Thursday, 2nd July, 2020

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Thursday, 2nd July, 2020


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, you will recall that on Tuesday, 10th March, 2020, when the House was considering Question No. 235 on the Order Paper and Mr D. Livune, hon. Member of Parliament for Katombola Parliamentary Constituency, was about to ask a follow up question, Prof. N. Luo, MP, hon. Minister of Fisheries and Livestock raised the following point of order:


“Mr Speaker, I just want to emphasise that I rarely rise on points of order, but this one is very compelling because it borders on maligning people and a defamation of character. I am raising this point of order on the hon. Member of Parliament for Sesheke.


“Sir, before I raise my point of order, I want to say that I have spent all these years building my name professionally and politically. Thus, I take great exception for any hon. Member of Parliament in this House to start maligning my name.


“Mr Speaker, I was watching a television clip on Prime TV in which the hon. Member of Parliament for Sesheke said the following: ‘When the Head of State spoke on tribalism, he failed to mention the name of Prof. Luo.’ Prime TV is watched by many people. Is the hon. Member of Parliament for Sesheke in order to malign my name without any evidence of tribalism? Is that the reason the United Party for National Development (UPND) brought a Private Member’s Motion to this House to try and cleanse its name? I seek your serious ruling, Mr Speaker, on whether the hon. Members of Parliament are going to be in order to be maligning other people’s names.”


In my immediate response, I reserved my ruling to enable me study the matter. I have since studied the matter and I am now ready to render this ruling. The point of order raises the issue of whether matters discussed outside the House, and which are unrelated to specific business of the House, can be a subject of a point of order.


Hon. Members, I must hasten to state, from the outset, that the point of order should not have been raised at all because it relates to an issue that arose outside the House. I want to reiterate what I have said in this House on several occasions that what transpires outside the House should not be brought to this House, but should remain and be concluded outside the House. In this regard, hon. Members should be aware that this House will only entertain a point of order on an issue occurring outside the House, if it relates to a specific matter discussed in the House and amounts to a breach of Parliamentary Privilege and in contempt of the House.


Hon. Members, I had occasion to guide on matters discussed outside the House in my ruling on a point of order raised by the then hon. Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development, Mr C. Kambwili, MP, against Mr C. Mweetwa, MP, hon. Member of Parliament for Choma Central Parliamentary Constituency. In that matter, I ruled at page 834 of the Parliamentary Debates of the First Meeting of the Fourth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly held between 19th September and 17th December, 2014, and this is what I said then:


“I want to repeat what has been said in the House many times before that matters that occur outside should not be brought to this House, but should remain and be concluded outside the House. I understand that the statements by Hon. Kambwili were made on a live call-in discussion programme on UNZA Radio. This being the case, Hon. Mweetwa had the opportunity to raise his views on Hon. Kambwili's statements during the programme. The hon. Member decided not to do so. Instead, he raised a point of order in this House which has led to a contest on facts whose material allegations I was not privy to. Hon. Members, this kind of situation presents difficulties to presiding officers to rule on.


“I, therefore, urge all hon. Members to refrain from drawing the House into discussing matters that take place outside the House because presiding officers are not privy to such discussions. As a result of these points of order, we are compelled to go out to ascertain facts of those discussions which, at any rate, are not relevant to the business of the House. In future, I will simply not entertain any point of order which brings discussions from outside the House.”

Hon. Members, I reiterated this position in the case of Hon. N. Chilangwa, Minister for Luapula Province, against the then hon. Member of Parliament for Roan Parliamentary Constituency, Hon. Dr C. Kambwili. In that case, Hon. N. Chilangwa alleged that Hon. Dr C. Kambwili had gone on a rampage peddling falsehoods to the nation that hon. Ministers had their salaries increased. In that regard, I stated in my ruling that in addition to not indicating where the falsehoods were being peddled by Hon. Dr C. Kambwili, the statements that were referred to in the point of order were made outside the precincts of Parliament and could, therefore, not be a subject of debate in the House.


Hon. Members, in this point of order, Hon. Prof. N. Luo, MP, asserted that Hon. R. Kangombe, MP, made a statement during a programme on Prime Television, where he allegedly maligned her name by linking her to tribalism. What is clear from this point of order is that the statement being referred to was made outside the House during a Prime Television programme. It can, therefore, not be a subject of debate or indeed, a point of order in the House.

In any event, I take cognisance of the fact that the subject of tribalism has been discussed at length both in the House and outside by various political and non-political players in the press, on social media and in public debates. The subject was, therefore, in the public domain and hon. Members of Parliament and the public at large were free to comment on the topic.

Further, the House has no jurisdiction to determine whether an hon. Member has been defamed because the power to dwell into the defamation of individuals is vested in the courts of law. In this regard, any person who alleges that his/her character has been defamed is at liberty to institute a court action. Therefore, hon. Members, in line with the guidance and precedents set in the cases that I have cited above, I find that Hon. R. Kangombe, MP, was not out of order.

As I conclude, I wish to emphasise my guidance to all hon. Members to refrain from drawing the House into discussions occurring outside the House. The House is not an avenue for settling political battles occurring outside the House. Such political battles should be concluded outside the House.

I thank you.







Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources for the Fourth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 12th June, 2020.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?


Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.


Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, based on the Committee’s terms of reference, as set out in the National Assembly Standing Orders, a study on ‘Zambia’s Response to the Impact of Climate Change on the Agriculture Sector’ was done in order to appreciate the opportunities and challenges which are being faced by the sector.


Sir, as hon. Members may be aware, agriculture is facing a serious threat from climate change, globally. This has resulted in, among other things, reduced production and productivity, increased food prices and, to some extent, global food insecurity. Zambia has not been spared from the effects of climate change, especially in the last 2019/2020 farming season.


Mr Speaker, while it is important to note that the Second National Agriculture Policy of 2016 seeks to promote and strengthen agriculture production methods that are resilient to climate change, the Committee is disappointed with a low uptake of conservation agriculture among small-scale farmers in the country. The Committee finds this trend unacceptable because the adoption of conservation agriculture would have greatly assisted the country in mitigating the effects of climate change and improving production and productivity.


Sir, in light of the above, the Committee strongly urges the Government to fully fund activities and extension services that will promote the adoption of conservation agriculture in order to mitigate the impact of climate change on small scale farmers.


Mr Speaker, further, the Committee notes with dismay that there is no budget tracking tool for climate financing to inform the exact amount allocated and disbursed towards climate change activities through the National Budget. The budget tracking tool is necessary to guide investment decisions and aid coordination of Zambia’s climate change response given its importance in sound decision-making.


Sir, the Committee finds it unacceptable that the country does not have such a tool in place. Further, the Committee notes with serious concern, the bulk of the agricultural budget towards funding the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) activities to the detriment of research and extension services which are critical to inform climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.


Sir, the Committee, therefore, strongly urges the Government to expedite the preparation of the budget tracking tool to ensure that investment decisions in the climate change response are tracked and well-coordinated. The Committee also reiterates the fact that allocation of funds to the agriculture sector should be re-aligned in order to prioritise extension and research work on crops and livestock so that new seed varieties and livestock species that are resilient to the adverse impact of climate change can be developed.


Sir, I beg to move.


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


Mr Michelo: Now, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to second the Motion moved by the Chairperson for the Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Ng’onga.


Mr Speaker let me string along with the mover of the Motion, especially on the issue of climate change. Climate change is real in this country. In this country, farmers are too dependent on rain-fed crops or rain-fed farming. It is high time we started harvesting rain water by constructing dams in areas that have been hit by drought, especially in the southern half of the country in places like the Southern Province, Lusaka Province, the Western Province, and the Eastern Province. If we can construct more dams and drill more boreholes in these areas, we can start practicing crop irrigation instead of being too dependent on rain-fed farming which is very risky for the country. There is, therefore, need to fund this ministry so that we can manage the agricultural sector.


Mr Speaker, allow me also to highlight a few points on improving livestock breeds. We need to improve our breed in this country. If you look at our country this time around, the agricultural and livestock sector is not heavily funded. So, there is need for these two ministries to be funded more.


Mr Speaker, allow me to also highlight the issue of extension services.  The mover mentioned extension services and research where we need to invest more into. Right now, most of the farmers are still practicing the traditional way of farming and by increasing the funding to research and extension services, farmers will be trained in the modern way of farming. Farming is a business and if we do not fund the training and extension services, farmers are not going to get the desired knowledge. It is very important that we increase the funding.



Mr Speaker, the other issue that I would love to talk about is silage. We have to discuses more on the strategies concerning silage making in the dry season because it is a bit long in this country. Moreover, we need to invest more money in farm mechanisation which will enable farmers to make hay for their animals.


Mr Speaker, in conclusion allow me to end by saying that a wrong decision that we will make today, will have a very negative impact in the near future and a good decision which we will make this time is going to have a positive impact in the future.


Mr Speaker, with these few words, I thank you.


Prof Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, I would like to commend the mover of the Motion and the Committee for a very well-written and thought-out report. The subject of climate change has been with us for over thirty years now.  A lot of international, regional and national level conferences have been taking place and clearly a lot of research has emerged on this subject. I think it is time now to closely look at what is emerging or has emerged over the years. The research that has emerged on climate change has two areas.


Mr Speaker, the first area is that there is a very little problem in terms of national policy and planning. Many countries have come up with very clearly policies and plans on climate change. For example, if you take Ghana, it has about 192 policy statements on climate change and here in Zambia the Committee has come up with eight sector reports that look at climate change. However, what research has revealed is that there is very little coordination and main-streaming of climate change across various sectors.


Sir, the major problem is at the grass root level; the small-scale farmer level where the focus is not very clear. The focus for climate change interventions is not very clear. The target groups are not clearly identified and the strategies are not clearly spelt out. These are the problems or challenges that are there. In this country, for example, in the Western Province, particularly Nalikwanda, where I represent the people, we have been part of the pilot project. The issue is that people are not very clear at the lower level, what the climate change interventions should be. I think what has emerged from research is that there is need to focus on climate change interventions on the need for food security, job creation and poverty reduction. Also there is need to clearly target women and youth for climate change interventions. The strategy should be on skills and knowledge that can enhance adaptation to climate change. The enabling mechanism should be: access to markets, infrastructure development and extension services. These are very important in order to assist the local level grass root vulnerable poor small-scale framers to effectively adapt to climate change challenges. 


Mr Speaker, the problem that has emerged in the literature almost all over the world, especially in the development world, and here in Africa, is that adaptive capacity of small-scale farmers to climate change is still a major challenge. Adaptive capacity can only be enhanced by addressing the need for skills and knowledge for adaptation to climate change. That is where the problem is. There is also the need to construct feeder roads so that the small-holder farmers can have access to the market. What is the point of a small-holder farmer in a remote rural area in Nalikwanda for example, who lives about 60 km away from the market and has a few bags of millet to sell but cannot sell? That is a challenge. That kind of a situation cannot reduce poverty. It cannot improve the livelihoods of the small-holder farmer. These are the grounded level challenges of climate change interventions.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Samakayi (Mwinilunga): Mr Speaker, let me thank the Chairperson and his Committee for bringing out issues concerning the impact of climate change on agriculture.


Mr Speaker, I have gone through the report and I note that climate change mitigation and adaptation is anchored on eight policies and this brings another challenge of coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the activities that are being undertaken in various sectors that are connected to climate change. Looking at the record in terms of developing policies and implementation, Zambia is very good at developing policies but very poor at implementing them. You cannot fault the efforts of the administrators because they are behind the development of these policies. The implementation of these policies need political will. Perhaps that is where the problem is. The problem is with the Executive and those who are superintending over the affairs of this country because their priorities are elsewhere.


Mr Speaker, as regards, climate change, mitigation and adaptation, if the apex institutions that implement disaster issues are centralised, and the problem is the issue dealing with disaster, we need rapid response. Meanwhile, the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) which is responsible for dealing with disaster issues is centralised. However, it is not present at the action point in rural areas. The Executive must be thinking of decentralising DMMU, so that it can respond to the issues of climate change and disasters.


Mr Speaker, the other issue that has come out of the report is the issue of investment in extension services and research.  This is very important. In the debates that I have heard since I came to this House on most reports, the discussion on extension services and research in agriculture has always been coming up. That is very important and that is how we can develop resilience in that area.


Sir, regarding the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), I urge the Executive to try and reform the policies around those two areas. FISP only benefits a few individuals year in, year out. There could be 1 million people who are left out. How many people are in Zambia? They are many. Take Kabwata for instance, the same people get FISP year in, year out. A system where people should be able to graduate out of FISP must be put in place so that others can come in. In fact, there are no farms in Kabwata, after all. 


Mr Speaker, I also wish to advise that the Zambia National Service (ZNS) and the Zambia Correctional Service could be transformed in a way that they would be able to generate food for national security so that farmers are left to produce food for export to other countries.


Mr Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Ms Katuta (Chiengi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing the voice of Chiengi to support this report though it seems many challenges were discovered during the compilation of this report on the effects of climate change on agriculture in our country.


Mr Speaker, I must agree with the report seeing, what is happening in Chiengi after it was affected with floods. I believe it is about time the Government came up with an idea of putting up silos for stocking food because climate change is unpredictable. It can be considered as an act of God because it can hit the country anytime. For the Government to secure food and to help farmers, it should come up with storage facilities to support commercial farmers, according to their respective areas where they live and the kind of crops they grow or the livestock they can keep.


Mr Speaker, looking at areas that have been earmarked for farm blocks, the Government should speed up the mapping up and titling of these areas to ensure that farmers start farming in bulk so that silos are stocked up with food. Silos can be put up in each district just like we have milking centres in provinces.  Each district can have silos or cold storages where fresh foods, such as meat, can be kept.


Sir, the Government should start looking at borrowing technology, equipment, and training from countries that are advanced in agriculture, such as Israel, to help the country deal with climate change. At the moment, I believe we are not fully trained as a nation and our farmers are not fully equipped to handle the effects of climate change which the country is facing. So, it is very important that more money is put into technology, equipment, and training of commercial farmers. This will help the country to stock up enough food for use during natural disasters such as floods and droughts in some parts of the country. As the case is, it will be very difficult and it will not make any difference. We will have the same report on the Table, if there is no mindset shift in combating the effects of climate change in our country.


 Mr Speaker, having said that, let me conclude by saying that the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), must go. It is not mean that we will be cruel to the peasant farmers when we do this. Not at all, but I suggest that we should instead, establish farm blocks where many people can produce from. For instance, in Chiengi peasant farmers can be given land of up to 2,000 hectares, train them and advise them on what to grow crops, accordingly. This will help the country as opposed to what is happening now where no one has ever graduated from FISP. If anything, people are just getting poorer. FISP is just like a drop in the ocean and it is not helping the nation. It is about time this issue was revisited.


Sir, with these few words, I support the report and hope it will be adopted by the Executive.


I thank, you Sir.



Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Mr Speaker, I thank the mover of this Motion and your Committee for the job well done. I just have a few points to highlight on this report. The issues of mitigation and adaptation are very cardinal.


Sir, there have been many conferences regarding climate. People have been having meetings to talk about climate change. I do not know how much money has been spent on those conferences and the production of reports such as the one which has been produced. I know that money was spent on it. However, in Mwembezhi, if a rural farmer wants to drill a borehole so that he can grow tomatoes during the dry season when there is no rain, the cost of drilling a borehole is over K40,000 to K60,000.


Mr Speaker, what are we going to do to deal with these real issues? I thought these are the issues that the Government should look into, if we are to deal with the issue of mitigation. The cost of drilling a borehole in rural areas must be reduced so that people can afford. If possible, the Government must drill more boreholes in areas like Mwembezhi, where people grow tomatoes during both the dry and rainy seasons. Sometimes the rains are unpredictable in the rainy season. The people bring the tomatoes to Lusaka to sell. These boreholes will make it possible for the people to also grow maize during the dry season. Further, during the rainy season, rivers like Mwembezhi River are flooded and the water flows into the Kafue River and then into the Indian Ocean. What are we doing to capture this water instead of always talking about conferences? We always say that people need to be knowledgeable. What knowledge do people need? The local farmers know what they want. It is just that whatever they want to do is not in their reach.


Sir, I want to explain how difficult it is to adapt in our rural settings. In Mwembezhi, the peasant farmers have no control over the prices of tomatoes which they take to Soweto Market. This is because call-boys are the ones who determine the price. They get the boxes of tomatoes and sell them at whatever price they want. Whatever efforts that farmers make, there is nothing that is coming out of it.


Mr Speaker, let me also talk about the floor price of maize. The year before last, when the dollar was almost at K9 or K8, the floor price of maize was K80. Today, the floor price which the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) is giving is K110, when the dollar rate to the kwacha is between K18 and K19. So, even if I want to sell that maize so that I can do something else, I will not manage. Therefore, we need to be consistent in ensuring that we support the small-scale farmers. I do not even believe in supporting the commercial farmers because they export their produce, but what we need to do is to support the local farmers who ensure that there is food security in our country. The large-scale farmers do not support the food security in this country because they grow and sell their produce to other countries. However, the small-scale farmers in Mwembezhi are the ones who produce the food which people eat. So, what is the Government doing about it?


Mr Speaker, it is strange that issues pertaining to climate change are not dealt with head on. Along Mumbwa Road, there are trucks loaded with charcoal coming to Lusaka. We are saying that the effects of climate change are real, but what are we doing about it? We are busy talking without action. Trucks loaded with malasha come to Lusaka and the Executive say that trees should not be cut because this has an effect on the climate yet these things are happening in their face. It is unfortunate that we have continued talking like this and wasting money when we are not helping the poor people in our communities.


Sir, I support the report of your Committee.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Nalikwanda, hon. Member for Chienge and hon. Member for Mwembezhi, can you remove your names from the Hon. Mr Speaker’s list so that other names can surface. If you have any difficulty with that, there is technical assistance within your rooms. Remove your names from the Hon. Mr Speaker’s list.


Mr Mbangweta (Nkeyema): Mr Speaker, I support the report and I congratulate the Committee for doing a good job, just like all other Committees.


Sir, the reports which we have looked at this week demonstrate quite clearly, the incompetence of this Government in doing what it professes. It is also clear that it does not take advice in good faith. What it does and what it says are totally different.


Mr Mwiimbu rose.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Leader of the Opposition, it is difficult to know why you are standing up.


Mr Mwiimbu: I am raising a point of order. I have indicated.


Mr Speaker: It is not indicated on my screen.


Mr Mwiimbu: It is indicating on my screen, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Very well. I will give you the benefit of doubt.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order pertaining to the privileges of the House.


Mr Speaker, I am aware that you allowed us to come with tablets in this House, and as you are aware, they are too big for them to be put in our pockets. So, what some of us decided to do was to put the tablet in a laptop bag but I am now being told that I cannot come with a laptop bag and even the earphones, I must carry them in my hands together with the tablet. I thought the rules have been relaxed because I am being harassed by the officers here that I should take away my tablet from the bag. I need your guidance on this issue because I thought we have changed the rules.




Mr Speaker: I will give guidance in due course. I know we are still adapting to this system and there are a variety of challenges that are emerging but I will certainly look into this particular complaint as I see it. I will guide the House at large as soon as I have done my investigations.


Hon. Member for Nkeyema, you may continue.


Mr Mbangweta: Mr Speaker, I was saying that I do not know why the Government is failing to implement important issues. For example, when we came to this House, we were told that the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) was supposed to be for three years for one group and another group of farmers would takeover but that has not happened and the Government is not doing anything about it. The Government says that agriculture is one of the most important sectors in this country and to our economy, yet it cannot put money in extension services. So, the farmers who are the intended beneficiaries cannot get services from the Government, and if one went to the rural areas, he would find that the few extension officers who are there do not have equipment and fuel. Therefore, how can the Government say it is supporting agriculture if the agriculture workers who are supposed to be working in rural areas are not supported?


Mr Speaker, the Government is supposed to capacitate the farmers on the uptake of conservation farming? However, if it is not focusing on this issue, it will happen on its own. How we wish the Government could focus on these important issues which affect the livelihoods of the citizens. If our colleagues could even put half of the effort they put in by-elections, a lot of this work would be done. However, instead of sitting in the offices and making sure that the policies which they generate are implemented, they do not do that. The end result is that we will keep on coming back to this House to talk and talk but nothing happens.

Sir, in the Western Province, we currently have the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR) Project, which is part of the arrangements to mitigate climate change, but the uptake on that project is virtually zero. After a few years, that money will go back from where it came from and the people of the Western Province will not have benefited from it yet there are people in the offices who are suppose to be working. Where do they spend their time on?


Mr Speaker, if it was allowed to ask a question in this House, I was going to end by asking a question to say –


Mr Speaker: Since it is not allowed?


Mr Mbangweta: I will sit down.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for according me this opportunity to support the Motion on the Report of the Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources.


Sir, the issue of climate change is real and climate change has come to stay. What is disappointing is that there is a Department of Climate Change and Natural Resources at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, which is not present at provincial and district levels.


Mr Miyanda inaudible.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Mapatizya, we have lost you. The technocrats in Amuusa Mwanamwambwa Committee Room, assist the hon. Member for Mapatizya.


Mr Miyanda: Mr Speaker, another issue that caught my attention in the Committee’s report is where the Committee observed and recommended that there is need to strengthen capacity building amongst the extension officers and recruit more staff to educate farmers on climate change. Unfortunately, it is not a matter of recruiting more officers but retraining our officers. Some people graduated from colleges of agriculture way back and climate change was not there then. So, what will they tell the farmers?


Sir, allow me to quote page 13 of the report which states that:


“There was need for the Government to support the promotion of research and development of robust varieties and breeds of crops and livestock which were resilient to climate change and also encourage crop and livestock diversification such as small livestock in contrast to cattle which produced large amounts of methane.”


Mr Speaker, in winding up debate, the hon. Minister should tell us how many people in Zambia have died due to methane. Has there been a research? Next time, we will be told that all the cattle from the Eastern, Western, Southern and Eastern provinces must be slaughtered because they produce large amounts of methane. How many people have fallen sick due to this gas which is being emanated from the animals?


Sir, three days ago, we were told on the Floor of this House by one hon. Minister that each time there is a debate, some people from other provinces walk out of the House and will go moo. At first I took offence but now I do not because by moo, he meant the cows. When the people from the Southern, Eastern, Western and North-Western provinces where there are animals just leave the House, it is moo. It is actually good that the hon. Minister called them moos, because moo means cattle, and we are proud to have these animals and that is why we are difficult to control.


Mr Speaker, my last point is on insurance. Under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), there is what we call insurance, where farmers contribute K100. However, since we had drought this year, what we have noted is that farmers have only been paid K85 even if they contributed K100. Therefore, insurance companies really need to help the farmers. Farmers have lost out and all they are getting is either K65 or maybe K110, for those who are lucky.


With those many words, I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, the debate will proceed as follows: we will have the hon. Member for Liuwa followed by the hon. Member for Moomba, the hon. Member for Chilubi, and the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central. Thereafter, we will have the hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, followed by the hon. Minister of Agriculture and I will finally call upon the hon. Member for Kaputa to windup this debate. We will proceed in that fashion.


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity to say something about the report that has been presented. To start with, I congratulate the Committee for choosing an important topic of climate change.


Sir, climate change simply means the climate being different from what we are accustomed to. If a place that normally receives little rainfall suddenly starts getting a lot of rainfall, it becomes a problem because people are not accustomed to having so much rain. If a place that is accustomed to heavy rainfall suddenly starts getting little rainfall, it becomes a problem because people are accustomed to having water. For us in the Western Province, if the Barotse floodplains are not flooded, it becomes a problem. We need floods. So, if there are no floods, it is a problem. For other people, when it floods, it is a problem. So, we need to adapt.


Mr Speaker, adaption requires investment. It is not possible to now rely on all the individuals especially those in the rural areas who do not have much financial resources. It is not possible for them to adapt on their own because they have no means to do that. For example, when there is a drought, the majority of our people do not have the means to access water. That is, to drill boreholes, put pumps and irrigate. So, it becomes a public policy issue. It becomes the responsibility of the public and the Government to put in place measures that will enable citizens to adapt to the calamity that has befallen them.


Sir, adaption requires money. The Government requires putting money aside for people to be able to adapt and this is where we are failing as a country. This problem has been there for many years and it is now even more serious because climate change has moved fast and this is why I have issues with the present Government. The level of priority that they have given to climate change is far from satisfactory.


Mr Speaker, year in, year out, we have observed that rather than going up, the allocation to the Ministry of Agriculture in the national Budget has been going down. So, the first thing is that the Government needs to be committed beyond just mere words. We need to see a change in the budget so that more money is put into climate change activities. We will make dams for small-scale farmers, buy them solar pumps and teach them how to conserve water. These are the practical things that need to be done. However, what we have seen is that instead of putting more money into agriculture to enable small scale farmers to do the things that I have talked about, we are putting more money into defence, at a time when there is supposed to be peace in the country. Further, we are allocating more money to the police. Today, when a child sees a policeman on the streets, he/she gets scared because the policeman is wearing all sorts of things and brandishing dangerous guns. We are supposed to be putting money into climate change.


Mr Speaker, today, instead of us –


Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. I have been listening and following the debate of the hon. Member for Liuwa up to the point where he veered off the report which has been ably Tabled on the Floor of this House. Is the hon. Member of Parliament in order to insinuate here that he does not need the peace for him to go and do the farming he is talking about by saying that it is misplaced priority for the Government to invest in the security of this country, and by making false allegations that the people out there are scared of the police when in actual fact, even him seated where he is, he is able to come here and go back to his home knowing that there are police out there to protect his life and property? Is he in order to veer off the report and bring in the issue of police and the defence because he should know that peace is what he needs even for the effects of climate change to be mitigated.


I seek your serious ruling, Sir.


Mr Speaker: My ruling is that whenever a point of order is raised and it is followed up by debate, it vitiates the point of order.


Hon. Member for Liuwa, you may continue.




Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, the point that I am emphasising is that we need more money to be allocated to the Ministry of the Agriculture so that we can deal with issues of climate change. Unfortunately, priorities are moving away from that. We see situations where a lot of money, for example, is being spent on by-elections.


Mr Speaker: Order!


The hon. Members time expired.




Mr Fube (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving the people of Chilubi this privilege to add a voice to debate on the important topic of climate change. Climate change, as it may be, is directly linked to the socio-economic and cultural life of our people. It is beyond agriculture and many other factors that we may talk about. I would like to buy into a concept that climate change may mean a place which was experiencing dryness starts experiencing too much rainfall and this means that even the lifestyle of the people in that particular place changes in order to fit in. We have seen that many traditional ceremonies that are held based on climate have also been affected, resulting in them not being held. That is all climate change.


Mr Speaker, having said that, I would like to indicate that we are not being fair by saying that the Government is not doing much on climate change, especially with regard to the benefits trickling down to the district level. I say so because we have all heard about programmes like Transforming Landscapes for Resilience and Development (TRALARD) which are embarking on climate change at district level. Workshops have been held and awareness on climate change has been going on. Having realised that our people cannot venture into what is looked at as a sophisticated or complex topic, there is need to ensure that awareness on climate change is carried out. This will ensure that even when resources are availed, there will be an understanding of how those resources are supposed to be spent.


Mr Speaker, while talking about climate change financing, we need to think about conservation as well. Conservation means we need to harvest water and make sure that we put in crop and livestock insurance packages. That way, if our farmers, by any chance, lose the crop and livestock, they will be saved from suffering.


Sir, when we talk about dry places and wetlands, in the spirit of the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), which the Government has properly articulated, we need to venture into agricultural practices that promote the growing of drought resistant crops. Where there is a need for us to venture into growing wetland crops, let us do that. However, let us bear in mind the fact that there are certain river basins that may dry up. Today, the hon. Minister of Fisheries and Livestock launched the Aquaculture Seed Fund Youth Empowerment Initiative at Mulungushi International Conference Centre where youths were being given money to undertake different initiatives like fish farming and the like. That is also part of climate change. I think for anyone to say that the Government is not doing anything, is not correct. If a river basin dries up, it means that the fish will equally get stranded and die. So, when we talk about climate change, we are talking about a broad spectrum issue. Therefore, we should not reduce it to just water and crop farming. It is something that is directly linked to life. It is, therefore, a misnomer to paint a picture that the Government has failed in the area of climate change. We must talk about things as they are. We need to interact and not think that because we belong to different political camps, we are prohibited from interacting with different Government departments. There is a need for us to interact with what is happening on the ground so that when we bring debate to the House, it will be so rich such that even our people can benefit from our discourse.


Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I would like to say that in as far as we argue about job creation, when we factor in and finance climate change, we will also be creating jobs, which in effect, leads to wealth creation. We have a big opportunity to do that in the agriculture sector, and by agriculture, we are not only talking about growing maize but other cash crops that can actually change the country’s traditional exports from copper to something else. That is within the spirit of the 7NDP, which is the country’s blue-print for development.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Sir, the Government has been caught napping again on this topical subject. I thank the Chairperson for the Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources for bringing out the fact that the Government is standing on thin ice. Now the ice has melted. You may recall that His Excellency the President came to address us here and sat where you are seated. During his State of the Nation Address and at the Official Opening of Parliament, throughout his Speech, he lamented that climate change was the new challenge in this country. This was emphasised by my elder brother the hon. Minister of Finance when he came here to present the Budget Speech. He also kept talking about the new problem or challenge. I suppose this is the reason your Committee, in its wisdom, decided to make this a topical case study, in particular, the impact that climate change has on the country’s food security.


Sir, here is my story. The Government said what it said and never followed up. You can see from the budget here, where it indicated that there is a problem, the Government allocated 0.3 per cent of the total budget to Environmental Protection.


Sir, Zambia is a member of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and these things are known from the time of the Kyoto Protocol. Like the hon. Member of Parliament for Mapatizya said, climate change is here to stay. So, ordinarily, money should have been put in this area. I think that was the feeling of the Committee to see what the Government was really doing about this pronouncement of the new problem which it only knew about last year. Some of us knew about it from the time of the industrial revolution because I have been reading. So, that the green house gas emissions and global warming began as far back as then. So, the Chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources should have no excuse or use kid gloves treatment to advise the Government on the wrongs that it is doing. The Committee cannot come to this House and tell us that there is a problem yet put 0.3 per cent in budgetary terms against that same problem. I now wish to show you that in the midst of the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) problem that we have as a country, I am sure that even with the 0.3 per cent allocation to environmental protection, nothing is going to be achieved.


Mr Speaker, this report also tells me that the cooperating partners are the ones who have solely been funding the climate protection in this country. These include the Red programme, Green Climate Fund and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF).I know that these organisations have also been putting money to this cause like they always do because we are members of the United Nations (UN). What has the Government done to address this issue of climate change? Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) is supposed to be holding hands with the department that is responsible for climate change because they are the ones who are supposed to respond to some of these odds when they happen. What we have seen in this country is that DMMU has become the campaign manager for the Patriotic Front (PF). Where there are real disasters, DMMU does not go. It would rather go where there are by-elections, like the hon. Member of Parliament for Nkeyema said. DMMU is now known to be going to funerals. Go into Kanyama Compound and you will find DMMU busy trying to make a name for the PF by giving people food at funerals. That is not the essence. Hon. Minister of Finance, my elder brother and friend, bring a Supplementary Budget to this House, which will help you improve things such as weirs for people to have water for their cattle to drink from, and also to repair of dams. I had suggested to the Government that it should pluck out a canal from Chembe River into Kafue River. Now we are suffering load shedding. This is part of the entire programme of climate change. It did not just drop from nowhere or from osmosis. It started because of industrial revolution. The load shedding we are suffering has got a tall order, not only on small-scale farmers but on everybody, including a small guy who operates a barber shop and cannot make a K20 for a loaf of bread in a day.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Mr Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity to debate the Motion on the Floor.  I thank the Committee for the good job that it has done on this report. My debate is basically focusing on the policy which the Committee has highlighted and that is the National Water Policy for 2010.


Mr Speaker, what is amazing, especially for us who are in the rural constituencies, is the fact that up to now, there are some people in the constituencies who do not know what climate change is. I think this is one key issue as highlighted by the National Water Policy for 2010, where one of the measures which highlighted is to conduct public awareness campaigns in these areas in order to mitigate the negative impact of climate change. However, in rural areas, there are some areas where people do not know what climate change is. As a result, you see a situation where people in the community are busy cutting trees for charcoal as a means of livelihood. That is because they do not know the impact of climate change. As the previous debaters have indicated, I think there is a need for this Government to put a lot of resources to help sensitise the communities about the issues of climate change. Currently, we see a lot of monies going into areas which basically, are not necessary. The previous speaker indicated that DMMU is busy with activities which are not in their domain. For example, DMMU assists funerals which are not even calamities. This Government should put a lot of money in rural areas for sensitisation. This time around, there is social media and many local radio stations where we come from. We can use these fora as channels to sensitise the communities.


Mr Speaker, the other issue that we are facing in the rural areas is that of the low water tables. I heard some previous speakers saying that we need big dams. Quite alright we need them. I have heard the Government talk about three big dams for more than three years now, and these are Mwomboshi, Chilusita and the others. The Government is saying that it has done a lot. However, I want to see a situation where, it should concentrate more on working on the dams which are currently in existence which are old and silted. If those dams are de-silted, then our people in the rural areas will have water. We also need to construct many weir dams, and constructing a weir dam costs about K60,000. This means that the Government can construct many weir dams. This is one area where the rural areas have been insisting on having the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). Using CDF, we have constructed some of these dams and our local people have appreciated. Can you imagine, we are now half way into 2020 and when we ask for money, the Government will say that the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected everything. By the way, from the time COVID-19 started, it has only killed about thirty people here in Zambia. People are now dying of malaria, tuberculosis, Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS). The Government is now quiet about these diseases. Instead, it is busy talking about COVID-19. I am not underplaying its impact because it is there. However, we need to share these resources equally. Why then, is the Government failing to give us CDF? We can use part of it to sensitise our people on issues of climate change and construct weirs as a way of helping the Government.


Sir, the Government is very ineffective; there is nothing it is doing. We see these constructions in Lusaka, but in other towns, there is nothing. That is why we are saying that the Government is not doing anything. For me, in fact the Government is not doing anything literally for now. It is busy talking about the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 and other issues. It should go back to the people and work on these small things like the weirs, give them water and drill boreholes. This will enable our local people to stop misusing and cutting down trees for charcoal and other things instead, they will have water for irrigation of crops and other things which will help them earn income.


Mr Speaker, I just wanted to highlight the fact that there is a lot of work which needs to be done concerning the issue of climate change.


I thank you, Sir.


The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources (Ms Kapata): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for according me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the report of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources for the Fourth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly. I also wish to convey my gratitude to the Chairperson of the Committee and the entire Committee for a well-written report. As Minister responsible for coordinating the implementation of climate change programmes by the National Policy on Climate Change, I read the report with keen interest and found the recommendations very useful to advance our work on this serious challenge. I only wish to comment on a few findings on page 19 of the report.


Mr Speaker, the Committee observed that despite the country having some pieces of legislation to deal with various aspects of climate change, there is no stand alone legislation to deal with climate change, holistically. Consequently, the Committee urged the Government to expedite the process of drafting the appropriate legislation on climate change, which will domesticate the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.


Sir, I wish to confirm that the Government has noted the need to put in place dedicated climate change legislation. In view of the above, Cabinet granted the ministry authority, in principle, in October 2019, to formulate a Climate Change Bill in order to strengthen our response to climate change.


Mr Speaker, in order to speed up this process, a working group was put in place which has already commenced working on the Bill. The scope of the Bill has been defined and stakeholders consulted. Consultations with stakeholders on the scope of the Bill were through written submissions due to the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic which is being experienced globally. As we speak, the actual drafting of the Bill has commenced. The Government is committed to ensuring that this process is expedited in line with the recommendation of your Committee.

Mr Speaker, I also wish to comment on another finding by the Committee which is the inadequate collaboration and coordination efforts among various stakeholders in implementing climate change, mitigation and resilience efforts. In this regard, the Committee strongly recommends that the Government should take concrete steps to increase collaboration and coordination among stakeholders involved in the implementation of climate change interventions so as to have a coordinated response.


Mr Speaker, I also wish to put on record that the response to climate change already has existing coordination mechanisms in place. The current institutional framework covering climate change response implementation is outlined in the National Policy on Climate Change as follows: the Council of Ministers and the Steering Committee of Permanent Secretaries (PSs) which coordinate issues to do with climate change.


Mr Speaker, I would like to respond to Hon. Nkombo who talked about 0.3 per cent of the National Budget going towards the environment. This is not the only money that goes to climate change activities. In the ministry, we have various programmes and allocation of monies, especially towards tree-planting activities which appear in almost every ministry. So, the Government has an integrated multi-sectoral approach which is in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP). So, for him to come and lament that its only 0.3 per cent of the National Budget that goes towards the environment is not true. We have different figures in the National Budget that go towards the environment.


I thank you, Sir.


The Minister of Fisheries and Livestock (Prof. Luo): Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to speak on the topic on the Floor regarding climate change and how it has affected agriculture. One of the important areas of agriculture in this country is fisheries and livestock. I thank the Chairperson of this Committee who made reference to issues affecting livestock.


Mr Speaker, climate change is real. It was very important for the President of this Republic to speak to the issues of climate change and remind us in our operations, as the Government and hon. Ministers, about the importance of always remembering the impact that climate change is having on our lives.


Mr Speaker, one of the areas that climate change has affected badly is livestock. This is because for a long time, livestock has been relegated, in terms of their food, to going to the plains to eat when it is dry season or coming back home to eat when it is rainy season. We saw that we lost many animals, especially last year because of climate change as even the plains could not provide the food that animals required. As such, the ministry has not been sitting idle. As it distributes animals across the country, one of the very important activities and messages it is giving to farmers is the importance of investing in pastures.


Mr Speaker, the ministry has given out lots of seed to various farmers in the country, some of whom may not even own animals, but are going to be growing pastures for livestock farmers. Even though our small-scale farmers have been farming livestock, the animals have not been properly fed. Therefore, we have ensured that the pastures for animals are not only grass, but also have proper food values and have sources of protein. So, legumes are being encouraged.


Mr Speaker, the other issue that animals suffered because of grazing to the soil were animal diseases. Therefore, the Ministry of Finance made available a good budget to the ministry to ensure that it brought in vaccines. So, staff at the ministry has been going round the country to vaccinate animals. Some of my colleagues who were playing the blame game, as usual, which we are getting used to, benefitted from the vaccination programme which the ministry has put in place. Also, in response to this, we have been going round constructing dip tanks so that many people now have access to dipping facilities.


Mr Speaker, one of the problems of animal diseases is that there are certain animals that when the infection gains root, because of the effects of climate change, it becomes a bigger problem. One such disease is the Contagious Bovine Pleuropneunonia (CBPP). The ministry, with the support of the Ministry of Finance, has released money and it is all over the villages of the Western Province to ensure that animals that have suffered for a long time from this contagious disease due to the impact of climate change are tested and postmortems carried out. We have shifted the laboratory out of Lusaka and the provincial capitals to those areas so that when we find any herd that is infected, we slaughter it and compensate the farmer.


Mr Speaker, I want to talk about the issue of dams. We have –


Mr Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


The Minister of Agriculture (Mr Katambo): Mr Speaker, let me start by thanking the Committee for undertaking works on the impact of climate change on the agriculture sector. I also thank all hon. Members who debated on the Floor.


Sir, climate change is a threat, not only to the growth and development of the agriculture sector, but also to national development. We take cognisance of the fact that agriculture is one of the main contributors to climate change and also one of the most affected by it.


Mr Speaker, in attempting to mitigate the impact of climate change and building resilience of the sector, we have instituted several programmes to mitigate the impact of climate change as well as build resilience of farming communities.


Mr Speaker, let me highlight some of the key measures we have been implementing:


Promotion of Climate Smart Agriculture


The Ministry of Agriculture is promoting the use of climate smart agriculture practices amongst farmers. These practices include conservation agriculture, sustainable soil and water management and agro-forestry. We estimate that at least 250,000 farmers have adopted conservation agriculture farming practices.


Agricultural Diversification


Sir, the ministry is promoting agricultural diversification among farmers. The ministry is encouraging farmers to grow a diverse range of crops such as cassava, millet, sorghum and rice. We recently launched the cassava strategy as part of the crop diversification agenda.


Irrigation Development


Mr Speaker, the Government is implementing several irrigation infrastructure projects. Crop production in Zambia is heavily reliant on rainfall. Therefore, we have invested in the construction of irrigation infrastructure. Key examples of such infrastructure includes the Mwomboshi Dam in Chisamba, Lusitu Dam in Chirundu and Nzenga Irrigation Scheme in Sinazongwe, just  to mention a few. The aim is to ensure that farmers have access to water for irrigation and promote all-year-round cropping. Hopefully, this also responds to and addresses the issues raised by Hon. Kasauta Michelo and the hon. Member for Moomba.


Strengthening Extension Services and Agricultural Training Institutions


Sir, in order to effectively disseminate information on climate change and climate smart agriculture practices, the Government is strengthening extension services through recruitment of extension officers and, in 2018, over 600 extensions officers were recruited. In addition, the ministry has revised curricula in its agricultural training institutions to incorporate knowledge on climate change. The ministry is continuously engaging co-operating partners in supporting the areas of extension services and research. I hope this responds to the issue that was raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mapatizya.


Strengthening Early Warning and Climate Information Systems


Mr Speaker, various Government agencies and co-operating partners are working on early warning and climate information systems. Key activities include the establishment of automatic weather stations under the Zambia Meteorological Department (ZMD). Unfortunately, the ministry does not have the tracking tool on climate budgeted funds in agriculture, especially in drier parts of the country.


Development of Agriculture Markets


Sir, the Government is also supporting the development of agricultural commodity markets. The development of markets is intended to act as a pull factor for farmers to diversify their crop production.


Mr Speaker, what I have highlighted above are just examples of what we are doing to combat the effects of climate change. We realise that a response to climate change requires a multi-sectoral approach and that is why, as a ministry, we are supporting other sectors such as forestry and energy to implement programmes to reduce the effects of climate change.


Sir, allow me to speak to the budget allocation to the agriculture sector. Your Committee has highlighted that the Maputo Declaration demands a budgetary allocation to the agriculture sector of at least 10 per cent of the National Budget. The Government has recommitted to the Maputo Declaration through the Malabo Declaration to allocate at least 10 per cent of the National Budget to the agriculture sector. Therefore, this allocation should take into account resources not only to the Ministry of Agriculture, but also other agricultural allocations to other ministries such as the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Home Affairs. These allocations have to be looked at as a whole.


Mr Speaker, Prof. Lungwangwa raised issues on research. The Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI) has conducted research and has released crop varieties over the past year for various crops including cotton, maize and wheat. For maize, the institute has released over eighty varieties.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Mwinilunga and the hon. Member for Nkeyema raised issues on the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). I did indicate on the Floor of this House that FISP will be reviewed and the beneficiaries will be weaned off in 2021. We are currently looking into the model for its implementation to address its bottlenecks.


Sir, the hon. Member for Mwembezhi raised issues on price controls at the markets. Ours is a liberalised market. There is no floor price, but a price at which the FRA buys maize or other crop commodities on the market is derived from extensive consultations with key players in the agriculture sector. We are also rehabilitating farming institutions such as Namushakendi and Nangweshi and also research stations like the Mount Makulu Research Centre.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mapatizya raised the issue of the Weather Index Insurance (WII). This is based on the satellite data which qualifies the extent of damage and farmers are paid accordingly on their K100 contribution. This is not paid in form of cash, but is activated to their contribution on FISP. I would like to also thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Chilubi for his great support.


Mr Speaker, as I conclude, I wish to state that the fight against climate change is not for the Government alone, but for every one of us. We can make our small contributions by changing our lifestyles and embracing climate smart habits.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, just allow me briefly to thank all the stakeholders who submitted their reports to the Committee and all the hon. Members of Parliament. As we saw from the list, I cannot even go on, mentioning the names of those who debated and those who did not debate due to lack of time. I also thank those who supported the report in silence.


Mr Speaker, allow me to also thank your office and that of the Clerk of the National Assembly for your guidance and support to your Committee. I can only urge the House to adopt your Committee’s report.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Question put and agreed to.




Mr Daka (Msanzala): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Parastatal Bodies on the Examination of the Annual Reports for the Tanzania/Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) for the years 2017 and 2018 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?


Ms Kasune (Keembe): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.


Dr Daka: Mr Speaker, the Committee is cognisant of the importance of the transport sector in economic development as it plays a critical role in economic growth for a multiplicity of reasons, including quick and easy movement of raw materials, machinery and finished goods.


Sir, despite the importance of the transport sector to economic development, the Committee notes that rail transport has not received the necessary attention to ensure that it operates efficiently and effectively. In particular, the Committee bemoans the absence of a legal framework that is responsive to the needs and trends of the railway industry.


Sir, it is disappointing that TAZARA’s operations are premised on the Tanzanian/Zambia Railways Act, No. 4 of 1995. This Act is not responsive to the prevailing business trends in the railway industry. However, the Committee was pleased to learn that the process to repeal and replace the Act has commenced.


Mr Speaker, in this respect, the Committee strongly urges the Executive to expedite the process to repeal and replace the Act. The Committee, further, recommends that the Executive should ensure that all provisions of the Tanzania TAZARA Act are compared to the provisions of the Zambian Act and aligned accordingly in order to ensure that the legislation in the two countries is in congruence.


Sir, the Committee also noted that TAZARA has been recording losses for the past four years due to operational challenges. Further, its survival depends on debt and capital grants from the two shareholding governments. Unfortunately, the grants are released intermittently. The grants cannot resolve its operational and investment requirements to enable it to be self-sustaining.

Mr Speaker, the lack of recapitalisation has resulted in failure to improve TAZARA’s infrastructure and, ultimately, failure to generate adequate revenues and profits. In order to revitalise its operations, there is a need for an injection of US$518 million. In this regard, the Committee strongly urges the Government to, as a matter of urgency, recapitalise TAZARA. One option that the Government may consider is transferring TAZARA to the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which can then explore innovative funding mechanisms. It is worth mentioning that for as long as TAZARA remains undercapitalised, it will continue to be a drain on the Treasury.

Sir, TAZARA’s balance sheet is unattractive owing to the legacy debt which dates back to the construction of the rail line, and other protocols. Its debt stands at K1.9 million. This debt raises its risk profile and makes the cost of credit very high.

Mr Speaker, in light of this, the Committee strongly urges the Government to intervene, especially with regard to legacy debt which dates as far back as 1976. The Committee strongly recommends that the Government be proactive when signing protocols. It is sad to note that, in most cases, Zambia’s negotiation skills are very weak when signing most protocols which often appear very attractive in the short term when in fact they have a negative impact in the long term.


Sir, I beg to move.


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


Ms Kasune: Now, Mr Speaker.


Sir, I thank the chairperson of the Committee on Parastatal Bodies who has ably moved the Motion. I will just add a few points to highlight the concerns that the Committee raised.


Mr Speaker, the first point I want to highlight is the loss of profits by the Tanzania/Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) due to poor policies. Your Committee notes that the policies are more beneficial to the Tanzanian side and not the Zambian side. For example, truck drivers from Tanzania are paid in full to bring cargo to Zambia and are allowed to carry cargo when they go back. However, Zambian truckers cannot do that. This is a critical issue that your Committee has been raising. The Government of Zambia needs to ensure that the policies that are in place are profitable and equitable to both countries.


Sir, secondly, in same the vein of loss of profits by the company, the Committee notes that companies such as the Sinoma, which is a cement company, does not even have rail sidings which it could use to transport cement by rail, for example. If you remember, Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 7 was passed in 2018 to ensure that 30 per cent of all cargo in Zambia is transported by rail, but alas, this is not being adhered to. Therefore, the Committee is asking the Zambian Government, through the Executive, to ensure that the SIs are being actualised.

Mr Speaker, the Government is losing a lot of resources through carnages, wear and tear due to damaged roads and maintenance of roads. For example, in March this year, TAZARA was able to move about 1.1 million litres of gas oil from Dar Es Salaam to Kapiri Mposhi in four days. This is an example that shows that if this company is recapitalised, it cannot only sustain its workers but also ensure it brings profit to the nation and the revenue that the country needs. I think this is in line with TAZARA’s failure to market itself because not many Zambians know that it would be more cost-effective for them to use a railway line than it would be to use the road. I talked about the delivery of oil via rail, for example, which took four days while it would have taken about fourteen days by road. Further, one cargo load by rail is equivalent to forty trucks. This will save a lot of money and also save our roads.

Sir, the chairperson also spoke to the issue of recapitalising TAZARA. Your Committee notes that the Government gave TAZARA about US$41 million to pay salaries. This was not taken well by the Committee because it felt that this money could have been used to recapitalise the business so that it could be sustainable, pay workers’ salaries and any other debts owed. This is critical and your Committee is asking that in future, the Government should consider recapitalising the company instead of giving it money for salaries.

Mr Speaker, last but not least, there is the issue between Diamond Motors and Zambia Railways. Even though we are looking at the TAZARA annual reports for 2017/2018, it is important to highlight this issue. This pertains to the mobile flush butt welding machine which Diamond Motors failed to deliver. Zambia Railways is asking for about US$250,000 which has not been reimbursed up to now. The Committee felt that such monies should not be lost. This machine is in the hands of police, but we feel it is in the wrong hands.

Sir, I thank you for your time and thank all the hon. Members who contributed. We wish TAZARA well for the betterment of Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Chinyama (Kafue): Mr Speaker, I wish to start by commending the Committee for the job-well-done in terms of highlighting the usual challenges that have become familiar with all of us. When you look at all the Government Parastatals, we seem to have a similar situation. I could not agree more with what the Committee is trying to propose by way of trying to help resuscitate this company.


Mr Speaker, the seconder talked about the policy and legal frame works being in place. I do agree that, indeed, these things are there but we do not seem to be taking advantage of their existence in order to improve the operations of this company. Sometimes, I tend to think that we have become a nation of law makers who make laws and policies that just gather dust on the shelves. What we need, more than anything now, is implementation of plans where companies like the Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) can follow their strategic plan and be able to actualise whatever recommendations are made by Committees such as this one.


Mr Speaker, it is interesting to see in the report that the Committee observed that the Tanzanian side seems to be doing better than the Zambian side. Therefore, you begin to wonder where the problem is because this is the same railway line running between the two countries but one side is doing better than the other. For me, it points to a management problem that we have as a country which we need to look at and see how we can be competitive. Otherwise, it does not matter how many law revisions or policy revisions we are going to conduct as long as we do not do the right thing.  If not, TAZARA and many other Parastatal bodies will continue suffering the way they are.


Mr Speaker, the song about recapitalisation is sang almost everywhere. But at which point are we actually going to see this Patriotic Front (PF) Government put the money where the mouth is in order to revitalise these companies. We cry about there being no jobs. These are the some parastatal bodies, if well supported, can give us the much need jobs that we crying about. However, the picture has not changed over the years because it is the same story of unpaid salaries to the extent that we are now thinking of looking for money to pay salaries instead of capital, as rightly put, to help generate the funds. That way, we can sustain the operation as well as be able to pay those salaries. I think it is high time that this Government became serious about reviving our economy.


Mr Speaker, there are recommendations about maybe considering private sector participation in this issue. The Government should own up. If it has really failed, why not go that route of placing these things in private hands provided they are going to be run and families are going to be sustained in that manner.


Mr Speaker, in the same report although the emphasis is so much on TAZARA, I did flip through the report and I came across some extracts on Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ), talking about a similar situation. The recommendation from the Committee about transferring TAZARA to the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) hoping that it would get better attention, I am afraid it may not even see any benefit. NCZ, for instance, has been under the hands of the IDC for a long time now but we have not seen any benefit that has come from there.  The report talks about IDC having facilitated a study to be undertaken making reference to NCZ, somewhere around 2012, and eight years down the line in 2020, nothing has happened. How else really are these companies supposed to be assisted? If I were the PF, I would really be looking at evaluating ourselves and seeing what difference we have made to this country.


Mr Speaker: Order!


 Hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Mbulakulima (Milenge): Mr Speaker, I would like to support this report especially on recapitalisation of Tanzania/Zambia Railway Authority (TARZRA). I realise that Zambia’s railway network is in two parts; there is TAZARA and Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL). We also know that the transport sector constitutes the four modes; rail, aviation, road, and maritime.


Maritime, since we are not on the coastal area which is the sea or ocean but have lakes so we can leave it somehow. In the other three parts, I believe that we have done extremely well on aviation and road. Why? I think the road network in the country is relatively good because it takes us into the sub-region.


The Aviation industry has done extremely well looking at the good infrastructure in Livingstone, Ndola and Lusaka. They are also supported by the international airlines that have filled up the gap.


However, in terms of the railway system, we have done extremely bad and that is where as a country, we take need to take responsibility. The railway line system is going down at a time when there is an increase in the economic activities. This is the irony of the matter. There is also the population boom, and motor vehicles that have come into the country. All these now take to the roads. How can the roads survive? That is why the end result is the carnage that we are seeing. This is the time when the world, especially the western world, is advancing in terms of railway system. Both passenger and cargo railways are improving. Why are we not applying ourselves fully in this direction? There is need for us to take keen interest and take the bull by its horns. In the absence of a reliable railway system, the attainment of a diversified and resilient economy for sustained growth will forever elude us.

Sir, what I also took interest in this report as my colleague, the previous speaker, said although emphasis is on TAZARA although there is also a little bit on ZRL. As stated in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), the Government will priorities the construction of new railway spans and rehabilitation of existing lines. The focus will be to undertake a comprehensive rehabilitation of the ZRL main line including inter-mine lines. This is where I take keen interest. I look with nostalgia in the 70s and 80s on the Copperbelt, when Mufulira was linked to Chingola by a railway line, Ndola was linked with Luanshya by a railway line, and Kitwe was linked with Kalulushi by a railway line. All these Copperbelt towns where linked with a railway system. We did not have heavy tracks on the roads. All the heavy goods were transported by rail. Today, it is a dream; it is no longer there.


Mr Speaker, we had actually industrialised and today’s children may not even known how linked we were. They do not even know the sound of a train on the Copperbelt. So, if we have to make improvements, we have to stop the carnage and bring in efficiency. Let TAZARA and ZRL be recapitalised. With that, I can assure you the economy will boom. Therefore, I am in total support of this report.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members will proceed as follows: Will have debate from the hon. Member of Parliament for Chifubu, hon. Member for Mazabuka Central, hon. Member for Liuwa, and then we will have the Minister of Transport and Communication and hon. Member for Msanzala will wind up debate.            


Mr Ng’ambi (Chifubu): Mr Speaker, I want to express my gratitude to you for giving the people of Chifubu an opportunity to contribute to this very important report. At the same time, I commend the Committee for a very well thought out report especially that it chose the Tanzania/Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) and examined its operations.


Sir, I must state that the Committee has done a commendable job especially that it interrogated the operations of TAZARA, both in terms of the balance scorecard as well as its financial statements.


Mr Speaker, I must say that the financial outlook of TAZARA looks very gloomy in that its financial performance for the last five years is highlighted on page 7 of the report. TAZARA has accumulated about K11.1 billion losses over a short period of five years. At the same time, it is indicated in the report that the company owes over US$165 million, which translates to about K3 billion.


Sir, TAZARA has been in existence for a very long time and its original design was to contribute towards the social development of this nation and to make strides towards the economic development of Zambia. On the social aspect, the company was meant to create jobs and improve people’s lives, taking into consideration, the growing youth population in this country. However, it is sad that at this point when the Government is supposed to create jobs for young people, TAZARA has continued recording losses, which is going to negatively impact on the budgeting for this nation.


Mr Speaker, at this point, TAZARA is supposed to make profit and contribute to the sound budget of this country. However, what we are seeing is the opposite of the original design in that as elucidated in the report, the Government not long ago released US$41 million which went towards the payment of salaries for TAZARA employees. If TAZARA was operating as it is supposed to be, US$41 million could have built four hospitals in this country at this point in time where everybody needs such facilities. Indeed, this is something that needs to be interrogated and well examined as to whether the current leadership in terms of management at TAZARA needs to continue. I do not think that we need to continue discussing the operations of TAZARA, which is negatively impacting the Budget of this country.


Mr Speaker, looking at the accumulative loss of K11.1 billion, in the last five years, the ministry should have been budgeting K2 billion towards financing TAZARA. If it continues that TAZARA has to be financed by the Ministry of Finance for it to pay salaries, it will only be appropriate to consider transferring most of employees from the loss making parastatals to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare. They will then be looked at as Social Cash Transfer at another level because they are not making any significant contribution towards the economy of the nation. The wastage of resources needs to be stopped and the relevant ministries that provide oversight on this organisation need to immediately take measures.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I thank the Chairperson of the Committee, the hon. Member for Msanzala.


Sir, I thought we could take a holistic approach on this issue surrounding the Tanzania/Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) by stating that there is history that surrounds the establishment of this railway line. What it served to do was to bring in an inland port, which is Kapiri Mposhi. So, from 1200 hours to 1800 hours on a day when the railway line was okay, one would be at the port of Dar-es-Salaam, and this was the benevolence of the great man Kambarage Nyerere to his brother Dr Kenneth Kaunda, who were very futuristic.


Mr Speaker, in its reporting, the Committee would have done me a favour to give a compare and contrast scenario of how TAZARA is doing on the Tanzanian side in terms of everything such as the welfare of workers and profitability of the company. We have done some of that research ourselves and we have found that the Tanzanian side is doing okay. So, where is the problem? It is here again. Why is this problem there? It is because the people who managed the affairs of this country give little care to things that matter.


Sir, the holistic approach is about bailing out TAZARA and that is what the Committee is saying. The flowery language of saying that we should transfer it to the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) does not even matter. TAZARA needs a bail out so that it is put on a correct footing with the other side. The Government should bring policies that are going to reduce the pressure on the road network which it repairs every day. For example, it repaired the Lumumba Road which is a designated route for trucks that carry 30 to 60 tonnes of copper from the Copperbelt to Walvis Bay and sometimes, to Durban.


Mr Speaker, if the Government improves TAZARA, and it has a few months to go, it will decongest even Lusaka. The man hours will be reclaimed because the Government knows how long it takes for people to get to work. If you go to Ndola or Lusaka at peak hour, you will find that the trucks have taken over. As a plan for the country, why is the Government not suggesting that all the bulk cargo beyond a certain tonnage use the railway line? Somebody did well and I think it was Hon. Musokotwane. At the time the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) was leaving, they asked for a 500 million Euro Bond and the Patriotic Front (PF) came and increased it to 750 million. We are now debt trapped and nothing has changed. They have not relieved the pressure on the roads by bringing the Zambia Railways which has an inter-link to the inland port at Kapiri Mposhi.


Sir, when the United Party for National Development (UPND) comes into power, that is going to be a priority. We are going to make sure that within a year, we recapitalise TAZARA and will ensure that all the cargo beyond a certain tonnage goes to Dar-es-Salaam. In any case, if one does not know the geography of this world, Dar-es-Salaam is much nearer to China than Durban and Walvis Bay. So, we will definitely cut the cost. We are going to show the country that there is thinking that is applied to national economics. The roads are stressed and we need not to overemphasise the point. They should just do the right thing.


Mr Speaker, the money the Government spends on public order and that which was used to deploy myriads of policemen to stop three youths from protesting against bad governance and to send the police on the street could be used on something else. The journey of the thousand miles starts with one step towards building recapitalisation for operations such as TAZARA.


Sir, in next year’s Budget, as they leave office, they should know that we will be begging them to do the right thing for a change. They should put money in that infrastructure. There was a reason Dr Kaunda and Julius Nyerere put that infrastructure, which is 1,800 km. It was to decongest and relieve the road network of this country. I think the Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. Daka, should have emphasised that. There is too much stress on our roads and as a result of the inertia that the PF Government has on low hanging fruit such as TAZARA.


Mr Speaker, time to wake up has come for them and to set the platform for the UPND to come and show the country that it can also be like Rwanda.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I thank you and I would also like to congratulate the Committee for the report that is well done. I also agree that more could have been stated in the report, and I am going to make some remarks about that in a while.   


Sir, I want to start by saying that the youths of today may not know that at one time, Tanzania/Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) was actually the main trading route for Zambia to the sea ports. It was the main one together with Lobito Railway line. Lobito was taking copper from the Copperbelt through the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the port of Lobito in Angola.


Mr Speaker, for TAZARA, the routes was Copperbelt, Kapiri Mposhi and Dar es Salaam. Those two railway lines were the ones that were carrying the bulk of commodities in Zambia like copper, fuel and all sorts of things and it was like that.


Mr Speaker, I want to say that at that time, there were no southern routes because there was Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, and South Africa was closed to us. So, we depended on these two railway lines. However, systems require maintenance and repair. This is where the problem has been because over the years, starting from the time when the copper industry collapsed, there was very little copper to ship. There was malaise on the Copperbelt and so TAZARA and Lobito Railway lines suddenly found themselves with no cargo to carry. That is where the problem started and that is history.


Sir, the issue now is, is TAZARA still relevant? Of course, it is very relevant. It is very important, not only for carrying trading commodities but you may also recall that there was a time when there was a TAZARA farming corridor that was opened from Mkushi all the way to Nakonde. The idea was a perfect arrangement that on both sides of the railway line, we could grow maize, beans and wheat for export so that we do not have long distances to carry the produce because it was along the railway line. So, TAZARA remains very important.


Mr Speaker, we are back to the same issues and that is that TAZARA requires public money and investments. This is where my hon. Colleagues in the Patriotic Front (PF) have got it wrong. They are not putting money on key issues that should have helped the economy of Zambia to pick up and grow fast. They are not putting the money where it matters. They are putting the money on defence, arms and by-elections.


Sir, every after two months, there is a by-election. The money being spent on by-elections is a lot and it should be going to sort out problems like that of TAZARA. This country has borrowed a lot of money in last nine years and no other Governments have borrowed as much as these people have. Unfortunately, the money borrowed has not been put on things that matter, such as TAZARA.


Mr Speaker, if you go around Lusaka, you will see cameras. These are cameras that are meant to identify youths who are rioting. Are those priorities in Zambia today? If a riot breaks out, the first thing the rioters are going to do is to put chitenge materials on their faces and go and bring down the cameras. Sir, hundreds and millions of dollars are lost while TAZARA is begging for funding so that it goes back to what it used to be in the 70s and 80s.


I thank you, Sir.    


The Minister of Transport and Communication (Mr Kafwaya): Mr Speaker, thank you for granting me an opportunity to respond to some of the issues which have been raised by your Committee.


Mr Speaker, I have to state from the outset that I appreciate the report tendered by your Committee. It is a demonstration that a lot of good work went into this report. Let me also appreciate some of the views which have come from some of my hon. Colleagues.


Mr Speaker, my intention is to respond to three issues which your Committee raised on the legal framework, recapitalisation of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) as well as the legacy debt. Before I do that, allow me to quickly reflect on some of the issues that some of my hon. Colleagues have raised.


Mr Speaker, the Committee Chairperson, who was the hon. Minister for Transport and Communication, says the Government should consider taking TAZARA to the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). I hear praises from Hon. Dr Musokotwane, who I recall was Minister of Finance. The IDC is wholly owned by Zambians whereas TAZARA is a joint venture between two countries. Therefore, that proposal needs to be properly examined.


Mr Speaker, the seconder of the Motion praises the policies of the Government by saying we brought into effect a Statutory Instrument (SI) which promoted 30 per cent of heavy cargo to be transported on the railway line. This is what the Government must do. The Government must provide an environment which promotes opportunities. Investment, in many cases, is driven by the potential for profit prospects or is it prospects for profit. When we provide an environment which gives those prospects, it is my expectation that investors will be attracted to the sector.


Mr Speaker, my hon. Colleague and elder brother, Hon. Nkombo says that the Committee should have made comparisons between the operations of TAZARA in Tanzania versus those in Zambia because he believes that TAZARA in Tanzania is doing well and that TAZARA in Zambia is doing badly. Let me be clear by stating that TAZARA is one company. There is no TAZARA in Tanzania and TAZARA in Zambia. It is one company owned by two countries. When TAZARA makes a profit, both countries make a profit. When TAZARA makes a loss, both shareholders make a loss. Therefore, I do not see TAZARA in Tanzania and TAZARA in Zambia. It is one company.


Mr Speaker, Dr Musokotwane says this Government is not putting money where it needs to be put because your Committee raised issues of capitalisation. I would like to be very clear, and this is what now takes me back to the issues I earlier said I would respond to.


Sir, I was the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of TAZARA, and I led a delegation of hon. Ministers into Tanzania where we had a meeting on the recapitalisation of TAZARA.


 Sir, in that meeting, we directed the board of TAZARA to come up with a business case because the Republic of Zambia does not want to put money into a bottomless pit. We want TAZARA to come up with a business case which clearly demonstrates deliverables after we have injected this capital. Therefore, as a country, we are very committed to recapitalising TAZARA.


Mr Speaker, the other thing that will demonstrate clearly that we are committed to doing this is that we have provided US$4.5 million in this year’s budget for the recapitalisation of TAZARA and over 50 per cent of this amount has already been released. The remaining amount, I have been told, will be released before the end of this year. So, clearly, Hon. Dr Musokotwane, this Government is committed to putting money where results are needed.


Mr Speaker, on the legal framework, the Government is in the process of reviewing the legislative framework for the railway sector in order to develop an efficient and effective railway transport system that will attract private sector participation. Again, for some of our people who think that only the Government must participate in this sector, it is my intention to clearly communicate that we want private sector participation in this sector as is the case in many other sectors.


Mr Speaker, finally, I would like to comment on the legacy debt. This is a nominal non-interest bearing debt which was contracted during the construction of TAZARA. We have discussed, as partners, and have agreed that we need to pay out this debt. Right now, as I speak, negotiations are going on between the Chinese Government and both Zambia and Tanzania to make sure that we dismantle this debt and take the China influence out of TAZARA.


Mr Speaker, with those very few words, I thank you.


Mr Daka (Msanzala): Mr Speaker, I want to thank the seconder of the Motion, the hon. Member for Keembe. I also thank the hon. Member for Kafue, the hon. Member for Milenge, the hon. Member for Chifubu, the hon. Member for Liuwa, the hon. Member for Mazabuka and the hon. Minister of Transport and Communication.


Mr Speaker, let me just mention one or two issues. I advise my colleagues to go back to the report because there are many recommendations which were made therein. We cannot read everything within ten minutes. The permutation that certain hon. Members have made are in the report.


Sir, I thank the Hon. Mr Speaker and the Clerk of the National Assembly for giving me this opportunity. This report is thorough. Let us go through it and look at the permutations that are available.


I thank you, Sir.


Question put and agreed to.




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


Question put and agreed to.



The House adjourned at 1655 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 3rd July, 2020.