Debates- Tuesday, 6th November, 2012

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Tuesday, 6th November, 2012

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





Mr Speaker: Hon. Members will recall that on Wednesday, 31st October, 2012, when the House had resolved into Committee of Supply to consider the Budget Speech, presented by the hon. Minister of Finance, on the 12th October, 2012, when the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Hon. Sichinga, was debating, the Member for Kalomo Central Parliamentary Constituency, Hon. Muntanga, raised the following point of order:

“Mr Speaker, I rise on a very important point of order, which is bordering on the integrity of this House.

Sir, recently, I read an article in The Post newspaper, dated 25th October, 2012, on page 10, entitled ‘Lungu’s Comment on Deported Priest is False - Lundazi Parish.’ When I read this article, I noticed that there was actually a letter written to you Hon. Speaker. I did not take it seriously because I thought this is just a newspaper, but little did I know that this letter was copied to several people. Consequently, I am aware that Cap. 12 of the Laws of Zambia protects us here. Section 16, states that:
“Any person, who, before the Assembly or any authorised committee intentionally gives a false answer to any question material to the subject of inquiry which may be put to him during the course of any examination, shall be guilty of an offence against section 104 of the Penal Code.”

Sir, this is a standard understanding to all of us. When people started talking about this letter, others asked us, as hon. Members of Parliament, what we were doing about it.

Mr Speaker, I know that it is something you pass, but I realised that this issue was discussed in this House. It was an issue which was raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mafinga. Therefore, it is a question of the House, and not necessarily the hon. Speaker being responsible to answer to these people.

Sir, I got to see the letter and it was addressed to you, hon. Speaker. The letter is flying around because they did not write ‘confidential’ on it. The letter in part reads: 

“We have learned through the Parliament Radio and The Zambia Daily Mail of 18th October, 2012, that, in answering the question by the Mafinga hon. Member of Parliament, Hon. Edgar Lungu, Minister of Home Affairs informed the House that ‘Father Banyangandora, exhibited grave misconduct and I exercised my discretion by having him deported.’ As the parish executive of Lundazi’s St Paul’s Parish, and on behalf of all Catholics in this parish, as well as people of good will in this district, we write to refute the incorrect information Hon. Lungu gave to the highest House of Zambia. We further wish to ask you to facilitate timely correction of the wrong image of Fr. Viateur Banyangandora as recently painted by Hon. Edgar Lungu.

“Fr Banyangandora lived and worked among us. He constructively participated in the social, developmental and religious affairs of Lundazi District. We know him as a prayerful, peace-loving, prudent and reliable priest. Many of us listened to his homily of the Tumbuka Mass, of 29th July, 2012. For Lundazi community, the utterances by Hon. Edgar Lungu are not just false, but dangerous lies. Can Hon. Lungu, substantiate the claims of ‘grave misconduct’ since the community of Lundazi never witnessed it? We question the legitimacy of a Government minister who tells lies to the Zambian people, and worse still to the Parliament. We do not feel he is our Zambian minister because he does not know, understand, represent, respect and reflect our concerns; struggle against poverty and longing for dignified living for all and a spirit of charity.”

“Mr Speaker, I feel that we have to deal with this case prudently and exonerate our hon. Minister.  I would appeal according to this point of order, under our own arrangement in this House, not refer to the Penal Code, but refer these matters to the Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services, where details of what happened and evidence will be read in this House so that the people who decided to publish this letter in the newspaper are satisfied and that this House, continues to uphold its standards. 

Sir, I seek and beg your indulgence.”

As hon. Members will recall, my immediate remarks on the point of order, were as follows and I quote:

“My short ruling is that this matter has already been brought to the attention of the Office of the Speaker and investigations are underway.  At an appropriate juncture, I will give an informed position to the House. That is my ruling.”

Hon. Members, my office has since concluded the investigations on the matter which is the subject of Hon. Muntanga’s point of order, and I now wish to rule on this matter, accordingly.

As the House may be aware, in the letter of complaint, the Lundazi Parish Executive alleged that, in response to a question on the Floor of the House by Hon. Namugala, MP, on the reasons for the deportation of Fr Banyangandora, Hon. Lungu, MP, misinformed the House by stating that the father was deported for “grave misconduct”.

The parish executive stated that its complaint emanated from what it had heard on Parliament Radio as well as a report in the Zambia Daily Mail. The article in question, entitled “Maize Purchase Deadline Set”, reported Hon. Lungu, as having said the following: 

“… Father Banyangandora exhibited grave misconduct and that I exercised my discretion by having him deported.” 

Hon. Members, in order to verify the accuracy of the report of the Zambia Daily Mail of Hon. Lungu’s debate and thus ascertain the validity of the executive’s allegation against Hon. Lungu, recourse was had to the verbatim report of the proceedings of the House. 

The relevant excerpt of the supplementary question which was asked by Hon. Namugala reads:

“Mr Speaker, from the answer given by the hon. Minister, concerning the Catholic priest who was deported called …
Can the hon. Minister tell us the specific offence that the priest committed and assure us that he    was not deported because he criticised the Patriotic Front (PF) Government.”

In response to the question, the verbatim report shows that the hon. Minister stated as follows: 

“Mr Speaker, the priest who was deported was Father Banyangandora and he was deported pursuant to Section 35 (2) of the Immigration and Deportation Act, which reads ‘any person whose presence in Zambia is declared in writing by the Minister to be inimical to the public interest shall be a prohibited immigrant in relation to Zambia.

Mr Speaker, I cited that power after I got information which made me judge that the man was inimical to the interest of the country.  I deported him, accordingly.

I thank you, Sir.”

Further, Hon. Mbewe, MP, in another supplementary question asked the Hon Minister as follows:  

“Mr Speaker was the father given a chance to exculpate himself?”

In response, the verbatim report shows that the hon. Minister responded as follows:

“Mr Speaker, it is my discretion to exercise fairness before making any decisions. There are so many priests or people who offend, but we do not deport them. This includes people from the Catholic Church. However, this particular one was grave.

I thank you, Sir.”

The House will note that from the foregoing excerpt, it is evident that Hon. Lungu stated that the father was deported because his presence in Zambia was, in his opinion, inimical to the interests of the country, and in doing so, the hon. Minister clearly cited the law pursuant to which Fr Banyangandora was deported. 

It may be noted, therefore, that contrary to what was reported in the Zambia Daily Mail, Hon. Lungu, did not, at any point in his response, state that the father was deported for “grave misconduct”. Rather, he used the word “grave” in his response to a follow-up question by Hon. Mbewe, MP, to indicate that the matter for which the father was deported was serious.

Hon. Members may wish to note that the deportation of persons from this country is governed by the Immigration and Deportation Act, No. 18 of 2010, of the Laws of Zambia.  Under Section 35 (2), the Act gives the hon. Minister discretionary power to deport any person whose presence, in the hon. Minister’s opinion, is inimical to the interests of the State. From the verbatim report, it is clear that Hon. Lungu, relied on this power to deport the father. 

In this regard, the Hon Minister’s exercise of the discretionary power under the said legal provision cannot be questioned by the House as it lacks legal jurisdiction and competence to do so.  In view of this, the power to question the hon. Minister’s use of the discretionary power is vested in the Judiciary, which has the jurisdiction to interpret the law and vindicate individual rights.  

I am fortified, in taking this position, by the Supreme Court decision in the case of the Chief Immigration Officer, the Minister of Home Affairs, the Attorney General v John Eric Tolmey SCZ Judgment No. 8 of 2011. This was an appeal against the decision of the High Court in which it was held that the appellant’s decision to deport the respondent from Zambia on the ground that his presence was likely to be a danger to peace and good order in the country was unreasonable, oppressive and outrageous. The appeal by the Government authorities referred to above was dismissed by the Supreme Court. This is what the Supreme Court said in dismissing the appeal:

(a)    although the Minister has power under the Immigration and Deportation Act, to deport any person from Zambia whom he considers a threat to national security, this power must be exercised on reasonable grounds, and that the Court may question this power once the individual challenges the deportation order;

(b)    the High Court can and has power to review deportation orders in order to protect the rights of an individual;

(c)    the High Court has jurisdiction to go behind the deportation order if the reasons given are not proved and the Court can, thereby, question the validity of the deportation order;

(d)    although the Minister was not bound to give reasons for deportation under the Immigration and Deportation Act, the Court has power to intervene if it is shown that there is misuse of power, and the Minister will then be requested to answer; and

(e)    that the High Court was on firm ground when it questioned the decision of the Minister of Home Affairs to deport the respondent from Zambia.
Clearly, it is not the business of my Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services to inquire into the validity, fairness, reasonableness or otherwise of deportation orders.

Further, let me remind hon. Members and the general public that, in a constitutional democracy, such as ours, there is a need to strictly observe the doctrine of separation of powers. Thus, the principle, in the English Governance system, that Parliament is omnipotent does not apply in the Zambian context. The three branches of the Government are all equal and co-ordinate. The branches, namely, the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary operate independent of each other, albeit, there are in-built checks and balances amongst them.

In the premises, it would be most inappropriate for me, as Speaker and head of the Legislature, to interfere in the functions of the judicial branch of the Government by questioning the manner in which any hon. Minister exercises their statutory functions, powers and, generally, discretion. Be that as it may, any person who is aggrieved by the exercise of any statutory functions, powers or discretion by an hon. Minister may seek redress from the Courts of Law. In this regard, the Lundazi St. Paul’s Catholic Church Parish Executive has since been informed and advised accordingly.

Hon. Members, since I have adverted to the jurisdiction of the Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services, let me seize this opportunity to explain the seemingly enigmatic concept of ‘privilege’. Robert Rogers and Rhodri Walters, in How Parliament Works, 6th Edition, (Essex Person Education Limited, 2006), observe as follows at page 181:

“The privilege of Parliament allows the Houses and their Members to perform their duties without outside threat or interference; rights absolutely necessary for the execution of Parliament’s powers.”

The learned authors go on to argue at page 181 that:

“Privilege is an unfortunate term as it implies a special advantage, rather than a special protection.”

Hon. Members, there are two elements in modern parliamentary privilege. The first is freedom of speech. That is, the freedom of speech and debate or parliamentary proceedings, in general, should not be impeach or questioned in any court or quarter outside Parliament. Thus Section 3 of the National Assembly Powers and Privileges Act, Chapter 12, of the Laws of Zambia, provides that: 

“There shall be freedom of speech and debate in the Assembly. Such freedom of speech and debate shall not be liable to be questioned in any court or place outside the Assembly.”

Simply stated, this means that no hon. Member of Parliament can be sued or prosecuted for anything he or she says as part of the proceedings of the House or, indeed, any of its Committees. This ensures that an hon. Member of Parliament can speak on behalf of constituents or express any opinion on a public issue without fear of legal action. However, this freedom is limited to proceedings in the House and covers anything said in debates on the Floor or in Standing or Select Committees. It also includes anything put in writing that forms part of the proceedings, such as the text of any question or a minister’s written answer, amendment and any document published by order of the House. The freedom of speech does not include press conferences, letters to constituents or to hon. Ministers, or words said at ordinary public meetings.

Thus, in the case of Attorney General v The Speaker of the National Assembly and Sondashi, (2003) Zambia Law Report (Z. R.), at page 42, the Supreme Court refused to extend the privilege to an article published by The Post Newspaper after the 28th October, 1997 coup attempt entitled, “Coups can be Positive Says Sondashi”, because the publication had nothing to do with any proceedings in Parliament, and was, in any event, made outside Parliament.

The second element in modern parliamentary privilege, hon. Members, is the freedom of the House to regulate its own affairs. That is, not to have its proceedings questioned. This freedom is sometimes known as ‘exclusive cognisance’. In practice, it means that the validity of what the House has done, whether in making amendments to a Bill, deciding not to proceed with some matter or regulating the conduct of its own Members, cannot be adjudicated upon by another body.

Hon. Members, let me hasten to add that despite the immunity from suit or prosecution which you enjoy in respect of what you say in Parliament in carrying out your duties, ultimately, you are still accountable to the House in respect of statements and actions that transgress the rules, procedures and etiquette of the House. It is, therefore, within the power of the House, in appropriate cases, to punish erring hon. Members of Parliament.

Let me now address the press. Hon Members, in noting that the complaint of the Lundazi St Paul’s Catholic Church Parish Executive arose, largely, due to the failure by the Zambia Daily Mail newspaper to report the proceedings of the House accurately, let me take this opportunity to, once again, caution the media on the manner in which they should conduct their business. This is not the first time that a media House has failed to accurately report the proceedings of the House, resulting in injury to the reputation of innocent persons. I wish to remind the media to practise professional journalism by accurately reporting the proceedings of the House. To this end, I am aware that one way in which this might be achieved is for the media to carefully verify information with appropriate authorities prior to publication.

Let me also caution media houses that continue to publish false reports of parliamentary proceedings that they risk being barred from covering the proceedings of the House and its Committees, as well as being subject to criminal proceedings under Section 25 (c) of the National Assembly Powers and Privileges Act, Chapter 12, of the Laws of Zambia.

At this juncture, I also wish to give guidance to members of the public, generally, who wish to bring matters to the attention of the National Assembly. To begin with, the National Assembly does not have powers to intervene in any matter for which there is a remedy in the courts of law. In this regard, matters of this nature should be directed to the appropriate organs of the Government, not the office of the Speaker.

Secondly, members of the public who write to the National Assembly seeking its intervention in a matter should desist from publishing their correspondence before they have received a response from the National Assembly. The conduct of the Lundazi St Paul’s Catholic Church Parish Executive of copying the letter of complaint addressed to my office to several people and publishing it in the media is certainly unacceptable. By divulging information to the press on matters submitted to my office for a decision, the House is opened up to premature public scrutiny and, the public is misled into drawing premature conclusions based on incomplete information. 

Parliament has the power and privilege to make independent, authoritative, and binding decisions on matters falling under its jurisdiction without any interference, whatsoever. Members of the public should, hence, desist from acting in a manner that erodes the confidence the electorate has reposed in the institution.

Finally, members of the public should exercise patience and restraint, to enable the National Assembly to attend to their concerns comprehensively. I wish to warn the public at large that, in future, the National Assembly will not entertain any correspondence that has been widely publicised by its authors. The general public should, thus, take this as timely advice. 

I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




The Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr Yaluma): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for this opportunity to make a ministerial statement on the unfortunate mishap of Emirates Airlines Flight EK714 to Dubai, on the 21st October, 2012. We believe that this matter has raised a lot of concern and that the public deserves to be given the right information on the same.

Mr Speaker, as a contracting State to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Zambia has made provisions for the control, regulation, supervision and orderly development of aviation so as to ensure the provision of safe, secure and efficient air travel by operating airlines within and outside Zambia.

Sir, the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA), which is now being transformed from being a department in my ministry into an autonomous authority, has been mandated by law to ensure safe operating practices by all operating airlines through regulatory compliance.

Mr Speaker, having said that, on October, 22nd, 2012, the Government received press reports and a myriad of inquiries from the public concerning Emirates Air Flight EK 714 to Dubai, which made a u-turn to Kenneth Kaunda International Airport with 131 passengers on board.

Sir, preliminary investigations carried out by the DCA have confirmed that the turning back to Lusaka of Airbus 330-200 was caused by a failure of the left hand number one engine, whose fan blade sheared off causing severe internal damage to the engine. The shearing off of the blade caused the loud bang and severe vibrations were experienced by the crew.

Mr Speaker, this occurrence, in accordance with the ICAO Annex 13 on Aircraft Accidents and Incident Investigations, has been classified as a serious incident which mandates the DCA, as a state of occurrence, to report to the aircraft state of registry, operator, design and manufacturers and the ICAO for further evaluation and analysis. All the organisations concerned with the aircraft have been notified. These are as follows:

(a)engine manufacturers (Rolls-Royce of United Kingdom (UK));

(b)accident board of the UK;

(c)accident board of France;

(d)plane manufacturers (Airbus); and

(e)aeronautical authorities of the United Arab Emirates.

Mr Speaker, we, however, wish to point out that the Airbus 330-200 twin engine aircraft, like the one used by Fly Emirates, is designed to operate with one engine inoperative while in flight and land safely at an airport where defect rectification can be carried out. In addition, the crew is also regularly trained for single engine operation of such aircrafts in such cases as suffered by Emirates Airlines. The aircraft engine has since been replaced and the plane left for Dubai on 31st October, 2012. A detailed report has since been completed and submitted to my office by the DCA.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha (Keembe): Mr Speaker, as a pilot of thirty years’ experience, …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: … I have flown many of these airplanes. What was the cause of the fan blade to shear off the engine and damage the other blades?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I do appreciate the hon. Member of Parliament’s skills as regards to flying. However, he must as well appreciate that this matter needs a serious aeronautical engineer to elaborately put forward what could have caused the blade to break. At this point in time, I do not have an answer for him.

Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Lundazi. Oh sorry, Chadiza.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, you have sent me to Lundazi today.

Mr Speaker: I dwelt so much on the earlier ruling and so it is still impressed on me.


Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, was the airbus thoroughly inspected before it took off from Kenneth Kaunda International Airport by Zambian inspectors?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, it was checked. There are what are called ‘C checks’, which are random checks before a plane takes off. So, that was done.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, we have been told that airlines which are registered in Zambia are not allowed in the Eurozone because the DCA is considered not to have sufficient capacity. Now, as regards this particular airline, how professional and competent was the civil aviation agency that handled it?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, to begin with, it is not true that Zambian airlines cannot fly in foreign airspace. For that matter, we do not have any aeroplane right now which can fly to the Eurozone. We do not just have the planes. As for the hon. Member’s question, each airline has its own service and maintenance crew as well as ground crew. So, it is not the Zambian DCA that checks the planes. The Emirates Airline technical crew checked that plane and found it fit to fly.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that the plane sent by Emirates Airline to the Lusaka route was actually old with poor facilities. How can we confirm this?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, that question is beyond the mandate of our civil aviation agency. We do not certify the fitness of planes here. The ICAO ensures that all the planes are certified and meet the requirements. So, for that plane to fly here, it was duly certified to fly into the Zambian airspace and land.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Kazonga (Vubwi): Mr Speaker, are there any plans by the Government to enhance the ‘C checks’ or inspections?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, that is a standard requirement by the ICAO. Every flight must be checked thoroughly and things are done exactly like that.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister state where at the airport, the repairs of this plane were done from.

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I want to put things in the right perspective. What happens is that when a plane flies into Lusaka, it does not go for a full check. It just goes for a ‘C check’ but, if a plane has got to go for full maintenance, there are places approved by the ICAO. The closest for this is either South Africa or Addis Ababa. As for this particular plane, the full check was done wherever it came from.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

____________ {mospagebreak}



251. Mr Chisala (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock what caused the delay in the distribution of fertiliser in Chilubi District for the 2011/2012 farming season.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr N. Banda): Mr Speaker, the countrywide sensitisation meetings at which modalities for inputs distribution for the 2011/2012 farming season were officially explained were held at the end of September, 2011. Although the inputs were already in the district at that time, the actual distribution exercise only commenced on 5th November, 2011. This was because of the need to process documentation, recruit local transporters and collect monetary contributions from farmers through designated financial institutions. This was the actual reason for the delay in the distribution of fertiliser in Chilubi District.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, I want to thank the hon. Deputy Minister for that answer …

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I would like to raise a constitutional point of order relating  to Article 51 of the Constitution of Zambia, which reads:

“The Cabinet and Deputy Ministers shall be accountable collectively to the National Assembly.”

Mr Speaker, two months ago, the hon. Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications came to this House and made a statement with regard to the blackout at the Lusaka International Airport, now renamed Kenneth Kaunda International Airport. He assured the nation and this House that there will not be any recurrence of a power blackout at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport.

Mr Speaker, I would like you to take judicial notice that the day before yesterday, the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport witnessed a power blackout from morning up to sometime around 1800 hours. You do recall that when this issue was raised on the Floor of this House, the hon. Minister made an elaborate statement pertaining to the measures that have been taken to ensure that there will never be a recurrence. 

Mr Speaker, this afternoon, he has just been making a statement on the unfortunate situation pertaining to the Emirates Airline. The failure by the National Airports Corporation (NAC) to provide adequate measures to ensure that there is power at every given time will endanger the lives of the people who use the airport and will also affect the standing of the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in the international arena. Is the hon. Minister in order to have come to this House to make an assurance and, within two months, …

Hon. UPND Member: Two weeks.

Mr Mwiimbu:  Two weeks – I am being corrected – the problem recurs? The lives of the people who use the international airport have been endangered. Is the Government in order to come and make assurances in this House that border on the security of our people and not inform this House that the assurance that was made was wrong and that the measures that they had taken cannot protect the lives of our people? 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order!

There is no doubt that this is a serious matter and I, obviously, recall that this matter was before the House and certain statements were made by the hon. Minister to the relevant portfolio. Despite those statements, the hon. Member for Monze Central has indicated, we have had a recurrence more or less of the same unfortunate incident. In light of the latest development which, of course, I take judicial notice of, I will direct the hon. Minister that he should come back to the House and properly update and advise the House on this unfortunate incident. It should be done not later than the last working day of this week. That is my ruling.

The hon. Member for Chilubi may continue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, before I was disturbed by the hon. Member for Monze Central, I was in the process of paying tribute to my colleague, the hon. Deputy Minister, for being explicit in his answer. During the 2011/2012 farming season, the farmers in Chilubi District managed to produce 85,000 bags of maize. This was simply because fertiliser was distributed between December and January when the maize had already tasseled. This being the case now, what does the hon. Minister intend to do this year to avoid the recurrence of the unfortunate situation that happened last year, especially that fertiliser for Chilubi is still being kept in Luwingu District at Nsolo instead of Chilubi District?

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Chenda): Mr Speaker, it is our intention to be as user friendly as possible to the farmers. If there are some storage facilities within Chilubi, it is only logical that we begin storing fertiliser in Chilubi. I will follow up this matter.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister, please, clarify why fertiliser is marooned at Nsolo in Luwingu District?  Is it because there is no boat to ferry the fertiliser to the island? Secondly, what type of transport arrangement has he made to ferry fertiliser to the island?

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, the only mode of transport used in Chilubi is water transport and that is what will be used.

Hon. Opposition Member: Is it available?

Mr Chenda: Yes, it is available.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Speaker, if there are no storage sheds in Chilubi Island, how does the hon. Minister hope to distribute fertiliser to the peasant farmers?

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Chilubi said that there are storage facilities in Chilubi, but was wondering why we are not using them. My reply was that we are not aware that there are storage facilities. Now that we are aware, we are going to consider using them. So, I do not know how else I should respond to the question raised by the hon. Member for Senga Hill.

Thank you, Sir.


252. Mr Chisala asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education when the Government would amend the University Act, 1999, to bring it in line with the current political, social and cultural developments in the country.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Professor Willombe): Mr Speaker, the Government has recognised the urgent need to bring the University Act in line with the current regional and international trends in higher education, and thus the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education has already proposed the legal framework for higher education to provide for the establishment of the higher education authority and the governance of universities and other education institutions.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, when does the ministry intend to conclude business on the new University Act?

Professor Willombe: Mr Speaker, it is an on-going process.

Thank you, Sir.

Dr Kazonga (Vubwi): Mr Speaker, since the hon. Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education has indicated that work on the Universities Act is an ongoing process, may I know whether he has taken into consideration the development of the National Qualifications Framework which works together with the Higher Education Authority?

Professor Wilombe: Mr Speaker, the ministry has considered the National Qualifications Framework. As far as we are concerned, the proposed Bill on the Higher Education Authority is currently with the Ministry of Justice.

I thank you, Sir.

Brigadier-General Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, …

Hon. Government Member: Why are you not in your seat?


Dr Chituwo: … can the hon. Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education clarify how an amendment to such an important piece of legislation be an ongoing process? Surely, is there no time frame in which we should expect that Bill to be brought to this House? Can he indicate the time frame because this is an important Bill?

Professor Wilombe: We are consulting. The process is expected to be concluded by 2013.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister says that he is consulting. Who is being consulted?

Professor Wilombe: Mr Speaker, education is an important issue on which we need to consult widely. As I earlier indicated, the Bill has been referred to the Ministry of Justice. That is consultation.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Deputy Minister to clarify something. Earlier on, he said the exercise was ongoing, meaning that it is continuous, but now, he says he is consulting. Can he tell us exactly what he is doing for the Bill to mature and come before the House? Up to what level is the consultation going?


Professor Wilombe: Mr Speaker, the word consulting is broad. Even the reference to the Ministry of Justice is consulting.

Mr Mwila: Yes!

Professor Wilombe: I have also indicated that by 2013, we will have concluded and the Bill would have been brought before the House.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, having struggled to tell us exactly what is taking place regarding this important Bill, he left us with assumptions. My assumption is that there must be a draft somewhere in someone’s office. At what stage is this consultation and where is the draft? In whose office is it sitting? Is it sitting in his office or is it still…

Hon. Sakeni interjected.

Mr Nkombo: Hon. Sakeni, please, mulamu? Is it still at the Ministry of Justice in draft form, in his office or is it coming to the Committee on Education so that stakeholders can look at it? I want to know.

Professor Wilombe: Mr Speaker, I have already indicated that the Bill is with the Ministry of Justice.

Mr Mwila: That is all.  

Professor Wilombe: The President indicated the need for a regulatory framework. We are working to ensure that we have one. I have also indicated that the work on the Bill will be concluded by 2013.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Deputy Minister to be very categorical. Is it a Bill that is before the Minister of Justice or a report which has been made by the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education so that a Bill can be made by the Minister of Justice? If it is a Bill, there is no need for any further consultation. It must be brought to the House.

Professor Wilombe: Mr Speaker, even after coming up with a Bill, you can consult.

I thank you, Sir.



253. Mr Sililo (Mulobezi) asked the Minister of Finance when the Government would facilitate the establishment of a commercial bank in Mulobezi District.

The Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, the Government has been working on a number of initiatives to increase access to finance through the Bank of Zambia (BOZ) under the Financial Sector Development Plan. Financial inclusiveness is seen as the policy imperative and, therefore, extending financial services to remote areas remains a priority. Financial inclusion is premised on both the social and economic benefits it confers on users of financial services. It must be viewed in the context of its capacity to increase the people’s opportunity to participate in the wider economy as well as in its ability to reduce poverty both at individual and household levels. 

Sir, BOZ has in the recent past been promoting financial sector innovations in the area of financial inclusion. For instance, it has been developing regulatory frameworks that seek to lower costs of delivering financial services by existing service providers such as the use of agents domiciled in areas not serviced by any financial institution. Also, the bank has been working with commercial banks to establish bank branches in areas that have no commercial bank presence. As at end of December 2011, thirteen out of seventy-two districts did not have any commercial bank branches. With the creation of new districts, the number of unbanked districts is likely to increase. 

Sir, it is, therefore, the expectation that once infrastructure is developed in the new districts, commercial banks will have the appropriate incentives to establish offices in the new districts.

Further, BOZ will continue to create an environment that ensures a continued increase in private sector initiatives. 

Mr Speaker, Government policy on financial inclusion is that all districts should have a presence of at least a commercial bank in order to service the financial needs of individuals, households and business utilities in their respective localities. This is beneficial for enhancing the social and economic welfare of these economic agents as well as enhancing the efficiencies in the economy as a whole.

Sir, given the important role that commercial banks play in improving financial intermediation, the Government will continue to promote initiatives aimed at achieving and sustaining its objective on financial inclusion. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Sililo: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for that long answer. May I find out which commercial banks have shown interest in Mulobezi District?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, it is difficult to establish that because it us up to the commercial banks. There is no mandatory requirement for commercial banks to establish branches in any area. It is up to the commercial banks to assess the viability of their ventures in the districts that so far, have no banks.

I thank you, Sir

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, is the Government, in conjunction with the BOZ, considering to offer some incentives to those commercial banks that would want to open branches in rural areas.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, in the Budget last year, we offered an incentive to the commercial banks. We reduced the Corporate Tax from 40 per cent to 35 per cent. With respect to the Budget for 2013, we have offered further incentives by removing the interest on savings. This is intended to encourage more people to put their resources in the banks. I hope that this will lead to a greater proliferation of commercial bank networks in the country.

I thank you, Sir

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, considering the importance of financial services in some of the rural areas such as Mulobezi and Kazungula, would it not be prudent to work out a deliberate policy with the Zambia Postal Services Corporation so that it can service our people and alleviate their suffering.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that suggestion. It is a very good suggestion which is worth exploring. I hope we can explore it together.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, what is the minimum qualification for a district to have a commercial bank?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, there is no criteria, and I am not in a position to induce the commercial banks to open branches. They open branches wherever they see possibilities of a reasonable return on their investment.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, are there are any plans to assist the financial institutions, particularly those targeting the rural areas such as Mulobezi and Vubwi, to introduce mobile banking services? Is there any chance to promote mobile banking in rural areas before infrastructure is developed?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, I know that the hon. Member means well. However, there is no way the Government can leverage the opening of commercial banks. The Government can only create an enabling environment in the economy for people to invest where ever they can. The hon. Member, who is the brother to Hon. Chishimba Kambwili …


Mr Chikwanda: … made a very useful suggestion.

Mr Livune: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker …

Mr Livune: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

A point of order is raised.

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, it has been put before this House that I am Hon. Chishimba Kambwili’s brother. What is the hon. Minister insinuating. Is he in order to assume that my parents are the ones who brought up Hon. Chishimba Kambwili, especially that his conduct is very different from mine.


Mr Speaker: Order!

I think you can seek further clarification during tea break.


Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, Mulobezi is a very important place which has a very big community. I am aware that the Government is trying to revitalise the railway line that used to serve Mulobezi. I want to find out from the hon. Minister whether it is not important for him to have some personal attachment to places like Mulobezi. He must take it upon himself to ensure that his ministry helps a place like Mulobezi to have a commercial bank.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, the one thing that I can do, or the Government can do, is to ensure that the rail line to Mulobezi, in the context of sorting out the problems of the Railway Systems of Zambia, is operating well.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, there is nothing I can do about the other matters such as leveraging the operations of commercial banks. However, hon. Members can take the initiative to lobby commercial banks to open branches there. When I was District Governor for Zambezi, in 1969, l lobbied even after I left, for a bank to be established there, and Barclays Bank established a branch in Zambezi.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance had the experience of helping to establish a bank, in his early years. The fact is people tend to burry money in the ground because of lack of banks. Does the hon. Minister consider it not necessary to have banks, especially in Mulobezi, since my cousins have a tendency of burring money in the ground?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, people in Western province are resourceful. I am sure that as the economy of that area grows, banks will see the opportunity to get there in due course. The banks are trying to widen the network of their branches and given the fact that from 1st January, 2013, all foreign commercial banks will be required to have capital structures of a minimum US$ 100 million or K500 billion, they will have a lot of liquidity. I am sure that this will induce banks to look for wider branch networks. I am sure that a place like Mulobezi, will in due course, have a branch from one of the commercial banks.

I thank you, Sir.




VOTE 04/01 ─ (Ministry of Gender and Child Development ─ K35,249,688,708)

(Consideration resumed)

The Minister of Gender and Child Development (Mrs Wina): Mr Chairperson, before the House adjourned on Friday, last week, I was about to inform the hon. Members about the need to allocate sufficient resources to programmes dealing with the protection of our children’s rights.

Sir, in 2012, the ministry provided support to thirty-five child protection committees in some provinces to enable them sensitise the public on issues of child protection. This activity included the withdrawal of children living on and off the streets. In 2013, the ministry will continue supporting these committees through grants and capacity building.

Mr Chairperson, the 2013 Budget Estimates for the Ministry of Gender and Child Development is K35, 249, 688, 708, compared with K29, 059, 524, 209, in 2012. This represents an increase on 21.3 per cent. This increase, as earlier stated, is due to the expanded mandate and structure of my ministry. Further, it is because of the scaling up of the Women Economic Empowerment programme, re-integration of street children and interventions to reduce gender-based violence so as to have a positive impact on our women, men, girls and boys.

Mr Chairperson, this Budget, therefore, has been formulated to ensure effective implementation of gender and child development programmes across the country in order to contribute to the attainment of the goals outlined in the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP) and the Vision 2030. Further, it will contribute to job creation through the empowerment of our vulnerable women and children, some of whom fall in the youth category. The Budget, when approved, will also go a long way in cementing the efforts that have been made, so far, in the area of women participation in decision-making as demonstrated by the increased appointment of women to decision-making positions by the President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellence Mr Michael Chilufya Sata. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Wina: Mr Chairperson, Zambia is, at last, moving in tandem with other countries in the region, as evidenced by the country’s recent ratification of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Gender Protocol.

Sir, as I conclude, (voice squeaks) I wish to take this opportunity to appeal to all hon. Members of this august House …

Hon. MMD Member interjected.


Mrs Wina: Mr Chairperson, the interjection from the hon. Member ...

May he excuse me. I recently had an operation on my vocal cords and my voice falters sometimes. So, this is not of my own making.

Sir, I wish to take this opportunity to appeal to all the hon. Members of this august House, be it on your left or right, to support the proposed 2013 budget for my ministry because gender and child issues are critical in national development and cut across partisan lines.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to comment on the budget for the Ministry of Gender and Child Development.

Sir, let me begin by sympathising with the hon. Minister on her medical condition. I wish her a quick recovery.

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Sir, regarding the K35 billion allocation to the ministry, the hon. Minister has given us some fairly adequate feeling of satisfaction that, at 21 percent, she feels that her Government has taken a leap forward in trying to address the issues of gender and child development.

Mr Chairperson, I will argue that K35 billion out of a Budget of K32 trillion, which the hon. Minister says is an increase, is totally insignificant in the eyes of us, from the United Party for National Development (UPND). As I continue, I will try to show why I think that the increase is insignificant. I will try my best to select my words carefully because I share a relationship with the hon. Minister of Gender and Child Development. Actually, she saw me grow up and was at my wedding many years ago. She was seated at the high table because she was the wife of the guest of honour, may his soul rest in peace. So, I will be a bit kinder to her.


Mr Nkombo: Sir, it is true that half of the population of this country consists of women, and that the greater part of this half, as a matter of fact, consist of mothers. Therefore, it remains a stubborn fact that women have a very special position in our country and it this should be demonstrated in the manner in which the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is conducting the affairs of this ministry.

Mr Chairperson, I know that the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step and I can only be thankful that, after so much pressure to establish this ministry as a fully-fledged one, the Head of State, His Excellency, Mr Michael Sata, agreed to do so.

Sir, we have to walk the talk, however, and put our monies where our mouths are. Having stated that half of this population is women and the greater part of the half are their mothers, it leaves us, men, and children part of this ministry. So, it is a cross-cutting ministry that requires to have been given much more money than K35 billion.

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister, in her discourse, spoke about the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on Children’s Rights. 

  In her submission, she was non-committal as to when the PF is going to domesticate these two conventions. What she said is, and I quote: 

“We are committed to international and regional instruments, and my ministry will, through Government ministries, domesticate international protocols and conventions related to gender and child development, such as the CEDAW and the protocol on children.”

Mr Chairperson, I needed to hear a much more assertive statement from the hon. Minister as to when the Government intends to domesticate these two conventions because that would become a binding position that we, from the left of your Chair, would support without fear or favour. As she stated towards the end of her submission, and she was right, the ministry that we are discussing now is totally apolitical.

Mr Chairperson, coming to the specifics of my contribution on women, I think that men of quality, such as myself, have no fear of equality with our womenfolk. Therefore, the Government is required to make huge strides towards attaining the 50-50 per cent representation of women in decision-making positions, as opposed to what we have been seeing lately. Just last week, we saw that women were thrown out of jobs by the PF in the guise of national interest or national security. I could give examples, but it is not necessary.

Mr Chairperson, we need to assist women to ascend to higher positions in order to empower them. The hon. Minister stated that the leap of 21 per cent is owing to the programmes for empowering women. It should be deliberate, but I think that the 21 per cent increase, though commendable, is not enough. 

Mr Chairperson, the challenge that I see that could make the future of our womenfolk and children bleak under the PF is that of the many haphazard and unco-ordinated ways of doing things. I will give an example very quickly. Most people who are involved in street vending are women. When the hon. Minister of Justice, who is taking notes currently, was defending street vending, he said that the PF could not stop street vending because people required the means to make ends meet. He indicated that people should be allowed to vend outside of the designated trading areas, in the mean time, because people had to make ends meet. He further threw the blame on the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) for not creating employment.

Mr Chairperson, without touching his persona, I think that there was a miss here in the sense the PF could have given the traders a period of time, for instance, a year, in which to trade on the streets while coming up with permanent solutions to take them back to designated trading points. In my opinion, that would have been an orderly approach.

Mr Chairperson, at one point the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, Prof. Nkandu Luo, was very close to managing the issue of street vending, she had taken a zero-tolerance stance on street vending. The Minister of Lusaka Province and even His Worship the Mayor of the Greater City of Lusaka, Daniel Chisenga, supported her crusade to remove people from undesignated trading areas. However, might is normally right and the Secretary General of the PF said that nobody would be removed from the streets until the people had a way in which to make their ends meet.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to draw your attention to Haiti. Those of you who may have had the privilege to read about the histories of other countries will know that Haiti became ungovernable at one point. It all began with street vending. It got to a stage where you would wake up to find that people have set up market stores, which we call tuntemba, in front of your house and you will have no say because they have to make ends meet.

Mr Chairperson, Hon. Prof. Luo had managed to get to a tipping point but, unfortunately, the opportunity was lost. The bulk of people who are found in this type of trade are women and children. 

Hon. Government Member: Aah!

Mr Nkombo: You can say whatever you want, but that is a fact. 

Sir, those children who were born in 1992 are twenty-one-year-olds today. For as long as we are going to institutionalise what the current hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing called street traders, we will be sitting on a time bomb. We need to hold hands together because, when the people rise and become intoxicated with desperation, they are going to come for us. They may be able to trade on the streets now but, in future, there may be no opportunities to trade. 

If you go to Northmead Market around 18:00 hours, Hon. Inonge Wina, you will see how those children have grown. Hon Namugala had tried to put them in training camps, where they really ought to be, but the moment the PF came, they were let loose again. They also harass women and other children and, if we do not manage this affair properly, we are going to be in trouble in the future. Therefore, your task is very humongous, hon. Minster, and you need to assert yourself when you sit in the Cabinet for it to give you more money. Do not succumb to the hon. Minister of Youth and Sport who is insisting that we re-start the Zambia National Service training for youths because your ministries are intertwined. Try and support him, but ask him to only include those people who are vulnerable and have no shaped destiny to be decanted into the Zambia National Service scheme so that they can be given training in skills and vocational activities.  

Mr Chairperson, there is so much that can happen. However, I think, the hon. Minister needs to look at the root causes of the problems which her ministry is facing, which include poverty. Poverty erodes morals and decays our society. 

Mr Chairperson, I would like to support this vote and hope that the hon. Minister has taken a word or two from my debate so that the Government can come out of the populist mode of letting people to trade on the streets.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me and the people of Kaputa the opportunity to add our voice to support the budget for the Ministry of Gender and Child Development. 

Mr Chairperson, allow me to start with gender and gender-related issues. It is amusing how we tend to misinterpret issues that relate to gender in this country. I thank the hon. Minister for the budget she has presented and for increasing the amount, although it is not substantial. 

Sir, we know, for sure, that gender-related issues are issues of development. We should not try to trivialise them. Until this country comes to realise that gender issues have to be mainstreamed into the development agenda, we will, probably, continue to have development disparities. Unfortunately, in our socialisation in Zambia and Africa as a whole, where we have the patriotic way of bringing updevelopment, we have seen that the bigger chunk of the national cake has been going towards programmes for men and not women. I wish to say that the quicker we work on these gender-related issues, the faster this country will develop 

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister highlighted the issue of domesticating international protocols. I would like to say that this issue is not only found in this particular ministry alone. I definitely want to say that the earlier the hon. Minister came to this House to pronounce what the ministry has been able to do on the domestication, especially of the SADC Gender Protocol which was ratified some years back in this country, the earlier we will be able to support the ministry so that we can see the issues of gender or the issues of women brought forward.

Mr Chairperson, allow me to also comment on the Women Empowerment Fund that has been allocated a budget through the Ministry of Gender and Child Development. This fund is very important, especially in our rural constituencies. I will hasten to say, Mr Speaker, that a lot more needs to be done…

The Chairperson: Order!

I know it is easy for us to make those simple mistakes, but I want to correct you. When we are in Committee of Supply, I am addressed as, ‘The Chairperson’.

Please, continue.

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Chairperson, thank you for your guidance. 

Sir, I was looking at the issue of the Women EmpowermentFund and how it impacts the livelihood of our rural women. I would hasten to say that this fund is very important in our rural constituencies. What we definitely need is the simplification of the process of accessing this fund. The resource-poor women in the rural constituencies must be able to access this fund easily. As it is now, the forms that are given can only be filled in by those who have had some level of education. So, my poor mother and grandmother, they may not be able to access these funds. I urge the ministry to try and simplify this process. 

Mr Chairperson, if these women went to the banks to look for money, they would be asked questions about what they have done and how much collateral they can put up. I, therefore, think that we can simplify the process of accessing the Women Empowerment Fund so that even those that have not been to school can access it. The other way is to train them on how to handle this money and do business when they have accessed it. We can do that in the local languages so that the people can understand properly. What we continue to see is that these funds tend to be accessed by those who have passed through school and those that have had some business training or entrepreneurial skills. Otherwise, it will be very difficult for the intended beneficiaries to access these funds. 

Mr Chairperson, finally, may I also comment on the child protection committee in this ministry. We know for sure that this is an important committee that supports the children, especially when it comes to street children.I do not even want to call them street children because I know for sure that there are no children who are born on the streets. I would,therefore, urge the ministry to find a friendlier term to use and alsoto increase this fund. 

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I would like to state that I speak from a privileged position considering that I am the Chairperson of the Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Gender and Child Affairs.

The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.{mospagebreak}

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, before business was suspended, I was saying that I am privileged to be the Chairperson of the Committee that oversees this particular ministry. 

Mr Chairperson, I support the budget for the Ministry of Gender and Child Affairs without any reservations although it is inadequate. If I had my way, I would have moved an amendment to ensure that this particular budget for this ministry is increased by not less than 100 per cent. 

Mr Chairperson, it is important to note that the majority of the people in this country that are afflicted by extreme poverty are women. For us to uplift the living standards of our women, we have to make positive moves to ensure that they come out of the poverty cycle. I have noted the meagre resources that have been allocated to women’sempowerment programmes. The resources that have been allocated will not, in my view, uplift the economic situation of our womenin any way. We need to do more than what we are proposing in this particular budget.

Sir, I have also noted that in this budget, the ministry is providing money for women and children. In that light, I would like to make an earnest proposal to the Government through His Honour the Vice-President that the Ministry of Gender and Child Affairs should be changed to the Ministry of Women and Child affairs.


Mr Mwiimbu: If you look at all the votes that are in this particular ministry, you will notice that they are not referring to men, but women. Why should we shy away and refuse to rename this particular ministry the Ministry of Women and Child’s Affairs, because this is what it is supposed to be. If we are talking about gender, it does not discriminate and it talks about both men and women. However, in the budget, we are only talking about women. So, it is only rational and prudent to ensure that we change the name of this particular ministry to the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs so that there is emphasis rather than what we are currently doing.

Mr Chairperson, I am also glad to note that the Government of the Republic of Zambia has finally acceded and ratified the gender protocol which entails that each gender should have 50 per cent representation in decision making positions.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to see that this particular protocol is implemented by the PF Government without hesitation. In implementing this protocol which we have openly embraced, I would like to see that 50 per cent of Cabinet positions in the PF Government being held by women before the end of next year.

Hon. UPND Member: This year, including ba mama Kalima.

Hon. Mwiimbu: That is what it means. We would like to see that come next year, the Vice-President of the Government of the Republic of Zambia is a woman.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: We would like to see that half of the Deputy Ministers and permanent secretaries are women. That is what this particular protocol entails. If the PF Government does not implement this, then we will be extremely disappointed that they do not mean well. If they mean well, …


Mr Chairperson: Order! 

This is being unruly. I do not think that we should do that. Let us observe our parliamentary etiquette in terms of debate because, once you do not do that, there will be mayhem. 

Continue, hon. Member.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I will assist them …

Mr Sichinga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Chairperson: I am not granting a point of order now.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chairperson: I am not in a position to grant a point of order after that advice I gave. 

Can the hon. Member continue.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, in order to illustrate my point and rebut the issues that have been raised that there are inadequate women, I would like to inform my colleagues that the President has the prerogative to appoint and disappoint nominated hon. Members of Parliament. If they think that they do not have adequate women, then they should disappoint all the nominated men hon. Members of Parliament …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: … and nominate women, and then the number will increase. They should also appoint all the women who are in this House to Government positions and, because they believe in a small-sized Government, they will have no problems. All the women will be Cabinet Ministers.

Mr Sichinga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Chairperson, is it in order for the debater on the Floor of the House to imply that there should be different approaches and rules to apply to different sections of this House when, in fact, he is not making reference to his own section regarding the representation of hon. Members of Parliament. I seek your serious ruling of whether it is in order for him not to refer to the United Party for National Development (UPND) and its representation to this House.

Mr Chairperson: Can the hon. Member take that point of order into account as he debates.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I will do that with pleasure. We are talking about decision-making positions.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: The hon. Opposition Members of Parliament are advocates and do not make decisions.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: They merely make recommendations. We are not talking about having 50 per cent recommending positions, but decision-making positions because these are in the Executive, hence my argument.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, the other issue that I would like to raise relates to the so called street children. As chairperson of the committee that deals with the rights of the children, we have carried out investigations and come to the conclusion that most of the children that are roaming the streets have parents who are alive and come from homes. It is the result of the parent’s failure to take care of the children that we have this concept of street children. We have to find a way of identifying those parents who are failing to take care of their children and assist them to bring up a family. If we do not do that, this phenomenon of street children is going to continue. The issue of street children is a reflection of the failure of the welfare society in this country. If we have the means to address this issue, we must ensure that we address the root cause and provide for families that are unable to provide for their children.

Mr Chairperson, I am aware that in the rural areas, there is what is called the cash transfer scheme. It would be prudent to also extend this scheme to the urban areas. We should not mislead ourselves and assume that poverty levels in the rural areas are higher than in the urban areas. There is screaming poverty in compounds such as Misisi, Ng’ombe, Mazhoipa, Chilenje and so on and so forth. People in these areas need support from the Government. As my brother, Hon. Gary Nkombo, indicated, the phenomenon of street children started more than twenty years ago, and the street children of twenty years ago are now adults. It is these street children who cause mayhem, and when they come to attack people’s homes, they do not even hide their identity. They commit all sorts of heinous crimes because they believe that if they are taken to prison, for them prison will be like a hotel where they will live well and be taken care of by the authorities. 

Mr Chairperson, it is incumbent upon us, as leaders, to ensure that we address this problem because if we do not do that, we will live to regret. All these other measures that we are putting in place to ensure that there is foreign investment and development in the country will come to nil if we do not do anything about this issue because there will be no security in this country. You may be aware that, nowadays, if you are driving a posh car, you may easily be harassed by street children. This is a pointer of worse things to come and if we do not anything about this, we will live to regret.

Mr Chairperson, let me also conquer with the submissions that were made by my brother from Kaputa pertaining to accessing the meagre resources by women in the various constituencies.

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Women and mothers are finding it extremely difficult to access whatever money that is made available.
   The perpetrators of this vice are we, the mothers, who abrogate their duties. Parents must be sensitised enough to appreciate the value of education. Enough time must be given to the girl-child to attend to their studies. One way of ensuring this, is to open up boarding schools for girls.

Mr Chairperson, night schools should be reintroduced because we used to have them before, if we are to reach the millennium development goal (MDGs) on education. At the moment, we are nowhere near reaching this goal. This Government should enact punitive measures for parents who force their girl children into early marriages. These children should be allowed to continue to pursue their educational careers so that they can become productive members of society.

Sir, empowerment of women through farming and business inputs is vital. I am sure that you are all aware that the Tongas are polygamous by nature. In my constituency, Pemba, I was shocked to find that senior wives, …

The conditionality of requiring the women clubs to have certificates is inhibiting them from accessing resources. 

Mr Chairperson, all of us here come from local authorities. These local authorities can be empowered to issue certificates to our women clubs. 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Once the local authorities are given the power to issue certificates, it will be easier for the women to access money. As it is now, for a women’s club to come to Lusaka, from Shang’ombo, to register, it will require more than K2,000,000. That is the same amount which they will be applying for through the Ministry of Gender and Child Development. It does not augur well.  In my view, we need to relax the process so as to ensure that our women get the requisite funding. 

Mr Chairperson, I would also like to appeal to the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry to ensure that there is a deliberate policy in his office which will make the Citizen Economic Empowerment Fund easily accessible to women. As it is, women find it extremely difficult to access such funds. We need to liberalise the conditionalities and to set up a special fund for women. 

Mr Chairperson, once we empower our women, we will be reducing poverty. If we empower women, we will be empowering our mothers. I believe that all of us here have mothers. If our mothers are empowered, they will definitely look after all of us. 

Mr Chairperson, with these remarks, I wish to urge my colleagues to wholly support this budget, and if possible, as we sit down to look at the figures, let us try and see how we can increase the funding to the Ministry of Gender and Child Development. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Brigadier-General Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to add to this very important debate. 

Mr Chairperson, as usual, I will be very brief. I just want to state that I wish to adopt my colleague’s debate as my very own. Perhaps to improve on it, however, I want to state that in my view, the money allocated to the Ministry of Gender and Child Development in the 2013 Budget is adequate. 

Mr Chairperson, I would like to see this ministry linking up with other ministries. For instance, in the empowerment unit, we shall get more out of the little we have by finding a fertile ground for the women who have already been mobilised and trained.

Mr Chairperson, there is no need for the Ministry of Gender and Child Development to also undertake training and sensitisation programmes when they can adequately be conducted by  the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health. We have men and women, who are trained for community mobilisation and all the Ministry of Gender and Child Development has to do is identify these trained groups and empower them. The Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health can monitor and co-ordinate the training. When things are done this way, we shall see the money going a long way. 

Secondly, when we talk about linking the operations of the ministry with those of the Ministry of Youth and Sport, we… 


The Chairperson: Order!

At the back, on my right, consult quietly. 

You may continue, please.

Brigadier-General Dr Chituwo: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for your protection. 

Sir, the Ministry of Gender and Child Development can also link up with the Ministry of Youth and Sport and identify those who, at various levels, can be trained at various camps. We, therefore, do not have to duplicate efforts in the area of identification. There is no need for the Ministry of Gender and Child Development to take to the streets and markets to identify the would-be clients. If we do things that way, we will see that we shall do more with our money during our financial year. 

Mr Chairperson, it is important to understand that when we talk about gender, we are not really talking women alone. Admittedly, we are aware that historically, women have been disadvantaged in social, economical, political and cultural spheres. Thirdly, the work of the ministry can be linked to that of the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education. 

Mr Chairperson, deliberate efforts have to be made to ensure that from inception, the girl-child is taught life skills. They should be taught on how to be assertive so that they can develop the ability to stand up for what they believe in. With such an initiative in place, when these girls come out of school and find empowerment programmes, they will be ready to access them.  I thought that I should point out the three linkages and show that the Ministry of Gender and Child Development must not work in isolation. 

We have enthusiastic women clubs all around us. Many of us in this House, I would like to believe, continue to contribute to the registration of women’s clubs. However, the numbers are so huge that they fall short of our capacity to actually provide the fees for registration for each one of them. 

There is a need for the modification of the registration exercise so that we can have a comprehensive data base which the Ministry of Gender and Child Development can use for their empowerment programmes.  

Lastly, I would like to add that as we talk about gender, let us not exclusively discuss issues only to do with women. In my constituency, the women have incorporated the men in cattle restocking initiatives of their clubs to do the donkey work, such as the carrying of logs. In such situations, we find that the men are very useful. There is obviously an understanding that there are certain roles that men can play which women cannot. In our quest to empower women, there must be an element of sensitizing men that leadership is not a preserve of the men.  

Lastly, Sir, I think that we should give good examples to the youth. There are some women with leadership potential who are not in this House. Some of them do not even occupy any decision-making positions. We should lead by example. I am very confident that His Excellency the President is listening to our debate. The men who have the required capacity should not worry that they will lose their jobs to their female counterparts. There are many roles which we all can play. When we link up properly as men and women, I am sure that we can make greater strides, be it in health, social or economic development. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mazoka (Pemba): Mr Chairperson, as a general rule, women all over the world are regarded as second-class citizens. I feel that it is time that this bad attitude, which is very retrogressive, came to its deserved end, if we are to achieve our developmental goals in Zambia. Take for instance a girl-child, who is denied prime time to study because she has to attend to domestic chores while her male counterpart is allowed to play and study as he wishes. Women are also denied farming inputs because they are told that they are supposed to be under the wings of their husbands. Mr Chairperson, this is very retrogressive. It is common knowledge in Zambia that women have generally taken over the role of head of family, and if they are denied these inputs, then the whole family suffers hence the high poverty levels in our country.

Women work long hours in the fields and at the end of the day, all they are given by their husbands for their cheap labour is perhaps a piece of chitenge if they are lucky. These are the same women who are expected to raise funds for their children’s education and all other family needs. Sir, I suggest that women should be treated better because they are the pillars of families.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mazoka: More money should be channelled to the Ministry of Gender and Child Development because it carries the huge responsibility of addressing issues to do with family life. 

Mr Chairperson, may I also join my colleagues in support of increasing the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mazoka: … to the tune of K5 billion in order for us to carry out developmental projects in our constituencies effectively. At the moment, in Pemba Constituency, my people are drinking water from a shared source with cows, pigs, goats and other wildlife.

Mr Livune: Sorry manigi!

Mrs Mazoka: The roads, if you can call them that, are in a deplorable condition in the rainy season. Dams and dip tanks need to be rehabilitated. New ones need to be built where there are none in order to avoid high mortality rates in animals.

Mr Livune: And among women!

Mrs Mazoka: Well, no! Not among women.


Mrs Mazoka: Mr Chairperson, the list is endless. If we had enough CDF, we could attend to some these problems areas ourselves. Please, hon. Minister of Finance, though he is not here, empower the hon. Members of Parliament so that they can bring tangible development to our beloved country Zambia.

Sir, having said all this, I reluctantly support the vote because the allocation to this ministry is quite inadequate. Personally, I think it is inadequate because there are many needs which this ministry should attend to.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to support this budget line for the Ministry of Gender and Child Development. In supporting it, and on behalf of the people of Lupososhi Constituency, I want to say a few things as regards to the implementation of this budget.

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister needs to review the sensitisation programme for our women folk in various constituencies of our country so that they can be able to know business issues and be able to apply for things that will support them. I am saying so, because I have noticed, especially in my constituency, that the women there have not been sensitised about many things. Therefore, the selection of projects of the businesses or income generating activities that they want to venture into is limited to the hammer mills.

Due to this, all that women do is to apply for hammer mills. These hammer mills have also been a source of problems. As they operate them, quarrels amongst themselves are common. Therefore, it is important that the ministry embarks on a serious sensitisation drive so that the women of our country can know about other business or income generating ventures that they engage in. Thus, the ministry needs to find resources which it can use to empower those that will be tasked with the responsibility to do the sensitisation. This will call for synergies which were talked about earlier.

The Ministry of Gender and Child Development is not present in all the districts of our country. Therefore, it normally outsources personnel from the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health for its sensitisation campaigns. However, I think that if we have to succeed in empowering women, we need to have the presence of this ministry in districts.

Mr Chairperson, let me now talk about children. As a member of a Parliamentary Caucus on Children, I think the hon. Minister has mammoth tasks to attend to, especially those to do with vulnerable children. Organisations that have ventured into looking after these vulnerable children such as SOS Children’s Village, House of Moses and many more others …

Mr Kalaba: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya: … require a lot of support from the Ministry of Gender and Child Development. The organisations also require a lot of support from the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health. They also need a lot of support from the Ministry of Education, Science and Vocational Training under the sector called early education. Support is also needed from the Ministry of Health. If we have to compliment the assistance which is being provided to the Zambian children by the donor world, we need to be as serious as possible in the implementation of this budget so that the welfare of the children that are looked after in these institutions or orphanages is adequately attended to.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Chairperson, my contribution is very brief. 

I have been incited to speak after the hon. Minister indicated in her policy statement that the Government has signed the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Gender Protocol. The MMD Government took long to sign this protocol for very good reasons. It was all for the benefit of the Zambians. Over and above everything else, Zambia is a Christian nation. There was an element of homosexuality in the protocol. I only hope that when the hon. Minister comes to reply, she will indicate whether that element is no longer in the protocol.

Mr Chairperson, thank you, very much.

Mrs Wina: Mr Chairperson, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the hon. Members who have made their contributions to the debate on the budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Gender and Child Development. In particular, the following hon. Members raised a number of issues: Hon. Nkombo, Hon. Mwiimbu, Hon. Ng’onga, Hon. Mazoka, Hon. Bwalya, Hon. Chituwo and Hon. Pande.

Mr Chairperson, most of the issues raised revolve around the inadequate allocation to the ministry. We are all aware that the Government’s responsibilities go beyond one ministry and, as such, the resource envelope was only able to support the ministry to the extent it has done. In the process, we are still appealing to the hon. Minister, in the course of the year, to take into account some of the suggestions that have been made by various hon. Members.

Mr Chairperson, on the issue of domestication of international conventions that support the rights of women and children, this House has been informed on several occasions that the PF is committed to ensuring that all the international, continental as well as regional conventions that support the human rights of people are domesticated as soon as possible.

Sir, in line with this, CEDAW will be domesticated at the earliest next year without fail. That I can guarantee the hon. Members.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Wina: Mr Chairperson, gender equality and equity is a cross-cutting and important issue, as Hon. Ng’onga explained. As such, my ministry has been mandated to mainstream gender in all line ministries that have the responsibility of ensuring that the issues that affect men and women are taken care of. The issue of women’s opportunities within that particular ministry should be addressed adequately. To this effect, every ministry has a component of its budget allocated, not only to women’s groups or women marching on the streets, but also for addressing issues affecting men and women. So, I look forward to the intensification of gender mainstreaming in all Government departments.

Mr Chairperson, the issue of having few women in decision-making positions is not one for the PF only. It hinges on the responsibility of all political parties in the country. The reason there are so few women hon. Members of Parliament in this House is that the political parties, which are the gate-keepers to women’s participation in politics, did not adequately address the issue of the numbers of women they adopted as candidates. The political parties are the ones that choose the candidates to contest various seats in elections. So, if they do not adopt women as candidates, the numbers will continue to be negligible.

Secondly, I hope that, with the current review of the Constitution, the issues of women’s representation will be considered and, perhaps, there may be a need to change our country’s electoral system to match with the other countries in the SADC Region where the first-past-the-post electoral system has been discarded because it is considered discriminatory. These are issues that all political parties should share responsibility over. The SADC Gender Protocol does not mean that President Sata should dismiss half of his Cabinet and replace them with women. It does not work that way. There are processes that need to be followed in order to realise the fifty-fifty representation of women by women in Parliament.

Mr Chairperson, the issue of linkages is very important for our ministry, and we have already embarked on this process. We have linkages, not only with other line ministries, but with the civil society organisations (CSO) and even with the private sector because we realise that we can not achieve our objectives on our own. So, we are working with the others to achieve our goals.

Mr Chairperson, the issue of homosexuality is a new thing that I do not understand and I do not think it is inherent in the SADC Gender Protocol.

Sir, training in entrepreneurship is an issue of concern to my ministry, as evidenced by the increased allocation of funds in this year’s budget. My ministry is handling children aged between one and fifteen years. When they reach the age of seventeen, we hand them over to the Ministry of Youth and Sport. So, we are working together and, as a ministry, we are co-ordinating the activities on children’s protection, as I explained, at an early age until they reach fifteen or seventeen years. 

With those few remarks, I would like to thank all the hon. Members for contributing to the vote.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 04/01 – (Ministry of Gender and Child Development – Human Resource and Administration Department – K8, 235, 648, 798)

Dr Kazonga (Vubwi): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 3001, Activity 038 – Revolving Fund – Nil. I have seen that there is nothing allocated for the Revolving Fund in next year’s provision. What is the reason? Programme 3007, Activity 001 – Goods and Services Arrears – K700, 000, 000. May I know whether this particular Budget line includes utility bills arrears because I have not seen it anywhere?

The Deputy Minister of Gender and Child Development (Mrs Banda): Mr Chairperson, no funds have been provided in the 2013 Budget for Programme 3001, Activity 038 – Revolving Fund, in accordance with the provisions of Circular No. BB of 2012 because of the establishment of a Civil Service bank.

Mr Chisanga (Mkushi South): Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 3000, Activity 001 – Salaries Division I – K370, 977, 984. I have seen that there is a huge reduction from K1.4 billion to K370 million for this activity, which is a difference of almost K1 billion. Why this reduction? Secondly, I would also like an explanation for Programme 3002, Activity 009 – International Labour day, Activity 011 – Public Service Day, and Activity 015 – Youth Day. These are important activities, but they have not been allocated funds in 2013. Why is this so?

Mrs Banda: Mr Chairperson, as regards the first question, the provision is meant to facilitate the payment of salaries for Division I officers. The reduction is due to relocation of funds for salaries to specific departments. As for the second question, the three activities have been budgeted for under Vote 04/03, Programme 3002, Activity 001 – Africa Public Service Day – K50, 000, 000, Activity 009 – International Labour Day – K100, 000, 000 and Activity 015 – Youth Day – K70, 500, 000.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 3003, Activity – 005 – Long-Term Training – Local – K300, 500, 000. Why has the amount for this activity increased by K500,000 only, and what kind of training will be undertaken under this activity? I also want an explanation for Programme 3001, Activity 003 – Office Administration – K550, 322, 500 on the same page. Why has the allocation for this activity reduced by almost K1 billion?

Mrs Banda: Mr Chairperson, the funds under Programme 3003, Activity 005 – Long-Term Training – Local – K300, 500, 000 are meant for payment of tuition and examination fees and daily subsistence and transport allowances to staff attending long-term training. The increase is due to the expanded structure, which has resulted in increased numbers of staff who require local long-term training in various fields, especially in gender analysis, planning and monitoring and evaluation.

As for Programme 3001, Activity 003 – Office Administration – K550, 322, 500, the provision is meant to facilitate payment for office administration, which includes office and cleaning materials. The decrease is due to the relocation of funds to other programmes, such as transport management and procurement, and supplies management.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Dr Kazonga: Mr Chairperson, my second question has not been answered. For the sake of emphasis, I will repeat it. I seek clarification on Programme 3007, Activity 001 – Goods and Services Arrears – K700, 000, 000. Does this particular budget line also include arrears on utility bills, such as electricity and water?

Mrs Banda: Mr Chairperson, this provision is meant for payment of outstanding bills for supplied goods and services that were incurred when the Gender and Development Division was being administered under Cabinet Office. This allocation was previously catered for under Programme 3007, Activity 004, but it has now been split into two activities under the same programme. These are Activity 001 – Goods and Services Arrears – K700, 000, 000 and Activity 002 – Personnel-Related Arrears – K750, 000, 000.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 04/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 04/02 – (Ministry of Gender and Child Development – Economic and Finance Department – K13, 063, 024, 063).

Mr Simbao: Mr Chairperson, I would like a clarification on Programme 3150 – Economic Empowerment of Women – K11, 672, 580, 888. I note that there has been a reduction in the total allocation for this programme of almost K300 million. Why has the ministry decided to reduce the money given for the economic empowerment of women?

The Chairperson gave the Floor to Mrs Banda, but she remained seated.

The Chairperson: I believe it is on Programme 3150 – Economic Empowerment of Women – K11, 672, 580, 888. The question is: Why has the allocation for the total programme been reduced? Is that correct?

Mr Simbao: Yes, Mr Chairperson. It has been reduced from K11, 922, 185, 989 to K11, 672, 580, 888.

The Chairperson: What is the explanation for that, hon. Minister?

Mrs Banda hesitated before standing up.

The Chairperson: Page 19, Programme 3150 – Economic Empowerment of Women – K11, 672, 580, 888.

Mrs Banda: Mr Chairperson, the provision is to facilitate the procurement of equipment to support women’s economic empowerment projects. The reduction is due to budgetary constraints.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga Central): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 003, Activity 701 – Training of Business Women in Corporate Governance and Communication – K219,843,000. Which women are these and why should the ministry spend this amount on private businesses?

Mrs Banda: Mr Chairperson, the provision is meant to facilitate payment for the training course such as stationery, trainers’ fees, fuel and board and lodging. The increase is due to the increase in the number of women entrepreneurs to be trained. The activity has been realigned from Programme 3069 – Research and Development.

Thank you, Sir.

Dr Kazonga: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 3150, Activity 004 – Women’s Exposure Visits – K185,807,310. May I know what is contained in these exposure visits?

Mrs Banda: Mr Chairperson, the provision is meant to facilitate women’s entrepreneurs’ participating at trade fairs and agricultural shows. The provision will facilitate payment for travel, lodging and participation fees for women entrepreneurs. The increase is due to the increased number of women to be supported to have inter-provincial tours. 

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 04/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 04/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 05 – (Electoral Commission – K56,961,154,637).

The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me the opportunity to present the 2013 Budget for the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).

The ECZ was established as an autonomous body …


The Chairperson: Order!

That is what I do not understand. Why do we consult loudly, especially hon. Members at the back benches? His Honour the Vice-President is on the Floor. We do not object to your consultations, but do so quietly so that the other person can be heard.

His Honour the Vice-President can continue.

The Vice-President: The ECZ was established as an autonomous body under Article 76 of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia with the image of conducting elections to the Office of the President and National Assembly. The commission is also mandated to review the constituency boundaries into which Zambia is divided for the purpose of elections to the National Assembly as well as to supervise the registration of voters and review the voters’ register.

In addition to the constitutional functions, the commission has statutory functions that include the supervision of local Government elections and the performance of any other statutory function that the National Assembly may call upon it to perform. The Electoral Commission Act No. 24 of 1996 provides for the composition and operation of the commission.

The Electoral Act No. 12 of 2006 empowers the ECZ to enforce the Electoral Act, make regulations providing for the registration of voters, the conduct of presidential and parliamentary elections, prosecute election offences and stipulate penalties for some specified offences. The commission is also mandated, under the Referendum Act, to conduct a referendum under the terms stipulated under the same Act.

Mr Chairperson, the mission statement for the ECZ is, and I quote:

“To be an autonomous electoral management body promoting democratic governance through delivery of a credible electoral process.”

The commission’s mission statement justifies the fundamental purpose for its existence and provides for a vision to strive towards and a framework within which the commission’s policies will be made and programmes and activities carried out to enrich and further strengthen the electoral process, thereby contributing to the democratic governance of the country. It also gives the staff of the commission a clear sense of what their organisation is all about, thereby increasing their commitment to achieving the commission’s objectives. Furthermore, it provides a clear sense of direction and responsibility of the commission in the eyes of the many stakeholders, both locally and internationally.

Overview of 2012 Operations

Mr Chairperson, this saw the commission complete review of the 2011 Tripartite Elections. The commission was also party to the many petitions that were, and some that still are, before the courts of law. In addition, the commission has conducted four parliamentary by-elections in 2012 and over twenty-nine local Government by-elections. One parliamentary by-election and fourteen local Government by-elections are in the process of being held on Thursday, 8th November, 2012.

Mr Chairperson, the budget estimates before the House will enable the commission to undertake nine programmes in 2013. These programmes are in conformity with the commission’s mission and will be undertaken under the powers provided under the existing laws of Zambia.

Mr Chairperson, I now seek the support of the House in approving the commission’s budget.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this budget proposal for the ECZ as moved by His Honour the Vice-President.

Mr Chairperson, good governance is a preamble for sustained economic growth and poverty reduction. The ECZ is, indeed, a critical institution as regards the enhancement of good governance. We have seen, in the past, that the ECZ, as an institution, has come under severe criticism by different stakeholders in regard to the manner in which the management of, especially elections has been done to the extent where, if Zambians were not as peaceful as they are, it is possible that we could have had civil strife as a result of the manner in which the ECZ conducts its business. 

The processes of the registration of voters and management of elections up to the point of announcement of results have sometimes been seriously contested. As His Honour the Vice-President said,the ECZ has been a party to the petitions that have been before our courts of law. The challenge has been largely due to the deformities that are contained in the Electoral Code of Conduct. One hopes that as we move into the future, there will be serious steps to review the Electoral Code of Conduct so that those gray areas are, to a large extent, minimised. This is our hope as a country. Assuming that the constitution-making process will be concluded, one area that needs to be looked at seriously is the ECZ.

The process of managing the elections does not necessarily end with the announcement of results. The process encompasses the registration of voters up to the time the results are announced. For instance, I am aware that the law provides for the continuous registration of voters. Unfortunately, this is an issue which appears not to be given the seriousness that it deserves. Even as we consider this Budget, myself, many other Zambians and the people of Lubansenshi, in particular, who have given me the mandate to speak on their behalf are disappointed that this area has,once again,been glossed over.

Mr Chairperson, I want to call upon the Executive to show political will by ensuring that the law is followed. If the law provides for continuous registration of voters, why should we wait for Zambians to take us to court to seek interpretation of this particular law?We have an opportunity to redress that particular challenge. Yes, we had this challenge in the past and still have it. We wish to call upon the Government to show political will and provide for the continuous registration of voters. It should not just happen in the showgrounds where we have heard the ECZ has been registering voters. What about the people of Lubansenshi? What about the rural areas? Why are they being marginalised? We wish to call upon the Executive to show leadership and, indeed, provide for the continuous registration of voters.

Mr Chairperson, as regards the Constitution-making process, it is my understanding that vital submissions have been made to the Technical Committee on the Constitution which should be able to take into account some of those challenges we have had with the ECZ. I am aware that one of the challenges that we have had is the manner in which the commissioners are appointed.It is not possible to understand whether or not the commissioners are full time or part time. In the past, we have seen conflicts between the commissioners and management. This issue needs to be dealt with. 

Mr Chairperson, the issue that comes to mind is that of oversight. If the commissioners were full time, they would have all the temptations to interfere in the daily management of the institution. Some stakeholders have asked questions with regard to the appointment of commissioners. If Zambia has ten provinces, there has to be fair representation in the way the commissioners are appointed as opposed to having commissioners coming from a particular region.

Mr Chairperson, I hope that this issue will be addressed once the Constitution-making process is underway to the extent where …

Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Chairperson, I have been following my brother debating on the Floor. Is he in order to start questioning the appointment of commissioners who were ratified by this House in his presence and with his endorsement?

The Chairperson: He is in order. He is expressing an opinion which you will have an opportunity to correct if you have to. Also, His honour the Vice-President will be winding up and I am sure he would want to address that issue.

The hon. Member may continue.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Chairperson, we have seen an unprecedented number of parliamentary election petitions in the High Court.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: Is it that somebody probably wants to take us back to a one-party State?

Hon. Government Members: Question, question!

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: Surely,is it appropriate in this age and era when we are talking about strengthening our democracy and good governance? Mr Chairperson, I want to seriously advise that we need to move on. Yes, we have challenges with the ECZ. However, one way of moving on is not to attempt to turn Zambia into a single-party State. We have moved on from there.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: We need to seriously appreciate that in this august House, we have divergent views. We are representing the people that gave us the mandate through an election. If the elections are over, it is time to move on.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: It is disheartening that when so many of our people, especially in the rural areas continue to wallow in abject poverty, we should be spending colossal sums of money on holding unnecessary bye-elections. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: Yes, indeed, democracy comes with a price. However, we can avoid some of these issues.

Mr Chairperson, I wish to conclude by saying that the Executive needs to show political will. We do not want to reach a point where we take the issue of continuous registration of voters to the courts of law for litigation. I want to call on the Vice-President to actualise the continuous registration of voters.

Mr Chairperson, with these remarks, I wish to support this particular Vote moved by His Honour the Vice-President on the ECZ. 

I thank you, Sir.

Lt. Gen. Shikapwasha (Keembe): Mr Chairperson, while I support this Vote, I find it very unusual that the country has allowed the ECZ to start registering voters in Lusaka only.  The Vice-President must address this issue.

Mr Chairperson, Lusaka has many facilities were people can access registration centres more easily than in rural areas. The people in rural areas struggle and travel between 15 to 20 km in order to find the ECZ voter registration centres, and yet they do not even manage to register by the time elections come.

Mr Chairperson, why should this Government allow Lusaka to be the centre of voter registration.  This is a recipe for rigging elections.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Muntanga: Given in Kabwata.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Lt Gen. Shikapwasha: Mr Chairperson, all Zambians must be treated equally. The rural areas must be the first to be considered because people there have difficulties in reaching the centres of registration. They are only registering voters in Lusaka so that they can increase the number of voters here only, at the expense of all the other areas in the country. What is the reason for that? This is a recipe for difficulties that this Government must deal with.

Hon. Opposition Member: Lusaka Central in particular.

Lt Gen. Shikapwasha: Yes, Lusaka Central in particular.


Lt Gen. Shikapwasha: Mr Chairperson, the Vice-President must explain why he is allowing the ECZ to register voters only in his constituency.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: He is doing that only in his constituency.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Lt Gen. Shikapwasha: Mr Chairperson, even if they are questioning what I am saying, I still wish to state that if all the money is finished on registering only people from Lusaka, their members in the rural areas will suffer. 

Mr Chairperson, when we pass this vote for the ECZ, it will be necessary that we cover all the areas in the country so that all the voters can register. It is the right of everyone to register as a voter. It is not just the people in Lusaka that are entitled to be voters in this country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the issue which is on the Floor. I want to state from the onset that I support this Budget.

Mr Speaker, I am proud, when I look at the Budget, to see that K4 billion has been allocated for the delimitation of constituencies and ward boundaries.

Mr Chairperson, there are certain constituencies that are quite big. It is good that this budget has allocated funds for the delimitation exercise so that certain districts can be given the chance to have a number of constituencies because their areas are very huge. 

Mr Chairperson, I agree that voter registration is a prerequisite of democracy. It can be used to promote democracy in any given country. However, it must be emphasized that this is an exercise which requires resources which should be evenly spread. If the resources are not enough, we need to implement the voters’ registration exercise slowly and in phases. Perhaps, that is why we have the voter registration exercise going on in Lusaka. Gradually, depending on the availability of resources, the registration should move to other areas.

Mr Chairperson, the Constitution is very clear on what aggrieved parties should do after elections. I do not think any political party can dictate that an aggrieved party should not petition any election because the right to do so is constitutional. While we are discussing petitions, we also need to recognise the fact that democracy thrives on a good constitution. The Constitution has provisions that protect both the winner and the loser of the elections. Our Constitution did just that recently. Those who argue that it was not rights to have the many petitions we had recently should bear in mind the fact that the law needs to be respected at all times. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya: Mr Chairperson, we all ascribe to this law, as hon. Members of Parliament and people’s representatives. Therefore, we have to agree that we need to move forward in a democratic manner.

Mr Chairperson, the ECZ is headed by men and women with credible and traceable references. They have a lot of experience and have handled a lot of issues regarding elections. This budget …

Mr Mbewe: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Chairperson, I did not mean to disrupt my cousin who is debating so badly.


Mr Mbewe: Mr Chairperson, the hon. Member debating is not an hon. Minister, but is busy shooting down the debate by the hon. Member for Lubasenshi. Does he want to become an hon. Minister? Is he in order to pretend that he is responding on behalf of the hon. Minister? 


Mr Mbewe: Mr Chairperson, I need your serious ruling.

The Chairperson: Order!

The serious ruling is that he is free to express his views here in the best way he knows. The hon. Member can continue.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya: Mr Chairperson, I agree that it is not a bad idea to be an hon. Minister anyway.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya: Mr Chairperson, I said that the ECZ has credible men and women manning it. I think their credibility has been tested over a period of time. I hope and trust that those men and women whose names we ratified in this House, will be able to deliver to the expectations of the Zambian people. It is my conviction that this budget will help them to deliver efficiently and effectively so that we can continue to have credible elections in future.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Chairperson, the budget for the ECZ has been increased to K56,961,154,637,  from K48,802,115,126. I note with sadness that the budget for by-elections has been reduced from K6,000,000,000 to K4,000,000,000. These by-elections become necessary when a party steals members from other parties. There is no option because the parties where you steal members …

The Chairperson: Order!

The use of the word ‘stealing’ is unparliamentary.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, the other parties expel the members who are borrowed from them. At the rate at which the Ruling Party is hunting for members from other political parties, I think that the budget for by-elections is too little. The ECZ always works on a tight budget.

For example, we are now mourning about the continuous voter registration which is being done in Lusaka only. This year, K300,000,000 was allocated for this exercise while nothing has been allocated for it next year. There is no budget for continuous voter registration.

Mr Kalaba: On a point of order, Sir

The Chairperson: Order!

A point of order is raised.

Mr Kalaba: Mr Chairperson, is the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalomo  Central in order to debate in the manner he is doing when he is on record for having stolen Mr William Banda from MMD. Is he in order to debate in such a manner? I seek your serious ruling.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Order!

I really want to move fast. We have to pass the budget for the ECZ. We should not debate through points of order so that we move a little bit faster because His Honour the Vice-President will have the opportunity to say something when winding up. So, please, let us hold our fire.

Continue, please.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, there is no problem here. Mr William Band is not here to defend himself. In any case, he is not an hon. Member of Parliament. There was no by-election.

The Chairperson: Order!

Please, just address the issue.

Mr Muntanga: Sir, the Ruling Party is desperate to add to its numbers. When the President came to this House, he said that the PF had a shortage of people. That is why he is still holding on to hon. Members of Parliament that do not belong to the PF. Under normal circumstances, if someone moves from one party to another, there should be a by-election.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, when we talk about by-elections, …


Mr Muntanga: In any case, it is unthinkable for me to go to PF. They know that. 

Mr D. Mwila interjected.

Mr Muntanga: Even Davis Mwila who is debating while seated knows that it is not possible. He is too junior to talk to me.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, the K300 million which was allocated for voter registration this year is not in the Budget for next year. There has been no money which has been budgeted for continuous voter registration next year. This is despite the Government having allocated K4 billion for the delimitation of constituencies and wards. What are we trying to do?

Sir, four years from now, some of those who are children will qualify to be voters. We passed a law in this House for continuous voter registration and yet, there is no money meant for that activity next year. This year, there was K300 million, but there is nothing for next year. 

Mr Chairperson, this is my concern. We need to get some money from somewhere for voter registration. You have increased the money for training abroad from about K569 million to about K1.3 billion.

Mr Nkombo: For what?

Mr Muntanga: For training abroad.

Mr Nkombo: Training who?

Mr Muntanga: I do not know whether it is for training staff or just some other people. It is not clear what this money will be used for. 

Sir, all we can see from the Yellow Book is that the allocation for training abroad has been increased to K1.3 billion and no allocation has been given for voter registration. We have put money in the budget for a few people to go for training abroad while depriving a lot of people from registering to be voters. 

Mr Nkombo: Disenfranchising them

Mr Muntanga: This is disenfranchising people.

Mr Chairperson, this particular vote is not alright. I am reluctant to support the Budget in this form because we need to change it. We should allocate money for continuous voter registration because we are ready for delimitations. I am certain that my friends in Lupososhi and up north where there are vast areas will be happy to have their areas delimited.

Sir, we need to get some money from K1.3 billion meant for training and use it for voter registration. We can leave K500 million for training. What are these people training for every time, anyway?

Mr Chairperson, there is something else that I have noticed. You have increased the allocation for some sort of information gathering system from about K460 million to K1 billion. What are you doing? What information are you gathering? The ECZ acts as a referee. Now, if you do not allocate money for the referees to carry out certain duties, it means you are stopping the players from playing. Do they want to get all the money themselves and be the players? What do they want to do? Do they want to disqualify the players? How can you be a referee with no players? What sort of referees would you be?

Sir, we just ratified senior and respectable people as commissioners who need a budget which will support their work. The K4 billion for delimitation should have been raised by even 20 per cent so that it could have been used also for voter registration purposes. Very little money has been allocated for sensitisation programmes, and yet a lot of people have problems in understanding voter registration. 

Mr Chairperson, the allocation management operations has increased. I think it is because you are printing ballot papers from London. So, you have accommodated for flying into London. This is despite the serious issues being at local level. The people that will superintend these elections are from councils. Are they ready to superintend those elections?

Sir, as we pass this budget, I suggest that we make amendments to allow for continuous voter registration. In its current state, the budget is not alright. May be the hon. Minister of Finance will pull a fast one and come up with some money somehow. What is making me uncomfortable is that there is completely no allocation for the exercise. If he had put something, I would have been comfortable knowing that he could have added more to it from somewhere.

Mr Chairperson, in Zambia, we have done a lot to reach this level regarding the operations of the ECZ. Some people envy what Zambia has done. We should not destroy our achievements.

Sir, with a few amendments, I will support the vote.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simbao: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the vote on the Floor of the House. I want to say that most of the points that I had have been tackled by the last two speakers. I will only speak on a few items.

Sir, to start with, I want to say that the ECZ is an institution which you can either love or hate, depending on which side you are. As of last year, the institution had big problems with other people and not those belonging to the MMD. As of this year, they have a lot of problems from us and not those belonging to the PF.

Mr Chairperson, I have a few concerns. Looking at the number of petitions that the PF has raised against the Opposition, it would have been better for the PF, upon coming to power, to fire everyone at the ECZ because it showed that it did not have any confidence in them. They did not believe in what happened. So, they would have removed the people who conducted the elections from their offices so that they put in their own people who they think will do a better job. As it is right now, it makes us wonder what is happening. How can the people who conducted the elections which generated so many petitions still be in their offices? So, what does it mean? This is the problem that this department has.

Sir, I suggest that we privatise the department so that everyone might have confidence that there is no bias or political appointments.

Mr Chairperson, we are getting close to 2016. What we are discussing may seem far, but it is very near. We shall soon have problems with this department. Therefore, people on the other side (right) of the House need to listen to us. I know that people are always saying that we did not listen, and that might have been true. However, what is happening or what is true now is what is current … 

Hon. Opposition Member: Yes!

Mr Simbao: If the Government does not want to listen to the way we are feeling about this issue, it is the one that will be blamed. 

Mr Chairperson, the ECZ is very important to every Zambian because it is the one that makes sure that the change or continuation of Government happens. 

Mr Chairperson, I would like to look at the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT). I have not seen any sign of it in the Budget, yet it featured a lot in 2011. It is important to make PVT official by putting it in the Budget if it really works. Why should we keep it outside when people want to use it? It was used well by every party. So, we must all accept that we put it in the Budget and support it.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Chairperson, I am worried about the line that voter education has followed. It looks like we are trying to use it as an opportunity to threaten people. I am saying this because I am shocked by what was done by Anti-Voter Apathy Project (AVAP). We all trusted that organisation, but what we have seen is very shocking. The issue of voter education is worrying and may cause one to think that it is best to leave it out of this Budget and leave it to individual political parties to educate their people on how to vote. This would be a better alternative than allowing outsiders to go and intimidate voters. Therefore, I am not comfortable with the inclusion of the Vote on voters’ education in this Budget.

Mr Chairperson, the issue of continuous registration is very serious because, even when there will be an attempt to do it countrywide, it will not reach constituencies like Senga Hill because of the difficulty of moving within that constituency. No one wants to go there because it is not an easy terrain. Therefore, it would have been better if this had started from rural constituencies like Senga Hill. I am aware that there are other constituencies like mine where there are no proper roads, bridges or schools. All these things deter the people who want to carry out voter registration but, with time, they could do it well. However, if they are left to be attended to last, then it will be difficult.

Therefore, the way in which this exercise was done was very biased, and I must make it clear that Senga Hill Constituency does not support this vote. Further, I would like to support the hon. Member for Kalomo who suggested that we move money to this Vote so that we can see the registration of voters happening in all the constituencies, not just one.

Mr Chairperson, we are not far from 2016. So, on behalf of Senga Hill Constituency, I request that the Government reverses its priorities and puts rural areas first in the continuous voter registration exercise.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for according me the time to register my support to this Vote. However, I have one or two observations. 

Sir, considering places which are highly developed, like Kalabo, … 


Mr Miyutu: … I would like to put forward some observations.

Mr Chairperson, this country is ours. It belongs to everyone, including those in Kalabo. I was at Lushuwe polling station in Lukona Ward recently and was asked when continuous voter registration would be done in Kalabo. My answer was very short. I gave them a promise that we would wait for the Budget. Now, the Budget is here … 


Hon. Opposition Member: There is nothing.

Mr Miyutu: The people in Kalabo are waiting for the actual answer, and I know that they are listening. The answer is that there is no money allocated for this programme in the Budget. 

Mr Chairperson, this is 2012, not 2002, meaning that we have modernised. If a country is to be called modern, it must be advancing or progressing. When you put up a law or a rule, the only way in which you can show that we are modern is by following it.


Mr Miyutu: You follow the rules in order to indicate that you are modern.


Mr Miyutu: Here is a rule which is not being implemented. We want continuous voter registration. What the Government does not realise is that we are talking about voter apathy. In my opinion, the Government in power is causing voter apathy because it expects people not to shift. It is not normal. 


Mr Miyutu: We have to shift in order to sustain life. So, even we in the rural areas like Kalabo need to shift to other places so that we can sustain this life which God planted in us. It is a natural mandate. 

Sir, the exclusion of the continuous voter registration from the Budget implies that, when one shifts and finds themselves in a different area, and there is a by-election, they will not participate. Where is the franchise of the Zambian citizens? It is being impeded by the Government in power.

Mr Chairperson, when we voted, we wanted a Government that would excel the livelihood of the people, especially those in the rural areas, who walk long distances. When you restrict them to old polling stations, you create the impression that you hate them or you do not want them to vote.

Hon. Member: Bambile.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Chairperson, I know that the hon. Minister of Finance is listening, and he has come from very far … 

Hon. Government Member: Where?


Mr Miyutu: He has seen us grow. So, he understands the suffering of the people of rural Zambia. Therefore, I am sure that something will be done regarding voter registration. There is an indication of an amount of money for the delimitation of wards and constituencies. It is a good move. However, let us look at the amount. I do not know how much work is meant to be done by this K4 billion. We expect wards to be created because, for example, Kalabo Central has ten wards and these counsellors walk long distances in order to interact with people in their wards. So, there is a need … 

The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours


Mr Miyutu: Mr Chairperson, before business was suspended, I was talking about the delimitation of wards and constituencies. It is a good move and I commend it because I believe in being practical, not rhetorical. 

Mr Chairperson, we have seen allocations made but, no funds are released. The delimitation of wards is a welcome move because not only councillors will benefit, but hon. Members of Parliament as well. It can also stir up the creation of new polling stations in the rural areas to shorten the distances our people cover to get to the nearest polling stations. 

Mr Speaker, the training that ECZ officers undergo has no direct effect on the rural people. These people go for training outside Zambia and a lot of money is spent, but we do not see the fruits. Let the funds that are allocated go to local activities that will benefit the people, especially those in rural areas. I pity those who do not know rural areas …


Mr Miyutu: … because such people are misguided.


Mr Miyutu: They think that rural areas are as easily accessible as Kalingalinga, Mutendere and Matero.

Hon. Opposition Member: Kabwata!

Mr Miyutu: Mr Chairperson, it is very difficult to reach the rural areas. These are areas which the Government should focus on so that we reduce the gap. In rural areas, people walk about 100km while, in town, for a distance of about 10km, someone will drive. Can you see this contrast?


Mr Miyutu: In rural areas, people walk about 80km just to go and vote, yet, in towns, people drive to places that are only 10m. I cannot understand why the Government is perpetuating such as situation. We should not even praise it. The Government must be prayed for so that it changes. It should have a human heart to feel the pain that we feel in the rural areas. Sometimes, our polling stations are just under trees. If you go to Kashwati, you will find that there is no structure which can be a polling station there, yet people still come up with budgets that do not highlight such issues. What are you looking at? 


Mr Miyutu: Mr Chairperson, during elections, people are given many things, which I cannot mention on the Floor of this House, in order to buy their votes. When the elections are over, they are forgotten. The ECZ is not only for the people of Lusaka; but also for those in rural areas like Kaputa, Chilubi, Mulobezi and Dundumwezi. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Chasefu!

Mr Miyutu: Including Chasefu.


Mr Miyutu: Mr Chairperson, all these areas own the ECZ, which must not be a Lusaka organisation only. We want it to be an organisation for everybody in this country. We do not want things which are just centred in Lusaka. Who said that everybody should be in Lusaka? We have to be in our homes so that we preserve those places.


Mr Miyutu: Mr Chairperson, if we all shift to Lusaka, Zambia will diminish. A square kilometre would be useless because there would be no people. The Government should, therefore, look at this issue seriously.

Mr Chairperson, with these words, …

Hon. Opposition Members: No. Continue.

Mr Miyutu: … I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to voice my support for the Budget line being discussed. Most of the points I would have wanted to discuss have been raised by previous speakers and, as such, I am going to just raise a few issues that, probably, may not have been raised by my colleagues. 

Mr Chairperson, the first issue is about the expense that goes into by-elections, some of which are avoidable, serve for the greed of certain politicians who actually promote them. I will give an example of what is happening currently. Indeed, the President has got powers to appoint hon. Members to his Cabinet from the Opposition, but these must be genuine appointments, not those that are done in bad faith. For example, in the on-going by-elections, I would like to see Hon. Mukata and Hon. Limata stand on either side of President Mumba and campaign for their party, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear1

Mr Hamudulu: … but that is not happening. What we see is these hon. Ministers campaigning against their own parties, …

Mr Sing’ombe: Masholi!

Mr Hamudulu: … yet you want to keep them in the same party. These are issues that bring about by-elections. These appointments are not done in good faith. The hon. Members can serve in their ministerial portfolios but, when it comes to party matters, they should be released. Let them go and do justice to their party affiliations.

Mr Chairperson, of late, we have seen a lot of somersaulting by the Ruling Party on issues that it has promoted in the past but, now, those same issues have become bitter. I have in mind the issue of the PVT. We look forward to a time when we will hear pronouncements about the PVT from the ruling party because the party have always advocated for it. 

Mr Chairperson, the printing of ballot papers outside this country should come to an end. It was condemned by the PF, and we expected that, within ninety days, steps would have been taken to address this issue.  One year down the line, however, we are still doing the same. Are we just going to be talking about things that we do not want to practise? 

Mr Chairperson, the other issue that I would like to talk about is with regard to the continuous voter registration which has been ably tackled by previous speakers. In the past, we have seen governments concentrate this programme only in areas where they perceive themselves to be very strong. We do not want to see that because this should be a programme that should cover the whole country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Chairperson, in line with this, we also want the issuance of national registration cards (NRC) to be considered. This could be very detrimental and, if some people are still dreaming of the past and they think they will continue registering in Lusaka, they will be shocked.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamudulu: This is because the tables will be turned upside down.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamudulu: I can assure you that that perception might be short lived.

Mr Chairperson, with those few observations, I support the Vote.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, I would to thank the seven hon. Members of Parliament who have contributed to this debate. However, let me just clear up on an issue about the PVT that was raised by Hon. Hamudulu in order to get it out of the way. PVT means parallel voter tabulation. So, for instance, if you are walking here and somebody is walking parallel to you, then you say that you are checking his steps, what he picks and what he handles down. PVT is not a thing for the Government to run, because you cannot run parallel to yourself.


Hon. PF Members: Hamudulu. Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: PVT consists of checking on what is happening inside the Government institution. We had an office with computers, experts and about twenty cell phones which we used to call different people who might give us information. We put that information together on computers which enabled us to know the results of the election before the ECZ announced the results. So, it is impossible for the Government to have PVT, unless we are parallel tabulating to another country.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: So, please, let us be clear on what that is. Virtually, all the speakers have highlighted on this issue of continuous voter registration. You will recall that the continuous voter registration was introduced in 2001, which is now getting on to twelve years ago, and it has not been done in 2012, except on a very limited scale in Lusaka, as correctly pointed out. In 2012, the system had, at least, the advantage of, for instance, if you happened to want to vote in Kalabo, and you had registered in Chipata, as long as you were in Lusaka, then it was easy to have your polling station changed. The continuous registration has to be closed down in a case of a by-election. Otherwise, people would be bringing truck loads of cadres to change their places of voting to wherever the by-election happened to be. That was what was happening. There was one office which was closing down every time there was a by-election in Lusaka. It is very unsatisfactory, and we would like to see nationwide continuous voters’ registration.

Mr Chairperson, the estimates for that is over K90 billion. The entire budget for the ECZ is not even K60 billion and the suggestion is that we increase it by 150 per cent to take in continuous voters’ registration. Furthermore, we are expecting a new Constitution and hon. Members would have to recall that the ECZ almost carried out a preemptive re-delimitation of constituencies before the infamous constitutional amendment came which did not happen. What if we got 280 seats then, essentially, all voter’s cards would have to be replaced, because we would find ourselves wanting to vote in constituencies that did not exist. So, take my word for it that we are as committed to continuous voter registration as you are, although we want it done in the right sequence which involves constitutional changes and delimitations so that we know where we are voting followed by the continuous voter registration. That is the thinking that is going on behind that. 

Mr Chairperson, however, the K4 billion that is being provided for delimitation in this budget is mostly for delimitation and as a routine, as provided for in the Constitution caused by the movement of people or due to the creation of new districts because the creation of new districts was not done strictly according to a whole number of constituencies per district. So, that is the reason that amount of K4 billion was allocated. The real money for the real delimitation is consequential upon a new Constitution. Similarly, there is a lot of voters education that is also less than we would like to see but, again, this is looking to be consequential upon the Constitution telling us what to inform the people. That is why the vote has gone up.

Mr Chairperson, the other issue I should mention is the question of decentralisation. The ECZ is very clear on decentralising the running of its operations. At the moment, it is confined to Lusaka and, on a casual basis, they use local Government officers, teachers and so on and so forth, as their agents in the provinces. We would also like to see that there are provincial and district election officers on permanent basis, who really know their areas and can ensure that elections are free and fair. 

Mr Chairperson, with those few explanations, I would like to ask the House to pass this Vote.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 05/01 – (Electoral Commission – Headquarters – K56,961,154,637)

Dr Kazonga: Mr Chairperson, Programme 4057, Activity 010 – Voter Education Attachments – K34,676,000. May I have an explanation on what this entails since it appears to be a new activity.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Kalaba): Mr Chairperson, Programme 4057, Activity 010 − Voter Education Attachments – K34,676,000. This cost relates to a short-term attachment for one member of staff on electoral management body in order to get new knowledge that can be used at the commission to improve its voter education processes.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 4003, Activity 001 – Training Abroad – K1,345,220,800. What sort of training abroad requires such an increase and who is this training meant for?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Chairperson, Programme 4003, Activity 001 – Training Abroad – K1,345,220,800, are costs relating to the training of commission members and staff outside the country on election-related courses. 

The increase is due the re-alignment of financial management training and continuous professional development budget lines in the previous year’s budget. These two budget lines have since been put under Activity 001 as they all relate to the subject. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Zimba (Chama North): Mr Chairperson, I would like clarification on Programme 4010, activity 013 – Public Accounts Committee Matters – K259,032,902. Why has this allocation increased so much from last year’s K15,000,000?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Chairperson, Programme 4010, activity 013 – Public Accounts Committee Matters – K259,032,902 are costs relating to the handling of matters that appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). These include expenses such as auditors’ follow-up visits to districts, accommodation for district officials as well as transport costs. The allocation has increased due to the fact that the commission has prioritised the resolution of all outstanding PAC queries within the year. 

I thank you, Sir 

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 4001, Activity 003 – Office Administration – K3,067,490,000. This amount has increased from K1,203,650,002 in last year’s Budget. Why has it increased and what has changed?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Chairperson, Programme 4001, Activity 003 – Office Administration – K3,067,490,000, are costs related to the running of the commission on a day-to-day basis. These include running costs such as utility bills. There is an increase in the amount due to the fact that there has been some cost re-allocations included from the personnel-related costs. 

The other reason for the increase is the anticipated general increment in the prices arising from the inflationary price movements envisaged in 2013. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simbao: Mr Chairperson, I would like clarification on Programme 4000, Activity 006 – Salaries – Super Scale – K 3,120,088,714. I would like to understand what this increment means. 

Further, may I have clarification on Programme 4010, Activity 022 – Year end Stock Take –K543,950,000. This allocation has doubled. I do not understand why there should be such a big increment. 

Furthermore, I would like clarification on Programme 4052, Activity 003 – Procurement Planning Workshop – K64,100,000. I want to know why there is this workshop because I thought that this Government had stopped conducting workshops. 

Mr Kalaba: Mr Chairperson, Programme 4000, Activity 006 – Salaries–Super Scale – K 3,120,088,714, is required to pay members of the commission. The increase is due to salary increments awarded across the board in 2012, which have formed the basis for the 2013 figures. This only amounts to about 19 per cent.   

Sir, Programme 4010, Activity 022 – Year end Stock Take –K543,950,000, relates to the year- end stock count of all ECZ election materials and stock items, both at the head office and in  the districts. It is planned that the stock take exercise shall be conducted in all the districts of the country as opposed to prior exercises that sampled places. 
In addition, the increase in the amount for the 2013 Budget is because of the increase in the number of people per team. There will be a minimum of two people per visit. This means that the cost, in terms of upkeep, will increase to cater for the high numbers and the many days that are required anthe number of districts to be visited. 

Further, Programme 4052, Activity 003 – Procurement Planning Workshop – K64,100,000, is the cost associated with the profiling of all procurement requirements for the commission after the Budget approval. There has been a reclassification of this budget line from preparation of procurement plan budget line to this one in order to harmonise the presentation with other Government ministries. 

Overall, taken with this explanation, there is a decrease in the budgeted cost due to the commission’s continuing effort to rationalise workshops and meetings by reducing on the number of days and minimising the use of outside conference facilities. 

Mr Chairperson, I thank you. 

Dr Kazonga: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 4056, Activity 007 – Review of Electoral Stationary – K389,675,000. I would like to know what this budget line is all about. 

Mr Kalaba: Mr Chairperson, Programme 4056, Activity 007 – Review of Electoral Stationary – K389,675,000 is required to meet the cost of holding workshops and consultations to review elections-related stationary such as forms and literature. 

It is planned that this may be necessary, firstly, as a propensity to update the electoral stationary and, secondly, as an advance activity to hold a possible national referendum that may require different stationary altogether. These two factors have caused the increase. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 4056, Activity 004 – Continuous Voter Registration. Last year, this activity was allocated K300,000,000, but there is no allocation this year. Why has it been left out? The law states that there should  becontinuous voter registration, but there is no allocation. Are we going to have to repeal the law?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Chairperson, there is no budgetary provision for continuous voter registration in 2013 because there were no funds earmarked for the exercise. However, should this occur, the commission hopes that funds will be provided using the supplementary budget allocation later in the year.

Mr Chishiba (Kafulafuta): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 4000, Activity 008 – Gratuity – K5,000,000. Can His Honour the Vice-President explain why the provision on gratuity has been reduced to K5,000,000? 

Mr Kalaba: Mr Chairperson, there is a reduction in the provision for contractual gratuity because the contracts for most members of the commission and a few members of staff expired in 2012 and were paid in full. In 2013, there is just a small provision which has been made.

Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Zimba: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme, 4056, Activity 009 – International Conferences – K207,626,000. This year, in 2012, there is no provision for this activity, but in next year’s budget K207,626,000 has been provided. Why is this so?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Chairperson, the provision is for attending meetings that are called by election management bodies and other governance institutions. This year, the provision for this purpose was catered for under events. In 2013, the provision has been put under a different allocation. The increase is as a result of the decision to budget for more trips, especially in view of need for the people at the ECZ to learn best practices in the holding of a referendum. Furthermore, the increase is also as a result of a natural increase in the cost of travel and up-keep.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 05/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 06 – (Public Service Commission – Office of the President Headquarters – K7,902,458,158)

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, I wish to thank you for giving me this opportunity to present the 2013 Estimates of Expenditure for the Public Service Commission. In doing so, I will highlight some of the major programmes and activities in the proposed budget that the commission intends to work with in 2013 fiscal year.

Sir, in line with its mandate, the mission statement for the commission is:

“To ensure integrity, equity and professionalism in the conduct of appointments, promotions, disciplinary control and separations in the Public Service in order to enhance the delivery of quality services”.

Our major achievements in 2012, Mr Chairperson, include:

(a)Provincial Performance Support Sittings or Provincial Tours

During the period under review, that is 2012, the commission successfully managed to conduct six provincial performance support sittings.

Mr Chairperson, the commission undertakes provincial tours in order to facilitate the appointments, confirmations, promotions and retirements of officers in the Public Service. Provincial support sittings provide a rare opportunity for the civil servants in the provinces and districts to air their grievances. These sittings also provide an opportunity for the civil servants in the far-flung areas of the country whose cases are not processed or dealt with for one reason or another.

(b)Monitoring and Evaluation Programmes

The commission conducted five monitoring and evaluation tours for the year 2012. Generally, the monitoring and evaluation tours assist the commission to monitor and evaluate adherence to human resource policies, procedures and practices in the Public Service.

(c)    Sensitisation of District Commissioners and Other Senior Officials

Mr Chairperson, in addition to the provincial performance support sittings, the Public Service sensitised district commissioners and other senior government officials in the Public Service. These programmes were carried out in an effort to familiarise senior Government officials with Government procedures and systems as well as conditions of service and regulations.


The Vice-President: Sir, I am just wondering who should deal with the noise coming from my side. Is it me as their boss or you as their Chairperson?


Mr Muntanga: Chase them!

The Deputy Chairperson: May I appeal to the hon. Members on my right to consult quietly. Allow His Honour the Vice-President to make his policy statement.

You may proceed, please.

The Vice-President: I now turn to major programmes for implementation in 2013.

(a)General Administration

The 2013 Budget has provided a sum total of K1,138,810,383 to cater for utilities and office administration. The funds will be utilised for computerising and modernising the data management system in of the commission so as to increase its efficiency and effectiveness as it scales up its activities in meeting the evolving needs of the Public Service.

(b)Commission’s Operations

Mr Chairperson, in the 2013 Estimates of Expenditure, the total allocation for the commission’s operations under the Provincial Performance Support Sittings and foreign study tours has been increased from K689,350,700 in the approved 2012 Budget to K1,769,000,000. If I am not mistaken, the amount has been doubled.

Sir, budgetary increase will make it possible for the commission to undertake more provincial performance and support sittings as well as participate in various international foras that promote professionalism in the conduct of business of the commission’s research in human resources, public administration and management practices.

(c)Monitoring and Evaluation

Mr Chairperson, the competencies of most of the human resource management officers in the Public Service leaves much to be desired. There is need for constant monitoring and evaluating of their performance so as to ensure that they are adhering to the human resource policies, procedures and practices in the Public Service. Therefore, there is an increase in the budgetary allocation from K162,000,000 to this year’s K190,000,000.

(d)Dismantling of Arrears

Sir, there is some dismantling of arrears that requires to done as an activity this year.

(e)Cross-Cutting Issues

Due to the impact HIV/AIDS has on the labour force particularly on the loss of productivity, the pandemic is increasingly being addressed at the work places and the Public Service Commission will be actively involved in these activities. 


Mr Chairperson, in discussing the proposed Budget, there is also need to evaluate the current budget. As you may be aware, in 2012, the commission had an approved total budget of K5,429,162,790 to cater for fourteen programmes. The resources allocated to the commission fell short of what was required to help it carry out its operations in an effective and efficient manner. A number of activities planned for the year were not undertaken.

However, for the year 2013, the commission will focus on key programmes that will enhance Public Service delivery. This is always the logical conclusion of budgets always being limited and not enough. Budgets are usually not what we dream of. 

As you may be aware, Sir, the commission is the key appoint authority in the Public Service and therefore, it will continue with the provincial performance support sittings in order to reduce on the backlog of outstanding cases in the ten provinces.

In conclusion, Mr Chairperson, it is my hope that hon. Members of the House will support the 2013 budget for the commission. I, therefore, have the honour to present the 2012 budget estimates of expenditure for the commission amounting to K7,902,458,158 only.

Thank you, Sir.

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank you for this opportunity to make comments on the budget proposals for the Public Service Commission.

Mr Chairperson, the commission is the custodian of the Civil Service and therefore, we have to pay particular attention to how it is being funded and how it utilises the resources which are given to it. The Civil Service is at the core of development in our country.

The Government makes broad policy outlines and the detailed implementation is left to the Civil Service. For example, the Government may decide that there is going to be a fertiliser support programme. The detailed task of ensuring that fertiliser gets to the footsteps of the farmer is left to the Civil Service. It is, therefore, very important that we pay particular attention to the way the Public Service is managed, organised and structured.

Mr Chairperson, as we look at the budget for the commission, I think it is important that we look at issues of value for money. One of the largest expenses for any Government is the allocation for salaries and remunerations of the Public Service. I believe that in our case, it is close to something like fifty per cent. So, a lot of resources go into this.

Mr Chairperson, at this stage, I believe we need to courageously look at the issues that undermine the value for money that we spend on the Public Service. So, I will look at the current practices that undervalue or undermine this large amount of resources that we give to the Civil Service. I will also look at what we can do to ensure that this money is as useful as possible to the Zambians. One of the ways of doing so is ensuring that the Public Service is professional. Last year, our colleagues on the right made a lot of pronouncements to the extent that they wanted to see a Public Service that was professional and free of politics. I remember very clearly, His Honour the Vice-President, on the Floor of this House, taking a swipe at the previous Government for having had politicians in the Civil Service. He gave an undertaking that his Government was going to depart from that practice especially in relation to the case of district commissioners (DCs). Indeed, they started very well and we saw civil servants being promoted to positions of  DCs. Alas, within a month, we started seeing these DCs being fired and their places were taken up by PF cadres. Most of are totally under qualified and inexperienced. Clearly, this is something that undermines the value for money as far as the Public Service is concerned because when you employ a man or a woman who is under qualified and has no experience, the end results are harmful.

Mr Chairperson, we also saw a system of very abrupt retirements of senior civil servants, directors and permanent secretaries. They were being retired at different hours of the day. This has two consequences. The first consequence is that when you retire someone before the contract expires, there is a large amount of money that must be paid out. If you go to the Public Service Commission today, you will see that a huge liability has been created by the need to pay former senior civil servants who were retired before their time. This is money that could have gone to provide lots of services to our people in the countryside. Bear in mind the point that a little amount like K250 million can build a clinic. The money which is spent on liabilities such as those to do with early retirements are what are undermining the usefulness of the Civil Service. 

Mr Chairperson, other than the expense, we are also losing out on experience. Shortly after our colleagues got into Government, I remember some of them making statements to the effect that they could not see certain things and were wondering how we used to do certain things. Well, how did you expect to see certain things if the senior civil servants who were there were just swept out en masse? You can not see how things were done. All the institutional memory that was there and was supposed to be passed on to our colleagues was lost. We are not saying that you should have kept everybody. A sensible approach would have been to do things in a phased manner. You take out some and leave others. Instead, what we saw was that, within about a week or two, all senior civil servants were swept away. The end result, of course, is that people had to grope in the dark because they did not know where to get information.

Mr Chairperson, this again, is something that I believe, undermines the value for money as we look at the expenditure for the Public Service. The same thing can be said about our diplomats. If you listen to the stories that are going around, you will hear that these foreign missions were being cleared. You heard that even drivers and secretaries from missions were just cleared out of the system. Many of them today are stranded because they can not be paid their dues since the amount of money to be paid out all of a sudden is too large. You can imagine the amount of money that is being spent on airfares and transportation of cargo. Families have been disturbed. I think the sad thing about all this was that, in certain cases, these people were being replaced on the basis of nepotism.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. MMD Member: Grade seven relatives.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, if you carry out an audit of the members of staff in many of these missions, you will learn that a particular members of staff are related to certain hon. Ministers.

Hon. Government Member: Question!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, I wish to tell those who are questioning what I am saying that I can provide them with relevant information because I am able to carry out research. We do not want to go into details, but if … 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: … you want to get embarrassed, we will bring that information here.

The Deputy Chairperson: Address the chairperson.


   The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, we do not want to go to that detail. We want to be constructive so that we advise our colleagues to do the right things for the sake of our country.

Mr Chairperson, there are so many other examples that I can go through to talk about issues that undermine the value for money. If we are to move way from these negative practices, I believe that our public service will be able to deliver more so that our country can move forward, and that is what we all want.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.{mospagebreak}

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank His Honour the Vice-President for his policy statement on the vote that we are looking at, the Public Service Commission – Office of the President. 

First of all, I want to show my appreciation for the slight increase of the budget for this institution from K5.6 billion to K7.9 billion. I note that this commission is charged with a very huge responsibility not to only oversee the so-called senior members of the Public Service, but the entire Public Service.

Sir, the Vice-President indicated that part of the work of this commission was to do monitoring and evaluation and appraisals on the performance of civil servants. I, particularly, have a great deal of respect for civil servants because if they are disgruntled, they can do a lot of harm to a country and its Government. 

Mr Chairperson, my anxieties stem from direct statements from the powers that be, the Head of State and his deputy, regarding how the Civil Service must be perceived by the whole country. I want to take Hon. Musokotwane’s words and adopt them as my own. However, maybe, I should just add that statements like “there is a volcanic tendency of the remnants of the glorious past of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) within the Civil Service who are working to undermine the performance of the PF on a daily basis” are totally unfortunate.

Hon. PF Members interjected.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, that is my view. Those who are saying, “Question”, I think, need to have an IQ test.


Mr Nkombo: It is only true that, if anybody is working under anxiety and fear all the time, …

Mr Muntanga: What is an IQ test?

Mr Nkombo: It is an Intelligence Quotient test.

Mr Chairperson, if civil servants continue to work under fear, and I want to underline the word ‘fear’, it is only logical that their performance will be decimal. It is only logical that, if I do not know whether I will have my job tomorrow, my performance becomes decimal. Whenever civil servants, especially those who are in positions of managing finances, get an opportunity to do something to, maybe, gratify themselves, they will end up doing the wrong things.

Sir, I was listening carefully to hear if His Honour the Vice-President would touch one of his most sensitive and sensational stories about civil servants building houses in Chalala. Who said that civil servants should not prosper?


   Who said that civil servants should not be empowered? Who said that we are still living in the days of the so-called leadership code? 

In the United States of America (USA), there is what they call the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  In Zambia, it is called the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA).  The fastest way to find people who dubiously amass wealth is to simply check with the revenue authority. For instance, if you come to my house in Northmead, Lusaka, and ask me how I bought it, I should be able to show you my tax returns. However, I truly fear the way the PF is working with the civil servants because even those committed ones have been ‘tsunamied’ along the way on account of suspicion. How do you expect, for instance, the Chairman of the commission to go against the word of His Honour the Vice-President and say, “Sir, what you are putting in the public domain is incorrect?”

Hon. Government Members interjected. 

Mr Nkombo: Can you shut up? 


The Deputy Chairperson:  Order! 

Can the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central, please, withdraw those remarks?

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, I regret saying that. 

The Deputy Chairperson: Thank you. 


Mr Nkombo: In my usual style, …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

I think, hon. Members on the right …

Mr Muntanga: The hon. Deputy Minister for Central Province.

The Deputy Chairperson: … should try to consult less loudly.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Please, let us try to consult less loudly. The rule of the game, here, is to allow each other the opportunity to debate and, if one is debating, we should be patient enough to listen. I have noted with regret that the last bench on my right …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: … has a few hon. Ministers who specialise in making running commentaries. I will not hesitate to name you because it is too much. I hope this is the final warning because I will not hesitate to do the needful.

The hon. Member for Mazabuka Central can continue.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, I deeply appreciate that protection. In my usual fashion, when my colleagues are speaking, I try to listen attentively and make heads or tails of what it is they are saying. However, to avoid losing my thread of thought, let me emphasise that the PF must now start developing confidence in the people that it inherited from the MMD. It has no choice, but to start having confidence in them. Otherwise, how many will it purge and subject to unfair treatment? Some of them will be innocent along the way, and that is a fact. 

The Government has the files of these individuals while we do not. So, it might have some hard evidence and facts about their inertia and dishonesty. However, surely, if the Government is going to stand up on a daily basis and say, “We are sleeping with the enemy”, why does it not fire the entire Civil Service and start afresh? Everyone is working in fear. Even the same Chairperson of the Commission, whatever his or her name is, I am sure, does not sleep well because in the PF Government, when you go to sleep, you do not know whether you are going to come and see the light of day with a job. What that means is that people will lose their zeal in serving their country. I am afraid that, sometimes, I am a devil’s advocate. However, sometimes, when you are too close …

Mr Chisala and Mr Mucheleka interjected.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

The two hon. Members should, please, give the hon. Member on the Floor the opportunity to debate. If they want to consult loudly, please, they should go to the foyer. Let us allow each other to debate, please.

The hon. Member for Mazabuka Central may continue.

Mr Nkombo: Sir, I was saying that there is an adage that, “If you are too close to the thicket, you may not understand how big the entire forest is”. Our colleagues who came out of Government are now seeing it differently. This is with regard to people in foreign missions. I want to argue that that problem still existed with them. It was, probably, introduced by the colleagues on this side, and they were too close to the thicket to see how wide the forest was. However, these ones have become worse. 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: They have become malignant and cancerous.


Mr Nkombo: It is apparent, for those of us who are outside, to see that they are engaging their relatives. Who does not know that? It is not a crime. We can give you a whole catalogue of unqualified relatives who have gone into the foreign mission to go and work. It is also true that the PF must pay back those who shouted the most at the time it was campaigning to take over the Government. However, it should try to train them. It should try and make them worth their while.

Mr Chairperson, when we get to the Vote for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we will see whether the Government has put adequate money for repatriation. I believe that the pocket that needs to be filled is for the repatriation of former diplomats, some of them innocent, who were employed in the Civil Service on merit, and the only thing they know in their lives is to work for the Zambian people and had to give allegiance to the Government then. What makes the PF think that the same civil servants cannot give allegiance to the current Government? In any case, all the colleagues that side, apart from a few, were members of this MMD. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: What, therefore, makes them different from those diplomats who went outside to work and promote this country? Now, they must get people with less knowledge and expect them to sell Zambia when all they knew was the ng’wang’wazi business. How do they sell the country?


Hon. Member: What is ng’wang’wazi?

The Chairperson:  What is ng’wang’wazi? It is a new vocabulary.

Mr Nkombo:  Mr Chairperson, a ng’wang’wazi is call boy. Yozulazula, abaleya, aleni mukwai …


The Chairperson: Meaning what?

Mr Nkombo: Yozulazula means “feeling, feeling …”


Mr Nkombo: Abaleya means, “Those who are going”. Now, you take these people into the diplomatic service. 

Coming back to …

Mr Muntanga: Mwaliteta language


The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Chilangwa: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson:  A point of order is raised.

Mr Chilangwa: Mr Chairperson, is the hon. Member on the Floor in order to insinuate that we are taking call boys, so called ng’wang’wazi into the Diplomatic Service without naming them to substantiate his claims. 

I need your serious ruling, Sir.

The Chairperson: The serious ruling is that the hon. Member is in order because I know that, sooner than later, His Honour the Vice-President will state the Government’s position on those allegations, if at all they are allegations.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, I am thankful. You know, there was a Samaritan woman who was not of such a good character but, at the end of it all, she was a force to reckon with. The same can be said of some among our colleagues on your right who are hon. Ministers today. I can discuss them here because we are together in this Chamber. The rules or procedure, just to help the hon. Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, do not allow me to name someone who is not here to defend themselves, even though they are there. 

Sir, my point was that appointees should be subjected to some kind of training. If that is done, nobody will fight with you for engaging those who made the loudest noises for you. It is a fair game, but train them so that they can go and sell the country and bring back value. You should never forget that there are people who are career diplomats; who have been in that business for three decades but, simply because they owed allegiance to the Government, they were removed.  Maybe, you should have called all of them, paraded them with the Bible and made them take an oath of allegiance to the new Government.

Hon. Lubinda, you are in the Government, today. Assert yourself. Try and embrace everyone. Some of this donchi kubeba thing that you started, you were getting information ….

The Chairperson: What is the meaning of that?

Mr Nkombo: Donchi kubeba means, ‘Do not tell them’. Part of the reason the colleagues on your right went into Government is that they used some people who were serving under the former Government to give them information.

Mr Lubinda: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: Order! 
A point of order is raised.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for allowing me the chance to raise this point of order on my friend who is running like a person on a treadmill, …


Mr Lubinda: … running extremely fast, but getting nowhere. Is he in order to bring me, personally, into his debate when, as a fact, the Vote that is being debated now is for the Public Service Commission, where I have no role whatsoever. Is he in order to bring my name in that debate? 

I seek your very serious ruling on this matter.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

The serious ruling is that, to the extent that the hon. Member brought your name into his debate, he was definitely out of order. 

You may continue, hon. Member for Mazabuka Central.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, I regret mentioning the name of Hon. Given Lubinda and I withdraw it. However, the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs …


Mr Nkombo: … must know that the people who used to share information with his party in order to dislodge the MMD will exist forever. It is difficult to satisfy human beings. 

The substantive point of my discourse was to give His Honour the Vice-President some confidence to …

Dr E. Lungu: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

A point of order is raised.


Dr E. Lungu: Mr Chairperson, I am very surprised that the hon. Member of Parliament who is debating …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Dr E. Lungu: Mr Chairperson, I have respect for Hon. Garry Nkombo. However, is he in order to continue debating a Vote that is not supposed to be debated now. This is not the Vote for Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This Vote is for the Public Service Commission. Does he know the difference between the Public Service Commission and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs?


Dr E. Lungu: Mr Chairperson, I need your serious ruling.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

The serious ruling is that, to the extent that the hon. Member was debating Public Service Commission and making constant references to foreign affairs, he was out of order. He should concentrate on the Public Service Commission. 

You may continue, hon. Member for Mazabuka Central.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, my substantive point was that colleagues, all these people you recalled and demoted are Zambians. Some of them are your own relatives and have families. Please, try to get some confidence. 

His Honour the Vice-President, Dr Guy Scott, my Vice-President, should get confidence that not all people in the Civil Service are bad people. If they do good for you, the Government, they will do good even to the most ordinary Zambian in Mazabuka. You cannot spend your energy firing people everyday, bringing others, and firing them after two weeks again. This does not show any confidence on the national and international platform. You cannot be known as a Government that fired the most people when it came into office. By nature, we human beings are political. We will not spare you because our job is to do our checks and balances on you. Sometimes, you may view this as malice. However, most times, please take it as friendly advice because we are colleagues, and we are in Government together. 

Mr Chairperson, there are three arms of Government, and our role is to maintain checks and balances on you. At the moment you start firing civil servants arbitrarily. Every morning we open the newspapers, we find that policy makers are fighting among themselves because one may have taken a contract in a manner that is less prudent in another person’s view. This does not show confidence. You are accusing civil servants of being corrupt, yet, every day we wake up, the chorus in the PF is that this or that one is not okay. Even the Head of State asked, “So, how is the your fight going?”

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, he was asking, “How is your fight with GBM?” That does not give us confidence. We need you, Your Honour the Vice-President, to lead by example, and help us not to wash dirty linen in public. Once they hear that the policy makers who run the Civil Service are fighting, it rubs onto all of us, including the innocent ones.

With those few remarks, I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Chairperson, I want to take the debates of both Hon. Nkombo and Hon. Dr Musokotwane as my own. Speaking after these two hon. Members becomes a bit difficult, but I need to raise a point here.

Sir, there are few issues that are of concern to me,especially fromwhat His Honour the Vice-President said in his speech. I heard him say that the funds that have been allocated were not enough for running most of the programmes. I wondered why the Vice-President could come to this House to tell us that the money was not enough for him to run the programmes. 


Mr Simbao: It makes me wonder whether he was part of the group that was allocating the funds or not. If he was, he should have come here to defend the allocation that has been given to this particular department.

Mr Chairperson, we are the ones that are supposed to be saying that this amount is not enough like I want to say right now. The K7 billion which has been allocated is not enough for this department. I do not know whether the people who were allocating funds knew how important this department was. This department is very important because it employs, promotes, transfers, and does all sorts of work for all the public servants in this country. It has a big job. If you look at this, …


Mr Simbao: They know that very well.There is a big list of people awaiting confirmation, in their new jobs. There are many of them who are still waiting. This means that there should be a lot of money allocated for this department to do this job.

So, if you allocate this small amount of money to this very important department, how do you expect the public servants to work? This is why we have a problem with the performance of the civil servants. We keep complaining that they are not performing when we are not giving them enough means to do the work that they are supposed to be doing.

So, when I look at the monies that have been allocated here, I wonder what you expect this particular department to do this coming year. There will be very little that will be done. Last year, we gave them K5 billion and it was not enough. As His Honour the Vice-President said, this year, we should have given them a lot more money than this, and he has just complained that it is not enough.

Hon. Memberinterjected.


Mr Simbao: We should have given them more money than this.


Mr Simbao: Well, what you said has been recorded. You just said that.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Simbao: You can listen to the recording of what you said when you were giving your speech, your Honour.

Sir, we have all seen that this is not right. So, why does the Government want us to support them? This particular department should have been provided with a lot of funding for the reasons that I have given, and not the other ones which have been given. It is for these reasons of confirmations, promotions, hiring and so on and so forth. This involves the whole country. So, if you give them K7 billion, what are they going to do with it? Obviously, this money will just end up here in Lusaka. They will not be able to do the work that they are supposed to do.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to advise my colleagues that, at times, we must be serious when doing such things.

Mr Sichinga interjected.

Mr Simbao: I am coming to you when you bring your Vote. 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Address the Chair, please.


Mr Simbao: I am sorry, Mr Chairperson.

Sir, at times, we should be serious when we bring these issues to this House. We are not here to just speak for the sake of speaking. You should give us latitude for us to speak on things that are worth talking about. 

Mr Chairperson, we know that there will be people who will be complaining that they have not been confirmed. The finger will be pointing at the Public Service Commission. We know these things. These problems are there and will still be there if we continue giving the commission such small amounts of money. 

Sir, the teachers, nurses, police and all other public servants will have problems with confirmations and promotions because of the meagre amounts of money that we are giving to the Public Service Commission. It is important that we understand that when people complain out there, we should not point a finger at this commission. We should know that we never provided enough money for them to perform to people’s satisfaction.

Mr Chairperson, I agree with His Honour the Vice-President that this money is not enough and I would urge the hon. Minister of Finance to give the commission more money if the civil servant has to work effectively. If we do not do that, this department will not perform. I am advising that before we approve this budget we rethink and consult whether this money is adequate because I believe this money is not enough.

I thank you, Sir. 

 Mr Mufalali: Mr Chairperson, in support of the allocation which has been brought before the House by His Honour the Vice-President, I want to say a few things that I have observed about this commission. 

Mr Chairperson, it is important that we give this commission enough power and teeth. Over the years, I have realised that political parties and politicians have been usurping and removing most of its power. The PF Government has also been removing power, thereby destroying this Public Service Commission.

Mr Chairperson, if we gave the commission enough power and enough room to operate independently, we would not be crying and lamenting as the PF has been doing. They have been lamenting over the Civil Service when it is them that brought about the chaos in the Civil Service. They have confessed before us that the Civil Service is not working, but they seem to forget that they are the ones who appointed these heads of the Civil Service, most of who are incompetent. 


Mr Mufalali: They removed those that were professional enough to run the Civil Service.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mufalali: Mr Chairperson, the PF is like a rocking chair. They are ever in motion, but they are getting nowhere.


Mr Mufalali: If we could give the Public Service Commission enough power to operate, the Civil Service is going to tick. However, what we have seen is a Government that is imposing people that are not competent enough on Public Service Commission. If we were to take some of the people they are appointing to head the Civil Service and test them, we will find that many of them will fail the aptitude tests. So, how do we have people who cannot perform I the Civil Service?

Mr Chairperson, in some ministries that I have been to, when a file is missing, they will tell you to go to the registry and by that they would be referring to the Permanent Secretary’s Office. The files are piling up there because the Permanent Secretaries are failing to clear them.


Mr Mufalali: These are the people who have been appointed by the PF Government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mufalali: It will be difficult for the Public Service Commission to function if we do not allow it to operate freely. We will end up having registries in permanent secretaries’ offices because they are unable to perform.


The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Mufalali: Mr Chairperson, I was looking at the tours, as Dr. Simbao has said. The allocation for tours does not seem to have changed since the figure is still K121, 105,000.
These are the tours that should help our brothers out there to get a fair hearing or a promotion but this has not changed. His Honour the Vice-President has indicated that out of ten provinces, the Public Service Commission managed to tour only six provinces. The little money that was allocated last year is the same amount that has been allocated this year. With this kind of money, they will not manage to reach everywhere to help those in need. This is rendering the whole exercise useless. We need to increase this amount so that we can allow them to touch places that are supposed to be touched. 

Mr Chairperson, the commission…

Mr Chisala: On a point of order, Mr Chairperson.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chisala: Mr Chairperson, I have a lot of respect for my colleague who is debating, but is he in order to use the term, “useless” in this august House when the word is unparliamentary? 

I need your serious ruling, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

To the extent that he used that word, he is out of order. 

Proceed, hon. Member.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Chairperson, I withdraw that word and replace it with, “incompetence” or “absolute”. 

Mr Chairperson, I was saying that without enough money for tours, it is difficult for the public servants who are supposed to be promoted or heard, if they have issues to meet the Public Service Commission.  This is because the money that they are supposed to use for the tours is not enough. You will find that years will pass without them being heard or promoted.

Mr Chairperson, the issue that needs attention in the Public Service Commission is that, for example, in Senanga, teachers who are being promoted in the Teaching Service Commission to the Public Service Commission, on the establishment, they appear on the Teaching Service Commission, and yet they have moved. This is a problem because some of them are refusing to be moved to another salary scale because in the Teaching Service Commission, they seem to be getting much better. They know that when they move to the Public Service, they will get less. You will find that once they refuse to be moved on the salary scale, the establishment register will indicate that they are actually teaching at a particular school, and yet they will have moved to the Public Service. I think that needs to be checked so that it can be changed. Their salary scale should be for the Public Service and not the Teaching Service. If they have to become administrators, human resource personnel or whatever position they would be given in a particular department, I think it is better for them to get the salary scale for thatposition. 

Mr Chairperson, I think there is a need to reintroduce examinations and aptitude tests in the Public Service. An IQ (intelligence quotient) test is required even in this House.


Mr Mufalali: Mr Chairperson, we need to bring back aptitude tests so that we can see who is fit to be a public servant. Otherwise, we will be running an inefficient Public Service, like the PF is running it. The Public Service is very bad and incompetent under the PF Government. It has never been like this before. What we are seeing under the PF Government is something that has never been seen in this country. They have admitted before us in this House that the Public Service is very incompetent. Other than to specialise in getting people from other parties, I think they need to specialise in ensuring that they train the Civil Service properly so that they can serve them. 

Mr Chairperson, in Lozi, there is a saying that goes, Njayamukwang’uli. This is when a dog hears someone cleaning the pot, it rushes there.


Mr Mufalali: Mr Chairperson, it wants to go and eat the remains. The only time that you will not see it is when it is sick. 


Mr Mufalali: Sir, the hon. Members are crossing the Floor. The only people who can do that are the same njayamukwang’uli. 


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Mufalali: Sir, the PF should not specialise in that, but concentrate on ensuring that the Civil Service is performing to the expectation of the Zambian people. 

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

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Brigadier-General Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Chairperson, I thank you…

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1959 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 7th November, 2012.