Tuesday, 29th September, 2020

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Tuesday, 29th September, 2020


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]











The Minister of Agriculture (Mr Katambo): Mr Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity to issue a ministerial statement on the outbreak of the African Migratory Locust Infestation in the country.


Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House and the nation at large that the country has recorded an outbreak of the African migratory locusts. These locusts have been reported in parts of the Central Province, the Southern Province and the Western Province. To date, the following districts have reported cases of the African migratory locusts: Kazungula, Sesheke, Mwandi, Nalolo, Mongu, Kalabo, Shibuyunji and Mumbwa.


Mr Speaker, you may wish to know that the African Migratory Locust Infestation is one of the four locust species that is of economic importance in the eastern, central and southern parts of Africa. The other locust species are the red locusts, brown locusts and desert locusts.


Mr Speaker, it is not the first time that the country has experienced an outbreak of the African Migratory Locust Infestation. The last outbreak was in the 2016/2017 Agricultural Season when it was reported in the Kafue Flats. Quick action by the Government prevented the spread of the locusts and damage to the crops.


Mr Speaker, as regards the current outbreak, the first report of the locusts in Zambia was received in March, 2020, from Kazungula District in the Southern Province. Immediately, the Ministry of Agriculture and the International Red Locust Control Organisation for Central and Southern Africa (IRLCO-CSA) carried out ground and aerial surveys in Kazungula District and confirmed the outbreak of the locusts. A total of 22000 ha in Simahala, Kasaya and Subilo plains along the Zambezi River were surveyed during the exercise and the pest was controlled. This action prevented the rapid spread of the locusts. By the end of March, 2020, the outbreak had been controlled.


 The current outbreak of the locusts is of great concern to the Government as it has the potential to greatly disrupt the 2020/2021 Agricultural Season that is due to start next month and thereby affect households and national food security. It is for this reason that the Government has responded swiftly to this threat by undertaking surveillance and spraying in the affected districts. The spraying and surveillance are being undertaken simultaneously to ensure that the locusts are controlled before the start of this year’s agricultural season.


Mr Speaker, currently, the winter crop in some parts of the Western Province is under threat, and this may spread to homesteads in the plains. It is worth noting that farmers in the Western Province plant their Maize in the dambos by mid-October at the time when rice is planted in the plains. Given the current locust outbreak, farmers are now reluctant to plant their crops, and this may have a negative impact on food security.


Mr Speaker, in view of this state of affairs, we assure the nation that the Government is equal to the task and has moved in to conduct ground and aerial spraying in collaboration with IRLCO-CSA which has the mandate to control migratory pests. The chemicals and the helicopter for aerial spraying are already in place. Spraying will be done at the same time as surveillance and mapping to determine the extent of infestation of the African migratory pest. Spraying will start with the hot spot areas or those with the high-density population of swarms of locusts while ground spraying will be done in areas where locusts are at nymph stage near the homesteads and water bodies. This is to ensure the safety of the households in these areas and to prevent the contamination of the water bodies. In this vein, the spraying exercise will begin with Sesheke District which has been identified as a hot spot. So far, 29500 ha have been surveyed in readiness for spraying. The spraying exercise of the surveyed area is expected to begin today, 29th September, 2020, or tomorrow.


Mr Speaker, in preparation for the spraying exercise, the Government is carrying out robust sensitisation campaigns in communities where spraying will be done.


Mr Speaker, I wish to state that the current outbreak of locusts has affected several countries in the Southern African Development Communities (SADC), namely: Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Eswatini, South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana. Therefore, the effective control of the locusts requires international collaboration with our neighbouring countries for the control measures in Zambia to be effective.  To date the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is providing support to SADC in the control of the locusts under the initiative called Southern Africa Emergency Locust Response Preparedness (SAELORP), which was launched on 4th September, 2020. 


Mr Speaker, being cognisant of the need to collaborate with the neighbouring countries, the Ministry of Agriculture, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is engaging these countries, particularly those that have been identified as breeding areas for the locusts to ensure effective control.


Sir, for the whole exercise to be successful, it needs to be done in a multi-sectoral manner. This implies that the Ministry of Agriculture will be supported by the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), under the Office of the Vice-President, the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) and other relevant Government ministries and agencies, as well as cooperating partners such as FAO.


Mr Speaker, going forward, as a precautionary measure, the Government will continue to maintain an optimum quantity of chemicals on standby in case of any future invasions or outbreaks of the African migratory locust, which is believed to be in large numbers in some neighbouring countries.


Sir, further, the African migratory locust breeds four to five times in a year. Therefore, it is very difficult to control, unlike other species of locusts, which breed once a year. In order to prevent future outbreaks, the ministry will continuously monitor the pace of the breeding.


Mr Speaker, finally, I wish to assure all farmers and stakeholders that the Government will do everything possible to ensure that the African migratory locust is brought under control before the upcoming agricultural season.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, you are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement given by the hon. Minister.


Mr Miyutu: How are they indicating?


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, as the hon. Minister has rightly indicated, the African migratory locust is also causing havoc in other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. In Kaputa, we have Lake Mweru Wantipa, which is also a breeding ground for the locusts. Is the ministry extending the surveillance to these known swamps which are potential breeding grounds for these pests?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, indeed, the Government will reach out into all the areas that will be spotted to have infestations of the African migratory locust. So, like I said, the Government in working together with IRLCO-CSA, will be able to get into all the areas that are affected by the huge swarms of these devastating pests.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I would like to advise that we have suffered a loss in connection. Therefore, those who would like to pose questions are urged to use the Zoom Video Communication.


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Mr Speaker, what is the Government doing to prevent these locusts from migrating to places like Serenje, and other areas in the country?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, are they going to Serenje?




Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, like I said, measures have been put in place, and the Government is aware. In areas where there could be indications of these locusts, the Government will engage co-operating partners to reach out in such areas. However, the preventive measure now is the aerial and ground spraying using chemicals that have been recommended to eradicate these pests.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: We have a technological challenge, but as I have already pointed out, there is an option.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, the people of Kanchibiya have suffered a lot of floods, and now we have heard about what is happening in our sister towns, particularly in the Western Province. This causes a lot of concern. How much is expected to be spent to ensure that this imminent threat is dealt with decisively?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Finance has so far released K10 million to the Ministry of Agriculture and K4 million to the DMMU, to support the activity budget for the control of these locusts. The total budget is K16 million. So far, these are the funds that have been released by the Treasury for us to contend these ravaging pests.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, there was an institution called the International Red Locust Organisation in Mbala. Since the hon. Minister said in his statement that these are migratory locusts, why can the Government not just revamp the International Red Locust Organisation so that it takes over the role of eradicating the locusts instead of the Government spending money through the Ministry of Agriculture and the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU)?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, the International Red Locusts Organisation, was set up in Mbala years back. However, the regional office of this organisation was moved to Ndola. Since Ndola, which is on the Copperbelt, is more central to many parts of the country, the regional office in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region was established there, and this office is very active.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Kundoti (Luena): Mr Speaker, what measures has the Government put in place to help the farmers who have been affected by the African migratory locusts? Is it going to help them in terms of seeds and other requirements?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, according to the reports that we have received at the ministry working with our co-operating partners, no household has so far been affected. The locusts have been quickly identified and there has been quick intervention. Like I said, the spraying exercise is a very expensive service because the ministry has to hire fixed wing airplanes and helicopters. The herbicides are also expensive because they are not made in Zambia. So, we have to import them and these are the essential chemicals that the ministry needs to contain these pests. So far, a number of households have indicated that they are at risk, but no farmer has so far been affected or has had his/her crops eaten up by the locusts. His Excellency the President and Her Honour the Vice-President sent me to the affected areas where we did on-the-spot inspections with our co-operating partners and there is no such a thing. However, usually, the Government does not leave anyone behind. If there will be indications that most households are affected and are at very high risk, of course, the Office of the Vice-President will intervene by taking care of those who will be affected.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, we have been seeing pictures of the African migratory locusts on social media especially in Sesheke. Why has the Government taken too long to come on board to control the breeding of the locusts?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, the Government does not act on social media reports, but it acts are based on facts or reports that it receives from the ground. Like I indicated, the Government has conducted robust sensitisation campaigns in the affected areas to prevent the poisoning of households and contamination of water bodies, like I read in the statement. Community sensitisation is a very key component of the spraying exercise. Farmers were informed in advance about the areas to be sprayed and were asked to move their cattle or requisites away from those areas. Farmers were further informed not to allow their cattle to graze in the sprayed areas for seven days. Like I said, the chemicals are environment friendly and those that we use for aerial spraying are non-diluted, but we also have those that we are using for ground spraying. Through sensitisation, the people in the affected areas are being advised not to consume the dead birds or animals that they might find because they might be affected by the herbicides.


Sir, we are pre-occupied to see to it that we carry out detailed surveys by identifying the areas which are called the hot spots, where there are huge swarms of the African migratory locusts. So, this is what is obtaining on the ground. The Government is committed to contain, control and eradicate these pests in the affected areas.


Mr Speaker, we will not base our response on issues on social media. It is important that we get the truth when we go to those areas. However, the entomologists who are experts in studying insects are working with our extension staff at provincial, district or camp levels who are engaging the people in the affected areas. So, the facts are on the ground and not on social media.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, while the Government is doing aerial spraying in areas such as the Kafue Flats where there is livestock, what preventive measures has it put in place to ensure that animals in that area are not affected by the chemicals being used for spraying?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, I just explained that farmers were informed not to allow their cattle to graze in the sprayed areas because those areas are marked. When the experts did surveillance and mapping, they put red tapes or flags to indicate that those areas were hot spots which have been infested. So, through the sensitisation programme, the experts are reaching out to the livestock farmers so that they can move their cattle to areas that have not been sprayed by the IRLCO-CSA so that the livestock are saved. So, like I said, this sensitisation programme is very key so that farmers can take measures to safeguard their livestock and lives.


Sir, we are using two models, which are aerial spraying and ground spraying. On the ground, we are using the motorised sprayers. Malathion 50 EC and Cyperfos 48 EC are the chemicals being used so that, at least, the farmers can be able to safeguard their homes. So, the affected people are being sensitised to move their animals to safer grazing areas so that they are not affected by the chemicals which are being sprayed.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister talked about the rate at which they are moving regarding the task that they are carrying out. However, in the areas that he has mentioned where there is the threat of the African migratory locusts, how is surveillance and monitoring being done because the report we received in Kalabo is that these locusts are flying in large masses and that they are destroying crops like cassava? So, how is surveillance and monitoring being done so that the movement of these locusts is known?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, I explained that the team went on the ground and did mapping and surveillance in all the areas. I also indicated the names of the places, including Kalabo which have not recorded loss of any crop to date. So, the people on the ground are spraying. Of course, there are several crop commodities that could be affected by these devastating pests. So, aerial spraying and ground spraying are among the measures that have been put in place. We are also sensitising the communities in catchment areas where there are huge swarms of the African migratory locusts.


   Sir, information is reaching all the people who are affected in all the areas that were identified through surveillance and mapping. Like I said, people have been told to stay away with their livestock from the affected areas. Red tapes or red flags have been put to serve as a buffer so that animals and the people do not go to those areas identified to be infested with the African migratory locusts. So, hon. Members and councillors need to work together to get actual information from the local people regarding their experience with the locusts, which the scientists are also getting.


Mr Speaker, I said that sixteen hot spots, where there are huge swarms of the African migratory locusts, have been identified and that is the key focus. Like I said, our neighbouring countries are the root cause and that is where the locusts originated from. I also said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is having bilateral engagements with the two countries that are not affiliated to the IRLCO-CSA.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, I wish to acknowledge the effort that the hon. Minister is putting in this matter. However, to what extent is Katombola Constituency, which is in Kazungula District, affected by these deadly insects? I want to know the hon. Minister’s point of view.


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, the update for Kazungula is that 1,600 ha of land has been currently affected. I indicated that Kazungula is one of the hot spots and the experts will start spraying today or tomorrow. They will start with Kazungula, where 1,600 ha is affected, and the crop estimate for 2020/2021 is 40,000 ha. So, the experts will start the spraying exercise in Kazungula and 32,000 households are affected. Like I said, sensitisation is going on. Crop commodities have been identified and segmented into hectarage and grazing pastures. Let me explain that there is an area called Simahala in Kazungula, which area has been most infested with huge swarms of locusts. So, the experts will start spraying in Kazungula. That is the status quo for Katombola Parliamentary Constituency in Kazungula District.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: I will take the last four questions from the hon. Member for Nangoma, the hon. Member for Chilanga, the hon. Member for Bahati and  the hon. Member for Roan, in that order.


Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, do people eat locusts the way we eat grasshoppers?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, did you get the question?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, in some areas in the Eastern Province, locusts are a delicacy. The hon. Minister for Luapula Province has also confirmed that they are also a delicacy in Luapula. In Serenje, some people eat the locusts and they are called Makanta in their local language. However, the people of the Western Province are not familiar with these pests. So, they do not eat them. I experienced it myself and I questioned several of them; they do not know this delicacy and do not eat it. However, some people in certain areas eat them and they are a delicacy.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: I am just wondering whether that is the reason the hon. Member for Serenje asked that question.




Mrs Phiri (Chilanga): Mr Speaker, is Shibuyunji on the spraying list? Further, what is the Government doing to prevent these red locusts from spreading to other districts like Chilanga which are not affected?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, indeed, in Shibuyunji, there is an area that is affected, which is about 9,000 ha, which is at risk. The total crop loss could be about 62,000. So, I said that the measures that have been put in place include spraying the identified areas which are infested with the swarms of locusts to prevent them from further spreading to other areas. We are equal to the task and we will be able to contain, control and eradicate these pests in the identified areas from further spreading to other areas.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Chalwe (Bahati): Mr Speaker, my question has been overtaken by events.


Mr Speaker: Very well!


Mr Chishala (Roan): Mr Speaker, what prior measures has the Government put in place in an event that the red locusts affect the yields in this coming farming season?


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, I said that the Government has procured more chemicals to be on standby so that in case we are alerted that there is an outbreak of these locusts in other areas, we can quickly go there to contain and control them. So, we have bought enough chemicals that are on standby. I indicated that these herbicides are very expensive because they are not produced in Zambia. So, we have procured enough as a preparedness measure.


I thank you, Sir.








38. Ms Subulwa (Sioma) asked the Minister of Tourism and Arts:


  1. what the population of crocodiles in Sioma Parliamentary Constituency was, as of July, 2020;
  2. how many people were attacked by crocodiles from 2016 to 2019, year by year;
  3. how many people died; and were injured and permanently disabled; and

      d) what measures are being taken to prevent further attacks and loss of life in the area.


The Minister of Tourism and Arts (Mr Chitotela): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the population of crocodiles in Sioma Parliamentary Constituency is estimated to be about 370 as of July, 2020.


Mr Speaker, a total number of fifty-three people were attacked by crocodiles during the period 2016 to 2019, as follows:


Year                             Number of People Attacked


2016                            09


2017                            09


2018                            10


2019                            25


Total                            53


Mr Speaker, I regret to inform the august House that twenty-eight people died as a result of attacks by crocodiles. Twenty-five people were injured and permanently disabled during the period 2016 to 2019.


Sir, the following are the measures which are being taken by the Government through the Department of National Parks and Wildlife to prevent further attacks and loss of life in the same area:


  1. continue sensitising the people and conducting awareness meetings with those who live across the crocodile infested water bodies;
  2. drilling of boreholes for the members of the community in the affected areas to reduce dependency on river water. So far, ten boreholes have been drilled and plans are underway to drill ten more;
  3. erection of crocodile fences has commenced in some areas where crocodile attacks have been recorded. A total of eight fences have been erected so far and plans are underway to erect ten more fences. However, we have observed with concern that in some areas, fences are being removed by people in the community and they are using these fences as cages and fences for chicken rearing;
  4. we have continued engaging with our partners so that we can mitigate the human-animal conflict. There is also consideration to procure banana boats so that our children who cross the rivers from the island to the main land, specifically for education purposes, can use the boats; and
  5. we are engaging the Ministry of General Education to ensure that schools that are on the island are upgraded to day secondary schools.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr A. C. Mumba (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, since there is a call by the Government for innovation at every level, I would like to know whether at all, the ministry will partner with the private sector and consider turning this human-animal conflict into an economic activity. By this, I mean exporting these crocodiles, especially that the Government has even removed taxes on the export of this animal. In the last meeting, I did ask a question on this issue. Is the ministry going to be innovative enough to turn this situation into an economic one for the benefit of our economy?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I want to thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Kantanshi for that question.


Sir, the Ministry of Tourism and Arts has been very innovative to the extent  of encouraging communities to engage in community game ranches and crocodile farming because the raw material that is required for crocodile farming is the wild crocodile. Permission must be sought and when granted, one can harvest crocodiles and start keeping them. That is why we are encouraging communities to engage in community game ranching and crocodile farming. Of course, we have seen positive responses from communities around the country. One of the success stories is the Simalaha Community Conservancy. On Saturday, we were launching another community conservancy in the North-Western Province under Chief Ntambo. In Mongu, people are engaging in crocodile farming.


Mr Speaker, so far, we have in excess of 300,000 species of crocodiles that are being kept by various private individuals under crocodile farming. So, we would want to encourage as many citizens as possible to take this opportunity and engage themselves into crocodile farming, bearing in mind that the Government has given an incentive by removing all the necessary taxes on the crocodile skin.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just indicated that there is an estimated 370 crocodiles in Sioma. What technology did he use to come up with that estimate?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, we carry out wildlife census and crocodiles are part of that census. We conduct periodic exercises to know how many crocodiles we have in our rivers so that as we open up for both safari and resident hunting, we know how many animals we will put in each quota. We do that after a scientific survey after which we begin allocating quotas.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, I am glad that the Government has highlighted a number of issues. If you look at the number of people who have died and those that have been injured and permanently disabled from crocodile attacks, you will note that the majority are school-going children. Since the hon. Minister has been talking about the Patriotic Front (PF) Government taking a multi-sectoral approach, I expected the hon. Minister to talk about probably upgrading Libonda and Memorial schools in Mbeta Island. When is the Government going to upgrade those two schools?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Sioma, I do not think I will allow the hon. Minister of Tourism and Arts to answer that question because it takes him to a different portfolio altogether.


Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, information reaching me is that the legal fraternity has lost a son of the soil, Mr Fred Chunga, in Livingstone. Allow me to mourn with my brother Hon. Jere for losing a very dependable member of the Livingstone community.


Sir, the hon. Minister seems to struggle with the word Simalaha. For the record, it is not Simaha it is Simalaha.


Mr Speaker, in terms of value, is he able to tell us how much can be realised from trading in a fully grown crocodile? How much value in terms of quantum can the country realise from such a transaction?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I want to set the record straight by stating that the tax that has been removed on crocodile skin is the export duty, and that has been done so that people who would want to trade in it can do so freely. With regard to the value of crocodiles, prices differ. The ministry, through the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, charges in the range of 900 to 1000 per crocodile.


Mr Speaker: What currency is that?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, it is Kwacha. However, for our friends who are engaged in trophy hunting or safari hunting, they pay a relatively higher amount. The meat is donated to the community while the hunters only get the skin for the purposes of the trophy. However, what they pay is slightly higher depending on the safari hunter. Therefore, the average pricing charged by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, under the ministry, is between K900 to K1200. I want to encourage the hon. Member of Parliament for Katombola in Kazungula District to take interest and engage in crocodile farming because it is a very good business that he can venture into. Further, he would employ many young people in Katombola and help reduce the human-animal conflict that our people experience.


Sir, I would like to thank the Hon. Member for correcting me on how to pronounce Simalaha. I have been there, and it is a very successful story that we intend to replicate in all the corners of Zambia. We have been encouraging Chief Simalaha to go to Sesheke, specifically Mwandi, to see how Chief Inyambo Yeta has become a success story. We have also been encouraged that even private individuals other than the royal establishment have taken up businesses and they have invested in crocodile farming, and other wild life economic activities. That is the way to go. Zambians must be able to own this economy.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Kasanda (Chisamba): Mr Speaker, what measures has the Government put in place to help the families that are affected, especially those members who are permanently disabled.


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, we have no policy on such misfortunes. However, depending on the case, the Government usually comes in to mitigate the problems that affect our people.  In case of a funeral, we have our District Disaster Management Committees (DDMCs) at the district level which are headed by District Commissioners (DC). However, the help differs from one case to another. As I have stated, there is no specific policy which states the position of Government for people who are attacked. Maybe we need to look at that aspect.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: I will take the last four questions from the hon. Member for Kanchibiya, the hon. Member for Chikankata, the hon. Member for Mafinga, the hon. Member for Chilubi and the hon. Member for Solwezi West.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, geographically, Kanchibiya boarders with Chilubi Island and Lunga District. The human-animal conflict that is obtaining in Sioma is also obtaining in Kanchibiya. Some of the crocodiles are even suspected to be human, although as a Christian, I do not believe that such may happen. The hon. Minister has mentioned that banana boats are some of the solutions or interventions that are being provided by the Government, and, indeed, Kanchibiya has benefited from that initiative. However, there are other areas where the boats are required. Is there a deliberate policy to ensure that banana boats are provided to reduce or halt the human-animal conflict in Sioma, Kanchibiya and other affected areas?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I did state that the use of banana boats is one of the measures that we are considering as a way of reducing the human-animal conflict. If that problem is also in Kanchibiya, the hon. Member can come through so that we engage each other. However, the goodness with Kanchibiya is that we have a cooperating partner which is African Parks which is operating under Bangweulu Wetland. We can partner with it to see how we can mitigate these challenges and help our people. As for the Bangweulu water body, the Government has procured a water vessel which has the capacity to carry up to 129 passengers to mitigate the transport challenges and conflicts between our wildlife and the human beings. However, what is critical is the continuous education and sensitisation of our people.


Sir, I visited the North Luangwa National Park in Chifunda area in Chama District, and what I saw shocked me. I found human beings fishing in the crocodile infested Luangwa River. The water levels were quite high. I developed an interest and I had to ask them why they were risking their lives in such a way. Surprisingly, they had very strange answers. They said that when somebody is on ichamba and charms, he/she cannot be attacked by crocodiles. Then I told them that they were risking their lives by going into the water and thinking ichamba and charms could save them from crocodile attacks. Therefore, there is a need to educate our people to make them understand that we do not deliberately expose ourselves to danger. We need to continuously educate our people because doing that is key in reducing human-animal conflicts.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mwiinga (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, the number of crocodiles in Sioma as well as that of people who have been attacked seems to be on a higher side. When was the last time the Government cropped the crocodiles?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, we have just banned the resident hunting for this year. I was in Sioma Ngwezi in the Western Province of Zambia where I was being briefed that there are some people who have been applying to go and conduct resident hunting on crocodiles. When I asked why, I was told that people eat them because they are a delicacy. So, we do allocate quotas every year for safari and resident hunting as a control measure.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Fube (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, –


Mr Mung’andu: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Mung’andu: Mr Speaker, I was seated here quietly, mourning the passing of the fisherman whom the hon. Minister saw while flying over Chifunda Chiefdom who was, yesterday, caught by a crocodile.


Mr Speaker, instead of suggesting the introduction of a Bill that would enable our people to be compensated when they are attacked by such reptiles and other wild animals, the hon. Minister is insinuating that the very good and humble people of Chifunda Chiefdom go fishing while high on chamba and charms. Is he in order?


Mr Speaker: What is chamba?


Mr Mung’andu: Mr Speaker, chamba is cannabis. Is he in order to insinuate that the very good and humble people of Chama South and Chifunda Chiefdom, in particular, go fishing while high on cannabis and charms?


Mr Speaker, I seek your serious ruling.


Mr Speaker: That does not qualify to be a point of order.


The Hon. Member for Chilubi may continue.


Mr Fube: Mr Speaker, I want to know whether or not the Government has intentions to take advantage of the thriving youth policy that talks about having a competence-based approach in the empowerment programmes that are going on by embarking on establishing a tannery for the youth in Sioma and replicate that project in many other areas where there are crocodiles as a way of reducing unemployment.


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, the Government has various empowerment programmes. Our belief, as the Government, under the able leadership of His Excellency, Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, is that we should not impose an idea on people. That way, it becomes unsustainable. If the youth in these areas where we have crocodiles want to venture into tanneries to make use of crocodile skins, the idea should come from them, and then they should seek funding. We cannot go to them and tell them to set up tanneries and deal in crocodile skin because there are many crocodiles in their area. An approach of that nature is bound to fail. However, if that idea comes from them, we will know that it will be a sustainable business idea.


I thank you, Sir.


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


Mr Kasonso (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has continually indicated that one of the measures that his ministry has put in place is to hold meetings continuously to sensitise communities regarding the danger of animals, like in the case of Sioma, it is the crocodiles. How many verifiable meetings did the Department of National Parks & Wildlife (DNPW) have with communities in 2019? How many brochures did the ministry print in local languages to make people be fully aware about the danger of engaging with wildlife?


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that important question. I did not look at the number of meetings that were conducted. However, I have visited Sioma and I am certain that there has been engagement with the community, and the language that has been used is the local language. I may not be able to give the exact number of meetings that was held from 2016 to 2019. However, if that information is required, I can provide the answer later on how many meetings were held continually to sensitise communities on the danger of exposure to wild animals.


Mr Speaker, I must emphasise, however, that it is out of the engagements with the community that the need for the drilling of boreholes was identified as well as the need for the introduction of canoes as a mode of transport. Further, it was from the same engagements that we identified the need for the Ministry of General Education to upgrade the two schools that are in the valley and island of Sioma to minimise the movement of people using dangerous vessels from one area to another. For now, that is the response I can give.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Subulwa:  Mr Speaker, the people of Sioma are listening and would like to know the eight areas that the hon. Minister mentioned as being fenced. Further, they would like to know when the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) is going to crop crocodiles whose population in the Zambezi River is quite high.


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, the answer I have does not state the specific areas that have been fenced. It says that areas were identified where our people were attacked by crocodiles and that the erection of crocodile fences has commenced in some areas where crocodile attacks have been recorded. A total of eight fences have been erected so far and plans are underway to erect ten more fences. However, it has been observed in some areas where fencing has been done that some members of communities have disrupted this effort by removing wires from the cages for them to use as chicken wire fences.


Mr Speaker, if the need is for me to provide the specific areas where the fences were erected, I will be glad to provide this information later.


Sir, as regards when we are going to crop crocodiles, I indicated that every year, we give concessions for safari and resident hunting and this process closed just last week on Friday. Among the quotas earmarked for these activities is Sioma in the western part of Zambia. I saw the list and I am certain that crocodiles are part of the animals that are supposed to be cropped this year.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.













Clauses, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,  9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25 ordered to stand part of the Bill.


 Schedule ordered to stand part of the Bill.


Title agreed to.




Clauses 1 and 2 ordered to stand part of the Bill.


Title agreed to.







[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


The following Bills were reported to the House as having passed through Committee without amendments:


The Patents and Companies Registration Agency Bill, 2020


The Landlord and Tenant (Business Premises) (Amendment) Bill, 2020


Third Readings on Wednesday, 30th September, 2020.








(Debate resumed)


Mr S. Banda (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, from the outset, I wish to thank you most sincerely for according me this opportunity to be the first to support the Motion of Supply that was ably moved by the hon. Minister of Finance, Dr Bwalya Ng’andu, MP, on Friday, 25th September, 2020.


Sir, I am aware of other progressive thematic interventions proposed in the Budget Address, but due to time constraints, allow me to highlight some proposed interventions aimed at stimulating growth in some sectors.


Mr Speaker, I specifically note the Government’s plan to migrate the beneficiaries of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) to the cost-effective Electronic-Voucher (e-Voucher) system. This transformation will ease access to agricultural inputs and trigger substantial agricultural yields. Further, Zambians must be elated by the proposal to zero-rate Value Added Tax (VAT) on the importation of tractors and suspension of import duty on refrigerated trucks. Both proposals have great potential to increase the country’s food security by enhancing productivity.


Sir, the completion of industrial yards and food processing plants in the manufacturing sector will not only promote value addition and growth, but also create jobs and wealth. In the short-term, these yards are expected to create, at least, 4,000 employment opportunities, considerably reducing unemployment among women and the youth.


Mr Speaker, no sector can thrive without electricity. The determination to complete the construction of hydro-electrical power plants such as the Kafue Gorge Lower Power Station is profound and commendable. The completion of this project will significantly counter the current power deficit and enhance production across all sectors.


Mr Speaker, as I conclude, allow me to recognise the Government’s deliberate intervention to raise the exempt thresholds for Pay As You Earn (PAYE) to K4,000 from K3,300. This is a demonstration of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government’s pro-poor policy of putting more money in people’s pockets, thereby, improving the living conditions of ordinary Zambians.


Sir, indeed, the hon. Minister’s Budget is a testimony to the Government’s strong desire to revive the economy on a stable and sustainable growth trajectory. I cannot overemphasise that this Budget is responsive, balanced and practical.


Mr Speaker, with these few words, I wish to support the Motion and encourage all hon. Members to do the same.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Mr Speaker, first of all, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for giving me a very rare opportunity to support this Motion. In the same vein, I would like to thank my colleague, the hon. Member of Parliament for Kasenengwa, Hon. Sensio Banda, for moving the Motion.


Sir, the hon. Minister of Finance raised pertinent issues in his speech, particularly on the need for the Government to introduce measures such as the time to pay agreements accorded to players in the tourism sector. This is a very progressive move because it will give some relief to tourism operators as well as the people that are running businesses in the tourism industry.


Mr Speaker, as regards agriculture, livestock and fisheries, I want to commend this hard working Government for the measures that it has taken to enhance agriculture production by raising import duty from 25 per cent to 40 per cent on some agro-products and increasing allocation to the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) to benefit 1 million farmers.


Sir, the other important milestone that this Government has scored is in the social protection. The Government has resolved to increase the number of households who are benefitting from the social cash transfer scheme from 700,000 to 994,000 people as a measure to enhance social stability and food security in the country.


Mr Speaker, there is yet another milestone that this able working Government has scored, particularly whereby the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has been requested to allow local authorities to increase their revenue by collecting a percentage of the monies that they are collecting from the informal sectors. This will increase the councils’ revenue base countrywide and also improve their service provision.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr A. Mumba (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to add the voice of the people of Kantanshi to this very difficult, but progressive budget proposal. I would like to start by thanking the hon. Minister of Finance for being clear in terms of the challenges that we face as a nation and what us, as citizens, are expected to contribute to the growth of our economy.


Sir, we are in a recession right now, something that happened to us in 2009. However, the sort of recession that we have now, whereby we are growing at minus 4.2 per cent, provides a huge challenge to the Government in terms of creating jobs, getting companies to pay their fair share of taxes on time and the agitation that comes with opportunities being lost by the people.


Mr Speaker, the Government is, undoubtedly, under a lot of pressure, but some of the issues that were highlighted in the Budget, that I will speak about shortly, provided some sense of platform for Zambians to continue to support the Patriotic Front (PF) in as far as opportunities are concerned.


Mr Speaker, let me quickly talk about the dismantling of the domestic debt. The Government has been consistent, but not consistent enough. Their concentration has been more on infrastructure while leaving out those who supply goods and services to the Government. I hope the Ministry of Finance through the spending agencies and ministries is going to prioritise the people who supplied goods and services as much as we have seen it concentrate on road contracts.


Sir, even when we talk about road contracts, we have seen that there has been a dismal effect in circulation of money in the economy because it is the same people that are being paid. I hope the Government and spending agencies will improve on that.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister raised the issue of the default ratio in banks. The Government needs to go further because it is not the suppliers and contractors fault that they are defaulting on their loans, but the fact that they are not paid on time. Therefore, the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) should be considered for discussions.


Sir, the hon. Minister also talked about the K5.7 billion that is going to be spent on the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). We have seen the consistency of the PF in terms of providing for farmers. However, we have not seen this investment going back into providing some sort of revenue line for future FISP programmes because the Government keeps on dipping into its Treasury. I hope the Ministry of Agriculture can create a separate revenue stream with all these bumper harvests that we have had.


Mr Speaker, let me also talk about the liquidity issue, which has been a major form of income for banks. The Treasury Bills and bonds would go a long way in helping the Government’s liquidity position if it made it simpler for Zambians to buy these Treasury Bills. In next year’s Budget, K1 billion has been allocated to pensioners but if they could be spoken to, the Government would not need to spend that K1 billion as a pensioner could be able to buy Treasury Bills which would mature, perhaps, after a year or two.


Mr Speaker, K202 million has been set aside as gratuity for hon. Members of Parliament next year. Neither us nor the Government need to spend that money immediately. The Government can enter into agreements with individual pensioners and hon. Members who would want to invest that money at a better rate, which is around 28 per cent for Treasury Bills.


Sir, I also urge the Government to become consistent in the mining sector which is a major provider of our finance in terms of the exchange rate and revenues.


Mr Speaker, there is a need for us to take advantage of the copper price which is now at US$7,000 per tonne. Currently, we have seen that even the output being projected from mining is not going to be good enough to support the revenues that the Government needs to deal with debt, opportunities for the people of Zambian, and to encourage growth at a faster rate.


Mr Speaker, having highlighted a few things, I urge the Government to continue paying attention to the issue of debt and opportunities for Zambians.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: Is the hon. Member for Chimwemwe available, now?


Mr Fube (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, in the first place, I would like to appreciate the Budget that was presented by the hon. Minister of Finance because it has demonstrated certain principles that need to be appreciated, especially the taking of the country from an activity based Budget to an output oriented Budget.


Mr Speaker, having said that, I appreciate the fact that the hon. Minister highlighted one of the most hard hit sectors, the tourism sector, by putting in place measures such as the time to pay agreement, which is in line with the payment of Income Tax and Value Added Tax (VAT). This is so because the tourism sector is one sector that we need to cushion in the economy.


Mr Speaker, the speech also resonates well with what was in the President’s Speech, especially on gold mining. We know that there has been an outcry in the country on how to harness the gold resource that is being discovered every now and then, in the country. The President did talk about youth cooperatives and many other groups. However, the establishment of the Zambia Gold Company is more of a blessing. Even when Zambia is a liberalised economy, the mining of gold is a resource that will be controlled directly by the Government, meaning that security factors will be put in place.


Mr Speaker, another area that really speaks to my heart, is the issue of the 3,375 km rural roads project that the Government has embarked on. As a representative of a rural constituency, we treasure the opening up of the country because it will link us to urban areas. Looking at the country’s informal sector-driven economy, it is good that the country is interconnected with proper infrastructure, especially roads, so that the cost of doing business is lessened and more money is added in people’s pockets, especially those who are in commerce.


Mr Speaker, rural areas provide a platform for raw materials for doing business for different people, including industries that are based in urban areas. Therefore, I think opening roads to rural areas is such a good intention by the Government which should be supported by many well-meaning Zambians especially that it has been factored in this year’s Budget. It could not have come at an opportune time than this one.


Mr Speaker, let me comment on the measures that have been taken, especially in aligning the Budget to the pillars that are in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP).The hon. Minister of Finance catalogued how the performance has been in terms of the 7NDP, economic diversification, job creation, and reducing the development inequalities between the peri-urban and rural areas. This trickles down to the factors that he laid on the Table concerning social protection. If rural communities are not taken on board, Zambia will suffer at the end of the day.  


Mr Speaker, currently, the production of staple food, like maize, is mainly done by subsistence farmers, who do not export their produce, but sell it to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), which is then stored in FRA granaries. Encouraging the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), especially with the gradual graduation of farmers through the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System, will stimulate the growth of the economy. The 7NPD speaks about the diversification of the economy from depending on minerals to taking on board, manufacturing and agriculture. I think that is the way to go.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mbangweta (Nkeyema): Mr Speaker, I commend the hon. Minister of Finance for delivering a very difficult Budget. This is on account of the contradictions between what he delivered and what the Head of State delivered earlier on, including last year. The President said that for this country to do well, we needed to have a minimum Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 7 per cent. However, the hon. Minister, in his Budget Speech indicated that their ambition next year is to grow the GDP by 1.8 per cent. Of course, for this year, because of what is being termed as issues arising from the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the growth is at minus 4.2 per cent.


Mr Speaker, quite clearly, it means that this country is going backwards, based on the assumptions of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government itself, which is not a very good sign. The PF inherited a higher GDP growth, which over the years, it managed to run down. So, it is not inspiring and we do not even appreciate or understand why those in the PF still want to continue leading this country to nowhere.


Mr Speaker, secondly, in relation to the Farmer Input Support Program (FISP), when I came to Parliament in 2016, we were told that the one million farmers would be weaned-off in three years. We are in our fourth year, and nothing has happened. In Nkeyema, we have 16,525 farmers on the books of the Ministry of Agriculture. However, this year, they have only delivered 8,000 packs. This means that they have only delivered enough bags for 8,000 farmers. So, what happens to the balance of the people? That is failure. Failure is also demonstrated through the fact that the FISP was being delivered through two strands of the Direct Input Supply System (DISS) and the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System. However, the Government, through the speech by the hon. Minister of Finance, said that it was aspiring to strengthen the e-Voucher System in 2021. What in effect, and in practical terms they have done this year is to undermine the e-Voucher System because effectively, they have gone for the DISS, which we all know is very expensive. In fact, this is a policy reversal. It would have been nice if the Government had simply put it that way instead of crowding it in a lot of issues.


Sir, talking about debt having been escalating, the people of Nkeyema may ask how they have benefited from the amount of debt in proportional terms that this country has contracted. They have not benefitted anything because the Boma is still in the bush. Going by the basis of mitigation measures that projects below 80 per cent completion should not continue, where does that leave us? Where does that leave the road to Lombelombe, where there is a farming block and resettlement scheme? That project has not been started and will not start according to the 2021 Budget which was presented. Quite clearly –


Mr Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.




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


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1613 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 30th September, 2020.