted enough in the country. It is fundamental that the purpose, process and impact which is being created by the APRM is communicated fully to the citizenry of this country and this information has to be accessible and available at all times. There is, therefore, need for the governance department which is under the Ministry of Justice to be capacitated so that it is able to harmonise and monitor the work of the cluster groups such as the advisory and technical working groups.


Mr Speaker, we have also realised that the participation of the civil society organisations (CSOs) in the APRM programme is actually low. The CSOs are a vital force in the articulation of the programmes of the APRM. Therefore, it is just important that the CSOs are involved in the programmes of the APRM. The presence of the CSOs on the national governing council is an important component of the APRM structural framework.


Sir, we also observed that there is no autonomous national APRM secretariat in Zambia. It is very important that a secretariat is put in place so that the output of this programme can be enhanced. It will be very difficult to do that, if the secretariat continues to work under the Ministry of Justice.


Mr Speaker, last but not the least, the Committee would like to congratulate Dr Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika on her unanimous election to the APRM Panel of Eminent Persons. The Committee wishes her every success as she represents Southern Africa.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Manyinga.


Mr Lihefu: Mr Speaker, I did not indicate my intention to speak.


Mr Speaker: Very well, although your name is on the list.


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity given to the people of Kaputa to support the Motion moved and seconded by the two able hon. Members. I will limit my intervention to basically two major issues as highlighted by your Committee’s report. One of them is the awareness of both the existence and benefits that this country can derive –


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Kaputa!


Are you able to take off your headsets and to use the microphone in front of you? I think you will be more audible that way.


Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, I am actually using my microphone. Am I audible now?


Mr Speaker: Continue, nonetheless.


Mr Ng’onga: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.


Sir, I was basically indicating that in supporting your Committee’s report on the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), which has been ably moved and seconded, I will limit myself to two comments and one of them is the awareness of the existence and benefits to our nationals when the country participates in this mechanism.


Mr Speaker, the report has indicated that the programme has been going on for many years now, but the level of awareness of our nationals is very limited. Basically, when you look at not only the general populace, but even the hon. Members of Parliament, you will see that the awareness level on this particular programme is still very low. Therefore, it is incumbent upon both the national governing council and secretariat to ensure that they bring to the fore, the programmes that will make people aware of this mechanism. The Government is involved, and there are many resources that it puts towards making the country ready to be assessed by the peer groups. However, if this readiness has to be achieved, then the people must move together so that we are all made aware of the existence of this programme, especially of the benefits that have been highlighted in the report. Without your Committee dwelling on this subject, even as I speak on it, I would have had very little to talk about on this particular subject because I was not aware of it before. Nonetheless, we thank the Committee for the good job that it has done to bring this matter to the fore. The only thing that we now have to ensure is that the groups that are involved in making the people aware should do their job so that all of us as a country move together.


Mr Speaker, your Committee also indicated the fact that the secretariat is in the Ministry of Justice. I think this is probably a good thing in the sense that, when you start a programme, some ministry or somebody must be able to anchor it. However, your Committee’s report has brought out the fact that this secretariat must be independent and we must find resources to make it independent. If that is the case, then I am sure that this programme will be able to run smoothly and coherently.


Sir, the delayed implementation of this programme is also an issue that has been discussed. However, what we look forward to, both as Zambians and also as stakeholders in this particular programme, is ensuring that its implementation goes ahead. It will be very good for us if within our region, there are peer groups that assess both our governance and electoral systems. That way, all of us will have to compare ourselves against each other within the region on the basis of what each country is doing.


Mr Speaker, with these few words, I thank you for this opportunity.


Mrs Chinyama (Kafue): Mr Speaker, I decided to indicate to debate when I realised the hon. Member for Manyinga did not mean to debate. I did not want this very important subject to go without comment. Therefore, I will be brief because my intention is to appreciate the Committee’s work and acknowledge the very important points that have been brought out in the report pertaining to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).


Sir, from its inception, the idea behind the APRM was to promote good governance by bringing up a mechanism through which countries would assess themselves on how they were dealing with governance issues.


Mr Speaker, at this critical time in our nation, initiatives which promote good governance like the APRM have to be supported wholeheartedly to help us to attain our aspirations concerning good governance in our country.


Sir, my colleague who debated before me talked about the best practices that we can share through the APRM as we compare ourselves with what is happening elsewhere. Therefore, I support the recommendations of the Committee that we need the APRM to be better organised in our country. If having an independent secretariat will enable the secretariat to do a good job, then let us find the resources for that as a country because these aspects are very important.


Mr Speaker, what comes to mind when we are talking about good governance? It is the daily issues that we are grappling with such as the Public Order Act. It is still difficult for Opposition political parties in this country to meet freely and transact their business. If such issues are redressed through the APRM, then we would support such an initiative.


Sir, I thought I should make this brief submission.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, I will be brief.


Sir, I would like to congratulate the Committee on Legal Affairs, Human Rights, National Guidance, Gender Matters and Governance for its observations and recommendations. The issues tabled, under which the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is supported are very important.


Mr Speaker, looking back, I note that Zambia has made strides which have been acknowledged. If you look at the Victim Support Unit, which we took a keen interest in when it was formed in 1994 and 1995, and the Child Protection Unit in 2008, you will note that Zambia needs to be on a projectile. The APRM is important to keep us in that line.


Sir, I am excited to see that we are looking at the establishment of a gender commission through a Bill under consideration in this House. I want to assure the women of Zambia that we have heard their cries. We have seen the practice. It is important that the existence of the gender commission is enshrined in the Constitution. It is important that we get more women in the House so that good governance is upheld.


Mr Speaker, I support the Motion.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, I want to join my colleagues who have congratulated the Committee on this very important report on the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). I want to add two points as most of what I wanted to say has already been buttressed by my hon. Colleagues.


Sir, I am particularly concerned about two areas as regards the APRM. Firstly, I am concerned about the limited or lack of a role for parliamentarians. The APRM is an oversight institution at continental level. Hon. Members of Parliament play a very important oversight role, particularly in governance, which is one of their core businesses. One would expect that in the national governing council or at whatever level in the institutional framework, there could be a role for, at least, one of our colleagues to represent us in this very important institution.


Mr Speaker, I know that the hon. Minister of Justice is bemused, probably riding on the principle of separation of powers. Even though he is wearing a mask, I was able to see that he is smiling –




Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Lukulu East, that is absolutely unnecessary.


Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, he is a colleague. It is just in jest.


Mr Speaker: I know he is a colleague. Everybody is a colleague. Please, continue.




Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, as I was saying, it is important that, going forward, we find a way for parliamentarians in these oversight institutions to complement each other.


Sir, it is not only in the APRM. If you look very carefully, you will see that there is no role for hon. Members of Parliament in most of these institutions. Be it at the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) level, the country coordinating mechanisms for the Global Fund or anything else, the hon. Members of Parliament are left out. However, eventually, commitments are made at those levels and hon. Members are expected to make informed comments or sometimes, provide oversight to our colleagues who represent us there. Therefore, it would be good if one or two of us are part of this process so that we complement each other.


Sir, secondly, I know that the APRM is a brother-check-brother institution. However, at the same time, I am concerned about the lack of a sanctioning mechanism for any errant behaviour by the brother who is being checked. It would be important if within the framework of the African Union (AU), there could be some mechanism to ensure that some of the errant behaviour is not repeated by way of sanctions.


Mr Speaker, it is just those two contributions that I wanted to buttress in contributing to the debate on this Motion on the report. Otherwise, I am in full support of the report.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I was struggling to enter the system.


Sir, as I was walking up the stairs, I had a glimpse of the report by your Committee. I, therefore, would like to thank the Committee for bringing out the issues it has brought out in its report. However, I see that most of the stuff your Committee is speaking about surrounds the funding for this particular initiative. If this initiative was to be assessed from 2008, up until when the son of the soil, President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC., was President, I am sure it would have recorded enormous benefits in its self-assessment of improvements made with regard to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).


Mr Speaker, I agree with the Committee that the Government requires – When the United Party for National Development (UPND) comes into power, it will give the APRM its own secretariat such as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) which is visible to the public.


Sir, I was shocked to hear one of my hon. Colleagues say that he was not well-versed with what the APRM was all about. It is alarming to learn that an hon. Member does not know what the APRM is all about. This is a good governance toolkit that surrounds democracy and the prudent management of a country’s corporate affairs.


Mr Speaker, if we had to put ourselves on a barometer and take one of the three objectives which are related to the establishment of the effectiveness of the APRM in Zambia, we would see that we have already recorded a failure. If we go to objective (iii) Appreciating the progress made by some of the key objectives of the APRM, it is another failure. If we go to objective (iv) Appreciation of the benefits of the APRM, it is also another failure. Why?


Mr Speaker, we have been told in this report that Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) are supposed to be part and parcel of this review mechanism. However, it is not a secret that CSOs started to die once the Patriotic Front (PF) came into power. If I recall correctly, from the time of President Fredrick Chiluba and President Levy Mwanawasa, SC., may their souls rest in peace, and, to a certain extent the Presidency of Rupiah Bwezani Banda and the late President Michael Chilufya Sata, may his soul also rest in peace, we may have recorded a little bit of progress on this APRM as regards how we managed ourselves. Alas, under the PF, the human rights of citizens have been trodden so much and unbelievably mutilated to a point where the CSOs do not exist anymore.


Mr Speaker, finally, in terms of funding, in my view, the APRM should get a little more money than organisations that have been resilient and have stood the test of time like the Non-governmental Gender Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC).


Mr Speaker, the NGOCC is a CSO. It has tasted the storm of the PF brutality and dictatorship. That is a fact. The rest of the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) or the CSOs are under the mat now. They do not exist anymore. They do not have a voice. They provide part of the checks and balances on any Executive.


Mr Speaker, the media is another area which is supposed to be a given primary objective number one in governance because it is the fourth estate. How does a Government know it is meeting its targets with regard to the benchmarks of the APRM? We know that the PF as a Government has become an expert in shutting up mouths of media institutions that I am speaking about. Today, Prime Television is history because of intolerance on the part of the PF Government. Today, any media that may come up and make citizens aware about what is going on is inimical to the PF Government.


Mr Speaker, there are lessons that we can learn when we go next door. It is just about 600 km to Mchinji Border Post to get into Malawi and you will see that oppression is only but for a short time.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this important Motion on the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).


Mr Speaker, a number of issues have been raised. For us, as the Government, the issue of human rights is a constitutional one and, as such, we have been trying to ensure that we enhance the Bill of Rights. Our colleagues in the Opposition, especially from the United Party for National Development (UPND), have always been on the negative part. It is because of that that we have agreed with the APRM that we need to ensure that we work together as a country to come up with laws that will favour the people of Zambia. A case in point is the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 which is trying to address issues of human rights. Among them is the inclusion of women in the decision-making processes.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Bwalya: Among the issues in the APRM is the inclusion of youths in the governance system of the country. If you look very carefully at the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019, you will notice that it is trying to address those issues. Our colleagues who have been rising and lamenting, like the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central who has just spoken, know very well that the referendum failed because the Opposition de-campaigned it. As a country and continent, I agree with Hon. Dr Kalila that the situation is like brother-checking-brother. As brothers and sisters in this country and the continent as a whole, we need to approach these issues with a lot of level headedness so that we achieve what we need to achieve.


Mr Speaker, not too long ago, the people of Zambia witnessed a lot of abuse from certain media houses which have been alluded to, and that should not continue because to every right there is a responsibility.


Mr Speaker, in fact, under the PF Government, many media houses have been opened. As hon. Minister for the Northern Province, I have witnessed the emergence of a number of radio and television stations under the PF Government. This is what Africa needs. It is what the continent of Africa has been looking forward to; a leadership that would allow freedom of expression.


Sir, in this age and era, you should listen to various radio stations if you want to attest to the freedom of expression in this country. You will hear all kinds of people featuring on radio stations, saying anything about the governance of this country. The PF Government tolerates that and gives them the platform. This is what the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019, is trying to achieve by way of bringing about mixed-member proportional representation.


Sir, all these things are about enhancing human rights so that each time our peers review us through the APRM, they should say that after enacting the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 into law, a lot of things have changed such as the inclusion of people with disabilities into the governance system because they also have their own rights. People living with disabilities are saying that they need to be part and parcel of the governance system. However, our colleagues in the Opposition have become adamant on their position. They have become completely unconcerned.


Hon. UPND Members: Question!


Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, all these things put together, it is very questionable as to whether or not they can form government, as Hon. Nkombo put it. It is questionable because the people of Zambia are watching. They are able to see that it is not right that the people who are charged with the responsibility to debate issues in the Chamber can neglect that particular responsibility and simply let it go like that. People want to hear views for and against before decisions are made.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, this is a very important Motion that has been moved by our colleague, the hon. Member of Parliament for Livingstone, and seconded by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mumbwa.


Mr Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has failed in many spheres where we should ensure that we record success. I want to look at issues of governance as well as human rights in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) report.


Mr Speaker, governance requires participation. The participation space in this country has been shrunk by this PF Government, which has failed us. A simple test would be picked from the by-elections that are sponsored or engineered by this PF Government without shame. Wherever there have been by-elections, we have seen the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) move and set base there to deal with the people’s (inaudible) by doing what they want and soliciting for a certain way of voting. There is no way we can have a disaster management system that only waits for by-elections to set itself up to disturb the voting population. That is just one area.


Mr Speaker, what about the rights of the people? Not long ago, we saw that young people could not exercise their right to protest in a peaceful manner because of the failed space in the country. The young people beat the Government to it by going to the ‘bush’ as the Patriotic Front (PF) called it, to speak out. That was embarrassing. The Government must be ashamed of that. There is no way the Government can suffocate people by making them fail to speak out because it wants to be a Goliath. One day, the Government will fall because young people will speak louder. That dyonko the young people gave the Government involving the ka test of speaking from the bush must worry it.  Young people must be given space so that they are able to communicate for the Government to bring about corrective measures on what they are complaining about.


Mr Speaker, what kind of a Government is this one which cannot even be moved? We have heard hon. Ministers malign people saying that some of those who were protesting were grandfathers. So what? If anything, when you see adults getting concerned about the expression of young people, it is good because they will provide them with some guidance. In any case, this Parliament is full of young people across partisan lines. They are in the PF, in the United Party for National Development (UPND) and others are independents. They are young, but they debate issues on the Floor of this House. They communicate with us.  So, this frivolous kind of thinking by the PF that only when the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No.10 of 2019 is passed will the voice of a young person be heard is nonsensical and cannot be tolerated.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Livune: Let them listen to young people in the House who are telling them what to do.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Speaker: Order, Hon. Member for Katombola!


Mr Livune: Let them listen.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Katombola!


Mr Livune: Yes, Mr Speaker.




Mr Speaker: Can you please use temperament language.


Mr Livune: I am very annoyed.


Mr Speaker: The word ‘nonsensical’...


Mr Nkombo: Ati I am very annoyed!


Mr Livune: Sir, this PF is annoying me because …


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Katombola, please, withdraw the word ‘nonsensical’.


Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, I withdraw the word.


I am asking the Government to listen to the voice of young people in the House who want employment opportunities to be created. Hon. Kakubo was on the Floor the other day as a young person. Young people do not want to come to Parliament.  They want to have opportunities. Let this Government create opportunities for them. The hon. Minister for Youth, Sport and Child Development must not just be reactive. He must be proactive by creating opportunities for young people to survive on their own. They do not need handouts. No! So, the Government must listen. The PF is a bad Government which must go because it has shrunk the participation space and done away with people’s fundamental rights.


Mr Ng’onga: Question!


Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, one does not need a law to enable him/her to buy mealie-meal for his/her children. So, all the things the Government is talking about are just scapegoats. It has failed and must go. I am tired of it.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Siwanzi: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Siwanzi: Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to rise on a point of order. As I was following the proceedings in the House during the debate by the hon. Minister for Northern Province, the Member of Parliament for Chikankata, Hon. Mwiinga, stood up and went to touch him on the shoulder. I believe that disturbed the hon. Minister as he debated. Was the hon. Member for Chikankata in order to disturb the hon. Minister as he debated? I believe that was breaking the decorum of the House. I, therefore, seek your serious ruling.


Mr Speaker: Order!


One of the challenges we have with the current system is that we are not able to witness what you are narrating. However, if the hon. Minister in question is aggrieved about whatever happened, which I was not able to perceive, he has the liberty to use appropriate channels to bring it to my attention by speaking for himself. That is my ruling.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, thank you for according me an opportunity to debate the Motion that has been ably moved by the hon. Member for Livingstone and Chairperson of the Committee on Legal Affairs, Human Rights, National Guidance, Gender and Governance.


Mr Speaker, I listened attentively to the submissions that were made on the Floor of this House by various hon. Members and, in particular, the hon. Minister for Northern Province. He spoke very proudly on the record of the Patriotic Front (PF) of establishing radio stations in Zambia. He did mention that Zambians are free to be featured on these radio stations and have been saying a lot of things without any recriminations.


Mr Speaker, I would like to remind the hon. Minister for Northern Province that of late, we have witnessed a number of unwarranted and wanton attacks by Patriotic Front (PF) cadres on radio stations and those featuring on them in this country. What has happened of late is unprecedented. It has only occurred during the reign of the PF. As my colleague, Hon. Nkombo, indicated, it never happened during the reign of President Kaunda, President Chiluba, President Mwanawasa, SC., or His Excellency President Rupiah Banda. It has only happened during the reign of the PF.


Mr Speaker, the PF is intolerant to any opposing views. We saw attacks in Mpika, Isoka, Nakonde, Chipata, Kasama and Nchelenge. Almost every radio station in this country, including those domiciled in Lusaka, has been attacked by the PF cadres.


Mr Ng’onga: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Mwiimbu: What good governance is the PF talking about if the track record speaks for itself? I would like anyone who will stand on behalf of the PF to challenge me whether or not what I have stated is not correct. That is what has happened. What has happened is denting the image of the PF. Can the PF recall the atrocities that were committed against it during the days of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD)? Why is it doing things which it used to condemn during those days? The PF is becoming worse than those who were perpetrating acts that were not in its interest when it was not in the Government. The PF is worse than the MDD was.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: The atrocities that the PF used to complain about are worse now than they were that time.


Hon. PF Members: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Health informed this House that we had COVID-19 in this country and that measures had been put in place, including social distancing and that members of the public who were more than fifty should not gather. We, as the Opposition, have obliged, but the PF has not obliged to that Statutory Instrument (SI). It has continued holding rallies contrary to the COVID-19 prevention regulations.


The members of the Opposition have been denied the right to assemble under this COVID-19 arrangement, but our colleagues on your right have continued doing what is prohibited under the SI, with impunity.


Mr Speaker, I have a right to ten minutes, but I am being given five minutes.




Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, what I am saying speaks for itself. Whenever the President travels around the country, multitudes of people go with him, contrary to the COVID-19 prevention regulations. What rule of law are we talking about here? During by-elections, a lot of illegal activities have taken place. One of them has been alluded to by my colleague, which is associated with the work of the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU). Instead of providing relief to people who are suffering as a result of hunger, the DMMU distributes mealie-meal and other essentials to voters.


Ms Kapata interjected.


Mr Mwiimbu: I hear Hon. Kapata saying yes. She is the Chairlady of the PF.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Monze Central, there is no need to respond to the hon. Minister. You know that very well.


Ms Siliya: Voters are Zambians!


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I am not going to respond to Hon. Kapata who is talking about what the DMMU is doing with food.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member, you are just literally defying my counsel.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I am sorry. I have heard your counsel. I thank you.


Mr Speaker, what I am saying is that despite the established laws that have been put in place, which everyone is expected to follow, those in the PF are acting in a contrary manner. As I indicated under the COVID-19 arrangement, there are not supposed to be any demonstrations, but those who are in the PF are engaging in them.


Mr Speaker, your report is talking about good governance. Good governance entails that there is no one who is above the law. People should read your report. What I am saying is that what is currently happening in this country is very unfortunate. The PF cadres are able to demonstrate without giving due notice to the police while other members of the public are denied that right. What good governance are they talking about? Whenever the members of the public notify the police about a demonstration according to the law, the police will refuse to authorise it with impunity. The police threaten those who want to demonstrate peacefully in accordance with the law. One of our colleagues who is a senior member of this House even urged the police to break the bones of all those who wanted to demonstrate peacefully. What impunity!




Hon. UPND Members: Name him!


Mr Mwiimbu: This person is an hon. Member of Parliament in a constituency in Central Province. This area is located before Kapiri Mposhi from here.




Mr Mwiimbu: I have not mentioned anyone’s name.


Mr Speaker, what the PF is doing is denting the image of this country. It is also making us fail to get the necessary assistance from bilateral and multilateral institutions, especially the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, which always consider governance as an issue. Why is it doing this to this country?


Prof. Luo: You should answer that question!


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I am aware that even the distribution of funding in the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock is being done in a very discriminatory manner …


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: …which is contrary to the rules we have established ourselves. That is bad governance, Mr Speaker.




Hon. UPND Members: Sesheke!


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, in Sesheke, the police were shooting live ammunition against innocent citizens who did not provoke them. The people are asking me to tell the nation that what happened in Sesheke is not good.




Hon. Government Members: What happened?


Mr Mwiimbu: I have told you what you did.




Hon. UPND Members: What about Namwala?


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, in Namwala, there is a lot of livestock which feeds this country. If it was not for Namwala, there would have been no beef in Lusaka. We want to thank the people of Namwala for the good services they are rendering to this country.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order!


 Hon. Members, as you all are aware, we have very limited time for debates under this regime. So, I want to allow sufficient time for the hon. Minister to respond on behalf of the Executive and his colleagues. Later, I will ask the mover of the Motion to wind up.


The Minister of Justice (Mr Lubinda): Mr Speaker, let me start by thanking your Committee for showing such great interest in matters concerning the Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).


 Sir, you will recall that a few months ago, when I presented a report on this very subject, hardly two hon. Members of Parliament debated. It was not a surprise, and I would like to echo the sentiments that have been registered by some of the hon. Members of Parliament, who have said that the business of the APRM is not well known not only by the public but also, by hon. Members of Parliament. Today, I am delighted that after the report was presented by the Committee, at least ten hon. Members of Parliament indicated interest to debate. This is exactly what I was asking for when I presented the report that Parliament must take interest in matters to do with the APRM.


Sir, once again allow me to thank your Committee for developing this interest. It is very clear in my mind that next year, when we debate the APRM, there will be more informed debate on this matter. This is good for the country. I am, therefore, not surprised that people have chosen to take this debate as a broad-based governance debate when it is not. Your report was over the APRM, which is the mechanism that African countries voluntarily acceded to. What your Committee was reporting to Parliament was how the mechanism was functioning and how it could be made to function better. Your report did not solicit for comments on the Public Order Act and how it was being managed or about how radio stations were operating. No! Your report solicited comments on how the APRM ought to function and we must concentrate on that. This is the challenge when you lose focus because you tend to speak off tangent and lose the point. In the process, you misinform the people who are listening. The people who are listening out there would like to know what the Government is doing to ensure that our society is well-informed about the existence of the APRM in Zambia. To be a chatterbox and think that people cannot hear you is also missing the point. Those who want to debate can do the honourable thing of requesting authority to debate.


Sir, I would like to respond to the specific issues and then I will end on general matters. The first is to agree with your Committee that the APRM itself, right from inception, left out aspects on how to include information dissemination in its activities. This is a matter which the APRM, as a mechanism, is actually developing a response. It may interest society to know that even the constitution of the APRM national governing bodies is being changed.


Sir, some people are praising the report of the Committee without really having interrogated the APRM Country Report for Zambia. That report presented a lot of salient suggestions on how to improve the operations of the national governing council.


Sir, you will be interested to know that ever since the national governing council was established in 2008, it has not been replaced. This one council has not been replaced from 2008 to date. That obviously is a challenge. The APRM Secretariat was compared to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Secretariat. By the way, there is no COMESA Zambia Secretariat. There is only the regional COMESA Secretariat which is housed here in Zambia.  What are the hon. Members talking about when they suggest that when they come into power, we shall have an APRM Secretariat in Zambia?


Mr Speaker, this shows that some people are not prepared. They are not ready yet to take the reigns of governance. They do not know what to do. Let those who know how to govern continue to do so. The African Secretariat of the APRM is looking at refining the Constitution, so that there is, for instance, tenure of office of the governing council.


Sir, those who have cared to read the report will know that the Governing Council of APRM of Zambia not only draws its membership from the Government, but other representations like the academia and the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). There are only a few members from the Government. When somebody suggests that we need an autonomous secretariat, then you ask the person: What was the reason for establishing the APRM? Was it supposed to be an autonomous body? Do not start refining and changing things on your own. You have to first look at the constitutive Act of the entity.


Sir, the African Union (AU) Constitutive Act of the APRM states that the secretariat, everywhere in Africa, shall be housed in a government unit. That is the standard. Nonetheless, the membership of the council shall be drawn from different players.


Mr Speaker, regarding the issue of hon. Parliamentarians being left out, I have lamented this myself. I am on record as having suggested that those hon. Parliamentarians who feel strongly about not only Zambia’s governance, but also Africa’s governance, should form a caucus for the APRM and run it. I will support them. I will be extremely happy to see hon. Parliamentarians forming a caucus which will be following issues not only about Zambia, but also Africa on the APRM. I hope that when that is done, hon. Members will find a person who can run it as I did run the African Parliamentarian Network Against Corruption (APNAC) and not the one who came and destroyed its reputation. I hope the reputation of the caucus of the APRM once created can raise to the former level of APNAC.


Sir, I would like to end by saying that when we have matters such as this before us, let us use them for the purpose of building. Let us not use them as an opportunity to throw bitterness around and to bring in matters that are not related to the subject because that also, attracts us to start defending ourselves. However, when we do that, we lose focus and the people out there, the ones we represent, will not understand what we are talking about.  To illustrate what I am talking about, I can cite a few examples. Instead of telling people in the whole country to campaign for the enhancement of the rights of Zambians, people lost focus. They went out and told people that, if they voted for the Bill of Rights, they would be voting for Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu into Government. What happened? The Bill of Rights and the Referendum failed to meet the required threshold, but President Edgar Chagwa Lungu was elected. Who lost? It was not President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, but the Zambian people. Why did they lose? It was because a section of our country decided to shift from the main issue to a peripheral one. Now they are the ones who have come to make raise important and intelligent questions on the Bill of Rights? Then you sit and wonder if this is genuine or hypocrisy.


Sir, there was also another opportunity. We said that we had heard and agreed to amend the Public Order Act as a Government. My colleague, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, and I sent people across the country to collect views. Sir, you remember what happened. The Bill was brought here and again people lost focus. They asked why we wanted to bring the Public Order Bill to Parliament before the amendments to the Constitution. Today, they are talking about the Public Order Act and again we wonder if these people really hear themselves as they speak. We are now talking about the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10, 2019. We said please colleagues here is the raw document, let us discuss it here in Parliament assembled. What do they do? Moo! They walk out –


Mr Speaker: Order!


Meaning what?


Mr Lubinda: Sir, I have only recently learnt how to keep cattle and when my people are moving cattle from the kraal, it goes moo! That is the expression.


Sir, I would like to end by thanking the Committee and the Hon. Leader of the Opposition for raising peripheral issues which gave me an opportunity to express this Government’s views.


I thank you Sir.


Mr Jere: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the seconder of the Motion and all those who debated this very important topic, and also the Executive for partially responding to the concerns of the Committee.


Sir, listening very carefully, I am made to believe that we need a workshop on this topic so that hon. Members can easily understand the role of the APRM. Lastly, but certainly not the least, I would like to thank your office and the Office of the Clerk for the support and guidance to the Committee during its sittings.


I thank you, Sir.


Question put and agreed to.




Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Budget Committee for the Fourth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on Friday, 19th June, 2020.


Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?


Ms Subulwa (Sioma): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.


Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, pursuant to its programme of work for the Fourth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly, the Committee conducted a study on the topic: Budget Implementation Vis-à-vis Decent Employment Creation in Zambia.


Sir, the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) recognises that recent economic growth has not significantly reduced poverty due to low employment levels. The development plan also indicates that in 2014, about 84 per cent of the people employed in Zambia were in the informal sector.


Mr Speaker, the Government has been using the National Budget, not only as a tool for resource allocation, distribution and economic management but also as a tool to realise the medium-term plans espoused in the 7NDP. Consecutive national budgets, during the plan period, have attempted to foster employment creation, but the rate of unemployment remains stubbornly high at 41.2 per cent. With regard to decent employment, this stands at 28 per cent, implying that over 70 per cent of the population in this country is indecently employed. After interacting with a number of stakeholders, the Committee made the following observations and recommendations.


Sir, the Committee is dismayed over the low contribution to decent employment creation by the construction sector despite huge investments through both local and foreign financing. This is mainly attributed to the low participation of local contractors as most of the contractors are foreigners who, in most instances, externalise their finances or earnings. In this vein, the Committee strongly recommends that the Government legislates the 20 per cent policy pronouncement of allocating Government contracts to local contractors in the construction sector to enhance the participation of local contractors.


Mr Speaker, the Committee notes with concern, the high cost of doing business in the country as well as the limited financing and high interest rates, mainly attributed to the persistent borrowing from the domestic market by the Government. Not only does this crowd out the private sector, but it also limits its productivity, which can result in the creation of decent or formal jobs. The Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government initiates and implements both short and long-term measures to address the high cost of doing business and the high interest rates in order for the private sector to expand its productivity and contribute to the creation of decent employment.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


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


Ms Subulwa: Now, Sir.


Mr Speaker, thank you for according me an opportunity to second the Motion that has been ably moved by the Chairperson of the Committee. I will speak about some of the challenges concerning the creation of decent employment in Zambia.


Sir, the number of jobs that the Government is progressively creating is not adequate to accommodate the growing or increasing number of citizens, especially the youths that need jobs. The private sector is also unable to absorb the number of youths who are unemployed because it is faced with economic challenges such as limited access to financing, poor capitalisation and limited integration into the global market.


Mr Speaker, the other challenges noted by your Committee include the slow progress towards economic diversification, which has an impact on unemployment in the country.


Sir, more than 90 per cent of businesses in Zambia are Small Scale Enterprises (SMEs) which, in nature, employ the majority of the Zambian labour force. However, these SMEs are faced with various economic challenges which have made it impossible for them to expand. Thus, they have remained the same. So, the SMEs are not actually graduating into medium scale enterprises.


Mr Speaker, the Committee also noted the youths’ lack of interest to venture into agriculture and agribusiness. There is also lack of business incubation facilities to facilitate the growth and sustainability of new businesses, especially for the youths. Further, there is a relatively low number of youths pursuing vocational training which has the potential for self-employment and job creation. However, the demand on the market is not matching the available skills.


Sir, your Committee is satisfied with the establishment of the Skills Development Fund, which has the potential to contribute to employment creation in this country significantly. It, however, notes that without deliberate measures being put in place by the Government to ensure that youths are empowered with necessary or appropriate skills to meet the demands on the market, unemployment will continue being an issue in our communities. So, we urge the Government to roll out capacity building programmes to support youths with skills that are appropriate to meet the needs of the market. Further, continuous curriculum reviews should be conducted to provide the appropriate skills needed to meet the needs of the market.


Mr Speaker, the Government should not work in isolation, but partner with the private sector to ensure that programmes aimed at job creation are done as a joint venture. We also urge the Government to ensure that it invests in research and development which underpins employment creation in general and decent employment, in particular.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Dr Malama: Mr Speaker, I thank the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson of the Budget Committee for their recommendations.


Sir, we recently learnt that Zambia was highly recommended as a peaceful nation internationally. Coupled with this peace, it is important that we look at the tools that would empower people and the Budget is one such tool. The Budget is a good governance and economic tool. If well implemented and resources are put in place, as we have seen our hon. Minister of Finance recommending and doing, we will be able to invest in our young people. The money from the gold that is being mined from the North-Western Province and other minerals could be invested in our young people both in rural and urban areas and they could be taught practical ways, such as aquaculture. We are looking forward to the day Prof. Luo will come to Kanchibiya Parliamentary Constituency because we have many water bodies. When we invest in aquaculture and its value chain, we will create more jobs for our people. Further, the stunting unemployment levels that are being talked about of 40 per cent will be drastically reduced because we will have fish protein in the diet of our people.


Mr Speaker, we also need to look at the issue of buy Zambia, which is a very good initiative that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is propagating. When some people go into the textile industry to develop materials, as the young people and the women of Zambia are doing, we will increasingly start buying the textile made by our own people. In this way, employment will be created.


Sir, in view of the co-operatives in Kanchibiya and many rural areas, we are looking forward to more initiatives that the PF Government is rolling out. When we empower men and women organisations with livestock as can be seen in the North-Western Province, the Southern Province, the Western Province and the Northern Province, we will create wealth and employment for our people.


Mr Speaker, the PF Government has been working in a sector format through livestock, commerce and aquaculture. Through the fishes and livestock in our land, we will be able to feed our people. There is a yearning market for these commodities in our country. Further, many people in countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Angola like the food that is produced in Zambia. Therefore, such ventures will also create employment.


Sir, there is need for us, politicians to change the narrative. There is too much politicking in the country. The people of Zambia are not concerned so much about the politics that we talk about, but they want development and jobs. Therefore, us, politicians from the ruling party, including the party I used to call a minority party and I am tired of calling it that –


Hon. UPND Members: Question!


Dr Malama: I do not know why they are questioning what I am saying.


Mr Speaker, I wish to refer to them as partners so that together, we can create employment because that is what the people of Zambia and the youths of our land are looking for. They are looking up to us in the political space to accommodate them. We would also like to see more young people join us in Parliament, when we implement the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No.10 of 2019.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr A. C. Mumba (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, as I support the Report of the Budget Committee, I will share some of our thoughts as people of Kantanshi Parliamentary Constituency, especially that it comes at a time when the world economy is slowing down, and commodity prices such as copper prices are dropping, posing a threat to the mining sector, which is basically the backbone of our economy.


Sir, I realise that luckily, we had a bumper harvest this year, but unfortunately, the Government has not yet stated how it intends to make use of the excess maize, which was produced as a result of the successful Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). Since huge amounts of money have been spent to support the farmers, it would be important for the Government to take advantage of the excess maize and export it to support the Treasury in view of the loss of revenue that we may have from the mining sector. I hope the Government will be serious about this; especially that agriculture is the number one employer.


Mr Speaker, I also observed from the report that most of the suggestions are centred on the fact that the Government has to have resources. However, our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been revised, I think twice, together with the growth rate, which I think stands at 1.9 per cent. When I look at a growth rate of 1.9 per cent, I realise that very few jobs will be created. So, the Government is threatened with the fact that definitely, unemployment will continue to rise, especially amongst the youths. However, I am comforted by the fact that in the time of challenges of such nature, we can come up with new strategies to continue on the path of survival.


Sir, I also agree with the report that, indeed, under the construction sector, we have lost an opportunity to earn revenue, create jobs and build capacity for the local people as most huge contracts are not given to local contractors. Even now, the contracts that have been signed are still awarded to companies that are not Zambian per se, but those that have come from China or other countries. We should remember that those companies that came from China are actually parastatal companies and quasi Government companies. Thus, by continuing to give such companies huge contracts at the expense of Zambian contractors, we have not done well.


Mr Speaker, even when it comes to contract financing which is a short form of a postdated cheque, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security has missed an opportunity where it should have made sure that the minimum wage in the construction sector should have been good enough for people to also contribute to the Treasury. The Ministry of Finance gave us a cap of K3,300 stating that anybody who got below that amount was not supposed to pay Pay-as-You-Earn (PAYE), but anybody who got above that threshold was supposed to pay it. That is one area that the Government, going forward, should look into, sector by sector. It is one thing to increase salaries for maids, and it is another thing not to increase revenues or salaries for certain sectors, especially those that require us, as a country to pay back in the future. So, going forward, I hope the Government will take care of such matters, as it starts to prepare the 2021 Budget, which I must say, will be a very difficult, looking at the fact that revenues from the sector which the country depends on continues to decline.


Sir, my other worry is that the Government seems not to be quick in responding to challenges. Right now, the country is faced with the possibility of Mopani Copper Mines going into care and maintenance in the next thirty days, and we have been waiting all this time to hear how the miners’ jobs will be protected. When such challenges arise, the required amount of speed is not quickly applied.


Mr Speaker, with those few words, I support the Motion on the report. I hope the Government will start to look into immediate measures that are going to be implemented to continue supporting the growth of our economy, as we are going through this very difficult time. At the same time, we need to communicate effectively to the people of Zambia so that they are not misled by political pundits.


I thank you, Sir.



Ms Kasune (Keembe): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to add the voice of the people of Keembe or the people of Zambia, especially on the issue of budgeting in this country.


Mr Speaker, what should be put across clearly is that this country is suffering from political paralysis when it comes to budgeting and, in particular, in understanding that budgeting and actualisation are two different things. What the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has continued to do is to budget for something, but when it comes to actualisation, it is far from actualising what it budgeted for. It is clear that not only does this country need reforms in terms of the budgeting process, but also the roles of hon. Members of Parliament, as this relates to budgeting. One of the most annoying times in Parliament is within the period September to December because some of us came to Parliament, thinking we would make a change when it comes to budgeting and putting monies where they are supposed to make a difference, that is women, the youths and children, but alas, hon. Members of Parliament are just a rubber-stamp to the budgeting process.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Ms Kasune: This is where the challenge is.


Mr Speaker, if there are no reforms put in place, this country is not likely going to obtain the middle-income status that it seeks. If there is one commodity that is forever true and forever vanishing, it is time. When are we going to see this Government of the PF, not only say things, but also actualise them? Many people from other countries come to Zambia to learn and go back to actualise the policies in their countries. I have seen that some countries have improved in terms of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) even amid the COVID-19. Yet the PF Government has used the COVID-19 situation to –


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Keembe, are you still debating the report?


Ms Kasune: Mr Speaker, I am talking about budgeting and how the Government is using the COVID-19 outbreak as the reason for not really actualising what was budgeted for in this country. That is the point I am trying to make.


Mr Speaker, I was looking at the report not too long ago. The report has listed the unemployment figures for the provinces. Take the Western Province, for instance. In 2018, the unemployment rate was 72.2 per cent. In Luapula, it was 70.2 per cent. That is just to mention a few statistics. When you look at the current situation, you will notice that we are not progressing, but regressing. This is why the youths are saying that they are disgruntled. They are demanding that they should not only have voices when it is time to vote but that they should be part of the budgeting process. Until every Zambian is part of the budgeting process, not only at the beginning but during implementation and evaluation, we will remain where we are.


Sir, this country has many resources, but the mismanagement has not helped us, hence even when we budget for things, we do not actualise them. Women have been used. All the time, we talk about women’s programmes and projects, yet what they are given is a drop in the ocean. This was supposed to be looked into when the budgeting process or planning started so that by the time the allocations are disbursed, what was budgeted for is released. After the monies have been disbursed and used, there should be a way of reviewing whether what we had budgeted for met the intended purposes. That is the process of budgeting, and that is the way we can move this country forward. Unfortunately, under the PF Government, budgets are made, but there is a lack of actualisation. As long as we remain in this situation, we are going nowhere.


Mr Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time has expired.


Dr Kopulande (Chembe): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to comment and contribute to the debate on the Motion of the report moved by one able hon. Member of Parliament for Mbala, which addresses key issues bordering on the economic development of our country, particularly matters of job creation.


Mr Speaker, job creation lies at the very centre of improved or shattered and dwarfed wellbeing of a population. The truth of the matter is that not every member of the population can be an entrepreneur or business owner. There must be an environment where some people are investors who create jobs while others are employees who get jobs, and through their employment, they get a wage that guarantees their wellbeing.


Mr Speaker, as a country, we have, for a long time, remained a mono-economy dominated by the mining sector which, although it controls 80 per cent of our foreign earnings, has failed to contribute to the growth of other sectors because of the negative procurement policies it has been practising all these years. It has failed to create even a cadre of an industry that is supposed to supply its needs. We, as a people, have remained quiet for so many years after independence, and have not addressed the policy around procurement in the mining sector. As we address these issues, the time has come for us to question the mining policies, particularly those to do with procurement. I am so glad that the Government took the action in the case of one mining company on the Copperbelt Province to protect the interests of the Zambian people.


Mr Speaker, the only answer to the high levels of unemployment in our country lies in two sectors which is agriculture and industry. While we are doing reasonably well in agriculture, we need to industrialise and create jobs through industry. For this purpose, the Multi-Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ) Policy is in place. Unfortunately, we took away the incentives from this policy. Since the hon. Minister of Finance is here, may I beg that the Ministry of Finance works to ensure that the incentives for the MFEZs that were embedded in the Zambia Development Agency Act of 2006 are reinstated? Then, we will see a difference in this country.


Mr Speaker, we need to invest more in co-operatives. I am happy that this Government moved the co-operatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, which limited co-operative activity to only agriculture activities to the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry so that they can be cross-sectoral.


Mr Speaker, one other area where we need to ensure that jobs are created is through improved financing to the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC), which has not received the funding budgeted every single fiscal year. We need to examine that issue because, through the CEEC, our people are creating jobs.


Mr Speaker, there is so much to say on the question of job creation.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, this is, indeed, an interesting subject and I will paraphrase whatever I meant to say by stating that budgeting has never been an event. It is a process which is also determined by prevailing circumstances.


Sir, this report could not have come at a better time than this, especially after we went through an unforeseen circumstance which created a world recession and this has to do with the COVID-19, as an example. My expectations this year was that the Government, soon after experiencing the slowing down of economic activities as a result of COVID-19, would have prolonged the meeting of Parliament so that it could redo the National Budget for this particular year because, as you know, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which the hon. Minister of Finance had projected of about 2 per cent at the time when he was presenting the Budget, has been affected by the closure of most businesses.


Mr Speaker, I will give an example of the tourism industry. It has suffered a very big blow as a result of COVID-19 to the state where occupancy levels in most of the hotels, pleasure resorts and tourist attractions have gone down to zero. As a result, all Government programmes may have been disturbed. When Government programmes are disturbed, such as the economic empowerment programmes, for example, they cannot reach the target. As the hon. Member of Parliament for Chembe alluded to; we should put money in the citizenship empowerment establishment. Therefore, the Budget is going to underperform this year.


Sir, in terms of the instruments that we have available, vis-à-vis job creation, it is simple knowledge that we do have enough platforms which the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has not used or has deliberately refused to use to ensure that we achieve such desires. One such platform is the reservation scheme. As you know, there is a statute that actually exists that preserves business in quarrying and local transportation for Zambians. There are also many other things such as poultry rearing, for instance, that can be secluded only for Zambians.


Mr Speaker, the PF has failed to live up to the Zambian people’s expectations. I heard I think it was the seconder, saying in this House that the youths of this country shun agricultural opportunities. However, the factors of production ever since the earth was created have not changed. They are land, labour and capital. We have land which is imbedded with mineral resources. I will give an example of the latest issue that has caused the Government to get into conflict with the youths. This is the issue of the Kasenseli Mine in Mwinilunga, which is a gold mine. I heard, many times, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwinilunga lamenting and even giving the President an ultimatum regarding this issue. We know today as we speak that the people who are answering charges in the courts of law for pilfering and unlicensed activities of mining are PF cadres. This is the same PF that is sitting on your right-hand side. It is a greedy Government. If something works, then it is only for them.


Sir, another source of employment for the youths that the Government can lay bare, as the hon. Member of Parliament for Chembe said, is the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC). If you go there, and it is not far from here, you will find out how many youths have been empowered through the CEEC. It is only the PF cadres. This country needs to be refreshed. It requires to ‘cut and paste’ the PF in order to give equal opportunities to Zambians. By Zambians, I mean ordinary Zambians who do not need any connection to fit in the budgeting process and economic development of the country.


Mr Speaker, there is so much that can be said, but the PF has been weighed, measured and found wanting where this matter of job creation is concerned. Our hon. Colleagues on your right cannot do anything. It is a bit too late. For this moment, I would like to say to them mene, mene tekel urpharsin which means that they have been weighed, found wanting and the only thing that is available for them is the exit door.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I note that there are many other hon. Members of Parliament that would like to debate this report, but there is one report that has suffered completion since last week. This is the Report of the Committee on Local Government Accounts on the Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of Local Authorities for the Financial Years Ended 31st December, 2015, 2016 and 2017 and I cannot carry it over indefinitely. I would like to dispose of it today.


The Minister of Finance (Dr Ng’andu): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to respond to the issues that have been raised by the Budget Committee for the Fourth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly on the budget presentation, vis-à-vis decent employment.


Sir, the Committee and also the various hon. Members of the House who have spoken have identified some key areas that we need to address for us to improve our capacity as a country to generate more employment. The one important sector that has come up has been the construction sector, particularly the contracts concerning roads and other capital investment projects where Zambians probably are not getting the full share that they should be getting and, therefore, be in a position to generate more employment.


Sir, I would like to indicate that we intend to bring to the House some far-reaching changes with respect to the Public Procurement Act. The changes will stress the importance of local content so that increasingly, more of our local content will be used in the projects that we carry out.


Mr Speaker, the issue of the high cost of financing is clearly one that we need to address and we are partially treating it with respect to examining a number of reforms within the banking sector. Ideally, what we need to do is to reform the financial system in such a way that the financing of local projects here gains more prominence from the financing sector. For that to happen, it is important that we have Zambian banks here whose focus is on the long-term development of the country. I think that will help.


Sir, another thing that has come out in this report is that the issue of employment is multi-faceted and it requires firm co-ordination between the ministries responsible for labour, commerce, industry, national planning, finance, education, agriculture and so on and so forth. We need to work together and come up with a plan that is co-ordinated which is able to deliver employment.


Mr Speaker, the other important point that has been raised which needs to be stressed is on how education is contributing to the imparting of skills that are required in this country. It is important that education provides skills that feed into industry. Education and industry need to speak to each other because if they do not, then what you are producing is a whole lot of people with nice pieces of paper, but perhaps lacking the skills which are needed by the industry or which are needed for agriculture to develop.


Mr Speaker, all in all, the report is very deep and profound and we would like to examine it in detail and hopefully draw inspiration from it as we prepare adequate responses in terms of how we can increase employment opportunities in this country.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, I want to thank all hon. Members who have contributed to the debate. In particular, I want to thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Kanchibiya, Dr Malama, the hon. Member for Keembe, Ms Kasune, the hon. Member of Parliament for Chembe, Dr Kopulande. I also want to thank the seconder of the Motion, Hon. Mbololwa Subulwa. Finally, I want to say thanks to the hon. Minister of Finance for bringing some responses to the Floor of the House.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Question put and agreed to.





(Debate resumed)


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, thank you for according me the opportunity to debate the Report of the Committee on Local Government Accounts on the Report of the Auditor-General for the years 2015 to 2017.


Sir, when I was about to debate the report last week, I had intended to begin with the reasons your Committee constituted the report. I get the authority of my comments from the contents of the report as regards the mandate that was given to your Committee to study the reasons local authorities could not mobilise enough revenue and also the utilisation of that revenue raised in these local authorities.


Mr Speaker, from the outset, I would like to mention that any system that is put in place stands to fail if the framework or the structure that is supposed to support it is not adequate or appropriately set out. We have a myriad of challenges outlined in your Committee’s report. When I look at those challenges, they boil down to the fact that the kind of structure that is in place in these local authorities is the reason they seem to be struggling to raise revenue.


Mr Speaker, we do have in place the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC). Unfortunately, there has been a lot of political influence in the operations of this institution ever since it was put in place. It has been appointing officers in various local authorities, including the authority in Zambezi District where I come from. We have observed, generally, that most of the staff that is sent to these institutions mainly come from the people who patronise political parties. Therefore, we end up having cadres employed in local authorities. Due to this challenge, we have come up with a problem in terms of the structure that is supposed to support the strategy that is in place.


Mr Speaker, most times, we have had challenges of discipline as regards the utilisation of funds that come into the hands of staff. The challenges come from a situation whereby the staff feel that it has all the leeway and authority to do anything that it wants. I would like to differ with the previous speakers who blamed members of staff for not following what has been put in place. I want to blame the systems of governance and the Central Government for not ensuring that workable systems of recruiting people are put in place. Authority has actually been withdrawn from elected council officials. The elected council officials no longer have the kind of power that they are supposed to have in order to have the kind of staff that would help the system. Power has remained with the people –


Mr Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time has expired.


Mr Speaker: As I pointed out, we need to conclude the debate of this report. So, I have one more person to debate and then I will call upon the hon. Minister.


Mr Mbangweta (Nkeyema): Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for the opportunity to speak. Reading this report, I am wondering what I would have done if it was my company. It shows that as a country, we are a lost cause. This report covers thirty-two out of 116 councils.


Mr Speaker, all the councils have various challenges, but the biggest one appears to be impunity. There is no reason some big councils, for example, could fail to even remit statutory obligations to institutions such as the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA), the Local Authorities Superannuation Fund (LASF) and Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) yet the same officers in those offices see their colleagues standing outside some offices crying over their retirement benefits. So, you wonder how you would fail to prepare for your future, when it is in your own hands. What is the meaning and, by the same token, why is it that the people above them who are supposed to do something about it are not doing anything? Is it a matter of capacity or just coasting along?


Mr Speaker, it is not too long ago, but about three weeks ago, when we had some stories in the media about the Lusaka City Council and one of the big markets. I think it was about the Intercity Bus Terminus in relation to the amount of money that the station makes which is not remitted to the place where it is supposed to be remitted. As a result, you find that a few cadres are able to use the money which people are supposed to be working for officially. 


For Example, in Lusaka where the council has so many business ventures or opportunities to make money, workers are not paid on time because cadres are getting money which is supposed to go to the workers. What is happening? Why would the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) be transferring people who have transgressed, instead of taking action?


Mr Speaker, there is also the issue of disappearing payment vouchers when auditors go to audit. However, the payment vouchers reappear after the auditors have done their work. Further, no action has been taken on many of the activities which were raised previously. These reports relate to 2015, 2016 and 2017 activities, and today is 2020. The relationship in terms of incentivising workers to do right things is virtually not there and that is the reason there could not be some improvement.


Mr Speaker, if the Committee was to go back and consider more than 50 per cent of the other councils which have not been looked at, the story would be worse than what the Committee’s report has indicated. That means the country is worse off now than it was in 2015 when we should be improving. With the LGSC having been in existence for a long time, it should be able to have the capacity to correct things because it is in a better place.


Sir, truly, if it was my company, I would not accept this sort of thing. This means that the country is not getting anywhere. To be fair, there is a relationship between this report and the earlier report which was presented by the Budget Committee. Why is the Government failing to implement its own policies? Who does it expect to do that? The PF are the ones in power, but where are they wasting their time every day? What do they do? This is where we have a problem. The Government better sit up and start doing work in the offices and not going elsewhere to conduct by-elections.


I thank you, Sir.


The Minister for Local Government (Dr Banda): Mr Speaker, thank you for an opportunity to respond to the Report of the Committee on Local Government Accounts on the Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of Local Authorities for the Financial Years Ended 31st December, 2015, 2016 and 2017.


Mr Speaker, to begin with, I would like to commend the work done by the Committee on Local Government Accounts. I wish to commend the Chairperson and his team for a job-well-done. I would like to say that the Ministry of Local Government takes cognisance of the issues raised in the report and wishes to agree with the findings, as stated.


Mr Speaker, as Government, we are concerned about the issues raised because if these issues remain unchecked, they will negatively impact on the ability of local authorities to provide the much needed services in our communities.


Mr Speaker, among the issues raised by the Committee is the failure to prepare financial statements, lack of updated valuation rolls, lack of title deeds, non-remittance of statutory obligations and unsupported payments. The Ministry of Local Government is working with the Ministry of Finance to address the issues identified as a matter of urgency. To this end, a few measures have been put in place.


Mr Speaker, I will begin by saying that the baseline study on accounting systems in local authorities undertaken in 2017, revealed challenges hindering the timely preparations of financial statements. To address the said challenges, the Secretary to the Treasury issued the Treasury and Financial Management Circular No. 10, of 2019, dated 8th October, 2019, giving policy guidelines on the preparation of financial statements in local authorities. The Ministry of Local Government is closely monitoring the preparation of these statements to ensure adherence to the circular.


Mr Speaker, the local authorities erred by not deducting tax payable on leave commutation and settling-in allowances. This is due to the negligence of the accounting officers who shall be disciplined. However, the tax that was not deducted shall be recovered from the beneficiaries’ salaries. The local authorities cited will also be instructed to ensure that they remit the tax due to the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA).


Mr Speaker, the ministry acknowledges the observation in the Auditor-General’s Report with concern that the local authorities were effecting payments before the approval of processes was completed. This is an abrogation of financial regulations and the affected officers will be disciplined. Further, the Treasury and Financial Management Circular No. 9 of 2019, was issued by the Secretary to the Treasury, instructing the councils to have all transactions pre-audited before payment. Councils are expected to adhere to the internal control procedures without fail. The ministry also acknowledges the reported misapplication of the capital component of the Local Government Equalisation Fund (LGEF) by some local authorities.


Sir, the ministry is aware of this as the LGEF expenditure returns are submitted to the ministry on a monthly basis. This matter is a gross concern to the ministry and a circular was issued to remind the councils to adhere to the guidelines on the utilisation of the 20 per cent capital component of the LGEF. The Ministry of Local Government is very grateful to the Office of the Auditor-General and your Committee for the audit report and issues raised therein. Let me assure this House that all the issues raised are being addressed expeditiously because they are key to improving service delivery.


Mr Speaker, as I conclude, let me say that we have taken note of all the points raised by the hon. Members who debated and these include the hon. Member for Bwana Mkubwa, the hon. Member for Chama South, the hon. Member for Zambezi East and the hon. Member for Nkeyema. We are actually going to work towards solving some of the problems which were highlighted. We totally agree that we need to have a world standard accounting system if we have to improve the operations in our councils.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, I would like to join the hon. Minister in thanking all the hon. Members who debated on this Motion. I also want to thank the seconder and the hon. Minister who appeared as a witness and provided viable information. His leadership should be acknowledged.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Question put and agreed to.




(Debate resumed)


Dr Imakando (Mongu Central): Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to add the voice of Mongu Central to the debate on the President’s Address made in the application of national values and principles.


Sir, given the limitation of time, I will focus on hate speech. The first paragraph on page 8 of the President’s Speech states that tribalism and hate speech have no place in Zambia. His Excellency the President went on to say that politicians should stop it. I would have loved him to have gone on to say that the party in power should stop it.


Mr Speaker, hate speech is abusive and threatening speech, which is often intended to control and scare people. It is based on prejudice against a particular group perhaps based on tribe, political orientation, race or religion. Often, the idea is to intimidate people with a view to control or threaten them. It often influences people’s behaviour. It does take away people’s rights and most often disenfranchises people.


Sir, the beneficiaries of hate speech as clearly observed by His Excellency the President are politicians because we have seen that during election time, whether it is interparty or intraparty, there is a lot of hate speech. We have heard hate speech when public opinion is at variance with the Executive. Recently, the debate on the Constitution of Zambian (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 showed that people can resort to hate speech when their views are not being heard. We have seen that even Catholic bishops have been drawn into the debate. We see that, indeed, as observed by His Excellency the President, politicians must stop hate speech because it is being used as a political tool or strategy.


Mr Speaker, during peaceful demonstrations, we have seen that people resort to hate speech to try and stop others from having their points heard. So, as I conclude, I would like to say that there is indeed no place for hate speech in Zambia and those in power must do all they can to stop it. I am a victim of hate speech. Where did it come from? From the police who were supposed to protect me.


Sir, it is time that when His Excellency the President calls for a stop to it.  Indeed, the party in power must lead by example . The members of the party must believe in their President, and stop hate speech because they are the ones in power.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Dr Chanda (Bwana Mkubwa): Mr Speaker, firstly, I thank His Excellency the President for the speech delivered on 6th March, 2020, on the application of national values and principles.


Sir, His Excellency the President belaboured a number of very important points. The first one is the one that has already been alluded to by various hon. Members that Zambia has seventy-three ethnic groupings and we are all equal stakeholders. There are no superior or inferior tribes. We are just Zambians. In fact, he said that the basis for Zambia is ‘one Zambia, one Nation’ and that is the motto we are supposed to promote. That responsibility does not only fall on the ruling party but on all of us, including Opposition political parties because we are all equal stakeholders. So, it is not a game of passing the ball to others, but everyone has to take the responsibility to unite the country and that was the message that His Excellency the President belaboured.


Mr Speaker, in fact, His Excellency the President warned about negative trends. We have seen a lot of divisive negative trends that have come into Zambia where people are trying to take us back to colonial borders like north-east or south-west Zambia or this Bemba Zambia or Tonga Zambia, but His Excellency the President urged us to rally towards ‘one Zambia, one nation’ –


Mr Speaker: Order!


(Debate adjourned)



The House adjourned at 1656 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 1st July, 2020.