Friday, 2nd October, 2020

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Friday, 2nd October, 2020


The House met at 0900 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]









The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, I rise to give the House some idea of the business it will consider next week.


Sir, on Tuesday, 6th October, 2020, the Business of the House will begin with Questions for Oral Answer. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resume the debate on the Motion of Supply on the 2021 National Budget.


Sir, on Wednesday, 7th October, 2020, the Business of the House will start with Questions for Oral Answer. Thereafter, the House will consider Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will, then, continue with the debate on the Motion of Supply on the 2021 National Budget.


Mr Speaker, on Thursday, 8th October, 2020, the Business of the House will commence with Questions for Oral Answer. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, the House will continue with the debate on the Motion of Supply on the 2021 National Budget.


Sir, on Friday, 9th October, 2020, the Business of the House will start with the Vice-President’s Question Time. This will be followed by Questions for Oral Answer. After that, the House will deal with the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Then, the House will continue with the debate on the Motion of Supply on the 2021 National Budget.


I thank you, Sir.






Mr Mwiinga (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, yesterday, we saw people demonstrate as they took to State House their petition against Zambia’s privatisation process, which took place some years back. The protestors were given State security and, on top of that, we saw the President anxiously waiting to receive their petition.


Mr Speaker, as the Opposition, we are equally ready to demonstrate. Our demonstration will be based on solidarity with our president, Mr Hakainde Hichilema. I would like to find out from Her Honour the Vice-President whether we can be given similar security as what was offered to those who protested yesterday?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I do not remember the matchers that went to State House mentioning the name of an individual and those who watched and listened to that clip can attest to that.


Sir, what was presented to His Excellency the President was a petition. It was a plea to institute a commission of inquiry to look into the issue of the privatisation of Government institutions which happened in the 1990s and the early 2000s.


Mr Speaker, I do not remember hearing the name of Mr Hakainde being mentioned in that petition. The privatisation exercise was undertaken by various institutions, including individuals. There were so many that I cannot see why we should single out one person, according to the hon. Member who is seeking support for that individual. He was not the only one who was involved in the privatisation exercise. 


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, to allow for a thorough review of the outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in our country, the hon. Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance has suspended the holding of church services in all Government schools.


Sir, I would like to find out whether the Government has any plans of directing councils throughout the country, especially in Kitwe, to prioritise the offer of pieces of land, where they are available, to affected churches so that they can build their own places of worship.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the granting of pieces of land to churches to build permanent church structures has been ongoing since Independence. Local councils have always allocated pieces of land to religious institutions to build churches. If a church applies to the local council, it will be given a piece of land. Councils have never failed to support churches to carry out their mandate.


Mr Speaker, I thank you. 


Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, it is on record that sometime this year, I brought up the issue of discrimination in the issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs) in the Southern Province, Monze District in particular.


Sir, Phase II of the mobile issuance of NRCs in this country has had many problems. Our children in areas that are supposed to be captured under Phase II are not acquiring NRCs in large numbers because they are given excuses by the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, through officers in charge of issuance. The last time I was on the Floor of the House, I suggested that the Ministry of Home Affair be renamed to the Ministry of Discrimination and Segregation. After that, it must graduate to become the Ministry of Crimes against Humanity.


Mr Speaker, why has the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) started pre-registration of voters when people are still acquiring NRCs under Phase II of the mobile issuance of NRCs? Is this the way it will keep on discriminating against the people of the Southern Province and other provinces that are under Phase II of the issuance of NRCs? Is it the PF Government’s criterion to keep on discriminating against the people of Zambia so that they are not given a chance to vote next year and that they do not kick out the Mwankoles?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member has posed two questions. So, I do not know which one I should respond to. There is one question on discrimination against the people of the Southern Province in the issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs) and the other one is on online pre-registration of voters.


Mr Speaker, we have said before that there is no discrimination whatsoever when it comes to the issuance of NRCs. If the lines are long in certain areas, it is probably because of the logistics on the ground and how much the officers can handle per day. However, to insinuate that people are being discriminated against in one province is not fair. Under the current circumstances, the ministry is doing its best to ensure that every Zambia who desires to have an NRC is provided with one. This is what is happening even in Monze, the area that the hon. Member mentioned in his question.


Mr Speaker, the issue of online pre-registration is still before the courts of law, I believe. So, I cannot say much on it, except that we have to move with the times. The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) is also addressing the issue of voter registration under the new normal using digital platforms.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, I would like follow-up on the question raised by the hon. Member for Chikankata. Indeed, in a few months from now, this country will be holding general elections. This petition that was delivered to the President yesterday has been received by the general public with mixed feelings with some considering it as a witch-hunt. I would like to hear a comment from Her Honour the Vice-President on whether this is the right time for the President to constitute a commission of inquiry.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, when crimes are committed, there is no time frame in which certain actions should be taken to address them. So, the President will decide on when this commission of inquiry will be constituted. It is in his powers to put in place commissions of inquiry when certain things happen in the country.


Mr Speaker, the issue of privatisation is such a serious matter that it has changed the whole landscape of the economic life of this country. People have died in destitution and out of depression. Now, we have street children who we did not have prior to privatisation simply because of the manner in which we did away with our thriving parastatals that employed many Zambians. These Zambians lost out. To date, some have not been compensated. Some have died while others are still languishing in poverty. So, I would not say that the timing is wrong. I do not believe that there is any time that is given to institute commissions of inquiry. In any case, this issue has been lingering in the air since 1994. This means that people are still aggrieved and want to find a final solution to this issue.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Siwanzi (Nakonde): Mr Speaker, indeed, the online registration of voters is the best way to register voters during this period of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). I want to find out from Her Honour the Vice-President what the Government is doing to sensitise the community in Zambia so that many people are aware of the online registration and are not misled by the recent attempt by the Opposition to discredit this credible process.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the ECZ will continue to sensitise communities on the various aspects of voting. I believe that hon. Members of Parliament also have a duty to inform and sensitise their electorate on how these new measures that are being introduced will affect their democratic participation in elections. So, I encourage hon. Members of Parliament to take it upon themselves to complement the work of the ECZ to sensitise our people on matters pertaining to elections.


I thank you, Sir.


Mrs Jere ( Lumezi): Mr Speaker, there is a strong rumour being spread by a named opposition political party, that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has heavily funded the Ministry of General Education to facilitate the teaching of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Health or simply, homosexuality to learners in schools, under the auspices of comprehensive sexuality education. I would like Her Honour the Vice-President to clarify or confirm to the nation whether this rumour is anchored on facts.


The Vice -President: Mr Speaker, the rumours that circulate on social media in our country are so many, including the big debate on sexuality education. Hon. Members, you may wish to know that the Framework for Comprehensive Sexuality Education was introduced in 2013, as part of the revised Zambian education curriculum. Over time, some sections of society felt that the framework be subjected to a review and that is what is causing all these discussions. To address these concerns, the Government is to constitute a multi-sectoral technical working group in conjunction with the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance to lead the consultations with various stakeholders like faith-based organisations, non-State actors and the United Nations (UN) family, and many more, to understand the existing operational and functional gaps in the framework and consequently, advise the Government on the next course of action. That is what I can say to respond to the many rumours and debates going on in our communities.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Mr Speaker, the Opposition political parties in our country have come up together and are championing the allegation that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has already rigged the 2021 General Elections. I would like to find out from Her Honour the Vice-President what the position of the Government is on this allegation which might divide this nation if not properly handled.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the allegations being levelled against the ECZ are mainly to prepare the minds of Zambians such that if some political parties lose the elections in 2021, they will say, “No, we told you that the Patriotic Front (PF) had already rigged the elections,” when, in fact, it is a fallacy.


Sir, these are sentiments meant to undermine the ECZ’s credibility to conduct free and fair elections. As Government, we feel saddened when we see democratic institutions being weakened for political expedience. Institutions such as the ECZ are the visible pillars of our constitution and democracy and if they crack, then, the idealism of constitutionalism cannot hold. Therefore, the answer is not to destroy what we have built, but strengthen and perfect our institutions such as the ECZ so that they become stronger than before. Institutions are guardians of our liberty and we should nurture and strengthen them so that our democracy can thrive.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kintu: Mr Speaker, just to tag on to the question that was asked by the hon. Member of Parliament for Bweengwa, the first phase of the issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs) in the North- Western province, in particular, Mushindamo, can only be described as a sham. In the second phase in the Southern Province, the Western Province and Central Province, people are complaining about the manner in which NRCs are being issued. We have not heard any complaints pertaining to the NRC issuance in the Luapula Province, the Northern Province, Muchinga Province and the Eastern Province. Why is the Government discriminating against some citizens in the acquisition of their birth right, which is obtaining an NRC in the United Party for National Development (UPND) strongholds?


The Vice President: Mr Speaker, these are critical times when hon. Members of Parliament should liaise very closely with their constituents. If the hon. Member has been to Solwezi recently, he will find out that the process is going on smoothly. There are some hon. Members of Parliaments in the North-Western Province who are in touch with the Ministry of Home Affairs and they are confirming that that the process has started. However, there may be some teething hitches here and there, but the process has started and people are being issued with NRCs. I can give you an example of the hon. Member for Ikeleng’i who confirmed that the issuance is going on very well in that part of the North-Western Province. So, I hope that the hon. Member of Parliament will also go to his constituency this weekend to find out what is going on so that he comes back with more factual evidence on whether there is discrimination, which I doubt very much.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Chishala (Roan): Mr Speaker, in April last year, the Patriotic Front (PF) lost a parliamentary by-election in Roan constituency because the people of Roan, especially former Roan Antelope Mining Corporation of Zambia (RAMCOZ) employees, felt neglected by the Government. When is the PF Government going to ensure that the poor former RAMCOZ employees are paid their dues?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the issue of Roan Antelope Mining Corporation of Zambia (RAMCOZ) employees and their suffering today is part of the privatisation exercise.


Hon. PF Member: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: This is why we have been saying that the institutions or companies that were given the mandate to advise the Government on the privatisation process or participated in privatisation should have taken the interests of Zambians at heart. What happened is that some of the companies were mismanaged in the manner they were privatised. Some of the workers have lost out. Former RAMCOZ workers are some of the workers who suffered at the hands of privatisation. The sooner we know more about what transpired, perhaps, the sooner some remedies will be found to support or help people such as former RAMCOZ employees. This is an issue that is so intricate. We will hear more, I suppose, when a commission of inquiry is established.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, schools reopened after a long time of closure due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). I have not seen major support to schools. I would like to find out from her Honour the Vice-President what the Government will do in the short-term to help schools run well in the era of COVID-19? Schools do not have enough funds to procure sanitisers, face masks and other related logistics. Is the Government not planning to intervene so that schools are helped because parents alone will not manage to pay the fees which the schools are requesting?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, when the pupils in examination classes went back to school, all the schools were supported by the Government to ensure that sanitation conditions were changed in those schools, and  that the provision of water was evident. Currently, the Government is already supporting educational institutions in the provision of materials so that our children go back to school in an environment that is healthy and clean. Teachers have been sensitised on the need for children to be protected and sanitised everyday as they enter into classrooms. We have asked parents to support the Government by procuring face masks. We believe that parents can go a long way in helping the Government by making sure that they provide face masks for their children as they go back to school.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, dust is a very serious hazard, as has been recorded in various health documents. Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs) usually check the impact of dust on any activity taking place amongst human beings. The people of Kasempa living along the Kasempa/Mumbwa Road and the Kasempa/Kaoma Road have been inundated for many years with dust that is caused by so many trucks coming from various mining companies, such as Jifumpa and Kalumbila. Many people now have to live with upper respiratory diseases. What measures has the Government put in place to ensure that the investors or the Government protect the people of Kasempa, while awaiting the commencement of the Link Zambia 8,000 km Road Project that is supposed to upgrade these roads to bituminous standard?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, of course, the Government is very concerned about pollution that comes from dust or any other substances that contaminates the air. That is why there is the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection and institutions concerned with environmental protection to look into this matter. In the particular case of the Kasempa/Kaoma Road, the companies that use that road need to be engaged by the council to see how our people can be protected. I can also mention to the hon. Member that the Government is looking at the issue of upgrading that road in the near future.


I thank you, Sir.








41.  Mr Kintu (Solwezi East) asked the Minister of Health:


  1. when the construction of Maponde/Luamfula Health Post in Solwezi East Parliamentary Constituency will be completed;
  2. what the cause of the delay in completing the project is; and
  3. when the health post will be opened to the public.


The Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, the construction of the Maponde/Luamfula Health Post in Solwezi East Parliamentary Constituency is amongst the 650 health posts that were to be constructed under the Indian line of credit, and this construction is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2021.


Mr Speaker, the delay in the construction of the health post was initially caused by the termination of the contract by Angelique International Limited, which was to undertake the works. The new contractor, Jaguar Oversees Limited, is now on site in the North-Western Province and has been building health posts in various parts of the province. However, the challenge has been that the road is impassible during the rainy season. Currently, the contractor is working with the provincial administration to create access to ensure that materials could be transported to the site.


Mr Speaker, the health post will be open to the public not later than the first quarter of 2021.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kintu: Mr Speaker, the people of Maponde and Luamfula seek medical treatment in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Why has the Government neglected those people such that they are not able to access medical treatment within their country?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, under His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has made it very clear that universal access to health services is a target we must attain and we have been building infrastructure in different parts of the country where there has never been any infrastructure. So, to state that we have neglected the people in the mentioned areas when for the very first time, there are thirty-seven health posts and more than four hospitals which were completed in the North-Western Province is not a fair statement to make. What would be appropriate is to state the progress towards universal health coverage through the robust infrastructure expansion programme. We have a health centre in Luamfula, which is 25 km away from our people, from where they access services, and we are bringing health services closer to the people by planting another health post closer to where the people are. So, we are firmly on track in resolving issues of distance and it does not amount to negligence at all. What should be celebrated today are the strides made towards ensuring health for all everywhere.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Kakubo (Kapiri Mposhi): Mr Speaker, the indication was done in error, my apologies.


Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that the Maponde-Luamfula Health Post is among the 650 health posts that were to be constructed countrywide and, similarly, Chinonwe, Lupuyi and Washishi health posts are supposed to be constructed. Should we take it that the answer the hon. Minister gave regarding the Maponde-Luamfula Health Post also applies to Mitete, where Washishi, Chinonwe and Lupuyi health posts are?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Mitete, you have taken the hon. Minister to a totally different area. That is not a supplementary question.


Mr Kintu: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister be categorical and inform the nation and the people of Mushindamo whether a contractor to construct a health post in Maponde in Kikola Ward has been found?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the contractor for the health posts in the North-Western Province is Jaguar Overseas Limited. This contractor took over from Angelique International Limited when the contract was terminated. The contractor has already mobilised in the North-Western Province and is on site.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: I will take the last three questions from the hon. Member for Mapatizya, the hon. Member for Chama South, the hon. Member for Kafue and the hon. Member for Manyinga.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the Government for completing some of the health posts in Manyinga. However, some health posts are not complete and are at 60 to 70 per cent and the contractors have left the sites. For instance, the contractor who was constructing the health post in Safwaya in Chongo Ward has left the site. What is causing the contractors to leave the sites?


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


Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, my question is a follow up on the construction of the Maponde/Luamfula Health Post in Solwezi East. The hon. Minister said that this health post is among the 650 health posts which were supposed to have been constructed across the country and I appreciate that. In order for me to appreciate everything, of the 650 health posts, how many of these projects have not commenced like the case of the Maponde/Luamfula Health Post?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, out of 650 health posts, 490 are complete, were handed over and are providing services to the people of this country. Further, the contractors are at 100 sites and the projects are at various levels of progress. So, this programme is at the verge of completion. However, I must emphasise that when contractors took their break last December, most of them did not manage to come back, as the engineers stayed in their countries of origin because of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. So, this is what threw the contractors into disarray. For now, we are managing with the engineers who have come back in the country and there is significant progress on that project.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank our hard-working hon. Minister of Health for confirming to the people of Chama South that they have just been allocated a mini-hospital near Mangwere Centre. However, is the hon. Minister considering Phase II of the 650 Health Post Project taking into account that the Opposition on one hand is saying that this Government is not doing anything, yet on the other hand, the hon. Member for Manyinga has just acknowledged that a number of health posts have been completed? Is the hon. Minister considering Phase II of this project so that he can demonstrate further that the Government of His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, does not leave anyone behind and we thank him for the mini-hospital whose construction he assured me and that I should communicate to the people of Chama South Constituency?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Chama South, we are dealing with the Maponde/Luamfula Health Post in Solwezi East and not Manyinga.


Mrs Chinyama (Kafue): Mr Speaker, in his response, the hon. Minister referred to the work that the Provincial Administration is doing to facilitate access to the site. What exactly has the Provincial Administration been doing at that site which could not be done in Kafue where we had similar problems of access to a site until the health post was reallocated to another place? Could the hon. Minister assure me, on behalf of the people of Manyinga, that they will not suffer the same fate as the people of Kafue whereby a health post was reallocated to another place and we have not heard of anything since then. Could the hon. Minister assure me that particular health post will be constructed in Solwezi East?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, when they say, “icikwanka bacimwena ku mampalanya,” they simply mean that you can judge the ability of someone to deliver based on his works.


Sir, the PF Government, under President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has demonstrated its commitment to the health for all agenda. In the National Health Strategic Plan, we planned to build 500 primary health care infrastructure and we have already passed the target. We planned to build six specialist hospitals and we have already surpassed that. So, we are firmly on course in achieving all the other legacy goals that we set in our National Health Strategic Plan.


Mr Speaker, we promised the people of Solwezi East a facility, and this is part of the broad agenda for universal health coverage that leaves no one behind. Let us take a leaf from what is happening in Lealui, Kalaba and Kazungula where infrastructure has been completed and promises to the people have been fulfilled. The people of Kafue have also gotten maternity annexes in two or three different places, a new nursing school and will get a mini-hospital in Chiawa. Therefore, I would like to invite the hon. Member of Parliament for Kafue to be our advocate in Solwezi East. She should tell the people that this Government will deliver in Solwezi East the same way it has delivered where she comes from.


I thank you, Sir.










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


Sir, the proposed amendments to the Banking and Financial Services Act are meant to enhance the stability and resilience of the financial system and provide additional security and safety for the users of financial services.


Mr Speaker, the House may note that the proposed amendments to the Banking and Financial Services Act No. 7 of 2012 aim to address the following main areas:


  1. to redefine the meaning of insolvency to differentiate it from under capitalisation. The definition of insolvency has been amended to give clarity on what insolvency means by providing for insolvency to mean a situation where a financial service provider is unable to pay debts and has assets that are insufficient to meet liabilities when they fall due. This amendment will redefine the current Act that ties insolvency to under capitalisation;


  1. to make sanctions against unlicensed entities more stringent and repayment of funds collected by unlicensed persons. The proposed inclusion is critical to the bank to effectively deal with consumer protection in instances where unlicensed persons take in deposits;
  2. to remove the clause that includes prescription of operating hours of banks for the purpose of inspecting registers. The amendment is to provide clarity on timing and form factors in registers of banks; and
  3. to improve provisions relating to supervisory actions by banks over regulated entities. This amendment does not specifically provide for the supervision of financial institutions on the prevention and combating of money laundering and finances operations or proliferation of any other offences. So, the amendment that is being proposed will provide for authority over a financial service provider where the bank considers that it is necessary to implement supervision for the purposes of the prevention and combating of money laundering.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, your Committee was tasked to scrutinise the Banking and Financial Services (Amendment) Bill No. 7 of 2020, in accordance with its mandate as spelt out in Standing Order No. 157(2).


Sir, following the enactment of the Banking and Financial Services Act No. 7 of 2017, it has become necessary to enhance the provisions for licensing, regulation and supervision of banking and financial services and service providers.


Mr Speaker, as hon. Members are privy to the report of the Committee, I will only highlight key issues that were prominent during your Committee’s interaction with stakeholders.


Sir, a matter that was of concern to most of the stakeholders relates to Clause 10 on the amendment of Section 75 of the principal Act. Your Committee contends that removing the power to make an inquiry into the decision of the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) from the court to a tribunal makes the process amenable to political influence since the responsibility to establish a tribunal lies with the hon. Minister, who is a political appointee.


In addition, your Committee regrets that the clause is silent on how an aggrieved financial institution can seek redress in an event that the hon. Minister declines the request to establish a tribunal. In this regard, your Committee strongly recommends that in order to eliminate political influence and not disadvantage the aggrieved financial service provider, the process of setting up a tribunal and/or the determination of whether the course of action undertaken by the bank is justified should be a preserve of the court and the aggrieved party must be able to apply to the court to set up a tribunal. This should be explicitly stated in this clause.


Mr Speaker, another matter of interest relates to Clause 15(1), which provides for compensation to be paid by BoZ to an aggrieved financial service provider where the tribunal establishes that the bank acted contrary to the law. Your Committee notes with extreme concern that the Bill has not provided for the reversal of such a decision. In this regard, your Committee recommends that where it is clearly established that the decision of BoZ was contrary to the law, the Bill must explicitly provide for the reversal of the decision.


Mr Speaker, in Clause 12 (1), your Committee observes that the Bill excludes executive employees and senior management from the priority list and is silent on how payments to these individuals should be handled. In this vein, your Committee strongly recommends that the Bill be amended so as to explicitly state whether the executive employees and senior management shall be paid after all other expenses and claims have been taken care of or they shall be completely excluded from the line of payments. Your Committee has made various recommendations in its report and I urge the Executive to positively consider these recommendations in order to improve this piece of legislation.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


The Minister of Finance (Dr Ng’andu):  Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the Chairperson of your Committee for the report that he has given. I have taken note of the concerns that he has raised. However, in response to his comments with respect to Clause 10, the amendment takes into account the fact that after a tribunal has been constituted, and the tribunal proclaims itself on the matter brought before it, if the persons concerned are unsatisfied with the ruling of the tribunal, they can, then, proceed to court.


Mr Speaker, the reason the proposal to constitute a tribunal is being made is because it is quicker and faster. If everything ends up going to court, simple commercial matters that can be resolved very expeditiously will be delayed over a longer period of time and we think that, in the process, the financial institutions involved and the shareholders in those institutions will actually suffer as a result of undue delays. So, we thought it was important that the need to expeditiously deal with a matter could be met if it was referred to a tribunal first before it goes to court in these amendments. Nonetheless, it will end up going to court after the tribunal has pronounced itself and the parties involved are not satisfied with the ruling.


Mr Speaker, we will review the other matters that have been raised and take them into account as we come to the Second Reading of the Bill.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.


Committed to a Committee of the Whole House.


 Committee on Thursday, 8th October, 2020.









(Debate resumed)




Clauses 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39 and 40 ordered t stand part of the Bill.


Schedule ordered to stand part of the Bill.


Title agreed to.






[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


The following Bill was reported to the House as having passed through Committee with amendments:


The Food and Nutrition Bill, 2020


Report stage on Tuesday, 6th October, 2020.




The following Bills were read the third time and passed:


The Patents and Companies Registration Agency Bill, 2020


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








(Debate resumed)


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to debate the Motion which was ably moved by the hon. Minister of Finance pertaining to the 2021 Budget.


Mr Speaker, as I debate this Motion, I would like to take cognisance of the happenings of yesterday, where Patriotic Front (PF) members petitioned the President to constituent a commission of inquiry pertaining to the privatisation that took place in this country from the 1990s to the early 2000s.


Mr Speaker, this particular happening of yesterday is very critical to the fulfilment of the Budget aspirations of the hon. Minister of Finance. I will demonstrate why what happened yesterday is so important.


Sir, on behalf of the United Party for National Development (UPND) and our president, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, I would like to wholeheartedly welcome this particular privatisation inquiry. It will lead to rest a number of issues that have been raised.


Mr Speaker, as I indicated, it is important to note that the particular exercise of privatisation was made by the Government of the Republic of Zambia, under the blessings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. These are institutions which we are now craving to assist the resuscitation of the economy of the Republic of Zambia. We must take note that the petitioners have been questioning the credibility of that particular excise, thereby questioning the credibility of the institutions that advised the Government to privatise. We also have to take note that whereas we are questioning the credibility of these two important institutions, we are before them kneeling for assistance to help us resuscitate the economy and help us to finance the Budget. That is what we are trying to do.


Mr Speaker, I indicated that we welcome this particular investigation with a caveat. We welcome it wholeheartedly. We want this particular inquiry to be transparent. We also want this particular privatisation inquiry to take into account that there are more than 240 companies that were privatised by the Government of the Republic of Zambia during that period.


Mr Speaker, after those institutions were privatised –




Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon.  Member for Monze Central, take your seat. Let me just provide some guidance.


We have a lot of time this morning, more than we have had in the last few days. So, those of you who have different points of view from what the hon. Member for Monze Central is saying must wait for your turn.


Continue, hon. Member.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I was saying that there were more than 240 companies that were privatised during that period, and a number of these companies that are successful now are owned by foreign entities. As a result of the intended inquiry, we are sending jitters to those who have purchased those companies in this country. The point I am making is that as we discuss these issues, they have a bearing on the economy of this country and the donor confidence, and that is a fact. Even bars like those which were operating in Chilenje have collapsed because of the lack of confidence in people who patronise them.


Mr Speaker, as we debate this particular issue, we would like to ensure that the Government does not erode the confidence of investors in this country. We would like that not to happen. Just a few minutes ago, as result of the privatisation that took place –


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Monze Central, do you also intend to debate the Motion?


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, it is not a square peg. I mentioned that the issues that I am going to mention have a bearing on the Budget. The hon. Minister of Finance knows that if there is no donor confidence in this scheme, the Budget will fail. That is the point I am making. As the Government will commission the inquiry, it should extend this inquiry to the privatisation that happened after 2001. We had the sales of shares at the Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO), LAP Green Network and we have the Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO) Limited. We should also extend the inquiry to the misleading advice that is being given by the Ministry of Justice.


Mr Lubinda: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. –


Mr Mwiimbu: Keep quiet when I am debating.


Mr Speaker: Just wait, resume your seat.


Hon. Jack Mwiimbu, what advice is this you are referring to?


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, whichever advice that is given.


Mr Speaker: No.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, you have asked me to explain.


Mr Speaker: Proceed.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I am saying every advice pertaining to either privatisation or any action that is taken by the Government comes from the office of the Ministry of Justice and not from an individual, as he is making noise on the Floor of this House.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Jack Mwiimbu, take your seat.


You have said, expressly, that the hon. Minister of Justice is giving misleading advice. You know the rules of the debate are that you substantiate your debate. If he has misled whoever, you must be able to substantiate.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, yes, I will.


Sir, the Ministry of Justice is an institution. It is not an individual. It has been in existence since time immemorial in Zambia.


When I say “the hon. Minister of Justice”, I mean “the Ministry of Justice” unless he wants to come in as an individual.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Jack Mwiimbu, take your seat.


You said the “hon. Minister of Justice”. You did not say “the ministry”. The position of Minister of Justice, currently, is held by a specified individual who, in this case, is Hon. Lubinda. According to your debate, Hon. Lubinda is misleading. So, in what way is he misleading?


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I need your guidance. In this country, whenever we debate, we say, “The hon. Minister of Agriculture came to this House and informed us about this,” when there could be a different hon. Minister of Agriculture at that particular time. So, the reference is to the institution, unless we are now saying that the Ministry of Justice is not an institution. I did not mention an individual. I need your guidance on this matter so that, in future, I do not mention an hon. Minister of a particular institution, but talk about individuals.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Wind up your debate.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I am saying that, currently, the hon. Minister of Finance has a problem. He has some restructuring to do. I will now be mentioning names because that is the advice I am getting.


Hon. PF Members: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: Hon. Dr Ng’andu has a problem in managing the Budget of the Republic of Zambia because of what the Patriotic Front (PF) has been doing in this country. We advised Hon. Dr Ng’andu not to borrow recklessly, but he did not listen to the advice we gave him. We would like Hon. Dr Ng’andu to be listening to our advice.


Mr Ngulube: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, wind up your debate. Please, let him finish.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, Hon. Dr Ng’andu should listen. As we debate today, we are aware that LAP Green Network is calling on its debt. It is going to seize assets of the Republic of Zambia. The bond holders have not agreed to the proposals by Hon. Dr Ng’andu on issues of the bond. Therefore, it follows that Hon. Dr Ng’andu will have problems in financing the Budget. We call upon Hon. Dr Ng’andu to listen to advice.


Mr Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Mecha (Chifunabuli): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving the voice of the people of Chifunabuli an opportunity to debate the Motion of Supply. I must indicate that Hon. Dr Bwalya Ng’andu has done a great job. He has done justice to the Budget. Nevertheless, I do not envy him because this Budget is a complicated one. I am just looking at the theme of the Budget which has four very important aspects. The first aspect is that we need to stimulate economic recovery. This implies that our economy is not doing very well, for reasons we know. There are various adversities that have contributed to our problems. We have had climatic disruptions and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, in addition to several others. So, it was not a very easy task to actually come up with this Budget.


Mr Speaker, the other component is that we need to build resilience so that we can reduce further disruption of the economy of Zambia. This is a very important aspect because it requires a lot of money.


Sir, another aspect depicted by the theme of the Budget is that of safeguarding livelihoods. We know that our lives are characterised by various livelihoods. People are deploying various interventions in order to stay afloat. Most of these livelihoods are getting disrupted because of the adversities that I have mentioned.


Sir, what is even more important is that we have a very large population in this country, which is very poor. Therefore, any meaningful Government must look at the vulnerable section of the population, amidst adversities. It must focus on this section of the population and not leave it behind. This is what made the formulation of this Budget very complicated. That is what we must understand. This is where we must heed the call by the President to change our mindset. 


Mr Speaker, if you know that you are a specialist in Budget formulation, this is not the time to stand on an anthill to start demonising the Budget. The people of Zambia will ask you where you were with your ideas when the Budget was being formulated. There is no law in Zambia that precludes people from actually participating in Budget formulation. If you have superior ideas, the best you can do for the people of Zambia is to participate in the formulation of the Budget. Whether invited or not, you can still make your submissions. You do not have to wait for the hon. Minister of Finance to present the Budget because that spells a lack of patriotism.


Mr Speaker, what is even more worrying is the fact that even a Zambian at the level of Member of Parliament, like myself, can mislead constituents by telling them that there is nothing in the Budget. This is not the direction we need to take. We should not take the misinformation route because we will just prove to people that we do not mean well and do not represent them very well. It is in that context that I would like to debate so that the people of Chifunabuli can understand what is in the Budget for them.


Sir, in order for my debate to be structured, I will take the pillar route. We have five pillars under the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) and I want to go through them quickly so that the people of Chifunabuli can actually understand what is in the Budget for them. I will start with Pillar I, which is on economic diversification and job creation.


Sir, this Budget clearly states that we are going to continue with the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). The people of Chifunabuli have been beneficiaries of the FISP subsidies. Therefore, there is no way I am going to tell them that there is nothing in this Budget.


Mr Speaker, in Chifunabuli, we are blessed to have a programme on transforming landscapes for resilience and development. This programme has come to Chifunabuli under climate change interventions and our people have already started seeing fruits because several co-operatives are actually accessing funds so that they can excite their economic activities and participate in –


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to debate the Motion on the Floor. I should, firstly, thank the hon. Minister of Finance for the kind words he has expressed in the Budget to the people of Zambia. However, I should hasten to say that the Budget looks lovely and I am waiting to see what it will yield. Most of the past Budgets that have been presented to this Parliament, especially during the Patriotic Front (PF), regime do not yield anything for people in rural areas. Why do I say so? I listened to the Budget Speech very carefully and noted that it is very lovely. However, it will yield nothing. Just as he put it, this Budget will record negative growth. It is actually worsening the situation.


Sir, for a person like me who comes from Ikeleng’i, I have not seen any tangible results from Budgets that have been presented to this House ever since the PF came into power. The same will be said of this current one.


Mr Speaker, this Budget Speech talked about infrastructure development. Ikeleng’i is one of those districts that the PF found had just been declared a district. Today, the Jhimbe International Road, which was commissioned by the President of this country, remains in bad shape and has not been completed. Schools have blown off roofs and nobody cares about the bridges. However, when it comes to by-elections for councillors, the Government is very active. We see a lot of money in the PF camps. Mealie meal is distributed through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU). Iron sheets are also distributed.  However, immediately after elections, those activities shift to another area where there is a by-election.


Mr Speaker, the Budget is supposed to address the poverty levels of the people in the country. So, my question is: What will this Budget, which has been presented, do for the people of Ikeleng’i? If it will achieve a lot in Chifunabuli and other constituencies, I wish them good luck.


Sir, the other day, I listened to debate on the Floor and most hon. Members who debated complained that infrastructure has not been attended to. Let us not pretend, but be objective. This Budget will not achieve anything at all because of serious political influence. Funds to youth empowerment have been increased, but I can tell you that this is an appeasement to be used for the 2021 General Elections. There is already a structured institution, which is the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC), to which this money for youth empowerment should go so that it can be monitored. If it is left loose, this is the money that will go to cadres during elections.


Mr Speaker, we need a Budget that will yield results for every Zambian and respond to road infrastructure, buildings and other things throughout the country irrespective of party affiliation. However, what we have seen is that while cadres are standing up to praise the Government for having done so much, some of us have seen completely nothing, and I repeat, completely nothing to show for the past eight years.


Mr Speaker, when you go to Ikeleng’i, there is nothing to talk about. Look at the road from Solwezi/Mwinilunga/Jhimbe. It is terrible, but the Government is quick to follow the gold mines in that area. It is high time the Government paid the price to yield the natural resources that are in our area. We have the source of the Zambezi River in Ikeleng’i, but there is no airstrip. The North-Western Province is one to talk about at the moment. This Budget is actually supposed to prioritise the North-Western Province, yet the Government wants to use it only for political expedience and not attend to infrastructure.


Mr Speaker, I want Hon. Dr. Bwalya Ng’andu to pay particular attention to the North-Western Province. Otherwise, this is why you see revolutions. People in the North-Western Province are shunted into too much poverty.


 The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing the voice of Bweengwa to scrutinise the Budget for 2021.


Sir, allow me to begin by saying that our Zambian economy is dependent on imports. I want to compare the 2020 Budget with the 2021 Budget. The current 2020 Budget was allocated K106 billion which translated into US$7.8 billion. From the outset, you can tell that we have a group of individuals who have no capacity to manage the economy of this country.


Mr Speaker, next year’s Budget amounts to K119.6 billion, which translates into US$5.9 billion. You can see that ours is an economy that is dependent on imports. The money which was allocated in this year’s budget was US7.8 billion and in next year’s budget is US$5.9 billion. So, you can see the deficit. In kwacha terms, the total deficit from the onset of this Budget is K40 billion. So, we are in trouble in this country this time around.


Sir, the principle reason the economy is not doing well is that the Patriotic Front (PF) has assembled a community of criminals suffering from political head injuries.


Mr Speaker, we are not going to manage –


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Bweengwa, I did not get your last sentence.


Mr Michelo: Mr Speaker, I said that the principle reason the economy is not doing well is that the PF has assembled a group of people who have no capacity to manage the economy of this country. This is what I meant.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Bweengwa withdraw the earlier statement. It is different from what you have just stated now.


Mr Michelo: Mr Speaker, thank you so much for your kind request, let me withdraw the sentence and continue with my debate.


 Sir, the 2021 Budget is the biggest PF killer disease in this country. If you are to scrutinise it properly, you can tell that our friends who sat down to come up with the figures this time around had nothing to put on the table for the people of Zambia. Therefore, this is a farewell Budget for the PF. I know that it is the last Budget for PF to present on the Floor of this House. We are going to show them a beauty of a Budget we are going to draw next year when we form Government.


If they are to translate the Budget into dollar terms, which I have already talked about –


Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, thank you so much for allowing me to raise this very important point of order.


Sir, once upon a time, we used to have a representative of Bweengwa who could dissect the Budget and really get those of us who were in the Executive then and now, to follow the debate.


Mr Speaker, you guided the hon. Member for Bweengwa, who is currently on the Floor, to withdraw the statement he made earlier insinuating that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has put together criminals, but he is trying to avoid withdrawing the statement by being insincere as he has always been in his debate.


Is the hon. Member for Bweengwa in order not to heed your earlier instruction to withdraw the unparliamentary remarks that he made earlier on during his debate? I seek your serious ruling.


Mr Speaker: My ruling, and I am sure the verbatim record will attest to this, is that he withdrew. I urged him to withdraw and he, accordingly, obliged. He has withdrawn that statement.


Hon. Member for Bweengwa wind up your debate.


Mr Michelo: Mr Speaker, I have a few words for the people of Zambia this time around. They have seen that the PF Government inherited a growing economy. When it took over this economy, it found it performing very well. The PF Government has now destroyed it by borrowing heavily. During the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) regime, we never saw such borrowing as is happening under the PF regime. We are not even seeing where our monies are going. It is like most of our monies end up with a few individuals. The PF Government promised the people of Zambia that they will have more money in their pockets. However, we are seeing very few individuals in the PF having more money in their pockets while the majority of the people in Zambia are wallowing in poverty.


Mr Speaker, with these few words, let me thank you and say farewell to the hon. Minister of Finance and the PF, as they will not be here next year.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Speaker, due to time, I will go straight into what I want to communicate. First of all I want to give credence to the hon. Minister for his courage to come up with such a solid budget during this economic melting pot in the world. I want to go straight to page 25 where he has given an exempt threshold for Pay as You Earn (PAYE). This is unprecedented. I do not know when I last heard of this. I know that in the early years of the Patriotic Front (PF), a move on this particular item was made, but then it was stopped. I want to assure the Zambian people that a Government that thinks and feels for them is in place. Things could have been difficult in the past but, I think, a way has been found to look into the people’s pockets.


Mr Speaker, imagine, the exemption threshold was initially K3,300 but it is now K4,000. Literally, you can say somebody will take an extra K700 in his pocket every month. For me, that can do a bit more. It can buy enough electricity. Others can buy three bags of mealie meal. It depends on how you want to use your money. So, I really want to give the hon. Minister of Finance credit for being able to do something like this in this time. I want to encourage the people of Zambia that when a Government comes out this way, people should come forth and encourage it so that it does more in the next budget. For this reason, I want to ask the hon. Minister, when he responds, to assure the people of Zambia that this is going to be the norm in future and that he is equally going to raise the threshold next year, and also that he has not just done it because we are going into elections. I want him to tell the Zambian people that he wants them to have more money in their pockets. This is the only way Zambia can do better, especially for those who are workers. For those who are not workers, there are many other ways that the hon. Minister has devised that will put more money in their pockets.


Mr Speaker, I want to move to page 10 of his Speech where he talks about infrastructure. I note that he has moved the Procurement Bill, which is a very good thing. I want the hon. Minister to assure the people of Zambia that, come what may, for a change, the Government is going to move away from the past where every big infrastructure project was taken up by foreigners. I want to give him an example of Egypt or South Africa. South Africans have their own road making companies. They make all sorts of roads. Egypt does the same through its army. I do not understand why we still have a problem in Zambia. I am in agreement with what the hon. Minister intends to do, but I want him to know that we are going to take count of how it is going to be done. We want him to seriously bring in Zambians so that they become big contractors of buildings and road works.


Mr Speaker, the other thing that I want to talk about is education, which the hon. Minister discussed on page 14. I thought this Budget was going to have more money allocated to the education sector. We really need good education in this country. We have the teachers. We have about 50,000 teachers on the streets. These can really uplift our education standards. We have so many schools where there are only one or two teachers. All in all, there are about 65,000 places for teachers to fill up. I would beg the hon. Minister to think through it and even consider recruiting 7,000 teachers this year and repeat the recruitment next year and the other year. It would really go a long way in assisting us.


Mr Speaker, for these three things, I want to request the hon. Minister to let Zambia see that he is the new person in the Ministry of Finance, which is a big ministry. Let the people of Zambia see progress in all those areas where they have had problems.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to debate on this very important Motion.


Mr Speaker, let me begin by thanking the hon. Minister for ably delivering a message of hope from his Excellency the President. Just before the Budget Address, you will note that the President was also here and spoke to the nation, through Parliament, on the importance of ensuring that we have a Zambia we need.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance said on page 23:


“Mr Speaker, the 2020 Budget is presented amidst economic challenges that have stifled inclusive growth. Our resolve to do more with less requires all of us to focus our resources and efforts to stimulating our economy. This budget therefore, presents us with an opportunity to change our trajectory and put our economy on a sustainable path.”


Sir, prior to that, His Excellency the President talked about the change of our mindset. To have a Zambia we need is about the mindset. It is about ensuring that issues of conflict of interest do not come in. I want to thank the President for talking about instituting a commission of inquiry yesterday. Instituting a commission of inquiry is very important so that all the resources are targeted at the intended purpose and everyone who is given resources or the responsibility to ensure that the resources reach the poor people does that.


Mr Speaker, it is erroneous for someone to say that the President instituting a commission of inquiry is as if we are doubting institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, that rendered us help during the process. That is not what the inquiry is about. It is about the conduct of individuals. Time and again, you will hear how jittery they are. They need to be jittery because there are so many individuals who were promising to contribute to this country who worked for institutions such as Zambia Airways, and many other companies, who died in destitution. Truth be told.


Mr Speaker, going forward, for our mindset to change, young people should not emulate someone who earns for himself through conflict of interest. Young people should be able to emulate hard work. Therefore, we would want this mindset change in our constituencies and wards. What can we, as Zambia, do to have the people of Kanchibiya and Zambia benefit from the resources that are in Kanchibiya? We need to engage in productivity so that what is produced through the value chain can be used for local consumption and can even be sold in the yawning market. Hard work and a mindset change is what we need. That is what His Excellency the President stated.


Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister of Finance for the Budget he proposed to Parliament. It is very important and infuses hope and puts more money in people’s pockets. Workers who are getting below K4,000, know that, at least, they got that amount. However, it even goes beyond that. Those who get more than K4,000 know that the first K4,000 is money in their pocket. What becomes taxed is what comes after the K4,000. I know the hon. Minister is looking at me, but that is my interpretation.


Dr Ng’andu indicated assent.


Dr Malama: I am glad that the Commissioner General of the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) also talked about it yesterday.


Mr Speaker, what the President said yesterday about the commission of inquiry is a microscope for all of us who are in Public Service. We should ensure that the resources work for the poor people.


Mr Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Hon PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs M. L. Phiri (Chilanga): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me an opportunity to the people of Chilanga to add a voice to the debate on this very important Motion. First and foremost, I would like to congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance on his second Budget presentation.


Mr Speaker, my first take from the 2021 Budget, like the previous speaker, is the increase in the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) threshold, which has been increased from K3,300 to K4,000. This move has brought a lot of joy to the labour market. Most of our people are very happy that more money is going to be in their pockets. The Government of His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, is a pro-poor one which wants to make sure that our people have more money in their pockets.


Sir, my other take from the 2021 Budget Speech is that the beneficiaries of the Social Cash Transfer Scheme have been increased from 700,000 to 994,000, beneficiaries in 2021. This will see many people in Chilanga benefiting from this great programme, including other vulnerable Zambians.


Sir, my other take is the increase in the Food Security Pack (FSP) to vulnerable households from 80,000 in 2020, to 288,492 in 2021. It has increased by more than 200 per cent. This has made most vulnerable people in Chilanga and Zambia at large very happy. This is because they are going to be beneficiaries of this very important programme that the Government has put in place.


Mr Speaker, our President, His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, who has the youth at heart, has also put up a programme through which K470million has been put aside for the Youth Empowerment Programme to benefit the youths by enabling them to take part in the developmental agenda.


Sir, the President has also put in place a programme to keep the girl child in school. The Government has increased the number of vulnerable girl children to be supported at secondary school education level. This programme will see more girls get educated.


Sir, we have also seen that the Government has put up another programme to support the vulnerable women in order for them to benefit from Government programmes. We see that the President and this Government are pro-poor and aim at helping our people.


Mr Speaker, with these few remarks, I would like to say that the people of Chilanga are supporting the 2021 Budget.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Daka (Msanzala): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me an opportunity to debate on this very difficult Budget.


Mr Speaker, with the serious impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), it is very difficult to present a well-balanced Budget. However, I have noticed that the hon. Minister, with the authority from the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has brought a Budget whose effects will trickle down to the most vulnerable.


Mr Speaker, with austerity measures in place, social services, such as the education sector and the health sector suffer the most. However, looking at what the hon. Minister brought to the House, it seems the situation will be eased.


Sir, furthermore, if you look at the agriculture sector, it has been encouraged to look at mechanisation which will enable farmers to grow more crops per hectare unlike where you get a yield equivalent to one Lima from a hectare. The zero rating on the importation of all tractors is a welcome move.


Sir, recently, we heard that we are looking forward to better things than in the past, but we should be prepared. How can we be prepared? We can only be prepared when we ensure that the little money farmers get from their fields is invested in mechanisation so that even when we increase the allocation of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) in the year to come, the people of Lusangazi and Petauke, in Msanzala Constituency, will get the benefits of this Government’s good effort and good budgeting.


Sir, I would be failing in my debate, if I do not congratulate His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, on sending the hon. Minister of Finance, who has been able to do certain things in a very short period which will benefit the poor in rural areas. You do understand that 90 per cent of the food that we eat comes from small-scale farmers. We call them peasant farmers, but the value chain does not end up at them. It is like soup costing more than the meat. The producer of the maize in the village receives very little money, compared to the miller or the transporter in between the value chain. Therefore, I am glad to hear the hon. Minister of Finance pronounce that chain supermarkets in Zambia will be encouraged to use local products. Local products in this case means, local vegetables, local beef and locally processed beef products. Thus, it is very gratifying to hear that import duty on certain agro products will be increased so that we deter the importation of things that can be produced in the country.


Sir, I would like to speak about money. The money that we find in commercial banks has very high interest rates. The COVID 19 relief fund was about K10 billion but, so far, the uptake of that money is only about K2 billion because most international banks are not interested in that money. They get their off take from super markets like Shoprite, Pick N Pay, and many others. Meanwhile, Zambian banks do not benefit from the lower rates for the Bank of Zambia. So, really, the hon. Minister thought it well to encourage interbank trading because local banks are going to be refinanced. Even Government departments will be encouraged to save their money with local banks.


Sir, as regards the manufacturing industries, there are manufacturing companies such as Trade Kings and Lamasat, yet we allow people to bring in pipes from China which can be manufactured locally. It is important that the hon. Minister looked at that area to ensure that certain importations are given higher import duty so that we encourage the industrialisation which we have been talking about, yet do not implement.


Sir, I have spoken enough and I feel that this Budget must be supported.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mbulakulima (Milenge): Mr Speaker, first of all, I thank you for this rare opportunity. Secondly, let me use this window to congratulate Hon. Livune, who obtained a Masters Degree in Peace and Conflict Resolution. I hope that his background of trade unionism plus the Masters Degree will make him a better hon. Member of Parliament in his constituency and Zambia at large.


Mr Speaker, I believe this is a realistic Budget in the sense that Zambia is part of the global village. Zambia is not an island. Our Budget meets both global and national aspirations and standards. It is anticipated that the global economy will shrink by 8 per cent, while that of the sub-Saharan region will shrink by 3.5 per cent. Definitely, the projection that our economy will have negative 4 per cent growth is realistic. However, we understand the contraction of our economy. The contraction of our economy is based on issues we are all aware of, for example, climate change and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic as all these have affected the global economy. Locally, the poor copper price is affecting us.


Mr Speaker, definitely, we are going to rebound. Why? The Ministry of Finance has put in place the economic recovery plan. We are also hopeful that we will mitigate the negative factors. For example, electricity production is bound to improve by March next year and this means that all the businesses will take off. So, the Government is putting in place all mechanisms. Further, agriculture is doing very well. Thus, we are hopeful that if the weather improves in the southern part of Zambia, we are going to do extremely well. Further, our hope lies in the copper price making a rebound, and indications are pointing to that effect.


Mr Speaker, above all, it is up to all of us to be mindful of these issues. We also have to change our attitude and stop the blame game. I am impressed that the tax ratio of Pay as You Earn (PAYE) has been improved. Further, the incentives given to the business community in general, including agriculture, are fantastic. Mechanisation in agriculture is good. So, it is time we put the hoe in the archives. We cannot continue using the hoe during this time.


Mr Speaker, let me draw the attention of the hon. Minister of Finance to Part III of the Budget Speech, which is, “Reducing Developmental Inequalities.” This issue needs to be revisited. Both hon. Members from the Opposition and the Ruling Party have aired their views that we lag behind on this issue, and I will give an example of my constituency. I have written to the hon. Minister of Finance regarding the Mansa/Milambo Road. This road is in a terrible state. The Head of State spoke about it and gave instructions, but nothing is happening. Yesterday, Kasanka/Milenge Road was shown on television. It is also in a very terrible state and one cannot agree that it is a district road. This year, we were given two allocations. The first was K300,000 and the next was K200,000. Surely, this amount cannot bring development to the area. The people of Milenge are not asking for K200 million, K100 million or K50 million. All they are asking for is K5 million to K10 million, and they shall be home and dry and will clap for the Government.


Mr Speaker, we have complained about the issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs). However, our colleagues are on top of things. In Luapula, Milenge, in particular, for example, it took ten days for the system to stabilise, but we remained hopeful that the Government would answer and, indeed, it answered. For the same reason, I believe that the Government will address the inequalities –


Mr Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Samakayi (Mwinilunga): Mr Speaker, I know that the hon. Minister of Finance had a tough time coming up with this Budget because of the prevailing economic conditions world over. We would believe him if wasteful expenditure is not tolerated, and by wasteful expenditure, I mean elections that do not arise out of natural causes, but brought about because the Patriotic Front (PF) is buying councillors. That is taking away a lot of our money from the Treasury and the hon. Minister should have an eye on this kind of expenditure.


Hon. Member: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Samakayi: There is no point of order here.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Mwinilunga, it does not lie upon you to make such a ruling, if you may even call it that. Also, on your reference to the Patriotic Front (PF) buying councillors, I do not think it is something that you should advance in that fashion. Earlier on, I counselled the Leader of the Opposition on the requirement to be factual in your debates. If you are put to task to prove that, are you able to? That is the question you should ask yourself. Proof is proof, hard evidence. Otherwise, you end up making insinuations, which our rules do not permit. If you read the handbook, you will see that your debate is not supposed to make insinuations. Many of these issues can be advanced, for want of a better expression, in a very civil debate and you can still make the same points.


You may proceed.


Mr Samakayi: Mr Speaker, I have taken heed of your counsel.


Mr Speaker, let me talk about education. The population of Zambia has been growing and we have not seen a corresponding growth in the number of schools being built in order to cover the increasing population. I am specifically talking about rural areas, where very few schools have been built over the last ten or fifteen years. I think we are doing a disservice to our people by not building schools.


Mr Speaker, the issue of teacher recruitment is one that is daunting for the rural areas as well. I heard that the teacher/pupil ratio is increasing. I am not too sure where this is increasing because in my constituency, at many schools that are from Grades 1 to 7, there is only one teacher who is the headmaster. So, when people talk about an increased teacher/pupil ratio, I do not know whether they are talking about other provinces at the exclusion of my province. So, I implore the hon. Minister of Finance to look at the teacher recruitment process.


Mr Speaker, the other issue I want to talk about is agriculture. The Government should consider producing food for national security, which is 500,000 metric tonnes of maize. I believe the Zambia National Service (ZNS) and the Zambia Correctional Service (ZCS) have the capacity to do so, and if they do not have, they must be capacitated so that they can produce food for national security so that the rest of the farmers in the country can produce food that can be exported to other countries to enable us to earn foreign exchange.


Mr Speaker, another issue I want to talk about is that of infrastructure. Our roads in rural areas have been unattended to for so many years. I am talking about the road from Lumwana to Chief Kakoma’s area to Kambimba, which is the border to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The road to Chief Kanyama’s area is deplorable and the roads to the areas of Chief Ntambu, Chief Kanongesha and Chief Chibwika are all in a deplorable state. I would want to see that investment is channelled to these areas so that we uplift the living standards of the people in these areas as well as encourage agricultural productivity and marketing of agricultural products.


Mr Speaker, a hospital is being constructed in the province but to date, it has not been completed. However, the Government proposes to build a stadium in Mwinilunga, but we do not want a stadium. As a leader from Mwinilunga, we do not want the stadium that the Government proposes to build in Mwinilunga. We want roads, a hospital and tangible investment. The Government should not promise us investment which it has failed to fulfill in the Western Province. It promised to construct a stadium which it has failed to build in eight years. We do not want it. It should keep it and give us the road and not the stadium.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Mr Speaker, I will be factual in my debate.


Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I want to say that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is very good at producing documents, but the implementation is very bad. Most of the spending agencies are still at 40 to 50 per cent of their current Budget spending as at September 2020. One wonders when they will be given the other balance because we only have about two to three months to go before the year comes to an end. So, the document that the hon. Minister of Finance produced can look good, but the problem with the PF Government is that it is specialised in failing to implement things, and I will give an example.


Mr Speaker, in the 2021 Budget, the hon. Minister has allocated a lot of money under the Ministry of Agriculture and the PF Government says it is a listening government. The people of the Southern Province and the Western Province have been saying that it does away with the Electronic-Voucher (e-Voucher) System because it has failed in these two provinces, but what do we see? The hon. Minister has, again, insisted that the e-Voucher System will be implemented even next year. Our colleagues in other areas are being given about eight bags of fertiliser, but our farmers still get three bags of fertiliser, and these are the inequalities that we talk about. The water and sanitation budget was released this year, but we have not seen a single borehole in Moomba Parliamentary Constituency and the year is coming to an end. One wonders what is going on. That is why I am saying that this Budget might be drafted, but our hon. Colleagues do not know how to implement it.


Mr Speaker, as my hon. Colleagues have said, the roads in rural areas are in a bad state, even when we are given money, and I will give an example of the World Bank. The World Bank gave us a lot of money for the roads in rural areas to be worked on but to date, no single road in my constituency has been constructed. We have been asking about these things, but we have been told that procurement is being done for the last three years. I wonder what will happen when one day the World Bank comes and says that it wants its money back. Even when the PF Government is being given free money to implement programmes, it is failing to do such things and we wonder what kind of Government this is.


Mr Speaker, let me talk about the tax band, which the hon. Member for Kanchibiya said the Government has done well to increase. Quite alright, the exemption of Pay as You Earn (PAYE) has been increased from K3,300 to K4,000. That is a tax band relief, but look at the current commodity prices. A 2 kg packet of sugar now costs about K38 and cement, which was costing K60, is now K110. So, even if the Government increases the tax band, there is no relief at all because many people are currently not employed. So, what are they talking about?


Mr Speaker, you have told us to be factual in our debate and if we went around the shopping malls, we would find that the prices of commodities have escalated. So, even if the Government has increased the tax band from K3,300 to K4,000, it has actually not done anything. There is no cushion. People’s lives should get better, but they are getting worse because things are expensive. People are in dire poverty and, then, someone stands up and says the PF Government is doing a good job. What good job? They have ‘messed us’. People are failing to have three meals in a day and then someone stands and says the PF Government is –


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member, did you use the words ‘messed up’.


Mr Chaatila: I said they have messed up.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, the words ‘messed up’ or ‘mess’ are not parliamentary. Withdraw those words.


Mr Chaatila: Sir, I withdraw the words. Thank you for your guidance.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Chilanga Parliamentary Constituency praised the Government for increasing the number of beneficiaries on the Social Cash Transfer Scheme from 700,000 to 900,000. The question I want to ask the hon. Minister of Finance is: How many people have benefited from the Social Cash Transfer Scheme among the 700,000 people currently on this programme? You will find that, maybe, it is only about 100,000. The rest have been waiting for ages and they have not received anything. So, what is the point of increasing the number when they are failing to even meet the current target? Therefore, those are the issues we should look at.


Mr Speaker, we should have a budget whereby it is actualised and money is given according to what is indicated or allocated when it is brought on the Floor of the House. We should not have a situation whereby money starts growing legs because of issues of corruption and misuse. Therefore, I call upon the hon. Minister of Finance to ensure that this Budget is actualised.


Mr Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to make some comments on this very important Budget.


Mr Speaker, I would like to begin by congratulating the hon. Minister of Finance for having come up with a Budget in this very complicated environment. The hon. Minister has been honest enough to tell the nation that, indeed, we are in a crisis, like the rest of the world is.


Mr Speaker, the critical question to ask is what type of Budget this is, given the crisis that we have. The hon. Minister of Finance has made it very clear that this is a Budget that attempts to bring hope to the Zambian people, through economic recovery and social protection. This Budget has various measures  in place to do that.


Sir, given the crisis that we are in, this Budget appeals to our collective moral compass that is rooted in our values and principles, especially of patriotism and national unity. It is a Budget that should not make us come up with brushes to paint some as bad guys and others as good guys, but a Budget that calls for deep reflection on how to take the country out of the liquidity crisis.


Mr Speaker, the economy will establish a minus zero growth rate next year. How do we come out of this crisis? We should all put our heads together and address the three elephants in the room, namely climate change, the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the indebtedness, which have a very negative impact on our economy. The challenge is that hon. Members of the House should looking at the revenue side of the Budget to see how best we can assist the hon. Minister of Finance to come up with revenue. We can suggest innovative measures to be put in place and how the hon. Minister of Finance can generate more revenue for the economy.


Sir, I would like to make two or three suggestions. First of all, it is time that the hon. Minister of Finance addressed the vexing issue of illicit capital flows out of our economy. In 2018, the United Nations (UN) declared that the world should address the illicit flows of resources out of Africa. I think Zambia should do that. It is a very difficult and complex issue, but it is time to do it.


Mr Speaker, secondly, we are now digitalising. We should begin to ask ourselves what is happening to the money that is paid for the international text messages which are coming into the country from other countries. The research which we have just concluded indicates that millions of dollars are paid to mobile service companies. However, nobody knows exactly how much MTN, Airtel and Zamtel are paid. We must begin to take measures to tap into those resources so that money can get to the Treasury.


Sir, the third aspect is that we should begin to look at is our land. How we can generate resources from it and attract revenue using it? Let us take the Chinese model, for instance. China used its land to generate resources for the economy. Most of these construction companies we see today emanated from the policy of using land for resource generation.


Mr Speaker, there are so many trucks traversing our country. We must see how best we can generate resources from those trucks.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): inaudible.


Mr Nakacinda (Nominated): Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to add a voice to the debate on the Motion.


Sir, let me begin by congratulating the hon. Minister of Finance for presenting a very realistic Budget during the current global economic downturn. We all know that the global economy is in turmoil due to the Coronavirus Diseases 2019 (COVID-19). We live under these circumstances and all of us need to brace ourselves and summon the virtue of patriotism like Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa has indicated. We should be able to support the hon. Minister of Finance as he steers the economy through these troubled waters.


Sir, the measures that the hon. Minister of Finance has put in place, such as the refinancing option for our debt, leave us optimistic that things will be manageable. We, as a country, will be able to pull through these challenges if we support him and hold hands together as a people.


Mr Speaker, this is not the time for us to attempt to celebrate the misfortune of the COVID-19 pandemic and the other challenges that the country has faced. Some people seem to be making insinuations with the hope that the management of the economy will be challenged to levels where the Zambian people will think that it is as a result of those that are in Government. We have seen others attempting to tilt the narrative and suggest that what we are going through is as a result of the mismanagement of the economy.


Mr Speaker, one of the things that the hon. Minister pronounced was the issue of accountability. The principle of accountability must be at the core of whatever we, as a people, do if we are to register progress.


Sir, I was taken aback this morning when the Leader of Opposition was debating. He tried to suggest that if the President proceeds to institute a commission of inquiry into the privatisation programme, which has been on the lips of the Zambian people who have not been satisfied with certain things around that process for a long time, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank will not be happy with Zambia and that they will not support some of the programmes that we are proposing to them.


Mr Speaker, I found such statements misleading. The statement seems to suggest that even if the IMF and the World Bank supported the privatisation in this country, they were supporting a programme that was characterised by fraud and criminal activities that the Zambian people seem to be suggesting took place during that process.


Sir, perhaps, the hon. Leader of Opposition is just fulfilling the saying that the guilty are always afraid. When you look at how some of our hon. Colleagues are squeaky around the issue of privatisation, you can only but conclude that there may be something to probe. If you are innocent, you should be among the people celebrating a probe of that programme so that, ultimately, you are cleared of the allegations and insinuations that may have come and the matter is put to rest once and for all. However, to attempt to hold this country at ransom by suggesting that the World Bank or IMF will not be happy with this process is misplaced. I would like to believe that the World Bank and the IMF will be in the forefront celebrating this process because they would want people to ultimately account for the roles they played during that process.


Sir, in implementing the Budget, we encourage the hon. Minister of Finance to have accountability as one of the key words in his mouth.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for according me this chance to pass a few remarks on the Budget.


Mr Speaker, the problem that we have about this Budget is its purpose. I came up with a theme for this 2021 Budget, which is “Political survival at all costs at the expense of an economic meltdown sustained by economic mismanagement, corruption and by a financially undisciplined Executive.”


Mr Speaker, this Budget is a clear indication of how the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has failed to run the economy and it should step down on moral grounds. Let me state why I am saying so.


Mr Speaker, firstly, the economy is in a recession because of mismanagement and corruption culminating into debt. The figures on our table do not balance. In this Budget, if you look at the two tables, you will see that for the Government to pay civil servants, the hon. Minister of Finance will have to borrow money again. For him to service debt, he will have to borrow.


Mr Speaker, the Government requested some other lenders, who had given it the Eurobond, to reconsider pushing the interest forward or give the Government some relief of some kind, but at the sometime it wants to borrow. One of the major things making the whole Budget or economy bad is the debt. The Government wants to borrow again, yet it is the same borrowing that is bringing it problems. The Government is asking other organisations to relieve it of the interest on this debt, but at the same time it wants to borrow. What kind of mathematics is this?


Mr Speaker, Government reserves are what should have helped us stabilise the Kwacha. However, again, the reserves from this same Budget were used to pay back the debt. The Government wants to borrow again to pay back the debt and then the interest that it is paying for the domestic debt is K18 billion and it is not even paying any principle for the domestic debt. What this means is that there will be less money in circulation. The other effect is that because the Government over-borrows domestically, the interest rates increase. As a result, ordinary citizens who want to start up businesses cannot borrow. This is, again, a very big problem.


Mr Speaker, we told the Government to maintain the reserves so that the Kwacha could be stable. Even the figure that we have been given of K119,616,011,615 will not be sustained because the Kwacha will keep depreciating because we are in a dangerous zone. The reserves have been depleted by the PF Government due to mismanagement of K1.3 billion, and what this means is that we are in the red light. The Kwacha will keep depreciating. What this means is that the Government will need more Kwacha to service the domestic loans as well as the external debt. This is a very difficult budget. It is extremely difficult.


Mr Speaker, the other area one has to look at is that of the youth make up 65 per cent of the country’s population. They have only been given very little or peanuts. This is a group of people who are supposed to take a big chunk of the Budget, but they are completely marginalised and given about K155,237,025.


Mr Speaker, this Budget is not balanced. For the first time, the Government has to borrow to pay civil servants. The Government has to borrow money to pay for another loan. I am yet to find a genius to give me a name for such kind of mathematics.


Mr Speaker, let me now talk about the Social Cash Transfer Scheme. In my constituency, people have not got any money at all from this scheme for a long period. However, it has now been increased from K100 million to about K1 billion. Why is the Government increasing the allocation for the social cash transfer? Will this money go to the beneficiaries? The answer is no. This is the money the Government is going to use to buy voters. That is why I have said that this Budget is all about political survival for the PF and not for the Zambians.


Mr Speaker, the Government has also increased money on Economic Affairs to K21,499,987,741. All this is money that the PF will be using in its campaigns. If you look at the PF’s inspiration of getting more money, which is about K 5 billion from the mines, how do you get this money when Konkola Copper Mines Plc (KCM) is under receivership? The other mine is also not working very well. The Government has destroyed the mines because of bad policies. The Government is talking of getting money from Income Tax, but companies are closing up.


Mr Speaker, this Budget is not for Zambians, but for the PF’s political survival. I think the best Zambians can do is to have this Government out. The elephant in our room is not only the debt, but the PF as well. I thank you for allowing me to make a few comments.


I thank you, Sir.






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


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1137 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 6th October, 2020.