Wednesday, 21st October, 2020

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Wednesday, 21st October, 2020


The House met at 1430 hours














52. Mr Kamondo (Mufumbwe) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


  1. when the construction of the following bridges in Mufumbwe Parliamentary Constituency will commence:


  1. Musonweji; and


  1. Miluji;

      b.what the total cost of the project is; and

      c. what the time frame for the completion of the project is.


The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Mwale): Madam Speaker, the construction of Musonweji and Miluji bridges in Mufumbwe Parliamentary Constituency will be undertaken once funds are secured for the implementation of the Acrow Bridge Project.


Madam Speaker, the total cost of restructuring the two bridges will be determined once work contracts are procured.


Madam Speaker, the estimated time frame for the completion of the project is six months from the date of commencement.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Lufuma was inaudible.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Madam Speaker, the bridges that the hon. Member for Mufumbwe is talking about are critical, especially that they serve the interest of the poorest of the poor. Why does the hon. Minister always say that certain projects, such as the construction of bridges, will be undertaken when funds are available when it comes to infrastructure development in the North-Western Province, whereas in other areas, he comes out with a clear answer saying, “we are doing this and the project has reached such a stage”? Is the reason the hon. Minister is dodging the question by saying that there is no money for infrastructure development for the people of the North-Western Province that they did not vote for the Patriotic Front (PF)?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Withdraw the word ‘dodging’.


Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, I withdraw the word ‘dodging’. Is that why the hon. Minister is not being clear by giving specific answers to the people of Mufumbwe, who also deserve the right to the money from the Treasury?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, first of all, the fact that these two areas had acrow bridges designed for them by this Government shows that it is committed to developing the North-Western Province just like every other part of the country.


Madam Speaker, the Acrow Bridge Project was designed a long time ago. It involved the Road Development Agency (RDA) taking measurements in areas of need such as the two areas in question. The measurements were, then, sent to the United States of America (USA) to have the bridges manufactured. The bridges came and they are in the country. If there was no effort on the part of the Government or if, indeed, it did not care for the people of this area, why did it take all that effort to have bridges for these areas manufactured in the USA?


Madam Speaker, this Government will treat every citizen the same regardless of where they are or where they come from. That is why we had these two acrow bridges manufactured for the people of the Western Province. The second thing I would like to say is that acrow bridges have been designed for the whole country. There is nowhere in the country where they have actually been mounted because of the challenge of finances. Acrow bridges have not been mounted in the Northern, Luapula, the Eastern or Central provinces. We have acrow bridges in the country, but we have not started mounting them because we have not been funded for this particular project. So, just like in the North-Western, the Western or the Eastern provinces, these bridges will have to await funds that we are yet to secure for this project, hence the current status.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kamondo: Madam Speaker, last year, the hon. Minister came to this House and promised the people of Mufumbwe to procure acrow bridges. The people of Mufumbwe expected the bridges to have been mounted by now. In case the hon. Minister is not aware, I want to make it known to him that for the people of Mufumbwe to travel from one part of Mufumbwe to the last point, they have to go through Kasempa. Miluji is like an island, and as such, the people and pupils in that area have difficulties accessing certain parts of the constituency during the rainy season. In trying to cross over to the other side, most of them have ended up drowning. Is the hon. Minister not considering constructing, at least, one bridge using the funds that can be sourced as those which were used last year? There were some acrow bridges which were taken to the Eastern Province and constructed, although I do not know where the money to implement that project came from. Is the hon. Minister not thinking of using the same funds that he could have used in the Eastern Province to construct even one of these two bridges?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, let me make it clear that the construction of these bridges should have been funded by the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of the United States of America (USA), but because the Ministry of Finance is restructuring our debt and postponing some borrowing until we have the capacity to be able to borrow again, the Ministry of Finance is not considering continuing to get money from EXIM Bank to fund the civil works that relate to these bridges. The bridges are here, but we have to carry out some civil works so that they can be mounted. So, there is no funding for this particular project. We have to source for funding locally.


Madam Speaker, like I said earlier on, there is nowhere in the country where acrow bridges have been mounted, not even in the Eastern Province. Indeed, at one point, the contractor mobilised in Chipata, at Lutembwe Bridge, but he did not even start the works because we did not proceed to pay him. We do not have money because the loan was cancelled. The hon. Minister of Finance is looking for locally raised revenue to be able to proceed with this project. So, to say we found money for the Eastern Province and so we should also do the same for the North-Western Province is incorrect. We have not mounted any acrow bridge anywhere in this country. Let us wait patiently for the hon. Minister of Finance to mobilise resources for us to start this project. We are committed to constructing bridges on these two rivers in Mufumbwe in the North-Western Province, which is why this Government theses bridges manufactured for the people there.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Lufuma was inaudible


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Madam Speaker, the people of Mufumbwe have found themselves in a similar situation as that of the people of Kasempa where they have to make almost a full circle to move from one point to the other in the district. The people of Kasempa have to go all the way to Ndola on the Copperbelt for them to get to Kasempa when they could just use the Kasempa/Mumbwa Road. I imagine that if the Government had planned to deliver this particular bridge in the first year, and this did not happen, it would have re-planned to ensure that the bridge was worked on at one point. It has now been more than five years from the time this project was first talked about. What specific measure has the Government put in place, which specifies the year and month in which a solution will be found so that the people of Mufumbwe will hang on to something? The problem is still there. The cost of doing business still stands and many other constraints such as blockages that they encounter are still standing. The Government has to help them solve this challenge. What measure has the Government put in place, in terms of timing, for the people of Mufumbwe to hang on to?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, that is a very good question. The hon. Minister of Finance announced to the nation that he was going to stimulate the country’s economy by way of raising K8 billion and pumping it into various areas like the paying of retirees and different sectors. He actually said that K4 billion of that money will go towards paying service providers who have carried out road works and various construction projects. Therefore, part of the money that will go towards the Acrow Bridge Project will come from the stimulus package, which is money that the hon. Minister of Finance is mobilising for infrastructure. We have planned, and so, this is what the people of Mufumbwe should hang on to. We know how much of that money will be spent on the bridges and the contractors that we owe money. All that has been well planned and all we are waiting for is the hon. Minister of Finance to continue mobilising those resources. We know he has been taking care of various sectors and very soon, he will take care of the road sector where K4 billion will come to, although in a staggered manner. Once that happens, the Acrow Bridge Project will be taken care of.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya) Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the statement given. Just like the people of Mufumbwe, the people of Kanchibiya have been waiting for these acrow bridges. However, a situation has been created to appear that the Government is favouring the Patriotic Front (PF) controlled areas and not where the United Party for National Development (UPND) seems to be strong. For avoidance of doubt, hon. Minister could you clear the air that we are all patiently waiting for these acrow bridges?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, I will repeat that we have not been able to mount any acrow bridge anywhere in the country apart from the one that was used as a demonstration for the workers. I cannot even remember where it was because it was for demonstration purposes during the training of people on how to mount these bridges. We have not started mounting the bridges except that we awarded contracts in some cases. In other cases, procurement is ongoing, but we have not implemented these projects anywhere due to the lack of funding. Nevertheless, we know funding is in the pipeline.


I thank you, Madam.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I will allow questions from the hon. Members for Mufumbwe, Kalabo Central, Sioma Parliamentary constituencies and I will end with Chimwemwe Parliamentary Constituency.


Mr Kamondo: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister told the nation that in some cases, contracts could have been awarded to some contractors. Therefore, at what stage in procurement are the two projects in Mufumbwe?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, for the sake of funding, the implementation of this project was going to be done in a phased manner. Procurement for some of the provinces was done, and in other provinces, it is underway. In particular, for the lot in the North-Western Province, procurement is underway. However, even if that process was concluded today, we do not have money, not even for those which we procured a long time ago. So, this is the status.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Miyutu was inaudible.


Ms Subulwa (Sioma): Madam Speaker, we have no doubt, as Zambians, particularly the people of Sioma in the Western Province, that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has good intentions of taking development everywhere in the country without any segregation. I would like to find out if the ministry has a laid down plan that can be availed to hon. Members of Parliament and the public, which will indicate when works will be carried out, on which bridge and at what time, once funds are available. For instance, in the case of Matebele Bridge and Mufumbwe Bridge, is the hon. Minister able to avail the plan of work to the parliamentarians?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, yes, the plan which can be shared is there. It is just a matter of funding.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, will you bring it to the House?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, yes, I will.


Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Madam Speaker, the acrow bridges were manufactured in the United States of America (USA) and they arrived in the country months ago. However, no single bridge has been mounted to date. When is the ministry going to engage the services of our defence forces like the Zambia Army and the Zambia National Service, which are very competent and can quickly carry out works such as putting up two small bridges in Mufumbwe?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, our defence forces are not excluded from bidding for these works. In fact, as procurement is going on, there are some areas where the Zambia National Service (ZNS) and the Zambia Army could be considered to execute works. I am not very sure. I need to verify what I have said. However, they too need money. They also have to be paid. They cannot carry out works for free. They have to send personnel out to camp at sites and also provide machinery. They too have to be paid for the work. It is not like they can work for free. Therefore, it is not an easier route to use them because they still have to be paid.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.








Mr Samakayi (Mwinilunga): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that this House urges the Government to facilitate the amendment of the Mines and Minerals Development Act so as to reduce the size of land over which an exploration licence for large-scale mining is grantable.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Madam Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.


Mr Samakayi: Madam Speaker, let me begin by expressing my profound appreciation to you for allowing me to move this Private Member’s Motion, which I believe if supported by all hon. Members of this House, can go a long way in stabilising our economy and creating the much- needed jobs for our people.


Madam Speaker, the justification of my Motion is informed by the fact that the current Mines and Minerals Development Act No. 11 of 2015, provides for the granting of large-scale exploration licences covering large tracts of land to the disadvantage and exclusion of many of our people. This is especially true with the discovery of gold in various locations in our country.


Further, given the competitive nature of the mining sector, the current Act has not provided adequate or robust mechanisms to support the full and effective participation of artisanal and small-scale miners in the entire mining value chain, starting from exploration, mining, processing, refining, trading and beneficiation, especially in the gold mining subsector.


Madam Speaker, I am, therefore, contending that the Act be amended to provide for more players at different levels vertically in the exploitation of high value minerals such as gold. This is to ensure that local small-scale and artisanal miners and the entire social aggregate of our society benefits.


Madam Speaker, I am proposing that the Act be amended to provide for, among other things, the following:


  1. reduction of the size of land over which an exploration licence for large-scale mining is grantable. Section 21, Subsection 2 of the Mines and Minerals Development Act No. 11 of 2015, states as follows:


“The area of land over which an application for an exploration licence is made shall be represented by complete and contiguous cadastre units as follows:


  1. for small-scale exploration, a minimum of three cadastre units and not exceeding 300 cadastre units (approximately between 10.03 and 1002 ha of land); and 


  1. for large-scale exploration, a minimum of three cadastre units and not exceeding fifty-nine thousand eight hundred and eighty cadastre units (approximately between 1005.3 and 199,999 ha of land).”


As can be noted, the maximum size of land granted under large-scale exploration is too big for one individual or company. If half of this land were to be subdivided, it could accommodate about 9,000 small-scale miners, each with a land size of 10.03 ha. This would provide an opportunity for more small-scale miners to participate in mining activities and enable them to generate the much-needed household income as well as foreign exchange revenue for the country as a whole. Amending the Act so as to reduce the size of land over which an exploration licence is granted for large-scale exploration will go a long way in economically empowering local people;


  1. incorporation of local people into mining activities through mining co-operatives or any form of partnerships to augment established companies such as the Consolidated Gold Company Zambia. The Government should take practical measures to ensure that artisanal mining is used as a vehicle for economic recovery and diversification. One of the ways in which this may be achieved is by encouraging the formation of mining co-operatives or incentivising already existing ones to participate in gold mining activities.


Many small-scale licence holders have struggled to develop their mines due to the lack of resources to conduct exploration to estimate the resources required, let alone to venture in mining development.


Providing for the empowerment of these co-operatives will go a long way in not only increasing artisanal participation in mining activities, but also promoting the formalisation and legalisation of the artisan mining subsector whose activities have not fully been harnessed and mainstreamed into our economy.


Further, the Act should be amended to provide for a mechanism to protect local people as they form mining co-operatives. This mechanism would also ensure that rural dwellers who often do not have the means to production are not exploited by well to do people.


Similarly, apart from granting total ownership of gold mines to Zambian citizens, the Act should be amended to provide for co-operatives established by local people to be exclusively left to rural dwellers or local people. Those in urban areas and with more capital can participate at higher levels of mineral exploration and buying of shares from the stock exchange market.


Madam Speaker, in view of the foregoing, the gold mining company is urged to add value to the product chiefly not only to create employment, but also ensure that the value of our exports is enhanced and contributes to bringing down the exchange rate against the United States (US) Dollar. There is also need for the gold company to partner with existing small scale licence holders to set up gold processing lines for all the types of gold ore materials.


 Further, miners also need to be helped with technical expertise to open up gold veins by providing them with access to earthmoving machinery and other mining equipment. If done properly, there is bound to be a boost in gold production for their benefit and that of the country at large. This can also lead to the development of the small-scale and artisanal mining sector to bring about the necessary formalisation and legalisation required for it to contribute effectively to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in terms of taxes and foreign exchange earnings.


Furthermore, knowledge and skills transfer in gold processing to these local licence holders will be another benefit; and


  1. change of the shareholding structure in the Consolidated Gold Company of Zambia or the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines-Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) to allow Zambians to buy or own shares in their individual capacities. The revised Act should, therefore, mandate either the ZCCM-IH or the Consolidated Gold Company of Zambia or whichever special vehicle will be used to float shares on the stock exchange market to enable all Zambians, regardless of their tribe, religion or socio-economic status, to participate in the exploitation of and beneficiation from the gold mineral.


Madam Speaker, I am aware that ZCCM-IH has a shareholding of 45 per cent in the Consolidated Gold Company of Zambia with Karma Mining Services and Rural Development from Sudan having 55 per cent stake. This is unacceptable, especially that we are dealing with gold, which is a high value mineral resource and the country’s gold reserves require to be built so that they anchor our economic stabilisation programme.


This precept of public ownership of shares in the consolidated gold mining company reduces the possible exploitation from foreign and, often, capitalist or multi-national companies, which usually have the capacity to evade tax or exert undue influence on the Government in their favour. In a nutshell, amending the Act to provide this type of shareholding will provide a platform for bequeathing our natural resources to generations yet to come.


Madam Speaker, this is a non-controversial Motion. Therefore, I urge all hon. Members to support it.


I thank you, Madam.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?


Ms Tambatamba: Now, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me the privilege to second the Motion urging the Government to facilitate the amendment of the Mines and Minerals Development Act to reduce the size of land for which an exploration licence for large-scale mining is grantable. I also want to thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwinilunga Constituency, Mr Newton Samakayi, for ably moving the Motion.


Madam Speaker, the Motion is, indeed, noncontroversial. It is in public interest and does not take away from anything. As already referred to by the mover of the Motion, it is clearly demonstrable that there is an opportunity to be more inclusive in the spirit of not leaving anyone behind by 2030.


Madam Speaker, there are countries that we can compare ourselves with in terms of policy and law. Some of these countries would include Tanzania, Chile and Botswana. These countries have provided more competitiveness in terms of allocable land for those who seek large-scale mining licences. This has helped to provide opportunities for many more players to participate in mining activities in these countries.


Madam Speaker, we understand that in most cases, those who have been given licences to explore as much as 200,000 ha of land under the current Act may not even cover all of it. They may not even be productive enough to create the employment that we all desire to be created. They may not be able to create an opportunity to increase the contribution of the mining sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of this country. So, it is cardinal for the Government to consider reducing the size of land allocable for large-scale mining exploration licences, as the mover of the Motion indicated.


Madam Speaker, the amendment to the Act should provide for the release of some of the land currently held by those who may only be using it to speculate and earn money for themselves by offering it as collateral not even in Zambia, but elsewhere. When they get the loans, they develop in other locations. We are denying this country an opportunity to have small-scale artisanal miners. If the Government provided an opportunity, through this amendment, for artisanal miners to partner with more experienced miners and players in the industry, it would eventually get to a point where there would be an exit plan for foreign miners. The foreign miners would leave knowledge, capacity and competence for local miners who would be given the land that would be released as a consequence of this amendment.


Madam Speaker, for that reason, I second this Motion to urge the Government to reduce the allocable land for large-scale mining exploration so as to ensure that inclusiveness is promoted and that there is productivity to earn us more money to go towards the improvement of our GDP.


Madam Speaker, with these few words, I beg to second the Motion on the Floor.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Madam Speaker, I just want to add a few words to the debate on this Motion. I know that the hon. Member who moved this Motion did so in the spirit of trying to see how people can benefit from our mining sector except that the technicalities that are involved in large-scale mineral exploration are misplaced. Let me just highlight some of these issues so that we move together.


Madam Speaker, the larger the area of exploration, the lower the risk of loss in exploration mining. If the mining area on which exploration is carried out is large, there is a greater likelihood of discovering more minerals for mining. If you reduce the area of exploration, you increase the risk of not finding any minerals. It is no wonder that large-scale mining exploration licences are given large areas in the first four years. This is not for mining, but exploration.


Madam Speaker, legally, if you are given a licence to explore, for example, 200 km2 of land, the area of exploration should be reduced to 100 km2 after four years, which is 50 per cent of the initially allocated land. After another three years, the remaining area should, again, be reduced by 50 per cent. This means that after seven years of having the exploration licence, the holder would have remained with a quarter of the initial land allocated and relinquished the rest. Therefore, after having the exploration licence for ten years, the holder is supposed to have relinquished most of the land initially allocated and remained with a very small portion.


Madam Speaker, if there are mining houses in Zambia that are holding large chunks of land for exploration, what we must be talking about is adherence to the law. In light of this, I would have urged the hon. Member of Parliament to bring a Motion that would have urged the Government to make sure that mining houses adhere to the law and comply.


Madam Speaker, I have explained that if I have been given a licence to explore 200 km2 of land for mining exploration, that land will have to reduce to 100 km2 in four years. After the following three years, it will have to reduce, again, by half. So, after ten years, it would have reduced to a quarter of the size that was granted initially.


Madam Speaker, just to speak scientifically, in geology, venn diagrams do not move in a straight line. You find that from where I am standing to, maybe, the Accounts Department at Parliament, geology would turn 90 degrees to the east. You could start mining following the eastern direction, but only to discover a change of course.  So, that is why huge tracts of land are given out for large-scale mining exploration.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Mines of Minerals Development is delaying the introduction of the Bill to amend the Mines and Minerals Development Act. When he brings this Bill to this House, we are going to raise the issue that copper mining licence holders must allow those who want to mine gold within their mining rights. I know the law allows small-scale miners to operate in the same area as large-scale miners. It does not forbid anyone from going into small-scale mining.


Madam Speaker, regarding speculation, three quarters of the people in Zambia do not know that mineral exploration is big business. Even if we combined the monies of all the wealthy people in this Parliament, we would still not make enough to explore minerals even in one block of ore because mineral exploration is quite expensive. Many people in Zambia think that when one has a paper for mineral exploration, then, he/she has the right to start mining. It is not like that.


Madam Speaker, the issue here is that we must be able to bring the Bill here to discuss these matters. There are stakeholders in the sector such as the association for mineral explorers, the mining conglomerates, the general public and us, hon. Members of Parliament. We are all stakeholders. So, let this Bill be brought to the House so that we see what measures we can put in place to ensure that there is adherence to the law with regard to mining in this country.


Madam Speaker, I would urge the hon. Minister not to fault the hon. Member of Parliament, who has moved this Motion, because he is an accountant. He does not understand these things, but I think he was doing this in the spirit of hoping that people –


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Withdraw that statement. He understands the issue and that is why he has brought the Motion.


Mr Jamba: Madam Speaker, I withdraw that statement. I am just saying that the hon. Member of Parliament has come in good spirit to see to it that mining houses and everybody else in this country adheres to the statutes. He has brought this to our attention so that we can try to quickly bring a Bill on this matter to ensure that we put measures in place which are required to benefit the people of Zambia.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I am told that the hon. Deputy Chief Whip has a problem with his gadget, but he can go ahead and debate.


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Thank you, Madam Speaker. Technology is catching up with me.


Madam Speaker, allow me to thank the mover of the Motion, Hon. Samakayi, for bringing this Motion to the House. However, I want to state, from the outset, that it does not appear to be well-founded. It appears that he has not read the Mines and Minerals Act of 2015 because had made reference to it, he would have noticed that everything that he has complained about was addressed by the Patriotic Front (PF) Government in 2015 when the 2008 Act was amended.


Madam Speaker, I also want to agree with my brother, Hon. Jamba, that it is not about the size of the large-scale mining licence that is the problem, but actually whether small-scale miners who want to grab large-scale mining licences by force are doing the correct thing. I am aware –


Madam First Deputy Speaker: The word ‘grab’ is unparliamentary.


Mr Ngulube: Sorry. I withdraw the word ‘grab’ and replace it with ‘take by force’. People should not fraudulently take by force, by extortion or threat, like what is happening in Kasensele.


Madam, we do not want to expose some people here, but we know that they are in the forefront telling their cadres that there is no way certain large-scale licences can operate the way they do. They want to take over gold concessions using tricks. We know, but we will not say much because we respect the law.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Withdraw the word ‘tricks’, hon. Deputy Chief Whip.


Mr Ngulube: Madam Speaker, I withdraw the word ‘tricks’ and replace it with ‘manoeuvres’ or ‘monkey gimmicks’.


Madam Speaker, you cannot wake up and complain that the Government must reduce the scale of large-scale licences. In 2015, the Government attended to those issues by reducing the licence to 250 sq km. When you talk about places like Rufunsa or places in the bush like Katoka Mema, which I am very familiar with, 250 sq km is almost nothing in terms of large-scale prospecting because you do not know where the minerals are. You must go in and look for them and when you have found them, you go back to the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development and apply based on your discovery of either copper or gold at given locations.


Madam Speaker, some of these minerals exist as a team. I do not want to go to grade 7 or 9 physics, but minerals on the periodic table exist in a family. You find base metals like copper, gold, uranium and others existing together. When you are looking for gold, you may be lucky to find copper as well. That is the reason we carry out prospecting. When you find the minerals, others cannot say that you must reduce your mining space because they also want to squeeze in. The law, in 2015, was amended in such a way that if the person exploring does not want manganese, for example, and I am looking for manganese, I just need to get consent. All I have to do is apply to him and the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development will give consent.


Madam, let us not disturb the law. The law is okay as it is. It is the Motion that has failed to deliver the point. The Motion seems to be complaining about some people in Australia trying to make money using –


Madam, if you look at Section 14 of the Mines and Minerals Act, you will see that a company that has not established an office in Zambia cannot get such a large-scale mining licence. Perhaps, you also needed to look at Section 13, which describes mining and non-mining rights. Some people are only interested in mineral processing.


Madam Speaker, when we come up with such Motions, we should engage in a bit of consultation and research so that we do not seem to threaten investors. You cannot have a country which is as inconsistent as members of the Opposition in the United Party for National Development (UPND). On one hand, they start by saying they do not want what is provided in the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 and, on the other hand, they come to the Floor of the House and want exactly what they have rejected in the Bill. We saw it yesterday when people were talking about the House of Chiefs. They want chiefs’ wrangles to be resolved by the House of Chiefs, but that is exactly what we have said in the Bill. They do not want the Bill, but they want the exact proposals contained therein.


Madam Speaker, I do not want to say much, but allow me to educate our colleagues in the UPND. When the Government makes proposals, they must learn to sit down, read them and understand because most of the time, they have come back to the Floor of this House to complain. They have rejected the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 openly and the whole country knows it. However, look at what they coming to do through this Motion. They are trying to get exactly what they have rejected and that is where the problem is.


Madam, with those few remarks, allow me to thank the hon. Member for Mwinilunga for pushing what is already an open door. For that reason, we reject this Motion because it is not an academic exercise, but one in futility.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Madam Speaker, may I take this opportunity to thank the mover and seconder of the Motion for bringing something that we should debate.


Madam, I agree with them that this is not a controversial Motion, but it is misguided and lacks merit. It is misguided in the sense that it takes a lot to apply for a large-scale exploration licence. The Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development has put in place guidelines for one to qualify to be granted that licence. These are large capital projects that do not require one to apply for the small-scale licences, which are provided for in the law.


Madam, the law provides for small-scale licences and I was going to support this Motion had the mover indicated that he is advocating for an increase in the land for exploration for small-scale licences. However, looking at how he has brought this Motion, and having read the 2015 Mines and Minerals Development Act, which covers all the areas of his concern very well, I cannot support it.


Madam Speaker, to be honest, if you listened to the debate, it was anchored on the gold which has been discovered in this country. Sometimes, we should learn to be honest and declare interest. They should say that they are unable to access the gold that they wanted to get using dubious means because of the presence of the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines- Investment Holding (ZCCM-IH) in Mwinilunga.


Madam, all small-scale miners who are mining gold today have been covered by the Government. Those who have eyes to see and mouths to speak the truth can attest to having seen the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development issuing licences to small-scale miners in Kasensele, Rufunsa and Katete. To come here to mislead Zambians that we must reduce the size of large-scale exploration of mines is a misguided notion. Therefore, I will not support this Motion.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Ms Katuta (Chienge): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving an opportunity to have the voice of Chienge to be heard on the debate on this important Motion, which has been brought on the Floor of the House.


Madam, I do not support this Motion because it is not explaining in whose interests it has been presented on the Floor of the House. For that reason, this Motion deserves to be thrown into the dustbin, for lack of a better word, with all the contempt it deserves. I do not support it.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Withdraw the last part, hon. Member for Chienge.


Ms Katuta: Which part, Madam?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: This is a Motion which has been admitted and tabled. Withdraw that.


Ms Katuta: Madam Speaker, I withdraw, but I do not support this Motion. It does not deserve to be supported by a well-meaning hon. Member of Parliament who is interested in seeing exploration take place in his/her constituency, for example, Chienge. For that reason, and especially that I was not consulted about this Motion, I am saying it does not deserve any support from a well-meaning Member of Parliament like me.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Chali (Nchanga): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to add the voice of Nchanga to the debate on this Motion


Madam Speaker, first and foremost, I am not supporting this Motion. When somebody or a company wants to venture into mining, they would be looking at their returns, what they will get from the ground, and how much they are going to spend. That is the basis of exploration.


Madam Speaker, recently, the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development cancelled thousands of licences, mostly artisan and small-scale licences because no investor would like to put money in a venture when he does not know what is on the ground. There are a lot of improvements in explorations. Firstly, you start with aerial surveys, then, magnetic surveys which both indicate that there is mineralisation in the area and finally, exploration drilling.


Madam Speaker, the cheapest exploration drilling here in Zambia is US$120 per meter, depending on the size of the area that you are drilling and on the pattern you are using. This costs millions of dollars. Who would bring in such huge investment on a small piece of land?  We are trying to kill the industry. I would urge the mover of the Motion that we, as the people of Nchanga, who are also undertaking mining, cannot support it. Therefore, I am not supporting the Motion.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


The Minister of Justice (Mr Lubinda): Madam Speaker, I will not be the first one to support this Motion. I will just follow the queue that has been set by others in proposing to the mover and the seconder that they request you not to even put a vote to this Motion because it has been brought to this House on a wrong footing.


Madam Speaker, you may have realised that even when the mover was moving this Motion, he spent most of his time not arguing the reason he thinks the exploration areas must be reduced, but on discussing the shareholding of ZCCM-Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH), which is a very important matter, but not related to the Motion at all.


Madam Speaker, the second reason this Motion must not even be voted upon is because exploration is simply searching for minerals. It is not holding the mining rights. Had the mover or the seconder indicated that the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development is besieged with a lot of requests for exploration, which are not being granted because the land is held by others, then, there would have been value in this Motion. However, we do not know of anything like that. Zambia is such a vast country and we deserve to allow people to explore so that we know where our minerals are laying. We cannot say lets reduce, yet we do not know where our deposits are. We would like to know where the deposits are.


Madam Speaker, further, had the mover and the seconder cared to read the Act, they would have realised that much as a person can be given as much as 59,700 cadastre units to explore, they will only be given a limited 7,450 cadastre units to mine. Imagine the difference from 59,700 cadastre units to explore, but when you find the minerals, you are only allowed to mine on an area of 7,450 cadastre unites. So, where is the problem? Therefore, if they had a problem, they would have said reduce the mining area not the exploration area. Let us actually encourage as many people to explore so that we know where our deposits are. Then, we would have thought they had thought about this Motion but clearly, this is a Motion that greenhorns like to use to exercise their debate ability and it is allowed.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, withdraw that statement.


Mr Lubinda: Madam Speaker, when I was a greenhorn I brought Motions like this just to exercise my debate ability.  I withdraw, but greenhorns like the one making noise there will never learn. That hon. Member from Mazabuka Central will never learn with his hate.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minster, debate through the Chair.


Mr Lubinda: Madam Speaker, I hope that the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central has realised that I also have the ability to respond to hecklers.


Madam Speaker, let me give the fourth reason we should not support this Motion. It is because the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development already got approval from Cabinet in March this year that the Mines and Minerals Development Act No. 11 of 2015 be reviewed. He has started the process to review not only to look at the cadastre areas for exploration or mining, but also other intrinsic areas of the law. Therefore, I would like to appeal to the hon. Members of Parliament who have ideas on how to make this law a better law to approach the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development at the ministry and not in Parliament. Let us not appear to want to champion the amendment when it is brought to the Floor by saying, “I proposed to the Government that they should do it,” yet the approval was already given to the hon. Minister by Cabinet in March of this year.


Madam Speaker, I would like to end by making an appeal to the mover. I have been a mover before and it is quite disheartening when you move a Motion and nobody supports it. So, it will be an act of grace for him to just stand up and say that he withdraws because he realises that this Motion will not take this House anywhere. Actually, there is a lot of Business to be transacted. It would be good for us to save some time to look at the business of the day.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Musukwa): Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwinilunga and the seconder for this Motion.


Madam Speaker, I will not belabour the points because most of the issues that I was supposed to have raised have, thankfully, been raised by my hon. Colleagues both, hon. Minister and hon. Members of Parliament, who have adequately dealt with the issues. I just want to thank the mover for expressing interest with regards to the aspects of improving the law, in this regard.


Madam Speaker, this Motion moved by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwinilunga is not supported by the Government and it maintains its position of issuance of licences based on the current Mines and Minerals Act No.11 of 2015.


Madam Speaker, you may wish to know that Zambia operates in a global environment where the basic tenets of practice are respected and this is critical in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). In this regard, international best practice dictate that the current sizes are maintained and reviewed, as more minerals are discovered. Therefore, large tracts of land are licensed for exploration and not mining. There is a very huge distinction in terms of exploration and mining.  When you are exploring, you are actually trying to look for the resource and in looking for it, you need to cover a huge expanse in order to ensure that once you get the resource, then, you are able to narrow it down in terms of mining rights.


Madam Speaker, the Government of the Republic of Zambia in terms of policy issuance of large-scale exploration and mining licences are as follows:


Issuance of a large-scale mining licence is provided for under Section 30, 31 and 32 of the Mines and Minerals Development Act No 11 of 2015. The licence is issued for a period not exceeding a maximum of twenty-five years and covers an area not exceeding 250 sq km, as ably explained by Hon. Jamba Machila, who is a Member of Parliament coming from the mining sector, as a surveyor.

This provision is needed for an exploration to take root and to make business sense in the mining sector. As can already be seen, mining needs huge investment and is a long haul. Investors need to be confident for them to invest their resources and this issue anchors on credibility of moving forward in investment.


Madam Speaker, the holder of an exploration licence may apply for a mining licence not less than six months before the exploration licence expires. As Hon. Tutwa Ngulube indicated, the Companies Act states that only an incorporated company is eligible to apply for a mining licence in Zambia.


Madam Speaker, let me quickly comment on the mandatory requirement of relinquishing land. As Hon. Jamba Machila ably explained, 50 per cent of the land is allocated for the undertaking of exploration. We also have a minimum investment of the land required and the payment of the area charges for that land.


Madam Speaker, in short, I support the position taken by my colleagues of supporting the rejection of this proposal. I do not want to address the issues that the hon. Ministers and hon. Members adequately addressed. However, I wish to inform this House that in March 2020, the Cabinet approved the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development’s proposal to amend the Mines and Minerals Act No. 11 of 2015 to address shortcomings and propose ways to improve its implementation. Following this approval, the ministry is, currently, conducting countrywide consultations with stakeholders to get their views, and various individuals, including private citizens, are submitting their comments in writing to the Permanent Secretary of the ministry. Therefore, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwinilunga and, indeed, the seconder are free to make submissions to the ministry.


Madam Speaker, arising from the above background, the Executive does not support this Private Members’ Motion because the issues raised are subject to the on-going process of review. However, Hon. Tutwa Ngulube adequately addressed some of the issues that have been raised in relation to the Zambia Gold Company.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Samakayi: Madam Speaker, I thank all the hon. Members who have debated negatively on the Motion. However, I believe the rejection is on account of the Cabinet already considering amending the same Act or the amendments that I proposed. So, I –


Hon. Government Members: Withdraw!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, on my right! Let him conclude.


Mr Samakayi: Madam Speaker, I am not withdrawing the Motion, but I am simply thanking all the hon. Members who have debated, although negatively. However, the rejection is on account that the Government is already doing some work on the same Act. So, maybe, we can let the Government process to flow.


I thank you, Madam.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member, I am not very clear. The process is that I now put the question to conclude this Motion and I am not sure if you are saying that you are withdrawing it.


Mr Samakayi: Madam Speaker, I withdraw the Motion on account of the Government already taking centre stage.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: In order for us to be orderly, I will still put the question so that the record shows which way the Motion has gone.


Question that this House urges the Government to facilitate the amendment of the Mines and Minerals Development Act, so as to reduce the size of land over which an exploration licence for large-scale mining is grantable put and negatived.










The Minister of Finance (Dr Ng'andu): Madam Speaker, I beg to present a Bill entitled the Land (Perpetual Succession) (Amendment) Bill, 2020. The object of the Bill is to amend the Land (Perpetual Succession) Act, so as to –


  1. provide for the maintenance of records relating to beneficial ownership and due diligence in the registration of a trust; and


  1. provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.


I thank you, Madam.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources. The Committee is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House by Friday, 13th November, 2020. Hon. Members who wish to make submissions on the Bill are free to do so within the programme of work of the Committee.


Thank you.




The Minister of Justice (Mr Lubinda) (on behalf of the Minister of Higher Education (Dr Mushimba)): Madam Speaker, I beg to present a Bill entitled the Zambia Academy of Sciences Bill, 2020. The objects of the Bill are to –


  1. provide for the promotion of technological discovery and innovation;
  2. establish the Zambia Academy of Sciences and provide for its functions;
  3. provide for the investigation of matters of public interest relating to science and technology;
  4. provide for the promotion of research and its utilisation in the development of science and technology; and
  5. provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.


I thank you, Madam.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on Education, Science and Technology. The Committee is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House by Friday, 13th November, 2020. Hon. Members who wish to make submissions on the Bill are free to do so within the programme of work of the Committee.


Thank you.









(Debate resumed)


VOTE 17 – (Ministry of Foreign Affairs – K1,346,872,986)


The Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Malanji): Mr Chairperson, it gives me great honour to be accorded this opportunity to debate the Estimates of Expenditure for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 2021.


Sir, in line with Government Gazette No. 836 of 2016, my ministry is mandated to implement Zambia’s Foreign Policy and facilitate the Government’s interaction with the international community for advancing the country’s national interest. In 2021, my ministry will remain committed to its mission of effectively promoting and protecting Zambia’s interest and maintaining good international relations in order to contribute to national development.


Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs aims at creating a conducive governance environment for a diversified and inclusive economy. The cluster of the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) has been allocated a total of K1,346,872,986. Of this amount, K1,332,927,121 has been allocated for personal emoluments whilst K13,945,866 has been allocated for Recurrent Departmental Charges (RDCs). This amount is inclusive of the grant to the Zambia Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies (ZIDIS).


Sir, the total budget structure of my ministry is interpreted as follows:


  1. personal emoluments represent 99 per cent;
  2. RDCs represent 0.9 per cent; and
  3. grant transfers and subsidies represent 0.1 per cent.


Key Programme Areas


Mr Chairperson, in budgeting with the reduced RDCs ceiling of 55 per cent for 2021, the ministry has objectively prioritised activities to be undertaken in the next financial year. These activities are focused on six key programmes that will be implemented at the ministry’s headquarters and our missions abroad. These are as follows:


  1. Foreign Policy;
  2. international relations and corporation;
  3. protocol and consular services;
  4. central technical services;
  5. mortgage financing for missions abroad; and
  6. management and support services


Sir, as a custodian of Zambia’s Foreign Policy, my ministry will continue to safeguard and protect Zambia’s interests at the regional, continental and global levels. The ministry will also ensure that Zambia continues to claim its rightful place as a robust regional economic and trade hub as well as a leader on peace and security issues. In this respect, the ministry will endeavour to utilise political and economic diplomacy to optimise Zambia’s benefits in translating her Foreign Policy into tangible socio-economic outcomes.


Mr Chairperson, effective political co-operation at both bilateral and multilateral levels is an indispensable tool for the implementation of Foreign Policy. It is also a pre-requisite for economic corporation, which is key in addressing the needs and aspirations of our citizenry. To this end, the ministry will continue to foster deep and versatile relations with its friends and allies globally. It is a known fact that the collective ability to harness human resources and capital, both at home and abroad is imperative for sustainable national development.


Sir, since the launch of the Diaspora Policy in April 2019 by Her Honour the Vice-President, the ministry heightened its engagement with the Diaspora, which is in line with the vision of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government of inclusive development. The ministry has made remarkable strides in the implementation of some key objectives of the policy. One of the significant achievements is the launch of the Diaspora Co-ordination Desk at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Home Affairs, which has enhanced the capacity to co-ordinate and facilitate the implementation of the Diaspora Policy. The two ministries are also collaborating on the production of guidelines and procedures on the acquisition of various national documents, following concerns raised by the Diaspora.


Mr Chairperson, in 2020, the ministry held several virtual engagements with the Diaspora across the globe in order to sensitise them on the various activities being undertaken in the course of implementing the Diaspora Policy. Through these engagements, we have gained a better understanding of the Diaspora such as their respective interests, expectations and potential contributions. We have also been able to regain the confidence of our nationals abroad on the need to collaborate with the Government. In 2021, the ministry envisions more tangible outcomes from the enhanced communication with the Diaspora, which will be achieved through the information online Diaspora web portal. Further, the ministry will intentionally facilitate the involvement of the Diaspora in various sectors of the economy.


Sir, Zambia has been an active member of the regional and continental bodies such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN), to mention just a few. Despite the outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in 2020, the country continued to play its role of promoting peace and security, sustainable development and regional integration. The country also continued to call for concerted effort in addressing global challenges.


Mr Chairperson, furthermore, for the past three years, Zambia had the unique opportunity of, once again, being actively involved in co-ordinating regional peace and security matters through its membership to the Troika of the SADC Organ on Politics Defence and Security Corporation. The country successfully shouldered regional responsibility in co-ordination with other Troika members until 2020. In pursuit of the country’s political and socio-economic interests, the ministry will continue to ensure that Zambia actively participates in regional, continental and international bodies. This will ensure the maintenance and promotion of Zambia’s image, as a strong advocate of peace and security, democracy, good governance, and the rule of law. Through its Public Diplomacy Programme, the ministry will continue engaging various stakeholders to facilitate the enhancement of strong and strategic partnerships among the Government, co-operating partners and the private sector.


Sir, more importantly, in the spirit of inclusivity, our citizenry will also be engaged in issues of Foreign Policy. In this regard, an amount of K597,848,000 has been allocated for Foreign Policy related programmes. Economic diplomacy continues to be an important focus of Zambia’s Foreign Policy, which advances national interest and development through interaction with the international community. In order to fully utilise the opportunities on the global arena, we must advance economic diplomacy that leaves no one behind. Therefore, it is pleasing that Zambia’s international engagements continue to yield positive results. This includes, among others, the on-going Lusaka City Roads Decongestion Project, construction of 650 health posts across the country, a conference centre that will host the Africa Union Summit in 2022, ...


The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Minister, you will conclude delivering your policy statement.


Mr Malanji: … construction of the Kazungula Bridge Project and other joint projects and agreements signed in many different areas.


Mr Chairperson, the COVID-19 pandemic brought to the fore the importance of Foreign Policy −


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Minister’s time expired.


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Chairperson, thank you for according me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the Vote for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Sir, you might have noticed that while Zambia, under the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, is making a lot of strides in improving the lives of people both in Zambia and abroad, we have also been looking at how best we can enhance our image, as a country.


Mr Chairperson, you will notice that much as the Government is doing everything possible, we also have our hon. Colleagues who run to social media to dent the image of the country and tell lies about this country –


The Chairperson: Hon. Member, withdraw the word ‘lies’.


Mr Ngulube: Mr Chairperson, I withdraw the word ‘lies’ and replace it with ‘untruths’. You can imagine if we were the ones who were actually championing the untruths that our hon. Colleagues have always been running with. They have been shocked because the international community still comes back and congratulates Zambia on its good human rights records and for holding credible elections. They even give us support when it comes to elections and everything else. I want to take this opportunity to just challenge our hon. Colleagues that this country is one. We only have one Zambia and one nation.


Sir, we know that our hon. Colleagues have been members of certain organisations that are hell-bent on finishing off this country. After privatising our mines and selling off our assets, they have now teamed up and want to finish us off. However, to all those who are so scared of the privatisation inquiry, their day will come. We know that on one hand, one cannot dent the image of their country and paint it black and claim to be a rich man on the other hand. We all know that the proceeds that some claim to be their riches are actually people’s wealth. The riches belong to those retirees who were not paid and the retrenched employees who still remain suffering.


Mr Chairperson, Zambia has a very good international reputation and that is why when you travel, as a Zambian, some people can even shake your hand and say you have a very good country. The reason we have all the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) coming into this country is that people have a lot of confidence in the PF Government and the nature of Zambians.


Sir, the hon. Minister, in his policy statement, said that matters of Foreign Policy will be addressed. I have never seen a person of any nation going outside the country to malign his/her own country, insulting his Government and painting it black. We want to warn them that for as long as we are in charge of the affairs of this country, we will not allow untruths.


 Mr Chairperson, it is so difficult to even understand and imagine that even people who held very high positions in Government begin to actually lower themselves below the human estimation when they are of out of this country or share platforms with people who can never win elections as councillors.


Sir, I am also aware that even people who actually signed huge and exaggerated loans on behalf of this country can, today, wake up and say that Zambia’s foreign debt is exaggerated or that Zambia has too much debt. They are forgetting that the debt they contracted when they were in office is the debt that we are we are suffering with now.


Mr Chairperson, I can imagine how difficult it is to be in the Opposition. The amount of bitterness that they exhibit makes one wonder whether they even sleep at night. However, I would like to conclude by supporting this Vote, and also state that I find it very hard when I am listening to someone telling me the truth, yet I work so hard to pretend not to hear what that person is saying. It is just that the word ‘shame’ cannot be used in this House, but I can simply say –


The Chairperson: Order!


Hon. Member, I think it is important that you concentrate on the Vote.


Mr Ngulube: Mr Chairperson, in conclusion, allow me to say that all those people who are saying that the PF Government has huge international foreign debt should come out in the open and explain how much they signed for themselves when they were in power other than lumping exaggerated figures on a Government that has done so well in the area of infrastructure as well as paying back some of the international obligations.


Mr Chairperson, with those few remarks, I thank you and may God bless you and make it easy for all of us.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Mr Chairperson, thank you for according me a chance to add a word or two to the debate on the Vote for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is quite true, as it has been put in the policy statement by the hon. Minister, that this is the ministry that would foster our international relationships in terms of peace, economic value and marketing Zambia.


However, Sir, I am a little bit disturbed because the hon. Minister has just said that personal emoluments represent 99 per cent of the ministry’s total budget. So, where do we get the money to help us do that which is good for the country? As the hon. Minister responds when winding up debate on this Vote, let him tell the nation how far the cheap fuel, which the Patriotic Front (PF) Government promised to bring from Saudi Arab, has reached. To date, that cheap fuel has not reached Zambia. Let the hon. Minister tell the Zambians how far the transaction of maize between Zambia and Malawi has gone. That transaction made the Malawian Government fire its ministers, but we do not have answers here in Zambia.


Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister should tell us about the things that we are now hearing of going to get generators from Malawi to help us with the electoral processes in Zambia. We would like to hear about such things. He has talked about peace, and so, he should tell us what is happening between Zambia and Rwanda, just as the hon. Member who just debated said. Those are the issues we would want to hear from the hon. Minister, as we are handling our international relationships.


Mr Chairperson, in Zambia, we generate hydro-electricity. Therefore, amongst the many issues that I have, I would like the hon. Minister to tell us if we do export part of that electricity and how much we are earning from it. I would also like to know why Zambia continues to have load-shedding if we are selling power to our neighbouring countries. Furthermore, I would like the hon. Minister to shed some light on such issues as we are building our country’s relationship with the world at large. How I wish I had more time to debate. I think, I will sit with the hon. Minister outside and discuss other things. However, due to the limited time I have been given, I will let the hon. Minister respond to the few issues I have highlighted now.


I thank you, Mr Chairperson.


The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Member, you had enough time to debate, which time you have not even exhausted. Further, you brought out some issues which the hon. Minister may not respond to, like issues to do with trade. It is important to concentrate on the budget for a particular ministry so that we do not bring in unnecessary issues.


Mr Mbangweta (Nkeyema): Mr Chairperson, the problem we have in this country is sharing ignorance. The hon. Minister has clearly indicated what he intends to do. He has also clearly indicated that he has no money to do what he intends to do. I do not know where the Deputy Chief Whip got the information he was trying to debate on. If we are changing policy and direction to go to economic diplomacy, it means we must put in resources. If no money has been put there, as has been indicated by the hon. Minister, what is the basis for such a debate? Even if we were to talk about privatisation, some of the people talking about it, at the moment, are the people who were making decisions such as putting Zambia Airways into liquidation. Today, you want to blame innocent citizens and label allegations against them of how people died based on their decisions. What sort of arrangement is that?


Mr Ngulube: Debate Foreign Affairs!


Mr Mbangweta: Coming back to Foreign Affairs, I am saying that there is no money to implement economic diplomacy because that has not been provided for. That is clear. On that basis, there is no economic diplomacy which is going to be implemented. It is that simple.


Mr Chairperson, secondly, the housing scheme has been a scam. Information on how all of us lost money came to this House and it was shared.


Mr Ngulube: Here?


Mr Mbangweta: Yes! That information was shared here.


Mr Chairperson, I am surprised that somebody can ask such a question. The information came on the Floor of this House. Therefore, I think it would help all of us if we encouraged sharing of knowledge and not ignorance. When information has been presented in the speech, as is the case, where allocations to certain activities are as low as zero point something per cent of a reduced budget, which is virtually zero because inflation has taken care of the rest, how can we talk about all those issues? There is nothing which is happening in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs apart from those bureaucrats and a few of them moving. They are failing to even build houses or offices for the Zambian people who are working out there. They are even failing to pay them. Then, the hon. Minister comes here to tell us about economic diplomacy. This is why we say what the Patriotic Front (PF) does is to speak, but it is short on delivery.


Sir, if you were to put figures to what the hon. Minister has talked about, you would see that there is nothing in the Budget. So, there is no basis for us to say that the Government is going to carry out any activities. Maybe, if the hon. Minister said it will be business as usual, then, we would have agreed with him because there are no other activities which the ministry is going to embark upon and expand. What has been made available to the ministry has been reduced.


Mr Chairperson, even when the ministry had more money, it failed to utilise that housing scheme. Money was stolen from that arrangement. As a matter of fact, people should have gone to prison because of that rather than what has happened.


The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Member, withdraw the word ‘stolen’.


Mr Mbangweta: Mr Chairperson, I withdraw that and instead say that money went into people’s pockets. We are talking about millions here. That is what the hon. Minister should be looking at and seeing what happened and, maybe, put some stoppage to that. Get that money and, then, implement economic diplomacy. That would make more sense than being told that the ministry will extend anything when there is nothing to extend. Things are now expensive, and everything will be business as usual.


I thank you, Mr Chairperson.


Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs does a lot in uplifting the image of the country. This is why Zambian citizens pay their taxes to make sure that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs –


Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, allow me to apologise to my brother and friend, the hon. Member for Kalomo Central for the disruption.


Mr Chairperson, there is a lot of disruption that is going on in the country at the moment. My point of order is on the Minister of Energy, Hon. Matthew Nkhuwa. In the last couple of days, we have witnessed a build up of queues at filling stations. We thought it was just one of those setbacks that would be resolved within a short time. However, today, in Mazabuka, and now in Lusaka, life has been disrupted completely because it appears that there is no petrol in this country or there is a supply chain disruption. Is the hon. Minister in order to remain quiet and not come to this House to, at least, give comfort to Zambians by telling them exactly what is going on with regard to this shortage of fuel and how long we may be experiencing this crisis.


Mr Chairperson, I seek your ruling.


The Deputy Chairperson: My ruling is that, that is a point of order which may require to come in the form of a question so that the hon. Minister can give a proper answer to the House.


That is my ruling.


The hon. Member for Kalomo Central was debating, may he continue.


Mr Kamboni: Mr Chairperson, last week, the Deputy Chief Whip came here and said that the human rights record for Zambia was good and that it is the other people who try to paint the image of the country bad. It is not like that. If there is anybody who has been painting the country black, it is the PF Government. Look at what it is doing with the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ). Everything is a big issue. People are able to read on social media from everywhere. Look at the debt that the country has acquired. It is the worst in the world. The Government now has to borrow money to pay workers. It has to borrow money to service debt. So, it has made a bad name for the country, and so, it is the one that has painted the country black.


Mr Chairperson, let me now talk about privatisation. Why should the Government talk about privatisation when the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) has revealed that K6.1 billion was abused, mishandled or embezzled and the people who did that are known while the Government has done nothing about it.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Hon. Member, I think for now, let us depart from that. I allowed the hon. Member for Nkeyema to debate in that line simply because somebody on my right brought up the issue of privatisation. I really wanted to strike a balance. Going forward, I will not allow anyone to debate in that fashion because we are missing the point here. We are debating the budget for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I think let us help the ministry. Let us talk about the allocation, departments in the ministry and the difficulties they are facing so that we see whether the ministry can curb those problems with the allocated money. Let us not bring politics in something which is straightforward. This is an innocent budget we are debating. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs needs some kind of help from hon. Members of Parliament, and that help is through the advice they will render through the debate of this Vote. So, hon. Member on the Floor, can we get back to our real business and this is the business of debating the budget for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


You may continue with your debate.


Mr Kamboni: Mr Chairperson, thank you very much for your guidance, but it must apply to all as opposed to a situation where you allow others and –


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Hon. Member, resume your seat. We need to move.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Chairperson, I want to thank you for giving the people of Kanchibiya an opportunity to contribute to the debate in support of this Vote. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a very important ministry as it helps us, as a nation, to take a posture in the global community.


Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank our men and women in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the good job they continue to do. They, indeed, need our support both at the ministry here at home and abroad in various embassies representing our Republic, including the United States of America (USA), where Ambassador Kapembwa is doing a great job.


Mr Chairperson, it is a pity that the other time, the Opposition took to the Floor of this House and to the streets that Ambassador Kapembwa had not been allowed to present his papers. Questions were raised on this issue every time in this House. However, as you noted, the USA accepted our Ambassador very well. Since then, our colleagues have kept quiet, just as they have on many other issues that they have brought to the Floor.


Mr Chairperson, our embassies require a lot of support in housing for our personnel as well as buildings where they work from so that they are able to portray the good standing that we have in the international community.


Mr Chairperson, as we support this Vote, we must note that the Government has stated that it is now practicing economic diplomacy. Therefore, it is important that we establish markets for our local goods at home without fear. You have noted that western countries have patronised international markets and, many times, you find that our goods and services do not compete favourably. I think it is time that we spoke straight to the international community so that goods and services coming out of Third World countries are able to find good footing to help us create jobs for our many unemployed young people.


Mr Chairperson, as His Excellency the President stated in this House, without production and markets, it is very difficult to create employment for our young people in each of our provinces in this country. Therefore, it is extremely important that there is an aggressive engagement so that we create a base.


Mr Chairperson, it is also important for African countries to have permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Even in our engagements, as we send representatives out there, we have to create for ourselves an equal footing with those who have permanent seats on the UNSC. It is important that Africa, like other continents, is well represented.


Mr Chairperson, there is a lot of narration that is coming out. Zambia is known to be a very peaceful country. The aggression and violence that we are seeing, as was noted in Lavushimanda the other day when the United Party National Development (UPND) delegation was coming from Kasama to Lusaka, is sad. Those are very negative sentiments on the peace that we have and continue to stand for, as Zambians. Therefore, it is important that we tell the story that these are not victims, but the ones agitating the situation. Once the law takes its course, they cry that they are victims. Nevertheless, let the law take its course. I am appealing to my people in Lavushimanda to continue being peaceful and not vengeful so that we do not tarnish the good image of our country.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Mr Chairperson, thank you very much for the opportunity to debate. I will not speak for long because this Budget is straightforward. It is nothing, but a budget put forward for personal emoluments only. That is it. This is the problem with this country. We are employing people who we are giving salaries, but are doing nothing. They are simply sitting in offices because there is no money for operations. If you look at the amount of money that was given to the ministry in question last year, how much was disbursed in terms of operational funds? It was nearly zero, but you expect people to work and undertake economic diplomacy. How can they undertake economic diplomacy without money? The Government should give them money because it is the one responsible for the Treasury. It should make the money and give it to them. It should not over borrow or use money for things that are not necessary.


Mr Chairperson, somebody talked about external debt and blamed it, intentionally, on somebody on the left side. The Government knows very well that when it took over, external debt was about US$2 billion but, at the moment, it is at US$11.9 billion. Who is responsible for that debt? It is certainly not the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD). Apart from the MMD, who has taken over the reins of the Government? It is the Patriotic Front (PF). Therefore, the PF is responsible for the US$11.9 billion external debt minus US$2 billion,  yet some hon. Members stand and try to blame people who are not supposed to be blamed.


Hon. Ngulube: Interjection


Mr Lufuma: What infrastructure? Are those humps infrastructure?


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Speak through the Chair


Mr Lufuma: Mr Chairperson, what infrastructure are they talking about? Just a while ago, in this Parliament, we were talking about bridges. The Government has completely failed to build bridges since 2012. So, what infrastructure are they talking about? If the Government cannot build bridges, which assist in bringing about development by connecting rural areas where production is supposed to take place to urban areas, what does it expect? This is what is expected, loans and loans –


Hon. PF Member: Talk about Foreign Affairs.


Mr Lufuma: Were you talking about Foreign Affairs?


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Mr Lufuma: He wants me to talk about the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when he talked about something else.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


I think I guided the House on that. I agree with you, hon. Member for Kabompo. I allowed an hon. Member of Parliament from my left to debate in the same fashion that the hon. Deputy Chief Whip, who is supposed to help the Chair, did. I allowed him, but guided the House not to take that route again because the ministry wants to hear how the hon. Members of Parliament elected to represent them are going to look at the Budget. That is our interest. That is why I am saying that five minutes are good enough. No one should even complain about time because we bring issues which are not necessary.


So, hon. Member, somebody reminded you, though it is not allowed for somebody to debate while seated, to debate the Motion.


Continue debating the budget for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Mr Lufuma: Mr Chairperson, thank you very much for the straightforward counsel which you always give. I will adhere to that.


Mr Chairperson, I asked about how much was given out as operational funds in last year’s budget. The people who are out there are there to work. They are the ones who are supposed to woo investors to Zambia in order to grow this economy. However, if the Government does not enable them to do their job, it should not expect miracles here at home. This is why there are very few external investors coming into Zambia. The people we have fronted to look for investors are not able to do their work. I suggest that, in the absence of operational funds, the hon. Minister starts cutting down on the number of staff who are idle and who the ministry is paying for nothing so that the ministry can have a slim, but effective diplomatic corp.


I thank you, Mr Chairperson.


The Deputy Chairperson: The hon. Member for Mufulira can take the Floor.


Mrs Chinyama: Mr Chairperson, I raised a point of order.


The Deputy Chairperson: You do not need to remind me. I am seeing whoever is indicating on my screen.


Dr Chibanda (Mufulira): Mr Chairperson, thank you so much for giving the people of Mufulira an opportunity to contribute to the debate on the head that is on the Floor of the House, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs –


Mrs Chinyama: On a point of order, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.


Mrs Chinyama: Mr Chairperson. I am sure you are also aware that the country has been experiencing a shortage of fuel. In Kafue, the situation is so critical that filling stations are taking advantage of the prevailing situation by overcharging the price of fuel per litre.


Mr Chairperson, is the hon. Minister of Energy in order to remain quiet over such a serious situation obtaining in the country? I have heard rumours that the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) said something to that effect, but I am not sure what it said. I think that the hon. Minister of Energy should tell this House what is happening and how the situation will be resolved before our people continue to be exploited under the prevailing situation.


The Deputy Chairperson: I want to believe that the hon. Member was not following the proceedings because that point of order was raised by the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central. We have already attended to that. So, I will not admit it.


The hon. Member for Mufulira may continue.


Dr Chibanda: Mr Chairperson, before my colleague rose on a point of order, I was thanking you for giving the voice of the people of Mufulira an opportunity to support the Vote that is on the Floor of the House, which is the Vote for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Mr Chairperson, I want to commend the hon. Minister for the well-outlined budget. I know that despite the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which has ravaged the world, he has been resilient and has come up with a resilient budget for his ministry.


Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a bridge to the international community. I want to commend the Government of His Excellency, Mr Chagwa Lungu, through his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Joe Malanji, for having performed extremely well in international diplomacy with our neighbours. The hon. Minister has been exceptional in the representation of the country in the happenings in our neighbouring countries. We, as a country, did extremely well when we were in charge of the troika. That is just to mention part of the international community that we represented, as Zambia and as chairperson of organs under the reign of President Lungu.


Mr Chairperson, we are not an island in our interaction with the international community. That is why I said that the hon. Minister has done exceedingly well to represent the Zambian Government and the Zambian people on an equal footing with the international community. I know that going forward, our international diplomacy will still be exceptionally above board because of the able leadership of the President and hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs is carrying on his shoulders. To that I say, hats off.


Mr Chairperson, I know that the budget may not be to the expectation of the hon. Minister. However, as I said earlier, it is due to the COVID-19 pandemic that we are going through. The income which supports the budget has dwindled. However, the hon. Minister has still exhibited leadership and has been bold enough to come up with a budget that will let him perform to the best expectations of international diplomacy.


Mr Chairperson, I know that there are Zambians who have been quick to go out and disparage their country. That is very undiplomatic. We only have one country and that is Zambia. So, we should be able to stick with our country instead of sneaking out of the country and talking ill about it.


I know that there are so-called spiritual powers. I would not want to even mention that fake prophet who has been saying all these things against our country and against the leadership of our country. I know that with his international etiquette and diplomacy, the hon. Minister is going to manage these so-called fake prophets and other people who have been saying bad things about our country in foreign lands.


Mr Chairperson, I do not want to talk much. I will end by simply saying that I commend the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs. He will go down in history as one hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs who was exceptionally busy trying to build a good image and reputation of our country. He has done exceptionally well.


Mr Chairperson, I wish to support this Motion.


I thank you, Mr Chairperson.


Mr Malanji: Mr Chairperson, thank you very much for the opportunity to debate. Allow me to thank all the hon. Members of the House who have debated the budget for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I would like to mention to the House that Zambia is still held in high esteem globally.



Mr Chairperson, concern has been raised over 99 per cent of the ministry’s allocation going towards emoluments. We all know that we are in a situation where we have to implement austerity measures. People have been asking why the allocations to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been minimal for this year and next year. It is said that you tailor a garment according to the size of the cloth. When making these allocations in the budget, we are, of course, guided by the Ministry of Finance.



Sir, however, these are problems that the Government is looking into. For example, last year, when we had a problem with power generation, all companies that needed electricity to operate were probably operating at quarter of the time that they were supposed to operate. That automatically affected the income of the central Treasury. We should not forget that we had a drought, which also contributed to the power deficit. That cannot be blamed on anyone. It was an act of force majeure.


Mr Chairperson, when you look at the ministry’s budget for 2021, it is an Output Based Budget (OBB). I can assure you that we have quantified all that we have to do with the minimal amount that we have been given and have moved away from the Activity Based Budget (ABB). At some point, we have to say that much as we accept that we have to observe austerity measures, we have realised and know that this is a temporary setback. At some point when we see that the Treasury is not the same, we are bound to ask for a supplementary budget that will accommodate the operations of the ministry. This budget is a projection and is not cast in a metal jacket. So, we are bound to go to the Ministry of Finance if there is a hitch and plead for supplementary support.


Sir, the issue of cheap fuel was mentioned here. We have to realise that Zambia has the Indeni Petroleum Refinery Company Limited that brings in not even crude oil, but comingled crude oil. Recently, supplies of finished products came into the country from Saudi Arabia and we are bound to have further negotiations for more supplies.


Mr Chairperson, the issue of maize trade between Zambia and Malawi was also mentioned. Those who follow current affairs are aware that, last year, we agreed on a Forward Purchase Agreement (FPA) with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and all other countries that would be interested in our maize this year. So, if we sell maize to them, what happens in those countries is not our baby. It is like your father sends you to a tavern to buy chibuku and you drink some of it as you take it home. When you get home, it will not measure the same as it did when it was decanted at the tavern that you got it from. So, I think that question was basically neither here nor there.


Sir, with regard to generators for the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), I do not think that is a question that I can answer because the ECZ can actually organise those logistics with its counterparts from other countries. Of course, Malawi has just had elections and probably still has these generator sets which it can spare. If the ECZ can bring them in, whether on gratis basis or for a minimal payment, that is for the ECZ to –


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Minister’s time expired.


Vote 17 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 26 – (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services – K 46,946,107)


The Minister Information of Broadcasting Services (Ms Siliya): Mr Chairperson, thank you for this opportunity to present the policy statement in support of the 2021 Budget Estimates for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services.


Sir, the Budget Estimates are in line with the mandate of the ministry, which I wish to breakdown as follows:


  1. Facilitating Government Communication


Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services is the hub of Government communication. It is responsible for disseminating and interpreting Government policy across all sectors. This mandate is executed, firstly, through the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) and, secondly, through the office of the minister, which is designated as the Chief Government Spokesperson.


Sir, to contextualise the facilitation of Government communication, the ministry has developed a Government information communication policy which has since been approved by the Cabinet. It is very significant in facilitating Government communication and has provided the basis for access to information legislation. The nation may recall that the Access to Information Bill was proposed several years ago without a policy to support it. It is gratifying to note that this missing link has now been fixed. The policy will soon be launched and the enactment of enabling pieces of legislation will commence accordingly.


Mr Chairperson, it is worth noting that some pieces of legislation in support of co-ordinated and professional communication are running side-by-side with the policy development formalities. There is already a layman’s Bill aimed at establishing a professional body for public relations practitioners, the majority of whom are serving in public bodies. With this development, we expect professional communication out of both public and private institutions.


  1. Facilitating the Growth of the Media Sector


Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services is responsible for the development of the entire media sector. I wish to emphasise this point because there is a misconception that the ministry is only about the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC). However, the ministry is about both public and private media houses.


Sir, in this regard, this year, the ministry has developed the National Media Development Policy which has since been approved by the Cabinet. The policy is significant in facilitating the growth of the media sector. The Government has made a clear declaration that it supports media houses as businesses in both the private and public sectors because they provide jobs and wealth for our people. The Government also recognises that media houses are places where most practitioners work such as journalists, graphic designers, film directors, cameramen and women, scriptwriters and, now with social media influencers and bloggers.


Mr Chairperson, it is in this regard that the Government is encouraging professionalism among the various media practitioners. For example, a professional body for journalists will ensure that journalists from the private and public media operate professionally and are protected from any form of abuse, including violence and unfair treatment, be it from the Government or private media owners. Filmmakers have also expressed their intention to have a professional body to allow for the business of filmmaking to become lucrative in view of the various platforms such as Netflix and others.


Sir, communication dynamics have changed significantly in recent years. There is now more communication of national values and principles in other countries through film. If we lag behind, as a nation, in developing film as a medium of communication, we risk losing our culture and national values.


Mr Chairperson, as our people watch films from other countries at the expense of local films, we are importing foreign cultures and values. Some of these values are totally unacceptable in our country, as a Christian nation. It is for this reason that my ministry developed a policy to reposition film as a medium of communication. The policy, which has since been approved by the Cabinet, is due to be launched as soon as all formalities are, indeed, concluded.


Mr Chairperson, in terms of infrastructure and digital migration, the three studios in Chinsali, Kasama and Mansa are at 100 per cent completion, while those in Chipata, Kabwe and Mongu are at 82 per cent, 80 per cent and 83 per cent completion, respectively. In Choma and Solwezi, buildings to be used as provincial studios have been identified and are yet to undergo renovations while modalities of finalising the new buildings are being worked out.


Sir, as I conclude this policy statement, I wish to give the highlights of the ministry’s 2021 Budget. In 2021, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has been allocated a total of K46,946,107, focusing on three priority areas, that is, media development, standards and regulation, information services and management and management and support services. Out of the said figure, media development, standards and regulation has been allocated K19,376,197 to ensure that there is growth in the media industry through the provision of appropriate legal and policy frameworks.


Mr Chairperson, in order to further expand media outreach and explain Government programmes and projects, the second mandate, information services and management, has been allocated K15,950,004 to provide information services and management to all Ministries, Provinces and Spending Agencies (MPSAs) for the implementation of their programmes and projects. The programme is aimed at, among other things, news gathering and information dissemination, especially in view of the forthcoming Presidential and General Elections. Management and support services have been allocated K11,619,906 to provide support services to all technical departments in the ministry during the implementation of their programmes and projects.


Sir, Zambia’s media industry is one of the most liberalised in the region and beyond, offering wide space for freedom of expression, diversity and plurality of voices of citizens. This has not happened by accident. It is as a result of a deliberate policy by the Government. Therefore, I urge hon. Members of this august House to support the 2021 Budget Estimates for my ministry.


Mr Chairperson, I thank you.


Mr Kamboni: Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting plays a very important role of promoting democracy and good governance in the country.


Sir, at the moment, we, as a country, are struggling to make the Budget balance. Our Budget has a huge deficit. Does the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting not think that Prime Television, whose closure she played a centre role, could have added to the revenue that we need to make this Budget better than what it is? Further, does she not also think that The Post newspaper, which was also closed down, could have helped to increase the revenue needed in the country and to run the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.


Mr Chairperson, whilst we talk of freedom of speech in the country, we have had incidents in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Private radio stations no longer make the necessary revenue, which can increase the tax the Government gets from them, because when they invite some political leaders, cadres go there and attack them, like what happened in Mpika. In view of that, clients of radio stations have not been featuring on programmes for fear of being attacked, hence reducing the revenue that the Government needs to run the ministry, pay the workers, develop radio stations, and that the country needs to buy medicines in hospitals. The Government can collect revenue from radio and television stations, which can help the citizens. However, we have had situations whereby Patriotic Front (PF) cadres have gone to radio stations to attack the owners and take them to task while the police just watched. As a result, every politician who wants to go to a radio station has to think twice. Politicians have found other means of communicating to the people, thereby reducing the revenue of radio stations, which we are talking about.


Sir, the budget we are giving the hon. Minister is play because the ownership of these radio stations is of shared value. Therefore, the hon. Minister should enlighten us or pass a few comments on this, as this will help us to get correct knowledge of what transpired. As regards the issue of licences for television stations, it looks like they are heavily intimidated. If they do not toe the PF line, they are threatened or their licences are not renewed.


Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister talked about the creation of employment. The Government needs to seriously create employment in the country because many youths are not employed. The closure of Prime Television, without any indication of when it will reopen, has left many Zambians destitute. The people who used to work there are now street kids. When is the Government thinking of reopening Prime Television because we need it? It had employed so many people in the country, and Zambia is currently losing revenue from its closure. It needs to be reopened so that the country can benefit from the needed revenue.


Sir, we shall have to borrow to pay civil servants and to service loans, and that is not a very good structure of the Budget. However, small things could help to increase the revenue, which the country needs so badly. At the moment, there is no fuel and we do not know the cause, but we know that all these things are signs of an extremely bad economy. The hon. Minister has a media background and she is the one who has been closing down these institutions. She should open them because we need them so that the revenue that the country gets is increased. This will also create employment for the young women and men.


Mr Chairperson, with those few words, I thank you very much for allowing me to make one or two points.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lufuma: Mr Chairperson, thank you for the opportunity to make a few comments vis-a-vis the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.


Sir, I only have one or two points to make. The first point I would like to have a go at is about the establishment of studios that the hon. Minister talked about. One of these studios was supposed to be located in Solwezi, in the North-Western Province, and this is an old song. In 2012, the first Minister of Information and Broadcasting under the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, Hon. Mwansa Kapeya, and I went to Solwezi. We had a ceremony there and the hon. Minister said that within two weeks or so, he would open the studio. We are in 2020, and the hon. Minister came to this House to talk about a programme that should have been executed in 2012. That is why we say that the PF talks sweetly, but there is zero implementation.


Sir, that is what is happening for most of the projects. The Government will promise acrow bridges, but do nothing five years down the line. When it is asked in this House why something has not been done, the Government says that it is waiting for money and will work on the projects when money is available. Why does it go ahead to pronounce things that it is not able to do? It pronounces the construction of health posts, but it takes ten years before delivering. To date, those projects have not been delivered.


Mr Chairperson, this is the problem with the PF. I know that we will discuss this budget, but implementation is next to zero. Therefore, I wish to appeal to the hon. Minister to ensure that this studio in Solwezi is operationalised. I also want to see the other studio which she mentioned in the Northern Province operationalised. Both the studios should be operationalised as soon as possible, and if possible, by the fall of this year. That is what a Government is supposed to be doing instead of just talking.


Sir, as my hon. Colleague mentioned, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is a very important institution with regards to democracy and good governance. It is supposed to be in the forefront of protecting the private media and the public media too, which the hon. Minister is claiming to be in charge of. However, what is happening with the private media when it is attacked? There are various studios that have been attacked left, right and centre by known cadres, but to my surprise, the police have not been doing anything about it, even when they know the cadres. The perpetrators just get away with it. The hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting is also quiet. This is destroying this industry.


Mr Chairperson, where is Prime Television? What sin or transgression did it commit against the Government that it cannot allow the television station to operate? People want it to be operational, but this Government does not want that to be the case. Why? The television station projects divergent views. The Government should be able to allow divergent views. This is why it chose democracy. Democracy is in existence not only for one party. It exists so that it can straighten the Ruling Party. We criticise so that the Ruling Party can do the right thing. From here, we need to see the reintroduction of Prime Television. We want the hon. Minister to be in the forefront of ensuring that there is no intimidation by known PF cadres against these media houses.


Mr Chairperson, I thank you.


Ms Subulwa (Sioma): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to add the voice of the people of Sioma to this debate. I wish to register my support for this Vote. In the first place, I wish to request that, as the hon. Minister responds to the hon. Members who have debated, she be in a position to explain why her ministry, which should be able to give information, has not really come out in the open to give information that is very critical, which is to do with the economy of our country, to the rural areas that have no radio and television stations.


Mr Chairperson, I am an Independent Member of Parliament and I will put my debate plainly today. What I see is that we have certain media bodies that are in place to just oppose whatever the Government is doing. Whether the Ruling Party is doing something good or bad, their angle of debate or talk is in the negative. This is not building this country. We are a country that promotes unity. We are a country that is admired by so many countries out there. When you go out of the country, that is when you tend to appreciate what we, as a country, and as Zambia –


Mr Deputy Chairperson: Order!


(Debate adjourned)








(Progress reported)




The House adjourned at 1657 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 22nd October, 2020.