Thursday, 8th October, 2020

Printer Friendly and PDF

Thursday, 8th October, 2020


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












44. Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo) asked the Minister of Health:


  1. when radio communication equipment will be procured for health facilities in Sikongo District; and
  2. what the cause of the delay in procuring the equipment is.


The Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection (Dr Chanda) (on behalf of the Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya)): Mr Speaker, the Government has no immediate plans to procure radio communication equipment for health facilities in Sikongo District.


Mr Speaker, as stated earlier, the Government has no immediate plans to procure radio equipment. Therefore, part (b) of the question falls off.


Sir, the House may wish to note that all health facilities in Sikongo District are reachable using voice and text messages through the communication towers that have been installed by the Government.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwila was inaudible.










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


Mr Speaker, let me start by thanking the Committee for the consultations undertaken on the intent, contents and implementation modalities of the Bill. The Food Reserve Bill, 2020, seeks to enhance the administration and management of the national strategic food reserves and food security of the nation. While the outlined objects of the Bill are broad, the Food Reserve Bill aims to attain enhanced management of the country’s food security by defining the national strategic reserves, giving the Ministry of Agriculture powers to inspect and verify stocks, declaring selected storage sites as restricted areas, and aligning the financial provisions of the Bill to the current practices. These objects provide for:


  1. continue the existence of the Food Reserve Agency and re-define its functions;
  2. re-constitute the Board of the Agency;
  3. continue the existence of the National Strategic Food Reserve;
  4. repeal and replace the Food Reserve Act, 1995; and
  5. provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.


Sir, over the years, we have noted several inefficiencies that have hindered the efficient management of the national strategic food reserves and ultimately the food security of the country. Through this Bill, we have attempted to address some of these issues to enhance the management of the national strategic food reserves.


Mr Speaker, allow me to address some concerns raised by the Committee and some stakeholders during the consultation process. One of the key issues around the Bill which keeps coming up is the purported commercialisation of the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). I wish to state that the operations of the FRA will not be commercialised through this Bill. All provisions in the Bill that relate to selling and export of designated commodities are already in place in the Food Reserve Act of 1995. To emphasise this point, I will make reference to Section 5 of the Bill, which highlights the functions of the FRA. Some of the functions, particularly in Section 5(2)(a)(b), have been misunderstood as commercialisation of the operations of the FRA. I assure the House and the nation at large that these functions are currently being performed by the FRA as outlined in Section 4 and 8 of the Food Reserve Act of 1995.  The core functions of the FRA have been maintained in the proposed Bill as they currently stand in the Food Reserve Act of 1995.


Sir, to prevent rotting of the maize in the national strategic food reserves, the FRA needs to rotate the stock. Therefore, these provisions allow the FRA to rotate the stock. Further, these provisions empower the FRA to meet shortfalls in supply on the market, address monopolistic practices by the private sector, and intervene where relief food is needed.


Mr Speaker, Section 18 of the Bill confers some immunity on the board members and employees of the FRA. Although there is some apprehension among stakeholders, this clause is standard in many pieces of legislation such as the Energy Regulation Board Act, 2019, Nurses and Midwives Act, 2019 and Mental Health Act, 2019, to mention a few. This clause has been brought before the House in the past and has been approved in other pieces of legislation. This is a standard provision and, therefore, it should not cause any anxiety on the part of the stakeholders and, indeed, hon. Members of Parliament.


Sir, as I have already mentioned, the Food Reserve Agency Bill wishes to declare some storage facilities as restricted areas. Over the years, the FRA sites around the country have been prone to trespassing and encroachment, and so, it has become necessary to protect the food reserves. This provision is meant to achieve two things, namely protection of the food reserves from tampering and sabotage, and protection of the public from possible poisoning from the fumigation that is undertaken on these sites. This provision will not apply to satellite depots or private and community-owned sites, but to the FRA-owed sites only.


Mr Speaker, in order to make sound policy decisions and avoid inconsistencies, the Government needs accurate and up-to-date information. Over the years, we have relied on the stock monitoring committee hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture to collect information on the stocks of designated commodities held by the industry players. However, this has not provided accurate information on stocks held by the private sector players. Further, the House may wish to know that the private sector players will either under declare or over declare stocks depending on their interest.


As a country, we can no longer rely on unverified information, but need accurate and verifiable information to make decisions on food security. For this reason, we propose, through the Bill, that the Ministry of Agriculture be given the mandate to inspect and verify stocks held by the private sector players.


Sir, I would like to assure the House that all recommendations and observations on the Bill will be taken into consideration. I also thank your Committee for coming up with clear observations and recommendations on the Bill.


Mr Speaker, in conclusion, enactment of the Bill will enhance the management of food security in the country and ensure efficiency in the operations of the FRA. I, therefore, urge all hon. Members of the House to support the Bill.


Sir, I beg to move.


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, the Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources considered the Food Reserve Agency Bill No. 6 of 2020 that was referred to it on 1st July, 2020. I wish to report to this august House that despite raising some concerns on certain provisions in the Bill, most of the witnesses that appeared before the Committee supported the Bill.


Sir, notable among the concerns raised was an issue on Clause 5 relating to the functions of the agency as outlined in the Bill. With regard to this clause, stakeholders were concerned that expanding the role of the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) by making it an active market player in commodities, the agency would stifle private sector participation. This was viewed as going against the Government policy as espoused in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), which aimed at encouraging private sector participation in the agriculture sector.


Mr Speaker, stakeholders argued that this provision had the potential of crowding out the private sector and increasing operational costs for the FRA, thereby adding a further burden to the National Treasury and, in turn, negating the objective that the Bill was intended to achieve.


Sir, the Committee realises that if this clause is not reviewed, it will crowd out the private sector and that it will be a departure from the original mandate that the FRA has of managing and administering the country’s strategic food reserves.


Mr Speaker, in view of the foregoing, the Committee strongly recommends that the FRA should maintain the social function for which it was originally formed as stipulated in the Food Reserve Act, Cap 255 of the Laws of Zambia.


Sir, the Bill, in Clause 6(1), provides for the hon. Minister to appoint two persons with proven knowledge and experience in matters relating to the Act to sit on the board of the FRA. This provision does not give the criterion or the qualifications they should possess to be considered. The Committee strongly recommends that, for the sake of transparency and instilling public confidence in the board, the Act should specify the criterion or the qualifications that such appointees should posses.


Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I wish to express my appreciation to the witnesses who made submissions before the Committee and the hon. Members of the Committee for their co-operation during the consideration of the Bill. Finally, the Committee is grateful to you, Sir, for granting it the opportunity to scrutinise the Food Reserve Agency Bill No. 6 of 2020.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for according me an opportunity to debate this very important Bill. The Food Reserve Agency Bill is a catalyst for national food security because quite often, the players in the market have been selling their produce at a very exorbitant price. Without the Government’s intervention, especially this year, the price of mealie meal would have been escalating at a very abnormal rate. So, with the coming in of the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), particularly with the maize that was stored sometime last year, we have managed to stabilise the cost of mealie meal.


Sir, many players in the market have been contemplating the need for us to run the FRA in a manner that would provide competition for other crops. This would enable people who want to buy other crops apart from maize to actually go to the FRA, where they would actually bid for whatever commodity they would want to buy.


Mr Speaker, as mentioned by the Chairperson of your Committee, I think that the intention of the Government is to ensure that we maintain enough stocks of food, particularly for maize, which is the staple food for the country. If we allow competition from private players, I think that we shall not be able to achieve what the Government intends to do with the FRA, specifically with the administration of the national strategic food reserves.


Sir, the FRA also provides information on what the cost of maize would be in a particular year. For now, we are managing to sell a 50 kg bag of maize at K110 to people who want to buy maize from the Government. This is helping our vulnerable people to access this important crop. Otherwise, if are to let it to the briefcase buyers, the commodity would have been beyond the reach of a common Zambian.


Mr Speaker, I want to concur with the statement that the FRA should be preserved and retained because the purpose for which it is serving is very important for the country. I support this Bill.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, allow me to briefly add a voice to this debate.

Mr Speaker, I would like to support the Bill by stating that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has proved to be a very strategic institution that has helped stabilise mealie meal prices. The FRA was able to stabilise the commodity even in times when the public was panicking and thinking that the country was going hungry because of social media and malicious reports.

Sir, it is important that we begin to look at diversifying the functions of the FRA. Currently, we appear to be the only country in Central Africa that can produce huge quantities of maize. However, this maize is being smuggled out daily. Therefore, we want to take advantage of the hunger situation in the region by increasing the capacity of the FRA so that it could officially export maize to our neighbouring countries as opposed to smuggling.

Mr Speaker, we have a situation where we have the crop and a hungry neighbourhood, but we are missing out on a lot of business opportunities as a result. The FRA must begin to think outside the box so that we begin to talk about a surplus even as we talk about the hungry neighbourhood.

Sir, the majority of the maize smuggled out of the country is as a result of the fact that many people think they should not sell their maize to the FRA. However, we have seen this working Government improve the manner and the time in which payments are made to the people who supply maize to the FRA. As a result, the confidence that the people had in the FRA has returned.


Mr Speaker, allow me to conclude by stating that the FRA must also be protected from vipers who wake up in the morning and tell the Zambians that they are hungry when they have not consulted the FRA. If I had my way, I would propose that penalties be stipulated in the Food Reserve Agency Act in order to prevent panic-buying and people spreading falsehoods. We are aware that some people think they can go to State House when mealie meal prices start rising. However, at the moment, the prices are reducing because the FRA has been doing a very commendable job.


Sir, we thank the FRA management. They have opened up new depots where they can collect this crop from, in places where people never thought they could reach. This could also help us reduce the middlemen who are exploiting our farmers.

Mr Speaker, with those few words, I support the Bill.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, whilst I support the Bill, we have to look backwards and see where we are going when dealing with the food reserve, especially in relation to maize.

Sir, maize has value not only in Zambia but also in our neighbouring countries. The hand of the Government is one that everyone can depend on. It can help to control prices and stabilise food security. However, we have not learnt a lesson based on the policies in place. There is always a shortage of maize between December and March. The policies are not consistent.

Sir, from the days of the National Agricultural Marketing Board (NAMBOARD) to date, maize is a commodity that we can grow in surplus and export to compete with copper. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), parts of Angola, Burundi and other countries are willing to buy this maize, but we do not manage it sustainably. We keep calling the people who are helping the poor by buying their maize as unscrupulous businessmen. However, the people trust the FRA, but they are not paid on time; transporters are not paid and there are so many deficiencies that we have not corrected.

Mr Speaker, we should sit down and figure out what else can be done, other than mining copper that can give this country the much needed reserves. We behave like people who do not know where they come from. We have not yet learnt our lesson. These are commodities which we should help farmers to grow and maintain. This is the responsibility of the Government that cannot be left to every Jim and Jack. It depends on the policies that are put in place.

Sir, buying, transporting and exporting maize is a problem. The Government can allow people to export maize today and stop them from doing so tomorrow. There is no consistency. Therefore, I suggest that we should have some farmers who should grow maize for export, others for food reserves and others who can trade with anybody. We need to control the sector to make it viable for this country.

Mr Speaker, as we are discussing this Food Reserve Agency Bill, we need to realise that maize is a commodity that requires proper management. Considering the days of NAMBOARD and where we are now, this is a locally consumed and highly demanded commodity that can give us an export value. The Bills that we look at should address all the issues that we have been talking about and that have been with us for some time. 

Sir, Zambia is not poor, but we are just deficient in our minds. We have not put accurate or timely polices to address certain problems in the country. We urge the hon. Minister to go back to the table and look at the policies that can work to the advantage of the country. We need to be reviewing these policies from time to time. There is nobody to manage our economy. The white people left, but they laugh at us today because of the way we struggle to restructure our systems.

Mr Speaker, Luapula Province, the North-Western Province, the Eastern Province and the Northern Province have good rainfall patterns that can give us all the required reserves. I urge the hon. Minister and the Government to bring policies or Bills that are adequate to address the situation pertaining to this country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Siwanzi (Nakonde): Mr Speaker, from the outset, I just want to state that I support the Bill and I want to state that this is a welcome move that means well for strategic food reserves in this country.

Sir, we cannot leave strategic food reserves in the hands of the private sector. In qualifying my point, I would like to state how the Government is losing out in terms of support to our peasant farmers through the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).

Mr Speaker, the beneficiary of FISP is a businessman seated in the comfort of his chair in one of the big cities in the country. The Government pumps in a lot of money to support our peasant farmers. When they cultivate these crops, businessmen who have access to funds in the bank go to rural areas like Nakonde and secure the harvest in which the Government has invested resources. They then hold on to these crops until the prices of maize skyrocket since the Government does not check and has no access to these stocks of maize. In some cases, we have artificial shortages. At the end of the day, they hold the Government at ransom, sell these crops at high prices and make money out of the resources that the Government has injected through FISP. Who is the beneficiary at the end of the day? The poor peasant farmer is currently not compelled to take the harvest to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) because they have to make a decision of whether to sell the maize immediately or not.

Mr Speaker, I welcome this particular Bill because it will control and suppress the monopoly of the private sector. With these few words, I wish to state that I support the Bill.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Ms Kasune (Keembe): Mr Speaker, I wish to add on to what my colleagues, Hon. Muchima and Hon. Siwanzi, the Member for Nakonde, have said. I thought the voice from the people of Keembe Constituency, being a farming belt and the voice of women, is very critical.


 Mr Speaker, many times, people do not realise, especially when we talk of small-scale farming, that at the end of the day, more women contribute to small-scale farming than our male counterparts. In adding to the debate on the Bill on the Floor and agreeing to it, I just want to say that for the longest time, as Zambia, especially under this Government, we have been advocating for diversification and agriculture has been seen as the way forward given everything that is happening. Places such as Keembe Constituency sit at the centre of that, not only in feeding the nation but also in seeing a lucrative way of how local revenue can be raised in the country. This has to be taken in as the hon. Minister goes beyond today and beyond Parliament.


Mr Speaker, it is the inconsistencies in polices, and lack of understanding of separating of power between the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and what they were mandated to do. This has created a lot challenges and red tape, leaving a woman who is a farmer, not only looking to feed herself but also to make it as a business. That is why at the end of the day, many people are not graduating from Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) when they should have been graduating. So, you see an inconsistent pattern and at the end of the day, we are not at the place where we ought to be.


Mr Speaker, at the time this Bill will be actualised, the things that are being stipulated therein should be put in place. The main issue is implementation. I think, we will forever continue to have a challenge in the implementation area. We have to ensure that the farmers themselves benefit. I cannot echo much the sentiments that the hon. Member for Nakonde has stated. He said that it is the businessmen or businesswomen who are actually benefitting, leaving the farmers with almost little or no profit from their produce.

Mr Speaker, Zambian farmers have better environments than South African farmers, for example. What we do not have is the advancement of doing agriculture in our country. So, if you compare the same size of land that may be cultivated by both a farmer in Zambia and a farmer in South Africa, and the fertility of the soil, a farmer who is in South Africa will do much better than a farmer in Mkushi or Serenje or Keembe constituencies. That is because we have not gone beyond the traditional way of farming from 100 years ago. We are still behind when we know that technological advances have really taken over. 


Sir, when we talk of technological advances in Zambia, let us remember, especially, the Ministry of Agriculture, as we look at this Bill, to ensure that it is factored in because our farmers are still farming with a hoe or a plough and cows. Some of them do not even have cows to use when ploughing and have to rent. These programmes will forever be for people who are not doing the actual work. As a country, we will not see the benefits when it comes to the diversification that we are talking about. Agriculture is the way forward, but can we ensure that we also advance the technologies for our small-scale framers in Keembe Constituency and in many other rural places who are not only feeding the country but can also contribute to the revenue of our country at domestic level.


Mr Speaker, I thank you


Mr A. Mumba (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, in supporting the Bill, I would like to add some of the observations that I have made, especially that I come from Kantanshi Constituency where we do a lot of farming. Additionally, because of the connection between the border of Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where we have a huge market in terms of supplying to the DRC, considering that the DRC does not have any particular agriculture policy that is able to respond to its food challenges.


Mr Speaker, when you look at the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), you will notice that it is funded through taxpayer’s money. I think that is not the way it should be. The FRA is, somehow, supposed to feed into the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). After buying the maize for the strategic reserves, of a budget of K5,701,404,933, as indicated in the 2021 Budget, the maize should remain open to the private sector to buy.


Mr Speaker, the Government has invested in milling plants such as Superior Milling, National Milling and the Zambia Correctional Service in Kabwe. The Government has also signed bilateral agreements. In short, it is economically unrealistic that today, as Zambia, we can still be talking about smuggling when we are supposed to take advantage of the situation in the region.  We have recorded bumper harvests, time and again. What is wrong with us harnessing the export part of the agriculture sector? We cannot continue saying that we are diversifying into agriculture, yet we are failing to produce the dollars that should support the operation of the FRA or, indeed, the growth of these investments that have been made in these companies.


Mr Speaker, I think that the Ministry of Agriculture needs to go back to the drawing board and look at what happens to the maize produce whenever we have a bumper harvest. In any case, we are not supposed to sell maize per se, but the mealie meal. This is because at every stage, we would have created jobs and the by-products of the maize at every stage could be exported. So, it would not only be the mealie meal that would be exported but also the by-products of maize.


Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Agriculture needs to address the issue of smuggling this season. Smuggling has created a lot of problems for people in the business of milling and those who have a ready market for mealie meal in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). I have referred to the DRC because one of the routes to the DRC passes through my constituency. So, the ministry needs to work hard. It has invested a lot of money in security services at border towns and there are so many roadblocks, but that money comes from the taxpayer. So, why not improve the business environment so that we can raise money and not only depend on the mining sector but also on this sector in which we have invested money.


Sir, in the next year’s Budget, K5.7 million has been allocated to the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). However, we have no revenue to support future FISPs that are supposed to feed into the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). As the FRA buys the grain, it can then feed into all the milling plants in which investment has made using taxpayer’s money so that we can have good prices for mealie meal, sustain ourselves and have food security. So, the Ministry of Agriculture needs to start thinking outside the box and demonstrate that, through this investment using taxpayer’s money, indeed, agriculture can be looked at as a business.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, I thank all the hon. Members who have contributed to the debate and supported it unanimously. These are the hon. Member for Kantanshi, the hon. Member for Keembe, the hon. Member for Nakonde, the hon. Member for Ikeleng’i, the Chairperson for the Committee on Agriculture Lands and Natural Resources, and the hon. Member for Kaputa, Mr Ng’onga, and the hon. Member for Serenje, Mr Kabanda.


Sir, like I indicated, the FRA will not compete with the private sector. It will only concentrate on buying maize in the most outlined areas. It has shades in areas where maize is usually kept as strategic reserves. So, the clauses referred to are there in the current Food Reserve Agency Act, as I highlighted in my submission. As highlighted by the Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources, the main clause will not crowd out the private sector.


Mr Speaker, regarding policy inconsistencies, it is important that we create linkages between FISP beneficiaries and the FRA, as they are supported by the Government. For the first time, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has paid farmers on time.


Sir, with those few remarks, I thank all hon. Members for unanimously supporting the Bill.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


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


Committed to a committee of the Whole House.


Committee on Wednesday, 14th October, 2020.




The following Bill was read the third time and passed:


The Food and Nutrition Bill, 2020








(Debate resumed)


Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Mr Speaker, when business was suspended yesterday, I was saying that the Patriotic Front (PF) was voted into power as a collective grouping and this was achieved through consultations. From the outset, I mentioned that I do not support this Motion because, as PF Members, especially Senior Members, we were supposed to be consulted and, collectively, we would have had agreed with the Motion on the Floor. However, this Motion came to this House as a surprise to us.


Sir, as regards the Motion, and what is contained in the syllabus, I have not found anything that seems to be worrisome. As a nation, we are amending the Constitution of Zambia, but we have not suspended it. Further, the mathematics I studied in Grade 2 in the 1980s was not suspended when it was being reviewed or upgraded. I am very sure that the doors at the Ministry of General Education are open for people who would like to add to or subtract anything from the syllabus that our children use today.


Mr Speaker, to be honest, this subject actually equips young people and covers issues that do not only deal with human anatomy and disease prevention but also human rights, gender equality, communication skills and respectful relations. It also improves the knowledge and attitude related to sexual and reproductive health and behaviour.


Sir, in view of what I have mentioned, I do not support the Motion.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for allowing me to join my colleagues who have opposed the Motion which is urging the Government to suspend the teaching of comprehensive sexuality education in our schools. Due to time, I will be very brief and fast.


Sir, I oppose the Motion based on three fronts. The first one is that the proponents of this Motion have failed to give us convincing reasons why they want comprehensive sexuality education to be suspended in our curriculum. The second front is based on the fact that Her Honour the Vice-President gave a very well-measured and timely response to those with concerns to the effect that a technical team is being constituted to look at this subject and that in any case, if there are concerns and gaps, then, those will most probably be addressed in that manner.


Mr Speaker, as Chairperson of the National Working Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health in this Parliament, which is a project under the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum, and Chairperson of the Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services, I requested that we look at this, but we were denied that authority on account that Her Honour the Vice-President had already made a statement thereon. So, I was very surprised to see this Motion on the Order Paper. I thought that there were compelling reasons that would be advanced to suspend this subject, but that is not the case.


Sir, there were also a lot of misleading statements that were made with regard to comprehensive sexuality education, which it is not. My colleague, the hon. Member for Chitambo, has actually ably explained why this subject is very important. This subject is not a stand-alone subject and it is very important for hon. Members to know that. The curriculum of the framework of this subject is embedded in other subjects that our young people learn. It is embedded in Religious Education, Biology, Civic Education and Home Economics. Therefore, people cannot say that we should suspend this subject as if it is a standalone subject. It is actually moral and life skills education that has been integrated into all these subjects to arm our young people as a country’s response to the high levels of girls dropping out due to early and unintended pregnancies.


Mr Speaker, hon. Members might wish to know that about 16,000 girls fall pregnant almost on an annual basis, and that number would fill the Woodlands Stadium. We know that the family and the Church are very important and they have been in the forefront of providing moral and spiritual guidance on this, but unfortunately, they have failed to deal with this matter. Therefore, governments worldwide, and particularly those in the Eastern and Southern African Region, came up with a very good policy framework, which was ratified and some of our high ranking officials from Zambia, including serving Ministers who are still in this House attended the conference in 2013. A very good policy which was well-researched and consultative was designed at this conference. Some of the church organisations that opposed it were part of the delegation and consultative process in Cape Town where this policy was promulgated.


Sir, it is age-appropriate because it is taught from Grade 5 to Grade 12 by trained teachers. The Ministry of General Education has invested a lot of time and money in ensuring that it is country context. In any case, I do not think the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, which is responsible for the policy framework, would have implemented this policy up to this time if it was inimical to the interests of this country.

Mr Speaker, the syllabus does not include what one of my colleagues talked about yesterday. In 2017, the Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services under the leadership of Hon. Dr Jonas Chanda and I, undertook a study on this subject. We toured this country extensively. We visited schools and even attended lessons at two or three schools and there was nothing like a demonstration of how condoms are worn. We even visited the hon. Minister of General Education, who is the still Minister today. We raised all these questions and everything has been smooth. The report was even approved in this House and there was no such thing as any of these objections. Therefore, if I was a Judge, I would have thrown out this Motion with costs. Further –



Mr Speaker: I am not sitting here as a Judge.




The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Speaker, I will not take long because I totally agree with some of the previous debates. I agree with what Hon. Dr Kalila has just talked about. I am a concerned party because I am the Chairperson for the Parliamentary Caucus on Children (PCC) and this issue has been a problem.


Sir, as a Member of Parliament who comes from a rural area, when I go to a Grade 7 class at any school, I would be lucky to find five or six girls in that class, and there are more than fifty-five schools in my constituency. Finding a teacher in a village or rural area teaching girls and boys things that they are not supposed to be taught is very worrying. That is not right. Instead of safeguarding the pupils, a teacher will ask them to practice what he is teaching them and in the end, he does not even warn them about the outcome.


Mr Speaker, the Government has done well to address this because everyone experiences these things. At some point, children even start asking questions. In today’s set up, it is difficult for children to get answers and in the end, they start experimenting what they are being taught. However, the Government decided to introduce the teaching of comprehensive sexuality education in schools and this is not something new. It is an old subject except that it was taught at a higher level when it was not necessary. It was too late because children would have already been affected at that time. So, I want to say that the teaching of comprehensive sexuality education in schools is very appropriate. Like Hon. Dr Kalila said, it is age-appropriate.


Mr Speaker, I had an opportunity to interact with some of the technocrats from the Ministry of Health who were engaged in reviewing the generic policy that the World Health Organisation (WHO) came up with and they removed all the contents that did not agree with our tradition and culture. So, some of the things appearing on social media are really shocking because according to the people I interacted with, those things are not there. Yes, in the initial generic form, they were there, but they were removed, but perhaps at some other time, somebody who was not part of that group inserted them back, which I think is not possible. So, it is not appropriate for us to start thinking of withdrawing this Motion. I know that some church groupings have risen against it, but people must understand that they are also human beings.


Mr Speaker, maybe, the experience is even less in the sense that the Church should have been the one to put a stop to early pregnancies, but that has not been the case. It has failed. So, the Government has to find a way of handling this issue and the way it has happened is how it should be. We must protect our girl children. We must see to it that they reach the university level and marrying age like boys, only then can we say that we are doing the correct thing and not us stopping issues such as this one for whatever reason. It is not appropriate because we are not protecting our girls.


Sir, people discussed this issue. It is not a new issue. Like Hon. Dr Kalila has said, it started from 2013, and people have been looking into it. There is nothing like a lack of consultation because people have been consulted. Almost all the responsible groupings have been consulted. It is not correct for the few people who were not consulted over this issue to make it a general issue. So, I would like to inform my fellow hon. Members that we do not need to withdraw this particular Motion.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to add a few words to this very important Motion. To begin with, allow me to mourn with our people in Kanchibiya, where early this morning, four people from the same family died in a water accident. Indeed, may God be with the family and our people in Kanchibiya.


Mr Speaker, allow me to also thank Her Honour the Vice-President for the response she gave when a question relating to this Motion was posed on Friday during the Vice-President’s Question Time. I think the question was to the point and it gave comfort to the many who are very concerned and, genuinely so, among them the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ).


Sir, as parents and concerned citizens, it is important that we, from time to time, examine the content that our children learn both in schools and at home.


Mr Speaker, let me also thank the Church for the role it continues to play. As a parent and a parliamentarian, I was concerned when I looked at one of the publications by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) called International Technical Guidance Sexuality Education. At page 30, the publication talks about gender and gender norms which is a guide to international education.


Sir, here, they give learning objectives for children from five to eight years. It states that the expected outcome for children is to reflect or define gender and biological sex. Note the difference. They are expected to define gender and biological sex and describe how the two are different. Similarly, the publication states that the learning objective for those aged nine years to twelve years is how individuals think of themselves or describe themselves to others in terms of their gender.


Sir, according to the glossary, on page 112, which is of concern to me, it is stated that gender identity is a person’s deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender which may or may not correspond to the sex assigned to him/her at birth. This includes the personal sense of the body which may involve, if freely chosen, modification of body appearance or function. Therefore, I do agree with Her Honour the Vice-President that a technical team has to be set up so that all those with concerns are able to examine this issue. Indeed, there were consultations, as the hon. Members could have mentioned earlier, but what is coming through the information has worried members of our community. As a responsible party in Government, I am glad that Her Honour the Vice-President represented the Government well, which has been attested to by both the hon. Members of the Ruling Party and the Opposition who have agreed with the position taken by the Patriotic Front (PF) Government.


Mr Speaker, I also want to thank Her Honour the Vice-President for that statement. I do not think that the concerns of our citizens, for example, for the EFZ are misplaced. It is important to get back to the drawing board and look at what people are saying are matters of concern.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr A. C. Mumba was inaudible.


Mr Fube was inaudible.


Ms Kasune (Keembe): Mr Speaker, it is really gratifying to see that hon. Members have risen to the occasion of not supporting this Motion on the Floor of this House. Let me start by saying that I am one of the few publicly renowned Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) positive lawmakers, not just in Zambia, but in the world. Secondly, I have tried to share how I became a teenage mother at the age of eighteen. When I was eighteen, I was married off. So, for me, when I speak to this issue, I do not do so only passionately and with expertise but it is personal because it affects, most importantly, our girls.


Sir, as the Vice-Chairperson of the committee on which the able Chairperson, Dr Kalila sits, and as someone who sits on the technical committee of Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF) on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) issues, I was saddened when I saw this Motion. What was being given as evidence against Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) was far from scientific facts. It was just mere assertions, all in the name of a Christian nation. It reminded me of the early days, as some of us have been HIV advocates for a very long time. I learnt I was HIV positive when I was twenty-one years old. I am almost forty-five years old now. This means I have been HIV positive for almost half of my life. Then, the Church did not understand the importance of talking about HIV/AIDS. However, it came around and realised that if it did not speak to this issue, our people would die. As a result of that turn around and because of the understanding of the reality that people are still human beings, today, we have seen the number of HIV cases drop. Today, people are on treatment and they are living longer.


Mr Speaker, we had an opportunity to interrogate comprehensive sexuality education in the Committee on Health, Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services and we were exposed to the curriculum. I almost shed tears as I kept thinking to myself and wishing I had this education when I was a younger person. Statistics will show you that at fifteen years old, 17 per cent of our young girls would have already engaged in an early sexual debut compared to boys between the ages of twenty five to forty-nine. Just as one hon. Member mentioned, when it comes to the issue of early marriages in our constituencies, you will not be surprised to see that when school starts, our young people are in numbers, especially the girls. However, because of the lack of comprehensive sexuality education, not sexual, that is the difference, by the time our young girls reach Grade 7, they are fewer. However, when you compare the same numbers in higher education, let us say in the eighth, tenth or eleventh grades, you will discover that the girls stabilise. Why is that so? It is because they have the information.


Mr Speaker, we cannot turn away from the fact that 15,000 young people are dropping out of school because of early pregnancies. Comprehensive sexuality education does not encourage our young people to indulge in sexual activities. Any mother, lawmaker or any well-meaning Christian is heart-broken when they find out that their children are indulging in early sex. More importantly, if we do not arm them with the correct information, not only are they likely to drop out of school because of early pregnancy, they are likely to be infected with other sexual infections beyond HIV/AIDS. This is why, for such a time as this, we need to move with the times and we need to empower our children. Education is power.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: I will now give hon. Members of the Executive and those to the right generally, an opportunity to debate. I will begin with the hon. Minister of Tourism and Arts. He has been indicating since yesterday.


The Minister of Tourism and Arts (Mr Chitotela): Mr Speaker, from the outset, let me say that I do not support this Motion out of collective responsibility. As stated by the hon. Member for Chitambo, the Patriotic Front (PF) is a very organised organisation that recognises authority and hierarchy.


Mr Speaker, yes, we could have heard concerns by other stakeholders. That is the more reason Her Honour the Vice-President, the number two person in the governance structure of this country, informed this august House and assured those with concerns, who are also key stakeholders about the Government’s position that it has listened and has heard the people’s cry. We have listened to your concern, but we are not technical and so, we cannot come up with a position. We shall form a technical working group that is going to encompass both those who are raising concerns for and those who are speaking against this issue.


Sir, I have listened to the technical arguments from various hon. Members of Parliament here. I was wondering and thinking that those concerns were best suited to be submitted to that committee that Her Honour the Vice-President referred to. How I wished you could have advised our brother, the hon. Member of Parliament for Chembe to withdraw the Motion so that collectively, we take the position of Her Honour the Vice-President of the Republic of Zambia so that we can give a chance to the technical team to preside over this matter.


Mr Speaker, if I got the words of Her Honour the Vice-President clearly, she stated that the Government would be advised by the technical team that will be constituted. It is going to involve faith-based organisations and those that are propagating the suspension of comprehensive sexuality education. The technical team will then submit recommendations to the Government. Based on the recommendations that will be given by the technical team, the Government will come up with a position for or against the comprehensive sexuality education. When I saw the Motion on the Order Paper yesterday, I thought that, maybe, I had missed one of the meetings and that is why there was a change of position by the Government. However, after thorough consultation, I was advised that the position of the Government still stood as advised in this House by Her Honour the Vice-President of the Republic of Zambia.


Sir, I, therefore, find it very strange that we can come as one body and give a different position from that which was given by the Leader of Government Business in this House. It is for this reason that I do not support the Motion. I would like to advise my hon. Colleagues who have come up with beautiful technical submissions like Hon. Dr Kalila who said that he sits on the technical team to make those submissions. Let the submissions come as part of the report that will be presented to the Government so that it can make a decision and then, the nation will be informed accordingly.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity to debate on the Motion on the Floor. I also want to start by saying that this Motion appears to be a Brought-In-Dead (BID) Motion. I say so because it appears not to have been brought in good faith. So, it died the moment it arrived on the Order Paper.


Mr Speaker, I will be very brief in my contribution. I have with me, a Civil Society Organisation’s (CSOs) position which supports the statement by Her Honour the Vice-President. The CSOs include the Southern Africa AIDS Dissemination Service (SAFAIDS) Centre for Reproductive Health and Education, Zambia National Education Coalition (ZANEC), Africa Directions, the Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI), Planned Parenthood Association of Zambia (PPAZ), World Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), the Southern African AIDS Trust (SAT), Treatment Advocacy and Literacy Campaign (TALC) and many more that I cannot even read out properly. There is the Zambia Women in Law & Development in Africa (WILDAF), Forum for African Women Educationalists of Zambia (FAWEZA), Restless Zambia and all these other organisations that are operating in Zambia.


Mr Speaker, I think that when we concentrate too much on social media, sometimes, we might pick up a fight that is in America and misplace it by bringing it here in Zambia. According to this document, which I will lay on the Table, the CSOs in Zambia are all opposed to this Motion. They have maintained that Comprehensive Sexuality Education has contributed to the reduction of teenage pregnancies between the year 2014 and 2017. They also state that there has been a reduction in school drop outs from 17,000 to 13,275 at basic school level in 2014. There has also been a reduction in child marriages from 42 per cent to 34 per cent. They have also stated that comprehensive knowledge among learners on Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and sexuality has increased by 25 per cent.


So, I do not know whether withdrawing this kind of education abruptly will assist this country. I also want to declare interest by stating that when I was in Grade 8, I was actually learning in an all-girls class, and I benefitted a lot from this kind of sexuality education. I was the only boy in a girls’ class.


Hon. Members: Ah! No wonder!




Mr Ngulube: I want to repeat that I was the only boy in a girls’ class and I learnt quite a lot. That is why withdrawing the Comprehensive Sexuality Education would not benefit this country.




Mr Speaker: I cannot see the connection.




Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, continue with your debate.


Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, it is very clear that without this knowledge, our school curriculum will be void. We know that whether we like it or not, whether we withdraw Comprehensive Sexuality Education or not, the people in the villages, the children who do not know about these things will never hear about HIV. They will not know about how to keep themselves safe among other pieces of information. I would like to say that I do not support this Motion because it is like a stab in the back. The Government’s position is known and it is very clear.


Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, the world is now a global village. If Zambia can one day decide, through Parliament, to withdraw this topic from schools, our education system will be equated to some of these countries which we cannot mention here and we will be rendered a directionless country. There were a lot of consultations that were conducted before these topics were introduced. As you it has been shown, there are civil society organisations that are operating in our schools, including all these that are teaching young boys and girls on how to prevent themselves from Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Nowadays, everyone knows how HIV can be contracted. Even a grade five girl can tell you how to prevent yourself from HIV. So, how do we subtract a positive? We cannot.


Mr Speaker, with those few remarks, allow me to repeat that this Motion was not brought in good faith and it actually –


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Deputy Chief Whip, as much as you may disagree with the Motion, I do not think you should go that far and begin questioning the good faith or otherwise of the person who has presented the Motion. This is a Parliamentary democracy. There is also intra party democracy and I do not want to go into how that is managed. Whatever the case, my task here is to protect the privileges of each and every hon. Member regardless of their political affiliation. If it were otherwise, I would not even have allowed this on the Order Paper. It is under my sanction. Please, withdraw that aspect.


Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, I wish to withdraw the fact that this Motion was not brought in good faith. I replace it with the fact that it is a bad Motion.


Mr Speaker, with those few remarks, I would like to say that I do not support the Motion and I wish to lay the Civil Society Organisations’ (CSOs) position on the Table of the House.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ngulube laid the paper on the Table.


The Minister of General Education (Dr Wanchinga): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to render my voice and, indeed, that of the Ministry of General Education on the debate on Comprehensive Sexuality Education.


Mr Speaker, I wish to begin my comments by expressing my disappointment over the Motion on the Floor for two reasons. Firstly, under the current circumstances, the Motion is wrongly phrased. With the guidance given by Her Honour the Vice-President on the matter, the Motion should have merely urged the Government to expedite and widen its consultations over Comprehensive Sexuality Education and to adequately capture public concerns. As it is, it is more like flogging a dead horse. 


Mr Speaker, secondly, the call for the suspension of Comprehensive Sexuality Education does not reflect an understanding that the curriculum of every subject in every discipline changes only through reviews, analysis and then adding and subtracting the content to reach the desired objectives.


Mr Speaker, the genesis of Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Zambia in 2014, was anchored on Zambia’s signing of a charter of commitment which was signed by twenty-three African countries in South Africa in 2013. Zambia’s decision to adopt Comprehensive Sexuality Education was anchored on our statistics concerning teenage pregnancy, early marriages and prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The 2011 Ministry of General Education statistical bulletin showed that over 15,000 pregnancies were recorded among school girls that year. The Zambian demographic data of 2010 showed the incidences of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) among the youth between the ages of fifteen to twenty-four years. The 2010 Population Bureau showed that 12 per cent of girls and 16 per cent of boys experience sex before the age of fifteen.


Mr Speaker, early marriages, teenage pregnancies and a prevalence of STI and HIV among the youth are symptoms of deeply rooted causes such as, poverty levels at family level, gradual attitudes and diminishing parental control.


Mr Speaker, Comprehensive Sexuality Education, which has been implemented over the last seven years, aims at giving the school children age-appropriate and cultural sensitive material for informed decision-making. Prior to the implementation of the programme in 2014, a lot of consultations were made. However, in the course of its implementation, some concerns were raised and a lot of lessons learnt. 


Mr Speaker, for instance, the nomenclature, the very name of the programme itself; Comprehensive Sexuality Education is not a culturally sensitive title, to many, especially that, sex education and sexuality education has a thin dividing line. This may have clouded many minds even before the content of the curriculum was fully understood. Unfortunately, there are those who have jumped on this band wagon of critics merely for the purpose of laundering their support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) activities. They may not even have analysed the programme.


Mr Speaker, let me hasten to add that many of the things which were said about the programme are exaggerations. The content circulated on social media, especially by institutions such as Family Watch International, are not contents from the Zambian syllabus. It is contents from elsewhere and we categorically reject such content as a Christian nation. I have a copy of Zambia’s curriculum for Comprehensive Sexuality Education which I will lay on the Table of the House.


Mr Speaker, the proposal to suspend Comprehensive Sexuality Education and allow consultations to proceed, is the best way to progress. I, therefore, urge hon. Members of this House to reject this Motion so that the consultations can continue as guided by Her Honour the Vice-President.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Dr Wanchinga laid the paper on the Table.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to make a few comments on the debate on the Motion which is on Floor.


Mr Speaker, I totally agree with your guidance that hon. Members are free to express themselves through moving Private Members’ Motions as provided by our Standing Orders. However, we are also a structured institution. From the debates that we have heard from yesterday to today, this Motion clearly shows that it is a product which was made without consultations because it is seeking further consultation on the subject, whereas it should have started by consulting so that it comes to a consensus. You cannot move a Motion without numbers. That is how it works here.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: Sir, if an hon. Member tables a Motion, he should know that there is a Committee on Health represented by one of the previous debaters. We also have other Committees that an hon. Member can consult before he/she comes up with a Motion. I am speaking as a former Deputy Chief Whip. As Whips, we play a role by advising on how a Motion should go. We also prepare the numbers.


Sir, for us in the Executive arm of Government, it would be an act of serious insubordination to support this Motion which has been tabled prematurely in this august House. Adequate guidance was given by the Leader of Government Business in the House, who is also the Vice-President of the Republic of Zambia, on Friday last week, when a question was raised. What the Vice-President says in this House is policy and she can be held accountable to those policy pronouncements. Therefore, that a Private Member has moved a Motion to speak against a subject that was adequately addressed by the Leader of Government Business in this House has surprised all of us.


Sir, in future, it is important for the hon. Backbenchers, where I was for a reasonable time, to consult and research such matters adequately. Our refusal to support this Motion is not the same as not listening to the views that stakeholders have expressed in society. Her Honour the Vice-President guided that the Government has listened to the concerns and, therefore, it will constitute a technical committee to hear the views of the people so that the Comprehensive Sexuality Education can be reviewed, if there are any challenges.


Sir, we are not against the hon. Member who has moved this Motion, but we are guiding him that this Motion is on the Floor prematurely. This is because we, especially those of us in the Executive arm of Government, are bound by the pronouncements from the Leader of Government Business in this House. Members of the public should be patient because a technical committee that will be chaired by the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs will be constituted. After that, these matters will come to this august House. We do not see the necessity of having this Motion supported at this juncture.  


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


The Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Mr Sichalwe): Mr Speaker, riding on the previous speaker’s debate, I also wish not to support this Motion in the sense that initially, there were traditional leaders who were consulted. That is the more reason the Comprehensive Sexuality Education came into being. Going forward, there are changes that may need to be looked into from the traditional aspect. We may need to come in and sieve the syllabus to tailor it to our traditional culture and norms. 


Sir, not to waste much time of the House, let me say that I do not support this Motion.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


The Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs (Rev. Sumaili): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to add my voice on this Motion that has been moved by the hon. Member of Parliament for Chembe, Dr Kopulande.


Mr Speaker, this Motion has been overtaken by events. It is like pushing an open door. The Government has already embarked on making inclusive, broad-based consultations on Comprehensive Sexuality Education. The Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs, the Ministry of General Education, the Ministry of Gender, and the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs have already begun to engage stakeholders from the Church, chiefs, the United Nations (UN) family, civil society, and others for preliminary consultations.


Mr Speaker, Her Honour the Vice-President of the Republic of Zambia, Mrs Inonge Mutukwa Wina, has given very clear guidance on Comprehensive Sexuality Education. She has directed the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs to establish a multi-sectoral technical working group to conduct broad-based consultations. 


Mr Speaker, may I emphasise that as a nation, we know who we are and we are consistent about that position. Our identity is Christian, and whatever we do is anchored on a Christian foundation. We are also a people with shared beliefs which are reflected in our rich culture. Part II, Article 8 of the Constitution of 2016, outlines our national values, principles and ethics, which include morality and human dignity. These national values inform the policies and programmes of the Government.


Mr Speaker, let me assure the Zambian people that their voices on Comprehensive Sexuality Education will be heard and respected. It is expected that the inclusive and broad-based consultations by the multi-sectoral team will produce a framework and curriculum that will take into account the best interests of children and look at the appropriateness of content and age. Our cultural, Christian and national values will inform and speak to the programme. Stakeholders will also have an opportunity to look at the appropriateness of the Comprehensive Sexuality Education nomenclature. 


Mr Speaker, in conclusion, the Government is already ahead of this Motion, following the wise and timely guidance by Her Honour the Vice-President of the Republic of Zambia. In her wise counsel, she acknowledged the need for a judicious and robust interrogation in order to identify gaps and key issues of concern. This Motion, therefore, is not necessary, and it has been overtaken by events.


I thank you, Sir.


The Minister of Justice (Mr Lubinda): Mr Speaker, I will start by saying that no condemnation is meant for the mover and seconder of this Motion. Unlike what we heard yesterday, that this shows a lack of co-ordination in the Patriotic Front (PF), what it does is show how democratic we are because, like others who spoke before me said, it is quite unusual that a member of the Ruling Party could come with a Motion that questions Government policy. However, we allowed it because we want people to exercise their freedom of debate and expression. Yesterday, one of the hon. Members spoke very harshly about what he thought is poor management of our party. This serves as a reminder that had this happened in that political party, I doubt whether the hon. Member would still be seated in the House today. We have witnessed how people have been harangued and dragged out of Parliament purely for exercising their will. However, we, in the PF, have him seated here because we respect our Members and their freedom to express themselves.


Sir, the Motion may have been misplaced and may not be supported, however, it has assisted us to, firstly, clarify the arguments that have been posed against Comprehensive Sexuality Education. There are people out there who have been talking, some of them using social media, and they have not been answered. Secondly, this Motion, over the last two days, has given Parliament an opportunity to express its views so that people can be well-informed.


Secondly, issues that have been raised by leaders of institutions like Parliament, who are responsible for this matter, such as Hon. Dr Kalila and Hon. Simbao, literary show that Parliament has actually been following this matter. It is not a new issue; Parliamentarians have been actively following the issue of Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Zambia and had there been any intended mischief, I am sure that Parliament, in its reports, would have already raised this matter. So, this Motion has given us an opportunity to be loudly heard and to clear the issue that there is no mischief intended in the curriculum for Comprehensive Sexuality Education.


Sir, thirdly, we have managed to clarify the misunderstanding because many civil society organisations (CSOs) and churches are of the view that we suspend the teaching of Comprehensive Sexuality Education. The truth is the converse of what the CSOs are saying as evidenced by the letter that Hon. Tutwa Ngulube laid on the Table of the House. Many CSOs are saying that we should continue with the teaching of Comprehensive Sexuality Education, but they are also saying that there are some things that could be done better.


Mr Speaker, this Motion has also given us an opportunity to explain to the people of Zambia what they may not have clearly understood when Her Honour the Vice-President last Friday said that we were going to review this matter. For this Motion to be moved, it means that even some hon. Members of Parliament may have missed what she said. Everybody has now heard it clearly and I want to make it clear that the review of the curriculum is not as a result of this Motion. No! It is as a result of the curriculum framework itself. The Zambia Education Curriculum Framework of 2015 provides that every curriculum must be reviewed periodically to bring it up to the dynamics of time. This is the reason we are going to conduct this review.


Sir, this Motion has also given us an opportunity to campaign and I thank Hon. Dr Kopulande for that. He has given us an opportunity to solicit comments from the people. Through their organisations, such as the CSOs and faith-based organisations or their hon. Members of Parliament, people should say what they do not like or what they want to see in the reviewed curriculum for Comprehensive Sexuality Education so that we move together.


Mr Speaker, I want to conclude by saying that this is a hallmark of democracy. Even when you think that things are wrong, there is always a silver lining. This Motion should not have been brought on the Floor of the House, and had the mover consulted senior hon. Members on the right side, they would have persuaded him not to go ahead and move it. However, because we are democratic, we allowed this Motion to go ahead so that we can use it to inform and educate the people on this matter. I am sure my hon. Colleague will realise that when we ask him not to even call for a vote, it is because we do not mean ill. This is because this matter is one which has been well-rested and does not require any further challenge or ado.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Kopulande (Chembe): Mr Speaker, I stand here as a proud Patriotic Front (PF) Member of Parliament to proudly defend my intellectual independence and the purpose for which the people of Chembe elected me to come here and stand for them on any issue, no matter the controversy surrounding it. This is why we are elected to come here. I thank the hon. Minister of Justice for upholding and respecting that and valuing the contribution of each hon. Member.


Sir, there have been several debates. Some people debated, yet we know that before these people got certain positions, they were in the front pages of news, insulting the party and its leaders. Today, they are casting aspersions –




Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Chembe, resume your seat. Let us have some order!


Hon. Member for Chembe, we have a very well-settled tradition of winding up a debate and I am sure you are very familiar with that tradition. I would like you to follow that tradition. You may continue.


Dr Kopulande: Mr Speaker, the Comprehensive Sexuality Education Framework is for pupils from Grades 5 to 12. I have read it back to front in full. I can go through the pages of the whole document, but I did part of that when moving the Motion yesterday. So, it is not fair for Hon. Dr Kalila to impute ignorance on the basis of –


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Chembe, resume your seat, again.




Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Chembe, I would like us to conclude this matter on an appropriate note and you should follow my guidance. I have no doubt you can abide by it. I understand the dynamics and undercurrent surrounding this Motion. The stage we have reached is simply to close the debate in the usual way. Otherwise, I will close it myself.


You may continue.


Dr Kopulande: Mr Speaker, I particularly wish to single out the hon. Member for Kanchibiya for having brought out the concerns about Comprehensive Sexuality Education and referring to the source document of Comprehensive Sexuality Education, which is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education, on which all these things are based. I also thank Hon. Kalalwe Mukosa for addressing the issues and understanding the Motion for what it was.


Sir, I would like to assure this House that while not mentioning names, some people seated in the House were consulted. That is a fact and those who were consulted know that.


Mr Speaker, this is an important Motion, and as the hon. Minister of Justice has said, it has opened doors wider. I am thoroughly satisfied that I belong to a party that espouses intellectual freedom.


I thank you, Sir.


Question that this House urges the Government to suspend the teaching of comprehensive sexuality education in schools pending wider consultations with all stakeholders put and negatived.



(Debate resumed)

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to conclude my debate on the Motion presented by the hon. Minister of Finance.

Sir, I wish to assure the people of Kaputa that the presentation of the 2021 Budget still gives us hope in the sense that funds have still been allocated to the road infrastructure which we desire and need. We hope that in 2021, the roads that connect Mporokoso and Kaputa will be completed. We also hope that the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection will complete our water reticulation system. I am hopeful that the people of Kaputa still have every reason to believe that the 2021 Budget will make them smile.

Mr Speaker, with those few words, I thank you.

Dr Imakando (Mongu Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for allowing the people of Mongu Central to comment on the proposed 2021 National Budget.

Sir, for the purpose of this debate, I would like to define the National Budget as a one-year cost plan intended to achieve certain agreed upon objectives based on an estimate of income and expenditure.

Mr Speaker, very often, the Budget seeks to improve the quality of life of our people, protect life and property, provide equitable and sustainable development in all parts of Zambia, increase the capacity of citizens to provide for themselves and to create quality jobs and business opportunities. This is what the Budget should do for us. In order to appreciate the Budget, it is necessary to compare it with previous ones so that we can see what is happening.

Sir, the 2019 Budget was about US$6 to US$7 billion. The 2020 Budget was about US$5 billion to US$6 billion while the 2021 Budget, which we are currently looking at, is down to about US$5 to US$5.5 billion. The Budget amounts keep reducing. The allocations to economic sectors have been reducing. In 2019, it was 23.8 per cent. In 2020, it came down to 21 per cent. In the 2021 Budget, we are down to 18 per cent. Allocations to the health and education sectors have equally reduced in the Budget. This means that we have had a combined effect of a smaller Budget with smaller amounts.

Mr Speaker, when one examines this Budget, he/she will find that the winner is debt servicing. Many economists believe that 45 to 47 per cent of this Budget will be financed from borrowing. This tells us that we are extremely vulnerable and our debt is becoming unsustainable. In fact, I heard the hon. Minister of Finance admit that he has to borrow in order to meet some debt obligations. We must accept that we need to change. I am on record as having said that if we continue on this trajectory, this Patriotic Front (PF) Government will end up printing money in order to meet its obligations.

Sir, the current debt situation is worrying in the sense that it is creating a lack of confidence in the economic management of our economy. So, it is necessary that we review this Budget. At this rate, we are extremely vulnerable. You cannot borrow 45 to 47 per cent in order to run your budget. Even in the home setup, this will pose serious problems. So, I urge the PF Government to review this Budget. Instead of borrowing a lot of money, it can look at some budgetary allocation, for example, Defence and Social Protection that will not be problematic –

Mr Speaker: Order!

The hon. Member’s time expired.

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the 2021 Budget.

Sir, from the outset, this Budget is a stillborn baby. It is not a Budget that will stand the test of time. It is not going to be implemented at all and the reasons are based on the assumptions which anchor on the construction of this Budget.

Mr Speaker, one of the assumptions that has been put forward is that the economy is going to grow at 1.8 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but we know that this is not possible. Projections worldwide indicate that the world economy is in recession. Even developed countries are going to develop at negative 8 per cent. Sub-Saharan Africa is going to develop at negative 3.2 per cent. By the end of this year, Zambia is going to develop at negative 4.2 per cent. It would be a miracle if Zambia attained a 1.8 per cent growth rate. I say so because in 2011, the PF Government found the GDP growth rate at 7.2 per cent. Year by year, they have been running this economy underground. There is no magic or abracadabra that the hon. Minister of Finance is going to use to move it from negative 4.2 per cent to 1.8 per cent. So, on that basis, this Budget is a stillborn baby.

Mr Speaker, secondly, there is an assumption that inflation will be between 6 per cent and 8 per cent in the medium term, but we know that presently, we have an inflation of almost 16 per cent. Given the current economic environment, with the US Dollar galloping at K20, we know that we import inflation through this dollar issue. There is no way this Budget is going to survive at 6.8 per cent or attain a single digit inflation. That is not possible. Based on that, the assumption is wrong. So, there is no way that this Budget can stand the test of time.


Mr Speaker, the other assumption is that the fiscal deficit will be reduced from 11 per cent to about 9.3 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Again, we know from history that this is not possible. Since 2011, the projections or targets regarding deficits have not been attained. There is no way that during these hard times of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the hon. Minister of Finance is going to attain or reduce the fiscal deficit to 9.3 per cent. It is not possible. So, on that count, again, it falls away.


Mr Speaker, the other matter is that this Budget expects to mobilise 18 per cent domestic resources or domestic revenue from this economy. The economy is contracting. There is a gap between expenditure and income, and that gap will not allow the hon. Minister of Finance to mobilise 18 per cent domestic revenue from a collapsing economy. On that basis, I say that this Budget needs to be revisited so that it is reconstructed to meet with the realities that are facing us now.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Jamba was inaudible.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to add one or two words to the debate on the Budget Address.


Mr Speaker, the people of Manyinga, through me, support this Budget although there is nothing tangible that the previous Budgets have done in Manyinga.


Mr Speaker, the success of this Budget will rely on the hon. Minister. He presented the Budget on behalf of the President and the people of Zambia. Therefore, when sharing the national cake, could the hon. Minister also consider rural constituencies? Since I came to this House in 2016, we, the people of Manyinga, have approved three to four Budgets. However, the infrastructure development that the President talked about when he addressed the House has not reached our rural constituencies. This is because the Government is not sharing the national cake equitably.


Mr Speaker, Manyinga, is a newly created district, but because of a lack of infrastructure, most of our workers are just squatting.


There was a technical malfunction.


Mr Lihefu: Mr Speaker, (inaudible) ... otherwise, when the President visits our rural Opposition constituencies, the people will want to know what development has been delivered, and his response will be that he has not delivered in those particular rural constituencies because the area Member of Parliament is from the Opposition, which is not supposed to be the case. Development is supposed to be delivered equitably.


Mr Speaker, what we are saying is that the Government should share the national cake equitably so that even us who are in rural constituencies can consider ourselves to be Zambians. We should not have a situation whereby the national cake is taken to one side only. That is not leadership. So, I am appealing to the hon. Minister of Finance to share the national cake equitably. I want to see the completion of projects that are in Manyinga.


Mr Speaker, there are also bad roads in Kabompo. When the President was asked to mention what he had delivered in Kabompo, he said, “You are with an Opposition hon. Member of Parliament.” Let the projects be completed so that the Government can point at what it has done even in rural constituencies.


Mr Speaker, with these few words, I support the Budget.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mukosa (Chinsali): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to debate on the Motion of Supply which was ably moved by the hon. Minister of Finance. I first want to commend the hon. Minister of Finance for having brought to this House a Budget that has/stipulated the fiscal intervention measures that are meant to stimulate the economic activities and spur economic development in this country.


Mr Speaker, allow me to mention some of the fiscal intervention measures that the hon. Minister talked about. These include the increase in the number of years for claiming the 10 per cent development allowance from three to five years, for companies that operate in the horticulture and floral culture sub-sectors.


Mr Speaker, this measure is going to give a relief to those companies that grow citrus fruits, bananas, tea, and other horticulture and floral culture products such as rose flowers. The removal of export duty on crocodile skin is going to encourage and motivate the people of Zambia to participate in this sector because they know that when they export crocodile skin, they are not going to be charged export duty and, as a result, participation in this sector is going to increase. People are going to generate a lot of money, including foreign currency, that we need a lot at this moment when our Kwacha has depreciated.


Sir, the removal of import duty on copper ores and copper concentrates is also going to encourage processing and create employment for the people of Zambia. We are all aware that we have been affected negatively by the Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. All sectors of the economy have been affected negatively. The hon. Minister of Finance saw that even the tourism sector was affected negatively and he put up measures to resuscitate the tourism sector and promote local tourism. Some of the measures that were put in place to resuscitate the tourism sector include the reduction in corporate taxation from 35 per cent to 15 per cent on income earned by hotels and lodges from accommodation and food services.


Mr Speaker, the other measure is the proposal to suspend import duty on safari game viewing motor vehicles and coaches. This is going to encourage operators of lodges and other tourist attraction facilities to buy some of these vehicles that they need to use in their operations.


Sir, the other measure is the suspension of the licence of renewal fees paid by hotels and lodges. The hon. Minister of Finance also indicated that the Government, through the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), is going to establish a tomato and citrus fruit processing plant in 2021. This plant is going to help in creating employment for the people of Zambia. The other advantage that is going to come with the establishment of this plant is the value addition to tomatoes and citrus fruits. We will make sure that we start making mango, orange and lemon juices, for example.


Mr Speaker, the farmers who produce tomatoes have been affected negatively in the past in terms of price instability which is determined by the supply and demand economic theory. What happens is that when a farmer produces tomatoes and if at the time when he is picking his tomatoes from the field, there is too much demand for the tomatoes, the price per box will fetch about K240. When supply is high and demand is low, you will find that the same box of tomatoes, which is fetched at K240 when there is high demand, will come down to about K40, which makes the farmers incur losses and this discourages them. With the coming of the processing plant for tomatoes, farmers are going to be encouraged to grow tomatoes because they know they are going to process the tomatoes with value addition which can make them earn more.


Mr Speaker, I commend the hon. Minister for increasing the beneficiaries of the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) programme from 700 to 944,000 households in next year’s Budget.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Evg. Shabula (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Speaker, I will try by all means to compare the 2021 National Budget with budgets of the past. In 2016, we had a Budget of more than K53 billion. In 2017, we had a Budget of K64 billion. In 2018, it was K71 billion. In 2019, it was K86 billion while in 2020, we had a Budget of K106 billion, and in 2021, it is K119 billion. This has been increased. In 2016/2017, it was increased by K11.5 billion. In 2017/2018, it was increased by K6.9 billion. In 2019, it was increased by K15.14 billion, and in 2020 it was increased by K19.2 billion. This year it has been increased by K13.6 billion.


Mr Speaker, my concern in this Budget is attainment. Going by what has happened in the past, are we able to attain the goal which we have set for ourselves? According to my findings, none of the projects and monies that we allocated as a budget has been sufficient for the projects that we put in place as a Government. I am talking about funding or releasing monies to ministries so that the ministries can implement their projects.


Sir, in most case, an allocation is planned for activities in the ministry, but what is released to the ministry is not enough to cater for those projects. As a result, the ministries are not able to meet their goals. That is why hon. Members and ministries are told, “When funds will be made available.” This means that there is no money. There is a Budget with allocations, but there is no money.


Mr Speaker, this kind of planning is what we call poor planning or blind planning because the goals that are set are not attainable; they cannot be reached and it has programmes that cannot be implemented. So, in my view, we are not supposed to make increments to the present Budget when we know that we did not achieve our goals which are set in the previous Budget. That is poor planning. However, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government will, even next year, increase the Budget when they have failed to manage their budgets in the past four years. 


Mr Speaker, the other issue that affects and will continue to affect our Budget, which we must understand as mentioned by other speakers who spoke before me, is our external debt which is consuming everything that we have. We have reached a point where we are not able to sustain our debt.


Sir, another issue is that we are not able to even manage the domestic debt that we have. Inflation has gone up, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is yawning, the dollar has gone up, and the poverty levels are high. The bond holders whom we owe because they gave us money have thrown out Zambia’s request to defer the payments.   


This means that the little resources that we have will have to be channelled to our debts and the other sectors of the economy will suffer because there will not be money.


Mr Speaker, it is like –


Mr Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Evg. Shabula: I thank you, Mr Speaker. I will call again.


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for giving the people of Kasempa an opportunity to add their voice to the debate and to support the 2021 Budget.


Sir, the people of Kasempa would like to take the debate of the hon. Member for Kabompo, the hon. Member for Manyinga and many other speakers who have spoken before as their own. One area that the people of Kasempa would like to emphasise is the point that any National Budget should be for the good of the people, not at their expense. As expressed by other hon. Members, debt servicing takes a bigger portion of the 2021 Budget, and immediately one gets the feeling that this Budget is at the expense of the people.


Mr Speaker, the people of Kasempa recognise that this Budget is a crisis Budget in the context of the huge debt burden, climate change and the impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) as well as public finance mismanagement. They also believe that when such a budget has been put in place, the Government should ensure that there are clear initiatives and measures intended to ensure that the welfare of the people does not suffer. So, the people of Kasempa are saying that as this Budget is reconstructed, measures must be put in place to take their views into account and ensure that which matters to them such as the provision of water in the twenty-two wards and the roads that were promised to them, through the Link Zambia 8,000 Kilometres Road Project, are delivered.


Sir, a number of projects have been outstanding in Kasempa, and some of them have been suspended like the Kanyika Dam in Nkenyanyauna. The people of Nkenyanyauna who are farmers hope that the dam will be completed, even when such a Budget is a crisis Budget. The Government always says that funds will be allocated to projects that are at over 80 per cent complete. However, over the past four years, we have been hearing that there is no funding even for the projects that the Government has committed to deliver.


Mr Speaker, the Kasempa/Mumbwa Road has become a hazard to the people of Nkenyauna, Kanongo, Kamakechi and Jifumpa. Further, the people who use the gravel road before the Central Business District (CBD) will suffer upper respiratory diseases because, over the past four years, the Government has not even graded the road. The simplest thing that it can do is gravel it so that the people are protected from dust and pollution because of the mining operations which have increased in the area that do not bring a return that should benefit the people of Kasempa. It is the same thing with the Kasempa/Kaoma Road. So, is it going to be taken into account in this Budget?


Sir, above all, debt servicing must not over shadow the welfare of the people because every Government promises to prioritise people’s basic needs. The farmers of Kasempa also expect to fully benefit from this Budget. When 28,000 farmers apply for input subsidies, it is sad to see that only 50 per cent receive the inputs, yet the people of Kasempa are committed and they are highly productive. In addition, they can add a lot of value to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of this nation.


Sir, with those few words, the people of Kasempa are saying that even if the Budget is a crisis Budget, it must not be at their expense or the people of the North-Western Province and other parts of Zambia, but for their good.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: Order!


(Debate adjourned)





The House adjourned at 1655 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 9th October, 2020.