Friday, 16th October, 2020

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Friday, 16th October, 2020


The House met at 0900 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]










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


Mr Speaker, on Tuesday, 20th October, 2020, the Business of the House will commence with Questions for Oral Answer. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider the Committee Stage of the National Council for Construction Bill, N.A.B. No. 5 of 2020. The House will, then, resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following Heads of Expenditure:


  1. Head 17 – Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and
  2. Head 26 – Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.


Sir, on Wednesday, 21st October, 2020, the Business of the House will begin with Questions for Oral Answer. This will be followed by consideration of a Private Member’s Motion entitled, Amend the Mines and Minerals Development Act, to be moved by Hon. N. Samakayi, Member of Parliament of Mwinilunga. Thereafter, the House will deal with presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will, then, resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following Heads of Expenditure:


  1. Head 18 – Judiciary; and
  2. Head 31 – Ministry of Justice.


Mr Speaker, on Thursday, 22nd October, 2020, the Business of the House will commence with Questions for Oral Answer. Thereafter, the House will deal with presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will, then, resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following Heads of Expenditure:


  1. Head 32 – Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs; and
  2. Head 33 – Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry.


Mr Speaker, on Friday, 23rd October, 2020, the Business of the House will commence with Her Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time. This will be followed by Questions for Oral Answer. Thereafter, the House will deal with Presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will, then, resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following Heads of Expenditure:


  1. Head 38 – Ministry of Development Planning; and
  2. Head 39 – Smart Zambia Institute.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!






Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out exactly how the physical voter registration will be done, considering that the issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs) in Mumbwa and many other parts of the country has not been done fully and that the thirty days voter registration period is coming to an end. This means that many citizens will not have NRCs. Is the Government able to extend the period?


Mr Speaker: Was that clear, Her Honour the Vice-President?


The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): No, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Mumbwa, could you repeat your question.


Mr Nanjuwa: Mr Speaker, the issuance of NRCs in Mumbwa District has not gone on well. Many people are not able to access the officers issuing NRCs. Therefore, my question is: How will it be with the voter registration, considering that the online registration is not workable in many parts of the rural areas? Is the Government ready to extend the voter registration period?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has clearly indicated that the institution will be able to carry out the registration of voters in the specified period of thirty days. If the commission can carry out elections in one day of, maybe, 6 million people, I believe, this exercise can also be undertaken within the specified period. We have been assured by the ECZ that it will register all the voters during the period specified. If there is a situation which warrants the extension of time, that may be looked into later on. For now, the period of thirty days stands.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, the wide range of empowerment programmes by the Government are appreciated by the majority of Kitwe residents. However, the traders at old Nakadoli Market in Chimwemwe Constituency are asking whether the Government, through the Ministry of Local Government, would consider it a priority to allow them to build and own permanent and clean structures at the market.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, there is an on-going programme at the Ministry of Local Government to upgrade markets. Issues such as individual ownership of small stores in the market will be considered when Nakadoli Market is upgraded. For now, the ministry has not come up with a policy to indicate how these self-owned stores will be handled.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Mr Speaker, on a sad note, I have just learnt of the passing on of my father in Serenje. He was ninety-five years old. However, before I leave, I want to seek clarification from Her Honour the Vice-President on what the Government is doing over the abduction of the police officers in Muchinga Province and the trail of destruction of property that was left behind in Serenje.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the abduction of Government workers, in this case, police officers, is very regrettable. The abduction was carried out by people who are known party cadres. Some of the people who engaged in this exercise are even leaders. The police officers were guarding the area and, then, a convoy passed by with people shouting slogans and displaying symbols of their party. The people standing by the roadside, who did not respond, were beaten up by this group of hooligans that was driving in a convoy. These were United Party for National Development (UPND) cadres. Two police officers were injured, ammunition was taken from their guns and they were sent away to tell their story. Some of them are in hospital now.


Mr Speaker, it is deeply regrettable that things like this can happen in our country or is this the beginning of the turbulence that we have heard about? If we start being unruly before we even end the year, I do not know how the situation will be like going into 2021 up to the election time. I would like to urge our police officers to not condone any lawlessness, as we saw in Mpika and Serenje. The officers who were supposed to intercept this group of hooligans left them scot free. They have now escaped the law, but they will be followed up because they are known.


Mr Speaker, it is very unfortunate that incidences of this nature where violence is used on innocent people who should protect our politicians, but are instead beaten up, can arise. I hope this is not the beginning of an Armageddon that we have heard about.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Serenje, on behalf of the House, I wish to offer my heartfelt condolences. We wish you a safe travel as you proceed to grieve your father.


Thank you.


Mr Siwanzi (Nakonde): Mr Speaker, recently, there has been increased demand for maize from our neighbouring countries. The Government had imposed a ban on the export of maize because it first wants to secure national strategic food reserve.


Mr Speaker, under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), we have farmers who are supported by the Government. Is there a plan by the Government to link the farmers to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) such that the Government will know the quantities that it expects to get from the farmers when maize is harvested? This will enable other farmers who intend to export maize to go ahead and export it so that we can earn the much-needed foreign exchange.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, it is regrettable that farmers who are benefitting from the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) are the first ones to sell their crop to the outsiders before putting into consideration the needs of the country for the strategic reserves that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) is mandated to organise.


Mr Speaker, the Food Reserve Agency Act is being debated in the House now. We believe that one of the areas that need to be considered in the Act is where farmers who benefit from the farming inputs can also make a contribution by selling their produce to the FRA, as the first stop, before excess maize can be sold to other grain marketers. This is because the FRA is acting on behalf of the Government to produce adequate stocks of maize and other crops for strategic reserves. So, this is a very productive question that needs to be examined very urgently to ensure that we secure the strategic reserves before we can sell our maize to the traders.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, I would like to seek clarification from Her Honour the Vice-President. The Government clearly stated that it will not increase the number of chiefs, which is about 287, if I am not mistaken. In my area Ikeleng’i, some officials, mostly from the Patriotic Front (PF), are enticing Senior Headmen Mukangala and Kafweku, who were dethroned by the colonial masters, to support the PF in exchange for having their chiefdoms recognised. Is Her Honour the Vice-President able to state clearly if the Government intends to increase the number of chiefs from the current number?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Ikeleng’i is one of the old lawmakers in the House and I believe that he has read the Constitution. Currently, the Constitution does not allow the Government to interfere in the affairs of chiefs. It is only that the current President is such a kind man …


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: … and a very responsible President. He has empathy for the chiefs and their welfare and that is why he assists them here and there. However, the Constitution whose enactment the hon. Member who is asking about chiefs was a part of, categorically states that the Government should not interfere in the recognition and installation of chiefs. At the moment, there is no consideration to increase the number of chiefs from the current number.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from Her Honour the Vice-President about the Youth Empowerment Fund, which the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has given to all the youths in the country. The youths of Chienge would like to find out if there will be any extension for the application of the Youth Empowerment Fund, seeing that the deadline of 31st September, 2020, has passed. The information to make applications did not reach the people of Chienge in time. So, the youth of Chienge would like to find out if they will be given a chance to be considered for the K490 million. Is there a possibility of extending the period for application for the youths in remote areas like Chienge Constituency?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, it may be useful to actually find out the status of the programme from the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development. Perhaps, it is not only Chienge that is affected, but there may also be other districts or constituencies with a similar challenge. So, we will engage the hon. Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development to ensure that no area is left behind, especially if some applications were submitted late. This is an administrative matter that can be handled at ministerial level. Therefore, I request the hon. Member of Parliament for Chienge to visit the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development so that she gets factual information on the Youth Empowerment Fund and on the monies that are still available for the youths of Chienge so that they can benefit from this empowerment fund. The President has declared that he does not want to leave anyone behind in any of the empowerment funds that are being disbursed to the various categories of people of either youths or women, or any other grouping.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members may wish to note that some hon. Members have indicated to participate via Zoom. So, I will alternate the list.


Mr Lumayi (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, Sewe/Chingi and Chiyeke/Chingi roads and all the township roads in Chavuma are in a bad state like those in other districts in the North-Western Province. When is the Government going to release funds to work on the roads in Chavuma Constituency?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, as hon. Members of Parliament, we should not only be concerned about the state of roads but also the welfare of our people in the constituencies. We can only source this information from the line ministries. I would like to see a situation whereby hon. Members of Parliament engage the technocrats in various ministries to inquire on the various projects that the Government is rolling out in different areas. They would get better information than to wait until they get to Parliament to ask a question during the Vice-President’s Question Time.


Sir, the Government is very committed to improving rural connectivity to ensure that its people in rural areas travel on passable roads, particularly as they take their produce to markets. So, as the Government, we are committed to ensuring that the roads in the North-Western are looked into, as it is done in other areas. So, I urge the hon. Member to interact with the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development to see how the three roads that he mentioned can be attended to.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Daka (Msanzala): Mr Speaker, several resettlement schemes in the country have not been doing very well. In view of the good Budget that has come through this hardworking Government, what is the Government doing to ensure that mechanisation is expedited in these areas where there is good fertile land that could be used to revamp the agriculture sector which is required so much in this country?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, indeed, there are a number of resettlement schemes scattered all over the country. Currently, there are ninety-three resettlement schemes in the country. This is fertile land that is suitable for agricultural production and the Office of the Vice-President is looking at modalities of how to revamp some resettlements in every province. So, we are still coming up with a programme on how these resettlements can be developed. In Zambia, we are very lucky that we have a lot of land and a small population.


Mr Speaker, the resettlement schemes could be hubs for agricultural production and they are ideal for civil servants who want to own a piece of land. Hon. Members of Parliament who do not yet own land can apply for a piece of land through our office for use when they retire from politics in future. However, for now, we are still working on modalities of how to improve the livelihoods of our people, particularly those who live in resettlement schemes.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Speaker, the indiscriminate use of some Bemba idioms by some political leaders is worrying me. Recently, when one political leader was addressing his followers on the Copperbelt, he used words such as, “umwenso nimfwa,” meaning fear is death, if you translate that literally. He went on say that, “Bakacimona mu 2021”. This means they will see in 2021. Is this country safe with such leaders? Further, what is the Government doing to forestall seemingly impending mayhem prior to the 2021 General Elections?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, we are ‘One Zambia, One Nation’ and we use each other’s language. However, before you learn another ethnic group’s language, it is better to know the offensive words and the appropriate use of other words. So, it is unfortunate that some of the words that people, who may not understand the language fully, used were derogatory or offensive. However, some languages are full of idioms. So, if you are taken by the flowery nature of that language, you can land yourself into problems.


Mr Speaker, I encourage Zambians to learn different languages, but they should be wary of how they use a certain language, especially when they are not sure about the meaning of the words they want to use in public since public pronouncements have wide repercussions. So, when one uses certain words at a public rally, he/she has to weigh the impact of the words on his/her audience. I believe our leaders will consider this and take note of this after what transpired in Lukashya Constituency and other areas where offensive words were used.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, I want to take Her Honour the Vice-President back to the issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs). The teams that moved to the Southern Province and other provinces during the second phase of the issuance of NRCs only arrived in Zimba District, which is under Mapatizya Constituency, on 20th September, 2020. Unfortunately, the equipment that they were supposed to use was not delivered. It only arrived after ten days. What is worrying everyone in Mapatizya and Zimba District, in particular, is that ten days were lost. Most of the officers started work on either 29th September or 30th September, 2020. However, since they are following the programme, what will happen to the last group of schools that will not be attended to because of the ten-day delay?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs) is now going on very well in the Southern Province, including Mapatizya Constituency. I know that there were some challenges in the first three days, but it did not go as far as one week. However, in that period, a lot of work was done through the delivery of machinery to ensure that our people are captured as they go to the centre. So, Mapatizya will not be disadvantaged. I am sure the officers will speed up the process to ensure that everyone is captured. The issuance of NRCs is very important for our people and I urge the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to regularly update the House on the provision of NRCs. I am sure this will put to rest the anxieties of hon. Members of Parliament regarding the issuance of NRCs in their constituencies.


I thank you, Sir.








50. Mr Kasonso (Solwezi West) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:


  1. whether the Government has any plans to construct police posts at the following road junctions:


  1. Manyama and Shilenda in Solwezi District; and
  2. Kisasa and Senior Chief Musele in Kalumbila District;


b. if so, when the plans will be implemented;

c.what the estimated cost of the projects is; and

d. if there are no such plans, why.


The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, indeed, the Government has plans to construct police posts in the two areas. In Manyama and Shilenda, the land has already been secured on the road to Shilenda opposite the hospital and a piece of land has also been secured in Kisasa and in Senior Chief Musele's area in Kalumbila.


Mr Speaker, the plans will be implemented when all the projects that are at 80 per cent and above complete are completed and when resources are made available. The estimated cost of each police post is about K1,200,000.


Mr Speaker, as indicated in part (a) of the answer, the Government has plans to construct police posts in the two locations after the on-going projects are completed. The House may wish to note that the two areas are currently being serviced by Kalumbila Police Station.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr S. Banda (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister able to indicate whether there is a schedule indicating the countrywide construction of police posts? Kasenengwa is a new district and is in dire need of a police post.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, yes, we are going to look at the needs of all the provinces. That is why it surprises me when I hear people trivialise the allocation to public order maintenance by limiting it to tear-smoke. The need for us to police different communities is very well understood. Once the Budget is approved, we shall look at the figures appropriated to infrastructure, which the hon. Minister of Finance spoke about. Then, we can agree on which areas we can prioritise using the resources that will be available. At that point, I should be able to either come to this august House or share our work plan for the year with the hon. Members of Parliament through the formal engagements we have with them.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: I will take the last two questions from the hon. Member for Kanchibiya and the hon. Member for Manyinga and extend to Zambezi West.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, –


Dr Kopulande: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Dr Kopulande: Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to raise this very important point of order. I do not want to mention which number it is, but it is of a very serious nature.


Mr Speaker, governing a country requires a sober approach to issues. You have consistently reminded us, as hon. Members of Parliament, that whatever information we bring to the House must be verified and proven to be accurate. Statements made on the Floor of the House can be so misleading that they can cause anarchy in the country or give rise to anxiety and despondency in the Republic.


Mr Speaker, earlier this week, we were treated to some psychedelic performance on the Floor of the House by the hon. Leader of the Opposition, who issued a statement to the effect that the total debt of this Republic to the international community stood at US$27 billion instead of the US$11 billion that the hon. Minister of Finance referred to in his Budget Address.


Mr Speaker, yesterday, the hon. Minister of Finance, who is the competent authority to issue statements on this subject, made the clarification and emphasised the need for all hon. Members to read on subjects before commenting on them.


Mr Speaker, therefore, was the hon. Leader of the Opposition in order to come to the House to issue a statement that had the potential to undermine the credibility of the economy of the Republic of Zambia and, thereby, create despondency, anxiety and anarchy in the Republic, especially that the information on which he based his arguments was unverified, and the report which he referred to was misread by him? Was he in order to create an environment of such levels of anxiety and undermine the economic prosperity of this country?


Mr Speaker, I seek your serious ruling.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Chembe, you are right in asserting that I have repeatedly counselled the House that each and every hon. Member of Parliament is obliged by the rules of the House to be factual in their debates, and generally in whatever representations or statements made on the Floor of the House. However, the channel through which you seek to address this particular issue is not tenable because you have addressed it through a point of order. A point of order is required to be raised contemporaneously, meaning at the time when the breach is committed. So, in terms of timing, your point of order, does not qualify. Therefore, your concern or complaint cannot be raised or addressed through a point of order on account of timing. That is my ruling.


Dr Malama: Mr Speaker, first of all, I would like to thank all our men and women in uniform who are serving this great country to maintain peace and security. Will the hon. Minister ensure that the infrastructure that will be built will have communication equipment to avoid what transpired in Muchinga in Lavushimanda yesterday or the other day, where leaders who are meant to help keep the peace joined others in being anarchists, abductors and kidnappers, and disarmed our men and women in uniform?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the concern expressed through this question from the hon. Member of Parliament for Kanchibiya, who also had the privilege to serve as the most senior officer in maintaining law and order in the country. Therefore, his concerns are very valid.


Sir, indeed, the reason we try to bring the police posts closer to the communities is to ensure that the services of policing are brought as close to the people as possible. We also want to ensure that the people who are supposed to be leaders in communities also play a role in ensuring that peace is maintained at all times. It is, indeed, regrettable, like Her Honour the Vice-President put it, to start recording incidents such as the one the hon. Member of Parliament has referred to.


Mr Speaker, in getting the police closer to the communities, we are going to make sure that they serve these communities without fear or favour. Criminals must be treated the in the same way, regardless of their status in society. I would like to assure the hon. Member of Parliament that the call by Her Honour the Vice-President on the Zambia Police Service to pursue criminals timely and make them accountable for their criminal activities will be followed. I reiterate that we shall make sure that we follow through with that call.


Sir, I will speak about that particular incident at an appropriate time, but let me just say that, indeed, we want to ensure that when police posts are built, we deploy officers there and equip them adequately.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Lihefu was inaudible.


Ms Kucheka (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, the plans to construct police posts in Solwezi are very important. In 2014, there were also plans to construct a police post in Zambezi West, but this has not happened to date. How sure is the hon. Minister that these police posts are going to be constructed?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the follow-up question from the hon. Member of Parliament for Zambezi West. However, this is what we call hypocrisy. Just the other day, the hon. Member, who is posing this question to the Minister of Home Affairs, debated the Motion of Supply moved by the hon. Minister of Finance. She was very emotional in her debate and she singled out the allocation to public order maintenance. In the same debate, she went even as far as asking whether we were at war for the hon. Minister of Finance to allocate K3 billion to public order maintenance.


Today, she is asking the Minister how the construction of the police post in Zambezi West will be completed. Where will the money come from? She was very passionate and asked whether we are at war. However, I said we need to be objective because today, it is the same money that she condemned which should be utilised to put up the police post that she is complaining about.


Sir, I can only assure her that we shall do what we can with the available resources that have been allocated to complete the project. If we are able to complete the construction of that police post within the available resource envelope, it shall be done.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.









VOTE 04 – (Ministry of Gender – K54,065,382).


(Consideration resumed)


The Minister of Gender (Ms Phiri): Madam Chairperson, yesterday, I informed this august House that this is the second year the Ministry of Gender is implementing the Output Based Budget (OBB). The 2021 Budget has equally taken into account the cluster approach and focused on the implementation of various economic recovery programmes.


Madam, the Ministry of Gender will continue to implement programmes that are aimed at reducing developmental inequalities, as outlined in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP). Allow me to outline the statutory mandate of the ministry and highlight the major achievements made during 2020. Further, I will bring out the challenges faced by the ministry and share the key policy measures for 2021.


Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Gender is charged with the responsibility to promote gender equality. The specific functions of the ministry are outlined in the 2016 Government Gazette Notice No. 836 as follows:


  1. gender;
  2. gender-based violence (GBV);
  3. gender equity and equality;
  4. National Gender Policy; and
  5. women empowerment.


Madam, to achieve its mandate, the ministry is guided by the following mission statement:


“To Promote Gender Responsive Sustainable Development.”


Madam Chairperson, in this regard, the Ministry of Gender continues to promote gender mainstreaming and development programmes aimed at empowering women, men, girls and boys. However, despite the various interventions the Government is making, the number of GBV cases in the country has continued to increase.


Madam, in the last two years, the country recorded a rise in GBV cases from 22,073 in 2018 to 25,121 in 2019. However, the first quarter of 2020 recorded a total of 5,040 cases, compared to 5,584 cases in the first quarter of 2019.


Madam Chairperson, in the same context, the second quarter of 2020 recorded a total of 4,409 cases. The slight reduction in gender-based violence (GBV) cases in the first and second quarters of 2020 is attributed to various interventions by the Government and its co-operating partners.


Madam Chairperson, it is important to note that the country has registered a slight reduction in child marriages, as recorded so far. The prevalence of child marriages now stands at 29 from 31 per cent recorded in the past. Again, this is due to various interventions that the Government has embarked on with its co-operating partners. However, there is a need to intensify interventions to significantly reduce the prevalence of child marriages from the current levels to 11 per cent, in accordance with the planned target set in the 7NDP.


Madam Chairperson, allow me to share the performance of the current Budget and the impact of the activities implemented in 2020.


Madam Chairperson, in an effort to promote gender equality and empowerment of women and girls, the ministry implemented various gender mainstreaming and empowerment programmes in 2020. It continued to implement the Agriculture Development through Value-Chain Enhancement (ADVANCE) Project launched in 2015. This is a five-year project whose objectives are to increase agriculture production and enhance value chain for agro-products to improve livelihoods of rural communities, particularly the vulnerable women and youth. The project aims at stimulating job and wealth creation through value chain approaches in the agriculture sector.


Madam Chairperson, to mechanise agriculture, the ministry produced and distributed seventy-one tractors and various agricultural equipment to 121 women-led co-operatives to ensure increased productivity.


Madam Chairperson, the ADVANCE Project targets all the 288 chiefdoms across the ten provinces of the country. Already, 121 chiefdoms have been covered. In addition, the ministry has provided agriculture and entrepreneurship training to, at least, 2,800 co-operative members and secured land for women-led co-operatives. To reduce the burden of farm work, mechanisation has helped increase agricultural production and facilitated value addition to agricultural produce.


Madam Chairperson, the ministry also continued to co-ordinate implementation of the Girls Education and Women Empowerment and Livelihoods (GEWEL) Project. The project’s objective is to increase access to livelihood support for women as well as support for access to secondary education for disadvantaged adolescent girls.


Madam Chairperson, girls’ education remains the most sustainable and impactful approach to reducing gender inequalities. Therefore, the Ministry of Gender makes girl child education one of its priorities in the development agenda. It is for this reason that the GEWEL project is being implemented to provide access to secondary education for disadvantaged adolescent girls between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one in extremely poor households that are recipients of the services of the Social Cash Transfer Scheme.


Madam Chairperson, the Supporting Women’s Livelihood (SWL) component of the GEWEL Project targeted 75,000 women beneficiaries who were provided with support in life business skills, productivity grants, savings groups and mentoring and peer support.


Madam Chairperson, under gender mainstreaming, I wish to update the House that the ministry has developed the first ever Climate Change Gender Action Plan (CCGAP), which is aimed at mainstreaming gender into all climate change programmes, strategies and activities. Further, the ministry held a sensitisation workshop on Gender-Responsive Planning and Budgeting for National Assembly staff on 12th August, 2020, and another on 16th September, 2020, for selected hon. Members of Parliament on Gender-Responsive Planning and Budgeting. It is anticipated that all hon. Members of Parliament will this year scrutinise sector budgets to see if they are gender-responsive as we approach the 2021 Budget.


Madam Chairperson, in order to enhance operational excellence, the ministry developed and has continued to pilot –


The Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Minister’s time expired.


Hon. Members, I would like to urge hon. Members, and hon. Ministers in particular, to familiarise themselves with the National Assembly of Zambia Coronavirus Disease 2019 Temporary Standing Orders. In particular, rule No. 13 provides that you will only use ten minutes to give your policy statement during Committee work.


Perhaps, let me take this opportunity to also guide the House concerning the same rules, the Temporary Standing Orders, particularly on rule 14, “Approval of Heads of Expenditure”. Yesterday, I noticed that hon. Members were not very sure of the procedure. The rule provides as follows:


  1. when approving individual Heads of Expenditure, the Chairperson of the Committee of Supply shall only put a question on the head total; and


  1. despite paragraph 1, a Member may ask the responsible minister a question from any programme or department of that particular head.


Therefore, a question will be put on the head total, but hon. Members are free to ask questions before that question is resolved. Hon. Members, you will bear that in mind as we proceed.


Ms Phiri: Madam Chairperson, I thank all hon. Members for the massive support. Silence means consent. I am grateful that the entire august House has supported me. I am thankful and may God bless them all.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Vote 04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 05 – (Electoral Commission of Zambia – K668,738,698).


The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Madam Chairperson, I wish to thank you for giving me an opportunity to present the 2021 Budget for the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).


The ECZ is an autonomous constitutional body established under Article 229(2) of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016. Since its establishment, the commission has successfully conducted credible elections as follows:


(a)     five general elections in 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016;


(b)     two presidential elections in 2008 and 2015;


(c)     several National Assembly and local government by-elections; and


(d)     a referendum.


Madam Chairperson, Article 229 of the Constitution mandates the commission to carry out constitutional functions and the Electoral Process Act No. 35 of 2016 empowers the commission to perform statutory functions, as stipulated. The commission’s vision is to be a model electoral management body that meets the aspirations of the Zambian people. The mission statement of the ECZ is to effectively manage the electoral process to deliver credible elections. The commission’s mission statement expresses the fundamental purpose for its existence and provides a framework within which it should operate and contribute to the democratic governance of the country, in line with the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) under Pillar V.


Over View of 2020 Operations


Madam Chairperson, 2020 saw the commission conduct a number of by-elections. In this vein, the commission has, to date, successfully conducted three parliamentary by-elections and thirty-six local government by-elections. In the process of conducting these by-elections, the commission carried out voter education, engaged in conflict management activities and other applicable statutory and constitutional functions.


Madam Chairperson, the commission is currently conducting preparatory works for the forth-coming voter registration that is earmarked to commence on 28th October, 2020. The total budget for this important exercise is K674 million and, so far, the Treasury has released a sum of K325 million. This is commendable and the commission is optimistic that the balance of the funding will be released on time to ensure that the voter registration exercise is completed, as scheduled, without accruing arrears.


Budget Estimates for 2021


Madam Chairperson, the ECZ’s budget estimates for 2021 are based on its core mandate, as prescribed under Article 229(2) of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016. The cost of the main programmes and sub-programmes that the commission has outlined in the 2021 estimates stands at K668,738,698, as compared to K241.8 million in 2020.


Madam Chairperson, the commission is scheduled to conduct general elections on 12th August, 2021, as stipulated in the Constitution. The commission, like any other institution funded by the Treasury, has since been brought on board to prepare the 2021 Budget estimates using the Output-Based Budget (OBB) system.


Programme One – Elections Management


Madam Chairperson, under this programme, the commission plans to undertake the following sub-programmes, namely:


  1. Electoral Planning and Process Management – K50,952,979.87; and


  1. elections – K550,010,052.00.


Programme Two − Management and Support Services


Madam Chairperson, under this programme, the commission plans to undertake the following sub- programmes, namely:


  1. Executive Office Management;
  2. Human Resources Management and Administration;
  3. Financial Management Accounting;
  4. Financial Management Auditing;
  5. Procurement Management;
  6. Information and Technology;
  7. Legal Services; and
  8. Public Relations.


Madam Chairperson, with the above-outlined programmes, the commission intends to:


(a)     intensify targeted stakeholder engagements to enhance stakeholder participation and confidence with particular focus on grass root communities and areas with high levels of voter apathy;


(b)     enhance corporate image building through various initiatives, including innovative use of digital technologies and communication platforms, to proactively engage with the electorate, ensure the commission’s presence at national and local events to conduct publicity and voter education activities and, working with other institutions, reach out to grass root communities;


(c)     review electoral laws and procedures in order to harmonise them with the Republican Constitution and enhance efficiency and effectiveness of the electoral process;


(d)     conduct by-elections which may arise due to various causes, as outlined in the law; and


(e)     intensify targeted voter education activities with particular focus on schools in rural communities in preparation for the 2021 General Elections.


Madam Chairperson, these programmes are critical and they are in conformity with the commission’s mandate, as provided for by the Laws of Zambia.


Madam Chairperson, I now seek the support of the House in approving the commission’s budget.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you. 


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to support the budget for the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ). I would like to also thank Her Honour the Vice-President for the statement.


Madam Chairperson, as you note, the ECZ is a very important institution. The commission and its staff are doing a great job in our country. Since time immemorial, Zambia has been a beacon of hope not only for itself but also for countries around it and the world at large.


Madam Chairperson, for a long time, we fought for the independence of our neighbouring countries. Today, they are all independent. We have spoken for democracy. Therefore, the ECZ is the heartbeat, the pacemaker, that assists us, as a nation, to sees to it that we are well-aligned.


In supporting this budget, it is important that we capacitate all its activities, as lined up by Her Honour the Vice-President, namely, voter registration and education, particularly of stakeholders, as well as political violence.


Madam, at the risk of repeating myself, two days ago, I talked about political party leaders, who aspire to lead this country, involving themselves in criminal activities by abducting law enforcement agents. I think that is a very low position. We have seen some persons in politics stooping low, but the disarming of law enforcement agents is the lowest. Therefore, the ECZ has a big job to do.


Madam Chairperson, the ECZ has done a great job and even when it does a great job, some political leaders doubt it. They think that the ECZ officers are colluding with political parties. The other day, someone mentioned that I was in a certain house having a meal with some hon. Members of Parliament and a person from the ECZ. I do not know that person and I have never been to his home, but there is a lot of insinuation and narrative in an attempt to put the reputation of the ECZ at stake. I would like to urge Zambians to support the ECZ.


Madam Chairperson, we have seen the ECZ declare that a Government has lost elections while another Government takes over. It happened in 2011 and it has happened before. Similarly, there have been by-elections where the Ruling Party has continuously won and other times when it has lost. When we, as a Ruling Party, lose an election, certain political parties are happy and say that the ECZ is working well, but when we win elections, for them, the ECZ is compromised. You can see that there is a lot of stakeholder engagement that is required.


Madam Chairperson, you can see that our officers at the ECZ are working under duress. They may be strong men and women, but put under duress, they are also just human. Therefore, I would like to thank the commissioners, the director and his staff at the ECZ and encourage them to do the right thing. Sometimes, doing what is right is a thankless job. I used to be a police officer, which is a thankless job. The officers should just do their job, not look at anyone who does not seem to approve of it as long as they know that they are doing the job professionally and answering to the call, as called by the people of Zambia.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to end my support by just advising my fellow citizens that as we get into 2021, let us ensure that the elections are peaceful so that the women can participate and aspire for elections. As we support and capacitate the ECZ, let the women also be assured that they can participate in the upcoming elections.


Madam Chairperson, you will find that our august House mainly consists of very few women –


The Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Madam Chairperson, first and foremost, I would like to state that it is hypocrisy and hypocritical for some people to believe that policing is a thankless job. We, in the Opposition, appreciate the role of the police, provided they carry out a transparent and professional job. That we are going to appreciate. We are aware that, in the past, some individuals were fired because they did not carry out their job professionally. So, as far as we are concerned, we will always appreciate the police.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to state that in its current state, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) is a danger to this nation, and I am going to state why I am saying so.


Mr Ngulube: On a point of order, Madam


The Chairperson: Hon. Deputy Chief Whip, take your seat. I would like to discourage points of order. If you wish to debate, just prepare to debate and rebut if there is a need for a rebuttal.


The Leader of the Opposition will continue. Hon. Deputy Chief Whip, I have noticed that you have indicated.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, I am saying that the ECZ is a danger to the peace of this country because it has been very inconsistent in the way it manages elections in this country. You will recall that a month ago, the ECZ, through the Chief Electoral Officer, held a press conference and told the nation that the current register of voters would be used, provided one went to the polling station to verify his/her particulars. The Chief Electoral Officer made that statement. However, when the President of the Republic of Zambia came to this House, he announced that there would be a new register of voters. The ECZ somersaulted like an F-16 jet and said that it would cancel the register of voters. What inconsistent and unprofessional conduct on the part of the ECZ.


Madam Chairperson, there has to be a realisation that elections in any country are key to the governance of the country. If they are not handled properly, chaos and anarchy can be created. Therefore, we call upon the ECZ to handle matters of elections prudently and professionally for the sake of this country. That is what we, as interested stakeholders, are asking for. There is nothing more we are asking for than a transparent manner of managing elections.


Madam Chairperson, we do not know why the ECZ is insisting that members of the public, who are not able to access the internet, should register through the online platform. Members of the public in Nalolo, Nabwalya, Shangombo and most other areas do not have telephone connectivity.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: You can say “question”, but it is a fact.


Madam Chairperson, the people of Zambia are listening and we are supposed to represent them. We know –


An Hon. Member interjected.


Mr Mwiimbu: Do not continue commenting.




Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, we know that the people of Makululu, in Kabwe, who are going to vote out a certain hon. Member, have been complaining about not believing in this system.


Madam Chairperson, we are aware that there is the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and that there are regulations pertaining to it. How, then, does the ECZ expect to register 9 million voters in one month, when the regulations are saying people must not congregate in large numbers? How is it going to register the people in one month?


Madam Chairperson, as if that was not enough, it is now raining heavily in the northern enclave of this country, namely Luapula Province, the Northern Province and North-Western Province. How are poor peasants in these areas expected to queue up for, maybe, one week to register as voters at the expense of providing food for their children? How are they expected to do that? We are creating a crisis deliberately. Whom are we trying to please by creating a crisis in this country? What is the problem with having the current register and only allowing people to verify their particulars? What is wrong with that? Why is the ECZ not trying to do that?


Madam Chairperson, we are aware that the ECZ does not have the requisite funding to undertake these projects. It is relying on the donors to provide funding. Further, we are also aware that even the equipment it is trying to buy, such as generators and other auxiliary equipment, did not arrive. The ECZ had to go to Malawi to ask for second hand generators, some of which are not functioning.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, how is the ECZ going to work? Why are we creating a crisis in this country which is said to be peaceful? Why are we doing that? When Her Honour the Vice-President comes to respond, I expect her to take into account the issues I am raising, bearing in mind that on Sunday, we are having prayers. I need a Christian answer on the Floor of this House, not a political one on this very serious matter.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Government Members interjected. 


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, we have heard –


I do not wear charms for belts. So, do not comment.




The Chairperson: Order! What do you mean by that?


Mr Ngulube: On a point of order, Madam Chairperson.




Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, you are asking me?


The Chairperson: Yes, because I am following your debate and, then, you suddenly bring in charms. You have lost me.




Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, I raise those issues because of those who are commenting without following the procedures of the House.


Dr Chanda: On a point of order, Madam Chairperson.


The Chairperson: Resume your seat, hon. Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection.


Hon. Leader of the Opposition, proceed.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, I would like to respond to the issues of violence in this country. We are aware that there are two sets of laws in this country. The first set is for the ordinary Zambians and the second one is for the members of the Patriotic Front (PF). Whenever the members of the PF commit offences in this country, nothing is done about it. During elections, the ECZ is impotent. Complaints have been raised, but the ECZ has been saying that its hands are tied. We are aware of situations whereby hon. Ministers are beaten up by PF cadres. We are aware of situations whereby PF cadres have attacked police stations. There is impunity in this country. We are aware of cadres who are calling themselves ‘America One’ and ‘Commander One’. In Lukashya, they even held press conferences with the Chief Whip. It was in the media. He directed them to take appropriate action. How can they allow impunity to reign in this country just because they belong to a certain political party?


Madam, yes, we all want peace in this country, but when other people are allowed to reign and rule with impunity, it is the right of every Zambian to defend him/herself when attacked. That is a constitutional provision, and I stand without fear of any contradiction. If the police are not there to defend us, we shall defend ourselves. That is a fact and a rule of law. Yes, I will be arrested because of impunity and because of people who want to be abusive. That is why they even arrested President Banda and moved a Motion here, an act they are trying to refuse they did. That is impunity.


Madam Chairperson, we would like the ECZ to –


The Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate.


Madam, allow me, first of all, to say that I am very disappointed with the calibre of debates that we are trying to bring to this House. As leaders, we must tell the nation and be seen to be uniting this nation. We will not allow that every time somebody stands up, he threatens the nation, hon. Members of Parliament, and the Ruling Party. Before you even form Government, you want to threaten people. Who do you think you are?


The Chairperson: Debate through the Chair and stop threatening people.


Mr Ngulube: Madam Chairperson, allow me to say that there is a threat that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) is a danger to this nation. How do these people come to Parliament if the ECZ is a danger? They have squarely lost all the by-elections that have taken place because the ECZ is neutral. We have been losing in the Southern Province, the Western Province, and other strongholds of the Opposition because the ECZ is neutral. So, let them not attack the ECZ to hide their own mischievous activities.


Madam Speaker, I am aware that in 2016, just after the Presidential Elections and an election petition, some mercenaries and imperialists funded some parties heavily because some people believed there was going to be a rerun. We want to know where that money is and also how it has been used. They want to try to pretend to be clean when the donors and the people who gave them that money are still asking about it. So, how did they use that money if it was not meant to discredit the ECZ? They should explain to the people of Zambia and to their fellow hon. Members of Parliament how that money was used because they cannot be getting rich when they are in the Opposition.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Madam Chairperson, this issue of saying that there are two sets of laws is not right. In reference to these two sets of laws, we cannot always allow people to, on one hand, attack police officers and abduct them and, on the other hand, pretend to be neutral. If I were a police officer somewhere in charge of some province, those people would have been in cells by now. These people must not demean the national flag. They must respect the State and its institutions. We will not condone any kind of threats or violence. Whether they want to defend themselves or not, there is a State somewhere which will take charge.


Madam Chairperson, every time we lose a by-election, we actually just go back to the drawing board and say the ECZ was neutral. People will never hear of the PF attacking the ECZ. The same people who want to lie about forming Government are the ones who want to attack the ECZ.


The Chairperson: Withdraw the word ‘lie’.


Mr Ngulube: Madam Chairperson, I withdraw the word ‘lie’. They have been massaging their ears thinking they are about to form Government. If it is true that they are about to form Government, why are they so scared of the voters’ roll? As far as we are concerned, we want to assure them that all the names of the dead voters we saw in some constituencies and all the exaggerated votes will not appear on the new voters’ roll. In 2021, we will not see any of the strange numbers and that is why some people are so dead scared of the new voters’ roll. We are aware that it is not possible that none of the people who voted in 1991 have died or relocated. So, they should stop insulting the ECZ. This time around, it will be bumper to bumper. We are following them very closely.


Madam Chairperson, I also want to say that the United Party for National Development (UPND) is not a parallel Government for it to start dictating to the people of Zambia how the ECZ is going to operate. The ECZ is independent.


Madam Chairperson, in the last one minute, let me allow myself to address the issue of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019. The same hon. Leader of the Opposition was telling the people and the nation at large that the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 is dead. He was even giving an example that its ashes are in the Indian Ocean.




Mr Ngulube: So, if the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 is dead, why do they want it to come to the Floor of the House? The inconsistencies the hon. Member has been levelling against the ECZ are also showing on the face of the hon. Leader of the Opposition.


The Chairperson: Not on his face. Withdraw that.


 Mr Ngulube: Madam Chairperson, I withdraw the term, ‘his face’. I want to ask them why they were telling the people that the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 is dead and then from nowhere, they are saying, “Why should the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 come on 29th  October, 2020?” What is their interest? So, if they had read the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019, they would have noticed that they have trapped themselves. They want more constituencies and the ECZ is the only institution that can actually recommend more constituencies. Since they do not want the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019, they have actually trapped themselves because it is not possible to increase the number of constituencies without amending the Constitution.


Madam Chairperson, with those few remarks, allow me to congratulate Hon. Mwiimbu, the outgoing Leader of the Opposition, for having demonstrated that come next year –


The Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the Vote for the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).


Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Madam Chairperson.


The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.


Mr Jamba: The issue of –


The Chairperson: Order, Mr Jamba! There is a point of order.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, –




The Chairperson: Order, on my right!


Resume your seat, hon. Leader of the Opposition.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Chairperson, I would like to remind you that I also tried to raise a point of order when the hon. Member for Monze Central was on the Floor, but you guided that there were not going to be any points of order raised during this segment. However, we are surprised that the hon. Leader of the Opposition rose on a point of order, yet following your ruling, I failed to raise one when he was on the Floor. I had indicated, but I did not challenge your not recognising me because you ruled that you were not going to allow points of order.


Is the hon. Member in order to rise on a point of order when we have all been guided to the contrary? I seek your ruling.


The Chairperson: Thank you for reminding me. Indeed, I guided that there would be no points of order, and there will be no points of order.


Hon. Leader of the Opposition, if you have a procedural point of order, you should communicate through the Clerk.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, is that in the Standing Orders?


The Chairperson: No, it is not, but I guided that there would be no points of order because –


Mr Chabi interjected.


The Chairperson: Order, hon. Member for Chipili!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, there is no quorum. That is what I wanted to state.


The Chairperson: Alright!




The Chairperson: Hon. Members, let us have order in the House. The Clerk will verify whether, indeed, we have no quorum.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, so we are not following the Standing Orders now?


The Chairperson: Let us have order. We are now being assisted. Let us confirm if we have a quorum or not.


Alright, I have been informed that we actually have a quorum. We will now proceed with Hon. Jamba.


Mr Jamba: Madam Chairperson, in as much as we are trying to approve the budget for the ECZ, it should listen to the voices of the many people who have raised issues that hinge on democracy and can reduce in-fighting in the country if addressed.


Madam Chairperson, I personally called the ECZ to ask about the electronic registration of voters. I told the commission that I was going to acquire three laptops for my constituency to help register the people who do not have the capacity even if they have phones. It told me that private numbers can be sent to their phones and everything can be registered but, to date, they have not given me a concrete answer regarding the way forward. Meanwhile, the people of Mwembezhi earn low incomes and cannot manage to buy bundles. I want to help them, but the ECZ has not given me a go-ahead. However, since the ECZ wants to undertake online registration, it must ensure that everybody in rural constituencies has access to the internet. In any case, the registration of voters and the issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs) are not being undertaken in tandem. So, the ECZ should hear the concerns of the many people on the ground on how it is conducting itself. Otherwise, it is going to bring anarchy in this country, which we do not want. Is it its game or the people’s game?


Madam Chairperson, the elections are about the people of Zambia, not the ECZ. The ECZ is a body which is supposed to see to it that there is actually a level playing field and that everybody is brought on board. The Patriotic Front (PF), the United Party for National Development (UPND), civil society and everybody else needs to be brought on board. The ECZ should hear the concerns of the people, but it should not give us alternatives for removing everybody from the voters’ register and starting afresh.


Madam Chairperson, why can the ECZ not listen to the people? What is its problem? Why is it talking about dead people? Can a dead person vote? If there is someone who knows a dead person who voted, why can he/she not say that he saw someone who voted on behalf of a dead person? So, these matters they are talking about of dead people are inefficient. The ECZ should update the register and add the people who want to register. This issue of expecting the people in Mwembezhi to register electronically when they do not even have bundles is actually very serious. Meanwhile, when they go to register physically, there are long queues and some people are not registered. That is disenfranchising people.


Madam Chairperson, the current ECZ is not a people’s commission. It does not want to listen and I do not know to whom it will listen. We, the people, are the reason the commission is in existence, but it is busy issuing press statements on what it will do. Why can it not listen when people say that they do not want something and that they want it to be amended? What is the harm in doing so? What is the harm in adding everyone on the register and updating it? The ECZ wants to remove everyone and start afresh, and it wants to register 9 million people in a short period of time. It is a source of problems in this country. We will approve its budget, but it should stop this idea of trying to bring anarchy to the country.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Madam Chairperson, this morning, I would like to tell the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) that if it does not handle the 2021 General Elections well, it will remember me whether dead or alive, and it will put this country on fire.


Madam Chairperson, we have been talking to the ECZ and telling it that we are all stakeholders, but it seems it only listens to the Patriotic Front (PF). This country belongs to all the people of Zambia. It belongs to all of us. It does not belong to the PF. Every situation has its own season. The PF is supporting the ECZ because it knows quite well that when it talks to the commission, it will listen. However, the ECZ does not want to listen to our ideas and suggestions. This is what is happening.


Madam Chairperson, we want to see very fair and credible elections in 2021, although I doubt whether the ECZ will manage to handle the 2021 General Elections. In view of what happened in 2016, you can see that the current ECZ is the source of anarchy in this country.


The Chairperson: Order!


Mr Michelo: I urge the people of Zambia –


The Chairperson: Order, Hon. Michelo!


The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) is an institution created by this House and it is there to serve you and every Zambian. The opportunity you have is not to threaten it, but to look at its functions, how it is performing its role, and to guide it. You are also supposed to look at whether its provision in next year’s Budget is, indeed, enough or not.


Proceed. Do not issue threats. This is your institution.


Mr Michelo: Madam Chairperson, the allocation is enough, but I just request the ECZ to handle the 2021 General Elections in a manner that will make all the 17 million Zambians happy.


Madam Chairperson, why is the ECZ suggesting that we erase the current voters’ register? Instead of erasing it, we must build on what we already have. There is no way the ECZ can start telling the people of Zambia that about 1.5 million registered voters died. It cannot be like that. That is 25 per cent of the mortality rate. If it knows that 1.5 million people in the current voters’ register died, let it erase them and build on the number which we already have. It should leave the 4.5 million people and only erase those who are dead.


Madam Chairperson, we can help the ECZ by taking it for exchange visits to Malawi so that it can learn from its friends on how to manage credible elections unlike what it is doing here in Zambia. In 2016, there were more than twelve presidential candidates. The ECZ should not put our country on fire in 2021. We do not want our country to be set on fire. All the wars we see in Africa generated from elections that were not handled properly by electoral commissions of the respective countries. This is what we are anticipating come 2021. If the people at the ECZ are not talked to, then, who is going to tell them? We must tell them to do the right thing for the people of Zambia. If the commission will not do the right thing for the people of Zambia, it will be the one to blame. We want to have fair and credible elections in 2021. The ECZ must own up.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Madam Chairperson, thank you for the opportunity to debate. I will talk about two issues, namely electoral violence and voter registration, as I look at the estimates of expenditure for the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).


Madam Chairperson, let me talk about the behaviour of the United Party for National Development (UPND). I have cited the UPND because it is the political party that is involved wherever there is violence. The day before yesterday, when their leader was returning from the Northern Province, he reached a place called Mununga and found innocent citizens there. As a province, we are actually considering as attempted murder the hacking of a civil servant, who was wearing a green t-shirt, using a machete. I think he was misunderstood to be a Patriotic Front (PF) supporter because he was wearing a green t-shirt, yet he was a veterinary officer who was on his way to Mpika.


Madam Chairperson, when the UPND leader and his entourage raised their symbol, which we locally call mpima ng’ombe symbol, meaning a symbol that tries to measure a cow, the residents reacted by raising PF fists. That infuriated them, and at that point, they made a U turn and attacked innocent citizens. That is not the type of leadership we are looking forward to in 2021. I ask the ECZ, if possible, to consider banning such political parties, including their leaders, from participating in national elections.


Madam Chairperson, being the Provincial Chairperson, I appeal to the people of Muchinga to return love for this hateful and barbaric action by the UPND. Let us be calm. I appeal to the police to bring to book the people involved in that barbaric act. The people of Muchinga are peaceful and we will not retaliate. We will instead pray for the opposition political party, which knows that it will lose the 2021 Elections, to come to its senses and act in a manner that our citizens desire.


Madam Chairperson, coming to the issue of the voters’ register, what is wrong with the ECZ requesting people to verify their names? Why does the UPND want a register that has been existent for the past fifteen or twenty years, I think? What does it want to extract from that extremely old register? Some people died while others relocated. Maybe, there is something that they have been benefitting from the people who died and those who have relocated. If that is the case, our tribal cousins use the term ‘baloba ilyauma.’ They will not achieve that.


The Chairperson: Translate that.


Mr Mung’andu: Madam Chairperson, it means they have fished a dry fish from the fresh waters. Let them simply take people to registration centres and I will illustrate how it will work out. From this budget, the ECZ is likely to set up 9,000 registration centres with an average of thirty-five people working per day. In thirty days, the ECZ will register 9.4 million plus people. So, there is enough time.


Madam Chairperson, as I support this Vote, I am of the view that the UPND should prepare and take the people –


The Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


I will allow a female hon. Member to debate. As you are aware, hon. Members, we only have to allow a maximum of eight hon. Members to debate each Vote. We have had three from the Patriotic Front (PF). We will get the third from the United Party for National Development (UPND). We have had one Independent hon. Member and if the other grouping is interested, it can indicate.


I will allow a female hon. Member from the UPND.


Ms Kasune (Keembe): Madam Chairperson, the challenge that I would like to raise, in relation to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), is to ask it to consider the concerns that are being raised by Zambians, in particular, hon. Members of Parliament. I am one of the people who have made an effort to speak to the ECZ. I have also participated in some of the Zoom meetings the commission has created and given my concerns about boundaries. One example is the moving of some voters in Ipongo Ward to Mumbwa District. That creates a lot of uncertainty for our people. These people are loyal to their chiefs, and these boundaries have existed for a very long time.


Madam Chairperson, I was also one of the hon. Members of Parliament who participated in the ECZ’s consultative meetings when it toured our constituencies. We clearly gave the commission our concerns that were coming not only from us, as hon. Members of Parliament, but also from the grassroots. Chief Liteta and Chief Litanda attended the meeting, yet when the ECZ did its mapping, it still went ahead and allocated people wrongly, even after all the consultations.


Madam Chairperson, I am saying this to add on to what Hon. Jamba and others have said. In as much as we support the budget allocated to the ECZ, there is a lot of side-lining of views of hon. Members of Parliament, especially hon. Members from the United Party for National Development (UPND) and the Opposition at large.


Madam Chairperson, the ECZ is undermining its mandate. It is so important for the ECZ to realise that some of the conflict it may be creating may go beyond election time. These boundaries have an implication on some of the wrangles and the challenges that already exist between chiefs. For example, Chief Chitanda and Chief Kaindu have had their own challenges. For the ECZ to transfer some people who swore to pay allegiance to Chief Chitanda is just adding another problem.


Madam Chairperson, the ECZ says that it has an open door policy, but every time we approach it, it is not as open, especially to those of us who are in the Opposition. That is why there is this allegation that the ECZ is only looking out for the well-being of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, which should not be the case. The ECZ should be beyond party lines because Governments come and go.


Madam Chairperson, secondly, I am worried about the violence and the way debates are going. I am one of those who were hacked by the PF with machetes. To this day, I walk with the pain of being hacked with a machete by PF sympathisers right at Engen Filling Station, near Zesco Limited, in 2016. We tried to follow up that case, but it died a natural death.


Madam Chairperson, such are the disadvantages for many women. I heard Hon. Dr Malama calling upon women to participate in politics. However, women are already disadvantaged financially and socially. In addition, they are victims of the violence that continues to be perpetrated and allowed by political players. At the end of the day, the buck stops at the PF Government and the ECZ in particular, which has the mandate to ensure that elections are conducted in a fair and conducive manner. This should be done for the sake of the Zambians and those not yet born.


Madam Speaker, it is for that reason that I thought it important to add a female voice to the debate. As long as there is violence in this country, it affects our reputation as a beacon of hope and a great example to the region. That does not just affect us today, but it also affects generations to come. We owe it to the next generation to leave a Zambia that will continue to shine as a beacon of hope, but not to allow ourselves to sink so low and drink from the poisonous chalice, which has affected many African countries and caused the loss of many lives. There is no other reason we chose the democratic route than that and we should respect it.


I thank you, Madam.


The Chairperson: Hon. Members, I have continued to receive notes from the Floor. However, as I guided, our Temporary Standing Orders have given guidance that only eight hon. Members should debate a Vote. So far, three hon. Members from the Patriotic Front (PF) and three hon. Members from the United Party for National Development (UPND) have debated. An additional Independent hon. Member has also debated, and I have been waiting to see if there will be another Independent hon. Member or, indeed, an hon. Member from the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), or the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD). In the absence of that indication, I have no choice, but to call on Her Honour the Vice-President to wind up debate.


The Vice-President: Madam Chairperson, I can see that there is a need for a workshop, once again, for hon. Members of Parliament to be addressed by the ECZ explaining what measures it is taking to address the issue of elections.


Madam Chairperson, the topics raised by hon. Members on your left side are issues that they agreed to. Immediately after the 2016 Elections, the United Party for National Development (UPND) and other political parties indicated that the 2016 Voters’ Register was flawed, resulting into an audit. The ECZ did not conduct the audit, but external auditors supported by the United Nations (UN) did. One of the recommendations of the auditors was for the commission to compile a new register for the 2021 General Elections. All the stakeholders, including the UPND, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and hon. Members of Parliament were consulted, yet they are now turning around and saying; ‘No we do not need it’.


Madam Chairperson, this new register is coming on board because of many factors. The old register was contested in the Constitutional Court based on the fact that it was flawed, and some of the key recommendations were to:


  1. revise it so that we can have a new one;
  2. remove deceased persons from the register, which are currently projected at over 1.4 million people and a risk to the credibility of the elections; and
  3. enhance security features such as biometric features.


Now, we are going to use the ten fingers and a portrait to enhance the credibility of the voters’ roll.


Madam Chairperson, the fact that the old register is going to be revised is not that all the people on that register will be taken out. So, as long as a person comes to the registration centre, presents himself/herself, takes the biometric fingerprints and has his/her portrait taken, they will be confirmed as genuine voters. It does not mean that everyone is going to be removed from the voters’ register, as one of the hon. Members indicated. So, the dialogue continues. For registration purposes, the commission will utilise online voter registration, mobile voter registration and static voter registration. Pre-online registration is necessary and it is aimed at fast-tracking registration and is optimal to pre-submit online details. The commission will service 8,999 polling stations in the mobile exercise and 116 district centres. With this, the commission only requires thirty-three people per day per polling station to meet the target. I think this answers the issue of whether the set days are enough to register everyone.


Madam Chairperson, the ECZ’s Vote is here to be supported by hon. Members, and I request hon. Members to have confidence in our institution, the one that we created here in the House and to support its budget for 2021.


I thank you, Madam.


Vote 05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 07 – (Office of the Auditor-General – K98,324,875).


The Vice-President: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to present the 2021 Budget Estimates of Expenditure for Vote 07, Office of the Auditor-General.


Madam Chairperson, the Office of the Auditor-General is a public office established under Article 249 of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016. The functions of the office are stipulated under Article 250 of the Constitution, the Public Audit Act No. 13 of 1994 and the Public Finance Management Act No.1 of 2018.


Madam Chairperson, the role of the Office of the Auditor-General is critical to the socio-economic development of the country. This includes promoting accountability and transparency in the management of public resources to ensure the resources are used for their intended purposes. Therefore, I wish to inform the august House that there is a need to allocate adequate funds to the office in order to ensure that it conducts its operations in an effective and efficient manner. Other than the audits, the key areas that require funding include:


  1. the completion of the Chinsali Audit Office, which has stalled since 2016 due to inadequate resources;
  2. procurement of motor vehicles. As you may be aware, the core function of the office, which is auditing, requires travelling to all districts in the country. As such, it is critical to ensure that the office has adequate vehicles; and
  3. increasing staff establishment. With the emerging audit issues such as the audit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and extractive industries, there is high expectation from stakeholders both internationally and locally for the Office of the Auditor-General to conduct these audits.


Madam Chairperson, I further wish to add that with the impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the needs for the office include increased Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment to enable the office to effectively engage audit clients and various stakeholders. In addition, there will be a need to evaluate the effects of the pandemic in 2021 in order to comprehensively address the impact of the operations of the Office of the Auditor-General. The activities will be facilitated under the Management and Support Programme. It is in this regard that the estimates of expenditure for the Management and Support Programme has increased from K26,072,881 in 2020 to K28,852,371 in 2021, representing an increase of 11 per cent.


Madam Chairperson, in view of the aforesaid, and cognisant of the important role the Office of the Auditor-General plays in promoting sound public financial management in Government ministries, departments, spending agencies and the local authorities, a total of K69,472,504 has been provided for the audit programme, representing 71 per cent of the office’s total budget. I wish to reiterate that my Government will continue to work closely with the Auditor-General to ensure remedial action is taken on all observations made in the audit reports.


Madam Chairperson, the total estimates of expenditure for 2021 for the Office of the Auditor-General is K98,324,875, of which K63,394,867 is personal emoluments and other related costs and K34,930,008 is for goods and services. The budget for goods and services includes a component of donor funds in amounts totalling K17.3 million. These funds will cater for capacity building in the Office of the Auditor-General in areas of special audits such as forensic and extractive industries audit.


Madam Chairperson, it is important to note that in the goods and services budget estimates, there is an amount of K20 million for audit activities. The expected outputs are the production of the following:


  1. report on the main accounts of the Republic;
  2. report on parastatal bodies and other statutory institutions;
  3. report on local authorities;
  4. reports on performance (value for money) audits on selected thematic areas; and
  5. special reports, as may be requested by the Executive and other stakeholders.


Madam Chairperson, I also wish to report that the 2021 Budget includes a provision of K6.4 million for processes of planning for audits, research, monitoring and evaluation of implementation of activities. Under this provision, the office will be able to ensure that its activities are aligned to the Government’s programmes and that it contributes towards the achievement of development outcomes as indicated in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP).


Madam Chairperson, the budget also includes administrative costs such as maintenance of buildings and utility bills that are provided for under the Human Resource Management and Administration sub-programme. In this regard, a total budget of K4.8 million has been provided for this sub-programme.


Madam Chairperson, I further wish to report that K2.6 million has been provided for the Financial Management and Accounting activities of the office such as preparation of financial reports and audit fees.


Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, and with all due consideration of the important role of the Office of the Auditor-General in effective management of public resources, I request this august House to support the 2021 Estimates of Expenditure of K98,324,875 for the Office of the Auditor-General.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for this opportunity to make some brief remarks on the budget estimates for the Office of the Auditor-General. I support these budget estimates and, in so doing, let me also indicate that figures on their own do not say much. In fact, I can also add that money alone does not say much. I suppose this is why it is important that we are sometimes given this opportunity to talk about the policy framework. We need to do so because that is the one that defines whether the money that we are approving here has a good chance of being utilised properly or not.


Madam Chairperson, I think most people, including myself, believe that the Office of the Auditor-General does a good job of digging out information on how public funds are spent. At this particular stage, perhaps, I can say that where I see the missing link is the level of value-for-money audits. In other words, it is not just about asking whether the procedures have been followed because at the end of the day, you find that a lot of money has been spent and procedure followed, but the actual expenditure does not make sense. I think the best example of this was when the controversy of the forty-two fire tenders came about and people said that the tender procedures were followed. However, using common sense, you could see that there was something wrong, whereby the so-called normal process allowed US$1 million to be spent on buying one single motor vehicle in the name of a fire tender.


Madam Chairperson, therefore, I would urge the Office of the Auditor-General to work very hard to move onto this new system of value-for-money auditing, but not just blindly following the so-called procedures that do not make sense in the end. So, that is my advice.


Madam Chairperson, my next advice is probably more towards the Executive. Year after year, the Auditor-General brings out various issues and members of the public expect that something tangible will come out of the reports. However, the reaction from the Executive in terms of follow-ups, prosecutions or convictions has been disappointing. This is where I think the public is highly unsatisfied and I hope that, going forward, the Office of the Auditor-General can find ways of ensuring that its reports become more meaningful to the people of Zambia in terms of follow-up on the actions that the office recommends.


Madam Chairperson, with those comments on the two issues, I wish to thank you.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Madam Chairperson, the Office of the Auditor-General is a very important institution that helps us to save resources of the country. Currently, our country is suffering because everyone is paying heavily to service national debt. We do not seem to have money now. So, we are trying to ask for a debt service standstill because the interest and principle amounts on the few loans that we have are now a real problem for all Zambians, including those who were not involved in the acquisition of these loans.


Madam Chairperson, if we allowed the Office of the Auditor-General to operate well, we could save a lot of money that we could use on various Government projects. Currently, the Government is bankrupt as it has no money. From the time I became an hon. Member of Parliament, I have spoken many times about the Office of the Auditor-General not having teeth to bite. This office has produced a number of reports exposing huge embezzlements and misappropriation, but no action has ever been taken. The people who take Government money go away scot-free.


Madam, I wonder what system is in place because it is not helping the situation. For instance, if you look at the last but one financial intelligence report, about K6 billion was misappropriated. The Office of the Auditor-General could not see this. It had to take whistleblowers to let us know about this, but no action has been taken to date. Just like Hon. Dr Musokotwane said on the fire tenders, so much money was spent, but no one has been charged to date.


Madam Chairperson, we also had the issue of ambulances. We received an ambulance costing US$100,000 as a gift from Australia to deal with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, yet the Ministry of Health bought similar ones at US$288,000 each. So, there are clear cases of embezzlement. The Office of the Auditor-General has not been able to even reveal most of these grave financial embezzlements that have happened.


Madam Chairperson, let us now look at how the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is handling this office. The K98 million that is being proposed to be allocated to this office will not do much. It is nothing. The Office of the Auditor-General is not on time in producing reports in many cases. It does not conduct audits according to its plans. In most cases, it has to be called upon and when the reports are written, no action is taken by the Executive. In certain cases, if the Office of the Auditor-General goes to audit departments that the Government is not very comfortable with, its officers are reprimanded.


Madam Chairperson, we have reached a level where every Zambian is blaming this Government for where we are now. Our reserves have reduced to US$1.3 billion, but we have a Government that uses these reserves to service loans because it does not have money. It cannot collect revenue like it is supposed to anymore. If you are milking a cow that you do not feed, you will fail to get the milk you are looking for. You must feed a cow for it to produce milk.


Madam Chairperson, there is no money in circulation because it is all going outside the country. In fact, a huge chunk of it is going out through corruption. Those who are corrupt have now become so bigheaded that they can do anything with impunity. Therefore, we need the Auditor-General’s Office. It could help a lot. This K98 million that it has been given is not enough to sort out any problems.


Madam Speaker, if the PF had its way, it would abolish the Auditor-General’s Office. This is bad. We are now holding this Government accountable. Where has our money gone? We are a rich country, yet we do not have anything to show that we are rich. Everyone is poor, prices of commodities have increased and the kwacha has lost value. It is so bad in this country, at the moment, that only members of the PF are singing. Even the hon. Minister of Finance has said that with the route we have taken, we are headed for a big disaster.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Mr Ngulube: Madam Chairperson, allow me to thank the Office of the Auditor-General for the wonderful job that it is doing for this country. I am aware that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has tightened a lot of loose ends and the question of embezzlement is no longer the order of business. I am also aware that the hon. Minister of Finance last week indicated that the Government is concerned about the leakages of finances.


Madam Chairperson, it is clear that the issue of forty-eight houses and fire tenders, as referred to by our colleagues, do not form part of the queries of the Auditor-General’s Office. These issues are neither here nor there. The Auditor-General’s Office produces reports on matters that it has control over and such reports are tabled on the Floor of this House. I would rather people avoid playing politics whenever we discuss matters of national importance.


Madam Chairperson, I am aware that one of the measures that the Government is putting in place is to amend the Public Procurement Act. This Act is under review in this House and I am sure you will notice that most hon. Members are not even aware that we are doing that to avoid overpricing and reduce exaggeration of costs. Once that Act is passed, together with the Public Finance Act which we already passed, the PF Government would have achieved a milestone. It is only under the PF Government that we have seen the tightening of laws and controls to prevent pilferage and embezzlement.


Madam, allow me to support the Vote on the Auditor-General’s Office by stating that we are happy that it is almost up-to-date in its reports. We are aware that our local authorities, councils and everybody else who never thought that the Government would control the usage of funds are now aware that there is an Auditor-General’s Office which is very active.


Madam Chairperson, it is important that the Auditor-General’s Office increases its activities by ensuring that it sensitises members of the public. There are times when Government monies are lost, for instance, at all the roadblocks that we see. The Zambia Police mount checkpoints from 0600 hours to midnight, but we do not know how much they collect. We do not see any receipts from those operations on the roads. Those are probably areas in which the Auditor-General’s Office must take keen interest.


Madam Chairperson, I am aware that upon my arrest, I should be given a charge sheet to enable me deposit the fine at the bank, but how much money goes into the bank? I urge the Auditor-General’s Office to take keen interest in ensuring that all these leakages are sealed. Situations where you want to pay a fine and are told to just leave the money and the receipt will follow you the next day are some of the areas of grave concern. If point-of-sale machines are placed at all the checkpoints, the Government would collect up to ten times more than it currently does.


Madam Chairperson, we are aware that our toll gates actually collect as much as they do because they have used point-of-sale machines which do not leave any interface between man and money. I think it would help us a great deal if the Ministry of Home Affairs also rolled out these point-of-sale machines with a booth where you can pay your fine once arrested. However, as we speak, the Auditor-General’s Office is not even able to tell how much money was collected and put into people’s pockets. Therefore, we need to invest more in the systems and infrastructure that will ensure protection of public funds.


Madam Chairperson, with those few remarks, allow me to thank this working Government for taking many steps to bring in laws that will make it very difficult for people who were building houses based on long fingers to continue to do so.


Madam Chairperson, allow me also to mention that the owner of the forty-eight houses should explain how he built them.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Dr Malama: Madam Chairperson, thank you for the opportunity to debate this very important Vote. 


Madam Chairperson, offices of the Auditor-General are superior audit institutions that are very important in democracies because the public purse should be well-spent and targeted so that it can be meaningful to young people because young people not only require being prepared in schools to encounter the future but to also have employment opportunities provided for them.


Madam Chairperson, public funds are also required in health institutions and road infrastructure development. You can see what the Patriotic Front (PF) found when it came into power in 2011. We thank the other Governments for the job that was done before, but you can see that there has been a greater need for infrastructure as the population has grown. The Auditor-General’s Office, our superior audit institution, needs to be capacitated to filter the usage of funds.


Madam Chairperson, the Auditor-General’s Office is a permanent witness to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and Parliament. Even as it helps us in its role at Parliament, it is important that it capacitates PAC. It has been doing very well, but needs to scale-up in the budgeting process.


Madam Chairperson, there should be no pilferage in ministries, provinces and spending agencies. There should be fear to touch public funds. I stress “fear to touch public funds”. When we see that the Auditor-General’s Office assists this country in ensuring that people are afraid to touch even one ngwee, then, we are going to see accelerated development.


Madam Chairperson, when he addressed us, His Excellency the President talked about the Zambia we want and envision. This country is too rich to be poor. We have all the minerals that one can think of and those minerals should be able to translate into development. The Auditor-General’s Office must be well-capacitated to ensure this.


Madam Chairperson, when our employees are performing their functions, they should have paper and access to logistical requirements. Access to these can only come when there is proper accountability. Therefore, I was happy to note that the hon. Minister of Finance was proposing benchmarking even in procurement.


Madam Chairperson, you will note that when one is sinking a borehole in Lusaka, it will cost K12,000, but when it is the Government, it will cost K45,000. Who says that the public purse should be abused? The superior audit institution, the Auditor-General’s Office, should continue to work even harder because we want this country to be much more developed and prosperous than it is. Development has to be meaningful for all citizens.


When a Zambian is traversing the globe, people should be able to note that there comes someone from Zambia, a Christian nation. A nation well-endowed with gold and all the minerals. Those should be accounted to.


Madam Chairperson, with these few words, I support the Vote, and I thank Her Honour the Vice-President for the statement given.


I thank you, Madam.


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on this very important Vote. In the very first place, let me recall what the Budget’s key message was. The key message was that one of the key negative impacts on the performance of the economy is the huge public debt.


Madam Chairperson, if we are talking about value for money, then, where is this debt going, huge as it is? The immediate thing that comes to one’s mind is the fact that there must be something wrong in the way we are procuring goods and services because we hear an outcry in the communities that there is no service delivery. 


Madam Chairperson, let me get back to the Office of the Auditor-General. One of the issues that has been pointed out is its capacity and that it is usually under budgeted. The allocation is not enough for it to undertake the huge task that befalls the office, year after year. On one hand, it does not have enough staff as well, yet on the other hand, we have put in place systems or a law that is supposed to improve the management of public finances to lighten the burden of the Office of the Auditor-General. So, the question is: Does the Executive listen? Does the Executive take heed to the findings that come through the Office of the Auditor-General so that year after year, the Executive is helping to manage Ministries, Provinces and Spending Agencies (MPSAs), to enhance capacity and stop pilferage from happening to the extent that it is taking place?


Madam Chairperson, if your right side was doing its job, then, the job of the Auditor-General would be light. Then, the Budget that the Government would be calling for would also be in a manageable range. So, the Executive should help the Office of the Auditor-General by making sure that there is adherence to the Public Finance Management Act, 2018. Controlling officers must do their job, by taking heed of what is coming through from the Auditor-General’s Report so that we start seeing a reduction in cases of pilferage.


Madam Chairperson, the other party that I would like to speak about is enforcement. There should be improved synergies between the Office of the Auditor-General and law enforcement agencies to ensure that those who are found wanting in the management of public finances are brought to book. That too will lighten the job of the Auditor-General.


Madam Chairperson, capacity building and increasing the budget for the Office of the Auditor-General beyond 11 per cent is what I am calling for.


With these few words I support the budget.


I thank you, Madam


The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to debate in support of the Vote for the Office of the Auditor General.


Madam Chairperson, I will start by responding to the debate by the previous speaker who talked about law enforcement agencies and how they collaborate with the Office of the Auditor-General. I must mention that, indeed, under this Government, we have ensured that there is collaboration between the Auditor-General and the law enforcement agencies, who have since signed a number of memoranda of understanding. For example, I know that when there are issues in the Auditor-General’s Report that have to do with money laundering, the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) is engaged and matters are picked up from there. There is also a very good working relationship between the Office of the Auditor-General and the National Prosecution Authority (NPA).


Madam Chairperson, this Government has been responding to the recommendations of the Office of the Auditor-General. That is why you saw amendments to the Public Financial Act to try and tighten the loopholes that the Office of the Auditor-General has been finding.


Madam Chairperson, much more has been done by strengthening the internal audits. The Office of the Controller of Internal Audits at the Ministry of Finance has scaled up its operations in order to ensure that before the Auditor-General moves in to look at what could have transpired in a fiscal year, some of the identified flaws would have been dealt with by internal controls.


Madam Chairperson, this Government has not just been responding to the Auditor-General’s Report in a business as usual fashion. When the report comes to this House, we, as a Government, ensure that we take keen interest in the issues that are raised. We have told our technocrats in the ministries very clearly that they must attend to audit queries by following up with action.


Madam Chairperson, we must commend the Auditor-General for embracing Information Communication Technology (ICT) because times are changing. So, in building capacity in the institution, ICT should take centre stage.


Madam Chairperson, I know that in the past, audit reports where used for witch-hunt. I now think that there is a lot of improvement because the audit reports are also doing a lot in terms of capacitating our accounting units in various institutions because when flaws are identified, remedies must be provided.


Madam Chairperson, therefore, we wish to support the budget estimates for the Office of the Auditor-General. Of course, money has never been enough, and the President said let us do more with less. So, the Auditor-General has a lot of work to ensure that all institutions of the Government, including local authorities, are audited and made to account for all the resources that are being appropriated through this Budget that we are currently approving.


Madam Chairperson, with those few remarks, I support the budget estimates for the Office of the Auditor-General.


I thank you, Madam.


The Vice-President: Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank all hon. Members for their input and support on this budget.


Madam Chairperson, in commenting on the value for money, I wish to state that the Office of the Auditor-General has prioritised the value for money audits. I wish to also state that it will also be conducting procurement audits. The Government is, currently, reviewing the Public Procurement Act, 2008, that will address some of the issues that hon. Members raised.


Madam Chairperson, as regards the management of public debt, the Office of the Auditor-General plans to conduct a performance audit on public debt management. I am very confident that the report will highlight some of the lapses in public debt management.


Madam Chairperson, an hon. Member mentioned that the Government does not act upon the Financial Intelligence (FIC) Report. Hon. Members may wish to know that the FIC Report refers to suspicious transactions and not embezzlement. Usually, after reports are compiled, they are sent to relevant law enforcement entities, such as the Zambia Police Service, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and other related agencies for action.


Madam Chairperson, I wish to ask hon. Members of this House to support the budget for the Office of the Auditor-General.


I thank you, Madam.


Vote 07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates


VOTE 13 – (Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs – K111,343,042).


The Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Mr Sichalwe): Madam Chairperson, I wish to thank you for according me this opportunity to present the 2021 Estimates of Expenditure for the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs. My ministry will focus on stringent implementation of priority programmes, in line with its service delivery mandate and the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP).


Madam Chairperson, the ministry draws its mandate from the Government Gazette Notice No. 836 of 2016, which calls for formulation of policy, planning, co-ordination and implementation of programmes relating to the institution of chieftaincy and traditional affairs. I stand before you to account for the 2020 Fiscal Year and to mention that my ministry’s resource management for 2021 will be anchored on two major programmes, namely Customary Governance and Management and Support Services.


2020 Budget Performance


Madam Chairperson, in 2020, the ministry was allocated a total amount of K107,770,185 which was broken down as follows;


Program & Function                                                                    Amount (K)          Percentage


Customary Governance                                                                67,154,731                    62

(For grants and other payments)                                                  


Preservation & Promotion of Traditional Culture                               720, 000                   1


(For Traditional ceremonies)


Management and Support Services                                              38,707,291                    36

(For Personal emoluments)                                                          


Recurrent Departmental Charges                                                    1,188,163                      1


The Chairperson: Order!


(Debate adjourned)






[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


(Progress reported)





The House adjourned at 1157 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 20th October, 2020.