Friday, 19th February, 2021

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Friday, 19th February, 2021


The House met at 0900 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]










The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, let me acquaint the House with the business it will consider next week.


Sir, on Tuesday, 23rd February, 2021, the Business of the House will begin with Questions for Oral Answer, and that will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, the House will continue with the debate the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address.


Mr Speaker, on Wednesday, 24th February, 2021, the Business of the House will start with Questions for Oral Answer. Thereafter, the House will consider Private Member’s Motions, if there will be any. That will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will then consider the Second Reading Stage of the following Bills:


  1. the Health Professions (Amendment) Bill, No.3 of 2021;
  2. the Citizen Economic Empowerment (Amendment) Bill, No.5 of 2021; and
  3. the Control of Goods (Amendment) Bill, No. 7 of 2021.


Sir, the House will then continue with the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address.


Sir, on Thursday, 25th February, 2021, the Business of the House will commence with Questions for Oral Answer, and that will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, the House will continue with the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address.


Mr Speaker, on Friday, 26th February, 2021, the Business of the House will begin with the Vice-President’s Question Time, and that will be followed by Questions for Oral Answer. Thereafter, the House will consider Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, the House will consider the Second Reading Stage of the following Bills:


  1. the Legal Aid Bill, No.1 of 2021;
  2. the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Bill, No. 2 of 2021;
  3. the National Institute of Public Administration (Amendment) Bill, No. 9 of 2021;
  4. the Petroleum Exploration and Production (Amendment) Bill, No.10 of 2021;
  5. the Examinations Council of Zambia (Amendment) Bill, No. 18 of 2021;
  6. the National Heritage Conservation Commission (Amendment) Bill, No. 19 of 2021; and
  7. the Rural Electrification (Amendment) Bill, No. 20 of 2021.


Sir, the House will then continue with the debate on the Motion of thanks to the President’s address.


I thank you, Sir.






Evg. Shabula (Itezhi-Tezhi): Mr Speaker, it is in the public domain that the Government is putting up a National Command Centre like that of President Museveni in Uganda. It is installing thousands of cameras throughout the nation and has brought into the country high technology (hi-tech) weapons, probably, to be used against its citizens. My question is: Why has this project become a priority to the Government when there are other projects that are not complete, such as the Itezhi-Tezhi/Mongu Road and many other infrastructure projects in the country?


The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, public security and safety are a high priority not only of this Government but governments the world over. The public has to be protected at all times, not only at the time of elections, and many governments have put in place measures to secure public safety using the latest technology that can bring out information where, sometimes, the human eye cannot see. Further, this project is not anything new because; it was started many years ago, five years ago, if I recollect well. It is not designed for elections. Instead, it will be a public feature that will capture data on matters of security.


Mr Speaker, Zambians should welcome such moves because their Government is moving into the technological era, which most governments are already in. There are issues of smart cities in this world, which are anchored on various developmental issues, including surveillance, and that is what your Government is doing. Therefore, the hon. Member for Itezhi-Tezhi should be pleased that his Government is moving into the technological era.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Chikote (Luampa): Mr Speaker, we have been told that the Public Order Act will be amended soon or before the 12th August, 2021, General Election.


Sir, in its current form, the Public Order Act has been abusively used, especially on opposition parties. What other mechanism is the Government going to be put in place so that the playing field is fair for everyone who is going to participate in those elections and devoid of any intimidation from the Patriotic Front (PF) Government?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, this issue was intensively debated yesterday in the House, and the hon. Minister of Justice explained all the details pertaining to the Public Order Act and why it could not pass. The hon. Member should have known that by refusing to support the amendments to the Public Order Act, he was exposing himself and others to some sort of challenges. The Public Order Act is applicable to all; it is not intended to punish opposition political parties. It is for everyone, particularly, for those that abrogate the law of the land. In that instance, the hon. Member would find that the Public Order Act does not favour him. So long as he is a law-abiding citizen of Zambia, in whatever circumstances, the law will protect him, and the Public Order Act is one of those laws that should protect citizens without any bias or discrimination.


Sir, we believe that during the coming elections and even before the elections, this law will be applied fairly on all political players, and this Government is determined to ensure that the law is applied in its original spirit. So, the hon. Member should not fear that it will be used against the opposition parties. Far from it. The Government does not want to see any discrimination in the application of the law on its citizens.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lumayi (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, animals in the Republic of Zambia, in  Chavuma, the Zambezi West Bank and the Zambezi East Bank inclusive, are dying from Contagious Bovine Pleuro-Pneumonia (CBPP). The Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock does not have the vaccine to distribute to farmers across the country because there is no vaccine in the Republic of Zambia. I, as a representative of the people, visited the ministry to see if, by chance, there were any little vaccines that could be sent to my people in Chavuma because many animals are dying nearly every day, but there was no vaccine. Is the Government considering allocating funds to the ministry so that it can purchase vaccines for the animals that are dying across the country?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, this Government is committed to diversifying the agricultural sector, and the livestock sub-sector is one of the growth areas that it is focusing on.


Sir, the outbreak of contagious diseases like Contagious Bovine Pleuro-Pneumonia (CBPP) and Foot and Mouth Disease is a concern of this Government. As a result of that, the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries is soliciting for funding and the Treasury is mobilising resources to ensure that the ministry buys enough vaccines to treat the animals countrywide, especially in areas where the disease has spread, such as Chavuma and the Zambezi West bank.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I have also received indications from hon. Members who wish to ask questions on the Zoom platform from the hon. Members for Zambezi West, Sioma, Solwezi Central and Mkushi North. So, I will alternate between the e-Chamber and the Zoom platform.


Dr Imakando (Mongu Central): Mr Speaker, in every ward I have visited in Mongu Central, I have found many citizens complaining that they were not registered as voters. As a result of this, I took time to analyse the voter registration exercise for 2021. In my analysis, I found out that the number of voters on the Copperbelt Province has gone down by just under 15,000 voters, the number for Central Province has gone down by about 43,000 voters and the number for the Western Province has gone down by about 36,000 voters.


Sir, voting is a civil and political right that belongs to a class of rights that protect individuals from infringement and encroachment by the Government. Given that the numbers have gone down in the three provinces, I regard this as a disaster. Therefore, will the Government not consider, at least, registering more voters in these provinces and bringing the numbers to the levels they were previously if it is not willing to increase them, as we see the increase in other provinces?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, this question will be responded to when the Vice-President responds to a related question on the Order Paper this morning.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has no boundaries when it comes to infecting human beings. I have now seen people die even in my constituency almost every day.


Sir, it has been three weeks since the Government of this country, Zambia, allowed our children to go back to school, and the people of this country are asking if COVID-19 has not attacked any of the schools in this country. They are also asking if there is any progress the Government has made in terms of protecting our children who are in schools.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, this country has 4 million school-going children. Out of that number, some are already attending schools, and they have been doing so for the past three weeks or thereabouts. However, we have not yet received any information pertaining to the death of any pupil. Where there have been some infections in a certain school or classroom, measures have been taken to ensure that the health guidelines are followed, starting with the school environment to the teachers and protection of the pupils themselves. We should be pleased that, so far, our children have not been affected negatively by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), and I hope that this situation continues. The Government will continue to provide the necessary requisites to ensure that school premises are kept clean and safe for our children.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr A. B. Malama (Nchelenge): Mr Speaker, the people of Nchelenge were left out of the additional financing project for the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) scheme in the province. I think there are two districts or so that were left out. In the spirit and policy of this able Government of not leaving anyone behind, when will our district benefit from this project?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, indeed, this Government of Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu will never leave anyone behind, especially those who are most vulnerable in our communities, and the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare is going through all the districts to ascertain the number of vulnerable people in the communities. So, I believe that if the district that the hon. Member refers to was overlooked, the officers will capture the vulnerable members in it who need to be put on the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) scheme. This is one of the social protection measures that will help the people, especially in the rural areas and the most vulnerable in our urban centres, alleviate poverty and ensure that those Zambians benefit from the COVID-19 funds and other empowerment programmes that the Government is rolling out.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Kucheka (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, life in Zambia has become very hard for the Zambians. The cost of living is so high that people can longer afford three meals per day. What is the Government doing, or rather, what drastic measures have been put in place to mitigate the high cost of living in this country?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, it is true that the cost of living has gone up. In this regard, the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) has put measures in place to ensure that the current levels of inflation do not impact the lives of our people. The Government recognises the importance of maintaining inflation within sustainable levels to make the cost of living affordable for our people.


Sir, since 2011, inflation has generally been within the target range of 6 per cent to 8 per cent. Food prices are a major component of the measurement of inflation. During the periods 2015/2016 and 2017/2018, the rate was higher than the target, mainly due to an increase in food prices caused by the low agricultural output that the country experienced on account of poor rainfall during the farming seasons of those periods.


Mr Speaker, to counter inflationary pressures and stabilise the cost of living, the Government has implemented several measures that include:


  1. removal of Value Added Tax (VAT) and excise duty on petroleum products to reduce fuel-related inflationary pressures;
  2. restrictions on maize exports to make the commodity more available on the domestic market;
  3. increased support to farmers to grow crops or diversify their agricultural activities into areas like growing soya beans so that the price of cooking oil can become stable; and
  4. implementing measures to stabilise the Kwacha against major currencies. The measures include the building up of reserves through the purchasing of gold.


Mr Speaker, I emphasise that the Government is fully aware of the challenges caused by high inflation, and that it has taken measures and we will continue to take measures, including increasing social cash payments to vulnerable households, in order to cushion the impact of rising prices on the people.


 Mr Speaker, I thank you.


 Mr Kambita (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, all the people who are going to go to prisons to campaign will need a Bill that will clarify what is supposed to happen, that is, how they are going to campaign and how everything how  prisoners will vote. When will the Bill to support the voting of prisoners be presented to Parliament so that things become clear for the would-be voters in the August, 2021 Elections?


 The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, voting by Zambians who are under incarceration is a new phenomenon in our country. Therefore, there are many processes to be undertaken in order for this segment of our community to be engaged in the democratic dispensation, including in voting for their Members of Parliament. So, the process is still ongoing, and the country as well as the hon. Members of Parliament and all political parties will be informed when it will be convenient or necessary for the stakeholders to engage the prisoners. Meanwhile, the Bill is being worked on, and it will be presented during this Meeting of Parliament.


 I thank you, Sir.


Ms Subulwa (Sioma): Mr Speaker, thank you for this opportunity. It is good to see Her Honour the Vice-President and Happy New Year.




Mr Subulwa: Mr Speaker, it is good to see Her Honour the Vice-President. Happy New Year to her.


Sir, the Zambezi River is full because of the heavy rainfall we have received this year, and that has put the lives of our pupils and mothers who cross the river to access either heath facilities or schools. My question is: What urgent measures has the Government put in place to procure banana boats for areas like Libonda, Likuyu, Sitoti, Kalongola, Silowana-Likondwama and Mwampa?


 The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, yes, sometimes, the rainy season comes with its own challenges, and the most disadvantaged people in our communities are school-going children who have to cross flooded areas to get to school. However, we have debated in this House that the Government allocates money to various constituencies. So, in the constituencies where flooding occurs and where children have to cross rivers, the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) can be used to purchase banana boats. Unfortunately, in most cases, councils, of which hon. Members of Parliament are members, over-look this need. Instead, they rush to buy motor vehicles even where there are no roads and no flags. So, it is important that, as we plan for our constituencies, districts and provinces, we take into account some of the hidden challenges our people go through. I believe that the CDF can play a critical role in meeting the needs of our communities in various parts of this country.


 I thank you, Sir.


 Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, while appreciating the ongoing administrative changes at the Ministry of Health and the former Medical Store Limited, now Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA), the people of Chimwemwe would like to know when the Government will move to normalise the current severe shortage of essential drugs in the clinics across the constituency, where patients are just given prescriptions to go and buy drugs.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Government will not stop taking care of its people as far as their health is concerned. Further, the Government will always allocate resources for the purchase of drugs and the whole drug value chain. So, the Government is already purchasing these items. The major question that has captured the imagination of the public is about the expenditure on the COVID-19 medical supplies. The other issue was that some of the drugs had expired. The Government is looking into all these issues, and it cannot stop supporting the purchase of drugs because of the on-going cases. My Government is at work protecting the lives of its people.


 I thank you, Sir.


 Mr Mulusa (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, we are the only provincial headquarter that has not been given roads in the project that was flagged off in 2015 by the Republican President. Since this is our last and final year to be in Parliament, is the Government willing to release funds for the 20.5 km road in Solwezi Central?


 The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Government will release funds when they are made available, not only to Solwezi, but also to other provincial headquarters where the Township Road Project has not yet started or has been implemented halfway through. So, Solwezi has not been forgotten. When resources are made available, the works will continue in that province, particularly in the Solwezi Business District.


I thank you, Sir.







141. Ms Lubezhi (Namwala) asked the Vice-President:



  1. what the final figures of registered voters, following the completion of the compilation of the voters’ roll, province by province, are;
  2. why the Electoral Commission of Zambia has not announced the final figures to the public to date;
  3. when the anomalies that are being noted during the voter verification exercise will be corrected; and
  4. whether an opportunity will be availed to the affected people to verify that anomalies have been corrected.


The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, before I respond to the specific questions raised by the hon. Member, I wish to inform the nation that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) undertook the registration of voters from 9th November to 20th December, 2020. The voter registration exercise was simultaneously conducted in all the 116 districts and 156 constituencies across the country during the stated period, and provided for an eligible citizen to register from any registration centre, but indicate the polling station of their choice. This implies that where one registered from is not necessarily where one will vote from, and to ascertain this requires that that the commission consolidates the data according to the respective polling stations people will vote from.


Sir, the commission had, provisionally, registered 7,000,020 voters at the national level by the end of the exercise. Upon completing the registration of voters, the commission embarked on the demobilisation of equipment and consolidation of all voter records. This was subjected to clean-up and re-duplication processes before the compilation of the 2021 Provisional Register of Voters.


Mr Speaker, I thought this background was necessary.


Mr Speaker, now I give responses to the specific questions raised by the hon. Member.

Sir, the commission will provide the consolidated number of voters on the Provisional Register of Voters by Thursday, 25th February, 2021. This data will also be disaggregated by province, district and constituency in addition to gender. The inspection of the Provisional Register of Voters is currently underway, using electronic platforms, and involves the use of the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) short phone code *214# on all the three mobile networks, namely Airtel, Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN) and Zambia Telecommunications Company Limited (Zamtel) and through the website


Mr Speaker, the commission will later, from 29th March to 2nd April, 2021, conduct a physical inspection of the Provisional Register of Voters. During that period, voters will be offered services like replacement of lost or damaged voter’s cards, transfers for those who would like to change their polling stations and the removal of deceased voters from the register. The commission will also receive objections and appeals during this period.


Mr Speaker, the commission has not yet announced the final figures to the public because it is still finalising the report on voter details, but will provide the consolidated as well as disaggregated data of the 2021 Provisional Register of Voters by Thursday, 25th February, 2021.


Mr Speaker, the electronic verification of voter details commenced on 7th February, 2021, using the short code *214#. The service can be accessed in any part of the country with Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) network on all the three mobile service providers. It is not only available in urban areas, but also in rural areas, and it can be accessed using a simple feature phone in addition to smart phones, as is applicable for mobile money transactions.


Sir, voters who identify any anomalies in their voter details will have an opportunity to have their details corrected during the physical inspection of the Provisional Register of Voters scheduled to be conducted from 29th March, 2021, to 2nd April, 2021.


Mr Speaker, the correction of anomalies identified during the inspection of the Provisional Register of Voters will be done during the physical inspection of the register. The affected voters will have to visit an inspection centre with a voter registration kit and have their details corrected and a new voter’s card issued instantly to them. They will also be able to verify their updated details and be issued with the voter’s card with the correct particulars immediately after correction of the identified errors. Additionally, they will also have access to the electronic platform and will be able to use the short code *214# after the second consolidation of the voter details that will be conducted after the physical inspection of the provisional register.


Mr Speaker, encourage every registered voter to verify their voter details on the Provisional Register of Voters and make use of the electronic inspection of the register to confirm that their voter details are correctly captured and, if not, ensure that their details are corrected during the physical inspection of the 2020 Provisional Register of Voters.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, it is like the Vice-President is giving us a calendar that is not in conformity with the one issued by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), which contains eleven items. In answering part (b) of my question, the Vice-President stated that the ECZ is still finalising the voter details. As a result, in answering part (a) of the question, she said that the ECZ will issue out the voter figures to the public on 25th February, 2021.


Mr Speaker, according to item two of the ECZ calendar, voter registration data consolidation started on 30th December, 2020, and ended on 31st January, 2021. So, the ECZ should have announced the figures by now because, according to the ECZ, the exercise the Vice-President referred to in part (b), which is on finalising of voter registration, has already been done. Why has the ECZ not announced the figures to the public?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the statement I have just given was provided by  the ECZ. The commission could not come out with the exact figures while it was still going through all the processes, including demobilisation of all the machines that were in all the constituencies and districts back to Lusaka. That exercise was a mammoth one.


Mr Speaker, the ECZ follows an elections calendar and gives details of the steps and processes that it takes at every stage. The stakeholders have been informed about this calendar. If there are any adjustments, stakeholders are informed so that everyone is aware of what the ECZ is doing to prepare for the 2021 General Elections.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Mr Speaker, speaking from the background of having been an electoral officer, I have noticed that the issue of the final figures of the voter registration exercise has become problematic in political circles. People want raw data to be produced. Is it possible to produce accurate data before verification of the voter’s registration?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I am not privy to the law that regulates the examination of primary data that the ECZ captured. However, I believe this can be done if it is not already planned for. The final figures of the register of voters to be used during the 2021 elections will only be available upon certification of the register of voters by the ECZ Chairperson before the general elections, as provided for by the law. The work is ongoing to ensure that the ECZ beats the deadlines for the conclusion of certain processes.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, let me move away from the issue of figures to the answer to part (d), in which the Vice-President talked about the verification of details by members of the public.


Sir, in reference to the ECZ calendar, why is it that the institution gave its primary cause in administering elections, which is voter registration, fewer days, that is, from 9th November to 22nd December, 2020, and gave the voter verification exercise, which I would call secondary, more time? Further, the virtual verification process, in which people will use electronic gadgets, has been given a lot of time; it will be conducted from 7th February to 7th May, 2021, whereas the physical verification, which is more important because people will be required to physically appear before the ECZ to change their details, has only been given four days, starting from 29th March to 2nd April, 2021.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I have explained that the ECZ is following a specific calendar. The commission has been given, by the law, ninety days to finalise all these arrangements.


Sir, the new register has to be cleaned up. Some voters have passed on during this Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) period, and it has not been easy for the ECZ to trace voters. That is why the compilation of data has taken time. As you may, a voter may have registered in Kaputa, but decide to vote in Nalolo, and all this data has to be disaggregated on the basis of gender, that is, how many women and men registered, as well as indicating how many young people under a given age registered. There is a lot work that goes into the compilation of a genuine voter register. So, the reason the ECZ seems to have delayed, when in fact it has not, is that the institution was following the mandate that was given to it by this Parliament. We should try to understand why certain things are being done in the manner they are being done.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, my question is in relation to the verification of voters in rural areas. According to the Vice-President, physical verification will be done from 29th March to 2nd May, 2021. I would like the Vice-President to give us details of how the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) will manage to visit the remote centres without causing confusion and failing to rich the centres like what happened during actual voter registration. Will she come out clearly so that we really understand how people will manage to visit the centres, and the centres that will be visited in the period she has stated?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the use of electronic gadgets will be very necessary in the verification exercise, and this Government has worked very hard to erect communication towers in most parts of the country; I would say in every constituency of this country. Further, the ECZ has not stopped at facilitating electronic verification; it has further identified certain centres where registration kits will be placed for would-be voters to verify their details, where physical verification is required. The physical verification exercise will run from 29th March to 2nd April, 2021, and all the 8,999 registration centres will be opened during that time. Registration kits will be placed at strategic centres in all the wards so that voters can physically visit the centres and verify their particulars.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Chikote (Luampa): Mr Speaker, my concern is on electronic verification using *214#, and it is mostly about the rural areas. We are speaking from our constituencies, and we see what is happening. I would like to find out from Her Honour the Vice-President how much the commission has done to sensitise would-be voters so that this exercise can be effective. From the look of things, many stakeholders and voters in our constituencies are in the dark on electronic verification.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, there are many platforms on which the ECZ disseminates information regarding voting processes, and this information has been brought to the House today to inform hon. Members of Parliament who, in turn, are expected to go back to their constituencies and sensitise our people on the processes. Additionally, people in our constituencies send money to one another using electronic platforms. So, there is no reason they cannot do the same to verify their records on the voter register. Further, I explained the provision of the service by the three mobile network providers, Airtel, MTN and Zamtel, whose services are provided both in urban and rural areas across the country. Further, as hon. Members are aware, and as I said earlier, there are communication towers in rural areas, and you can pick information electronically without going to an urban centre.


Mr Speaker, the commission has held several media briefings and will conduct voter education and communication, including in rural communities, to reach all voters so that they are aware of the services being provided. So, this is ongoing, and we believe that hon. Members of Parliament will augment the work of the ECZ in sensitising our communities on the need to verify their details after the ECZ goes into the polling stations to set up kits for physical verification.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, let me thank Her Honour for her candid response to the question posed by the hon. Member for Namwala. However, we have a challenge on our hands particular to the people of Kanchibiya, in Muwele, Lwitikila area and Kabinga; our people in North-Western Province; and those on the Zambezi River in the Western Province, whose houses have collapsed, meaning that some of them have lost their voters cards and National Registration Cards (NRCs). The challenge is that there is a need for NRCs and new voter’s cards to be issued. However, the duration given for the exercise is not long. Will this caring Patriotic Front (PF) Government consider engaging the Department of National Registration, Passport and Citizenship (DNRPC) and the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), to go in a bit earlier so that such affected areas are given sufficient time to overcome  the challenges I have mentioned?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, hon. Members should be aware that the registration of voters and mobile issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs) are costly exercises. However, the ECZ is working closely with the Ministry of Home Affairs to see how they can face some of the challenges that the voters are already facing. So, I cannot guarantee that another mobile issuance of voter’s cards will be undertaken before elections. The same applies to the mobile issuance of NRCs. We will rely on the data that has been collected so far, and we are only waiting for the verification of that data to ascertain the correct records of every registered voter.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, Her Honour the Vice-President has informed the House and the nation that despite the electronic verification of details, voters are still required to visit the registration centres so that their details can be corrected. However, we know that the registration of voters that took place last year was chaotic, with a number of people having to sleep on queues while waiting to register. Further, the verification centres will not be at every polling station, and if there are anomalies and one is not able to correct them, one cannot vote. Taking into account all these issues, what assurance is the Vice-President giving to the people of Zambia that they will be able to rectify whatever anomalies are on their voter’s cards in the four days that have been allocated?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the assurance I can give is that it will be possible to normalise all the anomalies that will show up for every voter. We do the voting in one day, but the ECZ has given us a number of days, from 29th March to 2nd April, 2021, to physically verify our details. Further, I pointed out earlier that all the 8,999 registration centres will be open during that period to allow for registered voters to check their details, and the centres are in proximity to their villages or where they live, if in towns. Some of these centres will be in strategic places. So, the ECZ is able to undertake this exercise within the given period.


Sir, allow me to inform the nation that if one verifies electronically that their details are correct, one does not need to visit a centre physically because one’s record would be correct. Physical inspection will last five days, and those days will be adequate for the ECZ to attend to every voter who will not be satisfied with their details.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mutaba (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, last year, before the beginning of the voter registration exercise, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) announced a target of 9 million voters. If I heard Her Honour the Vice-President correctly today, she has announced that the commission only managed to capture 7,020,000 voters. Does this not imply underperformance by the ECZ?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the ECZ did its best to capture as many voters as possible, and the 7,200,000 that has been given to us is the true number of the captured voters. The actual figure might be even less because we have lost some voters to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and other related misfortunes. So, the ECZ has been equal to the task. During the verification of the voter register, we will be told how many of the voters have passed on and how many have left the country. There are many explanations that the ECZ will give to the general public.


Sir, the figure of 9 million potential voters was given to the ECZ by the Zambia Statistics Agency (ZAMSTATS), which gave the estimate of eligible voters at that time as 8.4 million. The 7 million voters captured translated to 83 per cent, which is a reasonable achievement by the ECZ. So, at the end of the process, we will be informed of the exact figure of Zambians who will vote in the 2021 Elections.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, I thank the Vice-President for giving us that information. However, is she able to give us the projected figure of how many people will be captured during the electronic verification of the provisional voter’s register before the physical inspection?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the statement was very detailed and clear. It is not possible, at this time, to give estimates of the number of would-be voters who were captured in the manner that the hon. Member is asking for. Fortunately, the dates that have been given to us by the ECZ are not very far off. So, I urge the hon. Member to wait until we are given the real figures by the ECZ. The commission will provide the statistics during the press briefings that it will continue holding between now and the election date. All the information will come out at intervals as the commission continues finalising the voter’s register.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I will take the last interventions from the hon. Members for the following constituencies: Manyinga, Kalomo Central, Chilubi, Sioma, Mapatizya, Kasempa, Mongu Central, Liuwa and Chikankata, and I will end with Lukashya. Beyond this list, please, spare yourself the trouble of indicating. That will be the cut-off point.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, all the questions being asked are coming up because the exercise that was undertaken by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) affected some parts of the nation negatively. So, the people of this country are now losing confidence in the people who were given the responsibility to do this work. In order for the people of this country to appreciate His Excellency the President’s Speech on the progress made in the application of National Values and Principles, what assurance can Her Honour give to the people of this nation that the set anomalies which are there, if they are there, will be sorted out when that time comes?


Mr Speaker: Your question is: When an anomaly is identified and the Electoral Commission of Zambia ECZ is approached to rectify it, will the ECZ rectify? I think that is a rhetorical question.


Hon. Member for Kalomo Central, ask your question.


Mr Kambita (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, the nomination day for Members of Parliament will be before the dissolution of Parliament on 11th May, 2021. How appropriate is that?


Mr Speaker: While that question is vital, it is certainly not related to the exercise under discussion.


Hon. Member for Chilubi, ask your question.


Mr Fube (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, I have the feeling that many comments that have been made since the registration exercise started are tailoring an environment that might not give us a free and fair election. I think that the way people are making comments is unfair because what makes a free and fair election is the environment. Therefore, I see a script being written for the creation of anarchy around the forth-coming election. Could the Vice-President confirm that we are psyching an environment for confusion in the forth-coming election by the way we are commenting on many matters surrounding the registration exercise, statistics and many other factors.


Mr Speaker: That subject is not related to our topic.


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, my question has been overtaken by events.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to ask a question.


Sir, when the Head of State addressed this country, he spent a lot of his time discussing the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. He also mentioned people who have passed on as a result of the pandemic. Given that we have this pandemic, my concern is on the physical inspection, for which we are given only four or five days to verify our particulars as regards registration for the forth-coming elections. Since the majority of the would-be voters are found in areas where they cannot verify their particulars using technology, does the Government not think that we are about to cause crowding in the areas where verification will be done and become super spreaders of COVID-19 at a time when Zambia is in the second wave of the pandemic? Would the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) not consider increasing the number of days to reduce crowing?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, there will be no danger of crowding because it is assumed that many voters will check their details electronically. So, there may be no need to go to a centre physically, and the issue of infecting people at the centres may not be there.


Mr Speaker, I urge hon. Members to have confidence in the institutions we create for our country in order to ensure that democracy is institutionalised, and the ECZ is one of those institutions. I believe that if we are all confident that the ECZ is doing its work professionally, there should not be any apprehensions as to whether the outcome will not be a balanced one.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, I understand that we, indeed, need to have confidence in our institutions. However, as the representatives, we live in the real time of the circumstances of our people wherever they are. We walk in their shoes. Given that we live in the ‘here and now’ of what is going on in our constituencies, say, in Kasempa, where there are twenty-two wards spread in a constituency double the size of Holland, one starts thinking about the other context of emergency we live in, namely climatic change, which has brought floods in our communities, with bridges washed away, homes destroyed and people living under trees with no food –


Mr Speaker: What is your question?


Ms Tambatamba: My question is: What exact contingency measures have been put in place to ensure that the people who are faced with those constraints I have described are not left behind in the verification process by having only five days within which they can review their details?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Government of the Republic of Zambia has knowledge of the topographic as well as demographic nature of our country. So, areas where there are challenges like the hon. Member has referred to, such as washed-away bridges, will be helped through agencies of the Government responsible for addressing emergencies  to enable our people to visit the centres and verify their voter details.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Imakando (Mongu Central): Mr Speaker, this is a follow-up question to the one I asked earlier, to which the Vice-President responded by promising that she would answer later. I have tried to listen very attentively, but I have not heard her answer my question.


Sir, voting is a civil and political right that belongs to a class of rights that protect individuals’ freedom from infringement or encroachment by the State. The State can encroach and infringe on our rights.


Sir, notwithstanding the fact that she has said the final figures are not yet out, the preliminary figures I have seen indicate that the figures for the Eastern, Northern and Luapula provinces have gone up by more than 50,000 voters each while the one for the Western Province has gone down by 36,000. Now, we have the period for verification. Would it not be more useful to use the period earmarked for verification to up the numbers in the provinces where they have gone down, owing to the fact that the right to vote must be honoured and protected by the State?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the numbers that may be currently available may not be factual because, as I explained earlier, people were registering from all over the country, and the register might show that a number of voters registered in a given province, yet those voters are destined to vote in other provinces. That is why, as I explained earlier, it has taken time for the ECZ to compile the figures.


Mr Speaker, let me also point out that during the issuance of NRCs and registration of voters, hon. Members were urged to go back to their constituencies to persuade their people to go and register or acquire NRCs. However, the Western Province, which was mentioned earlier, was unfortunate because that was the period hon. Members were in Lusaka celebrating the fall of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10.




Mr Lubinda: Four Cousins!


The Vice-President: As a result, the hon. Members from the province did not have the time to mobilise their people adequately. So, I just want to inform the House that only those who registered during the 2020 Voter Registration Exercise will be able to vote in the 2021 General Elections. This is where things stand at the moment.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, as the hon. Member of Parliament for Mongu Central indicated, the Western Province and other provinces were deliberately disadvantaged in the issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs) which, of course, is the most important tool for registering as a voter. That is why those numbers have gone down. Now, Her Honour the Vice-President is saying that there will only be four days to check whether one registered or not in places where there is no network. Does she not agree or see that in forcing people to check their registration in four days in a place like Liuwa, which is flooded and has difficult communication channels, the Government is compounding that disadvantage that it put us in by failing to issue NRCs? Does she not see that the Government is disadvantaging us further?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the issuance of NRCs is not a one-day affair. Even today, if I walk into a National Registration Office, I will be issued an NRC. The issuance of NRCs is not confined to elections.


Mr Kampyongo: Yes!


The Vice-President: Sir, it was a duty of every hon. Member of Parliament to ensure that in areas where large populations of people did not have NRCs, we made arrangements to take the people to centres where NRCs are issued. This Government has created so many districts to ensure that Government services are taken to the people. This was another way of augmenting the mobile issuance of NRCs in the new districts as well. So, this is not disadvantaging the people through a deliberate move. Rather, it shows some inadequacies on our part as hon. Members of Parliament that we were not able to go and persuade our people. It was a mammoth task that was accomplished in the Northern and Muchinga provinces where, during the period of voter registration, our people were busy collecting caterpillars in the bush. Their representatives had to work very hard to ensure that the people were brought back to register as voters, and that should have been the pattern in other parts of the country. We should have made sure that our people understood their civic role of being voters and that they were not disenfranchised, as the hon. Member for Mongu Central insists the people of some provinces have been. The figures may appear the way they do simply because some people made an extra effort to ensure that their voters got NRCs as well as voter’s cards.


Sir, the challenges that the people of Liuwa face will be assessed to see how they can be helped to verify their details either electronically or physically.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Chisanga (Lukashya): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to seek clarification and appreciate the Vice-President’s able responses to the questions from the hon. Members.


Sir, with regard to the emotions that ran rife during the last voter registration exercise, which resulted in some disruptions in some stations, what security measures has the Government put in place, this time, to prevent similar disruptive occurrences during the verification exercise?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Government is putting in place security measures, especially in urban areas, to ensure that disruptions like those we saw in Muchinga, or was it the Northern Province, do not happen again …


Mr Kampyongo: Northern!


The Vice-President: … because those were criminal acts that should be penalised by the law enforcement agencies and the courts of law. So, those who could get away with one crime should not be comfortable and think that will be the pattern in the future because the law will follow every law-breaker, and we will take the necessary measures to punish anyone who disrupts the electoral process.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.








(Debate resumed)


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Sir, His Excellency the President outlined very important principles, one of them being equality and equity. When you look at our institutions of governance, the President was not only speaking to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), but also to political parties, such as my own. Therefore, I would like to urge the Patriotic Front (PF) to ensure that, as we go into the election period, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development, which was signed in 2012, is actualised. We should have 50 per cent representation of women in decision making. I wish that the United Party for National Development (UPND) had done that but, alas, its members are overjoyed with a product in which women have been marginalised. We have seen that only 28.6 per cent of women in the National Management Committee (NMC) are in decision-making positions. This should cause our women’s organisations to question the UPND on whether it is committed to the principles of governance, ensuring that women take a central role and 50 per cent gender representation.


Mr Speaker, I want to see PF continue leading because our party has demonstrated that we want equity. You have seen that at the level of the Presidency of our party and in the nation, our Vice-President is female, and that is the way it should be. It should be that in every decision-making body, even in the presidency, there should be a male and a female. Now, when we look at the UPND, I do not think my brother is fixing it. A female representation of 28.6 per cent does not fix it. It is a broken issue. Therefore, we urge the political party mentioned here to go back to its roots and relook at its management body. We also call on the private and public sector to ensure that women are given equal representation.


Mr Speaker, in 2021, we should not be talking about what we decided in 2012. The women of our country have been marginalised for a very long time. Therefore, the women of Kanchibiya, Nalolo, Yambezhi and Keembe should be able to come out. During this election, we should see more women participating. Today, only 18 per cent of hon. Members of Parliament are women, yet we still see some men rising against these women, who are very hardworking. We are not saying they should not face competition. They should. However, political parties must create space for women so that we can have more women in decision-making positions. Look at how very well the Office of the Vice-President has functioned, including the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU). We have reported the disaster in Kanchibiya, the Eastern, Western, Southern and North-Western provinces, and wherever disasters are reported from, and we have seen a mother get into action. I assure the people of Mwere and Kabinga in Kanchibiya that the DMMU is on its way to there. I also assure the people of Zambezi and the Western Province that the PF is functioning well because of putting a mother in a responsible position. Therefore, even my brother in the other party, who aspires to lead sometime later, has to fix this issue first. His NMC is not fixed; it is 28 per cent is broken. Having 71.4 per cent of men in decision-making positions is not what Zambians have been looking for. What they want is to see women given fair representation in decision making.


Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this bonus time to speak about an issue that is so close to my heart. May God bless us and our republic?


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: I recognise indications from the hon. Ministers for the North-Western and Northern provinces. I will certainly allow them to debate but, meanwhile, I will allow as many Backbenchers as possible to debate first so that the hon. Ministers can give appropriate responses when they debate. 


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to debate the President’s Address, which was delivered to the House on the 12th of this month.


Mr Speaker, the people of Manyinga, through me, have a problem appreciating the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s Speech on national values when contrasted with the reality on the ground. I say so because the Head of State did not tell the country how corruption in his Government and inner circle was tackled with in relation with his hypocritical national values.


Mr Speaker, – 


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Manyinga!


The word ‘hypocritical’ is unparliamentary.


Mr Lihefu: Mr Speaker, thank you very much. It hurts, you know. I am really at a loss for another word that I can use in place of the word ‘hypocritical’. So, I will just say, ‘On his national values’.




Mr Lihefu: Mr Speaker, apart from the President complaining about Facebook posts, did Mr Edgar Lungu also talk about expired drugs and condoms?


Mr Speaker, here in my constituency –


Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, thank you very much for allowing me raise this very important point of order on the hon. Member for Manyinga, who is currently on the Floor.


Mr Speaker, I am seated here patiently waiting for him to start making proper reference to the President’s Speech and the issues raised in the speech, but he has been struggling to get to that.


Sir, is he in order to take aspects of National Values and Principles so lightly that he can opt to replace the word ‘hypocrisy’ or ‘hypocritical’ with ‘national values and principles’? I do not know whether this is due to his limitation in vocabulary.


Mr Speaker, I seek your serious ruling so that our listeners out there are not misled by this hon. Member on the Floor.


Mr Speaker: My ruling is that, clearly, the word ‘hypocrisy’ is not interchangeable with the phrase ‘national values’. I know the hon. Member might have a difficulty, at the time, to replace the word ‘hypocrisy’ with a suitable expression but, certainly, literally speaking, ‘national values’ is not interchangeable with the word ‘hypocritical’.


Let me also say that let us be focused in our debates. I strongly urge all hon. Members who intend to debate, especially beyond today, to read the speech so that they make appropriate responses to what the President said in the House.


Mr Lihefu: Mr Speaker, thank you very much for allowing me to continue and finish whatever I was trying to put forward.


Mr Speaker, the President talked about national values, and ‘national values’ simply mean we have to share our national resources equitably. I say so because in the country there is ... (inaudible) … in his Government. Too much corruption. How does this relate to the national values he was promoting?


Mr Speaker, Manyinga District contributes a lot to the National Treasury, but the Manyinga/Mwinilunga Road is in a bad state, with fishponds, not potholes. Where are the national values when national resources are not shared equitably? We lost two lives because the roads in Sikufele Chiefdom are in a bad state, and I presume that, in the whole country, the roads in our chiefdoms are in a bad state.


Sir, where are the national values when people are subjected to heavy taxation? It is for this reason that the ‘Manyingans’, through me, have problems appreciating President Edgar Lungu’s Speech.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: I recognise the indication from the hon. Minister of Works and Supply, but she will debate later.


Mr Fube (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving the people of Chilubi an opportunity to add their voice to the very important message that the President delivered to this House, especially for setting the pace for development and cataloguing what the Government has done so far.


Sir, on page 2 and 7 to 35, the President presents a catalogue of different projects that the Government has implemented, among them, student loans, water connectivity, electricity and many others that fall within the perimeters of social justice. I think anyone who heard would say that the President was accountable to the nation, and I give him kudos for that.


Mr Speaker, on pager 18, in defining patriotism, among other concepts, the President indicates that the factors that define patriotism include loving and protecting one’s country. He further said, on the same page, that part of protecting the country is the protection of national assets.


Mr Speaker, I know that in debating the speech, people have tried and laboured to dilute it and associate the current poverty levels in the country with the Patriotic Front (PF). They have also laboured to say that corruption has not been addressed. However, it is this Government that has revised the Act governing the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), and attended to the Public Finance Management Act, 2018, and the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA). Given this background, as we talk about corruption, poverty and many other factors, we, as a country, need to ask whether the country is not where it is because it is coming from somewhere. The country is where it is because when going to the Copperbelt and passing through Ndola, I see shells of companies that were left empty; shells of companies that were the hub of the Copperbelt. The companies were subsidiaries of the mining sector and supplied sulphuric acid and many other things. They have been left as shells, and people are unemployed because some people who, possibly,  were agents of privatisation, did that to the country.


Mr Speaker, when addressing corruption, we mean grand corruption, institutional corruption and petty corruption. Corruption has many stakeholders; it is not only the politicians in the Ruling Party who can be associated with corruption. It is also not only the Government that can be associated with corruption because even an Opposition leader goes and coerces a witness, that is corruption.


Mr Speaker, the Head of State addressed issues to do with morality, principles and national ethics, which are enshrined in the Constitution. Given that background, I submit that when we talk about corruption and poverty, a number of companies, I have Musi-O-Tunya and many others in mind, deprived this country of employment opportunities. So, when we want to debate about why we are where are, we should also question where we are coming from. 


Sir, the country has gone through a particular socioeconomic cycle, and different Governments have had a hand in what we are talking about. In looking at such, we are saying that the Government gave its platform, and I would like to state that it is a platform for victory because I know Zambians have seen that His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu has really delivered. So, in terms of corruption, it is said that one who seeks justice must go with clean hands. Some people in this nation do not even qualify to mention the word corruption because they are very soiled that – I do not really know – I know that I would be asked for qualification. Were it not for the limited time I am let with, I would justify my statement about people who are soiled if I were asked to do so. So, in terms of corruption, I think it is a no-go area for some people.


Mr Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing the representative of the people of Bweengwa to debate the President’s Speech.


Mr Speaker, the President, on Friday, last week, talked about the progress made in the application of National Values and Principles. He also talked about democracy, unity, the breakdown of the rule of Law and integrity. However, before I delve into President Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s Speech, let me begin by saying that in the first speech our late President, Mr Sata, delivered on the Floor of the House, he said that he was going to rule this nation by the Ten Commandments. However, out of the Ten Commandments, two have been broken under the current Patriotic Front (PF) rule, namely Rule No.8 and rule No.9, and I will justify my statement later. Rule No.8 says, “Thou shall not steal” and Rule No.9 says, “You shall not tell lies.”


Mr Speaker, I expected the President to talk more about what is prevailing on the ground. What the President talked about on the Floor of the House was completely detached from what is happening on the ground. For example, he talked about unity and discrimination, yet there is a lot of discrimination in this country, with people in Lusaka, the Southern, the Copperbelt, Central, the Western and the North-Western provinces being given three bags of fertiliser while those in the other parts of the country are given … (inaudible) bags, which is not good for the country. This is what we call discrimination, and all the unity the President talked about is not there on the ground.


 Mr Speaker, the President talked about democracy, but we cannot see any democracy looking at the way our people were denied National Registration Cards (NRCs). We did mobilise our people properly; we were in the field, not in Lusaka drinking tea, because we can drink tea from our constituencies. We do not come to Lusaka to only drink tea. We were busy mobilising our people, but they were not issued with NRCs; they were left out in thousands, as those who were responsible for issuing NRCs were running away in the night, but the President was quite about that.


Mr Speaker, we also expected the President, Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, to give a scientific solution for turning around this economy, which he and the Patriotic Front (PF) have destroyed.


Mr Speaker, there is also the issue of the hon. Ministers who stayed in office illegally. We expected the President to talk about those illegal hon. Ministers. Who paid for them? We are waiting for the good Samaritan who paid for those hon. Ministers who stayed in office illegally to be revealed.


Mr Speaker, we also expected the President to come back to the Floor of the House and talk about the issue of gassing, which he talked about last time when he was on the Floor of the House. He was quiet on that issue. It is the first time in the history of this country that innocent citizens have been gassed, and that happened on the PF’s watch. When we form Government, there will be no gassing in this country, and the people of Zambia will be very free.


Sir, we have been talking about corruption. When we form Government, as the United Party for National Development (UPND), under our leader, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, there will be zero tolerance to corruption. We have a duty to challenge a system that oppresses its citizens. Why are hon. Ministers and some hon. Members of Parliament busy dishing out money all over the country when the Government is failing to pay its debt and the people of Zambia go to bed without food?


Mr Speaker, we demand answers, and we need our colleagues to explain to the nation why the President did not talk about the Honey Bee issue. What will stop the people of Zambia from suspecting that the entire US$17 million paid to Honey Bee Pharmacy and the US$42 million for the purchase of fire tenders –


Mr Speaker, with those few words, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, let me repeat my counsel.


When the President came last Friday, he outlined a number of issues regarding policy, programmes and so forth. My assessment is that, so far, there is a complete disjunction between the President’s Speech and the debates that are ensuing. We are somewhat inclined to just to go into these events that take place from day to day. There were even expectations that the President would address those day-to-day events and that you would then come and respond. So, when he did not address them, you are complaining that he should have; you are saying he should have talked about X, Y and Z events, yet this undertaking is derived from the Constitution, where there are normative values set out very clearly that we should be debating. That is what we should be debating; national values, not national events.


Mr Ngulube: Not anyhow!


Mr Speaker: I would not want to begin curtailing debates and resorting to other punitive measures. We crafted that Constitution here, and our intention was that we deal with values and principles. This is time to debate values and principles. We will defeat the whole exercise of having included this provision in the Constitution if we are not going to measure up to what we, ourselves, set out here, in Parliament. That is the standard we set, and we must live up to our standard. Let us deal with principles and values. Of course, I am not suggesting that these are to be dealt with in a vacuum, certainly not.


Mr Miyanda: I thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the speech of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia.


Mr Speaker, without wasting much time, I will take you to articles 148 and 149, where the Head of State had this to say: “For those who are in the habit … who … for those who are on the habit of anytime … change, use your time productively.”


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Mapatizya!


I want to follow your debate. When you refer to the article, is it in the speech of the President?


Mr Miyanda: Yes, that is article 148.


Hon. Member: Hear, hear!


Mr Miyanda: Articles 148 and 149, but I am at 148, where I am quoting the Head of State, who said, and I quote: “For those who are in the habit of social media, change. Use your time productively on social media. The whole day just criticising Government.” At article 149, he had news, and I quote: “Here is news for you, social media abusers –”


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Mapatizya!


To enable the public to follow these debates properly, could you refer to the source of your quotations as ‘paragraphs’, instead of “articles”, since they may think we are looking at legislation.


Mr Miyanda: Thank you, Mr Speaker. That is paragraphs 148 and 149.


Sir, paragraph 148 is where the Head of State is telling all Zambians, those people who are on social media the whole day – he is telling them at 149 that he has news for them; that the Cabinet is introducing to Parliament a Bill entitled the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Bill, 2021. This Bill, according to the President, is there to protect people who are abused on social media. Because he brings in, at paragraph 148, innocent people, I want to tell the President that the people he feels are being abused are not being abused; those are corrupt people and, when people spend time complaining and talking about corruption, the President should not say that he is bringing in a law just to punish the other people – because he adds, “You will not be able to run scot-free.” Please, if that Bill is meant to protect the people who are corrupt – because those are the people who are always appearing on social media.


Mr Speaker, on paragraph 43 of his speech, the President actually decided to address the issue of alcohol, and had this to say: “If the trend of alcohol is not controlled, we are likely to have a dysfunctional society.” True! However, my take on that one is that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, from the word go, was meant to be pro-poor and put more money in people’s pockets. However, there is no more money in people’s pockets. This is why young men and women are more into alcohol. They have no jobs because the PF is not creating jobs. My point there is that, please, as the Head of State, he should lead by example on alcohol.


Mr Speaker, the other issue that I would like to go into is on paragraph 110 and 112 –


Mr Ngulube: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


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


Mr Speaker, you have already guided this House, and I think we all know that relevance is one of the pillar stones of debate in this House. When the hon. Member debating says that the Head of State must lead by example, especially on alcohol, is he referring to the President’s Speech or is he still going back to the same thing that you have already guided us on? We know he is struggling with his English, but we feel he must retract that statement and remain relevant to your guidance.


I seek your serious ruling.


Mr Miyanda: I will not!


Mr Speaker: I am constrained to rule on the point of order until I see the verbatim record. I need to reflect on this issue.


Continue, hon. Member.


Mr Miyanda: I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Sir, I will take the House to paragraphs 110 and 112 of His Excellency the President’s Speech, where the Head of State is telling us that the Government has constructed over 500 health posts and deployed 23,000 health-supporting staff. However, my concern is that even though we have all these facilities, it is in the same rural places where the Government has decided to push the expired drugs. So, I ask if the Government really cares. If the Head of State cares about us, how come the people under his nose do not? All the kits with expired drugs were meant for the rural health centres, as they are referred to as “Rural Health Kit”.


Mr Speaker, Honey Bee Pharmacy was told to recall the first drugs it supplied, and it did that. Thereafter, it was told to replace the drugs, but there is a second recall. So, if people care, why are they allowing the same people to do what they are doing?


 Mr Speaker: Order!


 The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I have noticed the trend of raising points of order emerging, and I urge you that, rather than raising points of order, you simply respond to the debates. Otherwise, we are going to have very disruptive debates. Let us focus on the debates. I note that I will be calling on the hon. Member for Chama South to debate, and he will make his point then.


Mr Mukosa (Chinsali): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate the speech that was delivered by His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, on the progress made in the application of National Values and Principles.


Mr Speaker, I congratulate His Excellency the President of Zambia, Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, on having delivered to this House such an excellent speech that touched on all important matters relating to the application of  values and principles.


 Mr Speaker, we live in an era in which people are fond of abusing social media, such as Facebook, to bully innocent citizens and us, leaders, including His Excellency the President. Some of the social media abusers are very lucky because we have a President who has a fatherly heart. Were it in other countries, the correctional service facilities in this country would have been full as a result of the social media abuse we are seeing in this country. In this regard, it is surprising that when the President talked about presenting a Bill on cyber bullying to this House, some people have decided to misunderstand him. In his speech, the President stated that those who want to criticise the Government are free to do so as long as the criticism is constructive. What the President spoke against is the abuse of social media.


Mr Speaker, we have seen many times when people have been bullied. Unfortunately for leaders, they cannot respond to people who bully them on social media. So, the people who are abused on social media can only be protected by enhancing the relevant legislation. That is why I support what His Excellency the President said on the Government’s desire to introduce in Parliament the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Bill, 2021. So, I commend His Excellency the President for having talked about that.


Sir, I also commend the President for having reiterated Government’s commitment to ensuring that there is accountability and transparency in the governance system in Zambia. To demonstrate this commitment, His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu mentioned some pieces of legislation that have been enacted to ensure that accountability and transparency are achieved. Two of them are the National Planning and Budgeting Act, No. 1 of 2020 and the Public Procurement Act No. 8 of 2020. Both pieces of legislation were enacted to enhance accountability and transparency. In addition, in 2018, we enacted the Public Finance Management Act, No. 1, 2018, which is also meant to enhance transparency and accountability in the country. This means that the President and the Government are really committed to ensuring that there is transparency and accountability in the country.


Sir, what surprises me is that, sometimes, the people who major in criticising the Government every time want to appreciate the results being achieved without recognising the people who are behind those results. For example, the Auditor-General’s Report has been revealing many things happening in Government ministries and spending agencies, and people appreciate the results of what the Auditor-General is reporting, but they do not want to appreciate the appointing authority. The Auditor-General was appointed by the President and, when the President was appointing him, he had seen something special in him. That is the reason we are seeing those results. However, people want to appreciate those results and, at the same time, just keep condemning the Government and talking about how people are abusing public resources. Yes, that is happening, and that is the reason the President said that we needed to enhance the Public Finance Management Act and other pieces of legislation so that all these things were stopped.


Sir, I will end here.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, let me begin by thanking His Excellency the President for his wonderful and informative update on the application of the National Values and Principles, as required by our Constitution.


Mr Speaker, it is not our national principle to not appreciate what the Government is doing, and I will give an example in this regard. Not too long ago, many of our colleagues, particularly those in the Opposition, were crying about the Turn Pike/Mazabuka Road. If one went to the Turn Pike/Mazabuka Road today, one would find that it is a wonderful achievement of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, but our colleagues have not appreciated it. I think that is not in our National Values and Principles.


Mr Speaker, coming to the part of His Excellency the President’s Speech talking about national unity, I wish to say that the unity of our people is the core of our nation. We have been one; seventy-three tribes joined together to form one nation, Zambia. However, when we listen to the speeches coming from the opposition hon. Members of Parliament, they are very scary. This is the reason we, in the PF, have acknowledged how good our brothers and sisters in the Southern Province are. If there are people who are very welcoming in this country, they are our brothers and sisters from the Southern, Western and North-Western provinces but, unfortunately, there are very wicked politicians representing those people, and I have no apology to make for saying that. Their speech is agitating the people of Southern Province, Western and North-Western provinces to believe that the PF Government is only taking development to other areas, yet those are the same people who challenge us saying, “Where you come from, you do not have this which we have.” That hypocrisy.


Mr Speaker: The word ‘hypocrisy’ is unparliamentary, hon. Member.


 Mr Mung’andu: Mr Speaker, I am sorry. Let me withdraw that and replace it with the word ‘dishonesty.’


Sir, that type of dishonesty is not good for this country. Let us tell our people that, from this year’s elections, we need to have representatives of the people of the Southern Province in the Government, not people who are there to serve their personal interests. I appeal to the people of the Southern Province that the time to be used is over. Let us put unity into practice. What we are seeing in the Southern Province – if we were to pick the people of the Southern and Western provinces, and take them to Muchinga, they would realise that, indeed, this Government has taken development to all parts of this country, not only where they are being told it has taken development to. Actually, they may even be sorry, because President Lungu is taking development to all parts of this country.


Mr Speaker, coming to the song of corruption, the people of Zambia should appreciate what this Government of President Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu is doing. In other countries, you will not even know what is going on in the ministries. It is because of President Lungu’s policy of undertaking reforms that, regardless of the positions we occupy, be they political or as high-class technocrats, whatever we are doing in those offices is easily exposed to the masses. Tell me, who reformed the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC)? It is the PF Government. What about the Auditor-General’s Office, which is exposing some of these shortcomings that are being seen? It is the PF Government. The Public Finance Management Act, as the previous debater said, was enacted by the PF Government. Let us talk about the Procurement Act that is being enhanced by the PF Government. So, my appeal to the people of Zambia is: Do not be hoodwinked by the wicked and divisive United Party for National Development (UPND) leaders who want to divide this country for their own betterment. As the PF Government, we can assure them, and I speak not only as a Member of Parliament for Chama South Constituency, but also as the Provincial Chairperson for Muchinga, that we will teach them a lesson, come 12th August, this year. We will tell the people of the Southern Province to realise that the people representing them do not mean well. We will also ask them to join us so that we develop Zambia together.


Mr Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to make a contribution to the debate on this important Motion.


Mr Speaker, on patriotism and national unity, the people of Chimwemwe agree with His Excellency the President’s call to Zambians to always think local first when buying goods and services. When people think local, and buy and consume locally-produced goods, they will see a surge in demand for local jobs because there is going to be demand for industries; companies will recruit people so as to meet the labour demand for the production of goods and services. That will be followed by a situation in which the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) will be seen to steadily build up foreign reserves because there will be activity in the national economy. That will, in turn, be followed by a stable exchange rate. People buying locally-produced goods is the standard way of guaranteeing a stable exchange rate. Further, BoZ would also be busy announcing reductions in monetary policy rates, which action would result in Zambians seeing cheaper loans offered by the banks. That would, in turn, result in a situation in which, at the end of the day, Zambia would be a hive of activity. So, we  here, in Chimwemwe, do agree with the President’s call to think local, and buy and consume locally-produced goods and services.


Mr Speaker, the other thing on which we agree with President Edgar Lungu is when he said that it is an act of patriotism to declare and pay the correct taxes. On this one, the people of Chimwemwe urge the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to be proactive and collect taxes, especially from companies that publicly declare supper profits. We do not want to see a situation like –


Mr Michelo: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Michelo: Mr Speaker, I am rising on a serious point of order on you.


Mr Lubinda: Ah!


Mr Michelo: Mr Speaker, when some of us were debating –


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Bweengwa, that point of order is incompetent.


May the hon. Member for Chimwemwe continue with his debate.


Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I was saying that we do not want to see a situation in which companies declare super profits, but cannot produce a single ZRA tax receipt to show proof that, indeed, they make super profits. So, we want the ZRA to be proactive.


Mr Speaker, on democracy and constitutionalism, the people of Chimwemwe thank His Excellency the President, again, for guaranteeing law and order before, during and after elections. We want to put it to the participating candidates in the forth-coming general elections that they must desist from the habit of declaring themselves victors even before the ballot papers are printed and before the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) announces the final voter’s roll. We have seen situations in which people have gone into elections very confident and, at the end of the day, when it is put to them that, in fact, they have lost the elections, they resort to collapsing, thereby putting pressure on innocent medical personnel who are already stressed because of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). So, we appeal to all the participating candidates at all levels, that is, councillor, mayoral, Parliamentary and even Presidential, to not declare victory before people go to line up and vote. People should be ready to concede defeat. We agree with President Lungu’s call that, in the event that they are defeated, people be ready to humbly accept defeat and promptly congratulate the legally-declared winners.


Lastly, Mr Speaker, I thank the people of Chimwemwe for tuning up in numbers in response to the Government’s call for them to get National Registration Cards (NRCs) and register as voters. We are aware that, currently, Chimwemwe Constituency is second to Nkana Constituency in terms of registered voters. However, after the verification of the registration exercise by the ECZ, Chimwemwe might be number one in Kitwe, and that was a very welcome effort from our people here, in Chimwemwe.


Mr Speaker, we thank you for giving us this opportunity to debate. We also thank the President for his address.


The Minister for the North-Western Province (Mr Mubukwanu): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion on the Floor of the House. May I further take this opportunity to commend His Excellency the President for honouring the oath he took on assuming the Office of President of the Republic of Zambia, which was that he would uphold the Constitution of the Republic. That was demonstrated by his coming to the House, yet again, to address the nation on the progress made in the application of National Values and Principles. The President says in his opening remarks that he was truly honoured to seize that opportunity. This is what good statesmen do.


Mr Speaker, I have noted with concern that most of the debates, especially those from United Party for National Development (UPND) hon. Members of Parliament, are using this address and the application of National Values and Principles as a standard measure for criticising the Government, as we have taken note from the many examples that they have given. However, these are National Values and Principles; they are not meant to be applied by the Government alone. Rather, they are supposed to be embraced by every segment of our society, be it corporations, the private sector, the public sector, individual citizens, groups of citizen or non-governmental organisations (NGOs). All our activities are expected to be informed by the National Values and Principles. That is why at page 4, paragraph 11, His Excellency the President appropriately reminds us that these values and principles provide the moral compass for our country, not for the Government alone. So, I think the onus is on every segment of our society to start embracing these values and living by them.


Mr Speaker, due to the limitation of time, I want to quickly get specifically to the principle of non-discrimination, which is featuring prominently among our values. I would like the hon. Members of the UPND to tell the nation how the National Values and Principles have or have not impacted its activities and programmes. If you look at the example given by Hon. Dr Martin Malama, he lamented the fact that out of seventy elected positions, only 28 per cent were given to the womenfolk yet, today, the world is focusing on ensuring that women are brought to the fore to fully participate in governance and assume leadership positions. This clearly demonstrates that in the UPND, there is no commitment to the welfare of women and their involvement in leadership. Instead, the party has relegated them to dancing, singing and cooking whenever it has activities, and that is not right.


Sir, we have seen the UPND complain whenever the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has delayed the transmission of election results after encountering some technical challenges. However, a conference to elect seventy officials took more than three days to release the results. What kind of good governance and transparency was that? We also know, at least, I do, that, to date, the position of vice-president has never been filled in the UPND, even after the party came out of this convention. So, I appeal to the people of Zambia to be very careful when listening to statements or pronouncements of the UPND because it does not mean what it says. Instead, I advise them to pay particular attention to what it does because we have been told that actions speak louder than words. So far, the UPND has not lived by its words.


Mr Speaker, we, once again, commend His Excellency the President for having delivered a loaded statement on the achievements of the Government and specific measures that it has embraced to address the situation that the country faces.


With those few remarks, I sincerely I thank you.


The Minster for Northern Province (Mr Chungu): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity you have given me to debate the President’s Speech.


Mr Speaker, the President talked about the need for Zambians to avoid hate speech and unite. He also talked about gender-based violence (GBV) as well as early marriages and how they affect Zambians as far as poverty is concerned.


Mr Speaker, social media has been abused by not only the young, but also by the elderly, who are supposed to set the trend as far as the moral compass is concerned. The propaganda that is being used on social media by some opposition political parties, such as the United Party for National Development (UPND) is worrying, and the President talked about it so that we do not continue abusing social media. We need to be factual as far as reporting is concerned. As we talk about issues, we should be truthful to the people of Zambia.


Mr Speaker, concerning the issues of GBV and early marriages, they say it takes a village to bring up a child. So, this country needs to go back to its roots of respecting the extended family system so that, at the end of the day, we are able to include everyone and inculcate in people the good morals and values that we need. The President told us all that we needed to come back to our normal ways of doing things as far as looking after the extended family is concerned. You will agree with me that in olden days, when you kept your nephew or a brother and people came to your house, they were not notice the difference. Now, that has broken down. So, we appeal to all the elderly people to get involved in looking after our people and our children.


Mr Speaker, listening to the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central debating issues of poverty and how the Government has contributed to that, I shuddered. The UPND should not even have the moral right to talk about poverty reduction because it defeated the referendum on the Bill of Rights, which was meant to enhance the social and economic rights of citizens. Had that Bill gone through, we could have been talking about a different ball game because some people would have had the right to take the Government to task over certain things not happening in their areas. Had the UPND not gone flat out to defeat that referendum, we would have situations in which individual Zambians could take the Government to court and demand some rights. Therefore, I find it very difficult to understand how hon. Members from the UPND can talk about human rights and constitutionalism. If you look at it wholeheartedly, human rights are a matter of constitutionalism. Therefore, they must be enshrined in the Constitution.


Mr Speaker, not too long ago, we wanted to amend the Constitution through the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill, No.10 of 2019 because we wish to bring everybody on board. If you do recall, in that Bill, there was what we called the mixed member proportional representation in which we had enshrined a very good method for making youths, women and many other vulnerable groups part of the governance system. However, the UPND defeated that because according to them, the vulnerable groups do not matter.


Sir, I appeal to the people of Zambia that we need to respect our values and principles so that this country can develop, and it is only us who can develop our country.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: We need to make progress. So, no further points of order.


The Minister of Works and Supply (Ms Chalikosa): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this privilege to support the report on the application of National Values and Principles delivered to this august House, as required by the Constitution, on Friday, 12th February, 2021, by His Excellency Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu.


Mr Speaker, allow me to congratulate the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) on holding the first-ever virtual national convention, which was long overdue and without which its wish to form the Government would have been a pipe dream.


Mr Speaker, it goes without saying that consistency in the implementation of National Values and Principles is central to the achievement of the national development objectives of the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP). Even as we implement programmes, we should ensure adherence to the health guidelines for the prevention and halting of the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which has negatively impacted economic activities. Whether we like it or not, this is a fact, and the President stated that we are at war with an invisible enemy and that by acting together, we will win, and win we must.


Mr Speaker, the President’s report does not shy away from addressing all the moral difficulties we are experiencing. However, in relation to the image of the country, Zambia is acknowledged as a country that upholds it integrity, peace and unity amidst all the accusations of corrupt activities which, when reported, are promptly investigated. Regrettably, the country has witnessed an increase in intolerance levels among the citizens, which has created unnecessary apprehension and retarded development. Look at the political violence that is so much celebrated by the hon. Members on your left as if the annihilation of fellow human beings will guarantee their ascent to power.


Mr Speaker, we need each other, performing different functions. For instance, the UPND should remain forever on your left, providing checks and balances with great expertise while the Patriotic Front (PF) should remain forever on your right, governing, however painful this might be for the Opposition.


Mr Speaker, I was delighted to hear the President state that being patriotic is also about protecting and taking care of public assets. This is a responsibility for all citizens, especially those who choose to vandalise public infrastructure like Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) cables, burn markets and engage in other despicable acts of attack with intention to turn the people against the Government. Public infrastructure is acquired at a huge cost to us, as taxpayers. So, any act of attack is an affront to us, not the Executive, as vandals would want us to believe.


Sir, in keeping with the moral compass of our country, we are better off pursuing empowerment programmes that the Lungu Administration has put in place for both able-bodied and disabled men, women and youths regardless of their political affiliation, contrary to the views expressed by our colleagues in the Opposition.


Mr Speaker, the increase in care for public assets by citizens is not only a good principle that should start from our homes, schools, colleges, universities and work places, but one that can result in huge savings that can be utilised in other important socio-economic development activities. The Ministry of Works and Supply will do its part to prolong the lifespan of public properties. Working with the Ministry of Finance to develop the Public Asset Management Policy, my ministry has established the framework for a comprehensive well-co-ordinated and sustainable approach to procurement, insurance, utilisation, maintenance and disposal of all public property. We will foster collaboration with traditional leaders, the church, the business community, civil society and the media in mobilising communities to be responsible for public infrastructure which, invariably, is our investment and our heritage.


Sir, let me conclude by imploring my fellow Zambians to use social media for social good and creating awareness on safeguarding of public property and on our National Values and Principles. This being an election year, all manner of negative propaganda will be used against the PF Government. However, the PF is not selective in its approach to development, and that is why the people of Zambia should not experiment with voting for the UPND, but vote back into office our caring leader, Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, and the hardworking PF Government, whose record is there for all to see. Acting together, we will win, and win we must.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


The Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection (Mr Nakacinda): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Motion of Thanks to the speech that the President delivered to the House as he presented the report on the application of National Values and Principles.


Sir, I convey my sincere gratitude to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, for his inspiring speech to this august House, in line with Articles 8 and 9, as read with Article 86(1), of the Republican Constitution.


Mr Speaker, allow me just to echo the words of His Excellency the President in appreciation of, and solidarity with, the good and dedicated work and sacrifice of health workers in the country and around the world in the fight against the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and in tending to COVID-19 patients at great risk to their own lives. I think His Excellency the President should truly be commended. As we look at the progress we are making in the application of National Values and Principles, I think the dedication of health workers demonstrates their patriotism and nationalism in service of the people of Zambia.


Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President passionately talked about uplifting our people’s dignity. In that regard, he referred to the fact that, last year, for example, the Government, with the support of its Co-operating Partners, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), civil society organization (CSOs) and faith-based organisations (FBOs), constructed 1,813 boreholes countrywide and rehabilitated 362 more to make sure that our people have access to clean and safe water to drink. Access to clean and safe drinking water is one of the important ways in which we can uplift the dignity of our people.


Sir, His Excellency the President also talked about the Government’s construction of sixty-eight water supply schemes while a number of major supply and sanitation projects are being implemented by a number of our commercial utility companies throughout the country.


Mr Speaker, I can report, having been given the opportunity to be Minister just for a short period of time, that I have come to realise the commitment His Excellency the President has towards achieving the Vision 2030 and Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) objective of ensuring that every Zambian has access to clean and safe drinking water and, as an extension of that, to the management of our water resources as well as our waters bodies. 


Sir, as a consequence of the interventions I have referred to, over 2.5 million people have benefited from the completed Government projects through improved access to clean and safe water. Further, it is anticipated that more than 1.7 million will benefit from various water supply and sanitation projects currently under construction once they are completed by 2022. Therefore, the vision carrier, in this case, His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, should be given the opportunity to complete these very beneficial projects.


Sir, I could highlight many other things we are doing under this sector to uplift the dignity of our people but, due to a time limitation, I have only referred to some of them.


I thank you, Sir, for the opportunity.


 The Minister of Finance (Dr Ng’andu): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on His Excellency the President’s Address to the House on the Progress Made in the Application of National Values and Principles.


Sir, I commend His Excellency the President for His timely and appropriate reminder to the nation of the importance of these values in our lives and, where we have fallen short of our moral compass, of the need to reset. These values are not mere pronouncements, but a guide to action directing the Government’s approach to the management of public affairs.


Mr Speaker, several measures have been introduced and implemented to improve integrity in the management of public affairs, to root out corruption, arrest the abuse of public resources by public officers, hold to account those who abuse public resources, enhance good governance and ensure the optimum use of public resources. These measures are the enactment and aggressive implementation of the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act, 2018, as has been mentioned, the establishment of the Public Investment Management System, passing of the new Public Procurement Act, enhancement of the presence of internal auditors in ministries and the establishment of the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), just to name a few. These and many other measures underlie the Government’s commitment to the challenge of working tirelessly for the people of Zambia.


Mr Speaker, it is important that I underscore the fact that even as the Government is doing its part, all of us who are in leadership positions, both in and outside this House, have a duty and role to play in the wider transmission and adoption of the National Values and Principles. The President is urging us to be catalysts in the promotion of peace, contribute to stability and prevent political violence. If we believe that political violence is wrong and unacceptable, the moral burden we carry, as leaders, is to prevent it or extinguish it through the force of our examples. This means that, as leaders, we cannot be selective about which violence we condemn and which one we condone. We cannot advocate, in one instance, for peaceful political engagement and, in another, speak words that disparage, disrespect, slander, humiliate and insult our political opponents. The words we use, as leaders, do not only reflect the values we hold, but they can also induce violence and hatred among our people instead of promoting unity and peaceful co-existence.


Mr Speaker, the increasing polarisation of our people on ethnic or, more precisely, tribal lines is a major concern of our President and, indeed, most of us, as it is a slur on our collective and individual consciences. Many have rightly condemned it but, again, overcoming tribalism is not the sole responsibility of the Government alone; it rests squarely on the shoulders of all of us who call ourselves leaders. It will not do for us to hear or see tribalism in the words or actions of others, but be completely deaf and blind to the tribalism in our words and actions. We cannot fight the scourge of tribalism by merely pointing accusing fingers at others. This fight is not a competition to show who is the least tribal among us; this is about moral leadership. The moral pedestal belongs to those who, with good conscience, have elevated themselves above the pettiness of tribalism.


Mr Speaker, the call from His Excellency the President to those of us who are privileged to hold positions of leadership is that we do not only inspire our followers to follow us, but also inspire them to follow us in denouncing violence, and embracing unity, civility and peaceful co-existence. Through our example, we must inspire our followers to embrace those values that shape us as one cohesive people working towards achieving a common destiny. This is a powerful message, and I thank His Excellency most sincerely for it.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kasandwe (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate. Am I audible enough?


Mr Speaker: Yes, please, continue.


Mr Kasandwe: If there is … (bad signal link).


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Bangweulu, we cannot communicate. I will move on to the hon. Member for Lufubu.


Mr Chiyalika (Lufubu): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate the President’s Speech on the application of National Values and Principles, which was delivered to this august House on 12th February, 2021.


Mr Speaker, on behalf of the people of Lufubu, I say that the President’s Speech was very powerful, inspiring and assuring to this great nation because it highlighted what the Government has done and what it is doing in addressing the numerous challenges that this great nation is facing, especially given that we are under the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which is ravaging the lives of citizens.


Mr Speaker, on page 4, the President talked about the values that act as the moral compass for the country and its citizens. That is in paragraph 11. The question that I put to my fellow hon. Members of Parliament is: Where are we as far as the moral compass is concerned? There are many vices in our country. Talk of social media, for example. In the recent past, we have witnessed a lot of abuse of social media in which supporters of a named political party –


Mr Speaker: Order!


(Debate adjourned)




The House adjourned at 1156 hours until Tuesday, 23rd February, 2021.