Friday, 6th November, 2020

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Friday, 6th November, 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, 10th November, 2020, the Business of the House will begin with Questions for Oral Answer. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will any. Then, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following heads of expenditure:


  1. Head 86 – Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock; and
  2. Head 89 – Ministry of Agriculture.


Sir on Wednesday, 11th November, 2020, the Business of the House will start with Questions for Oral Answer. Thereafter, the House will consider Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will any. Then, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following heads of Expenditure:


  1. Head 02 – Office of the Vice of the President;
  2. Head 19 – Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU).


Sir, on Thursday, 12th November 2020, the Business of the House will commence with Questions for Oral Answer. This will be followed by presentation of the Government Bills, if there will any. The House will, then, consider the second reading stage of the following Bills:


  1. Financial Intelligence Centre (Amendment) Bill, N.A.B No. 11 of 2020;
  2. The Companies (Amendment) Bill N.A.B No.12 of 2020; and
  3. The Non-Governmental Organisations (Amendment) Bill N. A .B No. 13 of 2020.


Thereafter, the House the will resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following heads of expenditure.


  1. Head 6 – Civil Service Commission; and
  2. Head 9 – teaching service Commission.


Sir, on Friday, 13th November, 2020, the Business of the House will begin with the Vice- President’s Question Time. This will be followed by question for oral answer. Thereafter, the House will consider presentation of Government Bills if there will any. The House will, then, consider the second reading stage of the following Bills


  1. The Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters (Amendment) Bill, N. A .B No. 14 of 2020;
  2. The Land Perpetual Succession (Amendment) Bill, N.A.B No. 15 of 2020;
  3. The Extradition (Amendment) Bill N.A.B No. 16 of 2020; and
  4. The Zambia Academy of Sciences Bill N.A.B No. 17 of 2020.


Then, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following heads of expenditure:


  1. Head 08 – Cabinet Office; and
  2. Head 27 – Public Service Management Division.


I thank you, Sir.






Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Mr Speaker, Zambia is a unitary state, but we are not happy with the way the mobile issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs) has been handled in the Western Province. Is there any chance of going back to register our people, as it is their right to be registered as citizens of Zambia? The exercise in the province has been poorly managed.


The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, hon. the Minister of Home Affairs was in the House this week explaining how the mobile issuance of National Registration Cards (NRC) is being conducted in the second phase in the five provinces that were outlined to us.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister explained in detail what was happening in those districts. The hon. Member of Parliament is only complaining now that the issuance teams have not done a good job, but I wish he had pointed out some anomalies that he saw in the issuance of NRCs in Mitete during the exercise. In any case, the issuance of NRCs continues even after the mobile registration, and we expect that the people of Mitete will still visit the registration centre in Mitete, in the new Boma, to access NRCs. I do not see any problem in this matter. The hon. Member can help his constituents by informing them about where they can obtain the NRCs even after the departure of the mobile teams from the district. 


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwiinga (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has been attacking the Opposition as being undemocratic in as far as the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 was concerned. Two or three days ago, we saw letters that were flying around asking hon. Members of Parliament, who voted against or who did not support the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019, to exculpate themselves as to why they did not support the Bill. Is that not mocking the hon. Members of Parliament who had all the rights to make their own decision not based on political lines?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) party is a club just like other clubs. It has its rules and regulations. The Secretary-General is not part of this House and he was acting outside Parliament. He does not, perhaps, even know the voting patterns in the House. What he wanted to know was what transpired. Why was it that the names of the three hon. Members of Parliament did not show on the list of hon. Members who voted? The matter of the machines, perhaps, not having done a good job in capturing the hon. Members who were here, but did not seem to have voted is still under investigation. So, there are still some discrepancies there that the hon. Members that have been cited are questioning.


Mr Speaker, the PF, as a party, is very democratic. We take collective decisions and we are not compelled, like some parties do with their hon. Members, or stopped from participation. The hon. Members of some parties even absented themselves and could not even debate. In the PF, we debate no matter how negative the subject may be towards the party, and our freedom of expression is not stifled by anyone. So, this is what we should see in other political parties, not a situation whereby people are ganged up, gagged and cannot participate. On the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019, for example, we should have heard the reasons some hon. Members of Parliament opposed the Bill. They should not have kept quiet and been told, “Do not participate”. That is undemocratic.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, the issue of the issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs) to citizens by mobile mode has been a source of controversy. It is now in the public domain that many people are complaining about it, especially about Phase II of the exercise. In the Southern Province and the Western Province, people are still complaining to date. The registration of voters is about to commence and going by the behaviour of the officers who were sent to issue NRCs during the mobile registration period denying some citizens the opportunity to get NRCs, do we not expect similar behaviour during the voter registration exercise? If that happens, what does the Government expect citizens to do to this Patriotic Front (PF) Government? 


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, no individual was denied to access an NRC in any of the centres in the Western and the Southern provinces. If the mobile registration and issuance of NRCs captured 85 per cent, in fact, 87 per cent of individuals who wanted to access NRCs, it means these teams did a very good job. So, the remaining twenty-something per cent should still visit the administrative centres or the Boma, as we call them in Zambian language, to access NRCs because the Government is not going to extend the period of the issuance of NRCs, as we are now waiting for the mobile voter registration to commence on 9th November, 2020. The other group is withdrawing now because we have extended a period of five days to the second phase of the current exercise. Many people were captured, and I believe before the year comes to an end, the remaining percentage will be able to access NRCs during this exercise so that they are captured as voters when the registration of voters commences.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lumayi (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, I want to find out the current position on the statement given by the Office of the Vice-President to this House on Tuesday, 25th June, 2019. I recall a statement from Her Honour the Vice-President as follows:


“Sir, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) in accordance with Article 58(5) of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016 is mandated to conduct the delimitation of constituencies and wards. Section 21 of the Electoral Process Act No. 35 of 2016 further mandates the commission to conduct the delimitation of polling districts.”



Mr Speaker, Parliament was informed that K10 million was released to the ECZ for the same exercise. However, we have not amended the current Constitution. So, now that we have not changed any law and the Office of the Vice-President depended on the current Constitution to mandate the ECZ to delimitate the boundaries of constituencies and wards, I want to know why this has not been done.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) is, indeed, mandated to carry out the delimitation of constituencies, wards and polling centres, if possible every ten years, and this year was the time for it to undertake this exercise. The delimitation exercise was done and information was given to the Government but, then, there is a constitutional provision that states the number of hon. Members of Parliament who should form the corporate body of this Chamber, and unless that is changed, it is not possible to change the current scenario. That is why in the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019, the provision on whether to increase the number of hon. Members of Parliament in the House through certain mechanisms that would address the increase in terms of proportional representation was to be debated on. As for delimitation, it may not take place unless otherwise.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, the Monze/Niko Road will be completely impassable by next month, December. Our forefathers used this road to transport cattle to Samu Lya Moomba, as contributions to raise 80 per cent of the money that was used to fly Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula and Kenneth Kaunda (KK) to London to bring the white paper which represents our freedom today. However, since 2016, the contractor has abandoned the road and he left heaps of soil. Why has the Patriotic Front (PF) Government neglected such an important and historical road in the last four years?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, this country celebrates the role of the many Zambians, both men and women, who contributed to the Independence of this country, including that of the old man, Mr Nkumbula. It is a fact that that part of Zambia is one of the historical parts that made a contribution to Zambia and, therefore, it should get preference in terms of development. Yes, it is true preference has been given, but we should also take into consideration the fact that the Government decided to re-scope the works on various roads in the country. It is not only the Monze/Niko Road that has been affected, but many other roads whose works were started in 2011 and beyond to ensure that resources are secured for the roads before we can complete them or we can start new ones. So, the Monze/Niko Road is one of those roads that falls in that category, but when resources are secured, it will be worked on.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I also have indications of hon. Members wishing to speak via Zoom.


Mr Machila was inaudible.


Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, certainly, the period for the issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs) is over and the intention of this exercise was to capture about 1.5 million people. How many people were captured during Phase I against those who were captured during Phase II of the exercise and what was the success rate in both Phases I and II separately?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the ECZ hoped to capture 1.5 million people during the exercise. However, as for the details as to how many people were captured during the first and second phases, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs will come to the House to give us concrete figures of the current status in the country.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Speaker, the failure of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 embarrasses me, as a man, and I wonder if I am in the same country with the people who proudly and boastfully brought it down.


Sir, the demographics of this country show that women make up 51 per cent of the total population. They also make up 60 to 70 per cent of voters in this country, yet in Parliament, they are less than 11 per cent and Her Honour the Vice-President knows that because she has been there for a long time. The present system that we use of first-past-the-post is not favourable to women and it is very competitive. So, the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 provided a sure way to increase the number of women representation in the country.


Mrs Chinyama: Step aside. Twenty years.




Mr Simbao: Just a minute.


Mr Speaker, I want to know if the Government has come up with a very good explanation for the 51 per cent of the population in Zambia, and why the attempt to increase the number of women in Parliament was not supported by the same party that wants to rule them starting from next year and, thereby failing the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019?


Mrs Chinyama: Step aside for women.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Kafue, desist from making running commentaries.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the UPND hon. Members of Parliament have done a disservice to the women, the youths and the people with disabilities in this country who were guaranteed some safe seats in this House so that they can participate in the decision-making of running their country and contribute to democracy in Zambia. Unfortunately, this has not happened.


Sir, I heard some leaders say that they will appoint women when they get into power.




Mr Speaker: Order!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I can assure the hon. Members that even if President Lungu chose women to head all Provincial Ministries, the number would still be negligible. That is why we need a constitutional provision that guarantees the number of marginalised people in Parliament. Women do not want to depend on a benevolent dictator or the goodwill of a President. The President should be assisted by laws that stipulate that the numbers should be increased and it is the right of every woman and the young people to participate in the governance of their country.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, at Independence, most of the Ministers were young and they were able to move the agenda of this country forward and to lay the foundation for the prosperity we are enjoying today. However, the UPND does not want to see women participate.


Hon. Government Members: Shame!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the party knows that it can sponsor women in its strongholds, but it does not do so because it does not want to see the faces of women in Parliament. It is as simple as that.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Mr Speaker: Order!


The Vice-President: Sir, there is a –




Mr Speaker: Your Honour the Vice-President, give me a minute. I want to secure some silence. Arrest the time.


Let Her Honour the Vice-President respond to the question in silence, especially hon. Members on the right. You are not being fair to her. She wants to respond and you want to drown her. You are not being fair.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, countries that have put women at the forefront such as Rwanda, here in Africa, and Sweden have seen substantial development in their countries. However, here in Zambia, especially the political party that wants to take over from the PF, which it will not do, seems to relish suppressing women. I do not want to take it further to know how their women are treated in their homes.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Opposition Members: Question!


Mr Speaker: Her Honour the Vice-President, I do not think we should go there.


You may continue.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I withdraw that last part. However, the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 offered the young people and the women an opportunity to be part of governance. So long as we leave the women out of the governance of Zambia, we should not expect much development. Women see what men do not see sometimes. It is only appropriate that in a progressive country like Zambia, all hon. Members of Parliament welcome and endorse progressive Bills of this nature when they are introduced in the House. I am still very disappointed. I hope the women in the UPND will be able to impress upon their leaders so that they should change their mind and look at women as equal contributors to the development of their country.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I have noted that Her Honour the Vice-President has not stopped mourning the demise of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No.10 of 2019.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, her party (pointing at Her Honour the Vice-President) –


Mr Speaker: Your finger, hon. Member Leader of Opposition.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, in 2011, Her Honour the Vice-President’s party defeated the Motion that was moved by the Movement for Multi-party Development (MMD) that included proportional representation by walking out of this House. Again, in 2015, the Patriotic Front (PF), on the Floor of this House, amended and removed the clause that proposed for proportional representation on the basis that all women should be free to contest. That is in the Hansard. Why is the PF now somersaulting because of the obnoxious Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 that contained so many bad clauses that led to its defeat?


Sir, we gave them members of the United Party for National Development (UPND) to vote with them and they still failed. So, they are the ones who failed the people of Zambia by not coming up with a good Constitution. What is Her Honour the Vice-President’s comment?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, if the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No.10 of 2019 was so obnoxious, why did the hon. Leader of the Opposition not come in the House to debate and show us the obnoxious clauses that were enshrined therein? However, he kept quiet throughout and when it suited him, he walked out. So, this means they were running away from a very progressive Bill because they had no excuse –


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Your Honour the Vice-President, give me chance again.


We are about to finish this session. Let Her Honour the Vice-President respond in silence, especially hon. Members on the right.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the PF has never run away from addressing issues of empowering women. We will continue to do so as opposed to the UPND hon. Members who do not even talk about what they think is wrong with the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019, but only keep away from the House. That is cowardice of the highest order.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!








59. Ms Mwape (Mkushi North) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:


  1. when motor vehicles for Mkushi Police Station and Masansa Police Post in Mkushi District will be procured to enhance operations; and
  2. what the cause of the delay in procuring the vehicles is.


The Minister of Defence (Mr Chama) (on behalf of the Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo)): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that Mkushi Police Station has been allocated a Nissan motor vehicle for police operations. The Government is aware that the police in Mkushi District do not have adequate transport to service the area. The Government has continued to procure motor vehicles and equipment for the Zambia Police Service. The Zambia Police Service recently received vehicles under the China Polytechnology Projects, which were distributed countrywide on need basis. Mkushi will be allocated additional motor vehicles in due course to enhance police operations in the surrounding areas, including Masansa Police Station.


Mr Speaker, the delay is as a result of limited resources and other challenges in implementing the Polytechology contract.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Fungulwe was inaudible.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya) Mr Speaker, the situation in Mkushi is what is obtaining also in some of the districts that have recently been established such as Lavushi Manda and Kanchibiya The hon. Minister has referred to motor vehicle distribution under China Polytechnology Projects. Are the new districts included in the supply?


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, the newly established districts will be considered. As I have stated, these procurements or the provision of motor vehicles are on a need basis. Once a need has been forwarded to the Ministry of Home Affairs, then, the vehicles are allocated accordingly.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: I will take the last three questions from the hon. Members for Serenje, Mumbwa and Manyinga.


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Mr Speaker, we are aware that lately, the Government has done a lot in terms of providing transport to the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Police in particular. However, the provisions have fallen far short of the dictates of the police, particularly that sometimes they are made to cover long distances and bad terrains, in most cases. What is the Government doing to address this situation, which is faced by the police in this country?


Mr Speaker: I want to be sure about your question because we are dealing with Mkushi North. What is your question?


Mr Kabanda: Mr Speaker, it is a follow up question. There has been a lack of transport in the Zambia Police Service, and we are aware that the Government has done much to provide transport for the police service. Nevertheless, this provision has fallen far short of the complex nature of the works that the police undertake. Therefore, is there a programme that the Government is undertaking to meet this shortfall?


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, the process of procuring when resources are available is continuous because the need is huge and the requirements are massive. However, the resources are quite limited. Nevertheless, as the resources are made available, more will be procured to make sure that all police stations, if possible, are facilitated with transport.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa) Mr Speaker, the issue of transport in the Zambia Police Service is a great challenge. I want to marry it to a situation where the Government has provided housing units to the service. For example, in Mumbwa, housing units have been provided 5 km away from the police station, yet there is no transport provided for the servicemen to use from the camp to their work place.


Mr Speaker, since the hon. Minister said that the supply is on a need basis, I would like to find out whether the need of officers in places like Mumbwa whose homes were constructed far away from the police stations will be taken into consideration?


Mr Speaker: That is a new question.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, Mkushi North is like many other constituencies. I would like to thank the hon. Minister for stating that the newly created districts will be included in the procurement of vehicles.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned that a Nissan Patrol motor vehicle had been allocated to this area. Is the vehicle already in Mkushi North or it has just been allocated and will be taken there later?


Mr Chama: Mr Speaker, it is very difficult for me to state whether the vehicle has been delivered except to say that it has been allocated to Mkushi North Police Station.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.









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


(Consideration resumed)


Mr Miyanda: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to continue with my debate.


Madam Chairperson, when the House adjourned yesterday, I was just about to start talking about the Kabanga/Kalomo/Mapatizya Road, a road that goes to the mines where the Government is collecting revenue. Unfortunately, this road was last worked on under the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD). To date, nothing has happened on that road. Driving through from Kalomo to Mapatizya, one would actually think that the people of Mapatizya are engaged in crocodile farming because of the really huge potholes on that road, and I have said this, at least, twice. I do not know what to call the potholes anymore because they are no longer potholes. It takes a good four hours to cover a distance of 80km, meaning that on average, someone needs to cover 20km in one hour. How do we explain that to our people?


Madam Chairperson, there is also another busy road, the Zimba/Chundwe Road, which links the people of Mapatizya to the new district centre, Zimba. The road is equally in a very deplorable state. I had actually put up a question way back in 2013, which came through Order No.809, and there was a response from the hon. Minister then. The response stated as follows:


“Mr Speaker, it is envisaged that the rehabilitation works on the Kalomo/Kabanga/Mapatizya Road will commerce in the fourth quarter of 2016. Procurement of the consultant to do the design is currently ongoing.”


Madam Chairperson, from 2016 to date, nothing has happened. Therefore, I am appealing to the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development to look at this road and take it seriously.


Madam Chairperson, the other issue is on the three dams which, according to the Government, should have been constructed back in 2013. Again, this was an issue which came through to the House on 22nd February, 2013. The question was about the construction of three dams in Mapatizya, namely Tambana Dam, Chundwe Dam, and another one. The hon. Minister responded by saying:


“Government, through the Department of Water Affairs, plans to construct the mentioned dams in 2013. This will be done after the rainy season.”


Madam Chairperson, too many rainy seasons have come and gone, but we still have no dams. Lately, we were told that the case of Tambana Dam was in court because when the contractor moved on site, a misunderstanding arose and some people decided to petition the court.


Madam Chairperson, we are also appealing to the ministry to look at the Nkolongozya Bridge, which was washed away. This is the only route which leads to resettlement schemes for the people who were removed from the banks of the Zambezi River to pave way for the construction of the Kariba Dam. These people were removed from the banks of the Zambezi River into Mapatizya, yet they have no roads. The hon. Minister should, please, ensure to work on the bridge so that the people who were relocated to pave way for the construction of the Kariba Dam can feel that they are still part of this country.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Siwale (Mafinga): Madam Chairperson, thank you for according me an opportunity to debate budget estimates for the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development. From the outset, I would like to support the Vote, but I have a few observations which I need to highlight.


Madam Chairperson, the people of Mafinga are not happy with the road infrastructure in the district. As the hon. Minister may be aware, most of the sectors have been attended to in the district. However, the most disappointing part is to do with the Road Development Agency (RDA). The Isoka/Mafinga Road was procured in 2011/2012 but to date, the contractor has been waiting for funding, and nothing has happened to this effect. To make matters worse, we are going into the rainy season, but there is a stretch of 25km in the hills, which we have been using as detours for all these years. My plea to the hon. Minister is to intervene by asking his officers to remove those heaps to open up the main road. Otherwise, this rainy season, we risk having many accidents in the district, again.


Madam Chairperson, the Itontela/Mulekatembo Road is almost impassable. We also have the Muyombe Road going up to border with Chili, which is also is impassable. We have very beautiful infrastructure in the district, but the main challenge, as at now, is the road network. Therefore, I want to urge the hon. Minister to immediately intervene so that we do not loose many lives.


Madam Chairperson, as the hon. Minister may be aware, the Isoka/Mafinga Road is an economic road. It goes through Chama and Lundazi and opens up into Malawi. This means that if that road is attended to, people going to trade into Tanzania from the Eastern Province could use it, hence my referring to it as an economic road.


Madam Chairperson, I would also like to urge the hon. Minister to attend to the youths in the province, who were subcontracted by the RDA on the 20 per cent contract basis, by ensuring that the Interim Payment Certificates (IPCs) over the works they carried out in 2019 are signed. Again, officers from the RDA have not attended to that matter despite the youths undertaking the works on the Kanyala/Nakonde Road, I would urge the hon. Minister to quickly ask his officers to do the needful so that our youths are not discouraged on this aspect.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to greatly commend the Government for putting up a lot of infrastructure development in the district, which has changed the face of Mafinga.


Madam Chairperson, with those few remarks, I support the Vote.


I thank you, Madam.


The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Mwale): Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to respond to issues raised by hon. Members of Parliament on this Vote. I will try as much as possible to be brief.


Madam Chairperson, most of the projects or roads that have been raised in the debates by hon. Members are, indeed, representative of some challenges that we may be facing. I have noted that the eight hon. Members of Parliament who have debated have raised issues to do with incomplete projects or projects that they wish to see implemented in their constituencies. Our response will be as usual, that we have a plan to work on these roads except that we have to make sure that the Ministry of Finance raises funding for them.


Madam Chairperson, at the moment, we are going to focus on projects that are above 80 per cent or almost complete before we can embark on the construction of new roads because it is the most prudent thing to do. I know that the hon. Member of Parliament for Mumbwa put up a request for us to tar the road from Mumbwa to Kasempa. That road is part of the Link Zambia 8,000 km Road Project. We have to work on it because it is a strategic and very good road, as it creates a short cut to the Western Province and the North-Western Province. However, it requires a lot of money and huge investment. At the moment, it cannot be attended to even if it remains a priority road in our plans. However, we will try as much as possible to make sure that we make it passable.


Madam Chairperson, Hon. Siwanzi raised a very important issue on weigh bridges that have to be constructed for us to protect infrastructure or investments that we have made on the Great North Road. I want to comfort him that the Road Development Agency (RDA) does conduct mobile services to make sure that it checks the vehicles that travel on that road. The African Development Bank (AfDB) is also actually funding the construction of a permanent weigh bridge and that has begun to happen. At least, we have mobile weigh bridges that are used to make sure that we protect that road which has been given to us.


Madam Chairperson, there was a request by Hon. Siwanzi for us to expedite the commissioning of projects such as hospitals and secondary schools once completed. Our job, as a ministry, is to construct and make sure that we have implemented good projects. The operationalisation remains in the hands of line ministries. We can construct a hospital, but it is not really up to us to make sure that it is operationalised. It will be up to the Ministry of Health to ensure that equipment is procured and staff is actually employed to work.


Madam Chairperson, so many things have been raised. I heard from Hon. Zimba, Member of Parliament for Chasefu about the Chama/Lundazi Road. I also thought he was going to commend the Government for expeditiously fixing the Lunzi Bridge. He came to this Parliament to tell us that Lunzi Bridge was in a bad state and we quickly responded to that. There is now a bridge there. So, as he was debating, I thought he was going to raise that issue. Nonetheless, we understand that the Chama/Lundazi Road has to be worked on and we are committed to doing that.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to say to Hon. Kangombe, Member for Parliament for Sesheke, that we understand that the Sesheke/Kazungula Road is strategic. Now that we have the bridge completed, we will do everything possible to make sure that resources are made available. That is a very strategic road that opens up to that corridor that we really have to work on.


Madam Chairperson, my response to Hon. A. C. Mumba, Member of Parliament for Kantanshi, is that it is true that there are issues with procurement. Project management has to be attended to because there are liquidated damages that are charged on us each time we delay to pay contractors. However, we will do our best to make sure that we negotiate with our contractors not to charge us for idle time that they are not on site working because we have not honoured our obligation of paying them. We are on top of things and our contractors are actually reasoning with us and we are happy about it. I thank the hon. Member for always reminding us about certain things.


Madam Chairperson, Hon. A. C. Mumba also brought out a very important issue of us procuring many vehicles for most of these projects, which end up with our staff. If such money was poured on the actual works, it would make a lot of progress on the roads. That is a point taken and we will make sure that we deal with this matter. It is, indeed, a valid point. There are so many overheads as opposed to money going to actual projects.


Madam Chairperson, I also want to thank Hon. Miyanda, Member of Parliament for Mapatizya, for his comments. We will look into the state of roads and bridges in Mapatizya that have not been attended to in a long time. If there is any President we can trust to attend to the development of infrastructure, it is President Lungu. He is the one who can attend to things. We will keep the faith and work on these projects.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mafinga raised an issue of paying sub-contractors. I want to assure him that they will be paid because there is a budget for that.


Madam Chairperson, I thank all the hon. Members who debated this Vote.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


The Minister of Finance (Dr Ng’andu): Madam Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment on Page 646, Table 3: Budget Allocation by Programme and Sub-Programme:


  1. Under Programme 2121: Housing Development, Sub-Programme 1004: Informal Settlement/Slums Upgrading and Renewal, by the deletion of K700 and the substitution therefor of K700,000; and
  2. Under Programme 2122: Public Infrastructure Development, Sub-Programme 2002; Other Public Infrastructure Development, by the deletion of K61,929,430 and the substitution therefor of K61,230,130.


Vote 54, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 64 – (Ministry of Works and Supply- K146,489,770)


The Minister of Works and Supply (Ms Chalikosa): Madam Chairperson, it is, indeed, my honour and privilege to present to this august House the budget policy statement for the Ministry of Works and Supply with regard to the 2021 Budget.


Madam Chairperson, I wish to thank the hon. Minister of Finance, Dr Bwalya Ng’andu, Member of Parliament, for the Budget Speech delivered on 25th September, 2020, to the National Assembly in which he outlined measures for economic recovery and building resilience to safeguard livelihoods and protect the vulnerable. This calls for attitude change and innovation in the implementation of priority programmes in 2021 in order to contribute to the realisation of developmental outcomes of the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) and the Vision 2030.


Madam Chairperson, my ministry is charged with portfolio functions, in accordance with Gazette Notice No. 836 of 2016. In 2020, the Ministry of Works and Supply had an approved Budget allocation of K79,285,386. Out of this allocation, K45,149,579 was meant for personal emoluments while K34,135,807 was meant for programme implementation, which included K17,100,625 for appropriation in aid. In addition, the ministry received supplementary funds amounting to K18,374,960, bringing the total to K97,660,746.


Madam Chairperson, some of my ministry’s achievements in 2020 include, among others, the following:


  1. development of the Public Asset Management Policy (PAMP) in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance aimed at providing a framework for a co-ordinated approach to the maintenance of public infrastructure;
  2. development of a concept note to establish a fund for maintaining public infrastructure, which is aimed at mobilising resources for the maintenance of public assets;
  3. maintenance and rehabilitation of thirty Government buildings;
  4. preparation of twelve valuation rolls for various local authorities;
  5. development of guidelines on the implementation modalities of Government Fleet Management Policy to enhance effective and efficient management of Government fleet; and
  6. rehabilitation and expansion of a pontoon, assembly and relocation of pontoons as well as commission of pontoon services in selected parts of the country.


Madam Chairperson, notwithstanding these achievements, the ministry was equally negatively affected by:


  1.  the outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and gassing incidences;
  2. inadequate office accommodation for Government workers; and
  3. inadequate technical staff.


Madam Chairperson, in 2021, the ministry proposes a total expenditure of K146,489,770. Out of this allocation, K53,566,232, representing 36.6 per cent ,is for personal emoluments and K92,923,538 representing 63.4 per cent is for programme implementation. This allocation represents a 50 per cent increase as compared to the 2020 allocation of K97,660,746. The increase is due to the proposed establishment of the Public Infrastructure Maintenance Fund as well as additional budgetary provision to the Engineering Services Corporation (ESCO) Limited for conversion into a department under my ministry.


Madam Chairperson, the priority programmes for the 2021 financial year will include, among others, the following:   


  1. implementation of the Government Fleet Management Policy;
  2. maintenance and rehabilitation of public assets;
  3. continuation of the transformation of the Government Printing Department;
  4. strengthening the provision of pontoon and mechanical services;
  5. enhancing Government valuation and property management services;
  6. mechanisation and commercialisation of horticulture services;
  7. strengthening the provision of office equipment, maintenance services; and
  8. enhancing non-tax revenue collection.


Government Fleet Management


Madam Chairperson, the ministry has allocated K6,239,349 in the 2021 Budget to support the management of the Government fleet. In order to rationalise and optimise the management of the Government fleet, a vehicle pooling system will be established at national, ministerial, institutional and provincial and district levels as well as local authorities to reduce high expenditure on procurement, utilisation and maintenance. My ministry will also implement a vehicle tracking system to monitor fleet utilisation in real time to improve service delivery to the public.


Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Public Infrastructure


Madam Chairperson, my ministry has allocated K71,342,473, representing 59.2 per cent, to facilitate the implementation of the Public Asset Management Policy with an emphasis on maintenance and rehabilitation of various public infrastructure. It is a well-known fact that even without the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government remains in control and has accelerated the construction of various types of infrastructure which need to be maintained.


Madam Chairperson, the establishment of the Public Infrastructure Maintenance Fund will, therefore, help in the maintenance of this precious infrastructure, especially the old facilities for the purpose prolonging their life span.


Transformation of the Government Printing Department


Madam Chairperson, in 2021, my ministry has allocated K15,780,819 towards the continuation of the transformation programme of the Government Printing Department. Consultations for recapitalisation of the department, through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP), are still in process.


Engineering Services Corporation (ESCO) Limited


Madam Chairperson, ESCO Limited has been allocated K14,945,819 to continue providing pontoon services countrywide. I now take this opportunity to inform this august House that ESCO Limited is being converted into a department called Pontoon and Mechanical Services. This is in view of the pending closure of the Kazungula pontoon where the company raises 90 per cent of the total revenue that sustains its operations.


Property Management and Valuation Services


In order to strengthen property management and valuation services, my ministry has allocated K7,325,892 to support programme implementation in 2021. Given the increased stock of Government assets over the years, the ministry will continue establishing fixed asset registers to ascertain the assets that the Government owns and their value. My ministry will also continue to prepare valuation rolls for local authorities to support revenue generation capacity.


Mechanisation and Commercialisation of Horticulture Services


Madam Chairperson, the ministry has allocated K1,815,752 to support the implementation of horticulture services by improving the production of ornamental and non-ornamental plants through mechanisation and landscaping services around public buildings to promote a green environment and natural beauty.


Office Equipment, Maintenance Services


Madam Chairperson, in order to ensure continued provision of office equipment and maintenance services, the ministry has allocated K7,281,541. This allocation will support the provision of technical advice on the procurement, insurance, utilisation, maintenance, transfer and disposal of office equipment to ministries, provinces and spending agencies (MPSAs). In addition, the ministry will procure and stock spare parts to facilitate quick repair of office equipment and enhance technical skills of staff in regional offices.


Non-Tax Revenue Collection


Madam Chairperson, in order to enhance revenue collection, in 2021, my ministry has allocated an amount of K10,600,000, as appropriation aid to specifically support the non-tax revenue generating activities. In this regard, my ministry will undertake the following activities:


  1. procurement of printing materials;
  2. procurement of modern diagnostic equipment;
  3. strengthening mechanisms for collecting rentals from leased properties; and
  4. digitalisation and re-issuance of Government certificates of competence, including other fleet management tools.   


Madam Chairperson, as we move to 2021, one of the challenges anticipated is inadequate technical staff. As a measure to address this, my ministry will collaborate with other line ministries in order to optimise the utilisation of existing technical staff.


The Ministry of Works and Supply plays an enabling role in facilitating the performance of MPSAs in achieving the developmental aspirations of the 7NDP and the Vision 2030.


Madam Chairperson, as I end my policy statement, I encourage hon. Members of this august House to support the 2021 Estimates of Expenditure of the Ministry of Works and Supply. I further seek the support of all MPSAs during the implementation of the 2021 budget. 


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Madam Chairperson, thank you very much for the opportunity to say a few words on this very important Vote for the Ministry of Works and Supply. Unlike other ministries, the Ministry of of Works and Supply is not given much consideration, but it has very important functions to perform. In our African culture, we normally do not have a word for maintenance. We only talk about repair and not maintenance. When we have a ministry like this one, which is tasked to ensure that Government and public infrastructure is maintained, it is important that it does its best to do exactly that. It is also important that it is allocated enough funds to ensure that Government infrastructure is maintained.


Madam Chairperson, there is a lot of dilapidated infrastructure in rural areas, yet this ministry has been in existence for quite some time and has been allocated funds to ensure maintenance works go on in various districts. However, the unfortunate thing is that despite these allocations, funds are never released by the Ministry of Finance. Why? It is because the ministry is not considered much. In a typical African context, there is no maintenance, but repair. You wait until a building is down before you repair it. There is no maintainence. So, it is important that we inculcate a culture of maintenance in Zambia because it will save us a lot of costs.    


Madam Chairperson, secondly, and this is my substantive issue, I would like to refer to the issue of pontoons. I think one of the outputs of this ministry is to assemble and reallocate pontoons throughout the country. In Kabompo, we have a pontoon that was washed away and needs to be reallocated. I think we need to seriously allocate some funds to this activity in order to rescue this pontoon from going downstream. The pontoon is at the council and could be carried away by floods. We can reallocate it to a place called Ndondondo, which is across Kabompo River where many agricultural activities take place. It is actually the agriculture hub of Kabompo District.


Madam, year in and year out, the dugout canoes are not sufficient. They cannot do the job of transporting agricultural produce and fertiliser from one place to another or from the main land to the agriculture area. We would like to appeal to the hon. Minister to allocate some money within the budget that she has to ensure that this small pontoon is pulled out, rehabilitated and made operational at a place I have mentioned, which is Ndondondo.


Madam Chairperson, with these few words, I would like to thank you.


Thank you, Madam.


The Chairperson: Hon. Members, I am not allowing points of order because we need to catch up. We are way behind schedule. I note the hon. Member for Mwansabombwe wants to say something. Alert the Chair through the Clerk. Send a note to the Clerk. I am not allowing points of order.


Dr Chibanda (Mufulira): Madam Chairperson, thank you so much for according the people of Mufulira Central an opportunity to support the Vote that is on the Floor of the House, which is the Ministry of Works and Supply.


Madam Chairperson, I wish to start by saying that this is a ministry that I have debated on in my tenure as Member of Parliament. This is owed to the simple fact and reason that the Ministry of Works and Supply is a very important ministry to all the functionalities of the Government. The hon. Minister has articulated extremely well in explaining a number of issues that have been earmarked in her ministry. However, I must say that much has not been done. I think that we, as a Government, need to do more because this ministry is at the centre of our functionalities. Anywhere you go, in whichever ministry I should say, you will find the presence of the Ministry of Works and Supply. I am very thankful that the hon. Minister has now come up with a fund that will be there to maintain the infrastructure that this country is investing in.


Madam Chairperson, in the history of this country’s fifty-six years of Independence, this country has never seen such humongous infrastructure development. It has only been attained by His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu. As such, we need to have an effective and efficient way of maintaining this humongous infrastructure development that we have witnessed being put up. The hon. Minister should effectively move in and attain that fund for the maintenance of this infrastructure.


Madam Chairperson, we have always said that we, as a country, cannot be outsourcing for literally all Government printing jobs fifty-six years after Independence. That is uncalled for. The Government is spending so much money on the printing of all these Government documents. Whether they are outsourced within the country or outside the country, it is still a cost that the Government would have avoided by making sure that all Government printing jobs are done by the Government Printer. (Inaudible) It speaks to our elections. Outsourcing the printing of our ballot papers outside our country is a very unfortunate situation because these things must be done locally. It will empower our people. It will empower ourselves, as Zambians, and later on we need to build confidence in our institutions. So, I would like the hon. Minister to look at the matter of printing ballot papers very seriously.


Madam Chairperson, the other issue is the transport department. I have a soft spot for that department because everywhere you go, like I said earlier, the presence of the ministry is felt by the Government vehicles. The hon. Minister can actually do much better in trying to maintain discipline in the usage of Government vehicles. There is a lot of indiscipline that goes on with that aspect like I have said in all my previous debates. It looks like the Vehicle Control Unit is not very effective. I know that in terms of manpower, there are people who are entitled to personal to holder vehicles. However, with due respect and exceptions, we see Government vehicles parked at awkward times on matters not related to Government duties. There should be an adequate way to maintain discipline in the usage of Government transport.


The Government spends a lot of money on vehicles. I think it also speaks to the fact that the Government should also be cost effective on what kind of vehicles it buys for Government officers. I see luxurious vehicles that are galloping so much money in terms of fuel consumption, yet that can be reduced by making sure that we are cost effective in the kind of transport that we acquire for the Government.


So, Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister has articulated very well but owing to the time that we are limited to, (inaudible) to just end mentioning a few. However, I am glad that her ministry has now effectively come up with funds that will be meant to maintain infrastructure that President Lungu has initiated and has achieved under his reign, which has never been done before.


With that, I support the Vote adequately.


Thank you, Madam.


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Chairperson, I appreciate the two hon. Members who have contributed to support the ministerial budget allocation.


Madam Chairperson, I can only emphasise that with the coming of the Public Infrastructure Maintenance Fund, we hope to do much better in terms of maintaining and insisting on promoting Maintenance Service Contracts once the new infrastructure is constructed so that we prolong the lives of the various types of infrastructure that we are procuring.


Madam Chairperson, I have taken note of the request from the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabompo. We plan to look at all the issues of pontoons because ours is to not only bring the service to the people but also to assist with cutting on distance as well as transportation of goods and services using river crossing points where roads are not available.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank Dr Chibanda for appreciating the establishment of the fund. I think with the establishment of this fund, you will see a lot of improvement in terms of public infrastructure rehabilitation.


 With regard to the printing of documents, as of September 2020, all Government printing is being done by the Government Printer. However, this is without challenges. We still have to fully recapitalise the Government Printer for us to reach the desired level of production.


Madam Chairperson, the Fleet Management Policy, once fully implemented, will take care of issues of indiscipline because we intend to set up pooling systems where departments will have access to vehicles and the PVC, which is the body that looks at the types and fit-for-purpose of vehicles, will have to vet what types of vehicles we buy, whether they are for projects, public or private use.


With those few words, Madam Chairperson, I wish to thank you.


Thank you, Madam.


Head 64 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 65 – (Ministry of Higher Education – K1, 942,118,596)


The Minster of Higher Education (Mr Mushimba): Madam Chairperson, I wish to thank you for according me this privilege of addressing this august House to present the policy statement which will guide the operations of the Ministry of Higher Education in 2021. You will recall that in his speech to this august House the delivered on Friday, 11th September, 2020, the President highlighted the theme of his address as: “Dedication Resilience and Innovation: Perusing Economic Recovery for the Zambia we Want.” The speech aimed at reminding us, as a nation, to have sense of resilience in times of adversity.


Madam, the focus of my ministry in 2021 will, therefore, be premised on continued efforts in the midst of diversity aimed at enhancing human development through provision of quality university education and skills training as well as promotion of science, technology and innovation.


Madam Chairperson, allow me to highlight the performance of 2020 before I present the estimates of expenditure for 2021.




Madam Chairperson, in 2020, my ministry was allocated K2.4 billion and its achievements were as follows:


University Education


As at September 2020, we have enrolled a total of 99,222 learners despite the impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic on the education system, which led to closure of schools, colleges and universities for an extended period of time. My ministry also continued to construct additional hostels at the University of Zambia (UNZA), Copperbelt University (CBU), and Mulungushi University, and targeted its efforts at those that were over 80 per cent complete. Once completed, the projects will lead to the creation of 9,600 additional bed spaces at the three universities.


Madam, construction of additional infrastructure at Chalimbana University, Palabana University, Kapasa Makasa University, and Paul Mushindo University continued to progress. The construction of FTJ Chiluba University in Mansa and Kasama University in Ntumpa with an initial student capacity of 3,500 is also on course.


Madam Chairperson, in order to promote equitable access to university education, a total of 14,881 students were supported with Higher Education Loans at UNZA, CBU, Kapasa Makasa University, Mulungushi University, Nkwame Nkrumah University, and Mukuba University. An additional 1,272 students were supported with scholarships to study abroad. This represented almost 50 per cent of the targeted students.


Madam, the ministry increased the number of beneficiaries repaying loans. As at 31st July, 2020, my ministry had recovered a cumulative total of 72.1 million. These recoveries are going back into the revolving fund that will enable other students to be supported.


Skills Development and Training


My ministry successfully completed a construction and operationalisation of Kalabo Trades Training Institute, which was commissioned by His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu in January 2020. To this effect, my ministry enrolled a total of 41,806 out of the target 52,000 in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Sector.


Madam Chairperson, the upgrading of qualifications for fifty-nine lectures to Bachelors and Masters Degree levels was completed. My ministry procured modern training equipment for twenty-seven TEVET Institution across the country. This will not only increase the quality of training, but also increase the relevance of the training being provided to answer to the needs of the industry.


Science, Technology and Innovation


Madam Chairperson, in order to promote science, technology and innovation, The National Science Technology and Innovation Policy of 2020 was approved by the Cabinet. The policy provided measures that will enhance the ministry’s co-ordination of this function and the sector.


Madam, in addition, the ministry focused on the development of the National Nuclear and Bio-safety policies. The nuclear policies targeted for completion before the end of this year. Further, the legislation to establish the Zambia Academy of Sciences, as an independent advisory body on science through an Act of Parliament, has been introduced to this august House. In a bid to enhance the teaching of sciences at secondary schools, my ministry established Kasempa Day Secondary School as a centre of excellence in science subjects and the project completion status stands at 80 per cent.


2021 Estimates of Expenditure


Madam Chairperson, my ministry has been allocated K1,942,118,596 for 2021. This allocation represents a reduction of 19.3 per cent when compared to the 2020 allocation of K2.4 billion. The bulk of this reduction has been on foreign financed loans which have been necessitated by the need to reduce the country’s indebtedness and restructure some of the loans. Therefore, the ministry has re-scoped some of the works and among them is the FTJ Chiluba University, whose loan provision has been reduced by US$33 million. A further US$ 38.9 million has been saved through the deferring of Nalolo, Kabompo and Katete University colleges.


Out of the total allocation,


  1. K1,560,643,259 has been allocated to university education;
  2. K243,929.924 is allocated to skills development;
  3. K93,284,651 has been allocated to science technology and innovation; and
  4. K44,260,762 has been provided for management and support services in the ministry.


Madam Chairperson, priority areas during 2021 will include, but will not be limited to the following:


  1. completion of on-going construction projects in universities, TEVET and Science Institutions;
  2. provision of loans and bursaries to vulnerable students;
  3. provision of grants to institutions under the ministry;
  4. dismantling of personnel and non personnel related debt; and
  5. procurement of training equipment and materials.


University Education


Madam Chairperson, in 2021, my ministry will be committed to increasing equitable access and participation in the provision of quality university education. In this regard K496.8 million has been allocated.


Madam Chairperson, the recently upgraded universities at Chalimbana, Nkwame Nkrumah Mukuba and Palabana, have all been allocated K16 million each to enhance quality and attain excellence in the delivery of university education. My ministry has also allocated K20.4 million to the Higher Educational Authority and K14 million to the Zambia Qualification Authority. This allocation will enable the two institutions enforce standards and assure quality in higher education across the country.


Madam, the ministry has allocated K557 million towards student loans to sponsor students at UNZA, CBU, Kapasa Makasa University, Mulungushi University, Nkwame Nkrumah University and Chalimbana University.


Madam, in 2021, my ministry has projected to recover K48.7 million from the beneficiaries of Higher Education Loans and Scholarships to augment the provisions in the Budget.


Madam Chairperson, skills development has been allocated a total of K243,929,924 of which K178.8 million will be financed from the Skills Development Fund (SDF). Through the SDF, the ministry plans to complete the construction works at Chipata Trades Training Institute, Ukwimi Trades Training Institute, Sesheke Trades Training Institute, and the Examination Centre at TEVETA in 2021. Additionally, on-going projects to expand and rehabilitate the existing trades training institutes by providing additional hostels will form part of the portfolio project in 2021. The completion of Lundazi Trades Training Institute and Mporokoso Trades Training Institute, we have targeted to complete these by the end of 2021.


Madam Chairperson, through financing from the Skills Development Fund and the grant of K8.3 million allocated to TEVETA, my ministry will ensure enhanced regulation of skills training and scale-up the revision and development of curricula, upgrading of lecturer qualification, and provision of modern training equipment. My ministry will focus on promotion of innovative entrepreneurship training models, creating business incubators, providing business development services and mentorship, and enhance linkages with the private sector.


Madam Chairperson, under the science, technology and innovation sector, the ministry will focus on enhancing research and development, and K7 million has been provided to the National Technology Business Centre (NTBC), while K4,735,416 has been provided to the Technology Development Fund for innovation and research commercialisation. In addition, the National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR) and the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) have been allocated grants of K21,850,008 and K5,821,968 respectively. These allocations will be augmented by the K7 million allocation to the Support to Strategic Research Fund. With these allocations, particular focus will be placed on strategic research and research development that enhances utilisation of locally available resources through technology improvements and value addition.


Madam Chairperson, as I conclude my address to this august House, I wish to appeal to all stakeholders in the various portfolio mandate areas of my ministry to be part of this budget execution by contributing to the achievement of the set deliverables.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you, and may God bless Zambia.


Thank you, Madam.


Prof. Lungwangwa was inaudible.


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Madam Chairperson, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Vote for the Ministry of Higher Education that has been ably presented by the hon. Minister of Higher Education.


Madam Chairperson, I must say, from the outset, that I definitely support the Vote in total, save for the fact that according to international standards and agreements that we are party to, the allocation that has been given to the Ministry of Higher Education falls short of expectation. I wish much more was allocated to the ministry so that we can develop our manpower to the extent that it starts contributing to the development of the country.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister quoted the President as having said that pursuing economic recovery is important in order to have the Zambia that we want. This basically means that the higher education sector must churn out manpower that is relevant to the industry. However, at the moment, in Zambia, we are not doing that. Many of our graduates are simply on the streets and are unemployed because their qualifications are not relevant to the industry, and therefore, they cannot find appropriate jobs. So, in order to produce a graduate who is appropriate and relevant to the industry, the ministry is supposed to provide adequate infrastructure, which the hon. Minister talked about. There should also be an appropriate curriculum essential to producing a good graduate, quality teaching staff, and in good quantity, and enough materials and technology and infrastructure.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to talk about infrastructure because it is relevant, and I would like to connect it to Kabompo. I have heard that there is support going to universities, namely Kapasa Makasa University, Chalimbana University and Fredrick Titus Jacob (FTJ) Chiluba University. However, I have not heard anything concerning the University College of Mathematics and Science which was supposed to have been built in Kabompo. Since His Excellency the late President Sata’s announcement in 2012, all I have heard are promises that the Government has reached a certain stage, it has sited, it has the designs, it has procured a contract or that, now, it that it has accrued a lot of debt, the construction of colleges in Nalolo and Katete has been deferred, but that the college in Kabompo is still on course and it will be built. However, we are now hearing something else. If we are emphasising science and technology, I would like to know why the Government should not build a university that will produce students of science and mathematics. Science and mathematics are essential to move this country forward in terms of growth. Without mathematics, science and technology, do not expect to move this country forward in terms of growth and development.


Madam Chairperson, when the hon. Minister comes back to the Floor to wind up debate, I would like him to tell the people of Kabompo when the University College of Science and Mathematics will be built because we have waited for far too long. It is now eight years since it was announced that the college would be constructed. We have done all that is feasible to ensure the site and everything else are available and we are waiting for the college to be built.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to say a few words.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Dr Imakando (Mongu Central): Madam Chairperson, thank you very much and I also thank the hon. Minister for the policy statement.


Madam Chairperson, I understand higher education as a process of giving systematic instructions at a college or university with a view to impart skills and knowledge. So, the question we ask about our education system is whether our colleges and universities are imparting relevant knowledge, the right skills and are nurturing constructive attitudes and behaviours. At the end of it all, we ask whether our education system contributes to the development of Zambian society.


Madam Chairperson, we inherited a British system of education that is based on examinations as a measure of learning. If you pass and get a certificate, it is assumed that you have the skill and the right knowledge. However, what I have seen is that the examination based system, as a measure of learning is misleading. People graduate with certificates and degrees and fail to perform. Most of our people go to college because that is the opportunity that has opened up. They go and take up a career because they did not have the option to choose.


Madam Chairperson, we need to move away from this approach and follow the abilities of our people. In other words, we need to have a specialised education system that suits students’ abilities so that we match these abilities with their interests. As we know, countries like Botswana are moving away from this British education system that we have held onto for a very long time. They are now embracing the specialised approach, where abilities of students are matched with the training they receive.


Madam Chairperson, if this is done, we will have skilled manpower. We will have manpower that is motivated because people will be doing what they like to do. We will have manpower that has the right knowledge because people will have invested time in the things they like most. Our education system is hampered by poor funding or we have inadequate resources and issues of poverty still continue to limit education opportunities. So, it is necessary to refocus our approach. Therefore, I call for a transformation that will see students being trained in careers of interest. Students should be trained academically because they want to go the academic way. They should be trained the arts way because they want to go the artistic way or trained vocationally because they want to go the vocational way. We cannot do everything all the time with limited resources.


Madam Chairperson, finally, I want to state that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government continues to deny Lewanika University resources. It would appear to me that Lewanika University is not a priority for the PF Government. It initiated this university and it cannot continue to sideline it and put it aside. The people of the Western Province would like to have their own university, especially that they named it Lewanika University, after one of the renowned kings of the Barotseland.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


The Chairperson: Prof. Lungwangwa, are you now able to log in and debate?


Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Yes, Madam Chairperson.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for a very clear policy statement. I think it is now time for us to rethink our approach towards higher education in this country. If we look at what has happened, so far, a lot has been centred on liberal education and we have seen the pitfalls of that line of education. This is the time to now begin to see how we can redirect higher education in the direction of science, technology and innovation. We must begin to weigh how much of the budget for higher education goes towards science, technology and innovation and to other areas, and I think it must be weighed more towards science, technology and innovation.


Madam Chairperson, globally, about 800 scientists serve 1 million people. Here in Africa, around 100 scientists serve about 1 million people a day. In Zambia, the number of scientists per million people in our country is definitely far too low. Therefore, there is no way we expect to solve problems such as poverty, pandemics, climate change and general underdevelopment, including unemployment, if the number of our scientists and innovators is too small.


Madam Chairperson, the driver of development in the period we are in is, of course, innovation and our universities and colleges must be redirected to become centres of innovation and creativity. Our students must be taken into the broader areas of imagination, creativity and critical thinking so that when they graduate from our universities and colleges, they can transform the communities in which they live by transforming the natural resources through creativity and innovation.


Madam Chairperson, while the hon. Minister is still in this ministry, we should start thinking of establishing a commission of inquiry into transforming our colleges and universities into centres of innovation, creativity and effective research. This is very important because this is the paradigm shift that our universities and colleges should move towards. We need a paradigm shift away from the liberal education environment we have seen since Independence into an academic environment that is centred on innovation and research.


Madam Chairperson, we need curricula that instill creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and high levels of imagination so that our students coming out of the universities and colleges should be able to contribute effectively to the challenges of industrialisation, Small and Medium Enterprises’ (SMEs) development and transforming our abundant natural resources and making them workable and adding value to them. This is the only way, as a country, we can achieve our development aspirations, and I think it is time to think big for long-term development and transformation.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mrs Chinyama (Kafue): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for this opportunity to also add a few thoughts to the debate on the Vote for the Ministry of Higher Education. To start with, I want to indicate that I am in support of this budget. However, generally, I want to put across my lamentations about the dwindling support to education, especially as presented in the 2021 Budget, on record. The dwindling support will definitely have an effect on the ministry considering that even after the monies are allocated, they do not eventually go to the respective ministries. So, I think this will have a very big impact on the implementation of programmes in the ministry.


Madam Chairperson, against that background, I just want to advise the ministry to be a bit more systematic in the way it implements, especially its infrastructure programmes, considering that so many projects have been started in different institutions. Trying to allocate bits of funding to each of those projects just makes them go on and on forever without being completed. I would rather see a situation whereby a reasonable chunk is given to a particular institution so that its projects are implemented in no time and the infrastructure is immediately made usable.


Madam, I have in mind student accommodation construction works which have been going on for years here at UNZA main campus. My wish is to see the hon. Minister focus on this project, which will go a long way in easing the accommodation problems at UNZA.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Member told us in his presentation that only half of the students have been given student loans. I urge the ministry to consider increasing the number of beneficiaries taking into account the fact that on average, university education does not cost less than K20,000 per year and very few families in Zambia can afford to pay that kind of money for their children. With the recovery system now in place, I expect the ministry to increasingly see to it that more students are covered under this loan facility to afford access to the many Zambian children whose parents cannot afford.


Madam, I have to sign recommendation letters everyday at my office for student loans. It gives one an idea of what service the ministry would offer if it was able to give a higher percentage of loans, if not 100 per cent. It was possible in the past. During our time, all the students were covered. If it is possible now and if we continued to make education a priority, especially with the loan recovery system which is in place, we should be able to give more children student loans.


Madam Chairperson, with those few remarks, I support the budget for the ministry and hope that it will focus on the three practical elements that I have brought out, which are the completion of student accommodation, the placement of more students on bursaries and ensuring that the monies that are recovered are not diverted to other purposes, especially when a by-election is on the way, as anything can happen then.


I thank you, Madam.


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


Madam, the people of Kabwe Central are very happy with the huge infrastructure development for higher education because they have benefitted immensely. A big library and many rooms for students have been built at Kwame Nkrumah University. I believe the problems there have reduced. There is also Mulungushi University which is constructing thousands of bed spaces for our students. Many other colleges and institutions of learning around the country have seen this transformation from very few student rooms to what the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is doing.


Madam Chairperson, I also want to thank the Government for the massive funding we have seen towards educational activities. As I speak, I am aware that the Government will bring the best out of what we have. Students, wherever they are, can now confidently say that they belong to these universities. Previously, the loan scheme was only available for the University of Zambia (UNZA) and the Copperbelt University (CBU), but now all these institutions of higher learning are accessing the loan scheme, meaning that the Government has afforded more vulnerable people access to higher education.


Madam, with those few remarks, I support the budget.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Dr Mushimba: Madam Chairperson, thank you very much. I take note of the overwhelming support from all the hon. Members who have debated. Indeed, education is valued. I see in the debates from all hon. Members that their support is based on that fact.


Madam, as I wind up debate, I will speak briefly to some of the issues that were raised. Hon. Lufuma raised the issue of the University College of Mathematics and Science in Kabompo University, and I assure him that the Government’s plan is to ensure that it makes progress on that project. As soon as the economy and our debt situation improves, we will re-engage the financiers for the University College of Mathematics and Science in Kabompo who have indicated willingness to support us.


Madam Chairperson, on issues to do with the relevance of training, skills development and two-tier pathways that Hon. Dr Imakando raised, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government understands and is aware of the importance of the work-based learning frameworks that we have incorporated. We are doing a lot more in internships, entrepreneurship training and job placements for our students to ensure that they get both work and classroom experience.


Madam, you are aware that the PF Government, under the able leadership of His Excellency the President, Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, started a two-tier system in our education system, that is, training students in academics and vocational skills.


Madam Chairperson, Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa, speaking as a true professor, was thought provoking in his submission and radical in his views on how we transition and redirect our higher education. He suggested the establishment of a commission of inquiry to migrate to effective centres of innovation in our learning institutions. I will be reaching out to Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa so that he can sit on this commission of inquiry because he is a wealth of knowledge and we have taken note of everything he shared.


Madam, we understand Hon. Chinyama’s concern. We are working on many of the issues that she spoke to, especially aggregating resources so that we complete one project and move to the next.


Madam Chairperson, Hon. Tutwa Ngulube has thanked the Government that we both serve. He is right that the Government has done a lot in university education. We have moved from having two universities to seven public universities. We have also moved from supporting two universities with student loans to supporting all public universities and we are considering offering support to private universities. The PF Government places immense value on education and the infrastructure development is magnificent. Therefore, we agree with him when he speaks to many of these things that this Government has done that were not done before.


Madam, with these remarks, I thank everyone who has debated.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Vote 65 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


Question put and agreed to.


VOTE 80 – (Ministry of General Education – K 10,485,254,136)


The Minister of General Education (Dr Wanchinga): Madam Chairperson, thank you for according me the opportunity to present a policy statement for the 2021 Budget for the Ministry of General Education under the theme, “Stimulate Economic Recovery and Build Resilience to Safeguard Livelihoods and Protect the Vulnerable.”


Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of General Education is responsible for formulating and implementing Government policy on early childhood, primary and secondary education as well as teacher training, including the licensing and enforcement of standards. The constituent elements of this mandate include 10,570 primary and secondary schools, tour of public colleges of education, 4.3 million primary and secondary school pupils and 114,801 teachers.


Madam Chairperson, in 2020, the budget allocation to the ministry was K10.1 billion, out of which K9.1 billion or 90.1 per cent was allocated towards personal emoluments, leaving only K1 billion or 9.9 per cent for non-personal expenditure.


Madam Chairperson, concerning the performance of the 2020 Budget, I wish to report that of the K9.1 billion approved for personal emoluments, K 6.9 billion has been released, representing 75 per cent performance on this budget line. Concerning the K1 billion for non-personal emoluments, K639 million has, so far, been released representing 63.9 per cent on this budget line.


Madam Chairperson, under the 2020 Budget, the ministry has noted several achievements, which have included continuous teacher replacement, which has, so far, totalled 337 teachers. In collaboration with the World Food Program (WFP), the ministry continues to implement the Integrated School Feeding Programme in order to improve the health and nutrition of our learners in thirty-eight districts, which are dotted in the ten provinces and are benefiting about 1.1 million learners.


Madam Chairperson, the ministry continues to make progress on the construction of 115 secondary schools, out of which sixty-eight are now fully completed, while forty-seven are at various stages of completion ranging from 50 per cent to 90 per cent. This is in addition to the eight-two secondary schools being built with the assistance of the World Bank. The project has since completed the construction of eight-two secondary schools, under Phase I, and has now moved to implementation of the project under Phase II.


Madam Chairperson, in the year under review, the ministry has completed the review of the 1996 Education Policy and has continued to implement a robust programme to strengthen the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics generally referred to as (STEM). To this effect, the National Science Centre, five national and ten provincial STEM schools have been completed, including the review of the STEM curriculum and the training of STEM teachers.


Madam Chairperson, the ministry has continued to provide youth and adult literacy education. Achievements in this area have included the development of Electronic Learning (e-Learning) content for both junior and secondary school levels and the establishment of a television channel referred to as the Zambia National Broadcasting Corperation Television Four (ZNBC TV4), which has been established as well as the production of radio lessons for our learners.


Madam Chairperson, these successes which have included the purchase of fifteen vehicles were, however, not without challenges. Notable among the challenges were:


  1. inadequate funding and inappropriate infrastructure;
  2. low and poor quality of Early Childhood Education (ECE) services in most centres;
  3. inadequate desks and other materials to support curriculum delivery; and
  4. high pupil-teacher ratio and high pupil book-ratio at all levels.



Madam Chairperson, during 2021, my ministry will continue with its transformation agenda and will endeavour to continue to be guided by the strategic objective of providing equitable, quality and relevant education at all levels and to increase access to youth and adult literacy through continuing education.


Madam Chairperson, the total estimates of expenditure for my ministry for which I seek the support of the House is K10,485,254,136, representing 3.9 per cent increase over the K10.1 billion which was allocated to the ministry in 2020.


Madam Chairperson, 89 per cent or K9.3 billion is earmarked for personal emoluments at all levels while only K 1.2 billion is allocated for non-personal emoluments, representing 11 per cent. The rational and break down of expenditure is as follows:


Under Programme 5501, my ministry will continue to focus on creating an effective and efficient early childhood education system through the Early Childhood Education Programme, which has been allocated a total of K 12,993,445. The ministry also aims at continuing to increase access and improve quality of primary education and has allocated K 7,059,578,035 under this programme.


Under Programme 5503, Secondary Education, my ministry will continue making efforts to achieve the targeted 75 per cent completion rate for pupils at Grade 9 level and also achieving a level of 85 per cent pass rate for Grade 12. A total of K 2,545,502,948 has been allocated to this sub-sector.


Madam Chairperson, concerning the Youth and Adult Literacy Programme, under Programme 5505,  K2,492,950 has been allocated.


Madam Chairperson, for the Management and Support Services, Programme 5508, K864,686,758 has been allocated. This sub-head will involve activities such as gazetting of more schools and also the creation of establishments for several schools.


Madam Chairperson, with the ministry’s obvious commitment to providing sound education at all levels, I request the hon. Members to support the ministry’s budget for 2021.


Madam, I thank you.


Ms Jere (Lumezi): Madam Chairperson, I would like to sincerely thank you for giving me this opportunity to say one or two things on behalf of the people for Lumezi Constituency on this very important Vote.


Madam Chairperson, as it is commonly said, education is a key to success. Some people may dispute that, but in the long run and final analysis, you would want to believe that education is, indeed, a key to success.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank the hon. Minister of Finance for increasing the budget allocation to education this year as compared to the last fiscal year. The only thing that, perhaps, we need to focus on is to implore the hon. Minister of General Education to make sure that the resources that have been given are channelled to important areas in the ministry. The hon. Minister has, in his policy statement, pointed out many areas that the ministry needs to attend to. However, I want to promote the teaching and learning process in the classrooms.


Madam, from my observation, I have noticed that the focus in the ministry has shifted. We are talking more about co-curricular activities as compared to the core-curricular activities. These are the activities that are supposed to promote learner performance in a school.


Madam Chairperson, metaphorically, a school is described as a factory, garden or an orchestra. You cannot just look at a school because you have put infrastructure, then, you think things are going on as they should. This is why we have seen a decline in terms of learner performance. Whether we like it or not, results are not so good. Our school system is based on assessment through examinations. So, we must have that in mind.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to implore the hon. Minister to focus on two major areas, which are quality assurance and quality control. As regards quality assurance, he needs to look at putting in place mechanisms, systems and paraphernalia to ensure that the teaching and learning process in the classroom gives us the best results in as far as learner  performance is concerned.


Madam Chairperson, when we talk about quality assurance, we also focus on issues of qualified teachers, school furniture, which is a challenge in schools, at the moment, and specialised rooms such as laboratories. Do we have laboratories? We have to note that mobile laboratories do not last –


The Chairperson: Hon. Member, could you speak up so that we can all learn from your experience.


Ms P. Jere: Madam Chairperson, thank you so much.


Madam Chairperson, I was saying that issues of quality assurance are very important and the hon. Minister should bother to ensure that they are taken care of in terms of systems, mechanisms and other issues that ought to be put in place. For instance, when I talk about factors, I am talking about having qualified teachers, reducing the teacher-pupil ratio and putting up fixed laboratories for subjects such as physics, chemistry and others. These are just some of the few things needed.


Madam Chairperson, there was a time when the ministry had adopted the concept of Teaching and Learning Using Locally Available Resources (TALULAR). What is happening now is that we want to depend on imported teaching and learning aids. That will not help us. If we can go by the TALULAR concept, then, we will go very far in improving the teaching and learning process in the classroom for our learners. Therefore, I would like to implore the ministry to get back to this because we had tried it at some point and it worked very well, but got lost in the process.


Madam Chairperson, I would also like to look at quality control, which is the Standards Section. We do have the Standards Section in the Ministry of General Education, but what is happening is that officers are just docile in their offices. They do not do anything because they have no transport to move around and check on adherence. Teachers are supposed to teach what they are supposed to, but if no one goes to check on the way they are teaching, then, we have a problem. Therefore, the hon. Minister should ensure that there is transport and that resources are available so that this section is up and running checking on adherence, as regards the implementation of the curriculum.


Madam Chairperson, we also had a localised curriculum. I do not know what has happened to it. The hon. Minister needs to explore and find out. Localised curriculum means coming up with a home grown programme. It was very helpful when we implemented it in Mambwe. The only challenge is that the ministry shifts. When new programmes come, it forgets about that which it started. So, please, the hon. Minister should ensure that the localised curriculum is done and also that the TALULAR concept is revisted. It will help us to produce teaching and learning aids within schools.


Madam Chairperson, time does not allow me to go on, but with these few words, I would like to support the budget.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Madam Chairperson, thank you so much for granting me an opportunity to debate on behalf of the people of Dundumwezi, especially teachers domiciled in that constituency.


Madam Chairperson, while I support the budget for the Ministry of General Education, I wish to state that the 5 per cent increment in the 2021 Budget from the 2020 Budget for the ministry is far too little for the hon. Minister to address the many challenges that this ministry is going through.


Madam Chairperson, when you look at infrastructure in this ministry, I think, we have a situation where most of our teachers are live in very dilapidated houses. In some situations, I would say substandard staff accommodation. This ministry is not looking into the plight of teachers by paying them the hardship allowance. So, we need to increase the budget if we are to motivate teachers who are handling our children in these schools.


Madam Chairperson, let me address the issue of the lack of teachers. We have a situation where a number of our schools are being manned by what we call ‘untrained teachers’. I thought this Government would take advantage, especially in rural areas, to ensure that no untrained teacher is assigned to handle children in lower grades because that is their foundation. We need to ensure that children are assigned well-trained teachers so that their foundation is very strong.


Madam Chairperson, I was shocked during the President’s Address when the President indicated that the pupil-teacher ratio was about 35:1 in urban areas and 45:1 in rural areas. When I scan through my constituency, this is not true. If I did not fear that my teachers would be victimised by this Government, I would have given you schools where we have a pupil-teacher ratio of 75:1 and you would agree with me that in such a situation, pupils do not get the best.


Madam Chairperson, I would also like to bring to the attention of the hon. Minister that most teachers are complaining about a situation where teachers at primary level affiliate themselves to certain bodies. For example, if someone teaches mathematics, he/she has to pay about a K100 per subject. Let us take, for instance, a teacher who teaches Physical Education (PE) and mathematics. It means that from the little salary that this teacher gets, he/she will affiliate to the mathematics body and be required to affiliate with another K100 to the Junior Engineers, Technicians and Scientist (JETS) club, for instance. If the same teacher teaches PE, he/she is going to pay another K100 for PE and a K100 for sports.


The Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Madam Chairperson, in the first place, I would like to state that I support the budget for the Ministry of General Education.


Madam Chairperson, we all know that the Ministry of General Education is the builder of a community in any given area. When we do not pay attention to schools or education centres, we are saying that no good things should be available in those communities.


We want doctors, civil engineers and all types of workers. All these workers should start from somewhere. They come from somewhere and that is educational institutions. Basically, they come from primary schools and rise through secondary schools and eventually to tertiary level. However, we are giving less attention to primary schools, which cannot support the life of schools.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Member for Lumezi stated that we send children to school where they spend hours and we wait for the fruits from them. Therefore, the ministry’s mandate is to impart knowledge in these children so that they grow into responsible and skilful adults. When a school is constructed and set, so many things must be secured.


Madam Chairperson, we have heard from the hon. Minister that there is a percentage of money that was allocated in the 2020 Budget that has not been disbursed by the Ministry of Finance, yet we are already in November.


Madam Chairperson, when you go to schools in rural schools, you would wonder how the children learn and how they can help in the development of this country. Should we continue to import doctors, engineers and technicians when we have sufficient human resource in this country? Unfortunately, this human resource lacks skill. Children go to school, but do not know what a laboratory is. In this country, we have a situation where a child who is in Grade 8 can go into Grade 9 and sit for an examination without knowing what a laboratory is. What kind of a student would you expect from such a situation?


Madam Chairperson, pupils are taught science without practicals. What type of children are we going to have? It means we shall have only social children. They will lag behind in technical or scientific skills. We heard the hon. Member for Nalikwanda when he stated that we are very much behind in terms of education in this country. We cannot develop if we do not take the education sector very seriously. Therefore, whoever is mandated to govern this country must consider the importance of education to everybody.  People are entrusted with power because they have been to school. Why can we not look at those who are still young so that they can become leaders of this country? If we do not release funds to schools, we are killing the future of this country because the children will grow into illiterate adults who will not know what to do. They will not match with other –


The Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Chansa was inaudible.


Mr Daka (Msanzala): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak on this very important Vote. First and foremost, I want to take the debate of the hon. Member for Lumezi as my own. In the days when we used to go to school, we had school inspectors. They used to come to our schools to inspect the skills of work which our teachers were offering. The skills of work are what teachers plan to teach our pupils. Nowadays, you find that most teachers are away from their schools because there are no school inspectors. How can we ensure that a quality foundation is instilled in our children when there is no supervision?


Madam Chairperson, in every human being, there is a level of inefficiency whereby one has to be reminded to do certain things. So, I agree with those who debated on quality and commitment by teachers to ensure that they follow the scheme of work.


Madam Chairperson, today, when you get home, you find pupils playing on their cellular phones because they do not have homework. In the days we went to school, especially those of us who were in boarding, we went back to our classrooms for preparations (preps) from 1800 hours to 2000 hours. Those preps gave us an insight of what we would have done in the previous week and what we were going to do thereafter. Today, most teachers are not committed to this work because the Chief Education Officers (CEOs) and inspectors are not there to supervise them.


We have situations where, for example, a teacher in the village, in a remote area, goes out to do a bit of farming because what he or she gets paid is not enough. We have to ensure that we motivate teachers in rural areas so that they continue to give a good foundation to our children.


Madam Chairperson, let me add that, currently, we have so many schools that only go up to Grade 9. The volume of pupils from these schools that we have is never offloaded onto Grade 10, 11 and 12. When you are very young, at times, you do not understand why you wake up in the morning to go to school. Your parents just wake you up and ask tell you to go to school and you do so because they have said so. You only realise the importance of school when you have reached a certain age.  We cannot allow children to drop onto the streets just after reaching Grade 9 because there is no space in Grade 10. So, I urge the hon. Minister of General Education to ensure that we create sufficient classrooms for Grades 10, 11 and 12 so that nobody is left behind.


Madam Chairperson, this pipe is very big at the beginning, but gets narrower at the end. You see serious talent at Grade 9, but children only realise their career path at a later stage when they are grown up. So, my emphasis is that this ministry must be supported by the Ministry of Finance to ensure that it has enough funds to give to school inspectors to enable them to inspect schools.


Madam Chairperson, as an area hon. Member of Parliament, you are, sometimes, requested to buy roofing sheets and provide money to build classrooms.  In today’s world, people do not realise the job of an hon. Member of Parliament. This ministry must be well-funded to ensure that the foundation of our children is well-built. It can only be well-built when they appreciate mathematics, physics and sciences from Grade 1. If we introduce these subjects at a later stage, they will not appreciate them fully.


Madam Chairperson, before I end, I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on this very important Vote, which must be supported heavily because it is the beginning of our lives and for our children.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Chikote (Luampa): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to also represent the people of Luampa by contributing to the debate on this Vote. From the onset, let me say that I support this Vote for the Ministry of General Education. However, let me state to the hon. Minister of General Education that we have been supporting this budget year in and year out, but there has been very little benefit for the constituencies in rural areas, Luampa inclusive.


Madam Chairperson, I want to request the hon. Minister that this budget for 2021 pays much attention to the rural constituencies because there are so many challenges that we, as Members of rural constituencies, have seen.


Madam, the first one is teacher/pupil ratio. Pronouncements to the effect that there is an improvement have been made, but when you go to the constituencies, there is nothing happening. You will find that there are only two teachers manning an entire school from Grade 1 up to Grade 9. What quality is expected to be delivered by these two teachers? What are the pupils in rural areas expected to gain? Meanwhile, this is the Government which has been singing that nobody will be left behind. Why can the Ministry of General Education not start addressing this issue?

Madam Chairperson, during teacher recruitment, teachers are recruited and deployed to rural areas. However, the recruitment is only on paper. These teachers shun going and performing their duties in these schools.


 Madam Chairperson, my humble appeal to the hon. Minister is that there is a need for serious follow ups of these teachers who are sent to rural areas, this time around. There must be some motivation for the teachers deployed to rural areas.


Madam, there is also a big challenge of desks in our schools. Pupils in rural areas have no motivation because some of them find themselves sitting on the floor in classrooms. There are no desks in these schools making pupils demoralised. There is nothing which is motivating our pupils to be in school in the rural areas.


Madam Chairperson, this budget should not only be concentrated in towns. I have been moving around in most of the schools in Lusaka and I have noticed that they have teachers as well as desks. You will find that one desk is shared by two pupils. That is the standard way of motivating pupils. However, if you go to places like Nyambi, Mulwa, Lui, Mbanyutu and Katunda, you will find one desk being shared by seven or six pupils in schools that are privileged with few desks. How do you motivate such pupils?


Madam Chairperson, teachers in community schools are fed up. They need to be motivated. We need to recruit teachers on the Government payroll because our communities have failed to pay teachers at community schools. For teachers to be motivated, we should ensure that we recruit Government teachers to go to community schools.


Madam, I humbly request the hon. Minister to reopen the General Certificate Education (GCE) centre for Luampa, which was closed due to reasons that were not genuine. The people of Luampa are crying over the closure their GCE examination centre. I also want to emphasise to the hon. Minister that the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) offices be given –


Madam Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Ms Subulwa (Sioma): Madam Chairperson, thank you because you have put a smile on my face.


Madam Chairperson: I could see one before that.




Ms Subulwa: Madam Chairperson, firstly, I would like to mention that I support this Vote. It is very critical. I support the budget for this particular ministry. The one issue I would like to talk about is to do with placement of our teachers. Our teachers have made their own personal effort to upgrade their qualifications, but it takes long for them to be promoted or placed on their rightful scales.


Madam Chairperson, I also want the hon. Minister to take note of Western Province, in particular, where we have a number of teachers who have upgraded their qualifications and they are still on the same positions. The ministry made a few recruitments by recruiting some teachers from elsewhere. I feel that the first thing his ministry was supposed to do was to consider those teachers who are already in those areas by promoting or placing them on their rightful scales. Thereafter, new entrants could have now been considered.


Madam, the other issue has to do with teachers that the ministry recommended to lecture at Mongu Teacher’s Training College who are still getting a secondary teacher’s salary. I feel the hon. Minister needs to look into this issue so that those lecturers are put on their rightful salary scales. The hon. Minister left that problem and he should please look into it.


Madam Chairperson, I would also like to point out of the issue of transport. There is no way we can have a District Education Boards Secretary’s (DEBS) office operating without a vehicle. There is no single vehicle. If you look at the terrain in the Western Province, it would be good for the hon. Minister to consider buying 4X4 Land Cruisers vehicles for our DEBS offices so that they can work efficiently.


Madam Chairperson, the other issue is desks. I am wondering why, amidst all the timber that we have in the country, we should have a scenario in our schools where there are no desks. We have capable hon. Ministers like themselves who can look into the issue. We have the hon. Minister of Higher Education as well as the Minister of General Education. I am sure they work as a team to consider looking into this issue so that we provide desks for our pupils. It is a motivation on its own, unlike the current situation on the ground.


Madam Chairperson, I also want to appeal to the office of the Ministry of General Education to consider upgrading schools. The oldest schools that we have in Sioma are Sitoti, Sinjembela, Liwandamo, Kalenge, Libonda, which is on an island, and Nalwashi should be upgraded into secondary schools so that we cut on the distance that our girls and boys cover when going to go to school.


Madam Chairperson, we have a unique scenario in Sioma where boys are leaving school to go into Namibia to look for greener pastures because of the distances they have to cover to reach schools. So, if the schools could be upgraded into secondary schools, we can reduce the distances pupils have to cover.


Madam, as a Member of Parliament, through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), I have ensured that we put up, at least, a 1x3 classroom block in these areas that I am talking about. Now it is your responsibility, as Minister, to ensure that you upgrade those schools into secondary schools and promote our teachers so that they occupy the rightful positions.


Madam Chairperson, the other issue, as I conclude, is the issue of housing units. The environment in rural areas should be made conducive and attractive for people to go and work there. Teachers who have never been to Sioma are being appointed or recruited to go and work there and they run away because there are no houses. So, if you could give monies to our district offices to come up with the initiative to build at least a housing unit or two per school, I think that would change the whole scenario. Please, consider the students that are supported under CDF. We have forty students that we supported under CDF from Sioma. Please, consider them, recruit them and let them work in Sioma because they are ready to work in Sioma. So, do not bring other people who are not ready to work in Sioma who will give us excuses of marriages and all those excuses.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Dr Wanchinga: Madam Chairperson, I would like to really thank my colleagues for the support that they give to the Ministry of General Education. It is clear that everybody appreciates that education is an enabler for all of us.


Madam Chairperson, there are number of issues that have been raised. However, what I would like to say is that given the richness of the contributions of my colleagues, I would like to just appeal to them that individually they can pass through my office when they have time so that we can really go into detail of some of these good ideas which I have heard from my colleagues.


Madam Chairperson, let me quickly just respond to some of the contributions. The issue of quality education has run through. Indeed, we have recognised that a number of factors are responsible for ensuring quality education. There is empirical evidence for this. So, with partners, we are addressing many of these issues that relate to factors that affect the quality of education.


Madam Chairperson, the issue of standards was mentioned because that relates to the issue of quality of education. Let me just inform the House that the ministry has recognised this issue. For the purposes of enhancing quality of education, we need to strengthen our supervisory capacity within district offices. We have procured seventy-nine vehicles, which we will be distributing next week. This will deal with the issue quality assurance in schools.


Madam Chairperson, the issue of teacher’s houses was raised. This is an issue which I have also talked about a lot in the past. We have always appealed to investors, like hon. Members, but also the ministry recognises that we really need to build a number of houses for our teachers.


Madam Chairperson, the issue concerning science education was emphasised. Yes, we have strengthened science education through what we call Science, Technology, Engineering and Mechanics (STEM) and, therefore, I would like to assure that all these issues that have been raised by my colleagues will be, and are being attended to concerning science education. So, all these other things will be attended to.


Madam Chairperson, I would like to really thank you for the opportunity.


The Chairperson: Order!


Are you done with the thanking?


Dr Wanchinga indicated assent.


(Debate adjourned)






[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


(Progress reported)




The House adjourned 1157 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 10th November, 2020.