Wednesday, 23rd September, 2020

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Wednesday, 23rd September, 2020


The House met at 1430 hours














The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Madam Speaker, let me start by thanking you for giving me this opportunity to render a ministerial statement to update this august House and the nation at large on the status of the 2020 Mobile Issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs). The 2020 Mobile Issuance of NRCs is intended to provide increased access to the acquisition of NRCs by citizens who have attained the age of sixteen and above, especially those who cannot easily reach district national registration offices. The exercise is meant to empower citizens with NRCs to enable them to participate in the economic activities and electoral processes of the country.


Madam Speaker, on 25th June, 2020, you allowed me to issue a ministerial statement on the 2020 Mobile Issuance of NRCs. In my address, I informed this august House that the Government, through the Department of National Registration, Passport and Citizenship, under the Ministry of Home Affairs, was to conduct mobile registration in all the ten provinces of this country in a two-phased approach. I, now, wish to report that the first phase started on 1st August, 2020 in five provinces, namely Luapula Province, the Northern Province, the Copperbelt Province, the North-Western Province and the Eastern Province. The second phase is scheduled to commence on 1st September, 2020, in five provinces, which include Muchinga Province, Central Province, Lusaka Province, the Southern Province and the Western Province. The target for the 2020 Mobile Issuance of NRCs Exercise is to issue a total of 1,500,000 NRCs comprising 770,000 under Phase I and 730,000 under Phase II.


Madam Speaker, let me thank the hon. Minister of Finance for releasing an amount of K200 million for the exercise. I am pleased to report that the Ministry of Home Affairs, through the Department of National Registration Passport and Citizenship, commenced Phase I of the mobile issuance of NRCs on 1st August, 2020, in the five provinces, as planned. I wish to inform this august House that during the first ten days, registration teams did not operate at full capacity due to delays in the delivery of key equipment. The delay was as a result of the late receipt of key equipment from countries of origin due to lockdowns and a reduced number of flights. I am glad to report that after receipt of the equipment, Phase I of the exercises was implemented at full-scale in all the said provinces and was scheduled to end on 9th September, 2020.


Madam Speaker, the second phase, which was initially scheduled to commence on 1st September, 2020, had to be postponed to 20th September, 2020. The reason for the postponement was to avoid an overlap of Phase I into Phase II since the same equipment that was being used under Phase I was to be used in Phase II of the exercise. Further, to compensate for time lost under Phase I in most districts, the ministry extended the registration period by ten days, resulting in Phase I ending on 19th September, 2020.


Madam Speaker, the issuance of NRCs in Phase I progressed well. The NRCs issued under Phase I are now being counted and validated. At an appropriate time, I will come back to this august House to give final statistics. The House may wish to note that the ministry projected to register a total of 770,000 NRCs under Phase I of the exercise, as I stated earlier. I wish to appeal, through this august House, to the nation and, indeed, to my fellow hon. Colleagues to urge all eligible citizens to take advantage of the 2020 Mobile Issuance of NRCs.


Madam Speaker, allow me to address some concerns raised by certain sections of society with regard to the issuance of NRCs to ineligible persons. The issuance of NRCs is a right of all eligible citizens in line with the provisions of the National Registration Act Cap 126 of the Laws of Zambia. All citizens who have attained the age of sixteen and above are entitled to obtain an NRC. Further, an NRC is not only for elections but also an identity document used for all services such as employment, opening up of bank accounts and registration as students. However, it is disheartening to note that some sections of society, particularly political parties, have been insinuating that ineligible persons were obtaining NRCs. The law is very clear regarding persons who are eligible to obtain NRCs, and anyone who contravenes the law has to be dealt with accordingly.


Madam Speaker, I urge all those with information on the ineligible persons who have fraudulently obtained NRCs to report such individuals to law enforcement agencies immediately. The Government will not allow ineligible persons to take advantage of the on-going mobile issuance of NRCs to acquire NRCs. For example, two persons of foreign origin who attempted to obtain NRCs in Mwense District of Luapula Province, were arrested and prosecuted. They are now serving short sentences after which they will be deported to their countries of origin.


Madam Speaker, in spite of the successes that I have highlighted, some unfortunate incidents were recorded. For example, in some villages in the North-Western Province, some sub-chiefs wanted their subjects to register the name of their chiefdoms on their NRCs even when they were not gazetted, a situation that caused conflicts with gazetted chiefs. In other parts, our officers experienced the challenge of language barrier at the start of the exercise. However, this issue was quickly resolved, as the ministry was able to engage local interpreters. Going forward, the ministry will always ensure that interpreters are on hand whenever there is a communication barrier. In other incidents, officers were attacked and some equipment and materials stolen and destroyed. To that effect, some suspects were arrested and charged accordingly. They will appear before the courts of law. This is not only unfortunate but also illegal because officers are citizens who are sent on national duty.


Madam Speaker, let me make it clear that disrupting the registration process is a criminal offence, and law enforcement agencies will always be on hand to arrest the perpetrators. The ministry will ensure that more security officers are deployed in the second phase of the exercise to ensure the safety of officers and Government equipment.


Madam, there were also reported cases of some organisations disrupting the smooth operation of the registration exercise in the name of monitoring. I wish to clarify that monitoring of the mobile registration exercise is a function of the Government. If stakeholders want to observe the mobile registration exercise, they can do so in consultation with the District Commissioners (DCs) and without interfering with the registration process.


Madam Speaker, regarding the point of order raised yesterday by Hon. Jacob Jack Mwiimbu, Member of Parliament for Monze Central Parliamentary Constituency, I wish to state that contrary to the insinuations by the hon. Member of Parliament that the exercise has not yet commenced in Monze, the House may wish to note that preliminary statistics indicate that as at 22nd September, 2020, a total of 425 NRCs had been issued in Monze District broken down as follows:


No. of NRCs                 Status


316                                First registration


109                                Replacements of damaged or lost NRCs


Therefore, Madam, I wish to advise the hon. Member to find time to visit his constituency and make time to engage the DC’s Office.


Madam Speaker, in conclusion, let me thank hon. Members of this august House and traditional leaders for encouraging all eligible persons to obtain NRCs. To the general citizenry who visited the registration centres, let me commend you for being co-operative, particularly amidst the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. I also wish to commend the provincial administration in all the five provinces for their invaluable support during the exercise. Further, I would be failing in my duties if I did not acknowledge the support in the form of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) rendered to our officers and clients by the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) under Her Honour the Vice-President’s Office.


Madam Speaker, finally, I wish to assure the nation that the national registration offices in all the districts across the country will continue to operate normally even after the end of the 2020 Mobile Issuance of NRCs. Therefore, I urge all those who missed the mobile registration exercise to visit any nearest national registration office in their respective districts to obtain NRCs.


Madam Speaker, I am sitting on the other side now.


I thank you, Madam.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I am sure that by now, hon. Members have noticed that there is a technical issue that we are trying to resolve. I am informed that no one has been able to log in. So, while that is being resolved, I will rely on my knowledge of the hon. Members, especially those who are in the Chamber, to ask questions.


Hon. Members: And in the Committee rooms.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I am not able to see the hon. Members in the Committee rooms.


Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement given by the hon. Minister.


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Madam Speaker, a payment of K100 is required to get a police report in order to replace a lost National Registration Card (NRC). How does the hon. Minister hope to resolve this issue?


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, using the powers vested in me, I have waived the requirement for a police report, which attracts a fee of K84, for those who want to replace their lost NRCs during this exercise, especially for people in far-flung areas.


I thank you, Madam.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, the technical experts have advised that hon. Members who are not in the Chamber can log-in through Zoom. I believe everyone has been taught how to do this. So, log-in through Zoom and a list will be sent to us.


Ms Mwape (Mkushi North): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that good ministerial statement. There has been some unconfirmed information, especially from the Opposition, that the Ministry of Home Affairs is issuing National Registration Cards (NRCs) to ineligible people in the country. This is very serious because these are unconfirmed reports. Knowing that this working Government cannot do such a thing, what action is the hon. Minister going to take against people who are issuing alarming statements that his ministry is issuing NRCs to those who are ineligible?


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I want to sincerely appreciate the hon. Member of Parliament for Mkushi North for that very important follow-up question. Indeed, we have received some of those reports and, like you heard in the statement, we have had people of foreign origin, who had wanted to take advantage of this exercise in Mwense, prosecuted. That shows you how serious we, as the Government, are.


Madam, we have made sure that the officers who have been sent out to conduct this exercise and who are professional civil servants are able to determine who is eligible. When you look at the composition of the teams of those who are conducting this work, you will learn that we have, among them, officers from the Immigration Department. The officers from the Immigration Department are to be alert and to look out for foreign nationals who would want to take advantage of the exercise and be registered as Zambian nationals.


Madam Speaker, some people have been convicted, and I must commend the Mwense Immigration Office and magistrates court for expediting the case that involved the suspects. I urge other districts to follow the example set by Mwense District.


Madam, we have also seen some unscrupulous characters and unpatriotic Zambians, if at all they are, who have been parading young children and circulating these images. You can tell the innocence of the children whom they have been parading by giving them NRCs that belong to elderly people to portray a picture that the Government is giving NRCs to young children. However, the police are on this case and they are pursuing the culprits. We shall make sure that they are brought to book because what they have done is not only an attempt to discredit a very important national exercise but also an act of lawlessness. So, we are not going to stop at anything until we zero-in on these culprits.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, I have been informed that the system is now alright and back on. So, for those who were struggling to log in, please, do that now.


Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Madam Speaker, in response to the hon. Member for Serenje’ question, the hon. Minister indicated that the cost of replacing damaged and lost National Registration Cards (NRCs) is K84. In Mapatizya, which is a remote rural constituency, there are people aged between seventeen and eighteen years who have no NRCs. What is the position of the ministry regarding people who are actually above sixteen, seventeen or eighteen?


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I want to clarify the hon. Member’s reference to the response I gave to the hon. Member of Parliament for Serenje that was about a police report. I said that people are required to pay K84 to get a police report. However, as Minister, I have waived that requirement.


Madam Speaker, he has asked about people who are above sixteen years old. In my statement, I made it clear that this exercise is intended to cater for eligible citizens who have attained the mandatory age of sixteen years and above. So, if he is talking about the seventeen-year-olds and eighteen-year-olds, they are above sixteen years. All they need to do is ensure that they present the facts as they appear before officials through either their guardians or parents. The only requirements are the facts pertaining to their birth records.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Madam Speaker, my question to the hon. Minister is about the continued access to National Registration Cards (NRCs). Now that the mobile exercise has moved out of the locations that were under the first phase, Kasempa being one of them in the North-Western Province, we still have many far-flung areas which are hard-to-reach. So, for the people there, both young and old, it has been a wild-goose chase. They would hear about the exercise being undertaken in their location, but the officers conducting the exercise would have left the location by the time they got there. The same thing would happen when they moved to the next location. My question to the hon. Minister is: What capacities has he put in place to ensure that these NRCs are accessed in regular central places? Are there any measures to ramp up the usual issuance of NRCs?


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, in my statement, I indicated that our established district offices will remain open like they have always been during working hours from Monday to Friday. Unfortunately, those in the far-flung areas will have to access this service at the district offices. That is why it was important for hon. Members of Parliament to make an effort to get our people sensitised.


I would like to commend the hon. Colleagues from the North-Western Province such as Hon. Samakayi, the Member of Parliament for Ikeleng’i, Hon. Muchima, and the hon. Member for Kabompo, who were able to give feedback as the exercise was going on. We were able to address a number of issues that they brought to my attention. That is what I am encouraging other hon. Members of Parliament to do because this exercise is for our people. So, let us avoid politicising this exercise because we identify citizens, register them and recognise them as such.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Ms Subulwa (Sioma): Madam Speaker, in Mulamba Ward of Sioma Constituency, where I come from, a number of houses were gutted and this caused people to lose their national registration cards (NRCs). Unfortunately, some of the people cannot even remember their NRC numbers. How can the ministry assist them to access their NRCs?


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the concern raised by the hon. Member for Sioma, through her follow-up question. Our teams have competent officers from the Department of National Registration, Passport and Citizenship who are capable of determining what to do with people who may find themselves in circumstances such as the one that the hon. Member has stated. These officers will be able to attend to people who have lost their NRCs for various reasons or have damaged ones. The hon. Member should not be worried because our officers are competent enough to deal with all issues arising out of such circumstances.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that ministerial statement which has allayed most of our concerns. However, Kanchibiya is one of the constituencies where, annually, our people –


Mr Kunda: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Kunda: Madam Speaker, thank you very much for allowing me to rise on this very important point of order.


Madam, we have been allocated seats in this Chamber, and all of us who have been allocated seats should be in attendance. However, we have seen that some hon. Members are not here. Are the hon. Members, especially those from the Opposition where I belong, in order to stay away from their seats through which they can give service to the people of Zambia who are in dire need of it?


Madam Speaker, I beg that you give a favourable ruling on this very important matter.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: My ruling is that, as we have stated before, this House conducts its business on the basis of a quorum. For as long as we have a quorum, we shall proceed with our business. In any case, from where I am sitting, I can see a number of hon. Members of the Opposition side. Therefore, hon. Member for Muchinga, the Opposition hon. Members of Parliament are totally in order because they are represented in the House and the House is operating as it should, on the basis of a quorum.


The hon. Member for Kanchibiya was on the Floor.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Malama: Madam Speaker, indeed, I was on the Floor. Thank you for that ruling, especially the guidance to our hon. Members from the Opposition side of the need to be in the House and to also to reflect on issues as they come to debate on the President’s Speech in order for them to be factual and not spiteful –


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Kanchibiya, we are dealing with the ministerial statement presented by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs.


Dr Malama: Madam Speaker, I was just reflecting because I was disrupted and was trying to re-rail.


Madam, in search of their livelihood, the people of Kanchibiya go out to look for what is called ifishimu or caterpillars around October each year. Therefore, with the period that has been given, technocrats from the Ministry of Home Affairs will be left with a very short window in which to carry out the exercise. Will the hon. Minister ensure that there is increased manpower so that most of the people of Kanchibiya are captured before they go for their annual activity of ifishimu catching? 


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I would like to appeal to the very able hon. Member and representative of the people of Kanchibiya to partner with us in sensitising our beloved people to make them appreciate how important this exercise is for them. We are yet to establish a permanent office in Chalabesa, where the new district is domiciled. So, we know how long a distance they have to cover from Kabinga to Mpika District.


Madam Speaker, people have ended up having children who have attained the age of sixteen while not having acquired NRCs themselves. Therefore, when we take Government officers closer to them, they must ensure that they spare time. As much as it is important for them to fetch ifishimu for their livelihood, which is through gathering caterpillars, they also need to be recognised, as Zambians, because there are certain services they will need to access such as health, education and farming inputs which require them to have these very important national documents.


Madam, together with the hon. Member, we need to plead with our people to spare some time to get registered and then go for their annual exercise of catching caterpillars. I know the geographic challenges of Kanchibiya Constituency. So, we just have to plead with our people to take advantage of this opportunity that the Government has given to them to obtain NRCs.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Samakayi (Mwinilunga): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister will recall from our interaction and basically what he has presented here that on two occasions, officers abandoned their work stations in Chief Ntambu and Chief Sailunga’s areas. As I speak today, eleven big settlements have not been attended to and the people there have not acquired national registration cards (NRCs), yet the hon. Minister has said that the Government will not go back to those areas. Therefore, I want to give the hon. Minister a proposal to which he can say ‘yes’ or ‘no’.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Just ask a question.


Mr Samakayi: Would the hon. Minister be willing to work with a community if it provided transport to the officers while the Government paid allowances in order for them go round in the areas where people were left out in the issuance of NRCs?


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, by the same token, I would have proposed that the able hon. Member picks people up from those areas and takes them to the District National Registration, Passport and Citizenship office so that they can get registered. However, we have taken note of his proposal. Also, I cannot guarantee that I will get the officers back there because most of the equipment that they were using has now been taken to the other five provinces. Perhaps, after the exercise is completed and we conduct an evaluation, we can then look at the concern that the hon. Member has raised.


Madam, our office remains open to the hon. Member of Parliament and we can still engage further to see how we can deal with that caseload.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Muchinga, are you still interested?


Mr Kunda indicated dissent.


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Madam Speaker, I would like to join my colleagues who welcomed the new hon. Members of Parliament yesterday. In doing so, I would like to urge them to be truthful, as they give their maiden speeches by telling the Patriotic Front (PF) Government how it has neglected these –


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member, ask your question.


Mr Jere: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out whether the system is able to detect the double issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs). We heard that some individuals obtained two NRCs in the first phase.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the hon. Member who wants to give himself duties that have not been bestowed upon him in this House of guiding new hon. Members on how they should give their maiden speeches.


Madam Speaker, coming back to his follow-up question, the citizens are only supposed to get one identity card and one identity number. Those who would like to be smart will be found out. We collaborate well with other institutions such as the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) in that regard. Our officers make reference to the voters’ rolls in verifying some of these details.


Madam Speaker, going forward, we shall migrate from the manual and paper based civil registration process to the digital registration process. So, those who would like to be clever will, first of all, be breaking the law and they risk being prosecuted. Secondly, they will be caught up in a web because we are changing the way we capture the biometric details of our citizens.


Madam, as a Member of Parliament, Hon. Jere should encourage people to ensure that they only get one identity number. Those who will do otherwise will break the law. Like I have always said, an NRC is what identifies a citizen. I have always encouraged people not to limit the NRC to just elections because I know the tendency of many politicians of associating an NRC with the voter’s card. There is much more to an NRC and civil registration. So, I can only request my hon. Colleague to ensure that he sensitises the people of Livingstone to be sincere, honest and patriotic Zambian citizens.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Madam Speaker, I would like to commend the hon. Minister on the 2020 Mobile Issuance of National Registration Cards. For the first time, the Government has done what, I believe, it should have been doing by following people where they stay. I am talking like this because, as a Member of Parliament for a rural constituency, I know people have no money to go to the district centres. So, I commend the Government for following people where they are.


However, Madam Speaker, my question is: Why was the voters’ registration exercise not carried out simultaneously with the 2020 Mobile Issuance of National Registration Cards, as it would have reduced the number of people who have to register next year to avoid rushing people? Why was this not carried out simultaneously?


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, it is difficult for me to speak on behalf of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) because we have different mandates. Our mandate is to identify citizens and register them and, consequently, issue them with identity cards through the civil registration. Like I said, the NRC is not only limited to electoral processes. So, we appreciate that it is a requirement when it comes to people registering as voters. However, we have been collaborating quite well with the ECZ in the scheduling of our exercises. The commission will move into the field after we have completed Phase II of the exercise. That is commendable and we thank the ECZ for understanding our position when we rescheduled the starting date for the Phase II of the exercise.


Madam Speaker, our offices will still remain open even after the exercise. This is a very expensive undertaking and I commended the hon. Minister of Finance for doing everything possible, in the advent of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), to make resources available for us to get our officers on the ground. Procuring of this equipment is also expensive and we have had to import most of it. It was a mammoth task to get the equipment here on time due to the challenges I mentioned in my statement. That is why we take strong exception to those who want to damage or even steal the property.


Madam Speaker, we shall continue with our mandate and see how we shall collaborate with the ECZ in making our people benefit from both exercises.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Lumayi (Chavuma): Madam Speaker, in the North-Western Province, Chavuma Constituency, in particular, most of the people have not been able to obtain National Registration Cards (NRCs) due to the poor leadership in the District Commissioners (DC) Offices in ensuring that materials and publicity are offered to the people so that they are able to get NRC’s in time.


Madam Speaker, you may agree with me that publicity and materials have been a challenge for most of these officers. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether there has been adequate publicity of the exercise in the remaining five provinces and if materials have been made available. As a bonus to my question, is the hon. Minister considering involving the offices of Council Secretaries to help in the administration of issuing NRCs?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, we are spending too much time asking questions and responding to them. We still have a list. So, I urge you, hon. Minister, to just answer one question, and to the point.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I am taken aback by the follow-up question from my dear hon. Colleague. We, as hon. Members, should be sincere and I am surprised that it had to take this ministerial statement for the hon. Member to raise those concerns. He cannot say the poor leadership of the District Commissioner caused many people not to obtain NRCs. What did he, as hon. Member of Parliament, do other than wait for today to bring up these issues? I do not want to say that my dear hon. Colleague has exhibited poor leadership, but I just gave a classic example of how we collaborated with other hon. Members of Parliament from the same province and that is how it should be.


So, to come here and insinuate that there was poor leadership because of the DC is being unfair. Whether the hon. Member likes them or not, DCs are Government representatives because they head Government institutions on the ground in the districts. They are appointees of the President. So, one does not have to like them in person in order to work with them. The DCs are there. So, hon. Members just have to find some common ground and work with them.


Madam Speaker, for the other part of his question, yes, sensitisation is what we have been calling for. The hon. Member heard me pleading with other stakeholders, such as traditional leaders, church leaders, and hon. Member’s inclusive, to sensitise people and make them understand that our officers have been sent closer to them.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Madam Speaker, in case I missed what the hon. Minister said earlier, I need clarification. As of today, in the Southern Province, to be precise, in Kalomo, Dundumwezi Constituency, the officers to issue National Registration Cards (NRCs) have not been dispatched. May I know when officers to issue NRCs will be dispatched to Kalomo District, Dundumwezi Constituency, in particular.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, my colleague looks like he is in space. I do not know what time he got in touch with the people on the ground, but I wish to assure him that if the officers were not yet in his constituency by the time he spoke with the people on the ground, they must be in the constituency. All the districts have been covered in terms of dispatches of materials and deployment of officers.


Madam, the hon. Member can keep checking. He just probably needs to know which areas will be visited by the officers because we may be saying they are not on the ground because they are not in a particular area where he could have been expecting them to be. However, it is important that he collaborates with the local leadership such as the DCs. Like I have said, DCs are heads of Government in the districts and are playing a very critical role in this exercise. It is important for hon. Members to find a way of collaborating with them.


I thank you, Madam.


Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Madam Speaker, the question raised by the hon. Member for Sioma is extremely pertinent. We debated the issue of those who have lost their National Registration Cards (NRCs) and cannot remember their NRC numbers. They are being chased away by the officers and there is a loud outcry. Is the hon. Minister in a position to give a directive that people who have found themselves in such unfortunate circumstances should not be chased away by the officers, but instead be attended to?


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, when dispatching officers, it is made clear that they should try to extract information from the citizens using the available tools. That is why I referred to voters’ registers and village registers which, of course, we need to enhance by working with the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs so that people can have their details recorded in these registers at village level. The only directive I am giving to my officers is to ensure that they do not leave our people unattended to on account of not remembering their NRC numbers. Like I earlier said, these are people who are knowledgeable and have the capacity to extract information from our people.


Madam, the hon. Member should be assured that officers will be encouraged to be patient with our people, especially those who are elderly, in order not to leave anyone behind.


I thank you, Madam.


Ms Kasune (Keembe): Madam Speaker, I just have a question regarding the extension of the exercise. From the statement, the hon. Minister referred to the fact that because of the challenges that were faced in Phase I, the exercise was extended by some days. I just wonder whether there has been some extension of days to facilitate Phase II in the provinces where we are or is it something that is determined after the process has been undertaken?


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I have to make it clear that the ten days that we compensated Phase I with have been explained. That was the time we were expecting the equipment which came from different destinations to arrive. Some of it came through Botswana and it was marooned there for a couple of days more than we had anticipated. Similarly, we had very important equipment such as laminators which were supposed to come from the Republic of South Africa, but ended up coming from Holland. All this equipment came through Ethiopian Airline, which was the only airline servicing the entire globe. These were challenges beyond our control. That is how we lost the ten days in the first phase.


Madam, the second phase is different because we have the equipment. It is moving from one place to another within the country. So, I do not see any time being lost in the second phase. It is very unlikely that we are going to have an extension. I can only encourage the hon. Member to take advantage of this time and make sure that people are informed in good time about when our officers will go into various places, including Keembe. So, the ten-day compensation in the first phase is justifiable. We do not need to start making comparisons at all because our reasons are genuine. Anyone who wants to come and verify our records is free to do so and they can even check the bills of lading for the equipment that was received. Otherwise, we have made sure that the second phase starts on time and that our officers are deployed on time.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo): Madam Speaker, when the hon. Minister was answering the question posed by the hon. Member for Keembe, he said that we have not lost time for Phase II of the mobile issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs) but, at the moment, only one team is on the ground in Sikongo. To date, the other three teams from Lusaka have not arrived and they are saying that the generators are still in Solwezi and that some logistics have not been put in place. It is the same story with places such as Dundumwezi in Kalomo. Is the hon. Minister saying that we have not lost days since this exercise was supposed to have started?


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, at the expense of repeating myself, all the teams are expected to be on the ground this week. The hon. Member of Parliament said that there is only one team in Sikongo, and I do not know where he got that information from. However, my assurance is that we are going to make sure that all the teams that are supposed to be in his constituency are there on time. There will be no time lost because we cannot compare Phase I to Phase II. The materials are being moved within the country as opposed to when we expected materials to come from outside the country.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, you will appreciate that we have been dealing with this statement for an hour now and, today, I would like to give an opportunity to hon. Ministers to also contribute to the debate on the President’s Address. So, we will now proceed.








36. Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa) asked the Minister of Tourism and Arts:


(a)     whether there are any designated buffer zones between hunting blocks and safari lodges in national   parks   countrywide;


(b)     if so, what the designated distance between the hunting blocks and safari lodges is;


(c)     if there are no designated buffer zones, why; and


(d)     what measures are being taken to designate buffer zones.


The Minister of Tourism and Arts (Mr Chitotela): Madam Speaker, according to the Zambia Wildlife Act No. 14 of 2015, hunting is prohibited in national parks in Zambia. Hence, there are no hunting blocks in any of the national parks countrywide. Only non-consumptive (photographic tourism) lodges are allowed to operate in our national parks.


Madam Speaker, in view of the response above, part (b) of the question may not be applicable. However, let me take this opportunity to share this information with hon. Members of Parliament and the general public that hunting permits only exist in Game Management Areas (GMAs), which are adjacent to national parks. In those areas, there are also safari lodges that are established in designated zones guided by the General Management Plan (GMP) of the GMA. Buffer zones are provided between safari lodges and hunting areas.


Madam Speaker, in this regard, the GMP of a particular GMA guides the distances between hunting blocks and safari lodges. Therefore, the designated distances vary according to the GMP. I must emphasise that the Act prohibits even the cutting down of a tree in national parks. So, we do not allow hunting programmes in our national parks countrywide.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Ms Tambatamba: Madam Speaker, it must have been a slip of the tongue because this question is related to Game Management Areas (GMAs). There is a belief that there is a buffer zone of about 5 km between hunting safaris and photographic lodges. Could the hon. Minister confirm that.


Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, as I stated in the question, buffer zones vary from one GMA to another, depending on the GMP that has been adopted by the operators in that area.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.








The following Bills were read the third time and passed:


The National Planning and Budgeting Bill, 2019


The National Forensic Bill, 2020








(Debate resumed)


Ms Subulwa (Sioma): Madam Speaker, the speech by the President of this country –


Mr Chitotela indicated.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, it was a mistake.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: May the hon. Member for Sioma continue with her debate.


Ms Subulwa: Madam Speaker, the speech by His Excellency the President of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, was excellent and on point.


Madam Speaker, amidst all these challenges that this country has faced, His Excellency the President of Zambia has still delivered in the areas of education, infrastructure and health. Even a blind person can see what the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has done.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Subulwa: Madam Speaker, last weekend, Her Honour the Vice-President and I were in my constituency commissioning a mini hospital. I am a Christian and an elder in church, and I cannot hide such truth. The truth is that the PF Government is working.


Madam Speaker, regarding infrastructure, the road network just outside Parliament that you see as you walk out is like we are seeing London. Lusaka is slowly turning around, including our constituencies, Sioma in particular. Since 1964, we have never seen such a thing as five health posts, including an operational mini hospital, being constructed in months in a constituency. I am speaking as I am now because of what we have seen in Sioma. Electricity will soon be mbweee in my constituency. In the case of water, quite a number of boreholes have been sunk in my constituency.


Madam Speaker, I want to encourage His Excellency the President with this Lozi proverb which says that, “Mabuba naka ata apalelwisi nali kufula.” This means even when those insects that look like tsetse flies disturb a buffalo, it will still continue grazing. So, His Excellency the President should continue working hard and delivering projects to the people of Zambia without fail. Let him turn a deaf ear to all those people who are instigating all sorts of propaganda against him. Let him continue working hard for the people of Zambia.


Madam Speaker, as I conclude, let me state that I was so disappointed to hear an economist, who should guide this nation, telling us that the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has no effect on the economy. That is really shameful because we have seen the effects of COVID-19 even in developed countries. We have seen developed countries on their knees because of COVID-19. Who are we, as a country that is still developing, to say that COVID-19 has no effect on our economy?


Madam Speaker, even as we become desperate in our aspirations to ascend to certain positions, let us be very truthful.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Livune (Katombola): Madam Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to debate the President’s Speech.


Madam Speaker, on a sad note, allow me to inform my colleagues and the nation that in Kazungula, we are mourning our great father, His Royal Highness Chief Sikute. Therefore, my colleagues of goodwill should join us in mourning our father with honour and dignity.


Madam Speaker, getting to the President’s Speech, it is true that it is a constitutional requirement that His Excellency the President opens Parliament with a policy direction. Time is not our friend in this situation, but I am going to address the issues that are very pertinent and bring about pain in our daily lives.


Madam Speaker, I will start with the issue on energy. From page 24 of the President’s Speech, we hear of the Kafue Gorge Lower Power Station coming on board in order to reduce the power deficit. My only lamentation is that when we went to check on that facility, we were told that by April 2020, the first turbine would bring about 150 MW of power. From April 2020, the next target was moved to August 2020 and we are now being told December 2020. So, I am asking myself if this will happen at all. Therefore, there is a need to expedite that project so that Zambians can benefit from it other than these promises being made.


Madam Speaker, the other point on which I am in disagreement with the President regarding his speech is that I expected to hear how the Foot and Mouth Disease will be eradicated in the Southern Province. The people of the Southern Province did not hear that aspect and without that part concerning our livestock, the President has missed the target. He needs to tell us how his Government will eradicate the Foot and Mouth Disease. We need some serious attention attached to the situation that keeps troubling us in the Southern Province.


Madam Speaker, the other issue on which Zambians expected the President to talk about decisively is that of violence. It is not for the President to lament when there is violence in the country. He must be the one to act and end violence. However, if he keeps on lamenting and his people continue beating up Zambians and doing all sorts of unwanted activities, then, we question the President’s spirit behind wanting to eradicate violence. We think that, maybe, he is encouraging it because he says something in the morning, and in the night, his people do something else. So, we do not expect the President to lament, but to act and bring about relief by way of governing the country in the right direction. The President’s people are violent. People’s assets are being destroyed and at the time that they are being destroyed, the President is busy issuing a statement which is not bringing about relief. He says one thing, but his people do something else. So, where do Zambians stand? We expect the President, as the father of the nation, to deal with these matters decisively.


Madam Speaker, the President can draw examples from the late President, Dr Mwanawasa, SC. When certain things happened in the country, he would declare that those things could not continue happening as long as he was the President. Why would you say something and your people do something else? Then, this brings your leadership style into question. So, we expect the President to take decisive actions to reduce or get rid of this violence which is choking the Zambian economy.


Madam Speaker, the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is real and we expect the President to lead by example like President Hakainde Hichilema. He has been wearing a mask from day one to date. We rarely see the President wearing a mask and he keeps on gathering huge crowds of people. We see him with huge crowds without a mask. He should show Zambians that COVID-19 is real by wearing a mask and he should stop the Patriotic Front (PF) –


Mr Ng’onga: Question! Where is your mask?


Mr Livune: I have my mask here. I am just not wearing it because I am debating.


Madam Speaker, he should tell his friends to stop –




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for according me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the President’s Speech.


Madam Speaker, on page 23 of the speech, the President mentioned that the tourism sector creates jobs in this country. However, about 10,000 people lost employment. The President also acknowledged that the tourism sector contributed 2.5 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). That being the case, we thought that by the President mentioning that this sector was mostly affected by the Coronavirus Disease19 (COVID-19) pandemic, we would, indeed, have thought that he would have attached the seriousness that the sector deserves in terms of finances. We thought that funds would be set aside to stimulate this industry unlike hearing the President or the hon. Minister of Tourism and Arts talking about opening the –




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order in the House!


Hon. Member for Livingstone, continue with your debate.


Mr Jere: Madam Speaker, what we heard was that the Government intends to open up the Northern Tourism Circuit. This is not the way to go because in as much as we would want to promote local tourism, we should look at how many people have disposable income. This industry is purely dependant on foreign tourism. That being the case, we were supposed to look at how best we can empower both the employer and the employees. Employees are now having a tough time surviving, as they have lost their jobs.


Madam Speaker, on page 63 of his speech, the President talked about the general elections. Indeed, we have credible candidates like Mr Hakainde Hichilema and candidates at local government, parliamentary and presidential levels. However, the most important issue that the Zambian people are questioning is whether we are going to have free and fair elections owing to the fact that we have received threats that whether Zambians like it or not, the President will be President beyond 2021. That raises many questions on the credibility of those charged with the responsibility to handle the general elections.


Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!


Hon. PF Members: Question!


Mr Jere: Madam Speaker, the President is on record as having stated that.


Hon. PF Members: Question!


Which record?


Mr Jere: We have heard that in 2021, prisoners will be allowed to vote when those charged with the responsibility to handle the elections had said that they were not ready for such an undertaking.


Madam Speaker, the other issue has to do with the campaigns. The President is urging Zambians to preach peace and love. That should start with him walking the talk. If we are to have a peaceful election, the President should condemn the violence that we are seeing and what we recently saw in Lukashya.


Madam Speaker, we are happy that the President of Malawi visited this country. We hope that our President learnt one or two things and that the transition of power from the Patriotic Front (PF) to the United Party for National Development (UPND) will be peaceful.


Madam Speaker, since bars and night clubs were opened, I would like to urge the President to also allow churches that congregate in classrooms to start congregating so that they may continue preaching peace and love. Then, there will be unity among our people.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to air my reflections on His Excellency the President’s Speech.


Madam Speaker, the President’s Speech is always a deep reflection of the President with regard to the immediate past, the present and the immediate or near future in as far as policy implementation and policy direction goes.


Madam Speaker, when we look at the immediate past and the present, in the context of policy implementation, the President’s Speech gives us an opportunity to make assessments of how the policies are working with respect to our constituencies and the country as a whole. That also gives us an opportunity to politic in the context of how we see things.


Madam Speaker, however, the immediate near future, in terms of policy exposition, is an extremely important aspect of the President’s Address. It is extremely important that we pay attention to the choice of policy interventions in terms of policy principles that will direct the nation in the near future. As far as this particular speech is concerned, the choice of the policy principles, I think, are extremely appropriate. The principles that have been chosen on policy direction centre on dedication, resilience and innovation. If we listen to what other world leaders are saying in the context of the quagmire that we have of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), you would learn that most are talking about resilience, innovation and leadership that is dedicated. I think what the President’s Address pinned on was policy interventions and principles, and that is extremely appropriate.


Madam Speaker, in the immediate future, it is extremely important that we pay attention to the innovative policy principles that will guide the country and bring the country into resilience in all sectors like education and agriculture. How can we, as a nation, achieve resilience so that we normalise our way of life in the country? It is very important that the innovative resilience is paid attention to. As we look forward to the Budget presentation the day after tomorrow, we should pay attention to what the hon. Minister of Finance will tell the nation on how to achieve resilience in the economy. He will tell us how to bring about pacts in different sectors that can bring about confidence that we are, indeed, going back to normal.


Madam, as the hon. Ministers make their policy statements on their ministerial budgets, we also expect them to pay attention to the resilient and innovative policy statements that will come from the hon. Ministers in order to give assurance that the country will get back to normal in the near future. So, the choice that has been made in terms of policy principles to direct the country in the immediate future are right on target and they are relevant. That is exactly what other leaders are doing. Even the African Development Bank (AfDB) has made the same pronouncement.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I will now allow hon. Ministers to contribute to the debate. We will start with the hon. Minister of Tourism and Arts.


The Minister of Tourism and Arts (Mr Chitotela): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to contribute to the debate on the address by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu.


Madam Speaker, speaking from the viewpoint of the Ministry of Tourism and Arts, we note that His Excellency the President recognised that the sector that deals with tourism and arts has been the hardest hit due to the Coronavirus Disease2019 (COVID-19). We take cognisance of the fact that the President has been championing tourism.


Madam Speaker, Zambia has been a leader in the Southern Africa region. We were the first country to open the Victoria Falls to domestic tourism and the international air space to tourists. However, I am taken aback when I hear an hon. Member of Parliament castigate us saying that domestic tourism is not the way to go because people do not have disposable income, hence the need to encourage foreign tourism. Where are the foreign tourists going to come from when the source market for Zambia is Europe, and Europe is on lockdown? Even if we open and encourage foreign tourists to come, they will not come because they are not allowed to leave their countries. Hence, the decision by His Excellency the President to encourage Zambians to look inwards in order for us to survive as Africa or Zambia, going forward, is brilliant. So, for us to drive a tourism sector that is going to respond to the needs of the people, Zambians must begin to participate in economic activities and that includes tourism activities.


Madam Speaker, in the history of Zambia, it is only His Excellency the President, Mr Lungu, who has recognised the artists by providing them with a K30 million stimulus fund. This has never happened before. That is why today, I am flooded with many requests from the artists. Everybody is asking where this President has been.


Madam Speaker, we were on your right in 2015, and some people were saying we, the Patriotic Front (PF), would move to the left, and pose questions to them. Here we are, they are still asking us questions. Come 2021, they will continue posing questions to us because what we are doing is not politicking. We are touching the hearts of the poor people and the hearts of Zambians. Which President has ever provided a seed fund for the artists in Zambia? No one other than His Excellency the President, Mr Lungu, has done so. So, together with the artists, we are grateful. I was shocked to hear even the old artists composing songs to support President Lungu’s re-election in 2021. Watch the space and you will see. The artists are saying they will continue to support His Excellency the President, Mr Lungu, because he has recognised them, and that he is the only President who has done so.


Madam Speaker, for us to have sustainable tourism, we need infrastructure development. The hon. Member for Mazabuka Central, who was debating, was peacefully in Mwansabombwe and he drove on a brand new road to the Northern Province via Kawambwa to Luwingu. When people deliver, it is good to appreciate it by saying, “Job well done, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu.”


Madam Speaker, obviously, today, Zambia is a beacon of peace and a hinge of development in the southern African region. We have been privileged to sit on different continental and international bodies. Zambia is being looked at as a leader and champion. That is why I would like to encourage Zambians by saying that for us to grow our tourism, we will use the arts sector to promote domestic tourism, and we want every Zambian to participate in it. We will not just segment one region of the country, as a tourism destination. We want to market the whole Zambia as a tourism destination and, then, start segmenting different areas.


Madam Speaker, for instance, the Northern Circuit has been a song that successive Governments have sung. However, His Excellency the President has said that enough is enough. We will not continue singing, but act. The Government wants Lumangwe Waterfalls to open. We want lodges in Lumangwe. We also want the Kalambo Falls to be marketed in Zambia. We would like people to visit Lake Chila and Chishimba Falls. We would also like people to go to the Western Province and see the beautiful Sioma-Ngwezi Waterfalls, which is second to the Victoria Falls. This is how we want to grow. We want the hon. Member of Parliament for Liuwa to be proud that the Liuwa National Park is the envy of Africa today. We have seven star lodges in Liuwa National Park that even the international community is talking about. All that is being done under the PF Government, and we are determined to change things.


Madam Speaker, I would like to urge all Zambians to participate in domestic tourism.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


The Minister of Energy (Mr Nkhuwa): Madam Speaker, on behalf of the people of Chingola, the Ministry of Energy and, indeed, on my own behalf, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for according me an opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Speech by His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu on the occasion of the official opening the Fifth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly.


Madam Speaker, my speech is primarily based on two fronts, considering the cluster development approach being undertaken by the Patriotic Front (PF) Government. May I note that the ministry contributes to both clusters, namely economic diversification, job creation and reduction development inequalities.


Madam Speaker, as you may be aware, my ministry is responsible for the development and management of the energy sector. Therefore, it is a well-known fact that energy is an enabler of the development process and thus, must be managed well. It is for this reason that the able leadership of His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu and, indeed, the PF Government recognises the contribution of the energy sector in the cluster development approach.


Madam Speaker, allow me to give a ministerial reaction to the President’s Speech based on the two clusters. I have, on several occasions, updated hon. Members of this august House on how climate change has negatively impacted on the energy sector. A major reservoir for power generation has recorded low water levels, leading to reduced electricity production. This situation has led to a deficit of 810 MW. However, the innovative Government of the PF, under the able leadership of His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, through my ministry, will soon overturn this electricity misery as 750 MW of power from Kafue Gorge Lower Power (KGLP) Station Project is expected to come on board by October 2020. There is a delay, and this is attributed to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that has affected the engineers that have been working on the project.


Madam, another 150 MW will come on board by December 2020, totalling 300 MW for 2020 and the remaining 450 MW will be completed in March 2021. This development will have a multiplier effect across sectors of the economy, hence contributing to the much-needed economic diversification and job creation, as promised by the PF Government.


Madam Speaker, the ministry has also continued to implement the Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (REFIT) strategy that focuses on the development of a total of 100 MW solar PV and 100 MW of small hydro projects up to 20 MW per project. Further, through the Global Energy Transfer Feed-in Tariffs (GETFiT) Programme, the sector saw an addition of 160 MW solar, thermal and hydropower.


Madam Speaker, further, the ministry, alongside its partners, had continued to implement the National Energy Policy 2019, which highlights the separation of the energy sub-sector.


Madam Speaker, in a bid to reduce the stress on the grid, the ministry continues to promote the use of energy efficiency appliances for lighting and alternative energies for cooking. In this case, the sector has seen a surge in the use of liquefied petroleum gas, popularly known as LPG for cooking. In 2020, the increase was notable, 60 per cent from 7 million kg to 11.3 million kg, as both household and industry have switched to LPG as an alternative source of energy.


Madam Speaker, may I mention that the ministry has continued to promote the use of alternative energy in a bid to lessen the pressure on the grid. These alternatives include solar, heating water and also solar and water pumping which, in this case, is being used both in homes, public institutions such as schools, health centres and in the agriculture sector. This alternative offers options for irrigation farming, thereby making positive contribution to the production of farming produce.


Madam Speaker, the PF Government, through –


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


The hon. Minister’s time expired.


The Minister of Gender (Ms Phiri): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me an opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the wonderful speech that His Excellency gave on 11th September, 2020, in this august House.


Madam Speaker, as a country, let us have in mind the fact that this Government has done its best. We have been in the Government under ten years. The people of Zambia attained Independence over fifty years ago. What the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is doing is beyond people’s expectations. I know that the criticism that the PF Government is being subjected to is not genuine. This is the reason the people of Zambia have chosen to prove wrong the critics of this Government by voting for it even in the strongholds of my colleagues in the Opposition. 


Madam Speaker, His Excellency the President spoke on many issues. The theme of his speech was on pursuing economic recovery for the Zambia we want. The theme of recovery is timely in the face of the economic challenges and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that the world is currently experiencing, from which Zambia has not been spared.


Madam Speaker, there is no Government that has been tested as harshly during its time of serving the people of Zambia. We have been experiencing one challenge after another. We have had droughts, but the PF Government has proved that it can deliver in the midst of challenges. As we were waiting to recover from droughts, we had floods. As people were trying to recover from floods, which brought about challenges such as Cholera in my constituency, for example, we had the gassing incidences. From the gassing incidences, we now have the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).


Madam Speaker, these challenges have tested us, but we have proved that we are tough-tested. As a Government, we have not failed to meet the expectations of our people. Over fifty years of Independence, people were still crying for roads. Some people are saying that the Government of His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has not delivered. Before the Mongu/Kalabo Road was constructed, people used to die while crossing the river on canoes. It was a taboo to see a tarmac in Mongu because of its sandy set-up. Constructing a road in a sandy place is not an easy thing, yet very expensive roads have been constructed, and the Mongu/Kalabo Road is one of the most expensive roads. This Government, which is tough-tested, has proven that it can deliver even where people do not expect it to do so.


Madam Speaker, we talk about taking electricity to the rural parts of the country through rural electrification. Even in a thatched house, we can see a woman cooking using electricity. People are lighting their houses using electricity. This is the country people desire to have.


Madam Speaker, many women used to give birth in their homes. Speaking as the Minister of Gender, that was not a good thing. Now, we have health facilities in the remotest parts of this country.


Madam Speaker, the President spoke about women empowerment. For sure, women have been respected by this Government. It is the first Government that has appointed a female Vice-President –


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


The hon. Minister’s time expired.


The Minister of North-Western Province (Mr Mubukwanu): Madam Speaker, I am very grateful for this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Floor of the House.


Madam Speaker, let me start by acknowledging and making reference to the fact that we are not only morally obliged to debate factually and truthfully, but that we are also required, as enshrined in our Standing Orders and the rules of debate, to do so. I am saying this in light of the many debates that I have heard from my colleagues who have debated before me.


Madam Speaker, let me make reference to a report that I came across this past week, which is entitled, “A Crisis Like No Other: An Uncertain Recovery.” This is from the World Economic Outlook Update, June 2020. This report is for the period up to June 2020. It projects the global economy to be negatively affected up to minus 4.9 per cent. Zambia, as a country, has also performed in the same range. So, for anybody to go out and cry that this is a failure of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government under the leadership of President Lungu is not being realistic based on the fact that Zambia is not a country that is in isolation. Whatever happens in other parts of the world equally affects what goes on in our country.


Madam Speaker, let me thank His Excellency for having delivered on his promises to the Zambian people, particularly on the key pronouncements that he had made. The people of the North-Western Province continually cried to His Excellency for the construction of the famous Solwezi/Chingola Road. Today, that road has been worked on. People are spending less time when travelling and much less money in terms of maintenance of their motor vehicles. During the tenure of office of the current President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the North-Western Province has been connected to the national grid, bringing access to a steady source of power closer to people’s homes. Power is not used only for domestic purposes, but for economic activities.


Madam Speaker, His Excellency the President has also delivered on the delivery of farming inputs to farmers successfully for the past three farming seasons. As a result, our people in the province have continued to improve their productivity on a yearly basis.


Madam, as a province, we have also received our fair share of the communication towers, and these have improved communication between our province and the rest of the world. That is a promise fulfilled by the President. The fact that he may not have touched on one expectation of a certain section of our society does not mean that the President’s Address was shallow. That does not subtract from the quality of the President’s Address. If the President used that opportunity to speak to each and every expectation of individuals, he would have used much more time than he did. The summary, focus, reflection on policy achievements and direction he seeks the country to take are adequately summarised in that address.


If some people are complaining about certain projects not having been undertaken in their areas, it is the more reason the President needs to come back in 2021 and continue those programmes as part of his work schedule for his next term in office. The President should feel encouraged and be resolved to serve this country to make it better than he found it.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


The Minister for Northern Province (Mr Bwalya): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me an opportunity to debate this Motion. From the word go, let us welcome and congratulate the two hon. Members of Parliament for Lukashya and Mwansabombwe constituencies.


Madam Speaker, His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, had to spend time to account for the years that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has been in power and he did so eloquently and to the point.


Madam Speaker, from the point of view of the people of the Northern Province, we know that the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) and Zesco Limited have been doing their best. We have connected power to the Mambwe Mission. We have also taken power to Chief Nsokolo, Chief Mpande, and Chieftainess Chungu’s areas, and to Chief Chishamwamba’s area in Mporokoso. That is success.


Madam Speaker, it is very saddening that our hon. Colleagues, who debated earlier, especially the hon. Members of Parliament for Mazabuka Central and Monze Central could not acknowledge the fact that we have scored success in constructing the Kafue/Mazabuka Road. When one looks at the Kazungula Bridge, he/she will realise that it was a mammoth task to construct, but it has been achieved by this particular Government of the PF.


Madam, if we come round to the programme of decongesting Lusaka, you will agree with me that the city is no longer the same. People in Lusaka are now able to drive safely and arrive in their offices within a specified period of time. This means that there will be enhanced production.


Madam Speaker, as His Excellency the President put it, the PF Government has enhanced the performance of the agriculture sector in this country. Despite droughts and floods, food has been available in this country for the Zambian people. This has been because His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has been very specific on ensuring that we provide the much-needed inputs on time and pay farmers on time. After a long time, farmers are being paid three days after they deliver their maize to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). That is also a success story.


Madam, many figures were given as regards those who are beneficiaries of the Social Cash Transfer Scheme, which has changed people’s lives. The transformation agenda that His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, embarked on has actually paid off and that is what we said we would do. We promised to enhance the well-being of the Zambian people by ensuring that roads are worked on.


Madam Speaker, from the perspective of the Northern Province, yes, the Kasama/Mpika Road has not yet been worked on, but the Nseluka/Kayambi, Mporokoso/Nsama/Kaputa and Luwingu/Chaba/Chilubi roads are being worked on. There is also a marvel of a road from Luwingu to Mansa. All these are successes that we, as the people in the Northern Province, are pointing at.


Madam Speaker, when you look at the 140 houses that have been constructed for our men and women in uniform in the province, you will agree with us that, indeed, this is called success. There is also a very beautiful studio that is yet to be commissioned which is equally a marvel but, most importantly, it will enhance information dissemination for the people in the Northern Province.


Madam, His Excellency the President was very specific in ensuring that he told the people what we, as the PF, have done. A person who has been moving on these roads can attest to what we have done.


Madam Speaker, there have been many radio stations that have come up during the tenure of the PF Government since 2011. That shows how much importance we attach to the freedom of expression and, indeed, the freedom of choice. Ours is a party that has been in power for only nine years and the achievements are quite enormous and too numerous to mention. However, His Excellency the President took time to itemise a number of them so that the people of Zambia can acknowledge and learn that the Kalabo/Mongu Road has been constructed. The Sioma Bridge has also been constructed and certain areas such as Nkeyema and so many other places in the Southern Province have been electrified.


Madam Speaker, this shows how a good leader is able to spread development across the country and ensure that in 2021, all critics remain in the Opposition for a long time to come. This is because the PF Government will continue being in power so that it can finish all that it has started in order to make the Zambian people live better lives. There is a better life for them and it is only under the PF Government. It is only the boat that will be able to deliver them to the promised land.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


The Minister for Luapula Province (Mr Chilangwa): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on this very important Motion on the Floor of the House on the President’s Speech. Before I go any further, I wish to just take this opportunity to congratulate the two hon. Members of Parliament who have joined us and equally, His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the leader of the Patriotic Front (PF), for successful victories in the recent by-elections, which resonate with his speech.


Madam, as I went to bed last night, I wondered whether his speech and the victories that we scored across the country are speaking to the same thing and with the same language. I concluded that, indeed, people have heard the President’s Speech and those on the ground appreciate what he is trying to do or is doing.


Madam Speaker, I was amazed yesterday to hear people saying that there has been no general hospital since 1964 in Monze District. I wondered whether the hon. Member who spoke meant that the PF has been in power from 1964 or was lamenting that he wished the PF had been in power since 1964.


Madam Speaker, Rome was not built in a day and a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Those of us in the PF are saying that we are on the right trajectory. We are not saying that we have done everything. That is not humanly possible. Even at creation, the Creator created the world and the earth, and all that dwelt in it, in six days. According to Biblical scholars, 1,000 years is equivalent to one day in the Bible.


Therefore, I get amazed when people come here and say that this road is in a bad state or that this has not been done. Let us acknowledge what we, as a nation, have achieved. We can only be our own heroes if we support and congratulate our own people.


Madam Speaker, yes, we are faced with many challenges in this country at national, provincial and district levels just as there are challenges even at personal and household levels. It is not possible to achieve everything that we desire at a personal or family level even if you were given a lifespan of fifty, seventy or eighty years. You cannot achieve everything. So, for me, I come here to say that the President has done a wonderful job and all he needs is our support.


Madam Speaker, as regards Luapula Province, I would like to point out that during the privatisation era, it lost everything. Companies such as the Mansa Batteries, Kawambwa Tea, Mununshi Banana Estate, Luapula Co-operative and Luapula Fisheries all closed down because of privatisation. However, under the watch of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, Kawambwa Tea has been revamped and it is back on the shelves. Under President Edgar Lungu’s watch, the Mansa Sugar Limited and the Mununshi Banana Scheme is back and likewise the Mansa Chilli Limited.


Madam, you can go into a supermarket and see products that come from Luapula Province, which did not happened during the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) era. Unfortunately, I have to drag the MMD era into this, but that is what we are talking about. We are talking about doing things differently. We are talking about doing things that are going to add value to the state of our country.


Madam, yes, certain roads are in a bad state, but that is what we are here for. That is why we are saying that come 2021, President Edgar Lungu and those of us around him in the PF are ready to take the country to another level so that where we have not done well, we do better. Where we have not mobilised resources to do certain things, we shall do better.


Madam, the President came here and talked about energy deficits and what is being put in place. He was in Luapula Province last month where he commissioned Musonda Hydro-Power Station, which was upgraded from 5 MW to 10 MW. That has made a slight difference, but we are going further. There are other energy projects, agriculture projects, road projects and district projects to come on the table.


Madam Speaker, all I can say to the President is that his speech was spot on and he should continue to carry the mantle. Abakupatile tabalanda ati ubusuma bobe, lyonse balanda ati ububi bobe.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Mr Sichalwe): Madam Speaker, thank you for the opportunity accorded to me to contribute to the debate on the President’s Speech, which was delivered to this august House by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, on Friday, 11th September, 2020.


Madam, firstly, allow me to commend His Excellency the President for delivering an encouraging speech themed, “Dedication, Resilience and Innovation: Pursuing Economic Recovery for the Zambia We Want,” in an era where the global economy is grappling with the adverse effects of the novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).


Madam, the speech entails a paradigm shift in the way we will execute our national duties in the new normal. Therefore, the transformation requires individual and collective change in the way we will view, analyse and settle pertinent issues in order for the country to move forward.


Madam Speaker, in his address to this august House, the President covered the following areas:


  1. economic diversification and job creation;
  2. poverty and vulnerability reduction;
  3. reducing developmental inequalities;
  4. enhancing human development;
  5. creating a conducive governance environment for a diversified and inclusive economy; and
  6. 2021 General Elections


Madam Speaker, allow me to share with this august House on two areas, namely poverty and reducing vulnerability, and reducing developmental inequalities, as they, among others, are aimed at uplifting the livelihoods of the people of Zambia without leaving anyone behind.


Madam, rural areas have continued to lag behind in socio-economic development with poverty levels remaining relatively high. I am delighted to mention that in the speech, the President mentioned the following on page 35:


“As a pro-poor Government, we have continued to fight poverty and vulnerability among our people. In our bid to reduce poverty and vulnerability, the focus has been on enhancing the welfare and livelihood of the poor and vulnerable.”


This shows how much of a priority the programme of reducing poverty levels in the country is for our able leader. In responding to this challenge, the ministry, in line with the Vision 2030, will continue to improve the welfare of the rural community, especially women and young girls, with various programmes such as the Ending Child Marriage Programme.


Madam Speaker, the campaign on ending child marriage, especially in rural areas where the prevalence rate is high, requires concerted effort of the traditional leaders who are ambassadors of change in the fight against child marriage and various stakeholders. The ministry remains committed to working with our traditional leaders in order to achieve these objectives.


Madam Speaker, the ministry observes, with pride, the programmes that are aimed at reducing developmental inequalities, in particular, the empowerment of women and girls, especially in rural areas.


Madam Speaker, the President’s Speech highlighted the Government’s continued effort to women actively participating in agriculture where agriculture equipment such as tractors, solar egg incubators, solar drip irrigation sets, honey presses and beehives have been distributed to women-led co-operatives in 121 chiefdoms.


Madam Speaker, in addition, the Government’s agriculture policy coupled with good infrastructure will enable farmers in rural areas to harvest more produce in the next rainy session, thereby increasing food security of the country.


Madam Speaker, allow me to conclude by mentioning that it is the bold decisions, such as the ones highlighted by the President in his speech that during these challenging times, we, as Members of Parliament, need to emulate and adjust accordingly in the execution of our duties in our respective ministry and constituencies.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


The hon. Minister’s time expired.


The Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs (Rev. Sumaili): Madam Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to contribute to the debate on the President’s Speech presented on the opening of the Fifth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly.


Madam Speaker, I join all the hon. Members of the House who have debated the Motion before me in congratulating His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, on the inspiring and invigorating speech delivered with so much passion and conviction to this august House and to the nation at large. The theme of the speech was, “Dedication, Resilience and Innovation: Pursuing Economic Recovery for the Zambia We Want.”


Madam Speaker, the President’s message in the speech was not only timely but also gave hope and direction to the nation in these trying times when the nations of the world, including Zambia, are grappling with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and its associated socio-economic problems. The speech is motivating the nation to be hopeful and not to despair, but to renew our minds and look at issues positively by turning the challenges into opportunities. The speech also moves us to praise God and give him the glory for all the great and unprecedented development in the past four years.


Madam Speaker, as indicted by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, the country continued to record positive growth in the key sectors of the economy despite the negative effects of climate change. On page 3 of his speech, the President said the following:


“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. We have delivered on social protection. We have delivered in education and health, to mention but a few. And we will continue to deliver.”


Madam Speaker, in order for these developmental gains to be sustained, there is a need to anchor our efforts on national values and principles such as patriotism, national unity, integrity and hard work. In the recently launched National Guidance and Religious Affairs Policy, the emphasis has been put on Zambia first, mindset renewal and change, and embracing national unity in diversity.  


His Excellency the President acknowledged that fighting corruption in all its forms is key to promoting good governance and achieving sustainable socio-economic development. I wish to urge all leaders at various levels and all citizens of Zambia to hate corruption with a passion and to be agents of stopping this scourge. It is said that ending corruption starts with each one of us.


Madam Speaker, let me conclude with a word of hope quoted by the President from Romans 15:13 and I will paraphrase. May the God of hope fill the people of Zambia with peace, as we make a resolve to be dedicated, to be resilient and to be innovative, as we, together, pursue economic recovery for our beloved nation.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources (Ms Kapata): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the President’s Speech, which was given by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, on 11th September, 2020. The theme of the speech delivered by the President to this august House was entitled: “Dedication, Resilience and Innovation: Pursuing Economic Recovery for The Zambia we want.”


Madam Speaker, in this context, the President reminded us of the challenges that the country has faced over the past year. He started by outlining the focus of the previous speech which he delivered during the Official Opening of the Fourth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly, on 13th September, 2019, when he focused on the challenge of climate change. The President then connected this to the current global pandemic of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), and how it has changed the world and affected Zambia. He called for the need for the country to be resilient in order to recover from these challenges and realise the Zambia we want.


Madam Speaker, I wish to address the urgent need for building resilience in our systems, which His Excellency the President emphasised. I will do so in the context of climate change, which is still a long-term threat to our sustainable development compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Madam Speaker, building resilience entails having systems that are capable of rebounding or recovering close to their original state. After suffering a shock, in the context of climate change, resilience means being able to find ways of providing water for our people after experiencing severe droughts. It also means the ability to be able to sustain our agriculture productivity in the face of climate change induced floods or droughts, and this calls for innovations. Therefore, being resilient to climate change shocks means that we have to anticipate these shocks and plan for them in advance. Indeed, His Excellency the President mentioned that on page 5 of his speech when explaining on how the country should respond to the impact of climate change. He said:


“It realigns itself to new ways of sustainability by understanding the changing environment, adapting methods of survival and putting in place action plans that make us overcome any challenges and forge ahead.”


Madam Speaker, the need to put in place plans for resilience cannot be over emphasised. In this regard, I am happy to report that the Government, through my ministry, has secured funding from the Green Climate Fund to prepare a national adaptation plan that will focus on building Zambia’s resilience to impacts of climate change for the next thirty-five years, up to 2050.


Madam Speaker, in addition, in order to strengthen our response to climate change, the Government has already commenced the process of formulating the Climate Change Bill. Once enacted by this House, the Bill will facilitate a robust response to climate change and ensure that our natural and human systems are made more resilient to climate shocks. Therefore, I wish to appeal to my hon. Colleagues in this House to support the Climate Change Bill once it is brought to this House for enactment.


Madam Speaker, in conclusion, I want to emphasise that we all need to adopt an environmentally friendly attitude to ensure that we take care of nature in order for mother earth to sustain our lives and that of our future generation.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


The Minister of Works and Supply (Ms Chalikosa): Madam Speaker, thank you for according me this privilege to comment on the speech delivered by His Excellency the President on Friday, 11th September, 2020, whose theme was: “Dedication, Resilience and Innovation: Pursuing Economic Recovery for the Zambia we Want.”


Madam Speaker, before I get to my ministerial contribution, I would like to thank the people of Lukashya for rejecting politics of insults, firstly, on Mwine Lubemba and, secondly, on Mwine Lubemba’s subjects by those who later went there to lobby for votes. The people spoke loudly and rejected all politics of insults.


Hon. UPND Members: Question!


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Speaker, in pursuing the economic recovery for the Zambia we want, this has called for deliberate policy on enhancing social protection. Hence, all the empowerment programmes by the Patriotic Front (PF) Government are pointing to the fact that we are enhancing the issue of social protection. On the ground, we are calling for the ordinary Zambians to make sure that they have the National Registration Cards (NRCs) so that they can benefit from these exercises and not just limit the issue of NRCs to elections.


Madam Speaker, His Excellency the President’s Address was timely, as it gave the trajectory on which the country must tread to foster socio-economic development for the Zambia we want. In pursuing economic recovery for our country and overcoming negative effects of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, it is important for us to prioritise programmes that will have an immediate positive impact on the livelihoods of the citizens of this great nation.


Madam Speaker, in this regard, I wish to reiterate the words of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, on the need for all citizens at various levels to be dedicated, resilient, innovative and patriotic when carrying out their duties in order to achieve the desired developmental outcomes, as enshrined in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) and ensure attainment of the Vision 2030 of becoming a prosperous middle income country.


Madam Speaker, in response to the directive given by the President that all ministries, provinces and spending agencies operationalise Integrity Committees, the ministry has established an Integrity Committee to enhance accountability and transparency in the management of public assets. This is an integral component in the fight against corruption tendencies. Therefore, it is important that Integrity Committees are established not only in the Public Service but also in the private sector and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Together, we can fight and develop our country for posterity.


Madam Speaker, corrupt tendencies are at many levels and not just at ministerial levels. To date, we are just seeing corruption charges against hon. Ministers and those of political offices, but we are not seeing much coming out of the technocrats and other people who are in the private sector and that needs to be enhanced.


Madam Speaker, I listened carefully to what His Excellency the President said in his address to Parliament concerning the unprecedented and massive infrastructure development that has taken place under the PF Government in transport, education, health, agriculture and livestock sectors, among others, covering all the districts without leaving anyone behind.


Madam Speaker, today, one can travel to any part of the country. For example, one can travel from Lusaka to Kasama via Luwingu within a day, unlike in the past when we used to take more than a day.


Madam Speaker, for us to continue enjoying the benefits of good roads and other infrastructure, there is a need to carry out regular and routine maintenance. Therefore, the ministry will enhance the facilitation of maintenance of public infrastructure to prolong the life span. We hope that in our quest to benefit from this infrastructure, we will dedicate the ministry to maintaining and carrying out regular and routine maintenance. 


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. Lubinda was inaudible.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I was given a list of hon. Ministers who are ready to debate and I have been following this list.


The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Madam Speaker, first of all, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to make comments on a very inspiring speech which was delivered to this august House by His Excellency the President. The speech was anchored on dedication, resilience and innovation.


Madam Speaker, it is that inspiring speech that ignited the people of Mwansabombwe to recommit and show support to His Excellency the President. It was that same inspiring speech that ignited the people of Lukashya Constituency to turn out in huge numbers and give His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Lungu, representatives to work with so as to deliver development to these constituencies. It is that same speech that also ignited our people on the Copperbelt, in Mpongwe Constituency, to give him councillors where we did not have any.


Madam Speaker, where I come from, they say, “Uwakupata, takabale atila ubusuma bobe,” meaning, he who hates you will never appreciate you for whatever you do.




Mr Kampyongo: It is also said that, “Lesa nimalyotola,” meaning even when you hate someone, God is there to judge. So, when the President came here and spoke to the reality of what we, as a nation, have gone through, he was speaking about the challenges that we have encountered. When those who are rich were saying, “Mr President, lock up this country. The Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) has come,” they were saying that because they had food to feed their children although they could not feed their supporters. The President had to strike a balance to make sure that the marketeers, the poor people who live for the day, survived during this difficult time. That is what the President was speaking to.


Madam Speaker, when the President spoke about the energy sector and assuring the people of Zambia that the investment in the sector will see the brothers and sisters who have been struggling in barber shops and saloons get back to business come October, he knew how much our people have suffered.


Madam Speaker, therefore, it is shocking to hear some of these critics who opt not to see even when they have eyes. The transformation that is taking place in this country is there for everyone, including visitors, to see. That is why when they say, “Aleisa, aleisa,” you do not know who is coming.




Mr Kampyongo: What we know is that His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the President of this Republic, is standing on solid ground in as far as delivering development to his people is concerned.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!


(Debate adjourned)




The House adjourned at 1656 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 24th September, 2020.