Thursday, 22nd October, 2020

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Thursday, 22nd October, 2020


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]











53. Mr Ng’ambi (Chifubu) asked the Minister of Justice:


  1. whether the Government has any plans to construct an ablution block at Chifubu Local Court in Chifubu Parliamentary Constituency;
  2. if so, when the plans will be implemented;
  3. what the estimated time frame for the completion of the project is; and
  4. what the estimated cost of the project is.


The Minister of Justice (Mr Lubinda): Mr Speaker, the Government has plans to construct an ablution block at Chifubu Local Court which shall include toilets, urinals and hand wash basins for staff and members of the public, covering a total floor area of 47.5 m2. The Government reiterates its commitment to commence the construction works when funds are available. Currently, the judiciary has been unable to provide a budget provision due to the budget call circular of 2021/2023 guidelines which provided that only ongoing capital projects that are, at least, at 80 per cent completion should be budgeted for.


Madam Speaker, the estimated time for the construction period of this project is six weeks, at an estimated cost of K215,000.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Ng’ambi (Chifubu): Madam Speaker, Chifubu local court handles many cases per day. However, people find it extremely difficult to find a place to ease themselves. Looking at the number of cases that are being adjudicated at this local court, does the hon. Minister consider this matter an emergency?


Mr Lubinda: Madam Speaker, I confirm to the hon. Member that the Ministry of Justice considers court infrastructure across the country as very important and, funds permitting, it will provide local court facilities which are complete with ablution blocks in every constituency in the country.


Madam Speaker, it is unfortunate that the local court in Chifubu does not have an ablution block. However, there are other constituencies that do not even have local court facilities. That is what I am extremely concerned about. I am concerned about those constituencies that do not have any local court facilities at all. I have stated before that the Judiciary will be concentrating on the provision of superior courts across the country. In the meantime, I have also appealed to hon. Members of Parliament to consider utilising part of their Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to provide local courts for our people. I have no doubt that this matter is of great concern to the hon. Member. I also have no doubt that if he spent K215,000 of the people’s money in the CDF, the people of Chifubu would appreciate a great deal.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister knows our situation, which is that most projects will not be done because of the lack of funds. If at all they are to be done, they have to be at 80 per cent completion and this one, obviously, is not. In the meantime, how does the hon. Minister expect the clientele to relieve itself, considering that it will take a long time before he gets the money from the hon. Minister of Finance to finance this project? Moreover, he knows very well that the CDF is hard to come by such that even if the hon. Member of Parliament would like to use it, it is very difficult because is not available.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I am not sure that the hon. Minister would have an answer to that question, but he seems ready to answer it.


Mr Lubinda: Madam Speaker, let me first just clarify, for the sake of the listeners out there. It is not true that the CDF is hard to come by. It was released not too long ago, in total, to all constituencies, including the one that Hon. Lufuma represents. If the people of his constituency have not been made aware, let them know today that the man has the CDF and he must utilise it. I propose that he utilises it for constructing a local court in the constituency. He should let the people know the truth that the CDF was released.


Madam Speaker, concerning the issue of Chifubu Local Court ablution block and where I expect people to go and relieve themselves, the hon. Member for Chifubu did not say that the local court was closed. He asked whether the ministry is considering constructing an ablution block. This means that the court is operational. If it is operational, it means that there are facilities around it which people are accessing. That is not to say that that is the best solution. No. It is merely to say, in the meantime, there are ablution blocks in the vicinity of the Chibufu Local Court which people are accessing.


Madam Speaker, funds allowing, we shall construct the ablution block. We are hoping that those funds can be from the CDF. This is Government money which is channelled through the CDF. That would be the easiest solution because the CDF does not wait for projects which are at 80 per cent completion. It can initiate new projects. I am sure that the people of Chifubu will also take heed and ask their hon. Member of Parliament to consider spending K215,000 to provide the ablution block.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Fungulwe (Lufwanyama): Madam Speaker, it is tradition for the Patriotic Front (PF) Government to say that something will be done when funds are available. Every time an hon. Member of Parliament from the left or right asks a question, the answer is always: “when funds are available.” We do not know when the money will be available, but this particular project is urgent. Does the hon. Minister have any idea as to when the money will be readily available to construct the ablution block?


Mr Lubinda: Madam Speaker, I do not think it is totally true that whenever a question concerning money is raised, the Government standard answer is: “when money is available” because there are many projects that are being completed now.


Madam Speaker, if a person asked about Kazungula Bridge, for instance, we would not say, “when money is available” because it is being completed since money is available for that project. There are many other projects that are being completed. So, it is not correct to insinuate that we have the standard “when money is available” answer. No. We only say that on projects that have not been funded. However, this particular one has not been funded, albeit, could be. All it takes is the will of the hon. Member of Parliament to utilise Government money that has been made available to the people of Chifubu through the CDF. He could use the CDF and, next year, come back to Parliament and rejoice at the fact that an ablution block was constructed.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Ng’ambi: Madam Speaker, I want to put on record that Chifubu Local Court is operating without an ablution block. I agree with Hon. Lufuma that, in the meantime, there is congestion at this local court. As the hon. Minister alluded to, the CDF was disbursed and funds have already been allocated in most of our constituencies. However, the people of Zambia have continued to attend court sessions at the Chifubu Local Court which does not have ablution facilities. When people are under excessive pressure to ease themselves, they have to do so in full view of everyone, in certain cases. If the Government is going to continue operating this facility, there is a need to look at a measure that will –


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member, ask the question. You are now debating.


Mr Ng’ambi: Madam Speaker, there are no funds under the CDF. So, before the Government finds funds to construct an ablution block, what measures will be put in place to ensure that the dignity of our people is restored?


Mr Lubinda: Madam Speaker, I do not think there is any dispute on the fact that there is no ablution block at the Chifubu Local Court. Nobody has contended that there is an ablution block. There is no ablution block. In the meantime, however, it is also recognised that the court is operational. This means that litigants who go to court have some facilities in the neighbourhood where they go to relieve themselves. I do not think it is correct to say that people go to help themselves in full view of others. That is not true because there are some public facilities around the Chifubu Local Court.


Madam Speaker, I agree that this issue a priority and I hear the hon. Member of Parliament. However, when he, together with his CDF committee, was allocating the CDF, he should have taken it with the seriousness it deserves. He should have given it the priority that he is giving it now. That way, he would not have come to complain that all the money has been allocated to other projects. It appears to me that while he considers this a priority, when it came to allocating resources, he directed them elsewhere. So, maybe, next time when he gets money, he will possibly use it to build the ablution block in the event that the Government has no resources then, and I will be the first one to commend and congratulate him because that is the reason we have the CDF.


Madam Speaker, for the sake of informing those who may not have been here when the CDF was created, it is meant to go to those projects that the Government cannot finance at a particular time. This is how the CDF was started.


I thank you, Madam.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I will allow one last question from the hon. Member for Chifubu and another one from the hon. Member for Kanchibiya before we move on.


Mr Ng’ambi: Madam Speaker, I think my question has been overtaken by events.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister knows the importance of a full complement of a court, especially in this current period. Time and again, our Head of State says that Zambians should follow the law. The hon. Minister is a good disciple of His Excellency the late President, Michael Chilufya Sata, and his no-violence policy. However, knowing the times we are living in, where certain people or Opposition political parties want to square up in the streets, –


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Kanchibiya, the question is about an ablution block at the Chifubu Local Court.


Dr Malama: Madam Speaker, for sure. I am within the subject although I did not particularly address it as “the toilet”. Instead, I talked about a full complement –


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Well then, we have to move on if you have no question pertaining to the one on the Floor.


Dr Malama: Madam Speaker, I have a question. Is there an Opposition political party whose members want to square up in the streets and, therefore, His Excellency’s call –


 Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


 Resume your seat.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!









The Minister of Finance (Dr Ng’andu): Madam Speaker, I beg to present a Bill entitled, the Excess Expenditure Appropriation Bill No. 10 of 2020. The objectives of the Bill are, to approve excess expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of monies required for the services of the Republic during the financial year ending 31st December, 2020, in the excess of monies appropriated for the services of the Republic by the Appropriation Act, 2019, and Supplementary Appropriation Act No. 2 of 2019.


Madam Speaker, I beg to move.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, let me guide the House on the Bill that the hon. Minister of Finance has just presented. Article 203 of the Constitution of Zambia empowers the President of the Republic to issue a warrant, authorising expenditure and withdraw from the Consolidated Fund where the expenditure is urgent, but not budgeted for. In this regard, Article 203, Clauses 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7 state as follows:


“203.   (1)        Where estimates of revenue and expenditure have been approved by the National Assembly in accordance with Article 202, the Minister responsible for finance shall lay, before the National Assembly for enactment, an Appropriation Bill in respect of the approved estimates of expenditure.

            “(4)      Where there is an urgent need to incur expenditure for a purpose that has not been appropriated under the Appropriation Act for that financial year and it would not be in the public interest to delay the appropriation of the expenditure until a supplementary estimate is approved by the National Assembly, in accordance with clauses (2) and (3), the President may, subject to Article 204, issue a warrant authorising the expenditure and withdrawal from the Consolidated Fund.

            “(5)      The Minister responsible for finance shall present the warrant referred to in clause (4) to the relevant parliamentary committee for approval.

            “(6)      The parliamentary committee shall consider the warrant within forty-eight hours of its presentation by the Minister responsible for finance.

            “(7)      Where expenditure is incurred in accordance with clause (4), the Minister responsible for finance shall, in that financial year, lay an Excess Expenditure Appropriation Bill before the National Assembly for enactment.””


Hon. Members, in accordance with this constitutional provision, the President sent the warrant, which is the subject of the Bill, to the National Assembly through the hon. Minister of Finance for approval. The warrant was considered and approved by the Budget Committee on 30th July, 2020. The report of the Budget Committee on the warrant was circulated to all hon. Members for information.


Hon. Members, this means that the excess expenditure to which the Excess Expenditure Appropriation Bill, 2020, relates has already been considered and approved by the Budget Committee. In this vein and in accordance with the established practice of the House, the Bill will not be referred to the Budget Committee because it has already been considered by the Budget Committee. Instead, the hon. Minister of Finance will simply indicate to the House when he intends to bring up the Bill for Second Reading. Therefore, I now ask the hon. Minister to indicate the day for Second Reading.


Dr Ng’andu: Wednesday, 28th October, 2020.










VOTE 26 – (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting – K46,946,107)


(Consideration resumed)


Ms Subulwa (Sioma): Mr Chairperson, when business was suspended yesterday, I was talking about the negative information or falsehoods that are usually published by media bodies in our country without really knowing the implications that this has on the country at large. I must register my disappointment in some of the media bodies that are actually biased towards certain political parties. It is really sad to see that journalists in some media bodies have actually ventured into almost a habit of talking ill about the office of the presidency and the country at large. They spread falsehoods and are fine with it, without really knowing that such can bring implications on the economy of the country.


Sir, my appeal, therefore, to the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting is that as she addresses the debates that are presented to her on this particular budget, she should also tackle that issue. Maybe there is, probably, a need to allocate some monies towards workshops for orienting or re-orienting our journalists on the need to be objective at all cost, in the manner in which they report or disseminate information which is presented by their media bodies.


Mr Chairperson, I heard a debate in which somebody was concerned about the reopening of Prime TV. That is a good thing that the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting considers doing. However, what happened to this television station should be a lesson to the rest of the media bodies that they should be objective. We would also like to see some remorse in these media bodies because we are going to plant a seed that we will be unable to uproot or remove from our children. Once that happens, it is like setting fire in the bush which goes on and on. So, media bodies should be very objective, regardless of whether they are private or public institutions or not.


Mr Chairperson, the other aspect that I want the hon. Minister to address is the issue of journalists in public and private media bodies. Perhaps she can do some research to determine how much they are getting so that we know whether their reporting is compromised or not.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


The Hon. Member’s time has expired.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Chairperson, the estimates of expenditure for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting are very important. I say so because this ministry is supposed to be informative in nature. However, I am very disappointed with the way it operates.


Sir, from the colonial era up to independence, the citizenry was being informed about whatever was happening in the country. The ministry used to go even to the most rural places using vehicles that we used to call maskoro, in vernacular. Government programmes used to be very objective. However, do you see how the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) is operating now? It is purely for the Patriotic Front (PF) and does not cover anything negative about them. Nevertheless, you cannot improve if you do not hear opposing views. We want to see a balanced coverage.


Mr Chairperson, there is a lot of misinformation. Many people now rely on social media for the simple reason that ZNBC is biased. People now tend to listen to wrong ideas and information.


Sir, the Government has no money today and this is the time for the ministry to go down to the villages like those in Ikeleng’i where I come from and explain this to the people. They can do this in many ways. They can set up radio stations and television towers so that people can know what is happening. However, today, PF cadres are everywhere misleading people that the Government has a lot of money and that there would be massive development if people supported them. They tell people that sub-chiefs would be recognised. However, this information is contrary to what is pertaining and what we hear in the House, that the Government has no money, and that it will not recognise certain chiefs.


Mr Chairperson, there is a lot of misinformation in the country but the ministry is very idle. We only hear the hon. Minister through the House yet she does not even know what is happening in Ntambo. One time we were told that a hydro-station was operational there, but when we went there, we found nothing. We have seen a lot of things which are happening in the country such as damaged roads and bridges. The ministry is supposed to capture such things and inform the nation. They are supposed to be an elite and informative media but they are biased at the moment.


Sir, why do we give them money when all they do is talk about Lusaka and monitor things that only appease the PF? Let us be objective. The hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting, who is also the chief Government spokesperson, is supposed to be very objective and cover the entire country without bias. However, we have seen that the ministry only covers the PF activities while forgetting the other activities of the nation. This is wrong.


Mr Chairperson, I advise that we adhere to practices of developed countries. When you tune in to the British Broadcasting Cooperation (BBC) or Al Jazeera stations, you will see that they cover their countries in-depth. They have no bias against other people or areas. They cover issues of fertiliser, bad roads and infrastructure development.


Sir, the Government boasts that there is mass development, but I would like to see the hon. Minister travel to Ikeleng’i to show me what has been done. If not, she should explain to the people why things have not been done. A lot of promises are made to mislead the people when there are by-elections. The ministry is supposed to tell the people the truth whether bad or good. It is not a ministry for the party. We have party spokespersons for that. The ministry is supposed to be balanced but you cannot tell by the way they carry themselves.


Mr Chairperson, ZNBC is a loss-making venture because of the way it is managed while the private media which the Government is shutting are becoming informative. You cannot blame people for listening more to social media than the Government. This is what we should change.


I thank you, Sir.


Evangelist Shabula (Itezhi-tezhi): I thank you, Mr Chairperson, for allowing the people of Itezhi-tezhi to debate the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting budget which is standing at K46,946,107. I would like to support the Budget with a pinch of salt.


Sir, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is a very important tool of communication in this country. Without it, there would be no development and we would not know what is happening. However, I would like to hasten to say that we need to understand that the Zambia National Broadcasting Cooperation (ZNBC) was established by an Act of Parliament. It was created in order to inform, educate and entertain the citizens. It is a peoples’ radio and television station along with the other arms that fall under it.


Mr Chairperson, although it is a national broadcaster, the PF Government has departed from its original plan of informing, educating and entertaining the citizenry. It has become a tool of campaign for the PF. Those who complain that people have gone to social media should realise that they have gone there because they have no space on ZNBC radio and TV, the Zambia Daily Mail and the Times of Zambia. Therefore, they have found an alternative medium which they can use to speak or give vent to their feelings.


Sir, any wise person will not just condemn. They must ask themselves why people are going to social media to write what they are writing. It is because there is no window for them to speak and vent their anger, pain or praise. You only see an Opposition leader or cadre on ZNBC TV and radio when they are being manhandled, taken to prison or court so that they are embarrassed. However, any good did by the Opposition will not appear on ZNBC.


Mr Chairperson, I will give an example of hon. Members of Parliament. We have done wonderful projects in our constituencies but ZNBC has not come to cover us. However, you will find ZNBC cameras and vehicles in PF strongholds. It is no longer our radio or TV station, but the PF’s. That is why people are complaining.


Sir, even when it comes to the reporting, the information that we get is inaccurate. Instead of being the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, it is the ministry of misinformation and broadcasting to me because we are not getting what is happening on the ground. What we are getting are the good things that the PF want people to hear about.


So, I urge the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to relook at how it is operating and the issue of accommodating other parties. We are in a democratic dispensation. It is not a one party system. Zambia is for all of us, and not for the Patriotic Front (PF) or the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu. Please, tell him that Zambia is also for the people of Itezhi-tezhi. Zambia is ours.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Mr Chairperson, I thank you very much for according the people of Zambezi East an opportunity to debate the budget line for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.


Sir, the people of Zambezi are concerned about how the ministry is being run, and especially that it has now become a tool to fix people with opposed views against the ruling party, the Patriotic Front (PF). In the recent past, we saw how independent media houses were closed and I have in mind Prime Television. The hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting was in the forefront in writing letters, and giving instructions to close broadcasting institutions that had opposed the thoughts of the PF. Thereafter, her directive was executed and Prime Television was removed from the TopStar Decoder. TopStar Zambia is now struggling in terms of business because most people, including those in Zambezi, do not want to subscribe to it because it has no Prime Television.


Mr Chairperson, we have seen how this budget line we are approving, is being used for sending out messages that are alarming in nature. Through the media, the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting has almost been executing judgments and making mention of public interest. Since when have citizens been tried in the courts of law based on public interest and conferences that are made by the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting? We have criticised the topic of privatisation and surrogates were hired to speak about it to just achieve one thing, and that is to send wrong information to the citizens.


Sir, even if we are approving this budget, it is not even serving any good of the people of Zambezi East because it is simply being used to subdue the same people who are supposed to benefit from it. It is being used to stop them from voicing out in whatever way they are supposed to do so in a democratic dispensation. Therefore, for me, this budget line is there as a formality and I think it will not achieve the intended purpose of meeting the needs of the people of Zambezi East because they receive little information.


Mr Chairperson, the issuance of the National Registration Cards (NRCs) is currently being undertaken in the country, including in the Southern Province. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is supposed to be on the ground, informing people and sensitising them about the issuance of NRCs and updating them if there is any challenge of materials or equipment which is being used. However, we are not seeing this ministry disseminating such important information, including the registration of voters. This information is supposed to reach the people in rural areas.


Sir, Zambezi East is a rural area and, so, we need to sensitise the people about voter registration and what has been guided. Therefore, we expect the Ministry of Broadcasting and Information to actually disseminate that information through Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) yet we are not seeing this happening. Instead, as hon. Members of Parliament, we are being asked to go back to our constituencies at our own cost to sensitise the people if we have any interest in the elections. Surely, is that the way to go? Therefore, I expect this ministry to achieve the important things that matter to the people of Zambezi East other than the way we are using it.


I thank you, Mr Chairperson.


The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Chairperson, I thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to briefly comment and support the Budget Estimates and Expenditure for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.


Sir, first of all, I commend the hon. Minister responsible for this very important ministry for the achievements she has scored in the recent past. Indeed, it is evidently clear that the ministry has broadened itself in terms of the institutions that have been established to disseminate information and entertain our citizens. One can tell by looking at the number of television stations, and community and commercial radio stations that are dotted across the country.


Mr Chairperson, our people have the right to express themselves, but they should also understand that there is no such thing as absolute freedom. Every freedom must be expressed within the confines of the law, and that is why freedom and order move hand in hand. They are inseparable. Where there is absolute freedom, there may be a recipe for anarchy. Similarly, where there is order without freedom, there is a risk of having a totalitarian society. So, there is a need to balance the scale. The people who have the responsibility of allowing people to express themselves must ensure that those they allow to voice out their opinions do so within the confines of the law. One cannot just wake up and go on a platform and start insulting and demeaning the Office of the Republican President. However, it appears that people now do all sorts of things as a way of expressing themselves.


Sir, social media is another source of concern. It is a very important tool that people use to communicate and share information, but it has become a danger to society. People exchange all sorts of information without regard to the law. So, it is important for people to appreciate that freedom comes with responsibility. We must express ourselves knowing that where our rights end, that is where other people’s rights begin.


So, as patriotic citizens, it is important that we express ourselves in a responsible manner.


Mr Chairperson, my ministry, in collaboration with the Ministry of Broadcasting and Information, is ensuring that it provides an enabling environment for the media practitioners, who have also been under threat by some of our unruly citizens. We want to create an environment where media practitioners are protected as they do their work.


Sir, as regards the people who have been attacking radio stations, the Patriotic Front (PF) opened the airwaves and I advise that one can counter debates through discourse. However, the police have been at hand and have arrested the people who attacked staff at media houses and no one will be allowed to go scot-free.


Mr Chairperson, we only talk of what we practice and that is why –


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Minister’s time has expired.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Chairperson, I support this important Vote.


I thank you, Sir.


The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Ms Siliya): Mr Chairperson, I thank you very much for this opportunity. Let me just take some time to respond to some of the issues which were raised by hon. Members who debated on the Vote for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.


Sir, in the media, we say that rumour mongering is more like an epidemic. They have the same epidemiology. They both need a weak host to continue to spread. So, it is very important that we correct some of this misinformation on the Floor of the House.


Mr Chairperson, media management in Zambia is supported by laws which are enacted in this House while social media is managed by cyber laws. Journalists proposed the Council of Journalists so that they can manage their profession. Filmmakers proposed the Professional Filmmakers Guild of Zambia while communicators came up with the Zambia Public Relations Association (ZAPRA). Of course, media houses as businesses are managed by the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA).


Mr Chairperson, Section 23 of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Act of 2010 states that the IBA is the one which is responsible for licensing. So, the hon. Minister or, indeed, the Government is not responsible for licensing. This House is the one that provided the law for the licensing of Prime Television or any media house in this country, and it demands that laws must be observed. When a media house is non-compliant with the law, the IBA can only do what it was tasked to do by the hon. Members of Parliament and that is why it is very important that we take a moment to reflect before we ask questions.


Sir, one of the greatest thinkers, C.S. Lewis, said that there is nothing so self defeating than a question that has not been fully thought through until it is fully posed. So, for somebody to accuse the hon. Minister or the Government for closing an institution is total fabrication because laws are made by hon. Members of Parliament and they are the ones who uphold the law, and I hope we can put this matter to rest. As for The Post newspaper, that was an issue of tax compliance.


Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is not about the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) or us politicians. It is about the 17 million Zambians. This Government has committed itself to media pluralism by ensuring that over 120 radio stations, over forty television stations and over ten newspapers are licensed in this country. You can take your pick and decide to read either The Diggers newspaper, The Mast newspaper, The Daily Nation newspaper or The Times of Zambia newspaper. Further, unlike in other jurisdictions, this Government has been extremely tolerant about online media so that Zambians are free to express themselves. So, I do not know who is not being heard? I do not know how one can accuse the Government of being heavy-handed. It is clear that the people of Zambia have a choice, and, us, in the Government, respect their freedom to choose the media that they want to use as they see fit.


Sir, may I inform the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabompo that the Government has actually found alternative infrastructure for the two studios in Solwezi and Choma and the good news is that the equipment is already in. So, he can rest assured that the people in the North-Western Province and the Southern Province will not be left behind. We bought equipment for all the eight new studios, including those in Choma and Solwezi, because we do not want to leave anyone behind.


Mr Chairperson, let me just emphasise what the hon. Minister of Home Affairs said about protecting journalists. On 2nd November, 2020, the United Nations (UN) International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists will be recognised in Zambia, and we are part of the global community. We appreciate that in a democratic dispensation, the fourth estate or the journalists play a very important role. Let me just emphasise that it is, us, the politicians who want to erode the confidence of the media as an institution of the Government because we want to continue to pedal lies. However, the Government wants to ensure that it provides an enabling environment and laws that will guide how media operations are managed in this country.


If you do not like the law, do not just come here and debate endlessly. If you do not like the law, initiate changes to the law. It is one thing to keep talking about Prime Television yet you made the law. So, I suggest that you should bring the changes to this House. If we do not do that, I think we will just continue spreading misinformation, and that is not health for this country.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Hon. Minister, withdraw the word ‘senseless.’


Ms Siliya: I did not use the word ‘senseless.’ I said that we will continue engaging in endless debate if we do not initiate changes to the law.


I thank you, Sir.


VOTE 26 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 18 – (Judiciary – K511,020,565)


The Minister of Justice (Mr Lubinda): Sir, during the period under review, the total number of gazetted sessions for superior courts was increased from 123 to 126. The increase in the number of sessions was attributed to the increase in the number of cases filed and a need to dismantle those in backlog in jurisdictions where superior courts do not have resident judges. From January to June 2020, a total of 66,324 civil cases were filed across the courts, which was  4 per cent, less than the number of civil cases filed in the same period in 2019. The courts disposed off 66,693 civil cases, which was 13 per cent less than the number of civil cases which were disposed off in the same period in the previous year. This can be attributed to reduced activity caused by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.


Mr Chairperson, in terms of criminal cases, the courts recorded an 8 per cent increase in the number of cases that were filed from 2018 to 2019. This was largely influenced by the rise in the number of criminal cases filed at the subordinate courts and local courts. The number of cases disposed off also increased by 9 per cent, ...




The Deputy Chairperson: Order, hon. Members!


Mr Lubinda: … due to increases in cases disposed off at the Court of Appeal and subordinate courts. In the first half of 2020, the courts received and disposed off 20,003 civil cases and 21,090 criminal cases, which was 6 per cent and 4 per cent less than the number of civil cases and criminal cases received and disposed off in the same period in 2019, respectively. The case returns for both civil and criminal cases are contained in the statement which I shall lay on the Table. I, therefore, will not bother the House to go through the table.


Mr Chairperson, specifically, however, only the High Court (General List and Commercial Court Division) and local courts recorded reductions in the number of cases filed. At the High Court, the reduction in cases which were received can be attributed to the enactment of the Subordinate Courts (Amendment) Act 2018, which increased the monetary jurisdiction of magistrates, thereby allowing litigants to file in cases in the subordinate courts which to could, hitherto only be commenced at the High Court.


Mr Chairperson, pursuant to Article 136(2)(e) of the Constitution of Zambia, the hon. Chief Justice, Mrs Ireen C. Mambilima issued guidelines in the conduct of criminal and civil cases. These guidelines are aimed at promoting the use of the available judicial and administrative resources during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The Judiciary recognised the need to adopt measures aimed at guaranteeing the continued access to justice and expeditious disposal of cases while minimising the risk of possible spread of the pandemic.


Sir, as at September, 2020, a total of 4,574 case records had been reviewed by the recently established task force and 4,064 of these have been disposed of, representing an 88.9 per cent disposal rate.


Mr Chairperson, with a view of providing alternative dispute resolution to litigation, the Judiciary continues to promote the use of mediation at the High Court and subordinate courts. During the period under review, an additional fourteen court annexed mediators were trained with the support of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Zambia Branch. This brought the number of trained mediators to 264. In 2020, a total of 920 files were referred to mediation and of these, 777 cases were handled.


Sir, in June, 2020, the Judiciary enacted the High Court (Amendment) Rules, 2020. These rules, as enshrined in the Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 58 of 2020, enjoin a Judge to manage his/her cases at every stage of proceedings in conjunction with counsel and the litigants.


Mr Chairperson, among the changes introduced, are modifications to orders relating to the commencement of proceedings, the mode of entering appearance adjournments, pre-trial directions and conferences. Additional amendments are those which, for the first time, have introduced time frames for delivery of judgements and rulings as well as the inclusion of forms of scheduling conference and expert evidence. Before the amendment, there was no time frame for the delivery of judgements and rulings. However, at present, the rules require Judges of the High Court to deliver judgements and rulings within 180 days and ninety days, respectively.


Sir, during the period under review, 48,543 case records were digitalised in the eighteen computerised registries located at the Superior Courts in Lusaka, Ndola and Kitwe, and the Lusaka subordinate court. This brings the total number of records which were digitalised since the inception of computerisation to 123,284 records.


Mr Chairperson, the Judiciary continues to promote efforts aimed at demystifying the Judiciary and at the same time, sensitising members of the public on court processes and procedures. In addition to the service charters for the High Court, subordinate court and small claims court launched in August 2019, as a follow-up to the local court service charters which were produced in 2012, the Judiciary in partnership with Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) is in the process of producing service charters for the remainder of the superior courts. Further, the Judiciary will amend the High Court service charter in view of the enactment of the High Court (Amendment) Rules, 2020.


Mr Chairperson, these service charters are designed to serve as an information kit for court users, particularly those that institute and pursue proceedings. You may recall that during my policy statement in support of the Judiciary’s 2020 Budget, I indicated that I will engage the Judiciary on the provision of new developed service charters to all the constituency offices. I am pleased to report that the Judiciary has delivered and handed over part of the consignment of service charters to the Ministry of Justice. The service charters will be delivered to the constituency offices through the National Assembly, as soon as the remaining charters are delivered.


Mr Chairperson, during the period under review, the Judiciary launched four Gender-Based Violence (GBV) fast-track and user-friendly courts at Ndola, Choma, Chipata and Mongu subordinate courts that were constructed with the support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other co-operating partners under the Government of the Republic of Zambia/United Nations (GRZ-UN) Joint Programme on GBV. The establishment of courts in the three provinces has been very instrumental in realising the overall objective of the programme.


Sir, I am delighted to inform the House that during the period January 2020 to June 2020, the Judiciary continued to receive funding for court sessions and funding on a monthly basis. In the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Financial Year under Review, the Judiciary has seen a steady increase in the amount of revenue which was collected. This is attributed to the interventions such as an increase in the number of circuits and continued operations of the task force on backlog.


Mr Chairperson, in an effort to enhance revenue collection and accountability, the Judiciary engaged banks and put systems in place where point of sale machines and dedicated deposit slips are being used by litigants whenever they pay for court fees and fines.


Matters to be considered in 2021


Sir, the Judiciary will continue to make Budget provisions to enable the court hold sessions and undertake circuits to different provinces until such a time when all courts will have resident adjudicators. The objective is to facilitate timely dispensation of justice.


Mr Chairperson, secondly, the Judiciary intends to continue implementing the Automated Case Management System in the 2021/2023 Medium-Term Frame Work period, which encompasses electronic filing, record management and case-flow tracking. 


Mr Chairperson, thirdly, the Judiciary will continue to formulate and amend rules of court in order to fully operationalise different Acts by providing procedures. It is envisaged that the Judiciary will, for instance, formulate and amend the following rules of the court:


  1. Matrimonial Causes Rules;
  2. Sheriff’s Act Rules; and
  3. Judiciary Service Commission regulations under the Service Commissions Act.


Rolling Out of Gender-Based Violence Fast-Track and User-friendly Courts


Sir, the Judiciary intends to continue rolling out these courts to Muchinga Province, the Northern Province, the North-Western Province and Luapula Province, and intends to have a stand-alone structure at Lusaka, depending on the availability of resources.


Enhance Revenue Collection


Mr Chairperson, the Judiciary will continue making provision in its Budget to enhance revenue collection by prioritising automation of all revenue collection points by rolling out interventions such as point of sale machines and accommodating banking service providers within its premises.


Mr Chairperson, finally, in an effort to strengthen capacities in line with the Seven National Development Plan (7NDP), the Judiciary has a programme of completing infrastructure projects that are at least at 80 per cent completion.


Human Capacity Development


Mr Chairperson, the human resource development will not be left behind. As such, the Judiciary intends to prioritise capacity building interventions aimed at improving staff competencies and performance. Together with that, the Judiciary intends to develop a performance management system which is separate from the Public Service Performance Management System which is aimed at enhancing performance. The Judiciary has a number of challenges which include:


  1. Post 2021 General Elections Petitions, which have not been funded;
  2. Information and Communication Technology;
  3. Operationalisation of the Family and Children’s Division of the High Court;
  4. Personal Emoluments and Recurrent Departmental Charges; and
  5. Infrastructure Development.


Mr Chairperson, I, however, want to indicate that the Judiciary shall continue to engage the Treasury with respect to revising the 2021 Budget ceiling upwards to accommodate the anticipated 2021 General Elections Petitions, infrastructure development, dismantling arrears for goods and services as well as dismantling of personal emoluments related arrears.


Sir, I now urge all hon. Members of Parliament to support the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Judicature.


Mr Chairperson, I beg to request that the Budget for the Judiciary be supported.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Chairperson, it would be very irresponsible for anyone not to support a Vote such as this one, which Vote is serving the men and women who try to balance our society. I support the Budget for the Ministry of Justice but with a few comments, and I want the hon. Minister of Justice to pay little attention to what I am about to submit.


Mr Chairperson, from where I stand, like this Government has done in many other institutions of Government, institutions of democracy, the issue of transactional leadership that I continue talking about, the Judiciary has not been spared by the Patriotic Front (PF). Time has come for us to realise that the Judiciary needs to have a free hand. The Government has three arms. I was surprised, the other day, when my younger sister, the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting was saying that chiefs must work together with the Government of the day. She can only say that if she has not studied Civics. The Government is made of three arms. We are in Government together. That is what it is. The issue of the doctrine of Separation of Powers is very cardinal. However, under the PF, it has been destroyed. I have just taken a leaf from what she said the other day that only they are in Government. The Judiciary has been tampered with.


Mr Chairperson, we have a dual justice system in this country, where you know very well that Patriotic Front (PF) operatives can go and beat up a police officer at the Service Headquarters or Lusaka Central Police and still walk away scot-free. The law does not pursue them because the PF is always putting a hindrance to the free operation of the justice system in this country, at that level.


Mr Chairperson, at the higher level, I want to put it to the country here and now that the one who has been at the forefront to intimidate the Judiciary is the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu. You cannot change that. On 3rd November, 2017, at Solwezi Airport, the President said to those who were dealing with the petition that if they want to emulate the Judges in Kenya, there was going to be chaos in this country.


Sir, the Kenyan story is there for everyone to see. They nullified the Presidential elections and there was no chaos in Kenya up to this moment. The Malawian story is very free for anyone to see. They nullified a Presidential election in Malawi, and there is no chaos there. For me, I hold the President responsible for whatever would happen in terms of intimidation of the Judiciary. That statement alone, coming from a man who sits at the epitome of the society, the height of the society as President of the country to say that if you want to emulate what our Malawian counterparts did, there will be chaos in country. That, to me, means that he has decided on his own, that he will be President for as long as he wants. That, to me, amounts to intimidation of the Judiciary. I want someone who can stand up here and now and say that the President was just joking, but he must be held responsible for such reckless statements.


Mr Chairperson, in conclusion, I want to talk about infrastructure. The hon. Minister did not say much about that issue. I appreciate the hon. Member for Chifubu for the question that he brought to this House, today. If anybody who is orderly wants to build a bedsitter, the first thing he/she does is to look at sanitation, the water closet, which is called WC. Here, we are a living example. However, the Government built a court in Chifubu and it has been operating for a long time without toilets. It is shameful. There is simply no way the court can be operating in that manner. Why can we not try that here at Parliament? Let us have a Sitting of the House without a toilet, and see how you will be behaving. People who go to court need to relieve themselves. I keep saying that it is these small things that define who you are.


Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister of Justice should build a toilet at the court in Chifubu. He should not say that the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) should be used for that purpose because it is used for other competing needs. The Government should never have built a court room and even open it without putting up a water closet first – without chimbuzi. We view the Government as people who can build a home without toilets, not even a pit latrine. If it is due to lack of money, as is the case now that the PF has no money, the Government could have built a few pit latrines –


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Member’s time has expired.


Mr Kapalasa (Katuba): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving the people of Katuba an opportunity to debate this very important Vote. When I think about the Judiciary, it really pricks my heart. Just like my colleague, Hon. Nkombo said, this institution is not autonomous. I will give you a good example of what I mean. As long as the President is in charge of appointing the Chief Justice, the Chief Justice will control the whole system. This means that the politicians are still on top of everything. For example, before my hon. Colleague was appointed as Deputy Chief Whip, he –


Mr Ngulube: On a point of order, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Hon. Member, resume your seat. Hon. Member for Katuba, please, continue with your debate.


Mr Kapalasa: Mr Chairperson, I was saying that before the Deputy Chief Whip was appointed to his position, he spoke for us youths.


Mr Ngulube: On a point of order, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Hon. Member, I am sorry but we do not debate ourselves. Debate the Budget. Debate the Vote which we are looking at.


Mr Kapalasa: Mr Chairperson, I am getting to that, but what I am trying to say is that, after he got that position, he became toothless. Anyway, what I am trying to say is that –


Mr Ngulube: On a point of order, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Resume your seat. Hon. Member, when we guide, do not go back to what you have been guided on because you risk being curtailed. Please continue.


Mr Kapalasa: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for your guidance.


Firstly, I would like to say that the high level of corruption that is being displayed at the Judiciary is unacceptable. If you look at the adjudicators, starting from the magistrate going below, you will see that their salaries and conditions of service are pathetic that they accept to be corrupted with a K3,000. They do that because they get poor salaries.


Sir, secondly, as you are aware, all these criminal cases that we hear of have a base where they start from and this is the small courts. So, you find that most of the cases are actually disposed of at the lower level, and are not referred to the High Court. The people with money have the power to buy justice. So, the injustice that is being displayed is very bad. Many people have suffered, especially the poor. It is like the law is for the rich and those who have connections with people in the Government.


Mr Chairperson, at the High Court, salaries are good. The judges have a workmanship that actually helps them a lot. However, salaries for the support staff for the people at the lower courts are very bad. Judges’ secretaries get higher salaries as compared to the people at the lower courts. If only the hon. Minister of Justice can look into the salaries and the conditions of service for the people I have talked about. Then, we can move forward. Most people have lost faith in the justice system in Zambia because of the high levels of corruption. If only we can think of the people at the lower courts, starting from the magistrates going downward. Once we do that, we will have a situation where the people of Zambia will trust them, and the staff will not be able to accept monies as little as K3,000 to dispose of   criminal cases.


Mr Chairperson, I feel that as long as we do not talk about the staff, then the budget is not going anywhere because these are the majority. These are the people that actually need this money and the service. So, I will not support this Vote because it is just full of estimates. An estimate is something that you are not sure of.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Chairperson, I appreciate the comment made by Hon. Nkombo that he would be surprised if any member would not be in support of this Vote. I would equally be surprised if someone stood and said that he/she did not support it.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Malama: Mr Chairperson, I represent the people of Kanchibiya and my constituency forms part of Lavushimanda and Kanchibiya districts. In supporting this Vote, I would like to remind the hon. Minister of Justice that we do not have court facilities in Kanchibiya and Lavushimanda. It is very important that we have court facilities. Currently, when a crime is committed in Kanchibiya or Lavushimanda, it has to be prosecuted in Mpika.


Mr Chairperson, a few days ago, a group of members of an Opposition party was travelling from Kasama through Lavushimanda with pangas – machetes and different weapons. They injured our people and abducted policemen. I would have wanted that case to have been prosecuted in Lavushimanda, but no. The prosecution had to be done in another district. We need court facilities in Lavushimanda as well as in Kanchibiya.


Mr Chairperson, let me also thank His Excellency the President for ensuring that the courts are not burdened with cases. Let the nation heed the call for non-violence. Violence does not pay.


Mr Chairperson, at this particular time, I would like to address the leadership of the United Party for National Development (UPND).


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Hon. Member, I want to believe that you will depart from what we are tabling. Can we discuss the budget for the Judiciary?


Dr Malama: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for the guidance.


 As you have noted, we would have wanted to apportion a lot of money to the Judiciary. However, as responsible citizens, we should seek to not burden it. This is why I am calling on Opposition political parties and, indeed, our party to emulate me in inculcating in our people or our followers with an idea that violence does not pay. This is what I am doing with the people of Lavushimanda.


Mr Chairperson, at this stage, let me address the leadership of the UPND. It should ensure that the courts are not burdened. It should not be the first to actually practice what we saw in Lavushimanda where policemen were abducted and innocent villagers hit without condemning the violence. It is very important to emulate the late President, Michael Chilufya Sata, who, even at the height of provocation, was able to tell his followers to be peaceful.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Malama: Our President, Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, practices peace. It is not that we cannot involve ourselves in violence. No. It is because violence does not pay. Therefore, we want the UPND leadership, even as we go into 2021, to emulate the PF leadership in condemning violence. They (Pointing at the Opposition Bench) are looking down. I know that it must have been very shameful to have done what they did.


I thank you, Mr Chairperson.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune (Keembe): Mr Chairperson, I want to add the voice of the people of Keembe, affectionately known as the Keembeans, to the debate on the issue of justice in our country, particularly as it relates to the treatment that we have seen so far.


Mr Chairperson, I want to acknowledge the four fast-track courts for gender based issues that have been created in our country, which the hon. Minister of Justice talked about. This is good, but not great because we have many places, including Chibombo District and many other rural areas, where we need these fast-track courts to ensure that cases of gender and gender-based violence are worked on swiftly.


Mr Chairperson, the cry for those doing legal aid or pro bono work is that there is none or little funding. Therefore, people are more attracted to cases that they can be paid for. This is an area that needs to be looked into. In addition, when we reviewed the Ministry of Justice, there was very little funding to cater for key witnesses in gender based violence cases. Many of the victims could not afford to bring witnesses to court. The budget did not have enough money to address the needs of the witnesses who were key in helping with the gender based violence cases.


Mr Chairperson, what the country witnessed in the case of Mrs Kambwili and the children at the Magistrate Court –


The Deputy Chairperson: Order, hon. Member!


Let us look at the budget for the Judiciary. Let us avoid bringing in issues that are still at court. I, therefore, urge the hon. Member who is debating to depart from that path. Let us look at the budget.


Ms Kasune: Mr Chairperson, I am talking about police brutality, especially against women.




The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Hon. Members, let me guide. We are looking at the budget for the Judiciary. That issue may qualify when we begin to consider the Ministry of Home Affairs. For now, let us look at the Judiciary. I am sure there are many issues that we can talk about so that we help the Judiciary.


Hon. Member, continue with your debate.


Ms Kasune: Mr Chairperson, there is a connection between justice and police brutality and the reason is simple. You cannot have justice in a country that proclaims to hold every citizen innocent until proven guilty, if it is not what you see going on. That is the context. I really appreciate your counsel, but this is the justification. Justice does not operate in a vacuum and hence –


Ms Siliya: On a point of procedure, Sir.  


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


A point of order is raised on procedure.


Ms Siliya: Mr Chairperson, I have been in this House for a long time and one of the things that you have guided is that once the Presiding Officers make a ruling, it is just, for lack of a better term, ‘good manners’ that we adhere to that ruling.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Siliya: So, is the hon. Member debating in order to continue going against your ruling?


I seek your ruling, Mr Chairperson.


Hon. UPND Member: She is not in the House!


The Deputy Chairperson: It does not matter where the hon. Member is debating from because it has actually been accepted. However, what is important is that rules are adhered to. The hon. Member for Keembe is definitely out of order because I just guided her and she needed to leave that path and begin to look at what we are talking about. I know that you have passed that point, but as per procedure of the House, somebody noted what you did and she stood on a point of order. Kindly depart from that path and concentrate on the budget which we are looking at.


The hon. Member may continue, please.


Ms Kasune: Mr Chairperson, I do have manners to debate.


Sir, when you look at infrastructure, you will see that a lot of it under the Judiciary has not been completed. We had an opportunity to visit a lot of infrastructure for the Judiciary, especially court facilities in Ndola, Kalulushi and many other places while on a Committee tour. The Ministry of Justice has lagged behind. In the end, this has cost it more money than was budgeted for due to re-tendering issues by contractors. You also find that most courts were dilapidated due to non-usage. These are issues that are very critical for the Ministry of Justice to address.


Mr Chairperson, in order to ensure the separation of powers that people are crying for, it is important that those in the Executive address such concerns. In the past, it has been spoken that those in power should address issues relating to justice so that when they are not in power, their works will stand to their advantage. The budget too should be able to address issues of justice. This is so critical. Unfortunately, we forget our roles when we are in these positions.


Sir, as we look at the budget, are we allocating resources to enable our laws to be fair and just for all Zambians? We will be on the opposite side one day, and we will love that these same laws and resources of the country, which are from Zambians, are utilised in a just and fair manner for all Zambians, even if they are not in power.


I submit, Mr Chairperson.



Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this rare opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the Vote for the Judiciary. I will be very brief today.


Mr Chairperson, I challenge my fellow hon. Members of Parliament who are crying about some of the little things that the Judiciary is facing. I would like to state that in my Constituency, Kabwe Central, we had problems with security at the High Court Buildings and we used the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to put up a gate.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


 Hon. Member, I did not see any hon. Member crying.


Mr Ngulube: Mr Chairperson, I withdraw the word ‘crying’ and replace it with ‘lamenting.’


The Deputy Chairperson: Yes, that is better.


Mr Ngulube: Mr Chairperson, I almost said cry-babies, but that would have been disallowed.


Mr Chairperson, us, hon. Members of Parliament, are leaders. We are supposed to provide solutions. The Judiciary is not the Ministry of Finance. When making campaign promises in our constituencies, we say ‘yes’ to everything. We say, yes we will build local courts. When people say they need toilets, we say yes we will build them. We promise people too much as politicians. This is why we have problems. Some politicians cannot even go back to meet their people because of too many unfulfilled promises.


Mr Chairperson, I also want to take this opportunity to say that Kabwe Central is the leading constituency in this country. When you talk about projects under the Ministry of Health, we are doing mothers shelters. We have done more than 50 projects using the CDF and monies from personal resources. So, we should not point fingers at the Judiciary.


Mr Chairperson, I know that constituencies like Keembe, where my sister comes from, cannot point at the judiciary because we get the same amount of the CDF. It is the same amount of money. Therefore, for some of these little problems, hon. Members can use the CDF to solve them. When making campaign promises to the people, they undertook to build local courts, but they now want to point a finger at the Ministry of Justice.


Mr Chairperson, I also know that some of these hon. Members of Parliament do not even visit their constituencies that often. They win by default. I know of a certain hon. Member of Parliament who won an election which she campaigned for from the United States of America (USA). She used posters to campaign and became an hon. Member of Parliament. Right now, where is this hon. Member crying from? Sorry, where is she lamenting from? She is lamenting from America. Therefore, let us be on the ground to see what the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has done. In most of these constituencies –


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


 Hon. Member, I think that on that path, I need to give guidance. There are some other hon. Members of Parliament who are equally not here, but are debating from their homes. I have already guided on that issue. Our Standing Orders have not put boundaries whether or not to debate from this area or this country. Therefore, she is very much in order, just like any other person who is debating from home because of the situation we are facing.


Please, continue.


Mr Ngulube: Mr Chairperson, today, I want to be a good boy. So, as I conclude my debate, I would like to say that some of these Opposition hon. Members of Parliament who are lamenting have actually been winning elections by default. They do not campaign or even want to visit ministries to go and lobby because they have been told that if they are seen anywhere near a Government ministry, they will be expelled. So, how can we develop a country like that?


Mr Chairperson, let us treat these constituencies as our own. For instance, I have told myself that the day I will leave my position as hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwe Central, no one should match the amount of development I will bring by channelling the CDF to the projects, even for the next fifty years.


Mr Chairperson, the Judiciary has done a lot in terms of infrastructure development and adaptation to online platforms. Right now, you can even pay from the bank and still get the services. Right now, the Judiciary is in a tiptop condition. We have also seen that the amount of judgements that the Judiciary is churning out is also increasing.  However, let me add that our Judiciary needs a lot of support and funding so that almost each and every constituency can, at least, have a local court. I know that there are some constituencies which are deepl-rooted in rural areas and it is difficult for people to access justice but working with hon. Members of Parliament who have a passion for development, we are able to achieve higher goals.


Mr Chairperson, lastly, allow me to address two important issues. Our colleagues in the United Party for National Development (UPND) have been accusing the Government of human rights violations. Right now, one of their hon. Members of Parliament who was involved in the hacking of an innocent citizen has been picked up by the police. However, they are quiet and cannot even mention that one of their fellow hon. Members of Parliament who was involved in the hacking of an innocent citizen has been arrested and is now being driven all the way to Muchinga to go and answer the charges levelled against him. How can an hon. Member of Parliament be throwing stones and moving with a panga? What kind of Government are they going to form? What kind of Government do you expect when the UPND comes into power? We will not allow it. The people of Zambia are watching –


Mrs Chinyama: On a point of order, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Hon. Member, I think you have departed from the budget that we are looking at. As you can hear, others are even indicating to rise on points of order. However, let me guide you, hon. Member who is debating to please depart from that path and let us look at the budget. I think it is important that you do that. You need to help the Chair.


Ms Chinyama: This Whip from hell!


Mr Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Hon. Member, I have not allowed you to speak.


May the hon. Member on the Floor continue with his debate?


Mr Ngulube: Mr Chairperson, I lost 30 seconds as you were guiding because the time kept running. I do not know whether I will be given the 30 seconds that I lost as you were guiding?


The Deputy Chairperson: You will not be given the lost time. It is why you really need to ensure that you are not disturbed when you are debating.


Mr Ngulube: Mr Chairperson, should I lose my minutes when you are guiding?


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Hon. Member, resume your seat.


 I am trying to guide. Let us help one another. In any case, I should not labour to guide the hon. Member debating because he is supposed to help the Chair to ensure that debates run smoothly. Could you kindly conclude within your remaining time.


Mr Ngulube: Mr Chairperson, in my remaining time, I would like to say that I will find another day when I will come and finish my points. Today, the time is finished and there is nothing more I can say.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Mr Chairperson, there is a saying which goes: “When you are digging a hole for your enemy, you must not dig it too deep because some day you might fall in the same ditch.” It is very important to have an independent Judiciary in any Government dispensation. The Judiciary is a very sacred wing of the Government which any one will run to. Whether in power or not, at some point, it is the judiciary that we all actually run to, to seek answers. We also get to be corrected on things that are not possibly right. At other times, we go there to have our enshrined rights enforced. Now, to be very frank, the separation of powers is needed in Zambia very much. In our Zambian situation, the Judiciary is not fully independent. There is a lot of interference from the ruling Government.


The hon. Minister in charge should make sure that this does not happen because the Judiciary must remain independent as it uses taxpayers’ money. I will give an example which will show that the Judiciary is not independent. At magistrate level, there is a specific magistrate, whom I will not mention, who is specifically put to look at cases of Opposition hon. Members of Parliament. That is not very good. The whole country will know the outcome of a case once a certain magistrate is in charge. I think we should avoid such issues because we need to keep the image of fairness of the Judiciary in all citizens, those in the Government and those not in the Government because at some point, all of us will go to the Judiciary.


Mr Chairperson, I would also like the hon. Minister to look at bringing in new methods of shortening the time that cases take to be cleared in court. Our court cases take too long such that in some cases, those who are involved end up dying. The speed of the Judiciary has been a problem during past Governments, even worse in this dispensation. We need the hon. Minister to look at the speed of clearing cases. They should be concluded quickly. It is also high time the ministry changed the method of keeping records. We need to modernise record-keeping so that we do not have cases of files getting lost and so forth.


Mr Chairperson, let me talk about the state of accommodation for our magistrates at local courts and judges at the High Court and the Supreme Court. Especially at magistrate level, the accommodation issue is never looked into. I find it very shocking that the same Government can build houses for the policemen but it cannot build houses for the Judiciary staff. The staff at the Judiciary need to be comfortable. They need to be taken care of well so that they are not easily corrupted. If they do not live very comfortably and cannot even meet their monthly needs financially, they become prone to corruption. Even K1,000 or K500 is enough to bribe a magistrate because we do not take care of them properly. I would like to see the disbursement of this money so that the welfare of the magistrates at local courts and the judges is taken into account.


Mr Chairperson, surely, how can we have a local court without a toilet? When business premises operate without toilets, we close them. The owners are taken to the local court by the people to claim against any environmental health disasters. We have a local court that does not have a toilet yet the hon. Minister advised that the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) can be utilised. During the disbursement of the CDF, there is a committee on which the hon. Member of Parliament sits. The people apply for projects which the committee approves, according to the needs in the constituency. However, for people to build a local court without a toilet and allow it to operate is very shocking. It is supposed to be closed.


Sir, the people who applied for the CDF have already utilised all the money because the CDF is simply a drop in an ocean. When an issue that there is a local court which is operating without a toilet is brought to the attention of the people in charge, it is pushed aside and then people are told that the CDF should be utilised to address the issue. Meanwhile, the CDF is gone. The hon. Minister in charge is supposed to be concerned and appalled that there is a local court operating without a toilet. It is like having a market without a toilet. How does such a thing even happen? Surely, these are the issues that the hon. Minister should take care of.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, first, let me congratulate Hon. Nkombo for twisting his tongue several times by supporting and not supporting the budget and bringing in the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting and so on, rather than debating the budget for the Judiciary.


Mr Chairperson, he accused the Judiciary of being intimidated by the Patriotic Front (PF). Let me state that the Judiciary is an institution that should be sanctified by all. To reiterate what I have said before on the Floor of this House, it is not only the Government that has the capacity to say bad words about the Judiciary but every citizen. I regret that there are people who could sink so low as to name judges and call them corrupt and then when they are represented here, their representatives claim that the Government is intimidating the Judiciary. You recall that in 2017, there was somebody who is represented by Hon. Garry Nkombo who said that those are thieves in wigs. How else can you call that except demeaning the stature of the Judiciary?


Mr Chairperson, the Judiciary does not have any spokesperson to defend it. It is, therefore, the duty of every citizen to defend it, especially hon. Members of Parliament. It is our duty to defend that institution. When we have issues, we run to the Judiciary, and unfortunately, the Judiciary is always in a love-hate relationship. Obviously when they enter a nolle prosequi and do not send you to prison, they are your friend. If they send you to prison, then they are your enemy. That is the difficult position that the Judiciary holds. However, I have to say that we are very fortunate that we have a bench of men and women who stand up to these challenges exceedingly well in Zambia. I do not think that there is any person on the bench who could be intimidated that easily as people have tried to impress upon us.


Mr Chairperson, the statement made by the hon. Member of Parliament for Katuba that he will not support this budget because these are just estimates, must have been a slip of the tongue. The whole Budget is about estimates. If he is not going to support this particular Vote, then I think he is not capable of debating any other Vote because all these Votes are estimates. Maybe his teachers, and when I say teachers, I mean his tutors in his party did not have time to explain to him what budgeting is all about. He is free to come and consult from us. We will tell him what budgeting is all about.


Mr Chairperson, as for the hon. Member for Parliament for Kanchibiya, I thank him very much for reminding us that we should not create unnecessary pressure for the Judiciary. We should not because there is no reason for us to create animosity and dispute, and then go to the same institution that we insult on a daily basis. It is not right. If the judges make a ruling against the Patriotic Front (PF), they say that the Judiciary is good. If the judges make a ruling against one of theirs, they say that the Judiciary is bad. How can we be so inconsistent?


Mr Chairperson, the hon. Member for Keembe also discussed justice generally, and you may want me to respond to her discussion when I come to the Ministry of Justice because now, we are focusing on the Judiciary. I will be visiting the Central Province and I promise to go to Keembe in the next two weeks. I invite the hon. Member of Parliament for Keembe to join me so that we can go and visit the courts in Keembe. I can assure you that she will not be there with me, but I really hope she can come.


Mr Chairperson, the hon. Member for Kalomo said there is a particular magistrate who has been put to handle the United Party for National Development (UPND) cases. Such innuendo is what creates animosity in the country. If he is not capable of mentioning such a magistrate, he must desist from making general statements. As the hon. Minister of Justice, I do not know of any particular judge, let alone a magistrate, who is dedicated to only cases for a particular grouping of people. If he has evidence, I put on record that I challenge him to produce that evidence. If he does not, I would like you, Sir, to call upon him to withdraw that statement that the Chief Justice has dedicated magistrates to handle matters only to do with the UPND because that is a very damaging statement. That is wrong, that is demeaning the stature of the Judiciary. You know the result of having a Judiciary that is not respected by its citizens. Where will people run to if they have no respect for the Judiciary? If we allow Parliament to be used to demean the stature of the Judiciary, where will people go to? We should not use Parliament to destroy an institution that cannot come here and defend itself. The Chief Justice cannot come here to defend herself. It is the duty of all of us to do that.


Mr Chairperson, I stated in my statement that the Chief Justice has already come up with new rules to guide judges on the dispensation of justice. Unless people were not listening, I did indicate that now, there are time frames within which judgments and rulings shall be passed. The hon. Member of Parliament said we should do something about it. I want to say that this Government is already working on these things –




Mr Lubinda: Sir, I thank you.




Mr Lubinda: Shut up! Shut up!


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Minister’s time has expired.




The Deputy Chairperson: Order, Hon. Jack Mwiimbu.


Vote 18 ordered to stand part of the Estimates


VOTE 31 – (Ministry of Justice – K329,338,081)


The Minister of Justice (Mr Lubinda): Sir, the Ministry of Justice is mandated with the responsibility of facilitating the administration of justice and promotion of the observance of the Rule of Law. The Government Gazette Notice No. 836 of 2016 on the statutory functions and composition of Government portfolios, outlines the portfolio functions of the Ministry of Justice.


Mr Chairperson, key intervention areas in my ministry during the period 2021 to 2023 medium term expenditure period will be anchored on Pillar V of the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), namely Creation of a Conducive Governance Environment for a Diversified and Inclusive Economy, and the ministry’s strategic plan and balance scorecard.


Sir, the ministry has proposed a budget of K329,338,081 in 2021, and its key policy intervention areas will be centred around the following programmes:


  1. legal services;
  2. good governance and human rights; and
  3. management and support services.


Mr Chairperson, a total of K286,446,896 has been allocated to the legal services programme. This sub-head will cater for the implementation of programmes related to legislative drafting, law revision and updating of the statute book. Further, it will cater for the tasks related to vetting and signing of agreements, domestication of international treaties and conventions, extradition, international law and payment of subscriptions to international organisations such as the International Criminal Court (ICC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Court of Justice.


Sir, activities under civil litigation, namely court operations, debt collection, prerogative of mercy, and awards and compensation payments, will also be implemented under this budget line. This sub-head will also support law reform costs and operations of the Zambia Law Development Commission (ZLDC), general operations of the National Prosecution Authority (NPA), Legal Aid Board and Judicial Complaints Commission (JCC), including the general operations of the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE).


Mr Chairperson, a total of K28,455,273 has been earmarked for the good governance and human rights programme. The ministry is committed to advancing the national agenda for the promotion of good governance and human rights. Under this sub-head, the ministry will implement and support programmes and initiatives on corporate governance, accountability and transparency. As you are aware, the Government is implementing measures aimed at ensuring that institutions and processes related to the management of public resources are managed in a transparent manner and public accountability is enhanced.


Sir, this sub-head will support implementation of programmes and activities aimed at promoting inclusive and participative democratic systems and violence-free and fair elections. As you are aware, Zambia will be holding its general elections in August, 2021. This sub-head will, therefore, support programmes aimed at facilitating stakeholder engagement, dialogue, sensitisation and support to the general operation of the Zambia Centre for Inter-party Dialogue (ZCID).


Sir, the ministry will facilitate redesigning of an integrated case flow management system and continue management of the communication, coordination and cooperation initiative. The two activities are aimed at strengthening coordination amongst the Judiciary, Legal Aid Board, Zambia Police Service, Zambia Correctional Service and NPA in the dispensation of justice.


Mr Chairperson, the ministry will continue to collaborate with stakeholders in the legal and justice system with regard to promoting interventions aimed at enhancing access to justice for all. One such innovative intervention is the setting up of legal services units in strategic institutions such as courts and correctional facilities. This is being piloted in three provinces, namely Copperbelt Province, Lusaka Province and the Southern Province.


Mr Chairperson, regarding the Programme for Legal Empowerment and Enhanced Justice Delivery (PLEED) in Zambia, the programme has provided legal empowerment to inmates and has enhanced their access to justice through provision of legal services and representation in courts. It is the intention of the ministry, working in collaboration with stakeholders, to scale up this blueprint project whose benefits are already visible in its infancy, during the period 2021 to 2023.


Sir, K14,435,912 has been allocated to the management and support services programme. This budget allocation will facilitate operation and management costs of constitutional offices in the ministry, activities related to management and development of human resources under the ministry, insurance of assets, financial management, accounting and audit related services for the ministry. The programme will support the procurement and supply of services and products for the ministry. Further, this budget line will cater for other management and support functions such as implementation of planning activities, policy coordination, monitoring and evaluation of programmes and projects in the ministry.


Mr Chairperson, the allocation will enable the ministry to undertake the development of the ministerial budget and action plan, commence development of the 2022/2026 Ministry Strategic Plan, production of the governance sector reports, governance national report and processing of various Cabinet memoranda.


Sir, as I conclude, I wish to emphasise that during the period 2021/2023, the ministry has prioritised allocation of funds to programmes whose implementation would contribute to promoting good governance for sustainable development as espoused in the 7NDP and successive national development plans and strategies. It is now my sincere hope that this august House will support and I emphasise, the estimates of expenditure for 2021 for the Ministry of Justice.


Mr Chairperson, I thank you.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Sir, the respect of the Rule of Law has always been the bedrock for a balanced society. I want to thank the hon. Minister for his policy statement and quickly say that under my circumstances, I have no option but to support this budget and give a few comments.


Mr Chairperson, the Rule of Law in this country is something that we have lamented over a long time. Over and over again, we have lamented the degeneration of the Rule of Law in the realm of the abuse for human rights. In this country, as you know very well, when we changed the Constitution in 2015, that time when a pigeon refused to fly at the stadium, we were hoping that we had reached a point at which we would never again visit the grand law; the Constitution. Now we are back and the Ministry of Justice has brought a very acrimonious process which everyone knows about in this country to try and re-profile or refine the law, as our hon. Colleagues said it, but clearly they want to change it all together. There is a breakdown of the Rule of Law in this country.


Mr Chairperson, when we changed the Constitution, we did not touch part three of it because of the obvious. Our colleagues know why we did not touch it. It has to do with the principles of the human rights of an individual. The human rights of an individual and life itself have been disrespected in this country. If we had a tight justice system, people would respect one another and, consequentially, respect life. We had extrajudicial killings in this country and there is no other country where this has happened. If you challenge me to give you names of the people who were killed, I can go ahead. The likes of Mapenzi Chibulu and Lawrence Banda are six feet under and no one has been brought to book for the extermination of their lives, yet we have an hon. Minister and a ministry responsible for justice.


Sir, as regards, the Public Order Act, they claim that we do not want the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019, and we will never want it. They will never get it under the current circumstances unless they manage to buy a few people as they always do. However, I did a stock take not so long ago and we are all in one accord. Unless miracles occur and they generate a few more hon. Members of Parliament, they will not have it their way. The Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 will not go through. I was going to use the word ‘tricks’ if it was not unparliamentary, but we know that it is one of those manipulation modes, where they want to entrench their stay in power, perpetually.


Mr Chairperson, the rights of people to assemble or move and even the freedom of conscience in this country are no more. So, what are we left with? I heard my colleague the hon. Minister of Home Affairs state that where one’s rights terminate is where another person’s rights begin. This is true, but we have no rights in this country. It is only in this House where we have rights. We can do a test run. Give immunity to an ordinary citizen and bring him to this Chamber and ask him how life in Zambia is, and you will be shocked. We cannot bury our heads in the sand and think that the justice system in this country is tracking very well. It is not and that is the truth of the matter. The earlier we realise that the only permanent thing in life is change, maybe, we are going to change our attitudes. However, I recognise that, as politicians, we all have a part to play to try and balance this society. The laws that we make, which are drafted in the Ministry of Justice, are there for a purpose and that is to balance this society.


Sir, I want to put it to you that only when they are out of power next year, will they know the amount of damage they have done to this country in terms of sitting on people’s rights.


I thank you, Mr Chairperson.


Mr Nakacinda (Nominated): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving an opportunity to debate on the Vote on the Floor. I support the estimates for the Ministry of Justice.


Sir, first of all, I would like to commend the hon. Minister of Justice for the efforts he has made to address some of the concerns that have perpetually been raised regarding the laws that help us govern certain issues in our country. It is just unfortunate that every attempt in that regard has been sabotaged by saboteurs who have consistently taken a partisan stance whenever those laws are drafted and brought to the House for enactment.


Mr Chairperson, I was perplexed to hear the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central as he concluded his debate, admit that the Bills that are drafted at the Ministry of Justice are there for a purpose. Whilst he acknowledged that, at the beginning of his debate, he indicated that they will not support the enactment of laws, and he referred to the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 and the Public Order Act. However, in the same vein, he complained about the application of the same and certain provisions of the Constitution, and he even went further to refer to the Bill of Rights.


Sir, I think it is important that the double standards that are exhibited when debating these issues are exposed. In 2016, there was an attempt to enhance human rights by amending the Bill of Rights and it obviously required that we have a Referendum. However, the United Party for National Development (UPND) political party and some civil society organisations that are associated with it went all out to decampaign that effort. I do not think that if the Referendum had succeeded, the hon. Members who complained about human rights would have complained today. So, you kill the effort to have human rights enhanced and then you stand with a straight face and begin complaining that there are no human rights. The people of Zambia should look at these matters squarely and determine who has been sincere and patriotic in dealing with national matters.


Mr Chairperson, the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central indicated that they will never support the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019, yet there are many things or amendments that are proposed in there that the UPND and the people of Zambia want. Among them is, the delimitation of constituencies and the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation to ensure that the people advancing liberal values do not succeed in this country. However, when debating, some hon. Members take a partisan stance when in fact they want the things that are being proposed.


Sir, the hon. Minister of Justice opened the door and suggested that we refine the Public Order Act. However, they have been politicking through and through, and objecting every effort applied in that regard to have that law refined. However, they come and complain on the Floor of the House. When are we going to stop politicking and do something for this country so that even if we do not come back to the House in 2021, at least we will pride ourselves for having done something that will benefit us in future, of ensuring that the laws that we propose are progressive and enacted for the benefit of this country.


Mr Chairperson, I support this vote and I know that the hon. Minister of Justice and his team are doing a wonderful job, and I hope some of the Bills will succeed. I am very confident that there are patriotic hon. Members of Parliament who will rise to the occasion and support the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No.10 of 2019, and other draft laws that will be brought during this session.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Member’s time has expired.


Ms Kasune (Keembe): Mr Chairperson, let me start by thanking the hon. Minister for the statement he has presented on the Budget of the Ministry of Justice. I take note of his guidance that when I was debating the Vote of the Judiciary, most of the points were for the Ministry of Justice, and I adopt my earlier debate.


Sir, in line with good governance, which the hon. Minister has spoken about, it is critical that the people of Keembe are given the respect that is due. They chose an hon. Member of Parliament who has delivered more than many Patriotic Front (PF) Ministers have delivered. So, Hon. Ngulube is really at pains because he was the Chairperson of campaigns in Keembe and they lost.


Mr Ngulube: On a point of order, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Hon. Member for Kabwe Central, resume your seat.


This is where you make life difficult for the Chairperson. When we are debating, we should be mindful of what we say because all hon. Members have the right to stand and debate. When you were debating and mentioned her constituency, the hon. member for Keembe did not even disturb you. This is where we should be very mindful that when you stand to debate, even others who are elected to represent their constituencies are capable of standing to debate. So, I will not allow that point of order. I also want to listen and hear whether she will be off tangent, then I will guide, accordingly.


Hon Member for Keembe, you may continue.


Ms Kasune: Mr Chairperson, I thank you, for your protection.


 Let me just say that the people of Keembe, in the name of good governance, which is enshrined in the Seventh National Development Plan (SNDP), chose a capable woman as their Member of Parliament. She has done more projects and programmes than the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwe Central who claimed to be doing great things. I won the election, washed it out early in the morning, and I hope to see them in 2021.


Mr Chairperson, as the hon. Minister of Justice alluded to, I am sure my big brother will be going to see his mother and the family there, which will be more or less of even kusebensa nko mwamba ba Given. However, we hope to see him in Keembe and he will see the projects that we have put up. We, the people of Keembe do not play.


Mr Chairperson, the issue of Poll Form–Gen 12 in 2021 is so critical. For me, I have always strived to advocate for gender representation. However, if issues of human rights and the Poll Form–Gen 12 are not looked into, then the cries of having a 50:50 representation by most of us hon. Members of Parliament will not be actualised. It is for this reason that I call upon the hon. Minister of Justice to not only look at the smoothness of the elections, but also at why we do not have more women participating in elections. There are good reasons for that. How can this ministry help other women to run in the campaigns?


Mr Chairperson, some of us are not comfortable to be among the few women in Parliament. We would like more women to come to Parliament. There must also be women representation in the local Government, as councillors and council chairpersons. That way, we can, as a country, tap from the intelligence and the hard work in women. Statistics have shown that female hon. Members of Parliament go beyond their work. Those are statistics and they have been proven. The former United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon once said when there are more women in a boardroom, there is more success. I think it is the same with governance.


Mr Chairperson, I would also like to add on to the issue of the doctrine of Separation of Powers and the freedom of expression in our country. There is no other country, whether in the United States of America (USA) or wherever, where you can express yourself as you would in your own country. That is a birth right given by God. So, no one should feel more Zambian than others. Every Zambian, regardless of where they are, including people like me who have the opportunity to be in Zambia to deliver more than some of the hon. Members who are literally in Lusaka, has that right. I am able to contribute to the development of the wellbeing of Zambians.


Mr Chairperson, there are also Zambians in the diaspora who would like to participate in development. This Government should look into that and ensure that those in the diaspora also participate in development. Most developed African countries have deliberately not cut off those in the diaspora. Those in diaspora have learnt certain skills and would bring certain ideas that may be of benefit to the country. So, it would be better to let them be part of what is happening in the country than thinking that they have automatically lost the right of being Zambian. Some of us had opportunities to become citizens of different countries, but chose to remain Zambian because we are patriotic. When I say patriotic, it is to the country and not to a party, which has become the order of the day. It is high time we left Zambia better than we found it.


Mr Chairperson, I submit.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for according me the opportunity to debate the budget for the Ministry of Justice. Before, I proceed to debate this Vote, allow me to respond to issues that were raised by the hon. Member for Kanchibiya and the hon. Member for Kabwe Central.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Hon. Member, we are looking at the Budget for the Ministry of Justice. I do not know how you are now connecting that to responding to issues raised by the hon. Members. I am sure you can find a different platform to respond to that. For now, kindly help me by concentrating on the budget for the Ministry of Justice.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for your guidance.


Sir, I have noted that in this country, there are individuals who abuse their authority and purported powers to unleash misery on other people and make allegations which they cannot prove. For justice to prevail, there must be a transparent way of investigating matters that happen in certain jurisdictions. I have in mind, allegations being made, and we were cited as the Opposition United Party for National Development (UPND), to have been the people who were hacking members of the Patriotic Front (PF) in Lavushimanda, Serenje and Mpika.


Sir, evidence is abound in cases where members of the PF were blocking roads in Lavushimanda, Mpika and Serenje, and they were hacking members of the public with the support of the police.




The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Resume your seat, hon. Leader of the Opposition. This is why I guided earlier on because you are now bringing in issues which will bring more confusion in the House. I followed the debate by the previous speakers on that matter, and they somehow, connected their debates to the budget which we are looking at. Let us not try to respond in a clever way. Let us look at what we have on the Floor right now, which is the budget for the Ministry of Justice. Hon. Member, please, continue with your debate and bear that in mind. You may proceed.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for that guidance.


Sir, I will address two very important institutions that fall under the Ministry of Justice. These are the Attorney-General’s Office and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Chambers. The DPP’s Chambers is the one that is responsible for prosecutions in this country. We assume that this particular institution is independent of any other authority in this country. I have in mind, the interference in the duties of the DPP, where somebody can come to this House and pronounce that a certain hon. Member of Parliament has been arrested and charged with an offence for hacking a member of the public.


Mr Chairperson, I am aware that there is no charge that has ever been raised against any hon. Member of Parliament. There is none. That particular hon. Member of Parliament is insinuating that he is working with the DPP and so, he knows what goes on.


There has never been anything of that sort that has happened. It is a fact that in this House, when you come to make a statement, you must make a statement of fact. Can he tell us in which court this particular hon. Member of Parliament is appearing? As far as we are concerned, legally, when somebody is charged, he/she is charged in the court of law, which has never happened.


Mr Ngulube: On a point of order, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Member for Kabwe Central, resume your seat.


Mr Ngulube: Mr Chairperson, I thank you –


The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Member, resume your seat. I have not granted the Floor for you to raise a point of order.


Mr Ngulube: Mr Chairperson, I thought you were asking me to speak.


The Deputy Chairperson: No, I was not. Hon. Jack Mwiimbu, you may continue.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I am talking about the role of the DPP. Some people who are hon. Members of this House are assuming they know what goes on in the office of the DPP. It just shows that there is interference. There has never been any member of the UPND who has been charged with the offence that is alleged.


Ms Mulenga: I know him!


Mr Mwiimbu: You go to Kalulushi.




Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, I call upon the DPP to stand up and operate independently. Let her not be influenced by other people like the one who was alleging that somebody has been charged with a specific offence.


Mr Ngulube interjected.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, there is a gentleman who is supposed to be a Whip, but is so undisciplined in this House.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Hon. Member, you are very much protected, just continue debating.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, as a Leader of the Opposition, I should see to it that there is discipline and, if there are individuals who are undisciplined, they should not be allowed in this House.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Member’s time has expired.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, it is alright. No, Sir, I have ten minutes.




Mr Mwiimbu: Yes!


The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Member, resume your seat. 


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, it is ten minutes.


The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Member, it is ten minutes on the Motion, but not on what we are currently looking at.


Mr Mwiimbu: Which Standing Orders are you talking about?


The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Member, resume your seat.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, it is my right.


The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Member, resume your seat.


Mr Mwiimbu: I have a copy of the Standing Orders with me. Which Standing Orders are you talking about?


 The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Member, resume your seat.


This is an issue which you can look at later. As it is now, it is time up for you and I will call upon the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to debate.


The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Chairperson, I thank you very much.




The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


Hon. Leader of the Opposition, resume your seat.


Hon. Tutwa Ngulube, can we have some order. Someone wants to debate. I want order in the House.


Mr Ngulube interjected.


The Deputy Chairperson: I want order in the House. Hon. Ngulube, you know your role as Deputy Chief Whip. It is very difficult for me to ask you to leave the Chamber. So, you need to help the Chair.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak after some trends of injustice being exposed here.


Mr Chairperson the Ministry of Justice is a very important ministry. The Ministry of Home Affairs, which is responsible for law enforcement agencies and the Ministry of Justice are like siamese twins. So, the Vote for the Ministry of Justice cannot go without my brief comments.


Mr Chairperson, the previous speaker lamented very much about the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) which institution is responsible for prosecuting matters on behalf of our law enforcement agencies and, indeed, the Ministry of Justice.


Mr Chairperson, for transparency purposes –


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


(Debate adjourned)








(Progress reported)




The House adjourned at 1657 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 23rd October, 2020.