Friday, 3rd July, 2020

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Friday, 3rd July, 2020


The House met at 0900 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]











Mr Speaker: Hon. Members will recall that on Tuesday, 10th March, 2020, when the House was debating the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address on the Implementation of National Values and Principles, and Mr B. Kambita, hon. Member of Parliament for Zambezi East Parliamentary Constituency, was on the Floor, Mr P. M. W. Daka, hon. Member of Parliament for Msanzala Parliamentary Constituency, raised the following point of order:


“Madam Speaker, is the hon. Member on the Floor, who is a member of the Committee that is currently looking into the Tanzania-Zambia Railways Authority (TAZARA) issues, in order to bring issues here that are being considered by it before its report is brought to this House? I need your serious ruling.”


Hon. Members, in her immediate response, the Hon. Madam First Deputy Speaker reserved the ruling in order to allow for a study of the matter so as to enable an informed ruling to be rendered. The matter has since been studied. I now proceed to render the ruling.


Hon. Members, the point of order raises the issue of an hon. Member divulging a matter under consideration by a Committee, on which he or she is a member, before the report of the Committee is tabled.


The National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act, Cap 12 of the Laws of Zambia prohibits hon. Members of Parliament from disclosing information submitted to the Assembly before it has been laid on the Table of the House. In this regard, Section 25(c) of the Act provides as follows:


“25(c) Any person who publishes, save by general or special leave of the Assembly, any paper, report or other document prepared expressly for submission to the Assembly before the same has been laid on the Table of the Assembly shall be guilty of an offence.”


In addition, Chapter Ten of the National Assembly Members’ Handbook, 2006, at page 51 in paragraph (o) provides as follows:


“All Committee reports are confidential until the Report is tabled.”


Further, hon. Members, the renowned authors on parliamentary practice and procedure, S. L. Shakdher and M. N. Kaul, in their book entitled Practice and Procedure of Parliament, Seventh Edition, state at page 308 as follows:


“It is a breach of privilege and contempt of the House to publish any part of the proceedings or evidence given before, or any document presented to a Parliamentary Committee before such proceedings, or evidence or documents have been reported to the House.”


Furthermore, Erskine May, in his book entitled Parliamentary Practice, Twenty-Third Edition, at page 139 states the following:


“As early as the mid-seventeenth century, it was declared to be against the custom of Parliament for any act done at a committee to be divulged before being reported to the House.”


Hon. Members will further recall that on 20th February, 2018, a point of order was raised by Mr G. G. Nkombo, hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central Constituency, against Dr J. Chanda, hon. Member of Parliament for Bwana Mkubwa Constituency. Mr G. G. Nkombo, MP, asked in his point of order whether Dr J. Chanda, MP, who was a member of the Committee that was considering the National Health Insurance Bill, 2017, was in order to publicly campaign for the support of the Bill when he knew very well that the proceedings of the Committee were supposed to be confidential until it had tabled its report on the Bill in the House.


In that event, Dr J. Chanda, MP, publicly addressed the Patriotic Front Interactive Forum on the National Health Insurance Bill, 2017, which was being considered by the Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services.


In addition, to the point of order raised by Mr G. G. Nkombo, MP, my office also received a letter of complaint, then, from the Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE) expressing its shock at Dr J. Chanda, MP, going to the media to campaign for the Bill soon after it made its submission to the Committee before its report was tabled in the House, yet he was a member of the Committee that was considering the Bill.


Hon. Members will recall that I found Dr J. Chanda, MP, in breach of parliamentary privilege and in contempt of the House. Further, I indicated that while his conduct was an offence under Section 25(c) of the Act and a serious breach of the rules of the House, I recognised the fact that Dr J. Chanda, MP, was a first offender. In that regard, I elected to exercise leniency and accordingly admonished him in terms of Section 28(1)(b) of the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act.

Hon. Members, the foregoing authorities clearly establish that prior to a Committee report being tabled in the House, a member should not divulge information on matters under consideration which he/she receives or is exposed to, by virtue of being a member of the Committee or, indeed, comment publicly on the matter without obtaining permission from the House. 


Hon. Members, the debate by Mr B. Kambita, MP, that gave rise to the point of order was in the following terms:


“Madam Speaker, coming to human dignity, equity, justice and equality, honestly speaking, the case of the Tanzania-Zambia Railways Authority (TAZARA) workers and many other parastatals is an example of how the dignity of individuals working for such institutions has been impaired. These people have salary arrears as far back as four months …”


Hon. Members, investigations by my office reveal that Mr B. Kambita, MP, is a member of the Committee on Parastatal Bodies that was, at the material time, considering the 2017 and 2018 Annual Reports for Tanzania-Zambia Railways Authority (TAZARA). One of the documents submitted to the Committee, at its request, was a Memorandum on Annual Reports Examinations from the Alliance of Crews and Workers’ Union of Zambia and Workers Union of TAZARA. These unions were specifically requested to submit on inter alia employee welfare vis-à-vis the payment of salaries, terminal benefits, and payment of statutory obligations. Clause 2.1 of the memorandum, reads at page 2 in part, as follows:


“2.1 Salary Payments


TAZARA has been struggling to pay salaries for a long time and is currently in salary arrears of four months in the Zambian Region …”


Hon. Members, the statement that TAZARA employees had not been paid their salaries for four months is the exact information that was submitted to the Committee by the two TAZARA workers’ unions. The investigations also established that the two unions interacted with the Committee on Parastatal Bodies on Tuesday, 10th March, 2020, and in the afternoon of the same day, Mr B. Kambita, MP, divulged the same information to the House in his debate.


In view of the foregoing, Mr B. Kambita, MP, divulged or published information that he had received by virtue of being a member of the Committee on Parastatal Bodies, before it reported the subject matter to this august House.


Hon. Members, I, therefore, find Mr B. Kambita, MP, in breach of parliamentary privilege and in contempt of the House.  However, I take cognisance of the fact that Mr B. Kambita, MP, is a first offender and a relatively new hon. Member in the House. Therefore, I have decided to exercise leniency and elected to admonish him in accordance with Section 28(1)(b) of National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act.


I now order you, Mr B. Kambita, MP, to stand by your seat.




Mr B. Kambita, MP, stood by his seat.


Mr Speaker: Mr B. Kambita, MP, your conduct of divulging or publishing information on the affairs of TAZARA, a matter that was under consideration by the Committee on Parastatal Bodies, of which you are member, before the information was reported to the House is a breach of parliamentary privileges and contempt of the House. As a member of the Committee that was considering the affairs of TAZARA, you had full knowledge of the stakeholders and Committee’s sentiments on the matter.


Therefore, it was utterly inappropriate of you to use the information you obtained in your debate before the information was reported to the House. The House is in this regard extremely displeased with your conduct. It is expected that you abide by the rules of this House and avoid such conduct in future. A repetition of such conduct will attract a stiffer penalty in future.


You may proceed in tendering your apology.


Mr Kambita: Mr Speaker, I, Brian Kambita, in my personal capacity and in my capacity as Member of Parliament for Zambezi East, do unreservedly apologise to this august House for divulging or publishing information on the affairs of Tanzania-Zambia Railways Authority (TAZARA), a matter that was under consideration by the Committee on Parastatal Bodies, on which I am a member, before the report of the Committee was adopted by the House.


Sir, having reflected on my conduct, which amounts to a breach of parliamentary privileges and contempt of the House, I wish to assure you and this august House that from now on, I shall endeavour to ensure that I do not divulge or publish information under consideration by a Committee in contravention of the rules of this House.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.






The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, I rise to give the House some idea of the business it will consider next week.


Sir, on Wednesday, 8th July, 2020, the Business of the House will start with Questions for Oral Answer. Thereafter, the House will consider Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. This will be followed by the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Then, the House will debate the Motions to adopt the reports of the following Committees:


  1. Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs’ Affairs;
  2. Budget Committee on the Review of  the First Quarter Performance of the 2020 Budget for Selected Ministries and Provinces; and
  3. Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services.


Mr Speaker, on Thursday, 9th July, 2020, the Business of the House will begin with Questions for Oral Answer. This will be followed by the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will debate Motions to adopt the reports of the following Committees;


(a) Committee on National Economy, Trade and Labour Matters;


(b) Committee on Local Government Accounts on Revenue Mobilisation and Utilisation in Local Authorities; and


(c) Committee on Government Assurances.

Sir, on Friday, 10th July, 2020, the Business of the House will commence with the Vice-President’s Question Time. Thereafter, the House will consider Questions for Oral Answer. This will be followed by the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will, then, debate the Motions to adopt the reports of the following Committees:


(a) Committee on Transport, Works and Supply, on the Proposal to Ratify the Cape Town Conversion on International Interest in Mobile Equipment and Protocol to the Conversion on International Interest in Mobile Equipment on Matters Specific to Aircraft Equipment;


(b) Public Accounts Committee; and


(c) Committee on Delegated Legislation.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.






Mr Daka (Msanzala): Mr Speaker, there are stories that are circulating in the country over bicycles which were procured for US$700,000. Could Her Honour the Vice-President, please, comment on that?


The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, indeed, there has been a lot of speculation on the bicycles that found their way in the hands of the police. Apparently, there were conflicting reports from the different public relations officers in the Ministry of Home Affairs. However, the truth of the matter is that the bicycles were a donation by the Government of India while some bicycles came through the Ministry of Home Affairs, as part of an ordered consignment of equipment for the police. The Ministry of Home Affairs, then, donated the bicycles to the police. The mention of the Japanese Embassy in the equation was ruled out, and the Government made presentations to the Government of Japan as well as to the Government of India to apologise for the misinformation that was circulated to the public. The two countries accepted the apology and bilateral relations among the three countries are as cordial as ever.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Mr Speaker, recently, like never seen before, this nation has witnessed intolerance to political and divergent views. In the recent past, the discussion that the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) organised on the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No.10 of 2019 at Intercontinental Hotel was disrupted by a known horde of Patriotic Front (PF) cadres. Recently, a horde of PF cadres has been terrorising radio stations for merely hosting a known political figure by the name of Mr Hakainde Hichilema for interviews that he is supposed to undertake there. In not a similar situation, the President of the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD), Dr Nerves Mumba, went to the Zambia National Broadcasting (ZNBC) for an impromptu interview. He was promptly arrested, charged and convicted for trespassing. These are similar situations, but with different actions taken by the Government.




Mr Lufuma: Take it easy. The question is: When is the PF Government going to arrest the known cadres for trespass? Further, is this not a clear case of discrimination in the application of the rule of law when the country calls itself a democracy?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, just a reminder. You are only permitted to ask one question, and Her Honour the Vice-President is at liberty to respond to the first question only.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the discrimination in the application of the rule of law should not be brought to this House by a senior hon. Member of this House, who for that matter is refusing to change the law to enable its equitable application.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Under the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No.10 of 2019, this issue is supposed to be addressed and amended. If the hon. Member is very interested in seeing to it that some contentious issues are dealt with, he should be in this House to debate the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No.10 of 2019.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, it is not only that particular issue, but there are many other contentious issues in the Constitution of Zambia that we want to address so that this country’s governance can be put on the right footing.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, arising from the answer that has been given by Her Honour the Vice-President in which she has indicated that this is not the proper forum for the hon. Member to raise issues of discrimination and governance, she is telling him that he should bring that matter up during the debate of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10. If Her Honour the Vice-President has read the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10, she should tell me which provision of this Bill addresses issues of discrimination.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Public Order Act is the issue that deals with matters of this nature. When political parties want to hold meetings and rallies, they all inform the police so that they can address these issues equitably without any discrimination. If the Public Order Act is one of the laws that the hon. Leader of the Opposition has been refusing even to talk about, how does he expect any changes in the behaviour of some of the implementers of these policies, which seem to have a negative impact on the conduct of our people? As leaders, we should be truthful. We have been given many platforms to address the issues of this nature, including using Parliament to change laws that stifle the rights of our people.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Just a reminder, during this segment of our business, I do not process points of order. I can see the hon. Member for Lubansenshi indicating, but I do not know whether this is inadvertent. In case he intended to raise a point of order, it could be inadvertently, I will not attend to it. He is in Amuusa Mwanamwambwa Committee Room.


Mr Mwamba (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, it is not a point order. I was indicating to ask a question.


Mr Speaker: Then, you pressed the wrong button.


Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Mr Speaker, I am a happy Member of Parliament because the Government has thought of the many youths in this country by putting aside colossal sums of money which they can acquire. Is the Government thinking of coming up with a deliberate policy to ensure that the business proposal forms are translated into local languages so that even the youths in rural areas can access the money which has been put aside for youth groupings?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I am not very sure whether I got the question right. Was it whether the information regarding the stimulus package announcement that has been made should be translated into the local languages? If that is the question, Mr Speaker –


Mr Speaker: Would you like him to repeat the question?


The Vice-President: Yes, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Chitambo, could you, please, repeat your question.


Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, it is about the forms that the youths are supposed to use to come up with business proposals when they want to acquire the monies that the Government has put aside for them. In many instances, most of the youths in rural areas are not learned. So, they find it challenging to come up with business proposals. Is the Government considering coming up with a deliberate policy to engage people from the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry to go to rural areas to help translate the business proposals forms into local languages for the youths?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, there is no deliberate policy to translate the content of the project proposal application forms, but what happens is that the Government officials in the districts usually help the applicants to understand the requests they are making to the Government. We have agriculture extension officers in the districts or camps, who help young people who want to go into farming when they apply to the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock or the Ministry of Agriculture for funding. Sometimes, the youths are assisted using their local languages so that they understand the processes of applying for such funds. The Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry also helps to translate at that level to make the applicants understand what needs to done when they are tabling their business proposals.


Sir, the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) has decentralised its operations to districts. So, a lot of help is rendered to the youths when they make applications. This is ongoing, but the translation of the content of those papers into local languages is what has not been done yet.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, I think Her Honour the Vice-President is very aware that because of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), most schools have been closed and the Ministry of General Education introduced programmes that enable pupils to learn through television sets. However, because of load-shedding, pupils are not able to watch television. Is Her Honour the Vice-President able to tell us when load-shedding will end?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, we can only be guided by Zesco Limited to know when load-shedding will come to an end. All of us, including hon. Members on this side of the House, would like to see load-shedding come to an end. The fact that we are still experiencing periods of blackouts in certain areas means that businesses are going down and the Government will not collect revenue from the businesses that are experiencing stoppages of their work due to regular load shedding. Manufacturing industries have suffered considerably from load-shedding. Thus, the Government would like to see this come to end as soon as possible.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, the people of Kasempa, particularly the youths, are anxiously waiting for the Youth Empowerment Fund, which was recently launched for artists and those who want to venture into aquaculture. They too have been aggrieved for a long time and have been standing in the bushes to get attention to enable them to be supported with such fund packages.


Sir, I would like to find out from Her Honour the Vice-President what procedures have been put in place to enable the youths to obtain these funds. Policy statements on the same have been made, but is there a procedure to operationalise and ensure that there is equitable distribution of funds so that the youths in Kasempa also benefit the same way the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is distributed constituency by constituency? What is the procedure that has been put in place to ensure that youths in Kasempa also benefit from the empowerment funds?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the President’s economic stimulus package the COVID-19 Bond that was announced recently is going to address issues of resuscitating liquidity in our economy through the ventures of small-scale enterprises, and the youth empowerment programmes fall into this category. This is designed to cover the whole country. So, the youths of Kasempa will benefit from this fund when the programme to address the distribution of the funds has been put in place. The funds have just been secured and modalities of their implementation will be announced shortly.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr C. Zulu (Luangeni): Mr Speaker, a couple of months ago, Cabinet approved the production of cannabis for medicinal purposes. If we were to start this programme, it would go a long way in sorting out some of our economic challenges. How far has the Government gone with this programme? We have not heard of any company being issued with a licence? Is there a problem?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, Government processes sometimes take long. That is why it is said that there is bureaucracy in public administration. For us to effect the changes in the laws of this country, we have to bring some of the amendments to Parliament to ensure that the Dangerous Drugs Act is amended to accommodate the cultivation of cannabis. This may a take a little while, but the process has already started and modalities are being put in place.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, we are not too far away from the next agriculture season. In the last few years, farmers have lost a lot because of the army worms eating at their crops and Liuwa and many other places have been affected. Now, an outbreak of suspected locusts has been reported in Liuwa and other places. I would like to find out what the Government is doing to address the perennial problem of army worms and now the locusts that have come on the scene.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Government is on full alert regarding locusts and army worms. We have received reports of the invasion of the fields in East Africa, in particular Kenya, and the devastation that these locusts have left in their wake. So, this Government has not sat idly. At the moment, there are some scientists operating in Kazungula where there were some reports of spotted locusts in the area. The aerial sprays were effected and if there are some sightings of locusts in Liuwa, I believe, this will be followed up by the scientists who were operating in Kazungula. We know the devastation and impact, especially in the maize felids, that these pests can cause.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I would like to mention that, at the moment, there are over 45,000 youths in Mumbwa who are ready to obtain National Registration Cards (NRC) in readiness to vote next year. However, the issuance of NRCs is currently not taking place. I would like to find out when the mobile issuance of NRCs will start in Mumbwa and across the country.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the issuance of National Registration Cards (NRC) is on-going in all districts. I believe that those who have lost or want to acquire NRCs can go to the registration office in Mumbwa where they can access the NRCs. The Ministry of Home Affairs has not yet started the mobile registration exercise. I would like to urge the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to clear the air on the mobile issuance of NRCs when he renders his ministerial statement to the House. The hon. Minister will do that as soon as possible.


I thank you, Sir.  


Mr Siwanzi (Nakonde): Mr Speaker, this working Government of the Patriotic Front (PF) has embarked on the rehabilitating of the Nakonde/Kanyala Road to bituminous standard. However, at the moment, the works on this particular road have stalled. The preliminary works by the contractor, that is, earth works, have made this particular road almost impassable.


Hon. Members: The working Government!


Mr Siwanzi: The people of Nakonde living on this road, the people of Shemu, Nyela and Kaonde, want to find out when the works on this particular road will resume.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Government has embarked on a programme to rehabilitate feeder roads in some rural parts of the country and the roads that the hon. Member mentioned will be worked on, I believe, before the end of this year.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, in 2015, 2016 and 2019, the Government failed to release the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) …


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Livune: … to all our constituencies.




Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Katombola, could you hold on.


Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, the Government −




Mr Speaker: Could you hold on.




Mr Livune: As I speak to you, …


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Katombola.


Mr Livune: … the CDF has not been released for those years I have mentioned. From the 2019 Budget, so far, no CDF has been released. I wonder how much importance the Patriotic Front (PF) Government attaches to decisions made by this House. So, the CDF −


Mr Speaker: Have you completed your question?


Mr Livune: No, Mr Speaker.


Sir, the question is: How much importance does the PF Government attach to the decisions we pass in this House? We have passed the CDF and for many years, the money appropriated by Parliament has not been released. How, then, does the Government expect us to develop our constituencies, especially looking at the fact that 80 per cent of the constituencies in this country are in the rural areas?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Local Government was on the Floor last week assuring hon. Members of this House that the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) will be released shortly to address their concerns. I do not know what guarantees the hon. Member for Katombola wants from the hon. Minister of Finance and the hon. Minister of Local Government because for all I know, money has been allocated already through the President’s COVID-19 Bond. Some of the proceeds will address the issue of the CDF. I hope the hon. Member will use this money diligently when it is allocated to his constituency and not wait until elections to use it on other things.


Mr Speaker, I thank.


Mr Kamondo (Mufumbwe): Mr Speaker, the Social Cash Transfer Scheme has not been functional in Mufumbwe since 2018. Due to the non-functional programme, the beneficiaries are very bitter. I would like to find out when the Government will start releasing this money because it was helping the poor people in rural areas, especially in Mufumbwe.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, there were some administrative matters that the Government had to deal with before the release of Social Cash Transfer Funds. However, those matters have been resolved and the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare is being empowered to ensure that our people, who were receiving the Social Cash Transfer Fund, start to receive it.


Mr Speaker, secondly, there are many social protection measures that this Government has put in place. In order to bring the various sectors and players under one unit, Smart Zambia Institute is currently working with the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare to establish a database for recipients of social protection funds so that there is no double dipping. This is because we have seen that one beneficiary will receive cash from the Social Cash Transfer and from other entities. So, we want to synchronise the system so that everything is put in place and our people, who are eligible to receive social protection funds, can do so without any hindrances and stoppages, as we have seen in the past.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Mr Speaker, we are aware that the Government has appointed Lazard to negotiate the restructuring of debt, which the Patriotic Front (PF) Government carelessly obtained, and the firm will be paid US$5 million. Now, we are also being told that there is a law firm from the United States of America (USA), which is going to be part of this process. I would like to find out from her Honour the Vice-President, how much the Government is going to pay this law firm and what its name is. 


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, this is such an important matter that the Government had to engage an external financial institution to support it in restructuring its debt. The hon. Minister of Finance will come to the House with a comprehensive answer on the same issue so that the country is informed adequately.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I am on the issue of discrimination, as left by the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central and the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabompo. I would like Her Honour the Vice-President to be categorical as she answers my question. We believe there is the selective application of justice in this country. For example, there is continuous National Registration Card (NRC) issuance going on in Lupiya Village of Chienge District in Luapula Province and in Chilongoshi Village in rural Kasama, as I speak. However, Her Honour the Vice-President indicated that according to the information she has, the Ministry of Home Affairs has not yet commenced the issuance of NRCs.


Mr Speaker, further on the selective nature of her Government’s application of the law, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mongu Central was arrested and put in a prison cell on a matter regarding election feud. In her Government, two hon. Ministers have been arrested for corruption, but have not spent even one minute in confinement. That is discrimination.


Mr Speaker, finally, in the last sitting, the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central raised the issue of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and social distancing vis-a-vis the Statutory Instrument (SI) that the hon. Minister of Health brought to the House, but it was ignored. When it mattered to them, on account of their inability to gunner the numbers for the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 to be passed, the hon. Minister for Muchinga Province raised the same point of order on COVID-19 the next day and Parliament adjourned until now.


Mr Speaker, three days ago, we were told by a circular that COVID-19 has come to Parliament, but they still do not want to adjourn the House.


Can Her Honour the Vice-President, please, come out straight on why the Government is so discriminatory and only does things that suits it?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, it is not possible for me to respond to so many questions that are not even interlinked. The hon. Member has meandered all over the show. It is not possible for me to respond to all the questions from the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Chansa (Chimbamilonga): Mr Speaker, following reports of increased electoral nomination fees, could Her Honour the Vice-President kindly update the nation on why the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has hiked fees to that extent?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House and the general public that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) had engaged political parties and other stake holders to suggest figures that candidates should pay during election nominations. The ECZ asked for suggestions from political parties. In making its proposals, the commission considered a number of issues, including the fact that all presidential candidates are required to be issued with a free voters’ register for all the streams whose cost is estimated at K610,000 per presidential candidate.


Mr Speaker, I wish to state also that before the Political Parties Liaison Committee meeting on 16th June, 2020, the commission undertook a benchmarking exercise with other electoral bodies on the continent and discovered that the average nomination fee was K350,000, with the highest being the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at K1.8million equivalent. That is why the ECZ has engaged stakeholders and political parties. It has encouraged all stakeholders to make proposals for election nomination fees. I believe this will be done or the political parties have been engaged already in deciding and agreeing with the ECZ on the final nomination fees.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Itezhi-tezhi you are not audible.


Evg. Shabula (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Speaker, it is because I am wearing a mask


Mr Speaker: You are now audible.


Evg. Shabula: Mr Speaker, by wearing this mask, I am indicating to this country that I believe that the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is real. However, I have never seen any funeral of any of the thirty people who have died of COVID-19 in this country. What I have only seen are two hon. Ministers who have come out in the open to indicate to the nation that they contracted COVID-19. As a result of that, many people do not put on masks.


Mr Speaker, I would like Her Honour the Vice-President to give the Zambian people proof to make them believe that COVID-19 is real. As the Member of Parliament for Itezhi-tezhi, I do believe that COVID-19 is real. That is why I am putting on this mask. What will the Government do in order to prove to the people that COVID-19 is real and is not something that is just affecting our colleagues in Europe?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, as leaders, we should lead by example. It is up to the hon. Members in this House to inform their electorate that COVID-19 is real and people are dying. It is no wonder that the United Party for National Development (UPND) is condemning the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) when it feeds mourners, particularly at funerals of those who die in big numbers.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Member should know that we cannot encourage mass funerals because the risks we would be taking would be much more whereby many people would gather without protective gear. This can expose mourners to contracting the virus and is not desirable.


Sir, the hon. Member is head of a church which influences many people. So, we beg him to inform his people that COVID-19 is here. We have to find ways of taking care of ourselves through the measures that we have been taught. We need to ensure that we mask our faces everywhere we are, including in the church were the hon. Member preaches.


I thank you, Sir.







The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, I thank you sincerely for affording me yet another chance to render a ministerial statement. This time, the ministerial statement is on the 2020/2021 Mobile Issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs), following the recently raised questions on the Floor of this august House and concerns expressed by some stakeholders.


Sir, as you may be aware, the Ministry of Home Affairs is mandated with the responsibility of ensuring that there is an accountable and transparent internal security system, which effectively and efficiently maintains an environment of peace, stability and justice for the sustainable socio-economic development of our country. Amongst the key functions of the ministry that contributes to internal security is the provision of legal identity documents to our citizens, which allow access to various services.


Mr Speaker, my statement will be broken down into two parts. Part I will focus on citizenship in general, for the purposes of educating and sensitising the people of Zambia, through this august House. Part II will focus on the continuous registration exercise across the country and the planned periodic mobile issuance of NRCs.




Mr Speaker, Zambia is a sovereign Republic under a constitutional form of governance. Zambia enjoys its territorial sovereignty and has citizens domiciled within her territorial jurisdiction. The preamble of our Constitution starts with the words “We the people of Zambia.” The question I want this august House to contemplate on is: Who are these people and how are they identified as the people of Zambia?


Mr Speaker, in 2016, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, assented to the Constitution (Amendment) Act, 2016 into law. Part IV of this Constitution provides for citizenship. Notably, citizenship is acquired through four categories pursuant to Article 34, which states that citizenship may be acquired by birth, descent, registration or adoption.


Mr Speaker, let me take this opportunity to share with the nation, through this august House, on what the citizenship categories entail. Article 35 of the Constitution of Zambia provides that a person born in Zambia is a citizen by birth if, at the date of that person’s birth, at least, one parents of that person is or was a citizen. Further, a child found in Zambia, who is or appears to be of not more than eight years of age and whose nationality and parents are not known, shall be presumed to be a citizen by birth.


Mr Speaker, let me turn to citizenship by descent. Article 36 provides that a person born outside Zambia is a citizen by descent if, at the date of that person’s birth, at least, one parent of that person is or was a citizen by birth or descent.


Mr Speaker, another category of citizenship is by registration, as provided for in Article 37. It must be noted that there are a number of requirements set by Article 37 for one to qualify to be registered as a citizen by registration. The first qualification is the attainment of the age of eighteen years.


Secondly, a person must be ordinarily resident in Zambia for a period of, at least, five years in an event where a person was born in Zambia, or was born outside and has or had an ancestor who is or was a citizen or a person who is or was married to a citizen. Thirdly, the other category under registration is of persons who have been ordinarily resident in Zambia for a continuous period of, at least, ten years immediately preceding the application for registration. Further, Article 38 provides for citizenship by adoption. A child who is not a citizen and who is adopted by a citizen shall be a citizen on the date of the adoption.


Mr Speaker, may I bring to the attention of this august House and the nation at large that the current Constitution has brought a new dimension to citizenship in Zambia by the introduction of dual citizenship. Whereas the 1996 Constitution provided for the loss of Zambian citizenship whereby a citizen acquired citizenship of another country, Article 39 of the current Constitution provides that a citizen shall not lose citizenship by acquiring the citizenship of another country. Further, a citizen who ceased to be a citizen before the commencement of the current Constitution, as a result of acquiring the citizenship of another country shall be entitled to the bestowal of citizenship by the Citizenship Board. This act of bestowal allows a citizen dual nationality whereby he or she decides to retain the citizenship of another country subject to whether that country permits dual citizenship.


Mr Speaker, I must report here that to date, the Citizenship Board has since January 2016 approved 250 bestowals of citizenship applications out of 589 and granted citizenship by registration to 553 established residents out of 954 applicants.


Sir, may I also take this opportunity to inform the nation, through this august House, that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Home Affairs, with support from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), are developing guidelines in line with the Diaspora Policy launched in April 2019. These guidelines will guide our citizens in the Diaspora on how to access national documents such as the NRC, passports and citizenship. The guidelines will also inform the Diaspora on issues of land acquisition and investment opportunities.


Continuous Registration and Periodic Mobile Registration Exercise


Mr Speaker, let me now address the House on the impending mobile registration exercise. In the recent past, a number of questions have been raised on the Floor of this august House on whether the Government is conducting mobile registration in selected provinces, and this has continued even up to today.


Sir, let me remind this august House that the identification and issuance of an authentic and valid national identification document is a constitutional right for every identifiable Zambian citizen, who has attained the age of sixteen, according to Article 42 of the Laws of Zambia. The mandate to issue national identity documents lies with the Ministry of Home Affairs, under the Department of National Registration, Passport and Citizenship (DNRPC). The NRC provides proof of legal identity when opening bank accounts, applying for a job, getting a driving licence, a voter’s card or passport, among many other uses.


Mr Speaker, the ministry, through the DNRPC, conducts routine continuous registration of citizens in all districts across the country on every working day. I am pleased to report that the DNRPC managed to issue a total number of the 748,818 NRCs to eligible Zambians for the period 2016 to 2019 through routine national registration, in accordance with the National Registration Act Cap 126 of the Laws of Zambia.


Sir, these statistics are segregated by province in descending order, with Lusaka being the highest and Muchinga being the lowest, as follows:


Province                        No. of NRCs Issued (2016-2019)


Lusaka                           125,456


Copperbelt                     119,371


Eastern                           63,665


Southern                        60,765

Central                           58,963


Northern                        58,340


North-Western               54,176


Luapula                          55,473


Western                         38,175


Muchinga                       42,637


Total                           748,118


Mr Speaker, the variance in the statistics among the provinces is attributed to several factors such as population, distance to registration centres, harsh climatic conditions like floods and many more. It is worth noting that during routine registration, the department is stationary at provincial and district levels awaiting access to the service by citizens who visit the DNRPC offices. Therefore, the uptake is solely dependent on how many people can afford to visit the DNRPC offices for registration.


Sir, coming to the issue of mobile registration, let me inform the nation, through this august House, that the Ministry of Home Affairs had planned to commence the mobile issuance of NRCs in the second quarter of 2020. However, due to the prevailing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the commencement of the mobile registration exercise will only be in August 2020 to October 2020, following the timely release of funds by the Treasury. I would like to pause here and commend the hon. Minister of Finance and his team for facilitating the release of funds for this very important exercise.


Mr Speaker, also considering the geographic landscape of some districts, harsh climatic conditions like floods make mobility to certain areas a challenge. Furthermore, the lack of resources to travel to established national registration offices in order to obtain NRCs also poses a challenge. The Government sees mobile registration as a very important exercise that needs to be undertaken, especially for those aged eighteen years and above who would like to exercise their democratic right to vote in the upcoming 2021 General Elections. Therefore, this exercise is intended to increase coverage and reach out to our citizens who live in far-flung areas.


Sir, in 2015 and 2016, the Ministry of Home Affairs conducted mobile registration and a total of 1,746,400 NRCs were issued during the three phases. Phase I covered Muchinga Province, the Northern Province and the Central Province. Phase II covered the Eastern Province, the Southern Province, the Western Province and Lusaka Province. Phase III covered Copperbelt Province, the North-Western Province and Luapula Province.


Mr Speaker, I want my dear colleagues to follow me very closely here. The 2020 Mobile Registration Exercise will be conducted in a two-phased approach of forty days each due mostly to time constraints. These phases will cover the whole country as follows:


  1. Phase I will cover Luapula Province, the Northern Province, the North-Western Province,  Copperbelt Province and the Eastern Province; and
  2. Phase II will cover the Western Province, the Southern Province, Lusaka Province, the Central Province and Muchinga Province, respectively.


Mr Speaker, the ministry has made projections to issue approximately 1,500,000 NRCs during the 2020 Mobile Registration Exercise. It is envisaged that Phase I will give us 770,000 while Phase II will have 730,000 cards issued.


Mr Speaker, to ensure that this programme is a success, the need for the Ministry of Home Affairs to engage the provincial and district administrations during the planning and monitoring of this massive exercise cannot be overemphasised. To date, the Government, through the Ministry of Finance’s Budget Office, has released funding to offset allowances that were owed to Public Service officers in Luapula Province, the North-Western Province and Copperbelt Province who participated in the 2015 Mobile Registration Exercise and for the purchase of materials and equipment required for the 2020 Mobile Registration Exercise. In addition, the Ministry of Home Affairs intends to mobilise some of the required equipment from other line ministries and Government agencies in line with the one government approach, as espoused in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP).


MMr Speaker, may I emphasise that the rationale for conducting the periodic mobile registration exercise is to effectively and efficiently provide increased accessibility to national identity documents to all Zambians who have attained the statutory age of sixteen and above, and those whose cards need replacement.


Sir, on 12th December 2019, I was on the Floor updating the House and the nation at large on the progress made in the implementation of the Integrated National Registration Information System (INRIS). This system is aimed at integrating and digitising all the registration processes done by the DNRPC.


Mr Speaker, during my update, I highlighted the advantages that this electronic system will deliver to the governance system of the country. The current paper-based registration system is prone to fraud and manipulation by unscrupulous citizens and non-citizens alike. Once implemented, citizens will be identified from birth to death. This process will commence with the collection of biometrics of all citizens. Therefore, I, once again, implore all hon. Members of Parliament to continue sensitising their constituents on this very important programme.


Mr Speaker, as I conclude, I wish to inform this august House that at the end of Phase II of the mobile registration exercise, an evaluation of the whole process will be undertaken in order to revisit some areas which may not have been adequately covered and to improve on future exercises. Therefore, I call upon all stakeholders to this exercise, including parliamentarians, traditional leaders, civic leaders, civil societies, religious leaders, and all patriotic Zambians, to ensure that only eligible and genuine Zambian citizens acquire and replace their NRCs. Any person that shall try to obtain or represent undeserving individuals for the purpose of acquiring a green NRC shall be committing a very serious crime and will be liable for prosecution before the courts of law.


Mr Speaker, finally, I would like to assure the nation, through this august House, that the Ministry of Home Affairs, through the DNRPC, will do its best to ensure the successful implementation of this important national undertaking.

I thank you, Sir.


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




Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Mwembezhi, you are not audible.


Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Am I audible now?


Mr Speaker: Yes you are.


Mr Jamba: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said he aims to capture more than 1 million people in forty days. One million people divided by forty in about seventy districts gives us about 200 individuals being captured per day. Is he sure that we are going to hit 1 million? Is this realistic?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I said that the mobile registration exercise would be done in two phases. Forty days will be allocated for each phase. The first phase will commence on 1st August, 2020, and run up to about 9th or 10th September, 2020. The second phase will run from 1st September to 10th October, 2020.


Sir, the hon. Member should be aware that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) intends to commence its registration around 19th October, 2020. I implore the hon. Member to play his role by sensitising the people. In any case, the registration and identification of citizens is a continuous mandate, which is done every working day in all our districts. We are confident that this projected number will be captured in the period that will be apportioned to the exercise.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mulusa (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, we realise that the North-Western Province has been put in the first phase just like the Luapula Province. We know that the exercise has already started in Luapula Province while there is nothing in the North-Western Province. Is it possible for the hon. Minister to be fair to the people of the North-Western Province and other provinces by specifically allocating a number of NRCs to be issued in a district?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I want to start by dealing with the innuendos and insinuations that this exercise has commenced in Luapula Province.


Sir, the programme I have given is one that we have planned to undertake for the mobile registration and issuance of identity documents to people over the age of sixteen and those who may have lost their NRCs. Registration, even in Solwezi where the hon. Member comes from, is going on even today. To say that people are waiting for the mobile registration to access this service is misplaced. Unless the hon. Member is not aware, the registration of people is not limited to elections.


Mr Speaker, I stated some of the uses of identity cards. The hon. Member is here in this august House because he has been identified as an eligible Zambia citizen. We cannot take this registration exercise as only being done for the purposes of elections.


Sir, when this activity has been done in special cases, it has been to support ministries such as the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare. The ministry is reaching out to the Social Cash Transfer Scheme beneficiaries and has requested the department to help in the identification of some of the beneficiaries who could have lost their NRCs. Those are the areas to where these services are being extended, but I must emphasise that the routine identification of citizens is done on every working day, including in Solwezi. So, to think that Solwezi or North-Western Province will be disadvantaged is misplaced and misinformation.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Subulwa (Sioma): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that good statement and I think it is long overdue. My concern pertains to my area, Sioma in particular, where the roads in areas like Dihehe, Sinjembela, Likulushitu, Lipaneno and Liwandamasiyala are impassable and we are talking of a mobile team going there. We also have people who are above the age for the acquisition of the National Registration Cards (NRCs), for example, forty or forty-five years. My concern is that we do not have any radio or television station in the areas that I have mentioned. What deliberate measures has the Government put in place to ensure that everyone who has attained the age of sixteen and those who were left out during the other registration processes are captured?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, when we were phasing the exercise, we took into consideration the fact that the Western Province was one of the areas that experienced floods. Other provinces such as Muchinga, where there are areas like Kanchibiya, also experienced floods and are very difficult to access. So, we have decided to put them in the second phase that will commence in September 2020 for us to be sure that the water levels would have receded in those areas. We will also ensure that our officers, who will be assigned to undertake the exercise in those areas are given transport so that they are be able to navigate the terrain. We are aware of the difficult terrain in those areas, and so, we are making arrangements to ensure that the type of transport that will be given to our officers is suitable.


Sir, over whether we will capture everyone is what I said will require concerted efforts. The area hon. Member of Parliament spoke passionately about her people, who probably could have been left out and are over age. The teams that we will be sending will be composed of police officers and immigration officers, in some cases, to deal with some of the issues where, for example, a person who claims to have lost an NRC has to prove that claim. So, there will be a need for a police report and the teams that will be going in different areas will be able to deal with a number of challenges, including that of the over aged. So, as hon. Members of Parliament, we should ensure that we disseminate information to our people so that they are ready to access these services when they are brought to their doorsteps.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, those people who lost their National Registration Cards (NRCs) have complained that they are made to wait for thirty days before their NRCs are replaced. Bearing in mind that the voter registration exercise will only be done within forty days, what measures has the ministry put in place to ensure that those who have lost their NRCs are not left out?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I partially addressed the question that the hon. Member of Parliament for Livingstone has asked. I said that the teams we will be sending to undertake the mobile registration and the issuance of NRCs exercise will comprise officers who will play the critical role of identifying those who lost their NRCs. The exercise may take a bit of time as they will have to prove that, indeed, their NRCs were lost because we have unscrupulous characters. There are non-citizens who want to take advantage of the situation by claiming to have lost an NRC. So, it is important that the DNRPC proves that, indeed, the claim is valid.


Sir, our officers are now ensuring that they scrutinise people in those areas where people used to take advantage of the situation by registering those who were under age in large numbers. When we move away from the manual way of civil registration to the digital way, some citizens will be found wanting before the law. So, those who might be giving false information will still be identified. However, we have instructed our officers to make sure that they do the correct thing. That is why we have heard some cries in some areas where people thought it would be business as usual and they would load people and children on trucks to bombard the registration offices and get them registered. This time, it will not be like that. My appeal to the traditional leaders and all the leaders is that we should not use elections in a selfish way. The identifying of citizens is beyond elections.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, if the officers across the country operated normally, as far as the issuance of the National Registration Cards (NRCs) is concerned, they would be doing great work of reducing the backlog. However, in many districts, there is a restriction on the number of NRCs that must be issued on a particular day. If the restriction on the number of NRCs that should be issued on a particular day is done away with and people operated normally, this would help a great deal when it comes to mobile registration because centres are currently not operating at full capacity. What challenges does the Government have in supplying the required materials in all the districts and allowing them to operate normally so that those people who qualify can get NRCs without encumbrances?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, we are not sitting normally in this Chamber because of the threat posed by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), which has changed the way of doing business. In a similar way, the officers who register and identify citizens who should get NRCs are equally following the regulations of Statutory Instrument (SI) No.22 that should be adhered to across the country. So, it is not like the restrictions are in one area. This is being done for the purposes of observing health guidelines. We cannot have too many people crowded in one area waiting to access NRCs for one simple reason.


Mr Speaker, when the situation improves and the Government is advised otherwise by health authorities, the officers will operate as they normally do. However, even as we embark on the mobile exercise across the country, we will ensure that Her Honour the Vice-President, through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), facilitates the provision of the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for the officers who will be undertaking the exercise. So, in one breath, we cannot say that we are adhering to the health measures here at Parliament, yet the DNRPC should not do so. So, my answer to the hon. Member is that when the situation of the threat posed by COVID-19 improves, the officers will return back to normal operations. However, for now, they will have to adhere to the same measures that we, the legislators, are observing here at Parliament.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Kamondo was inaudible.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Mufumbwe, you are not audible.


Mr Kamondo (Mufumbwe): Mr Speaker, are you able to hear me now?


Mr Speaker: You are now audible.


Mr Kamondo: Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to clarify something. In Mufumbwe, in areas like Kabanga, Shipunji and Shimpandanga in Miluji Ward, we face three challenges during the mobile registration exercise. The first challenge is the distance from the Boma, which is about 460 km. Secondly, during the rainy season, the area is impassable. One cannot reach that area. The other challenge is the geographical location. The area is located about 30 km from Nkeyema District and about 80 km from Kaoma District. So, what measures will the Government put in place in Mufumbwe, and particularly in Miluji Ward, to address the issues which I have raised? Is the Government thinking of allowing the people of Miluji to get National Registration Cards (NRCs) from Nkeyema, which is just about 30 Km from Mufumbwe, or from Kaoma, which is about 80 km from Mufumbwe? What is the Government going to do for this area which has its own problems?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I stated that the mobile exercise is intended to reach the people in far-flung areas, meaning that instead of people from the far-flung wards, which the hon. Member has referred to, coming to Mufumbwe District, the officers will go to those wards. However, the hon. Member must also appreciate that the boundaries of districts are very critical because the people in chiefdoms and villages also have to be captured, and these are issues that bring misunderstandings and conflicts among people. So, I want to assure the hon. Member that there are teams that will be assigned to Mufumbwe. The hon. Member should also be there to ensure that he provides the necessary information to the people in order for the teams to do their work efficiently and effectively.


So, the assurance is that the teams will reach the said wards, and the hon. Member’s role will be to make sure that people are informed in good time. Like I have stated, the North-Western Province is in the first phase which will commence on 1st August, 2020, until the second week of September.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I do recognise that this is a very huge and topical subject, but I am afraid we have two reports this morning, and I do not think it will even be possible to go through them. So, we cannot continue with this session indefinitely. I will move on to the next item on our agenda.








Mr Mwamba (Lubansenshi): I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Education, Science and Technology for the Fourth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on 19th June, 2020.


Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?


Mr Machila (Magoye): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.


Mr Mwamba: Mr Speaker, your Committee considered one topical issue, namely The Teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in Zambian Schools.


Sir, during its study, your Committee interacted with several stakeholders who tendered both written and oral submissions before it. Allow me to only highlight a few critical findings of your Committee.


Mr Speaker, the House may be aware that efforts towards enhancing the teaching of STEM in Zambian schools date as far back as 1996, where these subjects were aggressively taught at selected schools such as David Kaunda, Helen Kaunda and Hillcrest Secondary schools. It is worth noting that after a curriculum review in 2013 and 2015, the teaching of these subjects has been reinvigorated. The education system in the country has taken deliberate steps to emphasise the teaching of STEM. Despite those efforts, your Committee is sad to report that the teaching of STEM is still faced with numerous challenges.


Sir, the first thorny issue is that of the lack of the relevant policy framework to guide the teaching of STEM subjects in schools, and this has resulted in fragmentation and non-co-ordination in the teaching of these subjects. Therefore, your Committee recommends that the Government immediately comes up with a policy that will guide the teaching of these subjects in the country.


Mr Speaker, another issue is the lack of adequate qualified teachers to teach STEM subjects in most primary and secondary schools in the country. In this vein, your Committee strongly urges the Government to urgently take concrete steps to train an adequate number of teachers in STEM subjects for effective teaching and learning.


Sir, your Committee is also concerned that most of the schools in the country do not have equipped laboratories to facilitate the teaching of STEM subjects. Therefore, your Committee strongly implores the Government to take measures to ensure that all schools in the country are equipped with laboratories in order for the effective teaching and learning of STEM to take place.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


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


Mr Machila: Now, Sir.


Mr Machila: Mr Speaker, in seconding the Motion, I would like to look at some of the critical areas, as highlighted in this report. The first one is the lack of research activities in the learning and teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). As a result of the lack of research, there is a disconnect between the applications of STEM and socio-economic fields in this country. Therefore, your Committee strongly urges the Government to institute measures that will ensure that research activities are inter-linked with the teaching and learning of STEM. This will enable the learners to acquire skills that will be necessary for their engagement in the world.


Mr Speaker, the other challenge is that of the lack of resources. Inadequate resources have been given to the field of research. As a result, no activities take place in the field of STEM. Therefore, we recommend that the Government allocates more resources in the field of research. As you may be aware, there has been development in reverse gear. Some years back, the allocation to the education sector was about 22 per cent of the Budget. Now, it has been reducing gradually, from 17 per cent and is now at about 12 per cent. This has made it very difficult for people to engage in research in the STEM field.


Sir, the other challenge is the dwindling interest among learners. There is a perception that STEM is not only difficult, but also boring. So, you will find that most learners are not keen on taking part in STEM subjects. Therefore, your Committee is concerned and it urges the Government to deliberately undertake a robust campaign towards the popularisation of STEM in our learning institutions.


Mr Speaker, the other challenge is the issue of the lack of incentives among citizens in this country. For example, we do not have enough incentives to attract and retain teachers of STEM. We can train as many as possible, but they later migrate to other areas for greener pastures. Therefore, your Committee requests the Government to put in place measures that will attract and maintain the members in the field of STEM.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according the people of Kalabo the opportunity to contribute one or two words to the debate on the Motion which is on the Floor of the House.


Mr Speaker, your Committee stated that it finds it highly unacceptable that the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is only seriously considered at secondary school level where selected schools are established as STEM schools, saying it is depriving primary school learners of the needed foundation through STEM.


Mr Speaker, science should not be discriminated against in this manner. Zambia is beyond fifty years from the time it got its Independence. Therefore, coming up with only one school to teach science, mathematics and engineering in the Western Province is being unfair. As a nation, we are supposed to progress. The population of this country has increased and, therefore, service delivery should also be enhanced.


Mr Speaker, how do we expect children from all districts in the Western Province and other provinces in Zambia to learn science subjects in Mongu? This is very unfair. By doing that, we are not promoting the teaching of science. Instead, we are denying our children the benefits of learning science. So, we should increase the number of schools where science will be prioritised.


Mr Speaker, the issue of STEM is not new. Even when the United National Independence Party (UNIP) came into power, it selected schools to focus on STEM. Unfortunately, primary schools have been left without any attention. Therefore, I want to urge the Ministry of General Education to consider the teaching of STEM in all primary schools so that our children can grow with the right notion of interest in science and other related subjects. If these children only find these subjects at secondary school, it will be like a surprise to them. Therefore, the future scientists who are supposed to grow with that skill from primary level will not have the desired touch. Eventually, this country will not benefit from the education of our children.


Mr Speaker, your Committee has also highlighted inadequacies in the provision of logistics or the requisites which should be used in schools. Yes, we cannot teach science theoretically just like reading a newspaper. We should teach science practically. Laboratories should be well-equipped. All the reagents or whatever tool should be made available in the laboratory. That is how science is supposed to be taught. What is required during this modern time when the production of things has gone high? What is required is the provision of financial resources to equip the schools so that children can grow whilst undertaking the experiments in the laboratories. Our children must be able to know what a laboratory is practically than learning about the laboratory on paper. It will not be fair to this country.


Sir, this country must progress because there is nothing that we do not have. We have all the resources in this country. I just want to urge the Government to promote the teaching of science and other related subjects if we are to develop this country.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, I am grateful that an opportunity has been given to the people of Katombola Constituency in Kazungula District to contribute to this very important debate on the report by our able Committee on Education, Science and Technology.


Mr Speaker, I want the hon. Minister to go with me to page 11 of the report. On page 11 of the report, your Committee has elaborated many challenges that this aspect is faced with. These are ranging from the absence of a stand-alone policy. Now, in the absence of a policy, it is a challenge to operate systematically. The Government is requested to ensure that this issue of a policy is dealt with in the shortest possible time so that a direction can be given in this regard.


Mr Speaker, science is the way to go because the world has changed. We, therefore, need empirical evidence to deal with these matters in a systematic way. That way, there will be no mix ups in the way of doing things.


Sir, among the challenges raised by the educated scientists is the issue of the Ministry of Education curriculum. Therefore, I urge our hon. Colleagues to rise to the occasion and ensure that the curriculum put in place is credible and one that can compete favourably globally.


Mr Speaker, our learners need to be better citizens tomorrow because they are the future. If the scientists were to go without imparting their knowledge to the children in the schools today, we, as a nation, are at risk of having a disaster.


Sir, the other issue that has been highlighted in your Committee’s report is the lack of infrastructure. Back home in Kazungula, we used the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to build some of school laboratories. At one time, all the Grade 12 pupils in Kazungula used to go to Livingstone to write their examinations. It was not until we built a laboratory in Mukuni that they stopped going to Livingstone. This is a serious challenge. We have tried to improve in one way or the other by opening up other secondary schools that have come on board. However, they still lack this important infrastructure, the laboratories. These laboratories are a requirement for schools to get the examination centre status. Therefore, as the hon. Minister comes up with a budget for next year, it is very important that he attaches the importance of schools having laboratories. This will enable our children to learn science not only through theories, but also practically.


Sir, as a Member, I will be very happy to see children from Nyawa, Kauwe, Simango, Makunka and Sikauzwe Secondary schools write examinations from their respective schools. This will ensure that the distance covered by children to get to schools is reduced. Therefore, there is need to attach some importance to this sector because children are, indeed, the future. 


Sir, science cannot be substituted. It is just important that we encourage our hon. Minister to ensure that he puts his machinery in the right frame and provides solutions to the issues which have been raised by this important Committee.


Mr Speaker, as the United Party for National Development (UPND), with Mr Hakainde Hichilema as president, we attach a lot of importance to this sector. When we take over Government next year, the country will appreciate our way of doing things.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Livune: Sir, the Patriotic Front (PF) is going. Why are its hon. Members questioning what I am saying? They should just prepare themselves because we are coming into power. They have had their chance which they have misused. They must just wait for the UPND and Mr Hakainde Hichilema to show the nation how education must be treated.


Mr Speaker, I wish the UPND and its leader, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, all the best.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, your Committee has come up with ten good recommendations. However, in the interest of time, allow me to just contribute on recommendation No. 10, where your Committee is urging the Government to popularise Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses by increasing enrolment numbers in schools and also addressing the negative perception that STEM courses are difficult.


Mr Speaker, one of the best ways this can be achieved is by expanding the loan schemes. The loan schemes in private and public institutions should come complete with incentives such as book, project and meal allowances, specifically for students taking STEM courses. The Government could also offer direct jobs to students studying STEM courses upon graduating from the universities. At the moment, we have situations where it is taking university graduates five, ten or fifteen years before being employed. However, if the Government could offer students who take STEM courses direct jobs upon graduating, we may see a situation where most of our pupils will flock to take up these STEM subjects and courses. This has worked in China. Most of us believe that China is the world’s number one economy because it has prioritised STEM learning.


Sir, the other recommendation is where your Committee is urging the Government to inform the nation on the importance of learning STEM subjects. I think that people need to be told that if pupils take up STEM courses, they will be armed with skills to improve efficiency. The good thing about our students getting armed with skills of efficiency is that our people, companies, Governments and individuals will spend less to achieve more. This means that unit costs of goods and services will come down because wastage will be minimised.


Sir, if that is achieved, we may start having situations whereby contractors like AVIC International, which deals in road construction among other things, not having to redo the same jobs like replacing parts of Lumumba Road. This is because from the outset, a good workforce would have been employed, and the overall cost of a kilometre of the tarred road will come down because people would have taken caution when undertaking such projects.


Mr Speaker, the other good thing about equipping students with STEM skills is that it will result in an improvement in effectiveness, and such an improvement leads to task completion. When people are employed under these big contracts, we will not have situations where contractors abandon works because people who are skilled in task effectiveness always complete their tasks. They do not abandon them halfway.


Sir, the other good thing about the Government informing our nation on the importance of taking up STEM courses is that these subjects assist in addressing societal challenges. At the moment, the nation has many challenges. However, these challenges would be addressed if our country popularised STEM learning. One example I can give is the cost of service study. This is one issue that can be addressed by electrical engineering students, for example. If we had students taking up electrical engineering courses, the country would not be spending too much money on getting foreigners to undertake simple exercises like the cost of service study. The other reason it is important to popularise STEM courses or subjects is that even when there are pandemics like the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), we would have a good number of our students in the laboratories trying to find the vaccine. At the moment, COVID-19 is a bio-chemistry issue. It is just as simple as bio-chemistry. We are all putting on face masks, but if we had students studying bio-chemistry, we would have had a number of them trying to find the vaccines. At the moment, I do not know how many of our students are trying to take up this research to find the vaccination, solution or cure for COVID-19 apart from the wearing of masks and −


Mr Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, I just want to emphasis or underline one very important point in this report. All the stakeholders, the ministries in charge of education, universities and many others are in agreement that, as a nation, we need a clearly thought out policy on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). This is a call for rethinking, refurnishing and redirecting of the place of STEM in our overall national development.


Mr Speaker, STEM is what is going to differentiate the levels of development across countries, especially here in Africa. When we look at many other countries on the continent, they are struggling to see how their economies will be STEM driven. If you look at Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda and many other countries on the continent, they are giving a lot of attention to STEM.


Mr Speaker, the challenge is that STEM is a new model of investment in human capital for economic transformation. This is what is at stake here. The idea is to search for human resource that will bring about effective and efficient productivity. The human resource should manage and transform the economy and ensure that the current issues we are facing of poverty are significantly addressed. This new crop of players in the economy should be able to do this.


Mr Speaker, STEM, therefore, calls for a concerted effort not only by the ministries in charge of education, but also other ministries, especially the Ministry of Finance, to see how investments can actually be realigned so that we focus on the enabling factors for the realisation of STEM. These include the type of curriculum that should be put in place, the training and retraining of teachers, the development of infrastructure like laboratories, which are important for STEM, research activities in universities as well as issues to deal with equipment, chemicals and so on and so forth. The Ministry of Finance should give very serious attention to how investments in STEM are a necessary push for economic transformation.


Mr Speaker, this is why it is very important that we, as a nation, begin to give a time frame very seriously. I think a forty-year time period is very important so that by the time we are almost reaching 100 years of our Independence, we should be one of the countries on the continent of Africa that would have used STEM effectively to transform our economy. This is what Malaysia is doing. So, we should not be left behind.


Sir, this is a call for the serious re-examination of what we, as a nation, can do to ensure that we put STEM in the frontline so that it touches the lives of everybody in the country and value it as a basis for our economic survival and transformation.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, thank you for according me the opportunity to say a few words on the debate of the report of your Committee on Education, Science and Technology. I just want focus my comments on the education sector, as regards the approach to science and technology.


Mr Speaker, your Committee’s report has highlighted many challenges even after reviewing many policies. I am cognisant of fact that most of the witnesses who presented before your Committee mentioned various policies that ranged from around 2006 to date. There have been so many policies on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), yet implementation has been a challenge. The ball is in the court of the Executive on how it is implementing many of these policies.


Mr Speaker, I beg to differ with the previous speaker who mentioned that we need an elaborate or well defined policy in order for us to implement STEM. There have been policies before, but the problem has been the lack implementation. In any case, we will not do as much as we envisage if the economy is not performing well or the allocation of funds towards the education sector is a problem.


Sir, for instance, we are struggling with computer laboratories in schools, especially in rural areas. There has been a deliberate policy to try and transform some primary schools into secondary schools, yet they do not have facilities like technology rooms from where students can learn computer science. To have even basic science laboratories is a challenge.


Sir, we have not received the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) for a long time now. In some places, we have just patched up and come up with computer laboratories which are now in use. However, even the funding to the education sector has been a challenge. You find that during examination time when laboratories are supposed to be equipped with reagents, for instance, schools struggle to raise funds and ask pupils to make contributions so that they buy reagents for science experiments. So, it clearly shows that the Government does not prioritise STEM.


Mr Speaker, some of the contents of your Committee’s report indicate that among other things, the STEM policies included coming up with infrastructure required for teaching of science, technology and mathematics in institutions of learning. However, the implementation has been lacking. We are asking questions as to where we are in terms of implementation. For instance, if I ask the hon. Minister of General Education how many of the science laboratories have been put in place since those policies were put in place from as far back as 2006, we will not come up with anything meaningful to talk about. So, the lack of implementation has been a challenge.


Mr Speaker, I would like to implore the Executive to look into this report seriously and take out what was submitted by stakeholders so that we implement the policies we already have on the table. There is no need to look for further policies because they are already in place. The policies should, therefore, guide us in terms of the monies that we allocate towards the education sector to improve the teaching of science, mathematics, technology and any other science related courses in schools. We cannot achieve much if, from the outset, basic education is not equipped with what it takes to teach STEM. We would be putting up good polices on the table, but be challenged in their implementation.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, a lot has been said. Let us relook at what we are doing, where we have come from and where we are going. Fifty years after Independence, we should have realigned ourselves on whether education is important for the country or not.


Mr Speaker, we have wrong priorities. We have put all our efforts into only one sector, which is infrastructure development. We have forgotten what is key. Charity begins at home.


When I say that charity begins at home, I mean that if these pupils, especially from rural areas, are introduced to science, mathematics and other subjects, they will grow with them and will become the great people that the country needs. However, at the moment, despite the Ministry of General Education having experts and the hon. Minister doing his best, there is a lack of necessary help from the Government. The Government treats the Ministry of General Education like any other ministry. It should not be like that. Let us see what is happening in other countries where they respect education. Education is the key for all of us.


Mr Speaker, we thank our first President, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, who prioritised education. It is why some of us from deep rural areas are here in the House with the rest of the hon. Members. The Ministry of General Education is key. It is as critical as the Ministry of Health. The support given to the Ministry of Health should be the same support that should be given to the Ministry of General Education.


Mr Speaker, if the foundation is weak, a house cannot stand. We need to go to the basics on what is critical. If you do not take necessary steps at the foundation level, you have lost it. Let us look at what we are doing. How much are we spending and is it being spent rightly?


Mr Speaker, at the moment, we are always talking about the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), which this Government has trivialised. It has not even been released at all. How can we build laboratories in all schools using the CDF which comes only after a struggle? Let us be sincere with ourselves.


Mr Speaker, the Government promised a science and mathematics college in the North-Western Province. I heard it from the Ministry of Higher Education although it is related to the Ministry of General Education in the North-Western Province. To date, we have never heard of it. It has never seen its light. Let us be serious with whatever we do with our programmes.


Mr Speaker, we need to be a serious country. Let us compare ourselves to other countries and see what they are doing. We should subject these priorities to research. It is not about coming up with policies and other things because we shall be dreaming and not achieving what we want. Let us put up a research centre so that whenever we come up with a policy, it should first go through research which should, then, help us come up with a well formed method of application. 


Mr Speaker, I am looking at the rural area where I come from. I cannot even talk about any laboratory. There is nothing. There is only one in Jimbe which I am sponsoring personally, as an individual. How many laboratories do we need in rural areas? So, let us realign our efforts and our thinking so that we are able to achieve. Let us prioritise which ministries should get the most of our resources.


Mr Speaker, I commend your Committee for these priorities. They must not be just mere recommendations.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank your Committee for the good job it did in interacting with the stakeholders it met and for the recommendations it put up. I also thank the Patriotic Front (PF) Government for prioritising science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). If you go to Kabulonga today, the work that is being done at the national science centre is a marvel.


Sir, I would like to say to the hon. Minister of General Education that it will be important to take hon. Members of Parliament, particularly those who represent rural areas and those who spoke from the United Party for National Development (UPND), to the centre so that they can see for themselves what Zambia is offering.


Mr Speaker, let us also not forget that the Government has prioritised the teaching of science by taking particular interest in training teachers. The Government has prioritised the teaching of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), including in rural areas. These are positive moves. The Government has given us a very able hon. Minister. Zambia is witness of education. He is all over with his Permanent Secretaries (PSs) to ensure that the STEM programme and other educational tandems are attended to according to the principle of subsidiarity at the point of incidence.


Mr Speaker, in tandem with Vision 2030 where we want to project our country to a middle income prosperous nation, the teaching of STEM is very important. It is important that we invest in our young people and we have seen the PF Government continuously ensuring that young people are involved and resources are poured towards their education.


Mr Speaker, I want to take Hon. Professor Lungwangwa’s statement or rather debate as my own. It was a well-thought-out debate. Yes, policies are as important as implementation. So, when someone says that the PF Government has failed, I wonder where it has failed. Whenever you sit and watch, you see a very able hon. Minister all over the country. He does not even discriminate against any part. As we speak today, His Excellency the President is in the Southern Province to ensure that the Government’s programmes and projects are going on, including education programmes such as STEM.


Mr Speaker, it is unfortunate that when some senior members of the UPND hear about a service being offered in Chienge or Kasama, they call it discrimination. I am glad that with the PF Government, there is no choice. There is detribalising in all Government services so that they happen equitably across the nation. The UPND has been saying, “We have won” or “We are going to win,” from 2006 to date.


Mr Ng’onga: 2001


Dr Malama: No, I will not mention 2001 because I have a lot of respect for the late Mr Anderson Mazoka. I will start from somewhere.




Dr Malama: From there, they have been winning on social media every time. Let me tell the UPND categorically that the PF Government has not failed on the implementation of STEM. The hon. Members should visit, like I said at the beginning −


Mr Mwiimbu points at Dr Malama


Dr Malama: Jack, visit. I have seen you pointing at me, Jack. 


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kanchibiya, ...


Dr Malama: Hon. Jack, listen to the Speaker.




Mr Speaker: No, hon. Member for Kanchibiya. There is no need to construct a dialogue. You can have your dialogue after the House rises.


Dr Malama: Mr Speaker, I am speaking through you.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Member’s time has elapsed.


Mr Speaker: The last hon. Member to speak before the hon. Minister is the hon. Member for Liuwa.


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, I also want to congratulate your Committee for being forthright in the report that it has produced. The best performing economies in the world today are not necessarily those with oil, copper, gold or cobalt, among other minerals. They are not. Unlike it was in the 1960s and 1950s, the best performing economies today are those with human beings that are skilful, people who have various skills because they are medical experts, agricultural experts, computer engineers and all sorts of skills.


Sir, as usual, to have human beings with that kind of skill set requires investment in the development of manpower right from the time when people are born to the time when they go to tertiary schools. The Government or society must invest heavily in education and training for it to come up with the kind of human beings I talked about, who are so clever that they can buy copper from Zambia, cobalt from Congo and sand from somewhere, make a computer and sell it back to the same people who had those natural resources. It requires investment.


Once again, Sir, this is where I have issues with the Government. The amount of investment we are making in education is not enough. Yesterday, I talked about the fact that the share of resources going to education and training in our National Budget is declining. At a time when the Government has borrowed so much money never seen in this country before, how much of that did we put into education? How much of that did we put into training? Very little.


Mr Speaker, I went to one of these three schools that I have talked about, which were the pioneers of teaching of science and technology. Two years ago, I visited Hillcrest National Technical High School in Livingstone. You feel like crying when you are there because there is so much dilapidation. The old workshops are in tatters, and the dormitories are something else. Then, you ask yourself why these things are happening when we all know that we are supposed to be investing in education and training. We need to put money there.


Mr Speaker, apart from investing in those facilities themselves, I must also say that we must invest in the background itself. Children are supposed to be taught science and technology from the very beginning. This means that primary schools need to be properly funded. Today, you will find that a school has classes from Grade 1 to 9 with only three teachers. How can these children be properly prepared to be taught science and technology? It is impossible to do that when there are no black boards in schools and teachers are not accommodated and, therefore, demotivated. When you go into a class, you will find that children sit on bricks or on the floor. How can such children be expected to take courses in science and technology? It is not possible.


 Mr Speaker, I would like to say that let us put more money into science and technology if we really want to make a difference in our country. That is very important. I am from a village school out there in Liuwa, but in 1969, I was able to make it to Hillcrest National Technical High School. Why did that happen? It is because we had enough teachers. We also had enough books, and teachers who were motivated. Today, that is failing. The population, of course, was low then. However, the income of the Government today is supposed to be higher. It has so much money, but it is not investing it in education. That is where the problem is.


I thank you, Sir.


The Minister of Higher Education (Dr Mushimba): Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to debate on the Report of the Committee on Education, Science and Technology. I would like to start by commending the chairperson of the Committee, Hon. George Mwamba, and the team for this report.


Sir, since my colleague form the Ministry of General Education will wind up debate, I will touch on a few issues to agree with the report that science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programmes are extremely important, as articulated by Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa and the others. Through STEM and research, we can find local solutions to local problems. I understand that we are in an economy that is knowledge-based and that demands many skills among our citizens. Through those skills, we would be guaranteed enhanced production and productivity that is competitive on a regional and global market. Through STEM, I think, this Government will achieve that.


Mr Speaker, to start speaking to that, it would be good for the hon. Members to know that Cabinet recently approved the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, which is centred on the development and the adoption of STEM in almost all our schools from primary all the way to higher education. We are making sure that STEM is central in the capacity building of our citizens.


Mr Speaker, there is also the issue of training teachers who will teach STEM programmes. This issue was raised by one of the debaters. I want to let hon. Members know that through the deliberate policies that this Government has been putting together, we have a university in Zambia, Mukuba University on the Copperbelt, that is doing tremendous work around training our science and mathematics teachers for our primary schools all the way to universities. We are graduating many students every year and replenishing the pipeline to make sure that we are not just speaking to being ready, but taking practical steps to make sure that we are ready.


Sir, we need many students to come to Mukuba University and many other universities where they can be trained in STEM programmes, adopt them, use them and teach them. Our scholarships and loans department has been facilitating the study of these programmes. If you look at the numbers of students being given these loans and bursaries, you will see that they have been increasing every year at a very astronomical rate. As a Government, we stand on firm ground that some of these interventions, especially under the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, are such that we need to speak to them to make sure to unlock the potential that STEM programmes have.


Mr Speaker, the other debaters spoke about research. I want to add that the Government has set up strategic research funds, and some of those funds support Junior Engineers, Technicians and Scientists (JETS) to start understanding the rigours of science and engineering and also interest them to take up these sciences. This includes our girl children getting that verity cultivated in them.


Mr Speaker, I just thought I should highlight a few of these points from the aspect of higher education. I know that the hon. Minister of General Education will wind up debate and speak comprehensively to the issues that I may not have spoken to.


I thank you, Sir.


The Minister of General Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak on the debate of the Motion that was ably moved by the chairperson of the Committee on Education, Science and Technology, and which was ably seconded. I also thank all my colleagues who have debated on this subject.


Sir, while I recognise the recommendations that have been submitted by your Committee, which sat around February 2020, I just want to inform the House that President Lungu and his Cabinet have been on top of things. I am sure that most of the recommendations that have been made this far have already been answered.


Mr Speaker, in the interest of time, I will try to summarise. With your permission and at the right time, I will come to this august House to issue a ministerial statement that will demonstrate what the His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, and Cabinet have, thus far, been able to achieve in the implementation of promoting STEM in our schools in the Republic of Zambia. I am sure that everything being equal, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia should have actually provided a policy direction in terms of commissioning our National Science Centre in Kabulonga, which has purposely been built to promote STEM in the Republic of Zambia.


Sir, starting with the issue of policy, which has come from my hon. Colleagues, yes, it could be true that we have had a number of stand-alone policies and this is why, like the hon. Minister of Higher Education has said, the policy on science, technology and innovation has just recently been approved. To address some of those concerns in the Ministry of General Education, we are reviewing the 1996 Policy and we have a specific chapter that speaks to policy statements or measures that we will implement in the next five or ten years regarding the promotion of science in this country. So, that particular weakness, including the legislative framework, is all being reviewed so that we can have a robust system of implementing STEM in our schools.


Mr Speaker, to answer the hon. Member for Katombola who wishes for the United Party for National Development (UPND) to implement these things, unfortunately for him, His Excellency President Lungu is already implementing them. I totally agree with my hon. Colleagues that last year, as part of that agenda, Cabinet approved the establishment of fifty-two secondary schools to be a vehicle of implementing and popularising science in the Republic of Zambia. As part of that agenda, fifteen secondary schools are piloting the implementation of the programmes and there are many success stories.


Sir, I recognise that we cannot only popularise science in secondary schools, but also primary schools, hence the instruction from the President that this popularisation begins from the primary schools going to the secondary schools into university. This why Hon. Mushimba mentioned the establishment of Mukuba University, which is purposely for educating our teachers in STEM subjects so that we have human capital that can teach these particular subjects.


Mr Speaker, the other important thing, as part of creating that vehicle, is to ensure that all these things are interrelated or interlinked starting from primary schools, secondary schools and the universities.


Sir, that agenda is already being implemented and like I said, we decided that while we are establishing these schools, we needed a centre which would build capacity in our teachers and this is why, like I mentioned that once the President is available, he will commission the National Science Centre in Kabulonga because we decided to build a college that will, in turn, build capacity in our in-service teachers. That has already been done and at the most appropriate time, we will be able to show hon. Members of Parliament how President Lungu and Cabinet are addressing some of these weaknesses.


Mr Speaker, thus far, we have trained about 400 in-service teachers, as part of our creation of a vehicle, like I said, for establishing the fifty-two secondary schools where we are piloting in fifteen secondary schools. So, 400 teachers, educators and leaders have been trained. They were trained in January this year. Therefore, on that score, we are moving on.


Sir, while establishing the vehicle for popularising science by establishing these secondary schools, President Lungu and his Cabinet also recognise that we do not want to have a repetition of what we had with the technical secondary schools, whose agenda failed. In the establishment of STEM, our children are going to be focusing on research. The curriculum that has been developed is a four career pathway where we shall have general STEM, STEM that focuses on agriculture, STEM that focuses on tourism and hospitality and STEM that focuses on design and technology. This is the curriculum that is being delivered, at the moment, in each province at the fifteen secondary schools that are piloting.


Mr Speaker, to answer the question from the hon. Member for Kalabo Central, Kambule Secondary School in the Western Province is just a pilot school. In terms of the institutional structure for the fifty-two schools, we shall have a STEM school in each district, at provincial level and at national level. So what my hon. Colleague is seeing in the Western Province, and other hon. Colleagues who debated, are just pilot schools. As we go into next year, in January 2021, we shall be able, again, to bring on board may be about forty secondary schools because we wanted to pilot and see whether we are ready for this agenda. Thus far, we are very much ready for this agenda.


Mr Speaker, the other issue that our hon. Colleagues have referred to is that of investment. Yes, while we speak about all these things, investment is important and I want to demonstrate to my hon. Colleagues that the President of the Republic of Zambia has been –


Mr Speaker: Order!


(Debate adjourned)




The House adjourned at 1156 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 8thJuly, 2020.