Friday, 23rd October, 2020

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Friday, 23rd October, 2020


The House met at 0900 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]










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


Sir, on Tuesday, 27th October, 2020, the Business of the House will commence with Questions for Oral Answer. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will, then, resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following heads of expenditure:


Head 44 – Ministry of Labour and Social Security; and


Head 45 – Ministry of Community Development and Social welfare.


Sir, on Wednesday, 28th October, 2020, the Business of the House will begin with Questions for Oral Answer. This will be followed by a Motion of Censure against Hon. B. C. Lusambo, MP, Minister for Lusaka Province, to be moved by Hon. S. Kakubo, Member of Parliament for Kapiri Mposhi. After that, the House will deal with presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider the Report stage of the Public Procurement Bill No. 8 of 2020. Then, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following heads of expenditure:


Head 46 – Ministry of Health; and


Head 51 – Ministry of Transport and Communications.


Sir, on Thursday, 29th October, 2020, the Business of the House will commence with Questions for Oral Answer. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider the Second Reading Stage of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019. The House will, then, resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following heads of expenditure:


Head 52 – Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection; and


Head 62 – Ministry of Energy.


Mr Speaker, on Friday, 30th October, 2020, the Business of the House will begin with Her Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time. This will be followed by Questions for Oral Answer. Thereafter, the House will deal with presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will, then, resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following heads of expenditure:


Head 54 – Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development; and


Head 64 – Ministry of Works and Supply.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.







Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, the people of Chimwemwe would like to thank the Government for successfully containing the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), at least, this far. As a consequence, the people in Kitwe would like to find out when the Ministry of Health will submit to the Office of the Vice-President the proposal to relax a bit further the restrictions on the operations of bars and taverns for onward transmission for possible decision-making by the Cabinet so that the people, especially the youths, can get back their jobs, which they do not have at the moment.


The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, the Coronavirus Virus Disease (COVID-19) has affected not only Zambia, but also the whole globe. The degree of infections has been reported in local and international media on a daily basis. Therefore, Zambia has not been spared. The measures that have been put in place by the Ministry of Health are drawn from global knowledge of how to stop the spread of COVID-19 from the World Health Organisation (WHO). The Ministry of Health will always advise the Government on the necessary measures to take and at what point the measures should be relaxed. So, we rely on the information from the Ministry of Health to inform the Government on what to do and what public pronouncements to make, as and when professional and scientific advice has been given to us. This is what will be followed.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, in a democratic state like Zambia, we are expected to treat every citizen equally. We have seen that during campaigns, District Commissioners (DCs) abandon their offices and go into the campaign arena to participate in political party activities. They are fully engaged, yet they are called civil servants. I would like Her Honour the Vice-President to clarify this point. Who pays them at the time when they abandon their offices and fully engage themselves in partisan politics? Do their salaries still remain on the Government payroll or the party takes charge? May Her Honour the Vice-President clarify this issue.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, District Commissioners (DCs) are Government or public workers. They are civil servants. So, if the hon. Member has found a DC addressing a political rally, he has every right to report that DC to the relevant authorities because as far as we know, DCs can only be present at certain functions that may be seen to be political if the Head of State or Vice-President is travelling. So, as of now, we know that DCs are not participants in the political organisation of political parties.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I want to make a follow up on the question raised by Hon. Muchima to Her Honour the Vice-President.


Sir, it is a matter of fact that District Commissioners (DCs) have been involved in elections such that wherever there is an election, they have been campaigning openly for the Ruling Party. I want Her Honour the Vice-President to give me a categorical answer whether she would encourage members of the public to ensure that they make a citizens’ arrest against any of the DCs who are found flouting the law? Would she encourage that?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition should not encourage lawlessness and anarchy.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Sir, citizens’ arrest would mean that other players will come in to rescue somebody at the scene where this act takes place. Citizens’ arrest can, maybe, be encouraged if somebody is, perhaps, found stealing from someone’s house with goods in their hands.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: However, to insinuate that we should encourage citizens’ arrests on DCs when they are seen in a district where an election is taking place is encouraging anarchy in the country and it should not be tolerated.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Sir, we have enough law enforcement agencies to which we can report these matters, including the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) itself. So, why do we not do that instead of encouraging people to take the law into their hands?


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, the people of the Southern Province, Kalomo Central in particular, would like to clearly know why farmers are getting six bags of fertiliser in other areas while farmers in Kalomo are only given three, in the same country. They would like to know why this is so or whether more bags could be added to their current allocation so that they can also get six bags.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, most parts of the Southern Province are on the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System. Under this system, a farmer is encouraged to make a choice of farming inputs they would prefer for that season. So, it is not mandatory or compulsory that every farmer has to get six bags of fertiliser. I believe the hon. Member has not come up with the real facts on the ground to establish why some farmers are getting less than others. If he does that, he will find that those on the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) may get more bags of fertiliser than the ones on the e-Voucher System because under this system, the farmers have been given a leeway to buy the inputs that they deem necessary for their fields for this coming season.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear


Mr Mukosa (Chinsali): Mr Speaker, in the recent past, there has been a growing trend whereby some Zambians have been disregarding the law at will. Some of them have been going to an extent of slapping police officers while others have been making defamatory remarks against innocent citizens on social media.


Sir, these are serious offences such that if the offenders are taken to court and found guilty, they could be convicted and possibly serve jail sentences. I would like to find out from Her Honour the Vice-President the words of advice and counsel she has for Zambian citizens to inhibit them from abrogating the law.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, it is a well-known fact that anyone who breaks the law on the basis of their perceived power or impunity will be dealt with by the law enforcement agencies, including the police. The disrespect for the police is what is encouraging some of the reactions we see being demonstrated by the police and other agencies.


Sir, it is very important for Zambian citizens to know that they have rights under the Zambian Constitution. However, those rights should not be abused by disrespecting institutions in the country, including the police and other law enforcement agencies. It is us, as Zambians, who are undermining our own institutions that were put in place.


Mr Speaker, institutions of law that are supposed to keep peace and maintain law and order in the country deserve maximum respect. In return, they will also give maximum respect to suspects and those perceived to have broken the law. We believe that in this manner, Zambia will progress as a democratic country in which human rights of all people will be respected and observed.


I thank you, Sir.         


Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Mr Speaker, the people of Muyondoti, Lupui, Kakwacha and Washishi wards are still waiting for the campaign promises made during the by-elections for councillors that the Government would build and complete the health posts at Lupui, Washishi and Chinonwe. When is the Government going to fulfill its campaign promises in these wards or risk losing the councillors?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member has been in this House for a number of years and understands how Government revenues are allocated for specific projects. He would impress his councillors and himself, as they compose the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Committee, by seeing to it that they use part of the CDF to complete unfinished infrastructure, especially a school in Muyondoti or in one of the other wards he has mentioned, if there is a delay in the implementation of some projects.


Sir, on the issue of losing the councillors who defected from the United Party for National Development (UPND) to the Patriotic Front (PF), I do not see how that can happen because they are now part and parcel of the PF. In addition, the PF will assist the councillors to develop some of the wards. If the hon. Member of Parliament does not want to develop his wards, but he is waiting for someone from Lusaka to develop them on his behalf, then, it may take a while. We know that this Government has spread its services to every part of the country. Therefore, development in the three wards that have been mentioned will be attended to.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, I am asking this question to Her Honour the Vice-President with a heavy heart.


Sir, the mobile issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs) exercise has not gone well in Kalabo District. I have talked to the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and he is aware that the exercise has faced many challenges because the teams have not been moving and the number of days in which this exercise is to be completed at a given station have been reduced from four days to two days per station. If the Government really wanted to genuinely issue NRCs to the citizens in Kalabo District, would it not consider compensating for the days which the teams missed in many of the stations so that the people of Kalabo may benefit from the exercise?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, this Government realises the importance of citizens owning National Registration Cards (NRCs). This is the type of national identification which every citizen requires in order for him/her to participate in many aspects of the governance of the country, including participation in entrepreneurship and empowerment programmes. As a result, the Government has continuously urged members of the public to obtain NRCs.


Sir, currently, there are NRC centres in all districts of this country except, maybe, the new ones. However, NRCs are issued to citizens whenever they visit the centres daily except during holidays.


Mr Speaker, the current issuance that has been authorised by the Government to coincide with the voter registration process when it comes on board is to facilitate Zambians, who missed the NRC issuance and those who have come of age, to have access to these cards.


Sir, apart from what is going on regarding mobile registration, there are centres where individuals can go even today to get their NRCs. As I said in my last response last week, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs will come to the House to update it on the progress made regarding the issuance of NRCs in all districts of Zambia.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, on 15th October, 2020, the Zambia Daily Mail newspaper carried a headline that the hon. Minister of Finance announced a K4 billion stimulus package for the road sector. The people of Kasempa are very interested in the funds because they would want some of them to be used on some of their roads. However, they would also like to know from where the Government sourced this fund and on what terms it was granted.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I would request the hon. Member for Kasempa to file in a question to the hon. Minister of Finance regarding the use of this fund. Perhaps, more details will come out. For now, we know that this is part of the stimulus package His Excellency the President announced. Perhaps, we want to get more information on how it is going to be implemented from the hon. Minister of Finance.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Fungulwe (Lufwanyama): Mr Speaker, Zambia’s debt crisis is as a result of the Government’s refusal to take advice. When the hon. Minister of Finance issued a ministerial statement to the House, he agreed and confessed that, in the past, the Government did not take advice. However, it is now willing to do so. Now, advice has been given to the Government concerning the deletion of the current voters’ roll. If the Government does not take up this advice, does Her Honour the Vice-President not think that the Government might regret again?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I do not know which question the hon. Member would like me to respond to regarding advice on debt or the voters’ roll.


Mr Speaker, there has never been formal advice from the United Party for National Development (UPND) to the hon. Minister of Finance on debt sustainability or how to manage Zambia’s debt. However, the hon. Minister welcomed some of the remarks that had been made in the past from the Opposition regarding Zambia’s debt. This is why he acknowledged that the advice received has been used by the ministry to address the current debt sustainability management. So, it is not true that this Government does not receive advice.


Mr Speaker, the advice is not really coming in the form of advice. Instead, it is coming in the form of disparaging the Government. So, sometimes, it is very difficult for the one who is advised in that manner to take that advice genuinely. However, some of the sentiments that have been expressed by the Opposition have been taken on board.


Mr Speaker, the new voter register is necessary. The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) is not doing away with the old voters’ register in totality. Some of the people who have passed on to the tune of 1.4 million Zambians and were voters, but are now no more, still appear in the old voters’ register. Surely, these should be deleted from the new voters’ register we shall use in 2021.


Mr Speaker, secondly, the voters’ register of 2016 has been condemned by the UPND. It was one of the reasons it went to court ...


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Shame!


The Vice-President: ... to complain that the voters’ register and the registers’ roll were not perfect and, therefore, needed some adjustments. Equally, the international community was also approached and advised that the voters’ register needed to be worked on to ensure that the ECZ came up with a valid register through which the voters will have new biometric features that will authenticate the voter. The features will include new portraits and ten finger prints to ensure that there are no litigations against the ECZ when it comes to the authenticity of the voters’ register.


Mr Speaker, the ECZ has gone to the extent of spending money and soliciting support from political parties, including the UPND, in the process of preparing the 2021 General Elections. Therefore, hon. Members’ on your left should not tell this country that whatever the ECZ is doing is wrong and, therefore, it is going to bring about chaos in this country. On the contrary, the ECZ is following the directives given to it by the political parties and other stakeholders that have been involved in preparing for the 2021 General Elections.


Sir, it is not in the best interest of this country to see leaders somersault at every corner when something is announced by the ECZ.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lihefu was inaudible.


Ms Jere (Lumezi): Mr Speaker, I would like Her Honour the Vice-President to provide an update to the House on the distribution of farmers’ inputs.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I just returned from the Eastern Province where I was informed by the farmers that, this year, the Government has done a commendable job of distributing the farmers’ inputs on time before the onset of the rains. This is the reality in all parts of the country.


Sir, farmers on the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), who have contributed K400, now stands at 99 per cent. This goes to show that farmers have accepted the gesture from the Government and are coming in with their own initiatives to help the Government so that we produce a bumper harvest if we are going to receive normal rain fall during this coming season. As of now, the farming inputs have been dispatched throughout the country and are being distributed to farmers. This has received accolades from the farmers.


I thank you, Sir.









54. Ms Jere (Lumezi) (on behalf of Mr A. C. Mumba (Kantanshi)) asked the Minister of Finance:


a) what caused the liquidation of Zampost Micro Finance Limited in July 2019;

b) whether there are any plans to resuscitate the company;

c) if so, when the plans will be implemented; and

d) if there are no plans to resuscitate the company, what the way forward for the employees is.


The Minister of Finance (Dr Ng'andu): Mr Speaker, Zampost Micro Finance Limited was a 100 per cent owned subsidiary of the Zambia Postal Services Corporation (ZAMPOST). It was initially licensed as a non-deposit taking institution in 2013, and subsequently as a deposit taking institution in 2016. Its performance was not satisfactory from the time it was authorised to operate as a deposit taking financial institution.


Sir, the factors that necessitated the liquidation of Zampost Micro Finance Limited are as follows:


there was excessive borrowing and misapplication of depositors’ funds to support the parent company, ZAMPOST, which was not servicing the loans that it got;


at the date of the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) taking possession of the micro finance institution, its exposure to ZAMPOST was estimated at K39 million, including accrued interest. As a result of this, its capital deficiency was K56.5 million against its minimum regulatory capital requirement of K2.5 million; and


the micro finance institution had high funding costs as interest paid on deposits was as high as 36 per cent rates in the market when the average rates were around 10 per cent.


Sir, these factors led to liquidity and earning constraints and subsequently, capital erosion. The micro finance institution failed and ZAMPOST itself failed to meet its deposit obligation as well as obligations to other creditors, hence it was deemed insolvent, as defined by the Banking and Financial Services Act No.7, 2017.


Mr Speaker, I need to say that prior to taking possession of Zampost Micro Finance Limited, BoZ made efforts to address the deteriorating financial condition of the Zampost Micro Finance Limited in order to save it from total collapse. In this regard, the bank took the following measures:


BoZ directed the Board of Zampost Micro Finance Limited to replace the chairperson of the board;


it enhanced the governance of the institution by transferring the institution from the Ministry of Transport and Communication to the Ministry of Finance;


BoZ directed that Zampost Micro Finance Limited formalises the loans to the parent company, ZAMPOST, and urgently recapitalises the institution; and


in August 2018, as the financial performance did not improve, the micro finance institution was directed to suspend deposit mobilisation and payment of management fees to the parent company. The Bank of Zambia continued to monitor the management of the institution, board and shareholders for the implementation and supervisory directives, specifically the capital restoration which would have addressed the insolvency of the institution.


Sir, the House may wish to note that the failure by shareholders to inject capital and failure to meet deposit obligations prompted BoZ to take possession of Zampost Micro Finance Limited on 19th July, 2019, in line with the provisions of the Banking and Financial Services Act No.7, 2017.


Mr Speaker, the House may also wish to note that there are no plans to resuscitate the company due to its liabilities that are in excess of its assets.


Mr Speaker, in response to part (d) of the question, with respect to the liquidation process, BoZ is proceeding with the winding up of the institution. The Bank of Zambia is working on recovering the debt owed to the micro finance and proceeds from this effort will be applied to pay off creditors.


Mr Speaker, you may wish to know that, currently, the Government has paid all monies that ZAMPOST owed to the micro financial institution amounting to K39 million and that a liquidation schedule was filed into court on 8th October, 2020. There are twenty days in which those who have objections can submit them. After that, BoZ will, then, begin to pay off the depositors, and we estimate that about 8 per cent of what is owed to the depositors will be paid back.


Mr Speaker, payments to employees will be done after the depositors have been paid. That is the position in as far as the last part of the question, which deals with the fate of employees of the company, is concerned.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Kasanda was inaudible.


Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to raise a very serious point of order on Her Honour the Vice-President.


Mr Speaker, as you may be aware, I would have raised this point of order contemporaneously. However, as per tradition, we are not allowed to raise points of order when Her Honour the Vice-President is responding.


Sir, Her Honour the Vice-President has raised a very serious issue pertaining to the voters’ register. On one hand, she has told the nation that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) is not completely abandoning the register and that it will merely clean it up by taking out the 1.6 million deceased voters or those who are not eligible to vote. On the other hand, the ECZ has categorically said that it is going to come up with a completely new register of voters. Is Her Honour the Vice-President in order to mislead members of the public, taking into account the fact that the voter registration exercise is starting on 28th October, 2020? If she is not misleading the public, let her make a very clear statement on the Floor of the House so that members of the public know what the position is.


I need your serious ruling, Sir.




Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Leader of the Opposition, resume your seat. You are through with your point of order. You cannot now start engaging hon. Members across. You have raised a point of order and you have concluded. So, you are waiting for my response and not the response from across the Floor. Otherwise, I will be rendered irrelevant, and then I will just proceed without responding to your point of order.


First and foremost, I agree with your earlier observation that the established tradition now is not to raise points of order during the Vice-President’s Question Time. That is why you were constrained. The Vice-President’s Question Time, of course, has come to an end, but some lingering questions have still emerged as a result of the statement that she made. So, hon. Leader of the Opposition, if you want to seek clarification from the Office of the Vice-President, you are still at liberty to do so using another channel. The channel I am counselling you to adopt, apply, and pursue is to just ask a question. I will forward it to her, and she will come and respond. That is my ruling.


Ms Kasanda was inaudible.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister of Finance for the response. We have observed that in Zambia, all parastatals and subsidiaries of Government companies are very weak and they do not perform well. Is it because of the management style or it is because of the business as usual mentality? What exactly does the hon. Minister intend to do? Is he going to skirt around and see what other parastatals are doing so that he can put them in line to avoid these liquidations, which are making people suffer?


Dr Ng’andu: Mr Speaker, I have explained to the House before that the Ministry of Finance has put in place a number of measures to strengthen the operations of the various state-owned enterprises. Some of these measures have to do with improving the governance structures within these organisations by appointing to the board of directors individuals who are competent and understand the nature of the business that they are superintending over. That continues to be our active response. More importantly, it is also for the boards of directors to ensure that they employ the best technical people that they can find on the market. In other words, advertise the jobs for those who are competent enough to carry them out and then provide effective oversight on the operations of the management.


Sir, we have also emphasised the importance of the boards entering into performance contracts with the managers that they employ, which will help the continuous monitoring of how competently and effectively the managers are operating. We will continue with these measures and we think that if they are implemented correctly, we should be able to see some improvement in the overall performance of state-owned enterprises.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that this company found itself in a very unfortunate situation as a result of people borrowing or over borrowing, if you like. We heard that the Government played its part, which means that the Government also owed this institution. Is the full list of those who borrowed still redeemable? Is Zampost Microfinance Limited going to collect this money so that it may consider continuing to operate in future or is it not possible to collect those monies? Would the hon. Minister, within the same breath, demystify the fact that most of those who heavily borrowed are Patriotic Front (PF) cadres?


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Dr Ng’andu: Mr Speaker, firstly, let me indicate that one of the major borrowers from the microfinance institution was ZAMPOST itself. The challenge that BoZ had at the time of dealing with the problem was that ZAMPPOST appeared to have created the subsidiary with the view to finance the company itself and its operations with whatever monies were collected in the form of deposits by the subsidiary. That was the fundamental challenge. As a result of this, the chairperson of the board, who was also the Managing Director (MD) of ZAMPOST, was actually removed from the company. I have absolutely no evidence, and I would like very much for somebody to lay that evidence on the Table to show that carders from the Patriotic Front (PF) were the ones who were given loans. I have absolutely no evidence to that effect and I do not think that such evidence does exist.


Sir, with regards to whether there is capacity to collect the monies, I mentioned that BoZ took possession of the institution. When BoZ takes possession of an institution, it becomes its responsibility to go out and collect as much as it can collect and the bank has done a good job of this. I have indicated that the liquidation schedule arising from the effort of BoZ has already been deposited in court, and by the last week of December 2020, BoZ should be in a position to pay off what is owed to depositors. Our estimate, as I said before, is that we think we will be able to pay off about 80 per cent of what is owed. What that shows is that BoZ has done a good job in collecting as much as it could collect from the depositors.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: I will take three, and only three interventions, from the hon. Member for Chinsali, the hon. Member for Chimwemwe and I will close with the hon. Member for Liuwa.


Mr Mukosa (Chinsali): Mr Speaker, from the responses that the hon. Minister of Finance has given, it is clear that the people who deposited money with Zampost Microfinance Limited drew their confidence from the fact that the institution was a subsidiary of a Government institution, which in this case is the Zambia Postal Services Corporation (ZAMPOST). I just want to find out if there is any absolute assurance that the hon. Minister can give to the creditors that all the people who are owed by Zampost Microfinance Limited are going to be paid their money.


Dr Ng’andu: Mr Speaker, as in all cases of liquidations, what happens is that the money that is recovered is, then, shared or paid out, in accordance with what is stipulated in the law. In this case, actual deposit holders are top of the priority when it comes to payments. So, as the money is collected, the deposit holders will be paid. Now, I indicated that we estimate that we will pay about 80 per cent, meaning that we are not likely to pay back to the depositors 100 per cent of what they invested in the company. That is the position. If at all Zampost Microfinance Limited liquidation managers are able to collect more from the depositors, then, they will pay out a lot more. It is possible that we could come to 100 per cent, but it is difficult at this point to say exactly how much will be paid out except to state that we think that somewhere in the region of about 80 per cent of what was deposited should be paid.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that management at the defunct Zampost Microfinance Limited was giving interest on some deposits as high as 36 per cent against the market average of 10 per cent. This is vivid evidence of criminal negligence as well as abuse of office. I would like to find out how many directors from either the Zambia Postal Services Corporation (ZAMPOST) or this defunct Zampost Microfinance Limited have been dragged to court for ransacking this well-intended subsidiary?


Dr Ng’andu: Mr Speaker, I think the answer to the question is that incompetence of this kind does not usually result in a criminal offence. The incompetence here is exhibited by a mismatch between the rate at which you are receiving deposits from the market and the rate at which you are paying out to the market. Clearly, the strategy they used here was to attract depositors by offering high rates of interest. That was a serious mismatch and it should not have happened. The managers were not alone in this. There was also the board of directors. So, I think, there was failure at the level of the board of directors as well as at the level of management. Now, I do not know whether we can imprison people for incompetence of this kind, needless to say that they all lost their jobs.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: The last intervention is from the hon. Member for Liuwa.


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, I think I heard the hon. Minister say that the financial institution was insolvent to the extent of something like more than K50 million, meaning that it neither has assets in form of cash or anything else to be able to sell the money paid over to the depositors.


This also means that only the assets of the parent company, the Zambia Postal Services Corporation (ZAMPOST), can be available for sale in order to pay up to 80 per cent of the deposit liability that the hon. Minister is talking about. So, could he, please, explain to this House which assets of ZAMPOST have been or are going to be sold to be able to pay off depositors and, whether after that process, there will still be a ZAMPOST in this country or it will also be liquidated?  


Mr Ng’andu: Mr Speaker, I am sure the hon. Member asking the question is aware that when you receive deposits, you use part of them to create assets for the company in form of loans. Loans are given out and, very often, have collateral that is offered.


So, the process here is that of liquidating the various assets that were offered in the form of collateral and that is what the BoZ liquidators have been doing. So, it is not ZAMPOST assets that are being sold. I said before that the Government has already paid off the K39 million that ZAMPOST, as an entity, owed to the micro finance institution. What the liquidators are collecting are the profits of the sale of the collateral which were offered by borrowers.


 I thank you, Sir.









(Consideration resumed)


The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Madam Chairperson, thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to complete my debate, which I started yesterday. However, before I proceed, I just want to seize this opportunity to congratulate my dear colleague, Hon. Nickson Chilangwa, our Provincial Chairperson for Luapula, for ensuring that we retained those two seats of treacherous councillors who defected to the United Party for National Development (UPND) immediately after their own hon. Member of Parliament died. That victory he has scored must be commended because it is really a resounding one.


Madam Chairperson, before the House was adjourned, I was talking about one very critical institution under the Ministry of Justice, the National Prosecution Authority (NPA). This is now the institution which has the mandate to prosecute all matters on behalf of our law enforcement agencies.


Madam Chairperson, it was surprising to hear someone insinuate that this institution abuses its authority by entering nolle prosequis in some court cases. This is provided for. Where there is a need for more evidence to consolidate dockets, the institution is free to enter nolle prosequis. The men and women under that institution are well-capacitated professional prosecutors and the gallant lady at the top of that institution is a very experienced learned counsel.


 Madam Chairperson, we shall continue to support that institution and our law enforcement agencies are doing everything possible to ensure that they would have done their ground work by the time they forward dockets to that institution.


Madam Chairperson, I also want to commend the hon. Minister of Justice for making sure that the Bills that are forwarded to the ministry from all line ministries are expedited. We have to commend the drafting team at the ministry for being on hand in ensuring that all the Government institutions have capable legal frameworks for executing their mandate.


Madam Chairperson, I want to just end by supporting this very important Vote for the Ministry of Justice. Like I said, the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Home Affairs are like Siamese twins. So, with a well-supported Ministry of Justice –





Mr Kampyongo:  I know the loss is very painful and that is why people are crying about the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ). They should just do their home work and continue losing properly.


Madam Chairperson, I want to end by rendering my total support to the Vote for the Ministry of Justice.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


The Chairperson: Hon. Members, I would like to bring to your attention that yesterday, there was an oversight on our part by not allowing the hon. Leader of the Opposition and Member of Parliament for Monze Central to debate for the provided time of ten minutes. In this regard, I would like to read to the House the applicable provision in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Temporary Standing Orders, Standing Order 9, which states as follows:


 “Time Limits for Debate


A member shall not debate for more than five minutes on any question that is before the House.


Despite paragraph (1) of this Standing Order, -


the debate of the Vice-President or a minister when moving or responding to a Motion shall not exceed ten minutes;


a member moving aMotion shall debate for not more than ten minutes;


the leader of the opposition shall debate for not more than ten minutes; and


a member winding up debate on a Motion may debate for not more than three minutes.”


Hon. Members, with this clarification, I would like to give an opportunity to the hon. Leader of the Opposition and Member of Parliament for Monze Central to debate this Vote for another five minutes.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Madam Chairperson, thank you very much –


Mr Ngulube: Madam Chairperson, I rise on a point of order on a procedural matter. I am aware that decisions of this House or the Chair must be formally challenged. If the hon. Leader of the Opposition in the House felt that the decision of the Chair was wrong, he ought to have filed or challenged the decision formally. Our Standing Orders are very clear.


Madam Chairperson, imagine that we woke up every other day and reversed our decisions. Where would we leave our Standing Orders? In this regard, I wish to state that it would be wrong and unprocedural for Hon. Mwiimbu to be allowed to debate for five minutes because it would create a very bad precedent for this House.




Mr Ngulube: Madam Chairperson, I am aware that, on several occasions when we have actually been overruled, we have respected the decisions of the Chair. I also know that yesterday, the Deputy Chairperson of Committees curtailed my debate and I lost out on time. So, are we saying that I should also be given the time that I lost when I was supposed to debate yesterday? In this regard, I wish for your serious ruling. However, even as we await your serious ruling, the decision to give Hon. Mwiimbu time to debate should be suspended until your ruling is made on this serious point of order.




Madam Chairperson: Order, in the House!


This is my response to what the hon. Deputy Chief Whip calls a point of order. He is actually asking for clarification on how we have arrived at this decision. This decision was arrived at by ourselves, the Presiding Bench, with the secretariat, upon the realisation that the hon. Member, the Leader of the Opposition in the House, was entitled to more than the five minutes which were given to him.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Madam Chairperson: As Presiding Officers, of course, with the help of the management of Parliament led by the Clerk of the National Assembly, we are entitled to review our decisions, especially when it is clear that there has been an oversight on our part. So, that is my guidance.


If there are any other issues that require the attention of the Presiding Officer, at the moment or even later, and the secretariat brings that to his/her attention, such a Presiding Officer has the power to review his/her decision. This is what has happened in this case.


Therefore, I will allow the hon. Leader of the Opposition in the House to debate for a further five minutes.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, earlier, at the time I had debated, I had indicated that I would focus my debate on two very important institutions that are anchored in the Ministry of Justice.


Madam Chairperson, at the time when my five minutes were curtailed, I was debating the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). I would like to appeal to the DPP to remain professional and ensure that there is prevalence of the rule of law and that there is no segregation pertaining to prosecutions in this country.


Madam Chairperson, we have noted, with concern, that certain individuals amongst those who have committed similar crimes have been left scot free.


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: I have in mind a case of somebody who was locked up recently after being accused of having slapped a policeman.  However, there was another incident of a similar nature where a senior Patriotic Front (PF) cadre was filmed clobbering a policeman, but nothing has happened to date.


Hon. PF Members: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: We are appealing to the DPP to ensure that there is fairness in the application of the law.


Madam Chairperson, I will now appeal to the Attorney-General. The Attorney-General’s office is an institution in this country that is so important that any aggrieved member of the public has the right to approach it for redress. The Attorney-General is the chief legal adviser.


Mr Ngulube: On a point of order, Madam.


Madam Chairperson: I will not allow that point of order because I want debate to flow and I want order in the House.


Resume your seat, hon. Deputy Chief Whip.


Mrs Chinyama: Hear, hear! Long live Chair!




Madam Chairperson: Order on my left!


Madam Chairperson: Hon. Member for Monze Central, proceed with your debate.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, I was saying that the Office of the Attorney-General is the institution in this Republic that is sued by an aggrieved party. This is an institution that advises the Government pertaining to all legal issues that affect ministries and quasi Government institutions. I would like to appeal to this institution, through the Attorney-General, to render appropriate advice, in particular, to the Ministry of Home Affairs.


Madam Chairperson, we have noted, with concern, that the Ministry of Home Affairs, through the Zambia Police Service, has continued to abrogate rights of citizens of this country.


Whenever members of the public indicate or notify the police about their intention to have a procession or a demonstration, the reaction from the police is to either disallow or advise them to seek permission.


Madam Chairperson, the law has changed. Currently, the law is to merely notify the police. If the police have difficulties, they have to offer an alternative date for that procession or demonstration to take place. Unfortunately, instead of advising in those lines, the police have been denying the people of Zambia their rights.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to plead with the Attorney-General to ensure that he advises the Ministry of Home Affairs prudently so that the rights of Zambians are not abrogated.


Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Madam.


Madam Chairperson: Hon. Minister, resume your seat.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, I would like to insist that the Attorney-General plays his role.


Madam Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Nakacinda, you are indicating to debate, but my record shows that you debated yesterday.


Hon. UPND Members: Yes!


Mrs Chinyama: He wants to rig.




Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Madam Chairperson, I do not know whether I will debate for five minutes or just the minutes that were taken away from me. I debated yesterday, but –


Madam Chairperson: You also debated yesterday. Resume your seat.


Mr Ngulube: I remained with some minutes and said I would debate another day.


Hon. UPND Members: Ah!


Mrs Chinyama: Question!


Madam Chairperson: Resume your seat.




Madam Chairperson: Order in the House!


Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank the hon. Members who debated this Vote. I would like to indicate that it is clear that a lot of us have the desire to enhance the justice system in the country, and particularly ensure that the rights of citizens are protected. This is exactly what this Government is doing.


Mr Nkombo: Question!


Mr Lubinda: I would like to propose that those who come to justice must come with clean hands. You cannot on one hand, be a suspect of murder and have a nolle prosequi on your head and come and on the other hand say that this country is not just. No, you cannot.


Madam, they cannot accuse the Director Public Prosecution (DPP) for effecting an arrest, like the hon. Leader of the Opposition did, when the DPP is not involved in arresting people. The person who was arrested yesterday was arrested without recourse to the DPP, yet the DPP is brought into the picture. That is not being just but economical with the truth and using parliament to reach out to people who cannot defend themselves.


Madam Chairperson, speaking about the Attorney-General, I would like to suggest that if there is any matter that has to be raised against the Attorney-General or any institution under the Ministry of Justice, let that be raised with the Minister of Justice. It cannot be raised with the particular holders of those offices. I would like to challenge the hon. Leader of the Opposition to indicate whether he is aware of any advice that has been rendered by the Attorney-General to any Government entity. He is not aware of the advice that the Attorney-General renders. For his own information, the Attorney-General is not an advisor of the public. He is the Chief Legal Advisor of the State. The advice that he gives to the State remains privileged. Therefore, Hon. Jack Mwiimbu cannot claim to know that privileged information.


Madam Chairperson, Hon. Jack Mwiimbu was complaining about how the police are handling the Public Order Act, but we shall debate that when we get to the Ministry of Home Affairs. However, let me just remind him that only a few days ago, there was a big rally that he chaired in Monze. How did he chair that rally if the police did not give him the authority to do so? There was also another one in Mazabuka, yet when they come here, they posture and create an impression that they are being suppressed because their rights are not being heard.


Madam Chairperson, faith alone without deeds is dead. To come to Parliament and posture that people are protecting people’s rights, yet they are the least willing when it comes to action by protecting people’s rights, is totally fatal. It is actually purely, and without any question, an exercise in futility. I would like to enjoin members of the United Party for National Democracy (UPND), such as the hon. Member of Parliament for Keembe, who spoke very eloquently about the need to protect the rights of women to be represented here, the rights of youths, and the disabled to come to Parliament. I agree with her entirely and all of us should because we need these rights enshrined in our Constitution. Therefore, she must join us in convincing her colleagues to vote positively for Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019. In addition to that, I want to remind those who are crying foul about justice and rights that in 2016, a person such as the one in a red tie, who is making noise right now, was actually in the forefront campaigning against the referendum ...


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Lubinda: ... and today, he comes and postures saying, “We want rights to be enshrined in the Constitution”. That is totally irresponsible. I want to call upon them that, as we go to the elections –




The Chairperson: Order!


Hon. Minister give me a chance.  Can I have some order on the left.




The Chairperson: Order!


Unless my sight is failing me, hon. Member, you are not the only one wearing a red tie, are you?




The Chairperson: Let us allow the hon. Minister to conclude.


Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister of Defence is wearing a red tie, but the guilty are afraid.


The Chairperson: Hon. Minister, proceed with your response.


Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, I would like to call upon all hon. Members that as we go to the 2021, election they should encourage me to urge this Government to bring back the referendum on the Bill of Rights so that together we can vote for the referendum. We can go out and campaign for the referendum to show that what we say here is what we mean. We must not do other things and say others because that is what is called hypocrisy.


Madam, I would like to call upon all my colleagues in Parliament to support the vote for The Ministry of Justice because this ministry, under the leadership of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, says exactly what it means to protect the rights of citizens and provide a justice system that embraces all without leaving any one behind.


I thank you, Madam.




The Chairperson: Hon. Members, I would really not be happy to send anyone out of the Chamber.  So, we must conduct our business in an orderly manner.


Vote 31 ordered to stand part of the Estimates


VOTE 32 – (Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs – K 16,144,547)


The Minister for National Guidance and Religious Affairs (Rev. Sumaili): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for this opportunity to present the 2021 Budget Estimates for the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs. The 2021 Budget, which is aimed at stimulating economic recovery and growth, is to be anchored on our National Values and Principles for success.


Madam Chairperson, allow me to take this opportunity to commend the clergy throughout the country for organising and leading the prayers on the National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation held on 18th October, 2020. There was such outpouring of the Holy Spirit, grace and blessing for the nation and upon all Zambians. The missions abroad and some chiefdoms also held prayers on that day.


Madam Chairperson, the achievement of the goals of the 2021 Budget calls for participation of all Zambians in one way or the other. My ministry is key in creating that enabling environment and civic education for the participation of all Zambians. As the House is aware, the mandate of my ministry is to promote and inculcate National Values and Principles enshrined in our Constitution.


These values are:


morality and ethics;


patriotism and national unity;


democracy and constitutionalism;


human dignity, equity, social justice, equality and non- discrimination;


good governance and integrity; and


sustainable development.


In addition to the afore-mentioned values, Zambia, being a Christian nation, and endowed with rich cultural heritage, will also promote both Christian and good cultural values. This entails the overarching emphasis for all the ministries, provinces and spending agencies to ensure operational compliance in upholding our National Values, as we endeavour to guide the nation.


Madam Chairperson, before I present the 2021 Ministerial Priorities, allow me to highlight the achievements of my ministry in 2020, despite the disruptions that were experienced due to the Coronavirus Diseases 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The achievements were as follows:


a) launched and disseminated the National Policy on National Guidance and Religious Affairs;

b) sensitised traditional leaders on values and principles and supported the establishment of chaplains in              chiefdoms;

(c)   continued to promote adherence and application of National Values and Principles among citizens through   sensitisation programmes on the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) TV1, various radio     stations, social media platforms and spot messages through print media;

(d)        translated information, education, and communication materials on national values and principles into seven local languages, that is, Kaonde, Bemba, Lozi, Luvale, Lunda, Tonga, and Nyanja for ease of understanding and application among stakeholders;


(e)        continued the sensitisation of line ministries on their role in the application of National Values and Principles and mainstreaming of the same in every Government ministry and public institution;


(f)         embarked on the sensitisation of students in institutions of higher learning on the importance of adhering to National Values and Principles. This programme started with Mulungushi University in the School of Education;


(g)        facilitated the hosting of the National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation as well as other religious events in which the State has interest;


(h)      engaged over 2,400 clergy in all the ten provinces on the importance of mainstreaming National Values             and Principles in their church programmes;

(i)   continued to develop and disseminate various information, education and communication materials on                National Values and Principles for ease of understanding and application among stakeholders;

(j)     held dialogue engagements with the Church and other religious groups on some topical issues;


(k)        facilitated intra-denominational dialogue to ensure unity and harmony in churches and religious                             organisations; and


(l)         held special prayers to seek God’s intervention when the country faced challenging issues such as                     gassing and the COVID-19 pandemic, and God has always answered our prayers.


Madam Chairperson, allow me to now highlight priorities for the 2021 Budget Estimates. The ministry has been allocated a budget of K16,144,547 compared to K18,958,732 in 2020. With this provision, and building on the achievements of 2020, my ministry will, in 2021, focus on mindset change programmes aimed at increasing adherence to National Values and Principles. Values and Principles are essential in cultivating and fostering national unity, peace and prosperity in that they lead to the development of an upright and progressive citizenry committed to integrity and national development. 2021 being an election year, my ministry will invest in civic education to promote national unity, peace and non-violence.


Madam Chairperson, the ministry’s specific priorities for 2021 are as follows:

a) mainstreaming values for mindset change with the aim to integrate values in the formulation of national         programmes;

b) sensitisation and inculcation of National Values and Principles to selected target groups and the general citizenry to improve participation in economic development;

c) conduct media campaigns on National Values and Principles through television, radio, social media, among other platforms;

d) develop, produce and disseminate guidelines as well as information, education and communication materials on National Values and Principles;

e)  enhance the dialogue between and among religious organisations and the State in order to strengthen the working relationships;

f) preserve Christian and religious historical knowledge and sites;

g)  facilitate the hosting of public religious events in which the State has an interest. The Church will continue to spearhead the organisation of these events while the ministry will play a facilitatory role;

h) civic education and national unity, peace and non-violence; and

i) work with the Ministry of General Education in reviewing the curriculum to ensure that it is founded on National Values and Principles.


Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, allow me to re-emphasise the need for all Zambians to put the interest of our country first for any meaningful development to be attained. In this regard, we are all expected to be patriotic, morally upright and accountable to the people we serve. As patriotic Zambians, we should at all times desire to reject all forms of violence for us to achieve a peaceful and prosperous Zambia.


Madam, in our inclusive effort to respect the sovereign disposition of our country, it is significant for all Zambians to float above reactive persuasions and remain objective at all times. As a people with sound freedom of speech, we should endeavour to respect Constitutional-based institutions such as the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ). In this way, the value of democracy and constitutionalism will be upheld.


Madam Chairperson, I now request the hon. Members of Parliament to support the ministry’s budget estimates.


I thank you, Madam.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the manner in which she and her staff have continued to assist this country in national guidance.


Madam, in 1968, the United National Independence Party (UNIP) Government introduced this ministry, and in 1970, it combined it with the portfolio of development. Two decades later, the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government introduced a desk at State House to look at religion, manned by a deputy minister. In 2016, His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, introduced this ministry. He combined national guidance and religion. This is a very important ministry because it infuses values in citizens needed to attain the Zambia we want. Our citizens in every province, particularly the young, look forward to a better nation. As we capacitate this ministry, the hon. Minister should continue with the spirit of reconciliation and ensure that values are infused in citizens through the guidelines, plans and programmes of the ministry.


Madam, I also want to thank the hon. Minister for the role that her ministry plays in the National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation. Some people may wonder at the importance of that. Some of them might look at it as a political gimmick. I know that 18th October is a time when we come together to seek the living God. It is God who has given us the peace that we have in this country and we should continue to seek Him even when we do not agree with each other. We need to set our scores aside, meet before the living God and seek Him genuinely so that He may continue to bless this country.



Madam Chairperson, talking about reconciliation, I was impressed when I saw the hon. Minister visiting different political party headquarters. As an hon. Minister, she decided to visit various political party headquarters to ensure that there is reconciliation. We need to address the issue of violence so that people can talk to one other and this is as it should be. The hon. Minister has a big role to play and she should continue doing what she is doing for the sake of our mother Zambia, and all of us should support this ministry.


Madam Chairperson, next year, we will go into the election period and some people may be planning to ensure that the elections are not conducted in a peaceful environment. However, for the sake of the peace loving Zambians in the Patriotic Front (PF), the United Party for National Development (UPND), the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) or the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD), we should not allow those with devious motives to highjack this very important process. So, the hon. Minister and her ministry should continue with their role and may God give them the grace to continue reaching out to all corners of this country so that after 2021, our country continues to emerge stronger. This ministry should continue to lift this country in a godly manner and continue with the spirit of reconciliation and love.


Madam Chairperson, with those few words, I support this Vote.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


The Chairperson: I have taken the liberty to decide who debates. As you know, we can only have eight hon. Members debate on each Vote. So, from the United Party for National Development (UPND), I will allow Hon. Dr Imakando, Hon. Chinyama and Hon. Kasanda. On the Patriotic Front (PF) side, I allowed Hon. Dr Malama, and he has just concluded. I will allow the hon. Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development and can I be assisted because I would like to add one more hon. Member from the right. Of course, from the other groupings, I will allow Hon. Katuta and Hon. Subulwa.


Dr Imakando (Mongu Central): Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank the hon. Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs for that very clear policy statement.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister is tasked with a big task, which is the promotion and application of Christian values and principles, and the actualisation of Zambia as a Christian nation. This is a big task and the budget allocation of about K16 million, which is less than US$1 million, is too small for this task.


Madam Chairperson, it is important that this ministry focuses on reducing tension in the country, particularly as it engages the main church mother bodies. We have seen a proliferation of smaller churches that are taking up the space of the three main church mother bodies. It is important that this ministry moves forward communication and co-operation aimed at facilitating a close working relationship between the church mother bodies and the State.


Madam Chairperson, there is a need for consensus building on many issues in this country. In view of the discussions surrounding the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019, it is without dispute that this Bill has increased tension in the country and has divided even the faithful Catholics. The Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 has cost us a lot of money and this is one important Bill on which this ministry should have taken leadership. A Constitution is the heartbeat of the nation and it defines a nation. The Constitution defines who we are, as Zambians, and when disputes are declared, it is necessary that this ministry takes initiative and, perhaps, even puts aside lesser or smaller tasks to build consensus so that the country can move forward.


Madam Chairperson, we, indeed, have wonderful values such as having a democratic Constitution, good governance, inclusiveness, citizen participation and separation of powers among the three arms of the Government. It is necessary that this ministry takes a keen interest in focusing on things that divide us, and I put it to this House that the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 is currently dividing us. I would love to see the hon. Minister push forward consensus building so that we can move together, as a nation, and carry on Christian principles.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mrs Chinyama (Kafue): Madam Chairperson, I had to wake up from my sick bed to come and add my thoughts on this very important Vote.


Madam Chairperson, I support this Vote because of the noble programmes that the ministry proposes to do, especially as we head towards the elections. However, I strongly urge this ministry to, indeed, rise to the occasion and begin to make the impact that we expect it to in order to improve, especially, our governance system in the country.


Madam Chairperson, I suggest that, in future, maybe, the office holder at the top of this ministry is nominated and detached from being appointed and does not come through a partisan ticket because of the issues that we are dealing with. I must say that it was very awkward to see the current hon. Minister dressed in Patriotic Front (PF) party regalia during the Chilubi Parliamentary By-election. I think that can compromise the role that this ministry is supposed to play of helping to bring about sanity, especially in our electoral process.


Madam Chairperson, this ministry has a crucial role to play, especially now when we, as a country, seem to be an emerging dictatorship. What I learnt in political science at university regarding the characteristics of a dictatorship is, I am afraid, what I am beginning to see in Zambia. It is this ministry can help us and keep us in check so that we continue upholding national values and democratic tenets that our freedom fighters fought hard for even as we commemorate our Independence Day. Our Independence came at a very high cost. Our freedom fighters sacrificed a lot and we cannot afford to lose that overnight just because of our political interests.


Madam Chairperson, I have said in this House before that the people who seek power should do the right thing. I dare say that if the PF wants to continue ruling this country, let it do so provided it does what Zambians want and expects it to do. However, trying to frustrate and decrease everyone’s democratic space without allowing democracy to flourish is one of those grave mistakes that the PF is making. So, as we commemorate Independence Day, and having commemorated the National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation, I would like to take this opportunity to urge this ministry to ensure that we continue preserving peace and enjoying our human rights in Zambia, as we had anticipated and envisaged through our Independence.


Madam Chairperson, for me, this ministry seems to be doing well only when commemorating the National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation, but it seems to be silent on all the other programmes. This is what has made critics ask what kind of a country we are that one morning we are lifting our hands in prayer, and the following morning, we are using the same hands to brutalise each other.


Madam Chairperson, I heard that it had to take the First Lady or Her Honour the Vice-President to get Hon. Kambwili’s daughter released from prison. Therefore, I appeal to our Head of State, His Excellency the President, to look into the issue of our Member of Parliament, Hon. Kangombe, who I hear was bundled like a criminal when he was being taken to wherever he was taken, which goes against what I would expect during this time of reconciliation. Of course, –


The Chairperson: Hon. Chinyama, unless you can substantiate that some arrest has been made and that the one arrested is the hon. Member you are referring to, I would like you to withdraw that statement referring to Hon. Kangombe.


Mrs Chinyama: Madam Chairperson, I am aware that Hon. Kangombe was summoned at the police headquarters and that he is currently in police custody. So, that is a matter of fact and I was just making an appeal –


The Chairperson: Is it a matter of fact that you can substantiate? Leave it out of your debate. Withdraw that and leave it out of your debate. Your time is almost up.


Mrs Chinyama: So, the only time I have is to –


The Chairperson: To withdraw.


Mrs Chinyama: Am I withdrawing the fact that Hon. Kangombe is in police custody?


The Chairperson: Unless you can inform us officially by substantiating it with something, we do not know. You are telling us. So, tell us with some evidence, if you have any. If you do not have evidence, then, simply withdraw that so that we move on.


Mrs Chinyama: Madam Chairperson, this is a very difficult situation.


I thank you, Madam.


The Chairperson: You have not withdrawn, Hon. Chinyama.


Mrs Chinyama: Madam Chairperson, it is difficult for me to withdraw the fact that Mr Kangombe, the hon. Member of Parliament for Sesheke, is in police custody.


The Chairperson: Hon. Members, when Presiding Officers ask you to substantiate, they are not disagreeing with you. They want you to provide evidence of what you are asserting. If you do not have that evidence and you have been asked to withdraw the statement, you simply do so. At the time when you will have the evidence, you can come back and make that same statement, if you so wish, and substantiate it by providing the evidence.


So, Hon. Chinyama, unless you can substantiate the reference you made to some arrest, I am asking you to withdraw the statement.


Mrs Chinyama: Madam Chairperson, with due respect, I am aware that Hon. Romeo Kangombe is in police custody. So, it is a matter of fact and I have difficulty withdrawing it. I hope you understand.


The Chairperson: Hon. Chinyama, you have wilfully disregarded the guidance given by the Chair. Should we take it that it is your position to not heed the guidance that I have given you?


Hon. Members, we have rules that clearly state that we must be factual and we must, at all times, substantiate what we say in this House. When you are guided by the Presiding Officer, you are not at liberty to disregard.


Hon. Chinyama, I am giving you a last chance to withdraw the statement that you have made.


Mrs Chinyama: Madam Chairperson, in the interest of progress, for now, I withdraw that statement, but I will come back with the evidence later to show that Hon. Romeo Kangombe, the Member of Parliament for Sesheke, is currently in detention.


The Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development (Mr Mulenga): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to debate Vote 32 – the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs – K 16,144,547, which is a very important ministry in this country.


Madam Chairperson, let me also seize this opportunity to thank His Excellency the President of Zambia, who saw it fit to put this ministry in place so that certain aspects can also be put in place. This ministry has done quite a lot in view of the fact that we, as a nation, have been faced with many challenges.


Madam Chairperson, there were incidents of gassing in this nation, and this ministry co-ordinated prayers. Many people on the Copperbelt, where I come from, were affected and were having sleepless nights because of the gassing incidents. A number of them turned into guards, who were guarding communities as well as their families. They were sleeping in sitting rooms just so that they could safeguard their families. In this regard, His Excellency the President and the clergy agreed to conduct national prayers. A day was dedicated for fasting and praying, asking God to intervene in this matter. These prayers were co-ordinated by this ministry. Consequently, gassing came to an end. Therefore, we all have to support this ministry for what it is doing in this nation.


Madam Chairperson, we just had the National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation. As a Christian nation, and the Christian that I am, I believe in the fact that we all draw our strength from our living God. Our trust is in God Almighty regardless of the needs and challenges we go through. That is why for us, as the Patriotic Front (PF), God has seen it fit that we remain in the corridors of power because he is our refuge and our fortress. That is why we have no doubts in our minds that come 12th August, 2021, our party is retaining power and it shall remain in the corridors of power because of the one who gives us strength and the ability to govern this nation.


Madam Chairperson, the African continent, just as the entire world, is still grappling with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We have lost so many of our brothers and sisters within and outside the country to this pandemic. COVID-19 is an enemy you cannot see, an enemy who does not choose who to take and leave on earth.


Madam Chairperson, this ministry has, again, co-ordinated prayers to see that God protects us from this disease. We have seen a high rate of recovery in our country. We are alive today not because we have highly sophisticated hospitals and facilities, but it is because God has intervened in our country. When we look at our country’s financial status, we can only say that it is God who has made it possible. So, as the Government in power, we shall always remain indebted to God who has seen us through and made it possible for us to pull through during this difficult time.


Madam Chairperson, you have seen what is happening in the United States of America (USA). It is a supper power with a lot of resources and facilities, yet it has lost thousands of citizens. However, we, as a nation have not even reached 500 deaths. The death toll is below 1,000. If you walk through markets and other facilities, you will find that many people do not mask up, they do not sanitise, they do not wash their hands, but God has been there for us.


Madam Chairperson, a well-meaning Zambian and the one who wants to live alive should remain and support this ministry. I thank you for the opportunity.


I thank you, Madam.


Ms Katuta (Chienge): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for allowing the voice of Chienge to debate and contribute to the debate on this very important Vote, especially that Zambia is a Christian nation and Chienge is for Jesus Christ.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank the hon. Minister of Religious Affairs and National Guidance for the policy statement she has presented to the House.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister talked about how her ministry reached out to traditional leaders and schools and sensitised them on the National Values and Principles. The challenge I am having is that a few weeks ago, we supported Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) to be taught in schools. I am just coming from my constituency where we had prayers and pastors were asking why, as a Christian nation, we seem to have agreed or supported Comprehensive Sexuality Education to be taught in schools. Most of the pastors do not agree and do not support the teaching of Comprehensive Sexuality Education in schools.


Madam Chairperson, 18th October was a Day of National Prayers, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation, whose theme was “Zambia seeks God's Intervention for Sustained National Unity, Peace and Prosperity.” I do not expect to hear hon. Members of Parliament like myself saying, “We do not support this day.” If we do that, it means that we are not working with the Government.


Madam Speaker, I expect this ministry to be in the forefront of promoting good values and morals. Even last year, the hon. Minister issued a statement to the effect that the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance is there to inculcate Christian values and morals in our nation. When we talk about Christian morals and values in our nation, we are talking about rejecting things that are contrary to what the Bible says. For this reason, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance should stand firm. It should not be seen to be compromising in one way or the other.


Madam Chairperson, we are saying that, as a Christian nation, we are inculcating national values and principles, but who are we in our country? What values do we believe in, as Zambians? The answer is what we are expecting from this ministry. It should stand firm. The clergy should also be consulted at every level when making decisions that seem to contradict the values of the country. If there were no contradictions, for example, about Comprehensive Sexuality Education being taught in schools, no one would disagree with it being introduced in the country. We are the Government, whether we belong to the Opposition or to the Ruling Party. Therefore, we should learn to do what we say to the nation, and what we are saying is that we are inculcating National Values and Principles as well as giving guidance on the religious affairs of the country.


Madam Speaker, we also have Muslims in this country, and they too are supposed to be guided by the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance. I do not think they agree with what we agreed here in Parliament, although some of us indicated that what we were saying were the views of the Zambians. We stated that the teaching of Comprehensive Sexuality Education in schools was against our national values and as such, we did not support it. If it was something right, the nation would not have raised eyebrows.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to add that this ministry needs more funding to be able to conduct extensive consultations on national matters because most people want to participate in programmes such as the National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation. However, they are not able to do so because they feel their opinions on certain matters are not respected. When the nation says it does not agree with this or that, especially on matters to do with national values and morals that have an effect on future generations, we expect the ministry to go out and sensitise the people on such matters. The ministry should not only speak through the traditional leaders. Instead, it should hold big rallies and explain to the people what the Government is doing and ask the people what their stance on a particular matter is. Let the people tell the Government what they agree with and what they do not agree with.


Madam Chairperson, I am concerned and worried about the issues I have brought out. However, I have confidence in this ministry, especially that it is headed by a clergyperson. Furthermore, Zambia is a Christian nation and that is why we are fasting and praying, as a nation.


The Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Ms Kasanda was inaudible.


Ms Subulwa (Sioma): Madam Chairperson, I thank the hon. Minister for that well-articulated policy statement, and I support the Vote.


Madam Chairperson, I share the same views with my hon. Colleague who indicated ... (inaudible)  ... specifically on the fact that the K 16,144,547 allocation is not adequate for the ministry to address the so many issues that are of concern to the people of Zambia.


Madam Chairperson, my concern is to do with the National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation. We are a Christian nation, and we are expected to participate in these prayers. As political leaders, we are told that if we want to represent people, and we call ourselves Christians, then, we should attend such special days that come once in a year.


Madam Chairperson, one issue that we need to realise is that when we aspire for a leadership position, we must know that our followers look up to us. So, if your followers look up to you and you call yourself a Christian, but you do not participate in such an event, which involves so many Christians, an event or a day on which people look up to speak to their God and render all their burdens to Him, you cause people to have so many questions about you.


Madam Chairperson, as Member of Parliament for Sioma, my people ask me why certain political leaders do not attend such a special day of prayer. Therefore, my appeal to the hon. Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs is to try and see how best she can encourage such leaders to be attending the National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation. If possible, the ministry can introduce another day of deliverance, in case people have deliverance issues so that such leaders begin to attend the National Day of Prayers, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation.


Madam Chairperson, the other appeal I have has to do with violence during general elections. I have heard people talk about violence in their debates and attribute it to the Patriotic Front (PF). I think we should be very realistic. I am from the Western Province, a province that was, in 2016, perceived to have been a United Party for National Development (UPND) stronghold. There were so many times when I was attacked by the other political party, but I have not heard anyone talk about it. So, I am appealing to the women out there, to politicians and those who are aspiring to take up leadership positions that, as leaders, let us not show biasness. Violence is there yes, but it is not one sided, like from the PF, even the UPND is involved in violent activities. That should be condemned.


Madam Chairperson, I am appealing to the hon. Minister that as she utilises the K16 million allocation, she should ensure that she visits the entire country. She should, at least, take time to visit the provinces. She should take time to come to the Western Province and talk to the youths and the women and urge them not to be used in violent activities. She should not just be in Lusaka and give policy statements, but come down to the Western Province and talk to the people about the evils of violence. That is my appeal. The hon. Minister should travel across the country to see how best to unite the country and also take time to counsel political leaders and other people who are involved in bad vices such as violence. They should stop it. We want to continue enjoying the peace that we have always enjoyed in Zambia.


I thank you, Madam.


Ms Kasanda was inaudible.


The Minister of Justice (Mr Lubinda): Madam Chairperson, thank you very much. I would like to support the Vote for the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs. In so doing, let me assist the hon. Minister in clarifying one misunderstanding by many Zambians, who tend to think that the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs is only about religious affairs. This ministry has a very big mandate beyond religion. It has the duty of guiding the nation on its National Values and Principles.


Madam Chairperson, in case there are some people who wonder why His Excellency the President, Mr Lungu, came up with this ministry, let me just explain why. His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Lungu, understands very well that you can build institutions of governance and build their capacities, but for as long you do not change the mindset of the people, all your effort will amount to nothing. This ministry has a very big duty to change the mindset of the people. This ministry has a duty to inculcate in our children the values and ethics of being a Zambian.


Madam Chairperson, this ministry’s duty is to ensure that every Zambian, wherever they are, especially when they are abroad, projects their country as the only country on earth. That is what other patriots do. They only consider their country as the first country, yet in this country, we are aware of some people who have given it to themselves to seize any opportunity they have to disparage their country when they are outside the country. Those are the people who the hon. Minister has to address. Those are the people she has to attend to, people who do not have pride in being Zambian.


Madam Chairperson, if you go to some countries, during a period such as the independence week, almost every citizen would be wearing the flag of their country to show their royalty and patriotism to their country. Therefore, I would like to call upon all citizens to take heed of the responsibility that this ministry has and make sure that we change our mindset.


Madam Chairperson, I would also like to reflect on a few things that have not been covered so very well. This ministry also has a duty, beyond the Ministry of Justice, to inculcate in the citizens the values of democracy and constitutionalism. This value is not only practiced when you become a national leader, but also practised in your homestead. How democratic are our homesteads? How democratic are the institutions that we belong to? How democratic are our political parties? If you find a political party that does not allow its members to express their views freely, then, you should know that those people are very good clients of this ministry.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister has a big task. Even in this House, we have seen how hon. Members of Parliament freely elected by the people of Zambia, using their democratic rights, are being harassed and removed from Parliament when they want to debate a particular matter. Unfortunately, all those are the hon. Minister’s client. She has a big clientele.


Madam Chairperson, there are also some people who deserve deliverance, like my hon. Colleague talked about coming up with a day of deliverance. I am sure that this ministry will do well to also use that wing of the ministry to bring people in conformity with the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is a Christian nation, and so, we should not have people, especially those who aspire to be leaders, betraying the confidence that we have in our Lord Jesus Christ.


Madam Chairperson, I would like those who debated the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No.10 of 2019 to save their energy. We shall debate it on Thursday. I have said before that it is a virtue for any Parliamentarian to know the season and the Order Paper. One cannot debate the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 when what is on the Order Paper is the Vote for the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs. He/she should debate the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 when it comes on the Floor of this House. So, I would like to call upon them to, please, fill Parliament come Thursday. We should debate Bill No. 10 from wherever we will be under the order that will be allowed on the Order Paper. Let us not try to use other means to show that we want to talk about it, but shy away when it comes on the Floor. I am sure that those who debated Bill No. 10 now will rise to the occasion on Thursday next week and tell the Zambian people their position on this very important Bill.


Madam Chairperson, let me end by encouraging the hon. Minister to continue guiding us. As member of the Legislative Committee of Cabinet, she always reminds us on that Committee to use the spectacles of national guidance and national values to come up with laws. Therefore, I want to commend her for that. Those who have said that she is acting as a politician must not forget the fact that she was appointed by a politician. When they go to the Minister of Finance, how come they do not say, “Hon. Minister of Finance, why are you a politician? We want money from you, but you are a member of a political party.” That, unfortunately, is the chemistry of leadership in our country. Those who become hon. Ministers must belong to the Ruling Party and those who aspire to be hon. Ministers are welcome.


Madam Chairperson, I want to end by congratulating the people of Chilubi for giving them zeros in two polling stations.


The Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!



Rev. Sumaili: Madam Chairperson, I want to thank the hon. Member for Kanchibiya, the hon. Member for Mongu Central, Dr Imakando, the hon. Member for Kafue, the hon. Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development, the hon. Member for Chienge, the hon. Member for Sioma and the hon. Minister of Justice. I am very grateful for the valuable contributions that they have made. It is said that in the multitude of counsel is wisdom.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Rev. Sumaili: Madam Chairperson, the importance of anchoring our national development on National Values and Principles cannot be overemphasised. We cannot do it without peace. We need peace in our nation. Therefore, I just want to encourage my colleagues, the hon. Members of Parliament, to be examples in as far as fostering peace is concerned. We should not encourage violence in our nation. We have only one country and that is Zambia.


Madam Chairperson, Hon. Katuta talked about Comprehensive Sexuality Education. The Government’s stand on this matter is very clear. Her Honour the Vice-President of the Republic of Zambia gave us a road map in this House. The Government has been asked to constitute a team of technocrats, which is going to look into this matter. This team will actually carry out wide consultations with the Church, as it remains a capable partner to the Government, traditional leaders, Civil Society Organisations (CSO) and parents. The consultations will be wide. We acknowledge that there are gaps in this programme and also that we have to align every programme that we implement in the Government to National Values and Principles.


Madam Chairperson, again, I thank the House for the support of this Vote.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Vote 32 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 33 – (Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry – K639,025,132)


The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Yaluma): Madam Chairperson, thank you for the opportunity to present my 2021 Ministerial Budget Policy Statement. Allow me to thank His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, for the inspirational state of the nation address to this august House and the nation at large. The message encouraged all Zambians to remain resilient and innovative in the new normal, as they conduct business amidst the devastating effects of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Therefore, I would like to echo the President’s call and inform my fellow Zambians that my ministry will continue to create a conducive business environment amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.


Madam Chairperson, in my ministerial budget policy statement for VOTE 33 – Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry – K639,025,132, I will review performance on the key programmes implemented by the ministry in 2020, so far, and highlight the focus of 2021 alongside the proposed resources. I will also outline priority programmes in response to the Presidential directive on enhancing food security in the midst of climate change and COVID-19 pandemic and strengthening the social protection system to safeguard people’s livelihoods.


Mandate of the Ministry


Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry is a Government economic ministry charged with the role of formulating and administering policies in the commercial, trade and industrial sectors in order to enhance the sectors’ contribution to socio-economic growth and development for the benefit of all the people in Zambia.


Review of the 2020 Performance


Madam Chairperson, the past performance of the ministry is based on resource allocation across the Output-Based Budget (OBB) programmes, which include the Industrial and Enterprise Development, Standard and Quality Assurance Trade Facilitation, Promotion and Market Access and Competition and Consumer Welfare.


Madam Chairperson, the ministry notes a slight increase in the 2021 Ministerial Budget ceiling from K285 million in 2020 to K293 million in 2021, representing an increase of 3 per cent. The increase amounting to K8 million is largely attributed to the cluster allocation of K7 million to cater for the priority programmes under economic diversification and job creation cluster.


Madam Chairperson, notwithstanding the Budget constraints due to adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the House may wish to note that the ministry has a huge backlog of personnel related arrears, currently, in excess of K2 million. As such, there is a need to dismantle this amount as per Government policy of dismantling arrears.


Madam Chairperson, I wish to state that the ministry, through the statutory bodies and donor supported projects, is expected to generate funds amounting to K772 million. Of this amount, K367 million will be generated from the revenue collecting agencies while K405 million are contributions from co-operating partners, as projects funding. The milestones achieved during this period under review include the following:


Industrial and Enterprise DevelopmentIndustrial Yards Development


 Madam Chairperson, the programme involves construction and operationalisation of industrial yards in seven of the ten provinces. Substantial progress was made with full completion rate in Kasama, Chipata and Mongu districts. In Ndola and Solwezi, the construction is complete and awaiting connectivity to the electricity grid while Kitwe is at 95 per cent completion. In Mansa and Kafue districts, the completion rate was recorded at 65 per cent. When operationalised, the industrial yards will host a number of businesses translating into job creation for about 400,000 people.



Value Chain Development


            Madam Chairperson, the ministry has been promoting the cashew nut value chain in the Western Province and cassava value chain in the North-Western Province, the Northern Province and Luapula Province.


Madam Chairperson, 4,000 farmers were targeted to be recruited in Solwezi and 4,626 have been registered, of which 32 per cent are female, 40 per cent are male and 28 per cent are youth. In Mansa, 4,000 farmers were targeted and 4,960 have been registered, of which 31 per cent are female, 38 per cent are male and 31 per cent are youth.


In Kasama, 4,000 farmers were targeted and 4,563 have been recruited of which 43 per cent are female, 39 per cent are male and 18 per cent are youth.


 Business and Market Linkages


Madam Chairperson, through the Zambia Agribusinesses and Trade Projects (ZATP), the ministry continues to promote the business and market linkages in an effort to increase market linkages and firm growth in agribusiness between producers and buyers, focusing on emerging farmers and growth oriented agribusiness Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs).


Madam Chairperson, in this regard, a total of sixteen producer organisations were linked to the market in aquaculture, poultry, livestock, dairy, goats, annual crop, soya beans, sorghum and honey value chains.


Co-operative Promotion Development


Madam Chairperson, some of the major interventions undertaken included, but not limited to, streamlining the registration procedures in line with international best practices. In so doing, the automated co-operative registration system has been rolled out to eight provinces, thus, reducing the cost of doing business.


Madam Chairperson, as a way of enhancing job creation in terms of co-operative diversification, in excess of 200 financial co-operatives were formed.



Economic Zones Development Promotion


Madam Chairperson, the Government has continued to promote the implementation of Multi- Facility Economic Zones (MFEZs) and industrial parks as follows:

a) the Lusaka South MFEZ is actualised with investment valued at U$415 million, at forty-one approved companies, ten of which are operational and fourteen on various construction and approval stages. The total investment by Zambia-China Corporation Zone MFEZ is valued at US$2.6 billion;

b)  the Chambeshi MFEZ has sixty companies with investment valued US$2.6 billion; and

c) the Lusaka East MFEZ has sixteen companies, which are under operation with an investment of US$29 million and over 300 jobs created.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to urge the business community in Zambia and abroad to take advantage of the accelerated depreciation and customs duty incentive for a period of five years provided for the businesses operating in priority sectors in MFEZs.


Investment Promotion


Madam Chairperson, the ministry facilitated a number of investment and trade promotion programmes with a number of countries. Further, the ministry held provincial expositions to promote investment potential in respective provinces of the country, namely the Central Province, the Northern Province, the Copperbelt Province, the Southern Province, Luapula Province and the North-Western Province. These provincial expositions were a success and a number of them have since commenced their investment projects.


Standardisation and Quality Assurance


In 2019, 91 per cent of products met required standards and in 2020, 43 per cent of products were certified.


 Trade facilitation


 The Government, through the ministry, developed the Zambia Trade Information Portal with support from co-operating partners. It aims to enhance trade through improved flow of information, automated trade procedures, improved risk management processes and boost the overall performance of border control agencies.


In view of the COVID -19 pandemic, the launch of the portal has provided huge milestones towards improving trade in the country while minimising physical and contact risk associated with it.


Key programmes to be implemented in 2021


 Madam Chairperson, the ministry will continue to implement priority output based programmes, in line with the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) agenda. Focus will be on creating an enabling business environment for decent employment opportunities and economic diversification as well as reducing development inequalities. In particular, the ministry will focus on the following:


a) industrial enterprise development. Focus will be on promoting agro and forest based processing and manufacturing promotion. This will be done through the up scaling of value addition and value chains development, industrialised development and business and marketing linkages;

b) standard and quality assurance will involve quality and productivity promotion with specific focus on development and conformity to national standard and quality infrastructure development;

c) trade facilitation, promotion and market access; and

d) competition and consumer protection.


Madam Chairperson: Order!


Hon. Minister, you have gone beyond ten minutes. You can use some of those notes when winding up debate.


Mr S. Banda (Kasenengwa): Madam Chairperson, thank you for allowing me to debate on this Vote. I would like to thank the hon. Minister for providing an elaborate policy statement.


 Firstly, I would like to underscore the fact that this ministry is core to ensuring that we have an economy which is growing because it is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that there is implementation of the Government’s sector policy, which is related to trade and industry. Therefore, it is at the core to stimulate sustainable growth.


Madam Chairperson, how can this happen? I remember that when the President came to this House, he highlighted, in his speech, the need to have a transformational agenda. For us, as Zambian entrepreneurs, to participate in the running of the economy, there is a need to have a transformational agenda. Obviously, this will not happen in an abstract.


Madam Chairperson, this country, under the leadership of His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has put in place astute and robust trade and investment policy levers which will enable us to apply ourselves, as Zambians.


 Secondly, we also have relevant agencies which are charged with the responsibility to ensure that these thematic interventions are addressed. Thus, the budget under discussion should ensure that those thematic interventions are applied to the letter.


In his last speech, the President highlighted issues which relate to mindset change. For this transformational agenda to be actualised, the core issue which is required is mindset change among our entrepreneurs. Some of the agencies such as the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) are charged with this responsibility. There is a need for these institutions to realign their efforts to ensure that there is mindset change among entrepreneurs.


Madam Chairperson, he already referred to the fact that there is a need to create linkages for these entrepreneurs. For example, the President highlighted that chain stores, which are dotted around, should buy their products such as vegetables locally. It is the duty of this ministry to ensure that these entrepreneurs are aligned to have this actualised and that they have access to finance.


Madam Chairperson, the irony is that when this is done, Zambian entrepreneurs will participate in the economic growth and contribute significantly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). For example, the case now is that, in fact, we have the income per capita of about 1,200 and, if we deconstruct that you will find that most of it goes towards those who own means of production.


Madam Chairperson, what this Government has done, under the leadership of His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, is to narrow the gap between the poor and the rich. That has been done because we have a political order which is pro-poor and meant to support Zambians. That has been demonstrated by various interventions which the President highlighted in his speech such as the aquaculture intervention where we will look at 12,000 beneficiaries. About 4,119 farmers have already benefitted from the aquaculture project whilst 1,783 youths are on the livestock restocking project.


Madam, market linkages such as the strategic resource of gold, through the Zambia Gold Company where the Government is purchasing gold from artisans and small-scale mines, is another intervention. There are various interventions which I cannot mention because time fails me.


Madam Chairperson, the idea is to narrow the gap to ensure that entrepreneurs participate. As they economy grows, the growth in the GDP can be attributed to Zambian entrepreneurs. That said, this Government, under the leadership of His Excellency the President, and as also highlighted by the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, has provided various vehicles, policies, thematic interventions and measures to ensure that Zambians participate in ensuring that the gap between the poor and the rich is narrowed.


With that, I support the Vote.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Dr Imakando: Madam Chairperson, I have difficulties thanking the hon. Minister for that policy statement because I did not find it very inspiring.


Madam Chairperson, commerce and trade are so important in facilitating private sector development. So, the policies that are supposed to lift us out of poverty should be championed by this ministry. Why? It is this ministry that is supposed to create jobs, and not just jobs, but good jobs.


Madam Chairperson, it is this ministry that is supposed to ensure that we have services and not just services, but affordable services. It is this ministry that is supposed to ensure that we have sufficient goods that we need in this country. So, when I listened to this policy statement, I could not see a thriving private sector. If we do not have a thriving private sector, it means that we will not be able to have the higher tax revenues to finance services. We will not have enough revenues to service the debt that is drowning us. So, it is important that this ministry champions private sector development.


Madam, when you look at the past allocations to the economic sectors, they have been going down by 3 per cent each year. In 2019, the budget allocation went down by 3 per cent. In 2020, it went down by 3 per cent and in 2021, the budget we are looking at, the allocation will go down by 3 per cent.


Madam Chairperson, if we do not make the necessary investments to attract new innovations that will make us competitive, bring about new business models, bring about new approaches to business, we will remain uncompetitive. Not long ago, the Head of State told us that Zambia is experiencing a trade deficit. A trade deficit means that we are paying more for imports.


Madam Chairperson, this ministry needs to jack up. It needs to look at the constraints that are killing businesses like issues of excessive regulation and unnecessary licences and levies that are chocking businesses. This ministry needs to look at corruption that results in less revenue collection and that discourages well meaning businesses to perform well because they cannot compete while others are taking shortcuts.


Madam Chairperson, it is necessary that we, as a landlocked country, look at our transportation network. Goods move on these roads in a very inefficient way. Our people are paying for this inefficiency. It is necessary that we attract investments. We must have a conducive business environment that will encourage productivity. At the moment, productivity in the manufacturing, industry and agricultural sectors is very low. We cannot compete at such low productivity levels. So, this ministry needs to re-energise itself and come up with policies that will pull us out of poverty.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Ngulube: Madam Chairperson, thank you for this opportunity.


Madam Chairperson, I want to commend the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry for a very well elaborated statement. I think I want to echo some of the successes that the hon. Minister has highlighted. The hon. Minister has stated how the Government intends to industrialise this country.


Madam Chairperson, you will also note that according to the ministerial statement given, the Government plans to set up industrial yards in all the ten provinces. The hon. Minister also added the issues of value chain, production and industrialisation. We aware that, at the moment, we have places or companies that used to be run by the Government, but were privatised and are not producing anything. For instance, we have in Kabwe, Kabwe Industrial Fabrics, in Mansa, we have Mansa Batteries and many industries in other places, like Luangwa Industries in the Eastern Province. We want to urge the hon. Minster to begin to create opportunities for our people through the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) and other projects like the Zambia Agro Business Trade Forum.


Madam Chairperson, in Kabwe, we have proposed that the Kabwe Industrial Fabrics, which was sold to people who have failed to run it, be purchased by the Government, through the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, which will pump in money, and give it to us as an industrial yard so that all these skills training programmes and funded projects can be done at that place.


Madam Chairperson, we are also aware that under the Business and Market Linkages Programme that was mentioned by the hon. Minister, we have many of small-scale producers who have been producing a lot of minerals and products that can be exported. It will be nice if we can pick on the Chinese model where small-scale industries are actually supported to export beyond their border so that they can create employment and generate income for themselves. We are aware that the CEEC has a lot of challenges collecting monies that were given to these small-scale industries. However, I think we can turn those misfortunes into fortunes by ensuring that this time around, we create what we can call partnerships. For instance, we can get foreign owned companies to partner with our own companies so that at the end of the day, we have some productivity and some form of knowledge transfer.


Madam Chairperson, I know that Zambia produces copper, but if you go around all the ten provinces, you will not find as many companies producing copper products. So, the copper will leave Zambia, go to South Africa for value addition, then, be brought back into Zambia for us to buy. The same happens to some of these minerals. For example, almost all cleaning agents come out of Zambia. So, we want to start value addition.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to state that if only what we are doing in Kabwe Central could be given support by the Government, I think, we would create jobs. We are training our people in the markets on how to package their products and produce barcodes so that they can begin supplying to chain stores. The President had said that as a result of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), most of these challenges and the gaps being created in bringing some of these products from outside the country can be filled by locals. I am aware that in Mazabuka, we have the Kaweya Small holdings, and if we can partner those people with small-scale industries, we can get a lot of support.


Madam Chairperson, allow me, in conclusion, to congratulate the Patriotic Front (PF) Government for not only speaking about, but also actualising most of these projects. As a result of these good policies the Government has implemented, we have seen a lot of support in terms of job creation and adding value to our market products. That is the reason when you go to the Agriculture and Commercial Show, you will find that half of the products are made in Zambia since most of them are now being produced within our border.


Sir, I also want to congratulate the Patriotic Front (PF) for winning the by-elections that we had and also for copying the voting pattern from the Southern Province where we are now able to see zeros for the Opposition. I hope in the 2021 elections, the same can be repeated.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka): Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry if well managed, can bring our country out of the economic doldrums. I want to borrow from one of the debaters who said that this is a ministry that can actually produce jobs. I would like to indicate that the questions that we need to ask ourselves, as we interrogate ourselves should be: Why have the industrial parks failed to take off? The industrial parks or the Multi-Facility Economic Zones (MFEZs), as commonly known in this country, were first introduced to achieve something. However, it has been many years since they were established, but why have we not developed jobs? Why is there no Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) that is coming to this country to actualise the dream of these industrial parks? There is something that is definitely wrong that requires to be attended to.


Madam Chairperson, before I come to the fact that, probably, it is a change of Government that is required for some of these things to take off, I would like to also indicate that there are other things that I want to elucidate here which include, and not limited to, the low levels of technology advancement in this country. This is one of the reasons the industrial parks have not taken off. The absorption capacity on the market is one of the issues that we are grappling with. We have such a small economy.


Madam, the hon. Minister knows very well that a country south of our border, Zimbabwe, which has had many difficulties in running the economy, has a much stronger industrial base than we have. That is a fact. The textile industry in Zimbabwe produces textile from cotton, lint, yarn and they also weave. Gone are the days when we had companies like Sakiza Spinning Ltd or Swaps Spinning Mills up on the Copperbelt. Today, Zambia is a dumping ground. All you see are people smartly dressed because they buy street clothes. The textile industry is gone.


Mr Chairperson, one of the things the hon. Minister requires to do while he still has a few months in Government is to try to strengthen the innovation capacity by making sure that while we have entered the Free Trade Area arrangement, we must advocate to go into the Tripartite Free Trade Area, which is broader.


Mr Chairperson, if not handled properly, it will damage our economy even further. What we need to do is to ensure that we take advantage of the natural endowment that we have, as a country. For instance, why have we not taken advantage of the Mukula? Why is our beef industry not doing as well as the beef industry in Botswana, yet our weather conditions are even better?


Madam Chairperson, there is also now the issue of policy. Under the Patriotic Front (PF), there is a need for an ultimate surgery in order for us –


The Chairperson: Order!


(Consideration adjourned)






[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]


(Progress reported)




The House adjourned at 1157hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 27th October, 2020.