Thursday, 27th February, 2020

Printer Friendly and PDF

Thursday, 27th February, 2020


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












The Minister of Higher Education (Dr Mushimba): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for giving me yet another chance to address this august House on the Skills Development Levy that was enacted in 2017 through an Act of Parliament in order to promote vocational skills development in the country. This statement will try to speak to the implementation of the levy thus far, the impact it has had since its introduction and the benefits that it has brought to education and capacity building in Zambia.


Sir, as stated, the Government enacted the Skills Development Levy Act No. 46 in January, 2017. The collection of this levy from all employers in the country at 0 to 5 per cent of their gross payroll is done through the Zambia revenue authority (ZRA). The funds are then transferred to the Ministry of Finance which later transfers the funds to the Ministry of Higher Education, the implementing ministry.


Mr Speaker, the main objective of this levy is to provide financial resources for skills development at vocational level in Zambia. It does this by matching the demand of the industry to the supply chain, which is represented by the vocational training institutions. It recognises the fact that vocational skills needs are constantly changing both in the private and public sectors and there is a need to respond quickly and in a sustainable way to these demands and changes.


Sir, before I go any further, I would like to share the releases from the Ministry of Finance to my ministry of the levy that has been collected in the previous years. In 2017, K73,545,840 was released from the Ministry of Finance to my ministry for the purpose of executing the objectives of the levy. In 2018, K94,802,912 was released and last year, K121,111,999 was released.


Mr Speaker, the Skills Development Fund was created to house and manage transparently this Skills Development Levy. This fund is domiciled at the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA) and is managed by a combined management committee of Government ministries and the private sector representatives. From the private sector, we have the Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE), Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI), Zambia Chamber of Small and Medium Business Association (ZCSMBA), Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM) and Zambia Chamber of Mines as fund management team members. The Government is represented by the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry of Higher Education serves as a secretariat. The combination of these stakeholders in the management of this fund is meant to ensure transparency in the utilisation of the collected financial resources.


Sir, the fund managers have established a financing platform that purchases vocational training services from both public and private training providers on a competitive basis for skills development in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy. The implementation process has been formulated in such a way that the framework covers all components of the vocational sector training in an effort to meet the objectives and aspirations of the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) under development outcome No. 2 that provides for improved education and skills development.


Mr Speaker, to further ensure a higher impact of the fund, standardised guidelines have been developed to guide the access of the resources from the fund. The implementation of the fund is conducted through four clearly outlined financing frameworks called windows. These are:


Employer Based Training


The employer based training window is important and critical for employers as it provides them access to this fund to finance some of their training needs. The companies that have been supported through this window were drawn from the energy industry, agriculture industry, manufacturing industry and mining sector.


Capital Investment and Development


Sir, K160 million has been spent under this window and this has gone to infrastructure development. The physical infrastructure development has included the procurement of equipment and systems to support capacity building in Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA) institutions. Furthermore, the fund has made resources available for the completion and operationalisation of the new vocational colleges and Mwense, Isoka and Kalabo Trades Training Institutes in the recent past. Additional institutions are being completed using the same fund. These are in Mumbwa, Lundazi, Sesheke and Mporokoso and we plan to complete these trades training institutes before the end of 2021. A further K30 million has been spent on modernisations and the upgrades to existing vocational institutions such as upgrading hostels at Luanshya Technical and Business College, Kitwe Vocational Training Centre, Zambia Institute for Business Studies and Industrial Practice, St. Malgary in Chipata and Lukashya and Ukwimi Trades Training Institutes.


Sir, it is also important to point out that the Ministry of Higher Education has been conducting scoping exercises in order to identify sites for the possible construction of new trades training institutes. So far, we have scoped the Chilubi Island, Zambezi District, Lavushimanda and some sites in Mafinga District, among others.


Mr Speaker, you can see that through this fund alone, the ministry is able to bring skills and economic activities to outlaying and underserved areas in line with the aspirations of the 7NDP, which says, “We will take skills development to all parts of the country without leaving anyone behind.”


Pre-employment Training Support to Students


Mr Speaker, under this window, the Ministry of Higher Education, through the Skills Development Fund, has been providing bursaries in various areas to students that had been applying at our vocational institutions. Through the provision of these bursaries, the ministry has been able to promote the participation of learners from rural areas as well as those from under privileged backgrounds and promote inclusive skills acquisition by the youth lacking financial capacity. The fund has spent over K90 million on these bursaries. Last year alone, 6,140 applicants were awarded with bursaries. In fact, 100 per cent of all the applicants to our vocational institutions were awarded bursaries using this fund.


Support to Informal Sector/Small and Medium Enterprises


Mr Speaker, since its inception, the Skills Development Fund has invested about K23 million in up skilling and re-skilling of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and the informal sector. Through TEVETA, the skills training is being delivered even in the remotest parts of the country as it is accessible to all TEVETA registered institutions.


Sir, form the foregoing, it is important to appreciate that the Skills Development Levy is not only meeting its intended purposed or providing relevant skills to industry, but also providing access to skills training for self-employment and wealth creation in hard to reach and rural areas of the country. The fund, through the established levy, is changing lives for women in Mwense, school leavers in Lukashya, Kasama, girls and boys in Choma and Mongu, out of school youths in Kalingalinga and out of employment youths in Chipata, among many other beneficiaries.


 Mr Speaker, with this in mind, and as I conclude my ministerial statement, allow me to commend and applaud the private sector players for the commitment and contributions they have been making towards this effort and we will be calling upon them to work with the Government in making sure that vocational skills are given to our youths so that they can employ themselves if the industry does not employ them.


 Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement given by the hon. Minister of Higher Education.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I have listened very attentively to the hon. Minister’s statement and I would like to appreciate the same.


Sir, arising from the hon. Minister’s statement and the failure by his Government to finance the higher institutions of learning such as the University of Zambia (UNZA) and the Copperbelt University (CBU), the two institutions have been grappling with the issues of paying salaries. As a result, the quality of education at these institutions has been affected. Yet, these are the institutions where we get lecturers to lecture in the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA) institutions. Is there no impact pertaining to the quality of lecturers and the number of lecturers that are available to lecture in these institutions taking into account the Government’s failure to manage the two institutions?


Dr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Leader of the Opposition for the question. He has cleverly brought in issues of the universities when the statement was on vocational training institutions.


Sir, I see the connection that the hon. Member drew that the vocational institutions are fed from the universities. So, it is on that basis that I can share the information that the Government has not failed to support our universities because our universities have been receiving funding from the Government since time immemorial. Our Government has also continued to encourage the universities to grow their revenues streams considering that many of them have many assents that could be turned into good revenues for themselves. Our Government has also been encouraging the universities to look through their balance sheets to see their operational expenses, allowances, salaries and all other emoluments versus the revenues which come in.


Mr Speaker, the challenges some of the institutions of higher learning are facing are due to failure to balance the two sides. One side of the revenues they get includes the funding the Government gives them. The other sides are the expenses which the Government does not control because the Government does not employ on their behalf, sign any contracts on their behalf or participate in their negotiations in terms of salaries, allowances and many other things. The failure to balance the two sides is what we have seen as a challenge faced by the two institutions and we are helping them to walk through this journey.


Sir, not too long ago, the Government sat with them and created a three-year strategic plan to help them get rid of all additional debts they had accumulated. To-date, the Government has been paying on the three-year plan and we are now in year three. So, the notion that the Government is not supporting the higher learning institutions is not true. However, to answer the question on whether our vocational institutions are impacted, we are getting the lecturers from our universities and we also get from other universities as well as the region. Currently, we have all the required lecturers teaching in our vocational institutions.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.               


 Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minster for that update on the Skills Training Levy. It is gratifying to learn that so far, close to K300 million has been raised for various components, including support to the informal sector and employer based training components. How much sensitisation has been undertaken to enable the people of Serenje and Chilubi know that these funds are available for them to access?


Dr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, the fund management system has been created, and one of its tasks is sensitisation of both employers and employees. Employers are made to understand that a responsibility has been placed upon them by this Parliament and that by law, they have to contribute to this fund. If they do not, there are penalties that accrue. The beneficiaries are the people, including the people of Serenje. I also take note that there is always more we can do in terms of sensitisation. I encourage my team and the secretariat to make sure that we do better where we can do better, in terms of sensitisation.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Mr Speaker, in his statement, the hon. Minister hon. Minister said that from 2017, 2018 and 2019, the ministry collected a total of K288 million. The expenditure of the ministry on these four windows is about K 333 million. This means the ministry overspent by about K45 million. I know that the Ministry of Finance is not up to date in terms of paying the Ministry of Higher education. Where did the ministry get the excess expenditure it incurred?


Dr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, it will be difficult for me to answer that question because when I did my calculations on what we collected, I never did the calculation on what was spent. If the hon. Member is saying that the ministry has spent more than what was collected, then the only possible answer is that the Government stepped in to shoulder the difference. The money comes from the Ministry of Finance. The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) collects the money from employers as a percentage of their gross payroll and then gives the money to the Ministry of Finance. Then, the Ministry of Finance is requested to release this money to the Ministry of Higher Education, which is the secretariat. In a situation where the Ministry of Higher Education has over-committed and additional resources are required outside the fund, the Government, through the Treasury, steps in.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, the Skills Development Levy Act provides for the imposition of payments and collections of the skills development levy. I would like to find out if there are any institutions or persons that are exempted from paying this levy. If there are, why?


Dr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, that is an interesting question. Depending on their classification, an employer may be exempted. Further, the percentages collected also vary. Remember that in my statement, I said that employers are charged from zero per cent to 5 per cent of their gross. That sliding scale speaks to the various employers and what they are involved. That is what drives how much they contribute.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, one of the challenges we have is low production and productivity. How can we invest that money well and direct it to where most of our people need it? In fact, 56 per cent of our people depend on agriculture. Would the ministry consider channeling more resources from the skills development levy to the development of skills in agriculture so that agriculture starts contributing more to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) than the dismal 4 per cent it is currently contributing?


  Dr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, thank you, Inspector-General (IG).




Dr Mushimba: Thank you, Hon. Dr Malama.


Mr Speaker: We do not have an Inspector-General (IG) as an hon. Member of Parliament.


Dr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, well-noted. I appreciate the correction.


Sir, to answer his question, I want to say that there was a prominent number of beneficiaries from the agriculture sector of the fund I spoke about. If the ministry has to create a deliberate policy to spend more towards that sector, we can take note of that. I had the privilege to accompany His Excellency the President to commission and hand over vocational institutions to the people. Training in agricultural subjects is one of the areas we are trying to push aggressively. I know that many other hands-on vocational skills such as bricklaying, electrical and auto mechanic skills are being taught in these schools. Once a person is trained as an auto mechanic, for example, he does not need to wait on someone to hire him. He can set up a shop and somebody will bring his/her vehicle for him to fix.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ng’ambi (Chifubu): Mr Speaker, indeed, skills development is key for production optimisation. Under the employer based window, what criteria are used to support companies that also contribute to this fund?


Dr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, the biggest criterion is the contribution. If an employer is able to contribute to the fund, he has the right to get some resources from the fund to bridge certain gaps in the skills of his workforce. The employer has to come with a justification and follow the guidelines that have been created by the fund and he will be given this additional support. I know that Mopani Copper Mines has had access to this fund, even as recent as a few months ago. The company trained about a hundred staff based in Kankoyo in my constituency. Many other employers can come and justify some of the skill gaps that they see in their employees and they will be considered as long as they contribute to the fund.


I thank you, Sir.


Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, other countries have employer based training in order to improve production and competitiveness of the skilled workforce. They provide quality oriented, industry-focused and competence based training. All this is directed at making the country competitive economically. Could the hon. Minister give us the broader policy direction of this particular aspect of the fund in terms of promoting the competitiveness of our industrial sector? 


Dr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, in terms of policy guidance, as a Government, we are aware that to grow our economy, we need to produce and produce at a rate that is better than others. We can produce products that can sell at the price that the market can bear. That thinking was not lost on the Government when it created this fund. We knew that although we were producing university graduates, there was a gap that was being felt in terms of the hands-on skills on the shop floor that were required. These shop floor skills are the skills that make a difference in an industrial plant. An industrial plant can be down for one or five days because you cannot get the right amount of skills to turn around that plant and get back to productivity.


Mr Speaker, through this employer based training programme, employers have the ability to access this fund and they are being encouraged to do so. Essentially, that is the policy. Sometimes, employers may not have the appetite to create training opportunities and increase productivity for their employers. Through this window we have created, they can access this money. They have been incentivised by the Government to retrain and continue upscaling and multi-scaling their employees. This will translate into high productivity, and that is what we need so that Zambia can compete with our neighbours in the region.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, over K90 million has already been given out in form of bursaries to vocational institutions. However, not too long ago, the hon. Minister’s predecessor informed this House that the Government was phasing out bursaries in preference to a loan scheme. What policy is the ministry following? Is it bursary or loan scheme?


Dr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, I will speak to the gap that the Government identified in terms of the skills spectrum. We used to have engineers, doctors and nurses graduating and then we created a gap of hands-on skilled people like electricians, bricklayers and others. The Government wants to bridge that gap and therefore, it provided bursaries for the TEVET or vocational institutions. At university level, it converted the bursary system to a loan system. So, from 2004 onwards, those who went to universities and accessed bursaries are supposed to pay back the money and that money will go into a revolving fund meant to educate more people in universities. In vocational institutions like Evelyn Hone College of Applied Arts and Commerce, Northern Technical College (NORTEC), Lukashya Trades Training Institute, Ikwimi Trades Training Institute, we give students bursaries and these students do not have to pay back the money to the Government.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Dr Imakando (Mongu Central): Mr Speaker, the fund management goes with administration funds. Is there a proportion of the funds collected that goes towards administration or is administration funded separately?


Dr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, yes, the administration of the fund also has that administration cost. When you look at the composition of the fund managers, you will see that half are from the Government and half are from the private sector. I would not put it past the fact that when they sit to adjudicate matters of the fund, there could be an allowance that is accrued to them. That seems to be the standard. When you attend a board meeting, you may drink a glass of water or tea and have some biscuits. As you leave, you may be given a little for your fuel. I would not put it past me that the provision is being given. If it is being given, probably it is coming from the fund.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: I will take the last five interventions from the hon. Members for Chilanga, Nakonde, Chienge, Magoye and Wusakile.


Mrs Phiri (Chilanga): Mr Speaker, what criterion is the ministry using to pick the communities that will benefit from the establishment of skills development centres countrywide?


Dr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, the goal is to have training institutions close to where the people are. This Patriotic Front (PF) Government of His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, wants to leave no one behind. Not leaving anyone behind means that training institutions have to be taken to the people. The people do not have to come to Lusaka or the line of rail to access these institutions. Regarding the criterion we are using, we are mapping the country to see where the existing institutions are and where the gaps are in relation to population distribution. We have picked districts or places near districts to construct these institutions.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Siwanzi (Nakonde): Mr Speaker, the skills development levy is a brilliant idea. Last year, I saw vulnerable youths in this country who wanted to access this fund through bursaries. They travelled long distances to access tertiary education. Some of them came from Nakonde and Nchelenge to attend school at Evelyn Hone College of Applied Arts and Commerce.


Mr Speaker, many of them suffered to access the required forms. Is the ministry making any plan of decentralising the provision of the application forms to district level? Students can even be getting them from District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) office so that we avoid having applicants travelling long distances to come and access the forms form the schools where they want to apply to. Does the ministry have plans to go online so that some students can access the forms through the internet?


Dr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, the bulk of the complaints that we have received concerning access to the bursaries for vocational institutions is on accessing the forms. I want to put on record that these forms are free. Students are not supposed to be charged any money to get these forms. I have heard stories that some students were charged to access these forms. Last year, some members of staff at Evelyn Hone College of Applied Arts and Commerce were disciplined for that malpractice.


Mr Speaker, moving forward, because of the challenge we have seen people have in accessing these forms, and because people have gone to the extent of selling the forms, the ministry has given itself a target regarding this. This year, as a ministry, we want to migrate these forms to an online platform. Students can then access these forms online and they will be guided on how to put their information. Their applications will be processed on a digital platform. This will remove the human to human interaction that brings a lot of confusion. We have just finished giving out bursaries to the 6,140 students who applied last year. I am hopeful that by the next school year, these application forms will be online. Therefore, nobody will have to leave their home and come to Lusaka to access the forms. As long as they have internet, they will be able to apply online. 


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, if I heard the hon. Minister correctly, he said this is an employee based training. My question is about those who are not yet in any form of employment. In Zambia, we have exalted degree and diploma holders above skill based trained people to an extent that the people that are skill based trained are unable to find jobs. How much is the Government sensitising would-be employers so that they can employ people that have acquired these skills?


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member is right that in Zambia we have had this tendency, for a while, of glorifying degrees and always equated a degree to competence and capacity. However, the industry is slowly realising that a degree does not equate to capacity or competence because a person can have a degree and still fail to perform. We are seeing these cases in the industry. As a result of that, the industry is opening its eyes to the fact that perhaps they can get technicians from the Northern Technical College (NORTEC), for instance. That is forcing all of us to reassess how we have looked at these qualifications.


Sir, employers have so far responded well to hiring our graduates from vocational institutions as a complement to the degree holders. That partnership has worked very well. I come from the background of engineering where I worked on shop floors. Vocational workers and engineers work together and they are very complimentary in ensuring the industrial plant’s operations are achieved.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Machila (Magoye): Mr Speaker, vocational training is central to national development. Last year, the Government allocated K121 million to the Skills Development Fund. Are our hon. Colleagues satisfied that this money was able to support the genuine development of skills in the country?


Dr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, just to give clarity on the K121 million, that was the money given to us by the Ministry of Finance after it collected it from the ZRA to support our annual budget for the Skills Development Fund. It was actually the highest amount collected in the three years that we have been doing this. We are hopeful that as we move forward and many more employers set up and increase their wage bill, it will correspond to an increase in our fund to access and provide for these vocational skills that we need.


Sir, we would certainly want more money in the fund, but so far, we have been able to do quite a lot through the releases that we have received. We will continue following the guidelines of the fund and managing the fund the way the fund managers have been doing it and spread it evenly. That way, we can finish the infrastructure that needs to be completed, upgrade some and give the bursaries we have been giving. So far, it has worked well, and we will continue looking to the fact that the releases will continue meeting our needs as we move forward.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kalobo (Wusakile): Mr Speaker, does the Government have plans to increase the Skills Development Levy from 0.5 per cent to 1 per cent, as the case is with South Africa, so that all higher learning institutions, both public and private, can benefit from the fund?


Dr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, if it was up to me, I would have increased that percentage yesterday so that we increase the envelope. However, it is not up to me and there are procedures and processes to follow and motivations that must be received. So far, the 0.5 per cent only affects employers that have a turnover of above K800,000. We seem to be doing okay and seem to be able to collect what we need and spread it. As I mentioned, it has been able to do a lot in terms of infrastructure development, bursaries and employers accessing the fund. For now, we seem to be okay. We do not want to burden the employer more than we are already.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: I will allow interventions from the hon. Members for Kaputa and Mwinilunga.


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, I am following up on a question asked by Hon. Siwanzi to which the hon. Minister said that going forward the ministry would rather create an online portal. Some schools in areas like Kaputa and Chilubi may not have access to online information at the moment. Why is it that the hon. Minister does not use existing institutions within these districts so that those learners can be allowed to have access to the same application forms that their counterparts in urban areas have? I ask because they find it very difficult to access these forms, hence the malpractices that we are getting.


Dr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, speaking as a former hon. Minister of Transport and Communication, the Government has done quite well in terms of increasing access to telecommunication infrastructure across the country. The towers that are being constructed across the country are supposed to have internet on them, which means my grandmother in Shikamushile will also have access to the internet, just like we do here in town in the short term. However, if there is still a challenge of certain areas not having internet, they can go to the Boma where they will probably find internet and utilise the services there to access the portal.


Sir, what we are trying to avoid is people from Isoka or Nakonde coming to Lusaka to try and find a form when they can go to the nearest Boma and access the internet, fill in the information that is required, submit and then wait for the response which will come through the same portal. After this, they will be given a timeline for when they can go and check for that response. We are trying to cut back the red tape and bureaucracy and remove human to human interaction that can, at times, flaw the system.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Samakayi (Mwinilunga): Mr Speaker, what mechanisms has the Government put in place to ensure companies operating in Zambia comply and contribute to this fund?


Dr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, as I was preparing for this statement, that is one question I asked my team at the ministry.  I asked that we look at the compliance levels of employers to see if all of them are contributing to the Skills Development Levy. My team said Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) as the implementing agency on behalf of the Government, has a system that is used when employers pay taxes and other tax obligations. There is a calculation that is given to the employer to pay against.


Sir, moving forward, what should be done is to probably create an application based on the payroll that each employer runs, so that their payment of the Skills Development Levy, which is a percentage of the gross pay, is automatically calculated and sent to ZRA. That way, checking for compliance levels will be easy because expected amounts from each employer would be known. It is just going to be a matter of checking what has been paid against a particular employer. Then those that will not be compliant will quickly be pursued.


Mr Speaker, for now, the system is very manual and employers are just told what they are supposed to pay. There is a discussion between ZRA and the employer that is undertaken, a calculation is done and then the employer pays. Actually, employers that have been given the bills to pay have since been paying and that is why some money has been collected. However, there are opportunities for improvement and the Government has spoken to the fund managers to make sure that improvements are done.


I thank you, Sir.








193.  Mr Daka (Msanzala) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


  1. whether the Government is aware that the following bridges in Msanzala Parliamentary Constituency have been washed away following heavy rains thereby making it difficult for people from either side to cross the rivers:


  1. Chipungu/Mbulamala across Msanzala River; and
  2. Mkonda across Mkonda River on Msolo Road;


       b. if so, what immediate measures are being taken to alleviate the suffering of the people;

      c. whether the Government has any plans to source funds for the reconstruction of the bridges; and

      d. if so, when the plans will be implemented.


The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Mwale): Mr Speaker, the Government is aware of the washing away of the Chipungu/Mbulamala Bridge across Msanzala River and Mkonda Bridge across Mkonda River on Msolo Road in Msanzala Parliamentary Constituency.


Sir, the Government, through the Road Development Agency (RDA), has carried out an assessment of the damage at the Chipungu/Mbulamala Bridge and submitted a budget to the National Roads Fund Agency (NRFA) in order to facilitate release of funds for the required works. Further, an assessment of the damage at Mkonda Bridge is scheduled to be undertaken before the end of March, 2020.


Mr Speaker, the NRFA is currently sourcing for funds to facilitate works at the Chipungu/Mbulamala Bridge. The funds for works at the Mkonda Bridge will be sourced once assessments of the damages are undertaken and forwarded to the NRFA for funding.


Sir, the required works on both bridges will be undertaken once funds have been released to RDA by the NRFA.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the people of Chipungu and Mbulamala have no way of receiving the much needed relief food which is being provided by the Office of the Vice-President through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU)? What other short term measure would the Government put in place to ensure that the food is transported across Msanzala River to these stressed people?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I am aware that the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) is in the said area, especially in Sandwe area, distributing relief food. If there is a need to distribute food because people in Chipungu and Mbulamala are affected by the hunger situation, then that matter will be taken up with the DMMU. The same helicopters airlifting food in Sandwe area could also take food to Chipungu and Mbulamala area, as the bridge is being worked on.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, I have heard the hon. Minister’s positive answer. However, given that the food distribution excise has been stopped, as a temporary measure, is it not possible to look at the Acrow bridges that are being installed around, just for those people sleeping in classrooms to receive some relief food?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, it is not possible to use the Acrow bridges in that area. Acrow bridges are supposed to be installed in areas they were designed for. If they are changed for one reason or the other, we risk not using them properly and that could put the lives of people at risk. I know the hon. Member has in mind the fact that one Acrow bridge was used at Kacholola. That was an exceptional case because two countries were cut off and something had to be done.


Mr Speaker, the monies required for the bridge in question is only K347,000, which can easily be sourced and the bridge worked on without having to install an Acrow bridge on that spot.


I thank you, Sir.




194.  Mr Chiyalika (Lufubu) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development what measures the Government is taking to sensitise Kabwe residents on the dangers of lead pollution.


The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, the House may wish to know that the Government is not only sensitising on the dangers of lead pollution in Kabwe, but it is also undertaking other measures to reduce the pollution. The Government through the Zambia Mining and Environmental Remediation and Improvement Project (ZMERIP), a project co-funded by the Government and World Bank, is carrying out the following measures:


  1. sensitising civic leaders and community volunteers in Kabwe on the dangers of lead pollution and environmental remediation activities;
  2. sensitising and training health frontline personnel who are directly involved in the care and management of children with elevated blood lead levels. The medical personnel together with technical personnel in turn sensitise the public through health talks on dangers of lead exposure in the local clinics and surrounding environments;
  3. developing local learning materials and methodologies which will include drama, debate and school quizzes to reach out to schools in affected communities in Kabwe; and
  4. empowering local communities to undertake income generating activities as a measure to discourage residents from engaging in risky activities which may expose them further to lead.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Zimba (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, I want to find out how lead itself is a danger to people and how they can contract diseases with it.  I also want to know if at all there is a way in which it can completely be removed.


  Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I heard the hon. Member trotting in between the words “led” and “lead.” The correct pronunciation is “led.”




Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, the lead issues, particularly in Kabwe, comes from the legacy of the exploitation of the mineral resource. This has affected many communities and has had a negative impact on the health of the people. As the hon. Member may know, Kabwe Mine was first run by Anglo American, then the Government took over. Therefore, the Government has taken an initiative to create a healthy platform for its people by dealing with the issues that came as a result of the discharge that was left by the mining industry. That is why we are currently discouraging illegal miners from still going to the zinc pits. All these issues were left by the mining conglomerates. In short, the Government is putting interventions in place to curtail the legacy issues that were generated as a result of non-sustainable mining operations that were undertaken in the past.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Sampa (Kasama Central): Mr Speaker, I would love the hon. Minister to avail us with the statistics of the people who have been affected by the same lead, if there are any.


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I do not have the exact statistics right now. This project has been occasioned by the World Bank and it is premised on the huge number of people who were affected in the area. That is why this project was put in place.


I thank you, Sir.




195. Mr Kabanda (Serenje) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:


  1. whether the Government has any plans to start processing base metals such as manganese, locally, before exporting them;
  2. if so, when the plans will be implemented; and
  3. what the benefits of processing the metals locally would be, especially to the youths.


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, the Government has plans to ensure that all the base metals, manganese inclusive, are processed within the country before export. To this effect, the Government introduced export duty to discourage export of raw or unprocessed minerals. The Government has always encouraged value addition to the minerals being mined in the country. This measure is purely meant to discourage the export of minerals in raw form, that is, ores and concentrates, and encourage up and down linkages in the economy. The desire of the Government is to see all the minerals mined processed into finished goods locally.


Mr Speaker, the plans of processing minerals locally are already in place. Arising from the introduction of the export duty, a number of companies have set up mineral processing plants for manganese in Zambia. These processing plants are converting raw manganese into ferro-silico manganese. The following are some of the processing plants for manganese that are located within the republic of Zambia and in particular, the Central Province and Luapula Province:


  1. Southern Africa Ferro Alloys Limited situated in Kabwe. It started operations in 2013;
  2. Ferro Alloys Corporation Limited situated in Kabwe. It started operations in 2018;
  3. Tongyi Ferro-Manganese Zambia Limited situated in Kabwe. It started operations in 2018;
  4. Datong Construction Limited based in Chibombo. It started operations in 2017;
  5. San He Zambia Limited based in Kabwe. It started operations in 2017; and
  6. PLR Project Zambia Limited based in Serenje. It started operations in 2015.


Mr Speaker, it is the desire of the Government to see more mineral processing companies establish bases in Zambia, especially in communities where this material is being exploited. The processing of minerals locally comes with enormous benefits such as job creation for the youth and increased economic contribution to the country. The youths also have an opportunity to set up enterprises in value addition in addition to the already existing infrastructure and mining business operations.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.




Mr Speaker: Order!


 Hon. Members on the right, you are making it difficult for the House to function smoothly because of the animated conversations.


Mr Kabanda: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that insightful answer. The question is coming from the backdrop that the export of raw base metals has been creating jobs in other countries as opposed to creating jobs for our own people, particularly the youths of this country. Could the hon. Minister assure the country through this House that the tax which the Government is going to impose on the export of base metals or raw materials will add to employment creation in this country?


Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, yes. First and foremost, I would like to assure the hon. Member and the country at large that the Government will continue to ensure that it creates a platform for mining houses to concentrate on processing many of these materials locally in order to create decent jobs for our people and contribute to our economic performance.


Mr Speaker, as the hon. Member can see from the list that I have produced, we have seen a positive trend to that effect. Various mining entities are now dealing in manganese. We hope that with the improvement of power generation in Luapula Province, which is on the cards, many of the mining operations for manganese based in Luapula will put up processing plants in Luapula and discourage illegal miners who are currently on the increase.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.




196. Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa) asked the Minister of General Education:


  1. whether the Government has any plans to construct another secondary school in Liuwa Parliamentary Constituency apart from Libonda Secondary School; and


(b)        if so, when the plans will be implemented.


The Minister of General Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, the ministry has plans to construct another secondary school in Liuwa Parliamentary Constituency apart from Libonda Secondary School. It also plans to build secondary schools in other places around the country to increase access to education for pupils.


Mr Speaker the plans for the construction of the school will only be implemented once the projects that are 80 per cent and above are completed and when funds will be made available to the ministry.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, the construction of Libonda High School was started in 2010. Unfortunately, to date, nothing has been done in terms of completing it. This year, senior classes have been introduced, meaning that they have to operate from the basic school. In addition to Libonda High School, two other schools in Liuwa have been designated as high schools, bringing the total to four high schools. All these four high schools –


Ms Miti’s phone rang.




Ms Mulenga: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, you may continue.


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I was saying that Libonda High School is not completed, so senior classes have to take place at the basic school. Three other basic schools have been designated as high schools starting from 2020 but they have no new classrooms. Could the hon. Minister explain how this arrangement will allow for conjunctive learning in the absence of teaching spaces at Libonda High School and the three others that have been designated as high schools without infrastructure?


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, obviously, I recognise those challenges in Liuwa Parliamentary Constituency, but Hon. Musokotwane and I have had a number of conversations, especially about Libonda Secondary School. Like he said, Libonda High school has been under construction for a while. Not too long ago, Hon. Musokotwane, the hon. Minister of Finance and I had some discussion about it. There was a commitment from the hon. Minister of Finance that some monies were going to be made available to begin the construction of this school so as to accommodate those students who are using the facilities for the primary school.


Sir, as for the other three schools that have been upgraded from primary to secondary schools, again, this has been done because we recognised that children used to walk long distances to attend secondary schools. For us to accommodate these children, we had no choice but to upgrade these primary schools to secondary schools. Again, this decision was made at the local level. Of course, the responsibility remains with the ministry. I am sure between Hon. Musokotwane and myself, we can sit and discuss.


Mr Speaker, the other point is that there is money that the Government sends to constituencies. Constituencies have the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and the Local Government Equalisation Fund. So, my colleagues can partner with the ministry to address such issues using these funds. Doing so will make delivering these projects a little easier. The hon. Member is aware that my focus now is getting money for Libonda High School to be completed. I am sure he and the Ministry of General Education can see how best they can work together to ensure that infrastructure is provided for the other three schools.


 I thank you, Sir.


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, with the upgrading of the three schools in Liuwa Constituency from primary to secondary schools, is the Government planning to empower these schools with laboratory facilities with immediate effect? These schools lack enhanced infrastructure. Are there plans to improve the laboratories at these schools?


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the provision of laboratory facilities in our schools is ongoing. When a school is upgraded, the easiest route to get a laboratory is to get in touch with the ministry so that it can provide a mobile laboratory. Again, on this point, Dr Musokotwane and I can engage my colleagues at the National Science Centre. I am sure that they would be more than happy to make assessments and see whether it is appropriate now to provide those schools with mobile laboratories.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo): Mr Speaker, Libonda Secondary School has been in the same state since 2011. Is there any hope that this year, there will be money for it to be completed for the people of Libonda to benefit?


Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister has already answered that question.


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I am always complaining about the absence or the inadequacy of teachers in basic and primary schools. Four high schools have been introduced in Liuwa. Libonda High School is non-functional and two other high schools have been introduced in Lola and Mishilundu. However, there are no houses for the high schools teachers. 


Sir, high schools teachers are graduates from the University of Zambia (UNZA) and the Copperbelt University (CBU). They are expected to go and rent houses made out of pole and mud. These are graduates. Does the hon. Minister expect these schools to receive graduate teachers when there is no accommodation for them? Does he expect teachers to go there? Does he expect the children in these high schools which are so deprived to reasonably compete with pupils in schools in Lusaka, the Copperbelt and other places?


Sir, does he expect the children from Liuwa to compete with children in other high schools for places at UNZA or CBU? Does he think that they can compete with children from other schools?  Are these high schools in Liuwa merely for the sake of showing that there are schools? Can they compete properly in the absence of teachers?


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, obviously, the answer is no. It is very difficult for the children in those schools to be provided with quality education if those schools have not been provided with adequate teaching staff. However, I showcased in this House what the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has done in the education sector, notwithstanding the challenges my colleagues bring on the Floor of this House. In the recent few years, more than 2,000 houses have been built at a number of schools across this country, especially at the new schools we have been constructing. That demonstrates our commitment of improving infrastructure in our schools.


Sir, I do recognise the questions from Hon. Dr Musokotwane and that is why I said that the ministry will try and mobilise some teachers to go to those schools that have been upgraded, notwithstanding the fact that there is no decent accommodation there. If the Government does not accommodate a civil servant such as a teacher, it pays them housing allowance. The question from my colleagues should be where to find the accommodation. The terms and conditions of service provide that if the Government is not able to accommodate the teachers, its responsibility remains that of paying housing allowance to the teachers. I am sure that as we go on, we can see how we can meet our colleagues halfway. Like I said, the major challenge in Liuwa Constituency is completing Libonda Secondary school, which is what we will focus on.   


I thank you, Sir.    


Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, it is clear that the Government does not have enough resources to build staff houses in some of these schools where there are no teachers. Would the Government consider allowing parents in those areas, who have the capacity, to build houses in school premises and then rent them out since the ministry is in a position to give them housing allowances?


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, we will have difficulties managing the schools once we begin to allow parents to build houses in the vicinity of schools when that land belongs to the school. However, what we can do, and I have said that parents, including the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) at the school, have the right to build houses. They can go to a chief or a headman and ask for land which is outside the school premises, but, of course, not far from the school. That particular arrangement is permissible.


I thank you, Sir.




197. Dr Malama (Kanchibiya) asked the Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development:


  1. whether the Government has any plans to present, to Parliament, a Bill on children’s rights for enactment;
  2. if so, when the plans will be implemented; and
  3. what has caused the delay in bringing, to the House, legislation that aims at protecting and promoting the rights of children.


The Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development (Mr Mulenga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Member may wish to know that the Government has plans to present the Children’s Code Bill in Parliament.


Sir, the Government has already commenced the process of enacting a Children’s Act. Currently, the Children’s Code Bill is at the initial legislative committee stage with the Ministry of Justice.


Mr Speaker, the hon. Member may further wish to note that the development of the Children’s Code Bill has been a long process involving consultative meetings with many stakeholders, auditing of various pieces of legislation relating to children as well as incorporating provisions of a number of international conventions and treaties to which Zambia is a state party. Therefore, the delay in the finalisation of the Bill has been due to the desire by the Government and other stakeholders to come up with a comprehensive Children’s Code Bill, which will not only enhance the provision of the protective environment for the children of Zambia, but also stand the test of time.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Dr Malama: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for that statement. The Convention on the Rights of Children was held in 1989, we signed it in 1990 and it was ratified by Zambia on 6th December, 1991. Considering the duration, would the hon. Minister be able to come or provide us with information on how successive Governments, not just the current one, have tried to align national policy and regulatory frameworks to the Convention on the Rights of Children. It does not have to be today, but would he be able to come with that information?


Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, yes, I can come with that information at an opportune time.


I thank you, Sir.




198. Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


  1. whether the Government is aware that the majority of projects below 80 per cent completion are in the rural areas;
  2. if so, whether the policy pronouncement of focusing on projects that are at 80 per cent and above completion will be reviewed for rural areas; and
  3. if not, what measures are being taken to expedite the completion of the stalled projects in rural areas that are below 80 per cent completion.


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the Government is aware that the majority of the projects that are below 80 per cent complete are being executed in rural areas. The policy pronouncement will not be reviewed as the majority of the projects at 80 per cent and above are in rural areas and the Government wants to complete these projects for the benefit of the people in rural areas.


Mr Speaker, the projects that are below 80 per cent will be prioritised once those that are 80 per cent and above are completed. However, projects of national significance or special interest will receive consideration even if they are below 80 per cent.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, the majority of people live in rural areas where this policy of 80 per cent really affects the people negatively. Would the Government not come up with an alternative of considering areas which have no enhanced infrastructure like those in remote areas, so that a special fund like in the Ministry of Higher Education where the Skills Development Levy was introduced and it is supplementing the efforts of the central Government? Would the Government not come up with such a fund so that infrastructure is enhanced and improved in rural areas?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the Government has already given preference to projects in rural areas. As we have said, a lot of these projects that are at 80 per cent and above, as the hon. Member has said, are in rural areas. Now, we have made arrangements where every month there is money released for infrastructure development. Like I said, the other month, we received K28 million which has gone to rural areas. Last month, we received K15 million which has gone to complete secondary schools. So, every month there is some money that the Ministry of Finance releases towards infrastructure projects in these rural areas.


Sir, I do not think that we need a special fund to be set up at the moment because already the interventions that we are making are meant for rural areas because this is where most of these projects are. I think that this way, we will still be able to achieve our objective of helping rural areas.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.




199. Mr Simfukwe (Mbala) asked the Minister of Energy:


  1. why the electrification of the following areas in Mbala Parliamentary Constituency has stalled:


  1. Chief Mwamba;
  2. Chief Zombe;
  3. Kasesha Border; and
  4. Chisanza on the shores of Lake Tanganyika;


   b.when works on the projects will resume; and


     c. what has caused the delay in completing the projects.


The Minister of Energy (Mr Nkhuwa): Mr Speaker, the completion of the electrification programme in Mbala Parliamentary Constituency has been delayed due to budgetary constraints. The Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) has completed the scoping and cost estimations of the same projects. The total costs are as follows:


  1. electrification of Chief Mwamba’s area is K2,604,863.92


  1. electrification of Chief Zombe’s area and Kasesha Border is K7,347,840.46
  2. electrification of Chisanza on the shores of Lake Tanganyika is K6,116,810.46


Sir, ZESCO has endeavoured to implement part of the respective scopes of the projects. Poles for the overhead lines have been erected and in some cases, the lines have been strung and commissioned.


Mr Speaker, works for the respective projects are expected to resume once funding is made available. As mentioned earlier, challenges leading to the delays in implementation of the above projects have been due to lack of funding.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, to the hon. Minister’s credit, all the places that are listed have poles already mounted, and they just need the conductors. The Budget Committee went to the Metal Fabricators of Zambia Plc (ZAMEFA) and found conductors in large quantities pending collection. Looking at the fuel levy that is collected for the Rural Electrification Authority (REA), why does this not solve the problem? The conductors have been made by ZAMEFA and are yet to be collected. The fuel levy is meant to facilitate such developments. What has caused the problem when we have these arrangements in place?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, we are aware that conductors are ready at the Metal Fabricators of Zambia Plc (ZAMEFA), although they do require us to go and pay first and then collect the fuel levies. This money is collected and the demand on electrification of our country is huge. We are moving and we will move as soon as the funds are made available. However, we are pushing to make sure that we get these funds when they are available and then we will be able to electrify.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that there is a challenge pertaining to funding. Arising from that answer he has just given, I would like to find out from him what has happened to the World Bank funding pertaining to rural electrification, which I tend to think covers this particular project.


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, the World Bank funding towards the project is not adequate to electrify all the rural areas around the country. Although the hon. Member of Parliament is saying the money is meant for this particular project, the Government still has to put in some money to cover the cost of the project.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, I just want to use this opportunity to encourage the hon. Minister by telling him that people in Mbala are happy with the work that has been done so far. Otherwise, they are just waiting for the conductors.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Mbala, there is no provision for that.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, the situation in Mbala is similar to many other constituencies where poles have already been erected. However, in some cases, conductors have not yet been installed. In other cases, conductors have been installed, but connectivity has not been complete. I empathise with the hon. Minister going by the performance of the economy and the constrained financial position. However, I wish to know if he has made any efforts to obtain financing by way of a facility specifically to complete the rural electrification projects that are already underway.


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, at the moment, we are not trying to get any credit facilities because we are overwhelmed. T we will wait for the Treasury to finance these projects which we have already started. Poles have been erected and in some cases, lines are being strung. Therefore, we shall wait for the Treasury to give us the money. We will not go and ask for more loans.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, I also thank the hon. Minister for the answers that he has continued to provide. Mbala is a strategic town in the Northern Province and the country. However, my concern is with the Kasesha Border because of its proximity to Mbala. If it was electrified, it definitely would generate resources just like the Nakonde Border, not only to Tanzania, but also to Mbala as a town. Are there any other means of electrifying this particular area while we are waiting for this particular project?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, at the moment, I do not think we have any alternative means of electrifying that area. Nevertheless, I have taken note of the concern, and when we get the funding, we will make sure that we give priority to the Kasesha Border area before other areas are electrified.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Mr Speaker, I have been listening to the hon. Minister’s responses regarding the questions pertaining to his ministry. His answers have been that these projects will be done in 2030 or that the Government has no money at all. Is the ministry so broke that it cannot work on any projects at the moment? We need to know the status so that we, the hon. Members of Parliament should stop asking questions regarding these projects.


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, my ministry is not broke. We keep getting the money, and we do electrify areas. As recent as November/December, 2019 or there about, we were in Dundumwezi and we delivered a project. The people of Dundumwezi are very happy. We did an off-grid project which we delivered to the people of Mwinilunga. If the hon. Member follows what we are doing as a ministry, he will realise that we have a lot of projects and that we are very busy. However, this country has a total area of about 752,000 km2 and it will not be covered in a year or two. We have the Rural Electrification Master Plan (REMP) which we follow. According to that plan, we can only do what we will do up to 2030, but still, we will not electrify the whole country. Development is an ongoing process and we are developing the country.


I thank you, Mr Speaker




200. Mr Mutelo (Mitete) asked the Minister of General Education:


  1. how many teachers there were in Mitete District as of December, 2018;
  2. whether the number above met the staff establishment;
  3. if not, what the shortfall was; and
  4. when additional teachers will be deployed to the district.


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, there were 210 teachers. The number of teachers did not meet the staff establishment. The shortfall was 405 teachers, and the total number of teachers on the establishment was 615.


Sir, additional teachers will be deployed to Mitete once the recruitment exercise is done. Teacher recruitment is an ongoing exercise.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the number of teachers in the district is no longer 210? It has decreased to barely 150.


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I am not aware of that information. The information I am giving my hon. Colleague is the information I have, and it is a true reflection of the number of teachers currently in Mitete.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, the shortage of teachers in various constituencies is quite acute. When does the hon. Minister think his ministry will embark on the recruitment of new teachers, considering the need in all these constituencies?


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, recruitment of teachers is an ongoing exercise. As my hon. Colleagues may be aware, the last time we recruited teachers was early 2019. As a ministry, we are still consulting with the Ministry of Finance and once we get an affirmative answer from our colleagues, I will share the information with the hon. Members of Parliament.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Dr Malama: Mr Speaker, the people of Mitete, particularly our children, also want access to learning. Is the hon. Minister going to ensure that those teachers who are on the payroll under Mitete but are not in Mitete get back to Mitete to teach our children in Mitete?


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I recently stated that there is already an audit by Cabinet Office. One of the principal goals of that audit is to establish the teachers who have been transferred from one school to another with a view to assess whether there are possibilities of transferring them back to the schools where they came from. I am sure that at the most appropriate time, I will come and share with my hon. Colleagues some of the audit findings.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, the condition existing in Mitete is similar to the one in Kaputa. Having 200 teachers against an establishment of 615 is definitely not good for our learners. Does the hon. Minister share the same vision with the ministry of ensuring that no more teachers are transferred from Mitete? Transferring more teachers away from Mitete would put the district in disarray. Are there any plans not to transfer any more teachers out of Mitete as people await additional teachers?


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, in the recent past, the ministry has decentralized the work of transferring teachers to the local level, particularly to Provincial Education Officers (PEOs). This is because in the past, sometimes, transfers were effected by the Ministry of General Education. I am not saying that the ministry cannot effect transfers. However, the ministry found that transfers were one of the major sources of disruption. At the moment, if a teacher wants to be transferred, he/she has to deal make sure that is dealt with at district level. The PEO gives authorisation for the transfer supported by an identity number (ID) from the Payroll Management and Establishment Control System (PMEC), especially if the transfer is out of the province to another province. Now, there are restrictions on transfers. If one compares 2018 to 2019, one would see that there are very few teachers in the provinces who were transferred because of the new conditions that have been set. The PEOs are now responsible for managing the issue of transfers, especially transfers out of provinces. I want to assure my hon. Colleagues that so far, this is working well. What we have are historical issues, some transfers took place before 2019.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Sikazwe entered the Assembly Chamber.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, one of the pillars of the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) is human capital development. I am sure the hon. Minister is aware of that. This allocation of teachers to Mitete is 30 per cent of the required establishment. What is the long-term implication of such a pitiful allocation on human capital development, especially for the children of Mitete?


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I will be grateful if my colleague repeated the question because I did not get it clearly due to the running commentaries.


Mr Speaker: Could the hon. Member for Lukulu East repeat the question.


Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, with 30 per cent allocation of the total establishment of teachers to Mitete, what is expected in terms of quality education for our children in Mitete?


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, obviously, it will have a negative impact on the learning outcomes, and clearly, that feeds into our human capital index. However, like I said, some of these districts are special cases, and so, the Ministry of General Education will try and focus on them and limit the transfers. When we have recruitment programmes, we will obviously have to create a balance by giving priority to districts that have a large deficit in terms of the number of teachers.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, truly, the hon. Minister is aware that the Western Province is the last in terms of results that have just come out. Is this not one of the factors? Mitete has an establishment of 200 teachers. However, there are barely 150 teachers. Is this not one of the factors contributing to the kind of results coming from the Western Province?


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I do not agree with the statement that the bad performance of students in the Western Province is due to the inadequacy of teachers in the province, even though a teacher is a key change agent to their performance. This is why I am trying to pay special attention to this issue, and it is not only in the Western Province. For instance, provinces such as Luapula, the Western and Muchinga also have inadequate teachers. We are trying to address the leadership in those particular provinces at a higher level.


Sir, I believe that if the other provinces are doing well and they have a similar number of staff and other resources, and then seven provinces are doing better, while the others are not doing very well, the reason could be that maybe, there are challenges at the top leadership level in those provinces that are not doing well. Therefore, we will try and help those provinces to address the leadership challenges.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, I empathise with the hon. Minister of General Education on the challenge he has in his ministry as regards some schools being well equipped with the required infrastructure while other schools do not have the required infrastructure. I do not empathise with him on schools in Mitete not having infrastructure, hence teachers do not want to go and stay there because of that. That being the case, could the hon. Minister give us his Government’s plan to improve the level of infrastructure in areas like Mitete? This state of affairs is not only obtaining in Mitete, it is countrywide. I have seen infrastructure being built in other places but not in these needy areas. Could he give us a plan that the ministry has to improve infrastructure in those areas so that teachers can go and teach?


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, infrastructure development is an ongoing exercise. My hon. Colleagues may be aware that at the moment, there are 115 secondary schools being built and more than 2,000 houses have been built. Mitete is a beneficiary of that infrastructure development. A big boarding secondary school is being built there because we recognise that the people of Mitete need to be provided with the services that they require. Like I said, this is an ongoing exercise and therefore, even boarding schools like Muyondoti and Kakulunda which do not have adequate housing will be provided with the infrastructure.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mulusa (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, it is common knowledge that the rural parts of this country are suffering because of teachers migrating to urban areas. At the time the ministry appoints teachers to go to schools in rural areas, the teachers pretend that they want to go to the rural parts of this country. Is the ministry thinking of putting deliberate measures that will make these teachers to stay a minimum of four years in schools before they can move to any other part of the country?


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the current conditions applicable to first appointment stipulate that a teacher is supposed to serve in a particular school for a minimum of four years. That condition still exists. Of course, regrettably, I think the implementation of the condition has been challenging. That is why a decision was made to localise the function of transfers to districts and provinces. I am sure that as we go on, my hon. Colleagues will be able to see a major shift on the way teachers are transferred compared to the current dispensation.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.




201. Ms Subulwa (Sioma) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:


  1. whether the Government has any plans to construct police posts and staff houses in the following areas in Sioma Parliamentary Constituency:


  1. Sioma;


  1. Nangweshi;


  1. Kalongola; and


  1.  Sinjembela;


     b.  if so, when the plans will be implemented;


     c.  what the estimated cost of the project is; and


       d. what the estimated time frame for the completion of the project is.


The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, before I respond to the hon. Member, permit me to welcome Hon. Freedom Chomba Sikazwe who has been away for medical treatment. We welcome back the representative of the people of Mpulungu. It is good to see him in good health.


Sir, the Government does not have any immediate plans of constructing police posts and staff houses in Sioma, Nangweshi, Kalongola and Sinjembela wards in Sioma Parliamentary Constituency.


Mr Speaker, as stated above, the Government does not have any immediate plans to construct police posts along with staff houses in the four wards under Sioma Parliamentary Constituency. There is no estimated cost because there is no plan for such a project, and there is no estimated time frame for completion of the project because there is no plan for such a project.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, I would like to disagree with the hon. Minister’s statement that the Government has no plans to construct police posts in all the four areas that I have mentioned because in 2015 –


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Sioma! Let me just provide some guidance. Try and put your intervention in form of a question. 


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, I would like to know what happened to the K14,700,090 that was allocated for the construction of Sioma Police Post.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I would have loved to hear from the hon. Member as to when that K14,700,090 was allocated. I said that the Government has no immediate plans to carry out this project.


Mr Speaker: Hon Minister, resume your seat. Let me just guide so that we have a complete response. Could you just elaborate your question, hon. Member for Sioma. Give it context.


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, the background is that K14,700,090 was allocated for the construction of a police post in Sioma specifically. K2,900,058 was released for the construction of a police post in Sioma District –


Mr Speaker: In which year?


Ms Subulwa: Mr Speaker, in 2015. Therefore, I would like to know what happened to that money that was allocated to this particular police post in Sioma because works have stalled.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, this project was earmarked for implementation. A contractor was identified and an advance payment was made, I think. However, this contract has been under investigation. This project was procured by the provincial administration and the administration will be requested to ensure that this project which was procured under it is followed through and concluded. I said the Government has no immediate plans to carry out this project because when the works stalled in that particular fiscal year, it meant that we had to re-plan. As you know, Sioma is a new district which is also benefiting from the infrastructure plan of the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development.


I thank you, Sir.






202. Mr Kamondo (Mufumbwe) asked the Minister of General Education when the following secondary schools in Mufumbwe Parliamentary Constituency will be designated as examination centres:


  1. Kabipupu; and
  2. Jairos Fumpa.


Mr Mabumba: Madam Speaker, allow me to give context to this question. On 2nd April, 2019, I came to this august House and said that the policy direction for awarding examination centre numbers to schools would be that each school which is deserving at Grades 7, 9 and 12 would be given one.


Madam, as a consequence of that, Kabipupu Secondary School has not been awarded an examination centre number because there is no application at the Examination Council of Zambia (ECZ). Jairos Fumpa Secondary School was granted an examination centre number on 23rd October, 2019.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kamondo: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister is talking about internal examination centres. Kabipupu Secondary School is about 85 km from town. When will it be given the external Grade 12 examination centre number?


Mr Mabumba: Madam Speaker, before Parliament went on recess in December last year, I wrote to all hon. Members of Parliament asking them to submit all the information regarding schools that deserved to be given examination centre numbers, whether internal or external. I requested hon. Members to forward that information to the ECZ.


Madam, I encourage the hon. Member for Mufumbwe to apply through the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS). We are extending the deadline to 7th March, 2020. Between now and March, 2020, I am sure we can resolve the challenge that Kabipupu has.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Madam Speaker, why does the hon. Minister want to reassign his role as the hon. Minister of General Education? He is supposed to have returns of all his schools that need examination centres instead of depending on hon. Members of Parliament. When is he going to involve his office in order to give all those schools examination centre numbers, so that they can be effective?


Mr Mabumba: Madam Speaker, the way we get returns in terms of which schools require examination centre numbers is through an application by the DEBS to the PEO to the ECZ. Let me demonstrate what I mean here.


Madam, I issued the ministerial statement on 2nd April, 2019 and so far, 2,732 schools have been granted examination centre numbers. This is historic as it has never happened in the history of this country. I encourage hon. Members, especially those whose schools have not yet applied, to apply. We have considered the extension because in the last few days, we have received a lot of pressure from the districts. We have decided to extend the deadline from 29th February, 2020 to 7th March, 2020, to allow the schools that may have been challenged in one way or another to apply. I am sure that if we called the hon. Member’s DEBS at tea break, we would be able to get this application and give him the external centre number within a few days.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, is it the responsibility of the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) or the hon. Members to apply for these examination centre numbers?


Mr Mabumba: Madam Speaker, I wrote to the hon. Members of Parliament because they are key stakeholders in providing education. Their role is not to apply, but to have consultation with the DEBS to understand which schools in their respective constituencies have not been granted examination centre numbers. Through the DEBS, they then apply to the PEO, who applies to the ECZ. So, we use hon. Members as a vehicle to sit with their officials at district level to try and understand which schools do not have examination centre numbers.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kamondo: Madam Speaker, we are happy with what he hon. Minister has said. Going forward, is it not prudent for him to give further instructions to the District Education Board Secretaries (DEBSs) so that they do this job immediately?


Mr Mabumba: Madam Speaker, that is going to be done. As I said, we have awarded more than seven schools examination centre numbers just today because they were brought to my attention and I asked the ECZ to give them. We will resolve that particular issue. If the application is not there, they can send it through email and within two days, we should be able to give them the examination centre number.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mrs Chinyama (Kafue): Madam Speaker, given the policy pronouncement that the hon. Minister has talked about, it sounds to me that the application process is a mere formality for schools. From what I knew in the past, it seems the Government has relaxed the requirements for a school to be given a centre number. Is applying for a centre number now a mere formality and has the Government waved the stringent requirements that were in place before an examination number could be granted? Am I hearing the hon. Minister correctly?


Mr Mabumba: Madam Speaker, we gave out 2,732 examination centre numbers because the ECZ committee on school certificates had to meet to make a decision. However, for now, once the ECZ receives the application, it makes a decision and reports to the council.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Livune: Madam Speaker, considering the hon. Minister’s good gesture of extending the period to 7th March, 2020, our country is disadvantaged in communication facilities and there is bureaucracy in Government circles. Therefore, we may not be able to reach some schools in the shortest possible time. Could the hon. Minister extend the deadline further because 7th March, 2020 is too close for many of us here to push files around and check which school is where? It may be difficult to reach some schools because they are beyond network reach.


Mr Mabumba: Madam Speaker, extending further from 7th March, 2020 might be challenging because there are a number of things that have to be done by the Examinations Council of Zambia (ECZ) to process the candidates. Many papers have to be printed for examination purposes. This is why I deliberately wrote to hon. Members of Parliament in December 2019 before Parliament went on recess. My aim was to ensure that hon. Members had this information as they went to their consistencies. I am sure those who picked my letter from their pigeon holes will agree with me that I gave them that opportunity. The extension was given because the Government recognises what the hon. Member for Katombola said, which is that some schools are in hard to reach locations. I am sure that hon. Members of Parliament can use phones or whatever means to communicate to those respective schools.


I thank you, Madam.




203.  Mr Mukosa (Chinsali) asked the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources:


  1. how many properties in Chinsali District were held on title as of June 2019; and
  2. what measures are being taken to encourage more people to obtain certificates of title for their properties, countrywide.


The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources (Ms Kapata): Madam Speaker, Chinsali District had 171 certificates of title as of June 2019. The Government embarked on the implementation of the National Land Titling Programme which is aimed at encouraging more people to obtain certificates of title for their properties and secure tenure of ownership. The main objective of this programme is to ensure that all occupied or utilised land is brought on title in order to provide security of tenure, promote good land governance and transparency in land administration, and contribute to sustainable socio-economic development.


Madam Speaker, my ministry will continue to sensitise the citizenry to obtain certificates of title for their properties countrywide as it is legally binding and a source of security.


I thank you, Madam.




204.  Mr Lufuma (Kabompo) asked the Minister of Energy:


  1. why the construction of a power line from Kabompo Township to Kayombo has stalled;
  2. whether the project includes the electrification of the following primary schools located between Kabompo Township and Kayombo:


  1. Chikokwelo;


  1. Mbulundu;


  1. Mushivi; and


  1. Chikenge;


    c. when works on the project will resume;

    d.  what the time frame for the completion of the project is;

     e. who the contractor is; and

     f. what the total cost of the project is.


Mr Nkhuwa: Madam Speaker, the construction of the 11 KV power line from Kabompo Township to Kayombo has stalled because of lack of availability of critical line materials such conductors due to constraints on financial resources.


Madam Speaker, the project includes the electrification of the following:


  1.  Kayombo Boarding School;
  2. Chief’s palace; and
  3. surrounding community.


Madam Speaker, Chikokwelo, Mbulundu, Mushivi and Chikenge primary schools are encouraged to formerly apply to ZESCO for power supply to their respective premises, after which ZESCO will issue requisite quotations to each of the schools. The connection to the respective schools will then be effected upon full payment of the quoted amounts.


Madam Speaker, work is expected to resume once funds are made available to procure the necessary critical materials. The time frame for the completion of the project will be about six months once the critical materials are made available. The contractors undertaking the project are: Beltech Limited, Translay Limited and Explore Sourcing Limited. The total cost of the project is K15,095,180.88


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, does the hon. Minister envisage that soon, financial resources will be found so that the critical materials he talked about are made available to ZESCO to complete the erection of power lines to Kayombo Secondary School which has been in darkness since it opened?


Mr Nkhuwa: Madam Speaker, yes, there is hope that funds to undertake the project will be found. As you can see, the costing is in place, meaning that the work has started. It is just a question of getting the finances. Then, works will resume.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Kambita: Madam Speaker, before I ask my question, I would like to declare interest that I went to Chikenge Primary School in Kabompo District from Grade 3 to Grade 7.


Madam Speaker, in responding to part (b) of the question, the hon. Minister of Energy indicated that the areas around Chikenge, Mbulundu and Mushivi are not included in this project. From his response, I realise that he did not do enough research, or his technocrats did not do enough research to give him the appropriate information. These places are not along the route to Kayombo but a bit off the route. In that case, is the hon. Minister going to revisit this part of the question to give an appropriate answer as to whether those areas will be looked at in future?


Mr Nkhuwa: Madam Speaker, there was a budget of about K15 million to do this work. When we were scoping the work, we had to tailor it around that budget. We knew exactly that we had left out these schools. That is why I am encouraging the hon. Member for Kabompo to apply to ZESCO. Maybe these areas can help us with the funding when they pay the connection and installation fees.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, I think I need some slight clarification here. The line from Kabompo to Kayombo is like a straight line from where I am standing to where the hon. Minister is seated. The line which is required to connect Chikokwelo is 10 km into the school. This is why I want to know whether this plan was inclusive of those schools which are not along the straight line from Kabompo to Chikokwelo? Is the ministry providing these lines within this project? Is the hon. Minister saying that this has to be a separate project and therefore, we have to apply to ZESCO? If so, where will the money come from when we apply because the schools will not have the money?


Mr Nkhuwa: Madam Speaker, once we connect these lines, definitely, these schools will be able to tap power from m. We can also do the same to the schools that we need to electrify. I have said here, time and again, that if these projects are considered to be very important for the constituencies, part of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) could be used to fund them. If an hon. Member of Parliament is very committed, he can contribute to getting these areas electrified. There are some funds which are allocated to every hon. Member of Parliament like the K1.6 million CDF every year. At least, last year, the hon. Member of Parliament did receive that money. So, the money can come from the CDF and ZESCO will not refuse it.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, we have to be practical and realistic here. Since 2011, we have only received CDF twice. In 2017, we only received half of it, which was about K700,000. The Executive is insisting that we should use the CDF, yet the same Executive is not releasing the fund. So, where will we get this money from? Even if the hon. Minister insists that we use part of our CDF to fund these projects, we cannot do that because there is no money coming in as CDF. How does he expect us hon. Members of Parliament to assist in completing these projects when no money is being given to us?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, I am very certain that the hon. Member of Parliament did get the K1.6 million in 2019. As Member of Parliament for Chingola Constituency, I only got K1 million in 2019.




Mr Nkhuwa: Sorry, that was in 2019, not so?




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order in the House!


Mr Nkhuwa: Madam Speaker, what the hon. Members are saying is that the money that was paid in 2019 was for 2018, but the hon. Member did receive that money. Since I came to Parliament, I have received CDF on two occasions. I am sure other hon. Members of Parliament have received the same. All I am saying is that if they attach importance to certain projects, they could use the CDF for those projects. So, the hon. Member cannot say that he has not received any CDF ever since came to Parliament.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.




Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!


 Let me advise the hon. Minister of Energy and to restrict his answers to issues under his portfolio.


Mr A. C. Mumba (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that these schools should apply to ZESCO for them to be electrified. The hon. Minister is aware that right now, ZESCO has a backlog of customers who have paid but have not had their premises connected to power. He is on record in this House that because of the financial constraints that ZESCO has, it is unable to provide power to all those who have applied and paid for it. These schools require only basic lighting. Could the ministry not provide electricity using solar energy from solar panels through the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) so that these schools can get basic lighting?


Mr Nkhuwa: Madam Speaker, it is one and the same thing. Solar panels cost money. If we have to change the scope, we can do that. However, putting solar panels requires money. We can change the scope of the works and be able to give people the power. So far, there is a lot of work that has been done around that area, including the scoping. It is, therefore, important that we carry on with the grid extension.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, we need to be sincere with ourselves. I heard the hon. Minister say that Chief Kalonga and others in that area who are about 30 km to 40 km from the power lines have applied to ZESCO to be connected. How are they going to be connected without a power line within their premises?


Mr Nkhuwa: Madam Speaker, if somebody applies for electricity connection, and his area is about 2 km or 3 km away, we prepare a quotation. We do take into consideration that we are going to have a 5 km line for example, and that quotation will include the cost of putting up the line on that distance.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Dr Imakando (Mongu Central): Madam Speaker, funds will always be scarce, particularly in this environment we are in, we will always face this challenge of not having enough money. Does the hon. Minister queue these projects? What criterion does he use to allocate funds? When he says that projects will be done when funds are available, when will the funds be available?


Mr Nkhuwa: Madam Speaker, the answer is yes, we do queue the projects. That is why I have said in this House that this project is only going to be done in 2025. This is because we have queued the projects so that we have room. We cannot do everything at once. Everything has to be done in its own time, and that is why we have the Rural Electrification Master Plan (REMP) which we are using as a guideline.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I will allow questions from the hon. Member for Solwezi Central and end with the hon. Member for Manyinga.


Mr Mulusa (Solwezi Central): Madam Speaker, I know that there are lines that are being constructed within Zambia. The Government has said that as the lines are put, institutions such as clinics and schools shall be connected to power. Is the hon. Minister telling us that he is indirectly asking communities to be raising their own funds to pay ZESCO to connect Government institutions such as clinics and schools in places where we have no power? I have one example of a clinic in my constituency which is not electrified, and ZESCO is asking for K40,000 to connect power to that clinic. Where is that money going to come from?


Mr Nkhuwa: Madam Speaker, as to where the money is going to come from, I do not know  ...




Mr Nkhuwa: ... but if the project is under my ministry, we will get the money from the Ministry of Finance and fund that project. The hon. Member wants me to tell him where he is going to get the money. I do not want to go in the line of CDF because I have been advised to stick to my line, and that is what I will do. So, when the time comes, we shall electrify the area using finances from the Ministry of Finance. These are ongoing projects, and my Government is seriously looking at making sure that every corner of this country is electrified.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Madam Speaker, are there any alternative measures that the ministry can put in place apart from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) that the hon. Minister is asking us to use? If so, some areas can be connected because in Kabompo, there are some areas where poles are already erected. In those areas where poles are erected, is there any other alternative to connect the affected areas?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: The hon. Minister will restrict his answer to the issue of areas where poles are already erected.


Mr Nkhuwa: Madam Speaker, where we have erected poles, it means that the works have already started. The erection of poles shows commitment on our part as Government. What is the point of taking poles there if we do not have intentions of electrifying the area? The intention is that once people see the poles, they will know that we are going to electrify the area. We are committed, and we are going to electrify those areas. With regards to whether there are any other means that we can use, what I can say is that once the funds are available from the Ministry of Finance, we will go and electrify the areas.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




205.  Mr Mung’andu (Chama South) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


  1. why the construction of the Kamphemba Bridge in Chama District has stalled;
  2. when works will resume;
  3. what the time frame for the completion of the project is;
  4. what the total cost of the project is; and
  5. how much money had been paid to the contractor as of July, 2019.


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, construction of the Kamphemba Bridge in Chama District has stalled due to financial challenges. However, works will resume once funds for the project have been mobilised. The estimated time frame for the completion of the project was initially February, 2020, and this has been reviewed to February, 2021 in view of the delays experienced.


Madam, the total cost of the project is K121 million and it includes the cost for the Matumbo Bridge. As of July 2019, the contractor had been paid K19.7 million.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mung’andu: Madam Speaker, I am sure the hon. Minister is aware that Chama was taken to be part of Muchinga Province from the Eastern Province. The provincial headquarters for Muchinga Province is Chinsali. In view of the fact that this project is among the earliest projects under the Link Zambia 8,000 Km Roads Project, is the Government putting in place any measures to ensure that all civil servants and the people of Chama are able to access the provincial headquarters in Chinsali while they await the construction of this bridge?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, unfortunately, our best bet is to work on the bridge or actually deal with this bridge. If we have money, I would rather we invest it in this same bridge because trying to create an alternative solution will attract more money that would be best used dealing with this bridge.


Madam, it is very unfortunate that we find ourselves in this situation, where works have stalled because of lack of money. However, again, it is one of the things we have engaged the hon. Minister of Finance on to try and help. We are very hopeful that the hon. Minister of Finance is mobilising resources for us to focus on this bridge and other bridges. So we will work on this bridge, rather than doing other ad-hoc solutions.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mung’andu: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that about K17 million has been spent on this bridge and that it included the Luangwa Bridge. However, has he been on the ground to check that the amounts spent are commensurate with the works done? I say so  because there is nothing there, especially at the Kamphemba Bridge? Has he gone on the ground to check that the amounts the Government has spent were used for the intended works?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, I am yet to tour projects in Muchinga Province. I have not carried out that tour and the aim is to appreciate all the infrastructure projects going on in Muchinga Province. We have planned for other provinces as well. However, the K19.7 million enabled the contractor to carry out 21 per cent of the works and the hon. Member may not be able to see the actual physical works because the money went into piling. So the legs for the bridge which are hidden in the water are the 21 per cent of the works where the money went to. So, that is a good start and when we find the money, we will begin from where the project has stalled going up and laying the whole bridge. So, 21 per cent of the work has been executed with the K19.7 million.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




206.  Mr Ng’onga Kaputa asked the Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection:


  1. how many boreholes were allocated to Kaputa District from 2016 to 2018, year by year;
  2. how many boreholes were sunk in the same period, year by year;
  3. how many boreholes were earmarked to be sunk in 2019;
  4. whether the Government has any plans to rehabilitate the non-functional boreholes in the district; and
  5. if so, when the plans will be implemented.


Mr Mwale (on behalf of the Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection (Dr Wanchinga)): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government made the allocation of boreholes from 2016 to 2018 to Kaputa District as follows:


Year                                      Boreholes Allocated


 2016                                      0

 2017                                    43

 2018                                       0


The Government sunk boreholes from 2016 to 2018 in Kaputa District as follows:


Year                                      Boreholes rehabilitated


 2016                                    0

 2017                                    43

 2018                                      0


 Madam Speaker, Kaputa District was not allocated any boreholes in 2019. In 2019, the Government planned to undertake rehabilitation of non-functional boreholes in Kaputa District. However, due to non-availability of funds, the plans could not be implemented. The plans will be implemented when funds are released from the Treasury for this activity.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Ng’onga: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the answer given. However, when you look at part (a) of the question and the answer provided, you will see that from 2016 to-date, only forty-three boreholes have been sunk, if at all they were sunk. It means that if there are any boreholes that have been damaged or not functioning, it is out of the forty-three in a period of four years. As we all know, water is life. Therefore, I want to find out from the hon. Minister what the people of Kaputa should do to get boreholes sunk in the area in 2020?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, the able hon. Member of Parliament for the area has represented the people adequately and he has brought to our attention the problem of water. I do not think that more has to be done. The only challenge we have is the limitation of funds for us to be able to do more. The hon. Member of Parliament has done very well by reminding us time and again about this problem. However, I must also say that, yes, it seems like only forty-three boreholes were sunk from 2016 to-date, but prior to 2016, there were sixty new boreholes that were constructed in the area. So, it is not like the Government has completely neglected the people of Kaputa. There were thirty-nine dysfunctional boreholes that were rehabilitated prior to that time. There were eight wells which were dug as well. So, from that background, yes, we understand we may not have done much, but at least, prior to that period, sixty boreholes were sunk.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Member should know that should we get funding, we will consider adding more boreholes to Kaputa. The challenge is only that of funds.


I thank you, Madam.


Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Madam Speaker, in December, 2018, the then hon. Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection, Mr Kaziya, hon. Member of Parliament for Matero Constituency, on the Floor of this House, rose and assured the hon. Member for Kaputa that before the end of that year, boreholes were going to be sunk in Kaputa. Now, for the hon. Minister to say that in 2018 there was nothing that was done, what went wrong?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, I need to check the record and see that, indeed, Hon. Kaziya had promised to sink boreholes because the record that I have here shows that there was no allocation for Kaputa. So, I do not think that boreholes could have been sunk when there was, in the first place, no allocation made. So, there was zero allocation for 2018. Possibly, there was no allocation because the activity was not budgeted for and money was not set aside. I need to check from what premise the previous hon. Minister actually made that promise before I can give a concrete answer as to why there is this variation.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Ng’onga: Madam Speaker, Kaputa is divided into two areas. The area around Kaputa District, what you can call the Boma, is sitting on a saline environment or on salty water with a high concentration of sodium hydrochloride. So, boreholes in that area do not last beyond three or four years. Even if you say that previously, there was this number of boreholes, a number of boreholes are dysfunctional. This is why I asked the question in part (d) on whether the Government has any plans to rehabilitate the non-functional boreholes. Yes, there were boreholes which were sunk in the previous years, but a number of them are dysfunctional. Would the hon. Minister be kind enough to find us some resources to rehabilitate of some of these boreholes so that people can have access to some good drinking water?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, we will do our best to work with our colleagues in the Ministry of Finance to see if they can find some money for this purpose, considering the importance of rehabilitating these boreholes.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




207. Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


  1. whether the Government has any plans to construct bridges across the following rivers along the Mumbwa/Kasempa Road:


  1. Kafue; and
  2. Lunga;


   b. if so, when the plans will be implemented;

   c. what the estimated cost of constructing each bridge is;

   d. whether a contractor has been identified; and

    f. if so, who the contractor is.


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, the Government has plans to construct bridges across the Kafue and Lunga Rivers along the Mumbwa/Kasempa Road. The project was initially earmarked for implementation using the contractor facilitated initiative model of financing. However, the Government has taken measures to reduce debt accumulation through such undertakings and, therefore, the project will be implemented once the Government has mobilised resources from the Treasury.


Madam, the total cost of constructing each bridge will be determined once the designs for the bridges have been completed. So far, no contractor has been appointed for the project. The contractor will only be known once the procurement process has been concluded.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Ms Tambatamba: Madam Speaker, this road that we have sung so much about is of economic importance to the people of Kasempa. I would like to bring to the attention of the hon. Minister the fact that more than fifteen of the twenty-two wards in Kasempa are located on this road. I would also like to also bring to his attention that so many lives have been lost on these pontoons because for a long time we have had no bridges. Could the hon. Minister assure the people of Kasempa that they do not have to wait for so  long before these bridges are constructed. They must not be left behind and, so, could he make this assurance to the people of Kasempa and Mumbwa. In fact, could he assure the the whole of the North-Western Province because it is not only the two districts that are using that road, but the rest of Zambia. When, in the short term, will we see, even one of the crossing points that I have mentioned, like the Lunga River in particular, given a bridge?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, it will be very difficult for me to commit as to when this can be done. Like I have said, we have engaged the Ministry of Finance to try and help us mobilise resources. The problem is that on the same Kafue River, for example, we are still grappling with the hook bridge, which we committed to finish. We have not even finished that project. We are just allocating more money to make sure that we are done with the Kafue Hook Bridge. To embark on another bridge on the same river even before we complete the Kafue Hook Bridge will be very challenging for us, let alone go on to another river, which is the Lunga.


Madam, unless the Ministry of Finance commits that it will find this money as soon as possible, it will be very difficult to undertake two new big projects of that nature. However, we are committed and we want that done, except we must mobilise resources first. So, I would not commit any period.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Madam Speaker, from the responses given by the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development, it is clear that there is not so much commitment from the Government’s side to construct those bridges, which are so crucial for the road between Mumbwa and Kasempa.


Madam, before I ask my substantive question to the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development, I wish to state that the road’s importance to the North-Western Province is actually overwhelming, as alluded to by the hon. Member for Kasempa. This is because it is the quickest link between the North-Western Province and Lusaka. How does development of that road between Mumbwa and Kasempa rank in terms of the ministry’s priorities? I ask this because I am aware that it was one of the roads that were mentioned in the Link Zambia 8,000 Km Roads Project. As north-westerners, we are looking for answers.


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, it is definitely one of the highly ranked projects, there is no doubt about that. We know that it is a very important road that could reduce the long distance to the Western Province and the North-Western Province. However, it is the finances that will determine when this road is worked on. Like I said, if the Ministry of Finance manages to find resources, the road will be worked on. The commitment to do this was made. We were looking at contract-financed loans, but then we realised we did not have any more space to take up loans and so we abandoned this project. However, because we committed to work on this bridge, we are already discussing with financiers to see whether this can be done. Yes, this project is very important and we want it implemented. However, finances will determine whether this can be done.


I thank you, Madam.


Ms Tambatamba: Madam Speaker, D181 is an old road. It was constructed in 1902, which is many years ago, yet it has not been rehabilitated. Could the hon. Minster tell the people of Kasempa what he will do to ease the burden of travelling on this road. What steps are being taken to show that there is commitment from the Government to work on this road? Has this road been lined up for future development by the Patriotic Front (PF)? What measures is he going to put in place to ensure that the people are safe to cross the Lunga River as well as at Kafue in the short-term?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, I will commit that the Government will look at that road and the bridge after we have spent money dealing with the Kafue Hook Bridge, Sesheke Road, Sikongo Road, Matebele Bridge and other projects that are already in the pipeline. We have already committed ourselves to completing projects like the bridge in Kazungula which we talked about yesterday. We are committed to taking these projects off the list. After we do that, we can then embark on that very important project. It will be poor management for us to start a new project before we finally complete these existing projects. We could do that if we had finances. We cannot get a contractor-financed loan because we have no space to allow an additional loan at the moment. It is very unfortunate that we cannot embark on this project now. However, I promise that we will commit ourselves to addressing this issue once we complete some existing projects.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: I will allow the last three questions from hon. Members for Mumbwa, Liuwa and Solwezi Central.


Mr Nanjuwa: Madam Speaker, the Mumbwa/Kasempa Road is a very big concern for the people of Mumbwa and the North-Western Province. Does the plan of the Government to construct the two bridges on this road include rehabilitation of this road as well?


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, I would not want to make that assurance because we may find money only for one bridge. A suggestion was already made by the hon. Member of Parliament for Kasempa to start with the construction of the bridge at Lunga while we look for money for the bridge at Kafue. We may find money for the two bridges before we find money for the road. We may also find money for the whole package, but I do not want to give assurance that we will find money for the whole package. The opposite would be the case; we may find money for one or two bridges or for one bridge. Whatever happens may assist and we will go for that.  


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I agree with my hon. Colleagues who have asked questions and said that this road is very important. It links the country not just to the North-Western Province but to Angola as well. The longer the route, the less you are able to trade because it is expensive to trade on a long route. Currently, this road is more than a thousand kilometres because people have to go to the Copperbelt Province to get to the North-Western Province. Without it, you would save about 380 km. When the programme about roads was mooted about four or five years ago, people said that because the Government had batched these roads in Phase I and Phase II, it was obvious that those in with phase 1I would have a funding problem. Is it possible to relook at the way the Government phased the roads four or five years ago and make adjustments? It was clear even then that the funding for the Link Zambia 8,000 Kilometre Road Project was biased.


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, I am not sure about the biasness that the hon. Member is alleging. However, I will say that re-scoping and re-phasing is what is currently happening. The Kaputa/Mporokoso Road should have had a tarmac has been downgraded to a gravel road, Nabwalya Road has been downgraded to a gravel road and the Petauke/Chilongozi/Mambwe Road has been downgraded to an all-weather gravel road. All those were earmarked to have tarmacs. We have done this all over the country. Right now, a contractor is working on the Kipushi/Solwezi Road which was supposed to have a tarmac but will now be an all-weather gravel road. Once we have fiscal space, we will upgrade all of them. It is true that because we had challenges, we are now making adjustments. We want to be realistic about how much money we have and how much we can do with it. That is why this Government is not keen on taking up new projects before completing the old ones. Even the old ones are being adjusted in terms of reductions in the kilometres and from tarmac to gravel and so on. This is the reality that all of us must accept and live with.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mulusa (Solwezi Central) Madam Speaker, this road is very important in terms of tourism and agriculture. I know that the Government has no money or plans to tar that road for now. However, would it consider engaging the Zambia National Service (ZNS) through the Ministry of Defence which has equipment to upgrade this road? ZNS equipment is just lying idle around the country.


Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, it is important to make the road motorable. I am sure people could still use that road if we make some improvement in areas where we have problems. I think the proposal to use ZNS to make spot improvements on the road is good. Realistically, we cannot overhaul the whole road until we have the fiscal space.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!








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


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1800 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 28th February, 2020.