Friday, 28th February, 2020

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Friday, 28th February, 2020


The House met at 0900 hours


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]












Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, in accordance with Standing Order No. 11(1) of the National Assembly of Zambia Standing Orders, 2016, I wish to inform the House that His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, will address the House on Friday, 6th March, 2020, starting at 0900 hours. I, therefore, urge all hon. Members to attend this important national event, and to be seated by 0830 hours for the usual Business of the House.


Thank you.






The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, I rise to give the House some idea of the business it will consider next week.

Sir, on Tuesday, 3rd March, 2020, the Business of the House will begin with Questions for Oral Answer. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Then, the House will debate the Motion to adopt the Report of the Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services on the Report of the Auditor-General on the Social Cash Transfer in Zambia for the period 2014 to 2017.


Sir, on Wednesday, 4th March, 2020, the Business of House will start with Questions for Oral Answer. This will be followed by consideration of a Private Member’s Motion entitled: “Strengthen Measures to Minimise Charcoal Burning” to be moved by the hon. Member for Nakonde Parliamentary Constituency. Thereafter, the House will deal with presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any.


Sir, on Thursday, 5th March, 2020, the Business of the House will commence with the Motion to suspend relevant Standing Orders to enable His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zambia, address the House on Application of the National Values and Principles on Friday, 6th March, 2020. This will be followed by Questions for Oral Answer. Thereafter, the House will consider the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, the House will consider the Committee Stage of the National Planning and Budgeting Bill No. 22 of 2019.


Mr Speaker, as already stated, on Friday, 6th March, 2020, His Excellency, the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, will address the House in accordance with Articles 9 and 86 of the Constitution of Zambia.


I thank you, Sir.






Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Mr Speaker, following recent gassing incidents, people in villages have stopped spending nights in their homes. They are, instead, spending nights in classrooms and churches. I am aware that in towns, police officers are patrolling to safeguard lives of people. What is the Government doing to safeguard the lives of people in rural areas who are spending nights in the cold?


The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, the police throughout the country have been put on alert. Villages may not be patrolled, but there are police posts are all over the country and they have been detailed to ensure that they are on time whenever they hear about gassing incidents.


Mr Speaker, unfortunately, the police have been a target of the gassers. Throughout the country, the first target has been to immobilise the police so that they cannot undertake their work effectively. We are wondering why the police, as well as public infrastructure, should be targeted. The police are there to protect communities. If communities are the ones attacking the police, how can the police be effective in protecting human rights of people in the villages? The police have been alerted to patrol areas where they are even before the gassing takes place. What we are doing is to empower the police to carry out their work more effectively.


 I thank you, Sir.  


Mr Kintu (Solwezi East) Mr Speaker, it appears that these so-called gassers are far ahead of our security forces and intelligence agencies because they even operate within their vicinity. Could it be that they are getting intelligence information from the police or they have military training?




The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the police are ahead of the gassers –




Mr Speaker: Order!


 Her Honour the Vice-President, just give me a moment. Hon. Members, we are dealing with a very serious issue. When a question is put to Her Honour the Vice-President, give her chance to respond in silence. I am urging both the left and the right to remain silent as she speaks. She does not require the support of anybody to respond. That is why she is the Vice-President. She does not need cheers.


Her Honour the Vice-President, continue.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the police service is doing its work in the country. That is why it has been able to arrest many culprits. The situation, particularly in urban areas, is relatively quiet.


Mr Speaker, it has been pointed out that this gassing is not an isolated case, but a well-planned operation aimed at ensuring that all citizens of this country are disturbed. Perhaps, the person behind this must have had some military training of some sort. Nevertheless, we know very well that so far, the police have done remarkably well in arresting some very serious suspects in this gassing business.


Mr Speaker, what we have to establish is why the master minders embarked on this type of work to destabilise the country, bring confusion and make people uncomfortable and fearful. This is what is being investigated at this time. If the hon. Member of Parliament has any evidence about what is going on, we want to know. We want to know why ordinary people of Zambia are being affected by this scourge that has emerged in our country.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Mr Speaker, Zambians are living in fear for sure. I am worried because Chitambo and Shang’ombo are affected.


Mr Mubika Laughed


Mr Mutale: Many statements have been issued by certain political leaders from the Opposition that they shall call for early elections ...




Mr Mutale: ... and that there shall be Armageddon in Zambia. Other statements that have been issued include the ones we are issuing now that Zambians are living in fear. I have come to realise that the issue of gassing is meant to induce fear in the lives of Zambians. Why is the Government, through the Zambia Police Service, letting such statements pass without being interrogated? Why are political party leaders from the Opposition left scot-free without being summoned by the police to explain the context of their statements?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the police are not investigating a political matter. They are investigating a criminal matter that all of us should be concerned about. Therefore, all of us should give evidence when we know or have some information pertaining to the gassing that is going on in our communities. This is a criminal issue that has criminal minds behind it. If those criminals are politicians, they will be apprehended. If they are mere co-criminals, again, they will be apprehended. We cannot allow the police to investigate on political lines. They have to look at the criminality of this situation and see how they can end it.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to raise a very important issue that affects the lives of many Zambians.

Mr Speaker, you may recall that last year, the Government of the Republic of Zambia decided to issue an instruction to the United States of America (USA) ambassador to Zambia to leave the country. It also declared him a persona non grata. You have to note that the USA is a major funder of the health sector in this country and has also been funding the construction of the drainage system in Lusaka. I have heard that as a result of the declaration of the USA ambassador as persona non grata in this country, the American Government has responded by not allowing our appointed ambassador to the USA to take up his position. Members of the public have been expectant. Can Her Honour the Vice-President tell us in very categorical terms whether our ambassador to the USA has been accepted and will serve? Is it true that he is in Zambia and is not going back to the USA?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Ambassador of the United States of America (USA) to Zambia, Mr Foote, was not declared a persona non grata.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Social media!


The Vice-President: The Government of Zambia only expressed to the American Government its dissatisfaction or displeasure on the conduct of Mr Foote. That is why the American Government recalled its ambassador. It was not that the Zambian Government chased him out of Zambia. That is not the fact.


Sir, regarding our ambassador designate to the USA, he came back to Zambia because there is a procedure. The Government of Zambia transferred the ambassador to the United Nations (UN) to Washington DC. He had to come back home because the agreement or – what do you call it in diplomatic terms?


Mr Malanji: Aide-memoire.


The Vice-President: The aide-memoire between the USA and the Republic of Zambia had to be obtained. This is done by every country in the world. You need to have an agreement on bilateral lines between two countries.


Sir, the former Ambassador to the UN is the one who has been transferred to Washington DC. When he was serving as Zambia’s representative to the UN, he was holding a different diplomatic status permit which is called A1. It is different from what Washington DC gives to its ambassadors. Therefore, the gentleman had to come home to await the appropriate accreditation certificate to allow him to serve in Washington DC from New York where he was as Zambia’s ambassador to the UN.


Mr Speaker, the one in Washington DC came to the UN and vice-versa. He also had to obtain accreditation for the UN. I believe the hon. Member and Leader of the Opposition, being a very seasoned politician who has been in this House for a long time, should understand these diplomatic agreements between countries.


 I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Speaker: Order!


Dr Chanda (Bwana Mkubwa): Mr Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has done very well in terms of road infrastructure in Lusaka, Chingola, Kitwe and many other places. However, we know that Ndola and some other towns on the Copperbelt are in lot two of the Copperbelt 400 Km Roads Project (C400). When can the people of Ndola expect the C400 to be implemented so that it also looks like Lusaka, Kitwe and Chingola?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Copperbelt 400 Km Roads Project (C400) will continue as the Government has not cancelled it. The Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development as well as the hon. Minister of Finance are in discussions as to whether there will be enough funding for that project. However, for now, the project has not been cancelled. The Government is still looking into modalities of how to raise resources to address the issue of township roads, particularly on the Copperbelt, because it was an earlier programme that it pronounced.


I thank you, Sir.


Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, when missionaries came into Zambia to preach the gospel, they also built schools, universities and hospitals such as the St. Pauls Mission Hospital in Nchelenge. What is the Government doing about churches which have come from outside and brought in their own pastors and are externalising profits in the name of tithe and offering? What is the Government doing about taxing these churches because they do not pay taxes and do not undertake corporate social responsibility activities like the missionaries, the Catholics and the United Church of Zambia (UCZ) do?


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, since Zambia was declared a Christian Nation, a lot of interest has been generated around the world regarding the participation of Christians in the lives of the people of Zambia. This has attracted a lot of people calling themselves pastors. The Government takes note of these activities to see how they are impacting the Zambian people. Currently, the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Finance are looking into this matter to see how they can address issues of money laundering emanating from the activities of some churches in the country. The matter is under active scrutiny by the Government.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, there are reports and concerns that military personnel deployed jointly with the police to quail the malicious administration of chemicals, which some people are calling gassing, are disturbing citizens in their houses as well as outside, especially those who work in the night. If they are, why are they harassing some members of the public and what measures is the Government taking to ensure that this concern is addressed?




Mr Speaker: Order on the left!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, allow me to state that the military on the streets are not harassing any members of the public. There may be some isolated cases here and there, but all we know is that the military is there to protect infrastructure of the country and Zambian citizens.


Sir, soldiers are regularly briefed about people’s human rights as they move around the streets at night. They are reminded about the people who work on night duty and have upheld respect for the movements of those people when informed. However, to stop the gassing, soldiers have also interrogated people who move at night without any valid reason.


Mr Speaker, the Zambian public should welcome the military on the streets and accord them the respect and the support that they deserve because they are there to protect their lives as citizens. Soldiers are on the streets to ensure that the lives of many Zambians that have suffered from chemical attacks are protected.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mandumbwa (Mulobezi): Mr Speaker, I thank you and would like to say good morning to Vice-President. The hunger situation in the nation has not been segregative in the affected areas. Is Her Honour the Vice-President aware that the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) District Committee in Mulobezi has instructed its satellite committees not to issue relief food to members of the Opposition?




Mr Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member for Mulobezi, just give me a moment. Let us have some silence.


Continue, hon. Member.


Mr Mandumbwa: I say so because officials of the DMMU District Committee went around the district to dissolve democratically elected satellite committees and put in place handpicked committees comprising ruling party members.



Mr Mandumbwa: Did this instruction come from the Office of the Vice-President?


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member started his statement by saying hunger does not discriminate. Indeed, hunger affects everyone in a given community and the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) is addressing this issue in that manner so that no one is left behind in the issuance of relief food.


Sir, the DMMU Satellite Committees in districts are composed of many stakeholders. I think I have explained this before in this House. Stakeholders include members of Opposition political parties, churches, community leaders and health committees. In some cases, I understand and have been told that even hon. Members of Parliament are members of these committees.


Mr Lusambo: Yes, yes!


The Vice-President: This is to ensure that there is no discrimination in the allocation of relief food. This is what is happening in the districts. If at all there is an element of discrimination, it should be reported to higher authorities such as the Provincial Permanent Secretary’s (PPS’s) office. However, all we know, as the Government, is that the distribution of relief food is done according to the assessed areas and according to the people that have been classified as hunger stricken in those areas.


I thank you, Sir.


Mrs Chinyama (Kafue): Mr Speaker, council workers in Kafue, lecturers at the University of Zambia (UNZA), diplomats abroad and officers in parliamentary constituency offices, among several other public service workers are all owed salary arrears. In explaining the UNZA situation last week, the hon. Minister of Higher Education said lecturers cannot be paid because part of the money that is supposed to go to them has been diverted to respond to the issue of gassing. I would like to find out if this is the same reason all these departments are not yet paid. If that is so, is the Government saying it has already exhausted the money which was allocated to public order and to the defence forces? As I recall, that Budget was far much higher than what was allocated to all social sectors.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, hon. Members of Parliament are part of the Government and are supposed to understand how it operates. They should understand issues of disaster in the country and how the Government is applying resources to relieve people from suffering.


Sir, the gassing issue is a new phenomenon that came on board to add onto the floods and drought disasters. So, definitely, a lot of resources had to be diverted to these activities to ensure that our people are protected.


Mr Speaker, as regards the issue of salaries for civil servants, the hon. Minister of Finance is mobilising resources to meet this requirement. It is the Government’s obligation to ensure that civil servants are paid. Sometimes, there may be a delay, but the fundamental factor is that civil servants will be paid whether they serve Zambia abroad, in universities, as teachers or in hospitals. They, definitely, will be given their dues and the hon. Minister of Finance is working on that issue.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mubika (Shang’ombo): Mr Speaker, Shang’ombo has not spared from the gassing incidences that have been taking place in the country. Now, we have projects under the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) such as construction of police posts and police staff houses which are at 70 or 80 per cent completion point. When will the 2019 CDF be released so that such projects are completed and we can ask for more police officers from the Ministry of Home Affairs to protect our people in rural areas?


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Local Government will inform the House as to when the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) will be released to constituencies.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Fungulwe (Lufwanyama): Mr Speaker, the people of Zambia need clarity on the issue of the funders of the gassing project.


Mr Lusambo: Aah! Nabakweba question iyo.




Mr Fungulwe: There are conflicting statements regarding the arrest of the funders of the gas attacks. One day you hear they have been arrested and the next that they have not been arrested.  I would like to find out the position regarding the arrest of the gassing master minders. Have they been arrested or not? 


Mr Speaker: Maybe we should be buying newspapers for Parliamentarians.




The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, this gassing of people in homes, schools and everywhere has generated a lot of interest in some quarters. There seems to be jittery feelings among some sectors of our society.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, those who seem to be so keen on revealing some information regarding this gassing, I think, should wait for the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to give a detailed report to the House and to give regular updates on what is happening. The Government wants to get to the bottom of this matter. It wants to know who is behind all this and for what reason. We want to know so that the people of Zambia can know who cares for them and who does not. They should also know who wants to kill them and who wants to protect them.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chishala (Roan): Mr Speaker, the people of Roan would like to find out how ready the Government is to conduct a census this year with the austerity measures that are in place.




The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the 2020 Census Mapping Exercise is going on in selected provinces. This work will continue for as long as the officers are not interrupted. I say so because in some areas, they were considered to be gassers and the work had to stop for a little while. We believe that …



Mr Speaker: Order on the left!


The Vice-President: … the Government is undertaking very important work. This exercise only happens after a period of ten years. It is an opportunity for the country to take a census of its population and many other aspects of life. If some people are disrupting this work, it means that they have reasons for doing so. However, they will not be allowed because the officers are protected.


Mr Speaker, there is prior sensitisation of the communities where the mapping exercise is taking place.  Leadership in chiefdoms is also sensitised so that it becomes part and parcel of making people understand why the census exercise is taking place in their communities. This will continue and, we hope that hon. Members of Parliament will help the Government to explain to people the importance of this exercise so that officers can continue with their work without interruption.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, the coronavirus is threatening to be a global pandemic. How prepared is Zambia?




Mr Speaker: Order on the left!


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I want to reaffirm the Government’s commitment to maintaining the health of its nation. The Government is strengthening capacities to fight the virus and other transmissible diseases. We call upon hon. Members of Parliament, again, to sensitise their constituencies and communities to observe health issues such as good hygiene and cleanliness. This does not cost much. As we go around constituencies, these are some of the messages that we should take to people.


Mr Speaker, the Government has continued to take measures to address the issue of the coronavirus and other viruses that have affected the whole world. It has taken very strong measures to ensure that there is surveillance, particularly at entry points such as airports and other areas in the country. People from all over the world come to airports and are scanned to ascertain the presence of the disease in them. The Government has taken many other measures.


Sir, I can assure the House that the coronavirus has not been detected in the country and no Zambian abroad has been affected. To this end, the 200 students who are in China and at the epicenter of this virus have been quarantined there. We are in touch with the Chinese Embassy here in Zambia to ensure that our students or nationals in China are not affected. The Government has taken measures to send parcels of masks to help the students. It has also sent financial support to students for incidentals. The Government is taking every measure to ensure that our people are protected, especially students who are at the epicenter of the coronavirus.


I thank you, Sir.




Mr Speaker: There are far too many conversations going on. Those of you who have disengaged from this session, the doors are open. You can go and conduct your conversations outside.


Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, more than twenty homes have been gassed in Dundumwezi since Monday this week. People are asking whether the Government has taken note of any person who has died not from physical attacks, but as a result of the gassing itself.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, we do not have statistics yet of people who have died from the gassing itself, but those who have died from mob justice. Communities are taking the law into their hands and killing other Zambians. This is why we have said that let us educate our people not to take the law into their hands because law enforcement agencies are there to ensure that justice is done to those who have been wronged and culprits taken to court.


Sir, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs will again come to the House to inform the nation about the effects of this gassing and whether the long-term effects on Zambians is to the extent of them dying.


Sir, just this morning, I received a report that gassing has taken place in far off areas like Kalabo. Dundumwezi is now also affected. The whole country has been affected. This is a national matter. It is a criminal matter that should be investigated thoroughly by the police and other investigative wings. The work will continue until the real culprits are caught and the ones funding them are found. 


Mr Mwiinga: It is Patriotic Front (PF).




The Vice-President: I am very sorry to hear that remark and regret that it is made by one of us here in the House. He thinks that the Patriotic Front (PF) can be behind all this. The PF is the Government and is safeguarding not only the lives of Zambians, but also the infrastructure of this country. I cannot see how the same Government can destroy the entire infrastructure in the country. This is why the debate on stopping inflammatory statements was had in the House yesterday. I believe that hon. Members of Parliament have taken note of the very important Motion that was moved in the House yesterday to ensure that our people are not incited to engage in criminal activities.


I thank you, Sir.








208. Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:


  1. whether the Government is aware that on Friday, 21st February, 2020, Richard Bulongo was shot dead by police in Kalomo District;
  2. what the circumstances leading to the shooting and loss of life are;
  3. what urgent measures the Government is taking to diffuse the tension in the district following the shooting incident; and
  4. why the police have continued using live ammunition to control crowds.


The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, the Government is aware of the unfortunate incident which led to the death of Mr Richard Bulongo.


As regards the circumstances, on this particular date, a mob armed with sticks and stones gathered at Kalomo Police Station demanding that police release unto them a suspect allegedly involved in gassing. The mob believed that the alleged suspect was in police custody. When the police told the mob that they were not holding any suspect involved in gassing, the mob became unruly and begun throwing stones at the officers and the police station. In the process, the mob injured the Criminal Investigations Officer and damaged part of the police station.


Mr Speaker, to safeguard the lives of officers, the people in custody at that time and property, the police officers used minimum force to disperse the unruly crowd. However, the mob continued with riotous behaviour leaving the officers with no option but to use live ammunition. It was during this altercation that Mr Richard Bulongo was injured by a stray bullet. Unfortunately, he died at the hospital the same day. 


Sir, the Government has taken the following measures to diffuse the tension in the district:


  1. sensitisation of members of the public on the need for them not to take the law into their hands;
  2. intensified foot and motorised patrols;
  3. increased collaboration with the Community Crime Prevention Units (CCPU) and neighbourhood watch groups; and 
  4. increased collaboration with the local authorities to ensure enforcement of by-laws such as closure of bars by 2200 hours.


Mr Speaker, ordinarily, the police use several crowd control methods and equipment. The methods and equipment range from persuasion to minimum force in which long and short batons, teargas smoke and water cannons might be used. However, where lives of officers and those of persons in custody, as the case was, are threatened, it is possible to use maximum force, including live ammunition.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, it is regrettable that the number of people dying at the hands of the police in this issue of gassing seems to be on the rise. Would the hon. Minister not agree with me that members of the public have, unfortunately, decided to take the law into their own hands as a show of their lack of confidence in the police, especially with regard to the few suspects that they have arrested on allegations of gassing not being taken before the courts of law? The people, therefore, feel vulnerable and hence have decided to be their own guards and ravaged the police stations each time they hear that a suspect has been caught. Could the reason this behaviour is manifesting be that the police are not taking the suspects in the gassing incidents before courts of competent jurisdiction?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, to the contrary, we have lost more lives at the hands of people through mob justice. As I speak to you, we have lost about forty-six innocent lives of citizens. As we know, everybody is presumed innocent until proven guilty.


Sir, I can count the few incidences where few lives have been lost as a result of police using maximum force. They are less than three. Now, that shows you the difference contrary to the assertions by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central.


Mr Speaker, I am surprised because the hon. Member is here and, right in Mazabuka a few days ago, members of the public went to the hospital and dragged a suspect from the hospital and killed him. They burnt him alive.


Hon. Government Members: Shame!


Mr Kampyongo: How would you describe that kind of behaviour from our citizens? This is why we are saying we need concerted efforts dear hon. Colleagues. Everybody is affected in a way. The hon. Member of Parliament who has posed this question is a victim to some extent.


Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: I do not know what he would have said if our dear niece, his daughter, who was attacked and her vehicle damaged a few days ago by people who suspected her of being a gasser had something done to her. It had to take his intervention using a fire arm to try and tell those people that they were targeting a wrong person. So, these are serious matters that require consented efforts, dear hon. Colleagues. To assume that the police are the ones who should be blamed for what is going on is certainly misplaced. We all need to sensitise our people to appreciate the sanctity of life.


Mr Sampa: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: It is not Zambian for people to take other peoples’ lives in the manner that they have been doing.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: There is no justification whatsoever because police have protected Zambian citizens all this time, including in those in Kalomo. Police have been in that area for so many years. So, it cannot be justified at all that people think that the police are not protecting them. All of us have got a responsibility to ensure that we sensitise our people to respect life.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, perhaps the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central was not very direct. He seems to be seeking your comment on the measures or steps to take suspects to court.


Mr Nkombo: Simple!


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, what I was explaining is that it is well known that even the police are not an end unto themselves. So, when they arrest suspects, they have to keep them and ensure that they investigate the suspicions before a docket can be put together and passed on to the National Prosecutions Authority (NPA). Now, it is at this point where citizens want to take it upon themselves to deal with the suspects. How do citizens go to the police and demand that they should be given the suspect for them deal with? That is barbaric.




Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kampyongo: This behaviour cannot be justified by saying that people have lost confidence in the police. This is the way police have always dealt with matters. We have the correctional facilities full of convicted people. This means that all State institutions are functional, including the police, the NPA, the courts of law and, indeed, the correctional facilities where we keep people who are convicted. So, it has never been the responsibility of citizens to try suspects in any fashion.


Mr Speaker, my comment is that the police are still doing their duties as assigned to them. There is no need for people to justify this barbaric behaviour by saying they have lost confidence in the police because the police are still there to protect them.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, from the outset –


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


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to raise a point of order on Her Honour the Vice-President. I should have raised this point of order contemporaneously, but because of your previous guidance on when we have the Vice-President’s Question Time, I could not do it.


Sir, you are aware that good government projects have failed in this country, and in particular, during this time when we have a serious security problem. In responding to one of the questions, Her Honour the Vice-President confirmed that the national census exercise has commenced in Zambia. I and other hon. Members of Parliament are not aware that the census has commenced in this country. Members of the public have no idea pertaining to this very important project.


Mr Ngulube: In selected areas!


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, taking into account the problems we are having now in the country, I would have thought our hon. Colleagues would have carried out a very serious sensitisation programme to ensure that members of the public understand the census that has been commenced. Are they in order, through the Vice-President, –


Mr Ngulube: She said mapping.


Mr Mwiimbu: Whether it is just mapping or not, are they in order not to sensitise the public so that members of the public are aware of what is happening? If they do not do the sensitisation, no member of the public currently can allow a stranger to enter their household.


Hon. Government Members: Question!


Mr Mwiimbu: Otherwise, people will be injured or maimed as a result of this particular project.


Hon. Opposition Members: Correct!


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, are our hon. Colleagues in order to fail to sensitise members of the public through this House so that we can go back and tell our people that there is a good project that is for their benefit being undertaken? Are they in order to remain silent on this matter?


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Speaker: Order!


This is the usual challenge we have about points of order. Unfortunately, we continue misapplying this facility of points of order. Her Honour the Vice-President was not out of order in any way.


Mr Sampa: Waona manje!

Mr Speaker: A question or issue arose and, in the process, a response was made. Now, if you would like to build on that response or gather more information on that subject or if you would like to engage Her Honour the Vice-President on that subject including addressing the concerns which are contained in your point of order, there are other arrangements under the House rules to do that. For instance, you can ask a question and we will take it to Her Honour the Vice-President and she will come and explain what the Government’s position is on this project vis-à-vis the security situation and you will engage her as long as you wish.


Ms Kapata: Yes!


Mr Syakalima: Do not say yes, iwe!


Mr Speaker: Even if there were no restrictions on points of order during the Vice-President’s Question Time, I still would have responded the same way.




Mr Speaker: So, if you would like to pursue this matter further, file a question.


Hon. Member for Choma Central, continue with your question.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving the people of Choma Central Constituency an opportunity to ask the hon. Minister a follow up question. Allow me to start by saying that we as the United Party for National Development (UPND) do not support mob justice because this kind of retribution is illegal.


Mr Ngulube: Question!


Mr Mweetwa: We are law abiding citizens and we should only support that which is within the law.




Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, I would like to tag on the question that Hon. Nkombo asked. It is a view held by many citizens in this country that the Government has mishandled the issue of gas attacks vis-à-vis the updating of the nation on a regular basis for citizens to know exactly what is going on in the country. For instance, on simple issues as the number of gassing incidents that has taken place on a particular day, the number of arrests of alleged gassers, the number of people killed out of mob justice and the number of people killed by the police, the Government has lamentably failed to update the nation on time. This has left a veil of secrecy hanging between citizens and the Government.


Mr Speaker, Zambia is not under a state of emergency which would warrant the suspension of the operations of the laws that subsist in this country. The law requires that when a suspect has been arrested by police, he or she should be taken to court within forty-eight hours. This has not been happening as regards the gassers. Examples abound, Mr Speaker –


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, just put your question. I have followed your line of thought.


Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, yesterday in Choma, six suspected criminals were apprehended by members of the community on suspicion of carrying out gas attacks. I commend the members of the community for not meting out mob justice because I have been on radio constantly warning them of the danger of mob justice. Those people –


Hon. PF Members: Question!


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, just wait –


Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, why are hon. Members on your right apprehensive? They should know that these are serious matters.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Choma Central, resume your seat.


Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, these people should be responsible. We are not here for games.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Choma Central, resume your seat.


Hon. Members, let us be honourable. There is really no need for this. It is just a manifestation of impertinence.


Mr Mweetwa left the Assembly Chamber.


Mr Speaker: The Hon. Member for Chikankata may ask his question.

Mr Mwiinga (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, I thank you –


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


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Siwanzi: Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to raise this point of order.


Sir, when the hon. Member for Choma Central was on the Floor of the House, you ordered him to resume his seat so that you could guide the hon. Members of the House. However, when normal business resumed, the hon. Member could not finish asking his question because he had decided to walk out of the Assembly Chamber. Is he in order to have walked out before he finished asking a very important question affecting the country and which citizens of this country were listening to and wanted to hear the conclusion? I seek your ruling.




Mr Speaker: Order!


I reserve my ruling.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiinga: Mr Speaker, of late, we have seen the Zambia Police Service killing citizens such as our pupil, Frank Mugala. We have now heard of the recent killing of Richard Bulongo. Why are the police who kill citizens not arrested?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the follow up question from the hon. Member of Parliament. However, I would like to make it clear that as hon. Members of Parliament, we have got a responsibility to sensitise our people appropriately. Her Honour the Vice-President did indicate that we are a very special arm of the Government.

Sir, as I was responding to the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central, I indicated the statistics of innocent citizens who have lost their lives at the hands of their fellow citizens. I also gave a scenario of the circumstances which led to the loss of life in Kaoma. If the hon. Member paid particular attention to the circumstances I explained, he will remember that I said Kaoma Police Station on that particular day had different suspects in their custody for various cases. However, there was no suspect linked to the gassing activities as the mob alleged. Imagine that the police were overrun and those suspects for various offences got killed by people who were wielding different sorts of gadgets, what would we have said? As earlier indicated, the police react to situations as they unfold.


Mr Speaker, yesterday, I gave an update on the forty-six innocent citizens that were killed at the hands of fellow citizens, not with guns, but assorted items. Police are trained and authorised to use different equipment, including guns. Moreover, those are not toy guns. They are gazetted equipment for police to use as and when need arises. Therefore, in all the circumstances, except for a few where people have been caught up, police have acted professional.


Mr Speaker, nonetheless, I do share my sympathies with the family of Chazanga area where a young lad was shot. Those are regrettable circumstances. Ordinarily, when the police are dealing with an extremely volatile situation, they use certain equipment as in the case of Kalomo where the lives of the police were under threat including the property and lives of suspects who were waiting for the due process of justice.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that Mr Richard Bulongo was killed by a stray bullet. What assistance does the Government give to families of victims of stray bullets? Is the Government in position to compensate such families?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the follow up question. However, I wish that the hon. Member could have also asked what happens to families whose relatives die at the hands people who perpetrate mob justice. Recently, we had one prominent citizen who was killed in the Southern Province and I am sure you heard the lamentations of the family. In operations such as what we had, we have what we call “collateral damage” and that is where some victims fall.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, the question is that when you have a tragic situation as outlined, is there any compensation?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, like I said earlier, it depends on the circumstances. When something is classified as collateral damage, it is not compensated. However, when circumstances are a result of reckless or unprofessional use of firearms, appropriate action is taken against erring officers and compensation is considered.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, a day before the demise of Richard Bulongo, there was a meeting in Kalomo where all stakeholders were invited. Headmen and their people were advised to take anyone they caught on suspicion of gassing to the police.


Mr Speaker, when the incident in question happened, people at the market were taking a person they suspected to be a gasser to the police. The policeman who fired the shot never gave any warning and shot at somebody who was about 400m away from the police station. No damage was caused to the police station.


Mr Speaker, the police from Choma reprimanded the police at Kalomo and accused them of overreacting. They were of the view that the police at Kalomo should not have fired the shot. If anyone talked to the police officers from Choma, they could attest to that.


Sir, the body of the deceased was at the scene from 1630 hours until it was collected at 2100 hours and only to be dumped by the door of the mortuary and left like that.


Sir, the policeman who shot the deceased did not follow procedure. There is laid down procedure that allows a police officer to shoot when necessary. However, this particular officer did not follow laid down procedure and we have a line of witnesses.


Mr Speaker: What is your question?


Mr Kamboni: Mr Speaker, why have the police not investigated this incidence? Why have they not taken this police man and interrogated him? In fact, they should have even arrested him. They arrested people who were just loitering very quickly, but did not do the same with this policeman who actually breached the rules of procedure that allow shooting only where necessary. 


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the truth regarding the genesis of what transpired in Kalomo is that a civic leader made a phone call to the Zambia Police Service and spoke to a criminal investigations officer. The civic leader informed the police that there was an alleged suspect of gassing at a market called Tandabale. The officer who received the call informed the station officer who dispatched two officers to Tandabale Market. Upon arrival at Tandabale Market, the officers checked and established that there was just a scuffle which had since been settled. So, they returned to the police station.


Mr Speaker, based on the call which was earlier made to the police about a gassing suspect, word went round that police had picked him up. So, people started mobilising themselves around 1500 hours and went to the police station to demand for the release of the suspect whom they thought had been taken into police custody. That is how the altercation started.


Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Member of Parliament to take keen interest in this matter because the civic leader who made the call is a very well-known person in the area. I would like the hon. Member to go and get proper facts and be helpful because this time around, his leadership is required in Kalomo. As he goes to Kalomo, I would like him to be very open-minded and discuss the matter with stakeholders who include the police, the community and the civic leader who made the first call to the police.


Sir, it is not correct to say that the situation was normal, as my dear colleague put it. The riotous behaviour started from 1500 hours and went on up to 2100 hours. The police officers in Kalomo had to call for reinforcement from Choma to quell the situation and restore order.


Mr Speaker, we have said that we should not politicise times such as these or point fingers. I have asked the hon. Member to go to Kalomo and verify what happened. I will be the first one to engage him if he finds out something that is contrary to what I have said. I will also be ready to go with him to Kalomo. What is important is that we should support the police because they have been in Kalomo for so many years. Kalomo is one of the districts where police established themselves prior to independence. They have looked after people and their properties and I do not think that they would turn against the same citizens they have protected over the years this time around.


Mr Speaker, for instance, police in Kalomo have been struggling with the issue of cattle rustling. Knowing how challenged they are in terms of logistics, the Government is doing everything possible to capacitate them and make them mobile so that they can reach out to all areas.


Mr Speaker, this is how the circumstances unfolded in Kalomo. I reiterate that I will be willing to engage the hon. Member for Kalomo if the circumstances are different from what the Zambia Police have explained.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Dr Chanda (Bwana Mkubwa): Mr Speaker, –


Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I would like to apologise to the hon. Member for Bwana Mkubwa for interrupting him.


Sir, the question the hon. Member for Kalomo raised was extremely specific. It was based on the sequence of events before someone pulled the trigger that unfortunately took someone’s life. In his response, the hon. Minister went on to give us information that was excess to our requirement which even included cattle rustling.

Sir, is he in order not to answer the question about the procedure that must be followed for a finger to pull the trigger to aim to maim or kill someone via a stray bullet? He has not answered that question from the hon. Member for Kalomo.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, let us avoid using points of order when we want to ask follow up questions. If, for any reason, you have already asked a question, you can co-ordinate as a party and ensure that somebody follows up the matter and seeks more clarification. I am very alive to the fact that we are dealing with a very difficult security problem and, as leaders, we all have to be level-headed about it. People out there who are sleeping in churches and schools are looking for solutions. They expect this august House, with the colleagues who are in the driving seat, the Executive, to find solutions to this problem. So, here where we are seated, we must be level-headed, calm and very collected.


For avoidance of doubt, I direct the Hon. Minister of Home Affairs to outline or reiterate the steps that lead to the kind of situation we are discussing, namely, resort to use of live ammunition, as it is called, in order to manage a particular situation. This is the gist of the matter. I also note that the hon. Minister of Home Affairs has also indicated to the hon. Member for Kalomo Central that he is ready to engage him. He is ready to establish the events as he knows them. That is a separate issue. I think that offer, as it were, should be well-taken.


The hon. Minister of Home Affairs has also indicated that other than those who have suffered death in the circumstances we are considering now, there is even a larger number of people who have suffered death through instant mob justice. So, we have a complex situation here which we need to interrogate and, hopefully, find solutions to. We can only do so if we approach it with measured temperaments. That is what leadership requires.


 For avoidance of doubt, hon. Minister of Home Affairs, please, just outline those steps as you respond to the hon. Member of Bwana Mkubwa so that hon. Members are clear about the circumstances that lead to resort of use of ammunition in the management of these situations.


Dr Chanda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister explained in his statement what happened in Kalomo. He said that a mob went to the police station and threatened the lives of the police officers and the police station structure itself. We have seen this systematic pattern in the country not only in Kalomo, but also in many places. Mobs of citizens have torched many police posts and police stations. This is a phenomenon that has never been seen in Zambia. Even in the colonial era, police posts or police stations were regarded as sacred. We are now seeing a very strange phenomenon of people attacking and torching police stations. Has the Ministry of Home Affairs launched investigations to know where this phenomenon has come from? If so, what are the findings?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the Government is concerned about the manner in which citizens have been reacting. I indicated that we have a number of suspects who were allegedly involved in riotous activities that led to the damaging of property belonging to the Zambia Police Service in Kalomo and other places in the country and they will be taken to the courts of law.

Mr Speaker, during these riotous activities, our officers suffered injuries in the course of their duty. If the officers did not act in the manner they did in certain circumstances, the number of people who have died at the hands of fellow citizens would have surpassed forty-six. This is against four people who have died from being shot by the police or got caught up in circumstances that led to the loss of life.


Mr Speaker, I indicated in my response that when the mob went to the Kalomo Police Station, the police tried to engage it and explain that there was no suspect who was involved in gassing, wrong as it was for the citizens to demand for the surrendering of the suspect to them. It was wrong for citizens to go and demand for a suspect to be surrendered to them.


Mr Speaker, against the advice of the police, the mob started unleashing stones. As I speak, windows at the police station are shattered. I indicated that a criminal investigations officer was injured in the process. In reaction, the police read the proclamation, as required, to get these people to disperse, but it was not heeded. Warning shots were fired to try and scare it into dispersing, but they were equally not heeded. That is how one individual was, unfortunately, shot.


 Mr Speaker, it is not as if the police just resort to shooting without cause. I do not know how many people would have been shot had that been the case. I have always said the police are trained. They shoot only when there is a threat on their lives like it was in this case. In addition, there were other suspects who were in custody who could have lost their lives had the police not acted timely.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the current problem requires concerted leadership as highlighted by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs. In order to deal with issues of the mob justice phenomenon, the mistrust of the police by citizens and the many other social evils, it could be important for chiefs, the police command and political leaders to team up and feature on some joint radio programmes to allow an exchange of information with citizens so that certain things are understood and responded to. Is the police under the charge of the hon. Minister considering such a trajectory to arrest the current problem?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the suggestion from the hon. Member for Katombola. This is what is expected. I indicated that the security of our citizens starts from communities. Even if we had the largest number of police officers, they could not be at every doorstep. Therefore, security starts from our communities.


Mr Speaker, I indicated that there are certain initiatives of community policing that include Community Criminal Prevention Units (CCPUs) that are meant to capacitate members of communities to be part of their own security. The police are receptive and have been engaging members of communities, and will continue to do so.


Mr Speaker, the police are implementing a number of sensitisation programmes, including going to public facilities like schools where our children go to learn so that children learn about safety issues. School managers, village headmen and chiefs play a very critical role.


Mr Speaker, the other day, I mentioned that in the past, when someone visited a village, his first point of call was the village headman. He would tell the headman the purpose of the visit, the activities and how many days he would stay. This was done so that people in the community would know that there was a new person around. That way, it was easy to know when the village was invaded by criminals.


Mr Speaker, it is very easy to police villages because people know each other. Therefore, gassing in villages should not even escalate because, traditionally, people know how to protect themselves within their communities. So, that suggestion is welcome.


Mr Speaker, I ask all hon. Members of Parliament who have community radio stations in their constituencies to send out correct messages to our people. Let us teach our people that the best way to live, as citizens, is like we did in the past.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1030 hours until 1100 hours. 




The Second Deputy Speaker: I will take some more supplementary questions from the hon. Member for Mapatizya, the hon. Member for Bweengwa, the hon. Member for Kabompo, the hon. Member for Liuwa, the hon. Member for Lukashya and the last one will be from the hon. Member for Solwezi Central.


Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, the officer who shot Mr Bulongo in Kalomo is known because the shooting happened before officers from Choma arrived. For the sake of peace, will the police service maintain that police officer in Kalomo considering that it is a small town and he will walk around with the mark of Richard Bulongo?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, as I respond, I would like to start by urging hon. Members to appreciate that police officers are their public servants too and, therefore, should ensure that their rights are also protected. They should not be seen to be inciting members of the public against these officers in any way.


Sir, just to comfort the hon. Member, we probe the circumstances where deaths such as this occurs. The police do not just let such matters go without proper investigations. That is why a post-mortem is done to ascertain the cause of death of an individual even in circumstances such as these.


Further, there could be an inquest which could show what steps were taken and how the police reacted. The inquest would determine whether it is a closed or open-ended case and appropriate action would be determined. To judge this particular officer, as the hon. Member is putting it, might be unfair. As you know, he probably has worked in that area for some time. So, we cannot judge him from one action without critically looking at the circumstances.


Mr Speaker, my comforting message to the hon. Member is that further investigations will be carried out to determine what transpired internally for administrative measures to be undertaken by the Zambia Police Service. However, I wish to ask the hon. Member of Parliament to be part and parcel of sensitising our people. He should tell them to remain calm as these matters are being determined.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, if a police officer kills a citizen of this country while trying to control a mob or a riot, is that police officer not supposed to be considered a criminal and murderer and be tried in the courts of law?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, if the hon. Member listened to my response to the question from the hon. Member for Mapatizya, he would know that I have already responded to that question. I said that where someone is found to have acted outside of professional ethics and norms, there are procedures that are followed, which include an inquest. This is where you investigate to determine the circumstances. Where a police officer is found wanting, appropriate action is taken.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Mr Speaker, in answering one of the questions that were put before him, the hon. Minister said it has never been the duty of the public to enforce law and order and I agree with him.  That it is true. However, until now, members of the public have not acted in the manner they are acting. I am wondering why citizens have stopped to follow the law. Has the Government tried to find out why this is happening? Why has this very peaceful nation of Zambia suddenly gone berserk? Why are citizens not following the rules and regulations that govern the nation?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I do appreciate the concerns raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabompo. His concerns are the same as those of the Government. As hon. Members of Parliament, we collectively have a responsibility to take keen interest in this issue because we are all affected in one way or another. It is every important that we provide leadership for our people.


Sir, we have a society that has become very superstitious and has entrenched itself in trading falsehoods. Social media, which has been invented for people to use and ease their communication, has also become a source of concern. People do not bother anymore to find out what the truth is. For instance, I expect that the people of Kabompo should find their hon. Member of Parliament as a source of credible information. That is why it is important for us, as leaders, to avoid misleading our citizens in anyway because anything we say is treated as the truth. Even when we opt to mislead, people will follow. Therefore, it is very important, dear Colleagues, that we provide leadership for our people as hon. Members.


Mr Speaker, most of these incidences are sparked by falsehoods. This is why I am saying that it is important that we explain to our people that where citizens have genuine cause against other citizens who they feel are doing something wrong in their community, it is just appropriate that they take such suspects to appropriate authorities. Otherwise, we risk living like we are in the jungle where the strongest survive. That is the danger of mob justice. The reason we have institutions of governance is that we ensure every person is given the right to be heard.


Sir, this is why, even when police arrest any suspect, they do not straight away sentence him/her for any wrong doing, but instead ensure that he/ she is taken through the justice system as established. Suspects are subjected to prosecution in the courts of law and, if convicted, are taken to the Zambia Correctional Service where offenders are kept.


Mr Speaker, it is our responsibility, as leaders, to guide citizens. We should not express our concerns in this House only. I am happy that the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabompo mentioned that this is not how people have lived. We should not allow our people to veer off from our normal way of living. We have prided ourselves in being a peaceful nation for a long time, and that does not come by accident. As leaders, we must ensure that we inculcate a sense of responsibility in our citizens so that they appreciate the sanctity of life.


I thank you, Sir.


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, in every country where peace endures, the police see members of the public as their friends. This is because the police cannot be everywhere. Therefore, information can only come from members of the public. Now, in this gassing saga, a member of the public has been killed in Kalomo, and he is not the first one. There are others that have also been killed like the young man who was killed in Lusaka recently. Even before the gassing saga, a number of people were killed by the police.


 Sir, in most of these instances, there has never been a public inquest to establish why police gun down members of the public. Under these circumstances, is the hon. Minister not worried that the conduct of the police and those who lead them, including the political leadership, in having people killed and forgotten about like dogs without any inquest eventually risk making the public into the enemies of the police and not the other way round?


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Hon. Dr Musokotwane, the question is clear.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, whatever the case, members of the public must see the police as their own protectors and friends. Beyond those uniforms are human beings. Police are professionals, but human beings also. For Dr Musokotwane to say that there has never been an inquest is failing to tell the truth. I will give an example of the death that recently occurred at the University of Zambia (UNZA) on which an inquest has just concluded its work. There was also an inquest into the death of a Zambia Air Force (ZAF) officer. So, when Hon. Musokotwane says there has never been an inquest, I wonder which country he is in.



Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, let us be sincere because we are all leaders in this House and what is said here is what goes out to the people. To claim that there has never been any inquest is incorrect and I want to correct that impression.


Sir, we have institutions such the Police Public Complaints Commission (PPCC) which equally attend to complaints about police officers. Moreover, the inquests that have been held before are not going to be the last. To also try and give an impression that more lives have been lost at the hands of the police is equally not correct. I have tried to give comparable statistics on the Floor of the House on this matter. Just recently, we lost forty-six people through mob justice against three who were shot by the police as they tried to restore order. How can you apportion blame on the police like that?


Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Liuwa, in particular, who has been part of Government before knows very well that the police do not exist for the Government alone, but for the public. They are needed everywhere to protect citizens. Like he rightly said, where the police are not available, communities must be helpful through various community policing initiatives that we have put in place such as crime prevention units and neighbourhood watch groups. All those initiatives are meant to cement the relationship between police and members of the public. So, it is a two way thing. Just as police have to work with members of communities, they must equally treat officers as their friends. This is how it has always been.


Mr Speaker, I thought I should make that clear.


 I thank you, Sir.


Mr Munkonge (Lukashya): Mr Speaker, I stand here shocked at how we Zambians can be so violent over an issue which is so vague. What I see now is violence begetting violence. Now, even the police have to match the violence of the people by reacting in a fashion that is very difficult because of the difficult circumstances. My question arises from the information that was given by the police chief in the Northern Province where twenty-five cases of gassing were reported. None of the people who reported that they were gassed were actually gassed and yet there were twenty-five reported cases. All of those reactions came up just because somebody shouted “gas!” One wonders how they escalate to lynching or mob justice in those instances.




Mr Munkonge: Mr Speaker, I have noticed that some hon. Members are in the habit of interrupting their friends when they are speaking and yet no one interrupts them when they are speaking.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Order!


Hon. Member on the Floor, ask your question.


Mr Munkonge: Mr Speaker, I notice that my question is an emotional one because of the deaths.


Mr Mwiinga: What is your question?




Mr Munkonge: Yeah, he is a rude chap.


Mr Munkonge: Mr Speaker, how many people have died from this gassing? I would like to make a distinction between the gassing and the panic caused by the gassing because we are mixing the two. I know some injuries –

Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Your question is clear. The hon. Minister of Home Affairs may respond.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I have updated the nation before as I am doing now. I can confirm that there has been no death as a result of gassing incidents. I want to agree with the hon. Member that there have been so many cases of alleged gassing that have been reported that have turned out to be false. They are so many. Like I said when I was responding to the hon. Member for Kabompo, it appears people are now feasting on falsehoods. It has become trendy for people to run with falsehoods before they understand the truth. It is these falsehoods that have sometimes put our children in schools under threat. Imagine a situation where an alarm is raised that there is gas and forty-five children in a classroom who only use one entrance have to run out through that one little exit. So, whether there is gassing or not, just that situation of children running out all at once would cause a stampede that would result in medical conditions.


Mr Speaker, we all react to circumstances differently. Even here, if we elders had to run out through one exit to go and assemble outside, believe me, there would be a good percentage of people who would be found with certain conditions by the time medical people come to assess all of us. Now, imagine that happening to children.


Mr Speaker, this is why I am saying that there is need to sensitise people that these falsehoods are more harmful than the actual little gassing situations. The truth of the matter is that no one has been recorded to have died out of gassing incidents. If anyone has followed reports, it does not even take more than a day for medical personnel to observe people affected by gas. What has been happening more is the issue of managing the trauma suffered by people who found themselves where these alarming situations occurred.


Mr Speaker, this is why I am insisting that apart from enacting laws, we who are gathered here as people’s leaders should help our people with how to react to some of these circumstances. We have lost more lives through mob justice as a result of these falsehoods. This is what all of us need to fight against because it does not pay.

Mr Speaker, if you have observed the perspective of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Zambia Police Service in particular, they have avoided politicising this matter. We have also avoided finger pointing because we know that our men and women in uniform are doing everything possible to thoroughly probe these matters so that the culprits can be prosecuted in the courts of law.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.




209. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of General Education:


  1. when additional teachers will be deployed to schools in Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency; and
  2. what the cause of the delay in deploying the teachers is.


The Minister of General Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, the Government has plans to deploy teachers to Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency when the net recruitment of teachers begins, hopefully, in 2020. Deployment of teachers is an ongoing exercise and, therefore, the Ministry of General Education has already requested the Ministry of Finance for funding.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mulusa (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, I was supposed to be the last one to ask a follow up question to the Minister of Home Affairs, but you cut me off.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Mr Speaker, the situation in Nangoma is similar to the one in Chitambo. I am aware that in certain instances, the shortage of teachers is caused by teachers not willing to serve in certain schools where they are deployed. Most of them choose to drift to urban schools. What is the ministry doing to ensure that such teachers are taken back to schools they were originally deployed to improve staffing levels of teachers?


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I will repeat what I have stated on the Floor of this House as regards transfer of teachers. Cabinet Office decided to embark on an exercise to audit the deployment of teachers that have been recruited since independence.


Mr Speaker, as a consequence of that audit, we expect certain decisions to be made. For example, when Hon. Musokotwane asked about whether there were schools in the Western Province which had teachers beyond their establishment, my answer was in the affirmative. The Teachers in excess of school establishments will be redeployed.


Mr Speaker, I keep pleading with my colleagues to give Cabinet Office and the Smart Zambia Institute (SZI) more time to do a better job. I am sure that once the audit exercise which involves all the ten provinces is completed, I will come back to this House and share some of the decisions that are going to be made as a consequence.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is aware that most of our schools in rural areas only have about two teachers to cater for Grades 1 up to 7. Is it possible for him to tell us the number of trained teachers who are not in employment and are just loafing?




Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the last time we recruited teachers in 2018/2019, we had almost 32,000 applications. So, obviously, the number of trained teachers on the labour market is in excess of 40,000.


 I thank you, Sir.


Ms Kasanda (Chisamba): Mr Speaker, most constituencies, including Chisamba, are experiencing the same problem as Nangoma Constituency. What immediate plans does the ministry have to mitigate the problem in Nangoma and the rest of the constituencies? I have understood that the ministry is still conducting an audit and the hon. Minister is not sure when the audit will be completed. However, I want to know what immediate action will be taken.


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I will repeat what I said last week when the hon. Member for Lubansenshi asked a question on the same subject matter. Notwithstanding the ongoing audit, no one has stopped our respective District Education Board Secretaries (DEBS) in the ministry from making administrative decisions to transfer teachers from one school that has excess to another that has a significant deficit. Even within the context of the audit, these decisions continue to be made in the ministry. If Hon. Hamusonde has in mind a specific school in his constituency, he has the right to come and see me and my team in the Ministry of General Education and we will do whatever it may take to help him.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwila (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, how many teachers has the ministry planned to recruit this year to cater for Nangoma and other schools across the country?


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: The hon. Minister will restrict himself to Nangoma, but may respond if he has an answer to this question.


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, we have begun the conversation with our colleagues in the Ministry of Finance. I will revert back to the House on the number of teachers to be recruited. I do not want to mislead the House.


I thank you, Sir.








Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Legal Affairs, Human Rights, National Guidance, Gender Matters and Governance on the Petition by the Third Liberation Movement calling on the National Assembly to initiate enactment of stiffer penalties for corruption cases for the Fourth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?


Mr S. Banda (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.


Mr Jere: Mr Speaker, pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order No. 157(2), the Committee is mandated to consider any matter referred to it by the Speaker or an Order of the House. In this regard, the Committee was privileged to consider a petition by the Third Liberation Movement in which the movement petitioned the National Assembly of Zambia to consider initiating enactment of relevant legislation to stiffen the punishment prescribed for corruption offences. In particular, the petition urged the National Assembly of Zambia to initiate enactment of appropriate legislation to:


  1. make corruption a non-bailable offence; and
  2. stiffen the penalties for corruption offences to include:


  1. imprisonment for fifty years or more;


  1. life imprisonment; and


  1. death by hanging.


Mr Speaker, in order to better understand the ramifications of the proposals by the petitioner, the Committee interacted with several stakeholders who tendered both oral and written submissions.


Sir, since hon. Members of the House have had the opportunity to peruse the Committee’s report, I will highlight only a few salient issues encountered by the Committee. I will start with the proposal by the petitioner to make corruption cases non-bailable.


Mr Speaker, the Committee observed with great concern that corruption is a major obstacle to democracy and the rule of law. Corruption has also caused public offices and institutions to lose their legitimacy. This notwithstanding, the Committee is of the view that making corruption offences non-bailable would be going against one of the most sacred principles in the criminal justice system, which is that an accused person is innocent until proven guilty. Sir, it is the Committee’s opinion that even more importantly, making corruption cases non-bailable would be unconstitutional and a violation of the right to personal liberty. The Committee, therefore, recommends that corruption cases continue to be bailable in line with Article 13 of the Constitution of Zambia, Chapter 1 of the Laws of Zambia and Section 33 of the Criminal Procedure Code, Chapter 88 of the Laws of Zambia.


Mr Speaker, the petitioner also proposed imprisonment of fifty years or more for individuals engaging in corrupt practices. The Committee is of the view that there is need for prudence, consistency and fairness by the sentencing judge as guided by the well-settled principles of sentencing. The Committee observed that it would be a mistake to follow rigid rules when determining the length of a sentence in an effort to secure a measure of deterrence because corruption cases differ in intensity and nature. Therefore, taking a one size fits all approach with regard to sentencing is unjustifiable and excessive. The Committee, therefore, recommends that legislation governing corruption be enacted in accordance with internationally accepted principles and practices. In this regard, the Committee notes that jurisdictions within the region such as Malawi and Kenya impose a maximum jail term of twelve and ten years respectively for corruption offences.


Mr Speaker, the Committee also observes that the imposition of the death penalty is a violation of the right to life and the ultimate form of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. The Committee further observes that there appears to be very little correlation, if any, between the imposition of the death penalty and levels of corruption in countries that have adopted it as punishment for corruption offences such as North Korea and China.


Sir, North Korea and China are ranked 172 and 80, respectively, on the Transparency International Corruption Index. The Committee, therefore, recommends that the proposal to impose the death penalty should not be adopted as there is no evidence that its adoption would act as a deterrent to would-be offenders.


Mr Speaker, lastly, the Committee notes that the Anti-Corruption Act No. 3 of 2012 does not provide for mandatory minimum sentences, but only maximum sentences for certain specific offences. The Committee recommends that the Act be amended to include mandatory minimum sentences in order to ensure that sentencing reflects the seriousness of the offence so as to promote respect for the law and provide just punishment for offenders. Zambia can take a leaf from Malawi whose Corrupt Practices Act of 1995 prescribes a mandatory minimum sentence of five years imprisonment.


Mr Speaker, the Committee is aware that the fight against corruption cannot be effective if it is not undertaken in a holistic manner. In this regard, the Committee recommends that concerted efforts be made to instil appropriate values and principles on the negative effects of corruption in the general populace. To this effect, the Committee recommends that these principles be incorporated into all education curricula from pre-school to tertiary level.


Sir, I wish to conclude by thanking the petitioner and all the stakeholders who appeared before the Committee for their written and oral submissions. Further, the Committee’s gratitude goes to your office and the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the guidance and support rendered to the Committee during its deliberations.


Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

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


Mr S. Banda: Mr Speaker, I wish to speak now.


Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to debate on the report of your Committee. Indeed, the petition which necessitated your Committee to sit proposes that there is need to initiate enactment of stiffer penalties for cases of corruption.


Mr Speaker, I identify with the petitioner and understand his frustration. I understand his disappointment. Indeed, corruption endangers sustainable national development. It endangers ethical values and justice and destabilises society and the rule of law. Corruption is worse than prostitution –


Mr Sing’ombe: Worse than what?


Mr S. Banda: Prostitution.


Corruption is worse than prostitution because the latter endangers individual morals while the former endangers the morals of the nation. With that said, I identify with the petitioner. However, the question which needs to be answered is whether the enactment of laws to stiffen punishment for cases of corruption is the panacea for the fight against corruption?  Sir, to answer that question, allow me to contextualise my debate on the fight against corruption in Zambia.


 Mr Speaker, from the outset, allow me to underscore that the high levels of corruption are not due to an inadequate legal framework. In fact, your Committee’s report highlights that we have an adequate legal framework as regards the fight against corruption. The report underscores the fact that our pieces of legislation against corruption are in conformity with the United Nations Convention against Corruption UNCAC as well as the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption.


With that said, the question which arises, therefore, is what is responsible for the high rate of corruption? I will basically address two thematic issues and I will be done. What is true is that your Committee’s report highlights the fact that most of the challenges, which to the greater extent cause high levels of corruption, emanate from a culture of impunity and low level of enforcement of legislation. These have increased the prevalence of corruption.


Mr Speaker, I will contextualise my debate on these two thematic issues. As regards the low levels of enforcement of legislation on corruption, a lot of factors contribute to this. The first one is that low levels of enforcement of the law on corruption have been exacerbated by low prosecution rates. Low prosecution rates have been perceived as the basis to infer that there has been an increase in corruption.


In this regard, there is need to ensure that we provide fast track or specialised courts for corruption cases. This will enhance the fight against corruption. Furthermore, there is need to ensure that corruption litigations are dealt with regardless of whether a case is petty or grand.


The other aspect, which comes to the fore, talks about the independence and autonomy of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). Whilst Section 5 of the Anti-Corruption Act No. 3 of 2012 provides for the autonomy and independence of the ACC, in another breath in Section 64 (i), it provides that for any case to be litigated by the ACC, there is need for to get consent from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).


Mr Speaker, witnesses submitted that this has an impact on how effectively corruption is fought because most cases are not worked on in good time. It is strongly recommended that there is need to detach the ACC from the DPP. After all, the ACC has relevant competence and capacity to deal with corruption cases. Further, the Constitution of Zambia provides qualifications for the DPP and the Director-General of the ACC. The two enjoy the same privileges.


Mr Speaker, the other aspect which needs to be dealt with is the need to harmonise the definition of a public officer as it relates to the ACC Act and the Constitution of Zambia. According to the Constitution of Zambia Act No. 2 of 2016, Article 266 defines a public officer as follows:


“‘public officer’ means a person holding or acting in a public office, but does not include a State officer, councillor, a Constitutional office holder, a judge and a judicial officer;”


 However, in another breath, the ACC Act defines a public officer in a more comprehensive manner which is in conformity with the UNCAC. It provides that a public officer is one who holds office in any of the three arms of the Government. When the Constitution holds true, all other subsidiary laws are void. That in itself has been a hitch to effectively fight corruption.


Mr Speaker, there is also need to ensure that integrity committees in Government ministries and agencies are capacitated to contribute to the fight against corruption. There is also need to enhance their operations by capacitating the ACC with adequate funding. These are the factors which lead to the low rate of prosecution.


Mr Speaker, the culture of impunity works against the fight against corruption. According to Mahindra Ghandi a nation’s culture resides in the hearts and souls of its people.


Mr Speaker, culture is a result of values and beliefs held or practiced in families. We exemplify them in our communities and practice them at work places. It is said that if you hang around a barber shop for a long time, you will have a haircut eventually. Where has this culture of impunity come from? How have we found ourselves in this situation? Unless we have embraced it at the household level, exemplified it at community level and practised and tolerated it in our workplaces both in the public and private sectors, it cannot be entrenched.


Sir, at the core of effectively combating corruption is the moral fibre of our society. Therefore, there is need for consented effort to holistically fight corruption and ensure that corruption is dealt with on all strata of our society. Corruption has to be dealt with at household levels, community levels and work place levels whether in private or public institutions.


Mr Speaker, a person is what he/she believes in and that moves him/her into action. Thus, it is strongly recommended that curricula from preschool to tertiary education factors in the issue of corruption, not just for the purpose of passing an examination, but also to forge values and ideals which will hate this vice. We will raise a community which will hate corruption. For argument’s sake, there is no way you can have a man of integrity at the helm and his own family practices injustice. If people do not practice justice in the community, it is hard to expect them to be just in their public or private offices. I think there is need to have a holistic approach to the fight against corruption to ensure that we promote generational transformation.


Sir, the other aspect I want to talk about is this phenomenon of politicising the fight against corruption. There is need to depoliticise the fight against corruption. Corruption affects everyone regardless of status in the community, ethnic grouping or political affiliations whether on the left or on the right. There is need to depoliticise the fight against corruption.


Mr Speaker, the other day, I was reading a research by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation which pointed to the fact that Zambia had not been doing well in terms of issues of governance and the corruption index perception. The question is how have we, as a people, contributed to reaching that level? It is us who have not been sincere, objective, magnanimous and, indeed, nationalistic in the fight against corruption. The classic case is the fifty-one houses. That issue went viral on social media without facts and people thrived on it. By the time it was realised that the person at the core of that case was not a politically exposed person, it was too late. The same people who spread falsehoods could not go back to social media and clarify the matter. This shows that the fight against corruption has been politicised. So, there is need to depoliticise the fight against corruption.


Sir, this means that concerted effort is needed in the fight against corruption. What image of our country have we projected out there? Is it in national interest, even if we know that there is this problem? The fight against corruption is for everyone. It requires everyone to get on board.


Mr Speaker, in my conclusion, allow me to say that in this fight against corruption, no one will save us. No one may and no one can, but us. We need to walk the path ourselves as a people because no one will fight on our behalf, not even foreign nations. When we come together in concerted effort to fight against the scourge, we will win.


Sir, with that said, I can comfortably say that it is evident that the fight against corruption must not just be curative, but also preventative. We need to have a holistic approach in the fight against corruption. There is need for consented efforts to instil values and principles at all strata of society to foster an effective fight against corruption.


Mr Speaker, with that said, let me quote what I said earlier that no one will save us because no one can and no one will, but ourselves. We need to walk the path together as a people to fight against this scourge.

Sir, I beg to second.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Order!


Let me guide those who have indicated to debate that we have to conclude this Motion. When I look at the list of hon. Members indicating to debate, I realise that it is increasing. If hon. Members consume all the fifteen minutes allocated to them, only two or so will debate and then we will conclude. Therefore, it will be important for the debaters to bring out points as they debate. There is a report which is supposed to guide us.


Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the chance to debate this Motion. My debate will be brief.


Mr Speaker, allow me to state that I have had a look at the report which comes from a petition to the National Assembly by a political party called the Third Liberation Movement to stiffen punishment for corruption related cases.


Mr Speaker, I want to speak as a lawyer. Having looked at the petition and the report, it appears to me that we are slowly losing ourselves in Zambia. You might be aware that in Zambia, every politician, whether in the Opposition or in the Government, has already been branded as corrupt. There is also another perception that if one owns any asset that people do not believe one should own, then that one is corrupt. So, the danger we face is that it is now social media and society that want to decide on behalf of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) who should be investigated.


Sir, you can imagine that just a few days ago, a fancy vehicle landed in the country and the whole country was up in arms that the owner of the car is either a thief or is involved in money laundering activities and other things? The Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) also blindly moved in, purportedly, to investigate the matter and impounded the vehicle. Who complained? Let us not lose the fight against corruption. People should not decide on behalf of the courts who is corrupt and who is not because everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

Mr Speaker, you can imagine that even when people buy good cars using loans, they are labeled as thieves when they are seen driving their cars. Civil Servants who work hard and sacrifice to build flats are labeled as thieves.


Sir, when you check the statistics at the ACC on how many official complaints of corruption it receives in a year, you will find that there are only three or four. Some of them are just for information purposes while others are just falsehoods. There is no evidence whatsoever that the number of corruption cases is going up.


Mr Speaker, I have perused the report with an eagle’s eye and have not seen any statistics of corruption cases that were recorded between 2017 and 2020 or the convictions that were secured. We can only gauge whether corruption cases are increasing or decreasing by the number of convictions and the number of cases being investigated. This report has totally failed to exhibit that information.


Hon Government Members: Hear, hear! Tell us!


Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, where in the world could an allegation of corruption lead to a person being given fifty years imprisonment? It does not work like that. I want to advise the House about a course called Criminology that propagates that you cannot prevent the occurrence of an offence through the creation of a stiffer punishment. For example, there is no evidence to show that the number of defilement cases has gone down from the time we increased the punishment to a minimum of fifteen years imprisonment. Defilement is still happening every day. What is happening is that people are getting more and more sophisticated thereby making it even more difficult to fight corruption due to this sophistication.


Sir, this report has also not shown us the deficiencies of the ACC. Where has the report shown that the ACC has failed, for example? As far as I am concerned, to insinuate that the ACC is weak or has failed and that there is, therefore, need to aid it does not help the situation. Believe you me, the fight against corruption can only be won if we create systems. We must have systems which will be able to detect or prevent corruption. For example, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, under the able leadership of His Excellency, the President, Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has reduced interface between man and money. At the moment, if you go to certain places, you will not need to carry cash because you will have to go and pay at the bank. If the police stop you and charge you with an offence, they will give you a piece of paper and you will go and pay for yourself at the bank. That is how corruption can be reduced.


Ms Mulenga: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, the PF is alive to the fact that you cannot reduce corruption by creating more roadblocks or by increasing the number of people to fight corruption. At the end of the day, you may have ten people looking for one suspect and all of them become suspects while the suspect becomes the complainant.


Mr Speaker, lastly, allow me to state that from my understanding of Criminal Law through practice and my experience as an hon. Member of Parliament, I believe I am now a better citizen and can make a recommendation as I am about to make.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube:  The first recommendation to the people of Zambia, through the hon. Member of Parliament for Dundumwezi, is that we should make reporting corruption cases mandatory. For instance, if you know about a deal, but do not report it, you must be charged as an accomplice. That is how corruption is being fought in advanced countries. In the United States of America (USA), for instance, failing to report corruption makes you a party. Here in Zambia, one could be sitting on an offence and people could even be clapping for him for being corrupt. Why is that so? Some people only sing corruption because they want to go to State House.


Mr Speaker, secondly, let us ensure that the name of the ACC is not used in vain. Where in the world does society decide for the investigative wings which people to investigate or arrest? For instance, there is this issue of the influence of social media at the moment. Today, a person can post on social media that a certain individual owns a certain number of houses and the ACC will also blindly move in and arrest the suspect. That is why we end up with ten million acquittals. We are losing it.


Mr Speaker, let us run away from the issue of pointing fingers at whoever we think is corrupt and saying that the country is corrupt. I have heard this on the Floor of the House. Some people accuse the Government of corruption and forget that they are also part of the Government. They say that this Government is corrupt and forget that the Government includes everyone sitting here.


Sir, I will not run away from the truth. I shall mention that most of them just raise hot air when they shout corruption. When asked to give statements to the authorities, they develop high blood pressure (BP). Others even say that they are being hunted because of their political affiliation and so on and so forth.




Mr Ngulube: Sir, lastly, I know that I have already said lastly, but as I conclude my very brief debate on behalf of the people of Luampa, I want to say that all those who have evidence of corruption must begin to troop to the ACC offices. If there are some people who read news from Facebook pages like the Zambian Watchdog and Koswe, believe you me that one day, they will believe what these pages say.


Hon Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ngulube: Sir, I have seen many innocent people summoned to the ACC and then the ACC gets stuck. If the officers at the ACC invited me for an interview, I would talk to them and show them that I genuinely acquired things contrary to social media and they would get stuck. How can they investigate a case for eleven years? How? If they have to investigate a case for eleven years, when do they take it to court?

I would like to urge my brothers who are fond of pointing fingers at others accusing them of being corrupt to work hard because some of us work hard. So, if they see a hardworking man and do not know where he has got his wealth from, it is better they ask him than label him corrupt.


Hon. UPND Members: Question!


Mr Ngulube: Sir, there is a course at the University of Zambia (UNZA) called sociology. I know that most of my brothers who are saying “question!” might not have passed through UNZA. Anyhow, there is a course called sociology …


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Speak through the Chair.




Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, I am sorry. Allow me to withdraw the fact that some of my colleagues might not have passed through UNZA because they might have passed by it when going to the airport.




Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, there is a course called sociology. In sociology, there is a topic called “Labelling.” Labelling creates discrimination.


Ms Mulenga: Hammer!


Mr Ngulube: It is like prejudice, where you say, for instance, that women are honest. That is prejudice. I know that there are some women who may not be as prescribed.


Mr Speaker, as I conclude on behalf of the people of Kasempa, I would like to say that we should avoid labelling each other. Once you start to label people as corrupt, real criminals walk away scot-free and people lose the fight. The ACC is open every day and has offices in all ten provinces. Those who have evidence should walk to the ACC and report. They will not pay anything except that they will just have to report facts. They should not just go and report because they believe that someone is corrupt. It is not for anyone to judge whether another is corrupt or not. This is why we have all these established channels. 


Mr Speaker, as I wind down in the last three seconds, –  




Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, the people of Chikankata are listening and will listen again. This report has condemned the fact that all corruption cases are tried in the subordinate court or magistrate court. Allow me to educate my brothers and sisters in the village where I come from that all criminal cases in Zambia start from the magistrate court. Whether one likes it or not, that is the established procedure. If a case is triable by the High Court, it will be committed to the High Court for trial. We will end up having 1,000 courts if we believe that there should be a specialised court for everything and create one every time.


Mr Speaker, our magistrates and judges are highly trained personnel. Some magistrates are trained and qualified lawyers. The subordinate court should not be demeaned. Simply because cases start from the subordinate court does not mean that those cases are not important. The people who established the criminal justice system believed that for one to appeal to higher courts, he/she should start from the bottom. It is unlike the situation that was created accidentally in 2016 when the Constitutional Court was created as a first and final court. Where do people appeal? There is nowhere to appeal. So, the magistrate court is okay.


Mr Speaker, I would like to disagree with the recommendation in the report that fast track courts must be created for corruption cases. Which corruption cases? There are no cases of corruption. As far as I am concerned, all the people who have been labelled as corrupt have been arrested and taken to court. In most instances witnesses have failed to turn up. In some cases, there has been very weak evidence. What do you expect the courts to do?


Mr Speaker, lastly, the very last ...




Mr Ngulube: Hon. Members on the left should put themselves in the shoes of the people who are being accused of corruption. Today, they are in the Opposition and are able to pretend that they are not corrupt. Would it be fair if we accused them of being corrupt the day they became hon. Ministers and, as a result, lost properties that they acquired before becoming hon. Ministers? I am aware that some of the people who were accusing hon. Ministers of being corrupt ended up being arrested for corruption and are appearing in court. For as long as we use the word corruption to fight political battles, this Government, and this country, will not move forward.


Mr Speaker, one of the recommendations by the Committee states, and I quote:


“The Committee further notes that the commission can only be autonomous if it has adequate financial and human resources and security of tenure for the commissioners. The Committee, therefore, urges the Government to adequately fund the Commission and ensure that its staff establishment is filled.”


Mr Speaker, as far as I am concerned, the ACC is everywhere. It is the PF Government that ratified a list of commissioners through this House last year. So, whether we have 10 million workers at the ACC or not, it will not change anything if people do not report corruption cases. Even if each ACC staff is given US$1 million at the end of the month as salary, we will not go anywhere if people are not reporting cases and the ACC is not investigating them.


 Mr Speaker, I intended to debate in five minutes, but I decided to add more facts so that my brother from Chikankata who is inpatient and wants to leave can know that this is a very serious debate. For those who want to go to State House by shouting corruption, they should remember the story of the boy who cried lion.


Mr Mwiinga: Just sit down.


Mr Ngulube: There is a story of the boy who cried lion. Some of you must also know –


 Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Order!


Hon. Ngulube, when it comes to such a Motion, the best you can do is depend on the report. Otherwise, you invite the Chair to guide you. If anything, you have misled the House by saying “finally” several times. How many times are you going to say finally?




Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Let us make progress. Look at the time and the list of people who want to debate. Please, conclude.


Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, I normally use the word “finally” when I am about to finish talking. There is a story of a boy who cried lion.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: No stories. I am sure the hon. Member knows that by now.




Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, allow me to conclude my debate on another point in the report which says that there should be no bail for suspects of corruption offences and that convicts should be sentenced to up to fifty years in jail.


Mr Speaker, firstly, we must remember that the purpose of punishing offenders, according to us learned men and women, is reformation. We know that life expectancy of a normal African person is below 100 years. If a man is fifty years old and he is sentenced to fifty years, he is as good as sentenced to death. At what point is he going to reform and come back to society and be accepted? All these overzealous claims that if offenders are given 100 years sentence as punishment then there will be no corruption in Zambia do not hold water because 90 per cent of punishments have proved ineffective.


Mr Speaker, when I was a young lawyer, I wrote a thesis that looked at the prison system in Zambia and how it reforms offenders. That document can be found at the University of Zambia (UNZA). You will still find it useful because I am still useful myself.


Mr Speaker, the gravity of the punishment depends on the seriousness of the offence. You cannot say everyone who commits any offence should be given the same punishment. Some people will commit an offence that requires only a six month sentence for them to reform and come back to society. If we are going to say that one should be arrested and given fifty years for failing to report a case, then we are losing it. Already, our prisons are failing to cope with the numbers. The population in our prisons is not getting any less. 


Mr Speaker, allow me now to thank the mover and the seconder of the Motion. Allow me to also thank all hon. Members who paid attention and those who might have learned one or two things from this lecture.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Simukoko: Well-done!


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, take it from me that I will be very brief in my debate as I support the report that was ably handled by the Committee on Legal Affairs, Human Rights, National Guidance, Gender Matters and Governance on the Petition by the Third Liberation Movement calling on the National Assembly to initiate enactment of stiffer penalties for corruption cases.


Mr Speaker, you definitely must be aware that it is not only the petitioner, but Zambia as a country, that detests corruption for the reasons that have been mentioned in the report.  While we acknowledge that there are be people in society that can break the law or be mischievous, nobody tolerates those that concern themselves with corruption practices because we know that corruption endangers a lot of things. The analogy that is in the report is that corruption is related to a cancer and cancer leads to death at one point or the other. This is what the report has brought out and we all understand.


Mr Speaker, at continental level, I remember that in 2019 the African Union had a theme which looked at putting in place institutions that would tackle corruption. We all understand that even Zambia is a party. So, all Zambians detest corruption.


 I agree with the mover of this report that the petitioner was fed up, like everybody else, with the levels of corruption that have been reported in this country. There are still many Zambians who do not have the same values that we all espouse to and engage in corruption at different levels. For example, recently, there was a report where headmasters in Kanyama were getting bribes for Grade 1 pupils to be enrolled into school. At that level, corruption endangers the ability of many children to get into school because parents do not have the means to pay that sort of money.


Mr Speaker, at a larger scale, when those who undertake road construction projects engage in corruption, they do a disservice to the nation because the crossing points and bridges that they construct do not last. It is worse in hospitals because if you got your medical education through corrupt ways, you can be sure that you will be a danger to society because many people will die at your hands. No nation should tolerate corruption at any level.


Mr Speaker, the mover and seconder of the Motion indicated that this report has advised the petitioner that most of the suggestions he put forward, like the number of years of sentences and legal provisions, are sufficient in this country. However, what we lack is enforcement. We as Zambians should own up to corruption so that all of us fight it at the same level. We tend to isolate it to institutions like the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). However, the ACC cannot fight corruption alone because Zambia is a very big country.


Mr Speaker, these days, we tend to rely on social media. When social media brings up names, we all get excited. Sometimes, we miss out on the real offenders because a lot of corruption happens at lower levels of public offices as opposed to the high levels where people think it is.  Every hon. Minister and politician is seen to be corrupt and this is where the country has missed it. Corruption must be stamped out because no one supports it.


Mr Speaker, I support this report as it answers to what is required.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, I will allow the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central to speak and then I will ask the acting hon. Minister of Justice to contribute before we conclude this Motion.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, firstly, I thank the Committee chairperson and the seconder for bringing out responses to the petitioner’s quest to stiffen penalties for people that are found guilty of the offences of corruption.


Mr Speaker, I also subscribe to the principle of innocence until proven guilty. This particular report has surprised me a little bit because it suggests measures that are more punitive than corrective. However, I will delve, just for two minutes, into making some definitions of corruption.


Mr Speaker, corruption is simply immoral and dishonest behaviour. That is what drives corruption. The icing on the cake of corruption is the insatiable appetite and greed. It is what drives people who push corruption agendas. The effects on the downstream are that it corrupts society, breaks the State and actually does a lot of harm to morals.


Mr Speaker, I want to argue this afternoon that corruption in the report appears to be confined to bribery, extortion and exchange of favours with money. I want to argue that it goes beyond this. I started by saying it is a moral based issue. Corruption also includes many things that may be described as patronage and undue influence on society. That is why when a computer is corrupted, chances are that it will most likely crush. Corruption makes a whole society dysfunctional.


Mr Speaker, I want to congratulate the Committee for bringing up this topic. However, I think that the Third Liberation Movement brought this petition because it saw the existence of this vice. Corruption has existed in this country for a long time and different administrations have dealt with it in different ways. I will take the era of President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, as an example. I think that he had a different approach to the fight against corruption than the petitioners have. During his reign, we saw the corruption index reducing.


Mr Speaker, in the time of President Levy Mwanawasa, there was no Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC). Now we have sufficient institutions such as the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Fraud Department of the Police. There are also warm bodies that report to these offices to ensure that they curb this vice. However, I want to argue that it goes beyond that.


Mr Speaker, the day before yesterday, I moved a Motion about hate speech. I think hate speech sits on all fours with corruption. I am not a lawyer, but I am sure that Hon. Ngulube will agree with me that the Latin term for an intention to desert is called animus diserendi. When you have the intention to corrupt the mind of another, it means that you are dishonest and that qualifies as corruption.


Mr Speaker, I want to declare interest on this matter. This is because the petitioner has to understand that when you are in a glass house, you do not throw stones and when you are in a glass house, you do not walk around naked. I want to say that the petitioner must look at himself in the mirror and see whether he is a reflection of what he is pushing this Parliament to do, which is kill people. The proposal here is that people must be sentenced to death. Where is the principle of reformation if someone’s life is going to be taken because they were tempted? There is one commandment amongst the Ten in the Bible that says ‘thou shall not steal.’ However, God did not say we shall execute you when you steal. That is Sharia Law. Is the petitioner trying to bring Sharia Law here? What we are going through as a country does not warrant Sharia Law, whereby, somebody who is reported to have committed a crime is stoned to death. I am sure you recall that a certain man from Galilee once challenged people who wanted to stone a woman who was believed to have been a prostitute. He said, “He who has not offended, cast the first stone.”


Mr Speaker, I declared interest because I am a victim of the petitioner as a party. I will not go into personalities. Just two days ago, the petitioner wrote a hate speech piece on me and accused me of wanting to torch this country in 2021. I looked at that and said to myself, “Ooh my God, where does this lie?” I don’t know the petitioner. Just now, when I flipped through Google, I realised that the petitioner is the one I had greeted in the lobby and he gave me so much respect. He said, “Mulishani, ba honourable? That is deception and it is corruption.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker:  What is the meaning of ‘mulishani ba honourable’?


Mr Nkombo: Mulishani ba honourable means ‘how are you, hon. Member’ with the utmost respect. That is deception. Writing hate speech is also corruption and that is why I said the mover must go in front of the mirror and look at himself. Maybe he would need to get some blankets removed from his/her head.


Sir, in sticking to the report, let me drive the point home. I have said people should not just pinpoint things that are sensational. It is said that do unto others as you would have them do unto you. As a result of this corrupt act by the petitioner’s representative, I got a call from the police that I should report myself because I intended to torch this country. I asked the one who called me go to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) and get minutes of what was discussed and find out if I said anything like that.


Mr Speaker, this is a pity and I think it is a defining moment for all of us to state to each other that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us. There is no reason to become a superstar and try to bring someone down. Only God up above in heaven can bring anyone down, including governments.


Sir, this is why we in the United Party for National Development (UPND) are desirous of forming Government. It is within the Constitution of Zambia, but in desiring to be part of the Government, we should not stand on a pedestal and throw mud anyhow because that also becomes corruption of the highest order. So, we the UPND should not be apologetic about our desire or quest to sit on your right, where the hon. Minister of Defense is seated, because that is what the Constitution of Zambia provides for us.


However, in doing so, let us chat a way that will leave the hon. Minister of Defense intact even after he leaves that office to go and retire because many have been in his office and many have gone. If we, as a people, are going into this idea of peddling falsehoods against each other, including going to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to report a crime that does not exist, we are being diabolical. It is sinful to do that. I think it is a defining moment for sure because I am holding my emotion. What the petitioner wished is for me to be locked up for inciting the public. There is a law in this land that answers to people who incite the public and if one is caught he/she loses his/her freedom. Was that the wisdom of the petitioner?


Mr Speaker, I have made my point and, in summary, let me say that to make corruption charges non-bailable is not tenable. To turn corruption offences up to Sharia Law or to hang someone by the neck until pronounced dead is not tenable. What we need to do is to use institutions that are available in the most effective manner; a manner that is apolitical, transparent and fair because current Zambian laws are adequate to the decimal point. There is no inadequacy currently with the law that deals with issues of corruption. It is just a matter of how we enforce it.


It is the same story with the hate speech Motion I moved the other day. I just said the enforcement mechanism must now be invoked so that society can bring itself back to the balance. However, you simply cannot do things for the heck of it. Surely, even as the petitioners were writing this, did they think that hon. Members would agree to such an act of making corruption a non-bailable offense?


What about the presumption of innocence until one is proven guilty? Do we remove that? It is not tenable. However, I do realise that everyone grows up, including political parties. Therefore, I have a bit of advice for the Third Liberation Movement, the petitioner. It should come straight without emotion when it comes to law making because if it is going to bring emotions when making laws, the same laws may apply to it. I will give a quick example and then I will sit down.


Mr Speaker, there was a law that said that motor vehicle theft should not be bailable. Our late President, Mr Michael Sata, may his soul rest in peace, did not steal any car, but people were vindictive. At one time, the Government said he was holding onto a car which was not his. He was at Longacres Police Post for three weeks without bail. He was part of the people who made that law in this House. The law turns around.


Mr Speaker, when we changed the Constitution to make sure that the threshold for one to qualify to become an hon. Member of Parliament or a councilor was a Grade 12 certificate, there were hon. Members from the right side who said “Hear, hear!”  By the time the law was passed, it was too late for them. When they applied to re-contest, they were told that they voted and they did not qualify. They had to start running back to secondary school to go and write the Form 5 examination.




Mr Nkombo: That is my advice to the young party. I wish it well as it grows. As it may record its first councillor, first hon. Member of Parliament and, maybe, the President one time in the future, it must remember that laws are supposed to be made in a non-emotional way. Then, people will know that it is balanced. That is why there is that thing that is like a scale at court. It means to balance society. If you are going to make a law in order to fix someone, be sure that it may be just you who will be fixed because as a man lives, so shall he die. If you live by the sword, you are going to die by the sword.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


The Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development (Mr Mulenga) (on behalf of the Minister of Justice (Mr Lubinda)): Mr Speaker, allow me to add my voice to the debate on the Motion on the Floor. First and foremost, I wish to congratulate the Committee for the outstanding work it did in the preparation of the report.


Mr Speaker, in its preamble of 2004, the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) calls for preventive measures and criminalisation of the most prevalent forms of corruption in both public and private sectors. The convention makes a major breakthrough by requiring member States to return proceeds of corruption to the country of origin. Zambia signed the UNCAC on 11th December, 2003, and ratified it on 7th December, 2007. The development of the National Anti-Corruption Policy and the review of the Anti-Corruption Legal Framework followed this ratification process.


Mr Speaker, the Committee has noted that in 2010, as part of the National Anti-Corruption Policy implementation, Zambia embarked on an extensive legislative review in order to strengthen the legal framework to fight corruption. Pursuant to this review, the Government passed the following legislations:


  1. the Anti-Corruption Act, 2010 (Act No. 38 of 2010) which was repealed in 2012 by the Anti-Corruption Act (Act No. 3 of 2012);


  1. the Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime Act, 2010 (Act No. 19 of 2010);
  2. the Public Interest Disclosure Act, 2010 (Protection of Whistleblowers) Act No. 4 of 2010;
  3. the Plea Bargaining Act, 2010 (Act No. 20 of 2010);
  4. the Prohibition and Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Act, 2010 (Act No. 44 of 2010);
  5. the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (Act No. 46 of 2010); and
  6. the National Prosecution Authority Act, 2010 (Act No. 34 of 2010).


Mr Speaker, I wish to reiterate the Government’s commitment to fully domesticate and implement the UNCAC and other international instruments relating to fighting corruption.


Sir, the principal law that deals with corruption in Zambia is the Anti-Corruption Act No. 3 of 2012. The Act establishes the Anti-Corruption Commission whose functions, among others, are to co-ordinate its activities across agencies on policy and implementation. The Act further prohibits corruption, extortion, bribery of a foreign office, abuse of office and money laundering. Under Section 3 of the Act, corruption means the soliciting, accepting, obtaining, giving, promising or offering of gratification by way of a bribe or other personal temptation or inducement or the misuse or abuse of a public office for advantage or benefit for oneself or another person.  This definition covers both public and private sector.


Mr Speaker, the provisions of the Anti-Corruption Act criminalising corruption are quite robust. They adequately deal with corruption in both the public and private sector. The provisions generally meet Zambia’s obligations under the UNCAC. Article 22 and 33 of the convention requires national legislation to criminalise and combat corruption. It should be noted that the Anti-Corruption Act only prescribes maximum sentences for specific offences and does not provide for minimum sentences. Generally, best practice discourages mandatory minimum sentences as this limits judicial discretion which is essential to avoid miscarriage of justice. However, minimum sentences have been utilised in very exceptional circumstances.


Sir, let me address some of the issues highlighted in the Committee’s report, item by item. In terms of the petition, it is the petitioner’s view that the current punishment as highlighted above is not sufficient and must be stiffened. The petitioner proposes the following criminal sanctions if one is found guilty.


  1. a fifty year or more jail sentence;
  2. life imprisonment; and
  3. execution or death sentence by hanging until one is pronounced dead.


Mr Speaker, with regard to the proposal to impose the death penalty for corruption offences, I wish to state that the right to life is inherent in every human being and is guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in Article 6 and the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which provides for the abolition of the death penalty.