Wednesday, 14th October, 2020

Printer Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, 14th October, 2020


The House met at 1430 hours














48. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development who the owners of the Lwiili Gold Mine in Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency are.


The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Musukwa): Madam Speaker, the legitimate licence holders for Lwiili Gold Mine, which currently holds a large-scale exploration licence number 23009-HQ-LEL, is a company called Cupriferous Resources Limited. The licence was issued on 3rd December, 2018, for a period of four years.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Hamusonde: Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why those people are there when there are no activities taking place.


Mr Musukwa: Madam Speaker, when we issue a licence, we issue conditions of grant that permits the licence holder to move and begin to work the tenement. In this case, we are aware, as a ministry, that there are conflicts of interest that have arisen from various stakeholders, including the licence holder in this area, and it has made the work very difficult. In any case, it has actually become a security risk because of the contending parties around the area.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Madam Speaker, how often does the ministry conduct investigations to determine whether these mines are held for speculative purposes or not?


Mr Musukwa: Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development conducts regular inspections based on the reports that various mining entities are supposed to submit quarterly until the tenure of the licence subsides.


Madam Speaker, in this case, once the reports are filed with the ministry, it studies them and undertakes regular inspections to verify the information provided to it by the mining entities. Most of the mining houses that have been holding licences for speculation have been submitting desktop reports that do not commensurate with work which is on the ground. So, apart from studying the reports, the ministry also undertakes various inspections in order to conform to the current status regarding the exploitation of the resource.


Madam Speaker, as a result of these regular inspections, to date, the Government, through the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, has cancelled in excess of 1,000 licences that have been sitting for speculation.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has stated that mining in that area has not commenced because of some outstanding issues. He even referred to the security risk in the area. Before a prospecting or exploration licence is granted to mining companies, does the ministry take time to meet with the traditional leadership, for instance, considering most of these mining activities take place on traditional land. Does the ministry meet with stakeholders to avoid conflicts or it just issues out licences?


Mr Musukwa: Madam Speaker, the Government is an organised entity, which deals with all stakeholders, starting from the local people, chiefs and, indeed, interested parties. You will note that, in fact, in jurisdictions where the Government issues mining licences, there are interest groups that have always been a source of problems.


Madam Speaker, in this regard, consistent with the provisions of the Mines and Mineral Act, the ministry ensures that the licence holder seeks consent of various chiefs in their localities in the execution of these licences. You will be interested to know that the mining resource of the Republic of Zambia is vested in the Presidency. To that effect, stakeholders only express interest of how they can contribute, as partners, within their chiefdoms. The Government encourages licence holders to make it a point to communicate with stakeholders, especially host communities.


I thank you, Madam.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I will allow questions from the following hon. Members, namely the hon. Member for Lufwanyama, the hon. Member for Katombola, the hon. Member for Milenge and I will close with a question from the hon. Member for Mafinga.


Mr Fungulwe (Lufwanyama): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that there are conflicts between the licence holder and other interested parties. He has further stated that the licence was issued for a period of four years. Since there are conflicts, what happens to the licence when the four-year period elapses?


Mr Musukwa: Madam Speaker, indeed, there arises a challenge because the licence holder is expected to develop the tenement within the four years but, instead, there are conflicts within that period. This matter is currently before the court. Therefore, once these conflicts are resolved, the licence holder has an option to appeal to the hon. Minister for an extension to carry out exploration works.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Livune (Katombola): Madam Speaker, I would like to know more about the ownership of this company. Is it a Zambian born company with foreigners as shareholders or is it a Zambian company with indigenous shareholders?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: The hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development will basically be repeating this but, please, proceed. Provide more details on the ownership.


Mr Musukwa: Madam Speaker, fortunately, the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development has the answer for the share holding question.


Madam Speaker, the shareholding for Cupriferous Resources Limited, owned by Zambians, is as follows:


         Name                                       No. of Shares                           Percentage


         Mr Chisala Brian                      12,500                                    25


         Mumena Mushinge                 250,000                                   75


Madam Speaker, basically, it is a joint venture between Zambians.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Mbulakulima (Milenge): Madam Speaker, it is my prayer that you are able to get me loud and clear.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: We are able to get you loud and clear.


Mr Mbulakulima: Madam, as you know, in Milenge, technology is not a problem. When this mine was given the licence, there was excitement because it was envisaged that the people of Nangoma would derive maximum benefits from it. However, four years down the line, what would the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development regard as the benefits the people of Nangoma derived from this venture? If nothing, how long should the people of Nangoma wait? Further, is this project worth embarking on if there will be no benefits accrued to them in the near future?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Milenge, the question is on the ownership of Lwiili Gold Mine. The question does not deal with the benefits for the people of that area.


Mr Hamusonde: Madam Speaker, we used to have some police officers guarding the place. May I know why those police officers were guarding that place.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I will allow that question. Hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, do you have that information?


Mr Musukwa: Madam Speaker, indeed, as you know, in the last three to eight months, the Government declared gold as a strategic mineral. To that effect, issues of security over all tenements of gold across the country are paramount as the Government would like to know how this resource is being exploited, processed and, at the end of the day, sold in order to contribute to our economic transformation.


Madam Speaker, the police are not only in Nangoma, but also in all gold tenements across the country in order to inhibit smuggling because most of licence holders and areas were invaded by foreign elements who were smuggling resources. There has been a lot of controversy in Nangoma over this matter because of many foreigners and other illegal miners who would like to exploit this resource. Therefore, police presence will continue to be there.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Siwale (Mafinga): Madam Speaker, with regard to the happenings in Nangoma, I would like to find out if the ministry gets back to the stakeholders to inform them of the findings of the exploration works by the investor who would have been issued with a prospecting licence. I ask this because when an investor prospects for minerals, it causes a lot of anxiety among the people who would like to establish whether there are minerals in their area.


Mr Musukwa: Madam Speaker, yes, we do.


I thank you, Madam.













Clauses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 and 38 ordered to stand part of the Bill.


Schedule ordered to stand part of the Bill.


Title agreed to.








(Debate resumed)


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, remember that yesterday, the Hon. Mr Speaker had to move the debate back to the left. So, we will start with the hon. Member for Mapatizya and hope that hon. Ministers will prepare themselves to conclude this debate.


Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Madam Speaker, unfortunately, there is an error because I debated the Motion last week.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Dundumwezi, are you interested in debating? I see you have indicated.


The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources (Ms Kapata): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the Budget Speech.


Madam Speaker, for the country to grow and develop economically, all sectors of the economy need to function effectively. Therefore, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has continued to recognise the various roles each sector of the economy plays in supporting the growth and development of this great nation, including agro-forestry and climate change programmes.


Madam Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the ministry has continued to support enhanced community participation in forest management, through the engagement of co-operating partners, local communities and the private sector in implementing Statutory Instrument No. 11 of 2018 on community forest management regulation.


So far, fifty-five community forest management groups have signed forest management agreements with the Forestry Department in the Northern Province, Muchinga Province, Central Province, the Western Province and Lusaka Province. The total areas earmarked for protection under the community forest management arrangement has increased to 1,370,934 ha.


Madam, the collaboration between the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) in developing a system to issue timber export permits on the Zambia Electronic Single Window has reached an advanced stage. The system is expected to be completed in the last quarter of 2020. Once operational, the system will reduce the cost of doing business for the private sector in the timber industry and also reduce on illegal export of timber, thereby, enhancing domestic revenue collection.


Madam Speaker, similarly, the development of the Timber Traceability System has made tremendous progress. The ministry has facilitated the procurement of the tools and equipment required to operationalise the system. It is envisaged to be up and running by the end of 2020. The Timber Traceability System is aimed at tracing the movement of timber from the point of production to points of sale and exit within the country.


Madam Speaker, the increased tree planting is meant to mitigate the negative impact of climate change. This will support and improve natural regeneration of natural forests in order to increase the supply of ecosystem services to communities which supplement food dietary needs at local community level as well as improve resilience of communities and forests to the impact of climate change.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance reflected on the need to address environmental and climate change challenges. In the context of forests, these challenges include expansion of crop fields due to loss of soil fertility, over exploitation of forests for timber and charcoal, unplanned settlements and late forest fires and in terms of climate change, the forests play a role of mitigation and adaptation.


Madam Speaker, in addressing these challenges, the Government refers to the progressive guideline given in the National Forestry Policy of 2014 and the Forests Act No. 4 of 2015, which is also supported by the Community Forest Management Regulations Statutory Instrument No. 11 of 2018. The policy and legislation promote sustainable forest management through community participation in the management of forests so as to ensure local level involvement and that local communities benefit from the resources that they live with. 


In addition, the Government will ensure forest support mitigation and adaption to climate change, as pronounced in the speech. The Government acknowledges the potential benefits to communities, which include ecosystem services like timber, poles, mushrooms, fruits, honey, carbon sales, and caterpillars.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister of Gender.


Hon. Members: She debated yesterday.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, did you debate yesterday?


The Minister of Gender (Ms Phiri): Madam Speaker, I debated, but did not present my policy statement.


Hon. Members: Ah!




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Please, take your seat.


Ms Phiri: Okay, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Let me guide the Executive Bench.


Mr Ngulube: Whatever you said was a policy statement.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Ministers, at this juncture, you are debating in support of the Budget Speech that was presented by the hon. Minister of Finance. That is what you are doing now. You, as the Executive, are supporting the hon. Minister of Finance. Time will come when you will deliver your respective policy statements in support of your portfolio budgets. That time is not now. It will be at a later stage. So, in your debates, bear in mind that you are debating in support of the Budget Speech presented by the hon. Minister of Finance.


Can we try with the hon. Minister of Energy.


The Minister of Energy (Mr Nkhuwa): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the Motion on the Floor of the House.


Madam Speaker, first of all, I would like to commend the Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr Bwalya Ng’andu, for tabling the Budget under very difficult conditions. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has severely impacted economies. It has made governments worldwide to make near impossible choices between people dying of hunger or serving the people’s lives by making the right choices. The pandemic has ravaged the economy and disrupted anything and everything resembling normalcy. It has challenged what we thought we knew.


Madam Speaker, at this juncture, let me acknowledge and appreciate His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, and his leadership in managing this pandemic. The quick actions taken earlier have, so far, yielded positive results. I also want to thank all the brave men and women who are busy saving our lives whilst risking theirs.


Madam Speaker, that said, allow me to reflect on some of the key comments made in the proposal for the 2021 Budget that will benefit the energy sector. We are aware that in addition to COVID-19, electricity rationing has contributed to contraction of overall economic activities. Electricity generation has been constrained by the adverse affects of climate change over the last few years. To mitigate this, the Government has been investing in additional electricity generation capacity, including solar energy. So far, the Musonda Falls Hydropower Station has been upgraded from 5 MW to 10 MW and has been commissioned. Further, the Kafue Gorge Power Station is about 93 per cent complete and very soon, it will come into operation.


Madam Speaker, why am I saying this? It is as a result of this that the hon. Minister of Finance has given us a very decent amount in our rural electrification allocation. We have been given over K300 million. This money will go a long way in improving the lives of the people in the rural areas. We are lagging behind in the installation and provision of electricity services in rural areas. With this money that has been allocated, we will now make sure that it is used to improve the quality of lives, productivity levels, storage of perishable goods, and to enhance provision of health services, just to mention but a few.


Madam Speaker, the allocation has come at a time when we will have excess power very soon. Once the Kafue Gorge Lower Power Station (KGL) comes into operation, we will definitely have excess power to supply. We will start supplying this power even outside the country. The only way we can consume this power is by ensuring that we extend the rural electrification grid so that we get the people of the rural areas to enjoy power as well.


Madam Speaker, once again, I would like to commend the hon. Minister of Finance for making sure that we make the lives of the people in rural areas equitable to that of the people in urban areas.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Madam Speaker, thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to render my support to the Motion of Supply ably moved by the hon. Minister of Finance as a conveyer of a message from His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, on 25th September, 2020.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance was very clear in his speech. I think many of those who have analysed the Budget have equally commended him by acknowledging the amount of work that was put in to come up with this Budget. We can only award kudos to the hon. Minister and his team.


Madam Speaker, indeed, these are challenging times not only here in Zambia, but also in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region, the entire continent of Africa, and the whole globe. We know what is obtaining in the economies of various countries. Indeed, this time requires impeccable leadership to navigate the countries through these difficult times. I think His Excellency the President of this country is resolved to do so. What he requires is support from all of us.


Madam Speaker, I have been listening to some of the debates by our hon. Backbenchers with regard to the allocations to public order and defence. The hon. Minister of Finance knows too well that he can put monies in all the sectors. Yesterday, I was listening to the hon. Minister of Tourism and Arts, who is happy with the packages that have been given to the tourism industry that is very key for the economy to rebound. However, in the absence of guaranteed security and peace, all these sectors cannot thrive. No tourist would come into a country where there is no peace and guaranteed security. So, it shocks me when I hear hon. Members here playing around with the peace that we have enjoyed. It does not come cheaply.


Madam Speaker, that is the reason we have borrowed. Yes, we have borrowed and we shall pay back. However, to borrow in order to put up decent shelter for the police officer whose responsibility is to protect people’s lives and property is worth it.


Hon. PF Member: Yes!


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, it is worth borrowing if it is to enable that soldier who defends this country with pride to live a decent life. Yesterday, I was happy to see our gallant soldiers returning from where they had gone to maintain peace in other countries where peace has eluded the people. That does not come cheaply. Therefore, I want to take this opportunity to warn people who think we are spending too much on security because we are resolved to modernise our security institutions and our military because that is what is happening elsewhere.


Madam, I would like to warn those who are scheming to target the modern equipment –




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, someone was distracting me in a lawless way.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Focus on the Motion.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I want to seize this opportunity to warn those who are scheming to target the modern equipment we have procured for the Zambia Police Service and other institutions that they will be doing that at their own risk. That property we have acquired at a huge cost will have to be preserved.


Madam Speaker, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces has said that apart from preserving food security of the State, security institutions will also have to be involved in food production, and that is what we are doing. If you go to the Zambia Correctional Service today, you will realise that it is not the prison of yester years.


Madam, we are going to ensure that this country remains peaceful by protecting our citizens. We will not allow a situation where our citizens end up as refugees. As a Government, we shall make sure that people elect their leaders in next year’s elections without intimidation. I can only assure those who are agitating for violence one thing and that is, we shall keep them where we keep lawbreakers.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


The Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs (Rev. Sumaili): Madam Speaker, let me begin by thanking you for granting me this opportunity to add my voice and that of many Zambians in thanking His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, and the Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr Bwalya Ng’andu, to the debate on this progressive and well-thought-out 2021 Budget.


Madam Speaker, if you allow me to describe the 2021 Budget, I would say it is a pro-poor Budget. It is very courageous, and it is one that is anchored on values, principles and ethics.


Madam Speaker, firstly, this is a pro-poor Budget that is focusing on lifting the living standards of the poor and the vulnerable. It will also transform their lives through various empowerment programmes. I also note that the number of beneficiaries of the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) Programme is going to increase from K700,000 to K994,000. Even the amount of money that the beneficiaries receive is going to increase from K90 to K110.


Madam Speaker, secondly, it is a courageous Budget because it was prepared under very difficult times. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected our nation and many nations of the world. We have seen socio-economic adverse effects on our country. Therefore, it is not a time to point fingers at each other, but to stand together, as a people, and work together in bringing recovery to our economy.


Madam, this is the time to show our patriotism and that we love our nation. It is a time when our mindsets have to change. There is a need to change the way we think and how we look at things. There has been a paradigm shift. So, we have to begin to think differently. We have to begin to look within ourselves, as a nation, to find solutions for prospering our nation. It is a time to be resourceful and preserve our environment and resources. It is really a time that we are calling for honesty as we handle the nation’s resources and assets. Using this Budget, this is a time to put Zambia first, to promote our people by encouraging them in production and also in the provision of empowerment funds and assets, and to give them a chance to rise and contribute to economic development.


Madam Speaker, lastly, this Budget is anchored on our values and principles. Allow me to quote the hon. Minister of Finance on Page 2, Paragraph 9, which states:


“Mr Speaker, above all, we require to entrench national values and principles that include hard work, good governance, integrity, patriotism and national unity...”


Madam Speaker, the National Values, Principles and Economic Policies are enshrined in Part II, Article 8, of the Constitution of Zambia. Article 9(c) of the Constitution of Zambia says that these values have to be applied to Government programmes and policies.


Madam Speaker, again, I just want to commend the hon. Minister of Finance for this very well-thought-out Budget.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


The Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Mr Sichalwe): Madam Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity granted to me to debate the Budget presented to this House by the hon. Minister of Finance on 25th September, 2020.


Madam Speaker, I am elated that the hon. Minister of Finance’s proposed Budget resonates with the needs and aspirations of the people in the 288 Chiefdoms across the country with regard to poverty and vulnerability reduction under Pillar II and reducing developmental inequalities under Pillar III. As we all know, the majority of our people are in the rural areas and they bear the brunt of poverty, vulnerability and developmental inequalities. Therefore, a Budget that is bent on safeguarding livelihoods and protecting the vulnerable by scaling up social protection programmes and climate change interventions would not have come at a better time. It is a notorious fact that rural communities are in dire need of important interventions, such as the construction of roads to facilitate market access and linkages between urban and rural areas, as well as electrification of rural areas.


Madam Speaker, today, one is able to travel from the Sothern Province, through Dundumwezi, into the Western Province and into the North-Western Province.


Hon UPND Members: Question!


Mr Sichalwe: Yes, it is a notorious fact because you are able to go round without having to pass through Lusaka. It is such interventions that will help reduce the developmental inequalities that exist among various communities.


Madam Speaker, I heard one of the debaters praise previous Governments for having had a lot of money compared to what the Patriotic Front (PF) has today. They may have had that kind of money because they decided to keep it, not channel it to development, which is what the PF is doing today. There was also praise about privatisation having brought about a lot of good. However, I wish to remind hon. Members that it brought more harm than good because it created high levels of unemployment because most of the companies that were privatised are no longer running.


Madam Speaker, lastly, the PF Government is very confident that the 2021 Budget will steer the country to greater heights amidst numerous socio-economic and environmental challenges.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


The Minister of Local Government (Dr Banda): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the Floor. It is a great honour for me to have this opportunity to register my heartfelt vote of confidence to my colleague, the hon. Minister of Finance, Dr Bwalya Ng’andu, for delivering an inspiring and pace-setting Budget Address to the nation. Not only does his speech respond to Zambia’s development agenda, but it also resonates with His Excellency the Republican President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s, address to this august House.


Madam, the hon. Minister of Finance’s address, which was anchored on the theme, ‘Stimulate Economic Recovery and Build Resilience to Safeguard Livelihoods and Protect the Vulnerable,’ renews the hope of a brighter future for our citizens through the revenue and expenditure measures contained therein. Despite the numerous socio-economic and environmental challenges exacerbated by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Budget Address testifies to the Patriotic Front (PF) Government’s ambitions to steer our country to greater heights. The theme of the address was most appropriate and timely, as it came at such a time when we are striving for fiscal balance in our economy for sustainable development and improved service delivery for our people. Therefore, I commend the hon. Minister of Finance for this


Madam Speaker, in supporting the Budget Speech, I take cognisance of the allocation of K2,762,080,579 towards dismantling of arrears. This bold step is a recipe for economic recovery, as it will inject the much-needed liquidity in the economy and, thus, stimulate economic activities. You may wish to note that the Government owes a number of contractors of various infrastructure projects such as markets and bus stations, feeder and urban roads, and fire stations among others. Some of these are local contractors, in line with the Government policy of sub-contracting, at least, 20 per cent of all major infrastructure works to locals. Due to non-settlement of financial obligations to them, their workers may have gone for months without being paid, and, in some cases, they may have been forced to demobilise to avoid escalating project costs. By dismantling the arrears owed to the contractors, more people will have more money in their pockets.


Madam Speaker, in his address, the hon. Minister of Finance also highlighted the measures that the Government will put in place to enhance the domestic resource envelope. One such measure is the appointment of local authorities as tax agents to collect turnover tax, base tax and withholding tax on a commission basis in their jurisdictions. This measure will expand the revenue base for local authorities that will support their municipal service position.


Madam Speaker, local authorities are better placed to provide public services owing to their greater proximity to the people than the Central Government. For this reason, they are the nucleus of the decentralisation and devolution agenda. It is gratifying to note that the hon. Minister of Finance has maintained the allocation of grants to local authorities despite the country’s constrained fiscal position.


Madam Speaker, before I wind up, allow me to take this opportunity to briefly respond to what the former Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane, said yesterday. He said that when the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government was in power, the economy improved greatly because of the privatisation process that we went through. Hon. Dr Musokotwane and I as well as many others are from a similar background, and we know what happened due to privatisation. It led to a loss of about 147 parastatal companies to private individuals, and unfortunately, all the companies collapsed. The result was an increase in job losses in addition to the number of people who were already out of employment, hence the problem of unemployment which we are trying to now resolve as we try to reform the process of mending the economy in this country. So, I was taken aback to hear that the economy reached higher heights through privatisation. I have a different view. Most of the people who worked for the 147 companies, which went from being parastatal companies to private companies and failed, have not been paid their dues to date. I do not think that one should say that the economy was doing fine during that time. Let us be honest with ourselves.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


The hon. Minister’s time expired.


Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Madam.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, I know that we have no rule that guides when one can rise on a point of order, but a practice has emerged over the years that, as far as possible, points of order should be avoided, especially when hon. Members of the Executive are responding to issues. This is the practice that we are used to and it helps us, as Presiding Officers, because it makes us work in a much more orderly manner.


I note that the hon. Leader of the Opposition is trying to rise on a point of order. I will allow that, but I urge the House to heed my guidance.


Hon. Mwiimbu, you may raise your point of order.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I rise on a very serious procedural point of order on Her Honour the Vice-President.


Madam Speaker, you will recall that last Friday when Her Honour the Vice-President was presenting the schedule of work for this week, she informed us and the nation that the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 would be on the Order Paper on Friday, this week.


Madam Speaker, a few minutes ago, we received a circular rescinding the decision of Her Honour the Vice-President, which was announced on the Floor of this House. The circular is telling us that the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 will be moved on 29th October, 2020.


Mr Ngulube: Who issued that circular?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, on my right!


Mr Mwiimbu: He is always undisciplined.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Deputy Chief Whip! Allow him to state his issue.


You may proceed, Hon. Mwiimbu.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I need clarification on this matter so that we can allay the anxiety of hon. Members of this House and members of the public. It was announced that the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 would be moved on Friday this week. We have been waiting for it and we are ready, ...


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: ... but we have now received –




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, in the House!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, we have received a circular stating that this Bill will be presented on 29th October, 2020. As you have guided, hon. Members of Parliament are supposed to debate virtually, if they want, and they can be in their constituencies. So, we want to know and we seek your guidance on whether the Bill will be debated on Friday so that hon. Members in the constituencies can remain there attending to other national duties and parliamentary duties.


Madam Speaker, we need your guidance on this matter. Will the Bill be presented this Friday, next week or the other week? We need to be told so that there is clarity.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: My guidance is as follows, as you have indicated, hon. Leader of the Opposition, last week, Her Honour the Vice-President did, indeed, indicate that the Bill you have referred to would be presented during the course of the business for this week. As you will note, hon. Members, this was a mere indication by Her Honour the Vice-President. This particular Bill that you are referring to is being promoted by the Executive. Just like any other promoter, the Executive is at liberty to change its mind if it is not ready to present the Bill, as indicated. What Her Honour the Vice-President did last Friday was to merely indicate and there is nothing out of order about what the Executive has done. When the Executive is ready, I am sure it will present that Bill for Second Reading. That is the guidance.


The Minister of General Education (Dr Wanchinga): Madam Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion on the Floor.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, in the House!


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Speaker, I rise to support this Motion on the Floor for four reasons. In supporting this Motion, I would like to ask myself to what degree the Budget went into being pro-poor, in line with the party’s manifesto.


Madam Speaker, the Budget has given a lot of support to the poor. Concerning the education sector, I note that it has continued to give support to the construction of secondary schools in rural areas and community schools where the poor people go. It has also supported the programme for orphans and vulnerable children as well as the Keeping Girls in School Project. It has also given support to those women who have fallen by the wayside in terms of opportunities to advance themselves. So, in this respect, I note with satisfaction that the Budget has performed well in this area.


Madam Speaker, the second criterion on which I assessed the Budget is the degree to which it shows understanding to the requirements of the time. I have noted with satisfaction that the Budget has addressed the need for effective management of both internal and external debt. It has also addressed the impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the people and the need to stimulate the economy. Examples of this abound in the budget proposals such as in the area of tourism and youth empowerment, which have been well addressed. There is also a lot of emphasis on social protection.


Madam Speaker, the third criterion upon which I rise to support the Budget is the level of its appropriateness in response to sectoral needs. In this respect, I note with satisfaction that the Budget is in support of a transformational agenda which will involve policy and curriculum reforms, the new model of constructing schools as well as the innovations in the new teaching methodologies that we are developing.


Madam Speaker, the fourth criterion upon which I rise to support this Budget is the way it was prepared. The preparatory process for the Budget was concerted. It had a cluster approach which meant that ministries worked together and produced opportunities for creating synergies among various programmes. So, for these reasons, I support the Budget.


I thank you, Madam.


The Minister of Agriculture (Mr Katambo): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity, on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, to contribute to the debate on the Budget Speech. Allow me to also thank the hon. Minister of Finance, Dr Bwalya Ng’andu, for a well- thought-out Budget under very difficult circumstances, due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) that is all over the world prompting us to live in the new normal. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, growth projections have been reset, with global economic growth expected to contract, except in a few countries, and Zambia has not been spared from this economic downturn.


Madam Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is cognisant of the challenges that an ordinary man on the streets faces due to the impact of this pandemic. Therefore, we will focus on stimulating the economy and building resilience of not only the economy but also our citizens. I listened to the various debates on the Budget presented by the hon. Minister of Finance, and almost all of them focused on the expenditure side of its presentation. However, several measures that speak to the theme for next year’s Budget and the circumstances we, as a country, have found ourselves in have been proposed. These proposed measures speak to the need to uplift the livelihoods of citizens through economic stimulation.


Madam Speaker, the PF Government knows that in order to build resilience of the country and stimulate economic growth, there is a need to focus on the sector that supports livelihoods of our citizens, and that is agriculture. Therefore, inputs have been delivered on time and we thank the hon. Minister of Finance for this great support. Further, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) is paying the farmers on time and this is motivating our small-scale farmers.


Madam Speaker, in addition to supporting our small-scale farmers, we are focusing on other aspects of agriculture development that need attention such as mechanisation. To promote mechanisation, this Government, under President Lungu, has zero-rated import duty on all tractors above 90 horsepower in the 2021 Budget. Further, floriculture and horticulture sub-sectors have been exempted from the development allowance for five years, and other tax allowances. These measures seek to enhance our production in non-traditional exports.


Madam, in the next few years, we expect to see some growth in the promotion of rose flowers, tea, coffee, bananas and citrus fruits. Even the increase in maize production that you have seen is not a matter of chance, but due to the early delivery of inputs, as I mentioned earlier, coupled with favourable rain patterns. For 2021, we intend to ensure that these inputs are delivered on time, again, as this is a way we can stimulate farmers to produce and help build resilience.


Madam Speaker, this Government has shown commitment to ensuring that the vulnerable are well taken care of in society. It has, thus, increased spending on social protection through the Social Cash Transfer Scheme and the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). I urge hon. Members who have not seen the impact of these social protection programmes to visit areas where they are being implemented.


Madam, as I conclude, allow me to urge your hon. Members to support the Budget as it focuses on building internal capacities of the country to grow our economy.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection (Dr Chanda): Madam Speaker, I rise to support the Budget presented by the hon. Minister of Finance.


Madam, the hon. Minister brought the Budget under the theme ‟Stimulating Economic Recovery and Building Resilience to Safeguard Livelihoods and Protect the Vulnerableˮ. I support it because it is very good for farmers and agriculture. If you remember, not long ago, the Opposition was saying that the Patriotic Front (PF) means paya farmer, but after we recorded a bumper harvest, it is quiet. As the hon. Minister of Agriculture said, agriculture is one of the key drivers of growth for us and that is why we are distributing inputs early. This is not that economy left behind by the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), which was driven by copper. I hear people here boasting about how good the economy was, but when there was a slowdown in China, the economy collapsed. However, the PF is diversifying the economy through agriculture, tourism, manufacturing industries and other sectors. That is our approach.


Madam Speaker, I support that Budget because it is good for the Zambian worker. The Pay-as-You Earn (PAYE) threshold has been raised in line with the theme of the Budget. This is also in line with our party manifesto. We are pro-poor and we are not here to protect those involved in privatisation and their rich friends. The PF is about protecting the vulnerable and leaving no one behind. That is what this Budget is about.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chanda: Madam, I support this Budget because it has put much emphasis on youth, women empowerment and social protection as there is a lot of poverty in these times due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).


Madam Speaker, I get surprised when people ask why the Zambian economy is in recession. They have to look at the global economy generally. I wonder whether they listen to the news or are in tune with global events because the entire global economy is in recession at the moment with negative 8 per cent growth.


Madam, in fact, the richest countries in the world are suffering the most. Look at what has happened to the United States of America (USA). There are 30 million people unemployed. The economy has collapsed and they have elections in three weeks, yet before COVID-19, they had one of the best economies ever, according to their President. Therefore, this Budget that the hon. Minister has presented is very good.


Madam Speaker, we need to look at where Zambia is coming from. Let us understand the economic fundamentals. When the MMD left power in 2011, it left us a mono-economy which was prone to external shocks. When there was a slowdown in China or climate change, the economy collapsed. When people do not buy copper or when there is any slowdown in demand, the copper economy collapses. The PF’s economic recovery plan, which the hon. Minister referred to, is to diversify the economy. We want an economy that will create employment and withstand external shocks, going forward.


Madam, there is a lot of noise being made about Zambia’s debt. What is development? Is it just on paper, which we say, “Ubunonshi bwaba pa mapepala,” which means the economy is just on paper with a calculator? It is no wonder the late President Sata called some people calculator boys because the economy is about human development. It is about the impact being made on people.


Madam Speaker, as the hon. Minister of wora

, ...




Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chanda: ... I move around the country and wonder what previous Governments were doing. I am just from the Western Province, which has had a water supply coverage of 49 per cent and sanitation coverage of 7 per cent since Independence. This is almost sixty years after Independence, yet it is the PF Government that is implementing huge projects which the President will commission very soon. Yes, we borrowed, but we want the people of the Western Province to live well very soon, they will have 100 per cent water coverage and almost 80 per cent sanitation coverage under the PF.


Madam, the same applies across the country. On the Copperbelt, one million people will benefit from the Kafulafuta Water Supply and Sanitation Project in Ndola, Masaiti, Luanshya and Mpongwe. Go anywhere in Zambia and you will think it has just attained its Independence. In fact, before the PF came into power, Zambia yalijujuwike, which means it was a faded country. The roads were gone and had potholes. When you drove from Botswana and entered Zambia, you would be greeted by potholes. However, today, the country is interconnected. You can travel from Luapula Province to the Northern Province and many other parts of the country.


Madam, I get very surprised when people ask why we are borrowing. At one time, they asked whether people would eat roads, but today, there are many roads on their menu. They are crying for roads. In fact, there is one former Minister, who is now Secretary-General of a newly launched political party, who threatened to walk naked if the Chingola/Solwezi Road was not worked on. Thankfully, he will not walk naked because the road has been worked on.


Madam, with those few words, I thank you.


Thank you, Madam.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Minister of Works and Supply (Mrs Chalikosa): Madam Speaker, I thank you for according me this honour to comment on the Budget Speech delivered to this august House by Hon. Dr Bwalya Ng’andu on Friday, 25th September, 2020, whose theme was ‟Stimulating Economic Recovery and Building Resilience to Safeguard Livelihoods and Protect the Vulnerableˮ.


Madam, those who have been describing this speech as one without hope and feel for the rural population, not surprisingly so, are truly pessimistic. However, you may agree with me that the hon. Minister of Finance delivered a speech which is responsive to the current economic trends in addition to being in line with the Address by His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, delivered during the Official Opening of the 5th Session of the 12th National Assembly.


Madam Speaker, I noted with interest that the hon. Minister, in his speech, focused on economic recovery programmes which provide incentives to reinvigorate growth and build resilience while safeguarding livelihoods and protecting the vulnerable. This is a step in the right direction and it gives hope to spur economic growth in the country and recover from the negative impact which the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had on our people and the economy.


Madam, as much as others may consider references to the negative impact of COVID-19 as an excuse, unfortunately, it is a fact and the whole world is talking about it. Even the International Monetary Fund (IMF), amongst others whom we are looking up to for financial relief, has predicted negative growth of about 4.9 per cent globally. In Zambia, it is expected to shrink by 3.2 per cent.


Madam Speaker, it is evident that the Government has put in place measures to resuscitate the economy by allocating more resources to key sectors such as mining, energy, tourism, agriculture, health and education. Therefore, this Budget sets a base for the achievement of intended objectives, in line with the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) outcomes and Vision 2030 of becoming a prosperous middle income country. Other measures include details on policy regulatory and structural reforms. The Government listens to everything that the people cry about.


Madam Speaker, in line with the theme of the Budget Speech, the ministry will strengthen the management of public assets in the country to facilitate effective management of public assets. The Government has drafted the Public Asset Management Policy that will provide a framework for co-ordinating management, including maintenance of public assets in all ministries, provinces and spending agencies. This is with a view to promoting a culture of timely maintenance of public assets, thereby prolonging the lifespan and reducing Government expenditure that if not properly managed, gives rise to inflation.


Madam, I must hasten to mention that the zero-rating of all tractors for value added purposes and the removal of import duty on greenhouse plastic products will help to boost horticulture services in the country. The ministry is in the process of mechanising horticulture production in order to contribute to a green and sustainable environment. In addition, the ministry will continue to promulgate planting of ornamental and non-ornamental plants and provide landscaping services.


Madam Speaker, the drive to escalate road infrastructure development has come with the uprooting of some tress and, therefore, the ministry will continue to promote the planting of ornamental trees along the roads.


Madam Speaker, in conclusion, I wish to congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance, Dr Bwalya Ng’andu, Member of Parliament, for presenting a lively Budget Speech that sets a foundation for economic recovery to build resilience, safeguard livelihoods and protect the vulnerable. Therefore, I wish to assure this august House that my ministry will prioritise programmes that will benefit the Zambian people by enhancing the involvement of youth, women and those who are vulnerable to achieve management of public assets across the country.


Madam, with those few words, I fully support the Budget.


I thank you, Madam.


The Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare (Ms Mulenga): Madam Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to support the Budget that was delivered to this august House by the hon. Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr Bwalya Ng’andu, on Friday, 25th September, 2020.


Madam Speaker, during the Official Opening of the Fifth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly, I recall that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, outlined the policy direction the Patriotic Front (PF) Government would take to steer the country to greater heights amidst numerous socio-economic and environmental challenges by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.


Madam Speaker, surely the 2021 Budget has actualised the President’s aspirations by increasing the National Budget from K106 billion in 2020 to K119.6 billion for the 2021 Fiscal Year. This increase is despite the heightened anxiety brought about by COVID-19.


Madam Speaker, the increase in the overall Budget has translated into an upward direction for the ministry from K1.4 billion in 2020 to K3.7 billion in 2021, representing a 61 per cent increment. We want to sincerely thank His Excellency the President, the hon. Minister of Finance and all the technocrats who assured us that the Budget for social protection programs would be increased. This is in an effort to contribute to poverty reduction and the uplifting the lives of the poor and vulnerable in our communities.


Madam Speaker, the ministry will support the medium-term economic recovery programme, as it provides incentives to rejuvenate growth, build resilience, safeguard livelihoods and protect the vulnerable. Subsequently, the ministry will continue to provide social assistance programmes from cash, goods or support in kind to individuals and households. Once again, I wish to thank the hon. Minister of Finance and his team for increasing the allocation to the Social Cash Transfer for 2021.


Madam Speaker, as the hon. Minister of Finance mentioned in the Budget Speech, the number of beneficiaries under the traditional Social Cash Transfer Programme will be increased from 994,000 households in 2021 from the current 632,000 households. Further, the amount per household will increase from the current K90 to K110. This is in an effort to reduce extreme poverty as well as help our vulnerable, but viable communities.


Madam Speaker, I just want to talk about the issues of poverty that have been raised by some hon. Backbenchers. As the Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare, I wish to say that we, as a ministry, stand proud in ensuring that we look at the most vulnerable, but viable beneficiaries. When you look back at the time the Social Cash Transfer Scheme was introduced during the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) time, you will recall that our beneficiaries were getting K35. We had no food security pack. We had the Public Welfare Assistant Scheme (PWAS), which is almost disappearing. However, under this Government, through the able leadership of His Excellency the President, Mr Lungu, we have seen the increase of the Social Cash Transfer allocation to a K110.


Madam Speaker, this ministry is implementing what it is calling the Social Cash Plus where, through His Excellency the President, the hon. Minister of Finance has increased the Food Security Pack allocation. Our Budget stood at K100 million, but now, because of the ubuntu in President Lungu, we have seen the allocation increase to K1.2 billion. This means that our vulnerable, but viable farmers will also be allowed to participate in the agriculture sector. Consequently, they too will contribute positively to the agriculture sector.


Madam Speaker, after a very long time, we have also seen that women empowerment, which was under this ministry, has also been given a huge allocation of K40 million. We are very thankful to the hon. Minister for allowing our women to, again, be empowered through our ministry.


Madam Speaker, under the PWAS programme, which actually looks at the vulnerable, but viable students that have no parents to take them to school, we have also seen this allocation increase.


Madam Speaker, we are a very proud ministry and we are thankful to His Excellency the President for ensuring that 40 per cent of this population is taken care of under social protection.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


The hon. Minister’s time expired.


The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mrs Simukoko): Madam Speaker, allow me to congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance for the able manner in which he presented the Budget Address to this august House under the theme, ‟Stimulate Economic Recovery and Build Resilience to Safeguard the Livelihoods and Protect the Vulnerableˮ.


Madam Speaker, as the hon. Minister of Finance pointed out, for this Budget to achieve its objectives, it will require all of us to deliver our commitments with discipline, determination and dedication by focusing our priorities towards building the Zambia we want and by protecting the vulnerable in our communities.


Madam Speaker, from the labour fraternity, we received the policy direction from the address with much gratitude, especially on the many incentives contained in the Budget that are intended at building better from the effects of the Coronavirus Disease 2019( COVID-19) pandemic.


Madam Speaker, you will agree with me that the impact of the pandemic on the economy has adversely affected the workers, especially in the tourism and hospitality sector. Therefore, it is gratifying to note that the Budget has brought hope to our workers and employers. As pointed out in the Budget Address, creating fiscal space, ensuring debt sustainability and dismantling domestic arrears are, indeed, key priorities that will stimulate economic recovery and sustain jobs. It is the aspiration of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government to alleviate the hardships of those owed money by the Government, especially local businesses. This will also help in preserving businesses, saving jobs, increasing liquidity and in so doing, boost economic activities. This is what we want. Our duty is to ensure that the workers remain employed and the employers get returns on their investments.


Madam Speaker, the Budget Address has provided hope to our people despite the tight fiscal space which calls for refocusing priority areas for our resources to achieve more with less. As a people, we are confident that economic diversification and job creation can be attained with continued public and private investments in the agriculture, tourism, mining, energy and manufacturing sectors to drive our industrialisation agenda.


Madam Speaker, I am also delighted to note that the Budget has proposed measures to revamp the economy and, therefore, protect the jobs of our people. I am delighted to note that the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) tax threshold has been increased. This will ensure that there is more money in our workers’ pockets.


Madam Speaker, social protection remains a key priority to the PF. This is in line with its pro-poor agenda upon which the party was founded. Therefore, I am happy to note that the Budget has provided K4.8 billion for the social protection programme of which K1.1 billion will go towards paying retirees’ benefits to Public Service workers to reduce the waiting time between retirements and receipt of benefits.


Further, the Ministry of Finance has, over the years, prioritised liquidation of pension arrears in the Budget. The Government will continue to invest resources in this programme to ensure that all retirees are paid.


Madam Speaker, the House may wish to know that the Government has decentralised payment of retirees’ terminal benefits to district outlets. In addition, the Government has improved its service delivery in pension administration by introducing versatile electronic products such as the e-NAPSA and e-Payment channels. These are some of the commitments that the Patriotic Front (PF) party made prior to its ascendance to power and I am happy that we have delivered on them. We will continue to do even more beyond 2021.


I thank you, Madam.


The Minister for Lusaka Province (Mr Lusambo): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to comment on this beautiful Budget, which the hon. Minister of Finance delivered to this august House.


Madam Speaker, let me first thank His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces. This President is a President for all. The Budget that the hon. Minister of Finance delivered to the nation is a progressive one under the circumstances of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.


Madam Speaker, Lusaka Province has many on-going developmental projects. There is unprecedented development. Just in the Lusaka District, we have seen the construction of beautiful roads because of the good governance of His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu. Years back, we only used to see such roads when we travelled outside this beautiful country. However, today, we are able to see even flyover bridges here in Lusaka. It is all because of this hard-working Government, under the leadership of His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu. Today, when you move around Lusaka, it is a different story altogether. This hardworking Government of His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, is here to work, not joke around.


Madam Speaker, regarding agriculture, I came from the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) just last week. We allocated the production of 10,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser to the NCZ. It has produced this and we have started distributing it to our small-scale farmers here in Lusaka Province.


Madam Speaker, as Minister for Lusaka Province, I have more than 100,000 small-scale farmers in Lusaka. Therefore, Lusaka alone can feed this beautiful country.


Madam Speaker, I am here to support this progressive Budget which the Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr Ng’andu, delivered to this august House.


Madam Speaker, as a country, we need to be progressive, not retrogressive. We have seen some members of the Opposition in this country move from rented houses in Kalundu, yet fail to see the beautiful roads which this Government, under the leadership of His Excellency, Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has constructed. It is a shame on such visionless Opposition leaders. As we speak, others have seen that we have delivered. This time around, we have given farming inputs to small-scale farmers before the onset of the 2020/2021 Rainy Season.


Madam Speaker, I am a very proud to serve as a Minister under President Edgar Chagwa Lungu because he is here to transform this economy and this country.


Madam Speaker, with these few words, I support the Budget which the hon. Minister of Finance delivered.


I thank you, Madam.


The Minister for Muchinga Province (Mr Sichone): Madam Speaker, thank you for allowing me time to debate the Motion on the Floor of the House.


Madam Speaker, I wish to congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance and, in the same vein, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, for this great message of hope delivered on the Floor of the House in this particular Motion.


Madam Speaker, I will focus on two out of the so many areas of the Budget. However, before I get to that, I wish to mention that the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) threshold that has been increased is a very clear way of adding an increment to salaries for civil servants and many other employees of different institutions. I thank the hon. Minister of Finance for that indirect salary increment. 


Madam Speaker, I also wish to emphasise the production of horticultural crops. We, in Muchinga Province, and Isoka Constituency in particular, which happens to be my constituency, decided to embark on a Plant a Million Trees Programme. We developed the programme which has seen quite a good number of small-scale farmers come on board to plant citrus fruits, bananas and other horticultural crops.


Madam Speaker, this is the only sustainable way to eliminate poverty in our country. The production of maize, which successive Governments promoted for decades, has actually proven to be costly and it takes a lot to achieve it.


Madam, what I see now is the President telling us, through the hon. Minister of Finance, to diversify from the production of maize to horticultural crops such as citrus fruits and bananas.


Madam Speaker, this country has been importing citrus fruits such as oranges and other good varieties of mangoes. We have been importing bananas. Can we not surely be ashamed of doing that?


Madam Speaker, the efforts in trying to promote horticulture that I have seen in this speech implies that two to three years from now, we will not import these products. In two or three years from now, the horticultural sector will be the centre of employment for many people. This, in fact, is an environmentally and climate resilient type of farming because you plant trees once without tilling the ground always. Therefore, when you go through this speech, you will realise that Muchinga Province, in particular, will benefit from this Budget, and we are grateful.


Madam Speaker, the other area I wish to tackle is that of debt. Why are we creating an ugly face around debt in this country when the people of Nakonde and Mpika have access to water because of it? Police officers in Mpika and Shiwan’gandu have houses because of debt. People have all that because of the money that we got from other countries and institutions. Why are we creating an ugly face around borrowing when we all know that in this country, we do not manufacture dollars that we can use to improve the state of this country?


Madam Speaker, Muchinga Province has the best hospital, a state-of-the-art general hospital because of the money that was borrowed. This Government has put to good use all the money that it has borrowed and people have seen this. It is unfortunate, especially for our colleagues from the Opposition, to begin to imagine that the issue of debt will be a tool that they will use to confuse people in this country. It will never happen. In fact, I must mention that candidates for the Opposition parties are now beginning to get zero votes in by-elections in some polling stations because of the misinformation they are taking to people. People are able to see that it is because this Government borrowed that they have access to various social amenities in this country.


Madam Speaker, I must thank you, again, for allowing me to debate. The people of Muchinga are saying that they will vote for President Edgar Chagwa Lungu because of this great speech.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.



The Minister for Presidential Affairs (Mr Sikazwe): Madam Speaker, thank you for allowing me to contribute to the debate on the Budget Speech that was presented to this august House by the hon. Minister of Finance.


Madam Speaker, I would like to start by congratulating the hon. Minister for presenting a Budget to this august House which meets the needs of the people of Zambia. However, I expect every well-meaning Zambian to be aware of the fact that this Budget was presented under very difficult conditions.


Madam Speaker, allow me to quote the speech of the hon. Minister of Finance on page 7, paragraph 41, where he states:


“Mr Speaker, the COVID-19 pandemic has stifled economic growth worldwide, including ours. The focus in the medium-term will be on containing the spread of this virus, mitigating the effects of the pandemic and restoring macroeconomic stability as well as growth. In addition, priority will be to move towards attaining fiscal fitness and restoring debt sustainability, dismantling domestic arrears and safeguarding social protection spending. This Budget, therefore, sets a foundation for the achievement of these objectives in line with our Economic Recovery Programme.”


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister talked about economic recovery because of the economic challenges that this Government went through in 2014, 2015 and 2019. This Government went through very difficult times last year alone. It underwent tragedies. Firstly, it experienced poor rainfall, which affected the maize yield. This led to the prices of mealie meal going up. The poor rains also affected the generation of electricity, which led to load-shedding and then came the game of gassing, which the Government had to fight. Before the Government could settle down, there came the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which disturbed all programmes.


Mr Speaker, despite all these challenges, this Government of His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, still continued with its developmental agenda which, I am sure, has put it on the right foot for elections because almost everyone has seen what it has done. Hence, when His Excellency the President came to this august House and told the people of Zambia that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government had changed the face of the country, he meant his words. I am happy to state that many Zambians agree with his statement because they see what he talked about.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sikazwe: Madam Speaker, this is not story-telling because every Zambian has seen what this Government has done and how it has changed the faces of Monze, Mazabuka, Choma, Livingstone and Dundumwezi. What else would people want this Government to do? Oh my God, people have seen how this Government has changed the face of Kazungula by constructing a bridge.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Sikazwe: Our friends thought they could implement some of these projects, but they failed despite the plans. However, this Government, under the leadership of Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has done it.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


The hon. Minister’s time expired


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, this Motion has to be concluded today. Therefore, I will call on the Chairperson of the Expanded Budget Committee, the hon. Member for Mbala, to present his report.


Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Madam Speaker, in accordance with its terms of reference, as provided for in the Standing Orders, your Committee was tasked to scrutinise the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Financial Year 1st January to 31st December, 2021.


Madam, during its deliberations, your Committee interacted with stakeholders from various sectors of society, including the academia, research institutions and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). Hon. Ministers from selected ministries were also invited, including the hon. Minister of Finance. Since the hon. Members are privy to the contents of the report, I will merely highlight a few salient issues of concern.


Public Debt


Madam Speaker, your Committee is dismayed that the country’s domestic and foreign debt still remains a huge burden and, in fact, has increased. Foreign debt has grown to US$11.97 billion while domestic debt now stands at K114.3 billion. The proposal to have domestic debt contribute 14.6 per cent to the Budget in the 2021 Financial Year from 3.3 per cent in 2020 will not only crowd out private borrowers but also further raise the stock of public debt.


Madam Speaker, it is very worrying that 44 per cent of the Budget is proposed to be financed through both foreign and domestic debt. Further, your Committee wonders how the 2021 Budget will be financed when a series of austerity measures and the growth and stabilisation programmes have not been agreed upon. Your Committee emphasises the need for the Government to be resolute in capping the rising recurrent expenditures, which have been the major source of Budget deficit over the last six years and to urgently finalise the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Economic Recovery Programme before the end of the 2020 Financial Year so as to arrest the debt problem.


Madam Speaker, additionally, your Committee calls upon the Executive to provide necessary details with regard to the measures taken to ensure that Zambia benefits from the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative and the Paris Club Creditors as well as the on-going negotiations with G20 Members in the interest of transparency.


Economic Recovery Strategy


Madam Speaker, your Committee welcomes the pronouncements regarding the implementation of the short to medium-term economic recovery strategy, although no details have been availed. Regrettably, it appears that most economic ministries’ programmes do not resonate around economic recovery, but business as usual. In this vein, your Committee urges the Executive to ensure that the strategy is fully implemented and widely publicised.


Domestic Resource Mobilisation


Madam Speaker, your Committee notes that achieving the set fiscal targets in 2021 amidst the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic while being overly dependent on the mining output, which accounts for 70 per cent of Zambia's exports, will be a big challenge. This is because the sector is highly susceptible to fluctuations in commodity prices and global economic conditions have issues of illicit financial flows and an unstable tax regime, all of which negatively affect its contributions to domestic resource mobilisation. These issues need urgent redress through an appropriate institutional and legal framework.


Impact of COVID-19 on the Economy


Madam Speaker, whereas the impact of COVID-19 has negatively affected economic growth in the past few months, the country was already in recession way before the pandemic. In order to arrest the situation, the Government should implement existing strategies in the sectors identified in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), as key drivers and enablers of economic diversification and job creation, namely agriculture, tourism, mining, Information Communication Technology (ICT), energy and trade.


Allocation to the Agriculture Sector


Madam Speaker, your Committee is disappointed that 87 per cent of the entire Ministry of Agriculture Budget has essentially been allocated to one crop, namely maize, through the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) at the expense of key drivers of agricultural growth such as agriculture research, extension services, livestock development, disease control, feeder roads, and irrigation. This should be equally supported if the agriculture sector is to fully diversify. In this vein, your Committee calls specifically for measures to be taken to harness the potential of the cotton industry by establishing well-structured cotton value chain from farmer production, through ginneries, to fabric and clothing production.


As I end, Madam Speaker on behalf of your Committee, I wish to thank you and the Clerk for your guidance and support throughout your Committee’s deliberations. I also wish to pay tribute to all stakeholders who made both oral and written submissions to your Committee during this period, despite the short notice,.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


The Minister of Finance (Dr Ng’andu): Madam Speaker, I am most grateful for the opportunity to respond to the various comments made on the 2021 Budget by hon. Members from both sides of the House and also by the Expanded Budget Committee. I wish to thank each and every one of them for their insightful contributions to the Budget debate.


Madam Speaker, the Budget has been prepared against an extremely hostile global economic environment characterised by contraction of the global economy directly attributed to the negative impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Zambia, like the rest of the world, has seen its economy contract in 2020, largely on account of the internal and external lockdown measures whose implementation disrupted established supply and value chains, dampened global demand for goods and services, and crippled many businesses. With businesses struggling to survive, jobs and livelihoods have been lost and our ability to collect tax and non-tax revenue has been severely impaired while in contrast, expenditure requirements have gone up at the same time.


Madam Speaker, the fact is that COVID-19 is still with us and it will continue to exert its influence on the performance of the economy in 2021. I am aware that there might be a temptation among some to disregard or, perhaps, even deny the role that the COVID-19 pandemic is playing in defining the economic challenges that we face in order to create the argument that the 2021 Budget is a failure. However, denying the truth because one does not like it is at best a feeble political argument. Therefore, this Budget has taken note of the fact that going into next year, businesses will still be struggling to recover and large numbers of our people will have been rendered vulnerable due to loss of jobs and the collapse of small businesses that sustain their livelihoods. For these reasons, the key objectives of the 2021 Budget are broadly to stimulate economic recovery by giving support to businesses and offering social protection interventions to the vulnerable in order to avoid the worsening of poverty.


Madam Speaker, restoring the resilience of businesses and safeguarding livelihoods define the focus of this Budget. Therefore, allow me now to respond to some of the comments raised on the Budget by hon. Members over the last two weeks. In my response, I will endeavour to aggregate most of the questions under broad categories, since we do not have time to respond to each and every specific issue individually.


The Assertion that the Budget has Failed to Address Hardships Faced by our People


On the contrary, the Budget, Madam Speaker, contains a number of specific measures intended to address this very concern. These include increasing amounts allocated to the Social Cash Transfer Scheme and food security packs, introducing measures to encourage the employment of differently abled persons who are usually ranked at the bottom of the social pecking order as well as increasing the tax credit for these persons so as to increase their take-home pay.


Madam Speaker, in addition, the Budget commits itself to continuing the reduction of outstanding pension arrears and putting more money into the pockets of our workers by raising the exempt threshold on Pay as You Earn (PAYE). We are proud that, through this Budget, the Government has shown its responsiveness to meeting the needs of the most needy in our society.


The Assertion that the Budget Will neither Create Jobs nor Alleviate Poverty


Madam Speaker, the 2021 Budget is clearly focused on helping companies revive their lost fortunes to restore their productive capacity and get back lost jobs, create new jobs and deal with losses that have accumulated during the months that they earned no income. Consequently, the Budget provides a number of tax incentives to specifically those sectors like tourism and the hospitality industries which have been hurt the most by the pandemic. Agriculture is another sector that will benefit from the incentives that are provided.


Madam Speaker, in conclusion, the 2021 Budget was difficult to put together on account of the current economic challenges. However, this Budget has not failed our people during this time of most need. It is pro-poor and at the same time, it provides businesses with the necessary stimulus to help get the economy back on the path of growth. This Budget is both responsive and responsible and speaks to the challenges that our people are facing.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Question put and agreed to.











VOTE 01– (Office the PresidentState House – K77,288,357).


The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Chairperson, I wish to thank you for according me this opportunity to present the 2021 Estimates of Recurrent Expenditure for Vote 01/01 – Office of the President – State House.


Mr Chairperson, State House is a key Government institution, which is also the seat of the Presidency of the Republic of Zambia. As the apex institution of the Government, State House plays a critical overarching and support role to the Presidency in the provision of national guidance and overall policy direction of the country.


Mr Chairperson, given this mandate, the policy objective and role of State House has been developed in line with the mission statement outlined below:


“To deliver inspirational and visionary leadership to the nation and promote inclusive governance in order to achieve a better life for all Zambians.”


The Goal


Mr Chairperson, in support of the mission statement, the institution’s goal statement reads as follows:


“To achieve effective and efficient advisory and support services for enhanced execution of executive functions by His Excellency the President.”


Overview of 2020 Operations


Mr Chairperson, State House encountered various operational challenges during the year under review due to austerity measures and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which slowed down the implementation of a number of programmes and activities. However, the institution remained focused on achieving its objectives outlined in the strategic plan. It should be noted that during 2020, the following programmes were undertaken:


  1. revision of the placement of staff.
  2. training staff in long and short-term programmes.
  3. State House entering into smart partnership and alliances that provided for synergies with other Government departments, firstly, as a prudent cost serving measure and, secondly, as a means of ensuring the upgrade of the State House premises. The works covered include the following:


  1. maintenance of State House buildings, including external and internal paintings;
  2. identification and numbering of obsolete plant and equipment;
  3. continued placements of staff on first appointment, transfer and replacement of retired staff;
  4. landscaping and gardening services; and
  5. upgrading of water reticulation and sanitation systems.


Suffice to note further that significant progress has been made towards the successful implementation of the institution’s planned programmes and activities for the current fiscal year.




Mr Chairperson, the key challenges that the institution faced include, among others, the following:


  1. the outbreak of COVID-19 during the year adversely affected the implementation and monitoring of many programmes such as the assessment of presidential lodges in readiness for repairs and the monitoring of major Government projects for possible intervention by the Presidency;
  2. the continued maintenance and rehabilitation of dilapidated infrastructure and buildings;
  3. increased cost of goods and services due to limited supply of certain essential commodities and services such as service parts, oils and lubricants, to mention but a few; and
  4. constant breakdown of essential delivery equipment due to aging, resulting in the need for more resources.


2021 Budget Estimates


Mr Chairperson, it is important to note that State House functions are performed through three key programmes, namely:


  1. Presidential Advisory Services: This comprises five distinct areas of specialisation with the critical role of providing professional and technical backstopping to His Excellency the President on various divergent matters. The programme’s summary estimate is K10,078,645. The five distinctive areas of specialisation are press and public relations, legal advisory services, political advisory services, economic advisory services, and project implementation and monitoring;
  2. Presidential Affairs and Initiatives: This provides presidential services to His Excellency the President and the First Family. The programme’s budget summary estimate is K13,649,630. The two areas of specialisation are diplomatic and hospitality services and presidential initiatives; and
  3. Management and Support Services: This is charged with the role of efficient and effective management of staff and provision of logistical and material support services in order to facilitate the smooth operations of the institution. The programme’s budget summary estimate is K53,560,082. The seven areas of specialisation are:


  1. executive office management;
  2. human resource and administration;
  3. financial management accounting;
  4. procurement management;
  5. landscaping and gardening services;
  6. transport management; and
  7. records management.


In summary, it should be noted further that State House’s estimated operational budget for 2021 is K77,288,358 against last year’s budget of K68,654,825.


Mr Chairperson, the budget estimates before this august House will enable State House to upgrade and facilitate efficient operations of its departments, attend to personnel emoluments, dismantle arrears, provide maintenance of State House grounds and infrastructure, transport management, and general operations. As part of the global village, State House continues to aspire for excellence in its quest to provide quality services. In this regard, I wish to appeal to hon. Members to support the estimates of expenditure for State House, as presented.


I thank you, Mr Chairperson.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Chairperson, thank you for according me this opportunity to debate the Vote for State House. It is important to note that this particular institution is one that superintends over any Government institution in this country, save for those that have been specifically mentioned to be independent from any other oversight role.


Sir, I am aware that even when the 2021 Budget was being presented here, the hon. Minister of Finance informed us that he was a bearer of a message from the President that we support this particular Vote. In his submission, while representing this particular Office, the hon. Minister of Finance indicated the external debt and local debate that this country has accrued.


Mr Chairperson, today, we have received statements from the World Bank that are contradictory to the message which the hon. Minister of Finance brought from State House pertaining to national debt. In its report, the World Bank is telling us that the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) owes external creditors US$27 billion, which is more than twice the figure that was given to us by the hon. Minister of Finance. The World Bank further states that when you add the local and external debt, the total indebtedness of the Zambian Government is US$33 billion.


Mr Chairperson, we heard many of our hon. Colleagues on your right praise this Budget and the borrowing which we have engaged in, as a country. I sympathise with the hon. Minister of Finance because he has been candid about telling the nation that the message he brought to this House is one which is very gloomy. He indicated that this particular Budget is very difficult to implement. The money is not there, but we have heard other people say that their constituencies, like Mufulira are like Dallas. They have said that the faces of Lusaka and Monze have changed very much. I agree that the face of Monze has changed for the worse. The people of Monze are starving. They are not able to sustain themselves. That is the change for the face of Monze –


Mr Ngulube: On a point of order, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Hon. Deputy Chief Whip, just resume your seat. Let the hon. Member continue because I have listened to what he is saying and definitely, it gives you an opportunity to come and respond thereto.


Continue, hon. Member for Monze Central.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I am addressing the nation and my hon. Colleagues here. These hon. Colleagues of ours are agents of the President. Whatever they say on the Floor of this House is supposed to represent the views of the Presidency. However, what we are hearing from the hon. Ministers when they stand to speak is the expression of their personal feelings. They want to tell us how they feel when they wake up in the morning. That is not the position –


Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Mwiimbu: They are supposed to talk about the policies of the Government –


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Hon. Minister of Home Affairs, take your seat.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, the hon. Colleagues who are representing the President have condemned the privatisation of companies in this country. However, we are aware that one of their leaders was a chairperson of the committee that sold Cold Storage Zambia and that the people there lost jobs. Those who throw stones should know that they will hear the sound of the stone –


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!








(Progress reported)




The House adjourned at 1657 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 15th October, 2020.

































47. Mr Mecha (Chifunabuli) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:


  1. whether the Government is aware that a woman of Mungoma Village in Chifunabuli Ward in Chifunabuli Parliamentary Constituency is in police custody after she was rescued from mob justice that superstitiously suspected her of being responsible for the crocodile attacks in the area, following the death of a fifteen year old boy from a crocodile attack on 1st October, 2020;


  1. if so, what urgent measures are being taken to defuse the tension and restore law and order in the area; and


  1. what measures are being taken to reintegrate the affected woman into society.


The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government is aware that police officers rescued a woman of Mungoma Village in Chifunabuli Ward in Chifunabuli Parliamentary Constituency from instant mob justice. The woman was almost set ablaze after being superstitiously suspected of being behind the crocodile attacks in the area, following the death of a fifteen year old boy. The boy was attacked by a crocodile on 1st October, 2020. However, the woman is not in police custody, but was only kept for her own safety.


Madam Speaker, there is neither tension in the area nor is there any breakdown in law and order. The Zambia Police Service has continued to sensitise members of the public on the need to not take the law into their own hands, but to report all crimes to the police. The woman was merely visiting her husband’s village and has since gone back to her own village.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.