Thursday, 5th November, 2020

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Thursday, 5th November, 2020


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












Mr Speaker:  Hon. Members, you will recall that on Friday, 30th October, 2020, when the House was considering Head 44 – Ministry of Labour and Social Security – and Ms M. C. Chonya, Member of Parliament for Kafue Parliamentary Constituency was on the Floor, Dr F. Ng’ambi, Member of Parliament for Chifubu Parliamentary Constituency raised the following Point of Order:


“Madam Chairperson, thank you for the opportunity to raise a point of order. I also seek the indulgence of the hon. Member who was on the Floor.


“Madam Chairperson, yesterday, 29th October, 2020, the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019, was presented on the Floor of this House. This Bill was meant to benefit the people of Zambia, as it was progressive. It was also meant to address the many challenges that they have been experiencing.


“Madam Chairperson, one of the issues that came out yesterday is what we are experiencing today, which is that the communication system at the National Assembly keeps freezing from time to time. So, at the time of voting yesterday, my console froze and was unable to register my vote.


“Madam Chairperson, as you may be aware, I supported the Bill and my name was supposed to appear among those who voted for it. However, my name did not appear, and I have publicly declared that it was my intention to support Bill No. 10 of 2019. Since the system failed me by not registering my presence and I am publicly declaring my support for Bill No. 10 of 2019, will the records at the National Assembly be changed so that I become No. 106 among those who voted ‘yes’ yesterday?


“I seek your serious ruling, Madam Chairperson.””


In her immediate response, the First Deputy Speaker, Hon. C. Namugala, MP, sitting as Chairperson of the Committee of Supply, reserved her ruling.


Additionally, on the same day, my office received letters of complaint from Mr K. Kabaso, Member of Parliament for Mwansabombwe Parliamentary Constituency and Dr F. Ng’ambi, MP, on the same matter.


The letters were expressed in the following terms:


  1. Complaint By Mr K Kabaso, MP




“With reference to the above caption, I write to your office seeking clarity as to what transpired during 29th October, Parliament sitting during the voting of Bill No. 10 Motion. Despite having voted yes to the Motion, it has come to my attention that my names were not captured as having voted.


“I urgently seek your urgent response on this matter.


“Yours faithfully,


“Hon. Kampampi Kabaso


“MP Mwansabombwe Constituency””


  1. Complaint By Dr F. Ng’ambi, MP




“Reference is made to the above mentioned matter.


“I write to officially complain that on October 29th 2020, on the Floor of the House when the Honourable Mr Speaker called to vote Bill No. 10, I recall very well that I voted YES. I followed the instruction by pressing PRESENT and pressed YES.


“Shockingly, my name did not appear on the list of those who voted. I, therefore, demand that my name be included on the list of other Honourable Members who voted YES.


“It is my sincere hope that the integrity of the voting system will be interrogated.


“Your favourable consideration will be highly appreciated.


“Yours faithfully,


“Hon. Frank Ng’ambi, MP




Hon. Members, following the point of order and complaints, my office conducted thorough investigations to establish what transpired on the material day.


Hon. Members, as you are aware, voting in the Chamber is conducted using the Bosch Communication System installed here in the Chamber. This is a stand-alone closed circuit system which is not connected to the Parliament Local Area Network (LAN) or the internet. The isolation of the system from the internet and main network is intended to restrict access to the system to hon. Members who are physically present in the Chamber. To put it plainly, the system is isolated to protect it from external interference or manipulation. Thus, voting on the Bosch system is only accessible from the Chamber and can only be done by hon. Members from their respective units.  It is for this reason that on Friday, 23rd October, 2020, the Office of the Clerk issued a circular advising all Members of Parliament to be physically present in the Chamber to cast their vote on the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019.


Hon. Members, it is further noteworthy, that because the Bosch Communication system cannot be accessed remotely, the Information and Communications (ICT) Department has officers stationed in the Chamber. Thus, any Member encountering challenges with the system is assisted by the ICT officers from the Member’s personal unit.


Hon. Members, I now wish to highlight how the voting system operates. Once the Presiding Officer announces that the House will vote electronically, the following procedure is followed:


  1. Hon. Members are all logged out of the Bosch Chamber system by one of the ICT officers stationed in the Chamber.
  2. The Presiding Officer announces as follows: “PLEASE LOG INTO THE SYSTEM.”
  3. Hon. Members are required to enter their username and password to log into the system.
  4. The Presiding Officer asks hon. Members if they have all successfully logged in.
  5. The Presiding Officer announces as follows: “When you hear the paging sound the vote has opened and the voting screen is displayed on your microphone unit.”
  6. The Presiding Officer states as follows: select the present key.
  7. The Presiding Officer asks if all Members have selected the “Present” key.
  8. The Presiding Officer then announces as follows: “On the right side of the screen you will see the words: ‘please cast your vote.’”
  9. The Presiding Officer instructs Members to do the following: “Select one of the options: yes, no or abstain.”
  10. The Presiding Officer states as follows: “Once you have selected one of the options, you will see the words: ‘vote has been cast’ on the right side of the screen.”
  11. The Presiding Officer then announces that: “When you hear the second paging sound the vote will close after one minute.”
  12. After one minute, the Presiding Officer states as follows: “You have just voted”.
  13. The Presiding Officer announces the results displayed on the system.


Hon. Members, once a vote has been taken, the Bosch communication System generates a comprehensive report on the vote, which includes the following features:


  1. The first column headed “Participant name.” This column contains the name of the Member of Parliament;
  2. The second column headed “Group.” This column indicates the party or group to which a Member belongs;
  3. The third column headed “Voting answer.” This column provides for five options as    follows:


  1. Not Present: This means that the hon. Member did not select the “Present” key to indicate their intention to participate in the vote;
  2. Yes: This means the hon. Member voted in favour of the Motion on the Floor of the House;
  3. No: This means the hon. Member voted against the Motion on the Floor of the House;
  4. Abstain: This means the Member neither voted for or against the Motion on the Floor of the House; and
  5. Not Voted: This means the hon. Member selected the “Present” key, but did not select any of the voting options.

d. The fourth column is headed “Attendance.” It provides two options:

      (i) Present: This means that the hon. Member successfully logged into the Bosch Communication System; or

     (ii)  Absent: This means that the hon. Member did not log-in to the Bosch Communication System.


Hon. Members, in view of the foregoing, it is evident that for a Member to vote, he/she needs to, first, log into the Bosch Communication System. Thereafter, he/she must select the “Present” key to signify his/her intention to vote. Where a member only logs into the system, but does not select the “Present” key, he/she will not be able to vote. Thus, the system will capture the hon. Member as present for purposes of logging in and “not present” for purposes of voting.


Hon. Members, as regards Dr F. Ng’ambi, MP, and Mr K. Kabaso, MP, the report indicates as follows:


Participant Name                    Group              Voting Answer            Attendance


Mr Frank Ng’ambi                  PF                    Not Present                 Present


Mr Kampampi Kabaso            PF                    Not Present                 Present


Hon. Members, in the column headed, ‘Attendance’, both Dr F. Ng’ambi, MP, and Mr K. Kabaso, MP, are indicated as being present. This means that both hon. Members successfully logged into the system for purposes of voting. In the second column headed, ‘Voting Answer’, both hon. Members are indicated as not being present. This signifies that both, Dr F. Ng’ambi, MP, and Mr K. Kabaso, MP, did not select the ‘Present’ key, which would have activated the voting options and enabled them to vote.


Hon. Members, in his point of order, Dr F. Ng’ambi, MP, alleged that his vote could not be registered because his console froze. However, investigations have revealed that if, indeed, his console froze as alleged, he would not even have been able to log into the system, let alone, to press the ‘Present’ and ‘Yes’ options, as alleged in his letter of complaint. At any rate, if his console had indeed frozen, as alleged, he should have immediately alerted me, and I would have, in turn, instructed the Information Communication Technology (ICT) officers in the Chamber to assist him forthwith. As a matter of fact, an ICT specialist is positioned adjacent to me, this gentleman here.


In the premise, I have come to the conclusion that on the material day, Dr F. Ng’ambi, MP, logged into the system as required. He, however, did not select the ‘Present’ key, which would have activated the necessary options to enable him vote. Therefore, contrary to his assertion that his vote was not recorded due to a system failure, Dr F. Ng’ambi’s failure to register his vote was as a result of his own failure to press on ‘Present’, and thereby register his intention to vote, and subsequently, proceed to vote.


Hon. Members, gleaning the Bosch System report referred to above, it is self-evident that the same narrative relating to Dr F. Ng’ambi, also applies to Mr K. Kabaso, MP. In view of the foregoing, the result of the vote on the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 cannot be re-visited or revised and shall stand as recorded on the system as declared by me, on Thursday, 29th October, 2020.


Finally, I would like to seize this opportunity to urge hon. Members to acquaint themselves thoroughly with the voting procedure and promptly alert the presiding officer whenever they experience any challenges with the system.


I thank you.








The Minister of Energy (Mr Nkhuwa): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for according me this opportunity to present a ministerial statement on the planned outage at Kafue Gorge Power Station to facilitate the filling of Kafue Gorge Lower Dam. 


Mr Speaker, the construction of the 750 MW Kafue Gorge Lower Power Station commenced in 2016. This project is valued at US$2.3 billion. The project is located in Chikankata District of the Southern Province and is currently at 93 per cent completion.


Mr Speaker, as earlier stated, the project has advanced and the initial phase of power generation will commence soon. The commissioning of the first phase entails filling of the dam with water known as impounding process, which is planned to start on Sunday, 8th November, 2020. The process is expected to take at least one week.


Mr Speaker, the Kafue Gorge Lower Power Station lies on the downstream of the existing Kafue Gorge Upper Power Station with an installed capacity of 990 MW. With the planned commissioning of Kafue Gorge Lower Power Station, ZESCO Limited will have to restrict generation upstream at the Kafue Gorge Upper Power Station by closing the diversion tunnels and gates at Kafue Gorge Lower Dam, thereby reducing water dispensing from Kafue Gorge Upper Power Station.


Mr Speaker, as a result of this reduced power generation, the activities of the new dam filling will result into increased load shedding first for twenty-four hours a day as power generation will be considerably reduced. During the subsequent six days, reduced generation at Kafue Gorge Upper Power Station will be maintained at a level to control the rate of filling up the new dam. The nationwide load management programme will maintain Level III of the Weather Induced Power Deficit of 2019 (WIPOD-19), which translates into eight to twelve hours of load shedding.


Mr Speaker, once the dam is successfully filled, the first two generator units, each with 150 MW capacity, will then be commissioned. It is expected that the first unit will be commissioned end of November 2020, while the second unit is expected to be commissioned at the end of December 2020. The last three of the five generator units are expected to be commissioned in 2021, bringing the total of 750 MW online. Once this historical stage of the dam filling is completed, the preparations of firing up the first 150 MW generator will then be expedited towards easing of the current 810 MW power deficit.


Mr Speaker, allow me also to state that on Friday, 23rd October, 2020, a flash fire ignited at the Kafue Gorge Lower Project site. The flash fire accident occurred in the afternoon when three workers were assigned to cut some protruding steel bars on the dam concrete. As the workers were cutting the steel bars, hot slug from the cutting torch fell onto the safety nylon rope that was attached to the motorised elevator working platform and a portion of the burning rope fell to the foot of the dam onto a pile of remnant sealant coating that had been applied to the dam wall, thus igniting the fire. On a sad note, we lost two of the workers who sustained severe burns from the incident; may the souls of our dearly departed rest in peace.


Sir, despite that accident, construction works did not stall, thus the planned commissioning of the initial phase is still on course. I must state that the planned commissioning of the initial phase is as a result of concerted efforts to ensure that safety regulations are observed at all times.


Mr Speaker, may I end by informing the nation that the Government will continue to ensure security of supply of electricity, is assured for the benefit of the people and economic development and industrialisation.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, you are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement given by the hon. Minister of Energy.


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that update to the nation on the accident that occurred at Kafue Gorge Lower Power Station. Was the accident as a result of human error or a technical problem?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, the incident was a pure accident and it was not as a result of any error. It was just a mishap and like I said, a rope which was burning fell unto some remnants of sealing material for the dam, which is highly inflammable. That is how the fire happened and some people got burnt.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Zimba (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, since we lost two lives due to that fire, what was the extent of the damage that was caused to this plant and the implications on the works that are being undertaken at the moment?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, the fire did not go on for a long time, as it was extinguished by the people who were on top of the dam wall. Just to give an idea of the scenario: That dam wall is 123 m wide and 130 m high. Therefore, that fire did not even penetrate the concrete. The concrete is safe and that is why we will impound the water for generation of power, soon.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, the people of Zambia are going through very difficult times because of load shedding. If I understood the hon. Minister properly, he is proposing to reduce the intake of water in the upper station so that the dam at the lower end can fill up. In view of the fact that the rainy season is just around the corner, why does the generation of power have to be reduced in the upper dam for the water to flow? Why not allow a natural flow of water out of the upper dam and let the rains fill up the dams? That way, we will not have to put the people of Zambia in further anguish of power failures. So why does the hon. Minister not allow the rain to do the job rather than deny us electricity?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, the more power you generate, the more water you release at the end of the generation point, which then flows to the Kafue Gorge Lower Power Station. In the process of filling up the dam, we have to close the gates. For us to be able to close those gates, we need to clear the debris at the gates. There is a winch that we are going to use, but we have to clear the debris, hence reducing the water flow. That is why there is the initial process of twenty-four hours and then thereafter, things will get better. We have to clean up and that is the reason we are going to reduce the water flow initially.


Sir, energy will be reduced from about 750 MW that we are producing currently to about 100 MW. So, it will reduce by 650 MW initially for twenty-four hours and then once we have shut the gates and we are confident that everything is okay, we will then ramp up the production to 500 MW.


Mr Speaker, we have to make sure that there is no debris so that when we close the gates, the water will be completely sealed off. We do not want a situation where when we close a gate, water will keep on passing under that gate where there will be, probably a stone or something. We want complete sealing and the only way that can be inspected is by reducing the water flow coming from Kafue Gorge Upper Power Station.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned the level of investment that has gone into the Kafue Gorge Lower Power Station. I did not clearly get the amount, but it was in several billions of dollars and I am aware that this is actually borrowed money. What is the estimated payback period of that money, including the interest earned thereof?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, the payment for this project is to run over twenty-five years.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Are you able to state the interest?


Mr Nkhuwa: Sir, I do not have those statistics, but they can be availed to the House later.


Mr Speaker: You said you could come back?


Mr Nkhuwa: Yes, Mr Speaker. I said I could inform the House at an appropriate time.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has mentioned that –




Mr Nanjuwa: Mr Speaker, are you getting me?


Mr Speaker: Yes, we are getting you, but you have a lot of company it would appear.


Mr Nanjuwa: No Sir, it is from that side.


Mr Speaker: Go ahead.


Mr Nanjuwa: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that load shedding will increase. Will it be countrywide or will some specific areas be more affected than others? Are there areas that will not be affected?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, the load shedding will be countrywide. Everybody will be affected, including the mining companies and the owners have already been informed about this process.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Chishala was inaudible.


Dr Chibanda (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, the Kafue Gorge Lower Project has been a source of hope for the people of Zambia who expected it to end the load shedding that we have experienced for a while. The hon. Minister stated that he will commission part of that project this November while the other one will be commissioned in 2021. When precisely will load shedding be a thing of the past and when in 2021 will the final project be commissioned?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, the first generator is expected to come online at the end of January 2021, the second one in February 2021 and the last one at the end of March 2021. So, we do not expect any more load shedding by the end of March 2021.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lihefu was inaudible.


Mr Jamba was inaudible.


Mr Malama was inaudible.


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the workers used a flammable material below the wall and that they were welding the upper part of the wall. Since they used a flammable material, the engineers and the chemical engineers who were working there should have known that it was dangerous to weld alongside the flammable material. As a result, we lost lives. How prevalent is that flammable material along the dam? Further, what measures have been put in place to ensure that the people who expose themselves to the flammable material are safe to prevent further loss of life?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, the material that the workers used to paint the dam wall was some sort of a sealant. I suspect that some of it dropped on the floor and they did not pick it up. A few days later, the workers who were cutting the steel bars that were protruding from the concrete using a cutting torch climbed 130 metres up the wall. In the process of welding, sparks fell onto the highly flammable material causing it to blast like a bomb and there was a big fire. However, the process of cutting the steel has been stopped because of the flammable material on the wall. Going forward, the dam will be filled with water and the engineers confirmed that it is competent enough to hold the water. So, we will not go through that process again. We spoke to the people on site to ensure that they prioritise safety measures at all the sites, including carrying out a risk assessment on safety. They need to carry out a risk assessment before they start the works to curtail such accidents in future.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: I will take the last five contributions from the hon. Member for Mongu Central, the hon. Member for Kabompo, the hon. Member for Milenge, the hon. Member for Kasenengwa and the hon. Member for Ikeleng’i.


The hon. Member for Mongu Central is not logged in yet.


Dr Imakando (Mongu Central): Mr Speaker, I apologise. The system somehow logged me out.


Sir, I would like to seek clarification with regard to the load shedding that will be introduced as a result of cleaning the debris in the dam. My understanding is that the water that runs the turbines comes from the stream and goes into the old turbines and, then, the new turbines. So, I do not see a relationship between the new turbines and the debris since the water already passes through the old turbines. So, how does the debris pass through the old turbines but not be able to pass through the new turbines? I need clarification.


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, when we started building the dam, we built some tunnels where the water was passing. So, the water was not passing into its normal channel. However, there is debris at the bottom of the tunnels so we have to close them, and we will use gates to close them. The Kafue Gorge Upper Power Station is on the upstream of the river. So, the water that comes from Kafue Gorge Upper Power Station goes to Kafue Gorge Lower Power Station.


Sir, first of all, the water goes to Itezhi-Tezhi Hydro-Power Station, which is at the top most, and then it goes to Kafue Gorge Upper Power Station and Kafue Gorge Lower Power Station. When we produce more electricity, it means that we have more water going to Kafue Gorge Lower Power Station. So, the idea is to reduce the inflow of water so that we can clean the debris. I hope the hon. Member has understood that we had to put some tunnels in the dam to facilitate its building. We will have to shut these tunnels and that is what is making us impound the water on the other side. ZESCO Limited is in the business of producing and selling electricity. If there was a way that we could have done it without inconveniencing the public, we would have definitely done so. However, that is the only way it is going to be done.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Mr Speaker, in the first instance, I commiserate with the families who lost their beloved ones and were probably income earners. However, according to the hon. Minister, by the end of March, we would have had enough output to cover the nation so that there is no more power outage. What is the total expected output at the end of March, when the hon. Minister commissions the last stage vis-à-vis the national demand?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, first of all, our installed capacity in Zambia is 2,976 MW. If we add 750 MW, we will definitely have about 3,600 MW and our peak-most demand is between 2,300 to 2,400 MW. So, we shall be well above that but the biggest challenge we have is at the Kariba Dam, where we have six turbines that produce 180 MW each. At the moment, only one or two are running because the water is not enugh to produce electricity at the Kariba Dam. So, obviously, with more rain, we can have 3,600 MW. Currently, we have a deficit of about 810 MW and if we add 750 MW to our current production, and since the rainy season has begun, we will completely do away with load shedding.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mbulakulima (Milenge): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that there is not enough water to produce electricity at Kariba Dam. I am an accountant by profession and not a technical person. When I was in Milenge, some individuals asked me why the Government is putting up another major project, which is the Kafue Gorge Lower Project, in the same area. They said if there is scarcity of water, then, we will still have the same trouble. They also talked of spreading of the risks, meaning we will still have the same problem, but I did not have any answer for them. They further asked me as to why the Government did not put the Kafue Gorge Lower Project at another independent area away from Kafue where we have had some problems. So, I did not want to scratch around the problem. Could the hon. Minister help me understand why the two major projects are in one area?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, the Kafue Gorge Upper Power Station, the Kafue Gorge Lower and the Itezhi-Tezhi Hydro-Power Station will basically use the same water and the Kafue Gorge Upper Power Station has the capacity to produce 990 MW. In my statement, I mentioned that at the moment, we are producing 750 MW instead of 990 MW. So, the water levels in Kafue River were not as bad as in the Kariba Dam. The Kariba Dam was the most hit. There is already a dam in Itezhi-Tezhi, which is an advantage. So, the cost of constructing the power station is much better than constructing a green field project. So, having a dam at Itezhi-Tezhi was an added advantage.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr S. Banda (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, it is exciting that the hon. Minister has highlighted the key milestones the Government has attained in implementing the project. However, my question is a follow up to the one asked by the hon. Member for Mumbwa. The hon. Minister indicated that the load shedding will be country wide. Therefore, what measures have been put place to ensure that strategic institutions like hospitals are not affected?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, where possible, institutions such as water utilities and hospitals are not load shed. However, certain hospitals are on a grid that is shared by too many people. Therefore, they do not have a redundant line. Unfortunately, those ones will be load shed but we will tell the people involved to prepare. Those with generators can use them but they will be informed. The critical load shedding will be for 24 hours starting on Sunday 8th November, mid-day to the following day Monday. So, that is the critical stage when we have more load shedding. However, we will try and spare the institutions that are critical to the lives of people.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, part of my question was asked by the hon. Member for Kasenengwa. However, the hon. Minister said that we will have 24 hours of load shedding. Will that be for a single day, from Sunday to Monday, or for a complete whole week? I want to be clear. If that is not the case, how many hours will it be done for the other remaining days?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, from Sunday to Monday, we shall slow down production by 650 MW. So, we will only be producing about 100 MW, but beyond Monday, we shall be producing 500 MW for another six days. So, load shedding is going to take seven days.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.








Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on National Economy, Trade and Labour Matters on the Proposal to Ratify the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Trade in Services to the Declaration and Treaty of the SADC Community for the Fifth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 29th October, 2020.


Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?


Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, pursuant to Article 63 of the Constitution of Zambia as amended by Act No.2 of 2016 and Section 5 of the Ratification of the International Agreements Act No. 34 of 2016, the Committee was mandated to consider and make recommendations to the House on the Executive’s proposal to ratify the SADC Protocol on Trade in Services.


Mr Speaker, the SADC Protocol on Trade in Services was adopted by SADC member states in August, 2012. The protocol is expected to come into force once two thirds or ten out of the fifteen member states have ratified it. So far, seven member states have ratified the protocol.


Mr Speaker, let me state from the outset that most of the stakeholders who made submissions before the Committee were in support of the ratification of this agreement. They were, however, concerned about the fact that Zambia had, in the past, failed to take advantage of the already existing regional integration initiatives. They noted that perhaps, the biggest threat for Zambia in ratifying the protocol was the increased exposure to fierce market competition within the region. Notably, the region is dominated by South Africa, which accounts for more than 50 per cent of the region’s total exports of services. Zambia’s low capacity to withstand the fierce competition is exacerbated by the relatively weak capacity in the services sector. This is likely to worsen the situation with Zambia becoming a dumping ground for unregulated services.


Mr Speaker, let me now highlight some of the specific concerns raised by stakeholders and the Committee.


Sir, Objective No. 2 provides for a progressive approach to the liberalisation of trade and services. The Committee notes that unless deliberate steps are taken, this provision has the potential to create inequality in gains and possibly deepen poverty levels in Zambia. There is also the possibility of reduced generation of revenue from taxes, which will in turn affect the provision of social services by the Government. In this regard, the Committee recommends that Zambia should carefully assess its competitiveness before agreeing to any commitments that have the potential to lead to adverse outcomes for national economic growth rates, domestic revenue mobilisation, as well as poverty alleviation in the country.


Mr Speaker, the above concerns were brought to the attention of the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, who assured the Committee that the negotiation of the schedules of specific commitments for Zambia and accompanying annexes would be guided by the laws and regulations of the domestic sectors in Zambia. The Committee was further assured that any unforeseen events that may occur in the services sector would be checked by the laws and regulations of the sector. Hence, the domestic industry shall remain protected by the laws of the country.


Mr Speaker, the other matter of concern is the provision of Article 14 regarding market access. The Committee notes that the provisions of this Article may take away the regulatory oversight of institutions such as the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) and the Zambia Information Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA). According to the licensing guidelines on the terms and conditions of the licenses in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, licensees are required to be registered within the country and to employ 80 percent of Zambians at all levels of an organisation. This is aimed at ensuring that benefits of these investments accrue to the local populace. In this regard, the Committee recommends that Zambia should ensure that there is no conflict between local regulations and the provisions of the protocol to ensure that the former takes precedence over the later/latter.


Mr Speaker, the Committee is generally satisfied that the conditions for determining whether or not the ratification of the protocol is in the best interest of the nation as set out in the Ratification of International Agreements Act No. 34 of 2016, have been met. The Committee, therefore, recommends that the National Assembly approves the proposal to ratify the protocol, taking into account the concerns raised in its report.


Mr Speaker, I beg to move.


Mr Speaker: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?


Mr Mwila: Now, Sir.


Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to second this important Motion.


Sir, allow me to put it to the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry that this Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Trade in Services has adequate provisions to evoke and protect infant service industries from the anticipated fierce competition from the regional SADC block. We are aware that in this particular SADC protocol, there exists a schedule of specific commitments and accompanying annexes, which would guide individual SADC member states. So, I would like to urge the technocrats in the ministry to take the interest of the country first as they negotiate some of these specific commitments so that Zambia can come out with a win-win situation.


Mr Speaker, it is not healthy for Zambia to boast of only a 3 per cent export market share of trade in service, lagging behind small countries in size, population density and land mass, such as Mauritius, by more than eight percentage points.


So, I would like to put it to the ministry concerned that we want this picture to change. Now, what proposal are we making to the ministry to change this gloomy picture?


Mr Speaker, firstly, your Committee is proposing to the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry that working hand in hand with the Ministry of Finance, it should find ways of providing affordable finance, especially to our infant and indigenous service industries in our country.


Sir, secondly, we need to allocate appropriate stimulus packages to our service industries so that eventually, we can surpass more countries such as Mauritius, which are leading us by wide margins.


Mr Speaker, thirdly, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry should reinstate the original incentives that were put in the Multi-Facility Economic Zones (MFEZs). As we ratify this protocol, it is a position of your Committee that the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry should not take this as business as usual. It is time we moved to the business unusual status.


With these few remarks, I beg to second the Motion.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Yaluma): Mr Speaker, I have taken note of the contributions by my hon. Colleagues. As Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, we are very much geared because we have been debating this issue and also negotiating, on behalf of the country, with the other participants in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol. One thing I would like to emphasise, like it has been highlighted, is why we think Zambia should ratify the International Agreement on the SADC Protocol on Trade in Services.


Mr Speaker, Zambia stands to benefit from the ratification of SADC Protocol on Trade in Services as it will provide an opportunity for increased market access, which was highlighted as not having been utilised in the past. This is being negotiated, and we have offered to do that. It will also provide an opportunity for increased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and build up capacity in the services sector. Services are the most important part of the growth and competitive of the Southern African economies. To that effect, SADC member states recognise that the deeper integration is not only in trading goods but also, in the services the market holds in contributing to the development of the economies.


Sir, as it was highlighted by the chairperson, the SADC treaty or member states undertook to develop policies aimed at progressive elimination of obstacles to allow free movement of capital and labour, goods and services. The Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) recalls the objective of eliminating obstacles to the free movement of capital, labour and goods and services and improvement of the regional economic management and performance through regional cooperation with an ultimate goal of eradicating poverty. It foresees the establishment of a common market through the removal of barriers on factors of production.


Mr Speaker, I think we need to market our services across our borders and to a wider market within SADC. We will need to educate and make our service providers ready to compete effectively with the other service providers who will be coming from other countries. We would not want to see Zambia remain behind because we have shared and negotiated for the market access. We are not saying that all the services will be allowed to come into our country. As it is right now, we have limited communication, finance, tourism and transport. These are the ones we will start with. Until we see that we can perform and compete adequately with our other competitors, then we shall extend. However, the fact of the matter is that we must stand and face it. We must accept the competition, if we have got to move forward.


Mr Speaker, with that said, I would like to thank the people who have contributed to this Motion. We are very much geared to make this a reality. Unless we take a step into the right direction, we will not get there. So, we are very much geared to start and see, in those four sectors, how we shall fair and later on, we can extend to the other provisions.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that statement, and I, therefore, now wind down the debate.


I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to.








VOTE 62 – (Ministry of Energy – K902,815,370)


(Consideration resumed)


Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Madam Chairperson, before the House adjourned yesterday, I was trying to say that we are no longer proud to be called Zambians under the PF regime because of the continued load shedding which the people of Zambian have experienced, following the demise of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) regime.


Madam, let me try and talk more about electricity and fuel in this country. Electricity has become very expensive in this country. Many of our citizens are spending their nights in darkness. Small businesses have collapsed because of the continued Patriotic Front (PF) led load-shedding.


Madam Chairperson, Zambia was on a good track during the time of Late President, Mr Patrick Mwanawasa, may his soul rest in peace. However, we are now lost on the way.


Madam, the fuse between the citizens of this country and the PF Government is completely lit and irreparable. This is due to the hardship that the people of Zambia have gone through, especially as regards the issue of the lack of electricity.


Madam Chairperson, fuel, also, is very expensive. I think that it is the most expensive in this region. I wonder why this Government is failing to source cheaper fuel so that the people of Zambia can manage to do their businesses in a normal way.


Madam, it is becoming increasingly clear that the PF Government has destroyed everything in this country. In my constituency, for example, even health posts have no electricity. Out of the forty-four schools in Bweengwa Constituency, only about ten schools are connected to the national grid. I wonder why this Government is still punishing the people of Zambia.


Madam Chairperson, I think this ministry has performed below 40 per cent and we must do a case study or come up with a problem-tree to find out why it has failed to perform to the expectations of the people of Zambia.


Madam, let me also highlight the issue of the two bales of Salaula which the PF hon. Members are receiving from the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare. They have come up with a scheme of empowering themselves using government money. The ministry is giving each hon. Member of Parliament two bales of Salaula. That money could have been used to come up with more projects so that we could have more electricity in this country.


Madam Chairperson, let me request the hon. Minister, on account of the load shedding that he announced, not to load shed Matero, Mandevu, Munali and Chawama. He should not load shed these places. Instead, he should load shed State House because there are very few people there.  Maybe, when the President feels the ills of load shedding, he will come up with a very intelligent idea with which he can end it in this country.


Madam, with these few words, let me thank you and tell the Zambian people that their victory is coming next year when we usher in HH, Hakainde Hichilema, and his team.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr S. Banda (Kasenengwa): Madam Chairperson, thank you very much for allowing me to debate on this Vote. Firstly, I would like to underscore energy as a lifeline of national activities and development. With that said, allow me to narrow down to specifics vis-a-vis energy, hydro electricity and power outages.


Madam, from the outset, allow me to underscore the unprecedented impact of load shedding on the national economy. However, allow me to first contextualise my debate in view of what our friends on the left side have been saying as regards power outages.


Madam Chairperson, the first announcement of load shedding or power crisis was made as early as 2005. That was when it was announced that there would be power outages in Southern Africa. At that point, successive governments should have actually invested in this sector.


Madam, load-shedding is, therefore, a historical issue. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government is dealing with something of a historical nature. There have been cumulative effects on the country. Indeed, if you remember, in 2018, the Government launched the National Energy Policy rallying the sector development objectives in the country’s Vision 2030. However, the vision commitment failed because of the energy crisis and its impact on the economy.


Madam Chairperson, the point is that load shedding and the energy crisis did not start when the PF took over the Government. In fact, the PF Government is dealing with something of a historical nature. It is really hypocritical for them to indicate that the PF is responsible for load shedding when it is an issue of a historical nature.


Madam, furthermore, in keeping with the commitment to deal with the energy crisis, the Government has strategically invested to deal with issues of a historical nature, much as it deals with economic growth. For example, it has invested in the Ndola Energy Power Station, the Musonda Falls Power Station and the Kafue Gorge Lower Power Station upgrade. Indeed, the PF Government has focused its efforts to grow and diversify generation growth. For example, there is what we call the Bangweulu Ngonye Power Plant and the Copperbelt Energy Cooperation Plant, which are solar. There is also what we call the Shunga Solar Project in Kafue. This is in line, to ensure that the generation capacity is grown and the source of energy is also diversified.


Madam, the PF Government has put in place, immediate and long term mitigation measures. These are the effects of the investments that the Government has put in place.


Madam Chairperson, it is, therefore, very misleading on their part to say that the PF has failed. In fact, in the nine years, and under the leadership of President Edgar Lungu, the PF has made massive investments in the energy sector. So, when they debate, they must be contextual. This issue of load shedding is of a historical nature. Successive Governments should have invested in that area. However, if you do a comparison in terms of the commitment of successive governments, the PF Government has done extremely well. On that score, therefore, our colleagues should not be misleading the public. For me, that is being fundamentally deceptive.


Madam Chairperson, allow me to say that what is also gratifying about the budget is the agency charged with the responsibility to actually bring electricity to rural constituencies. I am glad that Kasenengwa will benefit from the budget for this year.


Madam, the PF Government is in the right direction to deal with the long term and historical nature of this energy sector. With that said, I support the Vote.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Mr Kamondo (Mufumbwe): Madam Chairperson, I am very grateful for giving me this chance to contribute to this Vote. The hon. Minister is proposing about 10 per cent of the total Budget to go to his ministry. For me, this is commendable. I see that from the same amount, about K307,000,000, will go towards rural electrification.


Madam, the third pillar of the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) talks about reducing development inequality. The key interventions are that the Government is going to construct roads and make sure that it provides electricity in rural areas.    


Madam Chairperson, in countries like Kenya, in order to empower Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), they have made it a policy to extend power to rural areas. In such countries, you find that small scale farmers as well as business persons are the ones who contribute significantly to production and value addition. What has helped them to achieve this is that they have connected power to rural areas.


Madam, I would like to urge the hon. Minister to expedite the project that was started in Mufumbwe which currently has stalled by using this budget that we are considering. He should continue from where the project ended. I know very well that in Mufumbwe, you only find electricity in the central business district and not anywhere else. This situation is not helping to reduce the development inequality which is one of the issues the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) seeks to eradicate.


Madam Chairperson, I have observed that the ministry has been allocated a budget of about K2.9 million for general operations, such as solar home systems at rural health centres. Like I said earlier on, in Mufumbwe, most rural areas do not have electricity.


Madam, we have tried our level best to make sure that we utilise the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to construct clinics such as the one at Kabanga. Unfortunately, we have a challenge of electricity in that area. I urge the hon. Minister to consider Kabanga Clinic which we built using the CDF and cater for it in the solar installations project.


Madam Chairperson, in the same vein, I would like to mention that Chief Mushimamubambe does not have electricity. How I wish the ministry could extend this project to the chiefs areas so that they are catered for.


Madam, the other most important thing is that the Ministry of General Education has introduced computer programmes yet most rural schools are not able to benefit fully from these lessons. I do not expect them to get good results for as long as they do not have the much needed electricity. In this vein, I would like to urge the hon. Minister to consider rural schools and health centres so that they are also electrified.


Madam Chairperson, we have been talking about load shedding, but it looks like this country, Zambia, and the Patriotic Front (PF) in particular, are not doing enough. Let us emulate other countries, like Kenya. This issue of depending on hydro electricity will not do us any good. We cannot expect very good results doing the same things. We have been investing a lot of money in hydro electricity generation. Why do we not borrow ideas from other countries? In Kenya, hydro electricity caters for only 29 per cent of the population. This country diversified to geothermal electricity which caters for 29 per cent, wind for 11 per cent and Solar for only 1 percent.


The Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to add the voice of Manyinga to this important subject, Head 62 – Ministry of Energy. Before I add one or two words, I would like to say that I support the budget because energy is very important in our lives.


Madam Chairperson, since I came to this august House in 2016, three budgets have been approved and I think the one we are approving currently is the fourth one. However, nothing tangible has been done in Manyinga by this ministry.


Madam Chairperson, the ministry started a very good project. However, before I talk about it, I would like to advise the hon. Minister that the success of this budget allocated to his ministry is dependent on him. Rural constituencies like Manyinga have not benefited much from the budgets that were approved in the last three years.


Madam Chairperson, the ministry started a very good project in Manyinga to construct an 11/33KV substation. However, this project has stalled up to this time. We do not know where the money has gone. You would find people in Manyinga – (inaudible). Despite engaging with the hon. Minister, the project still remains uncompleted. You go to –


The Chairperson: Hon. Member, the connectivity is bad.


Mr Lihefu: (inaudible) to empower just a few of them.


Madam Chairperson, what I am saying is that money is being spent on things that are not beneficial to the people of Zambia.


Madam Chairperson, in Manyinga, many houses are not connected to electricity. The Government is (inaudible) but money is spent on things that are not beneficial to the people. As the hon. Member for Mufumbwe stated, schools are not connected to electricity but the Government has introduced computer lessons while we see money going elsewhere. I am just asking the hon. Minister in charge to facilitate the resumption of works on stalled projects in our constituencies.


Madam Chairperson, there is another project which was started from Kabompo to Kayombo Secondary School. It is a very good project because there is a big school in Kayombo. This project has stalled since 2016. Where is the money going? The Zambian people do not know.


 Madam Chairperson, we know that the hon. Minister can handle some of these challenges that our constituencies are facing. We appeal to him, as Manyinga people, to please, facilitate the release of the money for these stalled projects.


Madam Chairperson, with these few words, I support the budget.


I thank you, Madam.


The Chairperson: I will allow the only female hon. Member who wants to debate.


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa):  Madam Chairperson, I have just a few expressions from the people of Kasempa and many other people who live in rural areas across Zambia.


Madam Chairperson, as I support this Vote. I would like to say that I have heard that there is no joy out there over electricity. Both those who have access and those who do not have find themselves in the same zone of no joy. For those who have access, the speakers before me have spoken about power outages with that word that everybody is using. They have said that for most of the day, they have no power and many of them have lost implements and many other properties because of power outages. That is definitely an area that needs serious attention from the hon. Minister.


Madam Chairperson, the people of Kasempa do not have access to electricity. Out of the twenty-two wards in the area, only seven have access to electricity. A larger number of people do not have access to electricity and yet we are hearing that in many countries all over the world, there is this big talk about climate change that is going on. This is the topic of alternative energy, especially renewable energy.


Madam Chairperson, I am about the need for budgetary attention to research. On behalf of the people of Kasempa, I would like to say that we need some micro projects around the subject of renewable energy. In the past, we heard about the growing of Jatropha, production of ethanol, and many others. However, in other parts of the world, we hear about wind which is being harnessed and solar farms which are also contributing greatly to the supply of energy. Our budget allocations need to zero-in and give due attention to ensuring that we capture everyone out there because energy is development itself. Energy is growth.


Madam Chairperson, we are not paying attention to the people of Nkenyauna, Maako, Kelongwa, Jifumpa and Kamatete where there are mines and people who work using generators, thus making us lose a lot in terms of revenue. We could avoid the loss by expanding such activities through the Rural Electrification Authority (REA).We need to look into this and ensure that we strive to get to a point where access is availed to all.


I thank you, Madam.


The Minister of Energy (Mr Nkhuwa): Madam Chairperson, the first person to debate was Hon. Dr Musokotwane and in his debate, he lamented on load shedding. Hon. Michelo also lamented on the same issue. However, early this afternoon, I issued a statement and, I can say it again here that, load shedding will be a story of the past.


Madam Chairperson, building a power station takes about five years. We started building that power station in 2016. Some hon. Members in this House were singing that the Patriotic Front (PF) was doing nothing yet we were working, and soon, the power station will come to fruition. As PF, we are working. You cannot just wake up one day and have a power station; these projects take a bit of time.


Madam Chairperson, Hon. Dr Musokotwane also talked about the dispute with Mamba Collieries. That is a commercial issue because there is a dispute on tariffs which is being dealt with, and it will be sorted out.


Madam Chairperson, he also talked about petroleum products and their prices. Fortunately, on my phone, I have prices of petroleum in the region. I have a few countries like Malawi, Zambia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia. As far as things are concerned, I think we are the same with Tanzania, and the rest are expensive. The prices in the region are as follows:


Country                    Price of Diesel per Litre (US$)          Prices of Petrol per Litre (US$)


Malawi                     0.88                                                    0.91


Zambia                     0.74                                                    0.84


South Africa            0.87                                                    0.88


Tanzania                   0.75                                                    0.82


Zimbabwe                1                                                         1.2


Botswana                 0.70                                                    0.68


Namibia                    0.78                                                    0.78


Madam Chairperson, you can see that our prices are very competitive and we are trying to make sure that we buy fuel at a reasonable price.


Madam Chairperson, there was also mention of crude oil supply. We have bought ten cargos that will be bringing crude oil every six weeks, at a fixed price. Therefore, we are safe for about 14 months or more.


Madam Chairperson, as regards Hon. Mumba’s concern, we are still dealing with the GET FiT Zambia programme. Today, the German Ambassador was in my office and we talked about this programme which is still going to run. We have 120MW of solar power and 100MW of small hydro power stations that we are going to build.


Madam Chairperson, there was a mention of the Government doing away with the purchasing of fuel. The Government wants to take the route of bringing in the private sector.


Madam Chairperson, it was mentioned that the tariffs on electricity were low. Obviously, the PF Government is a pro-poor Government and, therefore, we cannot keep increasing the price of electricity. We have to keep it at a price which is affordable.


Madam Chairperson, the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) like Maamba Collieries have high tariffs which have lead into taking matters to court, as I alluded to earlier.


Madam, Hon. Doreen Mwape talked about her area and asked when the project in her area would be commissioned. We will be commissioning the project in December, this year. ZESCO Limited and the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) are back on the project.


Madam Chairperson, Hon. Sensio Banda was basically complementing my answers. I would also like to assure Hon. Kamondo of Mufumbwe Constituency that I have heard his pleas, and we will look into it.


Madam Chairperson, in response to Hon. Lihefu, we are spending money on intended things. The last audit report did not fault the Ministry of Energy. We were spot on with no query at all. That means we spent the money for its intended purposes.


Madam Speaker, I have also heard Hon. Tambatamba’s issues and we will look into them. We will be able to give her what is required.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Vote 62 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 54 – (Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development – K212, 966,814)


The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Mwale): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to present the 2021 Budget Policy Statement in support of the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development.


Madam Chairperson, the mandate of the ministry is to superintend over the designing, procurement and construction of all public infrastructure in the country, in order to improve planning, coordination, standardisation, quality and efficiency in the development of housing infrastructure. My policy statement is arranged in three parts namely: The review of the 2020 performance, policy direction, and priorities for 2021.


Madam Chairperson, the ministry started the year very optimistic with focus on building upon achievements and successes scored in the year 2019. The plan was to conclude many projects country wide that had reached advanced stages of completion in order to increase access to public services for our people as directed by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu.


Madam Chairperson, the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic created an unprecedented challenge to the implementation of many projects countrywide, as measures to curtail the spread and impact of the disease on the population were implemented by the Government. The pandemic further affected revenue collection by the Treasury, further constraining the country’s fiscal position and affecting implementation of infrastructure projects countrywide. This year, the ministry had an approved budget of K223.5 million, of which 50.7 million or 23 per cent was allocated towards infrastructure development.


Madam Chairperson, despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, I am glad to report to this august House and to the country at large, that in 2020, the Government of His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, remained resolute and focused on keeping the country and the economy running, and continued the implementation of key infrastructure projects, scoring even bigger successes. In 2020, the Government has completed the Kazungula Bridge, an engineering marvel, and a one-stop border facility. In addition, my ministry continued with the construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of road infrastructure countrywide. Among the key road projects being improved include, the Improved Rural Connectivity Project with support from the World Bank, the Chinsali/Nakonde and Turnpike Mazabuka roads with support from the African Development Bank (AfDB).


Madam Chairperson, in the aviation sector, significant progress has been achieved this year in the expansion and modernisation of the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA), which is nearing completion and construction of Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport, which reached 76 per cent completion as at 30th September, 2020.


Madam Chairperson, in the area of health, I am delighted to report the successful completion of two general hospitals, namely: Kalindawalo General Hospital and Chinsali General Hospital in the Eastern Province and Muchinga Province, respectively, and completion of the Lusaka Specialist Hospital and expansion and modernisation of Maina Soko Medical Centre here in Lusaka. The projects that have been successfully implemented and commissioned by the Government in this financial year are too many to itemise during the time allocated for this policy statement.


Madam Chairperson, on the policy and legislative front, this year, my ministry undertook several policy and legislative measures to support the delivery of the ministry’s mandate. In March 2020, Cabinet approved the 2020/2024 National Housing Policy. Currently, the House is looking at the National Council for Construction (Amendment) Bill No. 5. The ministry also made amendments to the tolls regulation through issuance of Statutory Instrument No. 74 of 2020 which has made foreign registered vehicles pay more for toll fees compared to what they used to pay in the past. The ministry is currently reviewing the National Housing Authority Act of 1971 and will soon embark on a comprehensive review of the Public Roads Act of 2002.




Policy Direction and Priorities for 2021


Madam Chairperson, I now turn to the proposed estimates for the year 2021. The 2021 budget for the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development has been prepared in line with the President’s directive for integrated planning and budgeting in clusters. With this in mind, the resource allocation and priorities contained in the 2021 budget for the ministry focuses on interventions that contribute to the realisation of the targets as set out in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP).


Madam Chairperson, in 2021, the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development plans to spend a total of K212,966,814, for both operational and infrastructure development. This will be the second year in which the ministry will fully implement the output based budget. In 2021, the budget will support the ministry in implementing its mandate in relation to housing, public infrastructure development, including road development, and institutional strengthening through management and support services. In 2021, the budget execution of infrastructure development shall remain guided by the policy directive to focus on priority projects that are nearing completion so that those that are completed and commissioned may benefit our people, especially those in rural areas.


Madam Chairperson, to support the implementation of the decentralisation policy, the ministry shall continue with the Government’s ambitious programme of constructing infrastructure in newly created districts in order to accelerate rural development and bring public services closer to our people in rural areas. In this regard, a sum of K45 million has been allocated towards public infrastructure, including expenditure to support construction of infrastructure in the said newly created districts. The ministry has also allocated K2.9 million towards oversight and regulatory operation of the National Council for Construction (NCC) aimed at ensuring compliance to standards in the construction sector, including compliance to the subcontracting policy directive.


Madam Chairperson, in order to ease the movement of goods and our people in wetlands and mitigate the impact of flooding resulting from climate change effects, the ministry shall continue the rehabilitation and maintenance of canals in Luapula Province, the Northern Province and the Western Province. 


Madam, in order to increase access to quality health and education for our people, the ministry will continue providing technical support in supervision in infrastructure projects being implemented by other line ministries. This will ensure compliance with standards and adherence to project management procedures. In the implementation of infrastructure projects, focus will be on completion of education and health projects that are in advanced stages of completion.


Madam Chairperson, in the road sector, the ministry will continue the implementation of road construction, rehabilitation and maintenance programmes to support the Government’s ambitious road upgrade programme aimed at making Zambia a land-linked country. The ministry will prioritise completion and commissioning of toll stations that are nearing completion, such as the Kebby Musokotwane Toll Station on the Zimba/Livingstone Road, which stands at 96 per cent completion, among many others.


Madam, a conducive policy legislative framework is the bedrock for effective and efficient delivery of the ministry’s mandate. In this regard, the ministry will embark on the formulation of the construction industry policy to guide the coordinated and sustainable development of critical national infrastructure. The ministry will further embark on the development of the first ever national infrastructure master plan to actualise the policy. The ministry will continue the review of critical legal frameworks, among them; the National Housing Authority Act and the Public Roads Act. The policy and legal reforms will position the ministry in delivering its mandate and support the Government’s ambitious transformative agenda for the country.


Madam, in conclusion of the 2021 budget policy statement, I wish to assure the nation of the Government’s commitment to transform the country for the benefit of all Zambians through quality infrastructure  that will spur economic activity and create jobs and business opportunities for our people. I take this opportunity to thank our people for their patience, and co-operating partners for their continued support to the infrastructure development of our country. I urge the hon. Members of this august house to support the ministry’s 2021 estimates of revenue and expenditure submitted for your favourable consideration.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Siwanzi (Nakonde): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Vote for the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development.


Madam Chairperson, I just want to state that this Government has really delivered in this sector. In Muchinga Province, there are a number of projects that are being undertaken. As the hon. Minister rightly mentioned, the rehabilitation of the Great North Road from Chinsali to Nakonde is a historical development that the people of Muchinga will remain appreciating this Government for. Since independence, this is the only Government that has undertaken major rehabilitation of this road that was once called the ‘Hell Run’.


Madam Chairperson, in debating this Motion, I just want to narrow my debate to the road sector in Nakonde, due to time. As the hon. Minister rightly indicated, one of the major projects that the Government is undertaking is rehabilitation of the Great North Road. This road from Nakonde to Chinsali is very important to the economy of this country. The hon. Minister may wish to know that Nakonde is a very busy border town. Now the manner in which the rehabilitation of the road from Nakonde to Chinsali is being implemented leaves much to be desired.


I want to mention to the hon. Minister that in as much as his ministry is doing very fine in rehabilitating the Great North Road, it is leaving room for the Nakonde/Mbala Road to be damaged beyond what we expect. It would have been better if this project commenced on the Nakonde side because I am aware that within this project, there is a weighbridge facility which is supposed to be located at the junction of the Great North Road and Mbala Road.


Madam Chairperson, what is currently happening is that since the truckers do not want to be regulated, they are avoiding the Great North Road and are using the Nakonde/Mbala Road where there is no weighbridge at all. On the highway from Nakonde to Mbala, Kasama, Luwingu all the way to Mansa until the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), there is no weighbridge. So, at the time they will finish constructing the Great North Road, we will now have another burden of repairing the Nakonde/Mbala Road.


Madam Chairperson, I, therefore, urge the hon. Minister to look into this matter seriously. I have been appealing to him about this matter and I feel it is time that he took action because the Nakonde/Mbala Road was constructed at a very high cost of US$180 million. We cannot allow that road to be damaged in such a manner when there is an option of using the other road which is currently being rehabilitated and has a weighbridge facility. We can ensure that whenever truckers enter the border at Nakonde, the first thing they are subjected to, is to have their weight checked. If at all they are overloaded, they should be punished or ensure that they offload some of the cargo that they have loaded that is beyond the accepted weight. Having said this on the Great North Road, I believe this is a working Government and the hon. Minister is definitely going to look into this matter.


Madam Chairperson, the other issue that I want to mention to the hon. Minister is about the Nakonde/Kanyala Road. This Government embarked on upgrading this road to bituminous standard and works were progressing very well, until at the time when it was decided that perhaps the whole stretch from Nakonde up to Kanyala be upgraded to gravel before laying the tarmac. Currently, works on this road have stalled and I only hope that funds will once more be pumped into this project so that the works can progress.


Madam Chairperson, as the hon. Minister has rightly indicated, his ministry is charged with the responsibility of supervising all construction works undertaken by the Government of Zambia. I want to state that his ministry is doing very fine in terms of infrastructure development in my district, Nakonde. We have a fully completed abattoir that was constructed. There is also a secondary school that is nearing completion and a district hospital has been completed. However, I just appeal to the hon. Minister to quickly commission the infrastructure that the ministry is working on immediately they are completed.


The Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Madam Chairperson, I am grateful for giving me an opportunity to add the voice of the people of Mumbwa to the debate on this Vote. I want to indicate that I support the budget for the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development and I just want to make a few comments on it.


Madam Chairperson, I thank the hon. Minister for presentation of the policy statement on this Vote, and I would like to highlight the important issues. The people of Mumbwa are grateful that the Government is attending to the bridge on the Lusaka/Mongu Road, although it has taken too long for it to be attended to. However, the people of Mumbwa are also concerned about the hook bridge on the Mumbwa/Mongu Road.


Madam Chairperson, I want to highlight what the hon. Minister mentioned that a number of good projects have been undertaken by the ministry, but road works are being done and redone to the detriment of many other places like Mumbwa. The roads in Lusaka are being worked on every day. Mumbwa Road is being worked on and resources are being spent on the same roads meanwhile roads in other rural districts like Mumbwa are not attended to.


Madam Chairperson, we have been talking about the road from Mumbwa to Kasempa and we want this road to be worked on. It connects the North-Western Province to the Southern Province and goes outside the country. So, this road is very important. For a number of years, the Government has been promising to attend to this road but up to now, nothing has been done to it. So, as the Government continues with its developmental agenda in infrastructure, I urge it to equally give the Mumbwa/Kasempa Road the attention that it deserves.


Madam Chairperson, most of the road projects are given to foreign companies. The Government prescribed that 20 per cent of works to be undertaken by local contractors, but that may not be enough. Why not make the 20 per cent be on the contract sum so that local contractors who are sub-contracted by the foreign contractors are also capacitated and empowered so that in the near future, they can handle the big contracts given to foreign contractors?


Madam Chairperson, we collect a good amount of revenue through the tollgates, yet it is taken directly into Control 99 while the local authorities where the tollgates are domiciled are not directly benefiting. Could the Government prescribe a certain percentage so that the local authorities where the tollgates are domiciled can benefit directly. Even if it is 1 per cent of the money, it will help the local authorities to work on roads in districts like Mumbwa. There is a tollgate in Mumbwa yet our roads are in a bad state. So, I urge the Government to come up with a prescribed percentage towards that.


Madam Chairperson, those are the few comments that I wanted to make on this Vote and I support it.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Mr Zimba (Chasefu): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving the people of Chasefu an opportunity to add their voice to the debate on this very important ministry.


Madam Chairperson, from the outset, I want to give credit where it is due. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government has scored a lot in the area of infrastructure and massive infrastructure development has taken place in the country. I, therefore, applaud the Government of His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, for considering this very important sector.


Madam Chairperson, suffice it to say that, there has been a lot of inequality in the way infrastructure development is being undertaken in the country.


I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development to consider rural constituencies when allocating infrastructure development projects. This is because the rural constituencies are not really considered the way they are supposed to be considered.


Madam Chairperson, us, in rural constituencies do not actually need too much. We are not asking for structures like Manda Hill Mall or Levy Junction Mall. We are only asking for feeder roads to be constructed in our constituencies.


Madam Chairperson, I will narrow down my debate to Chasefu Constituency. The Chama/Lundazi road has been a thorn in the flesh for the people of Chasefu. All the people of Chasefu desire, is to have the Lundazi/Chama Road worked on. We have seen a bit of some works that are being undertaken right now, but that is not enough. Already, we are in the rainy season and we anticipate that these works will now stall.


Madam Chairperson, we have infrastructure projects that have been undertaken in Chasefu and have stalled for a very long time. One of these structures is Chasefu Boarding School. The works were undertaken in 2010, but until now, those works have stalled. Another similar project is that of Kapekesa School whose works the contractor abandoned despite having been paid in full. This is an area that I would want the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development to look at. There are works that are being undertaken and abandoned but the people who abandon these works are not brought to book. (inaudible)


The Chairperson: Hon. Member, are you in Chasefu?




Mr Zimba: Madam Chairperson, I am at the Members’ Motel. This is an indication that you should work on the system at the Members Motel. It is not working to the expected standard. (Inaudible)


Madam Chairperson, my desire is to see that there is equality in the way infrastructure projects are being distributed. (Inaudible) We see a lot of works that are being undertaken in Lusaka, the Copperbelt and everywhere else but in my constituency we feel left behind. (Inaudible)


Madam Speaker, in his address, the President said that he would see to it that there some semblance of equality in the way some of these things are done. So, I pray that this budget for the ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development will start from the Lundazi/Chama Road for us in Chasefu Constituency.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Kangombe (Sesheke): Madam Speaker, I want to state, from the onset, that I support this Vote. I would also like to thank the hon. Minister for the policy statement. The people of Sesheke are very happy that today, the hon. Minister has assured the nation that the Government is going to take development to all parts of the country, including Sesheke.


Madam Chairperson, Sesheke District is near the Zambia/Namibia Border where many of the goods from Europe come in via Walvis Bay Port, through Katimamulilo Border onto the Livingstone/Sesheke Road.


Madam Chairperson, us as hon. Members of Parliament from that region, which includes Sesheke, Mwandi, Mulobezi and Kazungula, have cried and lobbied, on behalf of the people in that region, for the Sesheke/Kazungula Road to be worked on as it is in an indescribable state. I would like to inform the nation that the Sesheke/Kazungula Road is in a bad state. With the coming of the rains, I wonder whether the people travelling from Lusaka on transit to Sesheke up to Walvis Bay are going to be finding it easy to pass through that road. Today, the hon. Minister has given us an assurance, and if I may, let me just remind him of the promise he made to the people of Sesheke and the rest of the country before the House went on recess. He promised that the Government was going to work on the Sesheke/Kazungula Road, but up to now, nothing has happened.


Madam Chairperson, the Simungoma/Mulobezi Road is one other road that has never been worked on. I wonder how the people of Mulobezi and Sesheke are going to be traversing that road.


Madam, there is another place called Imusho, which borders Zambia and Angola. For you to access Imusho, you have to go to Namibia because of the kind of terrain on the Zambian side, where the road is impassable. Only certain vehicles like four-wheel-drives can pass. I hope the hon. Minister is going to consider putting up even a gravel road up to Imusho so that the people of Imusho, who are also tax payers, should feel that they are part of this country and ought to benefit from the development which the Government brings forth.


Madam Chairperson, the Western Province, as a region, like my brother was – (Inaudible) the Mumbwa /Nkeyema Road is one of the roads the people of that region are crying for. I hope the hon. Minister will consider and ensure that a certain allocation is given to the people of that region.


Madam Chairperson, as I conclude, I would like to state that I support this Vote, and the people of Sesheke are looking forward to receiving their part of this national cake.


I thank you, Madam


The Chairperson: Hon. Members, you will note that I am trying very hard to balance. In doing so, I am taking into account, issues such as political parties. Even within the political parties, I am trying to give an opportunity to those hon. Members who do not usually debate. Under the current restrictions, we cannot have more than eight people debating any particular Vote. So, we are ensuring that we have eight hon. Members. However, I am using my discretion to allow, especially those hon. Members who do not usually debate.


I have taken note of all of you who are indicating to speak. Currently, we have nineteen hon. Members indicating to speak. Under the current circumstances, it is not possible for all the nineteen hon. Members to debate. We still have a few more minutes, and so, we will proceed. I will allow Mr Anthony Mumba to debate.


Mr A. C. Mumba (Kantanshi): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate this Vote. I also thank the hon. Minister for his policy statement. I join the many who have congratulated the Government for the investment in infrastructure development in our country. I cannot say more than what has been said to those who do not want to see. I cannot speak for them, but I think the investment has been very clear.


Madam Chairperson, I want to bring a few points to the hon. Minister. I feel he needs to go back to the ministry and check with his technocrats how certain things can be resolved. In the Budget, he has announced that there will be an ambitious programme that will go up to the next year. Now, I want to remind him, for example, that procurement for a road starts with a consultant. The consultant does the first part and, eventually, the contract is given to the contractor. Therefore, what is currently happening is that the Government is losing a lot of resources in most contracts which have not been completed due to either non-availability of funds or re-scoping because consultants have to be given money to buy vehicles and so on and so forth. Those vehicles are supposed to be given back to the Government after the contract, which may last between eighteen to twenty-four months. Now, if you calculate the number of vehicles from 2011 when the ambitious programme for infrastructure development started, particularly, roads, the hon. Minister will agree with me that we have lost a lot of money and assets. Those assets cannot be given back to the Government because the roads are not complete.


Madam Chairperson, secondly, I also want to remind the hon. Minister that the Government has invested a lot of money in trying to pay local contractors. If anything, amongst the contractors or business houses that do business with the Government, the road sector is the only one that is given money.


Madam Chairperson, I want the hon. Minister to also share with the nation how he intends to ensure the reduction of the debt that has continued to swell through interest on standalone time and so on. I want to know how the ministry is intending to do that because it is making the entire debt under road infrastructure development very unattractive to an extent that the interest that has accumulated so far is almost chasing the principal. This means that the Government or the people of Zambia, the tax payers, have to pay that debt twice.


Madam Chairperson, yes, the hon. Minister of Finance has gone ahead to make changes to the Public Procurement Bill, but what is the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development and the Road Development Agency (RDA) doing about some of the clauses that work against the people of Zambia, especially as regards the interest that I am talking about? What about the issue of the participation of Zambians in business and, particularly, in the road sector because infrastructure will continue to dominate the Patriotic Front (PF) development agenda for the country. So, I need the hon. Minister and his technocrats to think through this idea.


Madam Chairperson, lastly, housing has never been taken quite seriously under this ministry. There are Government financial institutions such as the Zambia National Building Society (ZNBS). The hon. Minister has to think about how the ministry can create a mortgage system. As districts are being opened up, they need teachers and all sorts of workers. Last year, the ministry had about K240 million for housing, but we have not heard about any houses that have been constructed to attract people into these areas which have been opened. However, schools, hospitals and roads leading to those areas do exist. So, I think the hon. Minister should also look into that issue.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank you most sincerely, and state that I support the proposed Budget for the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the policy statement.


Madam, without wasting time, I would like to talk about our rural roads and what comes to my mind immediately is the Kabanga/Kalomo/Mapatizya Road. I think I have spoken about this road in the Zambian Parliament several times. The last time this road was worked on was actually during the reign of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government. From that time, the road has never been worked on. In short, nothing has been done.


Madam Chairperson, driving on that road, how do you –


The Chairperson: Order!





[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


(Progress reported)




The House adjourned at 1657 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 6th November, 2020.