Friday, 29th January, 2021

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Friday, 29th January, 2021


The House met at 0900 hours











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


Madam Speaker, on Tuesday, 2nd February, 2021, the Business of the House will begin with Questions for Oral Answer. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any.


Madam Speaker, on Wednesday, 3rd February, 2021, 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 be any. Thereafter, the House will debate the Motion to adopt the Report of the Committee on Energy, Water Development and Tourism on the Report of the Auditor-General on the Performance of the Tourism Sector in Ensuring an Increase in the Length of Stay of International Tourists.


Madam Speaker, on Thursday, 4th February, 2021, the Business of the House will commence with Questions for Oral Answer. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will debate the Motion to adopt the Report of the Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources on the Report of the Auditor-General on the Management of Irrigation Systems in Zambia for the Period 2015 to 2019.


Madam Speaker, on Friday, 5th February, 2021, the Business of the House will start with the Vice-President’s Question Time. This will be followed by Questions for Oral Answer. The House will, then, deal with presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.






Mr Chali (Nchanga): Madam Speaker, yesterday’s ministerial statement by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs categorically stated that a named leader of an opposition political party was summoned at the Police Force Headquarters in his personal capacity, but when going there, he went with a mob and what happened, as we speak today, is history. We lost lives.


Madam Speaker, where such leaders behave in such a way that they take mobs when summoned and cause people to lose lives, is there no law that addresses such behaviour so that it can be prosecuted in court?


The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Madam Speaker, this issue was ably articulated by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs in the House yesterday during his ministerial statement on the unfortunate shooting of two Zambians that occurred at the time when Mr Hakainde Hichilema was appearing before the police.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs stated that, according to the Laws of Zambia, there are procedures to be taken by the general public to participate in a procession or in a public gathering. These laws exist and they ought to be followed by every Zambian, including leaders of political parties.


Madam Speaker, if these procedures, rules and regulations are abrogated by leaders inciting people to follow them when they appear before the police or court and ferrying them from various parts of the country to render support, we all know the consequences of such gatherings. Sometimes, they can get out of control. So, it is very important for leaders to advise their followers to just control their emotions and allow the law to take its course when a situation like this arises.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Madam Speaker, –


Mr Mwiimbu was not wearing his mask properly.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Please, wear your mask and try to speak with it on.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I thank you for your guidance.


Madam Speaker, I would like Her Honour the Vice-President to answer me in the way she used to she used to handle matters of national importance when she was in the Non-governmental Organisations Co-ordinating Council (NGOCC) leadership.


Madam Speaker, the scandalous activities in the Ministry of Health and other ministries have threatened the lives of so many Zambians. A number of Zambians have died as a result of the scandals that robbed the Ministry of Health vis-à-vis the supply of medical facilities and services that are not compliant with regulations. As a result, even the hon. Minister of Health indicated that the health sector is not performing well. Equipment is not available and, as a result, health services are poor. Is Her Honour the Vice-President proud that her Government, through the Ministry of Health, –


Mr Mwiimbu pointing at Her Honour the Vice-President.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Your finger, hon. Leader of the Opposition.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I thank you for your guidance.


Madam Speaker, as Vice-President of the country and a mother, is she proud that her Government, through the dubious activities in the Ministry of Health, has led to so many deaths in this country?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Withdraw the word “dubious.” Find a more suitable word.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I withdraw the phrase “dubious activities” and replace it with “mischievous activities” in the Ministry of Health.


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I can assure the hon. Member that this hon. Member of Parliament, a grandmother and a mother, is very proud to belong to the party that fights corruption and all sorts of misuse of public resources.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, the Government is committed to providing universal health coverage (UHC) and leaving no one behind. This includes the provision of quality machines and medical supplies to the nation. The following are the measures taken by the Government to address the concern raised by the hon. Member:


  1. in line with provisions under Section 46 of the Medicines and Allied Substances Act, No. 3 of 2013, which in part provides for the return of machines and other substances, the Government, through the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA), has issued a recall of the defective products based on the quality tests conducted; and
  2. post Marketing Surveillance: the company or companies in question have been engaged to undertake a recall of the defective products where a directive was issued by the authority. The licensee has also been instructed to provide updates on the process on a regular basis to aid the monitoring of the processes by the authority. A system of spontaneous reporting of product quality problems by health professionals in health facilities is ongoing and, where reports are investigated by the authority, appropriate regulatory action is taken. Following distribution of the medical products, the authority received a total of fourteen reports on suspected medicine quality problems.


Madam Speaker, however, on this particular issue that the hon. Member referred to, the Government has always taken action and some of the current issues are still under investigation. We cannot come to a conclusion on what exactly transpired in the Ministry of Health regarding this particular matter.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Madam Speaker, the medicine that her Honour the Vice-President just mentioned was distributed across the country and some of it was consumed by our citizens. I would like to find out if the Government is ready to compensate those who might have consumed those expired drugs, bearing in mind that their effect will have a ripple effect in the long run on our people?


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, the matter is still under investigations.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Madam Speaker, the people of Chimwemwe and, especially Luapula Province would like to find out the correct Government position as regards the reported fish ban extension countrywide by three months to go up to 1st May, 2021, as aired by the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation Television (ZNBC) TV 1 sometime last week.


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Fisheries and Livestock was directed by the Hon. Madam Speaker to come to the House with a ministerial statement to provide an explanation for the extension of the fish ban. So, we should await that statement.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mutaba (Mwandi): Madam Speaker, it has been quite a while that citizens of this country have been subjected to poor internet connectivity and voice calls. This is more prevalent to us who live in border areas such as Kazungula, Mwandi and Sesheke. What is the Government doing to ensure that citizens of this country are offered the best in terms of both internet connectivity and voice calls?


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, the Government of the Patriotic Front (PF), under the leadership of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, should be congratulated for the strides it has made in providing communication facilities to facilitate improved internet connectivity. The number of communication towers that have been constructed around the country has surpassed the expectations of many and the programme is still in progress.


Madam Speaker, the Government is determined to ensure that its people are connected locally and internationally because the world today depends on what this Government does to improve the situation in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. Mwandi and Sesheke have had the privilege to receive some of these communication towers that were installed in these two districts.


Madam Speaker, I thank you. 


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Madam Speaker, this year, we have been having exceptional rainfall in the western parts of the country. As a result of that, the water levels have risen very fast. At the moment, the water levels that side are as high as what we would, sometimes, expect to see in February. The consequence of that is that people’s crops such as maize, rice and cassava have been destroyed. Currently, there is hunger in that part of the country. I would like to find out the steps and plans the Government is taking to moderate the effects of the hunger that has arisen and will rise faster.


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, indeed, the country has experienced increased rainfall activity. This situation has increased the possibility of riverine floods. According to the Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS), thirteen gauge stations on the system in Zambezi are indicating a high likelihood of flooding. For example, the two stations on the system, namely Kalengwa School in Kasempa and Kafue Hook Bridge are already indicating above 100 per cent trigger level for riverine flood.


Madam Speaker, a rapid assessment that was undertaken by the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) recently indicates that fifty-eight districts will experience flooding this year. This will have a devastating effect on the food security in these areas. So, the DMMU is now working at modalities of how to support the communities in the flood-prone districts and that is ongoing. I can assure the hon. Member for Liuwa that the DMMU is dispatching some foodstuffs to Liuwa, Sikongo and two other districts in the province, whose names I cannot remember offhand. However, the Government is taking the necessary measures to ensure that our people are supported.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I now move to the Zoom list, and I will start with the hon. Member for Moomba.


Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Madam Speaker, the number of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the country is increasing. There has been a call to the effect that we all take precautionary measures. We have been seeing His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, going around the country, holding meetings and disregarding the requirements such as maintaining social distance, wearing of face masks and others for the people he is meeting. When we see such a high profile figure like the President going ahead to hold meetings when we are in the midst of this pandemic, what message does that send to our people out there? As a result of this, there are some people who now think that there is no COVID-19.


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, hon. Members should know and realise that His Excellency the President, as Head of State, is entitled and, indeed, required to govern all parts of the country. His Excellency the President has stated, on many occasions, that under his leadership, development will be taken to all parts of Zambia and that no one or no district will be left behind. In doing so, His Excellency the President is reaching all parts of this country and carrying out inspections of various developmental projects under the PF Government.


Madam Speaker, having said that, His Excellency the President is well aware of the dangers of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Therefore, all health guidelines are being strictly adhered to in all movements he undertakes. This pandemic will be with us for some time and we have to learn how to live under the new normal. The most important thing is to abide by the guidelines of the Ministry of Health. His Excellency the President will not stop visiting parts of Zambia because of COVID-19. Otherwise, there will be no Government to talk about. It is very important for hon. Members, especially on the Opposition side, to realise that the Government has to continue running this country. Certain actions have to be taken by the Government in order to fulfill the obligations that it made to the people. So, as long as there is strict compliance to the health guidelines, the President cannot be stopped from visiting a district or a province due to COVID-19.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Madam Speaker, schools are scheduled to open on Monday, 1st February, 2021. Does the Government have the financial capability to disinfect all the schools in Zambia and enough kits to test all the school-going children and teachers before schools re-open?


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, children’s education is a partnership between parents and the Government. As schools are scheduled to re-open on 1st February, 2021, the DMMU, under the Office of the Vice-President, has prepositioned 2,000,000 reusable face masks to be distributed throughout the country. 75,000 face shields, 500 hand-washing stations, 250,000 disposables face masks and 15,000 by 5 lt sanitisers to all the ten provinces. Furthermore, the DMMU has engaged the Ministry of Local Government, through the Fire Department, to fumigate and disinfect schools in readiness for the reopening. The DMM has also released 25,400 by 25 kg and 13,440 by 12.5 kg bags of relief mealie meal and 3,000 metric tonnes of maize to be distributed in the Southern, the Western Luapula, the Northern, Central Muchinga and the Eastern provinces. All this relief food will be used in boarding schools.


Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Education has been detailed to prepare for the re-opening of schools on 1st February, 2021. It will not be business as usual because there will be regular visits to inspect schools in all districts by a combined team of health workers and Ministry of Education staff to ensure that there is strict compliance to the health guidelines lines in all the schools without fail. This, we have undertaken.


Madam, we know the risks that our children can be exposed to at this time. However, at the same time, we need to consider the academic future of these children, as they continue to stay at home without support from the Government and the Ministry of General Education. So, we would like to call upon the parents to ensure that as they send their children to school, they can also provide some of the requisites needed to protect our children as they start learning.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mecha (Chifunabuli): Madam Speaker, we seem to have a very big problem in Chifunabuli as I speak. People went on rampage to harm others on the island of Chishi. There is a very serious chieftaincy wrangle in the area. The police moved in and made a number of arrests. At the moment, so many people have been admitted to various hospitals. What is the Government doing to restore peace on the island of Chishi because a number of people have continued to flee the island, as they fear for their live? I would like to hear the Vice-President’s comment on that matter.


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, the Government does not take pleasure in seeing the continuation of wrangles among traditional leaders. The Government wishes to see peace in this country, especially in the chiefdoms. However, in this particular case, the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, together with the House of Chiefs, will look into the matter to see how these wrangles can be stopped so that people live in peace.


Madam, one of the areas of contention emanates from the old 1958 Chiefs Boundary Map, which, perhaps, needs to be revised and amended so that the chiefs can know their limits regarding where their boundary ends. As for the issue in Chishi Island, the ministry will look into this matter.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!






Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Roan, I am told that you are logged in, but you need to un-mute yourself.


Mr Chishala (Roan): Madam Speaker, I would like Her Honour the Vice-President to tell the Nation −


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Roan, we have passed that stage. We are now dealing with Questions for Oral Answer. You have a question on the Order Paper – Question No. 98.




98. Mr Chishala (Roan) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


(a)        when road works in Luanshya District, under the C400 Road Project will commence;


(b)        how many kilometers of road works are earmarked for the district;


(c)        what the source of funds for the project is;


(d)        what the name of the contractor for the project is; and


(e)        what the time frame for the completion of the project is.


The Minister of Works and Supply (Ms Chalikosa) (on behalf of the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Mwale)): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the contract for the rehabilitation of 406 km of urban roads on the Copperbelt Province, under the C400 km Road Project, is due for cancellation following guidance from the Ministry of Finance.


Madam, 65.95 km of urban roads were earmarked for construction in Luanshya District, under the C400 km Project. Road works in Luanshya District will only commence once alternative financing is secured.


Madam Speaker, the project was initially planned for execution using the Contractor Facilitated Initiative (CFI) mode of financing using funds from the Development Bank of China.


Madam Speaker, the contractor engaged on the C400 km Road Project is Messrs China Henan International Corporation Group Company Limited. The time frame for completion of the project was forty-eight months from the date of commencement.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Madam Speaker, I would like to console the people of Roan Constituency on the pathetic failure by the Government to fulfil its obligations to them.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, the Government of the Republic of Zambia, on several occasions, has assured us –


Mr Ngulube: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Ngulube: Madam Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to rise on this very important point of order –


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I am not sure that there is safe distance between you and Her Honour the Vice-President.


Mr Ngulube moved a distance further from The Vice-President.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: That is better.


Mr Ngulube: Madam Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Jack Mwiimbu, is a very senior hon. Member of Parliament. If I am not mistaken, he has been here between twenty and forty years. Is he in order to use words like “pathetic” when he knows that such words are unparliamentary? He has been in the Opposition for a very long time and I think that, by now, he knows that he cannot use such a word in Parliament.


Madam Speaker, I seek your serious ruling.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: My serious ruling is that you have debated your point of order, especially that you have referred to the hon. Member on the Floor as having been here for a long time. In fact, you said forty years, which is not a fact. It is not a fact that the hon. Member has been here for forty years. So, you have debated your point of order.


The hon. Leader of the Opposition may continue with his question.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I was consoling the people Roan Constituency in Luanshya arising from the extensive and grievous failures on the part of the Patriotic Front (PF), especially compounded by the would-be former hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwe.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Hon. Leader of the Opposition, as a senior hon. Member of the House, you know that we do not debate ourselves in that manner. Proceed while bearing that counsel in mind.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I was saying that the people of Luanshya and Roan, in particular, have been crying out to the PF Government for roads. The Government had assured us, on the Floor of this House and during campaigns in Roan, that roads would be rehabilitated. Now that the PF has failed the people of Roan, what other unfulfilled promises will the hon. Minister assure the people of Roan before the August 2021 General Elections?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Unless, of course, the acting hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development wants to speak to what has been said, there is no question there.


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Speaker, I would like to assure the hon. Leader of the Opposition that the Patriotic Front (PF) is on record as having invested in massive infrastructure throughout the country. The fact that we experience challenges, which is not uncommon, does not mean that we are not committed. On that score, I would like to inform the House that it is not just in Luanshya, but throughout the country where we have challenges due to the lack of financing. However, specifically for Roan Constituency, we have looked at alternative funding mechanisms. We have contracted Avic International, under the Zambia Townships Roads Project which includes a number of urban roads of 80 km in additional towns on the Copperbelt. This includes 15 km of urban roads in Luanshya. So, this speaks to the fact that the PF Government is committed to its infrastructure development prospects.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the construction of township roads in Roan has been suspended because there is no money, yet if you move around Lusaka, the capital, roads are everywhere. I would like to find out why the Government thinks that Zambia is Lusaka such that it concentrates all the money there while the places that produce this money, such as Luanshya and Roan, are totally ignored? Why is the Government behaving in such a discriminatory manner against those who make the money?


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Speaker, there is no discrimination here. The PF Government is on record as having taken development to all parts of the country without leaving anyone behind. The fact that there is a lot of concentration on Lusaka is that it is, indeed, the capital. We are trying to reach the middle income group of countries by 2030. So, certain projects just have to be undertaken. That is just how it is.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I will allow questions from hon. Members for Mazabuka Central, Ikeleng’i, Roan and Kasempa. From the Zoom list, I will allow hon. Members for Zambezi West and Namwala.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Madam Speaker, I was hoping that I did not hear the hon. Minister correctly when she said that the contract for this segment of Luanshya roads was due for cancellation. From the follow up questions, I have confirmed that it is what she said.


In the beginning, the Government started cancelling contracts for infrastructure that was below 80 per cent completion rate as a result of a presidential pronouncement made a few years ago citing austerity measures. Last week, the Government invested in excess of US$44 million, and I stand to be corrected on that figure, through the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in a company that makes tiles, called Marco Polo Tiles Zambia Limited. Would the hon. Minister not agree with me that this is a clear misplacement of priorities by the Government and an act of wanting to look smart? These cancellations come with a cost for breach of contract. Has the cost of how much it will cost this Government as a result of all these cancellations, including the 22km of Mazabuka Road that was left off at 65 per cent completion, been calculated?


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Speaker, from the outset, I would like to assure the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central that all decisions that are made by the Government are interrogated to ascertain whether they are beneficial to all parties involved.


Madam Speaker, I think, I mentioned earlier that one of the modes of financing for these roads is the CFI mode. So, as discussions are held, attention is paid to this type of financing and when a cancellation is made, of course, the risks would have been worked out.


Madam Speaker, on the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) investing in the company that makes tiles, there are certain companies that are of high economic value. This decision to invest in companies that will bring revenue into the Treasury is the very kind of decision that the Government needs to make to introduce revenue to the Treasury in order for it to be able to spend the money on other sectors. So, if the decision was made to invest in the tile making company, which would result in high revenue to the Treasury, then, it is a good decision. I would rather we use a company that is making money than have no company at all and then struggle to look for money to invest in the road sector.


Madam Speaker, so, the advantages and disadvantages are weighed before a decision to cancel is made.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Madam Speaker, on one hand, the hon. Minister has stated that the Government has financial challenges, but on the other hand, we have seen it spend money lavishly through some ministries. These ministries have been giving out money in the guise of empowerment.


Madam Speaker, the roads in Roan are in a deplorable state –


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Ask your question.


Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, the Government has money for other ministries, but no money for road infrastructure development. Where is this money for other ministries coming from when there is no money to implement road infrastructure projects?


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Speaker, the money that is used for empowerment programmes is already in the Budget. Notwithstanding that, we also have co-operating partners that assist in empowerment programmes. It is a question of priorities. When money is spent on road infrastructure, we first look at economic roads for the same reason that I earlier referred to. We need to look at how to broaden the revenue base before we can expend that money in different sectors. The fact that township roads need repair and maintenance is the reason that we are going to set up an Infrastructure Maintenance Fund this year so that we can take care of issues of repair and maintenance on a regular basis.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker gave the Floor to Mr Chishala.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member for Roan is no longer available.


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Madam Speaker, indeed, we have seen that the roads in Roan are in a deplorable state that no one can be proud of, just like the roads in Kasempa. In the past year, there was a fund of K400 million, which was a Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COvid-19) fund, that was allocated to road construction and maintenance. Are some of these funds not allocable to the people of Roan?


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Speaker, I mentioned that AVIC International has been contracted, under the Zambia Township Roads Projects, and that as early as two weeks ago, it was paid about K30 million as advance payment. It is, currently, mobilising to commence works in Roan.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker gave the Floor to Mr Chishala.


Mr Chishala was inaudible.


Ms Kucheka (Zambezi West): Madam Speaker, I have been in many countries that have tollgates and you will never find a pothole on the roads there. Why is it that in Zambia, we go to the extent of cancelling a road project in Roan when we have tollgates from which we can get money every day? Why can we not use the funds from tollgate collections?


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Speaker, the initiative to put tollgates on roads to earn the Government extra revenue has come under the Patriotic Front (PF) administration and we are very proud of that. However, hon. Members need to realise that this money is also deposited into Control 99 where the priorities of where it will be expended have to follow through.


Madam Speaker, because the money comes from tollgates, roads are a priority, but there are other competing needs that also have to be considered once the money is in Control 99.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker gave the Floor to Ms Lubezhi.





99. Dr Malama (Kanchibiya) asked the Minister of Local Government:


  1. why the rehabilitation of township and feeder roads in the following Districts in the Muchinga Province has stalled:


  1. Mpika; and


  1. Kanchibiya; and



   b.when the works will resume.


The Minster of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo) (on behalf of the Minister of Local Government (Dr Banda)): Madam Speaker, before I provide my response, permit me to seize this opportunity to wish the hon. Minister of Local Government, who is indisposed, a quick recovery.


Madam Speaker, the rehabilitation of township and feeder roads in Mpika is ongoing for three road contracts. Two of which, the contractors are on site working while the other one is mobilising to get to site. As for township roads, the contract has stalled due to some budgetary constraints.


Madam Speaker, in Kanchibiya, the works are ongoing on two feeder road contracts, and both contractors are on site working.


Madam Speaker, the works on the stalled Mpika township roads will resume as soon as funds for the project are made available.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Dr Malama: Madam Speaker, let me take this opportunity to thank His Excellency the President, the hon. Member of Parliament for Kanchibiya as well as chairperson for the caucus of hon. Members of Parliament in Muchinga Province for having found time to visit Muchinga Province from 18th to 22nd January, 2021, on which trip the President was checking on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) preparedness and developmental projects.


Madam Speaker, as if the President was aware, he proceeded to talk to the people of Muchinga on this road infrastructure. However, there are those areas which are impassable, like Mulikashi, Chambeshi, Chinkobo and parts of Mpika, Shiwang’andu and other areas in the province. To improve passage, what is the ministry doing to ensure that our people are able to access services during this rainy season?


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the follow-up question from the Member of Parliament for Kanchibiya, Hon. Dr Malama. I equally want to join him in thanking His Excellency the President, who visited the province and some districts, including Kanchibiya, to appreciate what is going on there under the difficult circumstances. That is how a responsible leader looks after his people. His people are in fear of this COVID-19 just, and so, he finds time to go and share this information with the people, as he is supposed to. Those who think that the President is moving about for pleasure must understand that he is the father of the nation and he cannot stay away from his children when there is any threat. So, he is aware of what is on the ground just as you saw him visiting some sites of on-going road works. However, it is important for our people to understand that Rome was not built in a day.


Madam Speaker, the works that have been done by this Government across the country are there for everyone to see. However, not everything can be done in one year because of the backlog of work that is yet to be done. I am speaking like this because I have been privileged to have served as Minister of Local Government. I am very happy that in Kanchibiya and Lavushi Manda, contractors are already on site. We will try to engage them and see how they can address some of the bad portions that have made accessibility to certain areas difficult. The hon. Member may wish to understand that carrying out road works during this time of the year is a mammoth task. When it is raining, it is a challenge for our contractors to effectively carry out road works. However, we are happy that the works that are being done on our gravel roads will withstand all the seasons. So, we will try to engage the contractors and urge them to prioritise such portions of roads that are making it difficult for our people to access certain areas in Kanchibiya, Lavushi Manda and other districts. As you saw, His Excellency passed through other districts of the province.


Madam Speaker, as for Mpika, I want to assure our people that we are committed to ensuring that the road works that were started are completed. It is like what we say where I come from that, “Ifufu lyamilimo talifuma ing’anda ulala.” Yes, the desire to carry out certain works could be there, but setbacks sometimes get to affect the pace at which these works are done.


Madam Speaker, I pass through Mpika myself, and despite some of these works not being carried out, the major roads which form part of the Great North Road are perfectly worked on and Mpika is looking like a modern town, as should be the case. So, that should give comfort to our people in Mpika that even the works that have not been done, will be done by this Government because it is everywhere, including Monze, where roads were impassable.


Madam, today, when the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central Parliamentary Constituency visits his constituency, he drives very well because the roads have been properly been worked on, which never used to be the case. That is how a caring Government works. So, the ministry is not just concentrating on Lusaka, as I heard from someone. What we have done here, through this project, is saying “so tambe”. Our hon. Colleagues on your left are acknowledging and appreciating how the people of Zambia now do not see vehicles as a luxury. Had we not embarked on this project, I wonder how long it would have been taking a motorist to move from Woodlands to the Central Business District (CBD) of Lusaka. One just needs to think about that because that is what drove our planning for this project.


Madam Second Deputy Speaker: Order!


Hon. Minister, the question is about Kanchibiya and Mpika.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, we are politicians and are tempted to address certain political lamentations when they are raised on the Floor of this august House.


Madam Second Deputy Speaker: Avoid succumbing to those temptations.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, the people of Kanchibiya are being assured that the Ministry Local Government, especially after the rainy season, will move in to ensure that our roads are properly worked on and that our people are able to access, especially, farming production areas.


I thank you, Madam.


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Madam Speaker, the question that was asked is: Why are those roads in Mpika not being repaired? The answer is that there is no money, just like in the case of Roan Constituency.


Madam, yesterday, the hon. Minister of Finance was telling us here about the billions of Kwacha that are being collected through the toll gates. At the toll gates, it is written clearly for everybody to see, “pay your toll fees so that you drive on nice roads.” Now, why is this Government diverting money that is meant to repair roads in Mpika, Roan and, indeed, in Kalabo? It is diverting that money from the purposes for which it is being paid to some other uses that we do not know of and for which it is not our intention to pay. Why is the Government diverting the money?



Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I acknowledge the question from the hon. Member of Parliament for Liuwa, the former Minister of Finance. In my response to the question from the hon. Member of Parliament for Kanchibiya, I made it very clear that there are some roads on which contractors are on site and that works on other roads have stalled due to budgetary constraints.


Madam Speaker, let us not be hypocritical in this august House −


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Hon. Minister, withdraw that.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, let us not mislead ourselves. I expect the hon. Member of Parliament for Liuwa, who posed this question, to be more knowledgeable about matters of finances.


Madam Speaker, the tolling of roads, which is aimed at collecting revenue for the road sector, must be understood very well. In this august House, people have talked about the debt that the Government has contracted to go towards the construction of roads and question how the debts are to be paid.


Madam Speaker, when the Government collects the revenue from the toll gates, it has to service the loans that have been acquired to build roads. It also has to carry out maintenance works on the roads. Therefore, the resources the Government is collecting from the toll gates are not being diverted anywhere, but being appropriated to the road sector. However, it must be understood that for those road works to be carried out, a lot of money is required.


Madam Speaker, when the Government contracted loans, one of the available options was to work on the roads. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government found a lot of accumulated works that could have been carried out in the past. The hon. Member of Parliament for Liuwa was in the previous Government, and I remember the Government at that time started a project called Formula One. This was just restarted at some point.


Madam Speaker, all these projects were trying to address the challenges in the road sector. However, the Government has now restructured itself. If we are going to borrow, how are we going to pay back? When people ask, we are providing solutions. Yes, the Government has borrowed, that is the reason it has constructed toll gates. It has done so to ensure that it repays what had been borrowed to carry out the works and continue maintaining these roads properly. I would like Hon. Dr Musokotwane to acknowledge that that is how it is working


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Dr Malama: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the Patriotic Front (PF) Government for the initiative to raise revenue – good job hon. Minister of Finance – so that roads can be rolled out even to areas like Kanchibiya and Roan constituencies, as we are able to see. I would like commend the hon. Member of Parliament for Liuwa who mentioned that he was able to see visibly what the PF Government has done with regards to road infrastructure.


Madam Speaker, when the President visited Kanchibiya, he talked about payments to contractors. One of the roads is Chalabesa/Kabeinga Road on which Tomorrow Investments is the contractor and it was specifically assured that it would be paid. Has the ministry considered ensuring that the contractor is paid so that he works on this road, which has really eased the travelling of people in Kanchibiya and parts of Mpika, continue?


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, indeed, the road that the hon. Member of Parliament for Kanchibiya has referred to, which leads to Chalabesa, is very critical. It is a very important road. Our farmers have worked very well this season and will need to use this road. Therefore, the Government wants to make sure that the movement of farm products is not hampered by the bad road network.


Madam Speaker, the pronouncement by His Excellency the President has been taken very seriously. As you know, it is a directive. We appreciate that he visited the site, where Tomorrow Investments is undertaking the works. The payments for the works being done is on a pro rata basis. As the works are progressing, the contractor pushes up demands through certificates, which are then paid on a pro rata basis. We are working very closely with the Ministry of Finance, much as it is faced with challenges due to this Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Regarding the shrinking revenue basket, it has also made an assurance and commitment that it will release resources to ensure that contractors such as Tomorrow Investments are paid and ensure they continue working.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Dr Malama: Madam Speaker, I do not have any more questions.


Ms Kasune (Keembe): Madam Speaker, what is prevailing in Kanchibiya and Mpika constituencies in relation to local township roads and feeder roads is prevailing almost in the whole country. I would like to find out whether the Government has a time frame within which to complete these works.


Madam Speaker, I think that, maybe, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is biting off more than it can chew. As a result, it is leaving a lot of work not done. At the end of the day, the works tend to be more expensive because the Government has to retender in some cases while in other cases, the buying power is reduced because the money that was initially budgeted for is not enough to meet the current demands.


Madam Speaker, does the Government have a mechanism to ensure that it does not do too much at once so that everyone can benefit from the road projects?


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I want to agree with the hon. Member that the desire of the Government is to try and make sure that all the corners of the country are touched, Keembe inclusive, because the people in Keembe are also yearning for the roads, just as the people in Shiwang’andu. However, the Government has to balance the scale and match its desires with the resources.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance, who had projected to collect certain targets of revenue, now has to look at alternatives. He never planned for the COVID-19 pandemic, which is among us. Certain resources that were supposed to go to some of these infrastructure projects have to be rechanneled to averting the crisis that we are now faced wit. Inadvertently, that will affect some projects. It is unavoidable. I agree with the hon. Member, and that is why the Government has stalled certain projects.


Madam Speaker, when the Government came up with a policy to prioritise the projects that were at 85 per cent completion rate and above, it was after the realisation that in as much as it had a desire to carry out all the works in the ten provinces of the country, it was not possible because the resources have been limited. Therefore, the Government has had to rearrange and prioritise areas that it thought it could deal with first and, then, undertake the other works later.


Madam Speaker, that is how the Government is looking at these projects. Engagements have since been made where the Government has contractual obligations to try and make the contractors that it has contracted to get active on sites. That is aimed at ensuring that we do not get into a situation that does not favour both those who are supposed to be undertaking the works and the ministry.




101. Mr Chiyalika (Lufubu) asked the Minister of Justice how many divorce petitions were granted in the following courts, countrywide, from 2016 to 2019, year by year:


  1. High Court; and
  2. local courts.


The Minister of Justice (Mr Lubinda): Madam Speaker, good morning and happy new year to you and all hon. Members of Parliament.


Madam Speaker, the total number of divorce petitions granted from 2016 to 2019 were as follows:



Year                             2016                2017                2018                2019


High Court                      361                  344                  287                  307


Local Court                 18,417             13,900             16,751             12,431


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Madam Speaker, what could be the cause for the number of divorce petitions in the local courts, which seem to be too high. Could it be –


Mr Muchima: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, I am rising on a very serious point of order on Her Honour the Vice-President, who is the Leader of Government Business in the House.


Madam Speaker, an hon. Member of Parliament is elected by his or her people to represent them in Parliament effectively and to give them feedback. As I speak, as a Member of Parliament for Ikeleng’i, there has been a restriction that has been imposed on me by the police such that I do not move around in my constituency. The moment I arrive, the police give orders that I should not tour any part of my constituency because by so doing, I will be campaigning.


Madam Speaker, on the other side, people from the Patriotic Front (PF), a white man, who is an aspiring candidate, and another former parliamentary candidate in Solwezi West are busy trotting from one place to the other addressing meetings despite the on-going Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. They are addressing meetings every day where they are giving handouts such as phones. As for me, who is the Member of Parliament, the Officer-in-Charge has called me several times to his office to warn me about moving around. I hear that once I attempt, the police will come either to arrest or harass me and I have been living in fear.


Madam Speaker, I brought this matter before Her Honour the Vice-President and the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, but I do not seem to be protected and I am not doing my work.


Madam Speaker, constitutionally, is this Government in order to allow a restriction on a Member of Parliament in his constituency restraining him from carrying out the required parliamentary work? When we adjourn sine die, you always say that we should go to our parliamentary constituencies to educate people on various matters. This has happened on three occasions, especially with the current Officer-in-Charge in charge in Ikeleng’i. I am restricted and I am almost under house arrest when I am in Ikeleng’i.


Madam Speaker, is this Government in order to remain mute, especially through the Office of the Vice-President, without protecting the interests of a Member of Parliament?


Madam Speaker, I need your serious ruling on my rights and privileges as a Member of Parliament.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: My ruling is that this is being an issue which is particular to you, hon. Member for Ikeleng’i, you could write to the Hon. Mr Speaker, who is the custodian of your rights in the House, to complain about what challenges you are facing in the exercise of the mandate given to you. You could complain to the hon. Mr Speaker and, through him, the appropriate offices of the Executive branch of the Government will be consulted to ascertain whether you are, indeed, being restrained from performing your duties as an hon. Member of Parliament. That is my ruling.


The hon. Member for Mitete was on the Floor.


Mr Mutelo: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that there are so many divorce cases and more so in local courts. What could be the cause of this?


Mr Lubinda: Madam Speaker, indeed, there were many more divorce petitions that were granted through local courts than were granted through the High Court. There are many causes for these divorce cases. However, under the Zambian law, there is only one ground for divorce, and that is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. That is the only ground on which a court can grant a divorce petition. The causes for the marriage breaking down irretrievably are numerous. I ought to hasten to mention that in Zambia, like in many other jurisdictions, unfortunately, some of the technological advancements that people are supposed to be benefiting from have become causes of the breakage of marriages. In this particular case, social media platforms have become sources of conflict in marriages. This is a very unfortunate development. In local courts as well as in the High Court, a number of divorce petitions that are registered have to do with the abuse of social media.


Madam Speaker, however, there are other reasons for the breakdown of marriages and they are so numerous that I do not think it would be in the interest of Parliament for me to go through them. There are various reasons. Obviously, it is easier for people to obtain divorce petition grants in the local courts than it is in the High Court because the marriages that are dissolved in the local courts are customary marriages. There, even a difference with parents or relatives and so on could be grounds for granting a petition for divorce.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


The First Deputy Speaker: I will allow questions from the hon. Members for Lufubu and Chimwemwe constituencies.


Mr Chiyalika (Lufubu): Madam Speaker, I am wondering what the Government is doing concerning these high rates of divorce cases. What is it really doing to ensure that these cases are somehow reduced? When we look at the figures that the hon. Minister has provided, they are too high, especially for the local courts.


Mr Lubinda: Madam Speaker, the Government is taking a number of initiatives to strengthen marriages. Hon. Members have heard that each time a number of Cabinet Ministers enter into a church and are given an opportunity to speak, they encourage our church leaders to speak positively about the maintenance of marriages.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Member will also realise that we have a ministry responsible for national guidance. That ministry has also been carrying out programmes to sensitise people on the value of maintaining strong marriage ties.


Madam Speaker, every time you hear an hon. Member, particularly from the Patriotic Front (PF), invited to grace a wedding, he or she speaks on the need for us to strengthen our marriage vows because for any society to be strong, the primary unit of society, which is the family, ought to be strong. We too are concerned by the high number of divorces which are taking place and would like to minimise this as much as possible.


Madam Speaker, I would like to appeal to all hon. Members to speak about the values of marriage and the maintenance of strong families whenever we have the opportunity to do so. Some of the effects of breakage of marriages are being seen by the growing number of children who are living on the streets. Some of those children are coming from broken homes. We see many children who are dropping out of school as a result of the breakage of marriages. Indeed, the concern by the hon. Member for Lufubu is equally the Government’s concern and would like to ensure that all of us do whatever we can to sustain stable marriages.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how the divorce rate in Zambia compares regionally.


Mr Lubinda: Madam Speaker, I have not carried out any comparative study in the region, but I have been looking at figures globally to just check on the main cause of the breakage of marriages. I have to state that the figures that we see, particularly in statutory marriages, are much lower than the global average. The one that is worrisome is the dissolution of customary marriages, which is on the high side.


Madam Speaker, like I said earlier, when I was looking at these figures and checking what the main cause of breakage of marriages globally is, I found out that it is mostly the lack of communication or breakdown in communication, particularly attributed to the abuse of social media.


Madam Speaker, the question that the hon. Member for Chimwemwe raises is extremely important. I will, even only for my own interest, carryout a comparative study among the countries in the sub region. I think that all of us, hon. Members, can carry out a similar research simply by appropriately using the social media platforms. I am sure that we can carry out that comparative study. It is a very important question.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


The First Deputy Speaker: I will allow one more hon. Member from the zoom platform, the hon. Member for Serenje.


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for giving us those articulate answers. I have looked at the statistics of the divorce rate in Zambia. As leaders, we have taken particular interest in seeing to it that these marriages are actually sustained. What research methodology is being undertaken to ensure that these issues are addressed as soon as possible? I am aware that we cannot end divorce incidents, but can do something to reduce them to some extent.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


The First Deputy Speaker: That question was asked earlier and the hon. Minister dealt with what the Government is doing to ensure that marriages are sustained.


Hon. Minister, going forward, perhaps, what research methodologies are being undertaken? I think that is the question the hon. Member for Serenje is asking.


Mr Lubinda: Madam Speaker, I indicated the various measures that the Government is undertaking. I have to state that the one sure way of maintaining strong marriages is through continuous marriage counselling. That is the surest way of maintaining stable marriages.


Madam Speaker, I am happy that we have volunteer marriage counsellors in many parts of our country. I am not saying all of them are doing a good job, but the majority are doing a tremendous job. Beyond that, the Government is also using various platforms to engage in marriage counselling. For the Government, marriage counselling services are generic. They are general in nature. The Government cannot possibly go and counsel each and every marriage, unless people go to court.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Member for Serenje and all hon. Members may wish to know that courts in Zambia are very reluctant to grant divorce petitions. Even the law itself, the Matrimonial Causes Act of Zambia, does not permit a Judge to grant a divorce petition there and then. There is a long process that is undertaken. The reason for that is because when the Matrimonial Causes Act was being drafted, the drafters of the law realised that marriage is a sanctified entity and must not be dissolved that easily. This desire for divorce comes out because of various causes which could be harmonised by time. Just the passage of time would harmonise the couple and counselling plays a significant role in this.


Madam Speaker, the courts also offer counselling services when parties seek a divorce. All these measures are put in place to ensure that we reduce the rate of divorces in the country. I also wish to state that all of us as parents, hon. Members of Parliament and leaders have a role to play in providing marriage counselling, specifically and also generally.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.



Rev. Sumaili indicated her intention to ask a question.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I noticed that the hon. Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs also wants to ask a question. Unfortunately, hon. Minister, that is not permitted.




Mr Lubinda: She wants to come to my rescue.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: You are part of the Executive. So, what you can do is give your comments to the hon. Minister of Justice. You are not permitted to ask questions as an hon. Minister.




103. Mr Zimba (Chasefu) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


  1. when the following bridges which were washed away by heavy rains in Chasefu District will be rehabilitated:


  1. Membe on Lundazi/Chama Road;


  1. Luwelezi on Emusa/Chikwa Road;


  1. Munyukwa on Emusa/Chifunda Road; and


  1. Langwani on Langwani/Zozo Road; and


  b. what the cause of the delay in rehabilitating the bridges is.


Ms Chalikosa (on behalf of (Mr Mwale)): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government has engaged Messrs China Civil Engineering Construction Co-operation Zambia Limited to construct the Membe Bridge. Works will be undertaken once funds are made available.


Madam, the Government procured Teviem Contactors Limited under the Ministry of Local Government to undertake works on the Emusa/Chikwa Road whose scope of works also include construction of Luwelezi Bridge.


Madam Speaker, the Government procured the same contractor, Teviem Contractors Limited constructing the Luwelezi Bridge, to undertake works on the Munyukwa Bridge.


Madam, the Government plans to carry out an assessment of the Langwani Bridge in the first quarter of 2021. Works are expected to commence once funds are made available.


Madam Speaker, the delay in the rehabilitation of the Membe, Luwelezi Munyukwa and Langwani bridges is due to inadequate funding to the road sector.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Madam Speaker, all those named bridges are connected to the entire Chama South. As the hon. Member for Chasefu has indicated, Luwelezi Bridge is connected to Chikwa, one of the chiefdoms in Chama South. Munyukwa Bridge is also connected to Chifunda, which is another chiefdom in Chama South and then Chama itself. This means that the entire Chama South is cut off from the rest of the country because the Matumbo stretch is also impassible.


Madam Speaker, in her response, the hon. Minister has indicated that the bridges would be worked on when the funds are made available. Does it mean that the people of Chama South, in particular, and part of Chasefu will be cut off from the rest of the country? Looking at the urgent nature of the situation, is there anything that the Government can do, as a matter of urgency, to ensure that our people can also access services from various Central Business Districts (CBDs) in Chama and Lundazi? Is there anything that the ministry can do to ensure that these bridges are worked on as soon as possible so that the people of Chama and part of Chasefu can access services such as health?


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Speaker, indeed, the Government would want to see to it that people are not cut off from accessing social amenities. The need for bridges is being looked at actively. The construction of Membe Bridge is covered under the scope of works of upgrading the Isoka/Muyombwe/Chama/Lundazi Road under Lot. 2.


Madam, the contractor working on the Emusa/Chikwa Road has mobilised and is undertaking some work where Luwelezi and Munyukwa bridges will be constructed. So, the Government is actively looking at the effect that the washed away bridges have on the people living in the nearest areas. So, it is not that they have been neglected.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Zimba: Madam Speaker, my question is a follow up to the question by the hon. Member of Parliament for Chama South. The hon. Minister has explained the financial challenges in the road sector. However, in the interim, could the ministry not work with the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) because these bridges were washed away during the previous rainy season? Since we are in the midst of another rainy season, the bridges are practically impassible. Could they be declared a disaster so that the DMMU can quickly come in in the interim.


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Speaker, for an issue to be treated as a disaster, it has to be reported through the District Disaster Management Committee (DDMC). So, if that has been done, then, the Government will possibly look at it under the Acrow Bridges projects, if it is one of the sites that have been identified for the installation of such.


Madam, the works to be carried out on all these bridges have been highlighted and they are at different levels of consideration. So, I would urge the hon. Member to take it up with the District Commissioner (DC) to see at what level of construction the bridges is at. However, notwithstanding the fact that it is the rainy season and that certain works cannot be carried out when it is raining, it may require that works are undertaken when we get to the dry season.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Madam Speaker, Chasefu Constituency is just like many other constituencies in this country. We have seen that most of the works the Government started have stalled and the challenges the people of Chasefu are facing are similar to what people in other constituencies countrywide are facing. Are the challenges a result of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic or it is due to the Government’s failure to prioritise projects?


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Speaker, it is certainly not because of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. These works have been structured and they are part of the budgetary allocations. Most of what is required has been structured already. The works are at different levels of implementation. All we need to do is just follow the implementation process when money is available. Money is the difficulty that is being experienced. The works will be undertaken when money is made available.


I thank you, Madam.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I will allow questions from the hon. Members for Chimwemwe, Chasefu and Kantanshi.


Mr Zimba: Madam Speaker, these bridges were reported to the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) the other year. I do not know how the Acrow Bridges are being distributed because we have not received them, but we reported that our bridges need attention. What is the Government going to do in the interim? We reported that these bridges needed attention last year, but nothing has been done.


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the emotions that the hon. Member of Chasefu is going through. This issue is not only peculiar to Chasefu Constituency, but it is prevalent in many other parts of the country, as mentioned by the hon. Member of Parliament for Manyinga.


Madam Speaker, I think I am repeating myself. We are at different levels of implementation. At the moment, some works are being undertaken, while others have to wait until we get to the dry season. As for emergency crossing points that qualify to get Acrow Bridges, I would like to assure the House that, perhaps, what the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development can do is share the list of the sites that have been identified for the installation of Acrow Bridges, as emergency temporary solutions. We are experiencing different levels of implementation because of inadequate funding. Once funding is made available, these issues will be addressed.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Madam Speaker, the defence forces have been known to carry out quality emergency works on roads or bridges in record time, as is done mostly in war zones. I would like to find out why the ministry cannot engage the services of our defence forces so that our good people of Chasefu and Chama South can maintain connections and prevent Chama South from being cut off from the rest of the country.


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Speaker, indeed, the hon. Member is correct to say that defence forces can be engaged to assist with the installation of bridges at emergency crossing points. However, all this needs injection of funding. So, we still get back to the same issue.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr A. C. Mumba (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, I heard my hon. Colleagues bemoan the fact that these roads and bridges were requested for last year, and the response from the hon. Minister was that the Government engaged a contractor. The fiscal space for 2021 will be very tight. The contracts have remained unchanged, but there are so many costs that the Government incurs before a contractor can even go on site. Would the ministry consider using the defence forces to work only on particular areas that will increase accessibility in the meantime. We have to bear in mind that our fiscal space will not improve this year, considering the fact that globally, all economies are in recession.


Ms Chalikosa: Madam Speaker, Zambia has an economic recovery plan. We feel that 2021 is going to be a year for recovery. So, we are very hopeful that whatever decisions the Government is going to make will lead to an increase in revenue generation, and this revenue can be injected into areas where funding is required.


Madam Speaker, the issue of using the defence forces to attend to some of these emergencies still comes back to the issue of funding. There is an element of funding that is required. Once this has been made available, certainly, these issues can be looked at. The Government has already examined how best these bridges can be attended to. When a decision is made, and it needs funding, we can only wait for the time that the Ministry of Finance releases the funds, and that is when these works can be carried out.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




104. Mr Lihefu asked the Minister of Energy:


  1. when residents of Manyinga District who paid Zesco Limited for electricity connection in 2015 and 2016 will have their properties connected;
  2. what the cause of delay in connecting the electricity to the properties is; and
  3. what measures the Government is taking to expedite the connections.



The Minister of Energy (Mr Nkhuwa): Madam Speaker, from 2015 to date, Zesco Limited has connected a total of 135 customers in Manyinga. That is the total number of people who had applied for electricity connection and paid up to October.


Madam Speaker, the delay was caused by the lack of sufficient funds for the procurement of the required materials.


Madam, the Government is reinforcing the existing 11 kV network. There is a need to put bigger conductors, which can take up more energy as compared to smaller conductors. Works are going on to upgrade the existing network.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Lihefu: Madam Speaker, the people of Manyinga are upset about the manner in which Zesco Limited is executing its duties. There is a scenario where those who paid to be connected to power years back have not yet been connected while those who are paying later are being connected. What mechanism has the ministry put in place to ensure a first-come-first-served approach? What I mean is that those who paid earlier should be put at the top of the list to be connected to power. What mechanism has been put in place as regards monitoring?


Mr Nkhuwa: Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Energy is constantly working with Zesco Limited to ensure that the people who pay first are connected first. What actually happens when the people that have paid late are connected is that the network may not be okay in a particular area. So, they cannot be connected. Where the network is okay, they are connected to the grid. However, like I said, where the grid is being upgraded, they cannot be connected until the grid is upgraded. 


Madam Speaker, I said that conductors have to be changed to bigger ones so that they can carry the load that is required. So, in some places, where conductors are not changed, we cannot connect. Therefore, it looks like the people who paid first are connected later. There is a reason for that and that is what I have explained. 


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Lihefu: Madam Speaker, Manyinga has several Government institutions which are not connected to electricity although there is a transformer close by. The community made an effort, through its hon. Member of Parliament, to pay for the connection of some of these Government institutions such as the Chitebe Clinic, which caters for a highly populated area and has health personnel using torches to deliver babies. Is the hon. Minister considering instructing Zesco Limited management to connect power to this clinic that caters for a dense population since it is just one pole away?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I will allow that although it is a different question.


Mr Nkhuwa: Madam Speaker, I sympathise with the hon. Member of Parliament. However, my office is open and if he has challenges, especially involving a health centre or a school, he can give me a call or come to my office and we will be able to sort these things out. If he can find my number, he should give me the receipt number and I will take it up with Zesco Limited. It being an institution of a sensitive nature, we will ensure that we work on it.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mulunda (Siavonga): Madam Speaker, the scenario in Manyinga where people pay and have to wait for years to be connected is obtaining almost everywhere in the country. Is there a standard period within which someone can wait after making payments for connection at Zesco Limited?


Mr Nkhuwa: Madam Speaker, yes, we have ninety days in which to connect. All things being equal, we should be able to connect within ninety days.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr A. C. Mumba: Mr Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister mention that the reason for the delay is that Zesco Limited usually does not have funds. The hon. Minister will agree with me that in 2017/2018, Zesco Limited celebrated connecting 1 million customers which, of course, is a drop in the ocean considering that we are close to 18 million people and all deserve access to electricity. If it is having delays with funds and that is becoming a problem when it is a business, as the hon. Minister in the Ministry of Energy, which supervises it, does he think that Zesco Limited is generating enough resources to continue attracting more customers on its grid?


Mr Nkhuwa: Madam Speaker, Zesco Limited has resources, but the connection fees that are paid by customers are only 70 per cent of the total cost. Zesco Limited subsidises 30 per cent. It is this gap of 30 per cent that is accumulating and making the connection of customers a bit difficult. These customers are the ones who have applied and paid the money that we have to subsidise.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.








Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to add one or two words to the debate on this important report. The people of Manyinga, through me, support this report.


Madam Speaker, the reason the people of Manyinga are saying that Zambia should assent to this protocol is that we will be able to protect our forests. If this is not done, then, the ozone layer is going be in tatters.


Madam Speaker, look at how we have struggled in this nation to fill up our rivers, especially in 2017 when the country experienced drought. It is because of the ozone layer, which has already been affected. If Zambia does not ratify this protocol, all the trees in our country will be depleted.


Madam Speaker, just here in Manyinga, the rate at which trees are cut, if not protected or if we do not ratify this protocol so that we are able to protect our forests, then, this country will be in problems.


Madam Speaker, the people of Manyinga, through me, have said that this country should ratify the Kigali Protocol.


Madam Speaker, with these few words, I support this important report.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Madam Speaker, thank you for this opportunity to support the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Products that deplete the Ozone Layer.


Madam Speaker, I will be very brief in my debate today. I just want to add that Zambia must begin to implement laws that prevent the dumping of equipment that depletes the Ozone Layer.

We are aware that the Ozone Layer is depleting at a very fast rate and, thereby causing global warming and other climatic effects. We also note that Africa has a very small contribution to the depletion of the Ozone Layer. Huge economies like Japan and the United States of America (USA) are responsible for almost 41 per cent of the depletion.


Madam Speaker, I just want to briefly add that according to reports, Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) coming from fridges, air conditioners and cold rooms damage the Ozone Layer at a very fast rate. According to scientists, one atom of chlorine that is contained in the CFCs can damage up to 100,000 molecules in the stratosphere of the Ozone Layer. This has led to a lot of side effects. We know that since 1987 when the Montreal Agreement came into place, more than 196 countries have agreed to take steps to reduce emissions. However, we also want to state that although the Kigali Amendment of 2016 is meant to double the effort, most huge economies have actually remained adamant and have continued to engage in activities that are affecting the earth.


Madam Speaker, we want to add that Zambia must quickly pass laws that will actually stop the business of dumping harmful products. Those products which are harmful to the Ozone Layer that are rejected in Europe, the Americas, in Saudi Arabia or in the Middle East find themselves in Africa at very cheap rates. So, we quickly buy these cheap fridges, air conditioners and cold rooms and continue damaging our own Ozone Layer. So, some manufacturers have actually pledged to reduce the production of this equipment that emits CFCs by 2024.


Madam Speaker, in conclusion, I want to thank the Patriotic Front (PF) Government for having accepted or taken a step to ratify the Kigali Amendment to ensure that Zambia moves at the same pace with the rest of the world. Yes, we are aware that there are all these efforts like tree planting and everything that should encourage our efforts in protecting the Ozone Layer. However, there is also scientific evidence to show that the Antarctic Region of the world, which is near America, the northern or the top most part of the earth, has actually been more damaged than it is here in Africa. So, through this Chamber, we want to urge the huge economies of the world to show leadership by ensuring that they take up steps that will protect the earth.


Madam Speaker, with these few remarks, I want to thank you and may God protect the earth and make it easy for all of us.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


The Minister for Southern Province (Dr Hamukale): Madam Speaker, in support of this Motion, I just wish to mention that Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa, is very vulnerable in as far as climate change is concerned. This happens through droughts and deforestation. We also contribute, in a way, through the emission of acidic gases such as hydrogen sulphide, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and, to some extent, methane. However, like what other debaters have said, mainly, developed countries are the ones that contribute to climate change so much.


Madam Speaker, my province, the Southern Province, is the main producer of hydroelectricity, which is prone to the effects of drought. Every time we experience drought, the whole of Zambia is made to suffer and industrial activity slows down. However, I am happy that the Government of the Republic of Zambia, led by President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has put in place interventions and programmes that respond to these challenges through the planting of trees which can act as a sink for CO2 to sort of regulate the carbon cycle. It has also put up measures to stop the manufacturing of these products that are generating Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and Hydro Fluorocarbons (HFCs) and also enhanced taxation for emissions.


Madam Speaker, we must realise that the Ozone Layer is the envelop in the stratosphere that protects mankind from the ultraviolet rays. Unfortunately, being allotropy of oxygen, it is a very unstable compound which can react if one of its atoms is left loose to react with other atmospheric agents. That is where mankind comes in to act responsibly to ensure the protection of the Ozone Layer that does not only protect humans from certain illnesses, but also protects animals, plants and our livelihoods.


Madam Speaker, for example, an increase in temperature of say 2 degrees in global warming terms will result in about 40 per cent reduction in crop yields. With that, under nourishment comes in because the human population cannot sustain itself. Most of the people who are affected by global warming are those in the poorer economies.


Madam Speaker, we have also experienced certain holes which are effected by these acidic gasses that perforate the Ozone Layer to an extent that the polar ice is melting and, we, as humans, risk heavy flooding in the coming years. So, the onus is to ensure that we act responsibly and President Lungu has taken a lead in this area.


Madam Speaker, the main challenge is that the CFCs are manmade and being alkenes with a sort of a tetra hydro symmetry, we really can regulate this by way of producing more environmentally friendly products. This is within our reach, as humans, to take that action.


Madam Speaker, I support this Motion and I thank you.


Thank you, Madam Speaker.


The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources (Ms Kapata): Madam Speaker, I wish to thank you for giving me this opportunity to wind up debate on the Report by the Committee on Agriculture Lands and Natural Resources on the Proposal to Ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer −


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


Hon. Minister you are not the one winding up debate. The Mover of the Motion will do that.


Ms Kapata: Madam Speaker, I wish to contribute to debate on the Report by the Committee on Agriculture Lands and Natural Resources on the Proposal to Ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer for the Fifth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on Friday 22nd January, 2021.


Madam Speaker, I wish to thank the Mover and the Seconder of the Motion and all the hon. Members of Parliament who have debated on this important subject.


Madam, from the onset, I wish to inform this august House that the benefits of ratifying the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol are enormous.


Madam Speaker, in my debate, I wish to share with this august House the benefits of the Montreal Protocol. These include the following:


  1. industries in Zambia that are associated with the production of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), will access clean, efficient and innovative technologies that can either replace HFCs products or avoid production of greenhouse gases;
  2. as Zambia updates its future nationally determined contribution, include of sources that produce HFCs will enhance the mitigation potential of the country are, therefore, contribute to the global goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
  3. business and entrepreneurs will tap into new eco-friendly and energy efficient industries and create sustainable impactful and socially responsible jobs;
  4. ratifying the Kigali Amendment will also open doors to new funding opportunities such as the Kigali Cooling Efficient Programme (K-CEP), in addition to the existing Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Green Climate Fund (GCF), Europe commission funding programmes and region banks; and
  5. with possible new funding avenues, Zambia has a unique opportunity to directly switch to solutions that do not harm the environment and to help move towards a sustainable economic transition and positive social change.


Madam Speaker, in conclusion, I wish to state that the benefits of ratifying the Kigali Protocol outweigh the costs of not ratifying it. We are all aware that Zambia has not been spared from the adverse effects of climate change as alluded to by many hon. Members of Parliament that debated. So, ratifying the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol will facilitate Zambia’s adherence to the guidelines for phasing down HFCs and significantly contribute to the global mitigation agenda.


Madam Speaker, awareness efforts could be enhanced by commemorating the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, which takes place on 16th September, annually. Ratifying the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol has potential for job creation, access to improved technology and the securing of health and environmental awareness.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Dr Imakando (Mongu Central): Madam Speaker, let me wind up by thanking the House for supporting the Motion to adopt our Report on the Proposal to Ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.


Madam Speaker, indeed, the Motion has been non-controversial, as exhibited by those who debated it. In this regard, let me thank the Deputy Chief Whip, Hon. Ngulube, the Member of Parliament for Chimwemwe, Hon. Mwila, the Minister for Northern Province, Hon. Chungu Bwalya, the Minister for Southern Province, Hon. Dr Edify Hamukale, the Member of Parliament for Manyinga, Hon. Lihefu and lastly, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Jean Kapata, for supporting our report.


Madam Speaker, I beg to move.


Thank you, Madam.


Question put and agreed to.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!




The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.


Question put and agreed to.



The House adjourned at 1125 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 2nd February, 2021.