Tuesday, 15th September, 2020

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Tuesday, 15th September, 2020


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]













Mr Speaker: I wish to inform the House that in accordance with the provisions of Article 80 of the Constitution of Zambia, Chapter 1 of the Laws of Zambia, read together with Standing Orders No. 135(3) and 148 of the National Assembly of Zambia Standing Orders, the following changes were made to the composition of six Committees, as follows:




Standing Orders Committee (1)


Dr S. C. Kopulande, MP, has been appointed to replace Dr J. K. Chanda, MP.




Public Accounts Committee (1)


Mr A. C. Mumba, MP, has been appointed to replace the late Mr M. C. Munkonge, MP.


Committee on Local Government Accounts (1)


Mr P. Kalobo, MP, has been appointed to replace Mr A. C. Mumba, MP.


Committee on Transport, Works and Supply (1)


Mr C. Miyutu, MP, has been appointed to replace Mr A. C. Mumba, MP.


Committee on Cabinet Affairs (1)


Mr S. Tembo, MP, has been appointed to replace Dr S. C. Kopulande, MP.


Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services (1)


Mr D. Mabumba, MP, has been appointed to replace Dr J. K. Chanda, MP.


I thank you.






The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, I rise to give the House some idea of the business it will consider this week. However, before I do that, let me welcome all hon. Members to the First Meeting of the Fifth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly. I am glad that we are back safely and in good health despite the prevalence of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), which disrupted the last Meeting. I am also hopeful that the House, as usual, will work harmoniously in the performance of its functions despite hon. Members’ divergent views on various matters.


Sir, let me now come back to the business which the House is expected to transact this week. As indicated on the Order Paper of today, Tuesday, 15th September, 2020, the Business of the House will commence with Questions for Oral Answer. This will be followed by the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address, which was delivered on Friday, 11th September, 2020.


Mr Speaker, tomorrow, Wednesday, 16th September, 2020, the Business of the House will start with Questions for Oral Answer. This will be followed by the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will deal with Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. The House will then continue with the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address.


Sir, on Thursday, 17th September, 2020, the Business of the House will commence with Questions for Oral Answer. This will be followed by the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will then continue with the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address.


Mr Speaker, on Friday, 18th September, 2020, the Business of the House will begin with the Vice-President’s Question Time. This will be followed by Questions for Oral Answer. After that, the House will deal with the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will debate the Motion to restore onto the Order Paper, the Bills that were not concluded in the Fourth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly. Then the House will continue with the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address.


I thank you, Sir.







Mr Chishala inaudible.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Roan, you are not audible. Is there anybody available to assist the hon. Member for Roan?


Mr Chishala (Roan): Question No. 314.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Roan, what question number is it? Do you have the Order of Proceedings in front of you?


There should be assistance in all the rooms. Is there anybody coming to the aid of the hon. Member for Roan on the question number?


The hon. Member for Serenje would you like to come to the aid of the hon. Member for Roan, purely on humanitarian and not political grounds?


Mr Kunda (Muchinga): It is Hon. Kunda from Muchinga Constituency, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Muchinga, sorry. Very well.


  1. Mr Kunda (on behalf of Mr Chishala) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals



  1. why shafts 18 and 28 at the Luanshya Copper Mines (LCM) were not operational as of July, 2020; and
  2. when operations will resume.


The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, shafts 18 and 28 at the Luanshya Copper Mines (LCM) have not been operational since 2004, when they were decommissioned due to escalating operational costs at the time. The two shafts were later stripped of underground installations and other equipment on the surface, which resulted in floods.


Sir, let me give a background regarding the second question. Mining in Luanshya commenced in the 1930s and to date, over 240 million tonnes of copper ore has been mined out. The LCM, which is also known as Shaft 28, was decommissioned in 2004, as I have indicated by the previous owner, Enya Group of Companies. Note that Shaft 18 is just another access to the same ore body under Shaft 28. Currently, the mine is flooded with 170 million cubic meters of water. All the surface and underground infrastructure, including the winding machines were decommissioned and sold out by the previous owner. Commencing mining operations at Shaft 28 will entail, first dewatering the mine, which is currently flooded, and then equipping it with the necessary infrastructure to facilitate operations.

Mr Speaker, dewatering the mine can take approximately three years. In view of the current copper price and the amount of resources left underground, the China Nonferrous Metal Mining Group (CNMG) is currently undertaking studies to profile a cost effective mechanism to ensure that the project is viable before it can open the resource.


Sir, the operations at shafts 18 and 28 can only resume at a price that will be commensurate with the huge cost associated with dewatering and equipping of the underground infrastructure with machinery.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.




  1. Mr Mutelo (Mitete) asked the Minister of Energy:


  1. when Mitete District will be connected to the national electricity grid; and
  2. what has caused the delay in connecting the district.


Mr Musukwa (on behalf of the Minister of Energy (Mr Nkhuwa)): Mr Speaker, ZESCO Limited has completed the scoping of the project for the connection of Mitete District to the national grid. A total of 59km of 33kV overhead line will be constructed from the existing 132/33/11kV Lukulu Substation to Mitete District at a cost of K5,953,000. ZESCO Limited is currently mobilising the resources to ensure that the project starts immediately.

Sir, as a result of this project, the following notable institutions among others shall be connected to the electricity supply:


  1. Civil Centre Administration;
  2. Mitete High School; and
  3. Mitete Rural Health Centre.


Mr Speaker, the delay in the project has been necessitated as a result of the ZESCO Limited being in the process of mobilising resources. We hope that ZESCO can move on-site once the mobilisation process is undertaken.


I thank you, Sir.




  1. Mr Kabamba (Kafulafuta) asked the Minister of Local Government:


  1. when the upgrading of the following informal settlements in Bwana

              Mkubwa Parliamentary Constituency will commence:


  1. Kaloko;
  2. Old Regiment;
  3. Makenzi;
  4. Kantolomba;
  5. Mwenye;
  6. Mwange A;
  7. Mwange B; and
  8. Zambia Compound; and


      b.what the time frame for the completion of the exercise is.


The Minister of Local Government (Dr Banda): Mr Speaker, the Ndola City Council begun formalising informal settlements in July, 2017, with a view to upgrading them. The following settlements have since been formalised and are in the process of being upgraded:


  1. Kaloko;
  2. Makenzi;
  3. Kantolomba;
  4. Mwenye; and
  5. Zambia Compound.


Mr Speaker, the process is ongoing. The council has so far received over 3,000 applications for occupancy licenses. However, three of the settlements in the question are currently not legalised and, therefore, cannot be upgraded. These are:


  1. Old Regiment;
  2. Mwenge A; and
  3. Mwenge B.


Mr Speaker, efforts are underway to legalise these settlements for possible upgrading in future.


Sir, there is no specific time frame that has been allocated towards the upgrading of informal settlements because formalisation is determined by the size and nature of the settlement as well as the availability of resources.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


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


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised. 


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, I had indicated to ask a follow-up question on my question, but you proceeded to say: “There is no question.”




Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Mitete, we are all using this technology simultaneously, and as far as my tablet is concerned, there was no indication. Let me seize this opportunity to advise hon. Members that those who have items on any given order of proceedings, we are encouraging you or in short, directing you to be in the Chamber. This was a decision made by the House Business Committee. It may have not been communicated to you, but you are required to be here in the Chamber to avoid the kind of challenges that we have already experienced so far. The hon. Member for Roan was not able to connect or communicate with me, and so was the hon. Member for Mitete. He may have indicated. I do not know how he did indicate wherever he is in the Amphitheatre, but his indication was not transmitted. I will give him the benefit of the doubt assuming there are no questions in relation to Question No. 3 for him to ask his follow-up question.


That is my ruling on your point of order, hon. Member for Mitete. I will revert to you shortly.


Mr Mutelo: Thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Are there any follow-up question on Question No. 3?


Mr Chiyalika (Lufubu): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his answers. Nevertheless, why did it take the Government so long to formalise these settlements, considering that these people had actually settled in the various areas since independence? The hon. Minister may realise that some of the people have even been displaced along the way.


Dr Banda: Mr Speaker, these are issues of town and country planning. Usually, when we come to issues of legalising settlements, there are a lot of procedures that are considered. Firstly, we look at how the population has grown. Secondly, we look at the reasons people should be allowed to settle legally in certain areas. The assessment is made when all the parameters have been met, after which the legalisation is done. It is not something that is done randomly like you receive a report today and then ten days later, it is done. There is a process that is followed. When people settle, it takes quiet a long time for them to entrench themselves in some given areas. Sometimes, the councils or local authorities also do not foresee that these settlements may actually grow and be part and parcel of the path of development of any given town.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: I will now revert to the hon. Member for Mitete. You had a follow-up question on Question No. 2.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister did indicate that ZESCO Limited is mobilising, but he has not given the time frame when this mobilisation will finish so that the project kick-starts. Is there any time frame as to when the mobilisation by ZESCO will finish?


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, indeed, ZESCO Limited is mobilising. As I have already indicated, we have finished the scoping of the project, and we have covered all the parameters in terms of the funds required, which is in excess of over K5 million. For now, we are allocating the resources to this project. In short, we expect that at the earliest convenience, once this resource is made available, we will be able to move on-site and implement this project especially that the hon. Member has actually been following this project for a long time. So, we are committed to ensuring that it is done without any further delay.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.





  1. Mr Lihefu (Manyinga) (on behalf of Mr Lufuma) (Kabompo)) asked the Minister of Gender:


  1. whether there were any women empowerment programmes in Kabompo

            Parliamentary Constituency funded by the Government from 2017 to  2019;

        (b)   if so, what the programmes are; and

        (c)   how much money was disbursed for each programme.


The Minister of Gender (Ms Phiri): Mr Speaker, the ministry does not just look at an area when it comes to allocating funds for women empowerment programmes. However, the ministry responds to applications from established women-led co-operatives. Therefore, there are no women empowerment programmes funded by the Government through the Ministry of Gender for Kabompo Parliamentary Constituency between 2017 and 2019 because there were no applications for empowerment received from the established women-led co-operatives there during that period.


Sir, in view of the above, parts (b) and (c) of the question do not apply.


I thank you, Sir.




  1. Kopulande (Chembe) on behalf of Mr Simbao (Senga Hill)) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:


  1. when police officers will be deployed to Senga Police Post in Senga Hill

           Parliamentary Constituency;

       b. what the cause of the delay in deploying the staff is; and

       c. whether the Government has any plans to construct additional staff houses at the

           police post.


The Minister of Justice (Mr Lubinda) on behalf of the Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo)): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House and the nation that the Zambia Police Service will deploy officers at Senga Police Post when it is completed and handed over to the Police Service. The police post has not been handed over to the Zambia Police Service because the structure is not complete, as it was constructed not in accordance with the required standard.


Sir, hon. Members  are hereby encouraged to consult the Zambia Police Service whenever they intend to construct police posts in their areas so that guidance is given on the specifications of certain structures.


Mr Speaker, in this particular case, the police post was built with holding cells that do have any roof reinforcements. The Government has plans to construct additional staff houses when ongoing infrastructure projects which are at the 80 per cent and above completion point are completed and when resources are made available.


I thank you, Sir.




7. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Vice-President:


  1. whether the Government has any plans to declare Nangoma a district; and
  2. if so, when the plans will be implemented.


The Minister in the Office of the Vice-President (Mrs Mwansa): Mr Speaker, the creation of districts is one avenue that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is using to implement the Decentralisation Policy as part of stimulating socio-economic development across the country. However, the hon. Member for Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency may wish to note that the criterion for transforming an area into a district is set out under the Local Government Act Cap. 281 and the Provincial and District Boundaries Act Cap. 286 of the Laws of Zambia. Further, the President of the Republic of Zambia has constitutional powers to declare any area as a district.


Sir, notwithstanding other conditions that may apply, consideration regarding the availability of financial resources for implementation is taken in account. Therefore, given what I have stated, the Government has no immediate plans to declare Nangoma as a district. However, the area may be considered in future just like many other areas in the country that may qualify for upgrading to district status.


Mr Speaker, in view of the answer above, it is not possible to state when Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency in Mumbwa District will be transformed into a district.


 I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lihefu: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Lihefu: Mr Speaker, I indicated so that I could ask a follow-up question, but the system could not pick my name. Is the system in order not to show you that I indicated my intention to ask a follow-up question?




Mr Speaker: I think the system is in order. We can safely presume so. Hon. Member for Manyinga, I will allow you to ask your question on Question No 5.


Mr Lihefu: Mr Speaker, under the administration of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), the Women Empowerment Fund, like the Youth Empowerment Fund, was distributed equally to all constituencies to encourage equity in the manner in which national resources were distributed. Why did the Government find it necessary to abandon that practice?


Mrs E. Phiri: Mr Speaker, may I remind the hon. Member that this is the Patriotic Front (PF) Government and not the Movement for Multi-party for Democracy (MMD).


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs E. Phiri: Secondly, when extending this empowerment project, there is a need to have a relationship with the recipients. We cannot just go into an area where we do not know anybody because we may get stranded with the things that we want to give out. This is the reason we are asking people to apply so that we create relationships.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs E. Phiri: We want to know where we are taking the empowerment project and the beneficiaries.

Mr Speaker, I want to inform this august House that these things that we give out remain Government property. If they are abused or personalised, the Government has the right to retrieve them so as to give them to other co-operatives that are ready to use them. So, we cannot go into a place where we have no relationships.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just informed us that they cannot go into an area where they do not have a relationship with the people. Therefore, what is her ministry doing to ensure that it creates relationships in every area in Zambia because that is its duty? What sensitisation does her ministry do?


Mrs E. Phiri: Mr Speaker, I am on record in this august House as having been inviting my colleagues both from your left and right to come to my office to get guidelines for their constituencies from the department which is in charge of women empowerment programmes.


Mr Speaker, if we claim that we represent the people, but do not do the needful for them, then it is not the ministry to blame. The Government is ready to empower everybody regardless of their political affiliation. We need the hon. Members to take the message about the programmes that the PF Government has, to their people. Once people apply, we will respond accordingly.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mulunda (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, do those projects for women and youths go through the District Commissioner’s Office? If so, how come the hon. Minister is informing us that the ministry has no relationships in some districts and constituencies when an office for a Government representative exists?


Mrs E. Phiri: Mr Speaker, this hon. Minister has a close relationship with hon. Members of Parliament who have the interest of the people they represent at heart. If the DC is not approached by members of any co-operative, it will be difficult for him/her to bring any information to us. I expect hon. Members of Parliament to have a heart for their people. They should have an interest in ensuring that their people benefit from the national cake. If any of them applied and say that I did not respond, let them come out and speak. What I am advising them to do is to apply for these funds. They should come to my office and get the application forms. They will be guided on how to go about filling them in and I will be in their constituencies.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!



8. Ms Mwape (Mkushi North) asked the Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs:


  1. when the construction of palaces for the following Chiefs in Mkushi North

           Parliamentary Constituency will commence:


  1. Chitina;


  1. Mulungwe; and
  2. Shaibila;

       b. what the cause of the delay in commencing the project is; and

       c. what the time frame for the completion of each project is.


The Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Mr Sichalwe): Mr Speaker, currently, the Government is constructing chiefs’ palaces in phases. In the current phase, there are three palaces which are being constructed per province. In the Central Province, it is constructing palaces for Senior Chief Chipepo of Kapiri Mposhi District, Chieftainess Serenje in Serenje District and Chief Moono in Mumbwa District. In this regard, the construction of palaces for chiefs Chitina, Mulungwe and Shaibila in Mkushi North Parliamentary Constituency will be implemented in the subsequent phases.


Mr Speaker, the cause of the delay is that the construction of palaces is in phases. Phase I is still underway.


Sir, the estimated time frame for the completion of the construction of a palace is determined once the procurement process has been done.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Mr Speaker, the issue of palaces for chiefs has been one that has been quite worrying, especially that we have so many chiefs in the country. The houses that are being constructed by the Government cannot be inherited by other chiefs once the current chiefs pass away. In this regard, will the Government continue with the policy of constructing chiefs’ houses or there is a way in which this issue can be addressed to avoid the challenges that we have been experiencing hitherto?


Mr Speaker: I wish you could be more explicit with your question.


Mr Kabanda: Yes, Mr Speaker. I was saying that we have many palaces in the country which require construction given the huge number of chiefs that we have. At the same time, there are chiefs that are passing on. When the Government puts up infrastructure, then a chief passes on, the chief that inherits the throne does not want to occupy that palace. He or she requires the Government to build another palace for him/her. Given that circumstance, what does the Government intend to do to reduce on this kind of – I do not know whether I can call it wastage or, maybe, fragmentation?


Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, I wish to make it clear that these palaces are institutional. They are institutional palaces in the sense that successive chiefs are supposed to occupy them. The issue of chiefs demanding for another palace has not come to our attention yet because at the commencement of this project, the stakeholders were engaged. This was one of the major issues that was presented to the House of Chiefs. It was ably addressed such that the palaces were designed to take care of the concerns that they would trigger the demand for another palace. So, that issue has been taken care of.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Kucheka inaudible.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Zambezi West, could you please start your question all over.


Ms Kucheka(Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, the Hon. Minister stated that the construction of chiefs’ palaces is still in Phase I. Chief Kucheka’s is one of them, but still has no house. Therefore, I would like to know when the house will be constructed.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, were you able to pick that question?


Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, partly. Her concern is with regards to Chief Kucheka’s Palace, which is apparently not being asked about under Mkushi North. Nevertheless, I will endeavour to give her a bonus answer that Chief Kucheka’s palace is one of those four places that are below 80 per cent completion and will be considered when funds are provided.


Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, how many palaces does the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs budget for in a year?


Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, this is a running project dependant on the availability of funds. I mentioned that we have phased it and are still in the first phase. The hon. Member may wish to recall that in 2019, we had budgeted for K18 million which was not fully released. In the subsequent budget, we were only given a meagre K2 million. So, we will only be able to work with what is on the table for us.


I thank you, Sir.




  9.  Ms Chisangano (Gwembe): asked the Minister of Health:


  1. when the construction of ten (10) health posts in Gwembe Parliamentary

            Constituency, under the 650 Health Posts Project, will commence;

       b.   what the cause of the delay in commencing the project is; and

       c.  who the contractor for the project is.


The Minister Fisheries and Livestock (Prof Luo) (on behalf of The Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya)): Mr Speaker, the construction of the ten health posts in Gwembe Parliamentary Constituency under the 650 health posts project commenced with three out of the ten designated health posts, which are at 90 per cent completion. The contractor is on site and is expected to complete all the ten health posts by the end of December 2020, as per programme.


Sir, the delay was due to disturbances from the gassing incidences and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic which affected the workforce on-site and the procurement of construction materials, thereby affecting the project completion date.


Sir, the contractor is Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker:  Hon. Members, you are all encouraged to log off after you have posed your question. I can see that the hon. Member of Parliament for Serenje is still on and the hon. Member for Namwala is still showing as indicating. It makes it difficult to determine who wants to ask a follow-up question if you do not log off. Hon. Member for Serenje, please log off.




10.  Mr Chiyalika (Lufubu):  asked the Minister of Fisheries and Livestock:


  1. whether the Government has any plans to restock fish in the Lufubu River in

           Ngabwe District;

        b. if so, when the plans will be implemented;

        c. what the estimated cost of the exercise is; and

        d. what the time frame for the completion of the exercise is.


The Minister of Fisheries and Livestock (Prof Luo): Mr Speaker, the Government is currently not able to restock fish in the Lufubu River in Ngabwe District or any other water bodies as restocking is not the best way to stock fish in the water bodies. There are many approaches that can be used to increase fish stocks in water bodies. Therefore, as a ministry, we have chosen to embark on protecting our fish breeding sites in all our water bodies, to naturally repopulate or restock our fisheries resources. This approach in capture fisheries management is much more environmentally sustainable because it assures an ecosystem restoration process and covers a wider range of fish species to be repopulated and protected. So far, the process of protecting the breeding sites has commenced with the Lake Tanganyika and is progressing very well.


Mr Speaker, as stated above, the plans as asked in Question No. 10 will not be done. There are also very minimal costs associated with the system that we are going to use because it is tailored to ensure a mindset change amongst our people, and also the purchase of buyouts and the appointing of honorary fisheries officers to police the system.


Mr Speaker, there is no time frame for the completion of the exercise as it will be an ongoing activity.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.








Ms Mwape (Mkushi North): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the thanks of this Assembly be recorded for the exposition of public policy contained in the President’s Address.


Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?


Mr A. C. Mumba (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.


Ms Mwape: Mr Speaker, before I proceed, allow me to express my deepest sorrow to this House and the country, on the untimely demise of former hon. Members of Parliament for Mwansabombwe and Lukashya Parliamentary constituencies, Mr Rogers Mwewa and Mr Mwenya Munkonge, respectively, who both died on 18th July, 2020. May their souls rest in eternal peace.


Mr Speaker, I am grateful to your office for according me this honour and privilege to move the Motion of Thanks to the speech, which was delivered by His Excellency, Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, on the occasion of the Official Opening of the Fifth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly. The speech by the President which was premised on the theme, “Dedication, Resilience and Innovation: Pursuing Economic Recovery for the Zambia we want,” was very inspiring and thought-provoking. The theme shows that the President is mindful of the negative effect on the economy of factors such as the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, falling international commodity prices, climate change, reduced exports, low investment, and liquidity constraints. The President, in his address, focused on seven policy areas. However, due to limited time, I will restrict my debate to only four areas.


Microeconomic Situation


Mr Speaker, our economy has been greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in the fall in international commodity prices, reduced exports, low investments, and liquidity constraints. As a result, our economy is projected to decline by 4.2 per cent. In response to the economic challenges, the President informed the House that his administration was undertaking several measures aimed at mitigating the negative effects. The measures include implementing tax relief to stimulate economic activities that will keep the private sector afloat and protect jobs. In addition, the President stated that to improve liquidity in the economy, the Government had introduced a K10 billion medium-term refinancing facility to support various players in the economy.


Economic Diversification and Job Creation


Mr Speaker, as you are aware, the economy of Zambia is heavily dependent on copper mining. Therefore, fluctuating base metal prices on the international market have had a direct negative effect on the economy. I am happy with the pronouncement made by the President that a number of interventions are being implemented in various sectors identified as key drivers and enablers for economic diversification and job creation. The Government’s interventions in the agricultural sector have resulted in farmers growing more cash crops such as cassava, groundnuts, soya beans and cashew nuts, among others. Interventions in the aquaculture sector have also resulted in increased fish production from 115,000 metric tonnes in 2016 to 127,000 metric tonnes in 2019. Further, diversification within the mining sector has resulted in the increased production of minerals such as nickel from 817 metric tonnes in 2019 to 3,394 metric tonnes in 2020 and an increase in production of manganese by 77.6 per cent.


Mr Speaker, in recognition of the adverse effects of climate change on the energy sector, the Government has increased electricity generation capacity from 2,800 MW in 2016 to 3,000 MW in 2020 by accelerating investment in hydro, thermal, and solar energy sources. I also note with excitement, the President’s assurance that load shedding will be a thing of the past once the Kafue Lower Power Station comes on board by the end of this year, as an additional 750 MW will be added to the national grid.


Poverty and Vulnerability Reduction 


Mr Speaker, it is heartwarming to note that the interventions put in place by His Excellency’s Administration such as the Social Cash Transfer Scheme, Food Security Pack Programme,  Emergency Cash Transfer Scheme, and supporting women’s livelihood programmes, aimed at reducing poverty and vulnerability are bearing fruits. The House was informed that the multi-dimensional poverty headcount in the country had reduced from 50 per cent in 2014 to 44 per cent in 2018. In the same period, poverty in rural Zambia declined from 69 per cent to 59 per cent, while in urban areas, it had declined from 25 per cent to 18 per cent.


Reducing Development Inequalities


Mr Speaker, as an hon. Member of Parliament from a rural constituency, I was encouraged by the President’s determination of taking development to all parts of this country. The Government has demonstrated that it is walking the talk, as evidenced by the doubling of the percentage of rural households with access to electricity from 4.4 per cent in 2015 to 8.1 per cent in 2019, and the construction and upgrading of communication towers across the country, that has resulted in increased network coverage of 91 per cent compared to 83 per cent in 2018. This will bridge the digital gap between the urban and rural population.


Sir, through the promotion of an inclusive approach to mitigating social and economic inequalities, many rural families have benefited from the Government’s deliberate policies of empowering women through the distribution of agricultural equipment such as tractors, solar egg incubators, solar drip irrigation sets, and honey presses and beehives.


Enhancing Human Development


Mr Speaker, the most important resource which any country can boast of, is its people. In ensuring that no one is left behind, this Government has worked very hard to increase access to education and skills development, health, clean and safe drinking water, and adequate sanitation. In addition, this Government, under the able leadership of His Excellency, has been exceptional in the recruitment of teachers to reduce the pupil to teacher ratio, the construction of secondary and trade schools, and health facilities.


Mr Speaker, as a mother, I am delighted to note that the Government is working hard to reduce the high rate of maternal and child mortality as evidenced by the reduction of institutional maternal mortality from 149 per 100,000 live births to 138 per 100,000 live births in 2016. This is attributed to the well-thought-out interventions that this Government is implementing such as the establishment of Safe Motherhood Action Groups (SMAGs) which advocate for institutional deliveries as opposed to home deliveries, and the construction of mothers’ shelters in most of our health facilities that provide lodging for pregnant women who stay very far from health facilities.


Mr Speaker, this is the reason the Government, under the leadership of the able and hard-working President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, should be given a chance to rule so that it implements developmental projects beyond 2021.


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


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


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


Mr A. C. Mumba: Now, Sir.


Mr Speaker, I thank you most profusely for giving the people of Kantanshi and me, the privilege to add our voices in seconding the Motion of Thanks presented to us on 11th September by His Excellency, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu.


Mr Speaker, I also want to thank the mover for her articulation of the Motion. I would also like to join His Excellency, the President, in commending our first female Republican Vice-President for the able manner in which she has managed the Government business in this House.


Mr Speaker, in seconding, I support this Motion. I will highlight just a few salient points that I observed in the presentation of this speech.


Mr Speaker, you will agree with me that the speech was candid because the President highlighted the fact that us, as a country, are going through economic challenges. That has obviously been a challenge to our people because jobs and businesses opportunities have been affected. This has also affected the Government’s performance in meeting its obligations on time.


Sir, one of the things that the President ably highlighted was how to deal with the domestic debt, which he thought would help in stimulating our economy, in a way. Domestic debt is a cocktail of issues. However, one thing which I thought could have been on his mind, which speaks to our 2020 Budget, was to make sure that we improve payments to our local suppliers. I, particularly know that the Ministry of Finance has been very consistent in providing resources for the road contractors.


Mr Speaker, I also learnt from the speech that Zambia is now a net exporter of seeds, which was not the case in the past. That should be commended because we used to import a lot of seed and spend quite a huge amount of money in terms of the use of our foreign earnings. The production of seeds has also brought about more productivity amongst the farmers. These seeds are now being sold in our local chain shops. This is very encouraging.


Sir, further, the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) has also brought about a lot of support for our local small-scale farmers. However, the Government needs to go back and check whether these farmers are being weaned-off after three years, because I think the same farmers have continued to benefit from the programme.


Mr Speaker, I want to end by talking about energy. I think that in 2015, one of the things that ravaged our economy was the fact that we could not produce enough energy and the Government started spending about US$40 million a month, which was not planned for. I felt relieved to hear that load shedding will be a thing of the past once the US$2 billion project comes on board, which the President said would launch this year. We will be able to make changes in the provision of energy. I think all of us have been affected in one way or another by load shedding.


Sir, I want to end by mentioning that the President pledged that he was ready to work with all of us beyond political or religious lines. Indeed, all of us, even as we are seated in here, regardless of our political affiliations, our hope is that we are adding value to the lives of our people and contributing positively to our economy.


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


Mr Mbulakulima (Milenge): Mr Speaker, I want to thank you for this rare opportunity. I want to believe that globally, people are having difficulties. However, every new challenge calls for a new response and I, therefore, believe that we are going to succeed.


Sir, the last speech by the Head of State, the other year, was basically dominated by the issue of climate change. Last Friday, the President’s Speech was dominated by the issue of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Now, the issue of climate change compounded with the issue of COVID-19 makes me believe that globally us, as a people, are facing difficulties. However, with new approaches and responses, we are going to succeed. The speech by the President, therefore, suits the current dispensation. In this case, dispensation means the situation which the world is facing all over.


Mr Speaker, my focus is on energy, which my other two hon. Colleagues have mentioned which attracted my attention. However before I focus on that, allow me to talk about what you may call obiter dictum. There are two ministries which I want the Ministry of Energy to emulate because the President has set the tone that by the end of this year, load shedding will be a thing of the past. How will that be done? If you recall, it was said that power generation from the Kafue Gorge Lower Power Station would be on board by April or May this year, but here we are up to now, it is not on board.


So, if we do not put a lot of emphasis on this issue to the Ministry of Energy, we might end this year on the same note. I want this ministry to take a leaf from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture. The Ministry of Health has taken the issue of COVID-19 as a national agenda. Every day, officials from the Ministry of Health announce to the nation what is happening regarding this pandemic. If the hon. Minister is not there, the Permanent Secretary (PS) or directors, who are experts, are always there. That gives hope to the Zambian people.


Mr Speaker, the other example, as I have mentioned, is that of the Ministry of Agriculture. Despite the pandemic, the farming inputs have been delivered in good time. So, that is what the Ministry of Energy must emulate. I do not mean that it must be announcing what it is doing every day to the nation, but at least maybe every week or two. There should be an update to the nation. This gives hope to the people because lack of energy is actually very distressing. People are stressed. That is why the President is saying that load shedding should be a thing of the past soon. So, the Ministry of Energy needs to change its approach. When the COVID-19 pandemic started, workers would have continued working, but there was a close-down.


Sir, I do not see how the Ministry of Energy is going to succeed if it does not put its affairs in order. It should know that this issue of energy is twofold, from any perspective. I can tell you that politically, especially for us in the governing party, it is a game changer because people are stressed. Once load shedding is over, you will see relief in the people. If it does not end and stress continues, it will create difficulties.


Secondly, from a business point of view, the economy is down, but not dead. However, once we improve on the issue of energy and all these small-scale industries and individual business start coming on board, then you will see the growth of the economy. The projected 4 per cent downturn can be reversed if the provision of energy is improved upon.


Sir, I know that the hon. Minister is not here, but Hon. Musukwa is here representing him. I want Hon. Musukwa to take the message to the hon. Minister that it should not be business as usual. We need a new approach regarding the issue of energy.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mawere (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, I thank the Almighty God for giving our country, Zambia, another opportunity for our Head of State, His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, to be able to come and open the Fifth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly amidst the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.


Mr Speaker, the President’s Address to the nation was very categorical. The President was able to acknowledge that the economy of Zambia has been hit by harsh climatic conditions and the COVID-19 pandemic. These two things have made our economy to be almost on its knees. However, what comforts me are the assurances which the President gave the nation. He assured us that despite all these challenges we are facing as a country, our economy is about to experience a rebound, projected for 2021, subject to the COVID-19 pandemic being dealt with. It gives us hope that our able Government is working and doing everything possible to ensure that our economy comes back to its feet.


Mr Speaker, what also made me so comfortable and happy is that in the midst of all these challenges, our agricultural sector, which is the backbone of our economy, has continued to record positive growth. We see major crops such as maize continuing to increase in yield. This is a very good and positive record, which as a country we need to remain proud of because a country without food cannot function. It is like a body without blood, which also cannot function.


Sir, I am happy that Zambia is breeding its own seeds which it exports to other countries within Africa like Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Zimbabwe. This is very good for us as it shows that we are on the right path.


Mr Speaker, I am also happy that this Government under the able leadership of His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has continued with the agenda of connecting the whole country in terms of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to ensure that no one remains behind. We are seeing the establishment of towers all over the country even in the remotest areas of Shangombo where people are now able to communicate. I am one of the beneficiaries of these facilities. Magwero and Madzimoyo are two areas in my constituency that had no network, but as I speak, our people are able to access all the services that come with ICTs.


Sir, the President and his Government made a decision to open schools. It was the outcry of all parents that if children did not go to school this year, we would have had a very big challenge next year. So, we thank His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the Cabinet or the Government for opening the schools.


Mr Speaker, on the issue of electricity, the President indicated that the Kafue Gorge Lower Power Station will come on board by December this year. This is a very good gesture because, as a country, we want to see our economy rebound. We need the energy sector to continue propelling the economy of this country. So, more than 700 MW will come on board and this is a good thing.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving the people of Manyinga the opportunity to say something on the speech delivered by His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, on Friday, 11th September, 2020.


Sir, on page three of the President’s Speech, the President said that his Government has delivered on infrastructure. He further said that his Government has delivered on social protection and that it will continue to deliver.


Mr Speaker, let me concentrate on the infrastructure development that the President talked about in his speech.


Sir, there are three big mines in the North-Western Province, but the roads that lead to these areas are in a bad state. Yes, we have seen the massive construction of road infrastructure in urban areas like Lusaka and parts of the Copperbelt although the same infrastructure being constructed in urban areas gets to be in a bad state within a short period.


Mr Speaker, the Solwezi/Mwinilunga Road and Solwezi/Chavuma Road were constructed by President Sata’s Government, may his soul rest in peace, but as I speak, they are in a bad state. What then is the President saying he has delivered?


Sir, Lusaka and the Copperbelt are not the only places in Zambia. Zambia consists of ten provinces, but the development that we hon. Members from rural areas are seeing only takes place in urban areas. However, the levels of development in rural areas are shameful.


Mr Speaker, the Government, started good infrastructure projects in Manyinga, which is a newly established district, but most of the projects have stalled. They had started constructing a police station in Manyinga, but all they did was dig the foundation and they left. They pocketed this money, and as Member of Parliament for Manyinga, all I can say is that maybe they have delivered in their own pockets.


Sir, the President also talked about energy. The Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government delivered electricity poles up to Chavuma, but those poles just passed the homes of people and Government institutions. Some people in Manyinga paid money in 2015, but up to now, their houses have not been connected to power, but the President said he has delivered. Where has he delivered? Is it just in Lusaka and the Copperbelt because a person like me who represents the people of Manyinga has not seen the developments that the President talked about?


Mr Speaker, regarding the early delivery of farming inputs, the inputs are just heaped in town centres. How are they going to be distributed to rural and remote places because all the feeder roads in our chiefdoms are in a bad state? So, how are the farming inputs going to be delivered to the farmers? To me, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has not delivered equitably.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mbangweta (Nkeyema): Mr Speaker, this Government says it has delivered pristine roads and fantastic bridges –


Mr Kambita: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Kambita: Mr Speaker, we seem to have a technical problem in terms of appearing on the list on your screen that shows those who either have follow-up questions or those indicating. I raised this point of order a long time ago, and this is when you are recognising me, which is quite unfortunate.


Sir, is the House in order to continue sitting in this manner when the system is not functioning the way it is supposed to function? I am debating from my room at the National Assembly Motel. We do not seem to get recognition when we indicate to speak. So, I would like that issue to be addressed. I seek your ruling on that point of order.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Zambezi East Parliamentary Constituency, I am not able to conclude this point of order now for obvious reasons being that the issue you have raised is a technical one. I, therefore, need to investigate and verify your concerns. We have actually positioned a cadre of technocrats at the National Assembly Motel who are on standby to respond to challenges of this sort. Therefore, I reserve my ruling, but as I do so, I also urge you to get in touch with the cadre of our technocrats who are on the ground right at the motel so that, if possible, they may come to your aid. I am not able to say firmly or conclusively whether the system is malfunctioning or perhaps there could be some personal challenge you are facing. We need to establish that. That is my ruling.


Hon. Member for Nkeyema, please, proceed.


Mr Mbangweta: Mr Speaker, before I was interrupted, I was saying that, yes, this Government has delivered in terms of infrastructure because there is now a pristine road network and state of the art bridges. However, all the roads which we use in the Western Province have not been worked on in the eight years which the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has been in power.


Sir, the bridge in the Kafue National Park is a disaster waiting to happen. The Lusaka/Mongu, Kasempa/Kaoma, Livingstone/Sesheke, Shangombo/Sioma and Lukulu/Katunda roads are still in the same state that the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) Government left them. So, us, from the Western Province, cannot say that the Government has delivered. We have been paying tax, but it has not worked for us. So, for us, there is no delivery because we are back to square one where we were eight years ago.


Mr Speaker, the President, talked about the universities. However, King Lewanika University and the stadium are still in the ‘soil’, so, there is no delivery there. The other thing which is very interesting is that last year, the President said that for this country to develop, we needed to have a minimum of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 7 per cent. When the MMD was in power, the GDP growth rate at some point reached 8 per cent. However, the President is now estimating that at the end of this year, the GDP growth rate will be negative minus four, which means in real terms that we have walked backwards by twelve steps as a country and as individuals. I do not see what sort of delivery that is there even when we relate it to the speech that he gave last year because even during the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) when the situation was so tough, this country never reached negative figures of that nature, even if we were to provide for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). We expected to find out what practical steps the President was going to take to make sure that we come out of the negative, go beyond seven, which I had indicated, and maybe to ten which would have assisted us. All these other things are neither here nor there in terms of development.


Mr Speaker, on the delivery of fertiliser and other things to other areas, this is alright for Nkeyema, but what the President should have said is that this is a policy reversal within the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) vis-à-vis the Direct Input Supply System (DISS) and the Electronic-Voucher (e-Voucher) System. However, the real reason, of course, is that next year there is an election and they do not want to go through the same issue of delivering fertiliser late because, in fact, the people who would punish them more are the farmers. So, it is a good move; the President should have given the real reason. What the President should have explained from my point of view is that there has been a change of policy in terms of direct input support and that the Government is now giving everybody the farming inputs, taking us back to the United National Independent Party (UNIP) and MMD days. That is what the President should have said instead of saying that this year things will be alright and faster for everybody.


Sir, the Government needs to apply itself because the situation that we have now found ourselves in requires serious efforts for us to come out. That will not come from just talking. It will come from sitting in the offices and applying ourselves to make sure that we come out of this problem. A minus four GDP growth rate is not a joke, and all the activities we are doing, including expenditure and raising funds should be around that thing. That is what will save us. These other things are just simply peripheral.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Mr Speaker, I would like to reflect on what His Excellency the President stated in his thought-provoking speech last Friday.


Sir, His Excellency the President’s Speech could easily be defined as one with a human heart. The President indicated that we need to double our food production in terms of the metric tonnes of maize. The Government has been giving our farmers fertiliser, but unfortunately, this fertiliser has been misapplied by the so-called agriculture committees. We need to do a lot more because each farmer is supposed to receive, at least six or nine bags of fertiliser or inputs. However, what is now happening is that Community Agriculture Committees (CACs) are mismanaging inputs by giving our farmers sometimes two bags of fertiliser, one top dressing and one basal, and this is not going very well for the farming community. So, many farmers have been complaining that their fertiliser is misused.

Mr Speaker, the President also indicated that the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had caused a lot of devastating effects to the economy and that we needed to do more  to reactivate our economy. I know that a lot of projects have stalled or have been on ice for some time, including police stations and road works. However, it is gratifying to note that the Ministry of Finance will be sourcing for funds to complete most of the incomplete infrastructure, which is at 90 per cent and, therefore, require completion.


Sir, to suggest that this Government has not done much is not correct because we need a cross- pollination of ideas by governing together. Therefore, everyone should offer alternatives. When we condemn, we should give suggestions on how we want things to be done other than simply accusing others of having failed. So, if I have failed, what is it that I have not done or how should I do it? So, we need a cross-pollination of ideas because this country is not only for the Patriotic Front (PF). This country is for all of us, Zambians.


Mr Speaker, the President also indicated that there is a need to reopen schools in this country, including commercial entities like bars. This move is in the right direction because we cannot close-up the economy completely. We need to partially open the economy so that the wheels of commerce can continue functioning normally, especially that our young ones have been staying at home and some of them even resorted to abusing alcohol. I think it is time the children left the comfort of their homes and went back to school and continued learning. I know there will be a backlog in certain classes, but that is manageable.


Mr Speaker, on the issue of electricity, the President indicated that there was a need to increase electricity generation. I think that we need to open up certain areas of our villages by connecting electricity there. That is going to enhance production. We have places like Lusiwasi Power Station which is near Chieftainess Serenje’s palace. I think that we need to light up most of these palaces which are closer to such facilities. We need to tap into power stations like Lusiwasi and Pensulo –


Mr Speaker: Order!


The Hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Mulunda (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, I would also like to make a few comments on the speech delivered to this House by the Republican President on Friday, 11th September, 2020.


Mr Speaker, the statement by the His Excellency the President that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has delivered development leaves much to be desired. This is because when you talk of development inequalities, you will qualify this Government as having not delivered. When you look at the performance of the economy and as far as the people of Siavonga are concerned, and from the time the PF came into Government in 2011, you would agree with me that it is not improving in any way. Let us look at the exchange rate between the United States (US) Dollar and the Kwacha for instance. In 2011, $1 was trading at K5, but this time it is at K20. In any given circumstance, nobody would agree or say that the economy is performing very well.


Mr Speaker, when we speak of development, it is the development that we see or hear about in other places. However, the development that the people of Siavonga are yearning for everyday has never come to their place. Siavonga has never seen any development in terms of infrastructure development and other things. For instance, there is no modern hospital, no modern harbour, no modern bus station and no modern market. All these things have been a common chorus that I have been singing about to this Government from 2016 to date.


Mr Speaker, in terms of the road network, Siavonga is a sorry sight.  I have been bringing to the attention of the Government the fact that the roads in Siavonga need to be worked on including township roads because they are a sorry sight.


Mr Speaker, Siavonga needs a modern harbour, a modern hospital and a modern market. These are things we hear about and see in other places. In Lusaka, for instance, we have seen roads that have been worked on over and over. Even roads that just lead to the compounds have been worked on, leaving out economic roads that are supposed to be worked on in some places. Just like my hon. Colleague alluded to, the road between Livingstone and Sesheke is a sorry sight. That is an economic road, and yet the Government is not paying attention to the state of such infrastructure when it comes to other places. Indeed, there is development inequality in this country. When we talk of development inequality, we talk of things that we see. We cannot be singing about development which does not trickle down to our constituencies, which our people are not able to benefit from and point at.


Mr Speaker, moreover, this PF Government has a slogan which is: “Not leaving anyone behind.”  I do not understand what the slogan means when we do not have what I have just mentioned to you and the things that are not being done in my constituency. Would the Government then claim that it is not leaving anyone behind? Maybe, we need to look at the PF dictionary. It may be able to interpret what not leaving anyone behind means because as far as we are concerned, Siavonga Parliamentary Constituency has been left behind. There is nothing to point at.


Mr Speaker, right now, there are projects that the Government started such as the construction of civil servants’ housing units, the police station, the post office and the administration block. There is nothing at these projects, but only grass and trees growing from the buildings. This is so because the PF Government feels that it does not need to develop that place. Siavonga is the second destination in terms of tourism after Livingstone. This is one place we are supposed to work on in terms of the road network. When you look at the lodges and hotels in Siavonga, they are of a good standard, but the places are inaccessible. Nobody would risk his/her car by going to those places because of the road network.


Mr Speaker, this is the reason we sing every day that we hear about the development that we do not see. We have been sitting every year for the past three to four years, passing the Budget, but whatever we approve does not reach my constituency. What has been exhibited by this uncaring Government in terms of development in my constituency is what we call development inequality.


Mr Speaker, we have always pointed out that if us, the people of Zambia, and the people of Siavonga in particular, are part of those that are contributing to the national Treasury, why do we not receive what is –


Mr Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, allow me to add my voice to the debate on the President’s Speech.


Mr Speaker, first of all, I wish to state that this is one of the best speeches that this House has ever received from the time I became a Member of Parliament. I would like to support this speech by adding that Zambia is a unitary state and it shall develop progressively. We know that some hon. Members of Parliament have been complaining that certain projects in their constituencies, which are at foundation level and they can even see trees growing on them. That is evidence that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has gone to all the constituencies.


Mr Speaker, in bringing development to this country, the PF Government does not choose which province to touch. That is why the PF has more than 300 projects in the Southern Province. In the North- Western Province and the Western Province, the same is obtaining on the ground.


Mr Speaker, I also know that the Western Province received the Mongu/Kalabo Road under the PF Government. I also know that the PF Government has built huge fuel infrastructure projects in Mongu. I also know that the township roads in Mongu were constructed by the PF Government. Most of these projects started in 2015, when President Lungu became the Head of State. Some projects were started by the late President His Excellency, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, may his soul rest in peace.


Mr Speaker, so, we will not allow the people to be misled that the PF Government has not done anything in Manyinga. I am aware that the PF has embarked on more than eleven projects in Manyinga. So, I want to state that this speech inspired a lot of hope in the people of Zambia. We are also aware that almost every constituency in this country is a beneficiary of the PF projects.


Mr Speaker, we are aware that some constituencies may complain because they would like to personalise development. All the huge infrastructure development you are seeing in the capital city, Lusaka, is part of Zambia. You cannot say only people from Lusaka Province stay in Lusaka. We have people working in Lusaka but they can be transferred to any part of the country.


Mr Speaker, the huge infrastructure development in my own constituency Kabwe Central Parliamentary Constituency, cannot be compared to any other projects. I am aware that this Government has delivered and as I speak, the President has released monies for youth empowerment.


Mr Speaker, I also want to take this opportunity to state that even the dependence on copper is now slowly going away because Zambia can now produce gold and export manganese. Zambians have now learnt that all the stones that look strange in their villages are actually minerals. Therefore, without the PF Government putting up all these huge projects under the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, the co-operatives would not have benefited. We also know that there is a new project that the President talked about which is the Youth Empowerment Project whereby the artists are receiving money. So, the PF Government has done more than what any other Government would have done in a short space of time.


Mr Speaker, let me also state that the PF Government has worked even in very tough conditions of climate change, gassers and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in this country. Almost all the projects that the PF Government started are actually working currently. This is because the PF has not abandoned any project. The President has said that we should work with the projects that are above 80 per cent completion so that we hand them over and move to new projects. So, I know for a fact that the Government will move to each and every project that was started. It will do that for the benefit of the people of Zambia.


Sir, before I resume my seat, allow me to also congratulate the PF Government for the Kafue Gorge Lower Project which will reduce load shedding. I think everyone including myself is excited because every time we go home, we do not know what time power will go and come back. Without the good policies, this whole achievement would not have happened. I want to thank the President, his Cabinet and everyone else for the good works they are doing for the people of this country.


Mr Speaker, without remarks, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Chisangano (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to comment on the President’s Speech that was delivered to the House on Friday, 11th September, 2020.


Mr Speaker, in the President’s Speech, there were two sentences that caught my attention. The President said that the Patriotic Front (PF) will not let the people of Zambia down. He further said that this is the Zambia people want. This surprised me because if you look at what is happening in our country, you will see that the people of Zambia have been let down. This is not the Zambia people want. I am saying so because there are a lot of challenges that the people of Zambia are facing. For example, this is the era of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). In Gwembe, we were promised ten health posts and I was shocked to hear the hon. Minister state that three of these health posts are at the 80 per cent completion point. We have not seen even one health post that has reached the 80 per cent completion point. I am sure the people of Gwembe are wondering which health posts have reached the 80 per cent completion point in Gwembe Parliamentary Constituency. We all know that during this time of the COVID-19, people need services from the health posts.


Sir, the President talked about electricity that is supposed to be provided to the majority of the people in the country. The cost of the electricity units is too expensive for a common man or even those who are working. For example, from a K100, you are only able to buy about 40 units or less. Now, how far can a person use those units?


Mr Speaker, most of the hon. Members of Parliament from the rural areas can attest to the fact that the roads are in a very poor state. In fact, most of the roads have been abandoned. For example, in my constituency, there is the Bottom Road which was abandoned a long time ago. That road was only done up to Munyumbwe in 2016 and to date, it is still in that state. They have not worked on it not even a bit. Really, this is not the Zambia or the Gwembe we want to see.


Sir, I will move on to the issue of re-opening of schools. Well, parents and students are happy about this move. We all know that our children have been idle for some time now. My question is: Are the rural areas prepared for this especially that we are facing the challenge of the COVID-19? Can these pupils in rural areas afford to buy face masks? Is there water in those schools? Is there enough space for children to observe social distancing? The answer is no. The fact that we have re-opened these schools, it means that we will simply expose our children to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are telling the pupils to wash their hands, but some schools have no water at all.


Sir, the other issue which was not clear about the re-opening of schools is that we do not know whether we are starting a new school calendar or not. I am saying so because this is supposed to be the third term. Now, does it mean that whatever will be covered this term will be repeated next year? We really have to come up with a solution. I do not know whether we are supposed to have a new calendar or maybe, that will waste our students’ time.


Mr Speaker, finally, let me talk about agriculture. We did not do well in terms of agriculture in Gwembe Parliamentary Constituency. I think this was due to climate change. The major contributing factor is the poor agriculture system. The Electronic-Voucher System (e-Voucher System) has failed the people of Gwembe. As usual, year in and year out, people receive faming inputs very late. This is a situation whereby we have poor rainfall and the late delivery of farming inputs. The rains can be available but since the farming inputs are not delivered on time, there will be a poor harvest. So, these are two major challenges that the farmers are facing.


Sir, I really feel that the Government has to improve especially on agriculture so that the people of Gwembe are not in the same situation whereby they have to start calling for relief food every year. This is not good. These people should be assisted. The Government should pay the agro-dealers on time so that the faming inputs can be delivered on time.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: I would like to revert to the point of order which was raised by the hon. Member for Zambezi East Parliamentary Constituency. The investigations conducted reveal that indeed, there was a temporal failure of the network, which was rectified by restarting the access points. It was just something transitory. Any further debate? There is no indication.


(Debate adjourned)





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 1627 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 16th September, 2020.









4.  Ms Subulwa (Sioma) asked the Minister of Health:


  1. whether the Government has any plans to upgrade the Lewanika General Hospital in Mongu District to a third level hospital;
  2. if so, when the plans will be implemented;
  3. what the total cost of the exercise is; and
  4. what the estimated time frame for the completion of the exercise is.


The Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, the Government has plans to upgrade the Lewanika General Hospital in Mongu to a third Level Hospital.


Mr Speaker, the Government has already commenced the upgrade of the Lewanika General Hospital in Mongu to a Third Level Hospital. This is being implemented in a phased manner.


The House may wish to note that the first phase consists of the deployment of additional staff to the facility and, so far, four specialised medical staff have been deployed that have enabled the facility to commence internship training for doctors.  The second phase will involve the facility being a site which provides specialised training in internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology, the four key disciplines offered at a teaching hospital. To this effect, additional services including a dedicated Intensive Care Unit (ICU), dedicated maternal unit with its own theatre have been functionalised with the further placement of an independent oxygen plant that not only supplies oxygen to the facility, but the province as a whole.

Furthermore, specialised services such as renal and imaging modalities shall be undertaken in the third phase, beginning 2021. The upgrade of the appropriate infrastructure and more equipment for this phase will be undertaken once funds are made available.

Mr Speaker, the total cost of the exercise will be determined once the determination of the scope of work is completed.

Sir, the time frame for the completion of the exercise will be determined once the determination of the scope of work is completed.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.