Wednesday, 26thFebruary, 2020

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Wednesday, 26thFebruary, 2020


The House met at 1430 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]










Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to acquaint you with the presence, in the Speaker’s Gallery, of the following hon. Members of Parliament and staff from the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda:


Hon. Fungaroo Kaps Hassan, MP


Hon. Timuzigu K. Michael, MP


Hon. Helen Kahande, MP


Hon. Evelyn Chematai, MP


Hon. Jackson Mbaju, MP


Mr Boniface Okuddah; and


Ms Jacqueline Mpitsi Oidu.

I, on behalf of the National Assembly of Zambia, receive our distinguished guests and warmly welcome them in our presence.




Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to acquaint you with the presence, in the Speaker’s Gallery, of the following senior members of staff from the Parliament of the Republic of Zimbabwe:


Ms Helen B. Dingani                       -           Deputy Clerk of Parliament


Mrs Thresa Kamvura                        -          Director, ICT


Retired Major Edward Mbewe        -           Director of Public Relations


I, on behalf of the National Assembly of Zambia, receive our distinguished guests and warmly welcome them in our presence.


I thank you.




Mr Speaker: I wish to inform the House that in accordance with the provisions of Article 80 of the Constitution of Zambia and Standing Order No. 131 (11) of the National Assembly of Zambia Standing Orders, the Standing Orders Committee has made changes to the composition of three Committees, as follows:


Committee on Legal Affairs, Human Rights, National Guidance, Gender Matters and Governance


Mr Mulenga Fube, MP


Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources


Mr Joseph Chishala, MP




Parliamentary Reforms and Modernisation Committee


Mr Remember C. Mutale, MP








Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, you will recall that on Wednesday, 4th December, 2019, when the House had resolved into Committee of Supply and was debating Head 52 - Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection, and Hon. G. K. Mwamba, Member of Parliament for Lubansenshi Constituency was on the Floor, Hon. T. S. Ngulube, Deputy Chief Whip and Member of Parliament for Kabwe Central Constituency, raised a point of order. An excerpt of the point of order is in the following terms:


“Thank you, Sir, for allowing me to rise on this very important point of order affecting the affairs of this nation.


The people of Zambia are aware that there is a very important process that this House is mandated to undertake, and that is to approve the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10.


Mr Chairperson, we are aware that more than sixteen United Party for National Development (UPND) hon. Members of Parliament participated at the National Dialogue Forum (NDF) and earned allowances at the expense of the people of Zambia.


As a House, we are elected to pass laws. Sir, throughout the process, these sixteen hon. Members of Parliament earned allowances, some for more than twelve days and others seventeen days. We believe that the people of Zambia elected all of us in this House to pass laws and not to do politics.


Sir, when the Committee was appointed to scrutinise the Bill that came from NDF, again, five hon. Members of the Opposition UPND sat on that Committee and earned allowances.


Mr Chairperson, we are aware that if an individual is a member of a Committee, they cannot vote against their own Bill. They cannot walk out or even protest against their own Bill.


Sir, are the following hon. Members of Parliament in order not to refund the people of Zambia the money they earned on the pretext that they were helping the Government or the people of Zambia to pass the Constitution?


Mr Chairperson, were the following hon. Members in order to have walked out of Parliament yesterday when their report was supposed to be tabled:


  1. Mr B. Kambita, MP;
  2. Dr C. K. Kalila, MP; and
  3. Mr S. K. Kakubo, MP.


They were actually five, but Hon. Kasonso and Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa decided to do the correct thing by sitting in the House while three of them decided to go against the Standing Orders. These were members of the Select Committee. Were they in order?


I will now read the list of the hon. Members of Parliament who participated at the NDF to come up with the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10. These are as follows:


  1. Mr R. Bulaya, MP;
  2. Mr L. Fungulwe, MP;
  3. Mr S. Kakubo, MP;
  4. Dr C. Kalila, MP;
  5. Ms C. C. Kasanda, MP;
  6. Mr J. Kasonso, MP, (who did not walk out yesterday);
  7. Ms P. Kucheka, MP;
  8. Mr D. M. Kundoti, MP;
  9. Mr R. Lihefu, MP;
  10. Mr V. Lumayi, MP;
  11. Mr M. Mubika, MP;
  12. Mr M. Mukumbuta, MP;
  13. Ms S. Mulyata, MP;
  14. Mr S. Mutaba, MP;
  15. Mr C. Nanjuwa, MP; and
  16. Mr M. Ndalamei, MP.”


Hon. Members, in his immediate response, the Second Deputy Speaker, Hon. Mwimba Malama, sitting as Chairperson of the Committee of Supply, reserved his ruling to enable an investigation of the matter to be conducted. I have since studied the matter, and will now render my ruling.


Hon. Members, the point of order by Hon. T. S. Ngulube, MP, raises the following issues:


  1. whether members of the UPND, who were part of the NDF, were in order not to refund the Government the money they earned as a result of their participation at the NDF; and
  2. whether it was in order for the three members of the Committee tasked to consider the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 to walk out of the Assembly when the report was supposed to be tabled in the House.


Hon. Members, I will address the above matters seriatim.


  1. whether members of the UPND, who were part of the NDF, are in order not to refund the Government the money which they earned as a result of their participation at the NDF.


Hon. Members, you may recall that this House passed the National Dialogue (Constitution, Electoral Process, Public Order and Political Parties) Act No. 1 of 2019. The Act established the NDF, whose mandate was to amend the Constitution and reform the law relating to the electoral process, public order and the regulation of political parties.


Hon. Members, Section 5 of the Act provided for the composition of the forum to include all hon. Members of Parliament, among others. The Act also prescribed members’ expenses relating to the forum. For avoidance of doubt, Section 15 of the Act provided as follows:


“The institutions which the members or members of a committee of the Forum represent are responsible for the payment of all allowances, other emoluments and any other costs of their representatives in the Forum, where the institution determines that allowances, other emoluments or any other costs are payable in relation to their representatives”.


In this regard, the National Assembly was responsible for the payment of members’ allowances. I wish to confirm that all the hon. Members mentioned in Hon. T. S. Ngulube, MP’s point of order except for Hon. C. K. Kalila, MP, attended the NDF.


Hon. Members, as to whether hon. Members of the UPND who attended the NDF should refund the Government the money which they earned as a result of their attendance, you may wish to note that the basis of paying hon. Members was their attendance at the NDF as provided by law. In this vein, there is, therefore, no basis upon which hon. UPND Members who attended the NDF should refund the money because they walked out when the Motion to restore the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 was being considered.


(b)        whether it was in order for the three hon. Members of the Committee tasked to consider the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 to walk out of the Assembly when the report was supposed to be tabled in the House.


Hon. Members, from the outset, let me state that the question that was before the House on the material day and time was whether the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019, which lapsed as a result of the prorogation of the National Assembly on 2nd August, 2019, could be restored on the Order Paper. In this regard, contrary to Hon. T. S. Ngulube’s assertion in his point of order, the House was not considering the report of the Parliamentary Committee appointed to scrutinise the Bill. Thus, the question whether or not it was in order for the hon. Members to vote against their report by walking out did not even arise.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: As regards an hon. Member walking out of the House, I have previously ruled on diverse occasions that a boycott or walk out is a conventional means through which an hon. Member of Parliament can express his/her displeasure on an issue affecting the House or the governance of the country.


Hon. Members, in view of the foregoing, hon. Members of the UPND who walked out when the House was considering the Motion to restore the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 on the Order Paper were albeit, inexplicably so, expressing their displeasure or disagreement to the restoration of the Bill on the Order Paper. Therefore, the three hon. Members of the Select Committee who walked out during the consideration of the Motion to restore the Bill on the Order Paper were not out of order.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!








The Minister of Energy (Mr Nkhuwa): Mr Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for according me this opportunity to present a statement regarding the generation of electricity in the country. The generation of electricity in the country remains a topical issue with widespread interest. As we are all aware, electricity is a critical enabler for economic growth and sustainable development.


Sir, in the last meeting, the House may recall that I rendered a statement on the Floor of this House in October and December 2019, on the electricity situation in the country, where I highlighted that the seasonal rainfall experienced for the 2018/2019 Season posed a hydrological challenge. The rainfall over the south-western half of the country had been poor with most parts of the Zambezi and Kafue basins receiving below normal rainfall.


Mr Speaker, by December 2019, the average capacity of the generation of electricity in the country stood at 1,410 MW, of which 1,216 MW was from ZESCO Limited and 198 MW was from Independent Power Producers (IPPs). At the time, the total recommended generation capacity was 1,412 MW of which 1,032 MW was expected to come from ZESCO Limited and 380 from IPPs. However, we only managed to receive 198 MW from IPPs, causing a shortfall of 182 MW. Due to this shortfall, ZESCO Limited had to raise its contribution from the recommended 1,032 MW to 1,216 MW, which represented 184 MW or 18 per cent over generation from ZESCO Limited power plants.


Sir, to offset the shortfall of 182 MW caused by the non-availability of electricity supply from IPPs, we began to import 300 MW of power from Eskom of South Africa in November 2019. The importation of power was a mitigation measure to cushion the impact of the power deficit on the economy. However, due to similar challenges that Zambia and the Republic of South Africa experienced during the same period, we only managed to import an average of 218 MW of none firm power daily from 2200 hours to 0500 hours until 3rd December, 2019, at a total cost of US$15.5 million. The House may recall that we had made an initial payment of US$20.5 million. This implies that we shall continue getting power from Eskom to exhaust the remaining balance of US$5 million. The limitation of the importation of power into the country can also be attributed to the limited transmission wheeling path, especially from the Zimbabwe Power Company and Nampower Network of Namibia.


Mr Speaker, due to the continued hydrological challenge, the generation of electricity continued to reduce and by December 2019, the national power deficit stood at 810 MW. This implied that customers had to experience load shedding for a minimum of ten hours. As of 18th February, 2020, the average generation of electricity was at 1,641 MW comprising 1,238 MW from ZESCO Limited and 403 MW from IPPs. The total recommended generation was 1,502 MW of which 1,031 MW and 471 MW were expected contributions from ZESCO Limited and IPPs, respectively. The post variance between the recommended and the actual generation was mainly due to over generation at the Kariba North Complex to meet the demand and other operational constraints.


Mr Speaker, currently, the power deficit remains at 810 MW and, therefore, load shedding for a minimum of ten hours has been scheduled for different customer categories under distribution. As water in-flows in the Kafue Gorge river system improve, the electricity generation profile for the Kafue Gorge and Itezhi-tezhi Power Co-operation will be adjusted accordingly and the benefits will be transferred to the customers. Therefore, the critical indicators on the system include the following:


Water Level Status


Sir, by 18th February, 2020, water levels in the three water bodies were as follows:


  1. Kariba Reservoir was 1.45 m above minimum operating level, representing 10.08 per cent full compared to last year, where we were at 43 per cent full.
  2. Itezhi-tezhi Dam was 8.16 m above minimum operating level, representing 18.9 per cent full; and
  3. Kafue Gorge Reservoir was 1.38 m above minimum operating level, representing 20.2 per cent full.


Current Water Utilisation at the Kariba Complex


Mr Speaker, ZESCO Limited at Kariba Complex has been allocated 11,000,000,000 m3 of water for 2020, compared to 17,000,000,000 m3 of water allocated in 2019. The water allocation for 2020 is equivalent to an average hourly generation of 275 MW throughout the year. The Kariba North Bank has a capacity of 1,080 MW.


Sir, despite the challenges in the southern part of the nation, a total average of 26.6 MW from small hydro power plants is expected to be generated. Water in-flows in these small hydro power plants are expected to steadily rise due to rainfall activities in the northern part of the country and hence increased generation is anticipated going forward. These small hydro power stations include Lunzua, which produces 14.8 MW, Chishimba Falls, which produces 6 MW, Musonda Falls with 10 MW, Lusiwasi which produces 12 MW and Shiwang’andu with 1MW.


Mr Speaker, the forecast from February 2020 going forward indicates that the average electricity generation is projected at 1,510 MW of which 200 MW is expected to be from imports during off-peak times. This is against the forecast peak demand of 2,300 MW for 2020 and hence a current deficit of 810 MW currently being reflected. In order to cushion this deficit in the short term, the following projects and interventions are expected to be actualised:


  1. Kafue Gorge Lower (750 MW), currently at 80 per cent and is set to commission its first unit of 150 MW generation by the end of the second quarter of 2020;
  2. Lusiwasi Upper (15 MW) is currently at 98 per cent and is expected to commission its 15 MW generation before the end of the first quarter in 2020;
  3. load shedding for a minimum of ten hours is scheduled for different customer categories;
  4. zero rated taxes on solar equipment and gas stoves have been introduced;
  5. banned the use of incandescent bulbs; and
  6. developed a resource map for solar and wind to quicken and encourage investment in solar and wind.


Sir, allow me to conclude my statement by stating that Zambia’s economy is largely dependent on the energy sector and electricity is the major source of energy. In this regard, the Ministry of Energy will continue implementing measures that will accelerate the generation of electricity countrywide.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


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


Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just informed us that the ministry imported power from Eskom, and I am aware that it owed Maamba Collieries Limited some money. In my view, it would have made economic sense if the ministry had paid Maamba Collieries Limited instead of importing power from South Africa. However, did the ministry pay Maamba Collieries Limited, and if it did, how much?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, we have been paying Maamba Collieries Limited and will continue paying the company. Some of the receivables from First Quantum Minerals amounting to US$8 million go straight to Maamba Collieries Limited. So, we have been paying the company about US$100 million every six months. However, we still owe it some money, but we will continue paying it.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr A. C. Mumba (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Energy is supposed to be a catalyst for the growth of our economy, but from what the hon. Minister has explained in relation to the Independent Power Producers (IPPs), it has continued to swell our domestic debt. Has the ministry thought about scaling the programmes under solar vis-à-vis the challenges that the investors face like power purchasing agreements and implementation agreements in the midst of this energy crisis that we are in? This is because from the ministerial statement, ZESCO Limited seems to be waiting for the rain.


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member might recall that on 18th December, 2019, we passed the Electricity Bill No. 16, and the aim of that Bill is to liberalise the electricity market, whereby a willing buyer and seller can actually come in. Therefore, a generator would generate power and then sell it to a willing seller. In that aspect, it does not have to take every company that wants to invest in a power plant in Zambia to get a Power Purchase Agreement from ZESCO Limited. However, that was chocking us, and as a result, we opened up the market. If somebody puts up a power plant in Maamba, he/she is now free to sell electricity say to Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and can transmit that electricity through ZESCO Limited power lines and will pay wheeling charges. So, the electricity market is now open, and people are free to invest in this sector.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has informed the nation pertaining to the water levels in the reservoirs of this country, but has forgotten to mention one very important issue that has negatively impacted on the industrial activities in this country and the domestic consumers. The hon. Minister has not told the nation the measures that the ministry has put in place to reduce load shedding. Further, what impact does the 300 per cent tariff increase by ZESCO Limited have on the consumers?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, I mentioned the measures that the ministry is taking in terms of the new projects that are coming on board such as the Kafue Gorge Lower 750 MW Project and the Lusiwasi 15 MW Project. I also mentioned that we have zero-rated taxes on solar equipment and banned the use of incandescent bulbs. Further, we have developed a resource map for solar and wind to quicken and encourage investment in those sectors. So, those are the measures that we have taken to mitigate the power shortage in the country. Furthermore, the passing of the Electricity Bill No. 16 is another measure that will ensure that there is access to electricity so that people can invest in our country.


Mr Speaker, what was his second question? I thought he was supposed to ask one question.


Hon. Opposition Members: Just answer!


Mr Speaker: It was on the impact of the increase in the tariffs by ZESCO Limited on the consumers.


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, yes, the increase in the tariffs has an impact on the customers. However, ZESCO Limited did not increase the tariffs by 300 per cent like the hon. Leader of the Opposition said, but by an average of 113 per cent. So, this definitely has an impact on the customers, but I must say that it costs money to produce electricity. It will not make any business sense to produce electricity and sell it for less than the production cost. If that happened, ZESCO Limited or any power utility company would not be viable. Furthermore, nobody would want to come and invest in the electricity industry in Zambia if they were to produce power at 9 cents per kW hour and sell it for 3 cents per kW hour. So, to unlock the investment and get cost reflective pricing, we had no choice but to increase the price of electricity by an average of 113 per cent.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Zimba (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, there is a shortfall of water in the Kariba Dam because of the bad rainfall pattern that we had last rainy season. However, this year, we have had generally good rains and floods in most parts of the country. Could the hon. Minister explain to me why we have not seen a rise in the water levels in the Kariba Dam? Why are the water levels still low? Further, is there any source that supplies water to the Kariba Dam apart from the rains?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, indeed, the water levels in the Kariba Dam are not rising as we expected. As I stated in my statement, one of the reasons the water is not rising so much is that we are over-generating power at Kariba, therefore, depleting the water. However, the floods were in the Eastern Province, and this area is not near the power station or the Kariba Dam. Therefore, the water that goes into the Luangwa River ends up going to Cahora Bassa in Mozambique and not in the Kariba Dam because that part of the country is on the lower side, hence water flows to Mozambique. The source of the Zambezi River is in Mwinilunga and the water flows into Angola and flows back into Zambia. We are getting a bit of rainfall through Angola, and this is helping our water levels to rise a bit. However, I must say that there has very poor rainfall in the catchment area, where the Zambezi is.


Sir, I must also say that the water levels in the Kafue River have improved. Even at its worst, we only lost about 35 per cent generation. The Kafue Gorge Upper Power Station, which is supposed to produce 990 MW, could only produce 600 MW, but it is now producing 700 MW. So, the Kafue River is doing well, which means that when Itezhi-Tezhi Power Plant, the Kafue Gorge Upper Power Station and the Kafue Gorge Lower Power Station come on board, we will do much better. However, the Kariba Dam is not doing well. If we have good rainfall in the next three years, we expect the dam to be filled up, but as for now, that catchment area is not doing well.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, how much does the Government owe Eskom and when will it pay it that money?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member may recall that last time, we paid Eskom US$20.5 million and an extra US$7 million that we owed it. As far as I am concerned, Eskom owed us some money and we owed them some money, and a net of US$7 million has since been cleared. In my statement, I said that we shall continue receiving electricity until we deplete the US$5 million which is remaining.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Mr Speaker, assuming Maamba Collieries Limited was paid whatever is owed to it, will it be in a position to supply power similar to that which we are receiving from Eskom?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, Maamba Collieries Limited is currently on full supply, and its capacity is 300 MW. It uses 36 MW and supplies 264 MW to the grid, which it is currently supplying. We bought 300 MW of power from Eskom and the pricing structure is the same as what Maamba Collieries Limited is charging us. However, Maamba Collieries Limited at one time had a challenge with its equipment. Its boilers broke down because some tubes were punctured and it had to bring in experts to repair them. Maamba Collieries Limited did not shut down the plant because of what we owe it, but it needed to repair the fault that it had. In fact, what happened is that the first boiler broke down and before they could finish fixing it, the second boiler also broke down. However, they fixed both boilers and we started receiving power.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, the question is: If Maamba Collieries Limited was fully functional and uninterrupted, would you do away with the importation of power?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, the answer is no, because Maamba Collieries Limited only has the capacity to produce 300 MW. Maamba Collieries Limited is currently producing 300 MW, but the country has a shortage of 810 MW.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Chanda (Bwana Mkubwa): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for clarifying the issue of the rainfall in the catchment areas and about the water that goes into the Kariba Dam and that which does not. However, social media is very rife with propaganda. Zambians have been asking why the Kariba Dam is not being filled up, yet there is so much rain. According to social media propaganda, wrong turbines were installed at the Kariba Dam. To correct that disinformation, what communication strategy does the ministry have to inform Zambians so that they are not misled by such propaganda?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, my office has instructed the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) to give a report to the nation every two weeks. So, every fortnight, the ZRA holds press briefings to update the people about the water levels. Further, a team from the Public Relations Department from ZESCO Limited has been going round the country to sensitise people on the usage of electricity and the shortage of water in the Kariba Dam. So, ZESCO Limited, the ZRA and the ministry are on top of things and are making sure that they sensitise the Zambian community about the electricity situation.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Fungulwe (Lufwanyama): Mr Speaker, load shedding has affected most companies and industries in terms of production, which has in turn affected the economy of the country. Is there any hope for the people of Zambia to completely stop experiencing load shedding in the shortest possible time?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, definitely, with the projects that the Government is undertaking, there is hope that one of these days load shedding will be a thing of the past. Obviously, the hon. Member heard when I said that the maximum demand for electricity in the country is 2,300 MW. When the Kafue Gorge Lower Power Station starts operating by the end of this year, the country’s generation capacity will be 3,600 MW. So, there will be a cushion of about 1,300 MW, above the country’s maximum demand.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, power has become extremely expensive to an ordinary citizen. Is it possible for the Patriotic Front (PF) Government to reduce the cost of electricity, in view of the 103 per cent increase, by about 50 per cent so that every citizen in this country can manage to buy electricity?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, I spoke about this issue earlier. Power in this country is produced at 8.5 cents per kWh and it does not make any business sense for it to be sold at 3 cents per kWh. So, reducing the tariffs by 50 per cent is not practical, unless we want ZESCO Limited to go under.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Kasune (Keembe): Mr Speaker, in the statement, the hon. Minister said that the Government paid about US$20 million for the importation of power, and that it has utilised about US$15 million, leaving a balance of US$5 million yet to be utilised. Why did the Government pay in advance when it could have invested that money and paid it later so that it is not owed money? If there was a saving from doing that, how much money did it save by going the route of paying in advance?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, the condition of the contract to import power was that Eskom wanted an upfront payment for the 300 MW of power, and that power was supposed to be for one month. However, a week after we paid the money, Eskom started experiencing problems, and the Government realised that it could not wheel the power because the capacity of the power utility companies in Zimbabwe and Namibia to wheel the power could not help much. So, that is why only 218 MW of power could be wheeled instead of 300 MW, and that exercise was supposed to be done in one month. The country started receiving power from 2200 hours to 0500 hours, and these are non-peak hours. As a result, the country is not consuming power as per the contract that we signed, and that is why we still have a balance.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, there is a need to give the public information in all languages because a lot is being said out there. South Africa is also facing load shedding and it is even going into what it calls Phase Six, which means it will be experiencing load shedding for eight hours. Will it be possible for Zambia to get power from Eskom to reduce the ten hours of load shedding?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, I need to clarify that after the US$5 million which remained is exhausted, we will not pay Eskom any more money for the importation of more power. We hope that the generation of power in the country would have improved by April. However, ZESCO Limited has a demand for power from its customers, and since we are getting power from Eskom, we are able to shut down certain generators at the Kariba Dam, and by so doing, water is saved. Like I stated in my statement, ZESCO Limited was over-producing power at the Kariba North Bank because of demand. If it stops over-producing power and sticks to the required 275 MW, that will help build up the water levels in the Kariba Dam. So, the power that we are importing is helping us to reserve the water in the Kariba Dam.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, the justification for the recent hike in electricity tariffs was to attract more investment in the energy sector. How many new companies have expressed interest to invest in the energy sector, now that there has been a hike in electricity tariffs?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, I do not know the number of companies that have shown interest in investing in the energy sector, but definitely, a huge number of investors have written to my office expressing interest to come and put up power plants here in Zambia. Investors have expressed happiness that the tariffs are now making business sense, and the passing of the Electricity Bill No.16 is going a long way in unlocking this industry.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I did not hear the hon. Minister answer the question by the hon. Member of Parliament for Namwala. Therefore, could he tell the House how much the Government owes Maamba Collieries Limited as at 31st January, 2020, and not what it paid it.


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, I do not know the figure, and the figure that we owe Maamba Collieries Limited fluctuates. Today, we may owe Maamba Collieries Limited K50 million, and when we pay it K20 million, we will remain with K30 million. So, if the hon. Member asks the question at a particular time, we will come up with the amount of money that we owe it, but the figure fluctuates.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr S. Banda (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that the Government has a balance of about US$5 million worth of power to import from South Africa. Arising from the fact that the Government will neither renew the contract nor pay Eskom any more money, how long will that power take us considering that we anticipate that the water levels in the Kariba Dam would have improved by April?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, from the top of my head, the US$5 million should be exhausted by first or second week of April.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: I will take the last five interventions from the hon. Member for Mufulira, the hon. Member for Zambezi West, the hon. Member for Nchanga, the hon. Member for Liuwa and the hon. Member for Senga Hill, in that order.


Dr Chibanda (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, it is clear that we cannot rely on water. Is the hon. Minister in a position to confirm whether the Zambian Government is in a joint venture with the Mozambican Government in terms of a project that is being undertaken in Mozambique to produce power that will in turn be exported to Zambia? Could the hon. Minister also confirm whether ZESCO Limited and the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) are undertaking a joint project in Kitwe on the Copperbelt, in terms of solar power, and if the same is yet to be undertaken in Mufulira?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, as far as I am concerned, there is no power plant project that is jointly being undertaken by the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) and ZESCO Limited or that is being undertaken in Mozambique. However, some companies are interested in coming to put up a gas fired power plant somewhere in the Eastern Province. They want to put up their power plant here in Zambia and to start getting gas from Mozambique, but they are currently doing feasibility studies.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Kucheka (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, the people in rural areas, including those in Zambezi West and I am sure even here in town, are failing to buy energy saving bulbs on account that they are very expensive. What is the Government doing to ensure that energy saving bulbs are available and affordable?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, energy saving bulbs are available in the country and they are duty free, so that they are affordable to customers. I must also say that ZESCO Limited distributed a million energy saving bulbs last year in November and December, but I am not too sure if it has the other batch. However, the hon. Member for Zambezi West can contact me, and we can check with ZESCO Limited as to when it will get the next batch to ensure that her constituents also benefit from those free bulbs.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Chali (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, considering that we are now almost at the peak of the rainy season and the water levels in the Kariba Dam are not encouraging, what are the findings on the Kariba Dam wall? Has the ministry inspected the wall for seepage or is it still investigating?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, studies were carried out on the dam wall and it is okay. However, the plunge pool is the one that has been giving problems, but it is currently being repaired. We will repair it and by 2023, it will be done. We have been working on it for two to three years and we expect to finish by 2023.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, a few years ago, Ghana found itself in a similar situation like the one in Zambia with regard to the shortage of electricity. Like what has happened here in Zambia, the Government of Ghana set up high tariffs and told investors all over the world to go and set up power stations and that its power utility company would buy all the power. Of course, the capitalists went to set up the power plants at very high prices and in the end, there was too much electricity and Ghana’s utility company like ZESCO Limited was obliged to buy that electricity and subsidised to the producers instead of the consumers.


Sir, the only way to avoid a situation where you are going to pay subsidies to producers from all over the world in future, is to have the cost of service study, which we have been talking about for years and years, but it has not been done. Could the hon. Minister promise us that we are not going to be like Ghana, where all of a sudden capitalists from all over the world will come here to produce electricity that will not be bought because it will be too expensive. How is the hon. Minister going to avoid this since he is now calling the capitalists and offering them very high prices?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, definitely, we are not going in that direction. We want cost reflective tariffs to apply in Zambia, and not exorbitant electricity tariffs. However, the cost of service study is underway. I spoke about this issue last time on the Floor of this House, and I stated that the consultant we engaged earlier on decided to abandon the project and we had to engage another one. In November last year, we engaged another consultant to do the cost of service study, and he is on course. He should deliver the cost of service study latest November this year and the duration for doing the cost of service study is twelve months. Therefore, we hope the speculation on the price of electricity will end when we get the cost of service study.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Speaker, my question may be similar to Hon. Musokotwane’s question. If the cost of service study proves to be too high and looking at the subsidy being given to Maamba Collieries Limited, is the Government willing or likely to reduce the cost of electricity?


Mr Nkhuwa: Mr Speaker, that is a very tricky question, but we will wait until we get to the river and, then, we will cross the bridge, because I may be answering a question which will probably not arise. However, the idea of engaging a consultant to do a cost of service study is so that he can come up with the correct tariff for the people of Zambia. Therefore, even when we were getting the consultant, we had reservations from mining companies who thought we could hire people who are not credible. So, we brought the mining companies and stakeholders on board to ensure that as we decide on the consultant, we all agree so that at the end of the day when the cost of service study comes into play, everybody is agreeable to the pricing structure that the consultant will come up with. However, the consultant is professional and has been doing costs of service studies around this part of Africa. I think he is very credible and will come up with the correct tariff which we should all respect.


I thank you, Sir.








191. Mr Lihefu (Manyinga) asked the Minister of Fisheries and Livestock:


  1. whether the Government is aware that there is an outbreak of a mysterious disease in Chongo Ward in Manyinga Parliamentary Constituency, which is affecting pigs; and
  2. if so, what urgent measures the Government is taking to contain the disease before it spreads to other areas.


The Minister of Fisheries and Livestock (Prof. Luo): Mr Speaker, as soon as the ministry received a report of pigs dying in Chitapaloba, Chongo and Kasamba villages in Manyinga Constituency, officers from the District Veterinary Department were sent to verify the report and they found that there was no mysterious disease in the three villages. However, they discovered that the pigs in those areas were significantly malnourished, which could have caused death.


Sir, in view of the above findings, the farmers were advised to improve the nutrition of the pigs, and to this effect, my staff is now busy sensitising the people about good animal husbandry practices. As a ministry, we remain on high alert for any disease outbreak in any part of the country.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.




192. Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:


  1. whether the Government is aware that the Sianankanga Bridge on Sianankanga River in Chief Nyawa’s chiefdom connecting Kalomo District to Zimba District was washed away on Tuesday, 18th February, 2020, resulting in the drowning of one person;
  2. if so, what immediate measures the Government is taking to address the problem; and
  3. when the reconstruction of the bridge will commence.


The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Mwale): Mr Speaker, the Sianankanga Bridge on Sianankanga River in Chief Nyawa’s chiefdom connecting Kalomo District to Zimba District was not washed away, but was merely overtopped with water during a period of flush floods.


Sir, the Government has been undertaking rehabilitation works on the crossing point using the force account. The works are partly complete with only the approach slabs yet to be constructed. The outstanding works have stalled because the funds that were released have been exhausted and the remaining funds to enable the completion of the works are yet to be released.


Mr Speaker, the construction works are already underway, and will be completed as soon as the funds for the outstanding works are received.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kamboni: Mr Speaker, last time, K800,000 was allocated to this bridge, but it took a long time to do the little work on the bridge. Why is it that K800,000 was not enough to construct a good bridge in Sianankanga?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, if the Government was to construct a new bridge there, it would not cost K800,000. In fact, rehabilitation works on this bridge would cost K1.4 million but only K897,000 was released. So, if we were to construct a new bridge, we have to factor it in the plan, design it and we will have to spend more money. For now, the people can use this bridge, as long as we complete the construction works. So, our job is to make sure that the remaining amount is released so that the works are completed and, then, the bridge will be in use until such a time when there be a need to construct a new one.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the Sianankanga Bridge on the Zimba/Nyawa Road is extremely important for the people of Kazungula because it is a gateway to the areas in Chief Musokotwane, Chief Nyawa and Chief Moomba’s chiefdoms. As far as we are concerned, it is an economic road. However, the hon. Minister has told us that the Government is undertaking works on the bridge using the force account, with the view that it will construct a new bridge. When we hear the hon. Minister state that they will keep on undertaking small works, we get concerned. Could the hon. Minister assure the people of Kazungula how long that bridge will be sustained because it is a death trap.


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, there is currently no money to construct a new bridge, and I need to verify the assertion that the bridge is a death trap. I have been informed that people can use this bridge, especially if the works are completed. We have worked on some parts and we will finish the works once the money is released. The bridge will be up and running, until such a time when we will need to budget for a new bridge, which will be more expensive. Maybe, we have not reached the time when we need a new bridge. For now, we have to ensure that the money for the rehabilitation works is released, and that money is only K600,000, which we can easily find.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, this bridge is very important and the hon. Minister said that the ministry still needs K600,000 to fix it, if I quoted him right. Could he not think of taking an acrow bridge to Sianankanga because I am aware that all components of those bridges are already in the country? Which one would be more expensive, an acrow bridge or looking for the K600,000?


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the 131 acrow bridges in the country are meant for specific crossing points which were measured. When those acrow bridges were being manufactured in the United States of America (USA), they were actually manufactured for specific crossing points which were already measured. So, we cannot use a bridge meant for a specific point on another point, and we would actually breach the agreement that we have with the people who manufactured the bridges. If we need to deal with the Sianankanga Bridge, by getting rid of it and building another one, we will have to start planning and budgeting for it. However, we will not use a bridge meant for another site because that would not work.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Kamboni: Mr Speaker, one person died. Today is the tenth day and the students from –


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


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, I am grateful for the opportunity, and I rise on a serious point of order on the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development. Not long ago, when the hon. Minister was addressing the nation pertaining to the misfortune we had at Kacholola on the Great East Road, he said that acrow bridges have been brought in the country and that they will be moved from one point to another within the region. However, the hon. Minister said that it is not possible to take an acrow bridge to Sianankanga. How unfair is that statement which the hon. Minister made? Is he in order to change goal posts when it comes to Sianankanga? The people of Kazungula, Zimba and Kalomo are suffering. I seek your serious ruling on this matter.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister will clarify that matter as he responds.


Hon. Member for Kalomo Central, you may continue.


Mr Kamboni: Mr Speaker, one person was swept away by water and he died. Today is the tenth day, and students from Magerero and Sianyama cannot go to school because there is water everywhere so they cannot see anything. Chief Nyawa’s chiefdom is the biggest chiefdom and has many people who produce maize and other crops, and they have been completely cut-off. Does the hon. Minister not have any immediate solution to this problem? Do we have to wait for nature to help those people? This situation might go on for the next two or three weeks, and in the meantime, they have been completely cut-off from other areas.


Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, even if we determined that we need a new bridge in the area, we would still not be able to construct it within one or two weeks. We will still have to plan for it and find money to build a bridge at that point. I have been informed that the bridge which is at that crossing point is one of those low bridges which allow water to pass on top, and we have these kinds of bridges. However, if that area receives too much rainfall, we should not have this kind of a bridge because students are unable to cross it and we will then need to plan for another bridge that will be raised higher. However, that will not be an immediate solution, and we will not have to do that right now. We will have to complete the works that we started and begin to budget for a bridge maybe possibly next year or some other time in future, if there is a need to raise the bridge at that crossing point.


Sir, in response to the point of order, at no time did I ever say that we would shuffle the acrow bridges around or take those bridges manufactured for specific points to different areas. All we intend to do is to put one of the acrow bridges that was manufactured for a specific point at Rufunsa on a temporally basis. We are creating bypasses there to allow vehicles to pass on the side and we will take that acrow bridge where it should be installed and will then build concrete culverts at Rufunsa. So, we will only use the acrow bridge for a month and a half. Once the rains end, we will take it out, and we had to bring that to the attention of our partners in the USA who funded those bridges because it is only for an emergency. So, we are not allowed to shuffle those bridges around and we cannot do that for that specific crossing. However, if there is a need for us to raise the bridge at Sianankanga, we can start planning for it.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.








Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House urges the Government to enforce the law on persons issuing divisive, tribal, hate and discriminatory statements.


Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?


Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.


Mr Nkombo: Sir, I want to express my gratitude to you for allowing me to move this Motion. In my own belief, this Motion is for the common good of the nation at large and will benefit those who are going to inherit and bequeath this country, when we are all long gone. I have dedicated this Motion to the children of this country, who we love so dearly. While it may invoke a little emotion, it remains a non-controversial, and in my view, progressive Motion.


Hon. PF Member: Question!


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker I, therefore, request all hon. Members, including those saying ‘question’ to introspect and reflect on this subject and not consign it to business as usual. Let it appeal to their inner conscience and heart of hearts in either agreeing to this Motion or disagreeing with it.


Sir, many people in this country are unsettled with this matter at hand and they may be quietly dying inside. Therefore, I expect that the debate will rebuild the rock that Zambia has been built upon and once stood on, and not continue on the trajectory of shifting sand. This Motion seeks to comfort the unsettled, but it may unsettle those who are comfortable in driving the hate speech agenda. At this juncture, allow me to bring out the points in this Motion.


Mr Speaker, around the world, there is an increase in the language of exclusion and marginalisation that has crept into social media and normal media coverage, online platforms and sometimes national policies. Communities are facing severe levels of intolerance, including rising anti-semitism, islamaphiobia, as well as hatred and persecution of religious groups in the public arena. Discourse has been weaponised and characterised by political gain with very hostile rhetoric directed at minority groups.


Mr Speaker, hate speech weakens and destroys communities. It sows seeds of fear, hatred and distrust, when left unchecked, and can lead to untold violence and even help set the conditions and the stage for genocide, as we saw in the case of one of the countries on this continent. The King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) believes that hate speech requires a co-ordinated response from religious, media and political leaders to upholding fundamental human rights and inclusion of all communities and individuals.


Mr Speaker, what is hate speech, and how does it insight violence? There is no legal definition that I know about hate speech, but it can be described as a writing or behaviour that attacks or uses pejorative or discriminatory language with reference to a person or group on the basis of who they are, in other words, based on religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, colour, descent or other identity factors. When left unaddressed, it can lead to violence or hate crimes against marginalised groups. While some statements may not immediately incite violence, they can spread seeds of intolerance and anger that can lead to legitimatising the acts of hate. For acts of incitement to result in violence, four elements have to be present. A context of conducive violence includes and is not limited to the following:


  1. an influential speaker;
  2. a speech that is widely disseminated;
  3. a receptive audience; and
  4. a target (typically, a target is a group of marginalised people, individuals or groups).


Mr Speaker, this act normally constitutes incitement to violence when there is intent on the part of the speaker. So, the speaker becomes the mover of whatever the end product may be, this being violence, and in extreme cases, death. There is also a likelihood that the act may result in violence, as I have said. Therefore, while all incitement to discriminate is hate speech, it may be said that not all hate speech constitutes incitement.


Sir, how does hate speech interface with the freedom of expression? Inherently, every individual enjoys the freedom of expression. The freedom of expression is protected under international law, with clear rights outlined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil Political Rights (ICCPR). It should also be known that the freedom of expression is only enjoyed to the extent where another person’s freedoms and rights begin. With this stated, it is extremely important for governments world over to establish sound legal frameworks on hate speech that would hold perpetrators accountable to human dignity, protect marginalised groups while pressing to balance the right to the freedom of expression.


Mr Speaker, let me now bring the argument close to home, which is the Zambian situation. My Motion is entitled: ‘that this House urges the Government to enforce the law on persons issuing decisive statements, hate and discriminatory speech’. The recent and escalating tribal sentiments in our country have compelled me and my conscience to move this Motion, and I ask all the hon. Members of Parliament for their approval. Let it be dealt with within the transparent form and in the spirit of the desire to correct what has gone wrong in this country. At this point, I believe we are all on one page that something in this country has gone wrong, where this matter is concerned. The aims and objectives of my Motion are multiple and noble, and are meant to foster honesty, truthfulness and respect for one another and accepting that we are very different. It also urges us to tightly embrace that which we have in common. Let us be bound together by it for we cannot afford to be mute when the elephant in the room, in this case, hate speech that leads to injuring feelings, is closing in on all of us and the remaining space.


Sir, I read somewhere in a book that our mighty God in Heaven has prepared a very special place in hell where the temperature is extremely high. However, those who represent others are quite or silent in the midst of social conflict which is generated by the subject at hand, hate speech. It is tearing us apart every day that passes. I also drew some inspiration to move this Motion from my sister, who once worked for the Zambia Daily Mail and answers to the name Panic Mukamaambo Malawo Chilufya, who used to write stories on the kids corner. I drew this story from the edition of 21st January, 2015, entitled ‘Effects of Tribalism on Children’ and this is what she had to say:


“Over the weekend, I had an opportunity to interact with children, most of who came from intermarriages for which Zambia is renowned for. Some children are alive to their parent’s tribal or ethnic extraction but have no clue how to speak these dialects as most of them communicate in English, which is their first language. Although no research has been conducted, almost every marriage that takes place across this country is between various tribes and not within the same tribe”.


This is true even among hon. Members of Parliament seated here although there may be one or two who may have married a tribesman. She further said that:


“When it comes to marriage, which is the smallest unit of social order influenced by an emotion called love, people know no tribe, no origin, no ethnic extraction, and they do not even care about it. This is the valuable legacy that the old man, the founding father of this country with his group and team, Dr David Kenneth Kaunda, instilled and inculcated in us during the time of our political independence more than fifty years ago”.


Mr Speaker, the motto of one Zambia one Nation of yesteryear, which those of us who were there hold dear to our hearts, is a matter that we must interrogate today. Does it still have the same pulse, heartbeat and uniting factor as it had before? That is the question that we all need to answer.


Sir, this also applies to our children who, until in recent times, do not use tribal ethnic lenses to view how life truly is. The fact is we now have children who answer to names that I will give below. The seconder, the Member of Parliament for Livingstone, Hon. Mathews Jere, will speak a little more about the motto of one Zambia one Nation and the binding factors. The names of children who we see today include and are not limited to the following; Mulenga Banda, Nyambe Bwalya, Mutinta Chitalu, Nchimunya Luo, Muzala Nkombo ─ this is my daughter’s name, and she has a Lunda and Tonga name. In case hon. Members did not hear me correctly, let me start again. We have names like Mulenga Banda, Nyambe Bwalya, Mutinta Chitalu, Nchimunya Luo, Muzala Nkombo, Mwiinga Yaluma, Monde Zulu, Musamba Malama, Likezo Sichilima, Mwansa Kankasa, Chileshe Lutangu, Tiyese Kalila and Tamara Malambo. I can bet my bottom dollar or kwacha that these children do not know themselves by any tribe, but they know that they are Zambians.


Mr Speaker, if we continue on this trajectory of separating ourselves tribally by radiating hate speech, what will happen to these children, a sample of whose names I have just read today, when posterity’s time to judge us comes? Whether hon. Members agree or disagree with this Motion, my earnest request is that my expectation from our hon. Colleagues in the Executive is not to treat this Motion as business as usual by telling me that I am knocking on an open door. Maybe want is too strong but I do not desire to hear such a response because it will mean that it is just rhetoric once again. Believing that I am speaking on behalf of many Zambians, which is a section of people who may take pride that they are not created of equal worth with other fellow human beings based on tribe, it was wrong in the past, it is wrong now and it shall forever be wrong in the future to think that one has a superiority complex against other fellow human beings.


Sir, I also interrogated what has caused these tribal sentiments to now take centre stage more than ever before and why the law enforcers are lending a deaf ear and a blind eye on this time bomb, when there is sufficient law that deals with this. More often than not, it is politics. This is where it is coming from, and it has escalated to high levels exponentially at this particular time and we cannot bury our heads in the sand and think that there are other causes. It is political, and this is where the centre of these tribal sentiments and ethnic extraction divisions are emanating from. There is a fertile ground where they fertilise it every day, to geminate fast and show its ugly face. I called it a time bomb because there is no other definition for it. Politics have really consumed us that they have eaten into our entire fabric, as a people who once boosted to be kings men who believed in the concept of brotherly love and sisterly affection. Today, because of politics, it has been cat and dog fights.


Mr Speaker, unfortunately, it escalates even more when it comes to constitutional provisions such as by-elections. By- elections have caused us pain in this country and whoever does not feel the pain, it means that their nerve endings and emotions have become blunt, because people have begun to desensitise about seeing the sight of blood. It all began with just seeing someone bleeding from the nose and now it is a pool of blood. I do not think this Motion could have come at the time better than this one, when we are all troubled by a force that some of us do not know of gassing, mob physiology and killing, and sometimes poor judgement from the police, which has taken up more lives.


Sir, I want to take this moment to congratulate the Chief Government Spokesperson, Hon. Siliya, and as I sat in my house yesterday making final touches to this Motion, I decided to include her in my script. The presentation that Hon. Siliya made on Prime Television yesterday was uniting, more uniting than most of the statements that we have heard from both sides of this House; the statements that we have heard of finger pointing.


Mr Speaker, what is now going on is that we are under seizure by a force that most of us do not know. Obviously, some people may know, and those are the people whom the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting yesterday referred to as criminals. We have to hold our hands together to bring these criminals down. I was particularly impressed with her when she stated that she thought this atrocity of gassing people, school children and mob physiology is not politically motivated. For those who have said that it is politically motivated, all they are doing is escalating negative emotions from one against another.


Sir, the Church has also fallen victim of such pronouncements, and I picked one statement from a clergyman who said the situation as it is today should not be taken for granted. He spoke in Bemba and gave an example of a snake that was going to kill a rat in a king’s house. The rat asked the chicken to help to circumvent the snake, and it said that it does not enter the king’s house and that it should sort it out itself. The rat asked the goat and cow and they all said that they do not enter the king’s house and that it was its business. Unfortunately, a snake entered the king’s house and the king thought they had trapped the rat, but unfortunately, he was bitten by the snake and he died. The preacher man said in Bemba that, “Noushaliko akabako”, meaning you who said you were not there, when the time comes, you shall be there. When the king died, they had to cook the chicken and slaughter goats and cows for the mourners to eat. Even those who were refusing to go in the house to assist the rat were consumed and the rat was in the ceiling. The rat repeatedly said, “Nalemyeba noushaliko akabako


Mr Ng’onga: Akabamo.


Mr Nkombo: I am not Bemba, but I am trying.


Mr Speaker: Translate what that means.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, it means even you who exempted yourself, you may find yourself there, and the rat was in the ceiling. The final analysis is that in certain traditions, when a king dies, they have to burn the palace, and that is how the rat was the last one to go. This is a typical example of how we must treat the issue of accusations and counter accusations, and I hope that this Motion is going to invoke certain reflections among all of us leaders because it is often said that the game changer involves the fish not rotting from the head. We are the leaders and the head of this country. On the other side, there is the Executive while we are legislators. Therefore, we are co-governing this country, whether one likes it or not. We have an equal responsibility to ensure that this country moves at a safe pace and is out of harm’s way at any given time of life.


Sir, I often say that posterity is going to judge us harshly if this crop of leadership fails to bring normalcy to this country as a result of the tongue or soft tissue. It is also often said, and please understand me, that the tongue is sometimes sharper than the sword and can create a gap that is very difficult to fill. That is what the tongue can do if it is misused. If one misuses the tongue, as the case has been among the rank and file of our society, we have to do a rain check and know how far we are from the cascading point when all hell may break loose. We do not want to reach that point, and I am sure everyone shares my sentiments.


Mr Speaker, I have already said that we are the culprits and perpetrators of this ingredient. It can easily be gotten away with if we have a good will, positive energy and not negative energy to reverse the diminishing fortunes that we have created for our own selves. We have cast a spell on our own selves. In a few minutes, we will be descending down to the tea room. We will seat together and share the same plate. Where is the fuel and energy that is causing our people outside to behave differently coming from? That is the golden question, and as hon. Members debate, they should furnish me with the answers.


Sir, sometimes, if one is not well meaning, it is difficult for him/her to reverse things that are deliberately carried out or cause divisions which are only there for expedience. Getting back to normalcy once one cascades or starts dropping is as difficult as travelling on the Jericho Road. Those of you who believe in the Almighty know the story about the Jericho Road. We pour scorn on each other consciously, willfully, knowingly and sometimes what we say is totally untrue. All it serves is one thing; to pit one group against the other. There are many gullible people in this country, who will believe anything that Garry Nkombo says because he is their leader. One imagines the confusion that rains when 156 leaders all sing a different song from a different hymn sheet and say things that are falsehoods against one another and, thereafter, go to their houses and have a peaceful sleep. We must know that if we continue on this path, there is one thing that is certain, posterity will judge us harshly.


Mr Speaker, with all these things notwithstanding, I am also a bearer of a bit of good news because I believe that all hope is not gone. If hope was gone, I would not have been standing here trying to bring us back to the basics and back home, where we belong and are loved, and where we can once again call each other brother, sister or kings man, and not a Tonga, Bemba, Lozi, Kaonde, Lunda, Luvale, Namwanga or Tumbuka and …


Mr Ngulube indicated assent.


Mr Nkombo: … as I look at everyone – I see Hon. Ngulube nodding because I said Tumbuka. We are all but one people because the same blood that runs in my system is the same blood that runs in yours.


Sir, I have my doubts pertaining to the amount of dislike that we often see on social platforms and national television, and the scorn that is poured at each other. If I was in a car accident and was battling for a pint of blood, I do not think that you would deny me that pint of blood. You would definitely give it to me because death is the waste thing that anyone can wish for, not even for his worst enemy.


Mr Speaker, Dr Kenneth Kaunda loved another phrase where he continuously reminded us that, “Man north, man south, man east and man west” because we are all created in the image of God. I talked about the game changer. We can turn this situation around, and I have a few proposals to make. Those of you who were as old as I was might recall that Dr Kenneth Kaunda was fond of a song called Tiyende pamodzi ndi mutima umodzi. He fondly liked that song, but it is gone. We do not hear it anymore. If you sang that song, the children of nowadays would probably think that there is something wrong with you, but it had a meaning. Dr Kaunda is still alive and we can honour him for attempting to hold this country together. By the way, ever since he left the Government, the tribes in this country have not increased, but are still the same. You cannot say that we are now overburdened because imitundu yalifula or mihyobo yakahula, meaning the tribes have increased. They are still seventy-two plus or minus.


Sir, I was saying that there is a lot we can do because Dr Kaunda planted the seed. The people who came after the great man, Dr Kaunda, watered the seed, and those who came after him pruned the weeds of this seed called love for one another. Those who came after fertilised the tree and some came and sat in the shade. We are the ones seating in the shade as a result of the hard work of those who left before us such as the old man, Mr Sikota Wina, the late Arthur Wina and Mr Franklyn Malawo, may their souls rest in peace, Mr Kapasa Makasa and all those great people like Mungoni Linso, who have gone before us, who planted the seed. We are seating in the shade but we are cutting the roots of the tree with axes so that the children who are going to come after us will not even sit in the shade. Our fervent anticipation is that we would like the children coming after us to enjoy the fruits of the same tree. So, I believe that up to this point, we are on the same page.


Mr Speaker, as I come to the end of my presentation in countering and preventing hate speech, as a solution – I can see my niece, Hon. Mwanakatwe, paying attention to what I am saying.


Sir, Government authorities require to take this mantle as their primary responsibility. Hear me out and mark my words. Government authorities require to take the lead and position, and ensure that the primary responsibility to prevent incitement and protect people from atrocities of crime is theirs. It is also clear that at individual level, everyone must play their part.


Mr Speaker, hon. Members should listen to me very carefully because I am giving them four dosages of how I think we can resolve this problem. The first one is to realise and accept and never downplay the power of words from your mouth or this soft tissue called the tongue because if misused, they can bring ill feelings, confrontations, violence and sometimes even death. The Government requires to raise awareness through community based trainings, community radio stations and to constantly educate the family. The Government needs to come up with deliberate programmes on television to educate the family and friends about the dangers of discrimination and intolerance. It is extremely important to report every media post that spreads falsehoods and rumours based on misinformation, and that is where law enforcers come in. In this country, the situation has become worse. Today, you can wake up and ask yourself if you are the one the media has written about or you can even ask your wife if what they have written is how she knows you. So, this has created animosity everywhere at every level.


Sir, I suggest that all the social media postings based on rumours must be reported to the police. The police must get stationery to put things on record. For example, Facebook has a mechanism of disengaging anyone promoting hate speech from the site. I call on the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to ensure that his officers put a desk for receiving reports of those peddling falsehoods, lies and hate speech that only serves one purpose, which is to tear down the fabric of this country.


Mr Speaker, we need to boost positive messages of peace, especially on online platforms such as social media, and to create a non-selective measure of applying the existing law, and that is the last point under the solutions. What do I mean? Section 70 of the Penal Code, Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia states that:


  1. “Any person who utters any words or publishes any writing expressing or showing hatred, ridicule or contempt for any person or group of persons wholly or mainly because of his or their race, tribe, place of origin or colour is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years.


        2. A person shall not be prosecuted for an offence under this section without written consent from the 

              Director of Public Prosecutions”.


Sir, if this clause was not there, the courts would have been busy. I call on the hon. Minister of Justice, and the Executive in general, to ensure that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) removes dust from this statute and starts using it. Once two or three people are locked up for two years for inciting violence, we will see a drop in all these things. Today, you cannot trust anyone because it is free for all, and anyone can disparage anybody. I thought WhatsApp messages are encrypted and secret, but some people can even create a WhatsApp account and pretend as though it is you communicating. What is the hon. Minister of Justice doing about this?


Mr Speaker, I want to end by saying that if you are going to jump from a bridge, you must make sure that you know the depth of the water underneath that bridge. Otherwise, you will mutilate yourself. You do not jump off a bridge without knowing the depth of the water. It is the same thing as disparaging people recklessly. You will hurt the country one day, and the return road is a difficult one. As you know, the twin towers in New York downtown Manhattan were destroyed in two seconds, yet it took ages to build them. That is where we are sitting on, and as such, I beg to move that the seconder takes the stage and his debating shoes, and I hope that the House will find favour in this Motion.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?


Mr Jere: Now, Sir.


Mr Speaker, thank you very much for according me this opportunity to second this Motion, ably moved by the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central.


Sir, it is said that open criticism is better than hidden love. The mover of the Motion has done justice to this Motion by urging the Government to enforce the law on persons issuing decisive, tribal, hate speech and discriminatory statements.


Mr Speaker, man was created in the image of God with a free will, meaning human beings have the freedom of choice. That being the case, human beings can choose friends, where to live or which political party to belong to, and they are at liberty to do so, depending on their ideologies. A party with a national character like the United Party for National Development (UPND) and its leader, Hakainde Hichilema, does not subscribe to tribal politics.




Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Livingstone, so far, the mover has been very impersonal, and you know the practice of the House. We do not drag people who are not here in our debate. Let us leave them out.


Mr Jere: Mr Speaker, thank you for your guidance. However, no one chooses his height, colour of skin, family or tribe. Zambia being a Christian nation, we ought to know that this is God’s plan and, therefore, we should see it in the eyes of each other. It is not in dispute that this country is endowed with abundant natural resources, yet its people are wallowing in abject poverty. Many times, politicians drum the drum of tribal politics and our people dance its tune, and that is the reason our founding fathers saw it fit and worked tirelessly to unit this country through the one Zambia one Nation motto. When deploying Public Service workers, they never looked at where one hailed from. They –


Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


Mr Jere: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was talking about the need for unity through the motto of one Zambia one Nation, and that our forefathers worked tirelessly to unite this country. I also talked about the issue of job opportunities and how at that time, those in the Public Service were deployed to all corners of this country, and as a result, we saw intermarriages and people lived as one.


Sir, further, in 1973, leaders of all political parties gathered and signed a document called the Choma Declaration to end political violence. This brought civility to politics, and that was the foundation of peace and unity in this country. However, what we are now seeing is shocking. There is too much political intolerance, and as such, our people are living in fear. As we heard from the mover of the Motion, people are being killed in cold blood during by-elections.


Mr Speaker, Article 9 of the Constitution is very clear that every year, the President is required to report to the National Assembly on the progress made as regards values and principles. We talk about good governance, transparency, unity and patriotism and we thought that these things would by now have yielded results by uniting this country further, bearing in mind that we even have a Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance.


Sir, allow me to quote what Charles Darwin said. He said that:


“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, or the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change”.


As the mover stated, this Motion is life changing, and as such, hon. Members on the left and right should support it.


Mr Speaker, the freedom of speech is guaranteed in our Constitution. People are free to associate and communicate, but this speech must be regulated. We saw what happened post the 2016 elections. There were stage-managed activities in order to show that a particular region was targeting other people from other tribes. This happened in Namwala where many makeshift houses along the Kafue River were burnt and people were transported away. At that point, I received calls from people in other regions who were wondering what was happening. However, I was able to explain what was really going on, and I call upon the media to report things as they happen. In Namwala, there are people from the Northern Province and the Eastern Province who own big shops. They trade peacefully and their businesses were not disturbed, but what was reported is contrary to what transpired.


Sir, what we saw during the 2016 general elections happened elsewhere. For example, there was mistrust between tribes in Kenya. The Luos felt they were not favoured because the Kikuyus were favoured in terms of job opportunities and positions due to nepotism, and such issues bring divisions in the country. Therefore, I call upon the leadership to see to it that even as it forms Cabinet, it should reflect the national character and not only favour a certain tribe.


Mr Speaker, we have had by-elections held in various parts of this country. We had elections in Mangango, Sesheke and Katuba, but we never heard tribal remarks from political parties, which have strongholds in those areas. However, the United Party for National Development (UPND) never participated in the by election in Kasenengwa, but some leaders stood on a podium and started issuing discriminatory messages and hate speech against it. We expected leaders from the political parties that were participating in the by-election to demonise those leaders who were propagating hate speech, but they were quiet. Instead, those leaders were glorified, and this trend has been growing. It is said that if you plant a lemon, you do not expect to harvest an orange. This is what was planted, and we again saw this in Chilubi ...


Prof. Luo: Question!


Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!


Mr Jere: ... where hate speech or tribal remarks were issued by some leaders who are supposed to lead by example. The youths are the future generation, but what kind of youths would we want to see twenty or thirty years from now? It will be youths who have a lot of hate against certain tribes.


Mr Speaker, we should not forget that as we campaign during a general election, we sign a social contract with our people. Once we fail, it is only honourable for us to accept that we have failed, unlike trying to ride on tribe so that we get favours from people we perceive to come from the same tribe as ours. It is wrong.


Sir, as the mover of the Motion mentioned, many countries in Africa have decided to deviate from politics of ideologies to politics of tribe because of the struggle for power. As such, in countries like South Africa, the issue of xenophobia started as a small thing but it grew. It was against nationals from other countries, yet there are regional bodies such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) that promote developing the southern african region. However, how can we develop our region when we are busy killing one another? So, we are enemies of our own self.


Mr Speaker, when it comes to Zambia in particular, we should search our conscience using this Motion moved by the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central. We need to look at ourselves and see how we have contributed to the elephant in the room called tribalism. What is it that we can do to end it? I believe that it is possible to end it, looking at what happened sometime back when there was no unity, but some people were able to unite as one Zambia and to have a common cause, and they achieved what we inherited.


Sir, what kind of a country do we want to pass on if we do not want to call a spade a spade? We have ignored vices such as tribalism to an extent that even in schools, children ask what tribe someone is, instead of who one is. When I go to Nakonde, Kasumbalesa, Sesheke, Mwami Border, or the moment I step on the soil of this country, I should feel that I am a Zambian and not only when I am in my area, which is bad. So, we are breeding a generation that will inherit hate speech.


Mr Speaker, as I conclude, allow me to also talk about the measures that can be put in place to ensure that we eradicate tribalism. Let us look at the justice system in this country. Some people feel that the dispensation of justice in our country is biased, in the sense that those who are innocent are being kept in prisons longer than expected. Others are jailed today but the following day, they are out. The application of the Public Order Act – no one is above the law, but some people in this country seem to be above the law, and that has created a problem. In other countries like the United States of America (USA), whoever is found wanting, be it the one occupying the highest office in the land, is prosecuted until he is proved innocent. That way, members of the public have confidence in the Judiciary. However, a lot of things are happening in Zambia, and the law does not take its course on some individuals.


Sir, social equality is one thing that we talk about, especially regarding developed and undeveloped areas. We hear some people say help that one because mwina Chinsali ...


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Mr Jere: ... meaning help that one because he is from Chinsali, yet we are talking about one Zambia one Nation. The Government must respond to disasters in the same way, regardless of the area because all the people out there are affected. The same way the people in Chinsali and in the Eastern Province are affected by difficulties is the same way that those in other regions are also affected. Hon. Members of Parliament ask questions as to when the Government will come up with solutions to certain problems, but they are always told that ‘as and when money will be made available’. That has been the song, but in other areas, the Government moves in swiftly and handles any such problems.


Sir, indeed, we should have respect for one other, embrace other tribes, and encourage intertribal co-operation. The only way that the problem of tribal will end is if we embrace one another. There are intermarriages and the mover mentioned some names, and that is the way to go. However, at the grassroot level, people do not have a problem, but when it comes to politics, we always have issues of tribalism and hate speech, which is not helping us. We are doing a disservice to our people.


Mr Speaker, with those few words, I urge our colleagues to support this non-contentious Motion. We are one Zambia, and Zambia is for all Zambians.


I thank you, Sir.


Prof. Luo: Insoni ebuntu! Ubebaule.


Dr Chanda (Bwana Mkubwa) Mr Speaker, I thank the mover and seconder of this very important Motion. This Motion deserves the seriousness it has to be debated with because it determines whether Zambia has to be a weak or strong nation or whether it has to be united or divided. It is, therefore, a very important Motion.


Sir, I will be very candid because when you are facing a very serious issue, you do not massage it. I am a medical doctor and if someone has a boil or icipute and applies vaseline or toothpaste on it or takes panadol, he will not solve the problem. The only solution would be to cut the boil through surgical means called incision and drainage or I and D. That is why when there is pus anywhere in the body, whether in the brain, heart or leg, the only way is to open that part and remove the pus because it is bad. So, tribal hatred is all pus. It is dead tissue and it has to be removed. It does not belong to our nation.


Mr Speaker, the Constitution of Zambia is very clear about these issues and what Zambia is supposed to be. The preamble of the Constitution of Zambia recognises Zambia as being multi-ethnic. So, there is no exclusion of any ethnic group because the country is already multi-ethnic. Article 4 Section (3) of the Constitution of Zambia Act No. 2 of 2016 says that:


“The Republic is a unitary, indivisible, multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-party democratic State”.


So, Zambia is a multi-ethnic country. Article 60 (3) (a) of the Republican Constitution, actually outlaws political mobilisation based on ethnicity, tribe, regionalism and provincialism. Of course, there is also the Penal Code, Cap 87 and Cap 88 of the Laws of Zambia that address these issues. So, there are adequate laws both in the Constitution of Zambia and other subsidiary legislation which prevent all these issues.


Mr Speaker, allow me to quote the Hansard, which has a record of the Vice-President’s Question Time for 26th October, 2018. When Honour the Vice-President was responding to a question from the hon. Member for Kabwe Central concerning the subject that we are talking about today, which is tribal hatred and hate speech, she said that:


“Mr Speaker, I think it is high time this Parliament considered enacting a law to criminalise hate speech because, currently, the law is very weak on addressing issues of hate speech and certain types of utterances that leaders make, especially political leaders. In some countries, hate speech is a crime. It is also a crime in our country, in the sense that it erodes morals”.


Sir, I support this Motion, but I will be very candid because this hinges on the stability of the nation. Tribalism and hate speech are like a glacier, and all of us know what a glacier is. Hon. Members who have watched the movie called Titanic know that the Titanic ship sunk because it hit a glacier, which is usually 1 per cent visible and the other 99 per cent is under the ocean or invisible. That is how tribalism and hate speech are. So, what the cameras capture is just 1 per cent, but 99 per cent of the problem is not captured by the cameras. The problem is what people are being told in the quietness of their bedrooms, the meetings that they have and the indoctrination being given to the children and our cadres because it is not visible. It is not seen on television because it is done very quietly and deliberately.


Mr Speaker, I have a report dated January 2019 on the commission of inquiry into the voting patterns and electoral violence, and I urge every hon. Member in this House to read it because it touches on the issue of tribal and hate speech, which we are talking about. The executive summary of this commission that was appointed by the President says that on voting patterns, the commission finds that currently, the country has been divided into two regional voting blocks, namely; the north/eastern and south/western. Since this was more pronounced during the 2015 Presidential By-election and the 2016 General Elections, the report goes on to say that this voting pattern is of grave concern because if it is not addressed, it could result in the country being divided into two distinct countries. The executive summary actually highlights the four main issues that are summarised.


Sir, what is at the core of our discussion? Firstly, it is tribal inclination or regionalism, where voters would somehow be programmed through what I was talking about; not on camera, but in hidden places. They have been programmed such that the first thing that matters when they are voting is tribal inclination.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chanda: So, this is all there in the report. Secondly, in the report, there is the issue of the growing desire of the people in the south/west part of the country to have someone from that region to also lead the country as President. That is what is contained in the report and those are not my words. I am surprised that this report says that since independence, Presidents have been from Muchinga Province, Luapula Province, the Northern Province and the Eastern Province, and it actually forgets to mention that the late President Mwanawasa was from the Central Province and Copperbelt Province. Anyway, I will handle why this issue has to be tackled.


Sir, the third issue that has been identified in this report is the growing discontentment among the people from the south/west part of the country that the sharing of the national cake, which is resources and development, favours people from the north/east part of the country, and that is what the report says. The fourth issue that has been highlighted in the report is that people in the south/western part of the country say that successive Governments have over the years made promises to them on important developmental programmes for the region, which were never fulfilled, like the construction of a university and stadium, the restoration of the Barotseland Agreement and other things. So, those are the four key issues that this report talks about.


Mr Speaker, these issues that have been highlighted are serious, and I would like to give a short historical background of where this country and many African countries are coming from. Before 1884, no African country was independent. All the countries were into chiefdoms and tribal societies, and some people ran away from Shaka Zulu and others came from the Luba/Lunda Empire. That is the way it was. So, when the Europeans came, during the scramble for Africa, they did what we call ‘divide and rule politics’. This is when someone comes to a society, counts how many chiefdoms there are, which ones are bigger and smaller and, then, goes to some chiefs and gives them some sweets and even blocks other chiefs and that is how Africa was colonised.


Sir, I am very happy and I have a lot of respect for our founding fathers and mothers. By the 1920s and 1930s, Africans in Northern Rhodesia realised that the white man, the colonialist, was playing a divide and rule game, and that is how they came together. All of us are acquainted with what happened at Chilenje hall in 1948, where the Northern Rhodesia Congress (NRC) was founded and it was comprised of every member of the country. In Northern Rhodesia then, we had people from the Northern Province, Luapula Province, the Western Province and the Southern Province of the country, and Godwin Mbikusita Lewanika was elected the first president of the NRC. The issue of tribe did not arise because people wanted independence from colonialism. Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula later took over and there was no issue of tribalism. The Zambian African National Congress (ZANC) and the United National Independence Party (UNIP) were formed and issues of tribalism never arose. Our founding fathers came up with the important motto of one Zambia one Nation, which the mover referred to, because that is what they designed the country to be. They did not divide it the way the colonialist did, but they wanted us to be more united.


Mr Speaker, when a country gets independent and has many chiefdoms and tribal kingdoms, loyalty to the nation comes first and loyalty to tribe comes second. Otherwise, if it is done the other way round, there will be a lot of problems because a country will be intoxicated with tribe instead of nation. It will be intoxicated with region instead of patriotism. So, loyalty to Zambia is very important. When the country got independence on 24th October, 1964, it did not become a chiefdom or kingdom. It is a republic and the leader of a republic is called a president. That is why when we are electing the President, we do not look at chiefdoms, regions or which President comes from which region. We look for a Zambian President to govern a republic called Zambia.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chanda: Otherwise, if Zambia was a chiefdom, we would look at which Bemba, Ngoni, Tonga, Lozi or Luvale we would want to be president. A nation cannot be run like that because it is very clear that it would be split. The United States of America (USA) went through that situation during the civil war. The southern part of the USA wanted its own thing and the northern part wanted its own thing, but to their credit, they had a great leader called Abraham Lincoln. When the civil war started, the USA lost more people during the civil war than during the World War I or World War II, and that is how bloody the American civil war was. However, the country had to be united.


Sir, I want to mention that Zambia as it stands after independence does not need a Bemba, Tonga or Lozi President. We just need a Zambian President …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chanda: … because once we introduce that toxicity called tribalism, then, we poison the same people whom we are trying to lead.


Mr Speaker, I also want to say that much as we can talk about Zambia, I have had the privilege to go and work in different African countries. While we can have tribal talk here and there, we must thank God for our founding fathers and the grace of God because we have never had ethnic conflicts in Zambia. There has never been one tribe fighting another tribe with spears in our independent Zambia. We may have isolated incidents, but at national level, that is not an issue. In other countries such as South Sudan, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Somalia, there are serious tribal wars, which are actually viewed as civil wars. That is what has happened in those countries, but we have never reached that extent in Zambia. So, Zambia will always remain a one Zambia one nation State.


Mr Speaker, I want to talk about an issue that has become very fashionable called weaponisation of tribalism. When you weaponise tribalism, it changes its meaning. People by their nature will always have their prejudices. If I am black, you may not like me because I am black. If I am Chanda, you may not like me because I am Chanda. Those are human prejudices, but it is a degree of those prejudices that matters. However, once politicians take this so-called tribalism and weaponise it, it changes the whole meaning because the objective changes to political mileage and convincing or mobilising people. This is contrary to what the Constitution says that we shall not mobilise our parties based on ethnicity, region and tribe, but that is what politicians are doing when they appeal to tribe.


Sir, let me give a typical example. I may be called Jonas Chanda, Member of Parliament for Bwana Mkubwa. If I fail to perform in Bwana Mkubwa and the people in Bwana Mkubwa say, “We do not want that Jonas Chanda”, I should not start saying, in Bwana Mkubwa, they do not want Bembas. It has nothing to do with Bembas, but has everything to do with performance. So, in Zambia, when you are a politician and we criticise you, you should not have a reflex action to tribe. If you are Bemba and we do not agree with you, you should not say that the Bembas are not wanted in the country, and I have heard such sentiments even on the Floor of the House.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chanda: Mr Speaker, we are national leaders and people are watching us. However, some people directly say that they are not wanted. So, politicians should stop having a reflex action towards tribe. I agree with some of the sentiments that we should have politics of ideology and not identity, where we want to know who we are, which village we come from, which tribe we are and which chief we belong to. Let us meet in the market place of ideas. Let the best idea win. Our place is to convince Zambians that we have the best ideas that will move them forward minus tribe. The mover of the Motion rightly said that we are too mixed-up. While you are preaching tribalism, just should look in your own family because the same people you are preaching against might be your nephews, nieces and grandfathers. Therefore, it is an exercise in futility. So, let us exercise our faculties which are our brains.


Mr Speaker, as I conclude, I just want to say that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has done something, and those who watch the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) can attest to this. Since the PF Government came into power, the ZNBC news always starts with the one Zambia one Nation motto. I know some people will say that that is just a statement, but it has to start from the motto and then you actualise it. I heard the mover of the Motion say that the song tiyende pamodzi is no longer being sung. We are ready to sing it even now because it is a very nice song. However, I am happy that the ZNBC news starts with the motto of one Zambia one Nation to remind the young and the aged, including our ancestors, that we shall always remain one Zambia one Nation.


Mr Speaker, I have also heard sentiments that certain regions are not represented in Cabinet. Our Cabinet comes from Parliament, and the President also nominates people. In 2015, when His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, came to power, he appointed a number of Opposition hon. Members as Ministers. I was not in Parliament then, but I was an active follower of national affairs. What happened to those people who were appointed? All of them are not here because they could not be adopted by their party, and it was a capital offence to accept an appointment in the PF Government.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Chanda: So, while we talk about inclusivity in Cabinet, let us all not use partisan politics to defeat the very purpose that we are trying to achieve.


Mr Speaker, we have talked about electoral violence in our society. Personally, I grew up in urban areas and our neighbours were from every part of Zambia. It was not logical to ask a friend what tribe he was or the region he came from, and we never did that. I was a very good footballer, and as children, we just met on a common objective. We played together and went to other people’s homes, but tribe never featured. We started hearing about tribalism when it came to politics. Zambians are way beyond tribe. I do not remember the last time I heard tribalism in church, where church members rose up in a certain church to say they are segregated. There is no tribalism in other institutions in society, but when it comes to politics, that is the weapon we use to whip either our followers or opponents. As politicians, let us stop that because we are not synonymous with our tribes. As a politician or leader, if your political party is synonymous with your tribe, then you should cease to exist, according to the Constitution. We do not want to mobilise based on region, tribe or ethnicity. Let us mobilise as Zambians. Let our parties reflect the full spectrum; the rainbow nation that we have.


Mr Speaker, I know we have talked about by-elections and general elections. It is our responsibility not only to wine and braai about electoral violence, but to tell our people that it does not pay. I have said it several times and I will say it again, there is no politician worth dying for or killing for because Jesus already shed his blood on the cross. So you do not need to shed any more blood. As I support this Motion, going forward, I expect leaders to serve as examples to the people of Zambia because we are beyond tribal talk. As leaders, we shall support this Motion, and in 2018, Her Honour the Vice-President said that we need stiff laws to criminalise that kind of behaviour.


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


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, let me just indicate that at the beginning of this Motion, I received lists of names of persons to debate. Obviously, those lists were not formulated by me. I received them from the whips. So, when I ignore what has been indicated here, I am doing so from that premise. Furthermore, those lists are quite long, and it cannot be possible for everyone to debate, more so that today is Wednesday. However, let us see how far we can go.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to debate the Motion ably moved by Hon. Nkombo, and ably seconded by Hon. Jere. My appeal to my colleagues in this House is that as we debate this Motion, let us be collected and not be emotive, although it is an emotional issue.


Mr Speaker, I would like to state, in no uncertain terms, that tribalism in this country is eroding the confidence that members of the public have in the leadership of the country, both in the ruling party and the Opposition. As leaders of this country, it is our responsibility to ensure that tribalism does not escalate. As I debate this Motion, I want to state without any fear of contradiction that the seeds we are now sowing will be very difficult to reap in future. The recent happenings in the country are very un-Zambian, and some of them also have a tribal connotation. It is, therefore, our responsibility as leaders to ensure that we address these issues seriously.


Mr Speaker, as I address tribalism, let me tag on an issue that is dogging the nation. Hon. Members might recall that when the xenophobic violence was occurring in South Africa, all of us as Zambians rose and condemned what was happening in South Africa. We said that what was happening in South Africa at the time was inhuman and should not be allowed to continue, but alas, what happened in South Africa was child’s play compared to what is now happening in Zambia.


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: I am aware that somebody is saying “question”.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Leader of the Opposition, not long ago, you said that let us be collected, and I was very pleased when I heard you say so. Being collected means or requires that you ignore such comments. In fact, those issues are my challenge.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, thank you –


Mr Speaker: I am hearing, and I can identify those who are making such comments. Just give me a moment, hon. Member. I want us to be as dignified as possible. In fact, the mover has set a very admirable standard. He was truly collected and impersonal. He did not point a finger at anybody, and he spoke for a long time, because of the rules of the House. He was not timed. I want us to approach this in that spirit.


You may continue.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, thank you for the guidance. I was saying that what is currently happening in Zambia is worse than what happened in South Africa. All of us have been watching on television and various fora what is currently obtaining. Members of the public are being stoned to death and burnt alive just because people suspect the activities of those individuals. That is highly unfortunate. That should not be allowed to continue, and we should all condemn the happenings in the country.


Sir, tagging on to what I said on the current happenings, tribal issues have the potential to escalate to the level of the violence we are witnessing. Evidence of such vices abound in Africa. It is our collective responsibility as leaders in this House and outside to ensure that these happenings are not allowed in this country. The mover and the seconder of this Motion, and even Hon. Chanda, mentioned that our founding fathers were united in uniting the country, and that is what we should all aspire to achieve as Zambians. At the time our founding fathers founded this nation, issues of tribalism were not there, and we were known as Zambians. Unfortunately, as we progressed, the issue of tribalism started showing its ugly head, and this ugly head must be cut off by us leaders.


Mr Speaker, I heard my colleague, Hon. Chanda, talk about leaders in political parties propagating tribalism, and I agree that this vice is being perpetrated by leaders. I witnessed –


Mr Sichone: Like which one?


Mr Mwiimbu: There is evidence out there. What happened in Chilubi should not be allowed.


Hon. Government Members: Question!




Mr Mwiimbu: Those leaders who were perpetrating tribalism in Chilubi should be condemned by hon. Members on both sides of the House.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: That is how leadership should be. Those leaders who were perpetrating tribalism when there were by-elections in the Eastern Province should be condemned. If anybody made any tribal remarks in the Southern Province, that should be condemned. That is leadership, and that is what we want to happen. I recall Her Honour the Vice-President talking about criminalising tribalism and hate speech. The law is already there, and we are just failing to implement it. It is the responsibility of those in the Government to ensure that laws passed in this House are implemented without any biasness. That is what we are looking forward to.


Mr Speaker, we do not want tribes in this country to rise against each other. My colleague, Hon. Nkombo, gave evidence of intermarriages in this country. How do we now start separating tribes based on people’s political affiliation? It is not correct. I heard my colleague mention that at one time, hon. Members from the Opposition were appointed to serve in the Government. That was not a tribal issue; it was a political issue. That is an issue of political allegiance and it has nothing to do with tribe. I am aware that when my colleagues on the right were on the left, more than twenty-two hon. Members of Parliament were expelled from the PF because they were accused of being loyal to the Government of Mr Rupiah Banda at the time.


Ms Kapata: They were twenty-seven.


Mr Mwiimbu: She has increased the number to twenty-seven. That happened, and it has nothing to do with tribe. It is the responsibility of any political party to ensure there is loyalty and discipline in the party.


Mr Speaker, assuming that as we go towards the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 deliberations –


Ms Kapata: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mwiimbu: If some hon. Members of the PF vote with us, …


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Mwiimbu: … do you think they will survive?




Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, just give me a minute.


Hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, you can raise your point of order.


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to rise on a serious point of order. The hon. Member on the Floor is not stating the facts. The twenty-seven hon. Members of Parliament who were rebels in the PF were expelled from the party not because they sided with the Government but they went against the ideals of the party.




Ms Kapata: Yes!


Mr Speaker: What is your point of order, hon. Minister?


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member in order to mislead this House that they were expelled because they were working with the Government? That is not the situation.


I need your serious ruling, Mr Speaker.




Mr Speaker: Order!


I should have done this from the outset. Firstly, I will not make any ruling on the factual difference that has emerged here because I have no competence to make a ruling. I do not know why they were expelled, and that is why I am not going to make a ruling, and that is the first part of my ruling. The second part of the ruling is that this is the last point of order I am allowing until tomorrow, if there will be any points of order.




Mr Speaker: By the way, if you want to contest anything in form of debate, if at all you will be given an opportunity, you will correct the record through your debate or contribution.


Hon. Leader of the Opposition, you may continue.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, thank you for that guidance.


Mr Speaker, I was saying that we should distinguish political considerations from tribal ones, and that is the point I was making. The Constitution of Zambia, under the Bill of Rights, is very clear and it provides guidance that no one should be discriminated based on tribal or racial grounds. As hon. Members of Parliament, we have the responsibility to adhere to the provisions of the Constitution and to protect it, that which we swore to uphold on the Floor of this House.


Mr Speaker, my colleague, Hon. Chanda, raised the issue of voting patterns. I want to state that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. I know my colleague was quoting from the report of the commission of inquiry that was constituted to investigate the pattern of voting and violence. The reason was given, but the truth of the matter is that the voting pattern in the north-east half of the country is similar to what obtains in the south-west. Yes! You will find that the UPND will get one vote in a certain constituency in Luapula Province or the Northern Province, and the same will obtain for the PF in the Southern Province or the Western Province. It is, therefore, our responsibility to unite the country. However, there are reasons such issues have been obtaining. The report states that there has not been much development in the other half of the country, and that is why there has been that voting pattern. That is the reason that was given.


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: If our colleagues want to cure that problem, they just have to provide the requisite development in those areas. That is how life is.


Mr Speaker, if you find that you have not won in a particular region and you want to unite the country, the best is to ensure that when you are making nominations, you nominate people from other areas, so that you cure the deficit in those areas. That is why that clause mandates His Excellency the President to nominate people so that there is unity in the country.


Mr Speaker, if other members of the public feel they are not part of the Government, they will not support you. That is how life is. It is the responsibility of those in the Government to give an opportunity to those who are not given the opportunity. If it does that, it will unite the country. That is why there is also a clause in the Constitution which states that when somebody is given the responsibility to make appointments, he must ensure that the face of Zambia is represented by taking into account regional and ethnic representation. That is the intention. The initiators of the Constitution had it in mind that the country had to be united. Every Zambian has the right to participate in the governance of the country and the people who have the responsibility to ensure that that is done as of now are my hon. Colleagues on the right. If they do the right thing, we will support them. We will not object. So, we earnestly ask them to do the correct thing for the people of this country.


Mr Speaker, there is nothing that hurts like being discriminated against. If my colleagues on your right feel discriminated, they will be angered and will feel they are not part of the country. If you feel neglected, you will not align yourself to those torturing and abusing you. As I said, the seed we are sowing will be difficult to reap. So, it is our responsibility to unite the nation collectively as leaders. What we are saying today is so important to the people or followers out there.


Mr Speaker, some of the violence during by-elections has tribal connotations, and we should not allow that as citizens and leaders in this country. That is why we should all support this noble Motion ably moved by Hon. Nkombo. As Hon. Chanda stated, this Motion should give us an opportunity to heal the nation and to unite us. Let us not pretend that all is well in this country. The nation is not okay. In the United States of America (USA), when there is the State of the Union Address, Americans always talk about the unity of the nation. For us, the unity of the nation is not good. So, it is our responsibility to unite the nation. There are no other people to unite the nation other than ourselves. On behalf of the people of Zambia, my appeal is that we heal the nation. Let us not be seen to be making highly inflammatory statements in the public media.


Mr Speaker, as we discuss this issue, I appeal to Her Honour the Vice-President to take note that there is one newspaper in this nation that propagates yellow journalism. Every time you read that newspaper, it propagates division, hate speech and promotes tribalism. It is the responsibility of those in the Government to advise the owners of that newspaper to tone down. They must have an editorial policy of uniting the nation. They should not be publishing inflammatory statements intended to ignite hate speech and tribalism in this country.


Prof. Luo: It is The Mast newspaper.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I have not mentioned any newspaper, and I am just stating that the owners of that newspaper should be advised. We may recall what happened in Rwanda, where tribalism and genocide emanated from the media, and we should not allow that to happen in this country. It is a call to all of us and to duty, so that all of us stand firm and say no to tribalism and hate speech. We should also ensure that those in the forefront of promoting hate speech and tribalism are caged. They should not be allowed to walk in the streets of Zambia and to continue causing anarchy in the country.


Sir, with those few words, I support the Motion and I thank you.


Dr Kopulande (Chembe): Mr Speaker, I thank you for this rare opportunity to contribute to this very important Motion. I stand here believing in the principle that he who comes to ask for equity should come with clean hands.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Kopulande: Mr Speaker, I stand here believing that the issue that we are currently debating concerns each one of us for the protection of our society today, and for the protection and sustenance of our posterity.


Mr Speaker, our nation is facing a challenge, and the challenge we face is real. This is not a challenge that should be used for the enhancement of the political ascendance or opportunity of specific individuals. This is an issue that should be dealt with knowing that this is what guarantees the unity, cohesion and sustainability of our nationhood. The Motion we are currently debating falls at the core of our nationhood as a people.


Mr Speaker, ethnicity is a reality and it can never be wished away, unless we want to bury our heads in the sand. It is such a wonderful experience to watch the Lozi people do their thing every year at the Kuomboka Ceremony. That is a cultural identity of that part of the country and tribe, and we should embrace that beauty. It is a wonder to watch the Umutomboko Ceremony and the Mwata demonstrate his power in the north, east, west and south and this weekend, we shall be watching the Nc’wala Ceremony of the Ngoni people. What a beauty!


Mr Speaker, it is such a beauty to see the agility of the people of the Southern Province when they are performing their tradition ceremonies and it is this diversity that must put us together and unite us, and that is the salt that adds to the beauty of our nation. Simply put, what is bad is when we use ethnicity as a criterion for our association either politically or socially through marriages, and that is when ethnicity becomes bad. Otherwise, ethnicity adds to the beauty of our nation.


Mr Speaker, the report quoted by Dr Jonas Chanda, the hon. Member for Bwana Mkubwa, demonstrated something very clear being that our country is politically polarised north, east, south and west. Therefore, it is like a straight light has been drawn across our country. As a result, all of us in this House are sitting alongside the north-east and south-west divide. Like I said, if indeed the principle is that he who comes to exquisite must come with clean hands, then, it is this House that must start integrating itself and emerge as one. I have debated this matter several times on the Floor of the House, and it is my plea that the first responsibility falls on all of us as leaders of this country. I was pleased to hear the mover of the Motion say that we are all equally responsible for the leadership of this country. We are governing this country together and that is the truth. I, therefore, submit that, we, as leaders, must set an example if we want to unite this nation.


Mr Speaker, I believe that we shall soon debate the Constitution (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 …


Hon. Government Members: Hammer! Tell them!


Hon. UPND Members: Question!


Dr Kopulande: … and we have been all elected in this House to provide leadership to our people through the enactment of laws. I submit that if we are to demonstrate a united leadership of this country, let us all come to this House and debate that Bill, pass it or defeat it, on this Floor of the House.




Hon. UPND Members: No!


Dr Kopulande: Then we shall demonstrate or obliterate –


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Chembe, just give me one minute.


The hon. Member is expressing his views. Whether you like his views or not, is neither here nor there. He is also expressing his desire, aspiration and hope. I do not think you should drown him. This is the result of the very virtues we are talking about; tolerance, different views and values, and so forth.


Hon. Member, you may continue.


Dr Kopulande: Mr Speaker, I will go back to the previous point. If we want to unite this country as requested by this Motion, then, we must be the first ones to demonstrate our commitment of its intention. So, let us be the first ones to take that duster and obliterate the line that has been drawn across our country dividing it north, east, south and west, by sitting together in this House and debating the supreme law of the land as a united group of leaders of our country. That will be historical. Any departure will be read by me and the people of Chembe as a departure from the spirit of this Motion. The spirit of this Motion is to unite. Let us, therefore, unite and conduct the business for which we are elected by debating the Constitution (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 as a united House. Whether we agree or do not agree, let us say it here on the Floor of the House for that is what we are elected to do.


Mr Speaker, experiences have been drawn and shown of countries that have destroyed themselves on the basis of ethnicity, yet when it is time to marry, the issue of ethnicity does not arise. At the risk of debating myself, my youngest granddaughter is a Chilala. My first born son is married to a Haakasenke, and my late cousin’s nephew, who is getting married, just asked me to prepare to go to Zimba to meet the parents to his bride to be. This is the connectivity that has been established by ourselves as a society, and that holds us together as a people. Therefore, we should not at any one point, especially for political reasons, try and break the fabric that has held our society together since independence.


Mr Speaker, the motto of one Zambia one Nation adopted by the first post independence Government led by Dr Kenneth Kaunda is as relevant to today’s Zambia as it was relevant to the post 1964 Zambia. That motto should be upheld not only in word, but in deed because it is by what you do that you shall be known. You shall know people by their fruits and not by their words. If, indeed, we are committed to the values of peace and unity that our country has sustained ever since its independence, through our actions, we should not risk –


Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1810 hours until 1830 hours.


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


Dr Kopulande: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was saying that it is, indeed, the responsibility of all of us as leaders of this country, to show leadership and commitment to unite our country, and we must show this commitment through our actions. It is not what we say that matters most or what we do behind closed doors, but the values that we instil in our children. It is also the way we relate with each other that demonstrates our commitment or non-commitment to the value of unity and peaceful co-existence of our country with the ethnic diversity which adds to the beauty of our nation.


Mr Speaker, we are seated here divided as north-east, north-east and south-west. If we have all come here with clean hands, let us demonstrate our commitment to national unity by coming here without the north-west, north-east and south-west divide, and doing the job that we were elected to do.


Mr Speaker, with those few words, I support this Motion.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, those I will be requesting to debate at this moment should note that we are slowly running out of time. If you use your entire entitlement, so to speak in terms of time, we will have challenges winding down this Motion.


Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this chance to debate this Motion. I will try to be brief because I know that many people want to say a lot of things about this Motion.


Mr Speaker, the other day when I rose on a point of order, you advised me well, and this is the way to go as the Motion that has been presented to this House is in relation to the point of order. If this issue of tribalism in this country is not regarded as a crime in our laws, we will continue talking about it and it is not going to go anywhere. We need to criminalise it so that if someone stands in public and says that a person from a certain tribe will never be president, such a person should be caged. This House, working together with the Government, can introduce such a law in Zambia. I declare interest because, as you can see, I am Tonga.


Mr Speaker, I felt very bad –


Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member, resume your seat.


Prof. Luo: Ema tribalist yena. Elo baleisa kuno mukubepa.


Mr Speaker: Order! Let us have some order!


Hon. Member, everybody seated here is an hon. Member of Parliament. There is no contest here about tribal groupings. So, even your declaration of interest is misplaced. Can you withdraw the declaration of interest. As a presiding officer, I do not require it.


Mr Jamba: Mr Speaker, I withdraw it.


Mr Speaker, in a country where unity is supposed to be a paramount issue, we do not need people who say that others are less Zambian or do not qualify to be president. If I do not qualify to be a president, I must be quoted by name. People must say that Jamba does not qualify to be a president. Immediately someone mentions my name and tribe, it becomes an issue and that is the reason I am saying that we need to put our heads together and criminalise any tribal sentiments that are brought forth before the public in Zambia.


Mr Speaker, we need to show national character, and I urge the people in the Government to lead by example. He who does a good thing should not tire to do a good thing. If they are saying that they can appoint many people from other regions, it is important, for example, for them to have balance in the Cabinet by appointing two people from Luapula Province, the Eastern Province, the Western Province and the North-Western Province to show that we are a united front. However, if you appoint four people from the same region in Cabinet and appoint only one person from a certain region, even if it is the grand norm of the country, it does not balance. The perception of some people will be that even if you are preaching that you are not being tribal, you are not practicing what you are saying. So, it is important to not only say things but walk the talk. When we were growing up, we did not know who was Lozi, Bemba or Nyanja, but now, some people want to use language or tribe to access power.


Mr Speaker, let us take a leaf from happened in 1991. When late President Chiluba was standing in 1991, I went to vote. He received 100 per cent votes from across the country and no one was concerned that he came from Luapula. If we had the attitude that we had in 1991 where we did not look at the region where someone comes from, that would benefit our children. Alas, what is currently happening is a recipe for anarchy.


Mr Speaker, if, for example, my child insults an elderly man, like this one seated here (pointing at Hon. Mbangweta), and I do not rebuke him –


Ms Katuta: Which one?


Mr Jamba: The hon. Member for Nkeyema.




Mr Jamba: This one (pointing at Hon. Mbangweta).


Mr Speaker, if my child insults an elderly man like the hon. Member for Nkeyema and I just look at him, the neighbours will think I am also in support of what he has done. So, if someone stands in public and says that people from a certain region are not good, all leaders in this country, whether from the ruling party or Opposition, must stand to show that they do not support him and that he is on his own. That way, the people of Zambia will say that they are not tribal.


Mr Speaker, let me give an example of what actually happened. One Zambian stood and said some people kill others. He was supposed to be condemned by all peace-loving Zambians and leaders were supposed to say that they were not a part of what that person said. If they do not say that, some of us will think that what that person said is the truth. The hon. Member for Bwana Mkubwa said that there are teachings behind closed doors. For fear of debating ourselves, him saying what he said means that he knows that this happens in the United Party for National Development (UPND) and the Patriotic Front (PF). Some people talk behind closed doors and say that they do not want people from certain places, and this is not good for our nation. What the hon. Member said is the truth. There are people who are inculcating this idea that some tribes are not tribes behind closed doors.


Mr Speaker, what are the consequences of tribalism? Tribalism will bring nepotism in this country, and if we are not careful, some tribes are going to be victimised. People may ask you how to pronounce certain words and if your name is Bwalya and you mispronounce it, they will say you are from a certain tribe. So, we do not need tribalism because it will bring nepotism, and there will be no cohesion in this country, which means that there will be disunity.


Mr Speaker, I plead with the Executive to show leadership. If they are not going to show leadership, people will blame them and not the Opposition. They are in the driving seat and they have the instrument of power. Therefore, they must show that they are in leadership. They cannot succumb to what certain groupings are saying. They are in the driving seat and they should show us that tribalism does not exist in the PF and that they are above board. That is the only way the country is going to be united. If they do not adhere to this, I will beg the Backbenchers from the PF and the UPND to move a – what do you call that? It is not a Motion –


Mr Chabi: A what?


Mr Jamba: Wait.




Mr Jamba: Mr Speaker, we shall change the Constitution.


Hon. Government Members: How?


Mr Jamba: As hon. Members, we are allowed to bring – what do you call that thing?




Hon. Government Members: A what?


Mr Jamba: Mr Speaker, we shall be forced to bring a Private Member’s Bill if the Government is reluctant to criminalise this issue. Tribalism should be criminalised, and whoever utters hate speech and tribal talk should be prosecuted. We must introduce a law, but if my colleagues are reluctant, I am going to bring that Bill.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: I will give Hon. Raphael Nakacinda five minutes to debate.


Mr Nakacinda (Nominated): Mr Speaker, I will try my best to condense my thoughts within five minutes.


Mr Speaker, let me begin by clearly stating that I support this Motion. I was extremely impressed by the mover of the Motion and the manner in which he articulated himself on the subject. I am also very impressed by the debates that have so far preceded mine, and I adopt Hon. Dr Chanda’s debate as my own.


Mr Speaker, the mover of the Motion indicated that he would want us to be honest and truthful as we discuss this matter, to make sure that we look into the future knowing that that which was haunting us and had the potential to create chaos in the country has been dealt with. I agree with those who have ably identified that this problem is not for the people of Zambia because, generally, they do not even subscribe to tribalism as already articulated and they have moved on. The motto ‘one Zambia one Nation’ has worked for this country and helped us even in the face of reckless politics. So, it is important for us to take responsibility as politicians. This is a subject of politicians. We are the ones who have been attempting to divide this country because of selfish political interest, and we are the ones who have been preaching tribalism. The only thing is that when we come to this House, we are not willing to face and confront each other and say that certain people have been catalysts of tribalism.


Mr Speaker, as Hon. Dr Chanda indicated, we need to be candid. When I was growing up, critical family issues were discussed around the evening fire, and some people had intimidating faces. You were asked to say what happened, and my grandmother would say “muhwukulu wangu, kwaamba notuyoowa kahiindwa muwo” meaning speak the truth even when there is an intimidating environment so that fresh air can pass. I want to speak about this subject by doing what the mover said, and I appeal to all of us to take a moment of introspection.


Mr Speaker, I have a few newspapers, which I believe are a catalyst to what we are faced with today. The mover of the Motion said that what we do today will bite us in future as posterity will judge us harshly. However, we must also remind ourselves that whilst there is posterity ahead, today as we stand, we are a sum total of posterity as a result of things that were done in past times. History, especially recent history, has a way of informing your present and if you interrogate it properly, it will help you project how the future should be.


Mr Speaker, –


Mr Speaker: You are now going into a catalogue of newspapers. We had agreed on five minutes, so, be brief.


Mr Nakacinda: Mr Speaker, it is important that we take responsibility. If this issue is about political players, then, it means that each political party must examine itself. Somebody said he who comes to equity must come with clean hands, speaking on the principle of moral authority.


Mr Speaker, I know that you had given me five minutes, but with your indulgence, give me an extra two minutes. In South Africa, there was a situation in 1992, where people were killing each other at the tail end of the apartheid regime. The President of South Africa at the time, Mr Frederik de Klerk, addressed the nation, tried to call for calm and urged people to stop killing each other, but nobody responded to that call. However, a former prisoner, by the name of Nelson Mandela, faced the cameras, addressed the nation and there was calm in the nation. What was the difference? One had political power and the other had moral authority, and the one who had moral authority was able to unite the nation.


Mr Speaker, we are talking about tribalism. In 2006, a political leader came on the political scene and he was introduced on the basis that he belonged to a particular tribe or ethnic grouping. It was proposed that he should take over a particular political party’s leadership because he belonged to a particular tribe.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Livune: On a point of order, Sir.




Mr Nakacinda: This is according to the newspaper of Wednesday, June –


Mr Nakacinda waved photocopies of The Post newspaper.


Mr Speaker: Order!


I was gracious – Hon. Livune, resume your seat. I was trying to balance by ensuring that even a nominated hon. Member speaks, and many people wanted to speak. The hon. Minister of Home Affairs has to respond to the concerns raised, and the mover of the Motion has to wind up the debate.


Mr Nakacinda: Mr Speaker, I will just read one headline although they are many, and I will lay them on the Table of the House for people to read. I heard people debate that we are sowing a seed, but before we even talk about that seed, there were some seeds that were previously sown ...


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nakacinda: … which are creating a situation today, and one of them is this very inimical seed that:


“A Tonga must replace Mazoka – Rex Natala” The Post, Wednesday, June 7, 2006.


 “A Tonga must replace Mazoka – Mandyenkuku” The Post, Friday, June 2, 2006.


Hon. Government Members: Another one!


Mr Nakacinda: Another one reads that:


“Tongas pick Hichilema as Mazoka’s successor” The Post, Monday, June 12, 2006.


Mr Speaker, the mover of the Motion said that we should not underrate the power of the tongue, and it is these reckless statements that were made some time back that are beginning to haunt us today.




Mr Nakacinda: Mr Speaker, I believe this Motion is an attempt for self cleansing, but before we take that route, all of us in our respective political parties, must own up. I hope that there could be motions in our national executive committees so we can discuss this issue and look at our history as respective political parties and own up where we may have erred. I thought this Motion would have been one of atonement and repentance even from the debates, so that we can say that we made a mistake and sowed some wrong seeds at a particular time.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Nakacinda laid the papers on the Table.


The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, I wish to sincerely thank you for according me an opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the Floor ...




Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Kampyongo: … on behalf of the Government and from the law enforcement perspective. The Motion urges the Government to enforce the law on persons issuing divisive, tribal, hate and discriminatory statements.




Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the Government condemns tribal and hate speech in every respect, regardless of whether the perpetrators are from the ruling party or opposition political parties. This House will recall, and like someone mentioned earlier, that Her Honour the Vice-President ably articulated this matter in this august House in October 2018.


Mr Speaker, on our part as the Government, we feel this Motion is non-controversial, and this issue is adequately provided for under the Constitution of Zambia. Part III of the Constitution of Zambia guarantees respect for fundamental rights or freedoms of conscience and association. Further, there are various pieces of legislation that provide for the enforcement of laws against tribal and hate speech. Some of the laws which provide for the criminalisation of these vices include, among others, the Bill of Rights and Article 27 provides for the protection against discrimination and states that:


“A person shall not be discriminated against except under a law that provides for affirmative action”.


Mr Speaker, the Penal Code has already been cited. Further, Section 13 (1) of the Public Order Act provides that:


“Any person who utters any words or does any act or thing whatever with intent to excite enmity between tribe and tribe or between one or more sections of the community on the one hand, and any other section or sections of the community on the other hand, or with intent to encourage any person or persons to do any act or acts or to omit to do any act or acts so as to defeat the purpose or intention of any law in force in Zambia or in any part thereof, shall be guilty of an offence”.


Mr Speaker, on behalf of the Government, I support this Motion, but like it has been said, it is very important for all of us to reflect that when we are calling others to equity, we must always come with clean hands. Hon. Nakacinda and Hon. Chanda’s debates were very elaborate but I want to show how the Government has been magnanimous in dealing with the ugly head of tribalism. Those who were not here might not know. However, those who were here when we lost our then Republican President, the late President Michael Sata, may his soul rest in peace, know that we also had a challenge amongst ourselves and this tribal issue popped up its head. The late President Sata came from the province where some of us come from, and our own brothers wanted to champion that tribal course as a way of succeeding President Sata. Her Honour the Vice-President who was our chairperson then is here. We stood firm and we said that we were not going to tolerate that. However, President Edgar Lungu who succeeded the late President, Mr Sata, was supported across the board by everyone. We are proud, and we shall leave that legacy for our future generation.


Mr Speaker, last week when you permitted me to issue a ministerial statement, I gave examples, just as the mover of the Motion did. Tribalism in this generation is irrelevant, and I gave examples. I cited one official photo of the President with a young lad who we refer to as Zambia, whose name is Lishomwa, and that shows us that many tribes are represented in the first family. When I visit Her Honour the Vice-President who is seated next to me, I find Mulengas at her home. Most of my colleagues here, like Hon. Dr Chilufya, the Second Deputy Speaker and many others are not married to people from their tribes and our children are as such. So, those who want to champion tribalism and gain political mileage are wasting their time. I agree with the mover of the Motion that let us be sincere and engage in honest discourse, so that we can deal with this matter without being segregative.


Mr Speaker, it was shocking to see a leader on television talking about Kampyongo and Hon. Prof. Luo. Why should that happen in this country? That should not be tolerated. Those of us who are here must challenge those talking about tribal issues regardless of whether they are our leaders or not, and that is the only way we shall deal with this matter. I do not want to belabour the point that we on the right side of the House are very happy with the way we are inclusive, and that is how it should be. We did not have to force people on the other side to ensure that there was balance for the two official positions. We did not have to go to that extent. It should have appealed to their morals that the hon. Leader of the Opposition and the Chief Whip should represent two regions. That is how it should be, and we are happy that they listened to our concerns.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, with those few remarks, I want to say that, as the Government, we have taken note of this Motion. We support it and will ensure that we end this vice.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Mazabuka Central, finish your business.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, thank you for your time. I also thank the hon. Members who debated on the Floor and those who debated in silence. I would like to end by saying that it is gratifying that everyone has accepted the Motion, and I hope that this acceptance is going to transform into action.


Mr Speaker, I already gave a blanket thanks to everyone, but allow me to insist that when I was delivering my speech, I started from where I stand. I did not talk about yesterday because I want yesterday to be buried so we can soldier on in front. However, today, I have seen that there are people who mourn more than the bereaved. When you go to a funeral and you see someone mourning more than the widow, then, you should know that there is a problem.




Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, with those few words, I thank you most sincerely for allowing this Motion.


I thank you, Sir.


Question put and agreed to.


Mr Speaker: Order!




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


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1905 hours until Thursday, 27th February, 2020.