Debates- Friday, 16th November, 2012

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Friday, 16th November, 2012

The House met at 0900 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, I rise to give the House an outline of the business it will consider next week.

Mr Speaker, on Tuesday, 20th November, 2012, the Business of the House will commence with Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will then resolve into Committee of Supply on the 2013 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure and consider the following Heads:

Head 20: Loans and investments under the Ministry of Local Government and Housing;

Head 29:  The Ministry of Local Government and Housing; and

Head 25: The Local Government Service Commission
Mr Speaker, on Wednesday, 21st of November, 2012, the Business of the House will begin with Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. That will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider Private Member’s Motions, if there will be any. The House will then resolve into Committee of Supply on the 2013 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure and consider the following Heads:

Head 44: The Ministry of Labour and Social Security;

Head 21: Loans and Investments under the Ministry of Finance; and 

Head 37: The Ministry of Finance.

Mr Speaker, on Thursday, 22nd November, 2012, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on the 2013 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, and the following Heads will be considered:

Head 46: The Ministry of Health;

Head 27: The Public Service Management Division; and

Head 34: The Human Rights Commission.

Mr Speaker, on Friday, 23rd November, 2012, the Business of the House will commence with the Vice-President’s Question Time, which will be followed by Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. After this, the House will deal with the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply on the 2013 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure and consider Head 26 - The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Mr Speaker, the House will then deal with any business that might be outstanding.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Speaker, two days ago, I heard a news item on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) workers had gone on strike for not having been paid their salaries for two months. How many months of salary arrears does the Government owe TAZARA workers? Further, when are the workers likely to go on strike?

The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, the arrears are on the Tanzanian side, and this issue was resolved after the hon. Minister responsible for transport there addressed the workers. We are not at risk at all this side.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Antonio (Kaoma): Mr Speaker, when the police in Kaoma went to conduct a search in Kaoma Prison, they beat all the inmates, among them a remandee by the name of Musole Lindi. This man was so severely and ruthlessly beaten that he has since become paralysed in both legs. As if this was not enough, the police abandoned this young man in the hospital. What will the Government do about this young man, who has been plunged into this tragic situation?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, what the Government will do is advise the hon. Member of Parliament for Kaoma to say what he just said publicly to the Human Rights Commission (HRC). After that, he can come back to me to complain if the HRC does not investigate the allegation. There are some allegations that are easy to make. Sometimes, they may be true. There are institutions that are designed to deal with this type of abuse of human rights if, indeed, it took place.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Singo’mbe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, more than 50 per cent of farmers in Kalomo District had not received their money from the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) by Monday, this week. What is the Government doing to help those farmers who have not received their money to access the 2012/2013 farming inputs?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, this answer is becoming repetitive. However, I will still give it. The money is there. Furthermore, we have extended the number of correspondent banks that are disbursing the money for farmers from one to four. I trust that the hon. Member, as soon as this House rises, today, will be zooming in his Parliamentary car to go and assist with getting this money paid. It cannot be done centrally from the Vice-President’s Office or the hon. Minister of Agriculture’s office. It can only be done on the ground. That is, really, all I have to say on that subject.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisanga (Mkushi South): Mr Speaker, are there any plans to relocate the rail line which passes through town in order to decongest Cairo Road?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I am not sure what plan he is referring. Is it the plan from Mr Clive Chirwa, the crash-worthiness expert?

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

The Vice-President: If so, it has not yet come to my attention, but there is a plan to divert the railway and construct a mono-rail from the airport. However, I do not have the information as to when the project will be implemented.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, I mentioned to you that the problem in paying farmers is with the banks’ policy of limiting the amount of money they can disburse in a particular day. What have you done to ensure that more than K5 billion is disbursed to farmers in a day, as the banks state that they cannot exceed that figure? You promised that you were going to sort out that problem.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I have spoken to the management of, at least, one bank, and I have been assured that there is no limitation due to any financial regulations. The limitation is due to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) failing to process the paper work that enables the banks to release the money fast enough. That is the information I am getting from the bank. However, now, I am getting contrary information from the hon. Member. So, perhaps, we should sort out this over coffee during the break or try some other means of resolving the difference. That notwithstanding, I have implored the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock to get the FRA to start working overtime just as the banks are working doing currently.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr L. J. Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, it has been observed that the PF, through its agents, is directly bent on eliminating all forms of Opposition Parties through petitions, de-registrations and the denial of the fundamental freedoms of association, procession and demonstrations. Can His Honour the Vice-President confirm that the ultimate desire of the PF is to have a one-party State.

Hon. Opposition Member: Idi Amin!


The Vice-President:  Mr Speaker, it will be sad if, by accident, we arrive at a one-party State because of the lack of imagination and meaningfulness …


The Vice-President: … on the part of the Opposition in their campaigning. I mean, if every election turns out like Mufumbwe, we will have a de-facto one-party State. However, is that our fault? The ones who are most responsible for preventing a one-party State are people like the questioner, the members of the Opposition, who need to build up their standing. As for things like petitions in the courts, that is an individual’s right, which is enshrined in the Constitution. There is nothing that we can do, as a Party, to stop people from petitioning because we are frightened that they may win the subsequent by-election.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, progress has been made in the re-opening of the Munali Nickel Project. If His Honour the Vice-President is unaware of the progress that has been made, would the Government not consider revoking the licence so that the traditional owners of the land, who were forcefully removed from that area, can repossess it?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I am not sufficiently aware of the ins and outs of this matter to be able to give an assurance to the hon. Questioner that we would consider revoking the contract that, presumably, is there with the current owners. 

Sir, we are very sympathetic to the rights of the indigenous people in that area. In fact, as the hon. Member knows, my office deals with the re-settlement of internally-displaced people, and we would certainly be happy to look at the situation. However, I, really, cannot give an undertaking on the Government’s behalf that we will do anything to revoke the contract as it stands currently.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker, my question is on Mr Kapoko. When the PF was in the Opposition, its members talked passionately about certain cases that they felt the Government should have appealed. For example, the London Judgment and the Kashiwa Bulaya cases. Today, you are in Government and you have the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Attorney General in your hands. The people of Zambia have spoken that this case must be taken further. What is the Government planning? Does it intend to listen to the people’s voice or go its own way?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the matter is, of course, subjudice because the Government has appealed against the acquittal of Mr Kapoko. I, really, cannot say anything more than that, certainly, I do not think that you can point your finger at the Government over a legal matter.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, last night, Muvi Television News carried an item on a lady her mid-twenties who was, probably, raped before being murdered at Ngwenya Dam. The people in that area are stressed and crying out for assistance from their Government. What is the Government doing to assist them?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, that is one of those questions that, if I had five minutes’ notice, I might have said something intelligent. Of course, it is our duty, through the Police Force and other law enforcement agencies, to ensure the security of all Zambian citizens. I will certainly talk to one or two responsible people to make sure that routine operations actually take place.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mulusa (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, about this time, four years ago, Parliament passed a piece of legislation called the Mines and Minerals Development Act. Section 136 of that Act stipulates that 40 per cent of the revenue generated from the taxes from mines must be retained in the mining areas in order to ameliorate the negative impact of mining. Solwezi Central, in particular, has been devastated by mining activities and there is no money to ameliorate the negative impact. Does the Government plan to give areas like Solwezi Central 40 per cent of the wealth that has been extracted from there through mineral taxes? If not, does it plan to give areas like Solwezi Central a grant so that that negative impact can be dealt with?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, it is the same thing whether you call it a grant or share of royalties. The Act will be operationalised and is expected to form part of the 2014 Budget.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Sayifwanda (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, does the Government have any intentions to restrict vending in streets, unlike the current situation, whereby the whole city is looking untidy?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, when the hon. Member has got a solution to the unemployment problem in Lusaka, then we will consider restricting street vending to one or two streets or do away with it completely. As long as the unemployment situation continues, we shall focus on preventing the vending from spreading diseases and being unhygienic. We cannot simply say that we are human while, at the same time, trying to clamp down on it.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, … 

Hon. MMD Member: The headman.

Mr Mbewe: The headman is speaking.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, does the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, which is called Paya Farmer by some people, …  

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government members: Aah!


Mr Mbewe: … have any plans to have an audience with … 

Ms Kapata: On a point of order, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member who is just about to ask a question in order to call the PF ‘Paya Farmer’? 


Mr Speaker: Order!

In order to make progress, let us avoid provoking unnecessary controversies. I think that the designation of the PF is very well-known, and it is just that. Let us restrict ourselves to that. 

You may continue, hon. Member.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, does the Government have any plans to have an audience with the cotton sponsors to agree on the cotton price before the farmers start planting? Further, has the Government put some money aside to cushion the low prices of cotton which are likely to prevail in the next marketing season?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member, who I personally know as ‘Paya Mbeba’, … 


Hon. Opposition Members: Point of order!

Hon. Government Member: Tom and Jerry.

The Vice-President: … for his question. The answer is that the Government has got no plans to mediate ... 

Mr Speaker: Order! 

Continue, His Honour.

The Vice-President: … between the cotton sponsors, as he called them, and the growers. The cotton market fluctuates, and this is the problem with markets. That is the reason you should advise your farmers, whether they are payad or not, to grow a mixture of crops because, one year, you might not be able to sell your tobacco and cotton, but be able to sell them the next day. The more the fairness we get in accessing the international markets, the healthier the farmers will be and they will not be feeling payad.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, the Republic of Zambia is currently being run by the PF Government. Would His Honour the Vice-President clearly indicate the ideological path which the country is taking? Are we communist or capitalist? What are we?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I would advise the hon. Member to read our manifesto and make his own mind up as to what sort of people we are. I think, it was one of the founders of the MMD who said we are pragmatists. Unfortunately, we became less or more pragmatic with time. Personally, my ideology is phenomenology but, since you do not know what it means, … 


Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

The Vice-President: … we can ignore it. We are practical people, and we depend on the private sector to drive this country forward. At the same time, we have a very deep responsibility to the poor people of this country. This is a very unequal country and one of our main tasks, if not our main task, is to make it more equal. 

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sianga (Sesheke): Mr Speaker, when will the border post at Katima Mulilo in Sesheke be commissioned?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, in due course.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Chishiba (Kafulafuta): Mr Speaker, what does His Honour the Vice-President have to say about the construction of the Pedicle Road, which was awarded to Fratelli Lochi S. R. Limited, but the contract was terminated because it was proved to have been corruptly awarded? It is understood that there is a new contractor to do the job who is connected to the power that be in the Government. 

Mr Speaker: What is your question?

Mr Chishiba: Can His Honour the Vice-President tell this House and the nation who this contractor is and how he was awarded the contract.

The Vice-President: The contractor who is currently on the job was the sub-contractor to the main contractor. It is a practical measure for continuity and to make sure that the machinery does not have to be changed around. This is a very routine matter.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Siamunene (Sinazongwe): Mr Speaker, last month, I saw the President inspecting the Chiyawa Road. The Contractor working on the Bottom Road is working at a very slow pace. Can His hon. the Vice President assure the people of Sinazongwe, where the longest stretch of the road is, that it will be completed before the expiry of his five-year term.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, currently, we are on target. The road will be completed before the end of our term in office. If the hon. Member wants to write to me, I can pass on his invitation to His Excellency the President to go and inspect the Bottom Road. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, may I find out from the practical PF Government, as the Vice-President has indicated, why it condemned the MMD for moving those who were detained in Mongu to Kaoma and Mumbwa, respectively. Why has it suddenly changed even when it is very ‘pracatico’, as he is saying? 


Hon. Government Members: Practical!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I think the ‘pracatico’ route, … 


The Vice-President: … is that Kaoma is in the Western Province and is not that long a distance from the place of the alleged crime. I do not believe that anyone is being detained in Mumbwa. I think that there is some confusion of facts there.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, His Honour the Vice-President has just informed this House that his Government exists to serve the poor. We seem to have a legal challenge regarding the chairmanship of the tribunal by Judge Chikopa, whose continued stay in this country has a negative effect on the resources of this country. How long will Judge Chikopa stay in the country, plundering the meagre resources meant for the poor the Government wants to serve diligently?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I beg your protection. That matter is subjudice. I am informed by people more reliable than Hon. Muntanga.

I thank you, Sir.


Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, can our phenomenologist tell us what has happened to the body of a Zambian who was found floating in a river in the Czech Republic?

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, I am not an expert on the whereabouts of dead people, but I should imagine that the body is in the mortuary.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, last Friday, His Honour the Vice-President said that the Rural Roads Unit (RRU) was already working on the Katunda/Lukulu Road. Currently, the unit is not on site. What will the answer be today?


Mr Mutelo: I am asking this question because the people of Lukulu are suffering.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, they are mobilising. 


The Vice-President: The machinery is moving to the site this week. The questioner was given a note by the hon. Minister responsible for roads earlier in the week.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, is His Honour the Vice-President aware that the people of Lukulu, who depend on fishing for their livelihood, are going through anguish, intimidation, harassment and, sometimes, confiscation of their fishing equipment by a group of foreign fishing safari investors who are camped in that area? What is your Government doing about this issue?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I would welcome more details. The situation in Lukulu is one of very heavy depletion of the fish stocks by drift-netting with mosquito nets, and that the people responsible for this are not even locals, but Congolese and Angolans. That is the information I have. Therefore, I would certainly appreciate a page or two on this matter so that we know what we can do. As the questioner is aware, the conservation of fish stocks, just like forests, is, actually, part of what traditionally falls under the edges of the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE). There is, clearly, some sorting out of responsibilities to be done.

I thank you, Sir.

Reverend Sikwela (Livingstone Central): Mr Speaker, between now and August, 2013, all roads lead to Livingstone. Are there any plans by the Government to turn the road between Kafue and Mazabuka, and between Kafue and Chilanga, into a dual-carriage way? There are many accidents happening between Kafue and Mazabuka. We also experience a lot of traffic delay between Kafue and Chilanga. 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, one day, it will be done, ...


The Vice-President: …but there are no plans, as we speak. My advice to the hon. Member would be to drive carefully, …


The Vice-President: … especially round about August, next year.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, His Honour the Vice-President indicated that his is a practical Government that cares for the people. The answer relating to farmers’ payments is not very clear because he said that there is money. However, this has been a song every time. When are the farmers, who have not been paid since August, getting their money?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I should make a tape recording and just play it every time I get that question because it is repeatedly being asked. The banks are working until 2000 hours. They are working overtime. That might be the case in one constituency, but it might also be different in another. They are private banks over which we do not have control. As we speak, the payments are on-going. It is the same every year.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milambo (Mwembeshi): Mr Speaker, the rainy season is fast-approaching, but farmers have not yet accessed the farming inputs. What difficulties is the PF Government facing in implementing the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP)?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, we are not facing any difficulties. The basal fertiliser from the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) is flowing freely and the distribution of inputs under FISP is also starting to go smoothly. There was a delay in the administration of FISP that, but the maize has been distributed while the seed for the other crops that we are trying to encourage people to diversify into has also gone out. I am sorry if the question sounds like it is falling on deaf ears, but there is no big issue there.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, I thank you very much …

Mr Speaker: Order!

The Vice-President’s Question Time has elapsed.




265. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health how many babies were born HIV-negative by HIV-positive mothers at the following hospitals from January, 2010, to December, 2011:

(a)    Kasama General;

(b)    Mansa General;

(c)    Solwezi General;

(d)    Livingstone General;

(e)    Ndola Central;

(f)    University Teaching Hospital;

(g)    Lewanika General; and

(h)    Kabwe General.

The Deputy Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Ms Kapata): Mr Speaker, using the Health Management Information System (HMIS), it is difficult to collect facility-specific data due to some reasons.

Sir, in order to know, exactly, how many babies born to HIV-positive women were tested per facility, we need to test the baby at the same facility at eighteen months. This is because children born by HIV-positive mothers are born with their mothers’ antibodies and the testing using routine HIV testing can only be done at eighteen months. This is currently difficult as the babies are not brought back for testing to follow up. 

Mr Speaker, the babies born by HIV-positive mothers are tested at health centres, not hospitals. There is, therefore, no link with the mentioned hospitals. 

Sir, the ministry has embarked on early infant diagnosis of HIV in babies born by HIV-positive mothers using the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing at two months of age, and this is done at selected laboratories. The blood is collected and transported to Lusaka and Ndola for (PCR) test and results sent back. 

The overall statistics for the country from January, 2010, to December, 2011, are as follows: 

(a)    Women

    Category    Number/Percentage    

Pregnant women attending ante-natal care    595,104

Tested for HIV during pregnancy and received results    95 (per cent)

Estimated number of HIV-infected women giving birth    79,149

HIV-infected, pregnant and received ART    69,650

PCR tests on women on ARVs for PMTCT programme    43,540

(b)    Babies 

Category    Number/Percentage

Estimate of babies infected at two months on PMTCT      6,270

HIV-negative babies at two months on PMTCT    72,879

Kindly note that these figures do not include children born by women who were not tested for HIV. The ministry also notes the challenges in increasing access to ART for HIV-positive women, and is reviewing options, which include providing ART for life to all pregnant women regardless of their CD4 count.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker …

Mr Mutelo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, last week, His Honour the Vice-President indicated that the Rural Road Unit (RRU) was already working on the Lukulu/Katunda Road but, today, he said that they unit is still mobilising the equipment for that project. Do we come to this House to be taken for a song? Is he in order to change statements like that when he is the Leader of Government Business? Is this statement factual or misleading? 

I seek your serious ruling.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: We have a procedural challenge, which is that this point of order has come rather late. It should have been raised the moment the response was made by His Honour the Vice-President. That notwithstanding, I will still encourage the hon. Member to use the efficient system of disposing of urgent questions, and an appropriate factual response will be elicited. 

That is my ruling.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, before my colleague, the hon. Member for Lukulu West Constituency, rose on a point of order, I was about to say that, in the rural communities, the people know very little regarding which method to apply in order to have babies born free of HIV/AIDS. In this connection, some of us who come from the rural communities have found it extremely difficult to educate the people on this issue. Since the Government is in charge of the country’s resources, how does it intend to disseminate this information to the people?

The Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Dr Katema): Mr Speaker, the hon. Member would be very surprised to know how much knowledge our mothers receive when they go to the ante-natal care providers. The ministries of Health, and Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, through groups in communities and villages called Safe Motherhood Action Groups, go round in the communities to sensitise our women on the need to attend ante-natal sessions where they are taught how to have HIV-free babies even when they are HIV-positive. So, frantic measures are being taken to reach out to all our mothers. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.





The Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time. 

Sir, the Bill before this House principally seeks to provide the legal framework for economic agents in preparing for the re-denomination of our national currency. It also provides clear guidelines to economic agents on how they should adjust their legal and contractual obligations after the change-over date.

Mr Speaker, a national currency is typically re-denominated to address costs associated with an accumulated loss in its value, which can undermine its basic functions as a measure of value and medium of exchange. The loss of value is typically a result of high inflation over a prolonged period of time, such as that which characterised the 1990s and early 2000s, when inflation levels sky-rocketed. The currency re-denomination will also address the issue of perception of relative value.

Sir, currency re-denomination is one of the projects that the PF Government has undertaken to promote the growth of the economy through, among other measures, easing the cost of doing business and stabilising our currency using both the kwacha and ngwee. In this regard, the exercise goes together with the economic growth and stability of the country.

Mr Speaker, the re-denomination of the currency is underpinned by sound macro-economic fundamentals. The low inflation, coupled with a favourable macro-economic conditions and positive economic outlook, provides an opportune time to re-denominate the Zambian currency. The country’s favourable economic outlook has been amply underscored, and confidence in it was clearing shown, by the global financial community, recently, when our first international sovereign bond issue was over-subscribed by twenty-four times.

Mr Speaker, the currency re-denomination exercise has several implications on various legal instruments and contractual relationships. This Bill is, therefore, meant to achieve a seamless and painless transition from the existing currency to the re-denominated one. The Bill is straightforward, and I recommend it to the House. 

Mr Speaker, I beg to move. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, your Committee considered the Re-Denomination of Currency Bill, 2012, referred to it on Wednesday, 31st October, 2012. The objects of the Bill are to provide for:

(a)    re-denomination of the existing currency;
(b)    effective date of application of the re-denominated currency;
(c)    circulation of the existing and re-denominated currencies;
(d)    display of prices in both the existing and re-denominated currencies during the effective period;
(e)    application of the re-denominated currency to acts performed under legal instruments;
(f)    treatment of debt obligations and rounding-off rules;
(g)    technological adaptation connected with the re-denominated currency; and
(h)    matters connected with or incidental to, the foregoing. 

Mr Speaker, let me state, from the outset, that your Committee supports the Bill. It is the view of your Committee that this law will help to facilitate a seamless and painless transition from the existing currency to the re-denominated one. In supporting the Bill, your Committee wishes to make some observations and recommendations. 

Sir, your Committee observes that there are no clear guidelines with regard to risk management and prevention of money laundering under this legislation. This could lead to unnecessary harassment of innocent citizens through arbitrariness of law enforcement agencies, especially in the rural areas. For example, small-scale farmers who may be in possession of more money than stipulated in the guidelines may be victimised. Your Committee, therefore, strongly recommends that the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) puts in place clear parameters and guidelines for risk management and prevention of money laundering. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee observes that, under Clause 15, the timing for systemic and infrastructural adjustment on the appointed date for re-basing is unfortunate as it will be when business transactions are at their peak during the festive season. This is of particular concern to the telecommunications sector. If not handled carefully, the telecommunications system could crush during the Christmas and New Year period. In this regard, your Committee strongly recommends that, pursuant to Clause 18 (2), BoZ expeditiously makes sector-specific guidelines and directives to facilitate the transition to the re-based currency in the telecommunications industry with minimum inconvenience to the public. The guidelines and directives should address the issue of the change-over date. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee notes that the Government did not undertake widespread consultations with stakeholders on whether the re-denomination exercise was necessary at the present time. Further, it notes that the cost of the exercise is quite substantial. There are stakeholders who think that the exercise was unnecessary and, definitely, not a priority. The consultations by BoZ was on how it was going to re-base the kwacha, rather than whether it was necessary to do so. Your Committee recommends that, in future, the Government undertakes adequate consultations on important matters of public policy, such as this one. Further, there is a need for the Government to prioritise expenditure in a prudent manner and undertake only those activities that further the nation’s development goals. Until now, the actual cost of printing the new notes and minting the coins is not clear. Your Committee was informed that the minting of the coins would cost about US$5 million while printing the notes would cost between US$6 million and US$9 million, and was not satisfied that, at a time when tenders had already been awarded, the actual cost was unknown. Only an estimate is known or projected. 

Sir, your Committee observes that the Bill has been presented to the House after printing of the new currency is already underway and other activities relating to the project have been undertaken. This, in your Committee’s opinion, is presumption by the Executive that the Legislature will pass the law without question. It is the view of your Committee that this is an unacceptable affront by the Executive on the independence of the Legislature. Your Committee, therefore, strongly recommends that, in future, the Executive seeks legislative approval before undertaking activities of this nature. 

Mr Speaker, on the rounding-off rule, your Committee observes that, for shares and securities, whose value is below K5, it will imply that such value will be rounded-off to zero, which poses a constitutional problem because it will deprive the holders of such shares and security of their personal property. This provision goes against Article 16 of the Constitution of Zambia, CAP 1 of the Laws of Zambia. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that an appropriate regulatory framework be put in place to prevent loss of value arising from the re-denomination of values of shares and securities after the change-over date. It will be unfortunate and illegal if investors lose their wealth as a result of re-basing the kwacha and rounding off figures to two decimals. 

In conclusion, I thank all the witnesses who appeared before your Committee for their valuable input into the findings of the Committee. I also wish to thank you, Mr Speaker, for affording your Committee an opportunity to consider the Bill. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the Committee on Economic Affairs, Energy and Labour for supporting the Bill. I would like to take this opportunity to respond to some of the issues raised by the Chairperson of the Committee. 

Mr Speaker, without this Bill becoming law, it will not be possible for BoZ to issue guidelines. The Bill, therefore, is a very important prelude to BoZ making regulations which will govern the smooth implementation of the re-denomination of the currency. 

Sir, the other concern raised by the Chairperson of the Committee relates to the cost of printing currency. Currency printing is a routine thing. As you know, the lifespan of notes is very limited. So, there is always a continuous process of printing notes. The new notes are not in any way an extra cost because the Bank of Zambia was going to print new notes as the current ones wear out. I can assure the nation that there are no exceptional costs involved in the printing of the notes. 

Mr Speaker, the Chairperson observed that there is a need to make sector-specific guidelines. When the Bill is passed, it will, then, be possible for the Central Bank to do that.

Sir as for the Government not consulting sufficiently, I wish to say that the Government is performing its routine duties, which it cannot do without being mandated by Parliament. I think that this is a consultation. However, I do not think that we are, really, going to go throughout the country seeking the indulgence of all our people for us to make decisions aimed at improving the socio-economic welfare of our country. We are already mandated to do so. If we over-step our boundaries, Parliament is there, as representative of the people, to keep us in check, a duty which we are doing very commendably and meticulously. 

Mr Speaker, let me, once again, tender my very profuse gratitude to the hon. Members of Parliament for supporting the Bill. Let me also thank the illustrious Chairperson of the Committee on Economic Affairs, Energy and Labour for the observations. We shall take everything you have said on board and, please, feel free to advise us as and when appropriate. This is a very involving exercise and I do agree that the related publicity leaves much to be desired. We are going to step up the publicity, especially the Bill has been passed.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.

The Bill read a second time.

Committed to a committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Tuesday, 21st November, 2012.




(Consideration resumed)

The Chairperson: When business was interrupted yesterday, Thursday, 15th November, 2012, the Committee of Supply on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for year 1st January 2013 to 31st December, 2013, presented to the National Assembly in October 2012, was considering Head 18 – Judiciary, general policy debate, and the hon. Member of Parliament for Lupososhi was debating. However, before I ask him to resume his debate, I request the hon. Minister of Finance to make a clarification on the arithmetical decimal points used by the Budget Office to round up the figures on Sub-heads in the Yellow Book, which has given rise to the apparent concerns by Members of the House on Votes not adding up.

The Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Chairperson, I wish to thank you for allowing me to clarify an issue that was raised when debating the proposed budget for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in which the very alert hon. Members brought to the attention of the House the programme total difference of K1.00. 

Sir, I wish to inform the House that the activity-based budgeting software allows the ministries, provinces and spending agencies to enter figures up to the level of ngwee. In the case of the Cairo Mission, Salaries in Divisions I and II have 40 Ngwee each at input level. Basic principles of mathematics for rounding off decimalised figures stipulate that an amount less than five is rounded off to the lower amount. In this regard, the 240 Ngwee on the activities, while not visible in the Yellow Book at activity level, add up to 80 Ngwee, which is captured at programme level, hence, the K1.00 difference.

Mr Chairperson, I wish to assure the House and the nation, at large, that the budgeting software used for the past eight years is reliable and trustworthy. It is my hope that hon. Members of Parliament will take into account my statement as we debate the remaining Heads.

Mr Chairperson, I am persuaded beyond doubt that it is not the wish of the hon. Members of this august House to get embroiled in the nitty-gritty of mathematical issues of rounding up decimalised figures.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Aah!

Dr Kazonga (Vubwi): Mr Chairperson, I raised this issue yesterday and I have listened to the explanation from the hon. Minister of Finance. However, I wish to state that that error, based on the numbers we were given on activities do not add up to the programme total. So, what is the reason? I want to disclose that the rounding off issue was not properly harmonised. The way errors occur and are dealt with, cancel each other, a loss of one will be a gain in another one. When you add, it will still add to the one you want. Now, that particular error is not, really, the problem of the software, but the individuals, when they were compiling. You can programme so that these technical errors are avoided.

Mr Chairperson, I have been teaching and practicing mathematics and statistics for thirty years. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Doctor!

This is my food. If there is any problem with the software, as far as rounding off is concerned, I am there to assist. If you put in garbage, you will get out garbage. So, you cannot blame the software. A ngwee or, in this case, a Kwacha, makes a big difference. That is why, in the Budget, we go up to a Kwacha. So, if there is a difference of K1 or K2 or K3, that is an issue which we cannot underrate. We are very particular and we are going to scrutinise every figure in this Budget. That is why we are here. We are not trivialising issues. A budget is about numbers. If these numbers do not reconcile, then it is a problem. We are only doing what we are supposed to do.

I thank you, Sir.

The Chairperson: Let me suggest, that is if my proposal will be considered by the hon. Minister of Finance, there are many more hon. Members who desire to debate. So, we should proceed with the policy debate while allowing for consultations between the hon. Minister of Finance and Hon. Dr Kazonga to see if …

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

The Chairperson: I am making a proposal. So, you decide because, from the way we are going, we are not going to delve into the figures. We will end up voting. I am trying to avoid the latter possibility.

Mr Nkombo rose.

The Chairperson: I hope that you are addressing yourself to my proposal.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Chairperson, your proposal is definitely a harmless one. However, my feeling is that we will continue breaking on and off, if we do not consider my counter proposal. As I had said yesterday, in whispers to the hon. Ministers of Foreign Affairs, and Finance, if it were possible, maybe, the Executive can move a Motion to suspend the Standing Order on the Notice of Amendments so that, as and when, we arrive at areas that are defective, we allow them to bring forward the necessary amendment that may be agreed by hon. Members on your left. We have observed that there are so many areas that are defective in the Budget. That is my proposal.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu rose.

The Chairperson: Is that a proposal or you are agreeing with Hon. Nkombo’s proposal?

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Chairperson, in seconding the proposal by Hon. Garry Nkombo, I wish to state that this Budget has many numerical errors. Even the Vote that is under consideration, under the Judiciary, has many errors that need to be corrected by the hon. Minister of Finance. So, as we are debating this Motion, it is advisable and prudent for the hon. Minister of Finance to make that proposal and so that a notice is given and we approve the proposal. Otherwise, it will be difficult for us to progress. As Hon. Kazonga has indicated, a Budget is all about figures. So, with so many errors, we will find that either the Budget will be above what we are approving or it will be less than what the hon. Minister has proposed.

The Chairperson: Can I, then, get the hon. Minister of Finance to address himself to the counter proposal, as it appears that my proposal was not accepted.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Chairperson, at the end of the day, when we do the adjustments, the figures actually reconcile. So, I am really constrained. Let us not be carried away. Hon. Kazonga, for instance, was very eloquent. However, eloquence is not synonymous with facts.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.


The Chairperson: Order!

This is a question of give and take so that we get to the right position. I am put in a situation in which I have to tell you what I am advised. The advice I have is that the Standing Orders do not need to be amended, but that I will just ask for leave of the House to amend, on the Floor of the House. This is the advice I have been given. So, we do not need to ask the hon. Minister of Finance to amend the Standing Orders. The amendments can be proposed as and when we reach those figures, which amounts to the same thing. So, can we proceed on the understanding that, when we come to debate the figures, the hon. Minister of Finance will be making proposals for the necessary amendments? This is my understanding of what we are saying.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, if I was flowing with your explanation, I would like to know whether, by virtue of your kind proposal, we shall no longer receive these blue Notices of Amendments so that we just continue in a business-as-usual manner’, without giving that twenty-four hour notice for bringing amendments. Where is the malice in the hon. Minister of Finance making a proposal to drop that Standing Order because it is a Standing Order that amendments must be preceded by a twenty-four hour notice?

The Chairperson: You see, as Presiding Officer, I am trying to find a way forward because you made a proposal that the hon. Minister of Finance should move an amendment to amend the Standing Orders. The advice I am given is that he does not need to do that. He can move the amendment on the Floor of the House. You, on the other hand, are asking what is wrong with amending the Standing Orders because it would amount to not getting those orders. In light of this, I suspend business for ten minutes to allow me to consult. Please, do not go away. We will resume after consultations.

Business was suspended from 1019 hours until 1030 hours.


The Chairperson: Hon. Members, after the consultations, I have decided that we will continue with the policy debate on Vote 18 – Judiciary – K272,218,432,475, after which the House will adjourn to allow for further consultations. I hope that, when we come back next week, we will have reached a common position.

I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 18 – (Judiciary – K272,218,432,475).

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Chairperson, …


The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Bwalya: … yesterday, I was trying to make a point on the issue that was referred to by my colleague who had been on the Floor before me, the hon. Member for Choma Central, relating to the chairmanship of the tribunal. I was about to quote Article 98 to show that the President acted within his powers in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia.

Mr Chairperson, Article 98 (3) (a) stipulates that:

“If the President considers that the question of removing a Judge of the Supreme Court or of the High Court under this Article ought to be investigated, then:

(a)    he shall appoint a tribunal which shall consist of Chairman and not less than two other members who hold or have held high judicial office.”

Mr Chairperson, my interest is on the interpretation of ‘high judicial office’. Article 139 of the Zambian Constitution defines what is meant by ‘high judicial office’, and I want to quote what it says on this particular aspect:

 “High judicial office’ means the office of a judge of a court of unlimited jurisdiction …


The Chairperson: Order!

There is a lot of loud consultation from both my right and left.

You may continue, hon. Member.

Mr Bwalya: 

“… in civil and criminal matters in some part of the Commonwealth or in the Republic of Ireland or the office of a court having jurisdiction in appeals from such a court.”

Mr Chairperson, the point is that the appointment of a Judge from a neighbouring country to chair a tribunal in Zambia was within the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia. Therefore, the President of the Republic of Zambia acted within the provisions of the Constitution, which is the prime law of the land.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya: Mr Chairperson, may I talk about the technocrats in the Judiciary and their role in the delivery of justice. It is not unheard of in our Judiciary to have case files go missing. The hon. Minister needs to preside over these issues because we have heard stories of case files going missing for so many years in the Judiciary only to re-surface later. This not only contributes to the delay in the delivery of justice, but also makes the delivery of justice very expensive. 

Sir, we have three arms of Government: the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. The Executive and Legislature are subject to public scrutiny, but the Judiciary is not. I do not know whether it has an invisible veil over it. However, it is important that it is also accountable to the Zambian people by letting us know, exactly, what goes on in there. The public should be able to demand that the Judiciary lives above board. The people in this institution are human beings, just like those who are in the Legislature and Executive. Therefore, they should account for their actions to every Zambian who requires them to help the people in the delivery of justice.

Mr Chairperson, I am grateful that you have given me this opportunity to speak on behalf of the people of Lupososhi.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak on this Vote. I will begin by saying that I have a very big problem supporting this Vote, but will do so because I have no option. Even if I do not and call for a division, we are going to lose because my colleagues on the other side hate the Judiciary so much …


Mr Simbao: … that they do not want us to give this institution what it deserves. So, I will support it not because I want to, but because I know those people will have their way, anyway. It has been made very clear that they hate the Judiciary and its workers.


Mr Simbao: I do not know if they consider them to be Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) members. Before their term of office comes to an end, everyone will be swept out of the Judiciary. So, that is my problem. I can say this very comparatively.

Mr Chisala: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: No. Now I want to proceed. No points of order.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Chairperson, the K272 billion given to the Judiciary, which is a very big department and one of the three arms of Government, is totally inadequate. If you compare this to the money given to the Ministry of Justice, K354 billion, you wonder what it is that the Ministry of Justice does more than the Judiciary. The Judiciary, as one of the three arms of the Government, is in the same category with the Executive and Parliament. However, look at the money that it is being given. It is not much. Even its buildings are in terrible shape. Some of us, who these people have been taking to court in election petitions, see that the High Court buildings are in terrible condition. When you go to the new magistrates’ courts, you would mistake them for Supreme Court or High Court offices. So, when this Executive decides to give this kind of money to the Judiciary, I wonder what it is trying to do. I think it wants to destroy the Judiciary. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Sooner or later, there will be no court-rooms to go to because they are dilapidated and not air conditioned, and benches and floors are bad. In fact, everything is out of place, yet the Executive does not seem to care and, I think, that is why the Judiciary has been allocated very little money. So, I have a problem supporting this vote. However, like I explained, I have no option because, even if I contribute to the debate like this, the right will still overturn our goodwill towards the Judiciary.

Mr Chairperson, I feel bad for the Judiciary, as this has been the case Government after Government. 

Hon. Government interjected.

Mr Simbao:  Yes, Government after Government. When the PF Government was voted into power, I stood here and said that it would correct all the wrongs that were perceived, but …

Professor Luo interjected.

Mr Simbao: I did not talk to you. Can you leave me alone?


The Chairperson: Order!

Let me appeal to hecklers to stop heckling. The hon. Member for Senga Hill should concentrate on his debate.

The hon. Member can continue.

Mr Simbao: Mr Chairperson, I am addressing you, but she keeps interjecting. 

Mr Chairperson, I have noticed one thing.  First of all, when the President addressed this House in September, 2012, he was nostalgic about the time he was in the MMD. 


Mr Simbao: He reminisced on how he enjoyed himself at the Back Bench when he was an hon. Member of Parliament. I was taken slightly aback because I thought that the new Government would correct the wrongs of the MMD. Unfortunately, it seems to like the Public Order Act. The President has come out and said, “I love it.”

Sir, on the Judiciary, I thought that the PF Government would make it independent, but this is not happening.  It is actually worse now. And I think that, soon, there will be no one to look to as Chief Justice or Supreme Court Judge. Soon, there will be one Chief Justice, one Supreme Court Judge and one High Court Judge because all the cases will be dealt with by one person. The PF is going to take the Judiciary backwards. 

Sir, I hope someone will own up and say that there is no reason why the Judiciary should be represented in Parliament by the hon. Minister of Justice. The Chief Justice is almost equal to the President in this country. So is Mr Speaker. Why should the hon. Minister of Justice represent the Judiciary in Parliament? This has been a mistake from the beginning, and I thought that the PF would correct it and do the right thing by making the Judiciary independent so that it could present its own issues and make decisions. I have not seen this happening, yet this is the second year of PF in office.

Mr Chairperson, I have been going to the courts of law where I have heard some very disturbing issues amongst the workers of the Judiciary. Firstly, there is no transport. There are times when the Judges would like to knock off late but, because of lack of transport, the court marshals have refused to work late. This is one of the reasons cases take long. In fact, money has not been allocated to the Judiciary to purchase motor vehicles, and I feel bad about this.

Hon. Government Member: Cry.

Mr Simbao: No. Why should I cry? You cry.


The Chairperson:  Order!

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours.{mospagebreak}



Mr Simbao: Mr Chairperson, when business was suspended, I was about to say that the jobs of judges and magistrates are very lonely. They are lonely while in service and even after they retire. The jobs are not only lonely, but also risky because you never know who might be looking for you after, maybe, leaving jail. So, this is a very important arm of the Government that must be given enough funding so that its work is easier and more enjoyable. 

Mr Chairperson, I attended one case in which a judge adjourned court after thirty minutes because of the bad chair he had sat in. He was too tired. So, he asked the court marshal to look for a better chair. So, it does not make sense to give them this little money. Therefore, I urge the Government to give the Judiciary more money so that it can buy good office furniture.  

Sir, the Judiciary should, somehow, also represent itself in this House. I am aware of how much we belittle this arm of Government. Currently, there is no substantive Chief Justice, as we have had an Acting Chief Justice for quite some time now. What is the problem? Why not give due respect to this arm of the Government? Why should we continue having an Acting Chief Justice? Is she fit or do we not have somebody who can do that job better? We have not been fair in our treatment of the three arms of the Government, especially the Judiciary. I must say that this is the first time that we are having someone acting as Chief Justice for such a long time. Why are we doing this to the Judiciary?

Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Home Affairs has been allocated K336,996,875,454 and the Zambia Police, which does most of the work, has been allocated K890,051,169,264. The Ministry of Justice, on the other hand, has been given K354,778,527,776 while the Judiciary has been allocated K272,218,432,475, which is the opposite of what happened to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Zambia Police. This is why I said that the Executive does not like the Judiciary. I plead with the Government to give the Judiciary more money. I know that this might have been the norm, and the Judiciary might have been ignored for some time, but the PF Government was voted into office to change that. Can it change the status of the Judiciary in this country. There is no change that we are going to see in this country if this Government does not take steps to make the changes.


Mr Chisala: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chisala: Mr Chairperson, I would like to salute you for giving me the opportunity to raise this point of order. It is imperative that people who serve in some portfolios go by the demands of the law of the land.

The Chairperson: Ok. What is your point of order?

Mr Chisala: Is the hon. Member of Parliament for Senga Hill, who started debating on a very good note, in order to start inciting the Judiciary by saying that the Government does not like it? 

I need your very serious ruling, Sir.


The Chairperson: My very serious ruling …


The Chairperson: … is that my job, as Presiding Officer, is to guide, not align myself with any of the different viewpoints you may have. However, in this particular case, I am sure that the hon. Minister of Justice will address this point in his winding-up speech.

Hon. Simbao, please, continue.

Mr Simbao: Mr Chairperson, I am expressing my opinion and so is hon. Member. Therefore, I do not see a difference in what we are both doing. My brother also has a right to express his opinion.

The Chairperson: No. I have already made a ruling.

Mr Simbao: Mr Chairperson, it is time that the Judiciary is given its rightful place in society, respected and considered equal to the Executive and the Legislature. It is time it was given that recognition. If we continue in the manner we have been doing things, it will be difficult for people to believe that we have three arms of the Government. The Judiciary does not exist as a third arm of the Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Chairperson,  …

Mr Nkombo: Wambe zyonse zyindali kuyanda kubambila.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving the opportunity to contribute to the debate, at long last. In supporting the Vote on the Judiciary, I would like to state that some of things I wanted to say have been said by Hon. Simbao. 

Sir, for the past ten years, I have been talking about the Judiciary and its representation. I have never been convinced that the hon. Minister of Justice is the right person to represent the Judiciary. He is more concerned with arrests and their prosecution. Therefore, he is the wrong person to be in charge, especially that, before the hon. Minister became responsible for Justice, he really hated the Judiciary. He kept saying that those who were part of it were very bad.

Mr Kabimba laughed.

The Chairperson: Order!

 Hon. Muntanga, I am trying to follow your argument, which, I thought, was not about personalities, but the ministry overseeing the Judiciary. Therefore, go back to the subject.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, we were told, in this House, that we should separate the individual from the position. It is not possible because the same person who tells you of his viewpoint …

The Chairperson: Order!

You started well but, the moment you said ‘especially’, I started to get puzzled. Can you, please, debate policy.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, we have all been talking about having some reforms in the Judiciary but, when we do so, we are talking about reforming the mindsets of the people who are in the Judiciary. Sometimes, many unpalatable things have been said about judges who cannot even defend themselves. Sadly, they do not have anyone who can defend them effectively. The head of the Judiciary does not come here. We have been saying that, if it is going to be an independent wing of the Government, its independence must be seen by its being allowed to come here to defend itself. Yes, the Government has built court structures. For example, in Kalomo, we are beneficiaries of a new Magistrates complex,  thanks to the MMD.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: I know the current Government will go to commission it, but it is not theirs.


Hon. Government Member: Question!

Mr Muntanga: It was built by the MMD.

Mr Nkombo: Double ‘M’ D

Mr Muntanga: They also built a beautiful local court in Dundumwezi. We are yet to see what you are going to bring. We should give a little trust to the Judiciary. We are now talking about who becomes Chief Justice because the former one had come of age and was retired. However, the Government seems not to be keen on replacing him. The technique of this Government is not to replace him, just yet, because it is comfortable to work with a disorganised system. That is why it has kept dissolving commissions and boards. 

Mr Nkombo: Disorganised.

Mr Muntanga:  Totally disorganised. It likes disorganisation.

Mr Nkombo: Chaotic.


Mr Muntanga: My viewpoint is different. We are told that we cannot talk about Judge Chikopa, who is in this country, despite his issue not being in court. He is not the one being examined in court. He is an extra person being fed by Zambian public money. We know the people here who went to recruit him. We even met one of them when he was going for this same exercise.


Mr Nkombo: He bought us a lot of beer.

Mr Muntanga: I do not want to mention you, but I know you recruited him. One of the senior PF party members is the author of the idea to bring in Judge Chikopa, who has other interests in Malawi. Judge Chikopa is being paid for a job he did when there were some cases in Malawi involving some Zambian.

Mr Nkombo: Who was deported.

Mr Muntanga: Judge Chikopa helped someone who was deported from Malawi.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: So, Judge Chikopa has remained in the country at the expense of Zambians.

Mr Nkombo: Who are poor.

Mr Ng’ona: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Muntanga: We are going to talk about Judge Chikopa because ...

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Ng’ona: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to rise on a point of order. Is the Member for Kalomo Central, Hon. Muntanga, in order to start debating the name of the learned person who cannot come and defend himself in this House? 

I need your serious ruling.

The Chairperson: Hon. Muntanga, take that point of order into account as you debate.

Mr Muntanga: A well known Judge from Malawi …

Mr Nkombo: Who came thin, but is now fat.

Mr Muntanga: … was brought here by this Government and is now becoming fat … 

Mr Nkombo: He was thin.

Mr Muntanga: … with our money ...


Mr Muntanga: He cannot even be taken back to his country because the one representing the Judiciary here was also involved in bringing him. Where is the fairness now?

Mr Nkombo: He was 50kg, but is now 80kg.

Mr Muntanga: I am even tempted to debate the other section of the Ministry of Justice.

Mr Nkombo: No, we are coming there later.

Mr Muntanga: That is the problem. We should have combined some of these issues so that I could link them up very well.


Mr Muntanga: You will see that some of these issues come from that section; this unit of the ministry to the Judiciary. We want them separated so that we can face them properly.

Mr Nkombo: We avoid chaos.

Mr Muntanga: So that we avoid chaos. 

Mr Kakoma: They thrive on chaos

Mr Muntanga: When we want to talk about the Judiciary, we should talk about it without any hindrance. When we say that certain things should change about the Judiciary, we are not doing so because we hate it. Some members of the Judiciary want to owe allegiance to the Executive because they are led by a person from it. An. Hon. Minister should not be the one representing someone. People are now being stopped from appealing against decisions made by individuals in court. The person stopping them seems to be like some sort of alpha and omega. When a person says that he is not satisfied with the decision, he is told that he cannot go anywhere because only this other person can do so. What sort of judgement is that? That is the problem we have with the Judiciary.

Mr Chairperson, the money that is charged for bail on some people is very unfair. A poor fishermen in Kaoma who tore a copy of the draft Constitution was told to pay bail of K5 million. How can a person pay K5 million when he has never even seen K100,000?

The Chairperson: Order!

I think, that issue is before the courts. I am referring to the law of subjudice.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, that is the problem I have with the Judiciary. Everything I say about the Judiciary is subjudice. I will leave that issue since it is in court.


The Chairperson: Order!

That is right. Since we make these laws, I believe that we should not have difficulties with them. You may continue, Hon. Muntanga.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, the Judiciary needs to be fair. We need to give it enough money so that it can build all the courts we need in all the rural areas where there no courts, hon. Minister of Justice. When people tell you that there are people who are tried under trees, you should take that as the truth. You should take time to visit the rural areas. There should be some decency in our court buildings. Some of the buildings are so old that they cannot even be painted while others have had their roofs ripped off. I can mention a number of them. Once the roofs are ripped off, most of these courts are forgotten. I do not know why this is so.. 

Mr Chairperson, without going into sensitive areas, let me say that we want a Chief Justice to be appointed because he is the one who is supposed to run the Judiciary. I do not want someone to be in the Chief Justice position in an acting capacity because that person is always subjected to threats and, therefore, afraid to do certain things. Even some of you here would not perform if you were only acting in your positions. You would be scared of what people would say if you took certain actions. If you think that the one acting in that position is the right one for it, then just confirm her and change her years so that she appears younger.


Mr Muntanga: You can do it by changing her National Registration Card (NRC).

The Chairperson: Order!

Can you please address the Chairperson.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, they can do that by changing her age. However, the longer people stay in the Judiciary, the older and wiser they become. Therefore, maybe, we should not change her age. Let us only change the retirement age of those in the Judiciary from sixty-five to eighty years. Then we will have no problems. In other countries, there are very old people in such positions. Politicians do not retire. Some of those who come here are very old and can hardly walk.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, why can we not do the same to people working in the Judiciary? Let us not allow people working in the Judiciary to act in positions for too long. We should allow them to be free to work professionally and use their experience. 

Mr Chairperson, I appeal to this Government not to use one person to arrest, prosecute and pass judgement. What do you want that person to become?


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, why should one person arrest, prosecute and sentence people? Do you want that person to become God? I used to say these things to the MMD. I always say that people become wiser when they leave the right side.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, those from the PF should be wise before they leave that side. 


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, let them listen carefully to what I am saying because it is true. I urge them to be wise. If they refuse to be wise and insist on behaving the way they are behaving, I am sorry that when, they come here, on the left, it will be a sad story.

Mr Mulusa: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised. 

Mr Mulusa: Mr Chairperson, I rise on a very serious point of order. The MMD was in charge of this country for twenty years. During that period, the country was never a failed State, and the reason is simple: the country was ruled with wisdom. That is why this Government …

The Chairperson: What is your point of order?

Mr Mulusa: Mr Chairperson, I am coming to it.

Mr Chairperson: No. You are taking too long to get to your point of order. The rule of the point of order is that if you make the preliminary statements too long, you are debating, not making a point of order anymore.  

Please raise your point of order.

Mr Mulusa: Mr Chairperson, is the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalomo Central, Hon. Request Muntanga, in order to say that those humble, mature and well-cultured men and women who presided over the affairs of this country so diligently only became wise when they came to the left, and that they were never wise when they were on the right? Is he in order? Mr Chairperson, you were also part of the team of those men and women.


The Chairperson: Order!

Why are you bringing me into your point of order?


The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Muntanga, please take into account his point of order.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I am grateful for the opportunity to continue with my debate. I have been saying that we need these people to act when they are told to act. They do not have to take forty years to change things. You should not leave problems behind after being in power for twenty years. I give the MMD credit in certain areas, but some things were not changed. Unfortunately, our friends in the Government, today, are doing things in much worse fashion. They are now misusing the Public Order Act. We know that, even during the rule of the previous Government, we used to be beaten and arrested, together with those who are in the Government today, and those who were beaten were also arrested.

Hon. Government Member: Together!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, our friends, who are in the Government today, have carried forward this behaviour of using the police to arrest and beat those who are in the Opposition.  The police have kept beating and arresting us. Our Chairperson for Lusaka Province was detained without being charged. When we went to look for him, they would hide him and move him from one place to another and say it is donchi kubeba.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, these people are worse than those who were part of the previous Government. That is why I end up saying, sometimes, that Zambia is in trouble. Whenever I ask God to help Zambia, I mean it. Things are now worse. Priests and reverends have joined politics. Therefore, who will save Zambia?


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, the only one I can ask to come and help us is God.


Me Chairperson: Mr Chairperson, let us pray to God so that these people can change their attitude for the betterment of the country.

Hon. Members: Amen!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, some of them, who do not even go to church are worse.


Mr Muntanga: I do not want to point at those who think that going to church is too tedious, but only go there when there is a funeral just to beat others.


Mr Muntanga: That is the Judiciary of this Government. If there is a church service for marriage, they will still go to beat people.


Mr Muntanga: So, where do we go?


Mr Muntanga: Please, our friends, rule us properly and help the situation by allowing the Judiciary to be independent. If we do not, pray to God.

I thank you, Sir.


Professor Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to debate the Vote on the Floor of the House.

Sir, what we are dealing with is a very important unit of governance. There is a long-standing truism, which is that ‘power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ The meaning of this statement is that every power situation is inherently corrupting. If you are in a position of responsibility, whether it is ministerial or otherwise, it will inherently corrupt you. You are surrounded by temptations to engage in corruption. Therefore, …


The Chairperson: Order, on my left!

Professor Lungwangwa: … it is in the Judiciary that remedies for situations which are inherently corrupting can find be found. This is because the Judiciary is the mirror image of our nation. Therefore, it must be given its rightful place in the governance of our nation. In that way, we shall build our democracy.

Mr Chairperson, it is very important for the hon. Minister of Justice, who happens to be a lawyer, to ensure that the governance role of the Judiciary is respected and that its independence up-held so that it can operate in the way that it ought to according to the principle of the consensus of the learned, for which the hon. Minister of Justice and some of his colleagues in the Executive must have respect. That principle is the highest virtue of the Judiciary, and I am sure that this is what our colleagues in the legal fraternity have been exposed to. It is because of that virtue that the Judiciary operates professionally, with respect and dignity.

Sir, the governance challenge is, of course, rooted in our understanding of how the Judiciary relates to our democratic values. In his policy statement, the hon. Minister of Justice made reference to the importance of the Judiciary in enhancing our democratic values, which, I think, is very good, unlike what we heard this morning when His Honour the Vice-President was asked what ideology the PF Government was following and he fumbled all over the place.


Professor Lungwangwa: He could not tell us, clearly, what the ideology is. He was telling us about phenomenology, practicability, pragmatism, …


Professor Lungwangwa: He was not clear.


Professor Lungwangwa: It is, therefore, incumbent upon the hon. Minister of Justice to correct his colleagues that this nation decided, more than 20 years ago to be democratic. Therefore, we must respect the values, virtues and beliefs that are inherent in a democratic society.

Mr Chairperson, in his policy statement, the hon. Minister of Justice said that it is imperative that the Judiciary protects the democratic values of our nation. This is true. These democratic values which he tried to highlight in his policy statement are very important; the values of human rights, freedom of association, speech and movement, multi-partism, rule of law, human dignity, and decency in our relationship. There is a need to respect people’s right to have meetings without any disturbance. The need for freedom of those meeting should be guaranteed.

Sir, these are very important values in our democracy, and the Judiciary …


The Chairperson: Order!

Why do you want to get credit for being sent out of the House?


The Chairperson: You know, some of you take pleasure in being sent out of the House. So, please, can you be co-operative.

Continue, please.

Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Chairperson, these values must be seen to be protected by the Judiciary because the challenge of absolute power corrupting absolutely is that these values can be muzzled and destroyed, something we do not want in the democracy we have been establishing for the past twenty years, which our children and grandchildren would like to build upon. We do not want to see these values destroyed. Therefore, the Judiciary must be given the independence to operate in freely and independently in protecting these important fabrics of our society.

Sir, this is why it is very important that the hon. Minister of Justice tries the best he can to sensitise and educate his colleagues that the independence of the Judiciary must be guaranteed at whatever cost because it is by so doing that we shall build our democracy on a solid ground.

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister of Justice is on very solid ground because he is the custodian of that which we value most; justice. Therefore, he must find a way in which the Judiciary can be protected and operate independently. All these reform initiatives, which have been referred to as adventurous, which are being perpetuated even by the lower officials in the echelons of the PF power structure must be stopped because there is no way, like we have read in the papers, a ward official can, actually, advocate for reforms in the Judiciary. 


Professor Lungwangwa: That is unacceptable. It is the responsibility of the hon. Minister of Justice to ensure that such kind of adventurism is got rid of.


Professor Lungwangwa: Mr Chairperson, because the hon. Minister of Justice has this very important responsibility, if he is able to discharge it very well and, consequently, win the respect of all of us, as the custodian of our justice system, he stands a good chance of being a President of this country, ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lungwangwa: Unlike being an hon. Minister of Defence, who depends on power.


Mr Lungwangwa: Power is mighty, but it may not guarantee presidential positions.

The Minister of Justice (Mr Kabimba): Mr Chairperson, I would like to express my gratitude to my colleagues who have risen to support this Motion, including those who did so reluctantly, like Hon. Simbao. The record will still show that he supported the Motion. So, I am thankful.

Mr Chairperson, we, as the PF, stand for a judiciary that is going to serve the people of Zambia. It is not a PF Judiciary, but an institution of the democratic governance of this country. It must, therefore, win the confidence of the public. If, indeed, the PF Government has acted the way other Governments had – and I want people to check the records and discover that the PF has lost more cases in the on-going election petitions. Does that reflect a Government that is controlling the judiciary? No.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabimba: Sir, I know that these proceedings are being broadcast and that some find it convenient to use this House to patronise the Judiciary. I also know that some would like to show that one group on your right or left cares more about the Judiciary than the another. However, the record does not give credit to that kind of submission.

Hon Opposition Members: What are you saying?

Mr Kabimba: I am saying that this is the first time, in the history of this country, that we want to have a judiciary that wins the confidence of our people.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabimba: Sir, this is the first time that we would like to see the independent Judiciary that Dr Kenneth Kaunda referred to as a mirror of this society. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabimba: Therefore, we mean well. We are not going to patronise the Judiciary but, instead, introduce people-driven reforms there. We want the people of Zambia to tell us what kind of judiciary they want to see; that they do not want a judiciary that is not accountable to them. We want the people of Zambia to tell us …


The Chairperson: Order!

When the hon. Members on my left were speaking, the hon. Minister was very attentive. He did not interrupt anyone. Let us give him the opportunity to debate without interruption, too. 

You may proceed, hon. Minister.

Mr Kabimba: Mr Chairperson, I thank you very much for your protection.


The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Kabimba: Mr Chairperson, we do not come here to preach about a judiciary that is partisan; one that is going to deliver judgments in relative terms. That is not the policy of this Government.

Mr Chairperson, in the absence of my younger brother, the hon. Member of Parliament for Choma Central, who debated on this issue, yesterday, I would like to say that am new to this House. However, I thought that the rules of debate require that interested parties in Motions on the Floor say so for the sake of the record. The hon. Member of Parliament for Choma Central said that the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE) is an unfair institution … 


The Chairperson: Order, Hon Nkombo!

Mr Kabimba: Mr Chairperson, I would like to put it on record that there is nothing political about failing an examination.


Mr Kabimba: If you fail an examination, you are just a bad student who did not prepare well.

Hon. Government members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kabimba: Kwamana.

The Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Minister what is ‘Kwamana’?


Mr Kabimba: Mr Chairperson, it means, ‘it finished’, ‘period’.


Mr Kabimba: Sir, we want to up-hold the standards of the legal profession in this country by ensuring that there are no legal firms dotted all other the roadsides, as you go north or south, to show that we have many lawyers. We want lawyers with integrity, those who have gone through the mill; lawyers who will serve our people effectively.

Mr Chairperson, the suggestion that a citizen of this country who goes through the due process of the law is not entitled to an acquittal is an unfair comment because we believe in the independence of the Judiciary. We are not like Kwame Nkrumah, the late President of Ghana who, when asked why he sacked Judges of the Supreme Court and whether that was tantamount to interfering with the independence of the judiciary, answered that he had not sacked them because of the judgment they had handed down against the Government, but because they did not tell him about the judgment in advance. We do not want to know the judgments in advance. We want them to be delivered independently.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Kabimba: That is the only way for our people to have confidence in the judiciary. I also want to tell my brother, Hon. Muntaga, that saying that the Chief Justice has come of age is not the same as saying the Chief Justice has reached retirement age. The two phrases are different.


The Chairperson: Order, Hon. Muntanga!

When you were debating, the hon. Minister listened. So, it would be better that you let him express his views. 

You may continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Kabimba: Mr Chairperson, coming of age means that you have matured as a girl; ‘wanjila chisungu’. That is what coming of age means.

The Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Minister, you have resorted to vernacular expressions.

Mr Kabimba: Mr Chairperson, I beg your pardon.


Mr Chairperson, I also want to make one point, like His Honour the Vice President … 

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, it is a tradition of this House that, each time a hon. Member uses any language other than the official language, such as ‘wanjila chisungu’, which, in my language, means ‘you have entered English’,


Mr Nkombo: … you are required to translate it. Is the hon. Minister in order not to translate what he meant when he said that?


The Chairperson: I think that the translation given by Hon. Nkombo is not correct.


The Chairperson: I know a bit of Tonga. So, I think that he is not translating it properly. Hon. Minister can you translate your expression.


Mr Kabimba: Mr Chairman, ‘wanjila chisungu’ means that you are being initiated as a girl. That is what to come of age means, and it is different from reaching the retirement age. There is a record of the Hansard here. So, we must be careful with these phraseologies so that we are recorded properly 

Mr Chairperson, my brother, the hon. Member of Parliament for Lupososhi, raised pertinent issues regarding the Judiciary. We would like our people get access to the justice system at a lesser cost than has been the case in the past. We are not going to run a justice system that is for the rich. That is not the intention of this Government. We would like everybody who feels aggrieved to find it easy to have their dispute or grievance resolved by our courts of law. 

Sir, we would also like to ensure that the delivery system of justice is expeditious. There are concerns from members of the public. Even as our colleagues are trying to patronise the Judiciary, our people are crying for a Judiciary that is going to deliver judgments on time. Those of us who have practised law in this country have ended up getting judgments after the lawyer on the other side and the Judge who was hearing the matter are dead. It takes up to about ten to fifteen years for judgment to be passed. That cannot be justice because justice must be expeditious. 

Mr Chairperson, we have a case of the Mufumbwe Petition of 2010, which ended up being heard by the Supreme Court and judgment delivered in favour of the petitioner after the dissolution of Parliament. That is not the kind of justice that we want. 

Sir, I thank my colleagues for their pertinent comments, apart from Hon. Professor Lungwangwa, who said, “the hon. Minister of Justice, who happens to be a lawyer.” I do not happen to be a lawyer. I am a lawyer.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabimba: Mr Chairperson, I thank you.



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)

The House adjourned at 1149 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 19th November, 2012.