Tuesday, 22nd September, 2020

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Tuesday, 22nd September, 2020


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]











The following hon. Members took and subscribed the Oath of Allegiance:


Kangwa George Chisanga


Kabaso Kampampi








32. Mr Jere (Livingstone) asked the Minister of Tourism and Arts:


  1. what the value of the white rhinos that were killed on 26th February, 2020, by a motor vehicle along the Livingstone/Kazungula Road in the Mosi-O-Tunya National Park was;
  2. whether the rhinos were tagged with cameras for easy monitoring of their movements;
  3. whether the rhinos were insured;
  4. if the rhinos were not insured, why; and
  5. how many white rhinos were there in the park as of 1st March, 2020.


The Minister of Tourism and Arts (Mr Chitotela): Mr Speaker, let me begin by congratulating Hon. Kampampi, Member of Parliament for Mwansabombwe and the hon. Member of Parliament for Lukashya, and former President of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), Mr Chisanga. I also would like to pay special tribute to the people of Seesa in Mwansabombwe Constituency. Where I come from, we say, “ifisuma balakopa”. This means good things are replicated. We also say, “ichila cha pa nsaka, ni umo achitampa”, meaning a game which is started by one person is replicated by many.


Sir, I wish to inform the people of Zambia and this august House that the Zambia Wildlife Act No. 14 of 2015 does not provide any statutory price for white or black rhinoceros. However, within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region, a white adult female rhinoceros is valued around US$40,000 while a sub adult is valued at around US$15,000. In view of the foregoing, the total value for the two rhinoceros could be estimated at about US$55,000. I must also mention that the social value of the rhinoceros pertaining to the return gained from the tourism point of view is much more than what has been highlighted above.


Mr Speaker, rhinoceros in the Mosi-O-Tunya National Park are not tagged with cameras, but are instead inserted with Global Positioning System (GPS) electronic transmitters for ease of monitoring by our wildlife police officers.


Sir, the rhinoceros were not insured.


Mr Speaker, there is no insurance policy or package in any of the insurance companies in Zambia which covers free ranging wildlife. White rhinoceros in the Mosi-O-Tunya National Park are free ranging, hence they are considered as very high risk assets which are susceptible to natural calamities. They also have the ability to cross national boundaries.


Sir, there were nine white rhinoceros in the Mosi-O-Tunya National Park as of 1st March, 2020.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, allow me to take this opportunity to congratulate the two hon. Members who have been elected by the people to come and represent them in this august House. Our people appreciate political parties or people who are respectful, aba muchinshi, balikute. A message to political leaders, some of whom, nowadays, are called yos, is that in politics, there is a need to be respectful.


Sir, it is unfortunate that, of late, we have been hearing about road traffic accidents. Is there anything that the ministry is doing to ensure there is control of motor vehicles on the roads, particularly those that pass through the national parks?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, yes, we have put in place modalities such as speed limit indications in the national parks, but human beings tend to ignore them and instead over speed when driving through the national park. Further, according to the Zambia Wildlife Act, the penalty is one month imprisonment. However, we are in the process of reviewing that law so that we can stiffen the penalties for people who cause fatalities in our national parks by deliberately ignoring the speed limit.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Kundoti (Luena): Mr Speaker, I believe we have learnt a bitter lesson having lost two valuable endangered species in the name of rhinoceros. However, apart from the speed limits placed on that road that passes through the Mosi-O-Tunya National Park, what measures will the ministry put in place to see to it that we do not have such an accident, in which we may lose more of our endangered animals like rhinoceros?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Luena, although he has repeated the question that was posed by the hon. Member of Parliament for Kanchibiya.


Sir, we have been working with the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) and the Road Development Agency (RDA) and we put speed limits in the parks. However, human beings tend to disregard the law, and so, we have prepared a Cabinet Memorandum which we are yet to present to Cabinet to seek the principal approval for us to amend the Zambia Wildlife Act. We feel that if we put in place stiffer penalties, the people traversing in our national parks will be able to observe the speed limit. We feel that is going to serve as a deterrent measure so that we can protect and conserve our wildlife that are so endemic and precious to the people of Zambia.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, before I pose a question to the hon. Minister of Tourism and Arts, I just want to state that in our party, we have never had anyone who has been found wanting for holding his instrument of pleasure and exposing the same to the public.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Leader of the Opposition, resume your seat.


Mr Daka: Question!


Mr Speaker: I do not think we should proceed in that way.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, –


Mr Speaker: Order!


No, I am not through. I will let you know when I am ready. Let us strive to maintain the honour of the House.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I wish guidance would have also been given to the hon. Member for –


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member, resume your seat. You are in a distinguished position. According to the list, I should have called on the hon. Member for Serenje, but I by-passed him because tradition demands that I accord you respect and precedence. So, for arguments’ sake, if the previous hon. Member did something wrong, it is no reason for you to follow suit because your responsibility is different. Your responsibility is to provide exemplary leadership. So, you are in a different position, hon. Member.


You may continue.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I thank you for that guidance.


Sir, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Tourism and Arts whether the ministry will consider putting electric fences around game parks, especially the game park in Livingstone where we have very precious animals like rhinoceros?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, the Mosi-O-Tunya National Park sits in a very strategic area in the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA) region. The KAZA region is in Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and Angola. Usually, the wildlife moves from any one of these member countries to the others, depending on the season. It may not be ideal for Zambia to exclude itself from the region and put a fence. What will happen if other wildlife species want to move from Botswana to Zambia or Namibia to Zambia? Therefore, we are not considering putting up an electric fence along the Mosi-O-Tunya National Park. The only thing we have done is insert the Global Positioning System (GPS) in the horns of our rhinoceros so that we are able to trace their movements.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Mr Speaker, are there any plans to insure the animals that are in transit?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I stated that we have not come across any insurance company that provides a policy to insure wildlife that moves freely. As I stated earlier, these animals move from one point to another, and they are considered ‘a high-risk’ species. We have not found any insurance company that is able and ready to take that risk.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, at the expense of repetition if the hon. Minister addressed the question I am about to ask, I would like to know how many rhinoceros are in Mosi-O- Tunya National Park after the demise of the two he has talked about.


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, let me read the answer correctly so that I do not misinform the House. By the way, the two rhinoceros that were hit were named after my two predecessors. One was called Lubinda and the other Romeo. At the moment, we have eight rhinoceros: two female adults named Inonge and Jessy, one sub-adult female named Lucy, one three-year-old calf named Mumbi, two sub-adult males named Fwanya and Moses and two juvenile males named Jack and Lewis.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kunda (Muchinga): Mr Speaker, my question has been overtaken by events.


Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, how safe are we? I have heard that animals are affected by the Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19). Is this true?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, did you follow that question?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, it is not very clear. I do not know if he is referring to animals being infected with Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) or not. Affected or infected?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, resume your seat.


Hon. Member for Nangoma, could you repeat your question.


Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, I understand that animals are also affected by COVID-19. Is that true?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Nangoma, that is not a supplementary question.


Mr Jere: Mr Speaker, –


Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, you may not be aware that the hon. Minister of Home Affairs addressed the nation and indicated that the national issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs) would commence on 20th September, 2020, in Lusaka Province, the Western Province, Central Province and the Southern Province.


Mr Speaker, despite that pronouncement, in the areas that have been indicated, in particular, the Southern Province, that I am very conversant with, the issuance of NRCs has some hitches. The District Commissioners (DCs) in those areas are telling the people that no instructions have been given by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs. They are also saying that even the equipment which they are supposed to use, like generators and others, are not yet in place. As I am speaking now, in Monze, the issuance of NRCs has stalled because the DC is not co-operating. He is saying that no instructions have been given to officials to commence this exercise.


Mr Speaker, you are aware that this exercise was supposed to have taken place in these provinces I mentioned some time back. However, we were told that because the Government could not complete the exercise in the other areas, it had to postpone the exercise to 20th September, 2020, and this date has passed, but the exercise is not taking place. Excuses are being given that there are no logistics and support from the hon. Minister. I am also aware that the registration of voters is supposed to start on 28th October, 2020, if I am not mistaken. Therefore, it follows that the people in the respective areas will be disenfranchised.


Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister in order to remain quiet and mislead the nation that all was put in place to ensure that this very important exercise is commenced in these four provinces? Is he in order to frustrate the people in these four provinces by not ensuring that this exercise is provided with all the requisites as was done in the other provinces?


Mr Speaker, I need your serious ruling.


Mr Speaker: My ruling is that even before you raised the point of order, the hon. Minister was already scheduled to issue a comprehensive statement on Thursday, this week. That was the schedule of our business. So, you will have your statement on Thursday this week.


Mr Jere: Mr Speaker, are there any plans to replace the two white rhinoceros which were killed any time soon?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, immediately after those two rhinoceros were killed in a road traffic accident, we removed the tasks and kept them in our strongroom and disposed of the remains of the rhinoceros.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, the question was whether there are plans to replace the two rhinoceros that were involved in that accident.


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I apologise. Obviously, I did not get the question.


Sir, the natural process of reproduction will take its course. We started with four rhinoceros in that park and ended up with ten. Two were killed and we have remained with eight. In the North Luangwa National Park, we started with ten rhinoceros and now, there are sixty-eight. So, obviously as reproduction takes place, we should have calf rhinoceros, maybe, before the end of this year or beginning next year.


So, the normal process of replacement will take its course because our view is that since these animals are breeding, we must be able to start translocating them to other national parks, so that all the national parks should benefit from having rhinos. We have the South Luangwa National Park which was known for having rhinoceros, but they are now extinct. We are breeding some in the North Luangwa and Mosi-O-Tunya National Parks and we should be able to translocate them to other areas. So, we will not replace them physically in the Mosi-O-Tunya National Park, but the process of reproduction will definitely cater for their multiplication.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.




33. Mr C. M.  Zulu (Luangeni) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:


  1. what the total number of shooting incidents involving police officers was, from 2017 to 2019, countrywide;
  2. what measures the Government is taking to reduce the number of such incidents;
  3. whether police officers are regularly assessed to determine their mental capacity to handle firearms; and
  4. if they are not assessed, why.


The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, before I respond to the question from the hon. Member of Parliament for Luangeni, permit me to join my hon. Colleagues in congratulating our newly elected hon. Members of Parliament, who have joined this august House this afternoon. We want to thank the people of both Lukashya and Mwansabombwe for endorsing and showing their clear support to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, and the Patriotic Front (PF). This is a clear testimony that democratic competition can only be achieved by engaging people, but not through social media.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the total number of shooting incidents involving police officers from 2017 to 2019 is twenty-nine countrywide.


Sir, the Zambia Police Service conducts training for officers on the use of firearms. Officers also conduct parades before they report on duty to ensure that they are mentally and physically fit to perform their duties.


Mr Speaker, police officers are assessed whenever they report for duty through parades that are conducted.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, from the twenty-nine shooting incidents that the hon. Minister has mentioned, what percentage was as a result of friendly fire among police officers and what measures has the ministry put in place to ensure that such cases are minimised or brought to zero?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, indeed, these regrettable incidents have been a concern to the ministry. Some of these incidents were merely out of domestic disputes involving police officers and their partners or, indeed, among police officers themselves. We have not recorded any cases of friendly fire, as the hon. Member has put it. I do not know what percentage he was referring to in relation to these incidents.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Dr Imakando (Mongu Central): Mr Speaker, how many out of these twenty-nine cases attracted disciplinary action?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, let me take advantage of this follow-up question from the hon. Member of Parliament for Mongu Central to stress the fact that police officers are trained to handle firearms, and if there is one item or instrument they are cautioned about, it is the use of a firearm. By and large, we can commend our officers for their commitment to duty. Nonetheless, a number of disciplinary cases have obviously been instituted where officers have been found wanting. However, there are cases also where some officers have taken their lives due to various reasons. As I have always said, behind those uniforms are human beings. So, in as much as they are trained to make sure that they use the weapons appropriately, we find some cases of indiscipline.


Sir, I may not be able to give the actual numbers of the disciplinary cases, but I just want to say that the code of ethics and conduct which prescribes the conduct of officers professionally is always applied. Where someone has been found wanting, appropriate action is always taken by those that are supervising these officers.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, on several occasions, the public has seen viral videos of police officers who are severely drunk with alcohol. We know, as the hon. Minister himself has said, a police officer who is drunk is a danger both to himself and other people. Those officers will typically be seen wearing uniforms. This means that somebody must have screened and declared them fit for work and that is why they wore the uniform. Why is it that we still find these police officers who are terribly drunk who are a danger both to themselves and society?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I would like to acknowledge that we have had instances where some of our officers have been captured on camera and their pictures and videos have gone viral, but the police command has ensured that all such cases are followed up and investigated.


Sir, these officers we are dealing with are human beings and are sent into the field for various operations. So, we have a person who is assessed before being sent out into the field, but decides to take some alcohol whilst out there. It is between the time they are allowed to draw the firearms and ammunition from the armoury for the operations and the time they go for operations that such things take place. However, measures are now being tightened. That is why you saw the Inspector-General of Police launch in-service programmes yesterday which are meant to ensure that officers are assessed from time to time and are made to align with their core duty of protecting citizens and their property.


Mr Speaker, yes, indeed, a person in a drunken state poses a danger to himself/herself and the people he/she is supposed to serve. So, measures are being taken and, in all the cases that have gone viral, as well as those that have not gone viral, but about which people have notified the police, appropriate action has been taken against erring officers.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: I will have the last question from the hon. Member for Livingstone.


Mr Jere: Mr Speaker, how much compensation was paid to victims as a result of these shooting incidents during the period under review?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, unfortunately, I have no answer to that question.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. M. Zulu: Mr Speaker, of the twenty-nine cases, did the hon. Minister find out whether or not some of them were as a result of the mental illness of some officers? Do we have a way of ascertaining whether or not some of these officers are okay? If not, is it not possible for the Zambia Police Service to undertake in-service courses in conjunction with the Ministry of Health where some officers can train in mental health issues at the Chainama Hills Hospital so that they can help ascertain whether their fellow officers are mentally stable as they go about their work?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, what needs to be understood is that these men and women in uniform work in very unusual environments that can be extremely stressful, sometimes. Therefore, we are trying to ensure that we put measures in place to assess the stress levels in officers as opposed to accusing them of mental instability. Some of these cases are bordering on Gender-Based Violence (GBV). They relate to the domestic management of affairs.

Mr Speaker, there are several measures which include the in-service training which the hon. Member talked about. We also have medical services in the Zambia Police Service where officers who show signs of extreme stress, which may impact their mental state, are checked from time to time. We shall continue devising ways and means of ensuring that we lessen these regrettable incidents because these are officers who are supposed to preserve life and protect property. They should be the least to be seen to be taking their own lives or the lives of the innocent people whom they are supposed to protect.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Just a reminder, hon. Members. Use your tablets to indicate as opposed to the traditional old way. I deliberately allowed the hon. Member for Luangeni to proceed in the fashion that he did. You have to queue up.


34. Mr A. Mumba (Kantanshi) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:

  1. what the total number of kilometres paved under the Pave Zambia 2,000 Project was, as of July, 2020;
  2. what the total cost of procuring equipment for the project was;
  3. which areas of the country the equipment was distributed to;
  4. how many pavers were produced under the Project from 2013 to 2019, year by year; and
  5. how many jobs were created as of December 2019.


The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Mwale): Mr Speaker, as of July 2020, the total number of kilometres paved under the Pave Zambia 2,000 Project was 9 km.

Sir, the total cost of procuring equipment for the project was K124,793,000.

Mr Speaker, the equipment for the project was delivered to all the ten provincial offices of the Road Development Agency (RDA).

Sir, the quantities of pavers which were produced under the project, from January 2013 to May 2019, are as follows:

         Year                 Quantity Produced

         2013                   56,949

         2014                1,256,485

         2015                2,252,196

         2016                   890,430

         2017                             0

         2018                             0

         2019                             0

Sir, as of December 2019, a total of 2,129 jobs were created through the project.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, why have we only realised 9 km of this important project which we expected to produce milestones.

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, we had a challenge as only10 per cent of the expected funds were given by the Treasury. The target was 400 km of road per year for five years which would have given us 2,000 km, but it did not happen because the funds from the Treasury were inadequate.


Mr A. Mumba: Mr Speaker, it is unfortunate that this project has been more or less abandoned by the ministry.


Sir, the hon. Minister will agree with me that the road sector has been given priority funding and the figures are there to speak for themselves. When is the ministry –


There was a technical malfunction.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kantanshi, we have lost you. You are not audible. Could you repeat your question?


I will proceed with the hon. Member for Nakonde and revert to the hon. Member for Kantanshi later.


Mr Siwanzi (Nakonde): Mr Speaker, indeed, as others have indicated, it appears this particular project has faced many challenges. In the initial stage or when it was introduced, there was a plan that the youth would be trained to make pavers. Now that the hon. Minister has indicated that the machines were distributed across the country to all the ten provinces, I want to find out whether or not there is any programme in provinces to train the youth who are expected to manufacture these pavers.


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, indeed, from the word go, there was a robust programme to try to utilise this equipment. There were plans to train the youth and make sure that they were involved in this economic activity that should have rewarded them with some funds and created jobs. Credit must go to my predecessor because I know that he did his best to make sure that this was realised except that he was not supported financially. He tried his best to push for resources, but they were preferred elsewhere, not to this project.


Mr Speaker, we have now given this equipment to the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development throughout the provinces for it to empower the youth. The expectation is that the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development will also come and deal with the training issues that the hon. Member has talked about because it has resources for empowerment. If it did not happen under our ministry, we hope that the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development will make sure that youths are empowered, especially that this is their job. We also hope this ministry can carry on with the training of the youth to enable them to produce pavers for sale to the Road Development Agency (RDA) or to anybody else who needs to use them. We think that they will not be underutilised there.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: I now revert to the hon. Member for Kantanshi.


Mr A. Mumba: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development talked about the challenge of funding as the reason the project has performed poorly. We all know that the road sector has always been well funded and that day in and day out, projects in this sector are launched. Therefore, has the hon. Minister abandoned the Pave Zambia 2,000 Project or is he intending to revisit this project by making use of the resources that he is provided, especially that he has been told to make the best out of the little that is provided by the Government through the Ministry of Finance?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, in the last part of the question, the hon. Member is trying to find out whether or not we will make use of this equipment in a much better way now or we will utilise the equipment using the funds that we have. He may not have picked my response to the question raised by the hon. Member for Nakonde because I may have lost him due to a technical challenge.


Mr Speaker, we have since given this equipment to the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development to empower the youths. The Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development should now be able to make use of this equipment. The Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development will provide technical support. The RDA will be there to provide technical support and any other support that is required except the equipment now falls in the hands of the youths who are supported by the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development that handles the youth empowerment funding. It will carry on with the vision of providing pavers using the young people as a means of empowering them both with finances and jobs. This is what will happen.


Mr Speaker, on the other part of the question, the hon. Member has said that we may have neglected the project when we had money because this sector is well funded. However, most of the road projects that performed well at the time we had this equipment were those that were contractor-financed such as the L400 and C400 projects. There are many examples that I can give which were contractor-financed. Contractors came with their resources and signed loan agreements with the Ministry of Finance and that is why those projects were doing well. Otherwise, many of the projects were struggling. The Pave Zambia 2,000 Project was equally struggling because the Ministry of Finance had little finances to provide for all projects in the country.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Dr Imakando: Mr Speaker, from a gender point of view, I would like to find out whether or not females benefitted from this project? If so, what was the proportion?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, that is a very important question except it requires details. I really have to go and dig deeper to provide this answer. However, our belief is that when we say the youth, we mean both male and female. They must have been catered for, except I am unable to provide the details. However, this is a very important question for us, as a Government that cares for women.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Dr Malama: Mr Speaker, at inception of this project, there was a thought to reduce costs. The raw materials that were needed for this project would also be owned by the Road Development Agency (RDA). Has the hon. Minister been able to share this information so that the raw materials that are being produced can also empower the youths and give them technical competence as opposed to buying them from expensive sources?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, that is exactly what is obtaining. We have a team from the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development and the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development that is sitting together to make sure that it conducts cost effective business, including ensuring that raw materials are provided from cheaper sources such as quarry pits that are owned by the RDA. So, we are trying our best. That is all in the concept of giving it to the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Lumayi (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has told this House that the equipment which was supposed to be used for the Pave Zambia 2,000 Project has been given to the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development. Mr Speaker, you will agree with me that the Pave Zambia 2,000 Project was a very important undertaking. However, most youths in this country who have received loans from the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development have not utilised those loans. Therefore, what prompted the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development to surrender the equipment from the Road Development Agency (RDA) to the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the fact that the equipment was transferred to the Ministry of Youth Sport and Child Development for the youth to use does not mean that the Government or the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development have abandoned the Pave Zambia 2,000 Project. We will continue to pave the country. We will even continue to allocate funds towards the paving of the country except that the ownership of the equipment which will provide the pavers now falls under the youths through the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development. So, they will make pavers and be able to sell them to the project. So, it is only the ownership of the equipment that has changed. The project stands and is still in the hands of the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development. Our quest to ensure that we pave roads will continue and we will continue to allocate funds to buy pavers from the people that own the paving machines, in this case, the youths.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.




35. Dr Musokotwane (on behalf of Mr Mulusa (Solwezi Central)) asked the Minister of Local Government:


  1. when construction of the 25 kilometres of township roads in Solwezi, which was commissioned by His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, in 2015, will commence;
  2. what has caused the delay in commencing the project; and
  3. what the time frame for the completion of the project is.


The Minister of Local Government (Dr C. R. Banda): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the tarring of township roads in Solwezi District commenced in March 2015. However, following the expiry of the contract in August 2019, it could not be renewed due to funding constraints and was, therefore, closed in April 2020.


Mr Speaker, the project commenced, but could not continue due to funding constraints.


Sir, the time frame for the completion of the project will be known once a new contract is procured.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, Solwezi is one of the areas in Zambia which is very productive and probably pays the biggest amount of tax in the country. Would the hon. Minister believe that it is fair for this place that pays so much tax to the Treasury not to have tarred roads, yet tarring of roads is done everywhere else?


Dr C. R. Banda: Mr Speaker, earlier this year, I informed the House that we were going to undertake the procurement in phases according to provinces, and that the North-Western Province was in Group 3. Presently, the North-Western Province and the Western Province are at procurement stage. So, we are very fair because we are following the programme which we read out earlier this year.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, mining giants in the North-Western Province are known to donate generously to the local authorities in the province. I would, therefore, like to find out to what extent the mining giants in the province have been engaged by the ministry on this important issue of township roads in Solwezi?


Dr C. R. Banda: It is not for the ministry to engage the mines. The local authorities and the people can always discuss with the mines on their corporate social responsibility to see if they can come on board to partner with the Government in those projects. So, it is purely up to the locals to engage the mines, not the ministry.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Jere: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister will agree with me that the responsibility of tarring township roads by local authorities is an old one. Probably, at that time, local authorities used to collect motor vehicle road tax but, now, that is not the case. Would the hon. Minister consider engaging his counterpart so that a fraction of road tax can be retained in the district so as to make it possible for the local authority to work on these township roads?


Dr C. R. Banda: Mr Speaker, all Government revenue raised by different agencies goes to Control 99. It is from Control 99 that we receive our share for all developmental projects. So, when we run out of funds, it means that we have exhausted all we received, which was contributed by other agencies into Control 99. We are working together as one Government.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Mr Speaker, of the 25 km which were earmarked for construction, how many kilometres were constructed before the contract was suspended in 2015, and how much was spent on those kilometres?


Dr C. R. Banda: Mr Speaker, I am not able to give the exact cost and the number of kilometres that have been constructed because it was not part of the question. Had it been, it was going to be easy for me to find out and give those details. However, should there be any interest, I would like to invite the hon. Member to visit us so that we can find out exactly how many kilometres were constructed and at what cost.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kambita: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Zambezi East, I think you need some assistance because I can see you are raising a point of order. Are you able to come on air? The hon. Member for Zambezi East is recorded to be in the amphitheatre and requires assistance.


Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister informed us that there are also financial challenges and that the issue in the North-Western Province and Western Province is at procurement stage. However, what is the maximum time that people can wait between procurement and implementation stage, considering the financial challenges.


Dr C. R. Banda: Mr Speaker, we do not have a fixed time per se of how long people can wait. However, what is on the table is that, immediately procurement has been done and funds are available, contractors should be on site. So, it may be within three months, but if there are no funds available, the people could still wait a little longer. What is key is the availability of funds. Procurement is the process of ensuring that the costings to those roads are made so that when the monies are available, contractors can move on site.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, Solwezi being the provincial capital of this very highly productive province happens to be the only provincial headquarters without township roads. Why is this the case when the province pays so much money through taxes?


Dr C. R. Banda: Mr Speaker, the issue of township roads in Solwezi is not about its paying taxes. We already have a programme to ensure that we have township roads in all the towns in Zambia. If the hon. Member listened to me very carefully when I spoke about the phasing of these township roads, he would have heard that I said that we are going to begin with the provincial centres and Solwezi is one of them. We started from there. The only problem is that we ran out of finances and that is the reason the works stalled. Solwezi is already on the list and works had already started. The moment we have funds, we are going to start where we stopped. Currently, the roads that were not procured are being procured.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.







The National Planning and Budgeting Bill, 2019


The National Forensic Bill, 2020


Reports adopted.


Third Readings on Wednesday, 23rd September, 2020   









(Debate resumed)


Mr P. Phiri (Mkaika): Mr Speaker, I thank you, again, for this opportunity to continue my debate on the President’s Speech. When the House adjourned last Friday, I was referring to page 34 of the President’s Speech where the President talked about infrastructure development that is going on around the country.


Mr Speaker, in Katete, we have also seen developments which include a hospital that is being built. For a long time, we have only had a mission hospital but, this time around, the Government is giving us a district hospital, which is a good thing to the people of Katete.


Sir, the other development is the Kafunka Day Secondary School which is being constructed. We really appreciate the Government for that effort. The people of the area are seeing what the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is doing and they are happy.


Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!


Mr Phiri: Mr Speaker, let me also talk about the youth empowerment programmes that the President mentioned in his speech. I think the President heard the cries of our youths in this country. This time around, co-operatives are being formed. My appeal to the hon. Minister responsible for this programme is that these programmes should be decentralised. A lot of youth groups have been formed and we want all of them to benefit. We do not want a situation where groups are formed, but they do not receive any money.


Sir, let me also talk about the process involved in acquiring the youth empowerment funds. I think there is too much red tape in the way this programme is undertaken. We, therefore, request the hon. Minister to relax some of the requirements so that our youths find it easy to benefit from this programme. Currently, you will find a situation where youths apply for these empowerment programmes but they do not get anything. This time around, we want the youths of Mkaika and Katete to benefit from this youth empowerment programme. This is really a good programme that will benefit our youths in this country.


Mr Speaker, let me also talk about the early distribution of farming input exercise which has been undertaken in Katete District. Farmers in that area are happy because they have started accessing these farming inputs. We really thank the Government for that effort.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving the people of Kaputa an opportunity to add my voice to the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Speech that was delivered to this honnourable House on 11th September, 2020. All of us who have gone through the speech that was given to us by the President have seen that the President emphasised where we are coming from, where we are, and where we are going. The President was very categorical in indicating that the Zambian economy has been affected additively.


Mr Speaker, in 2018/2019, the President came to this House and indicated how climate change was going to affect a number of our programmes including our economy. In 2019, we saw the effects of the drought in the Southern part of the country. We also saw the effects of the floods in the Northern part of the country in places such as Chilubi, Kaputa and also, some parts of the Bangweulu Floods. This meant that the resources that were to be used for developmental programmes were diverted in order to feed the Zambians so that nobody could die from hunger.


Mr Speaker, we also saw the effects of the power deficit that brought about a lot of misery, especially to small-scale businesses like barber shops because of the long spells of power shortages. However, our President indicated in his speech, and was very categorical that the number one priority is to try to deliver an economic recovery agenda, which was a priority for the Patriotic Front (PF) Government.


Sir, let me talk about the agriculture sector, which is a major contributor to these recovery programmes. For the first time, we have all seen and witnessed that the PF has performed extremely very well and that they have ensured that farming inputs reach the farmers before the first rains in this country. The northern part of the country, including Kaputa, has actually received all the inputs, seeds included.


Mr Speaker, I just would like to urge the hon. Minister of Agriculture and his Permanent Secretary (PS) to ensure that the distribution of inputs to the farmers commences henceforth because sometimes, they perform so well, but there hiccups would just be paperwork hiccups even before the deliveries are done. We have also seen that the agriculture sector has definitely improved in terms of recording a bumper harvest. This can be attributed to the winter crop or wheat that is being grown as it seems to be a good crop. However, for the agriculture sector to flourish, the policy environment and the hardworking farmers must go hand in hand. Regarding the policy environment, I am actually looking at consistency, which is key. Certain policies that have been pronounced must be well implemented for us to be able to achieve what we want to achieve.


Sir, with those few words, I thank you.


Dr Imakando (Mongu Central): Mr Speaker, we all look up to the Republican President for inspiration, motivation and encouragement to be strengthened because this is the man who holds the highest office in the land and, in fact, all institutions in the land are at his disposal. All the key public servants serve at his pleasure. So, when he comes to this House to –


Technical malfunction


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Mongu Central, we have lost you.


Dr Imakando: Mr Speaker, from 2011, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of this nation has been declining. It has been growing smaller every year. Last year, it was projected to grow at about 3.2 per cent. This year, it was downgraded to 1 per cent and, next year, it will be negative 4 per cent. However, the GDP growth rate is a measure of economic performance. Simply put, the GDP growth rate tells us the value of the final product and the services produced each year in the country. When it is declining, it means that businesses are contracting and the economy is shrinking. It means that real income is declining and there will be higher levels of unemployment. In fact, it means that manufacturing and industrial production are all reducing. What this means is that wholesale and retail sales are all declining. How can this be inspiring?


Sir, the President spoke about a trade deficit or a negative trade balance. This is, again, a measure of international trade. It tells us how Zambia is performing on the international market. When the President says that there will be a trade deficit, he is saying that we are paying for imports from either our reserves or from borrowing. A trade deficit is very dangerous. It implies that we are importing more than we are exporting. It means that we are supporting foreign jobs at the expense of our own domestic industries. A heavy reliance on imports leaves the country vulnerable to downturns. So, when the President comes to this House and tells us that we have a trade deficit, he is telling us that our reserves are shrinking or we have to borrow in order to service our imports. These are not inspiring sentiments at all.


Mr Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government boasted of a robust ambitious infrastructure programme. Yes, we have heard them boast of this infrastructure but, unfortunately, we, the people from the Western Province have not been included in this robust ambitious programme because, to date, Lewanika University is still in the bush. Today, Lewanika General Hospital is still very old and dilapidated. Today, when you travel from Nkeyema to Kaoma, you will experience challenges that will leave you with a high cost of maintenance on your car. When you travel from Kazungula to Sesheke, you will not say many good things about these projects. Up to now, we are still waiting for the Kalabo/Sikongo Road to open up exports to Angola. We see no inspiration and get no inspiration from the President’s Speech.


Sir, the President was very clear. He said that revenue will be down by 17.8 per cent. This, again, tells you that the resource envelope is shrinking. There will not be enough money to go round. In fact, I am shocked that the President did not spend time on the biggest problem we face today, which is, debt servicing. I expected to hear the President say something about how we will get out of debt.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, the President’s Speech left much to be desired in my own interpretation of what I see in the country and what he claimed to be seen. On that day, the President poured praises on himself and the Government for, according to him, having achieved social programmes like the Social Cash Transfer Scheme and infrastructure development. I think the fairest way to treat the President’s Speech is that he is entitled to his feelings, but that is about all. He has no entitlement to our feelings and how we see things.


Sir, on infrastructure development, I travelled on the Kasama Road not so long ago, and there is no road going to Nakonde and Mpulungu, and that is a fact, unless by air. You cannot go there and come out with a straight set of tyres. They will be gone because there are craters on that road. So, what is the President priding himself in on infrastructure development? Zero!


Mr Speaker, the President went to commission the hump at Chawama and he calls it a success in infrastructure. The fact of the matter is that Zambia is greater than Lusaka. Some of us want to remember the President as somebody whose leadership is weak, but is leading very violent people. Let me repeat. Some of us want to remember the President as somebody whose –




Mr Speaker: Order!


 Hon. Members on the right –


Mr Nkombo: The watch is moving.


Mr Speaker: It should be stopped.


Hon. Members, we will not make progress this way. I will give you a chance as usual. There is no need to proceed that way.


Continue, hon. Member for Mazabuka Central.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, since I do not mince my words, I will give my view of the man who delivered the speech as a weak person leading a violent group of people. Why do I say so? There is no law and order in this country. The justice system has broken down in this country. There is a dual justice system where, if you are a Patriotic Front (PF) cadre, you are stronger than the police; an institution that is supposed to maintain law and order. This is the only country where a President remains mute when a political cadre goes to beat up the police at Lusaka Central Police Station. This is the only country where a President is quiet when his Minister goes around engaging in pornography and walks around naked. That is the definition of the breakdown of the rule of law, yet the violent group that follows him will be the first that will usher him into being a demagogue.


Dr Malama: Question!


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, why do I say so? A demagogue is a political leader who seeks support by the desires of populist prejudices. This is the only Government where the hon. Minister responsible for information can say that we are waiting for the public to speak for us to know whether we are going to have a prima facie case on an individual. Shame!


Sir, this Government will be remembered for the following things; theft of the Social Cash Transfer Scheme and mukula through illegal exports. Poverty and hunger is visible even in the areas where they claim to have a strong representation. What you see in the Northern Province is poverty. They have subjected the people of the north with a phenomenon called tantameni, which means stand in a queue, tulyemo. This is institutionalised corruption. He will be remembered as the only President who protects hon. Ministers who go to court and are charged with criminal offences and they go back to their offices and everybody says, yes, sir.


Mr Speaker, in Dr Kaunda’s time, when you are found wanting for going on an excessive beer drinking spree or were involved in a pornographic movie, you would be sent home. This is the only President who entertains things that are below one’s expectations. The consolation is that I look at his speech as one of those farewell goodbyes because according to the Constitution that I have read, he is not even eligible to stand next year.


Hon. PF Members: Question!


Mr Nkombo: I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabamba (Kafulafuta): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving the people of Kafulafuta the opportunity to add their voice to the debate on the President’s Speech that was delivered on 11th September, 2020.


Sir, the President spoke about a number of achievements that the Patriotic Front (PF) has so far underscored, and I will try, by all means, to dwell on road infrastructure.


Mr Speaker, as the PF Government, we came to realise that road infrastructure is cardinal in the sense that it contributes to other productive sectors in remaining instrumental to contributing to the economy of our country. Other productive sectors such as mining cannot thrive or contribute positively to our economy without proper road infrastructure. As regards the agriculture sector, hon. Members will agree with me that we need well co-ordinated road infrastructure. The Republic of Zambia, through the PF Government, has embarked on a robust improvement of road infrastructure because we appreciate that it contributes to the growth of other productive sectors such as mining, agriculture, manufacturing and tourism.


Sir, for our people to move from one place to another, we need well co-ordinated or improved road infrastructure. This is the more reason that as the PF, we have strategically continued to invest on the construction of new roads, upgrading of roads, maintenance of new roads as well as the rehabilitation of roads because we have come to appreciate how cardinal road infrastructure is. We have also realised that a well co-ordinated road network contributes to other factors such as reduced travel costs, reduced maintenance costs of vehicles, and creates employment during and after the construction of roads. So, road infrastructure contributes to the easy access of services and goods and this is one of the reasons we have invested more in road infrastructure.


Mr Speaker, the maintenance and rehabilitation of roads is being undertaken across the country. Even in places that are perceived to be opposition dominated areas, one or two roads are being worked on, and I will give a straightforward example of the Kafue/Mazabuka Road, which is a stretch of about 70 km. That road is undergoing rehabilitation and it will contribute to the movement of goods and services from the north to the south. The Kazungula Bridge is a massive project which is being undertaken by the government of Zambia and Botswana. That bridge will help in the delivery of heavy cargo from the north to the south. All these projects speak volumes on why people should commend the PF Government for having invested heavily in road infrastructure.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to debate the last speech of the President of the Republic of Zambia …


Hon. PF Members: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: … to this House before the elections in August 2021. I say so because the Official Opening of Parliament happens once in a session, and there will be no other session until September 2021. It, therefore, follows that this was President Lungu’s last speech. It also follows that this is the last speech under the leadership of the Patriotic Front (PF) to be delivered in this House.


Hon. PF Members: Question!


Mr Ng’onga: Wishful thinking!


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I heard someone saying that is wishful thinking. I have been in this House for a long time, longer than most hon. Members.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member, just a minute. Do not engage the hon. Members on the right; just present your debate as prepared.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I do recall that those who were in the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) used to behave in a similar manner towards those who are now in the Patriotic Front (PF). They used to say that there would never be any change of their forming Government, but I can assure you that come 13th August, 2021, there will be a new Government.


Hon. PF Members: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, the time for reckoning is coming. I am aware that most of you have always been praise singing whenever a statement is made by any hon. Minister or by the President. The people of Zambia now have the opportunity to listen to whatever you say on the Floor of the House. The day of reckoning is 12th August, 2021, and hon. Members on your right will be held accountable for the things they have done. I remember one of the hon. Members of Parliament who was in this House and is now a very senior leader in the PF–


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Monze Central and Leader of the Opposition, the Motion which is on the Floor of the House is on the President’s Speech. I have been liberal. I know you wanted to preface your debate with other remarks and so forth. However, our core business here now, is the speech.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, which is exactly what I am doing. I am not going to be a praise singer for the PF or a praise singer for President Lungu. I am going to talk about the things the PF has failed to do, and because it has failed to do the things the people of Zambia wanted, it will be found wanting on 12th August, 2021.


Mr Speaker, when the President of the Republic of Zambia came to address us, when he made his last President’s Address during the Opening of Parliament, he did not address all the issues which he has been raising for the past four years. He told the people of this country that his Government was going to create many jobs. The first time, the PF Government said it was going to create 500,000 jobs, but it did not do that. Later on, the President came and said his Government was going to create 1,500,000 jobs, but those jobs have not been created. What has happened instead is that the PF Government has created unemployment in this country and so, there are more than 3 million youths who are unemployed in this country. These youths will hold the PF accountable on 12th August, 2021.


Mr Speaker, the other day, the hon. Minister of General Education informed this House that as far as his records were concerned, there are more than 50,000 trained teachers who have no jobs and are in the streets. Those 50,000 teachers who are not working will hold the PF accountable on 12th August, 2021.


Mr Speaker, every year, more than 50,000 students graduate from our colleges and universities. They expect to be employed when they graduate. Unfortunately, all those children who have been graduating from the time the PF came into power are loafers. They will hold the PF accountable on 12th August, 2021.


Mr Speaker, the President praised himself that his Government had reduced poverty in the rural and urban areas. He also said that the cost of living had reduced and that everyone is able to afford to secure a means to livelihood. However, I want to state that those of us, who are responsible for our constituents, know that the poverty levels in this country have risen very much. Our constituents are not able to take their children to school and pay health fees in hospitals as a result of the high cost of living.


Mr Speaker, all those who have been affected will hold this country and this presidency accountable. We were being told that the poverty levels had reduced. As we leave this House, check what is happening at the traffic lights just nearby here. You will find that it is full of children, with kids on their back, begging because they have no means. That just shows you that the poverty levels in this country are rising and that there is no care on the part of those in Government. That is the truth. In Kanchibiya, ...


Dr Malama: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: ... the poverty levels are screaming and the people there have been telling us that. Mr Speaker, come 2021, the one who is saying ‘question’ will be the one who will be watching through the window and become a spectator if he comes to this House because he is always saying ‘question’. We are doing well –


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member, I am sure you agree with me that is not the way to debate. You are engaging the hon. Member of Parliament for Kanchibiya.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I was speaking on behalf–


Mr Speaker: He is the one who is saying ‘question’.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I am sorry.


Mr Speaker: Debate on your own. You may continue.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, as a person who is a national leader and is able to speak for every constituency, I am saying that the people of Kanchibiya are suffering and they have been asking for roads and employment and nothing is available.


Mr Speaker, the people of Monze are saying since Independence, this Government has never provided a Government hospital. It has never done that. We are surviving because of the Catholic Church. It is the ones that is providing the services which the Government has failed to provide.


Mr Speaker, I was in Kabwe last weekend. The people there were told me that come August 2021, they will change their Member of Parliament (MP) because he always shouts ‘Hear, hear!’ to things that are not being provided.


Mr Ngulube: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker–


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Kabwe Central, resume your seat.


Complete your debate, hon. member for Monze Central.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I thank you.


As a national leader, I have chosen not to speak entirely for the people Monze. I am speaking for the people of Zambia. I have heard our hon. Colleagues praising themselves. One of the hon. Ministers even said that if you are in Lusaka, you would think you are in Dubai. If you go to the constituencies in Lusaka and see how people are suffering there, one would not say that. People are looking forward to improved welfare on the part of the Government. That is the responsibility of all of us. We should be seen to be working together. When we raise an issue that deals with the welfare of the people, we should agree and provide solutions.


Mr Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the people of Kasempa, the opportunity to add their voice to the debate on the Motion.


Mr Speaker, the people of Kasempa have a definition of performance. I believe that when the President was presenting his speech to Parliament, he should have thought about the people of Kasempa and whether or not they would agree with his statements or perspective about performance.


Mr Speaker, at the beginning of every Meeting of Parliament, we sing the National Anthem. We do not sing it for the sake of it. The National Anthem is a prayer. There are certain words in it which are very striking. Unity is mentioned, and freedom is mentioned three times. “We have won freedom’s fight, strong and free, free men we stand, strong and free.” When the people sing the National Anthem and talk about freedoms, as Head of State, he/she must evaluate and think about what he/she has done on their behalf. I missed that information in the President’s Speech. I also missed the part on what progress has been made in terms of building unity. I have seen so much division during his four or five-year rule.


Mr Speaker, I did not hear the President talking about the gains or the freedoms we enjoy. The people of Kasempa are denied permits to protest or picket against the state of their infrastructure, especially roads. They are denied permission to simply say that the roads are bad. They seek permission from the police, but they are not allowed to express themselves. The young people of Kasempa are asking where their freedoms are. To what extent is this Government protecting them or giving them those freedoms? The youths of Kasempa are asking why a young person who applies for a permit to express himself/herself about the state of the roads or talk to the head of the Government Administration in the district, is not given that permission.


Mr Speaker, the President came here to speak about his vision for the country. The people of Kasempa in particular and people in general were looking forward to hearing him speak about growth. For the people of Kasempa and those in many other rural areas, infrastructure is important. The Link Zambia 8,000 Kilometre Road Project is a commitment of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government. The Kasempa/Mumbwa Road, the Lufwanyama/Kasempa Road, and the Kaoma/Kasempa Road, which is an economic road, have not been attended to. Why did the President not speak about this? Look at the infrastructure for health, education, and water and sanitation. The President mentioned so many places where this infrastructure has been built, yet Kasempa was not mentioned. What about the people in Kasempa?


Mr Speaker, to conclude my debate, none of us seated in this House could dare pick up the statement that the President made here and face our people in our constituencies and show them the things we have gained, whether one is from the PF, the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) and especially, the United Party for National Development (UPND). None of us here can take the speech and go and talk about progress because that progress is just not there.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Ms Tambatamba: That delivery is just not there.


Mr Speaker, the President’s Speech on that day was business as usual. There was nothing inspiring. It was not transformational.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Mr Speaker, I just want to add a voice to the debate on the President’s Speech delivered to this august House.


Mr Speaker, I will refer to page 3 of the President’s Speech where he said:


“As a Government, we were given the mandate to reduce poverty and create prosperity for our people. We have delivered on that mandate and continue to deliver. We have delivered on infrastructure.”


Mr Speaker, I will just dwell on that point for now. No matter how good a dancer one is, the people surrounding him/her are the ones who are going to cheer him/her on and say that he/she is a good dancer. Sometimes, I wonder why those people who write speeches for the President do it. If you ask a person like me from Mwembezhi if poverty has reduced based on the infrastructure which has been built, I will say it has not. From 2016, I have been talking about the road in Mwembezhi. That road is not there now because it is impassable. If I go and tell the people in Mwembezhi that they should clap their hands because poverty has reduced in Mwembezhi, surely, they will look at me and think I am not okay. They can even stone me.


Mr Speaker, we must talk about issues relative to where we come from. The issue of infrastructure which the President mentioned is a non-starter and does not exist in Mwembezhi. Therefore, we cannot even use that as a measure of reducing poverty in Mwembezhi.


Mr Speaker, with regard to reducing poverty, I also would like to talk about some issues which have affected the people in Mwembezhi. In 2016, 613 units of power from ZESCO Limited, cost K300. Today, the same units cost K1,000, yet salaries of the people in Mwembezhi have never been increased since 2016.


Sir, the President said that this Government has reduced poverty. When some people came here in 2016, they were as poor as I am but, today, they are driving big vehicles and building mansions everywhere. Yes, poverty has reduced for them. However, for a person like me and my people in Mwembezhi, we cannot talk about poverty reduction when the price of electricity has gone up three or four times. Why is the Government talking about poverty reduction?


Mr Speaker, if I give my people in Mwembezhi the Social Cash Transfer Scheme payments and tell them that I am giving them the money because they are unable to produce their own food, is that poverty reduction? Poverty reduction is about making someone capable of producing his/her own food to put on the table and have money to buy his/her own clothes. The Government is giving cash thinking that is poverty reduction. Those who give the President information must give him information which is correct. He is the President of the people of Zambia. He must be given the correct information so that things can be attained by all Zambians. When I say that these things are wrong, it does not mean that I hate the President. I am saying that the presentation of issues is not correct.


Mr Speaker, the Government is giving farmers two bags of fertiliser now, yet it is saying that it is reducing poverty. This time, we should talk about weaning people from receiving fertiliser so that they can buy fertiliser on their own. That is what prosperity is. You cannot continue giving people fertiliser from 2016 to date and say that you are reducing poverty. The idea is that people must be able to buy their own fertiliser. That way, you would have reduced poverty. Please, let us do things correctly.


Mr Speaker, I know that right now, time is not my best ally. On this whole matter about poverty and prosperity, the President was not on point. He was on point on other issues, except on poverty. I would have talked to him in person and said, “Ba President, apa, mwalilufyanya.” The rate of poverty is high in Zambia. Let us not burry our heads in the sand. There is too much poverty.


Mr Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired


Mr Chishala (Roan): Mr Speaker, the people of Roan want to –


Mr Lufuma: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to rise on a point of order. Is the hon. Member of Parliament, the newly appointed Minister of General Education, Dr Wanchinga, in order to come here in the Chamber dressed as if he is a Congolese musician when, in actual fact, there is a dress code that must be followed?


I need your ruling, Sir.


Mr Speaker: I will reserve my ruling.


Mr Chishala: Mr Speaker, the people of Roan, through me, would like to point out issues that they expected to be in the President’s Speech on 11th September, 2020. These issues mainly relate to mining, the ‘Buy Zambia’ campaign, health, education and tollgates.


Sir, the President’s Speech, on page 21, states as follows:


“The mining sector remains an important part of our economy. On average, the mining sector accounted for 14 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product and 74.4 per cent of total export earnings during the period 2016 to 2019.”


Mr Speaker, the people of Roan are concerned.  If at all the mining industry contributes over 70 per cent of our total export earnings, the President should have given the way forward for the challenges that are in the mining industry. These challenges are mainly at the Mopani Copper Mines (MCM), the Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) and the Luanshya Copper Mines. The three mines that I have mentioned are facing huge challenges in terms of production. If at all the President saw it ideal that the mining sector contributes to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of this country, he should have given the roadmap on how we are going to sort out the problems that these mines are facing.


Sir, we have also had challenges in the mining sector in terms of job losses. I can testify that from the time the Patriotic Front (PF) got into power, we have experienced a lot of job losses in the mining industry. Of late, nothing has improved in terms of employment in the mining industry. Therefore, the people of Roan expected the President to give a roadmap on how we are going to sort out this issue.


Mr Speaker, in my community, there are challenges such as the former Roan Antelope Mining Corporation Zambia Limited (RAMCOZ) miners who have not been paid for years. We are talking of 5,000 plus former miners. These miners are still waiting for their monies, but the President did not mention that issue. The people of Roan expected the President to indicate how these people are going to get their monies.


Sir, as regards the issue of “buy local”, I think it is a welcome move. For sure, we are supposed to promote our locally made products. However, the question that the people of Roan have is: Should it take the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) for the President to pronounce that we should be buying locally made products? I suppose that this should have been a policy matter that should have been tabled some time back, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. If anything, we should have even started increasing tariffs on the products that are being imported, but can be produced locally.


Mr Speaker, on the issue of tollgates, the President himself indicated in his speech that we have reaped about K4.8 billion from the tollgates. However, we cannot see how this money has been applied. We expect the money that has been reaped from the tollgates to be ploughed back into the road sector. I will give a practical example. We have a tollgate between Ndola and Luanshya, but we cannot see that money being ploughed back into the maintenance of roads. The Ndola/Kitwe Dual Carriageway to Luanshya is very dilapidated. This is a hazard, at the moment, because there is a likelihood of accidents taking place because of the road being dilapidated.


Sir, I would like to mention that the PF has tried its level best to improve infrastructure in the health sector, but it is not enough to have infrastructure in place because we also need to have drugs inside these facilities. For example, it has been about three or four months since any of the clinics in my constituency has had even a panadol to administer to patients.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

I now get back to the reserved ruling.

The hon. Minister of General Education is in order because the dress code is in compliance with Standing Order 165(1). In a word, he is wearing a safari suit.

Hon. Government members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to comment on the statement that the President made in this House.

Sir, let me begin by citing a quotation from page 3 of the speech. It reads:


“As a Government, we were given the mandate to reduce poverty and create prosperity for our people –”

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

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Jamba: Mr Speaker, when Parliament resumed, you announced in this House that there is mandatory testing for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and you said that everyone should go and test. I was one of the first people to take the test. In your directive, you said that the results were going to come out within forty-eight hours. However, today, as I sit with an hon. Member next to me, I do not know my status. Sir, are the people who are supposed to give out the results in order to keep quiet and not give us our results, thereby causing us to risk our lives as we mingle with many people?

I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: Firstly, I did not indicate that there was mandatory testing. My announcement was not to that effect. How can it be enforced? It cannot be enforced. I simply urged and I will continue to urge everyone to test not only at the beginning, but also during the subsistence of the Meeting. We are here for a long period; up to 11th December, 2020, more or less, and anything can happen in between. Therefore, we should get into the habit of testing regularly. As a matter of fact, I urge that you get tested fortnightly if you can manage. I want to clarify that.

Secondly, there is no breach of the rule of the House to warrant raising a point of order. That is an administrative issue. All you need to do is approach the Clerk of the National Assembly and ask for your results and she will tell you.


That is my ruling.


The hon. Member for Liuwa may proceed.


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, before I was interrupted, I was in the course of citing a quotation from the speech which was delivered by the President that states as follows:


“As a Government, we were given the mandate to reduce poverty and create prosperity for our people. We have delivered on that mandate and continue to deliver.”

Sir, I found this statement shocking because it seems the President does not live in this country. When everybody else is complaining about poverty, the President can say he is reducing poverty in the country.

Some of the colleagues who have debated before me have clearly indicated that from the economy at large, poverty is setting in, in the country without any doubt.


Mr Speaker, when the Patriotic Front (PF) Government came into power, they found the exchange rate at K5 to a dollar, but now it has gone up to more than K20 to a dollar. Surely, anyone, including those who have not studied economics, should know clearly that this can only mean one thing and, that is, poverty is setting in.


Mr Speaker, I would like to remind the President that in 2011 when this administration took over, out of K100, we could buy two bags of mealie meal at K40 each at a total of K80 and still remained with change to buy cooking oil or vegetables. Today, that same K100 cannot even buy one bag of mealie meal. How then can anyone claim that he/she has reduced poverty?


Mr Speaker, I think the President should talk to his teachers, the police men and women who guard him, the soldiers, the health workers and the ordinary people. Let him tell them that he has reduced poverty and see the kind of look that they have on their faces as he talks to them like that. Poverty has increased and this Government has increased poverty more than any other Government since Independence.


Mr Speaker, I am also shocked that for the entire period that the President was here, he did not talk about the real causes of the poverty that is hitting the country. The lead poverty is the excessive borrowing that this Government has taken. Instead, we were being told or being given explanations that are neither here nor there. For example, we are told of issues of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), but even before COVID-19, poverty was rising because of borrowing.


Mr Speaker, we are also being given strange explanations that it is privatisation that is causing poverty. Immediately after privatisation, this economy grew the fastest until the PF spoiled it. The real reason there is poverty in this country is the excessive borrowing that this Government has created. A dollar today is at K20 because of the excessive borrowing.


Mr Speaker, today, this Government is failing to hire 40 000 teachers whom we need in our schools because of excessive borrowing. Today, as we have been told, there are no drugs in hospitals and clinics because of excessive borrowing.


Mr Speaker, today, there are many farmers across the country who have paid K400 for their fertilisers, however, the Government has not delivered the fertiliser and is unable to refund them all because of the excessive borrowing. Today, the mines are closing because of the excessive borrowing by this Government.


Mr Speaker, this excessive borrowing that this Government has created is the one that is destroying this economy. It is shocking that the President can keep quiet about it.


Mr Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Fube (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the Motion of Thanks. In the first place, allow me to congratulate our two hon. Members of Parliament who have just joined us from Lukashya Constituency and Mwansabombwe Constituency. I would like to say congratulations to our comrades.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member, please, withdraw the word ‘comrade.’


Mr Fube: Mr Speaker, I withdraw it without any reservations.


Sir, I am at pains to understand the reasoning of our nation. I think we, as leaders, are sometimes the ones injecting toxic thinking into our citizens. When we want to define poverty and put it in a particular context, we need to make sure that the youth understand what poverty is. When we want to understand productivity, we need to put it in the right context.


Mr Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) has been the bravest and the most honest Government since it came into power. Where there was a problem and the need to remove certain subsidies such as the fuel subsidy, the Government did just that. The PF was brave enough to increase the salaries of public workers to up to 200 per cent, in certain cases because of the equity approach. I am taken aback.


Mr Speaker, I think there is a need to have what can be referred to universally as the poverty datum line. When the President in his speech said we have scored in a particular area, he based that on the 2016 and 2021 manifestos. The manifesto which the PF floated to the public is what the PF took to the people,  unlike other parties that do not even have anything to show the public, but only talk about the ten point plan which can be interpreted by all sorts of people. Based on the manifestos, the President said we have been given a mandate to reduce poverty and create prosperity.


Mr Speaker, when we look at the context in which we need to understand the reduction of poverty, it whips people’s emotions to presume that poverty can be measured just by using the interest rate, in this case. I am not an economist, but I still stand that you cannot measure poverty using the interest rate because the interest rate is a psychological measure in economics. It is unfortunate that even some of our people who touched the national economy, in one way or the other, can say that the PF has failed even when there was debt cancellation. They kept using the reserves and controlling the power of the currency.


Mr Speaker, having said that, it is a fallacy to say the PF has not employed young people. When the Government employs a certain number of nurses, the majority of those are young people. The youth policy in Zambia defines a young person as somebody who is between the ages of fifteen and thirty-five. When the Government employs a particular number of teachers, it means that it has also employed young people.


Mr Speaker, it is wrong for people to base the President’s Speech on something else and factor in elections which, unfortunately, they will lose in 2021. It is wrong to base the President’s Speech on imaginations when it was based on deliverables packed in the PF Manifesto. The President was kind in enough to admit the failure in the economy, especially between the periods of 2016 to 2019, as he referred to the speech which he delivered through this House on 11th September, 2019.


Sir, as we debate, let us inject a gene into our citizenry that will make them productive and enable them to contribute to the household economy because the Government is just a dream facilitator, especially in an unbalanced economy like ours. The Government only facilitates. There will be no Government that will bring food on the table by providing mealie meal and relish so that somebody can consume them. Let us not cheat each other, but define these issues in the right context so that the citizens out there –


Mr Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I would like to appreciate the chance I have been given to add a voice to the debate on the President’s Speech which was delivered on the Floor of the House.


Mr Speaker, I draw my debate from page 9 of the President’s Speech, where he indicated his theme as: “Dedication, Resilience and Innovation: Pursuing Economic Recovery for the Zambia We Want.


Mr Speaker, on page 13 of the speech, the President said:


“The education sector has also embraced innovative ways of reaching out to the learners when physical contact in classroom situations was not advisable.”


Sir, I would like to draw the attention of this august House to the situation where electronic learning (e-learning) has not been accessed in my constituency despite the President having mentioned that this was workable. As a Member of Parliament from a rural constituency, this must have reminded the Government that the equal distribution of communication towers across the country, especially in rural areas, is actually very important. This situation has posed a very big challenge and, taking into consideration the prevailing situation of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), communication towers are required everywhere. The situation where pupils in rural areas were not able to access e-learning, but are going to write the same examination as those in urban areas since they cover the same syllabus must be taken into consideration.


Mr Speaker, the President also mentioned that this country is scoring in the agriculture sector. I would like to say that it is very important for the Government to look into the issues of agriculture despite what it is recording as a success. However, I want to disagree that this is not the Zambia that we want. To date, we still have situations where inputs are sometimes delivered as late as January or February and the electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System is still failing in certain places. How is the Government managing the agriculture sector? It is not true that this is the Zambia that we want. We want a Zambia where when it comes to agriculture, farmers access farming inputs and activate their e-Voucher cards on time so that they are able to produce accordingly.


Sir, diversification has been a song in this country. Year in, year out, there is a mention of diversifying from mining dependence to agriculture, but little is being done about it. To date, we still see the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) failing to get into the market and buying the required quantities of the grain. How can we say that we are achieving more in the agriculture sector? We need to improve on the market system so that the farmers are able to sell their maize at competitive prices and get their payments on time. In my constituency, agro-dealers are still struggling to get their money. How can we say that we have achieved a lot in agriculture? We have not achieved much and this is not the Zambia to which the people are looking forward.


Mr Speaker, –


Mr Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Ms Subulwa (Sioma): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me an opportunity to add the voice of the people of Sioma to the debate on this Motion.


Sir, before I go any further, I would like to congratulate the hon. Member of Parliament for Lukashya and the hon. Member for Mwansabombwe. I think that is enough signal for 2021.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, I would like to mention that on page 8 of the President’s Speech, the President spoke of hope and unity as another way of addressing the challenges that we are facing as a country.


Sir, the President did not try to sugar-coat issues. He came out –


Mr Speaker: Order!


(Debate adjourned)




The House adjourned at 1655 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 23rd September, 2020.