Tuesday, 23rd February, 2021

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Tuesday, 23rd February, 2021


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to inform you that following the expiry of the National Assembly of Zambia Strategic Plan, 2015-2019, preparations for the formulation of a strategic plan to run from 2022 to 2026 have commenced. In this regard, all hon. Members are requested to make an input into the next strategic plan, which will be aligned to the next Parliamentary cycle as well as the next national development planning cycle.


In anticipation of the expiry of the strategic plan, an internal evaluation was commissioned, resulting in a report that has been circulated to all hon. Members of Parliament. In this regard, I encourage all hon. Members to participate in the preparation of the new plan by responding to the circular that has been issued by the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly.

I thank you. 








The Minister of Justice (Mr Lubinda): Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to brief this august House and the nation at large on a matter that is currently very topical, particularly amongst political parties, hon. Members of Parliament and other related stakeholders.


Sir, as you may be aware, following the response that Her Honour the Vice-President rendered to a question concerning the delimitation exercise and whether it would be conducted before the 2021 General Elections, some press statements attributed to various individuals were carried by some media houses. Some of the statements alleged that the Vice-President was being insincere when she connected the delimitation exercise to the Constitution (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019. There has also been some disquiet from political parties, some hon. Members of Parliament and other stakeholders on the matter of the delimitation of constituencies. The Government’s aim is to put this matter to rest, once and for all, through this ministerial statement.


Mr Speaker, Article 58 of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016 states as follows:


“58     (1)      Zambia shall be divided into constituencies and wards for purposes of elections to the National                         Assembly and councils, respectively.


  (2)      The number of constituencies shall be equal to the number of seats of elected members in the National                Assembly.


(4)      The Electoral Commission shall determine the names and boundaries of constituencies and wards.


(5)        The Electoral Commission of Zambia shall, at intervals of not more than ten years, review the names                  and boundaries of constituencies and wards.”


Sir, with respect to the number of seats of elected Members in the National Assembly, reference ought to be made to Article 68, Clause 2, which prescribes as follows:


         “The National Assembly shall consist of –


  1. one hundred and fifty-six members directly elected on the basis of a simple majority vote under the first-past-the-post system; …”.


As all of us are aware, in the ministerial statement rendered to this House on 25th June, 2019, the Vice-President said:


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


“Mr Speaker, in view of the constitutional and statutory mandate, the commission has commenced the process of conducting the delimitation of constituencies, wards and polling districts. The delimitation exercise is a prerequisite for the registration of voters. The exercise is also important as it promotes effective representation of citizens and makes electoral services more essential to the people.


“Sir, Parliament approved a total budget of K55 million for the 2019 delimitation exercise of constituencies, wards and polling districts. As of 11th June, 2019, the Ministry of Finance had released a total of K10 million to the commission for the said exercise. I wish to report that the exercise is on schedule and, to date, the following activities have been undertaken: the commission has briefed all district electoral officers, namely Town Clerks, Council Secretaries and District Planning Officers from all the 116 districts on their roles in the delimitation process, and on the factors and criteria that will be used to demarcate the electoral boundaries. These meetings were held in clusters on 20th, 22nd and 24th May, 2019.”


Sir, I wish to inform the august House that true to Her Honour the Vice-President’s statement, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) conducted the processes leading to the reviewing of names and boundaries of constituencies and wards in the country, and hon. Members of Parliament were not left out of the process, as they were consulted on Wednesday, 22nd June, 2019, through a workshop that was convened with your permission by the ECZ here, at Parliament.


Sir, a delimitation report was presented by the ECZ to His Excellency the President, Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, in 2020. In the report, the ECZ recommended the creation of ninety constituencies. In accordance with Article 68(2), which I referred to earlier, the next step was to present a Bill to amend that very article. However, the Government had already presented the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019, which proposed, among other amendments, an amendment to Article 47, which provides for the electoral system. The intention of the proposed amendment which, according to your Committee’s report, was supported by almost all stakeholders, was to change the electoral system from first-past-the-post to mixed-member, that is, to have both elected seats and proportional representation seats in the National Assembly. The number of seats on proportional representation was to be prescribed by Parliament through an Act. The second related proposed amendment was to Article 68(2), whose intention was to provide for the number of elected seats be prescribed in an Act of Parliament.


Sir, as a consequence of the presentation of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019, the Government was precluded from presenting a separate or standalone Bill to amend Article 68(2) to accommodate the recommendation of the ECZ. This is the nexus between the delimitation of constituencies by the ECZ, as enshrined in Article 58(5), and the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019.


Sir, President Edgar Lungu was the first to express a desire to see the ECZ undertake a delimitation exercise because of his firm belief in representative democracy and in bringing the Government as close to the people as possible. This can be seen in his proactions of establishing districts soon after his election, and his sanctioning of an increase in representation of special interest groups through the proposed proportional representation system of electing Members of Parliament.


Sir, I am alive to the fact that many hon. Members of Parliament were, and are still, eager to have their constituencies delimited, as some of the constituencies are too vast or too densely populated to be offered effective representation. The affected hon. Members are obviously from both sides of the political divide.


Mr Speaker, on the way forward following the failure of the process to enact the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 which, obviously, would have provided for an increased number of Members of Parliament, both through increased selected seats and Members elected to represent special groups that cannot adequately be represented through the first-past-the-post system, it is necessary to introduce another Bill in to revise the number of elected seats in the National Assembly based on the Delimitation Report. It must be noted, however, that it will not be possible to make the necessary amendments before the 2021 General Elections. This impossibility is due to time constraints relating to the legislative powers and the administrative processes that ought to be followed. On a positive note, I assure the august House and the nation at large that President Edgar Lungu’s resolve to enhance people’s direct participation in the governance of their country has not in any way been affected by these developments. Instead, it has become even stronger, and he assures the people of Zambia that this temporary setback will be a thing of the past in September, 2021, when his Government will, again, embark on a spirited journey towards increasing the representation of the citizens of Zambia in their Parliament and councils. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government generally remains committed to implementing the delimitation process, and it will do so immediately after the 2021 General Elections.


Mr Speaker, allow me to end by stating that it is now my hope and prayer that this matter has been put to rest and may only be allowed to resurrect after the election of His Excellency Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu in August, 2021.


Sir, I thank you.


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


Mr Siwanzi (Nakonde): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his well-articulated statement.


Sir, the hon. Minister indicated that a Bill to provide for the delimitation of constituencies will be introduced to Parliament, and I am sure that President Edgar Chagwa Lungu will be re-elected in August, 2021. Is there a time frame that the hon. Minister can give us for the introduction of the Bill to Parliament after 12th August, 2021?


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that question and his confidence, which is equal to mine, in the re-election of President Edgar Lungu in August, 2021.


Like I said, Sir, soon after His Excellency is sworn in in August, 2021, the process of amending Article 68(2) and other related Articles, and enactment of Bills to enhance the representation of people in the National Assembly and councils will commence in earnest.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for briefing the nation on this important matter.


Sir, of late, we have seen the Government introduce certain Bills even when the general public has been against those Bills. The Government has been so forceful in wanting the Bills introduced. Why is the case different with this important Bill when the works have already been completed and for which the hon. Minister said money was provided? There is still time between now and the general elections in August, 2021. Why not introduce this Bill, which is supported by people on both the left and the right, now?


Mr Lubinda: Sir, I say to the hon. Member for Ikeleng’i that one citizen of Ikeleng’i named Chief Fisher, asked me to pass his regards to the hon. Member. Mr Fisher is a resident of Ikeleng’i, and he is doing a good job.


Sir, I indicated in my statement that the reason we have not progressed with the amendment of the Constitution has to do with time. There is very little time for us to amend the Constitution. I am sure that the hon. Member for Ikeleng’i is aware that to amend the Constitution is not the same as amending subsidiary legislation, as amending the Constitution requires us to gazette for 30 days before the Bill is even presented to Parliament. However, in accordance with the spirit of this Government, which likes to consult, we would also have to undertake wide consultations before the Bill is gazetted. Even if this issue emanates from the report of the ECZ, we would still have to subject it to further consultation before embarking on the process of amending the Constitution. I assure the hon. Member for Ikeleng’i that this Government respects the sanctity of the Constitution. Therefore, we cannot go amend it willy-nilly. So, we would have to follow due process.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mung’andu: (Chama South): Mr Speaker, the United Party for National Development (UPND) shot down the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019, which contained an Article that would have provided for this country to have more constituencies through the delimitation exercise, and the hon. Minister has heard the same UPND cry for the same things it shot down. Does he have any plans to sensitise Zambians on the importance of the delimitation of constituencies or on the disillusioned behaviour of the UPND towards the exercise? Does he have any plans, before we win on 12th August, 2021, to explain to Zambians, through the electronic or print media, that delimitation is one of the things the UPND rejected and that the party is now crying for it?


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I will not engage in a blame game. I have clearly stated that had the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 or aspects of it been supported, because it was not winner takes all situation, as it was not one Bill or one amendment, but various amendments, and Parliament was at liberty to choose the ones that suited it – As you recall, others stood up and condemned even the paper on which the Bill was written without looking at the individual amendments. I should have said this when my hon. Colleague from Ikeleng’i asked why we are not moving this amendment now, but I will now say it to my hon. Colleague from Chama: Why did people go to celebrate and feast on Four Cousins and chicken wings from Hungry Lion on the day the Bill was shot down if they knew that it was important for us to increase representation in Parliament? If I were to go into the blame game, all I would tell the Zambian people to do is to look at the Hansard. Some people celebrated that the Bill was thrown away in its entirety. They did not even bother to see if there were any Articles that suited them. Now, the same people, like the hon. Member for Ikeleng’i, are complaining the most.


Mr Speaker, I do not want to use the word disillusion, but there is insincerity. A word that I like to use is ‘inconsistency’; shifting the ground to suit the political agenda, and that is not the hallmark of true representation of the people because the people out there are consistent on what they want from Parliamentarians.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, although I like honey, I will not drink it if there is poison in it. I will only take it if it does not contain any poison. Why did the hon. Minister start a process that it knew it would not complete? Is that not tantamount to wasting Government money and time?


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, we started that process convinced that hon. Members of Parliament from either side of the political divide would rise to the occasion, debate the Bill on the Floor of the House and engage in intellectual debate for us to arrive at a conclusion. On this side of the House, the Government side, we were willing to bend backwards to accommodate the hon. Members of Parliament from the Opposition. The Government even authorised the hon. Minister of Justice to gazette all the proposed amendments that arose from a report of the relevant Committee of Parliament. We were sure that we would debate the Bill but, obviously, we were naive to have had confidence in hon. Members of Parliament. Little did we suspect that people would throw the baby away with the bath water. We thought that the people who were elected to this House by Zambians would rise to the occasion and sift through the whole Bill to see that which was good and that which was bad, if any. That is what we stood on. Therefore, we did not embark on any programme knowing we would fail. We believed in the sincerity of all hon. Members of Parliament.  Unfortunately, we read some people wrongly, and I have to say it was a bitter lesson, but also one that was learnt. I hope the people of Kalomo also learnt that lesson so that when they elect the next Members of Parliament, they will elect those who can elevate themselves above partisan and personal interests to the interests of the nation.


I thank you, Sir.


Mrs M. Phiri (Chilanga): Mr Speaker, due to the fall of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019, we lost a great opportunity to increase the number of constituencies in the country, increase the number of women and youths in Parliament and bring in disadvantaged groups like the disabled. What can the Government immediately do to increase the number of disadvantaged groups in Parliament?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Chilanga, I will not allow the hon. Minister of Justice to respond to that question because you are bringing in totally new and different aspects of the proposed amendment. The hon. Minister of Justice’s statement is focused on the delimitation of constituencies, and this is not an omnibus discussion on the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019, attractive as it may be to make it one.


Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, in responding to a question earlier, the hon. Minister of Justice informed the nation that the report of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) that proposed the delimitation of constituencies still had to be subjected to further consultation. However, I want to believe that people were consulted before the ECZ came up with the proposals on the number and names of constituencies in the report that ended up being presented to the Government. So, I find it strange for the hon. Minister to subject the report from the ECZ to further consultation because one would believe that amending a statement in the Constitution that stipulates the number of constituencies is easy. Administrative issues should not be the reason for throwing away the best interests of the nation. Is it possible that the decision to postpone the delimitation of constituencies can be reconsidered, since there is no further consultation after the ECZ’s report was prepared?


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for asking that question because it gives me the opportunity to say something about what I said earlier on throwing the baby out with the bath water.


Mr Speaker, a person who deliberately throws out the baby with the bath water and then runs after it when it is already dead qualifies to go to some place for a mental check-up.


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister of Justice!


I urge you to withdraw that statement because of the insinuation underlying it.


Mr Lubinda: Sir, I withdraw.


Sir, in answering my hon. Colleague, I want to say that those who care to read the Constitution of Zambia – and I hope all hon. Members of Parliament, including him, have had, at least, one occasion to read the Constitution of Zambia – know that Article 79 is very instructive on how the Constitution is amended. It states very clearly that before any Bill to amend the Constitution is presented to Parliament, that Bill ought to be gazetted. The purpose of gazetting the Bill is so that Zambians express their views on it. There is nowhere in the Constitution of Zambia where it says that a Bill emanating from a report that has come from ECZ can be presented to Parliament expressly without being gazetted. The gazetting is a form of consultation with the people of Zambia.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I have also received requests on the Zoom platform from the hon. Members for Chienge, Mkushi South and Msanzala. I will, therefore, alternate between the list on the Zoom platform and the one on the e-Chamber.


Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the answers he is giving.


Sir, if revising the part of the Constitution that regulates the conducting of the delimitation exercise is done before the 12th August, 2021, General Elections, does the hon. Minister not think that it will be like eating sugar with poison in it, just like one leader in the Opposition said regarding the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019?


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, the point I am making is that it is just impracticable to amend Article 58 at this late hour in the elections programme. As my hon. Colleague might be aware, the ECZ has already conducted voter registration, and the registration of voters in Zambia is constituency-based. So, if we had to go ahead now and increase the number of constituencies, that would imply re-registering voters.


Mr Speaker, you have heard the complaints that have been made on the Floor of this House about the registration process and how people were requesting for more time to register because the time they were given was not enough. So, if we were to undertake a new registration process, it would certainly conflict with the Constitution, which has set a particular date on which elections must be conducted. To that extent, an attempt to delimit constituencies now would, indeed, be tantamount to drinking from a poisoned chalice.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kamondo (Mufumbwe): Mr Speaker, is the delimitation of wards under the consideration of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), since that does not require a Constitutional amendment?


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, indeed, the delimitation of wards does not require amendment of the Constitution. Therefore, it is proceeding according to the programme of the ECZ.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Chisopa (Mkushi South): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his statement.


Sir, the delimitation exercise could have taken place had the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 gone through. Now that the Bill did not go through, and in order to ensure that the people of Zambia get consistent and efficient services to through delimitation, is it possible for a Zambian citizen to petition the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to carry out the delimitation exercise, knowing that the Constitution currently provides for 156 constituencies?


Mr Lubinda: Sir, there is a provision in the Constitution of Zambia, Article 58(7), which states that: “A person may apply to the Constitutional Court for review of a decision of the Electoral Commission made under this Article.”


Mr Speaker, at this stage, like I indicated, and like Her Honour the Vice-President indicated in 2019, the ECZ did its part; it did everything that was supposed to have been done in accordance with its programme. It also consulted widely and prepared a report, a copy of which I have. Copies of the report were also circulated to all hon. Members of Parliament. If there is anybody who has any complaint over the process, indeed, he or she can go to court. However, the ECZ is not involved in amending the Constitution. That is a duty of Parliament, and I am not sure if anyone can go to court to file a petition over Parliament’s not amending the Constitution. Besides, it is very clear that Parliament was moved to consider the relevant amendments but, because of the arrogance of numbers, part of the Parliament celebrated the collapse of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019. Therefore, I do not know how one can even go to court. Yes, if a person is not happy with the process of reviewing the existing constituencies and wards by the ECZ, he or she has the right in the Constitution to petition in court.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, my question has been overtaken by events.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Daka (Msanzala): Mr Speaker, when the delimitation of constituencies is done after 12th August, 2021, when will the elections for the created constituencies be held? Will the new constituencies only have Members of Parliament in 2026?


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, indeed, it is stipulated in the Constitution that when the number of seats in Parliament is amended, the new constituencies are operationalised after the next general election. So, had we enacted the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 or a different Bill to amend the provision for the number of seats and introduce proportional representation, the new electoral system would have taken effect after the 12th August, 2021, General Elections. Now, we are in this very unfortunate situation in which the only opportunity we have to increase membership in this House will be after the 2026 General Elections. For the period between 2021 and 2026, unfortunately, the people of Zambia will not be as well-represented as they would have been had those in this House who feasted on wine and chicken not done so. There would have been more Members of Parliament, and our representation of the people would have been more effective and efficient. Unfortunately, because of that celebration, five years will be lost to the children of Zambia, unfortunately and very sadly, and I hope that the children out there will realise why their representation will remain unchanged until 2026 and demand their pound of flesh.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister saw very well, as I did, the people and the chiefs of Kanchibiya, Lufwanyama, Rufunsa, Kasempa, Mufumbwe, Mwinilunga East, Itezhi-Tezhi, Katombola and Dundumwezi cry to the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, our leaders and to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) asking that the delimitation exercise go ahead even as we were discussing the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019. Has he been able to go back to those people to explain to tell them who shot down their aspirations and what they need to do to see their aspirations are met?


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I cannot, but sympathise with the many people who made submissions to the ECZ. As I indicated, the ECZ went across the country and consulted various stakeholders, and individual citizens made submissions on their desire to increase representation in Parliament. However, unfortunately, the people were dribbled and did not get what they wanted even if the ECZ had taken their submissions on board and made recommendations based on the submissions. Unfortunately, we heard some people say that they were sent by the people of Katombola and Dundumwezi to not like the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 yet, in the Bill was enshrined an amendment that would have actualised their aspirations with regard to representation.


Mr Speaker, on the question of whether I will I go out and inform the people, I want to reply by enjoining all Zambians to take heed and reflect upon why their aspirations were, to borrow the phrase that was used in the question, “shot down”. They must hold accountable those who openly and without any remorse campaigned vigorously for the collapse of the amendment to Articles 58, 68 and 47 because those three Articles are the ones that are relevant to the increasing of the representation of the people of Zambia.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Chama South and several others indicated that the United Party for National Development (UPND) is to blame for the failure of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 as they asked their questions. Is the hon. Member being fair in making that assertion, noting that even as we were debating the Bill here, the Patriotic Front (PF) leaders approached the UPND leaders and said, “Brothers, let us discuss this document. Where are you not happy?” The UPND leaders said, “Yes, let us talk”, and several meetings were held here, at Parliament. However, when our colleagues thought that they had convinced sufficient numbers of UPND hon. Members in one way or another, all of a sudden, those talks were stopped. So, are our colleagues being fair in pointing a finger at the UPND when it is they, through their insincerity, who stopped the discussions to find a common way forward?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Liuwa, the difficulty I have with your question is that it is not directed at the hon. Minister of Justice. Instead, it is directed at the people asking questions, and I do not think it would be fair to hold the hon. Minister of Justice to account for comments made by other hon. Members. This is a time for hon. Members to seek clarification on the statement. If there is a question you would like to put to the hon. Minister, ask him. Otherwise, this question will pass.


Mr Chikote (Luampa): Mr Speaker, I really sympathise with the hon. Minister because in one of his responses, he said that a Bill will be presented to the House immediately after President Edgar Lungu is sworn in when, in fact, after 12th August, 2021, it will be HH (Mr Hakainde Hichilema) who will be sworn in. That aside, it is a well-known fact that the delimitation programme was welcomed by every concerned citizen. My question is: Why did the hon. Minister decide to present the relevant amendments together with others that were not good or in favour of the people of Zambia? Why did he not just present it separately?


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I could have been surprised had I been asked this question then. Now, I am shocked to be asked it, and the reason I am shocked is that I was hoping that the hon. Member of Parliament for Luampa knew how laws are passed and Bills presented in this House. Furthermore, I thought he was aware that what is presented, be it by the Government, an Opposition hon. Member or any Backbencher, is subject to further scrutiny and cleaning up by this House.


Mr Speaker, at the time the Bill was presented, the Government was completely convinced, without any aorta of doubt, that all of us gathered in this House knew what making laws is all about. It was convinced that in the event that there was any proposed amendment that did not sit well with either an individual hon. Member or a grouping, then, the concerned party would come to Parliament and debate it the Bill to convince others on amendments to reject. That is what we believed. We did not realise that we were dealing with people who did not know that they had that power. Had we known, the approach would have been different. So, I apologise to the people of Zambia that for overestimating the capacity of some hon. Members of Parliament. I and the Government believed that we all knew how to legislate. However, today, I am shocked to learn that there are some hon. Members of Parliament who seem to not understand the process of legislation.


Mr Speaker, I emphasise that the meetings that the Patriotic Front (PF) was holding outside had nothing to do with the processes of this House. You are the Presiding Officer, and you do not preside over legislative processes that take place outside because it is not allowed to legislate outside. Legislating is only done here, in the House. Therefore, in the event that there were some meetings organised outside Parliament in which people were coercing one another other, that had nothing to do with the consideration of the Bill. The Bill was brought here because every hon. Member of Parliament has an equal right to speak on the Floor of the House, and those who had views spoke on the Floor of the House while those who did not speak, may it be recorded that they had nothing to say, except to go and celebrate, because they just used the arrogance of numbers. They did not come here to debate, but went out to celebrate.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Subulwa (Sioma): Mr Speaker, I thank you –


Mr Livune: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, I am grateful for the opportunity to raise this point of order.


Sir, whoever has eaten groundnuts will agree with me that once there is one rotten groundnut, all of those that he or she had put in the mouth will be spat out. The Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 had good provisions like delimitation, but it also had some poisonous clauses. Is Hon. Lubinda in order to continue lumping the blame on United Party for Nation Development (UPND) hon. Members of Parliament who merely protected the integrity of the nation and the interest of Zambians by stopping the Patriotic Front (PF) from killing this nation through its political engineering to kill and remain in power even when it has brought about so much pain in the lives of the people? The UPND hon. Members of Parliament merely protected the State by stopping the PF from going ahead with killing the nation.


Sir, I seek your serious ruling on this matter.


Mr Speaker: My ruling is that the hon. Minister of Justice has belaboured the point that Parliament has processes, if I may use your figure of speech, for separating bad nuts from good ones. That is the point that he has been belabouring; that if Parliament, as a whole, had taken advantage of the sieving process, then, the bad nuts would have been isolated and the good ones eaten and that, maybe, this would not have been an issue now.


That is my ruling.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear! Ema ruling aya!


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, I think this is a great lesson to us, as Parliamentarians, and I hope that the next time the hon. Minister of Justice presents such a Bill, he should also engage the hon. Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs so that certain hon. Members of Parliament can be prayed for.


Mr Speaker, what plans are there to define constituency boundaries that overlap district boundaries, such as Kanchibiya Constituency, which overlaps the boundaries of Kanchibiya and Lavushimanda districts, and Msanzala Constituency, which overlaps the boundaries of Lusangazi and Petauke districts?


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Sioma for this very important question.


Like I said, Sir, unfortunately, and very much so, because of the inability of Parliament to sift through the Bill to see what was progressive and what could have been smilingly non-progressive in it, we are where we are. Unfortunately, in constituencies that overlap districts, the people will have to live in those circumstances until the elections of 2026.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: I will wind up by taking the last four questions from the hon. Members for Chimwemwe, Chilubi and Namwala, and end with a question from the hon. Member for Chembe.


Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, soon after President Lungu is sworn in as Head of State for his second term of office, there will be many microeconomic and macroeconomic issues that will require attention. On a scale of ten, how does the hon. Minister rank the introduction of the Bill on delimitation immediately after the Presidential and General elections this year? Where does that process fall on that scale?


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, we were willing to review the number of seats in Parliament this year. It, therefore, follows that even after the elections, we will still be willing. Further, it is not as though we will only have economic issues to attend to after the 2021 Elections because there are economic issues even now, and everything is increasing progressively. For example, the population has been increasing progressively, and we hope that our gross domestic product (GDP) will also be increasing progressively. As the population is increases, there is a need for an increased number of constituencies.


Sir, in answering arithmetic question, on a scale of one to ten, if ten is the highest probability, then, that is what I will go for – ten out of ten. After being sworn in following the August, 2021, Elections, His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, will not leave this matter behind because he is very desirous of ensuring that there is increased representation.


Sir, talking about economic growth, I would like just to focus on the development that is fostered by the constituencies. If you go to areas where new districts were established by the late President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, may his soul rest in peace, and those that have been established by His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, you will see that development has followed the creation of the districts. Without the creation of the districts, those areas would have remained stagnant economically. Similarly, when constituencies are established, the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is allocated to those areas, and this means that development follows the creation of constituencies. So, the idea of increasing the number of constituencies is not only to increase the number of Members of Parliament here, but also to use those seats to deliver development as closer to the people as possible. It is also an economic development matter that has to be seen in that context.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: I have noticed that there is still increased interest in this matter. So, I will extend my list to ensure that as many hon. Members as possible participate. I will, therefore, add to the list the hon. Members for Mwembezhi, Mafinga, Livingstone, Bangweulu, Kasempa, Chisamba, Kafue and, lastly, Serenje.


Mr Fube (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the very elaborate statement he has issued on the delimitation exercise.


Sir, we, politicians, especially those from the Opposition, are under the illusion that having a toxic approach to politics and killing progressive Bills that are directly linked to social justice like the Referendum Bill and the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No.10 of 2019 will put us into power. Now, hon. Members from the different constituencies of Zambia have seen that this is an opportunity for growth, just like the hon. Minister has explained. Before I ask the question, let me give an example of my constituency, which has twenty-four wards. Had it been delimited, the area it covers would have been receiving twice the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) amount, and that was directly linked to some documents and the pillars in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP). How does the fact that we cannot amend the Constitution or do anything to increase the seats in Parliament affect the implementation of the pillars of the 7NDP?


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that question.


Sir, like I was trying to illustrate, representation in Parliament and councils has a direct impact on the delivery of development in areas. If I take large constituencies like Kasempa, Katombola and Kanchibiya as examples, it takes more than a week for a Member of Parliament to tour them. Meanwhile, the same Member of Parliament has to also attend to office matters in their constituencies and attend Sittings at Parliament. Naturally, the amount of time and interactions he or she has with his or her people is reduced to the extent that even the views they come to express here cannot be said to be as representative of the people as those of a Member of Parliament whose constituency is relatively smaller. For the delivery of development, even district councils, such as the Lusaka City Council (LCC) allocate resources based on constituencies. If they provide a borehole in one constituency, they will also be alive to the fact that people in another constituency will also demand one, and that also enhances the delivery of development. So, the attainment of the five pillars of the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) could have been expedited had this Parliament been able to select what it would have thought to be rotten groundnuts and throw them out, leaving, like you said, the wholesome groundnuts. Had we done that, today, we would have been talking about a different matter. I have a report in which constituencies that were supposed to have been surveyed for the creation of a multiplicity of constituencies are named.


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker – and I am saying this as an example, not to slight anybody – the people of Kanchibiya, Katombola or Kasempa would have benefited because they would have had more than one Member of Parliament representing their areas after the August 2021, Elections. However, because Parliament was unable to do what it was supposed to do, that is, to sieve grain from chaff but, instead, was made to throw away the grain with what was chaff, unfortunately, we have ended up in this situation.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity.


Sir, the hon. Minister keeps referring to people who drunk and danced when the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment Bill) No. 10 of 2019 failed to pass the Second Reading Stage. I am one of those, and I am still dancing.




Ms Lubezhi: Sir, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) did its part in 2019. Article 58(5) of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016, states that, “The Electoral Commission shall, at intervals of not more than ten years, review the names and boundaries of constituencies and wards.”


Sir, when responding to the question from the hon. Member for Luampa, the hon. Minister stated that he overrated the capacity of some hon. Members of Parliament. Wow! A very strong statement. Is it not the other way round or vice-versa; that it was actually the United Party for National Development (UPND) hon. Members of Parliament who made sure that the Bill crashed overrated the capacity of the Ministry of Justice because they thought, as it is in the Constitution of Zambia, that the Bill on delimitation would be presented as a standalone Bill? They overrated the capacity of the Ministry of Justice.


Mr Speaker: What is your question? I want to be clear.


Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, I refer to the answer the hon. Minister gave the hon. Member for Luampa, who wanted to find out why the hon. Minister of Justice brought the delimitation issue into the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019. The hon. Minister said that he overrated the capacity of the hon. Members of Parliament and that the hon. Members crashed of the Bill without realising that they were also crashing the Bill on delimitation. My question is: Is it not the other way round; that the UPND hon. Members of Parliament who intelligently crashed the Constitution of Zambia Amendment Bill No. 10 of 2019 overrated the capacity of the Ministry of Justice, as they thought that the ministry was going to present the Bill on delimitation as a standalone Bill, as stated in Article 58, Section 5 of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016?


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I could not have said the opposite of what I said; I could not say that I underrated them. All I can say is that at that time, I was totally convinced that all of us knew that when a Bill is presented to Parliament, it is on this Floor where it is dissected, panel-beaten, approved and handed to you for your processing thereafter. I am really shocked because just a few months after the people of Kabwata Constituency elected me, when I was on the other side, I was able to move amendments to Bills, and I thought that whoever comes to Parliament would have the same ability. Little did I know that even after five years, people would still be asking, “Why did you present everything together?” I am shocked.


Sir, there are Bills that have been presented here, and we do not present Clauses on their own; we present the whole Bill. There are times when intelligent people – and I am using the word that was used by my hon. Colleague who referred to herself as intelligent – intelligent Opposition hon. Members of Parliament have moved amendments to Bills that have been presented by the Executive, and the Executive has listened to those intelligent arguments and amended the Bills accordingly. I worked with strict adherence to my belief that we had that capacity. I did not realise that by present the Bills together as is provided for by our procedures, I was going to make it impossible for people to read. I did not realise that. Had I known then what I know now, I would have, first, come to you to propose an amendment to the procedures because that is what would have been required of me. I would not have come to you and said, ‘I am presenting one Bill on the Constitution today and, tomorrow, I will present another one’ because that is disorderly.


Sir, by the way, I want to just tell my dear hon. Colleagues that one of the hallmarks of a true parliamentarian is consistency. They should stick to what they say. The nation will recall that in the run-up to the amendment of the Constitution in 2016, there was hue and cry from the Opposition UPND. What was its complaint? It was that we were supposed to not cherry-pick amendments, as it wanted to read the whole Constitution. It said that it did not want piecemeal amendments. Today, because these people are consistently inconsistent, they are now saying that the Government should have presented piecemeal amendments and cherry-picked issues. Please, dear hon. Colleagues, let us learn to be sincere; let us say what we mean in the morning, say the same thing at noon and say exactly the same thing at sunset. We should not change depending on the season or the weather.


Sir, you may recall that in 2016, there were members of a political party who caused disturbance to the proceedings of this House. They stood right in front here and said, “Mr Speaker, we want the Constitution to come as it was adopted at the conference. We do not want the Government to tinker with anything. Even if there are errors, let the Government present it.” My predecessor had the courage to try to amend a few things, but he was also, more or less, restricted because of what they did here. In the recent process, we had proposed to straighten up some issues in our Constitution, including on delimitation of constituencies. Our colleagues say they were very intelligent and that they are still celebrating the collapse of the Bill. If they are celebrating, I ask why the hon. Member of Parliament for Katombola, who asked me a question earlier, referred to the delimitation exercise as being “very important for the good of the Zambian people”. Those were his words. The hon. Member for Ikeleng’i also said the same thing; that this issue is important, and asked why we have not presented an amendment now even if there is no time. If, indeed, it is good now, did they not realise it was good then? Again, it is a question of consistency.


Sir, when we conducted a referendum alongside the elections of 2016, what happened? When we, in the PF, went out campaigning for the Referendum Bill, what did the UPND do? It went and campaigned against the Bill. However, on the very first Sitting of Parliament after the elections, when we were presenting our maiden speeches, many UPND hon. Members talked about enhancing people’s rights and the Bill of Rights. What kind of inconsistency is this? I plead to God – and I am now answering the hon. Member of Parliament for Chilanga – that He must listen to the prayers of the hon. Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs, and all the religious people who are praying that come August 2021, He gives blessings to those who will come to this House sincerely; those who will be consistently on the side of the good of the people, not on the side of their narrow personal or partisan interests.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Kopulande (Chembe): Mr Speaker, I am caught up between two emotions because I feel that I should be celebrating today but, at the same time, unfortunately, I see this day as a sad one because we warned our hon. Colleagues on the left that the collapse of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 would come back to haunt them. Today, it is clear that our prophecy has come to pass. They are now on the Floor of this House talking about groundnuts when they know very well that there is a parliamentary process that permits the sieving of bad nuts from good ones. They decided to abrogate the parliamentary process.


Mr Speaker, in his statement, the hon. Minister said that soon after President Edgar Lungu is sworn in after 12th August, 2021, the returning Government of the Patriotic Front (PF) under President Edgar Chagwa Lungu will present to Parliament a Bill to amend Clause 68 to permit delimitation. Why should that amendment have priority over all the others that had been proposed in the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019, which were for the benefit of the people of Zambia, such as proportional representation and provisions to ensure stability in our chiefdoms? Why should the amendment of Article 68 be presented as a separate Bill to amend the Constitution in a piecemeal fashion? Why should it be a priority? Why should the Government not present a comprehensive Bill in the form of Bill 10 to amend a number of other Articles so that the people of Zambia can be governed better?


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, when there was a feast on carton boxes of Four Cousins wine ...


Mr Ngulube:  And Hungry Lion!


Mr Lubinda: ... and chicken wings, ...


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear! And Fruitola.


Mr Lubinda: ... I stood here and said we, in the PF, might have lost the vote, but we had not lost the moral high ground. I also indicated that those who were celebrating the failure of the Bill that day and calling it dead would see the resurrection of its ghost. Today, like the hon. Member for Chembe has said, the ghost of the Bill is around us and watching the people who killed the Bill them; it is haunting them, and it will haunt them until President Edgar Chagwa Lungu is sworn in. Then, they will begin to ask themselves whether they still have relevance on the political scene. Mark my words because that day will come.


Sir, like the hon. Member for Chembe, I, too, have mixed feelings because my colleagues and I, under the leadership of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, are being vindicated today. We meant well. However, on the other hand, we are rather sad that the desire of the people, not only our desire, but also the desire of even members of the UPND, which they are now clamouring for, was sacrificed in this House because of a lack of consistency on the part of our colleagues, and they will live to account for that.


Mr Speaker, in answering the question asked by the hon. Member for Chembe, like you said to another hon. Member, who raised a point of order, I was instructed by Her Honour the Vice-President to address the issue of delimitation, and I stated that soon after the coming elections, the process of amending the Constitution to increase the number of constituencies will commence. That does not mean that the other parts of proposals that were in the Bill will be forgotten about. Today, I am only addressing myself to the issue of delimitation, but I would like to assure my hon. Colleague that none of the provisions of the Bill will be thrown away because, for us, and I said this, we may have walked away with that Bill, but a day will come when the composition of Parliament will be different; when there will be fewer creators of ghosts, and we will bring it back. That day, I am sure the people of Zambia will smile because God would have smiled on us.


I thank you, Sir.                    


Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Mr Speaker, ...


Mr Mung’andu: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Mung’andu: Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to raise this point of order. I rarely rise on points of order, but I am compelled to do so now because of the nature of the issues involved.


Mr Speaker, in her question to the hon. Minister, the hon. Member for Namwala read Article 58 of our Constitution, which she said mandates the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to review boundaries or delimitate our constituencies, wards and polling districts. In her explanation, she went further to state that in view of the Article, it was not necessary for the hon. Minister of Justice to present that Article together with other Articles or the entire Constitution. She went further to brag that in her opinion, she was more informed than the hon. Minister of Justice. My concern is that the people of Zambia are not concerned with –


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Chama South!


Your debate is rather long and winding. I have a very long list of interventions here. Can you abbreviate and get to the point? That is why it is called a point of order.


Mr Mung’andu: Mr Speaker, thank you for your guidance. I was just laying the foundation.


Mr Speaker, the people of Zambia are concerned about the constituencies, which are vast, and their number can only be altered by the alteration of the Constitution. In her implication, and here is the point of order: Is she in order to mislead the people of Zambia that the Constitution can only be amended in a piecemeal manner, which is Article by Article, as opposed to amending it in its entirety? That is what the people of Zambia got from her.


Mr Speaker, I seek your serious ruling.


Mr Speaker: Points of order, by definition, are meant to draw the attention of Presiding Officers to a possible or potential breach of a rule of procedure. That is the fundamental principle relating to points of order. Points of order are not to be used to correct viewpoints, however erroneous they may be. If we go into the realm of factual representations or misrepresentations, that takes a different tenor. However, when opinions are proffered, they are open to debate and challenge. That is why this is called a ‘parlé’, which means ‘to debate’. So, I am not here to rule on opinions. Some opinions may not be well-grounded, but they still enjoy the freedom of speech and must be allowed. If you want to challenge an opinion, there are avenues, either in the context of the debate itself or through a follow-up question. So, I will not go into the technicalities.


That is my ruling.


Mr Jamba: Mr Speaker, it is said that experience is a good teacher. However, it is also said, vice-versa, that only people who are not wise learn through experience.


Mr Speaker, when the idea of presenting the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 together with the issue of delimitation of constituencies started, I advised the hon. Minister of Justice to negotiate with the United Party for National Development (UPND) so that the Bill could go through, but now this is a dead issue that everyone is lamenting. I want to ask a very honest question and request a very honest answer from the hon. Minister. The question is: What lessons can he share with the incoming Minister of Justice in 2021 on the ability to negotiate? I ask because I noticed that the whole issue was about negotiation, and the Government cannot continue wailing over the Bill.


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, what I have learnt over the years is contrary to what the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwembezhi has said about learning from experience, and I am sure that many people have learnt the lesson way I have learnt. What I have learnt is that wise people learn from experience, either from their own or, better still, the experiences of others. It is not true that wise people do not learn from experience.


Mr Speaker, on the issue of encouraging me to negotiate, like I said earlier, the place that is provided for in the Constitution of the land as the auditorium for legislating is this Floor, nowhere else. Everything that is done outside this House is peripheral, and I do not think that it is even necessary for me to go into what we were discussing outside. However, because I am being asked this question, and it was also referred to earlier that people were not willing to negotiate, I will address the issue.


Mr Speaker, on several occasions, with your permission, I came here and asked my colleagues who had views on the Bill to use the established fora for negotiating. You saw what we did with your permission and indulgence over the Public Order Act. You arranged a workshop here, at Parliament Buildings, which was meant to give us a forum away from here where there are strict rules of procedure. We went into the Auditorium to negotiate.


Sir, this Parliament allowed us, the Parliamentarians, to go to the National Dialogue Forum (NDF), away from the precincts of Parliament and its strict rules, to negotiate. What happened when you gave us that latitude? You could have stopped us, but you allowed us because we had agreed amongst ourselves to go and negotiate away from here. What happened? While the rest of us, including civil society organisations (CSOs) and the Church, were negotiating amongst ourselves, one grouping decided to go and negotiate elsewhere in hotels and under trees, and expected that we would follow that line of negotiation.


Sir, there were many under currents around the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment ) Bill No. 10 of 2019, but all the laws in it were supposed to have been  brought here to be galvanised and synthesised. That is the reason people elect us to come here and it is the reason the Parliament of Zambia, in its reform process, decided to give members of the public access to live Parliamentary debates and listen to the arguments of hon. Members. We did not subscribe to the idea of negotiating behind closed doors. Why should we do that? To go and start asking, “If we agree with this, are you going to accommodate us on this position?” No, we did not want that. What we wanted was to come and debate here in the full view of the people who sent us here, not to hold clandestine meetings, and I, for one, am happy that I refused to attend any clandestine meetings on a matter of such national importance. One cannot relegate the responsibility of Parliament to kangaroo meetings outside Parliament. We refused. The lesson I have learnt is that this process needs to be repeated and to never ever succumb to the pressure of going to negotiate on a matter of such importance while drinking wine. These matters must be negotiated here, in Parliament, so that we are held accountable by the people of Zambia.


Mr Speaker, we failed here, and the people of Zambia know why we failed. Had we negotiated outside, today, I can assure you, we would have been accused of having promised this and that, even things we would not have promised. So, to the hon. Member for Mwembezhi, I say that I am glad that I refused to heed his suggestion. That decision was informed by my years of experience as a Parliamentarian. So, if there is anything that I can suggest to the hon. Member, it is that he learns from my experience of almost twenty years in Parliament.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Siwale (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, our colleagues on your left are crying foul over the delimitation process, which they deliberately mutilated so that Zambians cannot have access to equal representation in the House. What message would the hon. Minister send to our future generations and, especially, the people on the left who, after getting Hungry Lion on credit, went celebrating, but things have now backfired on them?


Mr Lubinda: Sir, my advice to them is, like I have said several times, that the moment we are elected as representatives of the people and tasked with the responsibility of superintending over affairs that affect the people, we must divorce our personal interests and concentrate on the interests of the people we represent.


Sir, over the delimitation process, the ECZ went throughout the country, and there is not a single place where they were told that delimitation was not wanted. In every constituency they visited, the submission was that the number of constituencies needed to be increased. So, my advice is that our colleagues should have paid listened and, if they wanted, they could have rejected everything else but, at least, come here to support those three amendments to Articles 47, 58 and 68 had they been interested in the will of the people because the people spoke through the ECZ on delimitation. Maybe, I should also say that when they go back to their constituencies, our colleagues must tell the people why they did not support the expressed will of the people to increase constituencies in Zambia.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.  


Mr Jere (Livingstone) inaudible.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Livingstone, it appears you are in a place or area where there is poor connectivity. I am afraid we must move on.


Mr Kasandwe (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, I am following up on the question asked by Hon. Subulwa concerning the two constituencies, namely Kanchibiya and Msanzala, that sit in two districts each. Is it lawful in Zambia for a constituency to sit in two districts? Further, what is the implication of that for the management of the 2021 Elections in the two districts?


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, like I said earlier, unfortunately, we will have to live with that because the way we can change it is by amending the Constitution. However, at this stage, we cannot change the Constitution. The only other way that can be resolved is if the geographical boundaries of the districts are delimited so that there is only one constituency in the district. So, we will have to live with that until after we have amended the Constitution and the boundaries of constituencies in collaboration with the ECZ. By the way, the ECZ took note of that anomaly and wanted it to be addressed through in its report.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for bringing the matter of delimitation back to the Floor of this House because this issue is close to our hearts and to the hearts of the people of Kasempa, in particular. I know that it is also close to the hearts of the people of Kanchibiya Constituency and others in many other places. That is why there was a convergence of everybody on the need for constituencies, especially those that are very big, to be delimitated.


Sir, we govern ourselves through the Constitution, which is for the people by the people, as implied in the preamble, which has the phrases, “for the people”, “We the people” and similar phrases. This is our Constitution. That is why those who opposed the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019, to which group I belong, did so. The Church mother bodies also saw that there was bait in the Bill, as did the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), which represents our legal minds. So, we had those who were opposed and others who were in favour of the Bill. On this side of the House, we went ahead and said ‘No’. Now, the people are saying that they want the delimitation exercise to go ahead. Is the hon. Minister going to find a way, at this point when the whole nation is saying ‘Yes’, to remove the bottlenecks and ensure that delimitation goes ahead without politics getting involved?


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, Kasempa has a surface area of 21,883 km2, making it larger than some countries, and a population of 91,193 people. It is estimated that population will grow to more than 130,000 over the next five years. Cry the beloved people of Kasempa that their hon. Member of Parliament chose to follow her personal emotions and the emotions expressed –


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister of Justice!


I think that you should move away from talking about how she was feeling or not feeling because it is very difficult to determine fairly the emotional state in which she was, but you can build on the objective data that you have already presented.


You may continue.


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, the representative of the 91,193 people of Kasempa went to dance, drink Four Cousins and eat Hungry Lion chicken wings or was in the company of those who did that on the day the Bill failed to proceed to the Second Reading stage. However, the ECZ report shows that on each of the three days on which meetings were held in Kasempa, more than 100 people called on the ECZ to increase the number of constituencies. So, the hon. Member of Parliament was expected to be among the first to support the Bill when it was presented so as to allow for the delimitation of Kasempa and give the area more effective representation.


Mr Speaker, coming to the issue of numbers, since my hon. Colleague mentioned various entities that took positions on the Bill, what we practise is representative democracy. Each person here represents people somewhere. So, on that day, how many people were represented by those who voted in favour of the Bill compared with those represented by others who decided to walk out? Since this is a representative democracy, the fact that 109 people voted in favour of the Bill naturally means that they represented the majority of citizens compared with the few who turned around the idea of the arrogance of numbers because they knew that the two-thirds threshold was on their side, as they were needed to make up the two-thirds threshold. That is why they walked out. So, it is not right for them to say that they followed what they heard one church leader, member of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) or some other person say. We follow the view of the majority, and the majority of the people of Kasempa did not tell their representative to consult LAZ or the Church; they said that they were sending her to come and increase the number of constituencies in Parliament. That is the position.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Kasanda (Chisamba): Mr Speaker, I do feel the pain and shock of the hon. Minister ... (Inaudible) … on those wings and the Four Cousins that he keeps referring to. However, does he not think that it is irreverent, at this point, for him to keep repeating himself on the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019, which is no more? That Bill is gone and gone for good, and he has decided to proceed with the delimitation exercise immediately after elections to increase the number of constituencies in 2026. If this Government had good intentions – (inaudible).


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Chisamba, we lost you for most of the question. Are you able to put your question in a crispy fashion?


Ms Kasanda: Mr Speaker, are you able to hear me now?


Mr Speaker: Yes, I can hear you. Put your question briefly.


Ms Kasanda was inaudible.


Mr Speaker: I am afraid we have to move on to the last question.


Mrs Chinyama (Kafue): Mr Speaker, I know that attempts at delimitation were made in the past and that they were hampered by financial constraints. I am also aware that even with the 156 constituencies that exist currently, there has been a lack of capacity to deliver development fully and, particularly, to disburse the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) on an annual basis as should be the case. Is the hon. Minister justified in crying so much over water under the bridge? If, as a Government, the Patriotic Front (PF) was set to implement the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No.10 of 2019 and, in particular, the delimitation exercise, is he in a position to tell us what the financial implication of doing so would have been this time around given that the economy has been very bad? Would the Government really have undertaken the delimitation exercise? Could the hon. Minister dispel the belief that, in fact, the Bill was only meant to facilitate His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Lungu’s third term bid, which many Zambians have totally rejected.


Mr Lubinda: Sir, the question asked by the hon. Member for Kafue, which is my baby town and very dear to me, by the way, gives me the opportunity to reiterate what you, the Presiding Officers, have reminded us about all the time, namely the need for us to be relevant.


Mr Speaker, my statement was not on the financial implications of delimitation. Rather, it was on the nexus between the Bill and delimitation, and the way forward regarding delimitation. In my statement, I did not say that we had or did not have the money to conduct the delimitation exercise. However, I can say that the ECZ came up with the recommendation that we increase the number of constituencies by ninety. The Government also presented a Bill that would increase representation in Parliament through proportional representation. Therefore, it cannot be any farther from the truth than to suggest that we were not sincere in that undertaking. On our part, we are very sincere in what we do, and we have nothing to hide from the people of Zambia on matters of the governance of their country.


Sir, let me end by addressing the statement that I am crying over water under the bridge.


Sir, you have been listening very attentively and heard several hon. Members of Parliament, including those from the Opposition and, especially, those from the UPND have been lamenting in this House the vastness of the constituencies. The one who asked this question was saying that Kasempa is very big and that the people want delimitation. The hon. Member for Katombola said the same thing while the hon. Member for Ikeleng’i asked why we are not doing the delimitation now even if there is no time for it. It is not me who is crying that there is no delimitation. So, I suggest that the hon. Member of Parliament for Kafue asks her colleagues why they are lamenting now when they celebrated the failure of the Bill. When she says that the Bill is water under the bridge, yes, they may have killed it and they were happy to do so, but the spirit lives on. I said then, I said today, and I want to end by saying, that the ghost of the Bill will haunt them forever and ever.


I thank you, Sir.








142. Mr Siwanzi (Nakonde) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:


  1. whether the Government was aware that the crime rate in Nakonde District had drastically increased due to failure by the police to conduct adequate patrols following the breakdown of the only police vehicle in the district; and
  2. if so, what urgent measures were being taken to provide transport to the police to enhance their operations.


The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that, indeed, the Government is aware that Nakonde Police Station does not have adequate transport to service the area. However, the Zambia Police Service has enhanced foot patrols in the area.


Sir, I also want to share with the hon. Member of Parliament and the nation the fact that there is no evidence to suggest that the crime rate has increased in Nakonde District. The statistics indicate that in the last four years, crime has actually reduced as follows:


Year                                         No of Reported Cases


2017                                                    391     

2018                                                    385     

2019                                                    380     

2020                                                    381


Mr Speaker, the Government has provided a Turnland Foton pick-up vehicle to mitigate transport challenges in Nakonde. The Government might also consider allocating additional motor vehicles to the station when resources are made available. The House may also wish to note that a platoon from Kamfinsa Mobile Unit is currently in Nakonde District to beef up operations. The Government is also in the process of engaging the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) Division to beef operations in the area.


I thank you, Sir.








(Debate resumed)


Mr Chiyalika (Lufubu): Mr Speaker, before business was interrupted last Friday, I was talking about abuse of the social media.


Sir, there is a tendency that has emerged in our country of some youths creating Facebook accounts with fake details and using them to insult leaders in the Government and other people, especially those who oppose the United Party for National Development (UPND).


Mr Speaker, we are witnessing something uncultural in the Zambian society, that is, young persons insulting. A case in point is that a named UPND cadre went on social media to insult one of the opposition political party presidents, Hon. Edith Nawakwi, with impunity.


Sir, Hon. Nawakwi …


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Lufubu!


In order to avoid legal complications, I would rather you do not refer to specific persons.


Chiyalika: Sir, I thank you for the guidance.


Sir, I was saying that the culture of insulting leaders and elderly people on social media is very bad and alien to our society. We have also witnessed cyber bullying on social media, which is also alien to our country. Zambia being a Christian nation, the abuse of social media should not be entertained. I am, therefore, grateful that the Government has risen to the challenge by drafting a Bill that will prevent social media vices.


Mr Speaker, the President’s speech is very gratifying in the sense that the Government, through His Excellency the President, was able to give an account of most of the issues that border on the National Values and Principles. Issues like child marriages and gender-based violence (GBV) are being tackled by the Government. The President mentioned that the Government has partnered with various stakeholders in sensitising the general public to these vices.


Mr Speaker, the President also talked about the establishment of fast-track courts. That is helping in mitigating social vices.


Mr Speaker, it is disappointing to note that some hon. Members on the left are complaining now. I have in mind the referendum, which was de-campaigned in 2016. The latest case is the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019. I am alive to the fact that the Public Order Act was crafted in 1955, that the Government of His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu is on record calling for it to be reformed and that it was one of the issues in the Bill. The same people who opposed the Bill are, today, crying loudly and complaining about the Act. Where is their moral compass in all this? If anything, we, as hon. Members of Parliament, are supposed to get united and make sure that laws that border on national integrity are passed.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: I recognise the Minister for Central Province, but he will debate later. I will allow the Backbench to debate before I get back to him.


Dr Ng’ambi (Chifubu): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving the people of Chifubu the opportunity to debate this very important address by His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu on 12th February, 2021.


Mr Speaker, the President was on the Floor of this House addressing pertinent issues that speak to our morals and integrity in this nation. He highlighted many important issues that speak to the behaviour he anticipates and wants to see in the people of Zambia. When you look at the salient issues that he brought out, they indicate a President who cares for his people and understands the challenges of the country, and one who wants to ensure that development is equitably distributed throughout the country.


Mr Speaker, as you and every well-meaning Zambian is aware, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s motto is that of leaving no one behind, and he has demonstrated that by delivering development to all parts of the country regardless of the political divide. The President has distributed development everywhere, including in Opposition strongholds. That alone speaks of a President who has a passion for his people’s welfare and one who is determined to take development to every child in this country.


Mr Speaker, I also want to look at two very important issues in paragraphs 57 to 59 of the President’s Speech. Paragraph 57 says, “Being patriotic is also about protecting and taking care of public assets.” President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has been entrusted with public assets and finances for the last seven years, and the results are there for people to see; Zambia has enjoyed unprecedented development. If you look at the donor funding that has been coming into this country, it speaks to how President Lungu is rated in the world. I am also glad that Zambia is rated among the best countries in managing the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). This is how it should be. I believe that on the COVID-19 pandemic, the President has been criticised right, left and centre, but you can see that because of his determination, this country has minimised the suffering of the people.


Sir, the main opposition political party president, HH (Mr Hakainde Hichilema), was also given an opportunity to preside over an asset of this country, Luanshya Copper Mines –


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


Please steer away from making reference to that individual. We are not debating individuals who do not have the opportunity to respond.


Dr Ng’ambi: Mr Speaker, I am much obliged.


Sir, the main opposition party president was given an opportunity to preside over Luanshya Copper Mines and, today, the people of Luanshya are crying because of the mismanagement of that asset. After the liquidation of the mine, we saw the political party president having more than 100,000 herds of cattle. Were I in his position, I would have remembered that I had left people crying and gone back to give them, at least, a cow or two as a way of mitigating their challenges that resulted from my pocketing the money that has made me who I am. That alone demonstrates that the people of Zambia should never trust that person because once he is given an opportunity to preside over the assets of the Treasury, we will see hangers of planes on his farms, which will mean the continued displacement of people.


I thank you, Sir.


Mrs Chinyama (Kafue): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity.


Sir, I looked at the President’s Address to the House and noticed that the first thirteen pages talked about issues of gender-based violence (GBV) and early marriages. The President was appealing and looking at how we can curb these vices, which is highly commendable coming from the highest office. I, however, compared that length of time devoted to this subject with paragraphs 78 and 79, where he talked about political violence, and I thought there was an imbalance in the way he projected this equally important issue. I would have loved to see the President spend an equal amount of time, if not more, talking about issues around political violence. I say so because there are many players who are ably tackling issues of GBV and early marriages. I felt that the President, being the biggest political player, should have given the issue of political violence more time and set the right tone on how we, as a country, need to address it. In the two paragraphs I have talked about, the President simply acknowledged that there is political violence, but he was also quick to refer to other stakeholders whom he asked to also play a role in addressing the problem. I do not think he did justice there because he should have been the torch-bearer in the effort to promote non-violence in political processes.


Mrs Chinyama: Speaker, police brutality is almost becoming commonplace in our society today, which is very regrettable. Recently, we have heard of cadres in police uniforms going about terrorising innocent citizens. I have in mind the recent raid at an opposition political party president’s relative’s residence in Shibuyunji. Initially, the police stated that the people involved were not its officers but, later, it said they were police officers. Zambians have rejected the kind of police brutality that we are beginning to see. These are the issues on which I would have expected the President to set the right tone for the country so that we, as Zambians, can live freely in our country. As things stand, the dignity, peace and freedoms of Zambians seem to have been curtailed, yet these are the important values that the President outlines when he begins his speech. He talks about human dignity, justice –


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 to raise this very important point of order.


Mr Speaker, it is well-known to hon. Members of Parliament, especially since we are coming to the end of the term of this Parliament, that the rules of debate indicate that we should only debate facts on the Floor of this august House. I have been patiently waiting to follow the debate by the hon. Member of Parliament for Kafue, and make heads or tails of her debate.


Mr Speaker, I am compelled to raise this point of order after hearing the hon. Member of Parliament make insinuations to the effect that there are political cadres who wear police uniforms and that the freedoms of people have been curtailed. She is able to sit where she is seated and participate in Parliamentary business because she is a free citizen.


Mr Speaker, the Police Service has anchored the peace of this country for many years; it protects citizens and property. Therefore, is the hon. Member in order to insinuate that there are political cadres who put on police uniforms and walk on the streets of this country, as she is trying to put it, and that people’s freedoms have been curtailed as a result, without laying, or even trying to show, proof to that effect?


Mr Speaker, the people are listening to us, their representatives, here. Therefore, we need to be sincere and honest in what we say. Is she in order to create a situation that might create fear in the minds of the Zambian people?


I seek your serious ruling, Sir.


Mr Speaker: My ruling is that it is a settled practice that whenever we are debating, we are factual and able to prove particular allegations. We have, as Presiding Officers, constantly and consistently urged hon. Members against generalised statements, especially of the sort that is the subject of the current point of order. So, I urge the hon. Member to bear in mind this particular and seminal rule of debate as she continues.


Mrs Chinyama: Mr Speaker, thank you for your guidance, but I can tell you for a fact that I have personally been a victim of police interference in my work. In the last quarter of last year, I was having a meeting –


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Kafue!


Just give me a minute.


The point of order was in connection with your statement that there are political cadres in police uniform. That is the issue the hon. Minister of Home Affairs raised. The issue you are now raising, on the other hand, is a totally different one, and I do not think it is advisable for you to get into a dialogue with me. 




Mrs Chinyama: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your guidance.


Sir, I will just end my debate by commending our colleague, Hon. Musukwa, who has given good advice to our colleagues who have been going round dishing out money when many Zambians are barely surviving and having a meal per day. For the people of Kafue who do not even have jobs, it has been a very agonising experience seeing their friends receiving cash money. So, I thank the hon. Minister for giving guidance to his colleagues for the sake of the moral fibre of this nation because those values we talked about do drive the moral compass of our nation, and we seemed to have been losing it completely on that trajectory.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


The Minister for Central Province (Mr Mushanga): Mr Speaker, thank you  very much – (Inaudible).


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, there must be a device in the background that is interfering with the transmission. If you may, switch it off, please.


Mr Mushanga:  Mr Speaker, am I clear now?


Mr Speaker: Continue.


Mr Mushanga: Mr Speaker, I am humbled and honoured to have this time to make a contribution to the debate on “The Progress Made in the Application of National Values and Principles,” as presented by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, on Friday, 12th February, 2021. 


Mr Speaker, the address by His Excellency the President was spot-on and timely, especially looking at the issues he raised, even though some of hon. Members, as usual, regarded the President’s Address as lacking focus. Your Excellency, if you are listening to this debate right now, that group lacks focus on issues of national importance.


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!


Please, do not bring the President into the debate. You are addressing the Speaker.


Mr Mushanga: Mr Speaker, I am well guided.


Mr Speaker, even the issue of the delimitation of constituencies is one of national principles, and it is developmental in nature. I, therefore, thank Hon. Lubinda for the way he handled it.


Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President made his address against the backdrop of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which has negatively impacted the implementation of Government programmes. Undoubtedly, the pandemic has created an emergency of multiple dimensions. It has proved to be much more than a health crisis, as it is also an economic, social and human crisis that calls for working together, as indicted by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, if we are to adequately attend to it.


Mr Speaker, you may recall that in his address, His Excellency the President highlighted the importance of social security and promoting the dignity of persons living with disabilities. I wish to report that the Central Province has put in place a number of interventions to respond to the issues affecting our colleagues with disabilities. For example, persons with disabilities are being provided with wheelchairs, walking aids and –


Mr Speaker: Order!


(Debate adjourned)




The House adjourned at 1656 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 24th February, 2021.